Do Not Defend the Transgressors (4:107 – 4:115)

[4:107] Do not argue on behalf of those who have wronged their own souls; GOD does not love any betrayer, guilty.
[4:108] They hide from the people, and do not care to hide from GOD, though He is with them as they harbor ideas He dislikes. GOD is fully aware of everything they do.

You Do Not Help Them by Being “Nice”

[4:109] Here you are arguing on their behalf in this world; who is going to argue with GOD on their behalf on the Day of Resurrection? Who is going to be their advocate?
[4:110] Anyone who commits evil, or wrongs his soul, then implores GOD for forgiveness, will find GOD Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[4:111] Anyone who earns a sin, earns it to the detriment of his own soul. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.
[4:112] Anyone who earns a sin, then accuses an innocent person thereof, has committed a blasphemy and a gross offense.
[4:113] If it were not for GOD’s grace towards you, and His mercy, some of them would have misled you. They only mislead themselves, and they can never harm you in the least. GOD has sent down to you the scripture and wisdom, and He has taught you what you never knew. Indeed, GOD’s blessings upon you have been great.
[4:114] There is nothing good about their private conferences, except for those who advocate charity, or righteous works, or making peace among the people. Anyone who does this, in response to GOD’s teachings, we will grant him a great recompense.
[4:115] As for him who opposes the messenger, after the guidance has been pointed out to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, we will direct him in the direction he has chosen, and commit him to Hell; what a miserable destiny!

If you are debating a moral decision, imagine what you would do if your actions were to be on the front page of the news the next day. Would you be comfortable with your actions?

[11:5] Indeed, they hide their innermost thoughts, as if to keep Him from knowing them. In fact, as they cover themselves with their clothes, He knows all their secrets and declarations. He knows the innermost thoughts.

In the below example we see Abraham argued on behalf of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

[11:74] When Abraham’s fear subsided, and the good news was delivered to him, he proceeded to argue with us on behalf of Lot’s people.
[11:75] Indeed, Abraham was clement, extremely kind, and obedient.
[11:76] “O Abraham, refrain from this. Your Lord’s judgment has been issued; they have incurred unavoidable retribution.”

Is it wrong to be a public defendant? What does it mean to “not argue on behalf” of the transgressors?

As believers we don’t condone sinful behavior. At the same time it is our utmost responsibility to uphold the truth and maintain justice. The Quran consistently advocates being equitable and just, and tells us that God abhors the opposite. Therefore there should be no issue being someone’s defendant to make sure that they are being represented fairly and equitably. We don’t want to be in a situation where people are deemed “transgressors” and therefore lose the right to have legal representation under the law.

Also, there is a difference between someone who claims to be innocent and someone who is open not only in their stance on a item of discussion, but openly defends it. For instance people like Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins openly proclaim their disbelief and make it their business to disbelieve. It would be wrong on our part to argue on their behalf to support their stance. On the other hand someone who claims to be a believer and is deemed as a disbeliever by others can’t fall in the same camp as they may be misunderstood or misrepresented by others. If these are wrong then they would fall under hypocrites and God tells us not to divide ourselves regarding the hypocrites among us.

[4:94] O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, “You are not a believer,” seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do. 

How to Deal With the Hypocrites

[4:88] Why should you divide yourselves into two groups regarding hypocrites (among you)? GOD is the one who condemned them because of their own behavior. Do you want to guide those who are sent astray by GOD? Whomever GOD sends astray, you can never find a way to guide them. 

Northern California Innocence Project-Maurice Caldwell’s Story: Wrongfully Incarcerated for 20 years
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KfKTilAE9Q

Innocence Project of Florida: Unlock the Truth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoov5aNwn9U

Innocence Project – Chris Ochoa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xJlsxCGw9w

Jennifer Thompson & Ronald Cotton in the Picking Cotton: 60 Minutes Special
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2oDRfj0vME

Gross Sin

[24:23] Surely, those who falsely accuse married women who are pious believers have incurred condemnation in this life and in the Hereafter; they have incurred a horrendous retribution.

When we make a judgement we need to be absolutely sure. A perfect example of this is with David. Despite making the right judgement for all practical purposes David was so cautious that he still repented.

David’s Exemplary Piety

[38:24] He said, “He is being unfair to you by asking to combine your sheep with his. Most people who combine their properties treat each other unfairly, except those who believe and work righteousness, and these are so few.” Afterwards, David wondered if he made the right judgment. He thought that we were testing him. He then implored his Lord for forgiveness, bowed down, and repented.*

*38:24 In this clear example, 99 on one side vs 1 on the other side, David’s extreme care to render the correct judgment caused him to ask forgiveness. Are we this careful?

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Judging By Means of the Quran (4:104 – 4:106)

[4:104] Do not waver in pursuing the enemy. If you suffer, they also suffer. However, you expect from GOD what they never expect. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.
[4:105] We have sent down to you the scripture, truthfully, in order to judge among the people in accordance with what GOD has shown you. You shall not side with the betrayers.
[4:106] You shall implore GOD for forgiveness. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

Verse 4:105 shows us that we can judge as long as we judge by means of the Quran.

[38:26] O David, we have made you a ruler on earth. Therefore, you shall judge among the people equitably, and do not follow your personal opinion, lest it diverts you from the way of GOD. Surely, those who stray off the way of GOD incur severe retribution for forgetting the Day of Reckoning.

Republic vs. Democracy – What Is The Real Form of the U.S. Government
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdS6fyUIklI

“Without law there could be no freedom”

In God’s system the Rule of Law of the Quran reigns supreme. Meaning that even if the majority side one way if it contradicts the Quran then it is not permissible. No one is above the law.

[42:38] They respond to their Lord by observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Their affairs are decided after due consultation among themselves, and from our provisions to them they give (to charity).

Is voting prohibited?
No, if all parties are okay with the voting system then no one is victimized. Additionally no one’s power should ever be above the law and their responsibility of any authority they achieved through winning the vote makes them that much more responsible not to abuse their power and victimize others. They will need to be equitable in their actions.

Remember God Always – The Contact Prayers (4:103)

The Contact Prayers

[4:103] Once you complete your Contact Prayer (Salat), you shall remember GOD while standing, sitting, or lying down.* Once the war is over, you shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat); the Contact Prayers (Salat) are decreed for the believers at specific times
*4:103 Your god is whoever or whatever occupies your mind most of the day. In order to belong in God’s kingdom, and enjoy His grace and protection, the Quran exhorts us to remember God “always” (2:152 & 200, 3:191, 33:41-42). This profound fact explains the numerous verses asserting that “most” of those who believe in God are going to Hell (12:106, 23:84-89, 29:61-63, 31:25, 39:38, 43:87). See Footnote 3:191 and Appendix 27.

This verse shows that the Contact Prayers are designed for specific times and even under these sever circumstances the believers would still perform their Contact Prayer. If we could make up Contact Prayers then it wouldn’t be required to have people stand guard and it would have just said to make up the Contact Prayers when you are safe.

[70:34] They consistently observe their contact prayers (Salat) on time.

Is it wrong to ask God for material things?

No. We should implore God for everything we need or want. This shows our dependence on God for all our provisions. As we grow in belief we may begin to pray more thoughtful prayers such that as oppose to praying for material possessions that may disappoint us we would pray for things that will benefit us no matter what i.e. righteousness, guidance, etc.

[17:11] The human being often prays for something that may hurt him, thinking that he is praying for something good. The human being is impatient.

Supplication: A Form of Worship*

[40:60] Your Lord says, “Implore Me, and I will respond to you. Surely, those who are too arrogant to worship Me will enter Gehenna, forcibly.”
*40:60 Supplication, imploring God for anything, even material luxuries, is a form of worship. Hence the commandment to implore God whenever we have any need. An atheist will never implore God for anything.

[38:34] We thus put Solomon to the test; we blessed him with vast material wealth, but he steadfastly submitted.*
[38:35] He said, “My Lord, forgive me, and grant me a kingship never attained by anyone else. You are the Grantor.”
[38:36] We (answered his prayer and) committed the wind at his disposal, pouring rain wherever he wanted. 

God Answers the Prayers of “His Servants”

[2:186] When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided.

We don’t want to implore God only when we need provisions. We need to implore God all the time. If we don’t then we can turn unappreciative.

[29:65] When they ride on a ship, they implore GOD, devoting their prayers to Him. But as soon as He saves them to the shore, they revert to idolatry.

[31:32] When violent waves surround them, they implore GOD, sincerely devoting their prayers to Him alone. But as soon as He saves them to the shore, some of them revert. None discards our revelations except those who are betrayers, unappreciative.

Rebellious Humans

[10:21] When we bestow mercy upon the people, after adversity had afflicted them, they immediately scheme against our revelations! Say, “GOD’s scheming is far more effective. For our messengers are recording everything you scheme.”

[10:22] He is the One who moves you across the land and sea. You get onto the ships, and they sail smoothly in a nice breeze. Then, while rejoicing therein, violent wind blows, and the waves surround them from every side. This is when they implore GOD, sincerely devoting their prayers to Him alone: “If You only save us this time, we will be eternally appreciative.”

[10:23] But as soon as He saves them, they transgress on earth, and oppose the truth. O people, your transgression is only to the detriment of your own souls. You remain preoccupied with this worldly life, then to us is your ultimate return, then we inform you of everything you had done.

In the following verse we see that even though two people go to Hajj, one person implores God for things of this world, while others ask for righteousness. The choice is ours what we want to implore God for. This is more of a reason why it is important to not rush into doing Hajj until we have grown and developed our souls.

[2:200] Once you complete your rites, you shall continue to commemorate GOD as you commemorate your own parents, or even better. Some people would say, “Our Lord, give us of this world,” while having no share in the Hereafter.

[2:201] Others would say, “Our Lord, grant us righteousness in this world, and righteousness in the Hereafter, and spare us the retribution of Hell.”

War Precautions (4:102)

War Precautions

[4:102] When you are with them, and lead the Contact Prayer (Salat) for them, let some of you stand guard; let them hold their weapons, and let them stand behind you as you prostrate. Then, let the other group that has not prayed take their turn praying with you, while the others stand guard and hold their weapons. Those who disbelieved wish to see you neglect your weapons and your equipment, in order to attack you once and for all. You commit no error, if you are hampered by rain or injury, by putting down your weapons, so long as you remain alert. GOD has prepared for the disbelievers a shameful retribution.

This verse shows that it is part of God’s system to have to go through the actions. We shouldn’t think that since God is doing everything it requires no effort from our part. God is doer of everything and God designed a system where we need to carry out our part of the covenant.

We are only an instrument placed in this world to show our faith. Part of the system is that we implore God for anything we want or need and God answers the prayer. This is God’s system.

God Is Doing Everything*

[8:17] It was not you who killed them; GOD is the One who killed them. It was not you who threw when you threw; GOD is the One who threw. But He thus gives the believers a chance to earn a lot of credit. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

[36:47] When they are told, “Give from GOD’s provisions to you,” those who disbelieve say to those who believe, “Why should we give to those whom GOD could feed, if He so willed? You are really far astray.”

[4:77] Have you noted those who were told, “You do not have to fight; all you need to do is observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat),” then, when fighting was decreed for them, they feared the people as much as they feared GOD, or even more? They said, “Our Lord, why did You force this fighting on us? If only You respite us for awhile!” Say, “The materials of this world are nil, while the Hereafter is far better for the righteous, and you never suffer the slightest injustice.”

 

Apathy Condemned 4:97 – 4:101

Apathy Condemned

[4:97] Those whose lives are terminated by the angels, while in a state of wronging their souls, the angels will ask them, “What was the matter with you?” They will say, “We were oppressed on earth.” They will say, “Was GOD’s earth not spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?” For these, the final abode is Hell, and a miserable destiny.
[4:98] Exempted are the weak men, women, and children who do not possess the strength, nor the means to find a way out.
[4:99] These may be pardoned by GOD. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiver.
[4:100] Anyone who emigrates in the cause of GOD will find on earth great bounties and richness. Anyone who gives up his home, emigrating to GOD and His messenger, then death catches up with him, his recompense is reserved with GOD. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[4:101] When you travel, during war, you commit no error by shortening your Contact Prayers (Salat), if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you. Surely, the disbelievers are your ardent enemies.

Usually when people think of apathy they think of how the unaffected party react to a situation that takes place to others, but in this verse it is about the responsibility of the affected. When we are apathetic to our situation we can fall into a victim mentality. This can cause us to absolve ourselves from any personal responsibility in the situation as the situation is “out side of our control.”

[65:2] Anyone who reverences GOD, He will create an exit for him.

Victim Mentality
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on the Victim Mentality
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p_fCXCa98s

Victim Mentality – Therapy – Working it Out Together
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFbci3kzXy4

Niromi de Soyza on ways of overcoming a victim mentality
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C75zpN1Ttcg

Personal Responsibility
Personal Responsibility – We Are Not Victims – The Empowered Human: 360 Senses!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij1ccXFmglY

 

Oprah on Taking Responsibility for Your Life – Oprah’s Lifeclass – Oprah Winfrey Network
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp_cmLfJZ1w

Learned Helplessness
Personal control (locus of control, learned helplessness, and the tyranny of choice)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx1dnPMPhl0

Learned Helplessness
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMPzDiraNnA

 

John Chapter 5:1 – 9
5 After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in [a]Hebrew [b]Bethesda, having five porticoes. 3 In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [[c]waiting for the moving of the waters; 4 for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.] 5 A man was there who had been [d]ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He *said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus *said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” 9 Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.

Overcoming hopelessness | Nick Vujicic | TEDxNoviSad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P2nPI6CTlc

Higher Ranks for the Strivers (4:95 – 4:96)

Higher Ranks for the Strivers

[4:95] Not equal are the sedentary among the believers who are not handicapped, and those who strive in the cause of GOD with their money and their lives. GOD exalts the strivers with their money and their lives above the sedentary. For both, GOD promises salvation, but GOD exalts the strivers over the sedentary with a great recompense.
[4:96] The higher ranks come from Him, as well as forgiveness and mercy. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful. 

Striving Habeeb

“Keep striving, for God gives his hardest battles to His strongest soldiers.” – Habeeb Akande

Who Is Doing Whom A Favor?

[49:17] They act as if they are doing you a favor by embracing Submission! Say, “You are not doing me any favors by embracing Submission. GOD is the One who is doing you a great favor by guiding you to the faith, if you are sincere.”

You Shall Not Kill (4:92 – 4:94)

You Shall Not Kill

[4:92] No believer shall kill another believer, unless it is an accident. If one kills a believer by accident, he shall atone by freeing a believing slave, and paying a compensation to the victim’s family, unless they forfeit such a compensation as a charity. If the victim belonged to people who are at war with you, though he was a believer, you shall atone by freeing a believing slave. If he belonged to people with whom you have signed a peace treaty, you shall pay the compensation in addition to freeing a believing slave. If you cannot find* a slave to free, you shall atone by fasting two consecutive months, in order to be redeemed by GOD. GOD is Knower, Most Wise.
*4:92 Since slavery does not exist, the offender must atone by fasting two consecutive months. 

An Unforgivable Offense

[4:93] Anyone who kills a believer on purpose, his retribution is Hell, wherein he abides forever, GOD is angry with him, and condemns him, and has prepared for him a terrible retribution.
[4:94] O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, “You are not a believer,” seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

What is the criterion to determine if someone is a believer?
2:62 / 5:69

Unity of All Submitters

[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

As believers we should give people the benefit of the doubt that people are believers unless they confess otherwise.

It is interesting that in verse 94 God is reminding us that “we used to be like them” That there was a time when we were on the wrong path and by God’s grace He saved us and guided us. There is a term called the curse of knowledge. When we know something we forget what it was like when we didn’t know the information.

The Curse of Knowledge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPAryjQs-Pw

It is easy to read the verses in the Quran and think how this applies to other people, but we should always think how these verses could apply to ourselves and see how we can fix ourselves to do better.

[2:44] Do you exhort the people to be righteous, while forgetting yourselves, though you read the scripture? Do you not understand?
[2:45] You shall seek help through steadfastness and the Contact Prayers (Salat). This is difficult indeed, but not so for the reverent,