An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah an-Nisa Ayah 137

Characteristics of the Hypocrites and Their Destination

In the previous ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gave instructions for perseverance, steadfastness and firmness in emaan. Over here He talks about the people who believe and disbelieve and they keep doing this.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ءَامَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُواْ كُفْراً

Verily, those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe (again), and (again) disbelieve, and go on increasing in disbelief….”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states that whoever embraces the faith, reverts from it, embraces it again, reverts from it and remains on disbelief and increases in it until death, then he will never have a chance to gain accepted repentance after death. Nor will Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forgive him, or deliver him from his plight to the path of correct guidance. Note in the ayah there is emaan, then kufr, then emaan, then kufr and it ends at kufr. This is why Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

لَّمْ يَكُنْ اللَّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلاَ لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلاً

“Allah will not forgive them, nor guide them on the (right) way.”

People keep dwindling between emaan and kufr, then one day that kufr is intensified. This kufr is stronger than the first kufr. A person may first fall for a minor sin, when they don’t repent they will fall for another. And this way become firm in their kufr.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is neither going to forgive them nor guide them. Why? Because they died in this state.

It has been said that this ayah talks about the Jews for they were the first ones to believe. After Prophet Musa aalyhi sallam has brought guidance to them they took a golden calf to be their idol. This way they returned to their disbelief. Musa aalyhi sallam reprimanded them, they repented and returned to emaan. But when Prophet Muhammad sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was sent they refused to accept him as a Prophet. This way they returned to their state of disbelief all over again and died in this state.

It can also be said that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is talking about the hypocrites. They keep dwindling between emaan and kufr. When they see Muslims are strong they join them. When they see Muslims are weak or being humiliated they abandon their faith. For example, in the battle of Badr when the Muslims received victory a large number of people entered the fold of Islam due to political benefits. When they lost at Uhud, the hypocrites abandoned them. When Muslims again became prosperous the hypocrites again joined them and then later parted away when things were not smooth.


– A hypocrite doesn’t adhere to all the teachings of emaan. A person who fluctuates between emaan and kufr is a munafiq. He is making mockery of the deen. When he sees benefits he becomes a believer. When he sees some harm he abandons emaan and accepts kufr. You can’t take easy things in Islam and reject the hardships. This is mocking of the deen.

– If a person keeps dwindling between kufr and emaan won’t be given the ticket to Jannah.  Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has no mercy on such a person. He has made it clear that a person will be judged on the basis of what state he died in. If a person dies as a believer he will be judged accordingly. Similarly, if a person dies as a hypocrite or kafir, he will be dealt with severely. Therefore, it is essential for us to protect our emaan all the time. We should always make du’a for a good end. We should pray, “O Allah! When the Angel of Death comes to collect my soul please be pleased with me. I don’t want to die in a state of kufr or ignorance.”

– We don’t know when we are going to die. Therefore, it’s important for us to be mindful of our day to day affairs and seek Allah’s forgiveness everyday. To be conscious of our emaan and seek Allah’s protection for its purity. We should try our best to stay away from the things that displease Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

– A person who remains shaky or confused between two things ends up in failure. One day we offer Salah and the other day we don’t is not steadfastness. Don’t abandon it because even if you abandon it for a day, you will abandon it next day and so on. All your ibadaah will be wasted.


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