Lecture (9): Unveiling the Ethical Compass of Surat An-Nisa

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The seamless connection between Faith, ethics, and rituals in Surat An-Nisa and its companion, Surat Al-Ma’idah, is emblematic of Islam’s holistic approach to guiding human life. These Surahs, following the foundational belief systems established in Al-Baqarah and Al-Imran—collectively known as the Twins—serve as vital signs (Ayat) of these beliefs’ practical application and success in fostering a just and compassionate society.


The Comprehensive Guidance of Islam

Islam’s guidance encompasses every aspect of human existence, offering a comprehensive framework that addresses the body, mind, spirit, behavior, thoughts, feelings, and both the temporal and eternal aspects of life. Surat An-Nisa and Surat Al-Ma’idah, together with the foundational teachings in Al-Baqarah and Al-Imran, illustrate this holistic approach. They highlight the intricate interplay between Aqeedah (belief system), Ibadat (rituals), and Akhlaq (ethical conduct), demonstrating the integrated nature of Islamic guidance.


The Role of Surat An-Nisa and Al-Ma’idah

Surat An-Nisa was revealed during a critical period in Madinah, addressing the complex dynamics within the Muslim community and the external challenges it faced. This Surah extends the discussion on moral and legal frameworks necessary for maintaining a cohesive and just society, with a particular emphasis on safeguarding the rights and dignity of women—a marked departure from pre-Islamic norms.


Similarly, Surat Al-Ma’idah builds upon these themes, reinforcing the principles of Justice, mercy, and compassion that transcend religious, racial, and ethnic divides. Both Surahs underscore the protection of the weak and oppressed and the importance of upholding the rights of all community members, especially women and religious minorities, without compromising Islamic principles.


The Connection Between the Twins and the Signs

Al-Baqarah and Al-Imran (the Twins) lay the foundation of the Islamic belief system, emphasizing the dual aspects of Qawl (attestation) and Aml (compliance). They motivate believers by clarifying their purpose and outlining their direction. Al-Imran, in particular, acts as a shield, protecting believers from compromising their Faith by solidifying their attestation and compliance.


Surat An-Nisa and Al-Ma’idah (the Signs) then embody the ethical system that emerges as a sign of the successful integration of these beliefs into daily life. They offer a blueprint for building a virtuous society, emphasizing that True Faith is manifested through integrity in fulfilling commitments to Allah, His Messenger, and fellow human beings.


A Call to Holistic Living

The teachings of Surat An-Nisa and Al-Ma’idah call for holistic living, adherence to divine guidance, and fostering a community grounded in Faith, righteousness, and an unwavering commitment to Justice and mercy. They illustrate the power of the Islamic ethical system, rooted in the comprehensive belief system established by the Twins, to transform individual lives and society at large, embodying the aspirations of both Islamic teachings and the broader quest for a compassionate and just world.


Surat An-Nisa: Constructing a Just Society

Surat An-Nisa, the fourth chapter of the Noble Qur’an, is classified among the lengthy Surahs revealed in Madinah during the midpoint of the Prophet Muhammad’s residency there. After pivotal defensive battles such as Badr, Uhud, and the Battle of the Trench, this Surah marks a significant period where Muslims actively defended their community against aggression. It was during this time that the Prophet transitioned to a more offensive approach in Jihad, which, as clarified by the Britannica encyclopedia, signifies a commendable struggle or effort within Islam, often misunderstood as “holy war.” Jihad’s true essence revolves around striving to promote virtue and deter vice, extending beyond the narrow misconceptions of warfare.

Surat An-Nisa’s revelation follows a pattern observed throughout the Qur’an, where legislative directives for establishing orderly societies are introduced after discussions on war and Jihad. This pattern is evident in Surat Al-Hujurat, which emphasizes social and moral decorum while succeeding Surahs focused on military expeditions. Similarly, Surat An-Nisa was revealed as part of the divine strategy for developing, protecting, and sustaining the nascent Muslim community, highlighting human rights principles immediately after Surat Al-Imran, which recounts the Battle of Uhud.

This Surah is intricately tied to the broader objectives of Jihad in Islam. Contrary to being an end in itself, armed struggle or Jihad is a means towards achieving Peace, Justice, freedom of religion, and the protection of rights among others. It aims to exalt Allah’s word and establish a society where divine principles are upheld. Suppose the goals of Jihad, such as securing Peace or ensuring Justice, can be realized through non-violent means like treaties or diplomatic engagements. In that case, warfare is deemed unnecessary, highlighting Islam’s inherent preference for Peace and the well-being of humanity.

As the fourth chapter of the Quran, the Ethical and Social Foundation of Surat An-Nisa underscores the foundation of objective morality on the Oneness of Allah—His majesty and sovereignty. This Surah directs Muslims to strengthen the family unit, the core of a robust and ethical society, by meticulously organizing community affairs and purging societal immorality and corruption. It lays the groundwork for an Islamic state rooted in justice, trust, and adherence to divine law in all aspects of life, including international relations. It cautions explicitly against overlooking the rights of orphans and kin and against the wrongful consumption of wealth.


Defense Against Destabilization: Surat An-Nisa’ also alerts the Muslim community to the threats posed by hypocrites and others intent on undermining societal harmony. It highlights the critical role of jihad in safeguarding Islamic values and principles from distortion and neglect and in promoting these ideals, correcting misconceptions, or establishing undeniable proof against them.

A Moment of Profound Emotion: The profound emotional impact of Surat An-Nisa’ was vividly illustrated when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was moved to tears during its recitation. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported a poignant moment when, upon reciting the verse questioning how one would feel when brought as a witness over nations, the Prophet requested to stop, visibly affected by its message.


Salvation Tied to Belief and Action: Surat An-Nisa’ reinforces that true salvation on the Day of Judgment is not merely a matter of belief but requires righteous actions to accompany such beliefs.


Challenging Superiority Claims: In an instance where both Christians and Muslims claimed superiority over one another, Allah revealed a verse in Surat An-Nisa’ emphasizing that neither wishful thinking of individuals nor that of the People of the Book dictates truth.


Addressing Major Sins: The Surah addresses significant sins like idolatry, despair, and complacency towards Allah’s plan, marking them as severe transgressions against the faith.


The Gravity of Murder: Highlighting the severity of taking a life, Surat An-Nisa’ narrates a dire scene from the Day of Resurrection, where the murdered will confront their killer, emphasizing the irrevocable consequence of murder in the eyes of Allah.


The Complex Rights Involved in Murder: Ibn al-Qayyim elaborates on the multifaceted rights involved in the act of murder, explaining how sincere repentance and willing submission to the victim’s heirs may absolve the killer’s debt to Allah, but not necessarily all earthly and heavenly consequences.


This comprehensive approach of Surat An-Nisa’ to ethical, social, and legal issues within the Muslim community sets a high standard for justice, mercy, and righteousness, integral to the faith and practice of Islam.


Guidance from the Companions: Reflecting on Surat Al-Nisa: 

Two eminent companions of the Prophet Muhammad , Abdullah Ibn Abbas and Abdullah Ibn Masood, were recognized by the Prophet for their profound understanding and teaching of the Qur’an. The Messenger of Allah blessed Ibn Abbas with a prayer for deep understanding and interpretation of the Qur’an, a moment Ibn Abbas cherished and reported. Similarly, the Prophet highlighted Abdullah Ibn Masood as a primary source for learning the Qur’an, along with three other distinguished companions, indicating the high esteem in which he held their knowledge and teaching of the holy scripture.


These endorsements by the Prophet Muhammad are not merely praises but are meant to serve as a motivation for Muslims to delve deeper into the study and reflection of the Qur’an. Particularly, the verses highlighted by these companions are seen as central to understanding the core messages of Islam about the afterlife and the transient nature of worldly life. Their insights are meant to guide Muslims towards a more profound reflection on their faith and actions, emphasizing the importance of aligning one’s life with the teachings of the Qur’an.


Al-Razi, reflecting on the significance of these companions and the verses they highlighted, invokes Allah’s grace and mercy, aspiring for the ummah to be worthy of the wisdom contained in these teachings. His words encapsulate the collective yearning of believers to live in a manner that aligns with Allah’s will, underpinned by a deep understanding and appreciation of the Qur’an as taught by its most knowledgeable companions.


Abdullah Ibn Abbas on Surat Al-Nisa:

Abdullah Ibn Abbas highlighted the significance of eight verses within Surat An-Nisa’, emphasizing their profound value for the Muslim Ummah, surpassing all that the sun illuminates. These verses are:

  1. “Allah wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is unlawful) to you, and to show you the ways of those before you, and accept your repentance, and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” (4:26)
  2. “Allah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the Right Path.” (4:27)
  3. “Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with woman).” (4:28)
  4. “If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, we shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e., Paradise).” (4:31)
  5. “Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a small ant), but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.” (4:40)
  6. “Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.” (4:48)
  7. “And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s Forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (4:110)
  8. “Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.” (4:147)


These verses collectively stress the importance of understanding divine laws, embracing repentance, recognizing human weaknesses, and the assurance of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. They serve as a beacon of hope, guiding believers toward a path of righteousness and divine proximity.


Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud on Surat Al-Nisa:

Abdullah Ibn Masood expressed profound joy and satisfaction in five particular verses from Surat An-Nisa’, valuing them more than the entire world and its contents. He believed these verses to be of immense significance, a sentiment he was confident scholars would share. These verses include:

  1. “If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, we shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e., Paradise).” (4:31)
  2. “Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a small ant), but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.” (4:40)
  3. “Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.” (4:48)
  4. “If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad) and begged Allah’s Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found Allah All-Forgiving (One Who accepts repentance), Most Merciful.” (4:64)
  5. “And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s Forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (4:110)


These verses, revered by both Abdullah Ibn Masud and Abdullah Ibn Abbas h, encapsulate fundamental Islamic teachings on forgiveness, divine justice, and the promise of paradise for those who refrain from major sins. They emphasize the mercy of Allah, providing hope and solace for believers seeking forgiveness. These teachings are considered invaluable, offering a guiding light for righteous living and reaffirming the boundless grace of Allah towards His creation.


Ethics Anchored in Faith: A Reflection on Surat An-Nisa

Islamic ethics, as illuminated in Surat An-Nisa, are deeply interwoven with the fundamental Islamic beliefs in Allah, His Messenger, and the Hereafter. This connection underscores a comprehensive framework where faith encourages and mandates ethical conduct. The life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) exemplifies this ethical model, guiding divine commandments into daily life. Belief in the Hereafter further reinforces moral behavior, emphasizing accountability and the eternal impact of our actions. Together, these beliefs form the foundation of a Muslim’s moral compass, directing them towards a life of righteousness and societal harmony.


Ethics and Belief in Allah:

In Islam, the pursuit of virtuous ethics and the avoidance of immoral behavior stem directly from our belief in Allah. This belief is not passive but an active commitment to live according to divine commandments. The foundation of Islamic morality rests on this profound belief in Allah, making it the cornerstone of a Muslim’s ethical compass. It’s a relationship that transcends mere acknowledgment, requiring that these ethical principles be lived out in every aspect of a believer’s life.


“Allah addresses the believers: ‘Oh, you who believe!’ (2:104), connecting adherence to moral virtues directly with the essence of faith. This bond signifies that true belief inherently involves a commitment to ethical living, illustrating how deeply intertwined faith and morality are in Islam.”


Ethics and Belief in the Messenger of Allah:

Belief in the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as Allah’s Messenger enriches this moral framework. The Prophet’s life serves as a supreme model of ethical conduct, a practical embodiment of the Quran’s teachings. His character and actions provide a tangible blueprint for integrating divine guidance into daily life, showing Islam’s moral and ethical teachings are not abstract concepts but practical, lived realities.


“The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent ‘with the perfection of noble morals and completion of good deeds’ (Jabir ibn Abdullah), demonstrating that Islam’s mission is as much about elevating moral standards as it is about worship and belief. His example guides humanity in pursuing a path of ethical excellence.”


Ethics and Belief in the Hereafter:

The Islamic ethical framework is also profoundly influenced by belief in the Hereafter. This belief instills a sense of accountability for one’s actions, underscoring the eternal consequences of our earthly conduct. It shapes moral behavior by emphasizing that every action has implications beyond the immediate, material world, encouraging a life in anticipation of divine judgment.


“Belief in the Hereafter acts as a moral compass, guiding believers towards righteousness and deterring them from transgression. It assures that true justice will be realized in the afterlife, motivating a life of virtue in anticipation of ultimate accountability before Allah.”


The ethical teachings of Islam, as highlighted in Surat An-Nisa, are deeply rooted in the fundamental beliefs of the religion: belief in Allah, His Messenger, and the Hereafter. This triad forms an inseparable unity that underpins the moral and ethical standards of a Muslim’s life. It’s a comprehensive system where faith and morality are intertwined, reinforcing the other to create a cohesive and holistic approach to living a life pleasing to Allah. This integration of belief and ethics sets the Islamic moral system apart, offering a complete guide for achieving spiritual fulfillment and societal harmony.


Objective and Subjective Morality in Islam:

In Islam, morality is viewed as objective and absolute, based on universal principles that apply to everyone, regardless of cultural or personal beliefs. This perspective is grounded in the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah, as understood by the earliest generations of Muslims. The Quranic verse, “And verily, you are on an exalted standard of character” (68:4), highlights the elevated moral standard set by Islam, which was exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). His character, described as the Quran personified by Aisha (RA), guides Muslims to follow.


This objective morality contrasts with subjective or relative morality, where ethical standards vary among individuals or cultures. Islam’s moral framework includes universally recognized virtues, such as honesty, justice, and compassion, seen as immutable truths.


Balance and Moderation in Islamic Morals:

Islamic morality is characterized by balance and moderation, avoiding extremes and embracing virtues holistically. The Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life demonstrated this balance, showing tenderness in worship and bravery in defense, generosity without extravagance, and humility coupled with dignity. This balanced approach forms the foundation of the Islamic ethical system, promoting a harmonious and virtuous life.


Inclusiveness of Islamic Morals:

Islamic morals encompass every aspect of life, guiding relationships with Allah, family, community, and oneself. This comprehensive approach was central to the Prophet’s mission, aiming to perfect character and ensure that morality pervades all actions, public and private. Islam’s ethical teachings advocate for excellence in behavior across all domains, forming a cohesive and integrated moral framework.


Fair Governance and Equality:

Islam mandates justice and equality for all community members, emphasizing that legal and moral standards apply universally. The Quran and Sunnah advocate for fairness in punishing wrongdoing or upholding rights, regardless of an individual’s social or economic status. This principle of equality underpins Islamic governance, ensuring that justice prevails for both the powerful and the weak. It exemplifies Islam’s commitment to a just and equitable society.


Bridging Worship and Ethics in Islam

In Islam, the vibrancy of faith in Allah and the Day of Judgment is maintained through belief and worship (Ibadat) — a means to continually refresh, enhance, and affirm faith’s potency. These acts of worship are ingeniously designed to weave ethical conduct into the fabric of daily life, bridging the gap between ritualistic observance and moral integrity. Islam sternly admonishes the notion of compartmentalizing faith, where an individual’s piety in worship starkly contrasts their conduct in daily affairs.


The discordance between worship and ethical behavior presents a skewed portrayal of religiosity. One may exhibit devotion in prayer yet falter in moral dealings. This dichotomy undermines the essence of worship, which Islam envisions as a holistic endeavor extending beyond the mosque into all spheres of life, guiding interactions with honesty and integrity.

Integrating Faith, Ethics, and Rituals in Surat An-Nisa:

Surat An-Nisa presents a comprehensive Islamic worldview that intricately weaves together belief (Aqeedah), ethics (Akhlaq), and rituals (Ibadat) into a unified system guiding every aspect of a Muslim’s life. This Surah addresses various legal, social, and moral issues. It showcases how these three components of Islam are interdependent and collectively contribute to forming a just, compassionate, and equitable society.


Interconnection Between Belief, Ethics, and Rituals:

  1. Foundation of Belief (Aqeedah): Surat An-Nisa establishes the importance of belief in Allah, His Messenger, and the Last Day as the cornerstone of a Muslim’s life. This foundation of Faith influences every action and decision, guiding believers toward righteousness. For example, the Surah’s emphasis on Justice, equality, and the protection of the vulnerable is deeply rooted in the Islamic belief in the oneness of Allah (Tawheed) and accountability in the hereafter, as seen in verses like, “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives…” (4:135).
  2. Ethical Conduct (Akhlaq): Surat An-Nisa extensively outlines the ethical conduct expected from Muslims, reinforcing that good character and moral behavior are integral expressions of one’s Faith. The Surah addresses the treatment of orphans and women and the distribution of inheritance with fairness and compassion, highlighting the ethical responsibilities that come with belief. For instance, the command to treat orphans justly and not consume their wealth unjustly (4:2) illustrates how ethical directives are intertwined with the broader Islamic belief in social responsibility and accountability before Allah.
  3. Ritual Practices (Ibadat): While Surat An-Nisa primarily focuses on social legislation and ethical guidance, it also underscores the significance of ritual practices in cultivating and expressing one’s Faith and moral values. Rituals like prayer (Salah) and almsgiving (Zakat) are not only acts of worship but also tools for ethical refinement and social welfare. For example, the obligation of Zakat manifests the Islamic principle of caring for the needy and redistributing wealth to ensure social equity, as encouraged in verses 8 and 36.


Interdependence of the Three Systems:

The interconnection between belief, ethics, and rituals in Surat An-Nisa demonstrates that Islam is a holistic way of life where each component reinforces the other. Belief in Islamic tenets motivates adherence to ethical conduct, reflected and nurtured through ritual practices. Rituals, in turn, strengthen Faith and ethical awareness, creating a virtuous cycle that enhances the individual’s spirituality and moral character. This synergy ensures that personal piety always aligns with social responsibility, leading to a balanced and harmonious society.


Surat An-Nisa portrays a comprehensive Islamic life model in which belief shapes ethical behavior and rituals serve as both expressions of Faith and mechanisms for ethical development. Together, these elements form a cohesive framework that guides Muslims in fulfilling their duties to Allah, themselves, and society.


The Ethical Dimensions of Islamic Worship

Beyond being a mere act of faith, each pillar of Islam is imbued with profound moral significance, aiming to cultivate virtues that resonate through every aspect of a believer’s life.

  • Salah (Prayer): Far from being a routine set of movements, Salah is a deterrent against indecency and wrongdoing. It acts as a constant reminder of the divine presence and instills a conscience that shuns vice.
  • “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing…” (29:45)
  • Zakat (Almsgiving) transcends a financial obligation, cleansing the giver from selfishness and purifying their wealth. It fosters a spirit of solidarity, nurturing a society where empathy and benevolence flourish.
  • “Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase…” (9:103)
  • Sawm (Fasting): Beyond abstaining from food and drink, fasting is a discipline for the soul. It curtails illicit desires and fosters a profound sense of self-restraint and spiritual awareness.
  • The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) elucidated, “Whoever does not abandon false speech and acting upon it, Allah does not need for him to leave his food and drink.”
  • Hajj (Pilgrimage): The rituals of Hajj are not devoid of ethical implications; they are a culmination of spiritual devotion and social ethics — promoting humility, unity, and a global sense of brotherhood.
  • “The reward for an accepted Hajj is nothing less than Paradise,” the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) expressed, highlighting acts of generosity and peace as keystones for its acceptance.


The Synthesis of Worship and Ethics

Islamic worship, therefore, is not an isolated spiritual practice but a comprehensive system that harmonizes faith with ethical living. It mandates that the spiritual enlightenment attained through worship be mirrored in righteous conduct, ensuring that the sanctity of worship translates into a practical ethic of compassion, honesty, and social responsibility. This confluence of worship and ethics is foundational to Islam, paving the way for a just, merciful, and ethically conscious society.


Surat An-Nisa’s Structure and Unity:

Like other chapters in the Quran, Surat An-Nisa covers a wide range of topics without confining itself to a single theme. This Surah skillfully intertwines beliefs, rituals, moral guidelines, legal rulings, and narratives, seamlessly combining them to form a coherent whole. Unlike human-authored texts, typically organized into clearly demarcated sections and chapters, the Quranic discourse flows in a way that might initially seem to lack order. However, this fluidity is deliberate, reflecting a unique approach to addressing the multifaceted needs of the human soul.


This Surah, among others like Al-Baqarah and Al-Imran, demonstrates the Quran’s distinct method of arranging topics, sometimes grouping them in a linear sequence and weaving them together in a nested or interlocking manner. The coherence across these diverse elements within each chapter is intentional, designed to cater to the varying states of the human heart and mind. The Quran juxtaposes encouragement with warning, worldly life with hereafter perspectives, and legal commands upon a foundation of faith, aiming to engage the human soul fully.


The concept of coherence in the Quran goes beyond mere thematic consistency; it encapsulates the harmony and synergy between different topics within a chapter, all serving a singular divine purpose. This coherence ensures that the Quran’s guidance acts as a remedy for the heart, with each verse positioned precisely to address the spiritual and moral condition of the reader. Scholars of Quranic studies, such as those focused on the science of connections (Munasabat) and the overarching objectives (Maqasid) of each chapter, delve into how these elements interplay to reveal the depth and unity of the Quran’s message.


Understanding the unity within Surat An-Nisa, and the Quran as a whole, offers profound insights into the divine wisdom encapsulated in its verses. This understanding aids in grasping the comprehensive message conveyed, showcasing the Quran’s miraculous nature through its unparalleled coherence and the purposeful linkage of its diverse subjects.


Ethical Dimensions in Surat An-Nisa: Crafting a Just Society

Surat An-Nisa, the fourth chapter of the Quran, provides a comprehensive ethical framework that addresses the entirety of social structure and individual conduct within an Islamic society. It emphasizes justice, equity, and compassion, underscoring Muslims’ moral obligations towards each other and society at large. Here, we delve into some of the verses that highlight these ethical dimensions:


Social Dimension:

Protection of Vulnerable Groups: Surat An-Nisa begins with a profound call to humanity, urging the protection of orphans, women, and non-Muslim minorities, “Give unto orphans their wealth. Exchange, not the good for the bad (in your management thereof) …” (4:2). It emphasizes treating these groups with the dignity and respect they deserve, thereby fostering a supportive and caring community.

Marital and Family Rights: The Surah also outlines the rights within marriage and family life, advocating for the fair treatment of wives, “Live with them in kindness…” (4:19), and emphasizing the importance of maintaining family bonds, thereby promoting a harmonious social fabric.


Financial Dimension:

Inheritance Laws: Detailed laws on inheritance are provided, “Unto the men (of a family) belonged a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, and unto the women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave…” (4:7). These laws ensure equitable distribution of wealth, making revolutionary provisions for women, thus promoting financial justice and equity.

Charity and Alms: The Surah encourages support for the needy through zakat and voluntary charity, “Worship Allah and associate naught with Him; show kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy…” (4:36), facilitating wealth redistribution and enhancing the community’s economic welfare.


Moral Dimension:

Justice and Fairness: It underscores the imperative of fairness, “O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity…” (4:135), laying the foundation for a society built on the principles of justice and integrity.


Personal Conduct: Surat An-Nisa advises against deceit, theft, and adultery while promoting repentance and moral uprightness, “And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins…” (4:110).


Legal Dimension:

Criminal Justice: The Surah sets guidelines for addressing crimes, balancing justice with mercy, “It is not for a believer to kill a believer unless (it be) by mistake…” (4:92), ensuring a just and humane legal system.


Rights and Duties: It delineates the legal rights and obligations of individuals and establishes a comprehensive framework for societal interactions.


Spiritual Dimension:

Faith and Worship: The emphasis on spiritual underpinnings showcases the intertwining of faith with ethical guidelines, where obedience to God underlies moral and social harmony.

Repentance and Forgiveness: It encourages seeking forgiveness, “Repentance with Allah is only for those who do evil in ignorance…” (4:17), highlighting God’s mercy.


Political Dimension:

Leadership and Authority: Principles for governance emphasize justice and the rule of law in leadership, “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority…” (4:59).


Protection of Community: Surat An-Nisa calls for the defense of the community against external threats, emphasizing the importance of standing up for justice and peace, “And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and for the oppressed among men, women, and children…” (4:75). This verse underscores the duty of Muslims to protect the vulnerable and maintain the integrity and security of their society.


Thus, Surat An-Nisa presents an ethical blueprint that guides believers toward building a just, compassionate, and morally upright society, emphasizing the collective responsibility toward the welfare and dignity of all its members.