Surah At-Taghabun 64:16

Verses and Translation

فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ وَٱسۡمَعُواْ وَأَطِيعُواْ وَأَنفِقُواْ خَيۡرً۬ا لِّأَنفُسِڪُمۡ‌ۗ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفۡسِهِۦ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ (١٦)

“So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey and spend [in the way of Allah]; it is better for your selves. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.”



(So have Taqwa of Allah as much as you can) meaning, as much as you are able and can bear or endure. The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِأَمْرٍ فَائْتُوا مِنْهُ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ، وَمَا نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْهُ فَاجْتَنِبُوه
“When I command you to do something, do as much as you can of it, and whatever I forbid for you, then avoid it

Allah’s statement,
وَٱسۡمَعُواْ وَأَطِيعُواْ

(listen and obey) means, obey what Allah and His Messenger command you to do and do not stray from it to the right or left. Do not utter a statement or make a decision before Allah and His Messenger issue a statement or decision. Do not ignore what you were ordered to do, nor commit what you were forbidden from doing.

وَأَنفِقُواْ خَيۡرً۬ا لِّأَنفُسِڪُمۡ‌ۗ

(and spend in charity; that is better for yourselves.) meaning, give from what Allah has granted you to your relatives, the poor, the needy and the weak. Be kind to Allah’s creatures, just as Allah was and still is kind with you. This will be better for you in this life and the Hereafter. Otherwise, if you do not do it, it will be worse for you in this life and the Hereafter.

وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفۡسِهِۦ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ

(And whosoever is saved from his own greed, then they are the successful ones.) This is explained with a similar ayah in Surat Al-Hashr. [Ibn Kathir]

Each individual must ask himself at the end of the day if he honestly felt he exercised taqwa (God-consciousness, fear) of Allah as much as he truly is capable of, or whether he could have performed better.

Avoiding stinginess of the soul includes avoiding ill feelings towards others and wishing bad for them. Rather, forgiveness and wishing well even towards those who hurt and disobey your authority are noble qualities to nurture.

After Allah mentions in the previous ayaat about forgiving one’s spouse, that in some spouses and children there can be an enemy for us, and that our wealth and children are a huge trial for us, He mentions in this ayah that we need to be cautious of Him as much as we are able When we look at our spouses we see the physical person in front of us but Allah wants us to see His expectations in front of us and this will be a manifestation of our Taqwa [God consciousness].

Our behaviour towards our spouses is being graded by Allah. Also, in this ayah, Allah is telling us that self absorption can lead to the destruction of one’s marriage. When everything is “I” and “Me” etc., then this can create massive problems in the home. [NAK]

At another place in the Qur’an it has been said: “Fear Allah as He should actually be feared.” [Quran; 3:102]

At still another place, “Allah does not burden any one with a responsibility heavier than he can bear.” [Quran 2:286]

And here, “Fear Allah as much as you can.”

When these three verses are read together it appears that the first verse sets an ideal which every believer should try to attain. The second verse lays down the principle that no one has been required to exert himself beyond his power and ability, for in Allah’s religion one has been made responsible only for what is within one’s power and ability. This verse enjoins every believer to try to attain piety and consciousness of God as far as he can. He should carry out Allah’s commands and avoid disobedience as best as he possibly can. For if he shows laxity in this regard, he will not be able to escape punishment. However, one will not be held accountable for what was beyond one’s power (and Allah alone can decide best what was really beyond a person’s power and ability).


Foundational Attributes

piety, charity