Issue 125 » July 6, 2001 -




Surah al-Nisaa'

The Women (4) - Ayah 77

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful


 "Have you not seen those who were told: 'Restrain your hands, and establish the Prayer, and pay the Zakah'? 

But when fighting (Qital) was enjoined upon them, some of them feared men (i.e. the enemies) as one should fear Allah, or even more, and said: 'Our Lord, why have You ordained fighting for us? Why did You not grant us a little more respite?' 

Say to them: 'There is little enjoyment in this world. The World to Come is much better for the God-conscious. And you shall not be wronged even to the extent of the husk of date-stone (on the Day of Judgment).' "


  • This verse can be interpreted in 3 ways, and each meaning is considered to be equally valid by the scholars of Tafseer.

First Interpretation 

  • That those who now hesitated to fight in the cause of God were themselves initially willing to fight. They often approached the Prophet (peace be upon him), saying that they were being wronged, beaten, persecuted and abused, that their patience was exhausted, and that they wanted the permission to fight.

  • They had been told to be patient and continue to purify their souls by observing Prayers and dispensing Zakah. But at that time they had felt discontented by this advice of patience. Later on, some of those very same people began to tremble at the first sight of the enemy and the dangers of warfare.

Second Interpretation

  • That they remained highly 'religious' as long as they were asked simply to pray and pay Zakah, which involved no risk to their lives. But as soon as that phase was over and they were asked to expose themselves to struggle and danger, they began to shiver with fear. Isn't this exactly the case with most of us Muslims today?

Third Interpretation 

  • That in the former times, the same people had taken out their swords for trivial causes. They had fought for loot and plunder, and engaged in feuds motivated by animal impulses, so much so that fighting had almost become their national pastime.

  • At the same time they had been told to abstain from bloodshed and to reform themselves by observing Prayers and dispensing Zakah. When, later on, the same people were told that the time had come for them to fight in the cause of God in order to establish Justice and Peace, those who had shown themselves to be lions while fighting for their own selfish and nationalistic causes, turned out to be as week as lambs.

  • Each of these three meanings are applicable to a different kind of person, but the actual words of the verse seem to apply to all who abandon fighting in the cause of God and confine themselves to 'private Islam'. This verse indicates that if Muslims begin to fear, love, and obey Allah, instead of fearing the men and other creatures of this world, they would not possess such a hypocritical attitude.

[compiled from "Towards Understanding the Qur'an", by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, Vol. II, p. 60-61]


We often hear about the "Islamic movement". But most of us are either unaware of what it is, what it refers to, and what it consists of or have a distorted idea of its form and function. It often stems from a limited understanding of the all-encompassing and comprehensive teachings of our Deen covering every aspect of our life - about home and work, business and leisure, individual and family, spirituality and activism, local community and global Ummah - and realizing that there are no contradictions between any of them. Islam penetrates and guides every sphere of our "wordly" life as it does our afterlife. Hence ...

  • The Islamic movement is organized and collective work that is undertaken by the people, to restore Islam to the leadership of society and to the helm of life.. 

  • Before being anything else, the Islamic Movement is work - persistent, industrious work, not just words to be said, speeches and lectures to be delivered, or books and articles to be written. All of these are indeed required but they are merely parts of a movement, and not the movement itself. Allah the Almighty says: "Work! Allah will see your deeds, and so will His Messenger and the believers" [9:105].

  • The Islamic movement is a work performed by the masses based mainly on self motivation and personal conviction. It is work performed out of faith and for nothing other than the sake of Allah, with the hope of being rewarded by Him and not by people.

  • The core of this self motivation is the unrest and tension that a Muslim feels inside himself when he becomes conscious of the Islamic awakening. He feels a turmoil deep inside him resulting from the contradiction between his faith on the one hand and the reality of the state of the Ummah on the other. 

  • Upon this realization he launches himself into action, driven by his love for his Deen, his faith in Allah and His Messenger, his faith in the Qur'an and the Muslim Ummah, his realization of his own weakness as well as those around him, and his keenness in fulfilling his duties and contributing to the revival of the neglected fara'idh which include obligations such as implementing the Shari'ah of Allah, unifying the Muslim Ummah, supporting the friends of Allah and fighting the enemies of Allah, liberating Muslim lands from all aggression and non-Muslim control, re-establishing the khilafah, renewing the obligation of da'wah, enjoining the ma'ruf (good) and forbidding the munkar (evil), and fulfilling the obligation of jihad, whether by action, word or the heart (the latter being the weakest level of iman). He strives for all this so that the Word of Allah is the Supreme Authority in all spheres of life.

[compiled from "Priorities of the Islamic Movement" by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, p.25]


When the Messenger of God, Muhammad (sall Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) - having suffered the torture and hardships of the Makkans - journeyed to the desert town of al-Ta'if in search of support, he was stoned and ridiculed by its people. In this state of fear and dejection, exhausted and bleeding from his face and feet, he turned to his Lord and prayed:

  • "O Allah, to You I complain of my weakness and helplessness, and of the people's caring nothing for me. O Most Merciful of those who show mercy, You are the Lord of the dispossessed and You are my Lord. O Allah, to whom will you leave me? To a stranger who will push me away and mistreat me, or to an enemy to whom You have given power over me? As long as You are not angry with me, nothing else matters, but still your protection and help are better for me. I seek refuge in the Light of Your Countenance, which lights up the darkness and sets right the affairs of this world and the Hereafter, from Your Anger and Wrath descending upon me. Surely, there is no strength or power except in You!" 

This is the example of complete and unfailing trust in Allah, enduring patience, and complaining of one's hardship in life to none except the One who has power over them. May Allah send his choicest blessings on Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and all those who helped him and struggled in Allah's Cause till the Day of Judgement!


[hadith from "al-'Ubudiyyah" (Being a True Slave of Allah) by Imam Ibn Taymiyyah]