An-Nisa · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah an-Nisa Ayah 149

Ayah 149 is connected with the previous ayah. In the previous ayah, we were given an allowance to respond to the oppressor. Over here Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala talks about highest level of character; to forgive the other in hopes of rewards from Him. He says,

إِن تُبْدُواْ خَيْراً أَوْ تُخْفُوهْ أَوْ تَعْفُواْ عَن سُوءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً قَدِيراً

“Whether you disclose a good deed, or conceal it, or pardon an evil; verily, Allah is Ever Pardoning, All-Powerful.”

This means when we admit to a good favor done to us, or conceal it, and forgive those who wrong us, then this will bring us closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and increase our reward with Him. Among Allah’s attributes is that He forgives and pardons His servants, although He is able to punish them. It was reported that some of the angels who carry Allah’s Throne praise Him saying, “All praise is due to You for Your  forbearing even though You have perfect knowledge (in all evil committed).” Some of them supplicate, “All praise is due to You for Your forgiving even though You have perfect ability (to punish).”

If we relate ayah 149 with the lessons learned in ayah 148, it means that instead of saying sou if we say something good then it would be better. Often times when someone says something harsh we just stand there quietly not saying anything at all. Instead of standing quietly speak a good word. Your reward is with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

In Surah Ash-Shuraa ayah 40 Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers.”

Narrated Abu Umamah: The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarreling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good.” [Sunan Abu-Dawud]

An authentic hadeeth states,

مَا نَقَصَ مَالٌ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ، وَلَا زَادَ اللهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلَّا عِزًّا، وَمَنْ تَوَاضَعَ للهِ رَفَعَهُ الله

“No charity shall ever decrease wealth, and Allah will only increase the honor of a servant who pardons, and he who is humble for Allah’s sake, then Allah will elevate his grade.”

LESSONS:

– Sometimes girls who are newly married cringe at every word that their mother-in-law says. They have to call their moms and report even minutest details. Why? What’s the purpose? Moms can’t do anything other than feeling angry or upset. We need to work on increasing our patience and endure petty matters. And always remind ourselves Allah is watching. This advice is for small issues of course, if there’s a big disagreement then you’re allowed to take someone else’s help. One doesn’t need to make big issue out of small issues by crying to everyone.

– Although the oppressed is allowed to say something in response to the oppression forced on him, it’s better to rather forgive the other person. And while he is allowed to say “sou” it’s better to respond with words of khair.

– We think if we don’t answer back or forgive the other person, this displays we are weak. We tell ourselves we need to stand up for ourselves and if someone says something harsh to us then we must respond in a similar way. We think if we forgive people, we are only humiliating ourselves. Allah says whoever pardons and prefers reconciliation then his reward is with Allah.

– When you know you are right and the argument with another person is going to lead to a heated debate, it’s better to give up and forgive. Such a person knows that his reward is with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala; the reward of house in Jannah as we learned in the tafseer.

– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forgives the sins of His slaves despite being in a position to punish them. He has the Qudra, yet He forgives then why can’t we forgive people like ourselves. Why do we think if someone says something harsh to us we HAVE to respond? People are saying lies against Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala yet He gives them another chance. He doesn’t catch them with a punishment. He forgives.

– Most of the time we are unaware about what others say about us, but the moment we learn someone said some bad word about us we flare up. We are pumped up to take revenge while Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala despite being All-Aware of what people say or keep in their hearts doesn’t seek revenge. He is Merciful, He forgives.

– When a person forgives other people, he is inviting the forgiveness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Compare the injustice of other people towards you, to the wrong you have done to the Haq of Allah. What’s more severe? When we sin who are we doing injustice against? Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. So shouldn’t we be forgiving?

– When we look at our sins, it will become easier for us to forgive others.

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