An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah an-Nisa Ayah 118

Shaytan’s Success in Misleading People

In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is warning us against Shaytan and advising not to make ourselves vulnerable to him.

لَّعَنَهُ اللَّهُ وَقَالَ لاّتَّخِذَنَّ مِنْ عِبَادِكَ نَصِيباً مَّفْرُوضاً

“Allah cursed him and he (Shaytan) said, ‘I will surely take from your slaves an appointed portion.”

Cursing someone means they are far away from mercy. Why is Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala telling us that He has cursed Shaytan? It is because He wants us to be aware of the fact that Shaytan is distanced from His mercy. If Shaytan has been cursed and distanced from mercy then where are we heading when we submit to him?

This reminder is for our own benefit not to follow Shaytan he is cursed and has no share in Allah’s blessings and forgiveness.

Taking a portion here can be understood in two ways. It means misleading a certain portion of mankind and taking them to the Hellfire. It can also mean taking a portion of our time, labor, efforts, abilities, energies, wealth and offspring and entice us by deception so that they we devote the major portion of these in his way.

The word mafrooda is from the root letters fa-ra-dad which means to impose law, prescribe, appoint, command, make an obligation, etc.

Shaytan said he will make it obligatory on some portion of the mankind to tread his path. He will make sure to cut them off from the rest of the people and take them with himself. He is asserting here that he is not going alone in the Hellfire, but he will take a good portion of mankind with him. [We seek the protection of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from the cursed Shaytan].

Through this ayah we learn that Shaytan will be successful in his plans and mislead people.

Narrated Abu Saeed al-Khudri, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,

“On the Day of Resurrection Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will say, ‘O Adam!’ Adam aalyhi sallam will reply, ‘Labbaik our Lord, and Sa’daik.’ Then there will be a loud call (saying), Allah orders you to take from among your offspring a mission for the (hell) Fire.’ Adam AS will say, ‘O Lord! Who are the mission for the (hell) Fire?’ Allah will say, ‘Out of each thousand, take out 999.’

At that time every pregnant female shall drop her load (have a miscarriage) and a child will have grey hair. And you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet not drunk, but severe will be the torment of Allah.’” [22:2]

When the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said this, the people were so distressed (and afraid) that their faces got changed (in color) whereupon the Prophet said, “From Gog and Magog nine hundred ninety nine will be taken out and one from you. You Muslims (compared to the large number of other people) will be like a black hair on the side of a white ox, or a white hair on the side of a black ox, and I hope that you will be one-fourth of the people of Paradise.”

On that we said, “Allahu Akbar!” Then he said, “(I hope that you will be) one-third of the people of Paradise.” We again said, “Allahu Akbar!” Then he said, “(I hope that you will be) one-half of the people of Paradise.” So we said, Allahu Akbar.”

[Reference : Saheeh Bukhari, Prophet Commentary on the Qur’an, Book 60 Hadith # 265]

It was an ehsaan  of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala through His Beloved Messenger sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam that He conveyed to us scenes of the Hereafter. Why did He do this? So that we can be extra careful in our efforts. Can we be 100% sure that one person saved from entering the Hellfire will be us? Nobody can be sure of that.

Therefore, we must be steadfast in our ibadaah, evaluate ourselves and determine who our companions are. Where are we heading? The path of Shaytan or the path of our pious predecessors? Not even for a second can we let ourselves be heedless.  

When we neglect Salah to catch up on news, a TV show or gossip we are giving a portion of our time and abilities to Shaytan. And this is how he traps us. We may not be doing shirk or bowing down to Shaytan physically, but we follow his path and neglect Allah’s commandments.

When we do dhikr of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Shaytan runs away. When we become neglectful he returns and he is so stubborn and determined in his mission that he keeps coming back and whispering in our ears. When we are occupied for 2-3 hours watching television, chatting on the Internet and socializing with friends, would we be busy in dhikr? That’s the moment Shaytan attacks us. He knows we are careless, so he returns and provokes us to do a bad deed. Therefore, as Muslims and servants of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala we must be really careful about how we spend our hours and days. We can’t afford to be heedless because there is no certainty to assure us we will be the one among every 1000 who will be saved from the Hellfire.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala teach us to utilize our time, energy, skills and abilities for His commandments and for His path, aameen.

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