Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Exchange Not The Good For The Bad


Exchange Not The Good For The Bad   

Surah NISAAA’  (WOMEN, Chapter – 4)

Verse – 2 of 176, Section –24 (Part – 4)


And give unto orphans their wealth. Exchange not the good for the bad (in your management thereof) nor absorb their wealth into your own wealth. Lo! that is a great sin.

Wa  ‘aatul-yataamaaa  ‘am-waalahum  wa  laa  tatabadda-lul-khabiisa  bit-tayyib.  Wa  laa  ta’-kuluuu  ‘am-waala-hum  ‘ilaaa  ‘amwaalikum.  ‘Innahuu  kaana  huuban- kabiiraa. 




Yataamaaa – (orphans) those children, who do not have their parents, particularly father.


Khabiisan – (the bad) that is to say; impure, unreal and unclean.


Huuban – (punishment for a fault distressing), such sin and burden, the result of which is misfortune and disaster.


It is evident from the name of this chapter “Nisaaa’ ” that the matters regarding the women will be discussed especially along with their rights and duties in it. Therefore, in the primary verses, at first it has been cleared that the birth of man and woman takes place from the same one body. Consequently, sobriety and God-fearing should be considered actual standard of excellence, and treat all of them kindly and with kinship.


Now in the second verse, it is being commanded, “Do not seize the wealth of orphans.” Doing so is just like mixing the impure in to the pure. If any person uses the wealth of orphan unlawfully, as though he is making his lawful and pure earnings also as unlawful, impure and bad. As any person makes water-filled glass impure by putting a few drops of urine in to it likewise by taking over (snatching through any means) insignificant and a little wealth of the orphan, he makes unlawful entire earning of his life.


Purpose of revelation of this verse is told so, that there was excessive wealth of a person’s orphan nephew in his care. When his nephew became adult, he demanded his wealth, but his uncle denied to hand him over. At that occasion, this verse was revealed, listening to it the uncle returned his orphan nephew’s wealth and said, “We obey Allah Almighty and His Messenger (grace, glory, blessing and peace be upon him)”.  


It has also been described that it does not mean that snatching the wealth other than orphan is lawful and you would not be punished. No! Wealth of others is unlawful for you too, whether he/she is anyone. Saying this crime huuban- kabiiraa (a great sin), the importance of the reality of sin and crime has been cleared, so that nobody may remain in doubt.


At first treating the relatives kindly, with mercy and kinship was emphasized, then behavior with the orphans was explained and at the end, it has been advised to correct the affairs with the entire children of Adam (peace be upon him). It is the actual Spirit of Islam.   



Transliterated Holy Qur’an in Roman Script & Translated from Arabic to English by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Lesson collected from Dars e Qur’an published By Idara Islah wa Tableegh, Lahore and Siraatul Jinaan fii Tafsiirul Qur’an (www.dawateislami.net)  (translated Urdu to English  by Muhammad Sharif).