Surah An-Nisa : Chapter 4 (line 70-80) Women

70. That is the grace from God. God suffices as Knower.

71. O you who believe! Take your precautions, and mobilize in groups, or mobilize altogether.

72. Among you is he who lags behind. Then, when a calamity befalls you, he says, “God has favored me, that I was not martyred with them.”

73. But when some bounty from God comes to you, he says-as if no affection existed between you and him-“If only I had been with them, I would have achieved a great victory.”

74. Let those who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter fight in the cause of God. Whoever fights in the cause of God, and then is killed, or achieves victory, We will grant him a great compensation.

75. And why would you not fight in the cause of God, and the helpless men, and women, and children, cry out, “Our Lord, deliver us from this town whose people are oppressive, and appoint for us from Your Presence a Protector, and appoint for us from Your Presence a Victor.”

76. Those who believe fight in the cause of God, while those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Evil. So fight the allies of the Devil. Surely the strategy of the Devil is weak.

77. Have you not considered those who were told, “Restrain your hands, and perform your prayers, and spend in regular charity”? But when fighting was ordained for them, a faction of them feared the people as God is ought to be feared, or even more. And they said, “Our Lord, why did You ordain fighting for us? If only You would postpone it for us for a short while.” Say, “The enjoyments of this life are brief, but the Hereafter is better for the righteous, and you will not be wronged one bit.”

78. Wherever you may be, death will catch up with you, even if you were in fortified towers. When a good fortune comes their way, they say, “This is from God.” But when a misfortune befalls them, they say, “This is from you.” Say, “All is from God.” So what is the matter with these people, that they hardly understand a thing?

79. Whatever good happens to you is from God, and whatever bad happens to you is from your own self. We sent you to humanity as a messenger, and God is Witness enough.

80. Whoever obeys the Messenger is obeying God. And whoever turns away-We did not send you as a watcher over them.

 

My Interpretation: 

Gabriel gives Muhammad an example that if people stay behind in war and are not killed, they feel blessed. But really the ones who courageously fight against evil, are the blessed ones. Because what matters is not this life, but how well you live it, and the causes you die and fight for. God sees their courageous sacrifice to better the life of others as they fight off the evil.

The Angel is telling Muhammad the reality of war. At this time in history, the Mecca leaders have gotten to so oppressive to those who do not follow their ancient customs of pagan worship, that we hear men, women, and children are crying out. The situation has become so hard for people that the people who have a chance to do anything are called to fight back and protect those who are weak.

I imagine and have seen documentaries on preIslam Arabia that shows ancient customs that did not make sense and benefited the rich, while being unfair to the poor class. When Islam came about, it was the first time that a slave could be seen as equal spiritually and in worth, to a king. These Mecca leaders did not like this new teaching, that threatened their old way of life they have grown comfortable with. They were used to having slaves,  having a ruling class of  men that hoarded women and gold saying it was from their gods. Pagan rites and rituals they did for their 300 gods and goddesses, that they made up or created that established caste systems. It was all too hard to give up when Muhammad started to give them the warnings.

These ten lines gives us a glimpse of the nature of Angels. They are not peaceful and gentle creatures at all times as sometimes is seen in angel worship. They are strong, and sometimes even fierce creatures.  In Christianity, it is said that Michael and the other archangels fought a war in heaven, against Lucifer’s (Iblis’s) followers. Those angels became the “fallen” as they were defeated by the angels and came down to earth as “demons”. Here we get an accurate description of how this angel is saying that it is sometimes a necessity to go to war even when humans do not like it. There is honor in these types of war, where the evil becomes so imbalanced that the only choice is to fight against it.

It is now time, where the muslims do not have a choice against those who will not stop until they are shown how great Muhammad’s army can be with the angels backing them.

Gabriel says this to Muhammad to tell the people that whatever good comes to people are blessings, but whatever bad is not from an “evil” God, it is from their own selves. It is cause and effect. Something they did, caused a negative reaction and it is time to take responsibility for it. These are the laws that God set for the universe and gives us the most freedom to create the life we wish within clear boundaries.

Muhammad is given clear boundaries to his duties at this point, he is told that he is being sent to humanity as a messenger only, not a watcher of their behavior or a judger. He only needs to give the warnings  to the transgressors, and good news to the good people. God watches and judges.

Islam is against all manmade caste systems

castesystem

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