Special Circumstances of Marriage and Divorce in the Qur’an: 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 and divorce. This series of articles will present the different sub-divisions of this chapter in order. This is the tenth and final section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

فصل في آيات في الإيلاء والظهار واللعان

Chapter regarding the ayaat of al-Eelaa’, al-Thihaar, and al-Li’aan

ـ {لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ – وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ} [البقرة: 226 – 227] وقال: {قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا} [المجادلة: 1] الآيات. وقال في اللعان: {وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ} [النور: 6] الآيات . ـ

لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ – وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

For those who swear not to have sexual relations with their wives is a waiting time of four months, but if they return [to normal relations] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. * And if they decide on divorce – then indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing. [2:226-227]

And He said:

قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّـهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا … ـ

Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband … [58:1]

until the end of the relevant ayaat [58:1-4]. And regarding Li’aan He said:

وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ

And those who accuse their wives … [24:6]

until the end of the relevant ayaat [24:6-9]

من جملة الأحكام المنتشرة المتعلقة بالزوجة أنه قد يؤلي منها أو يظاهر منها، والفرق بين الإيلاء والظهار أن الإيلاء هو الحلف بالله على ترك وطء زوجته أبدا، أو مدة طويلة تزيد على أربعة أشهر إذا كان قادرا على الوطء، فإذا فعل ذلك وحلف هذا الحلف فلا يخلو: إما أن تطالبه الزوجة بحقها من الوطء أو لا تطالبه، فإن لم تطالبه ترك وشأنه، فإن وطئ في هذه المدة فقد حنث، وعليه كفارة يمين، وإلا فلا كفارة عليه . ـ

Among the various rulings related to the wife is what to do if one declares eelaa’ or thihaar in relation to her. And the difference between al-eelaa’ and al-thihaar is that al-eelaa’ is swearing by Allah to leave off intercourse with one’s wife forever or for a long period in excess of four months while one is still physically capable of having intercourse. So if one does that and swears to that, then one of two things will occur: either his wife seeks her right to intercourse from him, or she does not seek that from him. So if she does not seek that from him, then his affair is left alone. But if he does have intercourse with her during this time, then he has perjured his oath and he must perform an expiation for the oath. But if he does not break his own, then he does not need to perform any expiation.

وإن طالبته بالوطء أمر بذلك وجعل له أربعة أشهر، فإن فاء ورجع إلى الوطء فذلك هو المطلوب منه، وهو أحب الأمرين إلى الله، وإن أبى وامتنع ومضت الأربعة الأشهر وهو مصر على عدم وطئها وهي مقيمة على طلب حقها، أجبر على أحد أمرين: إما أن يفيء ويكفر كفارة يمين، وإما أن يطلق، فإن امتنع من كل منهما طلق الحاكم عليه. ـ

And if she is seeking intercourse from him, then he is commanded to do that and he has four months to do so. So if he goes back on his oath and returns to having intercourse with her, then that is what is sought of him, and that is the more beloved thing to Allah out of these two affairs. But if he refuses and abstains and the four months elapse while he is insistent upon not having intercourse with her while she is persistent in seeking her rights, then he should be compelled to do one of two things: either he goes back on his oath and performs an expiation of the oath, or he divorces his wife. But if he refuses both of these options, then the judge enacts a divorce between them.

وأما الظهار فأن يحرم زوجته ويقول لها: أنت علي كظهر أمي، أو نحوه من ألفاظ التحريم الصريحة، فهذا قد أتى منكرا من القول وزورا، وكذب أعظم كذب إذ شبه من هي حلال بمن هي أعظم المحرمات، وهي الأم . ـ

And as for al-thihaar, it is declaring one’s wife to be unlawful for him and saying to her, “you are like the back of my mother” or some sort of similar statement clearly communicating a prohibition. By doing this he has made an objectionable statement and a falsehood, and he has lied with the most grave of lie when he likened one who is lawful for him to the one who is the most severally prohibited of all marriage relationships – i.e. one’s mother

ولهذا قال: {الَّذِينَ يُظَاهِرُونَ مِنْكُمْ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ مَا هُنَّ أُمَّهَاتِهِمْ إِنْ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ إِلَّا اللَّائِي وَلَدْنَهُمْ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَقُولُونَ مُنْكَرًا مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَزُورًا} [المجادلة: 2] ثم عرض التوبة فقال: {وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُورٌ} [المجادلة: 2]- تتمة الآية -[المجادلة: 2] . ثم ذكر طريقها بالكفارة، فأمر المظاهر أن يعتق رقبة من قبل أن يمسها فإن لم يجد صام شهرين متتابعين من قبل المسيس أيضا، فإن لم يستطع أطعم ستين مسكينا، فبعد هذه الكفارة تحل له الزوجة وتنحل يمينه. ـ

So for this reason He said:

الَّذِينَ يُظَاهِرُ‌ونَ مِنكُم مِّن نِّسَائِهِم مَّا هُنَّ أُمَّهَاتِهِمْ ۖ إِنْ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ إِلَّا اللَّائِي وَلَدْنَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَقُولُونَ مُنكَرً‌ا مِّنَ الْقَوْلِ وَزُورً‌ا

Those who pronounce thihaar among you [to separate] from their wives – they are not [consequently] their mothers. Their mothers are none but those who gave birth to them. And indeed, they are saying an objectionable statement and a falsehood. [58:2]

Then after that the man [concerning whom the ayah was revealed] offered repentance, so Allah said:

وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُورٌ

But indeed, Allah is Pardoning and Forgiving [58:2]

Then Allah mentioned the path so its expiation. He commanded the one who pronounced thihaar to emancipate a slave before he can have intercourse with her again. But if cannot find the means to free a slave, then he should fast two months of consecutive days also before having intercourse with her again. But if he cannot find the means to do that, then he should feed sixty poor people. After completing the expiation, his wife is once again lawful for him and his oath is dissolved.

وأما اللعان فإن الزوج إذا رمى زوجته بالزنا، ولم يكن له على ذلك أربعة شهود، ولم تعترف بل أقامت على الإنكار، فعليه ما على من قذف المحصنات من جلد ثمانين جلدة إلا أن يلاعنها، وذلك بأن يشهد أربع مرات أنه لمن الصادقين فيما رماها به من الزنا، ويقول في الخامسة داعيا على نفسه، وأن لعنة الله عليه إن كان من الكاذبين، فحينئذ يترتب عليها الحد أو الحبس حتى تقر، إلا أن تقابله بلعان يدرأ عنها العذاب، بأن تقول أربعا: أشهد بالله إنه لمن الكاذبين فيما رماني به من الزنا، وتزيد في الخامسة وأن غضب الله عليها إن كان من الصادقين، فعند ذلك يحصل الفراق الأبدي بينه وبينها. ـ

And as for al-Li’aan, it arises in the circumstance of a husband accusing his wife of adultery, but he does not have the four witness to corroborate it and she does she confess to it; rather she is firmly denying it. In this case, eighty lashes of a whip is the punishment for those who accuse innocent women of such things. That is, unless he makes li’aan upon her, which is that he bears witness four times that he is being truthful concerning the allegation of adultery that he is making against her, and then a fifth time in which he supplicates against himself that the curse of Allah should be upon him if he is one of the liars. So in this case, the wife is punished with either the hadd punishment or imprisonment until she confesses. That is, unless she responds with a li’aan of her own to repel the punishment from her, which is that she would say four times, “I bear witness by Allah that he [the husband] is lying regarding the adultery which alleges I did” and that she would add a fifth one that the hatred of Allah would be upon her if he is one of the truthful ones. If she does this, then it results in a permanent separation between the two of them.

والحكمة في تخصيص الزوج بسقوط حد القذف عنه إذا لاعن أن الزوج محتاج، وربما كان مضطرا إلى رميها لنفي ما يلحقه من أولاد غيره ولحقه وإفساد فراشه . ـ

And the wisdom in singling out the husband for being excused from the hadd punishment for such accusations if makes the li’aan is that the husband has a need for it. And perhaps he is compelled to accuse her in order to negate the attribution of someone else’s children to him and to disavow himself from the corruption of his marital bed.

 وأما القاذف: إذا كان غير زوج، إذا قذف غيره بالزنا، فإن الله قال في حده: {وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَاءَ فَاجْلِدُوهُمْ ثَمَانِينَ جَلْدَةً وَلَا تَقْبَلُوا لَهُمْ شَهَادَةً أَبَدًا وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ – إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا} [النور: 4 – 5] الآية . ـ

But as for the one who makes an accusation regarding a woman to whom he is not married, if he accuses someone else of adultery then Allah has said regarding his hadd punishment:

  وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَاءَ فَاجْلِدُوهُمْ ثَمَانِينَ جَلْدَةً وَلَا تَقْبَلُوا لَهُمْ شَهَادَةً أَبَدًا وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ * إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا

And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses – lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient * Except for those who repent… [24:4-5]

until the end of the ayah.

[Taysir al-Lateef al-Manaan pg. 226-228]

alhamdulillaah, this article represents the final part of our Marriage and Divorce in the Qur’an series from sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di’s book of thematic tafsir. To learn more about this series and to view the other parts, please consult our Series Guide.

See also: The Fiqh of Oaths – Imam al-Sa’di

Click here to see other material from the same work, Taysir al-Lateef al-Manaan.

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9 thoughts on “Special Circumstances of Marriage and Divorce in the Qur’an: 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.5 – Marital Discord: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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

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

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

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

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