Friday, March 13, 2009


Salaam all,

This is 4:114
لاَّ خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ إِلاَّ مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلاَحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ ابْتَغَاء مَرْضَاتِ اللّهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
La khayra fee katheerin min najwahum illa man amara bisadaqatin aw maAAroofin aw islahin bayna alnnasi waman yafAAal thalika ibtighaa mardati Allahi fasawfa nuteehi ajran AAatheeman

The Aya says:
No good in much of their secret dealings if not who orders by charity or recognized acts of goodness or reconciliation between the people. And whoever does that pursuing Allah’s loving acceptance, then We shall bring him a great reward.

My personal note:
In a sense the aya casts a shadow of skepticism on secret dealings between people unless they were in the direction of charity, reconciliation and recognized acts of goodness. This last one is really important in a sense. MAAaROOF is something that is agreed upon as being good. So, someone cannot say, if it is good in my view only, then it is legitimate. He or she will need the agreement of many others.

The other issue in this Aya is that it suggests that those actions do good for humanity in general and humans that do them will be rewarded by them in this life. However, in the case of those who do them seeking Allah’s loving acceptance, then the reward is always bigger and encompasses this life and the next.

The scholars of the past mentioned that for the action to be accepted by God it has to be khalisan Sawaban= pure and correct. The action is pure when it is done for God only and correct, when it is done as properly as could be.

Translation of the transliterated words:

La: no
Khayra: good
Note: the root is KH-Y-R and it means choice. It is also understood as good or as better, because one would chose the good over the bad. KHAYRA means: good or choice with the understanding that one should chose what is good.
Fee: in
Katheerin: much
Note: the root is K-TH-R and it means many or numerous in all the planes of thought. KATHEERIN means: numerous or many or a lot. In here, it fits much.
Min: of/ from
Najwahum: their secret dealings
Note: The root is N-J-W and it means to come out of a tight situation or place or otherwise according to the situation. It is used to mean saving from a bad place but it can mean other things according to the context. One of the derivatives of the word is NAJWA which means the thing that people keep tightly held and that is their secret. NAJWA here means secret dealings of. HUM means them
Illa: if not/ except
Man: who
Amara: ordered/ implemented
Note: The root is Hamza-M-R and it means ordering something and the implementation of it. Sometimes it attains the implementation part or matter as in personal matter and so forth, and at times it is the order and implementation of the order, depending on the situation in the sentence. AMARA is an action that is completed. It means: the action of ordering or ordering to implement or implementing the object (bisadaqatin= by charity) happened by the subject (third person singular or plural)
Bisadaqatin: by charity/ with charity
Note: Bi denotes that what comes after is a tool and/or an object or an association with an action that was mentioned. If it is an object of the action then it makes it stronger. SADAQATIN is derived from the root Sad-D-Qaf and it means truth in word or deed. When it is in deed, it takes the shape of charity as the act of truthfulness or that charity is considered giving what truly belongs to the ones who receive it. SADAQTIN means charity.
Aw: or
maAAroofin: recognized act of goodness
Note: MaAAROOF is derived from the root Ain-R-F and it means the elevated place that will be known or recognized from a distance. MaAAROOF is what is recognized. This is also used to mean what is good or recognized as being good or appropriate. MaAAROOFIN means recognized as good.
Aw: or
Islahin: reconciliation/ mending
Note: the root is Sad-L-Ha and it means becoming helpful or useful in a good direction. This means mainly: becoming one of benefit as in benefiting oneself and others. Included in this meaning is becoming fixed after having been broken. ISLAHIN means making fruitfulness and in this context, reconciliation/ fixing what was broken or fissured.
Bayna: between
Alnnasi: the people/ society
Note: ALNNAS is derived from the root Hamza-N-S and it means socializing. ALNNAS are the society/the people.
Waman: and whoever
yafAAal: does
Note: the root is F-Ain-L and it means doing. YAfaAAL is an action that is being completed or will be completed that is derived from the root. It means: the action of doing is happening or will be happening by the subject (third person singular).
Thalika: that
Note: this points to the issues mentioned in the previous Aya. They are the killing of one’s selves or each other, as well as the eating of each other in illegal ways.
Ibtighaa: seeking/ pursuing
Note: the root is B-GH-Y and it means the young unripe fruit and the young animal. This is some of the concrete meaning. It does attain the meaning of something to aspire to or pursue, as well as something bad or immature. Both may share that youth aspires to mature, and youth is associated with immaturity and foolish actions. IBTIGHAA means the desiring/aspiring/ pursuing for one self or the seeking for oneself.

Mardati: loving acceptance/ approval
Note: the root is R-Dhad-Y and it means loving acceptance, or agreeing and loving at the same time or mainly approval since approval has the meaning of acceptance in a deeper sense. MARDATI means loving acceptance of or approval of.
Allahi: Allah
Fasawfa: then shall
Note: SAWFA means that the action that comes after is in the future.
Nuteehi: give him/ make come to him/ bring to him
Note: the root is Hamza-T-Y and it means in concrete the water that comes from the rain of another land. In concrete it means the coming of something or someone with many of it’s implications. NUTEEHI is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of making come of an object (AJRAN= reward) to another object (HI=him) is happening or will be happening by the subject (third person plural).

Ajran: Compensation/reward
Note: the root is Hamza-J-R and it means compensation for work done. AJRAN means compensation of work or just compensation or reward.
AAatheeman: great
Note: the root is Ain-TH-M and it means great/hard/strong. The concrete word is AAaTHM and that is the bones or the hard/strong/firm core of things. AAaTHEEM means great.

Salaam all and have a great day.



sa said...

Assalamu alaikum Brother,

Masha'Allah, very well explained.

Do you think that the meaning of this ayah could be extended to include situations when people start conversations in their own language in total disregard of the fact, or on purpose, to exclude people who do not understand what they are saying? From what I 've observed, cultural divide is a big problem plaguing our community.

Best Regards

hussein said...

Salaam Alaikum sister,

This is a very good point and speaking in front of others while excluding them through either speaking in hush tones or the use of a different language can fall within that. People often do that unconsciously and may need a reminder every now and then.

I am glad you asked this question because I need to address another Aya 4:83 which looked skeptically at the people who announce things and let them be known actively. One may ask: is there contradiction between the two ayat 4:114 and 4:83? I would say no, there is a balance. This is because matters between people are divided into:

Secret which is covered in 4:114
not secret
Actively announced. which is covered in 4:83

So something being kept as non secret does not have to mean that it is or should be actively announced. The other point is that 4:83 does not necessarily ban announcing something all the way. It asks for studying the matter with people who have more knowldege and understanding before going out and announcing it.

I hope this helps and take care sister.