In 4:26 it states that "Allah explains and guides you in the traditions of those believers who came before you, and to forgive you" Allah is the Knower, the Wise.

  • could someone please explain what is meant by "believers who came before you"?

1 Answer 1


Asalaam Alaikum

to really understand the context and concept of a verse in quran, sometimes we have to read more than just the verse. as quran is the best interpreter of quran, the preceding verses or the verses that follow will explain it more. other times it's the whole surah that gives us the understanding, thats the miracle of quran.


to understand this verse, let us look at the surah from the beginning. from the very first verse in surah An-Nisa we come across command after command from Allah azzawajjal. topics ranging from the rights of orphans, marriage, inheritance and adultery. so much intricate instructions and details regarding such complex matters in life are mentioned in just a space of a few verses.

and right after mentioning all these instructions and commands, Allah azzawajjal mentions the purpose of these instructions ;

Allah wants to make clear to you [the lawful from the unlawful] and guide you to the [good] practices of those before you and to accept your repentance. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. [4:26] (sahih international)

another translation of the verse;

Allah wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is unlawful) to you, and to show you the ways of those before you, and accept your repentance, and Allah is All­Knower, All­Wise. [4:26] (mohsin khan)

( the reason why i have mentioned two translations of the verse is because i have not come across any translation that says 'believers who came before you', as that word believers is not there in the verse, the arabic word used in the verse is translated to english as before you(qablikum 4:26:9) but this verse is obviously referring to believers who came before us because Allah azzawajjal wants to guide/show us their way )

we can see that Allah azzawajjal is showing us the ways of those who came before us and guiding us in the ways of those who came before us. in this life we want to follow those who are better than us. therefore, in deen we study the ways of the prophets 'alayhim salaam and their righteous companions. it is a favor of Allah azzawajjal upon us that He wants to guide us to that which is the best, by showing us the ways of the righteous and telling us what He is pleased with. not only does He want to guide us but He is also willing to accept our repentance if we repent.


  • it is mentioned in the tafsir of ibn kathir ;

(And to show you the ways of those before you,) meaning their righteous ways and how to adhere to the commandments that He likes and is pleased with.

  • from tafsir al-jalalayn ;

God desires to make clear to you, the laws of your religion and what is in your best interests, and to guide you in the ways, the paths, of those, prophets, before you, in the way of what is lawful and what is unlawful, so that you might follow them, and to turn [in forgiveness] towards you, bringing you back from the disobedience which you practiced, to obedience to Him; God is Knowing, of you, Wise, in what He has ordained for you.

  • from tafsir of maududi ;

Allah desires to make clear to you and guide you to the ways that were followed by the righteous people before you, and to turn to you mercifully; for He is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

for furthure clarity it is eloborated in tafsir of maududi regarding the way/practices of those who came before us,

The "way" refer to all those instructions that have been given from the beginning of the Surah to this point, and to those already given in Al-Baqarah about cultural and social problems. Allah is telling the believers that it is His bounty that He is taking them out of the ways of "ignorance" and guiding them to the moral ways of good people, that have always been followed by the Prophets of every age and their pious followers.

(note: the arabic word sunan(4:26:6) used in the verse is translated as '(to)ways' in english.)


from this we can understand that the phrase those before you in this verse is referring to the people who obeyed Allah azzawajjal to their best of ability. prophets (A.S), the righty guided caliphs (R.A), the companions (R.A), the best two generations and basically all the righteous men and women whom with all sincerity followed Allah azzawajjal's instructions and the commands.

may Allah the mighty and sublime grant us mercy and guide us to the straight path.

Allah knows best

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