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Towards Understanding the Quran
With kind permission: Islamic Foundation UK
Introduction to Tafheem | Glossary | Verbs
Other resources: Maarif | Dawat 

 Surah An-Nisa 4:71-76 [10/24]
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Verse Summary -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَاO you
حِذْرَكُمْyour precautions
فَٱنفِرُواْand advance
ثُبَاتٍ(in) groups
جَمِيعًاall together.
وَإِنَّAnd indeed,
مِنكُمْamong you
لَمَن(is he) who
لَّيُبَطِّئَنَّlags behind
فَإِنْthen if
أَصَـٰبَتْكُمbefalls you
مُّصِيبَةٌa disaster
قَالَhe said,
أَنْعَمَ ٱللَّهُAllah (has) favored
عَلَىَّ[on] me
لَمْ(that) not
أَكُنI was
مَّعَهُمْ شَهِيدًاpresent with them.`
وَلَئِنْAnd if
أَصَـٰبَكُمْbefalls you
لَيَقُولَنَّhe would surely say
كَأَنas if
لَّمْ(had) not
تَكُنۢthere been
بَيْنَكُمْbetween you
وَبَيْنَهُۥand between him
مَوَدَّةٌany affection,
يَـٰلَيْتَنِى`Oh! I wish
كُنتُI had been
مَعَهُمْwith them
فَأَفُوزَthen I would have attained
فَوْزًاa success
۞ فَلْيُقَـٰتِلْSo let fight
سَبِيلِ(the) way
ٱللَّهِ(of) Allah
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
ٱلْحَيَوٲةَthe life
ٱلدُّنْيَا(of) the world
بِٱلْأَخِرَةِ‌ۚfor the Hereafter.
وَمَنAnd whoever
سَبِيلِ(the) way
ٱللَّهِ(of) Allah,
فَيُقْتَلْthen he is killed
يَغْلِبْachieves victory
فَسَوْفَthen soon
نُؤْتِيهِWe will grant him
أَجْرًاa reward
عَظِيمًاa great.
وَمَاAnd what
لَكُمْfor you
لَا(that) not
تُقَـٰتِلُونَyou fight
سَبِيلِ(the) way
ٱللَّهِ(of) Allah,
وَٱلْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَand (for) those who are weak
ٱلرِّجَالِthe men
وَٱلنِّسَآءِand the women
وَٱلْوِلْدَٲنِand the children,
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
رَبَّنَآ`Our Lord
أَخْرِجْنَاtake us out
ٱلْقَرْيَةِ[the] town
ٱلظَّالِمِ[the] oppressor(s)
أَهْلُهَا(are) its people
وَٱجْعَلand appoint
لَّنَاfor us
وَلِيًّاa protector
وَٱجْعَلand appoint
لَّنَاfor us
نَصِيرًاa helper.
ٱلَّذِينَThose who
يُقَـٰتِلُونَthey fight
سَبِيلِ(the) way
ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ(of) Allah;
وَٱلَّذِينَand those
كَفَرُواْwho disbelieve,
يُقَـٰتِلُونَthey fight
سَبِيلِ(the) way
ٱلطَّـٰغُوتِ(of) the false deities.
فَقَـٰتِلُوٓاْSo fight (against)
أَوْلِيَآءَ(the) friends
ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ‌ۖ(of) the Shaitaan.
كَيْدَ(the) strategy
ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ(of) the Shaitaan

يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا خُذُوۡا حِذۡرَكُمۡ فَانْفِرُوۡا ثُبَاتٍ اَوِ انْفِرُوۡا جَمِيۡعًا‏  وَاِنَّ مِنۡكُمۡ لَمَنۡ لَّيُبَطِّئَنَّ​ۚ فَاِنۡ اَصَابَتۡكُمۡ مُّصِيۡبَةٌ قَالَ قَدۡ اَنۡعَمَ اللّٰهُ عَلَىَّ اِذۡ لَمۡ اَكُنۡ مَّعَهُمۡ شَهِيۡدًا‏  وَلَـئِنۡ اَصَابَكُمۡ فَضۡلٌ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ لَيَـقُوۡلَنَّ كَاَنۡ لَّمۡ تَكُنۡۢ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهٗ مَوَدَّةٌ يّٰلَيۡتَنِىۡ كُنۡتُ مَعَهُمۡ فَاَ فُوۡزَ فَوۡزًا عَظِيۡمًا‏  فَلۡيُقَاتِلۡ فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ الَّذِيۡنَ يَشۡرُوۡنَ الۡحَيٰوةَ الدُّنۡيَا بِالۡاٰخِرَةِ​ ؕ وَمَنۡ يُّقَاتِلۡ فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ فَيُقۡتَلۡ اَوۡ يَغۡلِبۡ فَسَوۡفَ نُـؤۡتِيۡهِ اَجۡرًا عَظِيۡمًا‏  وَمَا لَـكُمۡ لَا تُقَاتِلُوۡنَ فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ وَالۡمُسۡتَضۡعَفِيۡنَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَآءِ وَالۡوِلۡدَانِ الَّذِيۡنَ يَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَاۤ اَخۡرِجۡنَا مِنۡ هٰذِهِ الۡـقَرۡيَةِ الظَّالِمِ اَهۡلُهَا​ ۚ وَاجۡعَلْ لَّـنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡكَ وَلِيًّا ۙۚ وَّاجۡعَلْ لَّـنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡكَ نَصِيۡرًا ؕ‏  اَلَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا يُقَاتِلُوۡنَ فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ​​ ۚ وَالَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا يُقَاتِلُوۡنَ فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ الطَّاغُوۡتِ فَقَاتِلُوۡۤا اَوۡلِيَآءَ الشَّيۡطٰنِ​ۚ اِنَّ كَيۡدَ الشَّيۡطٰنِ كَانَ ضَعِيۡفًا‏ 
(4:71) Believers! Always be on your guard against encounters.101 Then (as circumstance demands) either advance in detachments or advance in a body. (4:72) Among you there is such who lags behind,102 then if some affliction strikes you, he says: 'Indeed Allah bestowed His favour upon me that I was not present with them.' (4:73) And if a bounty from Allah is given you, he says - and says as if there never was any affection between you and him - 'Oh, would that I had been with them, I would have come by a great gain. (4:74) Let those who seek the life of the Next World in exchange for the life of this world fight in the way of Allah.103 We shall grant a mighty reward to whoever fights in the way of Allah, whether he is slain or comes out victorious. (4:75) How is it that you do not fight in the way of Allah and in support of the helpless - men, women and children -who pray: 'Our Lord, bring us out of this land whose people are oppressors and appoint for us from Yourself, a protector, and appoint for us from Yourself a helper'?104 . (4:76) Those who have faith fight in the way of Allah, while those who disbelieve fight in the way of taghut (Satan).105 Fight, then, against the fellows of Satan. Surely Satan's strategy is weak.106

101. This discourse was revealed after the Battle of Uhud, when the tribes living around Madina had been greatly encouraged by the defeat of the Muslims. Thus dangers seemed to surround the Muslims on all sides. Day in and day out news poured in about the hostile intentions of one tribe after another. Reports came in of attacks mounted now in one area, and then in another. The Muslims were again and again the victims of treachery. Their preachers were invited to preach and then put to the sword. Beyond Madina, neither their lives nor their property was secure. Consequently the Muslims had to prepare themselves for a fierce struggle, for a tremendous, all-out effort to ensure that the Islamic movement would not be crushed.

102. Another meaning could be that such persons not only shirk the risks of fighting themselves but also go about spreading demoralization to discourage others from fighting in the name of God.

103. The point stressed here is that fighting in the cause of God cannot be conducted by people engrossed in the pursuit of worldly benefits. This is the task of those who seek to please God, who have complete faith in Him and in the Hereafter, who are prepared to sacrifice all opportunities of worldly success and prosperity, and of all worldly interests, hoping thereby to win God's good pleasure. Irrespective of what happens in the present world such sacrifices will not be wasted in the Hereafter. Jihad (struggle in the cause of God) is not for those who mainly care for worldly benefits.

104. This refers to those wronged, persecuted men, women and children of Makka and of the other tribes in Arabia who had embraced Islam, but were able neither to emigrate nor to protect themselves from the wrongs to which they were subjected. These helpless people suffered many forms of persecution, and prayed for deliverance from oppression.

105. This lays down a clear verdict of God. To fight in the cause of God in order that His religion be established on earth is the task of men of faith, and whoever truly believes can never shirk this duty. To fight in the cause of taghut (authority in defiance of God) in order that the world may be governed by rebels against God is the task of unbelievers in which no believer can engage himself.

106. Satan and his comrades-in-arms ostensibly undertake tremendous preparations and contrive all kinds of ingenious machinations. True men of faith, however, should not be intimidated either by such preparations or by machinations. For, no matter what they do, they are doomed to fail.