“No good is there in most of their secret counsels except for him...” (An-Nisā’ 4:114)

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Sūratu’n-Nisā’ (Women)

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لَّا خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَاحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

No good is there in most of their secret counsels except for him who exhorts to a deed of charity, or kind equitable dealings and honest affairs, or setting things right between people. Whoever does that seeking God’s good pleasure, We will grant to him a tremendous reward. (An-Nisā’ 4:114)

This verse contains important messages concerning service to the Religion. Especially at times when serving the Religion is utterly difficult and involves great patience and resistance against hardships and tribulations like the initial years of Islam and the present age, this duty has usually been fulfilled secretly and with secret counsels. The Qur’ān calls this kind of acting “behaving with utmost care and guarded courtesy” (Al-Kahf 18:19), while ‘Ali, the fourth Caliph, describes the prudent development of Islamic service “secret enlightenment.” The verse under discussion concludes with the glad tidings that those who render this service will be granted “a tremendous reward.” Without specifying what the reward will be, God Almighty encourages us to serving Islam more enthusiastically. It is similar to the expression in the hadīth qudsī concerning the fast: “Every good deed will be rewarded from ten to seven hundred times, except fasting. Fasting is for Me, so I will (determine and) give its reward (without measure).”[1]

Secret deceits, conspiracies, and intrigues of evil and dark elements against the people of faith stem from such a virulent wickedness that even these evildoers cannot reap any benefit from their evil schemes. However, plans and intentions to do deeds of charity (a manifestation of loyalty to God); projects and strategies to do and encourage kind, equitable dealings, and honest affairs; and the efforts to set things right between people are not like the others. Whoever does these good acts for the sake of God gets their reward in the Hereafter. Furthermore, because they have to behave with utmost care and vigilance due to the inconvenience of the times and conditions, their reward will be tremendous.

Various organizations can be founded in order to support these three beneficial acts mentioned for the sake of God. It is necessary to show great care and attention to preserve their confidentiality and sacredness. The necessary consultations are held within a definite framework, and the meetings of consultation can be inaccessible to ill-intended outsiders. It is a Prophetic manner to facilitate the realization of plans and intentions concerning the community and therefore protecting the rights and good of the public by keeping it secret.

Conversely, believers have to keep away from such gatherings which do not serve a common good, but are wasted in gossip, backbiting and in particular, from those underhanded assemblies.

[1] Bukhārī, Sawm, 2, 9; Libas, 78; Tawhīd, 35, 50; Muslim, Siyām, 161, 163–165; Tirmidhī, Siyām, 54; Nasāī, Siyām, 41–42; Sunan Ibn Mājah, Adab, 58; Siyām, 1.