Sūrat al-Nisā’

Sūrah No. 4. Revealed in Madīnah, 176 verses.

It is the second longest Sūrah of the Quran, after al-Baqarah. It has many verses about the rights and rulings for women and thus has been named Nisaa.

Chronologically, Sūrat al-Nisā is the 92nd Sūrah to be revealed.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

The Prophet a has said: One recites Sūrat al-Nisā, it would be as if he gave charity as much as the heritages of all believers, and he will be given the reward equivalent to that of someone who freed a slave and will be pure from polytheism, and in God’s providence, he will be one of those who are forgiven by God.

Note: All these great rewards are for those who God consciously abide by the rules and message of the Sūrah.

Imam Ali (a) has said that one who recites this Sūrah on Fridays will be protected from pressure in the grave.

Note: The protection would be a result of having understood and followed the message of the Sūrah.

General synopsis of contents

1) Rights of others. (vv. 1-10)

2) Laws of inheritance (vv. 11-14)

3) Laws regarding marriage, women and other issues (vv. 15-36)

4) Hypocrisy in giving charity (vv. 37-42)

5) Intoxication at the time of prayer and rule of tayammum (verse 43)

6) Enemies of the Muslim society (vv. 44-56)

7) Obedience to Allah and His Messenger (vv. 57-81)

8) Rules for dealing with different groups in society (vv. 82-96)

9) Migration in the way of Allah (vv. 97-100)

10) Prayers while traveling and in battle (vv. 101-103)

11) Justice and obedience (vv. 104-135)

12) Disbelievers and hypocrites (vv. 136-152)

13) The people of the Book (vv. 153-162)

14) Revelation to Prophets (vv. 163-172)

15) Reward for believers (vv. 173-175)

16) Laws of inheritance (v. 176)

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) 4:1 – O mankind! Be wary of your Lord who created you from a single soul, and created its mate from it, and from the two of them scattered numerous men and women.

2) 4:17 – [Acceptance of] repentance by Allah is only for those who commit evil out of ignorance and then repent promptly. It is such whose repentance Allah will accept, and Allah is all-knowing, all- wise.

3) 4:28 – Allah desires to lighten your burden, for man was created weak

4) 4:69 – Whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle—they are with those whom Allah has blessed, including the prophets and the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous, and excellent companions are they!

5) 4:78 – Wherever you may be death will overtake you, even if you were in fortified towers.

6) 4:82 – Do they not contemplate the Quran? Had it been from other than Allah, they would have surely found much discrepancy in it.

7) 4:111 – Whoever commits a sin, commits it only against himself; and Allah is all-knowing, all-wise.

8) 4:139 – Do they seek honour with them? Indeed, all honour belongs to Allah.

9) 4:170 – O mankind! The Apostle has certainly brought you the truth from your Lord. So have faith! That is better for you.

10) 4:174 – O mankind! Certainly, a proof has come to you from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a manifest light.

Activities for self-study

1) For some understandings of the verses of this Sūrah check;


2) Verse 59 of this Sūrah is the verse of Ulil Amr – those vested with authority. It is one of the verses of Quran that are strong proofs of the Wilayah of the Imams. See: https://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/fa1817/tmpl/component/printme/1

3) Verse 86 teaches us an important principle in our relations with others. When others greet us, or do good to us, we should return in like, or better than what they did for us. This is not to outdo them but as appreciation of their initiating the good. For a discussion of this check https://academyofislam.com/reflection-no-327-on-q-486-greeting-each-other/

4) What does verse 140 tell us about the importance of good company? Outline some of the steps you can take when the group you are sitting with starts mocking God’s religion.

5) List the qualities of the hypocrites described in verses 142-143.