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أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّوۤاْ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَٰوةَ وَآتُواْ ٱلزَّكَٰوةَ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْقِتَالُ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ ٱلنَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ ٱللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا ٱلْقِتَالَ لَوْلاۤ أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ قُلْ مَتَاعُ ٱلدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَٱلآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ ٱتَّقَىٰ وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً
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-An-Nisâ’ ( النساء )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

Have you not seen those to whom it was said, ‘Restrain your hands, from fighting the disbelievers when they desired it at Mecca, because of the harm the disbelievers had inflicted upon them — and these were a group from among the Companions — and establish the prayer, and pay the alms’? Then, as soon as fighting was prescribed, was made obligatory, for them, lo, a party of them fear people, the disbelievers, that is, [they fear] punishment at their hands through death, as they would fear, the punishment of, God, or with more fear, than their fear of Him (ashadda, ‘more’, is in the accusative because it is a circumstantial qualifier; the response to the lammā, ‘as soon as’, is indicated by idhā, ‘lo’, and what follows), in other words, they are taken aback by fear, and they said, frightened of death, ‘Our Lord, why have You prescribed fighting for us? Why not (lawlā is [to be understood as] hallā) defer us to a near term?’ Say, to them: ‘The enjoyment of this world, that which is enjoyed therein, or enjoying it [the world], is trifling, it will end up by perishing; and the Hereafter, Paradise, is better for him who fears God’s punishment by avoiding disobedience to Him; and you shall not be wronged (lā tuzlamūna, may also be read lā yuzlamūna, ‘they shall not be wronged’) you shall not be diminished of your deeds, a single date-thread, as much as the peel on a date-stone, so struggle [in the way of God].


Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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