Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 219-252

{219. They ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin, and (some) benefits for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “That which is (spare) beyond your needs.” Thus Allah makes clear to you His Laws in order that you may give thought.

220. In (to) this worldly life and in the Hereafter. And they ask you concerning orphans. Say: “The best thing is to work honestly in their property, and if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers. And Allah knows (the one) who means mischief (e.g., to swallow their property) from (the one) who means good (e.g., to save their property). And if Allah had wished, He could have put you into difficulties. Truly, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”}

 

The Gradual Prohibition of Khamr (Alchoholic Drink)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Maysarah said that Umar once said, “O Allah! Give us a clear ruling regarding Al-Khamr!” Allah sent down the Ayah of Surat Al-Baqarah: ”They ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: “In them is a great sin…” Umar was then summoned and the Ayah was recited to him. Yet, he still said, “O Allah! Give us a clear ruling regarding Al-Khamr.” Then, this Ayah that is in Surat An-Nisa’ was revealed:

”O you who believe! Approach not As-Salah (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state.” (4:43)

Then, when the prayer was called for, a person used to herald on behalf of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “No drunk person should attend the prayer.” Umar was summoned again and the Ayah was recited to him. Yet, he still said, “O Allah! Give us a clear ruling regarding Al-Khamr.” Then, the Ayah that is in Surat Al-Ma’idah was revealed, Umar was again summoned and the Ayah was recited to him. When he reached: ”So, will you not then abstain” (5:91) he said, “We did abstain, we did abstain.” (Ahmad 1:531) This is also the narration that Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasai collected in their books. (Abu Dawud 4:79; Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:415; An-Nasai 8:287) Ali bin Al-Madini and At-Tirmidhi said that the chain of narrators for this Hadith is sound and authentic. We will mention this Hadith again along with what Imam Ahmad collected by Abu Hurayrah Allah’s saying in Surat Al-Ma’idah:

”Intoxicants and gambling, and Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam are an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.” (5:90)

Allah said: ”They ask you (O Muhammad) concerning alcoholic drinks and gambling.” As for Al-Khamr, Umar bin Khattab, the Leader of the faithful, used to say, “It includes all what intoxicates the mind.” We will also mention this statement in the explanation of Surat Al- Ma’idah, along with the topic of gambling. (Ahmad 2:531)

Allah said: ”Say: In them is a great sin, and (some) benefits for men.” As for the harm that the Khamr and gambling cause, it effects the religion. As for their benefit, it is material, including benefit for the body, digesting the food, getting rid of the excrements, sharpening the mind, bringing about a joyous sensation and financially benefiting from their sale. Also, (their benefit includes) earnings through gambling that one uses to spend on his family and on himself. Yet, these benefits are outweighed by the clear harm that they cause which affects the mind and the religion. This is why Allah said: ”…but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.”

This Ayah was the beginning of the process of prohibiting Khamr, not explicity, but it only implied this meaning. So when this Ayah was recited to Umar, he still said, “O Allah! Give us a clear ruling regarding Al-Khamr.” Soon after, Allah sent down a clear prohibition of Khamr in Surat Al-Ma’idah:

”O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam are an abomination of Shaytan’s handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaytan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from As-Salah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain” (5:90, 91)

We will mention this subject, by the will of Allah, when we explain Surat Al-Ma’idah.

Ibn Umar, Ash-Sha’bi, Mujahid, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Abdur-Rahman bin Aslam stated that the first Ayah revealed about Khamr was:

”They ask you about Khamr and gambling. Say: “In them there is great sin.” (2:219)

Then, the Ayah in Surat An-Nisa’ was revealed (on this subject) and then the Ayah in Surat Al- Ma’idah which prohibited Khamr. (At-Tabari 4:331-336)

Spending whatever One could spare of his Money on Charity

Allah said: ”And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “That which is (spare) beyond your needs.” Al-Hakam said that Miqsam said that Ibn Abbas said that this Ayah means, what ever you can spare above the needs of your family. This is also the opinion of Ibn Umar, Mujahid, Ata’, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Kab, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Al-Qasim, Salim, Ata’ Al- Khurasani and Ar-Rabi bin Anas. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:656-657)

Ibn Jarir related that Abu Hurayrah said that a man said, “O Messenger of Allah! I have a Dinar (a currency).” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: ”Spend it you on yourself.” He said, “I have another Dinar.” He said: ”Spend it on your wife.” He said, “I have another Dinar.” He said: ”Spend it on your offspring.” He said, “I have another Dinar.” He said: ”You have better knowledge (meaning how and where to spend it in charity).” Muslim also recorded this Hadith in his Sahih. Muslim recorded that Jabir said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to a man:

”Start with yourself and grant it some charity. If anything remains, then spend it on your family. If anything remains, then spend it on your relatives. If anything remains, then spend it like this and like that (i.e., on various charitable purposes).” (Muslim 2:692)

A Hadith states:

”O son of Adam! If you spend whatever you can spare, it would be better for you; but if you keep it, it would be worse for you. You shall not be blamed for whatever is barely sufficient.” (Muslim no.1036)

Allah said: ”Thus Allah makes clear to you His Ayat in order that you may give thought. In (to) this worldly life and in the Hereafter” meaning, just as He stated and explained these commandments for you, He also explains the rest of His Ayat regarding the commandments and His promises and warnings, so that you might give thought in this life and the Hereafter. Ali bin Abu Talhah said that Ibn Abbas commented, “Meaning about the imminent demise and the brevity of this life, and the imminent commencement of the Hereafter and its continuity.” (At-Tabari 4:348)

Maintaining the Orphan’s Property

Allah said: ”And they ask you concerning orphans. Say: “The best thing is to work honestly in their property, and if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers. And Allah knows him who means mischief (e.g., to swallow their property) from him who means good (e.g., to save their property). And if Allah had wished, He could have put you into difficulties.”

Ibn Jarir reported that Ibn Abbas said, “When the Ayat :

”And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it.” (6:152) and

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

were revealed, those who took care of some orphans, separated their food and drink from the orphans’ food and drink. When some of the orphans’ food and drink remained, they would keep it for them until they eat it or otherwise get spoiled. This situation was difficult for them and they mentioned this subject to Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

”And they ask you concerning orphans. Say: “The best thing is to work honestly in their property, and if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers.” Hence, they joined their food and drink with the food and drink of the orphans.” (At-Tabari 4:350) This Hadith was also collected by Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i and Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak. Several others said similarly about the circumstances surrounding the revelation of the Ayah (2:220), including Mujahid, Ata’, Ash-Shabi, Ibn Abu Layla, Qatadah and others among the Salaf and those after them. (At-Tabari 4:350-353)

Ibn Jarir reported that A’ishah said, “I dislike that an orphan’s money be under my care, unless I mix my food with his food and my drink with his drink.” (At-Tabari 4:355)

Allah said: ”Say: The best thing is to work honestly in their property.” meaning, on the one hand (i.e., this is required in any case). Allah then said: ”…and if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers.” meaning, there is no harm if you mix your food and drink with their food and drink, since they are your brothers in the religion. This is why Allah said afterwards: ”And Allah knows (the one) who means mischief (e.g., to swallow their property) from (the one) who means good (e.g., to save their property)” meaning, He knows those whose intent is to cause mischief or righteousness. He also said: ”And if Allah had wished, He could have put you into difficulties. Truly, Allah is All-Mighty, All- Wise” meaning, if Allah wills, He will make this matter difficult for you. But, He made it easy for you, and allowed you to mix your affairs with the orphans’ affairs in a way that is better. Similarly, Allah said:

”And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it.” (6:152)

Allah has thus allowed spending from the orphan’s estate by its executor, in reasonable proportions, on the condition that he has the intention to compensate the orphan later on, when he can afford it. We will mention about it in detail in Surat An-Nisa’ by Allah’s will.

{221. And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (idolatresses) till they believe (worship Allah Alone). And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (idolatress), even though she pleases you. And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikin till they believe (in Allah Alone) and verily, a believing servant is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolator), even though he pleases you. Those (Mushrikin) invite you to the Fire, but Allah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His leave, and makes His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to mankind that they may remember.}

The Prohibition of marrying Mushrik Men and Women

Allah prohibited the believers from marrying Mushrik women who worship idols. Although the meaning is general and includes every Mushrik woman from among the idol worshippers and the People of the Scripture, Allah excluded the People of the Scripture from this ruling. Allah stated:

”(Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their due dowry, desiring chastity (i.e., taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse.” (5:5)

Ali bin Abu Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said about what Allah said: ”And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (female idolators) till they believe (worship Allah Alone).” “Allah has excluded the women of the People of the Scripture.” (At-Tabari 4:362) This is also the explanation of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Makhul, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Zayd bin Aslam and Ar- Rabi bin Anas and others. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:669-671) Some scholars said that the Ayah is exclusively talking about idol worshippers and not the People of the Scripture, and this meaning is similar to the first meaning we mentioned. Allah knows best.

Abu Jafar bin Jarir (At-Tabari) said, after mentioning that there is Ijma that marrying women from the People of the Scripture is allowed, “Umar disliked this practice so that the Muslims do not refrain from marrying Muslim women, or for similar reasons.” (At-Tabari 4:366) An authentic chain of narrators stated that Shaqiq said: Once Hudhayfah married a Jewish woman and Umar wrote to him, “Divorce her.” He wrote back, “Do you claim that she is not allowed for me so that I divorce her?” He said, “No. But, I fear that you might marry the whores from among them.” Ibn Jarir related that Zayd bin Wahb said that Umar bin Khattab said, “The Muslim man marries the Christian woman, but the Christian man does not marry the Muslim woman.” This Hadith has a stronger, authentic chain of narrators than the previous Hadith. (See At-Tabari 4:366)

Ibn Abu Hatim said that Ibn Umar disliked marrying the women from the People of the Scripture. He relied on his own explanation for the Ayah: ”And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (female idolators) till they believe (worship Allah Alone)” Al-Bukhari also reported that Ibn Umar said, “I do not know of a bigger Shirk than her saying that Jesus is her Lord!” (Fath Al-Bari 9:326)

Allah said: ”And indeed a slave woman who believes is better than a (free) Mushrikah (female idolators), even though she pleases you.” It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”A woman is chosen for marriage for four reasons: her wealth, social status, beauty, and religion. So, marry the religious woman, may your hands be filled with sand (a statement of encouragement).” (Fath Al-Bari 9:35; Muslim 2:1087)

Muslim reported this Hadith from Jabir. (Muslim 2:1087) Muslim also reported that Ibn Amr said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The life of this world is but a delight, and the best of the delights of this earthly life is the righteous wife.” (Muslim 2:9010)

Allah then said: ”And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al-Mushrikin till they believe (in Allah Alone)” meaning, do not marry Mushrik men to believing women. This statement is similar to Allah’s statement:

“They are not lawful (wives) for them, nor are they lawful (husbands) for them.” (60:10)

Next, Allah said: ”..and verily, a believing servant is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolator), even though he pleases you.” This Ayah indicates that a believing man, even an Abyssinian servant, is better than a Mushrik man, even if he was a rich master. ”Those (Al-Mushrikun) invite you to the Fire” meaning, associating and mingling with the disbelievers makes one love this life and prefer it over the Hereafter, leading to the severest repercussions. Allah said: “…but Allah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His leave” meaning, by His Law, commandments and prohibitions. Allah said: ”…and makes His Ayat clear to mankind that they may remember.”

{222. They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: “That is an Adha, therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not in unto them till they are purified.” And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you. Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.

223. Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will, and send (good deeds, or ask Allah to bestow upon you pious offspring) for your own selves beforehand. And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give good tidings to the believers (O Muhammad)}

Sexual Intercourse with Menstruating Women is prohibited

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Jews used to avoid their menstruating women, they would not eat, or even mingle with them in the house. The Companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, asked about this matter and Allah revealed: ”They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: “That is an Adha, therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not in unto them till they are purified.”

Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Do everything you wish, except having sexual intercourse.”

When the Jews were told about the Prophet’s statement, they said, “What is the matter with this man? He would not hear of any of our practices, but would defy it.” Then, Usayd bin Hudayr and Abbad bin Bishr came and said, “O Messenger of Allah! The Jews said this and that, should we have sex with our women (meaning, during the menstruation period)” The face of Allah’s Messenger changed color, until the Companions thought that he was angry with them. They left. Soon after, some milk was brought to Allah’s Messenger as a gift, and he sent some of it for them to drink. They knew then that Allah’s Messenger was not angry with them. Muslim also reported this Hadith. Allah said: ”…therefore, keep away from women during menses.” meaning, avoid the sexual organ. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Do anything you wish except having sexual intercourse.” (Muslim 1:286)

This is why most of the scholars said that it is allowed to fondle the wife, except for having sexual intercourse (when she is having her menses). Abu Dawud reported that Ikrimah related to one of the Prophet’s wives that she said that whenever the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, wanted to fondle (one of his wives) during her menses, he would cover her sexual organ with something. (Abu Dawud 1:286)

Abu Jafar bin Jarir related that Masruq went to A’ishah and greeted her, and A’ishah greeted him in return. Masruq said, “I wish to ask you about a matter, but I am shy.” She replied, “I am your mother and you are my son.” He said, “What can the man enjoy of his wife when she is having her menses?” She said, “Everything except her sexual organ.” (At-Tabari 4:378) This is also the opinion of Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasanand Ikrimah.

One is allowed to sleep next to his wife and to eat with her (when she is having her menses). A’ishah said, “Allah’s Messenger used to ask me to wash his hair while I was having the menses. He would lay on my lap and read the Qur’an while I was having the period.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:479) It is also reported in the Sahih that A’ishah said, “While having the menses, I used to eat from a piece of meat and give it to the Prophet who would eat from the same place I ate from. I used to have sips of a drink and would then give the cup to the Prophet who would place his mouth where I placed my mouth.” (Muslim 1:245)

It is also reported in the Two Sahihs that Maymunah bint Al-Harith Al-Hilaliyah said, “Whenever the Prophet wanted to fondle any of his wives during the periods (menses), he used to ask her to wear an Izar (a sheet covering the lower-half of the body).” These are the wordings collected by Al-Bukhari. (Fath Al-Bari 1:483; Muslim 1:243) Similar was reported from A’ishah. (Fath Al-Bari 1:480; Muslim 1:242) In addition, Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah reported that Abdullah bin Sad Al-Ansari asked Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “What am I allowed of my wife while she is having her menses?” He said, “What is above the Izar (a sheet covering the lower-half of the body).” (Ahmad 4:342) Hence, Allah’s statement: ”…and go not in unto them till they are purified” explains His statement: ”…therefore, keep away from women during menses.” Allah prohibited having sexual intercourse with the wife during menstruation, indicating that sexual intercourse is allowed otherwise.

Allah’s statement: And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you.” indicates that men should have sexual intercourse with their wives after they take a bath. The scholars agree that the woman is obliged to take a bath, or to perform Tayammum with sand, if she is unable to use water, before she is allowed to have sexual intercourse with her husband, after the monthly period ends. Ibn Abbas said: “till they are purified” means from blood, and, ”And when they have purified themselves” means with water.” This is also the Tafsir of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Al-Layth bin Sad and others. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:682, 683)

Anal Sex is prohibited

Allah said: ”…as Allah has ordained for you” this refers to Al-Farj (the vagina), as Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and other scholars have stated. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:684) Therefore, anal sex is prohibited, as we will further emphasize afterwards, Allah willing. Abu Razin, Ikrimah and Ad-Dahhak and others said that: ”…then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you” means when they are pure, and not during the menses. Allah said afterwards: ”Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance” from the sin even if it was repeated, ”and loves those who purify themselves” meaning, those who purify themselves from the impurity and the filth that include having sexual intercourse with the wife during the menses and anal sex.

The Reason behind revealing Allah’s Statement: “Your Wives are a Tilth for You’.’

Allah said: ”Your wives are a tilth for you” Ibn Abbas commented, “Meaning the place of pregnancy.” (At-Tabari 4:397) Allah then said: ”…so go to your tilth, when or how you will” meaning, wherever you wish from the front or from behind, as long as sex takes place in one valve (the female sexual organ), as the authentic Hadiths have indicated.

For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Al-Munkadir said that he heard Jabir say that the Jews used to claim that if one has sex with his wife from behind (in the vagina) the offspring would become cross-eyed. Then, this Ayah was revealed: ‘‘Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will” (Fath Al-Bari 4:397) Muslim and Abu Dawud also reported this Hadith. (Muslim 2:1058; Abu Dawud 2:618)

Ibn Abu Hatim said that Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir narrated that Jabir bin Abdullah told him that the Jews claimed to the Muslims that if one has sex with their wife from behind (in the vagina) their offspring will become cross-eyed. Allah revealed afterwards: ”Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will” Ibn Jurayj (one of the reporters of the Hadith) said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”From the front or from behind, as long as that occurs in the Farj (vagina)” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:693)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “The Ayah, ”Your wives are a tilth for you” was revealed about some people from the Ansar who came to the Prophet and asked him (about having sex with the wife from behind). He said to them:

”Have sex with her as you like as long as that occurs in the vagina.” (Ahmad 1:268)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Sabit said: I went to Hafsah bint Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr and said, “I wish to ask you about something, but I am shy.” She said, “Do not be shy, O my nephew.” He said, “About having sex from behind with women.” She said, “Umm Salamah told me that the Ansar used to refrain from having sex from behind (in the vagina). The Jews claimed that those who have sex with their women from behind would have offspring with crossed-eyes. When the Muhajirun came to Al-Madinah, they married Ansar women and had sex with them from behind. One of these women would not obey her husband and said, `You will not do that until I go to Allah’s Messenger (and ask him about this matter). ‘ She went to Umm Salamah and told her the story. Umm Salamah said, ‘Wait until Allah’s Messenger comes.’ When Allah’s Messenger came, the Ansari woman was shy to ask him about this matter, so she left. Umm Salamah told Allah’s Messenger the story and he said: ”Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will.” He added: ”Summon the Ansari woman” She was summoned and he recited this Ayah to her: ”Only in one valve (the vagina)” (Ahmad 6:305) This Hadith was also collected by At-Tirmidhi who said, “Hasan.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:322)

An-Nasa’i reported that Kab bin Alqamah said that Abu An-Nadr said that he asked Nafi, “The people are repeating the statement that you relate from Ibn Umar that he allowed sex with women in their rear (anus).” He said, “They have said a lie about me. But let me tell you what really happened. Ibn Umar was once reciting the Qur’an while I was with him and he reached the Ayah: ”Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will” He then said, ‘O Nafi! Do you know the story behind this Ayah?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘We, the people of Quraysh, used to have sexual intercourse with our wives from the back (in the vagina). When we migrated to Al-Madinah and married some Ansari women, we wanted to do the same with them. They disliked it and made a big issue out of it. The Ansari women had followed the practice of the Jews who have sex with their women while they lay on their sides. Then, Allah revealed: ”Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will” (An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 5:315) This has an authentic chain of narrators.

Imam Ahmad reported that Khuzaymah bin Thabit Al-Khatami narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Allah does not shy from the truth – he said it thrice-, do not have anal sex with women.” (Ahmad 5:215) 

This Hadith was collected by An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.

Abu Isa At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i reported that Ibn Abbas narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Allah does not look at a man who had anal sex with another man or a woman.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 4:329; An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 5:320)

At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Gharib.” This is also the narration that Ibn Hibban collected in his Sahih, while Ibn Hazm stated that this is an authentic Hadith.

In addition, Imam Ahmad reported that Ali bin Talaq said, “Allah’s Messenger forbade anal sex with women, for Allah does not shy away from truth.” Abu Isa At-Tirmidhi also reported this Hadith and said, “Hasan”. (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 4:274)

Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Abdur-Rahman Darimi reported in his Musnad that Said bin Yasar Abu Hubab said: I said to Ibn Umar, “What do you say about having sex with women in the rear?” He said, “What does it mean?” I said, “Anal sex.” He said, “Does a Muslim do that?” (Ad-Darimi 1:277 no.1143) This Hadith has an authentic chain of narrators and is an explicit rejection of anal sex from Ibn Umar.

Abu Bakr bin Ziyad Naysaburi reported that Ismail bin Ruh said that he asked Malik bin Anas, “What do you say about having sex with women in the anus?” He said, “You are not an Arab. Does sex occur but in the place of pregnancy? Do it only in the Farj (vagina).” I said, “O Abu Abdullah! They say that you allow that practice.” He said, “They utter a lie about me, they lie about me.” This is Malik’s firm stance on this subject. It is also the view of Said bin Musayyib, Abu Salamah, Ikrimah, Tawus, Ata , Said bin Jubayr, Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, Mujahid bin Jabr, Al-Hasan and other scholars of the Salaf (the Companions and the following two generations after them). They all, along with the majority of the scholars, harshly rebuked the practice of anal sex and many of them called this practice a Kufr.

Allah said: ”…and send for your own selves beforehand” meaning, by performing the acts of worship while refraining from whatever Allah has prohibited for you. This is why Allah said afterwards: ”And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter)” meaning, He will hold you accountable for all of your deeds, ”…and give good tidings to the believers (O Muhammad)’‘ meaning, those who obey what Allah has commanded and refrain from what He has prohibited. Ibn Jarir reported that Ata’ said, or related it to Ibn Abbas, ”…and send for your own selves beforehand’‘ means, mention Allah’s Name, by saying, ‘Bismillah’, before having sexual    intercourse.” (At-Tabari 4:417) Al-Bukhari also reported that Ibn Abbas narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”If anyone of you on having sexual relations with his wife said: ‘In the Name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you bestow upon us (i.e., the coming offspring) from Satan,’ and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm him.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:136)

{224. And make not Allah’s (Name) an excuse in your oaths against doing good and acting piously, and making peace among mankind. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower (i.e., do not swear much and if you have sworn against doing something good then give an expiation for the oath and do good).

225. Allah will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Forbearing.}

The Prohibition of Swearing to Abandon a Good Deed

Allah commands, ‘You should not implement your vows in Allah’s Name to refrain from pious acts and severing the relations with the relatives, if you swear to abandon such causes.’ Allah said in another Ayah:

“And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give (any sort of help) to their kinsmen, Al-Masakin (the poor), and those who left their homes for Allah’s cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you?” (24:22)

Continuity in a sinful vow is more sinful than breaking it by expiation. Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“By Allah! It is more sinful to Allah that one of you implements his vow regarding (severing the relations with) his relatives than (breaking his promise and) paying the Kaffarah that Allah has required in such cases.” (Fath Al-Bari 12:441, Muslim 3:1276, Ahmad 2:317)

Ibn Abbas said that what Allah said: “And make not Allah’s (Name) an excuse in your oaths” means, “Do not vow to refrain from doing good works. (If you make such vow then) break it, pay the Kaffarah and do the good work.”  Supporting this view, which is the majority view, is what is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari narrated that Allah’s Messenger said, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“By Allah! Allah willing, I will not vow to do a thing and then see a better act, but I would do what is better and break my vow.” (Fath Al-Bari 11:525, Muslim 3:1268)

Muslim reported that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Whoever makes a vow and then finds what is better than his vow (should break his vow) pay the Kaffarah and perform the better deed.” (Muslim 3:1272)

The Laghw (Unintentional) Vows

Allah said: “Allah will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths” This Ayah means, ‘Allah does not punish or hold you accountable for the Laghw (unintentional) vows that you make.’ The Laghw vows are unintentional and are just like the habitual statements that the tongue repeats, without really intending them. For instance, it is reported in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Whoever swore and (unintentionally) mentioned Al-Lat and Al-Uzza (two idols) in his vow, should then say, ‘There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah’.” (Fath Al-Bari 11:545, Muslim 2:1268)

The Messenger said this statement to some new Muslims whose tongues were, before Islam, used to vowing by their idol Al-Lat. Therefore, the Prophet ordered them to intentionally recite the slogan of Ikhlas, just as they mentioned these words by mistake, so that it (the word of Ikhlas) may eradicate the word (of Shirk). This is why Allah said: ”…but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned” and in another Ayah:

”…for your deliberate oaths” (5:89)

Abu Dawud reported under Chapter: ‘The Laghw Vows’ that Ata’ said that A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The Laghw in the vows includes what the man says in his house, such as, ‘No, by Allah,’ and, ‘Yes, by Allah’.” (Abu Dawud 3:572)

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn Abbas said, “The Laghw vow includes vowing while angry.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:716) He also reported that Ibn Abbas said, “The Laghw vow includes vowing to prohibit what Allah has allowed, and this type does not require a Kaffarah (expiation).” Similar was said by Sa’id bin Jubayr. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:715)

In addition, Abu Dawud related under Chapter: `Vowing while Angry’ that Said bin Musayyib said that two Ansari brothers both received inheritance and one of them asked that the inheritance be divided. His brother said, “If you ask me about dividing the inheritance again, then all of what I have will be spent on the Ka`bah’s door.” Umar said to him, “The Ka’bah does not need your money. So break your vow, pay the Kaffarah and come to terms with your brother. I heard Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying:

”Do not make a vow against yourself, nor to disobey the Lord, cut the relations of the womb or dispose of what you do not own.” (Abu Dawud 3:581)

Allah said: ”…but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned”  Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and several others said that this Ayah means swearing about a matter while knowing that he is lying. Mujahid and others said this Ayah is similar to what Allah said:

”…but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths.” (5:89)

Allah said (2:225 above): ”And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Forbearing” meaning, He is Oft-Forgiving to His servants and Most Forbearing with them.

{226. Those who take an oath not to have sexual relation with their wives must wait for four months, then if they return, verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

227. And if they decide upon divorce, then Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.}

The Ila’ and its Rulings

Ila’ is a type of vow where a man swears not to sleep with his wife for a certain period, whether less or more than four months. If the vow of Ila’ was for less than four months, the man has to wait for the vow’s period to end and then is allowed to have sexual intercourse with his wife. She has to be patient and she cannot ask her husband, in this case, to end his vow before the end of its term. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger swore he would stay away from with his wives for a month. He then came down after twenty-nine days saying:

”The (lunar) month is twenty-nine days.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:380, Muslim 2:1113)

If the period of Ila’ is for more than four months, the wife is allowed in this case to ask her husband, upon the end of the four months, to end the Ila’ and have sexual relations with her. Otherwise, he should divorce her, by being forced to do so by the authorities if necessary, so that the wife is not harmed. Allah said: ”Those who take an oath not to have sexual relations with their wives” meaning, swear not to have sexual relations with the wife. This Ayah indicates that the Ila’ involves the wife and not a slave-women, as the majority of the scholars have agreed, ”…must wait for four months” meaning, the husband waits for four months from the time of the vow and then ends the Ila’ (if the vow was for four or more months) and is required to either return to his wife or divorce her. This is why Allah said next: ”…then if they return” meaning, to a normal relationship, having sexual intercourse with the wife. ”…verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” with any shortcomings that occurred in the rights of the wife because of the vow of Ila’.

Allah said: ”And if they decide upon divorce,” indicating that divorce does not occur by merely passing the four month mark (during the Ila’). Malik reported from Nafi that  Abdullah bin Umar said, “If the man swears to Ila’ from his wife, then divorce does not occur automatically even after the four months have passed. When he stops at the four months mark, he should either divorce or return.” (Al-Muwatta 2:556) Al-Bukhari also reported this Hadith. (Fath Al-Bari 9:335) Ibn Jarir reported that Suhayl bin Abu Salih said that his father said, “I asked twelve Companions about the man who does Ila’ with his wife. They all stated that he does not have to do anything until the four months have passed and then has to either retain or divorce her.” (At-Tabari 4:493)

{228. And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.}

The ` Iddah (Waiting Period) of the Divorced Woman

This Ayah contains a command from Allah that the divorced woman, whose marriage was consummated and who still has menstruation periods, should wait for three (menstrual) periods (Quru’) after the divorce and then remarry if she wishes.

The Meaning of Al-Quru

Ibn Jarir related that Alqamah said: We were with Umar bin Al-Khattab when a woman came and said, “My husband divorced me one or two periods ago. He then came back to me while I had prepared my water [for taking a bath], took off my clothes and closed my door.” Umar asked Abdullah bin Masud, “What do you think?” He said, “I think that she is still his wife, as long as she is not allowed to resume praying (i.e., until the third period ends before he takes her back).” Umar said, “This is my opinion too.”(At-Tabari 4:502) What testifies to this is the Hadith that Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i reported that Fatimah bint Abu Hubaiysh said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to her:

”Do not pray during your Aqra’ (pl. for Quru’, the menstruation period).” ((Abu Dawud 1:191, An-Nasai 6:211)

If this Hadith was authentic, it would have been a clear proof that the Quru’ is the menstruation period. However, one of the narrators of this Hadith, Al-Mundhir, is an unknown person (in Hadith terminology), as Abu Hatim has stated, although Ibn Hibban has mentioned Al-Mundhir in his book Ath-Thiqat.

A Woman’s Statement about Menses and Purity is to be accepted

Allah said: ”…and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs” meaning, of pregnancy or menstruation periods. This is the Tafsir of Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Mujahid, Ash- Shabi, Al-Hakam bin Utaybah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Ad-Dahhak and others. Allah then said: ”…if they believe in Allah and the Last Day.’‘ This Ayah warns women against hiding the truth (if they were pregnant or on their menses), indicating that they are the authority in such matters as they alone know such facts about themselves. Since verifying such matters is difficult, Allah left this decision with them. Yet, women were warned not to hide the truth in case they wish to end the `Iddah sooner, or later, according to their desires. Women were thus commanded to say the truth (if they were pregnant or on their menses), no more and no less.

The Husband has the Right to take back his Divorced Wife during the ‘Iddah (Waiting Period)

Allah said: ”And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation.” Hence, the husband who divorces his wife can take her back, providing she is still in her ‘Iddah (time spent before a divorced woman or a widow can remarry) and that his aim, by taking her back, is righteous and for the purpose of bringing things back to normal. However, this ruling applies where the husband is eligible to take his divorced wife back. We should mention that (when this Ayah 2:228 was revealed), the ruling that made the divorce thrice and specified when the husband is ineligible to take his divorced wife back, had not been revealed yet. Previously, the man used to divorce his wife and then take her back even if he had divorced her a hundred separate times. Thereafter, Allah revealed the following Ayah (2:229) that made the divorce only thrice. So there was now a reversible divorce and an irreversible final divorce.

The Rights the Spouses have over Each Other

Allah said: ”And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable” This Ayah indicates that the wife has certain rights on her husband, just as he has certain rights on her, and each is obliged to give the other spouse his due rights. Muslim reported that Jabir said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Fear Allah regarding your women, for you have taken them by Allah’s covenant and were allowed to enjoy with them sexually by Allah’s Words. You have the right on them that they do not allow anyone you dislike to sit on your mat. If they do that, then discipline them leniently. They have the right to be spent on and to be bought clothes in what is reasonable” (Muslim 2:886)

Bahz bin Hakim said that Mu’awiyah bin Haydah Al-Qushayri related that his grandfather said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is the right the wife of one of us has?” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”To feed her when you eat, buy her clothes when you buy for yourself and to refrain from striking her on the face, cursing her or staying away from her except in the house.” (Abu Dawud 2:606)

Waki related that Ibn Abbas said, “I like to take care of my appearance for my wife just as I like for her to take care of her appearance for me. This is because Allah says: ”And they (women) have rights similar (to those of their husbands) over them to what is reasonable.” This statement is reported by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abu Hatim.

The Virtue Men have over Women

Allah said: ”but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them.”

This Ayah indicates that men are in a more advantageous position than women physically as well as in their mannerism, status, obedience (of women to them), spending, taking care of the affairs and in general, in this life and in the Hereafter. Allah said (in another Ayah):

“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.” (4:34)

Allah’s statement: “And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise” means, He is Mighty in His punishment of those who disobey and defy His commands. He is Wise in what He commands, destines and legislates.

{229. The divorce is twice, after that either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness. And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of what you gave them (the Mahr, bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah (e.g., to deal with each other on a fair basis). Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or a part of it). These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are the wrongdoers.

230. And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she has married another husband. Then, if the other husband divorces her, it is no sin on both of them that they reunite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. These are the limits of Allah, which He makes plain for the people who have knowledge.}

Divorce is Thrice

This honorable Ayah abrogated the previous practice in the beginning of Islam, when the man had the right to take back his divorced wife even if he had divorced her a hundred times, as long as she was still in her ‘Iddah (waiting period). This situation was harmful for the wife, and this is why Allah made the divorce thrice, where the husband is allowed to take back his wife after the first and the second divorce (as long as she is still in her ‘Iddah). The divorce becomes irrevocable after the third divorce, as Allah said: ”The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness.”

In his Sunan, Abu Dawud reported in Chapter: “Taking the Wife back after the third (Divorce) is an abrogated practice,” that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah: ”And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs,” (2:228) The man used to have the right to take back his wife even if he had divorced her thrice. Allah abrogated this and said: ‘The divorce is twice.” (Abu Dawud 2:644)

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Urwah said that a man said to his wife, “I will neither divorce you nor take you back.” She said, “How’?’ He said, “I will divorce you and when your term of Iddah nears its end, I will take you back.” She went to Allah’s Messenger and told him what happened, and Allah revealed: ”The divorce is twice.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:754)

Ibn Jarir (At-Tabari) also reported this Hadith in his Tafsir. Allah said: ‘‘…after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness.” meaning, ‘If you divorce her once or twice, you have the choice to take her back, as long as she is still in her Iddah, intending to be kind to her and to mend differences. Otherwise, await the end of her term of Iddah, when the divorce becomes final, and let her go her own way in peace, without committing any harm or injustice against her.’ Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “When the man divorces his wife twice, let him fear Allah, regarding the third time. He should either keep her with him and treat her with kindness, or let her go her own way with kindness, without infringing upon any of her rights.” (At-Tabari 4:543)

Taking back the Mahr (Dowry)

Allah said: ”And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of (the dowry) what you gave them” meaning, you are not allowed to bother or pressure your wives to end this situation by giving you back the Mahr and any gifts that you have given them (in return for divorce). Similarly, Allah said:

”…and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of what you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse.” (4:19)

However, if the wife willingly gives back anything with a good heart, then Allah said regarding this situation:

”…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.” (4:4)

Allowing Khul and the Return of the Mahr in that Case

When the spouses have irreconcilable differences wherein the wife ignores the rights of the husband, dislikes him and becomes unable to live with him any longer, she is allowed to free herself (from married life) by giving him back what he had given her (in gifts and Mahr). There is no sin on her in this case nor on him if he accepts such offer. This is why Allah said: ”And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of what you gave them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah (e.g., to deal with each other on a fair basis). Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back.”

Sometimes, the woman has no valid reason and she still asks for her marriage to be ended. In this case, Ibn Jarir reported that Thawban said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Any woman who asks her husband for divorce without justification, then the scent of Paradise will be forbidden for her.” (At-Tabari 4:569)

At -Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith and stated that it is Hasan. (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 4:367) Ibn Jarir said that the Ayah (2:229) was revealed about Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas and his wife Habibah bint Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul. In his Muwatta’, Imam Malik reported that Habibah bint Sahl Al-Ansariyah was married to Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas and that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, once went to the Fajr (Dawn) prayer and found Habibah bint Sahl by his door in the dark. Allah’s Messenger said, “Who is this?” She said, “I am Habibah bint Sahl, O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “What is the matter?” She said, “I and Thabit bin Qays”, meaning, (she can no longer be with) her husband. When her husband Thabit bin Qays came, Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to him: ”This is Habibah bint Sahl, she said what Allah has permitted her to say.” Habibah also said, “O Messenger of Allah! I still have everything he gave me.” Allah’s Messenger said: ”Take it from her” So, he took it from her and she remained in her family’s house.” (Al-Muwatta 2:564) This was reported by Ahmad (6:433), Abu Dawud (2:667) and An-Nasai (6:169).

Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Abbas said that the wife of Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I do not criticize his religion or mannerism. But I hate committing Kufr in Islam (by ignoring his rights on her).” Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: ”Will you give him back his garden?” She said, “Yes.” Allah’s Messenger said: ”Take back the garden and divorce her once.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:306)

The ‘Iddah (Waiting Period) for the Khul

At-Tirmidhi reported that Rubayi bint Mu’awwidh bin Afra’ got a Khul during the time of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the Prophet ordered her to wait for one menstruation period for Iddah. (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 4:363)

Transgressing the set limits of Allah is an Injustice

Allah said: ”These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are the wrongdoers.” This means that the laws that Allah has legislated are His set limits, so do not transgress them. An authentic Hadith states:

”Allah has set some limits, so do not transgress them; and commanded some commands, so do not ignore them; and made some things unlawful, so do not commit them. He has also left some matters (without rulings) as a mercy with you, not because He has forgotten them, so do not ask about them.” (Ad-Daraqutni 4:298)

Pronouncing Three Divorces at the same Time is Unlawful

The last Ayah we mentioned was used as evidence to prove that it is not allowed to pronounce three divorces at one time. What further proves this ruling is that Mahmud bin Labid has stated – as An-Nasa’i recorded – that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was told about a man who pronounced three divorces on his wife at one time, so the Prophet stood up while angry and said: ”The Book of Allah is being made the subject of jest while I am still amongst you” A man then stood up and said, “Should I kill that man, O Messenger of Allah?” (An-Nasai 6:142)

The Wife cannot be taken back after the Third Divorce

Allah said: ”And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful for him thereafter until she has married another husband.” This Ayah indicates that if the man divorces his wife for the third time after he divorced her twice, then she will no longer be allowed for marriage to him. Allah said: ”…until she has married another husband” meaning, until she legally marries another man. For instance, if she has sexual intercourse with any man, even her master (if she was a servant), she would still be ineligible for marriage for her ex-husband (who divorced her thrice), because whomever she had sexual relations with was not her legal husband. If she marries a man without consummating the marriage, she will not be eligible for her ex-husband. Muslim reported that A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was asked about a woman who marries a man who thereafter divorces her (thrice). She then marries another man and he divorces her before he has sexual relations with her, would she be allowed for her first husband Allah’s Messenger said:

”No, until he enjoys her Usaylah (sexual relation).” (Muslim 2:1057)

Al-Bukhari also reported this Hadith. (Fath Al-Bari 9:284)

Imam Ahmad recorded that A’ishah said, “The wife of Rifa’ah Al-Qurazi came while I and Abu Bakr were with the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and she said, ‘I was Rifa’ah’s wife, but he divorced me and it was an irrevocable divorce. Then I married Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubayr, but his sexual organ is minute like a string.’ She then took a small string of her garment (to resemble how small his sexual organ was). Khalid bin Sa’id bin Al-As, who was next to the door and was not yet allowed in, said, ‘O Abu Bakr! Why do you not forbid this (woman) from what she is revealing frankly before the Prophet?’ The Prophet merely smiled. Then, Allah’s Messenger asked her:

”Do you want to remarry Rifa’ah? You cannot unless you experience his Usaylah and he experiences your Usaylah (i.e., had a complete sexual relation with your present husband).” (Ahmad 6:34)

Al-Bukhari (Fath Al-Bari 10:518), Muslim (2:1057) , and An-Nasa’i (6:146) also recorded this Hadith. Muslim’s wording is “Rifa’ah divorced his wife for the third and final time.”

The word Usaylah mentioned in the Hadith means sexual intercourse. Imam Ahmad and An- Nasa’i reported that A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Usaylah is sexual intercourse.” (Ahmad 6:62)

 The Curse on the Participants of Tahlil/Halalah

The reason for the woman (who was divorced thrice) to marry another man must be that the man desires her and has the intention of having an extended married life with her. These are the legal goals and aims behind marraige. If the reason behind the second marriage was to make the woman for her ex-husband again, then this is the Tahlil that the hadiths have cursed and criticised. In addition, when the reason behind this marriage (if it was Tahlil) is announced in the contract, it would make the contract invalid according to the majority of scholars.

Imam Ahmad reported that Abdullah bin Masud said, “Allah’s Messenger cursed the one who does Tahlil, the one in whose favour it is done, those who eat Riba (usury) and those who feed it (par the usury).” (Ahmad 1:448) At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasai reported this Hadith (Ahmad 1:448) Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 4:268, An-Nasai 6:149) and At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is hasan.” He said, “This is what is acted upon according to people of knoeldge among the Companions, among whom are ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and Ibn Umar. It was also the saying of the scholars of Fiqh among the tabi’in (second generation of islam). And it has been reported from Ali, Ibn Masud and Ibn Abbas”.

In his Mustadarak, Al-Hakim reported that Nafi said: “A man came to Ibn Umar and asked him about a man who divorced his wife three times. Then his brother married her to make Tahlil for his brother, without the brother knowing this fact. He then asked, “Is she allowed for the first (husband)?” He said, “No unless it is a marriage that involves desire. We used to consider this an act of adultery during the times of Allah’s Messenger.” Al-Hakim said, “This hadith has a Sahih chain although they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.” (Al-Hakim 2:199) The wording of this Hadith indicates that the ruling came from the Propeht, peace and blessings of Allah eb upon him. Abu Bakr bin Abu Shaybah, Al-Jawzjani, Harb Al-Kirmani and Abu Bakr Al-Athram said that Qabisah bin Jabir said that Umar said, “If the participants to Tahlil are brought to me, I will have them stoned.” (Ibn Abi Shaybah 4:294)

When does a Woman who was divorced Three Times become Eligible for Her First Husband

Allah said: ”And if he has divorced her” meaning, the second husband after he had complete sexual relations with her, ”it is no sin on both of them that they reunite” meaning, the wife and her first husband, ”provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah” meaning, they live together honorably. Mujahid said, “If they are convinced that the aim behind their marriage is honorable.” (At-Tabari 4:598) Next, Allah said: ”These are the limits of Allah” His commandments and legislation, ”He makes plain for the people who have knowledge”.

{231. And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, either take them back on a reasonable basis or set them free on a reasonable basis. But do not take them back to hurt them, and whoever does that, then he has wronged himself. And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in jest, but remember Allah’s favours on you (i.e., Islam), and that which He has sent down to you of the Book (i.e., the Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah (the Prophet’s Sunnah [legal ways ] Islamic jurisprudence) whereby He instructs you. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything.}

Being Kind to the Divorced Wife

This is a command from Allah to men that when one of them divorces his wife with a reversible divorce, he should treat her kindly. So when her term of Iddah (waiting period) nears its end, he either takes her back in a way that is better, including having witnesses that he has taken her back, and he lives with her with kindness. Or, he should release her after her Iddah finishes and then kindly asks her to depart from his house, without disputing, fighting with her or using foul words. Allah then said: ‘‘But do not take them back to hurt them”

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Masruq, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that a man used to divorce his wife, and when her Iddah came near its end, he would take her back to harm her and to stop her from marrying someone else. He then divorced her and she would begin her Iddah and when her Iddah term neared its end, he would take her back again, so that the term of Iddah would be prolonged for her. After that, Allah prohibited this practice. Allah has also threatened those who indulge in such practices, when He said; ”…and whoever does that, then he has wronged himself” meaning, by defying Allah’s commandments. Allah then said: ”And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in a jest”

Ibn Jarir said that Abu Musa (Al-Ash’ari) narrated that Allah’s Messenger once became angry at the Ash’ari tribe. Abu Musa went to him and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Are you angry with the Ash’ariyyin? ” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”One of you says, ‘I divorced her’ -then says- ‘I took her back!’ This is not the appropriate way Muslims conduct divorce. Divorce the woman when she has fulfilled the term of the prescribed period.” (At-Tabari 5:14)

Masruq said that the Ayah refers to the man who harms his wife by divorcing her and then taking her back, so that the Iddah term is prolonged for her. Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ata’ Al- Khurasani, Ar-Rabi and Muqatil bin Hayyan said, “He is the man who divorces his wife and says, ‘I was joking.’ Or he frees a servant or gets married and says, ‘I was only joking.’ Allah revealed: ”And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in a jest” Then such men were made to bear the consequences of their actions. Allah then said: ”…but remember Allah’s favors on you” meaning, by His sending His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, with the right guidance and clear signs to you: “…and that which He has sent down to you of the Book (i.e., the Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah” meaning the Sunnah, “…whereby He instructs you” meaning, commands you, forbids you and threatens you for transgressing His prohibitions. Allah said: “And fear Allah” meaning, concerning what you perform and what you avoid, ”and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything” none of your secret or public affairs ever escapes His knowledge, and He will treat you accordingly.

{232. And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on reasonable basis. This (instruction) is an admonition for him among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous and purer for you. Allah knows and you know not.}

The Wali (Guardian) of the Divorced Woman should not prevent Her from going back to Her Husband

Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “This Ayah was revealed about the man who divorces his wife once or twice and her Iddah finishes. He later thinks about taking her back in marriage and the woman also wishes that, yet, her family prevents her from remarrying him. Hence, Allah prohibited her family from preventing her.” Masruq, Ibrahim An-Nakha’i, Az-Zuhri and Ad-Dahhak stated that this is the reason behind revealing the Ayah (2:232). (At-Tabari 5:22-23) These statements clearly conform to the apparent meaning of the Ayah.

There is no Marriage without a Wali (for the Woman)

The Ayah (2:232) also indicates that the woman is not permitted to give herself in marriage. Rather, she requires a Wali (guardian such as her father, brother, adult son, and so forth) to give her away in marriage, as Ibn Jarir and At-Tirmidhi have stated when they mentioned this Ayah. Also, a Hadith states that:

”The woman does not give another woman away for marriage and the woman does not give herself away in marriage, for only the adulteress gives herself away for marriage.” (Ibn Majah 1:606)

Another Hadith states: ”No marriage is valid except with the participation of a mature Wali and two trustworthy witnesses.” (Majma Az-Zawa’id 4:286)

The Reason behind revealing the Ayah (2:232)

It was reported that this Ayah was revealed about Ma’qil bin Yasar Al-Muzani and his sister. Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih, when he mentioned the Tafsir of this Ayah (2:232), that the husband of the sister of Ma’qil bin Yasar divorced her. He waited until her Iddah finished and then asked to remarry her, but Ma’qil refused. Then, this Ayah was sent down: ”…do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:40)

Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Jarir and Ibn Marduwyah and Al-Bayhaqi reported this Hadith from Al-Hasan from Ma’qil bin Yasar. (Abu Dawud 2:569) At-Tirmidhi rendered this Hadith authentic and in his narration, Ma’qil bin Yasar gave his sister in marriage for a Muslim man during the time of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. She remained with him for a while and he divorced her once and did not take her back until her Iddah finished. They then wanted to get back with each other and he came to ask her for marriage. Ma’qil said to him, “O ungrateful one! I honored you and married her to you but you divorced her. By Allah! She will never be returned to you.” But Allah knew his need for his wife and her need for her husband and He revealed: ”And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period” until He said: ”…and you know not.”

When Ma’qil heard the Ayah, he said, “I hear and obey my Lord.” He then summoned the man and said, “I will honor you and let you remarry (my sister).” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:324) Ibn Marduwyah added (that M’qil said), “And will pay (the expiation) for breaking my vow.” (Al-Bayhaqi 7:104)

Allah said: ”This (instruction) is an admonition for him among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day” meaning, prohibiting you from preventing the women from marrying their ex-husbands, if they both agree to it, ”among you” O people, ”who believes in Allah and the Last Day” meaning, believes in Allah’s commandments and fears His warnings and the torment in the Hereafter. Allah said: ”That is more virtuous and purer for you” meaning, obeying Allah’s Law by returning the women to their ex-husbands, and abandoning your displeasure, is purer and cleaner for your hearts, ”Allah knows” the benefits you gain from what He commands and what He forbids, ‘‘and you know not” the benefits in what you do or what you refrain from doing.

{233. The mothers should suckle their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis. No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of his child. And on the (father’s) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father). If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no sin on them. And if you decide on a foster suckling-mother for your children, there is no sin on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you agreed (to give her) on a reasonable basis. And fear Allah and know that Allah is All-Seer of what you do.}

The Suckling Period is only Two Years

This is a direction from Allah to the mothers to suckle their infants through the complete term of suckling, which is two years. Hence, suckling after two years is not included in this address. Allah said: ”…who desire to complete the term of suckling” Therefore, the suckling that establishes Tahrim (prohibition, i.e., one cannot marry his mother or sister from suckling) is what occurs before the two years end. If the infant is suckled only after two years of age, then no Tahrim will be established. At-Tirmidhi under Chapter: ‘Suckling establishes Tahrim within the first two years,’ reported that Umm Salamah narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”Suckling establishes Tahrim if it is on the breast and before Fitam (before weaning, i.e., before the end of the first two years).” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 4:313)

At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Hasan Sahih. The majority of the people of knowledge among the Companions of Allah’s Messenger and others acted upon this, that is that suckling establishes Tahrim (prohibition in marriage) before the end of the two years and that whatever occurs after that does not establish Tahrim”. At-Tirmidhi is alone in recording this Hadith and the narrators in its chain meet the criteria of the Sahihayn. TheProphet’s statement: ”On the breast” refers to the organ of suckling before the two years. Imam Ahmad reported a Hadith in which Al-Bara’ bin Azib narrated, “When Ibrahim, the Prophet’s son, died, the Prophet said:

”My son has died on the breast and he has someone to suckle him in Paradise.” (Umdat At-Tafsir 1:126)

Furthermore, Ad-Daraqutni related that Ibn Abbas said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,  said:

”Suckling establishes Tahrim only within the (first) two years.” (Al-Muwatta 2:602)

Imam Malik reported this Hadith from Thawr bin Zayd who narrated that Ibn Abbas related it to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Ad-Darawardi reported this Hadith from Thawr who narrated it from Ikrimah who narrated it from Ibn Abbas. In this narration, which is more authentic, he added:

”Whatever occurs after the two years is not considered.”

Suckling beyond the Two Years

It is reported in the Sahih that A’ishah thought that if a woman gives her milk to an older person (meaning beyond the age of two years) then this will establish Tahrim. (Muslim 2:1077) This is also the opinion of Ata’ bin Abu Rabah and Layth bin Sa’d. Hence, A’ishah thought that it is permissible to suckle the man whom the woman needs to be allowed in her house. She used as evidence the Hadith of Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah, where the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ordered Abu Hudhayfah’s wife to give some of her milk to Salim, although he was a man, and ever since then, he used to enter her house freely. However, the rest of the Prophet’s wives did not agree with this opinion and thought that this was only a special case. (Abu Dawud 2:549, 550) This is also the opinion of the majority of the scholars.

Suckling for Monetary Compensation

Allah said: ”…but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis” meaning, the father of the baby is obliged to provide for the expenses of the mother and to buy her clothes, in reasonable amounts usually used by similar women in that area, without extravagance or stinginess. The father spends within his means in this case. Allah said in another Ayah:

“Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease.” (65:7)

Ad-Dahhak commented, “If the husband divorces his wife, with whom he had a child, and she suckles that child, he is required to provide for the mother’s expenses and clothes within reason.” (At-Tabari 5:39)

No Darar (Harm) or Dirar (Revenge)

Allah said: ”No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child” meaning, the mother should not decline to rear her child to harm its father. The mother does not have the right to refrain from suckling the child after giving birth, unless she suckles him/ her the milk that is necessary for his/ her survival. Later on, she is allowed to give up custody of the child as long as she does not do that intending to harm the father. In addition, the father is not allowed to take the child from his mother to harm the mother. This is why Allah said: ”…nor father on account of his child” meaning, by taking the child from its mother intending to harm the mother. This is the Tafsir of Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri and Ibn Zayd, and others on this Ayah.

Allah then said: ”And on the (father’s) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father)” meaning, by refraining from harming the relative (of the father, i.e., his infant), as Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi and Ad-Dahhak stated. It was also reported that (the Ayah requires) the inheritor (of the father) to spend on the mother of the child, just as the father was spending, and to preserve her rights and refrain from harming her, according to the Tafsir of the majority of the scholars. We should state that Ibn Jarir has explained this subject in detail in his Tafsir and that he also stated that suckling the child after the second year might harm the child’s body and mind. Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that Alqamah asked a woman who was suckling her child after the second year ended, not to do that. (At-Tabari 5:36)

Fitam (weaning) occurs by Mutual Consent

Allah said: ”If they both decide on weaning, by mutual consent, and after due consultation, there is no sin on them.” This Ayah indicates that if the father and the mother decide on the Fitam (weaning) before the two years (of suckling) end, and for a benefit that they duly discuss and agree upon, then there is no sin in this case. So, the Ayah indicates that one parent is not allowed to make this kind of decision without duly consulting the other parent, as stated by Ath-Thawri. The method of mutual consultation protects the child’s interests. It is also a mercy from Allah to His servants, for He has legislated the best method for parents to rear their children, and His legislation guides and directs the parents and the children to success. Similarly, Allah said in Surat At- Talaq (chapter 65 in the Qur’an):

”Then if they give suck to the children for you, give them their due payment, and let each of you accept the advice of the other in a just way. But if you make difficulties for one another, then some other woman may give suck for him (the father of the child)” (65:6)

Allah then said: ”And if you decide on a foster suckling-mother for your children, there is no sin on you, provided you pay (the mother) what you agreed (to give her) on a reasonable basis” meaning, if the mother and the father both agree that the father assumes custody of the child due to a circumstance that compels her or allows him to do so, then there is no sin in this case. Hence, the mother is allowed to give up the child and the father is allowed to assume custody of the child. The father should kindly give the mother her expenses for the previous period (during which she reared and suckled the child), and he should seek other women to suckle his child for monetary compensation. Thereafter, Allah said: ”And know that Allah is All-Seer of what you do” meaning, none of your affairs or speech escapes His perfect Watch. ”And fear Allah” meaning, in all of your affairs,

{234. And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days, then when they have fulfilled their term, there is no sin on you if they (the wives) dispose of themselves in a (just and) honorable manner (i.e., they can marry). And Allah is well-acquainted with what you do.}

The Iddah (Waiting Period) of the Widow

This Ayah contains a command from Allah to the wives whose husbands die, that they should observe a period of Iddah of four months and ten nights, including the cases where the marriage was consummated or otherwise, according to the consensus (of the scholars).

The proof that this ruling includes the case where the marriage was not consummated is included in the general meaning of the Ayah. In a narration recorded by Imam Ahmad and the compilers of the Sunan, which At-Tirmidhi graded Sahih, Ibn Masud was asked about a man who married a woman, but he died before consummating the marriage. He also did not appoint a Mahr (dowry) for her. They kept asking Ibn Masud about this subject until he said, “I shall give you my own opinion, and if it is correct then it is from Allah, while if it is wrong it is because of my error and because of (the evil efforts of) Satan. In this case, Allah and His Messenger are innocent of my opinion. She has her full Mahr.” In another narration, Ibn Masud said, “She has a similar Mahr to that of the women of her status, without stinginess or extravagance.” He then continued, “She has to spend the Iddah and has a right to the inheritance.” Ma’qil bin Yasar Ashja’i then stood up and said, “I heard Allah’s Messenger issue a similar judgment for the benefit of Barwabint Washiq.” Abdullah bin Mas’ud became very delighted upon hearing this statement. In another narration, several men from Ashja` (tribe) stood up and said, “We testify that Allah’s Messenger issued a similar ruling for the benefit of Barwa bint Washiq.” (Ahmad 3:480)

As for the case of the widow whose husband dies while she is pregnant, her term of Iddah ends when she gives birth, even if it occurs an instant (after her husband dies). This ruling is taken from Allah’s statement:

”And for those who are pregnant, their Iddah is until they lay down their burden.” (65:4)

There is also a Hadith from Subayah Al-Aslamiyah in the Two Sahihs, through various chains of narration. Her husband, Sa’d bin Khawlah, died while she was pregnant and she gave birth only a few nights after his death. When she finished her Nifas (postnatal period), she beautified herself for those who might seek to engage her (for marriage). Then, Abu Sanabil bin Bakak came to her and said, “Why do I see you beautified yourself, do you wish to marry? By Allah! You will not marry until the four months and ten nights have passed.” Subayah said, “When he said that to me, I collected my garments when night fell and went to Allah’s Messenger and asked him about this matter. He said that my Iddah had finished when I gave birth and allowed me to get married if I wished.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:379, Muslim 2:112)

The Wisdom behind legislating the Iddah

Said bin Musayyib and Abu Al-Aliyah stated that the wisdom behind making the Iddah of the widow four months and ten nights is that the womb might contain a fetus. When the woman waits for this period, it will become evident if she is pregnant. Similarly, there is a Hadith in the Two Sahihs narrated by Ibn Masud stating:

”(The creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of his mother in forty days in the form of a seed, and next he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and next a morsel of flesh for a similar period. Then, Allah sends an angel who is ordered to breathe life unto the fetus.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:449, Muslim 4:3026)

So, these are four months and ten more days to be sure, as some months are less (than thirty days), and the fetus will then start to show signs of life after the soul has been breathed into it. Allah knows best.

The Iddah of the Slave Mother whose Master dies

We should state here that the Iddah of the slave mother is the same in the case of death, as the Iddah of the free woman. Imam Ahmad reported that Amr bin Al-As said, “Do not confuse the Sunnah of our Prophet for us. The Iddah of the mother, who is also a servant, when her master dies, is four months and ten nights.” (Ahmad 4:301)

Mourning is required during the Iddah of Death

Allah said: ”…then when they have fulfilled their term, there is no sin on you if they (the wives) dispose of themselves in a (just and) honorable manner (i.e., they can marry). And Allah is well- acquainted with what you do.”  This Ayah indicates that mourning for the dead husband is required until the Iddah is finished. It is also reported in the Two Sahihs that Umm Habibah and Zaynab bint Jahsh narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

 ”It is not lawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to mourn for more than three days for any dead person except her husband, for whom she mourns for four months and ten days.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:394, Muslim 2:1123)

It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Umm Salamah said that a woman said, “O Messenger of Allah! My daughter’s husband died and she is complaining about her eye, should we administer kohl in her eye” He said, “No,” several times upon repeating this question. He then said:

”It is four months and ten (nights)! During the Jahiliyyah, one of you would mourn for an entire year.” (Muslim 2:1124)

Zaiynab the daughter of Umm Salamah said (about the pre-Islamic era of ignorance), “When the woman’s husband died, she would go into seclusion and would wear the worst clothes she has. She would refrain from wearing perfume or any adornments until a year passed. She would then come out of seclusion and would be given dung that she would throw. Then an animal would be brought out, a donkey, a sheep, or a bird. Then some blood would be drained from it, usually resulting in its death.”

In short, the mourning required from a wife whose husband dies, includes not using beautification aids, such as wearing perfume and the clothes and jewelry that encourage the men to seek marriage from the woman. All widows must observe this period of mourning whether they are young, old, free, servant, Muslim or disbeliever, as the general meaning of the Ayah indicates.

Allah also said: ”…then when they have fulfilled their term” meaning, when the Iddah finishes, according to Ad-Dahhak and Ar-Rabi bin Anas, ”there is no sin on you” Az-Zuhri said, “Meaning her Wali (guardian)” ”if they (the wives) dispose” meaning, the women whose Iddah has finished. Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said, “If the woman is divorced or if her husband dies and then her Iddah term ends, there is no sin that she beautifies herself, so that she becomes ready for marriage proposals. This is the way ‘that is just and honorable’.” It was reported that Muqatil bin Hayyan gave the same explanation. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:812, 813)  Ibn Jurayj related that Mujahid said: ‘‘…there is no sin on you if they (the wives) dispose of themselves in a just and honorable manner” “refers to allowed and pure (honorable) marriage.” (At-Tabari 5:93) It was also reported that Al-Hasan, Az-Zuhri and As-Suddi said the same. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:814)

{235. And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal or conceal it in yourself, Allah knows that you will remember them, but do not make a promise (of contract) with them in secret except that you speak an honorable saying. And do not be determined on the marriage bond until the term prescribed is fulfilled. And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.}

 

Mentioning Marriage indirectly during the Iddah

“And there is no sin on you” meaning, to indirectly mention marriage to the widow during the term of Iddah for her deceased husband. Ath-Thawri, Shubah and Jarir stated that Ibn Abbas said: ”And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal’‘ “means saying, ‘I want to marry and I am looking for a woman whose qualities are such and such,’ thus talking to her in general terms in a way that is better.” In another narration (by Ibn Abbas), “Saying, ‘I wish that Allah endows me with a wife,’ but he should not make a direct marriage proposal.” Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah: ”And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal” means, “The man could say, ‘I wish to marry,’ ‘I desire a wife,’ or, ‘I wish I could find a good wife’.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:84) Mujahid, Tawus, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Ash-Shabi, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Az-Zuhri, Yazid bin Qusayt, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Al-Qasim bin Muhammad and several others among the Salaf and the Imams said that one is allowed to mention marriage indirectly to the woman whose husband died. It is also allowed to indirectly mention marriage to a woman who had gone through final, irrevocable divorce. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ordered Fatimah bint Qays to remain in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum for Iddah when her husband Abu Amr bin Hafs divorced her for the third time. He said to her:

 ”Inform me when your Iddah term ends.”

When she finished the Iddah, Usamah bin Zayd, the Prophet’s freed slave asked to marry her, and the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, married her to him. (Muslim 2:1114) As for the divorced wife (not irrevocably divorced), there is no disagreement that it is not allowed for other than her husband to mention marriage proposals to her directly or indirectly (before the Iddah finishes). Allah knows best.

Allah said: ”…or conceal it in yourself” meaning, if you hide the intention of seeking marriage with them. Similarly, Allah said:

”And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal, and what they reveal” (28:69) and:

 ”…while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal” (60: 1)

So, Allah said here: ”Allah knows that you will remember them” meaning, in your hearts, so He made it easy for you. Allah then said: ”…but do not make a promise (of contract) with them in secret” Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that ”but do not make a promise (of contract) with them in secret” means do not say to her, “I am in love (with you),” or, “Promise me you will not marry someone else (after the Iddah finishes),” and so forth.  (At-Tabari 5:107) Said  bin Jubayr, Ash-Shabi, Ikrimah, Abu Ad-Duha, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:821) Mujahid and Ath-Thawri said that it (meaning of the Ayah) means taking the woman’s promise not to marry someone else. (At-Tabari 5:109)

Afterwards, Allah said: ”…except that you speak an honorable saying” Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Said bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri and Ibn Zayd said that the Ayah means to indirectly refer to marriage, such as saying, “I desire someone like you.” (At-Tabari 5:114) Muhammad bin Sirin said: I asked Ubaydah about the meaning of Allah’s statement: ”…except that you speak an honorable saying” He said, “He says to her Wali, ‘Do not give her away (in marriage) until you inform me first’.” This statement was narrated by Ibn Abu Hatim (2:826).

Allah then said: ”And do not be determined on the marriage bond until the term prescribed is fulfilled” meaning, do not make marriage contracts before the Iddah finishes. Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ash- Sha’bi, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Abu Malik, Zayd bin Aslam, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Az-Zuhri, Ata’ Al-Khurasani, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri and Ad-Dahhak said that: ”until the term prescribed is fulfilled” means, ‘Do not consummate the marriage before the Iddah term finishes.’ (Ibn Abi Hatim828-829) The scholars agree that marriage contracts during the Iddah are invalid.

Allah then said: ”And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him” warning the men against the ideas they conceal in their hearts about women, directing them to think good about them rather than the evil, and Allah would not let them despair of His mercy, as He said: ”And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.”

{236. There is no sin on you, if you divorce women while yet you have not touched them, nor appointed for them their due (dowry). But give them a Mutah (a suitable gift, the rich according to his means, and the poor according to his means, a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good.}

Divorce before consummating the Marriage

Allah allowed divorce after the marriage contract and before consummating the marriage. Ibn `Abbas, Tawus, Ibrahim and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that ‘touched’ (mentioned in the Ayah) means sexual intercourse. The husband is allowed to divorce his wife before consummating the marriage or giving the dowry if it was deferred.

The Mut’ah (Gift) at the time of Divorce

Allah commands the husband to give the wife (whom he divorces before consummating the marriage) a gift of a reasonable amount, the rich according to his means and the poor according to his means, to compensate her for her loss. Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih that Sahl bin Sad and Abu Usayd said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, married Umaymah bint Sharahil. When she was brought to the Prophet he extended his hand to her, but she did not like that. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, then ordered Abu Usayd to provide provisions for her along with a gift of two garments (Fath Al-Bari 9:269).

{237. And if you divorce them before you have touched (had a sexual relation with) them, and you have appointed for them their due (dowry), then pay half of that, unless they (the women) agree to remit it, or he (the husband), in whose hands is the marriage tie, agrees to remit it. And to remit is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). And do not forget liberality between yourselves. Truly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do.}

The Wife gets half of Her Mahr if She is divorced before the Marriage is consummated

This honorable Ayah is not a continuation of the Mut’ah (gift) that was mentioned in the previous Ayah (i.e., divorce before the marriage is consummated). This Ayah (2:237) requires the husband to relinquish half of the appointed Mahr if he divorces his wife before the marriage is consummated. If it was discussing any other type of gift, then it would have been mentioned that way, especially when this Ayah follows the previous Ayah related to this subject. Allah knows best. Giving away half of the bridal-money in this case is the agreed practice according to the scholars. So, the husband pays half of the appointed Mahr if he divorces his wife before consummating the marriage.

Allah then said: “unless they (the women) agree to remit it” meaning, the wife forfeits the dowry and relieves the husband from further financial responsibility. As-Suddi said that Abu Salih mentioned that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah’s statement: “unless they (the women) agree to remit it” “Unless the wife forfeits her right.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:839) Furthermore, Imam  Abu Muhammad bin Abu Hatim said that it was reported that Shurayh, Sa’id bin Musayyib, Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ash-Shabi, Al-Hasan, Nafi, Qatadah, Jabir bin Zayd, Ata’ Al- Khurasani, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ibn Sirin, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and As-Suddi said similarly (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:840-842).

Allah then said: ”…or he (the husband), in whose hands is the marriage tie, agrees to remit it”. Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Amr bin Shuayb said that his grandfather narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The husband is he who has the marriage tie”. (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:842)

Ibn Marduwyah also reported this Hadith, and it is the view chosen by Ibn Jarir. The Hadith states that the husband is the person who really holds the marriage tie in his hand, as it is up to him to go on with the marriage or end it. On the other hand, the Wali of the wife is not allowed to give away any of her rightful dues without her permission, especially the dowry.

Allah then stated: ”And to remit it is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness)” Ibn Jarir said, “Some scholars said that this statement is directed at both men and women.” Ibn Abbas said: ”And to remit it is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness)” indicates that the one who forgives, is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety).” A similar statement was made by Ash-Sha`bi and several other scholars.

Mujahid, An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ar-Rabi` bin Anasand Thawri stated that `liberality’ mentioned in the Ayah refers to the woman giving away her half Mahr, or the man giving away the full Mahr. (At-Tabari 5:165) This is why Allah said here: ”And do not forget liberality between yourselves” meaning, kindness (or generosity), as Sa’id has stated. Allah said: ”Truly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do” meaning, none of your affairs ever escapes His perfect Watch, and He will reward each according to his deeds.

{238. Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the Middle Salah. And stand before Allah with obedience.

239. And if you fear (an enemy), (perform Salah) on foot or riding. And when you are in safety, then remember Allah (pray) in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before)}

Allah commands that the prayer should be performed properly and on time. It is reported in the Two Sahihs that Ibn Masud said, “I asked the Prophet , ‘Which deed is the dearest (to Allah)?’ He replied:

 ”To offer the prayers at their fixed times” I asked, ‘What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied:

 “To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause.” I again asked, ‘What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied:

 ”To be good and dutiful to your parents” Abdullah then added, “The Prophet told me these words, and had I asked more, the Prophet would have told me more.” (Fath Al-Bari 2:12, Muslim 1:90)

The Middle Prayer

Furthermore, Allah has specifically mentioned the Middle prayer, which is the Asr prayer according to the majority of the scholars among the Companions, as At-Tirmidhi and Al- Baghawi have stated. Al-Qadi Al-Mawardi added that the majority of the scholars of the Tabi’in also held this view. Al-Hafiz Abu Umar bin Abdul-Barr said that this is also the opinion of the majority of the scholars of the Athar (i.e., the Hadith and the statements of the Salaf). In addition, Abu Muhammad bin Atiyah said that this is the Tafsir (of the Middle prayer) of the majority of scholars. Al-Hafiz Abu Muhammad Abdul-Mu’min bin Khalaf Ad-Dumyati stated in his book on the Middle prayer that it is the Asr prayer and mentioned that this is the Tafsir of Umar, Ali, Ibn Mas’ud, Abu Ayyub, Abdullah bin Amr, Samurah bin Jundub, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa’id, Hafsah, Umm Habibah, Umm Salamah, Ibn Abbas and A’ishah. This is also the Tafsir of Ubaydah, Ibrahim An-Nakha’i, Razin, Zirr bin Hubaysh, Sa’id bin Jubayr, Ibn Sirin, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Kalbi, Muqatil, ‘Ubayd bin Abu Maryam, and others.

The Proof that the Asr Prayer is the Middle Prayer

Imam Ahmad reported that Ali narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said during the battle of Al- Ahzab (the Confederates):

”They (the disbelievers) busied us from performing the Middle prayer, the Asr prayer, may Allah fill their hearts and houses with fire.”

He performed the Asr prayer between Maghrib and Isha’. (Ahmad 1:113) Muslim and An-Nasa’i recorded this Hadith. In addition, the Two Shaykhs, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi An-Nasa’i and several other collectors of the Sunan recorded this Hadith using different chains of narrators to Ali. The Hadith about the battle of Al-Ahzab, when the Mushriks prevented Allah’s Messenger and his Companions from performing the Asr prayer, has been narrated by several other Companions. We only mentioned the narrations that stated that the Middle prayer is the Asr prayer. Furthermore, Muslim reported similar wordings for this Hadith from Ibn Mas’ud and Al-Bara’ bin Azib. (Muslim 1:437, 438)

In addition, Imam Ahmad reported that Samurah bin Jundub said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“The Middle prayer is the Asr prayer.” (Ahmad 5:22)

In another narration, Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, mentioned:

”Guard strictly (five obligatory) As-Salawat (the prayers) especially the Middle Salah” and stated that it is the Asr prayer. (Ahmad 5:8) In another narration, Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: ”It is the Asr prayer”, and Ibn Ja’far mentioned that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was then being asked about the Middle prayer. (Ahmad 5:7) In addition, Abu Hatim bin Hibban reported in his Sahih that Abdullah said that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

”The Middle prayer is the Asr prayer.” (Ibn Hibban 3:121)

At-Tirmidhi reported that Ibn Mas’ud narrated that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

 ”The Asr prayer is the Middle prayer.”

At-Tirmidhi then stated that this Hadith is of a Hasan, Sahih type.  (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:329) Muslim reported the Hadith in his Sahih and his wordings are:

”They (disbelievers) busied us from performing the Middle prayer, the Asr prayer.” (Muslim 1:437)

These texts emphasize the fact (that the Asr prayer is the Middle prayer). What further proves this fact is that, in an authentic Hadith, Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, emphasized the necessity of preserving the Asr prayer, when he said, as Ibn Umar narrated:

“Whoever misses the Asr prayer will be like who has lost his family and money.” (Muslim 1:436) It is reported in the Sahih that Buraydah bin Al-Husayb said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“On a cloudy day, perform the (Asr) prayer early, for whoever misses the Asr prayer, will have his (good) deeds annulled.” (Ibn Majah 1:224)

The Prohibition of speaking during the Prayer

Allah said: “And stand before Allah with obedience” meaning, with humbleness and humility before Him (i.e., during the prayer). This command indicates that it is not allowed to speak during the prayer, as speaking contradicts the nature of the prayer. This is why the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, refused to answer Ibn Masud when he greeted him while he was praying and said afterwards:

“The prayer makes one sufficiently busy.” (Muslim 1:382)

(i.e., by the various actions of the body, tongue and heart involved during the prayer.)

Muslim reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to Muawiyah bin Hakam As-Sulami when he spoke during the prayer:

“The ordinary speech people indulge in is not appropriate during the prayer. The prayer involves only Tasbih (praising Allah), Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar, i.e., Allah is the Most Great) and remembering Allah.” (Muslim 1:381)

Imam Ahmad reported that Zayd bin Arqam said, “One used to address his friend about various affairs during the prayer. Then when this Ayah was revealed: “And stand before Allah with obedience” we were ordered to refrain from speaking.” (Ahmad 4:368) The Group (i.e., the Hadith collections), except Ibn Majah, reported this Hadith.

The Fear Prayer

Allah said: ”And if you fear (an enemy), (perform Salah) on foot or riding. And when you are in safety, then remember Allah (pray) in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before)’‘ After Allah commanded His servants to perform the prayer perfectly and emphasized this commandment, He mentioned the situation where the person might not be able to perform the prayer perfectly, during battle and combat. Allah said: ”And if you fear (an enemy), perform Salah on foot or riding” meaning, pray in the appropriate manner under these circumstances, whether on foot or riding and whether facing the Qiblah or otherwise. Imam Malik reported that Nafi related that Ibn Umar used to describe the Fear prayer when he was asked about it and would then add, “If there is intense fear, pray on foot, riding, facing the Qiblah and otherwise.” Nafi commented, “I think that he related that to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.” (Al-Muwatta 1:184) Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported the Hadith. (Fath Al-Bari 8:46 Muslim 1:547)

Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Ibn Jarir reported that Ibn Abbas said, “Allah has ordained the prayer by the words of your Prophet : four (Rak` ah) while residing, two Rakah while traveling and one Rakah during times of fear.”  (Muslim 1:478) This is also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, and others.

In addition, Al-Bukhari has entitled a Chapter: ‘Prayer while confronting the Forts and facing the Enemy’. Al-Awzai said, “If the victory seems near and the Muslims are unable to perform the prayer (in the normal manner), they should pray by nodding each by himself. If they are unable to nod, they should delay the prayer until fighting is finished. When they feel safe, they should pray two Rakah. If they are unable, they should then pray one Rakah that includes two prostrations. If they are unable, then Takbir alone does not suffice, so they should delay the prayer until they are safe.” This is the same view that Makhul held. Anas bin Malik said, “I participated in the attack on the fort of Tastar, when the light of dawn started to become clear. Suddenly, the fighting raged and the Muslims were unable to pray until the light of day spread. We then prayed (the Dawn prayer) with Abu Musa and we became victorious. I would not have been pleased if I were to gain in the life of this world and whatever is in it instead of that prayer.” (Fath Al-Bari 2:503) This is the wording of Al-Bukhari.

Prayer during the Times of Peace is performed normally

Allah said: ”And when you are in safety, then remember Allah (pray)” meaning, ‘Perform the prayer as I have commanded you by completing its bowing, prostration, standing, sitting, and with the required attention (in the heart) and supplication.’ Allah said: “in the manner He has taught you, which you knew not (before)” meaning, just as He has endowed you, guided you and taught you about what benefits you in this life and the Hereafter, so thank and remember Him. Similarly, Allah said after He mentioned the prayer of Fear ,

 “…but when you are free from danger, perform As-Salah. Verily, As-Salah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (4:103)

We will mention the Hadiths about the prayer of Fear and its description in Surat An-Nisa while mentioning Allah’s statement:

 “When you (O Messenger Muhammad ) are among them, and lead them in As-Salah (the prayer)” (4:102)

{240. And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year’s maintenance (and residence) without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves, provided it is honorable (e.g., lawful marriage). And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

241. And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqin (the pious)

242. Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat (Laws) to you, in order that you may understand.}

Ayah (2:240) was abrogated

The majority of the scholars said that this Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah (2:234), what Allah said:

 “…they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days.” ( 2: 234)

For instance, Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Az-Zubayr said: I said to Uthman bin Affan: “And those of you who die and leave wives behind them” was abrogated by the other Ayah (2:234). Therefore, why did you collect it (meaning, in the Qur’an)” He said, “O my nephew! I shall not change any part of the Qur’an from its place.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:48)

The question that Ibn Az-Zubayr asked Uthman means: ‘If the ruling of the Ayah (2:240) was abrogated to four months (the Iddah of the widow, and refer to 2:234), then what is the wisdom behind including it in the Qur’an, although its ruling has been abrogated If the Ayah (2:240) remains (in the Qur’an) after the Ayah that abrogated it (2:234), this might imply that its ruling is still valid.’ ‘Uthman, the Leader of the faithful, answered him by stating that this is a matter of the revelation, which mentioned these Ayat in this order. ‘Therefore, I shall leave the Ayah where I found it in the Qur’an.’

Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn Abbas said about what Allah said: “And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year’s maintenance (and residence) without turning them out” “The widow used to reside, and have her provisions provided for her for a year, in her deceased husband’s house. Later, the Ayah that specified the inheritance (4:12) abrogated this Ayah (2:240), and thus the widow inherits one-fourth or one-eighth of what her (deceased) husband leaves behind.” (Ibn Abi Hatim 2:871)

Ibn Abu Hatim also related that Ali bin Abu Talhah stated that Ibn Abbas said, “When a man died and left behind a widow, she used to remain in his house for a year for her Iddah, all the while receiving her provisions during this time. Thereafter, Allah revealed this Ayah: “And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days.” (2:234) So, this is the Iddah of the widow, unless she was pregnant, for her Iddah then ends when she gives birth. Allah also said:

 “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.” (4:12)

So Allah specified the share of the widow in the inheritance and there was no need for the will or the Nafaqah (maintenance) which were mentioned in (2:240).” (At-Tabari 5:255)

Ibn Abu Hatim stated that Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ikrimah, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that the Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by: “four monthsand ten days.” (2:234) Al-Bukhari reported that Mujahid said that: “And those of you who die and leave wives behind them” (2:234) used to be the Iddah, and the widow had to remain with her (deceased) husband’s family (during that period, i.e., four months and ten days). Then, Allah revealed: “And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year’s maintenance (and residence) without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves, provided it is honorable (e.g., lawful marriage)”

So, Allah made the rest of the year, which is seven months and twenty days, as a will and testament for her. Consequently, if she wants, she could use her right in this will and remain in the residence (for the rest of the year). Or, if she wants, she could leave the (deceased husband’s) house after the four months and ten days have passed. This is the meaning of what Allah said: “…without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you” Therefore, the required term of Iddah is still unchanged (refer to 2:234).

Ata’ quoted Ibn Abbas, “This Ayah (2:240) has abrogated (the requirement that) the widow spends the Iddah with his (i.e., her deceased husband’s) family. So, she spends her Iddah wherever she wants. This is the meaning of what Allah said: “without turning them out.” Ata’ also said: “If she wants, she spends the Iddah with his family and resides there according to the will (meaning the rest of the year). If she wants, she is allowed to leave, for Allah said: “there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves.” Ata’ then said: “Then (the Ayah on) the inheritance (refer to 4:12) came and abrogated the residence. Hence, the widow spends her Iddah wherever she wants and does not have the right to residence any more.”  (Al-Bukhari 4531, 5344)

The statement of Ata’ and those who held the view that the Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah on the inheritance (4: 12), is only valid for more than the four months and ten days (required in 2:234). However, if they mean that the four months and ten days are not required from the deceased husband’s estate, then this opinion is the subject of disagreement among the scholars. As proof, they said that the widow is required to remain in her (deceased) husband’s house (for four months and ten days) according to what Malik reported from Zaynab bint Kab bin Ujrah. She said that Fariah  bint          Malik bin Sinan, the sister of Abu Said Al- Khudri, told her that she came to Allah’s Messenger asking him to return to her family’s residence with Banu Khudrah. Her husband had pursued some of his servants who ran away, but when he reached the area of Al-Qadum, they killed him. She said, “So I asked Allah’s Messenger if I should stay with my family in Banu Khudrah, for my (deceased) husband did not leave me a residence that he owns or Nafaqah (maintenance). Allah’s Messenger answered in the positive. While I was in the room, Allah’s Messenger summoned me or had someone summon me and said: “What did you say?” I repeated the story to him about my (deceased) husband. He said: “Stay at your home until the term reaches its end”. So I remained through the Iddah term for four months and ten days in my (deceased husband’s) house. Thereafter, Uthman bin Affan sent for me during his reign and asked me about this matter and I told him what happened. He made a judgment to the same effect.” (Al-Muwatta 2:591) This Hadith was also collected by Abu Dawud, At- Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Maj ah. At -Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih”.

The Necessity of the Mut’ah (Gift) at the Time of Divorce

Allah said: “And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqin (the pious)” Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that when Allah’s statement: “…a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good” (2:236) was revealed, a man said, “If I want, I will be excellent and if I do not, I will not.” Thereafter, Allah revealed this Ayah: “And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqin (the pious)” The scholars who ruled that the Mut’ah (reasonable gift) at the time of divorce is required for every divorced woman, whether she had a bridal-money appointed for her or not, and whether the marriage was consummated or not, relied on this Ayah (2:241) when they issued their ruling. This is the view taken on this subject by Sa’id bin Jubayr and several others among the Salaf and also Ibn Jarir. Hence, Allah’s statement: “There is no sin on you, if you divorce women while yet you have not touched (had sexual relation with) them, nor appointed for them their due (dowry). But bestow on them (a suitable gift), the rich according to his means, and the poor according to his means, a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good.” (2:236) only mentions some specifics of this general ruling.

Allah then said: “Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat (Laws) to you” meaning, what He allows, forbids, requires, His set limits, His commandments and His prohibitions are all explained and made plain and clear for you. He did not leave any matter in general terms if you needed the specifics, “in order that you may understand” meaning, understand and comprehend.

{243. Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in the thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them, “Die”. And then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of bounty to mankind, but most men thank not.

244. And fight in the way of Allah and know that Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

245. Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return.}

 

The Story of the Dead People

Ibn Abu Hatim related that Ibn Abbas said that these people mentioned herein, were the residents of a village called Dawardan. Ali bin Asim said that they were from Dawardan, a village several miles away from Wasit (in Iraq).

In his Tafsir, Waki bin Jarrah said that Ibn Abbas commented, “Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death?” that they were four thousand persons who escaped the plague (that broke out in their land). They said, “We should go to a land that is free of death!” When they reached a certain area, Allah said to them: “Die.” and they all died. Afterwards, one of the Prophets passed by them and supplicated to Allah to resurrect them and Allah brought them back to life. So, Allah stated: “Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in the thousands, fearing death?” 

Furthermore, several scholars among the Salaf said that these people were the residents of a city during the time of the Children of Israel. The weather in their land did not suit them and an epidemic broke out. They fled their land fearing death and took refuge in the wilderness. They later arrived at a fertile valley and they filled what is between its two sides. Then Allah sent two angels to them, one from the lower side and the other from the upper side of the valley. The angels screamed once and all the people died instantly, just as the death of one man. They were later moved to a different place, where walls and graves were built around them. They all perished, and their bodies rotted and disintegrated. Long afterwards, one of the Prophets of the Children of Israel, whose name was Hizqil (Ezekiel), passed by them and asked Allah to bring them back to life by his hand. Allah accepted his supplication and commanded him to say, “O rotted bones, Allah commands you to come together.” The bones of every body were brought together. Allah then commanded him to say, “O bones, Allah commands you to be covered with flesh, nerves and skin.” That also happened while Hizqil was watching. Allah then commanded him to say, “O souls, Allah commands you to return, each to the body that it used to inhabit.” They all came back to life, looked around and proclaimed, “All praise is due to You (O Allah!) and there is no deity worthy of worship except You.” Allah brought them back to life after they had perished long ago.

We should state that bringing these people back to life is a clear proof that physical resurrection shall occur on the Day of Resurrection. This is why Allah said: “Truly, Allah is full of bounty to mankind” meaning, in that He shows them His great signs, sound proofs and clear evidences. Yet, “but most men thank not” as they do not thank Allah for what He has given them with in their worldly life and religious affairs.

The story of the dead people (2:244 above) also indicates that no caution can ever avert destiny and that there is no refuge from Allah, but to Allah Himself. These people departed from their land fleeing the epidemic and seeking to enjoy a long life. What they earned was the opposite of what they sought, as death came quickly and instantaneously and seized them all.

There is an authentic Hadith that Imam Ahmad reported that Abdullah bin Abbas said that Umar bin Al-Khattab once went to Ash-Sham (Syria). When he reached the area of Sargh, he was met by the commanders of the army: Abu Ubaydah bin Jarrah and his companions. They told him that the plague had broken out in Ash-Sham. The Hadith then mentioned that Abdur-Rahman bin Awf, who was away attending to some of his affairs, came and said, “I have knowledge regarding this matter. I heard Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, say:

 ”If it (the plague) breaks out in a land that you are in, do not leave that land to escape from it. If you hear about it in a land, do not enter it.’

Umar then thanked Allah and went back. (Ahmad 1:194) This Hadith is also reported in the Sahihayn. (Fath Al-Bari 10:189, 190, 12:361, Muslim 4:1740)

Abandoning Jihad does not alter Destiny

Allah said: ”And fight in the way of Allah and know that Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” This Ayah indicates that just as caution does not alter destiny, abandoning Jihad will neither bring the appointed term closer nor delay it. Rather, destiny and the appointed provisions are fixed and shall never be changed or altered, neither by addition nor deletion. Similarly, Allah said:

”(They are) the ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves sat (at home): “If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed.” Say: “Avert death from your own selves, if you speak the truth.” (3:168)

Allah said:

”They say: “Our Lord! Why have you ordained for us fighting? Would that you had granted us respite for a short period” Say: “Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatila (a scalish thread in the long slit of a date stone). Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!” (4:77, 78)

Abu Sulayman, Khalid bin Al-Walid, the commander of the Muslim armies, the veteran among Muslim soldiers, the protector of Islam and the Sword of Allah that was raised above His enemies, said while dying, “I have participated in so-and-so number of battles. There is not a part of my body, but suffered a shot (of an arrow), a stab (of a spear) or a strike (of a sword). Yet, here I am, I die on my bed just as the camel dies! May the eyes of the cowards never taste sleep.” He, may Allah be pleased with him, was sorry and in pain because he did not die as martyr in battle. He was sad that he had to die on his bed! (Tahdhib At-Tahdhib 3:124)

The Good Loan and its Reward

Allah said: ”Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times?” In this Ayah, Allah encourages His servants to spend in His cause. Allah mentioned this same Ayah in several other parts of His Glorious Qur’an. The Hadith that mentions that Allah descends (every night down on the nearest heaven to us when the last third of the night remains) states that Allah says:

”Who would give a loan to He Who is neither poor nor unjust?” (Muslim 758, Musnad Abu ‘Awanah 1:145)

Allah’s statement: “He may multiply it to him many times”, is similar to His statement:

“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills.” (2:261)

We will mention this Ayah later on. Allah then said: “And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions),” meaning, ‘Spend (in Allah’s cause) and do not be anxious.’ Certainly, Allah is the Sustainer Who increases or decreases the provisions to whomever He wills among His servants. Allah’s wisdom is perfect, and, “and unto Him you shall return” on the Day of Resurrection.

 

{246. Have you not thought about the group of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Musa? When they said to a Prophet of theirs, “Appoint for us a king and we will fight in Allah’s way.” He said, “Would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you?” They said, “Why should we not fight in Allah’s way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children (families have been taken as captives)?” But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the wrongdoers.}

 

The Story of the Jews Who sought a King to be appointed over Them

Mujahid said that the Prophet (mentioned in the Ayah 2:246 above) is Shamwil (Samuel). (At-Tabari 5:293) Wahb bin Munabbih said: The Children of Israel remained on the straight path for a period of time after Moses. They then innovated in the religion and some of them even worshipped the idols. Yet, there were always Prophets sent among them who would command them to work righteous deeds, refrain from doing evil and who would rule them according to the commands of the Torah. When they (Israelites) committed the evil that they committed, Allah caused their enemies to overwhelm them, and many fatalities fell among them as a consequence. Their enemies also captured a great number of them, and took over large areas of their land. Earlier, anyone who would fight the Israelites would lose, because they had the Torah and the Tabut (The Ark of the Covenant), which they inherited generation after generation ever since the time of Moses, who spoke to Allah directly. Yet, the Israelites kept indulging in misguidance until some king took the Tabut from them during a battle. That king also took possession of the Torah, and only a few of the Israelites who memorized it remained. The prophethood halted among their various tribes and only a pregnant woman remained of the offspring of Lavi (Levi), in whom the prophethood still appeared. Her husband had been killed, so the Israelites kept her in a house so that Allah may give her a boy, who would be their Prophet. The woman also kept invoking Allah to grant her a boy. Allah heard her pleas and gave her a boy whom she called ‘Shamwil’ meaning `Allah has heard my pleas.’ Some people said that the boy’s name was Sham’un (Simeon), which also has a similar meaning.

As that boy grew, Allah raised him to be a righteous person. When he reached the age of prophethood, Allah revealed to him and commanded him to call (his people) to Him and to His Tawhid (Oneness). Shamwil called the Children of Israel (to Allah) and they asked him to appoint a king over them so that they could fight their enemies under his command. The kingship had also ended among them. Their Prophet said to them, “What if Allah appoints a king over you, would you fulfill your vow to fight under his command’?’ “They said, “Why should we not fight in Allah’s way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children?” meaning, ‘After our land had been confiscated and our children had been taken from us’ Allah said: “But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the wrongdoers” meaning, only a few of them kept their promise, but the majority abandoned Jihad and Allah has full knowledge of them.

 

{247. And their Prophet said to them, “Indeed Allah has appointed Talut (Saul) as a king over you.” They said, “How can he be a king over us when we are fitter than him for the kingdom, and he has not been given enough wealth.” He said: “Verily, Allah has chosen him above you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allah grants His kingdom to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”}

 

When the Israelites asked their Prophet to appoint a king over them, he appointed Talut (Saul), who was then a soldier. But, Talut was not a descendant of the house of kings among them, which was exclusively in the offspring of Yahudha (Judah). This is why they said: “How can he be a king over us?” meaning, how can he be the king for us, “when we are fitter than him for the kingdom, and he has not been given enough wealth” They said that Talut was also poor and did not have the wealth that justifies him being king. Some people stated that Talut used to bring water to the people, while others stated that his profession was dyeing skins. The Jews, thus, disputed with their Prophet while they were supposed to obey him and to say good words to him. Their Prophet answered them: “Verily, Allah has chosen him above you” meaning, ‘Allah chose Talut from amongst you while having better knowledge about him.’ Their Prophet stated, “I did not choose Talut to be your king on my own. Rather, Allah has commanded that upon your request.” Further: “…and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature” meaning, ‘Talut is more knowledgeable and honorable than you, and stronger and more patient during combat, and has more knowledge of warfare. In short, he has more knowledge and is stronger than you are. The king should have sufficient knowledge, be fair looking and should have a strong soul and body.’ He then said: “And Allah grants His kingdom to whom He wills” meaning, Allah Alone is the Supreme Authority Who does what He wills and no one can ask Him about His actions, while they will be asked (about their actions by Him). This is because Allah has perfect knowledge, wisdom and kindness with His creation. Allah said: “And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower” meaning, His favor is encompassing and He grants His mercy to whom He wills. He also knows those who deserve to be kings and those who do not deserve it.

 

{248. And their Prophet said to them: “Verily! The sign of His kingdom is that there shall come to you At-Tabut, wherein is Sakinah (peace and reassurance) from your Lord and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind, carried by the angels. Verily, in this is a sign for you if you are indeed believers.}

 

Their Prophet then proclaimed, “The sign of the blessings of Talut’s kingship over you is that Allah will give you back the Tabut (wooden box) that has been taken from you.” Allah said: “wherein is Sakinah from your Lord” meaning, peace (or grace) and reassurance. Abdur-Razzaq stated that Qatadah said: “wherein is Sakinah” means grace. (Abdur Razzaq 1:98) In addition, Ar-Rabi said that Sakinah means mercy. This is also the meaning given by Ibn Abbas, as Al-Awfi narrated. Allah then said: “…and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind” Ibn Jarir related that Ibn Abbas said about this Ayah: “…and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind,” Meaning, Moses’ staff and the remnants of the Tablets. (At-Tabari 5:331) This is the same Tafsir of Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Ikrimah, who added, “And also the Torah.” (At-Tabari 5:331, 332) Abdur-Razzaq said that he asked Ath-Thawri about the meaning of, “…and a remnant of that which Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron) left behind” Ath-Thawri said, “Some said that it contained a pot of manna and the remnants of the Tablets, while some others said that it contained (Moses’) staff and two shoes (and refer to 20:12).”

Allah then said: “…carried by the angels” Ibn Jurayj stated that Ibn Abbas said, “The angels came down while carrying the Tabut between the sky and the earth, until they placed it before Talut while the people were watching.” As-Suddi said, “The Tabut was brought to Talut’s house, so the people believed in the prophethood of Sham’un (Simeon) and obeyed Talut” (At-Tabari 5:335) The Prophet then said: “Verily, in this is a sign for you” testifying to my truth in what I was sent with, my prophethood, and my command to you to obey Talut, “if you are indeed believers” in Allah and the Hereafter.”

 

{249. Then when Talut set out with the army, he said: “Verily, Allah will try you by a river. So whoever drinks thereof, he is not of me; and whoever tastes it not, he is of me, except him who takes (thereof) in the hollow of his hand.” Yet, they drank thereof, all, except a few of them. So when he had crossed it (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: “We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts.” But those who knew with certainty that they were going to meet Allah, said: “How often has a small group overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave?” And Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient)}

 

Allah states that Talut, the king of the Children of Israel, marched forth with his soldiers and the Israelites who obeyed him. His army was of eighty thousand then, according to As-Suddi, (At-Rabari 5:339) but Allah knows best. Talut said: “Verily, Allah will try you” meaning, He will test you with a river, which flowed between Jordan and Palestine, i.e. the Shari’ah river, according to Ibn Abbas and others. (At-Tabari 5:340) He continued, “So whoever drinks thereof, he is not of me” meaning, shall not accompany me today, “and whoever tastes it not, he is of me, except him who takes (thereof) in the hollow of his hand” meaning, there is no harm in this case. Allah then said: “Yet, they drank thereof, all, except a few of them” Ibn Jurayj stated that Ibn  Abbas commented, “Whoever took some of it (the river’s water) in the hollow of his hand, quenched his thirst; as for those who drank freely from it, their thirst was not quenched.”

Ibn Jarir reported that Al-Bara’ bin Azib said, “We used to say that the Companions of Muhammad who accompanied him on the Battle of Badr were more than three hundred and ten, just as many as the soldiers who crossed the river with Talut. Only those who believed crossed the river with him.” (At-Tabari 5:345,346,347) Al-Bukhari also reported this. (Fath Al-Bari 7:339)

This is why Allah said: “So when he had crossed it (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: “We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts.” This Ayah indicates that the Israelites (who remained with Saul) thought that they were few in the face of their enemy who were many then. So, their knowledgeable scholars strengthened their resolve by stating that Allah’s promise is true and that triumph comes from Allah Alone, not from the large numbers or the adequacy of the supplies. They said to them: “How often has a small group overcome a mighty host by Allah’s leave?” And Allah is with As- Sabirin (the patient).”

 

{250. And when they advanced to meet Jalut (Goliath) and his forces, they invoked: “Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience, and set firm our feet and make us victorious over the disbelieving people.”

251. So they routed them by Allah’s leave and Dawud (David) killed Jalut (Goliath), and Allah gave him (Dawud) the kingdom [after the death of Talut and Samuel] and Al-Hikmah (prophethood), and taught him of that which He willed. And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allah is full of bounty to the Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists).

252. These are the verses of Allah, We recite them to you (O Muhammad) in truth, and surely, you are one of the Messengers (of Allah.)}

 

When the faithful party, who were few under the command of Talut, faced their enemy, who were many under the command of Jalut, “they invoked: “Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience…” meaning, send down patience on us from You, “and set firm our feet” meaning, against the enemy and save us from running away and from feebleness, “and make us victorious over the disbelieving people”. Allah said: “So they routed them by Allah’s leave” meaning, they defeated and overwhelmed them by Allah’s aid and support. Then, “and Dawud killed Jalut” Israelite accounts claimed that (Prophet) David killed Goliath with a slingshot that he had, which he launched at Goliath causing his death.

Talut promised that whoever killed Jalut, would marry his daughter and would share his kingship and authority. He kept his promise. Later, the kingship was transferred to Prophet Dawud in addition to being granted Prophethood by Allah. So, Allah said: “…and Allah gave him (Dawud) the kingdom” that Talut had and, “and Al-Hikmah” that comes with the prophethood, meaning, after Shamwil. [Allah then said:] “and taught him of that which He willed” meaning, what He willed of the knowledge that He bestowed on (Prophet) Dawud.

Next, Allah said: “And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief.” This Ayah indicates that if it were not for the fact that Allah checks one set of people with another, such as when Talut and the bravery of Dawud helped the Children of Israel (against Goliath), then people would have perished. Similarly, Allah said:

“For had it not been that Allah checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and Masjids, wherein the Name of Allah is mentioned much, would surely, have been pulled down.” (22:40)

Allah then said: “But Allah is full of bounty to the Alamin (mankind, Jinn and all that exists)” meaning, by His mercy and favor He fixes some of them by some others. Surely, Allah has the wisdom, the supreme authority and the clear proof against His creation in all of His actions and statements. Allah said: “These are the verses of Allah, We recite them to you (O Muhammad) in truth, and surely, you are one of the Messengers (of Allah)” This Ayah states, ‘These Ayat (verses) of Allah that We have narrated for you in truth conform to the exact manner that these stories have occurred and to the truth that still remain in the (Divine) Books that the scholars of the Children of Israel have and know. Allah said: O Muhammad, “you are, one of the Messengers (of Allah)” emphatically stating the truth of his prophethood.

 

La hawlah wa la quwatta illah billah

This is the end of Volume One Ibn Kathir Tafsir (Abridged) Pages 680-696 

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