Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 228-233: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the twenty-fourth installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 228-233. This section continues to discuss legal rulings related to marriage, divorce and parenting. See the series guide here for more information about this series and other installments.

وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ ۚ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَهُنَّ أَن يَكْتُمْنَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ فِي أَرْحَامِهِنَّ إِن كُنَّ يُؤْمِنَّ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوا إِصْلَاحًا ۚ وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not permissible for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back during this if they want reconciliation. And the women have rights similar to those over them according to what is reasonable, but men have a degree over them. And Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. [2:228]

والمطلقات ذوات الحيض، يجب أن ينتظرن دون نكاح بعد الطلاق مدة ثلاثة أطهار أو ثلاث حيضات على سبيل العدة؛ ليتأكدن من فراغ الرحم من الحمل. ولا يجوز لهن تزوج رجل آخر في أثناء هذه العدة حتى تنتهي. ولا يحل لهن أن يخفين ما خلق الله في أرحامهن من الحمل أو الحيض، إن كانت المطلقات مؤمنات حقًا بالله واليوم الآخر. وأزواج المطلقات أحق بمراجعتهن في العدة. وينبغي أن يكون ذلك بقصد الإصلاح والخير، وليس بقصد الإضرار تعذيبًا لهن بتطويل العدة. وللنساء حقوق على الأزواج، مثل التي عليهن، على الوجه المعروف، وللرجال على النساء منزلة زائدة من حسن الصحبة والعشرة بالمعروف والقِوامة على البيت وملك الطلاق. والله عزيز له العزة القاهرة، حكيم يضع كل شيء في موضعه المناسب.ـ

228. Divorced women who still menstruate must wait for three periods of cleanliness or three menstrual cycles after divorce before a new marriage. This is her waiting period, so that she can be sure that her womb is not pregnant. It is not permissible for her to marry another man during this waiting period; only after the waiting period ends. Nor is it permissible for her to conceal what Allah has created in her womb – whether that be a pregnancy of menstruation – if the divorced women really believe in Allah and the Last Day. And the husbands of the divorced women have the right to take them back during the waiting period, but that must be done with the intention of reconciliation and goodness, not for the purpose of harming or punishing her by prolonging the waiting period. And women have rights over their husbands, just as the husbands have rights over them, according to what is reasonable. But men have a higher position over women due to their role in treating them well, providing for them reasonably, managing the house and being able to initiate divorce. And Allah is Almighty, having overwhelming power, and All-Wise, placing every thing in their proper places.

الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّتَانِ ۖ فَإِمْسَاكٌ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ تَسْرِيحٌ بِإِحْسَانٍ ۗ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَأْخُذُوا مِمَّا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شَيْئًا إِلَّا أَن يَخَافَا أَلَّا يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا فِيمَا افْتَدَتْ بِهِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا ۚ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

Divorce is twice. Then keep her on good terms or release her with kindness. And it is not permissible for you to take back any of what you gave them, except when both parties fear that they would not be able to maintain Allah’s limits. So if you fear that you would not be able to maintain Allah’s limits, then there is no sin on either of them if she ransoms herself. Those are Allah’s limits, so do not cross them. And whoever crosses Allah’s limits – they are the wrongdoers. [2:229]

الطلاق الذي تحصل به الرجعة مرتان، واحدة بعد الأخرى، فحكم الله بعد كل طلقة هو إمساك المرأة بالمعروف، وحسن العشرة بعد مراجعتها، أو تخلية سبيلها مع حسن معاملتها بأداء حقوقها، وألا يذكرها مطلقها بسوء. ولا يحل لكم- أيها الأزواج- أن تأخذوا شيئًا مما أعطيتموهن من المهر ونحوه، إلا أن يخاف الزوجان ألا يقوما بالحقوق الزوجية، فحينئذ يعرضان أمرهما على الأولياء، فإن خاف الأولياء عدم إقامة الزوجين حدود الله، فلا حرج على الزوجين فيما تدفعه المرأة للزوج مقابل طلاقها. تلك الأحكام هي حدود الله الفاصلة بين الحلال والحرام، فلا تتجاوزوها، ومن يتجاوز حدود الله تعالى فأولئك هم الظالمون أنفسهم بتعريضها لعذاب الله.ـ

229. Divorce during which you can take back your wife can occur twice, one after the other. Allah’s ruling after each divorce is to either keep her on good terms and with good treatment after taking her back, or letting her go on her way while treating her well in terms of fulfilling her rights and not mentioning her divorce in a bad way. And it is not permissible for you – O husbands – to take back anything which you have given them – mahr or otherwise – unless the two spouses fear that they will not be able to uphold the spousal rights. In that case, they can turn over the matter to trusted family members, and if those trusted family members fear that Allah’s limits regarding the spousal rights cannot be maintained, then there is no sin on either of the spouses if the woman gives back something to the husband in exchange for divorce. These rulings are Allah’s limits separating what is allowed from what is prohibited, so do not cross them. Whoever crosses Allah’s limits, then they are wronging themselves by opening themselves up to Allah’s punishment.

فَإِن طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا تَحِلُّ لَهُ مِن بَعْدُ حَتَّىٰ تَنكِحَ زَوْجًا غَيْرَهُ ۗ فَإِن طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَن يَتَرَاجَعَا إِن ظَنَّا أَن يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ يُبَيِّنُهَا لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

Once he has divorced her, she is not permissible for him until after she has married a different husband. Then if he divorces her, then there is no sin on either of them if they reunite, so long as they both think that they can maintain Allah’s limits. These are Allah’s limits which He clarifies for the people who know. [2:230]

فإن طلَّق الرجل زوجته الطلقة الثالثة، فلا تحلُّ له إلا إذا تزوجت رجلا غيره زواجًا صحيحًا وجامعها فيه ويكون الزواج عن رغبة، لا بنية تحليل المرأة لزوجها الأول، فإن طلقها الزوج الآخر أو مات عنها وانقضت عدتها، فلا إثم على المرأة وزوجها الأول أن يتزوجا بعقد جديد، ومهر جديد، إن غلب على ظنهما أن يقيما أحكام الله التي شرعها للزوجين. وتلك أحكام الله المحددة يبينها لقوم يعلمون أحكامه وحدوده؛ لأنهم المنتفعون بها.ـ

230. Once a man has divorced his wife for the third time, then she is no longer permissible for him unless she then marries a different man in a real marriage in which they have intercourse and it was a marriage for genuine purposes, not merely with the goal of making the wife permissible to marry her first husband again. Then if that second husband divorces her or dies while they are married and she completes her waiting period, then there is no sin on the woman or her first husband if they marry one another under a new marriage contract and with a new mahr. That is so long as they both reasonably expect that they will be able to maintain the rulings which Allah has legislated for spouses. These are Allah’s fixed rules which He explains for the people who know His rulings and His limits so that they would benefit from them.

وَإِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَبَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ سَرِّحُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ ۚ وَلَا تُمْسِكُوهُنَّ ضِرَارًا لِّتَعْتَدُوا ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ ۚ وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا آيَاتِ اللَّهِ هُزُوًا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَا أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ يَعِظُكُم بِهِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

And when you have divorced the women and they have fulfilled their term, then take them back on reasonable terms or let them go on reasonable terms. But do not take them back in order to hurt them. Whoever does that, then he has wronged himself. And do not take Allah’s ayaat lightly. And remember Allah’s favor to you and what He has sent down to you of the Book and the wisdom to admonish you. And have taqwa of Allah, and know that Allah is All-Knowing of everything. [2:231]

وإذا طَلَّقتم النساء فقاربن انتهاء عدتهن، فراجعوهن، ونيتكم القيام بحقوقهن على الوجه المستحسن شرعًا وعرفًا، أو اتركوهن حتى تنقضي عدتهن. واحذروا أن تكون مراجعتهن بقصد الإضرار بهن لأجل الاعتداء على حقوقهن. ومن يفعل ذلك فقد ظلم نفسه باستحقاقه العقوبة، ولا تتخذوا آيات الله وأحكامه لعبًا ولهوًا. واذكروا نعمة الله عليكم بالإسلام وتفصيل الأحكام. واذكروا ما أنزل الله عليكم من القرآن والسنة، واشكروا له سبحانه على هذه النعم الجليلة، يُذكِّركم الله بهذا، ويخوفكم من المخالفة، فخافوا الله وراقبوه، واعلموا أن الله عليم بكل شيء، لا يخفى عليه شيء، وسيجازي كلا بما يستحق.ـ

231. After you have divorced the women and they are coming close to the end of their waiting period, then either take them back while intending to fulfill their rights in an acceptable way both according to the religious rulings and general custom, or leave them until they complete their waiting period. And be warned against taking them back for the purpose of harming them by trespassing on their rights. Whoever does that has harmed his own self by making himself deserving of punishment. And do not take Allah’s ayaat and rulings as games or play things. And remember how Allah blessed you with Islam and by explaining the rulings in detail. And remember the Qur’an and Sunnah that Allah has sent down to you, and be grateful to Him for these great blessings. Allah is reminding you of these things and making them afraid to violate them. So fear Allah and take yourself to account, and know that Allah is All-Knowing of everything. Nothing is hidden from Him, and he will repay everyone with what they deserve.

وَإِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَبَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ أَن يَنكِحْنَ أَزْوَاجَهُنَّ إِذَا تَرَاضَوْا بَيْنَهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ مِنكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۗ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَزْكَىٰ لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

And when you have divorced the women and they have fulfilled their term, then do not prevent them from marrying their husbands if they both agree on reasonable terms. This is an admonition for those of you who believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is purer for you and cleaner. And Allah knows while you do not know. [2:232]

واذا طلَّقتم نساءكم دون الثلاث وانتهت عدتهن من غير مراجعة لهن، فلا تضيقوا- أيها الأولياء- على المطلقات بمنعهن من العودة إلى أزواجهن بعقد جديد إذا أردن ذلك، وحدث التراضي شرعًا وعرفًا. ذلك يوعظ به من كان منكم صادق الإيمان بالله واليوم الآخر. إن تَرْكَ العضل وتمكين الأزواج من نكاح زوجاتهم أكثر نماء وطهارة لأعراضكم، وأعظم منفعة وثوابًا لكم. والله يعلم ما فيه صلاحكم وأنتم لا تعلمون ذلك.ـ

232. When you have divorced your women less than three times and they have come to the end of their waiting period without being taken back, then do not be harsh – O family members – on the divorced women by preventing them from going back to their husbands with a new marriage contract if they want to and if they come to a mutual understanding both in religious terms and living terms. This is an admonition for whoever of you truly believes in Allah and the Last Day. Not preventing her and instead allowing her to remarry her husband is better for the growth and purity of your honors and is of greater benefit and reward for you. And Allah knows what will better your situation while you do not know that.

وَالْوَالِدَاتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ ۖ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ ۚ وَعَلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ لَا تُكَلَّفُ نَفْسٌ إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَا تُضَارَّ وَالِدَةٌ بِوَلَدِهَا وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ لَّهُ بِوَلَدِهِ ۚ وَعَلَى الْوَارِثِ مِثْلُ ذَٰلِكَ ۗ فَإِنْ أَرَادَا فِصَالًا عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنْهُمَا وَتَشَاوُرٍ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا ۗ وَإِنْ أَرَدتُّمْ أَن تَسْتَرْضِعُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا سَلَّمْتُم مَّا آتَيْتُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۗ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

Mothers shall breastfeed their children for two full years, for those parents who wish to complete the term of breastfeeding. And the father shall give her her provisions and clothing according to what is reasonable. No person is charged beyond what he can bear. No mother should be harmed by way of her child, nor a father by way of his child. And the same duty is on the heir. If they both want to wean by mutual agreement and consultation, then there is no sin of them. And if you decide to find someone to breastfeed your children, then there is no sin of you so long as you pay what you give according to reasonable terms. And have taqwa of Allah, and know that Allah is Watching of what you do. [2:233]

وعلى الوالدات إرضاع أولادهن مدة سنتين كاملتين لمن أراد إتمام الرضاعة، ويجب على الآباء أن يكفُلوا للمرضعات المطلقات طعامهن وكسوتهن، على الوجه المستحسن شرعًا وعرفًا؛ لأن الله لا يكلف نفسًا إلا قدر طاقتها، ولا يحل للوالدين أن يجعلوا المولود وسيلة للمضارة بينهما، ويجب على الوارث عند موت الوالد مثل ما يجب على الوالد قبل موته من النفقة والكسوة. فإن أراد الوالدان فطام المولود قبل انتهاء السنتين فلا حرج عليهما إذا تراضيا وتشاورا في ذلك؛ ليصلا إلى ما فيه مصلحة المولود. وإن اتفق الوالدان على إرضاع المولود من مرضعة أخرى غير والدته فلا حرج عليهما، إذا سلَّم الوالد للأم حقَّها، وسلَّم للمرضعة أجرها بما يتعارفه الناس. وخافوا الله في جميع أحوالكم، واعلموا أن الله بما تعملون بصير، وسيجازيكم على ذلك.ـ

233. Mothers should breastfeed their children for a period of two whole years for anyone who wants to complete breastfeeding, and the father must take care of food and clothing for the divorced breastfeeding mother of his children, doing so in a good way according to the standards of the the religion and custom, for Allah does not charge anyone with more than they can handle. It is not permissible for parents to make a child a means of harming one another. And if the father dies, then the heir must provide the same amount of funds and clothing which the father was required to provide before his death. If both parents want to wean the child before the completion of two years, then there is no sin of them if they both agree and consult one another about this matter so that they can arrive at a decision that is best for the child. And if both parents agree to have the child breastfed by someone other than the child’s mother, then there is no sin of them so long as the father gives the mother her rights and gives the breastfeeding woman her payment according to what is accepted among the people. And fear Allah in all your affairs, and know that Allah is watching what you do and He will repay you for it.

[al-Tafsir al-Muyassar pg 36-37]

See also: Marriage and Divorce in the Qur’an Series

See: Divorce in the Qur’an – Part 1: Imam al-Sa’di

See: Divorce in the Qur’an – Part 2: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: How the Prophet Lived with His Wives: Tafsir ibn Kathir

See also: These are the Hudood of Allah: Sheikh al-Fawzan

See also: Exhortations in the Qur’an: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

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