In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Allah censures His Prophet for Prohibiting Himself from what He has allowed for Him In the Book of Vows
Al-Bukhari recorded that Ubayd bin Umayr said that he heard A'ishah claiming that Allah's Messenger used to stay for a period in the house of Zaynab bint Jahsh and drink honey in her house. (She said) "Hafsah and I decided that when the Prophet entered upon either of us, we would say,
`I smell Maghafir on you. Have you eaten Maghafir'
When he entered upon one of us, she said that to him.
He replied (to her),
لَا، بَلْ شَرِبْتُ عَسَلًا عِنْدَ زَيْنَبَ بِنْتِ جَحْشٍ وَلَنْ أَعُودَ لَه
No, but I drank honey in the house of Zaynab bint Jahsh, and I will never drink it again.''
Then the following was revealed;
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكَ تَبْتَغِي مَرْضَاتَ أَزْوَاجِكَ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿١﴾
قَدْ فَرَضَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ تَحِلَّةَ أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَاللَّهُ مَوْلَاكُمْ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿٢﴾
وَإِذْ أَسَرَّ النَّبِيُّ إِلَى بَعْضِ أَزْوَاجِهِ حَدِيثًا فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَتْ بِهِ وَأَظْهَرَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ عَرَّفَ بَعْضَهُ وَأَعْرَضَ عَن بَعْضٍ فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَهَا بِهِ قَالَتْ مَنْ أَنبَأَكَ هَذَا قَالَ نَبَّأَنِيَ الْعَلِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ ﴿٣﴾
Why do you forbid that which Allah has allowed to you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Allah has already ordained for you (O men) the absolution from your oaths. And Allah is your Protector and He is the All-Knower, the All-Wise.
And (remember) when the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his wives, then she told it.
And Allah made it known to him; he informed part thereof and left a part.
Then when he told her thereof, she said: "Who told you this?''
He said: "The All-Knower, the All-Aware has told me.''
If you two turn in repentance to Allah, your hearts are indeed so inclined;
in reference to `A'ishah and Hafsah.
وَإِذْ أَسَرَّ النَّبِيُّ إِلَى بَعْضِ أَزْوَاجِهِ حَدِيثًا And (remember) when the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his wives, which refers to this saying, بَلْ شَرِبْتُ عَسَلًا But I have drunk honey. Ibrahim bin Musa said that Hisham said that it also meant his saying,
وَلَنْ أَعُودَ لَهُ وَقَدْ حَلَفْتُ فَلَا تُخْبِرِي بِذَلِكِ أَحَدًا
I will not drink it anymore, I have taken an oath to that, therefore, do not inform anybody about it.
Al-Bukhari also recorded this Hadith in the Book of Divorce;
then he said,
"Al-Maghafir is a type of sap, and in Ar-Rimth (a type of citrus) its taste is sweet...''
"The `Urfut is a tree of the shrub variety, which secretes Maghfur.''
Muslim collected this Hadith from A'ishah in the Book of Divorce in his Sahih, and his wording is the same as Al-Bukhari in the Book of Vows.
In the Book of Divorce, Al-Bukhari recorded that A'ishah said,
"Allah's Messenger liked sweets and honey. After performing the `Asr prayer, he used to visit his wives, going close to them. So he went to Hafsah, daughter of Umar, and stayed with her more than his usual stay. I (A'ishah) became jealous and asked about that. It was said to me,
`A woman of her family sent her a small vessel of honey as a gift, and she gave a drink to Allah's Messenger made from it.'
I said, `By Allah, we will contrive a plot against him.'
I said to Sawdah bint Zam`ah, `When the Messenger visits you and draws close to you, say to him, `Have you eaten Maghafir?' And when he says to you, `No', then ask him, `What is this odor?'
He will say to you, `Hafsah has given me a drink of honey.' Then you should say to him, `The honeybees might have eaten from Urfut, and I will also say the same to him. Safiyyah, you should also say this.'
Sawdah later said, `It was under compulsion that I had decided to state that which you told me; soon, by Allah, he was standing at my door.'
So when Allah's Messenger came near her, she said, `O Messenger of Allah! Did you eat Maghafir'
He said, `No.'
She again said, `Then what is this odor'
He said, سَقَتْنِي حَفْصَةُ شَرْبَةَ عَسَل Hafsah gave me honey to drink.
She said, `The honeybees might have eaten from `Urfut.'''
A'ishah continued, "When he came to me I said the same to him."
He then visited Safiyyah and she also said similar to him.
When he again visited Hafsah, she said, `O Messenger of Allah, should I not give you that (drink)?'
He said, لَا حَاجَةَ لِي فِيه I do not need it.
Sawdah said, `By Allah! We have prevented him from drinking honey.'
I said to her, `Keep quiet!'''
Muslim also recorded this Hadith, but this wording is from Al-Bukhari.
In the narration of Muslim, A'ishah said,
"The Messenger of Allah used to hate to have a bad odor coming from him''
This is why they suggested to him that he ate Maghafir, because it causes a bad odor. When he said, بَلْ شَرِبْتُ عَسَلًا No, I had some honey.
They said that the bees ate from a tree that is called Al-`Urfut, which has Maghafir gum, suggesting that this is the reason behind the bad odor they claimed was coming from him.
The latter narration, collected through Urwah from A'ishah, mentions that it was Hafsah who gave the Prophet the honey.
In another narration collected from `Ubayd bin `Umayr, from A'ishah, it was Zaynab bint Jahsh who gave the honey to the Prophet, while A'ishah and Hafsah were the plotters. Allah knows best.
Some might say that they were two separate incidents. However, it is not likely that the Ayat were revealed about both incidents, if indeed they were two separate incidents. Allah knows best.
A Hadith that Imam Ahmad collected in the Musnad mentions that A'ishah and Hafsah were the plotters.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said,
"I was eager to ask `Umar about the two ladies among the wives of the Prophet , about whom Allah said, إِن تَتُوبَا إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا (If you two turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined);
Then I performed Hajj along with Umar, and on our way back from Hajj he went aside (to relieve himself). I also went aside along with him carrying a tumbler of water. When he finished and returned, I poured water on his hands from the tumbler and he performed ablution. I said,
`O Commander of the faithful! Who were the two ladies among the wives of the Prophet, to whom Allah said, إِن تَتُوبَا إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا (If you two turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined),'
Umar said, `I am astonished at your question, O Ibn `Abbas.''' -
Az-Zuhri (a subnarrator) said that Umar did not like the question, but he still answered it, saying that they were `A'ishah and Hafsah."
Then `Umar went on relating the story and said,
`We, the people of Quraysh, used to have authority over our women. But when we came to live with the Ansar, we noticed that the Ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so our women started acquiring the habits of the Ansari women. At that time, I was residing at the house of Umayyah bin Zayd, in Al-Awali. Once I got angry with my wife, and she talked back to me; I disliked her answering me back. She said,
`Why do you dislike me talking back to you By Allah, the wives of the Prophet talk back to him, and some of them may not speak with him for the whole day, until nightfall.'
Then I went to Hafsah and asked her, `Do you talk back to Allah's Messenger'
She said, `Yes.'
I asked, `Does any of you keep Allah's Messenger angry all day long, until night?'
She replied, `Yes.'
I said, `Whoever among you does this is a ruined, losing person! Doesn't she fear that Allah may get angry for the anger of His Messenger and, thus, she will be ruined. Don't ask Allah's Messenger too many things, and don't retort him in any case. Demand from me whatever you like, and don't be tempted to imitate your neighbor, for she is more beautiful than you, and more beloved to Allah's Messenger than you.'
He meant `A'ishah.
I, and an Ansari neighbor of mine used to visit the Prophet in turns. He used to go one day, and I another day. When I went I would bring him the news of what had happened that day regarding the revelation and when he went, he used to do the same for me.
In those days it was rumored that the Ghassan (tribe) were preparing their horses to invade us. My companion went and returned to us at night and knocked at my door. I came out to him. He said that a grave thing happened.
I asked him, `What is it Have Ghassan come'
He replied that it was worse and more serious than that, adding that Allah's Messenger had divorced all his wives.
I said, `Hafsah is a ruined loser! I expected that would happen some day.'
So I dressed myself and I performed the Subh prayer. I went to Hafsah and found her weeping. I asked her, `Has Allah's Messenger divorced all of you'
She replied, `I don't know. He is there alone in the upper room.'
I went to the upper room and asked a black slave of the Prophet to ask for his permission to see me, and the boy went in and then came out saying, `I mentioned you to him and he remained silent.'
I then went out and came to the Minbar and found a group of people around it and some of them were weeping. I sat with them for some time, but could not endure the situation. So, I requested to the boy, `Will you get the permission for Umar?'
He went in and then came out saying, `I mentioned you to him, but he did not reply.'
So, I went to Minbar and sat with the people who were sitting by the Minbar, but I could not bear the situation, so I went to the boy again and said, `Will you get the permission for Umar?'
He went in and brought the same reply as before.
When I was leaving, behold, he called me saying, `Allah's Messenger has granted you permission.'
So, I entered the Prophet's room, greeted him with the Salam and saw him lying on a mat without bedding on it, and the mat had left its mark on the body of the Prophet.
I said, `Have you divorced your wives, O Allah's Messenger'
He raised his eyes to me and replied no.
I said, `Allahu Akbar. O Allah's Messenger! We, the people of Quraysh used to have the upper hand over our women. But when we came to Al-Madinah, we found a people whose women had the upper hand over them. Our women started learning this behavior from them. Once, I got angry with my wife, and she talked back to me. I disliked that behavior from her and she said, `Why do you dislike that I talk back to you By Allah, the Prophet's wives talk back to him and one of them would ignore him the whole day, until the night.' I said to her, `Whoever does this among them is the ruined loser! Does she feel safe from Allah getting angry with her on account of His Messenger's anger In that case, she would be ruined.'
On that the Prophet smiled.
I then said, `O Allah's Messenger! I went to Hafsah and said to her, `Do not be tempted to imitate your companion (`A'ishah) for she is more beautiful than you and more beloved to the Prophet.'
The Prophet smiled again.
When I saw him smiling, I said, `Does the Messenger feel calm?'
He said, `Yes.' So, I sat down and cast a glance at the room, and by Allah, I couldn't see anything of importance, except three hides. I said,
`Invoke Allah, O Allah's Messenger, to make your followers prosperous, for the Persians and the Byzantines have been made prosperous and given worldly luxuries, even though they do not worship Allah.'
The Prophet sat upright and said,
أَفِي شَكَ أَنْتَ يَا ابْنَ الْخَطَّابِ أُولَئِكَ قَوْمٌ عُجِّلَتْ لَهُمْ طَيِّبَاتُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا
O Ibn Al-Khattab! Do you have any doubt These people have been given rewards of their good deeds in this world only.
I asked the Prophet, `Please beg Allah's forgiveness for me, O Allah's Messenger.'
The Prophet swore that he would not go to his wives for one month, because of his severe anger towards them, until Allah the Exalted and Most Honored censured him.''
Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i also collected this Hadith using various chains of narration.
Al-Bukhari and Muslim also collected it from Ibn Abbas, who said,
"For a whole year, I was eager to ask `Umar bin Al-Khattab about an Ayah. However, I hesitated out of respect for him. Once, he went on a Hajj trip and I accompanied him. On our way back, he stopped to relieve himself behind some trees of Arak. I stopped until he finished and then walked along with him and asked him, `O Leader of the believers! Who are the two women who helped each other (or plotted) against the Prophet '''
This is the narration that Al-Bukhari collected, while Muslim recorded that Ibn Abbas asked,
"Who are the two women about whom Allah the Exalted said, وَإِن تَظَاهَرَا عَلَيْهِ but if you help one another against him,''
`Umar replied, "A'ishah and Hafsah.''
Muslim mentioned the rest of the Hadith.
Muslim also recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that Umar bin Al-Khattab said to him,
"When Allah's Messenger stayed away from his wives, I entered the Masjid and found people striking the ground with pebbles. They said, `Allah's Messenger has divorced his wives.' That occurred before Hijab was commanded. I said to myself, `I must investigate this news today.'''
So he mentioned the Hadith in which he went to `A'ishah and Hafsah and admonished them. He then said, `I went in and found Rabah, the servant of Allah's Messenger, sitting on a window sill. I called, `O Rabah, seek permission for me from Allah's Messenger.'''
He then mentioned the story as we mentioned above.
"I said, `O Messenger of Allah, what trouble do you feel from your wives If you have divorced them, verily Allah is with you, His angels, Jibril, Mikal, I, Abu Bakr and the rest of believers are with you.' Often, when I talked, all praise is due to Allah, I hoped that Allah would testify to the words that I uttered. And so the Ayat of option was revealed. Allah said,
Maybe his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him in your place wives better than you, and,
وَإِن تَظَاهَرَا عَلَيْهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ مَوْلَاهُ وَجِبْرِيلُ وَصَالِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ ظَهِيرٌ ﴿٤﴾
but if you help one another against him, then verily, Allah is his Protector, and Jibril, and the righteous among the believers; and after that the angels are his helpers.
I said, `Messenger of Allah, have you divorced them?'
He said, `No.'
I stood at the door of the Masjid and called out at the top of my voice, `The Messenger of Allah has not divorced his wives.'
It was on this occasion that this Ayah was revealed,
وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الاٌّمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى أُوْلِى الاٌّمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ
When any matter pertaining to peace or alarm comes to them, they broadcast it; whereas, if they would refer it to the Messenger and those who have been entrusted with authority among them, those of them who are engaged in obtaining intelligence would indeed know (what to do with) it. (4:83)
It was I who understood (and properly investigated) this matter.''
Similar was said by Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ad-Dahhak and others.
The Ayah, وَصَالِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (and the righteous among the believers); refers to Abu Bakr and `Umar.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri added Uthman to them.
Layth bin Abi Sulaym said from Mujahid: وَصَالِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (and the righteous among the believers); includes Ali bin Abi Talib also.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas said,
"Umar said, `The wives of the Prophet were all jealous for his affection, and I said to them, عَسَى رَبُّهُ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَاجًا خَيْرًا مِّنكُنَّ (Maybe his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him instead of you, wives better than you). Thereafter, this Ayah was revealed.'''
عَسَى رَبُّهُ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَاجًا خَيْرًا مِّنكُنَّ مُسْلِمَاتٍ مُّؤْمِنَاتٍ قَانِتَاتٍ تَائِبَاتٍ عَابِدَاتٍ سَائِحَاتٍ ثَيِّبَاتٍ وَأَبْكَارًا ﴿٥﴾
Maybe his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him instead of you, wives better than you - submitting, believers, obedient, turning to Allah in repentance, worshipping Allah sincerely, Sa'ihat, previously married, and virgins.
We mentioned before that Umar said statements that were confirmed by the Qur'an, such as about the revelation about Hijab (see 33:53) and the captive idolators after the battle of Badr (see 8:67).
Umar's suggestion to take the Station of Ibrahim as a place for prayer and Allah revealed this Ayah;
وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
And take you the Maqam (station) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer. (2:125)
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Anas said that Umar bin Al-Khattab said,
"I heard news that the Mothers of the faithful had a dispute with the Prophet. So I advised them, saying, `Either stop bothering Allah's Messenger or Allah might provide him better wives than you.
Teaching One's Family the Religion and Good Behavior
Allah's advice to
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ...
O you who believe!
...قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا ....
Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas; He said,
"Work in the obedience of Allah, avoid disobedience of Allah and order your families to remember Allah, then Allah will save you from the Fire.''
Mujahid also commented on: قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا (Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)) saying,
"Have Taqwa of Allah and order your family to have Taqwa of Him.''
"He commands obedience to Allah, to not disobey Allah, he orders his family to obey His orders and helps them to act upon His orders. When one sees disobedience, he stops them and forbids them from doing it.''
Similar was said by Ad-Dahhak and Muqatil;
"It is an obligation for the Muslim to teach his near family members, and his male and female slaves what Allah has made obligatory for them and what Allah has forbidden for them.''
There is a Hadith that confirms the meaning of this Ayah.
Ahmad, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded that Ar-Rabi` bin Sabrah said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,
مُرُوا الصَّبِيَّ بِالصَّلَاةِ إِذَا بَلَغَ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ، فَإِذَا بَلَغَ عَشْرَ سِنِينَ فَاضْرِبُوهُ عَلَيْهَا
Order the children to pray when they reach the age of seven and when they reach the age of ten, discipline them for (not performing) it.
This is the narration that Abu Dawud collected;
At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan.''
Fuel for Hell and a Description of its Angels
... وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ ...
whose fuel is men and stones,
indicating that the Children of Adam will be fuel for the Fire that will feed it,
وَالْحِجَارَةُ and stones, in reference to the idols that were worshipped, just as Allah said in another Ayah,
إِنَّكُمْ وَمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ حَصَبُ جَهَنَّمَ
Certainly you and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! (21:98)
Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Mujahid, Abu Ja`far Al-Baqir and As-Suddi said that these are sulfur stones that are more putrid than rotten corpses, according to Mujahid.
... عَلَيْهَا مَلَائِكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ شِدَادٌ ...
over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe,
means, their nature of behavior is stern, because the mercy has been taken out of their hearts for those who disbelieve in Allah,
شِدَادٌ severe, meaning, their structure is powerful, strong and frightening,
... لَا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ ﴿٦﴾
who disobey not the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.
meaning, whatever Allah commands them, they rush to obey Him, without delay for even a twinkling of an eye. They are able to fulfill the command; they are called Az-Zabaniyah, meaning, the keepers and guards of Hell, may Allah give us shelter from them.
No Excuse will be accepted from the Disbeliever on the Day of Resurrection
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا الْيَوْمَ إِنَّمَا تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٧﴾
O you who disbelieve!
Make no excuses this Day! You are being requited only for what you used to do.
meaning, on the Day of Resurrection, the disbeliever will be told,
"Do not offer any excuse this Day, because it will not be accepted from you; you will only be recompensed for what you used to do. Today, you will receive the punishment for your actions.''
Encouraging sincere Repentance
Allah the Exalted said,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا ...
O you who believe!
Turn to Allah with sincere repentance!
meaning, a true, firm repentance that erases the evil sins that preceded it and mend the shortcoming of the repenting person, encouraging and directing him to quit the evil that he used to do.
...عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُكَفِّرَ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ...
It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow,
And when Allah says, "it may be,'' it means He shall.
... يَوْمَ لَا يُخْزِي اللَّهُ النَّبِيَّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ...
the Day that Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believe with him.
meaning, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah will not disgrace those who believed in the Prophet,
... نُورُهُمْ يَسْعَى بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِمْ ...
Their light will run forward before them and in their right hands.
as we explained in Surah Al-Hadid,
... يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا إِنَّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴿٨﴾
They will say:
"Our Lord! Keep perfect our light for us and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things.''
Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and Al-Hasan Al-Basri and other said,
"This is the statement that the believers will say on the Day of Resurrection, when they witness the light of the hypocrites being extinguished.''
Imam Ahmad recorded that a man from the tribe of Banu Kinanah said,
"I prayed behind the Messenger of Allah during the year of the Conquest (of Makkah), and heard him say,
اللْهُمَّ لَا تُخْزِنِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة
Please, do not disgrace me on the Day of Resurrection.'
The Command for Jihad against the Disbelievers and the Hypocrites
Allah command's the Prophet!
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ جَاهِدِ الْكُفَّارَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ...
Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites,
Allah the Exalted orders His Messenger to perform Jihad against the disbelievers and hypocrites, the former with weapons and armaments and the later by establishing Allah's legislated penal code,
... وَاغْلُظْ عَلَيْهِمْ ...
and be severe against them,
meaning, in this life,
... وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿٩﴾
their abode will be Hell, and worst indeed is that destination.
that is, in the Hereafter.
The Disbeliever shall never benefit from His Believing Relative on the Day of Resurrection
Allah the exalted said,
ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ...
Allah sets forth an example for those who disbelieve,
meaning, the disbelievers who live together in this life with Muslims, their mixing and mingling with Muslims will not help the disbelievers, nor will it avail them with Allah, until and unless they gain faith in their hearts.
Then Allah mentioned the parable, saying,
... اِمْرَأَةَ نُوحٍ وَاِمْرَأَةَ لُوطٍ كَانَتَا تَحْتَ عَبْدَيْنِ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا صَالِحَيْنِ ...
the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut. They were under two of our righteous servants,
means, they were the wives of two of Allah's Messengers and were their companions by day and night, eating with them and sleeping with them, as much as any marriage contains of interaction between spouses.
they both betrayed them.
meaning, in the faith, they did not adhere to the faith sent through their husbands nor accepted their message. Therefore, all the intimate knowledge of their husbands neither helped them nor prevented punishment, hence Allah's statement,
... فَلَمْ يُغْنِيَا عَنْهُمَا مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا...
So, they availed them not against Allah.
means, because their wives were disbelievers,
... وَقِيلَ ...
and it was said,
meaning, to these wives,
... ادْخُلَا النَّارَ مَعَ الدَّاخِلِينَ ﴿١٠﴾
Enter the Fire along with those who enter!
The part of the Ayah that reads, فَخَانَتَاهُمَا (but they both betrayed them) does not pertain to committing illegal sexual intercourse, but to refusing to accept the religion. Surely, the wives of the Prophets were immune from committing illegal sexual intercourse on account of the honor that Allah has granted His Prophets, as we explained in Surah An-Nur.
Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn Abbas,
"They betrayed them by not following their religion. The wife of Prophet Nuh used to expose his secrets, informing his oppressive people whenever any person embraced the faith with Nuh. As for the wife of Prophet Lut, she used to inform the people of the city (Sodom), who committed the awful sexual act (sodomy), whenever a guest was entertained by her husband.''
Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said,
"No wife of a Prophet ever committed adultery and fornication. Rather, they betrayed them by refusing to follow their religion.''
Similar was said by Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak and others.
The Disbelievers can cause no Harm to the Believers
Allah gives the parable for believers,
وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اِمْرَأَةَ فِرْعَوْنَ إِذْ قَالَتْ ...
And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe:
the wife of Fir`awn, when she said:
This is a parable that Allah made of the believers, in that, if they needed to, their association with the disbelievers will not harm them. Allah the Exalted said,
لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَىْءٍ إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً
Let not the believers take the disbelievers as protecting friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, except you indeed fear a danger from them. (3:28)
"Fir`awn was the most tyrannical among the people of the earth and the most disbelieving. By Allah! His wife was not affected by her husband's disbelief, because she obeyed her Lord. Therefore, let it be known that Allah is the Just Judge Who will not punish anyone except for their own sins.''
Ibn Jarir recorded that Sulayman said,
"The wife of Fir`awn was tortured under the sun and when Fir`awn would finish the torture session, the angels would shade her with their wings. She was shown her house in Paradise.''
Ibn Jarir said that Al-Qasim bin Abi Bazzah said,
"Fir`awn's wife used to ask, `Who prevailed?'
When she was told, `Musa and Harun prevailed', she said, `I believe in the Lord of Musa and Harun.'
Fir`awn sent his aides to her and said to them, `Find the biggest stone. If she insists on keeping her faith, throw the stone on her, otherwise she is my wife.
When they came to her, she looked up to the sky and was able to see her house in Paradise. She persisted on the faith and her soul was then captured. The stone was thrown on her lifeless body.''
This is the meaning of her statement,
... رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِندَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَنَجِّنِي مِن فِرْعَوْنَ وَعَمَلِهِ ...
My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir`awn and his work,
means, `deliver me from him, because I am innocent of his actions,'
... وَنَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿١١﴾
and save me from the people who are wrongdoers.
Her name was Asiyah bint Muzahim, may Allah be pleased with her.
وَمَرْيَمَ ابْنَتَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا ...
And Maryam, the daughter of Imran who guarded her chastity (private part).
meaning, who protected and purified her honor, by being chaste and free of immorality,
... فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِنَا ...
And We breathed into it (private part) through Our Ruh,
meaning, through the angel Jibril.
Allah sent the angel Jibril to Maryam, and he came to her in the shape of a man in every respect. Allah commanded him to blow into a gap of her garment and that breath went into her womb through her private part; this is how `Isa was conceived.
This is why Allah said here,
... فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِنَا وَصَدَّقَتْ بِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّهَا وَكُتُبِهِ ...
And We breathed into it through Our Ruh, and she testified to the truth of her Lords Kalimat, and His Kutub,
meaning His decree and His legislation.
... وَكَانَتْ مِنَ الْقَانِتِينَ ﴿١٢﴾
and she was of the Qanitin.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said,
"The Messenger of Allah drew four lines on the ground and said,
أَتَدْرُونَ مَا هَذَا؟
Do you know what these lines represent?
They said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.'
أَفْضَلُ نِسَاءِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ: خَدِيجَةُ بِنْتُ خُوَيْلِدٍ، وَفَاطِمَةُ بِنْتُ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَمَرْيَمُ ابْنَةُ عِمْرَانَ، وَآسِيَةُ بِنْتُ مُزَاحِمٍ امْرَأَةُ فِرْعَوْن
The best among the women of Paradise are
- Khadijah bint Khuwaylid,
- Fatimah bint Muhammad,
- Maryam bint `Imran and
- Asiyah bint Muzahim, wife of Fir`awn.
It is confirmed in the Two Sahihs from Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari that the Messenger of Allah said,
كَمُلَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ كَثِيرٌ وَلَمْ يَكْمُلْ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِلَّا آسِيَةُ امْرَأَةُ فِرْعَوْنَ، وَمَرْيَمُ ابْنَةُ عِمْرَانَ، وَخَدِيجَةُ بِنْتُ خُوَيْلِدٍ، وَإِنَّ فَضْلَ عَائِشَةَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ كَفَضْلِ الثَّرِيدِ عَلَى سَائِرِ الطَّعَام
Many men have reached the level of perfection, but none among women have reached this level except
- Asiyah -- Fir`awn's wife,
- Maryam--the daughter of `Imran, and
- Khadijah--the daughter of Khuwaylid.
And no doubt, the superiority of `A'ishah to other women is like the superiority of Tharid to other meals.
In my book, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, I have mentioned these Hadiths using their various chains of narration in relating the story of Prophet `sa and his mother Maryam, peace be upon them, all praise be to Allah.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah At-Tahrim, all thanks and praise are due to Allah.