The Muslims were on the brink of victory when a dispute between some Muslims resulted in their defeat. Instead of remaining at their posts as instructed, they left their posts to gather the booty. As a result of this, victory was turned into bitter defeat and Rasulullâh Sallallâhu 'alayhi wasallam sustained a serious injury to his face. The Munâfiqîn [hypocrites] also plotted against the Muslims and made every effort to cause discord within the ranks of the Muslims. In this part of Sûrah Nisâ, Allâh points out the weaknesses of the Muslims and provides corrective measures to remedy them.
Allâh also mentions the people who misinterpret the verses of the Qur'ân to meet their own ends. Such people are warned about a terrible punishment from Allâh. Allâh also forbids the Mu'minîn from taking the Kuffâr as their confidantes.
Allâh emphatically prohibits false oaths and miserliness. Allâh also declares that a person's family and wealth are tests for him and should not be regarded as the criteria for salvation. Salvation can be attained only by developing Taqwa. The Mu'min sincerely believes in the Qur'ân, begs Allâh for his needs in all sincerity and does not seek payment from people for reciting the Qur'ân. The rewards for the pious Mu'minîn are secure with their Rabb in the Âkhirâh, where they will definitely receive it.
Allâh exhorts the Mu'minîn to remain steadfast on the battlefield when confronted by the enemy and not to falter in their tracks. Allâh also praises the gentle temperament and excellent character of Rasulullâh towards the Muslims, a factor that contributed greatly towards the spread of Islâm.
The following guidance for social reformation is given:
1. Allâh strictly prohibits unlawful earnings and extorting money and property from others. For example, Allâh enjoins people to fully restore the wealth and property belonging to orphans. Allâh also cautions the guardians of orphans against substituting the good possessions of the orphans with their inferior ones.
2. Allâh makes it clear that a man is limited to only four wives at a time. Allâh also tells man that he should rather have only one wife if he fears that he would be unable to deal justly with them all. Due and amicable payment of dowry is emphasised in this Sûrah along with the specific shares of inheritance that heirs are to receive. Of course, Allâh clarifies that the settlement of debts is of paramount importance before dissolving any estate.
3. To purge society of the filth of adultery and fornication, Allâh has ordained that when four upright persons testify to witnessing any of these acts, those found guilty must be severely punished. Allâh also emphasises the importance of Taubah [repentance], which will be accepted only when it is sincerely done before a person's dying moments.
End of Fourth Juz
Beginning of Fifth Juz
4. The laws pertaining to marriage and dowry are discussed. Allâh enumerates all those women whom a person cannot marry, as well as those whom he is allowed to marry. Allâh also states that the stipulated dowry may be increased or decreased after marriage with the mutual consent of the couple.
While it is permissible to take a profit from a mutually agreed contract of sale, extortion and oppression are forbidden in all circumstances. Jahannam will be the punishment for committing these grave sins. When a person abstains from major sins and carries out good acts, his minor sins are forgiven.
Allâh also says that a wife may be disciplined if she is disobedient and cannot be controlled. However, it is a grave sin to search for her faults so that she can be disciplined. If discord creeps into marriage and the couple cannot reconcile by themselves, an arbiter should be appointed to settle the matter.
Furthermore, Allâh states that a humiliating punishment will seize people who are miserly and ungrateful. With regard to the laws Salâh, Allâh mentions that Salâh may not be performed in a state impurity and in a state of intoxication. It is a major sin to perform Salâh in any of these conditions. If water is not available for wudhu for a bath, a person may purify himself for Salâh by making Tayammum.
Allâh exhorts Muslims to return to the rightful owners the trusts of others that they have in their possession, and that they should abstain from oppression and treachery. Allâh also commands the Mu'minîn to wage jihâd, emphasising that martyrdom is an exalted position and that fear for death is an act of cowardice.
Man is told in this part of Sûrah Nisâ that testimony should be given truthfully and in unambiguous terms even though it may have adverse repercussions on oneself or on one's family members. Another statement of extreme importance is the verse where Allâh declares that although He may forgive any sin, He will never forgive the act of shirk.
End of Fifth Juz