Day Forty Nine (A Journey with Quran)

Surah An Nisa: Ayats 111 — 120

If anyone earns a sin, he earns it against his own soul. Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. [111]

If anyone earns a fault or a sin and then blames it on someone else who is innocent, he will carry (upon himself both) the lie and an obvious sin. [112]

If it wasn’t for Allah’s favor and mercy towards you, a group of (the hypocrites) would’ve certainly schemed to lead you astray, but they’ve only succeeded in leading their own souls astray. They’re incapable of causing you any real harm, for Allah has sent down the Book to you and (the standard of prophetic) wisdom, and He taught you) what you didn’t know (before). Allah’s favor is powerfully inclined towards you. [113]

In most of their secret discussions there’s nothing good (being said or planned). However, if someone is encouraging a charitable deed, (planning) an exemplary (act that will help many) or (devising ways to) make peace between people, (then being secretive is allowed). Whoever engages (in secret discussions) for these (ends), while looking only for the pleasure of Allah, soon shall We give him a valuable reward. [114]

If anyone works against the Messenger, even after guidance has been clearly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that of a believer, We’ll leave him on the path he’s chosen and then lead him into Hellfire – what a terrible destination! [115]

Allah doesn’t forgive (the sin of) making others equal with Him, but He forgives any other sins besides this for whomever He wants. Whoever makes others equal with Allah has made a huge mistake and gone far off into error. [116]

They (the idol-worshippers) call upon goddesses (for favors) in place of Him, but they’re really calling upon a relentless devil! [117]

Allah had cursed Satan, but he (was defiant and challenged Allah), saying, “I will ensnare a certain number of Your servants. [118]

I’ll mislead them and urge them (to sin). I’ll order them to slit the ears of cattle (for the sake of mindless superstition) and to disfigure what Allah created.” Whoever takes Satan for a protector in place of Allah is clearly lost in bewilderment! [119]

Satan makes them promises and urges them (to commit sins), but Satan’s promises are nothing more than deception. [120]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Background on verse 115:

The brother of a man named Maqees ibn Dubabah was killed in the countryside in a district known as an-Najjar, and Maqees went to the Prophet seeking justice. The Prophet sent him along with a representative to the tribe of Fihr to ask them to produce the murderer, so he could be brought to justice. The tribal elders said they didn’t know who killed Maqees’s brother, but they would pay the penalty or blood-money to him to compensate him for his loss. Maqees was given one hundred camels. As he was riding back with them towards Medina, he thought that it wouldn’t look honorable in the eyes of the Arabs to accept the blood-money and that someone had to die for the killing of his brother. He looked at the Prophet’s representative who was riding with him and concluded that since he was also a man of the Fihr tribe, he could revenge himself upon him. So, he beat the man to death with a rock and took his camels to Mecca where he renounced Islam and boasted of his exploits to the approving idol-worshippers. Some years later, when the Muslims compelled the bloodless surrender of Mecca, Maqees was found, arrested and executed for the brazen murder. This verse references that man and his actions.

Footnote to verse 119

Arab superstitions caused them to follow a great many odd, and even macabre customs. Slitting the ears of cattle to mark their sacred status was just one of them.

This custom has echoes today in the modern world where slitting a portion of cow’s ears, and tagging them is used as a way to identify them. The term earmarked is derived from this practice.

Verse 119: Disfigure

This refers to the practice of castration, and people tattooing their bodies. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) forbade people from doing both practices.

Getting a tattoo was a common pre Islamic custom. A tattoo defaces the physical appearance with which Allah has graced a person. Having a tattoo means the appearance Allah give is not good enough, and must be masked over.

Those who had them were not sanctioned for it upon conversion to Islam, as conversion caused a person’s record of deeds to be wiped clean.

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