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Section 9: Hypocrites refuse to accept the Messenger's judgement

Hypocrites' leaning to Satan -the Messenger's judgement shall be accepted-Reward for the obedience to Allah and the Messenger.

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 60

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُواْ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَحَاكَمُواْ إِلَى الطَّاغُوتِ وَقَدْ أُمِرُواْ أَن يَكْفُرُواْ بِهِ وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيدًا

60. "Have you not seen those who think they believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before you? They intend to resort in the judgement of Taghut (false deities) while they have been ordered to reject him, and Satan intends to mislead them far astray."

It happened that there arose a dispute between a hypocritical Muslim and a Jew. They decided to refer to the arbitrator.

The Jew elected the Prophet (S) as the arbitrator for trustworthiness and justice he (S) had, but the hypocrite agreed with Ka'b-ibn-'Ashraf (one of the distinguished Jews) as his arbitrator, because the hypocrite knew that he could tend the attitude of Ka'b towards his benefit by giving him some gifts. This verse is for the bleme of that manner.

"Have you not seen those who think they believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before you? They intend to resort in the judgement of Taghut (false deities) while they have been ordered to reject him, and Satan intends to mislead them far astray."

As for the definition of 'the false deities', Imam -Sadiq (as) says:

'false deity is he who does not judge rightfully, decides against the command of Allah, and his order is obeyed." 1

In the previous verse, Allah and the Apostle were introduced as the place of resorts of discords, but in this verse, the blame is upon those who refer to false deities as the place of resorts of their own discords.

Thus, in that verse the virtuous cite of resort has been introduced, while in this verse the impious one has been pointed out. So, true believers do not even think of going to false deities since agreement with /Taghut/ 'false deities' is prohibited.

"... they have been ordered to reject him..."

For removing the interior discords, going to non-Muslims is forbidden for Muslims.

"... They intend to resort to the judgement of taghut (false deities)..."

Through a verse (No.35) in the current Surah, formerly the Qur'an pointed out that: for a family discord an arbitrator from the family of the wife and another one from the family of the husband should judge.

"... Then appoint a judge from his people and a judge from her people ..."

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 61

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ رَأَيْتَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنكَ صُدُودًا

61. "And when it is said to them: 'Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger,' you will see the hypocrites barring (people) to you with utter aversion."

The reference of hypocrites to false deities and asking judgement from (non-Muslim) foreigners is not a casual happening. But, it is the quality and spiritual specification of hypocrites that they oppose the heavenly leaders and reject the path of truth.

"And when it is said: 'Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger,' you will see the hypocrites barring (people) to you with utter aversion."

Explanations

1. The hypocrites do not surrender to the law of Allah and the command of the Prophet (S). But, in the meanwhile, we must invite them to the truth.

2. The hypocrites are not sensitive to the heartily faith of people to Allah. Their main worriment is the crowd of people gathered around the heavenly Messenger.

"... you will see the hypocrites barring (people) to you with utter aversion."

3. The blameworthy plot of the hypocrites is separating people from the Prophet (S).

However, in another occurrence, the Qur'an indicates that barring the path of the Prophet (S) is, in fact, barring the path of Allah, and denying the Messenger of Allah (S) is the denial of the signs of Allah. In another verse, it says:

".. but surely they do not call you a liar, but the unjust deny the signs of Allah." 2

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 62

فَكَيْفَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ جَآؤُوكَ يَحْلِفُونَ بِاللّهِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَا إِلاَّ إِحْسَانًا وَتَوْفِيقًا

62. "But how will it be, when some disaster befalls them on account of what their (own) hands have forwarded, then they come to you swearing by Allah (saying): 'We intended naught but kindness and concord '?"

The justification of the hypocrites for referring the judgment to the false deities, as they said, was that their final aim was to make peace.

So, if they had gone to the Prophet (S) for judgment and he judged for the benefit of one party, naturally the other party would have become displeased from the Messenger of Allah (S) and would have raised a tumult noisily, which was not appropriate with the position of the holy Prophet (S).

Therefore, to avoid this matter and to protect the honour, rank, and amiability of the Prophet (S), they did not take the conflict to him.

Explanations

1. The hypocritical Muslims refer to the divine leaders only when they encounter a difficulty and feel danger.

"...they come to you...."

2. The opponents usually justify their wrong actions.

"... We intended naught but kindness ..."

3. The hypocrites apply the swearing to Allah as a cover over their own goals.

"... swearing by Allah ..."

4. Among the deeds of the hypocrites is: showing a feature of benevolence, kindness and claiming the motto of peacefulness and exchanging agreements.

"....kindness and concord?"

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 63

أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُ اللّهُ مَا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَعِظْهُمْ وَقُل لَّهُمْ فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ قَوْلاً بَلِيغًا

63. "Those are they of whom Allah knows what is in their hearts, therefore turn away from them, and admonish them and speak to them concerning themselves effectual words."

The effort of the hypocrites is useless, because Allah knows both their interiors and their evil intentions, and manifests them at an appropriate time.

"Those are they of whom Allah knows what is in their hearts ..."

Also, the apology of the hypocrites is not done truthfully; otherwise they would not issue the command of rejection.

"... Allah knows what is in their hearts, therefore turn away from them ..."

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 64

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا

64. "And We did not send any Messenger save that he should be obeyed, by Allah's leave, and had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and sought forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger ( also) had asked forgiveness for them, they would certainly have found Allah forgiving, Merciful. "

Through the previous verses, the Qur'an has seriously condemned referring to the tyrannical arbitrators. Yet, as an emphasis in this verse, it says:

"And We did not send any Messenger save that he should be obeyed, by Allah's leave, ..."

The reason of it is that those Apostles have been both the Messenger of Allah and the chief in the divine government. Therefore, people have been enjoined to obey them from the point of stating the ordinances of Allah, and the manner of practicing them both. They should not suffice only to a mere claim of faith.

Then, in the continuation of the verse, it has opened the door of return to the sinners and those who have referred to the false deities, or in some way or other, have committed a fault or faults, where it says:

"... and had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and sought forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger (also) had asked forgiveness for them, they would certainly have found Allah forgiving, Merciful. "

The current discussed part of the verse points to this fact that the fruit of the obedience of Allah and His Apostle (S) returns to yourselves, as well as the result of your disobedience, which is a kind of injustice, that returns to you, too, because it disturbs the material affairs of your life and, also from the spiritual point of view, it causes your retrogression.

By the way, this verse is an answer to those who imagine referring to the Prophet or Imam is a kind of polytheism, because this verse clearly denotes that coming to the Prophet (S) and setting him as an intercessor before Allah, in order to seek forgiveness from Him for the sinners, is effective and causes their repentance to be accepted and the grace of Allah to be showered.

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 65

فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىَ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيمًا

65. "But no, by your Lord! They do not believe (in reality) until they make you the judge regarding the disagreement between them, then they find within themselves no dislike of which you decide and submit with full submission."

Occasion of Revelation

There was a dispute between Zubayr-ibn-'Awam (one of the Emigrants) and another Muslim from the Helpers upon the irrigation of a palm-plantation. Since the Upper part of the garden belonged to Zubayr, the Prophet (S) judged that he should irrigate it first.

The other man, the Helper, became worried from the Prophet's judgement (S) and told him: "As Zubayr is your cousin, you judged in his benefit." As soon as he uttered that expression, the face of the Prophet (S) paled, and the above verse was revealed.

Surprising! They themselves elected the Prophet (S) as an arbitrator, but they refused his judgement.

Imam -Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:

"If some people worship Allah by establishing prayer, performing Hajj pilgrimage, paying alms, and so on to adore Him, but they doubt about the deeds of the Messenger of Allah (S), they are not, indeed, believers."

Then he (as) recited this verse.

"But no, by your Lord! They do not believe (in reality) until they make you the judge regarding the disagreement between them, then they find within themselves no dislike of which you decide and submit with lull submission."

However, the signs of a true believer are three:

A) Instead of referring to the false deities, he takes the judgement to the Prophet (S).

B) He should not have any suspicion to the judgement of the Messenger of Allah (S).

"... they find within themselves no dislike ..."

C) He ought to accept the command of the Prophet (S) ardently and surrender to it.

By the way, judgement is from among the ranks of messenger ship and master ship. And, personal attitude against the sacred Qur'anic text is forbidden, because this manner is the sign of faithlessness, (regarding to the occasion of revelation).

Surah An-Nisa', Verse 66

وَلَوْ أَنَّا كَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنِ اقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ أَوِ اخْرُجُواْ مِن دِيَارِكُم مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ مِّنْهُمْ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُمْ وَأَشَدَّ تَثْبِيتًا

66. "And if We had decreed for them (saying): (Kill yourselves or go forth from your dwellings', they would not have done it except a few of them; and if they had done what they were admonished, it would have certainly been better for them and more efficacious for strengthening (their faith).

Here, in order to complete the previous discussion about those who sometimes felt inconvenience for the just judgements of the Prophet (S), the verse points to some laborious duties of the former nations, such as the Jews whom, after idol-worshipping and calf-worshipping, were ordained to kill each other as an atonement of that great sin, or to go out of their beloved homes.

But, this group are not ordained a heavy and grave duty. If they were also enjoined to do hard duties, how could they tolerate?

These people who do not submit the judgement of the Prophet (S) upon the irrigation of a palm-plantation, how can they fulfil other trials? So, it says:

"And if We had decreed for them (saying): (Kill yourselves or go forth from your dwellings, they would not have done it except a few of them; ..."

Then, it points to two advantages that result from the fulfilment of the commands of Allah, saying:

"...and if they had done what they were admonished, it would have certainly been better for them and more efficacious for strengthening (their faith).

Here, the commands and ordinances of Allah have been rendered into admonishments and advices. This shows that these ordinances are not any things that benefit the Commander (Allah), but they are some advices that benefit us ourselves.

It is interesting that the verse implies that the further a person paves the path of obedience of Allah (s.w.t.), the more his perseverance and steadfastness promotes. In fact, the obedience of the command of Allah is a kind of spiritual practice for human beings.

Surah An-Nisa', Verses 67 - 68

وَإِذاً لَّآتَيْنَاهُم مِّن لَّدُنَّـا أَجْراً عَظِيمًا

وَلَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ صِرَاطًا مُّسْتَقِيمًا

67. "And then We would certainly have given them from Our Own accord a great reward."

68. " And We would certainly have guided them in the straight path."

In these two verses, two other advantages of obeying and submitting to Allah are stated. In addition to the advantages mentioned in the previous verses, the first verse points to the third gain of this obedience. It says:

"And then We would certainly have given them from Our Own accord a great reward."

And the second verse points to the fourth result of obeying and submitting to Allah when it says:

"And We would certainly have guided them in the straight path."

The objective meaning of the term 'guidance', mentioned in this verse, is some additional graces which are bestowed upon these eligible persons from the side of Allah in the form of a secondary guidance and as a particular reward.

Surah An-Nisa', Verses 69 - 70

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاء وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقًا

ذَلِكَ الْفَضْلُ مِنَ اللّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ عَلِيمًا

69. "And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favours, of the prophets, and the truthful, and the martyrs, and the righteous; and excellent are these as companions."

70. "This is the grace from Allah, and sufficient is Allah as the Knower."

Occasion of Revelation

Upon the revelation of this verse, it has been cited that: once one of the companions of the Prophet (S), who was named Nuban, and who had a fairly intensive affection to the Messenger of Allah (S), came to him while he was very distressed.

The Messenger of Allah (S) asked him about his disturbance and he answered that he reviewed the thought in his mind on that day that if he would be admitted into Paradise on the Day of Judgement, he would surely not be in the position of the Prophet (S) therein.

And, if he would not be admitted into Paradise, his circumstances were evident. Therefore, in either of the cases he might be deprived from being at the presence of him (S). That was why he was distressed.

Then, these two verses were revealed and gave glad tidings to such people implying that the obedient persons will be the companions of the prophets and the chosen ones in Heaven. Then the Prophet (S) said:

"By Allah, the faiths of a Muslim will not he completed except that the one loves me better than himself; his parents and all his relatives, and that he he submitted to my words."

Companions in Heaven

In the previous holy verses, the privileges of the obedient to the command of Allah (s.w.t.) were enumerated. To complete them, this holy verse says:

"And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favours ..."

As it was mentioned in the commentary of Surah Al-Hamd, This bounty reaches to those who constantly pave the Straight Path and go astray naught.

Then, to explain this phrase, it points to the following four groups, and says:

"... of the prophets, and the truthful, and the martyrs, and the righteous; ..."

1. The prophets and the special messengers of Allah are those who take the first step for the guidance, leadership and invitation of people to the Straight Path.

2. The truthful are those who both tell the truth in their speech and prove it by their own true and sincere deeds. They practically show that they are not only some bare claimers of Faith, but they truly do believe in the commands of Allah.

In Islamic authentic literature, the whole immaculate Imams (as) and Fatima Zahra (as) are introduced as the best samples of 'the truthful'.

3. The martyrs are those slain in the path of divine goal and belief, or those distinguished persons who will be witnesses to the deeds of human beings on the Day of Judgement.

4. The Righteous are the distinguished eligible persons who have gained some prominent ranks by performing some positive, productive and useful deeds and also by obeying the commands of the prophets.

At the end of the verse, it remarks:

"... and excellent are these as companions."

It is clearly understood from the above verse that having good companions and valuable friends is so great and important that even in the Hereafter, to complete the Heavenly bounties, this great favour will be granted to' the obedient', too.

To express the importance of this great advantage (viz. the companionship of the Chosens), it says:

"This is the grace from Allah, and sufficient is Allah as the Knower."

However, being with prophets and the truthful is a grace from Allah to those who obey Him.

Allah is cognizant to the states of the obedient and disobedient people, as well as to the circumstances of the hypocrites and sincere believers. He knows those who are eligible for the friendship of the prophets, the truthful and so on, the same as the states of those who are not eligible, because He is aware of even the treachery of the eyes.

  • 1. Al-Tafsir-ul-Burhan, vol. 1, p. 387
  • 2. Surah Al-'An'am, No.6, Verse 33.

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