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Section 11: The Hypocrites' Attitude towards the Believers

The refusal of hypocrites to fight -their secret plans -their propagating falsehood -The Apostle enjoined to fight even single -handed -to depend upon Allah - To ponder over the teachings of the Holy Qur'an.

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 77

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِتَالُ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا الْقِتَالَ لَوْلا أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَى أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدَّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَى وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً

77. "Have you not seen those to whom it was said: 'Withhold your hand (from war ), and establish prayer and pay the poor-rate,' but when fighting was prescribed for them, a group of them were so afraid of men as (it should be) the fear of Allah, or (even) with a greater fear, and they said: 'Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us? Wherefore did You not grant us a delay to a near end?' Say: 'The capital of this world is scant and the Hereafter will be better for anyone who keeps from evil; and you will not be wronged (even to the extent of) the husk of a date-stone '."

Occasion of Revelation

It is narrated from Ibn-' Abbas that at the advent of Islam, when Muslims were living in Mecca and they were under the harsh pressure of the pagans there, some of them went to the Prophet (S) and said that they had been dear and honoured before Islam but they lost that glory and honesty, besides the hurt and injury they bore from the enemies.

They asked him to allow them to fight against the disbelievers to regain their glory and honour. That day, the Prophet (S) answered them that he was not commissioned to fight then.

But, later, when the command of fight was issued, some of those ardent figures knowingly tarried to participate in the battle-field. Then the verse was revealed in order to encourage the believers and also to blame those careless and neglectful persons.

Those Who only Talk!

Here, in this verse, the Qur'an implies that: indeed it is wonderful that some people, in an inappropriate situation but with a surprising state once ardently asked permission to go to Holy struggle when they were commanded to restrain then and to pay to self-improvement establishing prayer, strengthening their forces, and paying alms; After that when the circumstances became fitting and the command of Holy struggle was revealed, horror and terrible fear filled their whole entity, and they began to protest against that command. It says:

"Have you not seen those to whom it was said: 'Withhold your hand (from war), and establish prayer and pay the poor - rate, , but when fighting was prescribed for them, a group of them were so afraid of men as (it should be) the fear of Allah, or (even) with a greater fear...."

In their protest, they clearly said that why Allah revealed the command of Holy struggle so soon. It would be better He delayed it for a length of time, or that duty would be put upon the coming dynasties. It says:

"... and they said: 'Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us? Wherefore did You not grant us a delay to a near end? '..."

The Qur'an delivers two answers to these persons. The first answer lies in the content of the sentence saying:

"…a group of them fear men as (it should be) the fear of Allah, or (even) with a greater fear,…"

That is, instead of being afraid of the Mighty and the Omnipotent Allah, they fear of the feeble and incapable human beings. They are in horror from such a creature more than that they fear from Allah!

For the second answer it denotes that such people should be told that supposing that without participating in the Holy struggle, they could live calmly for a few days but, at last, this worthless life will end while the eternal life in Hereafter is more valuable for the pious ones, in particular that they will be given their reward completely and they will be wronged naught. It says:

"… Say: ' The capital of this world is scant and the Hereafter will be better for anyone who keeps from evil; and you will not be wronged (even to the extent of) the husk of a date-stone',"

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 78

أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُواْ يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِي بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ حَسَنَةٌ يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِكَ قُلْ كُلًّ مِّنْ عِندِ اللّهِ فَمَا لِهَـؤُلاء الْقَوْمِ لاَ يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ حَدِيثًا

78. "Wherever you be, death will overtake you, even though you be in strong towers. Yet, if something fine befalls them, they say: 'This is from Allah', but if an ill befalls them, they say: 'This is from you'. Say: 'Everything is from Allah'. But what is the matter with such people that it is nigh to perceive no word "

This verse is an encouragement unto the Holy Struggle and not being afraid of death in the battle-field. It is also an answer to the ill omens of the hypocrites that, instead of considering and recognizing the matters well, they hold Allah responsible for the distresses and failures.

By the way, the manner of defaming the leader is the style of hypocrites. Therefore, it is not right that, by relieving themselves of responsibilities, they justify the faults and hold others responsible for their own sins.

It should be realized that victories and failures, death and life, pleasant and unpleasant affairs, all in all, are in the circle of the wise providence of Allah.

"...'Everything comes from Allah'..."

Thus, regarding the death being certain and decisive so that wherever we may be it will happen. Then why would we escape from Holy struggle?

"Wherever you be, death will overtake you, even though you be in strong towers. Yet, if something fine befalls them they say: This is from Allah', but if an ill befalls them, they say: 'This is from you.' Say: 'Everything is from Allah '. But what is the matter with such people that it is nigh to perceive no word?"

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 79

مَّا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللّهِ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ وَأَرْسَلْنَاكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولاً وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ شَهِيدًا

79. "Whatever of good befalls you, it is from Allah, and whatever of ill befalls you, it is from yourself; and We have sent you as a Messenger unto mankind; and Allah is sufficient (as) a witness (thereof).

From the point of the Divine theology, everything is the creature of Allah:

"Allah is the Creator of every thing..."1

And Allah has created every thing good and beautiful as the Qur'an says:

"Who made good everything that He has created...." 2

What relates to Allah, in this regard, is creation, which is not separate from goodness. Therefore, our distresses and inflictions are, firstly, because of the lack of those virtues that are not created by Allah; and, secondly, whatever causes our deprivation from the divine bounties, are the personal actions or the actions of the society.

However, all the virtues of a person are from Allah, while his defects and faults are from his own self.

"Whatever of good befalls you, it is from Allah, and whatever of ill befalls you, it is from yourself; and We have sent you as a Messenger unto mankind; and Allah is sufficient (as) a witness (thereof)."

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 80

مَّنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللّهَ وَمَن تَوَلَّى فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا

80. "Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah, and whoever turns away -We have not sent you to be a watcher over them."

Practice of the Prophet is Just like the Revelation of Allah

In this verse, the situation of the Prophet (S) before people, and people's good deeds and evil deeds, has been stated. At first, it says that whoever obeys the Prophet (S) has obeyed Allah. Thus, the obedience of Allah cannot be separate from the command of the Prophet (S), because he (S) takes no step against the commands of Allah.

"Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah...."

Then, addressing the Prophet (S), the verse adds that if some people disobey you and oppose your instructions, you are not responsible for their deeds, and, from this point of view, you have no duty to force them to stop any wrong doing. Your duty is to deliver propagation of the message of Islam, to enjoin right and forbid wrong, and to guide the misguided persons. It says:

"... and whoever turns away -We have not sent you to be a watcher over them."

It should be noted that this verse is one of the clearest verses of the Qur'an which is the proof upon the reasoning of the rightfulness of the practice of the Prophet (S) and the acceptance of his traditions.

Then when we see that, according to the famous tradition of Thaqalayn (two weighty things), the Prophet (S) has explicitly counted the traditions of Ahlul-Bayt some true evidences and proofs, we result from it that the obedience of the command of Ahlul-Bayt, too, is not separate from the obedience of the command of Allah.

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 81

وَيَقُولُونَ طَاعَةٌ فَإِذَا بَرَزُواْ مِنْ عِندِكَ بَيَّتَ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُمْ غَيْرَ الَّذِي تَقُولُ وَاللّهُ يَكْتُبُ مَا يُبَيِّتُونَ فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ وَكِيلاً

81. "And they express: 'Obedience', but when they go out from your presence, a group of them spend the night in deciding other than what you say; and Allah writes down what they decide by night. Therefore, turn aside from them and trust in Allah; and Allah is sufficient as a protector."

In this verse, the Qur'an has pointed to the situation of some hypocrites, or a group of people whose faith is weak. It says that when they come beside the Prophet (S) and are in the row of Muslims, they harmonize with others, and express that they obey the command of the holy Prophet (S) and that they are most willingly ready to follow the Messenger of Allah.

"And they express: ' Obedience '...."

But when people go out from the presence of the Prophet (S), those h the persons whose faith is weak neglect their promises and, in their night meetings, they make some decisions against the words of the holy Prophet (S); but Allah (s.w.t.) records what they say in such meetings. It says:

"... but when they go out from your presence, a group of them spend the night in deciding other than what you say; and Allah writes down , what they decide by night..."

Yet, Allah commands His Messenger to turn aside from them with no fear from their plots. He is ordered not to rely on them in his affairs but to trust only in Allah, the Lord, Who is the best assisting helper and the Protector.

"…Therefore, turn aside from them and trust in Allah; and Allah is sufficient as a protector."

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 82

أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفًا كَثِيراً

82. "Do they not ponder on the Qur'an? And if it were from other than Allah, they would surely find therein much discrepancy."

Among the accusations that they brought a charge against the Prophet (S) was that they said someone else had taught the Holy Qur'an to him, "... only a mortal teaches him..." 3. This verse is an answer to them.

The lack of contemplation in the Qur'an results to the locking of the hearts. In another verse it says:

"Do they not then reflect on the Qur'an? Nay, on the hearts there are locks." 4

It is customary that, during a long time, there happen some changes, improvements, and contradictions in the ordinary statements and written materials. But this Qur'an was revealed during twenty three years, and was conveyed by the tongue of an illiterate person.

It was stated in different conditions of peace and war, stranger hood and fame, strength and weakness, and in various circumstances of times, without any doctrinal differences or any contradiction. This proves that it is the Word of Allah, not taught by a mortal.

Therefore, the Qur'an is the ever remaining miracle of the Prophet (S) which itself is an evidence unto his prophet hood.

"Do they not ponder on the Qur'an?
And if it were from other than Allah, they would surely find therein much discrepancy."

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 83

وَإِذَا جَاءهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى أُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَوْلاَ فَضْلُ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لاَتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَانَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

83. "And when there comes unto them news of security or fear, they spread it abroad; whereas had they referred it to the Messenger and to those who hold command among them, those of them who investigate matters would have known it (the truth); and were it not for the grace of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would certainly have followed Satan, except a few."

Spreading private news and also rumours have always been injurious to Muslims. Diffusion of secret news usually originates from these motives: simple-mindedness, vengeance, infliction, being subject to the will of others, greed in materials, gaudiness, expression of information, etc.

For the comprehensiveness that Islam has, it has referred to this subject and, in this verse; it blames the divulgence of military secrets. It considers narrating the information of victory or failure before offering them to the leaders as the cases of 'false pride' and 'inappropriate fear from the fanciful enemy'.

Had the warnings and the graces of Allah not existed, the Muslims would have fallen in this Satanic path (the divulgence of secrets).

Therefore, spreading gossips is one of the weapons of the hypocrites. However, the news of the battle-field and military secrets must reach a central office and, after being recognized and evaluated, some convenient part of them may be spread. Hence, spreading military news and refraining from referring to the divine leaders, is a kind of obedience from Satan.

Of course, the military and political affairs, together with leading the security news and social secrets, should be controlled under an administrations hip that consists of an independent judgement and deduction. This matter is among the deities of the rank of leadership. That is why there is a close connection between master ship and Islamic jurisprudence.

"And when there comes unto them news of security or fear, they spread it abroad;
whereas had they referred it to the Messenger and to those who hold command among them, those of them who investigate matters would have known it (the truth); and were it not for the grace of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would certainly have followed Satan, except a few. "

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 84

فَقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ لاَ تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ وَحَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَسَى اللّهُ أَن يَكُفَّ بَأْسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَاللّهُ أَشَدُّ بَأْسًا وَأَشَدُّ تَنكِيلاً

84. "So, fight in the way of Allah; you are charged only with yourself, and encourage the believers may be Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. Verily Allah is the strongest in might and the severest in punishment."

When the pagans won the Battle of 'Uhud, Abu-Sufyan proudly said that he would encounter the Muslims again at Badri-Suqra (a market used to be held in the month Zilqa'dah at a land called Badr). Before the appointed time, the holy Prophet (S) invited people for the Holy struggle.

There came seventy strivers, but no conflict happened and Muslims returned to Medina safely. Therefore, a leader should move in front of others when there is a danger. So, if it happens that the Muslims pay no attention to the call of the oppressed, the leader should act by himself.

"So, fight in the way of Allah; ..."

The command unto the Prophet (S) enjoining that even when he is alone he should fight against the enemy, is 'a single commandment '.

"Encourage the believers maybe Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. Verily Allah is the strongest in might and the severest in punishment."

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 85

مَّن يَشْفَعْ شَفَاعَةً حَسَنَةً يَكُن لَّهُ نَصِيبٌ مِّنْهَا وَمَن يَشْفَعْ شَفَاعَةً سَيِّئَةً يَكُن لَّهُ كِفْلٌ مِّنْهَا وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّقِيتًا

85. "Whoever intercedes with a good intercession shall have a share there from and whoever intercedes with an evil intercession shall share in its burden; and Allah keeps control over all things."

The Arabic term / muqit / means the one who gives the sustenance of another person and who is the protector of that one's life. In general, the word is applied in the sense of 'protector and accountant'.

In the previous verse the meaning was that everyone is responsible for his own deed. But, here, in this verse, it is stated that the function of invitation and acting as an intermediary in a good deed gains a portion of reward or retribution.

Therefore, advice, reconciliation, teaching, encouraging to the Holy struggle, and assisting in a good deed are the extensions of 'a good intercession'. On the other side, backbiting, slander, hindering a good affair, accusation sedition, to frighten someone from battle-field, temptation and plots are the extensions of an evil intercession.

"Whoever intercedes with a good intercession shall have a share there from and whoever intercedes with an evil intercession shall share in its burden....."

Some Islamic literature indicates that supplications for the benefit of others, enjoining to good, leading someone or even hinting him to a good action totally are the extensions of 'a good intercession'.5

In intercessions, we should be careful of Allah.

"... and Allah keeps control over all things."

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 86

وَإِذَا حُيِّيْتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا

86. "And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better one than it, or (at least) return it. Verily Allah takes account of all things."

The objective meaning of the Qur'anic word / tahiyyat/ is greeting or any other welcoming done by anyone who desires the life, health, and pleasure of other party, whether by speech or by action. And, the respond of a present should be given better than it, even if the present is a greeting and then responding to it.

"And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better one than it, or (at least) return it..."

In the educational system of Islam, greeting is not only expected from a younger or lower person to an older or higher one. In this system, Allah, the Prophet, (S) and the angels greet, too.

1. The example of the greeting of Allah is:

"Peace and salutation to Nuh among the nations."

(Surah As-Saffat, No.37, verse 79).

2. The example of the greeting of the Prophet (S) is:

"And when those who believe in Our Signs come to you, say: 'Peace be on you,'..."

(Surah Al-'An'am, No.6, verse 54)

3. The example of the greeting of the angels is:

"Those, whom the angels cause to die in a good state, saying: 'Peace be on you...'."

(Surah An-Nahl, No.16, verse 32).

Once it happened that a maid offered Imam Hassan (as) a bundle of flowers. In respond to it, Imam Hassan (as) emancipated her. Then, when he was asked about it, he recited the above verse.

In Islam (Islamic custom), greeting to others has been encouraged, whether we know them or not. So, the person who restrains to greet is counted a miser. The Prophet (S) used to greet everyone he met, even the children.

In order that people know that the manner of greetings and their answers, and the superiorities and equalities that they have and in whatever stage they may be, are not concealed to Allah, the holy verse says:

"... Verily Allah takes account of all things."

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 87

اللّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ لَيَجْمَعَنَّكُمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللّهِ حَدِيثًا

87. "Allah, there is no god but He. He will certainly gather you all together on the Day of Resurrection. There is no doubt in it; and who is more true in word than Allah?

Either of Unity and Resurrection relates to each other.

"Allah, there is no god but He. He will certainly gather you all together on the Day of Resurrection..."

The Day of Resurrection is a day of gathering for all to be taken account of. Therefore, we should try alongside His path, and we must worship Him alone.

There is no doubt in the Hereafter after those many evidences for Resurrection. (Such as: 'Divine Justice, Wisdom, the signs of resurrection in the nature and its new life in the spring after the concerning death in the winter.) In this regard, it says:

"….There is no doubt in it …"

Then, in the conclusion of the verse, to emphasize the subject, it says:

"... and who is more true in word than Allah?"
  • 1. Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 62
  • 2. Surah As-Sajdah, No. 32, verse 7
  • 3. Surah An-Nahl, No.16, verse 103
  • 4. Surah Muhammad, No.47, verse 24.
  • 5. Tafsir us-Safi, vol. 1 p. 440.

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