Issue 130 » August 10, 2001 -




Surah al-An'aam

The Women (4) - Ayah 94

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful


"Believers! When you go forth in the way of Allah, discern (between friend and foe) and do not say to him who offers you the greeting of peace: 'You are not a believer!' If you seek the good of this worldly life, there lies with Allah abundant gain. After all, you too were such before (i.e. disbelievers), and then Allah was gracious to you..."


  • This verse was revealed regarding a strange problem encountered by the Muslims on the battlefield, but it has great relevance to us today.

The Islamic Greeting

  • In the early days of Islam, the greeting of As-Salaamu A'alaykum (peace be upon you) was a distinguishing symbol of the Muslims. The Prophet and his Companions used to rush to say Salam to each other at every possible opportunity, even if they had only been away from each other for moments. They knew the importance and reward in it.
  • When a Muslim greeted another Muslim with this expression it signified that he was a member of the same community, that he was a friend, one who wished peace and security, from whom no fear or hostility was expected.
  • The Prophet told us to 'spread peace' amongst all Muslims whether strangers or friends by using the Islamic greeting often. It is a greeting that Allah uses in addressing us and it will be the first words we will hear upon entering Jannah (paradise). In fact, the Prophet mentioned that the Jews are not jealous of anything more than they are of our Salams and Ameens!

The Difficulty

  • Realizing the significance of the Salam to Muslims, some of the non-Muslims whenever they were in danger of being killed or harmed in battle by Muslims resorted to pronouncing the Islamic greeting or La ilaha ill Allah to save their selves.
  • Some Muslims however suspected this to be merely a ruse of the enemy and therefore sometimes disregarded the utterance and killed such people and seized their belongings as booty. These are the ones Allah criticizes in the ayah.
  • The Prophet also severely reproached these Muslims when he came to know of these incidents saying that no one should "cut open a man's heart to find out if he is a true believer or not!"
The Lesson
  • The purport of this verse is that no one has the right summarily to judge those who profess to be Muslims, and assume them to be lying for some worldly benefit.

  • Only Allah knows what is truly in their hearts and no Muslim has a right to label another Muslim as Kafir especially if the person has not openly pronounced his disbelief. The Prophet said that when a Muslim calls another Muslim a Kafir, at least one of them is really that!

  • Even if our accusation of a Muslim is true, and he/she is truly guilty of some crime for which justice must be served, without proof or investigation one can not assume guilt.

  • The harm from letting a sinner or disbeliever go unpunished is preferrable to that of slandering a true and upright believer.
[compiled from "Towards Understanding the Qur'an", by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, Vol. II]


:!: Mission of the Islamic Movement :!:

  • The Islamic movement has come into existence to revive Islam (tajdeed ul Islam) and reinstate Islam at the helm of life once again, after removing the obstacles from its path.
  • The term "revival of Islam" is not a new expression; it was used by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the saheeh hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra: "Allah shall send at the start of every hundred years, someone who will revive this Deen (ujaddid ad-deen)" [Abu Dawud,al-Hakim].
:!: Methodology of the Revival :!:

The revival to be achieved by the Islamic movement should take three directions:

  • Fristly, the formulation of an Islamic vanguard which is capable, through integration and cooperation, of leading the contemporary society by Islam without isolation or leniency, and curing the dis-eases of the Muslims with medicines that have been prescribed by Islam alone. This vanguard must comprise of individuals whose ranks are glued by deep-rooted faith (iman), sound learning (tarbiyyah) and close ties (ukhuwah).
  • Secondly, the formulation of a Muslim public opinion representing the broad popular base which stands behind Islam's protagonists, loving and supporting them after having rid itself of the effects of the mud-throwing campaigns against Islam and Islam's protagonists and movements.
  • Thirdly, the preparation of an international public climate that will accept the existence of the Islamic Nation (Ummah). This will only happen when it understands the true aspects of the Islamic Message and the Islamic Civilization, and becomes free of the evil effects left by the fanaticism of the Medieval Ages and the lies and distortions concocted by anti-Islamic campaigns.
  • Such public opinion would tolerate the emergence of Muslim power beside other global powers, realizing that Muslims have a right to rule themselves according to their own creed since they are the majority in their own countries, as called for by the democratic principles that are so often praised and advocated.
  • They further have a right to promote their universal humanitarian message as one of the great ideologies of the world - an ideology that has a past, a present and a future and lays claim to over one billion adherents in this world in which we now live.

[from "Priorities of the Islamic Movement" by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi]


< The Teacher of Mankind >

  • Masjid al-Nabawi (The Prophet's Mosque) was not only a place of worship, but also the first Islamic university. In the Masjid, there was an elevated platform known as the Suffah.
  • Sometimes, people who had no place to live stayed on the Suffah, but more often, it was occupied by people who loved Rasul Allah (salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) so much that they did not want to part with the Masjid. These people came to be known as the Ashab al-Suffah.
  • The Ashab al-Suffah spent their days and nights praying, reciting Qur'an and studying Islam. They sat in groups and performed Dhikr (remembering Allah), or they studied Fiqh.
  • Once, Rasul Allah saw two meetings of Ashab al-Suffah taking place. In one assembly, people were making Dhikr. In the other, they were studying the religion of Islam. Rasul Allah said, "Allah likes both of these assemblies. Both are blessed."
  • Then he said, "I have been sent as a Teacher" and he joined the assembly where the Sahabah were engaged in learning about the Deen.