An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah an-Nisa Ayah 141

Hypocrites Wait and Watch What Happens to Muslims

Talking about the hypocrites Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

الَّذِينَ يَتَرَبَّصُونَ بِكُمْ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ فَتْحٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَكُنْ مَّعَكُمْ وَإِن كَانَ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ نَصِيبٌ قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَسْتَحْوِذْ عَلَيْكُمْ وَنَمْنَعْكُمْ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“Those who wait and watch about you; if you gain a victory from Allah, they say: ‘Were we not with you?’’ But if the disbelievers gain success, they say (to them): ‘Did we not gain mastery over you and did we not protect you from the believers?”

Hypocrites have always been doubtful of the success of the believers. They were waiting for their defeat and the moment when kuffar would take over them. When Muslims were victorious they will side with them to get a share in war booty. When Muslims would be defeated such as in Uhud, they partnered with the kuffar and asserted that it was because of them that this victory was possible: “Did we not help you in secret and try our best to confuse the believers and weaken their resolve, until you gained victory over them.” This statement of the hypocrites is an attempt to strengthen relations with the disbelievers, because they pretend to be friends with both parties so that they will be safe from their harm, due to their weak faith and lack of certainty.

It must be noted that in the ayah above word  فَتْحٌ has been used to describe the victory of Muslims. Fathah means complete victory. On the other hand, the word used to describe the victory of disbelievers is نَصِيبٌ  which means a share. The words of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala are clear i.e. the believers will forever be successful here and in there Hereafter whereas the disbelievers will have only a portion of success. A question to ask ourselves is that are we even eligible for this honor? Are our actions according to Allah’s commands? Would we be able to gain success when we idolize the disbelievers? When we seek honor from them instead of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala further says,

فَاللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ

“Allah will judge between you (all) on the Day of Resurrection…”

Allah knows better what’s in the hearts of the hypocrites. Therefore, they cannot deceive themselves by being shaded under the protection of Islamic Law in this life, which is such only out of Allah’s wisdom. Surely, on the Day of Resurrection, their pretending shall not benefit them, because on that Day, the secrets of the souls will be disclosed and the contents of the hearts will be collected. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then ends this ayah stating,

وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً

“And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers).”

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Yasi Al-Kindi said, “A man came to Ali bin Abi Talib radhiAllahu anhu and asked about this ayah. Ali said, `Come closer, come closer. Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection, and He will not grant victory for the disbelievers over the believers.’ ”

What is meant that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will never grant the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers in this life by being unable to exterminate the believers completely. Although, sometimes they will gain victory over some Muslims, the Final Triumph will be for the believers in this life and the Hereafter.


– The hypocrite is not sincere to anyone. He is only concerned about himself. A person who can deceive people of his religion, be unfaithful to them, then how can he be faithful to a person of another religion. Such a person has no friend. He is neither sincere to you nor to your enemy. Never be impressed by such people.

– It is of hypocrisy to remind the other of the favor that you have done. This is what the hypocrites used to do. They’d go the disbelievers and say did we not deceive the Muslims on your behalf.

– It is hypocrisy to take credit for something you have not done. For example, when Muslims were successful the hypocrites came to claim war booty stating were we not with you.

– It is hypocrisy to constantly highlight yourself, incessantly seek acknowledgment without acknowledging your own mistakes. They are always saying ME, ME, ME. We should remember if we ever get Fathah (success/victory) it’s not our achievement rather it’s a favor of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala upon us. We should embrace humility.

– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will never grant absolute victory to the disbelievers here or in the Hereafter. Muslims will forever remain victorious however there is a condition for this. What is the condition? Be Mumineen. Show your emaan. Show your sincerity to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and honor His commandments. 

– We need to evaluate our own actions. Are we doing something like this? We go to someone to seek benefits when they have high status or are victorious but when we see them at loss we abandon them and go to the other party instead?

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