Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Provision of This World is Very Little


Provision of This World is Very Little   

Surah Nisaaa’ (Women) – Chapter – 4)

Verses –77 & 78a of 176, Section – 11/24 (Part – 5)


77.  Hast thou not seen those unto whom it was said: Withhold your hands, establish worship and pay the poor-due, but when fighting was prescribed for them behold! a party of them fear mankind as though it were fear of Allah or with greater fear, and say: Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? If only Thou wouldst give us respite yet a while! Say (unto them, O Muhammad): The provision of this world is very little; the Hereafter will be better for him who wardeth off (evil); and ye will not be wronged the husk upon a date-stone.

78a.  Wheresoever ye may be, death will overtake you, even though ye were in lofty towers.

77.   ‘Alam tara  ‘ilal-laziina  qiila  lahum  kuffuuu’aydi-yakum  wa  ‘aqiimus-Salaata wa  ‘aatuz-Zakaah.  Falammaa  kutiba  ‘alay-himul-qitaalu  ‘izaa  farii-qum-minhum  yakh-shaw-nan-naasa  ka-khashya-Tillaahi  ‘aw  ‘ashadda  khashyah.  Wa  qaaluu  Rabbanaa  lima  katabta  ‘alaynal-qitaal.  Law-laaa  ‘akh-Khartanaaa  ‘ilaaa  ‘ajalin- qariib.  Qul  mataa- ‘uddunyaa  qaliil. Wal- ‘aakhiratu  khayrul-li-manittaqaa  wa laa  tuzlamuuna  fatiilaa.

78a.  ‘Ayna maa  takuunuu  yud-rik-kumul-mawtu  wa  law  kuntum  fii  buruujim-mushayyadah.     




kutiba  ‘alay-him – (prescribed for them)

‘akh-Kharta – (giving respite, to delay, to keep giving up), the words taakhiir and mu-‘akhkhir have also been derived from it which means postponement, posterior respectively.

When the people embraced Islam in Makkah, then infidels and idolaters began to vex and tyrannize them by various sorts. Due to this strait-ness, the Muslims used to come to the Messenger of Allah Almighty (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon him) and say that they should be permitted to strive, but they were replied that they have not still been permitted to fight. Till now there is only order to establish worship and pay the poor-due from the wealth. It has been described in this verse that when the permission was sanctioned to fight after migration to Madinah, then the fear overcasted upon the persons, who were weak in their Belief. They began to tremble due to fear and were frightened from the people (the creature), more than the fear of Allah Almighty (the Creator). They began to say, “Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us? If only You would give us respite yet a while, then it would be better”. In Makkah, the Muslims were not permitted to fight but they were being prepared for war, because it was not acceptable to take revenge from the oppressors immediately. Such fight like savages was not sanctioned to the Islam. Therefore, the Muslims were commanded in Makkah to withhold their hands (for having patience from fighting), to remain busy in establishing the prayers and paying the poor-due, so that they may become habituated to sacrifice their life and wealth, and they may know, “How to bear the troubles and difficulties”.

wa laa  tuzlamuuna – (and you will not be wronged), it has been derived from zalama, which means ‘to tease or tyrannize any person, to seize someone’s right ’.


fatiilaa – (the thread, the husk upon a date-stone), here it means that your right will not be seized even equal to a very little piece of thread.

buruujim-mushayyadah – (the lofty towers, dignified forts), Burj is singular of buruuj which means ‘a fort and a magnificent palace’. Mushayyada means ‘made of cooked lime’. The aim of this verse is to tell the people that it is not possible to escape from the death, whether they are hidden in even very solid forts.

It was mentioned in the previous verse (77) that when strive was prescribed and the battle accessed their heads, then some people began to tremble due to fear of war and beseech in the Royal Court of Allah Almighty, “Our Lord! Why have You ordained fighting for us? If only You would give us respite yet a while, then it was better if we would remain living for some more days and escape from the death”. In short, the love of the world overcame upon their hearts and they began to frighten from the death. They have been instructed in this verse that, “Say (unto them, O Muhammad): The provision (relishes and pleasure) of this world is very little and only for a few days; nevertheless delight and comfort of the Hereafter will be better for him who takes care of the Willingness of Allah Almighty and wards off evil. Commit to your mind! The person, who will do good with this thought, he will be given full retaliation and reward. Moreover, attempt of any person to please Allah Almighty and to escape from His disobedience will not be useless even that none will be wronged the husk upon a date-stone. In the world, such circumstances are faced that a person wants something but his desire is not fulfilled. He works hard but does not gain its fruit. In addition, what he gets a little that finishes in a few days. For the Hereafter, what will be done according to the command of Allah Almighty, its retaliation will be given in full. That will not be for a few day but forever. Now the death is left, so one should not be afraid from it. Nobody can be saved from it. There is no place in the entire world, where someone can acquire refuge. At last, he/she has to die a day, which is born. It is useless to have passion to live forever in the world. If someone did not die today, then he/she will die tomorrow. Strong underground chambers, lofty forts and palaces cannot save any creature from the death. It is better to be slain for the Cause of Allah Almighty and earn comfort, pleasure and satisfaction for ever, from dying by rubbing heels. In these some words of Holy Qur’an, how much great reality has been cleared very easily? This advice cannot take place in the heart so deeply even from the hourly speeches of great preachers as it settles down by meditating a while in this very small verse. These are the forceful words, by listening to which, the Muslims completed so much magnificent tasks in the beginning that the world praises them till today.

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 Islaah wa Tableegh, Lahore (translated Urdu to English  by Muhammad Sharif).

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