Marriage in the Qur’an pt.5 – Marital Discord: Imam al-Sa’di

In his book of thematic tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di dedicated a chapter of his book to the issues related to marriage. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the fifth section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

 ـ {وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهَا إِنْ يُرِيدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًا} [النساء: 35] .ـ

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن يُرِ‌يدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّـهُ بَيْنَهُمَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرً‌ا

And if you fear dissension between the two, then send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Intimately-Acquainted [4:35]

هذه حالة أخرى غير الحالة السابقة التي يمكن للزوج معالجتها، وهذه إذا استطار الشر بين الزوجين، وبلغت الحال إلى الخصام وعدم الالتئام، ولم ينفع في ذلك وعظ ولا كلام {فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهَا} [النساء: 35] عدلين عاقلين يعرفان الجمع والتفريق، ويفهمان الأمور كما ينبغي، فإن الحكم لا بد أن يتصف بهذه الأوصاف، فيبحثان في الأسباب التي أدت بهما إلى هذه الحال، ويسألان كلا منهما ما ينقم على صاحبه، ويزيلان ما يقدران عليه من المعتبة بترغيب الناقم على الآخر بالإغضاء عن الهفوات واحتمال الزلات، وإرشاد الآخر إلى الوعد بالرجوع، وإرشاد كل منهما إلى الرضى والنزول عن بعض حقه، فكم حصل بهذا الطريق من المصالح شيء كثير، وإن أمكنهما إلزام المتعصب على الباطل منهما بالحق فَعَلَا . ـ

This situation is something distinct from the previous one which the husband was able to address and resolve himself. What is being discussed here is when ill-will between the spouses is rising at every turn and the situation has reached a state of quarreling and the lack any cooperation, a situation in which neither admonishment nor talking is bringing about any benefit.

فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِنْ أَهْلِهَا

then send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people [4:35]

i.e. – two fair, just, and intelligent people who know what factors bring people together and what factors cause separation, and who understand things as they ought to be. For the ruling is that the arbitrators ought to be characterized by these features.

So the arbitrators investigate what factors have led the couple to this condition, and they ask each one of them what has made them be so hostile towards their spouse, and they stop them from blaming one another – as much as is within their ability – by encouraging the one who is disgruntled with the other to overlook their failings and to bear with their slip-ups, and directing the other to promise a new beginning, and they direct both of them towards acceptance of these terms and forgoing some of their rights. For how frequently this path will lead to excellent outcomes. And in the case where one of the spouses is clinging to falsehood, then if the arbitrators are able to compel this spouse to accept the truth they should do so.

ومهما وجدا طريقا إلى الإصلاح والاتفاق والملاءمة بينهما لم يعدلا عنها، إما بتنازل عن بعض الحقوق، أو ببذل مال، أو غير ذلك، فإن تعذرت الطرق كلها، ورأيا أن التفريق بينهما أصلح لتعذر الملاءمة فرقا بينهما بما تقتضيه الحال بعوض أو بغير عوض، ولا يشترط في هذا رضى الزوج؛ لأن الله سماهما حكمين لا وكيلين، ومن قال إنهما وكيلان اشترط في التفريق رضى الزوج، ولكن هذا القول ضعيف . ـ

So then as long as the arbitrators do not give up, they will find some way to achieve reconciliation, harmony and good relations between the spouses. This could occur by way of the spouses forgoing some of their rights, or by giving some wealth, or by some other means. However if all of these paths are cut off and the arbitrators think that separation between the spouses is more appropriate due to the near impossibility of them coming to an accord, then they can separate the spouses as the situation requires – and this can be done either with or without some form of compensation. And the husband’s consent is not required for the the separation to be valid, for Allah has referred to the two arbitrators as “judges”, not representatives. And whoever says that the arbitrators are merely representatives considers the husband’s consent to be a condition for separation, however this is a weak position.

ولمحبة الباري للاتفاق بينهما وترجيحه على الآخر قال: {إِنْ يُرِيدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا} [النساء: 35] أي: بسبب الرأي الميمون، والكلام اللطيف، والوعد الجميل الذي يجذب القلوب، ويؤثر فيها . ــ

And due to the Creator’s love of harmony between spouses and preferring that over anything else, He said:

إِنْ يُرِيدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا

If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them [4:35]

– meaning: by means of having good opinions of one another, kind and gentle speech, and good promises which persuade the heart and have an effect on it.

ـ {إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا} [النساء: 35] بالسرائر والظواهر مطلعا على الخفايا، فمن كمال علمه وحكمته شرع لكم هذه الأحكام الجليلة التي هي الطريق الوحيد إلى القيام بالحقوق: {وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حُكْمًا لِقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ} [المائدة: 50] ـ

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا

Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing [4:35]

of both the secret and apparent matters, well-informed of the hidden things. For one aspect of the completeness of Allah’s knowledge and wisdom is that He divinely legislated these wonderful rulings, which are the only path to fulfilling the due rights.

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حُكْمًا لِقَوْمٍ يُوقِنُونَ

And who is better than Allah in judgement for a people who are certain in faith [5:50]

[Taysir al-Lateef al-Manaan pg. 211-213]

This article is the fifth in a ten-part series on Marriage and Divorce in the Qur’an. See our Series Guide to see the other sections and for more details.

Continue reading the series here: Marriage in the Qur’an pt.6 – Settlement: Imam al-Sa’di

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10 thoughts on “Marriage in the Qur’an pt.5 – Marital Discord: Imam al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Marriage in the Qur’an pt.1 – Conditions for Marriage: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Marriage in the Qur’an pt.2 – Rights of Wives: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Marriage in the Qur’an pt.3 – Prohibited Relationships: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Marriage in the Qur’an pt.4 – The Husband’s Roles and Responsibilities: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: Marriage in the Qur’an pt.6 – Settlement: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: Marriage in the Qur’an pt.7 – Justice Between Wives: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  7. Pingback: Divorce in the Qur’an – Part 1: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  8. Pingback: Divorce in the Qur’an – Part 2: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  9. Pingback: Divorce in the Qur’an – Part 2: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  10. Pingback: Special Circumstances of Marriage and Divorce: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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