Marriage in the Qur’an pt.6 – Settlement: 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 sixth section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

 ـ {وَإِنِ امْرَأَةٌ خَافَتْ مِنْ بَعْلِهَا نُشُوزًا أَوْ إِعْرَاضًا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَنْ يُصْلِحَا بَيْنَهُمَا صُلْحًا وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ وَأُحْضِرَتِ الْأَنْفُسُ الشُّحَّ وَإِنْ تُحْسِنُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا} [النساء: 128] .ـ

وَإِنِ امْرَأَةٌ خَافَتْ مِنْ بَعْلِهَا نُشُوزًا أَوْ إِعْرَاضًا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَنْ يُصْلِحَا بَيْنَهُمَا صُلْحًا وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ وَأُحْضِرَتِ الْأَنْفُسُ الشُّحَّ وَإِنْ تُحْسِنُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

And if a woman fears disinterest or desertion from her husband, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is good. And stinginess is present in human souls. But if you do good and have taqwa of Allah – then indeed Allah is ever acquainted with what you do. [4:128]

هذه حالة من أحوال الزوجين غير الأحوال السابقة؛ لأن الحالتين السابقتين: حالة نشوز الزوجة، وحالة وقوع الخصام واستطارة الشر بينهما، وهذه إذا كان الزوج هو الراغب عن زوجته، إما عدم محبة وإما طمعا، فأرشد الله في هذه الحال إلى الطريق الذي تستقيم به الأمور، وهو طريق الصلح من المرأة أو وليها ليعود الزوج إلى الاستقامة، بأن تسمح المرأة عن بعض حقها اللازم لزوجها على شرط البقاء معه، وأن يعود إلى مقاصد النكاح أو بعضها، كأن ترضى ببعض النفقة أو الكسوة أو المسكن، أو تسقط حقها من القسم، أو تهب يومها وليلتها لزوجها أو لضرتها بإذنه، فمتى اتفقا على شيء من ذلك فلا حرج ولا بأس، وهو أحسن من المقاضاة في الحقوق المؤدية إلى الجفاء أو إلى الفراق، ولهذا قال: ـ

This circumstance that sometimes occurs between spouses is different from the previous situations, for the two previous situations were 1) the case of a wife’s rebelliousness, and 2) the case quarreling and growing ill-will between the spouses.

But this situation here is that the husband is disinterested in his wife – either due to a lack of love or a lack of desire. So in this circumstance Allah directs us to a path by which issues can be set aright, and that is the path of settlement – done either by the wife or her walee – in order that the husband might return to uprightness. This could be reached by means of the wife yielding some of her due rights to her husband on the condition that she remains with him and that he returns back to fulfilling the purposes of marriage or at least some of them. For instance, if she is content with only a portion of his spending on her, or a portion of the clothing or housing that he provides, or if she gives up her share of his time, or she gives her day and night to her husband or to one of her co-wives by his permission.

So when the two of them agree to one of these things, then there is no sin or problem with that, and that situation is better than a complete fulfillment of her rights which leads to disinterest or separation. And for this reason Allah said:

   ـ {وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ} [النساء: 128] وهذا أصل عظيم في جميع الأشياء، وخصوصا في الحقوق المتنازع فيها أن المصالحة فيها خير من استقصاء كل منهما على حقه كله؛ لما في الصلح من بقاء الألفة، والاتصاف بصفة السماح، وهو جائز بين المسلمين في كل الأبواب – إلا صلحا أحل حراما أو حرم حلالا .ـ

وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ

and settlement is good

This is a great foundational principle that applies to all things, but it is especially relevant as it relates to contested rights – that coming to a settlement in these matters is better than each of the two parties investigating the other about every single right. This is because of the preservation of unity that comes with settlement, as well as their being characterized as forgiving. And this is permissible among the Muslims in every area of life, except for settlements in which the unlawful is taken as lawful or the lawful is taken as unlawful.

واعلم أن كل حكم من الأحكام لا يتم ولا يكمل إلا بوجود مقتضيه وانتفاء موانعه، فمن ذلك هذا الحكم الكبير الذي هو الصلح، فذكر تعالى المقتضى لذلك، فقال: {وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ} [النساء: 128] والخير كل عاقل يطلبه ويرغب فيه، فإن كان مع ذلك قد أمر الله به وحث عليه ازداد المؤمن طلبا له ورغبة فيه . ـ

And you should know that no ruling can be considered complete or fulfilled unless all of its requirements are met and all factors that would prevent or invalidate it are removed. So of course this applies to this great matter, i.e. settlement, as well. So Allah mentioned a requirement for settlement in His statement:

وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ

And settlement is good

And every person of sound intellect seeks and hopes for good. Yet despite this natural desire for good, Allah has still commanded us to seek it and encouraged us towards it, which increases the believer in his desire and longing for it.

وذكر المانع بقوله: {وَأُحْضِرَتِ الْأَنْفُسُ الشُّحَّ} [النساء: 128] أي: جبلت النفوس على الشح، وهو الاستئثار والتفرد في الحقوق، وعدم الرغبة في بذل ما على الإنسان، والحرص على الحق الذي له، فالنفوس مجبولة على ذلك طبعا، أي: فينبغي لكم أن تحرصوا على قلع هذا الخلق الدنيء من نفوسكم، وتقليله وتلطيفه وتستبدلوا به ضده، وهو السماحة ببذل جميع الحقوق التي عليك، والاقتناع ببعض الحق الذي لك، والإغضاء عن التقصير . ـ

And He also mentioned a preventative factor by saying:

وَأُحْضِرَتِ الْأَنْفُسُ الشُّحَّ

And stinginess is present in human souls [4:128]

meaning: the souls are naturally disposed to stinginess, which is selfishness and only being concerned about your own rights, and not wanting to give others their rights while being eager to take your own rights. So the souls are naturally predisposed to that – with the implication being that therefore they ought to endeavor to uproot this lowly quality from themselves, and to decrease it and mitigate it. And they ought to endeavor to replace it with its opposite, which is being openhanded in fulfilling all the rights which are due from them to others, being content with receiving only some of the rights which are due to them, and overlooking shortcomings.

فمتى وفق العبد لهذا الخلق الطيب سهل عليه الصلح بينه وبين كل من بينه وبينه منازعة ومعاملة، وتسهلت الطريق الموصلة إلى المطلوب، ومن لم يكن بهذا الوصف تعسر الصلح أو تعذر؛ لأنه لا يرضيه إلا جميع ما له كاملا مكملا، ولا يهون عليه أن يؤدي ما عليه، فإن كان خصمه مثله اشتد الأمر. ـ

So when the slave is granted this good quality, then settlement between him and whomever there exists disagreement or transaction will be made easy and path leading to the desired outcome will be made smooth. But whoever does not have this characteristic, then coming to a settlement with will be difficult or near impossible, for he will not be happy unless he gets everything in full, and it will not be easy for him to give what is due from him. And if his fellow disputant is also like this it will only further complicate the situation.

ثم قال: {وَإِنْ تُحْسِنُوا وَتَتَّقُوا} [النساء: 128] أي: تحسنوا في عبادة الخالق، والإحسان أن تعبد الله كأنك تراه، فإن لم تكن تراه فإنه يراك، وتحسنوا إلى المخلوقين بكل إحسان قولي أو فعلي، وتتقوا الله بفعل جميع المأمورات، وترك جميع المحظورات، أو تحسنوا بفعل المأمور، وتتقوا بترك المحظور . ـ

Then Allah said:

وَإِنْ تُحْسِنُوا وَتَتَّقُوا

But if you do good and have taqwa of Allah [4:128]

meaning: that you act with ihsaan in your worship of the Creator. And al-Ihsaan is that you worship Allah as if you can see Him, and if you cannot see Him, indeed He sees you. And that you act with ihsaan towards the created beings in every way – both in speech and deed. And that you exercise taqwa of Allah by carrying out all of the commandments and leaving off all of the prohibitions.

Or, the ayah could be interpreted to mean  that you act with ihsaan by carrying out the commandments, and you exercise taqwa by leaving off the prohibitions.

ـ{فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا} [النساء: 128] فيجازيكم على قيامكم بالإحسان والتقوى، أو على عدم ذلك بالجزاء بالفضل والعدل. ـ

فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

then indeed Allah is ever Acquainted with what you do [4:128]

So He will reward you bounteously for having put that ihsaan and taqwa into practice in your lives, or He will repay you justly for not having done that.

[Taysir al-Lateef al-Manaan pg. 213-215]

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

See also: “Reconciliation is better”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 4:128

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12 thoughts on “Marriage in the Qur’an pt.6 – Settlement: Imam al-Sa’di

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  2. Pingback: “Reconciliation is better”: Imam al-Qurtubi’s tafsir of 4:128 | Tulayhah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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