Quran Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English)

Alama Imad ud Din Ibn Kathir

Tafsir ibn Kathir, is a classic Sunni Islam Tafsir (commentary of the Qur'an) by Imad ud Din Ibn Kathir. It is considered to be a summary of the earlier Tafsir al-Tabari. It is popular because it uses Hadith to explain each verse and chapter of the Qur'an…'Imad Ad-Din, Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir, was born in 1301 in Busra, Syria  and was taught by Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Mizzi, Ibn Al Firkah, ‘Isa bin Al-Mutim, Ahmed bin Abi-Talib, Ibn Al-Hajjar, Baha Ad-Din Al-Qasim bin Muzaffar bin ‘Asakir, Ibn Ash-Shirazi, Ishaq bin Yahya Al-Ammuddi, Zahriyyah Shaykh, and Muhammad bin Zarrad.

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Revelation of Mystery

(Kashf Al Mahjub)

Ali Hujwiri

Translated by

Lt Col (R) Muhammad Ashraf Javed

 

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Surah An Nisa

Recitation: Sa'ad Al Ghamdi

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Gulistan Saadi

(Rose Garden of Saadi)  

Muslih-uddin Sa’di Shirazi

Virtues of Surah An-Nisa’

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said that;

Surah An-Nisa' was revealed in Al-Madinah.

Ibn Marduwyah recorded similar statements from Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr and Zayd bin Thabit.

In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"There are five Ayat in Surah An-Nisa' that I would prefer to the life of this world and all that is in it,

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ

Surely, Allah wrongs not even the weight of an atom. (4:40),

إِن تَجْتَنِبُواْ كَبَآئِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ

If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do. (4:31)

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاء

Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills. (4:48)

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ

If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you. (4:64)

and,

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

And whoever does evil or wrongs himself, but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (4:110)''

Al-Hakim recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"Ask me about Surah An-Nisa', for I learned the Qur'an when I was still young.''

Al-Hakim said,

"This Hadith is Sahih according to the criteria of the Two Sahihs, and they did not collect it.''

 

 

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيراً وَنِسَآءً

4:1 O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his mate, and from them both He created many men and women,

وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ الَّذِى تَسَآءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالاٌّرْحَامَ

and have Taqwa of Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and revere the wombs.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيباً

Surely, Allah is always watching over you.

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 The Command to have Taqwa, a Reminder about Creation, and Being Kind to Relatives

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ ... 

O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person,

Allah commands His creatures to have Taqwa of Him by worshipping Him Alone without partners.

He also reminds to them of His ability, in that He created them all from a single person, Adam, peace be unto him.

... وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا ...

And from him He created his wife,

Hawwa' (Eve), who was created from Adam's left rib, from his back while he was sleeping. When Adam woke up and saw Hawwa', he liked her and had affection for her, and she felt the same toward him.

An authentic Hadith states,

إِنَّ الْمَرْأَةَ خُلِقَتْ مِنْنِضلَعٍ، وَإِنَّ أَعْوَجَ شَيْءٍ فِي الضِّلَعِ أَعْلَاهُ، فَإِنْ ذَهَبْتَ تُقِيمُهُ كَسَرْتَهُ، وَإِنِ اسْتَمْتَعْتَ بِهَا اسْتَمْتَعْتَ بِهَا وَفِيهَا عِوَج

Woman was created from a rib. Verily, the most curved portion of the rib is its upper part, so, if you should try to straighten it, you will break it, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked.

Allah's statement,

... وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء ...

And from them both He created many men and women;

means, Allah created from Adam and Hawwa' many men and women and distributed them throughout the world in various shapes, characteristics, colors and languages. In the end, their gathering and return will be to Allah.

Allah then said,

... وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ ...

And have Taqwa of Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and revere the wombs,

protect yourself from Allah by your acts of obedience to Him.

Allah's statement, الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ (through Whom you demand your mutual (rights)),

According to Ibrahim, Mujahid and Al-Hasan,

is in reference to when some people say, "I ask you by Allah, and then by the relation of the Rahim (the womb, i.e. my relationship to you).''

Ad-Dahhak said;

"Fear Allah Whom you invoke when you conduct transactions and contracts.''

Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi, and others have stated,

"And revere the womb by not cutting the relations of the womb, but keep and honor them.

Allah's statement,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا ﴿١﴾

Surely, Allah is always watching over you.

means, He watches all your deeds and sees your every circumstance.

In another Ayah, Allah said;

وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

And Allah is Witness over all things. (58:6)

An authentic Hadith states,

اعْبُدِاللهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ،فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاك

Worship Allah as if you see Him, for even though you cannot see Him, He sees you.

This part of the Ayah encourages having a sense of certainty that Allah is always watching, in a complete and perfect manner.

Allah mentioned that He has created mankind from a single father and a single mother, so that they feel compassion for each other and are kind to the weaker among them.

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Jarir bin Abdullah Al-Bajali said that;

a delegation from Mudar came to the Messenger of Allah, and he saw their state, wearing striped woolen clothes due to poverty. After the Zuhr prayer, the Messenger of Allah stood up and gave a speech in which he recited, يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ  (O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person), until the end of the Ayah. He also recited, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ  (O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the tomorrow). (59:18)

He also encouraged them to give charity, saying,

تَصَدَّقَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ دِينَارِهِ، مِنْ دِرْهَمِهِ، مِنْ صَاعِ بُرِّهِ، مِنْ صَاعِ تَمْرِه

A man gave Sadaqah from his Dinar, from his Dirham, from his Sa` of wheat, from his Sa` of dates... until the end of the Hadith.

This narration was also collected by Ahmad and the Sunan compilers from Ibn Mas`ud.

 

 

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وَءَاتُواْ الْيَتَـمَى أَمْوَلَهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَبَدَّلُواْ الْخَبِيثَ بِالطَّيِّبِ وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَلِكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوباً كَبِيراً

4:2 And give unto orphans their property and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by adding it) to your substance. Surely, this is a great sin.

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِى الْيَتَـمَى فَانكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ مَثْنَى وَثُلَـثَ وَرُبَاعَ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ فَوَحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ ذلِكَ أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُواْ

4:3 And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (the captives and the servants) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from Ta`ulu.

وَءَاتُواْ النِّسَآءَ صَدُقَـتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَىْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْساً فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئاً مَّرِيئاً

4:4 And give to the women (whom you marry) their Saduqat (or dowry) Nihlah (with a good heart), but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm.

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 Protecting the Property of the Orphans

Allah says;

وَآتُواْ الْيَتَامَى أَمْوَالَهُمْ ... 

And give unto orphans their property

Allah commands that the property of the orphans be surrendered to them in full when they reach the age of adolescence, and He forbids using or confiscating any part of it.

So He said;

... وَلاَ تَتَبَدَّلُواْ الْخَبِيثَ بِالطَّيِّبِ ...

and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones;

Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib and Az-Zuhri commented,

"Do not substitute a weak animal of yours for a fat animal (of the orphans).''

Ibrahim An-Nakhai and Ad-Dahhak commented,

"Do not give something of bad quality for something of good quality.''

As-Suddi said,

"One of them (caretakers of orphans) would take a fat sheep from the orphan's property and put in its place, a weak sheep of his, saying, `A sheep for a sheep.' He would also take a good Dirham and exchange it for a fake Dirham, saying, `A Dirham for a Dirham.'''

Allah's statement,

... وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَالِكُمْ ...

and devour not their substance to your substance.

Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi and Sufyan bin Hassin stated,

means, do not mix them together so that you eat up both.

Allah said,

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوبًا كَبِيرًا ﴿٢﴾

Surely, this is a great sin. 

According to Ibn Abbas,

a major and substantial sin.

This was also reported from Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Malik, Zayd bin Aslam and Abu Sinan.

The meaning above is:

adding their property to your property is a grave sin and a major mistake, so avoid it.

 The Prohibition of Marrying Female Orphans Without Giving a Dowry

Allah said,

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِي الْيَتَامَى فَانكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاء...

And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice,

Allah commands, when one of you is the caretaker of a female orphan and he fears that he might not give her a dowry that is suitable for women of her status, he should marry other women, who are plenty as Allah has not restricted him.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Aishah said,

"A man was taking care of a female orphan and he married her, although he did not desire to marry her. That girl's money was mixed with his, and he was keeping her portion from her. Afterwards, this Ayah was revealed about his case;

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ ...

If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly...''

Al-Bukhari recorded that Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said that;

he asked Aishah about the meaning of the statement of Allah, وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِي الْيَتَامَى (If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls).

She said, "O my nephew! This is about the orphan girl who lives with her guardian and shares his property. Her wealth and beauty may tempt him to marry her without giving her an adequate dowry which might have been given by another suitor. So, such guardians were forbidden to marry such orphan girls unless they treated them justly and gave them the most suitable dowry; otherwise they were ordered to marry woman besides them.''

Aishah further said,

"After that verse, the people again asked the Messenger of Allah (about marriage with orphan girls), so Allah revealed the Ayah, وَيَسْتَفْتُونَكَ فِي النِّسَاء (They ask your instruction concerning the women..)." (4:127)

She said,

"Allah's statement in this Ayah, وَتَرْغَبُونَ أَن تَنكِحُوهُنَّ  (yet whom you desire to marry) (4:127) refers to the guardian who does not desire to marry an orphan girl under his supervision because she is neither wealthy nor beautiful. The guardians were forbidden to marry their orphan girls possessing property and beauty without being just to them, as they generally refrain from marrying them (when they are neither beautiful nor wealthy).''

 The Permission to Marry Four Women

Allah's statement,

... مَثْنَى وَثُلاَثَ وَرُبَاعَ ...

two or three, or four,

means, marry as many women as you like, other than the orphan girls, two, three or four.

We should mention that Allah's statement in another Ayah, جَاعِلِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ رُسُلًا أُولِي أَجْنِحَةٍ مَّثْنَى وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ  (Who made the angels messengers with wings, - two or three or four), (35:1), does not mean that other angels do not have more than four wings, as there are proofs that some angels do have more wings. Yet, men are prohibited from marrying more than four wives, as the Ayah decrees, since the Ayah specifies what men are allowed of wives, as Ibn Abbas and the majority of scholars stated. If it were allowed for them to have more than four wives, the Ayah would have mentioned it.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Salim said that his father said that;

Ghilan bin Salamah Ath-Thaqafi had ten wives when he became Muslim, and the Prophet said to him, "Choose any four of them (and divorce the rest).''

During the reign of Umar, Ghilan divorced his remaining wives and divided his money between his children.

When Umar heard news of this, he said to Ghilan, "I think that the devil has conveyed to your heart the news of your imminent death, from what the devil hears during his eavesdropping. It may as well be that you will not remain alive but for a little longer. By Allah! You will take back your wives and your money, or I will take possession of this all and will order that your grave be stoned as is the case with the grave of Abu Righal (from Thamud, who was saved from their fate because he was in the Sacred Area. But, when he left it, he was tormented like they were).''

Ash-Shafi`i, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ad-Daraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi collected this Hadith up to the Prophet's statement, "Choose any four of them.''

Only Ahmad collected the full version of this Hadith.

Therefore, had it been allowed for men to marry more than four women at the same time, the Prophet would have allowed Ghilan to keep more than four of his wives since they all embraced Islam with him. When the Prophet commanded him to keep just four of them and divorce the rest, this indicated that men are not allowed to keep more than four wives at a time under any circumstances. If this is the case concerning those who already had more than four wives upon embracing Islam, then this ruling applies even more so to marrying more than four.

 Marrying Only One Wife When One Fears He Might not Do Justice to His Wives

Allah's statement,

... فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ...

But if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or what your right hands possess.

The Ayah commands, if you fear that you will not be able to do justice between your wives by marrying more than one, then marry only one wife, or satisfy yourself with only female captives, for it is not obligatory to treat them equally, rather it is recommended. So if one does so, that is good, and if not, there is no harm on him.

In another Ayah, Allah said,

وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُواْ أَن تَعْدِلُواْ بَيْنَ النِّسَآءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ

You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire. (4:129)

Allah said,

... ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُواْ ﴿٣﴾

That is nearer to prevent you from Ta`ulu,

meaning, from doing injustice.

Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Marduwyah and Abu Hatim Ibn Hibban, in his Sahih, recorded that Aishah said that,

the Prophet said that the Ayah, ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُواْ (That is nearer to prevent you from Ta`ulu, means, from doing injustice.

However, Ibn Abi Hatim said that his father said that this Hadith to the Prophet is a mistake, for it should be attributed to Aishah not the Prophet.

Ibn Abi Hatim reported from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Abu Malik, Abu Razin, An-Nakhai, Ash-Sha`bi, Ad-Dahhak, Ata Al-Khurasani, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan that;

Ta`ulu means to deviate (from justice).

 Giving the Dowry is Obligatory

Allah says;

وَآتُواْ النَّسَاء صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً ...  

And give to the women (whom you marry) their Saduqat Nihlah,

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported Ibn Abbas saying,

Nihlah, in Allah's statement, refers to the dowry.

Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated from Az-Zuhri that Urwah said that Aishah said that;

`Nihlah' means `obligatory'.

Muqatil, Qatadah and Ibn Jurayj said,

`Nihlah' means `obligatory'

Ibn Jurayj added: `specified.'

Ibn Zayd said,

"In Arabic, Nihlah, refers to what is necessary. So Allah is commanding: Do not marry unless you give your wife something that is her right. No person after the Prophet is allowed to marry a woman except with the required dowry, nor by giving false promises about the dowry (intended).''

Therefore, the man is required to pay a dowry to his wife with a good heart, just as he gives a gift with a good heart. If the wife gives him part or all of that dowry with a good heart, her husband is allowed to take it, as it is lawful for him in this case. This is why Allah said afterwards,

... فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَيْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْسًا فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئًا مَّرِيئًا ﴿٤﴾

But if they, of their own pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm.

 

 

Previous 2-4

وَلاَ تُؤْتُواْ السُّفَهَآءَ أَمْوَلَكُمُ الَّتِى جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَـماً وَارْزُقُوهُمْ فِيهَا وَاكْسُوهُمْ وَقُولُواْ لَهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفاً

4:5 And give not unto the unwise your wealth which Allah has made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

وَابْتَلُواْ الْيَتَـمَى حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغُواْ النِّكَاحَ

4:6 And test orphans until they reach the age of marriage;

فَإِنْ ءَانَسْتُمْ مِّنْهُمْ رُشْداً فَادْفَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ وَلاَ تَأْكُلُوهَآ إِسْرَافاً وَبِدَاراً أَن يَكْبَرُواْ

if then you find sound judgment in them, release their property to them, but consume it not wastefully and hastily, fearing that they should grow up.

وَمَن كَانَ غَنِيّاً فَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيراً فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

And whoever among guardians is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his work).

فَإِذَا دَفَعْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ فَأَشْهِدُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيباً 

And when you release their property to them, take a witness in their presence; and Allah is All-Sufficient in taking account.

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 Holding the Property of the Unwise in Escrow

Allah

وَلاَ تُؤْتُواْ السُّفَهَاء أَمْوَالَكُمُ الَّتِي جَعَلَ اللّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَاماً ...

And give not unto the unwise your wealth which Allah has made a means of support for you,

Allah prohibited giving the unwise the freedom to do as they wish with wealth, which Allah has made as a means of support for people.

  • This ruling sometimes applies because of being young, as young people are incapable of making wise decisions.

  • It also applies in cases of insanity, erratic behavior and having a weak intellect or religious practice.

  • It applies in cases of bankruptcy, when the debtors ask that the property of a bankrupt person is put in escrow, when his debts cannot be paid off with his money.

Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said that Allah's statement, وَلاَ تُؤْتُواْ السُّفَهَاء أَمْوَالَكُمُ  (And give not unto the unwise your property)

refers to children and women.

Similar was also said by Ibn Mas`ud, Al-Hakam bin Uyaynah, Al-Hasan and Ad-Dahhak:

"Women and boys.''

Sa`id bin Jubayr said that

`the unwise' refers to the orphans.

Mujahid, Ikrimah and Qatadah said;

"They are women.''

 Spending on the Unwise with Fairness

Allah said,

... وَارْزُقُوهُمْ فِيهَا وَاكْسُوهُمْ وَقُولُواْ لَهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفًا ﴿٥﴾

but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas commented,

"Do not give your wealth, what Allah has made you responsible for and made a means of sustenance to you, to your wife or children. Rather, hold on to your money, take care of it, and be the one who spends on them for clothes, food and provision.''

Mujahid said that the Ayah, وَقُولُواْ لَهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفًا  (and speak to them words of kindness and justice),

refers to kindness and keeping good relations.

This honorable Ayah commands kind treatment, in deed, with family and those under one's care. One should spend on them for clothes and provisions, and be good to them, such as saying good words to them.

 Giving Back the Property of the Orphans When They Reach Adulthood

Allah said,

وَابْتَلُواْ الْيَتَامَى ...

And test orphans,

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan stated,

meaning, test their intelligence.

... حَتَّىَ إِذَا بَلَغُواْ النِّكَاحَ ...

until they reach the age of marriage,

According to Mujahid,

the age of puberty.

The age of puberty according to the majority of scholars comes when the child has a wet dream.

In his Sunan, Abu Dawud recorded that Ali said,

"I memorized these words from the Messenger of Allah ,

لَا يُتْمَ بَعْدَ احْتِلَامٍ، وَلَا صُمَاتَ يَوْمٍ إِلَى اللَّيْل

There is no orphan after the age of puberty nor vowing to be silent throughout the day to the night.

In another Hadith, Aishah and other Companions said that;

the Prophet said,

رُفِعَ الْقَلَمُ عَنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ،

  • عَنِ الصَّبِيِّ حَتَّى يَحْتَلِمَ،

  • وَعَنِ النَّائِمِ حَتَّى يَسْتَيْقِظَ،

  • وَعَنِ الْمَجْنُونِ حَتَّى يُفِيق

The pen does not record the deeds of three persons:

  • the child until the age of puberty,

  • the sleeping person until waking up, and

  • the senile until sane.

Or, the age of fifteen is considered the age of adolescence.

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Umar said,

"I was presented in front of the Prophet on the eve of the battle of Uhud, while I was fourteen years of age, and he did not allow me to take part in that battle. But I was presented in front of him on the eve of the battle of Al-Khandaq (The Trench) when I was fifteen years old, and he allowed me (to join that battle).''

Umar bin Abdul-Aziz commented when this Hadith reached him,

"This is the difference between a child and an adult.''

There is a difference of opinion over whether pubic hair is considered a sign of adulthood, and the correct opinion is that it is.

The Sunnah supports this view, according to a Hadith collected by Imam Ahmad from Atiyah Al-Qurazi who said,

We were presented to the Prophet on the day of Qurizah, whoever had pubic hair was killed, whoever did not was left free to go, I was one of those who did not, so I was left free.''

The Four Sunan compilers also recorded similar to it.

At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''

Allah's statement,

... فَإِنْ آنَسْتُم مِّنْهُمْ رُشْدًا فَادْفَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ ...

if then you find sound judgment in them, release their property to them,

Sa`id bin Jubayr said that this portion of the Ayah means,

when you find them to be good in the religion and wise with their money.

Similar was reported from Ibn Abbas, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others among the Imams.

The scholars of Fiqh stated that;

when the child becomes good in the religion and wise concerning with money, then the money that his caretaker was keeping for him should be surrendered to him.

 Poor Caretakers are Allowed to Wisely Spend from the Money of the Orphan Under Their Care, to Compensate for Their Work

Allah said,

... وَلاَ تَأْكُلُوهَا إِسْرَافًا وَبِدَارًا أَن يَكْبَرُواْ ...

But consume it not wastefully and hastily, fearing that they should grow up.

Allah commands that the money of the orphan should not be spent unnecessarily, إِسْرَافًا وَبِدَارًا (Wastefully and hastily) for fear they might grow up.

Allah also commands,

... وَمَن كَانَ غَنِيًّا فَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ ...

And whoever among guardians is rich, he should take no wages,

Hence, the guardian who is rich and does not need the orphan's money, should not take any of it as wages.

... وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيرًا فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ...

but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Aishah said,

"This Ayah, وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيرًا فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيرًا فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ  (And whoever among guardians is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable) was revealed about the guardian of the orphan and pertains to whatever work he does for the orphan's estate.''

Al-Bukhari also collected this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amr bin Shu`ayb said that his father said that his father told him that;

a man asked the Messenger of Allah, "I do not have money, but I have an orphan under my care.''

The Messenger said,

كُلْ مِنْ مَالِ يَتِيمِكَ غَيْرَ مُسْرِفٍ وَلَا مُبَذِّرٍ وَلَا مُتَأَثِّلٍ مَالًا، وَمِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ تَقِيَ مَالَكَ أَوْ قَالَ تَفْدِيَ مَالَكَ بِمَالِه

Eat from your orphan's wealth without extravagance or wastefulness, or mixing it, and without saving your money by spending his.''

Allah said,

فَإِذَا دَفَعْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ ...

And when you release their property to them.

after they become adults, and you see that they are wise, then,

... فَأَشْهِدُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ ...

take a witness in their presence;

Allah commands the guardians of orphans to surrender the property of the orphans who become consenting adults, in the presence of witnesses, so that none of them denies the fact that he received his money.

Allah said next,

... وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ حَسِيبًا ﴿٦﴾

and Allah is All-Sufficient in taking account.

meaning, Allah is sufficient as Witness, Reckoner and Watcher over their work for orphans, and when they surrender their money to them, whether their property was complete and whole, or deficient and less. Indeed, Allah knows all of that.

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

يَا أَبَا ذَرَ إِنِّي أَرَاكَ ضَعِيفًا، وَإِنِّي أُحِبُّ لَكَ مَا أُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِي، لَا تَأَمَّرَنَّ عَلَى اثْنَيْنِ، وَلَا تَلِيَنَّ مَالَ يَتِيم

O Abu Dharr! Verily, you are weak, and I love for you what I love for myself. Do not become a leader of two nor assume guardianship of an orphan's property.

 

 

Previous 5-7

لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنْهُ أَوْ كَثُرَ نَصِيباً مَّفْرُوضاً

4:7 There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest in relation, whether the property be small or large -- a legal share.

 وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُوْلُواْ الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَـمَى وَالْمَسَـكِينُ فَارْزُقُوهُمْ مِّنْهُ وَقُولُواْ لَهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفاً

4:8 And when the relatives, and the orphans, and the poor are present at the time of division, give them from the property, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

وَلْيَخْشَ الَّذِينَ لَوْ تَرَكُواْ مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّةً ضِعَـفاً خَافُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَلْيَتَّقُواّ اللَّهَ وَلْيَقُولُواْ قَوْلاً سَدِيداً

4:9 And let those (executors and guardians) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left weak offspring behind. So, let them have Taqwa of Allah and speak truthfully.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَلَ الْيَتَـمَى ظُلْماً إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِى بُطُونِهِمْ نَاراً وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيراً

4:10 Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!

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 The Necessity of Surrendering the Inheritance According to the Portions that Allah Ordained

Allah says;

لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَاء نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنْهُ أَوْ كَثُرَ نَصِيبًا مَّفْرُوضًا ﴿٧

There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest in relation, whether the property be small or large -- a legal share.

Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah said,

"The idolators used to give adult men a share of inheritance and deprive women and children of it. Allah revealed; لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ (There is a share for men from what is left by parents and those nearest in relation).''

Therefore, everyone is equal in Allah's decision to inherit, even though their shares vary according to the degree of their relationship to the deceased, whether being a relative, spouse, etc.

Ibn Marduwyah reported that Jabir said,

"Umm Kujjah came to the Messenger of Allah and said to him, `O Messenger of Allah! I have two daughters whose father died, and they do not own anything.' So Allah revealed; لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ (There is a share for men from what is left by parents and those nearest in relation).''

We will mention this Hadith when explaining the two Ayat about inheritance. Allah knows best.

Allah said,

وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُوْلُواْ الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينُ فَارْزُقُوهُم مِّنْهُ وَقُولُواْ لَهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفًا ﴿٨

And when the relatives, and the orphans, and the poor are present at the time of division, give them from the property, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.

وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ (are present at the time of division), those who do not have a share in the inheritance, وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينُ (and the orphans and the poor),  are also present upon dividing the inheritance, give them a share of the inheritance.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said that;

the Ayah, وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُوْلُواْ الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينُ (And when the relatives and the orphans and the poor are present at the time of division), was not abrogated.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas said that;

this Ayah still applies and should be implemented.

Ath-Thawri said that Ibn Abi Najih narrated from Mujahid that implementing this Ayah,

"Is required from those who have anything to inherit, paid from whatever portions their hearts are satisfied with giving away.''

Similar explanation was reported from Ibn Mas`ud, Abu Musa, Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr, Abu Al-Aliyah, Ash-Sha`bi and Al-Hasan.

Ibn Sirin, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Makhul, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Ata bin Abi Rabah, Az-Zuhri and Yahya bin Ya`mar said;

this payment is obligatory.

Others say that;

this refers to the bequeathal at the time of death.

And others say that;

it was abrogated.

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said that this Ayah, وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ  (And when are present at the time of division),

refers to divisions of inheritance.

So, when poor relatives, who are ineligible for inheritance, orphans, and the poor attend the division of the inheritance, which is sometimes substantial, their hearts will feel eager to have a share, seeing each eligible person assuming his share; while they are desperate, yet are not given anything. Allah the Most Kind, Most Compassionate, commands that they should have a share in the inheritance as an act of kindness, charity, compassion and mercy for them.

 Observing Fairness in the Will

Allah said,

وَلْيَخْشَ الَّذِينَ لَوْ تَرَكُواْ مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّةً ضِعَافًا خَافُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَلْيَتَّقُوا اللّهَ وَلْيَقُولُواْ قَوْلاً سَدِيدًا ﴿٩

And let those (executors and guardians) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left weak offspring behind. So, let them have Taqwa of Allah and speak truthfully.

وَلْيَخْشَ الَّذِينَ لَوْ تَرَكُواْ مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ  (And let those have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left behind...),

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that this part of the Ayah,

"Refers to a man who is near death and he dictates a will and testament that harms some of the rightful inheritors.

Allah commands whoever hears such will to fear Allah, and direct the dying man to do what is right and to be fair, being as eager to protect the inheritors of the dying man as he would be with his own.''

Similar was reported from Mujahid and several others.

The Two Sahihs record that;

when the Messenger of Allah visited Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas during an illness he suffered from, Sa`d said to the Messenger, "O Messenger of Allah! I am wealthy and have no inheritors except a daughter. Should I give two-thirds of my property in charity?''

He said, "No.''

Sa`d asked, "Half.''

He said, "No.''

Sa`d said, "One-third.''

The Prophet said;

الثُّلُثُ، وَالثُّلُثُ كَثِير

One-third, and even one-third is too much.

The Messenger of Allah then said,

إِنَّكَ أَنْ تَذَرَ وَرَثَتَكَ أَغْنِيَاءَ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَنْ تَذَرَهُمْ عَالَةً يَتَكَفَّفُونَ النَّاس

You'd better leave your inheritors wealthy rather than leaving them poor, begging from others.

 A Stern Warning Against Those Who Use Up the Orphan's Wealth

It was also said that the Ayah وَلاَ تَأْكُلُوهَا إِسْرَافًا وَبِدَارًا أَن يَكْبَرُواْ (consume it not wastefully and hastily, fearing that they should grow up), (4:6) means,

let them have Taqwa of Allah when taking care of the orphan's wealth, as Ibn Jarir recorded from Al-Awfi who reported this explanation from Ibn Abbas.

This is a sound opinion that is supported by the warning that follows against consuming the orphan's wealth unjustly.

In this case, the meaning becomes:

Just as you would want your offspring to be treated fairly after you, then treat other people's offspring fairly when you are given the responsibility of caring for them.

Allah proclaims that those who unjustly consume the wealth of orphans, will be eating fire into their stomach, this is why Allah said,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَى ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرًا ﴿١٠

Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!

meaning, when you consume the orphan's wealth without a right, then you are only consuming fire, which will kindle in your stomach on the Day of Resurrection.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

اجْتَنِبُوا السَّبْعَ الْمُوبِقَات

Avoid the seven great destructive sins. 

The people asked, "O Allah's Messenger! What are they?''

He said,

  • الشِّرْكُ بِاللهِ،

  • وَالسِّحْرُ،

  • وَقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ،

  • وَأَكْلُ الرِّبَا،

  • وَأَكْلُ مَالِ الْيَتِيمِ،

  • وَالتَّوَلِّي يَوْمَ الزَّحْفِ،

  • وَقَذْفُ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ الْغَافِلَات

  • To join others in worship along with Allah,

  • magic,

  • to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause,

  • to consume interest,

  • to consume an orphan's property,

  • to turn your back to the enemy and flee from the battlefield at the time of fighting, and

  • to accuse chaste women who never even think of anything harmful to their chastity being good believers.

 

 

Previous 7-10

يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِى أَوْلَـدِكُمْ

4:11 Allah commands you for your children's (inheritance):

لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الاٍّنْثَيَيْنِ فَإِن كُنَّ نِسَآءً فَوْقَ اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُنَّ ثُلُثَا مَا تَرَكَ وَإِن كَانَتْ وَحِدَةً فَلَهَا النِّصْفُ وَلاًّبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ مِمَّا تَرَكَ إِن كَانَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَإِن لَّمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ وَلَدٌ وَوَرِثَهُ أَبَوَاهُ فَلاٌّمِّهِ الثُّلُثُ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُ إِخْوَةٌ فَلاٌّمِّهِ السُّدُسُ

  • to the male, a portion equal to that of two - females;

  • if only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance;

  • if only one, her share is half.

  • For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children;

  • if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third;

  • if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth.

مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ

(The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts.

ءَابَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبناؤُكُمْ لاَ تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعاً

You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit,

فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً 

(these fixed shares) are ordained by Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.

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Next 12   

 

 Learning the Various Shares of the Inheritance is Encouraged

This, the following, and the last honorable Ayah in this Surah contain the knowledge of Al-Fara'id, inheritance. The knowledge of Al-Fara'id is derived from these three Ayat and from the Hadiths on this subject which explain them. Learning this knowledge is encouraged, especially the specific things mentioned in the Ayat.

Ibn Uyaynah said;

"Knowledge of Al-Fara'id was called half of knowledge, because it effects all people.'' 

 The Reason Behind Revealing Ayah 4:11

Explaining this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said,

"Allah's Messenger came visiting me on foot with Abu Bakr at Banu Salamah's (dwellings), and the Prophet found me unconscious.

He asked for some water, performed ablution with it, then poured it on me, and I regained consciousness.

I said, `What do you command me to do with my money, O Allah's Messenger?'

this Ayah was later revealed, يُوصِيكُمُ اللّهُ فِي أَوْلاَدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الأُنثَيَيْنِ (Allah commands you for your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females)."

This is how it was recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa'i.

The remainder of the Six compilers also collected this Hadith.

Another Hadith from Jabir concerning the reason behind revealing Ayah 4:11 Ahmad recorded from Jabir that he said,

"The wife of Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi came to Allah's Messenger and said to him, `O Allah's Messenger! These are the two daughters of Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi, who was killed as a martyr at Uhud. Their uncle took their money and did not leave anything for them. They will not be married unless they have money.'

The Messenger said, `Allah will decide on this matter.'

The Ayah about the inheritance was later revealed and the Messenger of Allah sent word to their uncle commanding him,

أَعْطِ ابْنَتَيْ سَعْدٍ الثُّلُثَيْنِ، وَأُمَّهُمَا الثُّمُنَ، وَمَا بقِيَ فَهُوَ لَك

Give two-thirds (of Sa`d's money) to Sa`d's two daughters and one eighth for their mother, and whatever is left is yours.''

Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith.

It is apparent, however, that the first Hadith from Jabir was about the case of the last Ayah in the Surah (4:176, rather than 4:11), for at the time this incident occurred, Jabir had sisters and did not have daughters, parents or offspring to inherit from him. Yet, we mentioned the Hadith here just as Al-Bukhari did.

 Males Get Two Times the Share of Females for Inheritance

Allah said,

يُوصِيكُمُ اللّهُ فِي أَوْلاَدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الأُنثَيَيْنِ ...

Allah commands you for your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females;

Allah commands: observe justice with your children.

The people of Jahiliyyah used to give the males, but not the females, a share in the inheritance. Therefore, Allah commands that both males and females take a share in the inheritance, although the portion of the males is twice as much as that of the females. There is a distinction because men need money to spend on their dependants, commercial transactions, work and fulfilling their obligations. Consequently, men get twice the portion of the inheritance that females get.

Allah's statement, يُوصِيكُمُ اللّهُ فِي أَوْلاَدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الأُنثَيَيْنِ (Allah commands you for your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females); testifies to the fact that Allah is more merciful with children than their own parents are with them, since He commands the parents to be just and fair with their own children. An authentic Hadith stated that;

a captured woman was looking for her child and when she found him, she held him, gave him her breast and nursed him. The Messenger of Allah said to his Companions,

أَتُرَوْنَ هذِهِ طَارِحَةً وَلَدَهَا فِي النَّارِ وَهِيَ تَقْدِرُ عَلى ذَلِك

Do you think that this woman would willingly throw her child in the fire?

They said, "No, O Messenger of Allah.''

He said,

فَوَاللهِ للهُ أَرْحَمُ بِعِبَادِهِ مِنْ هذِهِ بِوَلَدِهَا

By Allah! Allah is more merciful with His servants than this woman is with her own child.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"The custom (in old days) was that the property of the deceased would be inherited by his offspring; as for the parents (of the deceased), they would inherit by the will of the deceased. Then Allah cancelled whatever He willed from that custom and ordained that the male get twice the amount inherited by the female, and for each parent a sixth (of the whole legacy), for the wife an eighth or a fourth, and for the husband a half or a fourth.''

 The Share of the Females When They Are the Only Eligible Heirs

Allah said,

... فَإِن كُنَّ نِسَاء فَوْقَ اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُنَّ ثُلُثَا مَا تَرَكَ ...

if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance;

We should mention here that some people said the Ayah only means two daughters, and that `more' is redundant, which is not true. Nothing in the Qur'an is useless or redundant. Had the Ayah been talking about only two women, it would have said, "The share of both of them is two-thirds.''

As for the daughters, two or more, the ruling that they get two-thirds was derived from this Ayah, stating that the two sisters get two-thirds. We also mentioned the Hadith in which the Prophet commanded that two-thirds be the share of the two daughters of Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi. So this is proven in the Book and the Sunnah.

... وَإِن كَانَتْ وَاحِدَةً فَلَهَا النِّصْفُ ...

(if only one, her share is half.) If there are two daughters, then there are texts to prove they share a half. Therefore, two-thirds is the share of the two daughters or sisters, and Allah knows best.

 Share of the Parents in the Inheritance

Allah said,

... وَلأَبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ مِمَّا تَرَكَ إِن كَانَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَإِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهُ وَلَدٌ وَوَرِثَهُ أَبَوَاهُ فَلأُمِّهِ الثُّلُثُ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُ إِخْوَةٌ فَلأُمِّهِ السُّدُسُ ...

For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth.

There are several forms of the share that the parents get in the inheritance.

  • If the deceased left behind children, the parents get a sixth each. When the deceased had only one daughter, she gets half of the inheritance and the parents each one sixth, and another sixth is given to the father.

  • When the parents are the only inheritors, the mother gets one-third while the father gets the remaining two-thirds. In this case, the father's share will be twice the mother's share.

  • If the deceased had a surviving spouse, the spouse gets half, in the case of a husband, or a fourth in the case of a surviving wife. In both cases, the mother of the deceased gets one-third of the remaining inheritance. This is because the remaining portion of the inheritance is treated just as the entire legacy in regard to the parents' share. Allah has given the mother one-half of what the father gets. Therefore, the mother gets a third of the remaining inheritance while the father gets two-thirds.

  • If the deceased left behind surviving brothers and sisters, whether half brothers, half sisters or from the same father and mother, their presence does not cause reduction in the father's share. Yet, their presence reduces the share of the mother to one-sixth instead of one-third, and the father gets the rest, when there are no other heirs.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Qatadah commented on the Ayah, وَلأَبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ  (If the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth).

"Their presence will reduce the share of the mother, but they will not inherit. If there is only one surviving brother, the mother's share will remain one-third, but her share will be reduced if there is more than one surviving brother. The people of knowledge attribute this reduction in the mother's share from one-third (to one-sixth) to the fact that the father is the one who helps the brothers (and sisters) of the deceased get married, spending from his own money for this purpose. The mother does not spend from her money for this purpose.''

This is a sound opinion.

 First the Debts are Paid Off, then the Will, then the Fixed Inheritance

Allah said,

... مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِي بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ ...

(The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts.

The scholars of the Salaf and the Khalaf agree that paying debts comes before fulfilling the will, and this is apparent to those who read the Ayah carefully.

Allah said next,

... آبَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبناؤُكُمْ لاَ تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعاً ...

You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit.

This Ayah means: We have appointed a share to the parents and children, contrary to the practice of Jahiliyyah and the early Islamic era, when the inheritance would go to the children, and parents get a share only if they were named in the will, as Ibn Abbas stated. Allah abrogated this practice and appointed a fixed share for the children and for the parents. One may derive benefit in this life or for the Hereafter from his parents, the likes of which he could not get from his children. The opposite of this could also be true.

Allah said, آبَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبناؤُكُمْ لاَ تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعاً (You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit),

since benefit could come from one or the other of these relatives, We appointed a fixed share of inheritance for each.

Allah knows best.

Allah said,

... فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللّهِ ...

ordained by Allah,

meaning: These appointed shares of inheritance that We mentioned and which give some inheritors a bigger share than others, is a commandment from Allah that He has decided and ordained.

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلِيما حَكِيمًا ﴿١١﴾

And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.

Who places everything in its rightful place and gives each his rightful share.

 

 

Previous 11

وَلَكُمْ نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ أَزْوَجُكُمْ إِنْ لَّمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَلَكُمُ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْنَ مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِينَ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ

4:12 In that which your wives leave, your share is half if they have no child; but if they leave a child, you get a fourth of that which they leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts.

وَلَهُنَّ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُنْ لَّكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَلَهُنَّ الثُّمُنُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ تُوصُونَ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ

In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts.

وَإِن كَانَ رَجُلٌ يُورَثُ كَلَـلَةً أَو امْرَأَةٌ وَلَهُ أَخٌ أَوْ أُخْتٌ فَلِكُلِّ وَحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ فَإِن كَانُواْ أَكْثَرَ مِن ذلِكَ فَهُمْ شُرَكَآءُ فِى الثُّلُثِ مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّ

If the man or woman whose inheritance is in Kalalah has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone).

وَصِيَّةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ 

This is a Commandment from Allah; and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.

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Next 13-14   

 

 Share of the Spouses in the Inheritance

Allah says;

وَلَكُمْ نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ أَزْوَاجُكُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَلَكُمُ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْنَ مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِينَ بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ   ...

In that which your wives leave, your share is half if they have no child; but if they leave a child, you get a fourth of that which they leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts.

Allah says to the husband, you get half of what your wife leaves behind if she dies and did not have a child. If she had a child, you get one-fourth of what she leaves behind, after payment of legacies that she may have bequeathed, or her debts.

We mentioned before that payment of debts comes before fulfilling the will, and then comes the will, then the inheritance, and there is a consensus on this matter among the scholars. And the rule applies to the grandchildren as well as the children, even if they are great-grandchildren (or even further in generation).

Allah then said,

...  وَلَهُنَّ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَلَهُنَّ الثُّمُنُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ تُوصُونَ بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ...

In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts.

وَلَهُنَّ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ (In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth) and if there is more than one wife, they all share in the fourth, or one-eighth that the wife gets.

Earlier, we explained Allah's statement, مِّن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ   (After payment of legacies).

 The Meaning of Kalalah

Allah said,

... وَإِن كَانَ رَجُلٌ يُورَثُ كَلاَلَةً أَو امْرَأَةٌ ...

If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question was left in Kalalah,

Kalalah is a derivative of Iklil; the crown that surrounds the head.

The meaning of Kalalah in this Ayah is that the person's heirs come from other than the first degree of relative.

Ash-Sha`bi reported that;

when Abu Bakr As-Siddiq was asked about the meaning of Kalalah, he said, "I will say my own opinion about it, and if it is correct, then this correctness is from Allah. However, if my opinion is wrong, it will be my error and because of the evil efforts of Shaytan, and Allah and His Messenger have nothing to do with it.

Kalalah refers to the man who has neither descendants nor ascendants.''

When Umar became the Khalifah, he said, "I hesitate to contradict an opinion of Abu Bakr.''

This was recorded by Ibn Jarir and others.

In his Tafsir, Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"I was among the last persons to see Umar bin Al-Khattab, and he said to me, `What you said was the correct opinion.'

I asked, `What did I say?'

He said, `That Kalalah refers to the person who has no child or parents.'''

This is also the opinion of Ali bin Abi Talib, Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, Zayd bin Thabit, Ash-Sha`bi, An-Nakhai, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, Jabir bin Zayd and Al-Hakam.

This is also the view of the people of Al-Madinah, Kufah, Basra, the Seven Fuqaha, the Four Imams and the majority of scholars of the past and present, causing some scholars to declare that there is a consensus on this opinion.

 The Ruling Concerning Children of the Mother From Other Than the Deceased's Father

Allah said,

... وَلَهُ أَخٌ أَوْ أُخْتٌ ...

But has left a brother or a sister,

meaning, from his mother's side, as some of the Salaf stated, including Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas.

Qatadah reported that this is the view of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.

... فَلِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ فَإِن كَانُوَاْ أَكْثَرَ مِن ذَلِكَ فَهُمْ شُرَكَاء فِي الثُّلُثِ ...

Each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third.

There is a difference between the half brothers from the mother's side and the rest of the heirs.

  • First, they get a share in the inheritance on account of their mother.

  • Second, the males and females among them get the same share.

  • Third, they only have a share in the inheritance when the deceased's estate is inherited in Kalalah, for they do not have a share if the deceased has a surviving father, grandfather, child or grandchild.

  • Fourth, they do not have more than a third, no matter how numerous they were.

Allah's statement,

... مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّ ...

After payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone).

means, let the will and testament be fair and free of any type of harm, without depriving some rightful heirs from all, or part of their share, or adding to the fixed portion that Allah ordained for some heirs. Indeed, whoever does this, will have disputed with Allah concerning His decision and division.

An authentic Hadith states,

إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَعْطَى كُلَّ ذِي حَقَ حَقَّهُ فَلَا وَصِيَّةَ لِوَارِث

Allah has given each his fixed due right. Therefore, there is no will for a rightful inheritor.

... وَصِيَّةً مِّنَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ ﴿١٢﴾

This is a Commandment from Allah; and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.

 

 

Previous 12

تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

4:13 These are the limits (set by) Allah, and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and is the great success.

وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَاراً خَـلِداً فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ 

4:14 And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, and transgresses His (set) limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall suffer a disgraceful torment.

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Next 15-16   

 

 Warning Against Transgressing the Limits for Inheritance

Allah said;

تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللّهِ ...

These are the limits (set by) Allah,

Meaning, the Fara'id are Allah's set limits. This includes what Allah has allotted for the heirs, according to the degree of relation they have to the deceased, and their degree of dependency on him. Therefore, do not transgress or violate them.

So Allah said;

... وَمَن يُطِعِ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ...

And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger,

regarding the inheritance, and does not add or decrease any of these fixed shares by use of tricks and plots. Rather, he gives each his appointed share as Allah commanded, ordained and decided,

... يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ ﴿١٣﴾

Will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and is the great success.

وَمَن يَعْصِ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارًا خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ ﴿١٤

And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, and transgresses His (set) limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment.

This is because he changed what Allah has ordained and disputed with His judgment. Indeed, this is the behavior of those who do not agree with what Allah has decided and divided, and this is why Allah punishes them with humiliation in the eternal, painful torment.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that, the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْخَيْرِ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، فَإِذَا أَوْصَى حَافَ فِي وَصِيَّتِهِ، فَيُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِشَرِّ عَمَلِهِ، فَيَدْخُلُ النَّارَ،

A man might perform the actions of righteous people for seventy years, but when it is time to compile his will, he commits injustice. So his final work will be his worst, and he thus enters the Fire.

وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الشَّرِّ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، فَيَعْدِلُ فِي وَصِيَّتِهِ فَيُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِخَيْرِ عَمَلِهِ فَيَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّة

A man might perform the deeds of evil people for seventy years, yet he is fair in his will. So his final work will be his best, and he thus enters Paradise.

Abu Hurayrah said, "Read, if you will, تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللّهِ  (These are the limits (set by) Allah) until, عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ  (a disgraceful torment).''

In the chapter on injustice in the will, Abu Dawud recorded in his Sunan that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ أَوِ الْمَرْأَةَ بِطَاعَةِ اللهِ سِتِّينَ سَنَةً، ثُمَّ يَحْضُرُهُمَا الْمَوْتُ، فَيُضَارَّانِ فِي الْوَصِيَّـةِ، فَتَجِبُ لَهُمَا النَّار

A man or a woman might perform actions in obedience to Allah for sixty years. Yet, when they are near death, they leave an unfair will and thus acquire the Fire.

Abu Hurayrah then recited the Ayah, مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّ  (After payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused), until, وَذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ (and that is the great success). (4:12-13)

This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib''.

 

 

Previous 13-14

وَاللَـتِى يَأْتِينَ الْفَـحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعةً مِّنْكُمْ فَإِن شَهِدُواْ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِى الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّى يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلاً

4:15 And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from among you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or Allah ordains for them some (other) way.

وَاللَّذَانَ يَأْتِيَـنِهَا مِنكُمْ فَـَاذُوهُمَا فَإِن تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا فَأَعْرِضُواْ عَنْهُمَآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً

4:16 And the two persons among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both. And if they repent and do righteous good deeds, leave them alone. Surely, Allah is Ever the One Who accepts repentance, (and He is) Most Merciful.

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Next 17-18   

 

 The Adulteress is Confined in her House; A Command Later Abrogated

At the beginning of Islam, the ruling was that if a woman commits adultery as stipulated by sufficient proof, she was confined to her home, without leave, until she died.

Allah said,

وَاللاَّتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعةً مِّنكُمْ فَإِن شَهِدُواْ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّىَ يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلاً ﴿١٥

And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from among you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or Allah ordains for them some (other) way.

`Some other way' mentioned here is the abrogation of this ruling that came later.

Ibn Abbas said,

"The early ruling was confinement, until Allah sent down Surah An-Nur (Surah 24) which abrogated that ruling with the ruling of flogging (for fornication) or stoning to death (for adultery).''

Similar was reported from Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Ata Al-Khurasani, Abu Salih, Qatadah, Zayd bin Aslam and Ad-Dahhak, and this is a matter that is agreed upon.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ubadah bin As-Samit said,

"When the revelation descended upon the Messenger of Allah, it would affect him and his face would show signs of strain. One day, Allah sent down a revelation to him, and when the Messenger was relieved of its strain, he said,

خُذُوا عَنِّي، قَدْ جَعَلَ اللهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلًا، الثَّيِّبُ بِالثَّيِّبِ، وَالْبِكْرُ بِالْبِكْرِ، الثَّــيِّبُ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ، وَرَجْمٌ بِالْحِجَارَةِ، وَالْبِكْرُ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ ثُمَّ نَفْيُ سَنَة

Take from me: Allah has made some other way for them. The married with the married, the unmarried with the unmarried. The married gets a hundred lashes and stoning to death, while the unmarried gets a hundred lashes then banishment for a year.''

Muslim and the collectors of the Sunan recorded that Ubadah bin As-Samit said that the Prophet said,

خُذُوا عَنِّي خُذُوا عَنِّي، قَدْ جَعَلَ اللهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلًا، الْبِكْرُ بِالْبِكْرِ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ وَتَغْرِيبُ عَامٍ، وَالثَّيِّبُ بِالثَّيِّبِ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ وَالرَّجْم

Take from me, take from me. Allah has made some other way for them: the (unmarried) gets a hundred lashes and banishment for one year, while the (married) gets a hundred lashes and stoning to death.

At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''.

Allah said,

وَاللَّذَانَ يَأْتِيَانِهَا مِنكُمْ فَآذُوهُمَا ...

And the two persons among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both.

Ibn Abbas and Sa`id bin Jubayr said that;

this punishment includes cursing, shaming them and beating them with sandals.

This was the ruling until Allah abrogated it with flogging or stoning, as we stated.

Mujahid said,

"It was revealed about the case of two men who do it.''

As if he was referring to the actions of the people of Lut, and Allah knows best.

The collectors of Sunan recorded that Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ رَأَيْتُمُوهُ يَعْمَلُ عَمَلَ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ، فَاقْتُلُوا الْفَاعِلَ وَالْمَفْعُولَ بِه

Whoever you catch committing the act of the people of Lut (homosexuality), then kill both parties to the act.

Allah said,

... فَإِن تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا ...

And if they repent and do righteous good deeds,

by refraining from that evil act, and thereafter their actions become righteous.

... فَأَعْرِضُواْ عَنْهُمَا ...

leave them alone,

do not verbally abuse them after that, since he who truly repents is just like he who has no sin.

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا ﴿١٦﴾

Surely, Allah is Ever the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.

The following is recorded in the Two Sahihs:

إِذَا زَنَتْ أَمَةُ أَحَدِكُمْ، فَلْيَجْلِدْهَا الْحَدَّ، وَلَا يُثَرِّبْ عَلَيْهَا

When the slave-girl of one of you commits illegal sexual intercourse, let him flog her and not chastise her afterwards.

because the lashes she receives erase the sin that she has committed.

 

 

Previous 15-16

إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَـلَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ

4:17 Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon (afterwards);

فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً

it is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.

وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَـتِ حَتَّى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّى تُبْتُ الاٌّنَ

4:18 And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent;''

وَلاَ الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ أُوْلَـئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً

nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them, We have prepared a painful torment.

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Next 19-22   

 

 Repentance is Accepted Until one Faces death

Allah

إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوَءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ ...

Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness, and repent soon (afterwards);

Allah states that He accepts repentance of the servant who commits an error in ignorance and then repents, even just before he sees the angel who captures the soul, before his soul reaches his throat.

Mujahid and others said,

"Every person who disobeys Allah by mistake, or intentionally is ignorant, until he refrains from the sin.''

Qatadah said that Abu Al-Aliyah narrated that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah used to say,

"Every sin that the servant commits, he commits out of ignorance.''

Abdur-Razzaq narrated that, Ma`mar said that Qatadah said that,

"the Companions of the Messenger of Allah agreed that every sin that is committed by intention or otherwise, is committed in ignorance.''

Ibn Jurayj said,

"Abdullah bin Kathir narrated to me that Mujahid said, `Every person who disobeys Allah (even willfully), is ignorant while committing the act of disobedience.'''

Ibn Jurayj said,

"Ata bin Abi Rabah told me something similar.''

Abu Salih said that Ibn Abbas commented,

"It is because of one's ignorance that he commits the error.''

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said about the Ayah, ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ  (and repent soon (afterwards)),

"Until just before he (or she) looks at the angel of death.''

Ad-Dahhak said,

"Every thing before death is `soon (afterwards).'''

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said about the Ayah, ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ  (and repent soon afterwards),

"Just before his last breath leaves his throat.''

Ikrimah said,

"All of this life is `soon (afterwards).'''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Umar said that the Messenger said,

إِنَّ اللهَ يَقْبَلُ تَوْبَةَ الْعَبْدِمَالَمْ يُغَرْغِر

Allah accepts the repentance of the servant as long as the soul does not reach the throat.

This Hadith was also collected by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib''.

By mistake, Ibn Majah mentioned that this Hadith was narrated through Abdullah bin `Amr. However, what is correct is that Abdullah bin Umar bin Al-Khattab was the narrator.

Allah said,

... فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً ﴿١٧﴾

It is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.

Surely, when hope in continued living diminishes, the angel of death comes forth and the soul reaches the throat, approaches the chest and arrives at the state where it is being gradually pulled out, then there is no accepted repentance, nor a way out of that certain end.

Hence Allah's statements,

وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الآنَ   ...

And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent,''

and,

فَلَمَّا رَأَوْاْ بَأْسَنَا قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ

So when they saw Our punishment, they said: "We believe in Allah Alone...'' (40:84)

Allah decided that repentance shall not be accepted from the people of the earth when the sun rises from the west, as Allah said,

يَوْمَ يَأْتِى بَعْضُ ءَايَـتِ رَبِّكَ لاَ يَنفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ ءَامَنَتْ مِن قَبْلُ أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِى إِيمَـنِهَا خَيْرًا

The day that some of the signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good through his faith. (6:158)

Allah said,

...  وَلاَ الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ ...

nor of those who die while they are disbelievers.

Consequently, when the disbeliever dies while still a disbeliever and polytheist, his sorrow and repentance shall not avail him. If he were to ransom himself, even with the earth's fill of gold, it will not be accepted from him.

Ibn Abbas, Abu Al-Aliyah and Ar-Rabi bin Anas said that the Ayah: وَلاَ الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ  (nor of those who die while they are disbelievers),

was revealed about the people of Shirk.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Usamah bin Salman said that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ اللهَ يَقْبَلُ تَوْبَةَ عَبْدِهِ أَوْ يَغْفِرُ لِعَبْدِهِ مَالَمْ يَقَعِ الْحِجَاب

Allah accepts the repentance of His servant, or forgives His servant, as long as the veil does not drop.

They asked, "And what does the drop of the veil mean?''

He said,

أَنْ تَخْرُجَ النَّفْسُ وَهِيَ مُشْرِكَة

When the soul is removed while one is a polytheist.

Allah then said,

... أُوْلَـئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا ﴿١٨﴾

For them We have prepared a painful torment,

torment that is severe, eternal and enormous.

 

 

Previous 17-18

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُواْ النِّسَآءَ كَرْهاً وَلاَ تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُواْ بِبَعْضِ مَآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلاَّ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ

4:19 O you who believe! You are not permitted to inherit women against their will, nor to prevent them from marriage in order to get part of (the dowry) what you have given them, unless they commit open Fahishah.

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

And live with them honorably.

فَإِن كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئاً وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ خَيْراً كَثِيراً

If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.

وَإِنْ أَرَدْتُّمُ اسْتِبْدَالَ زَوْجٍ مَّكَانَ زَوْجٍ وَءَاتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنْطَاراً

4:20 But if you intend to replace a wife by another and you have given one of them a Qintar, take not the least bit of it back;

فَلاَ تَأْخُذُواْ مِنْهُ شَيْئاً أَتَأْخُذُونَهُ بُهْتَـناً وَإِثْماً مُّبِيناً

would you take it wrongfully without a right and (with) a manifest sin!

وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَى بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ وَأَخَذْنَ مِنكُم مِّيثَـقاً غَلِيظاً

4:21 And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant!

وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ مَا نَكَحَ ءَابَاؤُكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ إِلاَّ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ

4:22 And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already passed;

إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَـحِشَةً وَمَقْتاً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً 

indeed it was shameful and Maqtan, and an evil way.

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 Meaning of `Inheriting Women Against Their Will

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُواْ النِّسَاء كَرْهًا ...

O you who believe! You are not permitted to inherit women against their will,

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said about the Ayah,

"Before, the practice was that when a man dies, his male relatives used to have the right to do whatever they wanted with his wife. If one of them wants, he would marry her, give her in marriage, or prevent her from marriage, for they had more right to her than her own family. Thereafter, this Ayah was revealed about this practice, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُواْ النِّسَاء كَرْهًا  (O you who believe! You are not permitted to inherit women against their will).''

 Women Should not Be Treated with Harshness

Allah said,

... وَلاَ تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُواْ بِبَعْضِ مَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ ...

nor to prevent them from marriage, in order to take part of what you have given them,

Allah commands: Do not treat the woman harshly so that she gives back all or part of the dowry that she was given, or forfeits one of her rights by means of coercion and oppression.

Allah's statement,

... إِلاَّ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ ...

unless they commit open Fahishah.

Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Muhammad bin Sirin, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ata Al-Khurasani, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Qilabah, Abu Salih, As-Suddi, Zayd bin Aslam and Sa`id bin Abi Hilal said that;

this refers to illicit sex.

Meaning that if the wife commits adultery, you are allowed to take back the dowry you gave her. You are also allowed to annoy her, until she gives back the dowry in return for a Khula.

In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah said,

وَلاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَأْخُذُواْ مِمَّآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شَيْئًا إِلاَّ أَن يَخَافَآ أَلاَّ يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ

And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of what you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah. (2:229)

Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah and Ad-Dahhak said that;

Fahishah refers to disobedience and defiance.

Ibn Jarir chose the view that;

it is general, encompasses all these meanings, adultery, disobedience, defiance, rudeness, and so forth.

Meaning that he is allowed to annoy his wife when she does any of these acts until she forfeits all or part of her rights and he then separates from her, and this (view) is good, and Allah knows best.

 Live With Women Honorably

Allah said,

... وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ...

And live with them honorably,

by saying kind words to them, treating them kindly and making your appearance appealing for them, as much as you can, just as you like the same from them.

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِى عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

And they have rights similar over them to what is reasonable. (2:228)

The Messenger of Allah said,

خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِهِ، وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِي

The best among you is he who is the best with his family. Verily, I am the best one among you with my family.

It was the practice of the Messenger of Allah to be kind, cheerful, playful with his wives, compassionate, spending on them and laughing with them. The Messenger used to race with Aishah, the Mother of the Faithful, as a means of kindness to her.

Aishah said, "The Messenger of Allah raced with me and I won the race. This occurred before I gained weight, and afterwards I raced with him again, and he won that race. He said,

هذِهِ بِتِلْك

This (victory) is for that (victory).''

When the Prophet was at the home of one of his wives, sometimes all of his wives would meet there and eat together, and they would then go back to their homes. He and his wife would sleep in the same bed, he would remove his upper garment, sleeping in only his lower garment. The Prophet used to talk to the wife whose night it was, after praying Isha' and before he went to sleep.

Allah said,

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ

Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow. (33:21)

Allah said,

... فَإِن كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَيَجْعَلَ اللّهُ فِيهِ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا ﴿١٩﴾

If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.

Allah says that your patience, which is demonstrated by keeping wives whom you dislike, carries good rewards for you in this life and the Hereafter.

Ibn Abbas commented on this Ayah,

"That the husband may feel compassion towards his wife and Allah gives him a child with her, and this child carries tremendous goodness.''

An authentic Hadith states,

لَا يَفْرَكْ مُؤْمِنٌ مُؤْمِنَةً، إِنْ سَخِطَ مِنْهَا خُلُقًا، رَضِيَ مِنْهَا آخَر

No believing man should hate his believing wife. If he dislikes a part of her conduct, he would surely like another.

 The Prohibition of Taking Back the Dowry

Allah said,

وَإِنْ أَرَدتُّمُ اسْتِبْدَالَ زَوْجٍ مَّكَانَ زَوْجٍ وَآتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنطَارًا فَلاَ تَأْخُذُواْ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا أَتَأْخُذُونَهُ بُهْتَاناً وَإِثْماً مُّبِيناً ﴿٢٠

But if you intend to replace a wife by another and you have given one of them a Qintar, take not the least bit of it back; would you take it wrongfully without a right and (with) a manifest sin.

The Ayah commands:

When one of you wants to divorce a wife and marry another one, he must not take any portion of the dowry he gave to the first wife, even if it were a Qintar of money.

We mentioned the meaning of Qintar in the Tafsir of Surah Al Imran.

This Ayah is clear in its indication that the dowry could be substantial.

Umar bin Al-Khattab used to discourage giving a large dowry, but later on changed his view.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Al-Ajfa As-Sulami said that he heard Umar bin Al-Khattab saying,

"Do not exaggerate with the dowry of women, had this practice been an honor in this world or a part of Taqwa, then the Prophet would have had more right to practice it than you. The Messenger of Allah never gave any of his wives, nor did any of his daughters receive a dowry more than twelve Uwqiyah.

A man used to pay a substantial dowry and thus conceal enmity towards his wife!''

Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan collected this Hadith through various chains of narration, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''.

Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la recorded that Masruq said,

"Umar bin Al-Khattab stood up on the Minbar of the Messenger of Allah and said,

`O people! Why do you exaggerate concerning the dowry given to women! The Messenger of Allah and his Companions used to pay up to four hundred Dirhams for a dowry, or less than that. Had paying more for a dowry been a part of Taqwa or an honor, you would not have led them in this practice. Therefore, I do not want to hear about a man who pays more than four hundred Dirhams for a dowry.'

He then went down the Minbar, but a woman from Quraysh said to him, `O Leader of the Faithful! You prohibited people from paying more than four hundred Dirhams in a dowry for women!'

He said, `Yes.'

She said, `Have you not heard what Allah sent down in the Qur'an?'

He said, `Which part of it?'

She said, `Have you not heard Allah's statement, وَآتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنطَارًا  (And you have given one of them a Qintar).'

He said, `O Allah! Forgive me...'

He then went back and stood up on the Minbar saying, `I had prohibited you from paying more than four hundred Dirhams in a dowry for women. So, let everyone pay what he likes from his money.'''

The chain of narration for this Hadith is strong.

Allah said,

وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَى بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ ...

And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other!

how can you take back the dowry from the woman with whom you had sexual relations and she had sexual relations with you!

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, As-Suddi and several others said that;

this means sexual intercourse.

... وَأَخَذْنَ مِنكُم مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا ﴿٢١﴾

and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant!

The Two Sahihs record that;

the Messenger of Allah said three times to the spouses who said the Mula`anah;

اللهُ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمَا كَاذِبٌ، فَهَلْ مِنْكُمَا تَائِبٌ ؟

Allah knows that one of you is a liar, so would any of you repent?

The man said, "O Messenger of Allah! My money,'' referring to the dowry that he gave his wife.

The Messenger said,

لَا مَالَ لَكَ، إِنْ كُنْتَ صَدَقْتَ عَلَيْهَا فَهُوَ بِمَا اسْتَحْلَلْتَ مِنْ فَرْجِهَا، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ كَذَبْتَ عَلَيْهَا فَهُوَ أَبْعَدُ لَكَ مِنْهَا

You have no money. If you are the one who said the truth, the dowry is in return for the right to have sexual intercourse with her. If you are the one who uttered the lie, then this money is even farther from your reach.

Similarly Allah said;

وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَى بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ وَأَخَذْنَ مِنكُم مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا ﴿٢١﴾

And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant) (Be kind with women, for you have taken them by Allah's covenant and earned the right to have sexual relations with them by Allah's Word.

 Marrying the Wife of the Father is Prohibited

Allah said,

وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ مَا نَكَحَ آبَاؤُكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاء ...

And marry not women whom your fathers married,

Allah prohibits marrying the women whom the father married, in honor and respect to the fathers, not allowing their children to have sexual relations with their wives after they die.

A woman becomes ineligible for the son of her husband as soon as the marriage contract is conducted, and there is a consensus on this ruling.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to prohibit what Allah prohibits (concerning marriage), except marrying the stepmother and taking two sisters as rival wives. Allah sent down, وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ مَا نَكَحَ آبَاؤُكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاء  (And marry not women whom your fathers married), and, وَأَن تَجْمَعُواْ بَيْنَ الأُخْتَيْنِ (and two sisters in wedlock at the same time)." (4:23)

Similar was reported from Ata and Qatadah.

Therefore, the practice that the Ayah mentions is prohibited for this Ummah, being disgraced as an awful sin.  

... إِلاَّ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ ...

except what has already passed;

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَمَقْتًا وَسَاء سَبِيلاً ﴿٢٢﴾

Indeed it was shameful and Maqtan, and an evil way.)

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الْفَوَحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ

Come not near to Al-Fawahish (shameful acts) whether committed openly or secretly. (6:151)

and,

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً

And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Fahishah and an evil way. (17:32)

In this Ayah (4:22), Allah added, وَمَقْتًا  (and Maqtan),

meaning, offensive.

It is a sin itself and causes the son to hate his father after he marries his wife.

It is usual that whoever marries a woman dislikes those who married her before him.

This is one reason why the Mothers of the Faithful were not allowed for anyone in marriage after the Messenger. They are indeed the Mothers of the Faithful since they married the Messenger, who is like the father to the believers. Rather, the Prophet's right is far greater than the right of a father, and his love comes before each person loving himself, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him.

Ata' bin Abi Rabah said that the Ayah, وَمَقْتًا  (and Maqtan),

means, Allah will hate him,

... وَسَاء سَبِيلاً

and an evil way,

for those who take this way.

Therefore, those who commit this practice will have committed an act of reversion from the religion and deserve capital punishment and confiscation of their property, which will be given to the Muslim Treasury.

Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan recorded that Al-Bara' bin Azib said that;

his uncle Abu Burdah was sent by the Messenger of Allah to a man who married his stepmother to execute him and confiscate his money.

 

 

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حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ

4:23 Forbidden to you (for marriage) are:

أُمَّهَـتُكُمْ وَبَنَـتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَتُكُمْ وَعَمَّـتُكُمْ وَخَـلَـتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الاٌّخِ وَبَنَاتُ الاٍّخْتِ وَأُمَّهَـتُكُمُ الْلاَّتِى أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَتُكُم مِّنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ وَأُمَّهَـتُ نِسَآئِكُمْ وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّـتِى فِى حُجُورِكُمْ مِّن نِّسَآئِكُمُ اللَّـتِى دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُواْ دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَحَلَـئِلُ أَبْنَآئِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَـبِكُمْ وَأَن تَجْمَعُواْ بَيْنَ الاٍّخْتَيْنِ

  • your mothers,

  • your daughters,

  • your sisters,

  • your father's sisters,

  • your mother's sisters,

  • your brother's daughters,

  • your sister's daughters,

  • your foster mothers who suckled you,

  • your foster milk suckling sisters,

  • your wives' mothers,

  • your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives unto whom you have gone in -- but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in unto them (to marry their daughters),

  • -- the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins,

  • and two sisters in wedlock at the same time,

إَلاَّ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً

except for what has already passed; verily, Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.

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 Degrees of Women Never Eligible for One to Marry

Allah said

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ وَعَمَّاتُكُمْ وَخَالاَتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الأَخِ وَبَنَاتُ الأُخْتِ   ...

Forbidden to you (for marriage) are:

  • your mothers,

  • your daughters,

  • your sisters,

  • your father's sisters,

  • your mother's sisters,

  • your brother's daughters,

  • your sister's daughters,

This honorable Ayah is the Ayah that establishes the degrees of women relatives who are never eligible for one to marry, because of blood relations, relations established by suckling or marriage.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"(Allah said) I have prohibited for you seven types of relatives by blood and seven by marriage.''

Ibn Abbas then recited the Ayah, حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ (Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters...).

At-Tabari recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"Seven degrees of blood relation and seven degrees of marriage relation are prohibited (for marriage).'' He then recited the Ayah,

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ وَعَمَّاتُكُمْ وَخَالاَتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الأَخِ وَبَنَاتُ الأُخْتِ ...

Forbidden to you (for marriage) are:

  • your mothers,

  • your daughters,

  • your sisters,

  • your father's sisters,

  • your mother's sisters,

  • your brother's daughters,

  • your sister's daughters

and these are the types prohibited by blood relation.''

Allah's statement,

... وَأُمَّهَاتُكُمُ اللاَّتِي أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُم مِّنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ ...

Your foster mothers who suckled you, your foster milk suckling sisters,

means, just as your mother who bore you is prohibited for you in marriage, so is your mother from suckling prohibited for you.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Aishah, the Mother of the Faithful, said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا تُحَرِّمُ الْوِلَادَة

Suckling prohibits what birth prohibits.

In another narration reported by Muslim,

يَحْرُمُ مِنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ مَا يَحْرُمُ مِنَ النَّسَب

Suckling establishes prohibited degrees just as blood does.

 `Suckling' that Establishes Prohibition for Marriage

Less than five incidents of suckling will not establish prohibition for marriage.

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that A'ishah said,

"Among the parts of the Qur'an that were revealed, is the statement, `Ten incidents of suckling establishes the prohibition (concerning marriage).'

It was later abrogated with five, and the Messenger of Allah died while this statement was still recited as part of the Qur'an.'''

A Hadith that Sahlah bint Suhayl narrated states, 

"the Messenger of Allah ordered her to suckle Salim the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah with five.''

We should assert that the suckling mentioned here must occur before the age of two, as we stated when we explained the Ayah in Surah Al-Baqarah,

يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلَـدَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ

(The mothers) should suckle their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling. (2:233)

 The Mother-in-Law and Stepdaughter are Prohibited in Marriage

Allah said next,

... وَأُمَّهَاتُ نِسَآئِكُمْ وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللاَّتِي فِي حُجُورِكُم مِّن نِّسَآئِكُمُ اللاَّتِي دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُواْ دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ ...

Your wives' mothers, your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives unto whom you have gone in - but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in unto them,

  • As for the mother of the wife, she becomes prohibited for marriage for her son-in-law when the marriage is conducted, whether the son-in-law has sexual relations with her daughter or not.

  • As for the wife's daughter, she becomes prohibited for her stepfather when he has sexual relations with her mother, after the marriage contract is ratified. If the man divorces the mother before having sexual relations with her, he is allowed to marry her daughter. So Allah said; وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللاَّتِي فِي حُجُورِكُم مِّن نِّسَآئِكُمُ اللاَّتِي دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُواْ دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُم (Your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives unto whom you have gone in -- but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in unto them), to marry the stepdaughter.

The Stepdaughter is Prohibited in Marriage Even if She Was Not Under the Guardianship of Her Stepfather

Allah said,

... وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللاَّتِي فِي حُجُورِكُم ...

...your stepdaughters under your guardianship,

The majority of scholars state that the stepdaughter is prohibited in marriage for her stepfather (who consummated his marriage to her mother) whether she was under his guardianship or not.

The Two Sahih recorded that Umm Habibah said,

"O Messenger of Allah! Marry my sister, the daughter of Abu Sufyan (and in one narration `Azzah bint Abu Sufyan).''

He said,

أَوَ تُحِبِّينَ ذلِك

"Do you like that I do that?''

She said, "I would not give you up for anything, but the best of whom I like to share with me in that which is righteously good, is my sister.''

فَإِنَّ ذلِكِ لَا يَحِلُّ لِي

He said, "That is not allowed for me.''

She said, "We were told that you want to marry the daughter of Abu Salamah.''

بِنْتَ أُمِّ سَلَمَة

He asked, "The daughter of Umm Salamah''

She said, "Yes.''

إِنَّهَا لَوْ لَمْ تَكُنْ رَبِيبَتِي فِي حِجْرِي مَا حَلَّتْ لِي، إِنَّهَا لَبِنْتُ أَخِي مِنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ، أَرْضَعَتْنِي وَأَبَا سَلَمَةَ ثُوَيْبَةُ، فَلَا تَعْرِضْنَ عَلَيَّ بَنَاتِكُنَّ وَلَا أَخَوَاتِكُن

He said, "Even if she was not my stepdaughter and under my guardianship, she is still not allowed for me because she is my niece from suckling, for Thuwaybah suckled me and Abu Salamah. Therefore, do not offer me to marry your daughters or sisters.''

In another narration from Al-Bukhari,

إِنِّي لَوْ لَمْ أَتَزَوَّجْ أُمَّ سَلَمَةَ مَا حَلَّتْ لِي

Had I not married Umm Salamah, her daughter would not have been allowed for me anyway.

Consequently, the Messenger stated that his marriage to Umm Salamah was the real reason behind that prohibition.

 Meaning of `gone in unto them

 

The Ayah continues,

... اللاَّتِي دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ ...

Your wives unto whom you have gone in,

According to Ibn Abbas and several others,

meaning, had sexual relations with them.

 Prohibiting the Daughter-in-Law for Marriage

Allah said,

...  وَحَلاَئِلُ أَبْنَائِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلاَبِكُمْ ...

The wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins,

Therefore, you are prohibited to marry the wives of your own sons, but not the wives of your adopted sons, as adoption was common practice in Jahiliyyah.

Allah said,

فَلَمَّا قَضَى زَيْدٌ مِّنْهَا وَطَراً زَوَّجْنَـكَهَا لِكَىْ لاَ يَكُونَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ فِى أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَآئِهِمْ

So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they had divorced them). (33:37)

Ibn Jurayj said,

"I asked Ata about Allah's statement, وَحَلاَئِلُ أَبْنَائِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلاَبِكُمْ  (The wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins),

He said, `We were told that when the Prophet married the ex-wife of Zayd (who was the Prophet's adopted son before Islam prohibited this practice), the idolators in Makkah criticized him. Allah sent down the Ayat:

وَحَلَـئِلُ أَبْنَآئِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَـبِكُمْ

The wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins,

وَمَا جَعَلَ أَدْعِيَآءَكُمْ أَبْنَآءَكُمْ

nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. (33:4)

and,

مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مّن رِّجَالِكُمْ

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men. (33:40)'''

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Al-Hasan bin Muhammad said,

"These Ayat are encompassing, وَحَلاَئِلُ أَبْنَائِكُمُ (the wives of your sons), and وَأُمَّهَاتُ نِسَآئِكُمْ  (your wives' mothers).

This is also the explanation of Tawus, Ibrahim, Az-Zuhri and Makhul.

It means that these two Ayat encompass these types of women, whether the marriage was consummated or not, and there is a consensus on this ruling.

 A Doubt and Rebuttal

Why is the wife of one's son from suckling prohibited for him for marriage - that is, if she is no longer married to his son from suckling - as the majority of scholars state, although they are not related by blood!

The answer is the Prophet's statement,

يَحْرُمُ مِنَ الرَّضَاعِ مَا يَحْرُمُ مِنَ النَّسَب

Suckling prohibits what blood relations prohibit.

 The Prohibition of Taking Two Sisters as Rival Wives

Allah said,

... وَأَن تَجْمَعُواْ بَيْنَ الأُخْتَيْنِ إَلاَّ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ ...

...and two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed;

The Ayah commands: you are prohibited to take two sisters as rival wives, or rival female-servants, except for what had happened to you during the time of Jahiliyyah, which We have forgiven and erased. Therefore, no one is allowed to take or keep two sisters as rival wives, according to the consensus of the scholars of the Companions, their followers, and the Imams of old and present.

They all stated that taking two sisters as rival wives is prohibited, and that whoever embraces Islam while married to two sisters at the same time is given the choice to keep one of them and divorce the other.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ad-Dahhak bin Fayruz said that his father said,

"I embraced Islam while married to two sisters at the same time and the Prophet commanded me to divorce one of them.''

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا ﴿٢٣﴾

verily, Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

 

Previous 23

وَالْمُحْصَنَـتُ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكْتَ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ كِتَـبَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ

4:24 Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you.

وَأُحِلَّ لَكُمْ مَّا وَرَاءَ ذَلِكُمْ أَن تَبْتَغُواْ بِأَمْوَلِكُمْ مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحِينَ

All others are lawful, provided you seek them (with a dowry) from your property, desiring chastity, not fornication.

فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَـَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا تَرَاضَيْتُمْ بِهِ مِن بَعْدِ الْفَرِيضَةِ

So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due, but if you agree mutually (to give more) after the requirement (has been determined), there is no sin on you.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً

Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.

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 Forbidding Women Already Married, Except for Female Slaves

Allah said,

وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ النِّسَاء إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ...

Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess.

The Ayah means, you are prohibited from marrying women who are already married, إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ  (except those whom your right hands possess) except those whom you acquire through war, for you are allowed such women after making sure they are not pregnant.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said,

"We captured some women from the area of Awtas who were already married, and we disliked having sexual relations with them because they already had husbands. So, we asked the Prophet about this matter, and this Ayah was revealed, وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ النِّسَاء إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ  (Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess). Consequently, we had sexual relations with these women.''

This is the wording collected by At-Tirmidhi An-Nasa'i, Ibn Jarir and Muslim in his Sahih.

Allah's statement,

... كِتَابَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ ...

Thus has Allah ordained for you.

means, this prohibition was ordained for you by Allah. Therefore, adhere to Allah's Book, do not transgress His set limits, and adhere to His legislation and decrees.

 The Permission to Marry All Other Women

Allah said,

... وَأُحِلَّ لَكُم مَّا وَرَاءَ ذَلِكُمْ ...

All others are lawful,

meaning, you are allowed to marry women other than the prohibited types mentioned here, as Ata and others have stated.

Allah's statement,

... أَن تَبْتَغُواْ بِأَمْوَالِكُم مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ ...

provided you seek them (with a dowry) from your property, desiring chastity, not fornication,

meaning, you are allowed to use your money to marry up to four wives and for (the purchase of) as many female slaves as you like, all through legal means, مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ ((desiring) chastity, not fornication).

Allah's statement,

... فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُم بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً ...

So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due,

means, to enjoy them sexually, surrender to them their rightful dowry as compensation.

In other Ayat, Allah said,

وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَى بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ

And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other, (4:21)

وَآتُواْ النَّسَاء صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً

And give to the women (whom you marry) their dowry with a good heart, (4:4)

and,

وَلاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَأْخُذُواْ مِمَّآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شَيْئًا

And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of what (dowry) you gave them. (2:229)

 Prohibiting the Mut`ah of Marriage

Mujahid stated that,

 فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُم بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً  (So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due) was revealed about the Mut`ah marriage.

A Mut`ah marriage is a marriage that ends upon a predetermined date.

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Leader of the Faithful Ali bin Abi Talib said,

"The Messenger of Allah prohibited Mut`ah marriage and eating the meat of domesticated donkeys on the day of Khyber (battle).''

In addition, in his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Ar-Rabi bin Sabrah bin Ma`bad Al-Juhani said that his father said that;

he accompanied the Messenger of Allah during the conquest of Makkah, and that the Prophet said,

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي كُنْتُ أَذِنْتُ لَكُمْ فِي الاسْتِمْتَاعِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ، وَإنَّ اللهَ قَدْ حَرَّمَ ذَلِكَ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، فَمَنْ كَانَ عِنَدَهُ مِنْهُنَّ شَيْءٌ فَلْيُخَلِّ سَبِيلَهُ، وَلَا تَأْخُذُوا مِمَّا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شيئًا

O people! I allowed you the Mut`ah marriage with women before. Now, Allah has prohibited it until the Day of Resurrection. Therefore, anyone who has any women in Mut`ah, let him let them go, and do not take anything from what you have given them.

Allah's statement,

... وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا تَرَاضَيْتُم بِهِ مِن بَعْدِ الْفَرِيضَةِ ...

but if you agree mutually (to give more) after the requirement (has been determined), there is no sin on you.

is similar to His other statement,

وَءَاتُواْ النِّسَآءَ صَدُقَـتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً

And give to the women their dowry with a good heart. (4:4)

The meaning of these Ayat is:

If you have stipulated a dowry for her, and she later forfeits it, either totally or partially, then this bears no harm on you or her in this case.

Ibn Jarir said,

"Al-Hadrami said that some men would designate a certain dowry, but then fall into financial difficulties. Therefore, Allah said that there is no harm on you, O people, concerning your mutual agreement after the requirement (has been determined).''

meaning, if she gives up part of the dowry, then you men are allowed to accept that.

Allah's statement,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا ﴿٢٤﴾

Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.

is suitable here, after Allah mentioned these prohibitions.

 

 

Previous 24

وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَـتِ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ فَمِنْ مَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُم مِّن فَتَيَـتِكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَـنِكُمْ بَعْضُكُمْ مِّن بَعْضٍ

4:25 And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess, and Allah has full knowledge about your faith, you are one from another.

فَانكِحُوهُنَّ بِإِذْنِ أَهْلِهِنَّ وَءَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ مُحْصَنَـت غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحَـتٍ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ

Wed them with the permission of their own folk (guardians) and give them their due in a good manner; they should be chaste, not fornicators, nor promiscuous.

فَإِذَآ أُحْصِنَّ فَإِنْ أَتَيْنَ بِفَـحِشَةٍ فَعَلَيْهِنَّ نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَـتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ

And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit Fahishah, their punishment is half that for free (unmarried) women.

ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَشِىَ الْعَنَتَ مِنْكُمْ وَأَن تَصْبِرُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body; but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

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 Marrying a Female Slave, if One Cannot Marry a Free Woman

Allah said,

وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ ...

And whoever of you have not,

Allah said, those who do not have,

... مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً ...

the means,

financial capability,

... أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ...

Wherewith to wed free believing women,

meaning, free faithful, chaste women.

... فَمِن مِّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُم مِّن فَتَيَاتِكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ...

They may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess,

meaning, they are allowed to wed believing slave girls owned by the believers.

... وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَانِكُمْ بَعْضُكُم مِّن بَعْضٍ ...

and Allah has full knowledge about your faith; you are one from another.

Allah knows the true reality and secrets of all things, but you people know only the apparent things.

Allah then said,

... فَانكِحُوهُنَّ بِإِذْنِ أَهْلِهِنَّ ...

Wed them with the permission of their own folk,

indicating that the owner is responsible for the slave girl, and consequently, she cannot marry without his permission. The owner is also responsible for his male slave and they cannot wed without his permission.

A Hadith states,

أَيُّمَا عَبْدٍتَزَوَّجَ بِغَيْرِ إِذْنِ مَوَالِيهِ،فَهُوَ عَاهِر

Any male slave who marries without permission from his master, is a fornicator.

When the owner of the female slave is a female, those who are allowed to give away the free woman in marriage, with her permission, become responsible for giving away her female slave in marriage, as well.

A Hadith states that;

لَا تُزَوِّجِ الْمَرْأَةُ الْمَرْأَةَ، وَلَا الْمَرْأَةُ نَفْسَهَا، فَإِنَّ الزَّانِيَةَ هِيَ الَّتِي تُزَوِّجُ نَفْسَهَا

The woman does not give away another woman, or herself in marriage, for only the adulteress gives herself away in marriage.

Allah's statement,

... وَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ...

And give them their due in a good manner;

meaning, pay them their dowry with a good heart, and do not keep any of it, belittling the matter due to the fact that they are owned slaves.

Allah's statement,

... مُحْصَنَاتٍ ...

they should be chaste,

means, they are honorable women who do not commit adultery, and this is why Allah said,

... غَيْرَ مُسَافِحَاتٍ ...

not fornicators,

referring to dishonorable women, who do not refrain from illicit sexual relations with those who ask.

Ibn Abbas said that;

the fornicating women are the whores, who do not object to having relations with whomever seeks it, while,

... وَلاَ مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ ...

nor promiscuous.

refers to taking boyfriends.

Similar was said by Abu Hurayrah, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Ad-Dahhak, Ata Al-Khurasani, Yahya bin Abi Kathir, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi.

 The Slave Girl's Punishment for Adultery is Half that of a Free Unmarried Woman

Allah said,

... فَإِذَا أُحْصِنَّ فَإِنْ أَتَيْنَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ فَعَلَيْهِنَّ نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَاتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ ...

And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit Fahishah, their punishment is half of that for free (unmarried) women.

this is about the slave women who got married, as indicated by the Ayah;

وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ فَمِن مِّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُم مِّن فَتَيَاتِكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ

And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess.

Therefore, since the honorable Ayah is about believing slave girls, then, فَإِذَا أُحْصِنَّ  (And after they have been taken in wedlock), refers to when they (believing slave girls) get married, as Ibn Abbas and others have said.

Allah's statement,

... نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَاتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ ...

their punishment is half of that for free (unmarried) women.

indicates that the type of punishment prescribed here is the one that can be reduced to half, lashes in this case, not stoning to death, and Allah knows best.

Allah's statement,

... ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَشِيَ الْعَنَتَ مِنْكُمْ ...

This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body;

indicates that marrying slave girls, providing one satisfies the required conditions, is for those who fear for their chastity and find it hard to be patient and refrain from sex.

In this difficult circumstance, one is allowed to marry a slave girl. However, it is better to refrain from marrying slave girls and to observe patience, for otherwise, the offspring will become slaves to the girl's master.

Allah said,

... وَأَن تَصْبِرُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٢٥﴾

but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

 

 

Previous 25

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

4:26 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 All-Knower, All-Wise.

وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَتِ أَن تَمِيلُواْ مَيْلاً عَظِيماً

4:27 Allah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away (from the right path).

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً

4:28 Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak. 

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Allah says;

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ ...

Allah wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is unlawful) to you,

Allah explains to the believers what He has allowed and prohibited for them in this and other Surahs.

... وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ ...

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.

... وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ ...

and accept your repentance.

from sin and error

... وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿٢٦﴾

and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.

in His commands, decrees, actions and statements.

Allah's statement,

وَاللّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ ...

Allah wishes to accept your repentance,

... وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَاتِ أَن تَمِيلُواْ مَيْلاً عَظِيمًا ﴿٢٧﴾

but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away (from the right path).

indicates that the followers of Shaytan among the Jews, Christians and the adulterous, wish that you would take the horrendous path of falsehood instead of the truth.

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنكُمْ ...

Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you,

His legislation, orders, what He prohibits and what He decrees for you.

This is why Allah has allowed free men to marry slave girls under certain conditions, as Mujahid and others have stated.

... وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفًا ﴿٢٨﴾

and man was created weak.

and this is why it is suitable in his case that the commands are made easy for him, because of his weakness and feebleness.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Tawus said that, وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفًا  (and man was created weak),

"Concerning women.''

Waki said,

"Man's mind leaves when women are involved.''

 

 

Previous 26-28

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَـطِلِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَـرَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنْكُمْ

4:29 O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent.

وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيماً

And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.

وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذلِكَ عُدْوَناً وَظُلْماً فَسَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِ نَاراً وَكَانَ ذلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيراً

4:30 And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire, and that is easy for Allah.

إِن تَجْتَنِبُواْ كَبَآئِرَ مَا تُنهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَـتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُمْ مُّدْخَلاً كَرِيماً

4:31 If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).

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 Prohibiting Unlawfully Earned Money

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ   ...

O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent.

Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, prohibits His believing servants from illegally acquiring each other's property using various dishonest methods such as Riba, gambling and other wicked methods that appear to be legal, but Allah knows that, in reality, those involved seek to deal in interest.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas commented on a man who buys a garment, saying that;

"if he likes it he will keep it, or he will return it along with an extra Dirham."

This is what Allah meant, when He said, لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ  Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"When Allah sent down, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ (O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly) some Muslims said, `Allah has forbidden us from eating up each other's property unjustly, and food is our best property. Therefore, none among us is allowed to eat from anyone else's food.'

After that Allah sent down, لَيْسَ عَلَى الْأَعْمَى حَرَجٌ  (There is no restriction on the blind) until the end of the Ayah. (24:61)'''

Qatadah said similarly.

Allah's statement,

... إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ ...

except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent.

means, do not revert to illegal ways and means to acquire money. However, there is no harm in commercial transactions that transpire between the buyer and the seller with mutual consent, so that money is legally earned from these transactions.

Mujahid commented on the Ayah,

"By selling and buying, or giving someone a gift.''

Ibn Jarir recorded this statement.

 The Option to Buy or Sell Before Parting, is Part of `Mutual Consent' in Trading

Mutual agreement in various transactions is attained when both parties have the right to uphold or dissolve the agreement before they part.

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

الْبَيِّعَانِ بِالْخِيَارِ مَالَمْ يَتَفَرَّقَا

The seller and the buyer retain the (right to change their mind) as long as they have not parted.

Al-Bukhari's wording for this Hadith reads,

إِذَا تَبَايَعَ الرَّجُلانِ فَكُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا بِالْخِيَارِ، مَالَمْ يَتَفَرَّقَا

When two men conduct a transaction, they retain their (right to change their mind) as long as they have not parted.

 Forbidding Murder and Suicide

Allah said,

... وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ ...

And do not kill yourselves.

by committing Allah's prohibitions, falling into sin and eating up each other's property unjustly,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا ﴿٢٩﴾

Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.

in what He commanded you and prohibited you from.

Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amr bin Al-`As said that;

when the Prophet sent him for the battle of Dhat As-Salasil, "I had a wet dream during a very cold night and feared that if I bathed, I would die. So I performed Tayammum (with pure earth) and led my company in the Dawn prayer. When I went back to the Messenger of Allah, I mentioned what had happened to me and he said,

يَا عَمْرُو صَلَّيْتَ بِأَصْحَابِكَ وَأَنْتَ جُنُب

O `Amr! Have you led your people in prayer while you were in a state of sexual impurity?

I said, 'O Messenger of Allah! I had a wet dream on a very cold night and feared that if I bathed I would perish, and I remembered Allah's statement, وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا (And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you). So I performed Tayammum and prayed.' The Messenger of Allah smiled and did not say anything.''

This is the narration reported by Abu Dawud.

Ibn Marduwyah mentioned this honorable Ayah and then reported that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بَحَدِيدَةٍ، فَحَدِيدَتُهُ فِي يَدِهِ، يَجَأُ بِهَا بطْنَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا،

Whoever kills himself with an iron tool, then his tool will be in his hand and he will keep stabbing himself with it in the Fire of Jahannam, forever and ever.

ومَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بِسُمَ فَسُمُّهُ فِي يَدِهِ، يَتَحَسَّاهُ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا،

Whoever kills himself with poison, then his poison will be in his hand and he will keep taking it in the Fire of Jahannam forever and ever.

وَمَنْ تَرَدَّى مِنْ جَبَلٍ فَقَتلَ نَفْسَهُ، فَهُوَ مُتَرَدَ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا

Whoever kills himself by throwing himself from a mountain, will keep falling in the Fire of Jahannam forever and ever.

This Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs.

Abu Qilabah said that Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بِشَيْءٍ، عُذِّبَ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

Whoever kills himself with an instrument, will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.

This Hadith was collected by the Group.

This is why Allah said,

وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ عُدْوَانًا وَظُلْمًا ...

And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, 

meaning, whoever commits what Allah has forbidden for him transgression and injustice - while knowing that it is forbidden for him, yet he still dares to commit it,

... فَسَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِ نَارًا ...

We shall cast him into the Fire,

This Ayah carries a stern warning and a truthful promise. Therefore, every sane person should beware of it, those who hear the speech with full comprehension.

... وَكَانَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللّهِ يَسِيرًا ﴿٣٠﴾

and that is easy for Allah.

 Minor Sins Will be Pardoned if One Refrains from Major Sins

Allah said,

إِن تَجْتَنِبُواْ كَبَآئِرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ ...

If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins),

meaning, if you avoid the major evil deeds that you were prohibited We will forgive you the minor evil deeds and will admit you into Paradise.

This is why Allah said,

... وَنُدْخِلْكُم مُّدْخَلاً كَرِيمًا ﴿٣١﴾

and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).

There are several Hadiths on the subject of this honorable Ayah.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Salman Al-Farisi said,

"The Prophet said to me, `Do you know what the day of Al-Jumu`ah is?'

I said, `It is the day during which Allah brought together the creation of your father (Adam).'

He said,

لكِنْ أَدْرِي مَا يَوْمُ الْجُمُعَةِ، لَا يَتَطَهَّرُ الرَّجُلُ فَيُحْسِنُ طُهُورَهُ، ثُمَّ يَأْتِي الْجُمُعَةَ فَيُنْصِتُ حَتَّى يَقْضِيَ الْإمَامُ صَلَاتَهُ، إِلَّا كَانَ كَفَّارَةً لَهُ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجُمُعَةِ الْمُقْبِلَةِ، مَا اجْتُنِبَتِ الْمَقْتَلَة

I know what the day of Jumu`ah is. Anyone who takes a bath and cleans himself as much as he can and then proceeds for the Friday prayer and remains quiet until the Imam finishes the prayer, all his sins in between the present and the next Friday will be forgiven, as long as major sins were avoided.''

Al-Bukhari recorded similar wording from Salman Al-Farisi.

 The Seven Destructive Sins

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

اجْتَنِبُوا السَّبْعَ الْمُوبِقَات

Avoid the seven great destructive sins.

The people inquired, 'O Allah's Messenger! What are they?'

He said,

  • الشِّرْكُ بِاللهِ،

  • وَقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ،

  • وَالسِّحْرُ،

  • وَأَكْلُ الرِّبَا،

  • وَأَكْلُ مَالِ الْيَتِيمِ،

  • وَالتَّوَلِّي يَوْمَ الزَّحْفِ،

  • وَقَذْفُ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ الْغَافِلَات

  • To join others in worship along with Allah,

  • to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause,

  • magic,

  • to consume Riba,

  • to consume an orphan's wealth,

  • to turn away from the enemy and flee from the battlefield when the battle begins, and

  • to accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything that would tarnish their chastity and are good believers.

 Another Hadith that mentions False Witness

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said,

"The Messenger of Allah mentioned the major sins, or was asked about the major sins. He said,

الشِّرْكُ بِاللهِ، وَقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ، وَعُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْن

Associating others with Allah in worship, killing the life, and being undutiful to the parents.

He then said,

أَلَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَكْبَرِ الْكَبَائِرِ؟

Should I tell you about the biggest of the major sins?

قَوْلُ الزُّورِ أَوْ شَهَادَةُ الزُّورِ

The false statement - or the false testimony.''

Shu`bah - one of the narrators of the Hadith - said,

"Most likely, in my opinion, he said, `False testimony.'''

The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith from Shu`bah from Anas.

Another Hadith In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakrah said that his father said,

"The Prophet said,

أَلَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَكْبَرِ الْكَبَائِرِ؟

Should I inform you about the greatest of the great sins?

We said, `Yes, O Allah's Messenger!'

He said,

الِإشْرَاكُ بِاللهِ، وَعُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْن

To join others in worship with Allah and to be undutiful to one's parents.

He was reclining, then he sat up and said;

أَلَا وَشَهَادَةُ الزُّورِ، أَلَا وَقَوْلُ الزُّور

And I warn you against false testimony and false speech.

and he continued repeating it until we wished that he would stop.''

 Another Hadith that mentions killing the Offspring

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! What is the greatest sin?' (in one narration the biggest sin).'

He said,

أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك

To make a rival for Allah while He Alone created you.

I said, `Then.'

He said,

أَنْ تَقْتُلَ وَلَدَكَ خَشْيَةَ أَنْ يَطْعَمَ مَعَك

To kill your offspring for fear that he might share your food with you.

I said, `Then.'

He said,

أَنْ تُزَانِيَ حَلِيلَةَ جَارِك

To commit adultery with your neighbor's wife.

He then recited, وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ  (And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah), until, إِلَّا مَن تَابَ (Except those who repent).'' (25:68-70)

Another Hadith from Abdullah bin `Amr Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Prophet said,

أَكْبَرُ الْكَبَائِرِ:

  • الِإشْرَاكُ بِاللهِ،

  • وَعُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْنِ أَوْ قَتْلُ النَّفْسِ شعبة الشاك

  • وَالْيَمِينُ الْغَمُوس

The greatest sins are:

  • To join others in worship with Allah,

  • to be undutiful to one's parents -

  • or to take a life.

Shu`bah was uncertain of which one - (and the false oath).

Recorded by Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasai.

 Another Hadith by Abdullah bin `Amr about Causing one's Parents to be Cursed

Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ مِنْ أَكْبَرِ الْكَبَائِرِ أَنْ يَلْعَنَ الرَّجُلُ وَالِدَيْه

Among the worst of the major sins is for a man to curse his own parents.

They said, "How can one curse his own parents?''

He said,

يَسُبُّ الرَّجُلُ أَبَا الرَّجُلِ، فَيَسُبُّ أَبَاهُ، وَيَسُبُّ أُمَّهُ فَيَسُبُّ أُمَّه

One curses another man's father, and that man curses his father in retaliation, or he curses someone's mother and that man curses his mother.

This is the wording of Muslim.

At-Tirmidhi said, "Sahih.''

It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,

سِبَابُ الْمُسْلِمِ فُسُوقٌ، وَقِتَالُهُ كُفْر

Cursing a Muslim is a sin and fighting him is Kufr.

 

 

Previous 29-31

وَلاَ تَتَمَنَّوْاْ مَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ

4:32 And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others.

لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبُواْ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ وَاسْأَلُواْ اللَّهَ مِن فَضْلِهِ

For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask Allah of His bounty.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيماً

Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.

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 Do Not Wish for the Things Which Allah has Made Some Others to Excel In

Allah says;

وَلاَ تَتَمَنَّوْاْ مَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ ...

And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Salamah said,

"O Messenger of Allah! Men go to battle, but we do not go to battle, and we earn one-half of the inheritance (that men get).''

Allah sent down, وَلاَ تَتَمَنَّوْاْ مَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ (And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others).

At-Tirmidhi also recorded this Hadith.

Allah's statement,

... لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبُواْ وَلِلنِّسَاء نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ ...

For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned,

indicates, according to Ibn Jarir, that each person will earn his wages for his works, a reward if his deeds are good, and punishment if his deeds are evil.

Al-Walibi reported from Ibn Abbas,

this Ayah is talking about inheritance, indicating the fact that each person will get his due share of the inheritance.

Allah then directed the servants to what benefits them,

... وَاسْأَلُواْ اللّهَ مِن فَضْلِهِ ...

and ask Allah of His Bounty.

Therefore, the Ayah states, "Do not wish for what other people were endowed with over you, for this is a decision that will come to pass, and wishing does not change its decree. However, ask Me of My favor and I will grant it to you, for I Am Most Generous and Most Giving.''

Allah then said,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا ﴿٣٢﴾

Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.

meaning, Allah knows who deserves this life, and so He gives him riches, and whoever deserves poverty, He makes him poor. He also knows who deserves the Hereafter, and He directs him to perform the deeds that will help him to be successful in it, and whoever deserves failure, He prevents him from achieving righteousness and what leads to it. Hence, Allah said, إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا  (Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything).

 

 

Previous 32

وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِىَ مِمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ

4:33 And to everyone, We have appointed Mawali of that left by parents and relatives.

وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ فَـَاتُوهُمْ نَصِيبَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ شَهِيداً

To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood), give them their due portion (by wills). Truly, Allah is Ever a Witness over all things.

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Allah says;

وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِيَ ...

And to everyone, We have appointed Mawali, of that left by parents and relatives.

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Salih, Qatadah, Zayd bin Aslam, As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak, Muqatil bin Hayyan, and others said;

Mawali means, "Heirs.''

Ibn Abbas was also reported to have said that;

Mawali refers to relatives.

Ibn Jarir commented,

"The Arabs call the cousin a Mawla.''

Ibn Jarir continued, "Allah's statement,

... مِمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ ...

of that (property) left by parents and relatives.

means, from what he inherited from his parents and family members.

Therefore, the meaning of the Ayah becomes: `To all of you, O people, We appointed relatives (such as children) who will later inherit what you inherited from your own parents and relatives.''

Allah's statement,

... وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَآتُوهُمْ نَصِيبَهُمْ ...

To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood), give them their due portion.

means, "Those with whom you have a pledge of brotherhood, give them their share of inheritance, thus fulfilling the ratified pledges that you gave them. Allah has witnessed all of you when you gave these pledges and promises.''

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدًا ﴿٣٣﴾

Truly, Allah is Ever a Witness over all things.

This practice was followed in the beginning of Islam, but was later on abrogated when Muslims were commanded to fulfill the pledges (brotherhood) they had already given, but to refrain from making any new pledges after that.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said, وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِيَ  (And to everyone, We have appointed Mawali),

"meaning, heirs; وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ (To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood). When the emigrants came to Al-Madinah, the emigrant would inherit from the Ansar, while the latter's relatives would not inherit from him because of the bond of brotherhood which the Prophet established between them (the emigrants and the Ansar). When the verse, وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِيَ  (And to everyone We have appointed Mawali) was revealed, it cancelled (the pledge of brotherhood regarding inheritance).''

Then he said,

"The verse, وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَآتُوهُمْ نَصِيبَهُمْ  (To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood), give them their due portion) remained valid for cases of co-operation and mutual advice, while the matter of inheritance was excluded and it became permissible to assign something in one's will to the person who had the right of inheriting before.''

 

 

Previous 33

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَآءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَآ أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَلِهِمْ

4:34 Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.

فَالصَّـلِحَـتُ قَـنِتَـتٌ حَـفِظَـتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ

Therefore the righteous women are Qanitat, and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard.

وَاللَّـتِى تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِى الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلاَ تَبْغُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلاً

As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them, and abandon them in their beds, and beat them, but if they return to obedience, do not seek a means against them.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيّاً كَبِيراً

Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.

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Allah said,

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاء ...

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women,

meaning, the man is responsible for the woman, and he is her maintainer, caretaker and leader who disciplines her if she deviates.

... بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ ...

because Allah has made one of them to excel the other,

meaning, because men excel over women and are better than them for certain tasks. This is why Prophethood was exclusive of men, as well as other important positions of leadership.

The Prophet said,

لَنْ يُفْلِحَ قَوْمٌ وَلَّوْا أَمْرَهُمُ امْرَأَة

People who appoint a woman to be their leader, will never achieve success.

Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith.

Such is the case with appointing women as judges or on other positions of leadership.

... وَبِمَا أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ ...

and because they spend from their means.

meaning the dowry, expenditures and various expenses that Allah ordained in His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger for men to spend on women. For these reasons it is suitable that he is appointed her maintainer, just as Allah said, وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ (But men have a degree (of responsibility) over them). (2:228)

 Qualities of the Righteous Wife

Allah said,

... فَالصَّالِحَاتُ ...

Therefore, the righteous (women),

... قَانِتَاتٌ ...

are Qanitat,

obedient to their husbands, as Ibn Abbas and others stated.

... حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ ...

and guard in the husband's absence,

As-Suddi and others said that;

it means she protects her honor and her husband's property when he is absent.

and Allah's statement,

... بِمَا حَفِظَ اللّهُ ...

what Allah orders them to guard.

means, the protected (husband) is the one whom Allah protects.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

خَيْرُ النِّسَاءِ امْرَأَةٌ إِذَا نَظَرْتَ إِلَيْهَا سَرَّتْكَ، وَإِذَا أَمَرْتَهَا أَطَاعَتْكَ، وَإِذَا غِبْتَ عَنْهَا حَفِظَتْكَ فِي نَفْسِهَا وَمَالِك

The best women is she who when you look at her, she pleases you, when you command her she obeys you, and when you are absent, she protects her honor and your property.

Then, the Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah, الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاء (Men are the protectors and maintainers of women), until its end.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdur-Rahman bin 'Awf said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا صَلَّتِ الْمَرْأَةُ خَمْسَهَا، وَصَامَتْ شَهْرَهَا، وَحَفِظَتْ فَرْجَهَا، وَأَطَاعَتْ زَوْجَهَا، قِيلَ لَهَا: ادْخُلِي الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أَيِّ الْأَبْوَابِ شِئْت

If the woman prayed her five daily prayers, fasted her month, protected her chastity and obeyed her husband, she will be told, 'Enter Paradise from any of its doors you wish.'

 Dealing with the Wife's Ill-Conduct

Allah said,

... وَاللاَّتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ ...

As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct,

meaning, the woman from whom you see ill conduct with her husband, such as when she acts as if she is above her husband, disobeys him, ignores him, dislikes him, and so forth. When these signs appear in a woman, her husband should advise her and remind her of Allah's torment if she disobeys him. Indeed, Allah ordered the wife to obey her husband and prohibited her from disobeying him, because of the enormity of his rights and all that he does for her.

The Messenger of Allah said,

لَوْ كُنْتُ آمِرًا أَحَدًا أَنْ يَسْجُدَ لِأَحَدٍ، لَأَمَرْتُ الْمَرْأَةَ أَنْ تَسْجُدَ لِزَوْجِهَا، مِنْ عِظَمِ حَقِّهِ عَلَيْهَا

If I were to command anyone to prostrate before anyone, I would have commanded the wife to prostrate before her husband, because of the enormity of his right upon her.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا دَعَا الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ إِلى فِرَاشِهِ فَأَبَتْ عَلَيْهِ، لَعَنَتْهَا الْمَلَائِكَةُ حَتَّى تُصْبِح

If the man asks his wife to come to his bed and she declines, the angels will keep cursing her until the morning.

Muslim recorded it with the wording,

إِذَا بَاتَتِ الْمَرْأَةُ هَاجِرَةً فِرَاشَ زَوْجِهَا، لَعَنَتْهَا الْمَلَائِكَةُ حَتَّى تُصْبِح

If the wife goes to sleep while ignoring her husband's bed, the angels will keep cursing her until the morning.

This is why Allah said,

... وَاللاَّتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ ...

As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them (first).

Allah's statement,

... وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ ...

abandon them in their beds,

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"The abandonment refers to not having intercourse with her, to lie on her bed with his back to her.''

Several others said similarly.

As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak, Ikrimah, and Ibn Abbas, in another narration, added,

"Not to speak with her or talk to her.''

The Sunan and Musnad compilers recorded that Muawiyah bin Haydah Al-Qushayri said,

"O Allah's Messenger! What is the right that the wife of one of us has on him'' The Prophet said,

أَنْ تُطْعِمَهَا إِذَا طَعِمْتَ، وَتَكْسُوَهَا إِذَا اكْتَسَيْتَ، وَلَا تَضْرِبِ الْوَجْهَ، وَلَا تُقَبِّحْ، وَلَا تَهْجُرْ إِلَّا فِي الْبَيْت

To feed her when you eat, cloth her when you buy clothes for yourself, refrain from striking her face or cursing her, and to not abandon her, except in the house.

Allah's statement,

... وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ...

beat them,

means, if advice and ignoring her in the bed do not produce the desired results, you are allowed to discipline the wife, without severe beating.

Muslim recorded that Jabir said that during the Farewell Hajj, the Prophet said;

وَاتَّقُوا اللهَ فِي النِّسَاءِ، فَإِنَّهُنَّ عِنْدَكُمْ عَوَانٍ، وَلَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ أَنْ لَا يُوطِئْنَ فُرُشَكُمْ أَحَدًا تَكْرَهُونَهُ،فَإِنْ فَعَلْنَ ذَلِكَ فَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ضَرْبًا غَيْرَ مُبَرِحٍ، وَلَهُنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوف

Fear Allah regarding women, for they are your assistants. You have the right on them that they do not allow any person whom you dislike to step on your mat. However, if they do that, you are allowed to discipline them lightly. They have a right on you that you provide them with their provision and clothes, in a reasonable manner.

Ibn Abbas and several others said that;

the Ayah refers to a beating that is not violent.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that;

it means, a beating that is not severe.

 When the Wife Obeys Her Husband, Means of Annoyance Against Her are Prohibited

Allah said,

... فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلاَ تَبْغُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلاً ...

but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance),

meaning, when the wife obeys her husband in all that Allah has allowed, then no means of annoyance from the husband are allowed against his wife. Therefore, in this case, the husband does not have the right to beat her or shun her bed.

Allah's statement,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلِيًّا كَبِيرًا ﴿٣٤﴾

Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.

reminds men that if they transgress against their wives without justification, then Allah, the Ever Most High, Most Great, is their Protector, and He will exert revenge on those who transgress against their wives and deal with them unjustly.

 

 

Previous 34

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُواْ حَكَماً مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَماً مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ إِن يُرِيدَآ إِصْلَـحاً يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَآ

4:35 If you fear a breach between the two, appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from her's; if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً خَبِيراً

Indeed Allah is Ever All-Knower, Well-Acquainted with all things.

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 Appointing Two Arbitrators When the Possibility of Estrangement Between Husband and Wife Occurs

Allah first mentioned the case of rebellion on the part of the wife. He then mentioned the case of estrangement and alienation between the two spouses.

Allah said,

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُواْ حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا ...

If you fear a breach between the two, appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family.

The Fuqaha (scholars of Fiqh) say that when estrangement occurs between the husband and wife, the judge refers them to a trusted person who examines their case in order to stop any wrongs committed between them. If the matter continues or worsens, the judge sends a trustworthy person from the woman's family and a trustworthy person from the man's family to meet with them and examine their case to determine whether it is best for them to part or to remain together.

Allah gives preference to staying together, and this is why Allah said,

... إِن يُرِيدَا إِصْلاَحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا ...

if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"Allah commands that a righteous man from the husband's side of the family and the wife's side of the family are appointed, so that they find out who among the spouses is in the wrong. If the man is in the wrong, they prevent him from his wife, and he pays some restitution. If the wife is in the wrong, she remains with her husband, and he does not pay any restitution. If the arbitrators decide that the marriage should remain intact or be dissolved, then their decision is upheld. If they decide that the marriage remains intact, but one of the spouses disagrees while the other agrees, and one of them dies, then the one who agreed inherits from the other, while the spouse who did not agree does not inherit from the spouse who agreed.''

This was collected by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir.

Sheikh Abu Umar bin Abdul-Barr said,

"The scholars agree that when the two arbitrators disagree, then the opinion that dissolves the marriage will not be adopted. They also agree that the decision of the arbitrators is binding, even if the two spouses did not appoint them as agents. This is the case if it is decided that they should stay together, but they disagree whether it is binding or not when they decide for separation.''

Then he mentioned that the majority holds the view that the decision is still binding, even if they did not appoint them to make any decision.

... إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًا ﴿٣٥﴾

Indeed Allah is Ever All-Knower, Well-Acquainted with all things.

 

 

Previous 35

وَاعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئاً

4:36 Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship,

وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـناً وَبِذِى الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَـمَى وَالْمَسَـكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِى الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّـحِبِ بِالجَنْبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ

and do good to

  • parents,

  • kinsfolk,

  • orphans,

  • the poor,

  • the neighbor who is near of kin,

  • the neighbor who is a stranger,

  • the companion by your side,

  • the wayfarer (you meet),

  • and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً

Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.

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 The Order to Worship Allah Alone and to Be Dutiful to Parents

Allah says;

وَاعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئًا ...

Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship,

Allah orders that He be worshipped Alone without partners, because He Alone is the Creator and Sustainer Who sends His favors and bounties on His creation in all situations and instances. Therefore He deserves to be singled out, without associating anything or anyone from His creation with Him in worship.

Indeed, the Prophet said to Mu`adh,

أَتَدْرِي مَا حَقُّ اللهِ عَلَى الْعِبَادِ ؟

Do you know what Allah's right on His servants is?

Mu`adh replied, "Allah and His Messenger know better.''

He said,

أنْ يَعْبُدُوهُ وَلَا يُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا

That they should worship Him and should not worship any others with Him.

The Prophet then said,

أَتَدْرِي مَا حَقُّ الْعِبَادِ عَلَى اللهِ إِذَا فَعَلُوا ذَلِكَ ؟ أَنْ لَا يُعَذِّبَهُم

Do you know what the right of the servants on Allah is if they do this He should not punish them.

... وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ...

and do good to parents,

Allah commands the servants to be dutiful to their parents, for Allah made parents the reason for the servants to come to existence, after they did not exist.

Allah joins the order to worship Him with being dutiful to parents in many places. For example, He said,

أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ

give thanks to Me and to your parents, (31:14)

and,

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّـهُ وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـناً

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents). (17:23)

After Allah ordained being dutiful to parents, He ordained kind treatment of relatives, males and females.

... وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَى ...

kinsfolk,

A Hadith states,

الصَّدَقَةُ عَلَى الْمِسْكِينِ صَدَقَةٌ، وَعَلى ذِي الرَّحِمِ صَدَقَةٌ وَصِلَة

Charity given to the poor is Sadaqah, while charity given to relatives is both Sadaqah and Silah (keeping the relations).

Allah then said,

... وَالْيَتَامَى ...

orphans,

because they lost their caretakers who would spend on them. So Allah commands that the orphans be treated with kindness and compassion.

Allah then said,

... وَالْمَسَاكِينِ ...

Al-Masakin (the poor),

who have various needs and cannot find what sustains these needs. Therefore, Allah commands they should be helped in acquiring their needs in a sufficient manner that will end their inadequacy.

We will further elaborate on the matter of the destitute and the poor in Surah Bara'h (9:60).

 The Right of the Neighbor

Allah said,

... وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ ...

the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said that

وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى (the neighbor who is near of kin) means,

"The neighbor who is also a relative,''

while, وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ (The neighbor who is a stranger) means,

"Who is not a relative.''

It was also reported that Ikrimah, Mujahid, Maymun bin Mihran, Ad-Dahhak, Zayd bin Aslam, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Qatadah said similarly.

Mujahid was also reported to have said that Allah's statement, وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ (the neighbor who is a stranger) means,

"The companion during travel.''

There are many Hadiths that command kind treatment to the neighbors, and we will mention some of them here with Allah's help.

The First Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَازَالَ جِبْرِيلُ يُوصِينِي بِالْجَارِ حَتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُ سَيُوَرِّثُه

Jibril kept reminding of the neighbor's right, until I thought that he was going to give him a share of the inheritance.

The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith.

The Second Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَازَالَ جِبْرِيلُ يُوصِينِي بِالْجَارِ حَتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُ سَيُوَرِّثُه

Jibril kept reminding me of the neighbor's right, until I thought he was going to appoint a share of the inheritance for him.

Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi said was "Hasan Gharib through this route.''

The Third Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As said that the Prophet said,

خَيْرُ الْأَصْحَابِ عِنْدَ اللهِ خَيْرُهُمْ لِصَاحِبِهِ، وَخَيْرُ الْجِيرَانِ عِنْدَ اللهِ خَيْرُهُمْ لِجَارِه

The best companions according to Allah are those who are the best with their friends, and the best neighbors according to Allah are the best with their neighbors.

At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith and said, "Hasan Gharib''.

The Fourth Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad said that the Messenger of Allah asked his Companions,

مَا تَقُولُونَ فِي الزِّنَا ؟

What do you say about adultery?

They said, "It is prohibited, for Allah and His Messenger have prohibited it. So it is forbidden until the Day of Resurrection.''

The Messenger of Allah said,

لَأَنْ يَزْنِيَ الرَّجُلُ بِعَشْرِ نِسْوَةٍ، أَيْسَرُ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَنْ يَزْنِيَ بِامْرَأَةِ جَارِه

For a man to commit adultery with his neighbor's wife is worse than if he commits adultery with ten women.

He then said,

مَا تَقُولُونَ فِي السَّرِقَةِ ؟

What do you say about theft?

They said, "It is prohibited, for Allah and His Messenger prohibited it.''

He said,

لَأَنْ يَسْرِقَ الرَّجُلُ مِنْ عَشْرَةِ أَبْيَاتٍ، أَيْسَرُ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَنْ يَسْرِقَ مِنْ جَارِه

If a man steals from his neighbor, it is worse for him than stealing from ten homes.

Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith.

A similar Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs, Ibn Mas`ud said,

"I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! What is the greatest sin?'

He said,

أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك

To make a rival for Allah while He Alone created you.

I said, `Then.'

He said,

أَنْ تَقْتُلَ وَلَدَكَ خَشْيَةَ أَنْ يَطْعَمَ مَعَك

To kill your offspring for fear that he might share your food with you.

I said, `Then.'

He said,

أَنْ تُزَانِيَ حَلِيلَةَ جَارِك

To commit adultery with your neighbor's wife.''

The Fifth Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that,

Aishah asked the Messenger of Allah, "I have two neighbors, so whom among them should I give my gift?''

He said,

إِلى أَقْرَبِهِمَا مِنْكِ بَابًا

The neighbor whose door is the closest to you.

Al-Bukhari narrated this Hadith.

We will elaborate on this subject in the Tafsir of Surah Bara'h, Allah willing and upon Him we depend.

... وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ...

the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet),

 Being Kind to Slaves and Servants

Allah said,

... وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ...

and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess,

this is an order to be kind to them because they are weak, being held as captives by others.

An authentic Hadith records that;

during the illness that preceded his death, the Messenger of Allah continued advising his Ummah:

الصَّلَاةَ الصَّلَاةَ، وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُم

(Protect) the prayer, (protect) the prayer, and (those slaves) whom your hands possess.

He was repeating it until his tongue was still.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Ma`dykarib said that the Messenger of Allah said,

  • مَا أَطْعَمْتَ نَفْسَكَ فَهُوَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ

  • وَمَا أَطْعَمْتَ وَلَدَكَ فَهُوَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ

  • وَمَا أَطْعَمْتَ زَوْجَتَكَ فَهُوَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ

  • وَمَا أَطْعَمْتَ خَادِمَكَ فَهُوَ لَكَ صَدَقَة

  • What you feed yourself is a Sadaqah (charity) for you,

  • what you feed your children is Sadaqah for you,

  • what you feed your wife is Sadaqah for you,

  • what you feed your servant is Sadaqah for you.

An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith which has an authentic chain of narration, all the thanks are due to Allah. `

Abdullah bin `Amr said to a caretaker of his,

"Did you give the slaves their food yet?''

He said, "No.''

Ibn `Amr said, "Go and give it to them, for the Messenger of Allah said,

كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ إِثْمًا أَنْ يَحْبِسَ عَمَّنْ يَمْلِكُ قُوتَهُم

It is enough sin for someone to prevent whomever he is responsible for from getting their food. ''

Muslim recorded this Hadith.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said,

لِلْمَمْلُوكِ طَعَامُهُ وَكِسْوَتُهُ، وَلَا يُكَلَّفُ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ إِلَّا مَا يُطِيق

The slave has the right to have food, clothing and to only be required to perform what he can bear of work.

Muslim also recorded this Hadith.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said,

إِذَا أَتَى أَحَدَكُمْ خَادِمُهُ بِطَعَامِه، فَإِنْ لَمْ يُجْلِسْهُ مَعَهُ فَلْيُنَاوِلْهُ لُقْمَةً أَوْ لُقْمَتَيْنِ أَوْ أُكْلَةً أَوْ أُكْلتَيْنِ فَإِنَّهُ وَلِيَ حَرَّهُ وَعِلَاجَه

When your servant brings meals to one of you, if he does not let him sit and share the meal, then he should at least give him a mouthful or two mouthfuls of that meal or a meal or two, for he has prepared it.

This is the wording collected by Al-Bukhari.

 Allah Does Not Like the Arrogant

Allah said,

... إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُورًا ﴿٣٦﴾

Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.

meaning, one who is proud and arrogant, insolent and boasts to others. He thinks that he is better than other people, thus thinking high of himself, even though he is insignificant to Allah and hated by people.

Mujahid said that;

Allah's statement, إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً (Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud) means arrogant, while, فَخُورًا  (boastful) means boasting about what he has, while he does not thank Allah.

This Ayah indicates that such a person boasts with people about the bounty that Allah has given him, but he is actually ungrateful to Allah for this bounty.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abdullah bin Waqid Abu Raja Al-Harawi said,

"You will find that those who are mean are also proud and boasting. He then recited, وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ  (and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess).

You will find that he who is undutiful (to parents) is also arrogant, and deprived. He then recited, وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَتِي وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِي جَبَّارًا شَقِيًّا (And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, deprived). (19:32)

Once a man asked the Prophet,

"O Messenger of Allah, advise me.'

The Prophet said,

إيَّاكَ وَإِسْبَالَ الْإِزَارِ، فَإِنَّ إِسْبَالَ الْإِزَارِ مِنَ الْمَخِيلَةِ، وَإِنَّ اللهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمَخِيلَة

Avoid lengthening the dress (below the ankles), for this practice is from arrogance. Verily, Allah does not like arrogance.''

 

 

Previous 36

الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ وَيَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبُخْلِ وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً

4:37 Those who are stingy and encourage people to be stingy and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounties. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment.

وَالَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَلَهُمْ رِئَـآءَ النَّاسِ وَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَمَن يَكُنِ الشَّيْطَـنُ لَهُ قَرِيناً فَسَآءَ قِرِيناً

4:38 And (also) those who spend of their wealth to be seen of men, and believe not in Allah and the Last Day, and whoever takes Shaytan as an intimate; then what a dreadful intimate he has!

وَمَاذَا عَلَيْهِمْ لَوْ ءَامَنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَأَنفَقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِهِم عَلِيماً

4:39 And what loss have they if they had believed in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spend out of what Allah has given them for sustenance And Allah is Ever All-Knower of them.

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 The Censure of Stingy Behavior

Allah says;

الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ وَيَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبُخْلِ ...

Those who are stingy and encourage people to be stingy,

Allah chastises the stingy behavior of those who refuse to spend their money for what Allah ordered them, such as being kind to parents and compassionate to relatives, orphans, the poor, the relative who is also a neighbor, the companion during travel, the needy wayfarer, the slaves and servants. Such people do not give Allah's right from their wealth, and they assist in the spread of stingy behavior.

The Messenger of Allah said,

وَأَيُّ دَاءٍ أَدْوَأُ مِنَ الْبُخْل

What disease is more serious than being stingy!

He also said,

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالشُّحَّ، فَإِنَّهُ أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ، أَمَرَهُمْ بِالْقَطِيْعَةِ فَقَطَعُوا، وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالْفُجُورِ فَفَجَرُوا

Beware of being stingy, for it destroyed those who were before you, as it encouraged them to cut their relations and they did, and it encouraged them to commit sin and they did.

Allah said,

... وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَا آتَاهُمُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ ...

and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounties,

Therefore, the miser is ungrateful for Allah's favor, for its effect does not appear on him, whether in his food, clothes or what he gives.

Similarly, Allah said,

إِنَّ الإِنسَـنَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ

وَإِنَّهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ

Verily, man is ungrateful to his Lord. And to that he bears witness. (100:6-7),

by his manners and conduct,

وَإِنَّهُ لِحُبِّ الْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ

And verily, he is violent in the love of wealth. (100-8)

Allah said,

... وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَا آتَاهُمُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ ...

and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounties.

and this is why He threatened them,

... وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا ﴿٣٧﴾

And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment.

Kufr means to cover something. Therefore, the Bakhil (miser) covers the favors that Allah has blessed him with, meaning he does not spread those favors. So he is described by the term Kafir (ungrateful) regarding the favors that Allah granted him.

A Hadith states that,

إِنَّ اللهَ إِذَا أَنْعَمَ نِعْمَةً عَلى عَبْدٍ،أَحَبَّ أَنْ يَظْهَرَ أَثَرُهَا عَلَيْه

When Allah grants a servant a favor, He likes that its effect appears on him.

Some of the Salaf stated that;

this Ayah (4:37) is describing the Jews who hid the knowledge they had about the description of Muhammad, and there is no doubt that the general meaning of the Ayah includes this.

The apparent wording for this Ayah indicates that it is talking about being stingy with money, even though miserly conduct with knowledge is also included.

The Ayah talks about spending on relatives and the weak, just as the Ayah after it.

وَالَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ رِئَـاء النَّاسِ ...

And (also) those who spend of their wealth to be seen of men, 

Allah first mentions the punished misers who do not spend, then He mentions those who spend to show off to gain the reputation that they are generous, not for the Face of Allah.

A Hadith states that;

the first three persons on whom the fire will feed are a scholar, a fighter and a spender who shows off with their actions. For instance,

يَقُولُ صَاحِبُ الْمَالِ: مَا تَرَكْتُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ تُحِبُّ أَنْ يُنْفَقَ فِيهِ، إِلَّا أَنْفَقْتُ فِي سَبِيلِكَ، فَيَقُولُ اللهُ: كَذَبْتَ، إِنَّمَا أَرَدْتَ أَنْ يُقَالَ: جَوَادٌ، فَقَدْدِقيل

The wealthy will say, "I did not leave any area that You like to be spent on, but I spent on it in Your cause.''

Allah will say, "You lie, you only did that so that it is said, `He is generous.' And it was said...''

meaning you acquired your reward in the life, and this is indeed what you sought with your action.

This is why Allah said,

... وَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ ...

and believe not in Allah and the Last Day,

meaning, it is Shaytan who lured them to commit this evil action, instead of performing the good deed as it should be performed. Shaytan encouraged, excited and lured them by making the evil appear good.

... وَمَن يَكُنِ الشَّيْطَانُ لَهُ قَرِينًا فَسَاء قِرِينًا ﴿٣٨﴾

And whoever takes Shaytan as an intimate; then what a dreadful intimate he has!

Allah then said,

وَمَاذَا عَلَيْهِمْ لَوْ آمَنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَأَنفَقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَهُمُ اللّهُ ...

And what loss have they if they had believed in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spend out of what Allah has given them for sustenance!

This Ayah means, what harm would it cause them if they believe in Allah, go on the righteous path, replace showing off with sincerity, have faith in Allah, and await His promise in the Hereafter, for those who do good and spend what He has given them on what He likes and is pleased with.

Allah's statement:

... وَكَانَ اللّهُ بِهِم عَلِيمًا ﴿٣٩﴾

And Allah is Ever All-Knower of them.

means, He has perfect knowledge of their intentions, whether good or evil. Indeed, Allah knows those who deserve success, and He grants them success and guidance, directing them to perform righteous actions that will earn them His pleasure. He also knows those who deserve failure and expulsion from His great mercy, which amounts to utter failure in this life and the Hereafter for them, we seek refuge in Allah from this evil end.

 

 

Previous 37-39

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْراً عَظِيماً

4:40 Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.

فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاءِ شَهِيداً

4:41 How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people!

 يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَعَصَوُاْ الرَّسُولَ لَوْ تُسَوَّى بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضُ وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثاً

4:42 On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that they were buried in the earth, but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah.

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 Allah Wrongs Not Even the Weight of a Speck of Dust

Allah says;

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ ...

Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust,

Allah states that He does not treat any of His servants with injustice on the Day of Resurrection, be it the weight of a mustard seed or a speck of dust. Rather, Allah shall reward them for this action and multiply it, if it were a good deed.

For instance, Allah said,

وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَزِينَ الْقِسْطَ

And We shall set up balances of justice. (21:47)

Allah said that Luqman said,

يبُنَىَّ إِنَّهَآ إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُنْ فِى صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ أَوْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ

O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. (31:16)

Allah said,

يَوْمَئِذٍ يَصْدُرُ النَّاسُ أَشْتَاتاً لِّيُرَوْاْ أَعْمَـلَهُمْ

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْراً يَرَهُ

وَمَن يَعْـمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرّاً يَرَهُ

That Day mankind will proceed in scattered groups that they may be shown their deeds. So whosoever does good equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it. (99:6-8)

The Two Sahihs recorded the long Hadith about the intercession that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri narrated, and in which the Messenger of Allah said,

فَيَقُولُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: ارْجِعُوا، فَمَنْ وَجَدْتُمْ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةِ خَرْدَلٍ مِنْ إِيمَانٍ، فَأَخْرِجُوهُ مِنَ النَّار

Allah then says, "Go back, and take out of the Fire everyone in whose heart you find the weight of a mustard seed of faith''

In another narration, Allah says,

أَدْنَى أَدْنَى أَدْنَى مِثْقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ مِنْ إِيمَانٍ، فَأَخْرِجُوهُ مِنَ النَّارِ، فَيُخْرِجُونَ خَلْقًا كَثِيرًا

"Whosoever had the least, least, least speck of faith, take him out of the Fire,'' and they will take out many people.

Abu Sa`id then said,

"Read, if you will, إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ  (Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust).''

 Will Punishment be Diminished for the Disbelievers

Allah's statement,

... وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا ...

but if there is any good (done), He doubles it,

Sa`id bin Jubayr commented about Allah's statement,

"As for the disbeliever, his punishment will be lessened for him on the Day of Resurrection, but he will never depart the Fire.''

He used as evidence the authentic Hadith in which Al-Abbas said, "O Messenger of Allah! Your uncle Abu Talib used to protect and support you, did you benefit him at all?''

The Messenger said,

نَعَمْ هُوَ فِي ضَحْضَاحٍ مِنْ نَارٍ، وَلَوْلَا أَنَا، لَكَانَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّار

Yes. He is in a shallow area in Hell-fire, and were it not for me, he would have been in the deepest depths of the Fire.

However, this Hadith only applies to Abu Talib, not the rest of the disbelievers.

To support this, we mention what Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded in his Musnad that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ اللهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ الْمُؤْمِنَ حَسَنَةً، يُثَابُ عَلَيْهَا الرِّزْقَ فِي الدُّنْيَا، وَيُجْزَى بِهَا فِي الْآخِرَةِ،

Allah does not wrong the faithful even concerning one good action, for he will be rewarded for it by provision in this life and awarded for it in the Hereafter.

وَأَمَّا الْكَافِرُ فَيُطْعَمُ بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا، فَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ حَسَنَة

As for the disbeliever, he will be provided provision in this life for his good action, and on the Day of Resurrection, he will not have any good deed.

 What Does `Great Reward' Mean

Allah's statement,

... وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا ﴿٤٠﴾

and gives from Him a great reward.

Abu Hurayrah, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said about Allah's statement that,

it refers to Paradise.

We ask Allah for His pleasure and Paradise.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Uthman An-Nahdi said,

"No other person accompanied Abu Hurayrah more than I. One year, he went to Hajj before me, and I found the people of Al-Basra saying that he narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

إِنَّ اللهَ يُضَاعِفُ الْحَسَنَةَ أَلْفَ أَلْفِ حَسَنَة

Allah rewards the good deed with a million deeds.

So I said, `Woe to you! No person accompanied Abu Hurayrah more than I, and I never heard him narrate this Hadith!'

When I wanted to meet him, I found that he had left for Hajj so I followed him to Hajj to ask him about this Hadith.''

Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this Hadith using another chain of narration leading to Abu Uthman.

In this narration, Abu Uthman said,

"I said, `O Abu Hurayrah! I heard my brethren in Al-Basra claim that you narrated that you heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

إِنَّ اللهَ يَجْزِي بِالْحَسَنَةِ أَلْفَ أَلْفِ حَسَنَة

Allah rewards the good deed with a million deeds.

Abu Hurayrah said, `By Allah! I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

إِنَّ اللهَ يَجْزِي بِالْحَسَنَةِ أَلْفَيْ أَلْفِ حَسَنَة

Allah rewards the good deed with two million deeds.

He then recited this Ayah,

فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ

But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared to the Hereafter.'' (9:38)

 Our Prophet will be a Witness Against, or For his Ummah on the Day of Resurrection, When the Disbelievers Will Wish for Death

Allah said,

فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاء شَهِيدًا ﴿٤١

How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people!

Allah describes the horrors, hardships and difficulties of the Day of Resurrection, saying, how would it be on that Day when there will be a witness from every nation, meaning the Prophets, just as Allah said;

وَأَشْرَقَتِ الاٌّرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَـبُ وَجِـىءَ بِالنَّبِيِّيْنَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ

And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the Book will be placed (open); and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward. (39:69)

and,

وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ

And (remember) the Day when We shall raise up from every nation a witness against them from amongst themselves. (16:89)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"The Messenger of Allah said to me, `Recite to me.'

I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Should I recite (the Qur'an) to you, while it was revealed to you.'

He said, `Yes, for I like to hear it from other people.'

I recited Surah An-Nisa' until I reached this Ayah,

فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاء شَهِيدًا

How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people!

He then said, `Stop now.'

I found that his eyes were tearful.''

Allah's statement,

يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَعَصَوُاْ الرَّسُولَ لَوْ تُسَوَّى بِهِمُ الأَرْضُ ...

On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that they were buried in the earth,

means, they will wish that the earth would open up and swallow them because of the horror of the gathering place and the disgrace, dishonor and humiliation they will suffer on that Day.

This is similar to Allah's statement,

يَوْمَ يَنظُرُ الْمَرْءُ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ

The Day when man will see that (the deeds) which his hands have sent forth. (78:40)

Allah then said,

... وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللّهَ حَدِيثًا ﴿٤٢﴾

but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah.

indicating that they will admit to everything they did and will not hide any of it.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said,

"A man came to Ibn Abbas and said to him, `There are things that confuse me in the Qur'an.'

Ibn Abbas said, `What things do you have doubts about in the Qur'an?'

He said, `Not doubts, but rather confusing things.'

Ibn Abbas said, `Tell me what caused you confusion.'

He said, `I hear Allah's statement,

ثُمَّ لَمْ تَكُن فِتْنَتُهُمْ  إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ وَاللّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ

There will then be no test for them but to say: "By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah.'' (6:23)

but He also says, 

... وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللّهَ حَدِيثًا

but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah.

They have indeed hid something.

Ibn Abbas said,

`As for Allah's statement, ثُمَّ لَمْ تَكُن فِتْنَتُهُمْ  إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ وَاللّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ (There will then be no test for them but to say: "By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah)'', when they see that on the Day of Resurrection that Allah does not forgive, except for the people of Islam, and that He forgives the sins, no matter how big they are, except Shirk, then the Mushriks will lie. They will say, وَاللّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ  `("By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah.''), hoping that Allah will forgive them. However, Allah will then seal their mouths, and their hands and feet will disclose what they used to do. Then, يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَعَصَوُاْ الرَّسُولَ لَوْ تُسَوَّى بِهِمُ الأَرْضُ وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللّهَ حَدِيثًا (those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that they were buried in the earth, but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah).'''

 

 

Previous 40-42

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـرَى حَتَّى تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ

4:43 O you who believe! Do not approach Salah while you are in a drunken state until you know what you are saying,

وَلاَ جُنُباً إِلاَّ عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ حَتَّى تَغْتَسِلُواْ

nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through, until you bathe (your entire body),

وَإِنْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُمْ مِّن الْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لَـمَسْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ

and if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes from the Gha'it (toilet), or from Lamastum (touching) women, but you do not find water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth, rubbing your faces and hands.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً غَفُوراً

Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.

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Next 44-46   

 

 The Prohibition of Approaching Prayer When Drunk or Junub

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَى حَتَّىَ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ ...

O you who believe! Do not approach Salah while you are in a drunken state until you know what you are saying,

Allah forbade His believing servants from praying while drunk, for one does not know the meaning of what he is saying in that state, and He forbade them from attending the Masjids while sexually impure, except when one is just passing through the Masjid from one door to another.

This Ayah was revealed before alcohol consumption was completely prohibited, as evident by the Hadith that we mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah when we explained Allah's statement, يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِر (They ask you about alcoholic drink and gambling). (2:219)

In that Hadith, the Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah to Umar, who said, "O Allah! Explain the ruling about Khamr (intoxicants) for us in a plain manner.''

When this Ayah (4:43) was revealed, the Prophet recited it to Umar, who still said, "O Allah! Explain the ruling about Khamr (intoxicants) for us in a plain manner.''

After that, they would not drink alcohol close to the time of prayer. When Allah's statement,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who believe! alcoholic drinks, gambling, Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam are an abomination of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful (5:90) until, فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ  So, will you not then abstain! (5:91) was revealed.

Umar said, "We abstain, we abstain.''

In another narration, when the Ayah in Surah An-Nisa' was revealed, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَى حَتَّىَ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ (O you who believe! Do not approach Salah while you are in a drunken state until you know what you are saying), at the time of prayer, the Messenger of Allah would have someone proclaim; "Let not any drunk approach the prayer.''

This is the wording collected by Abu Dawud.

 Causes of Its Revelation

Ibn Abi Hatim has recorded some reports about the incident of its revelation:

Sa`d said, "Four Ayat were revealed concerning me.

A man from the Ansar once made some food and invited some Muhajirin and Ansar men to it, and we ate and drank until we became intoxicated. We then boasted about our status.''

Then a man held a camel's bone and injured Sa`d's nose, which was scarred ever since. This occurred before Al-Khamr was prohibited, and Allah later revealed, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَى (O you who believe! Approach not As Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state).

Muslim recorded this Hadith, and the collectors of the Sunan recorded it, with the exception of Ibn Majah.

Another Reason Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that;

Ali bin Abi Talib said,

"Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf made some food to which he invited us and served some alcohol to drink. When we became intoxicated, and the time for prayer came, they asked someone to lead us in prayer. He recited `Say, `O disbelievers! I do not worship that which you worship, but we worship that which you worship (refer to the correct wording of the Surah:109).'''

Allah then revealed,  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَى حَتَّىَ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ (O you who believe! Do not approach Salah when you are in a drunken state until you know what you are saying).''

This is the narration collected by Ibn Abi Hatim and At-Tirmidhi, who said "Hasan Gharib Sahih.''

Allah's statement,

... حَتَّىَ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ ...

until you know what you are saying,

is the best description for when one is intoxicated, that is, when he does not know the meaning of what he is saying. When a person is drunk, he makes obvious mistakes in the recitation and will not be able to be humble during the prayer.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا نَعَسَ أَحَدُكُمْ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي، فَلْيَنْصَرِفْ فَلْيَنَمْ، حَتَّى يَعْلَمَ مَا يَقُول

If one feels sleepy while he is praying, let him sleep for a while so that he knows the meaning of what he is saying.

This was also recorded by Al-Bukhari and An-Nasa'i.

In some of the narrations of this Hadith, the Messenger said,

فَلَعَلَّهُ يَذْهَبُ يَسْتَغْفِرُ فَيَسُبَّ نَفْسَه

...For he might want to ask for forgiveness, but instead curses himself!

Allah said,

... وَلاَ جُنُبًا إِلاَّ عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىَ تَغْتَسِلُواْ ...

nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through, until you bathe (your entire body),

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said that Allah's statement,

means, "Do not enter the Masjid when you are Junub, unless you are just passing by, in which case, you pass through without sitting down.''

Ibn Abi Hatim said that similar is reported from Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Anas, Abu `Ubaydah, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Abu Ad-Duha, Ata, Mujahid, Masruq, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Zayd bin Aslam, Abu Malik, `Amr bin Dinar, Al-Hakam bin Utaybah, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari, Ibn Shihab and Qatadah.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Yazid bin Abi Habib commented on Allah's statement, وَلاَ جُنُبًا إِلاَّ عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ  (nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through),

when some men from the Ansar, whose doors literally opened into the Masjid, were sexually impure, and they did not have water, their only way to get water was to pass through the Masjid. So, Allah sent down, وَلاَ جُنُبًا إِلاَّ عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ  (nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through).''

What supports this statement by Yazid bin Abi Habib, may Allah have mercy upon him, is Al-Bukhari's report in his Sahih, that the Messenger of Allah said,

سُدُّوا كُلَّ خَوْخَةٍ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ إِلَّا خَوْخَةَ أَبِي بَكْر

Close all the small doors in this Masjid, except that of Abu Bakr.

This is what the Prophet commanded at the end of his life, knowing that Abu Bakr will be the Khalifah after him, and that he would need to enter the Masjid on numerous occasions to manage the important affairs of the Muslims. Yet, the Messenger of Allah commanded that all the small doors that open into the Masjid be closed, except Abu Bakr's door.

Some of the Sunan compilers recorded the Prophet saying that only Ali's door should remain open, but this is an error, what is in the Sahih is what is correct.

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Aishah said,

"The Messenger of Allah said to me,

نَاوِلِيِني الْخُمْرَةَ مِنَ الْمَسْجِد

Bring me the garment from the Masjid.

I said, `I am having my period.'

He said,

إِنَّ حَيْضَتَكِ لَيْسَتْ فِي يَدِك

Your period is not in your hand.

Muslim also collected a similar narration from Abu Hurayrah.

This Hadith indicates that the woman is allowed to pass through the Masjid during menses or post-natal bleeding, and Allah knows best.

 Description of Tayammum

Allah said,

... وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاء أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّن الْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاء فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا ...

and if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes from the Gha'it (toilet), or from Lamastum (touching) women, but you do not find water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth.

As for the type of illness which would allow Tayammum, it is an illness that one fears would be aggravated by using water, which could be detrimental to a part of the body, or when doing so would prolong an illness.

Some scholars said that any type of illness warrants Tayammum, because of the general indications of the Ayah.

... أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ ...

or on a journey,

As for traveling on a journey, it is known, regardless of its length.

Allah then said,

... أَوْ جَاء أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّن الْغَآئِطِ ...

or comes from the Gha'it,

The Gha'it is, literally, the flat land, and this part of the Ayah refers to the minor impurity.

Allah then said,

... أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء ...

or you Lamastum women,

which was recited Lamastum and Lamastum, referring to sexual intercourse.

For instance, Allah said in another Ayah,

وَإِن طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ وَقَدْ فَرَضْتُمْ لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً فَنِصْفُ مَا فَرَضْتُمْ

And if you divorce them before you have touched them, and you have appointed unto them the dowry, then pay half of that. (2:237)

and,

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا نَكَحْتُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا

O you who believe! When you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have touched them, no `Iddah (period of waiting) have you to count in respect of them. (33:49)

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said that;

Allah's statement, أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء (or Lamastum women) refers to sexual intercourse.

It was reported that Ali, Ubayy bin Ka`b, Mujahid, Tawus, Al-Hasan, Ubayd bin Umayr, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan said similarly.

Allah said,

... فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاء فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا ...

but you do not find water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth,

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Imran bin Husayn said,

Allah's Messenger saw a person sitting away from the people and not praying with them. He asked him,

يَا فُلَانُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ، أَلَسْتَ بِرَجُلٍ مُسْلِم ٍ؟

`O so-and-so! What prevented you from offering the prayer with the people, are not you Muslim?'

He replied, `Yes, O Allah's Messenger! I am Junub and there is no water.'

The Prophet said,

عَلَيْكَ بِالصَّعِيدِ، فَإِنَّهُ يَكْفِيك

`Perform Tayammum with clean earth and that will be sufficient for you.'

The linguistic meaning of Tayammum is to intend, as Arabs say, "May Allah Tayammamaka (direct at you) His care.''

`Clean earth' means dust.

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman said that the Messenger of Allah said,

فُضِّلْنَا عَلَى النَّاسِ بِثَلَاثٍ:

  • جُعِلَتْ صُفُوفُنَا كَصُفُوفِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ،

  • وَجُعِلَتْ لَنَا الْأَرْضُ كُلُّهَا مَسْجِدًا،

  • وَجُعِلَتْ تُرْبَتُهَا لَنَا طَهُورًا، إِذَا لَمْ نَجِدِ الْمَاء

We were given preference over people in three things.

  • Our lines (in prayer) were arranged in rows to resemble the rows of the angels,

  • all of the earth was made a Masjid for us,

  • and its dust was made clean for us when there is no water.

The Messenger mentioned the favor of making dust a purifier for us, and if there were any other substance to replace it for Tayammum, he would have mentioned it.

Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan, with the exception of Ibn Majah, recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

الصَّعِيدُ الطَّيِّبُ طَهُورُ الْمُسْلِمِ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يَجِدِ الْمَاءَ عَشْرَ حِجَجٍ، فَإِذَا وَجَدَهُ فَلْيُمِسَّهُ بَشَرَتَهُ، فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ خَيْر

Clean earth is pure for the Muslim, even if he does not find water for ten years. When he finds water, let him use it for his skin, for this is better.

At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''.

Allah's statement,

... فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ ...

rubbing your faces and hands (Tayammum),

indicates that Tayammum is a substitute for normal ablution, not that it involves cleaning the parts that normal ablution does. Therefore, it is sufficient in Tayammum to just wipe the face and hands, as the consensus concurs.

The face and hands are wiped with one strike on the sand in this case, as Imam Ahmad recorded that;

Abdur-Rahman bin Abza said that a man came to Umar and asked him, "I am Junub, but there is no water.''

Umar said, "Then, do not pray.''

Ammar said, "Do you not remember, O Leader of the Faithful! You and I were on a military expedition when we became Junub and did not find water. You did not pray, but I rolled myself in the sand and then prayed. When we went back to the Prophet, we mentioned to him what had happened. He said to me, 

إِنَّمَا كَانَ يَكْفِيك

This would have been sufficient for you,

and the Prophet stroked his hand on the earth once, blew into it and wiped his face and hands.''

The Muslim Ummah, rather than all other nations, was favored with the allowance of Tayammum.

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

أُعْطِيتُ خَمْسًا لَمْ يُعْطَهُنَّ أَحَدٌ قَبْلِي:

  • نُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ مَسِيرَةَ شَهْرٍ، وَجُعِلَتْ لِيَ الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا وَطَهُورًا،

  • فَأَيُّمَا رَجُلٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَدْرَكَتْهُ الصَّلَاةُ فَلْيُصَل

    فَعِنْدَهُ طَهُورُهُ وَمَسْجِدُهُ،

  • وَأُحِلَّتْ لِيَ الْغَنَائِمُ، وَلَمْ تَحِلَّ لِأَحَدٍ قَبْلِي،

  • وَأُعْطِيتُ الشَّفَاعَةَ، وَكَانَ النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلى قَوْمِهِ،

  • وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّة

I have been given five things which were not given to any (Prophet) before me:

  • Allah made me victorious with fright that covers a month's distance.

  • The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and an object to perform purification with. Therefore let my followers pray wherever the time of a prayer is due - and in another narration - he will have his means of purity and his Masjid.

  • The spoils of war have been made lawful for me and it was not made so for anyone else before me.

  • I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection.

  • Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation exclusively, but I have been sent to all mankind.

We also mentioned the Hadith of Hudhayfah that Muslim recorded;

فُضِّلْنَا عَلَى النَّاسِ بِثَلَاثٍ،

  • جُعِلَتْ صُفُوفُنَا كَصُفُوفِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ،

  • وَجُعِلَتْ لَنَا الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا،

  • وَتُرْبَتُهَا طَهُورًا، إِذَا لَمْ نَجِدِ الْمَاء

We were preferred with three things over people.

  • Our lines (in prayer) were arranged in rows to resemble the rows of the angels,

  • all of the earth was made a Masjid for us,

  • and its dust was made clean for us when there is no water.

Allah said in this Ayah,

... فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا ﴿٤٣﴾

rubbing your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.

meaning, a part of His pardoning and forgiving is that He allows you to use Tayammum and to pray after using it when there is no water, to make things easy for you.

This Ayah sanctifies the position of the prayer, it being too sacred than to be performed in a deficient manner, like in a state of drunkenness, until one becomes aware of what he is saying, or sexually impure, until he bathes (Ghusl), or after answering the call of nature, until he performs ablution.

There are exceptions when one is ill or when there is no water. In this case, Allah allows us to use Tayammum, out of His mercy and kindness for His servants, and to facilitate them, all praise is due to Allah.

 The Reason behind allowing Tayammum

Al-Bukhari recorded that Aishah said,

"We set out with Allah's Messenger on one of his journeys until we reached Al-Bayda' or Dhat-ul-Jaysh, where a necklace of mine was broken (and lost).

Allah's Messenger stayed there to search for it, and so did the people along with