Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 234-242: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the twenty-fifth installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 234-242. This section continues discussing legal rulings surrounding marriage and divorce. See the series guide here for more information about this series and other installments.

وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْرًا ۖ فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا فَعَلْنَ فِي أَنفُسِهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

And those of you who are taken in death and leave wives behind, they shall wait four months and ten days. When they have completed their term, then there is no blame on you for what they do with themselves in an acceptable way. And Allah is All-Aware of what you do. [2:234]

والذين يموتون منكم، ويتركون زوجات بعدهم، يجب عليهن الانتظار بأنفسهن مدة أربعة أشهر وعشرة أيام، لا يخرجن من منزل الزوجية، ولا يتزيَّنَّ، ولا يتزوجن، فإذا انتهت المدة المذكورة فلا إثم عليكم يا أولياء النساء فيما يفعلن في أنفسهن من الخروج، والتزين، والزواج على الوجه المقرر شرعًا. والله سبحانه وتعالى خبير بأعمالكم ظاهرها وباطنها، وسيجازيكم عليها. ـ

234. And those of you who die and leave wives behind after them, then it is required for the wives to wait for four months and ten days without leaving the house of their husband, beautifying themselves, or marrying. Then when that period has ended, there is no sin on you – O family of these women – for what they do with themselves in terms of going out, beautifying themselves, or marrying in a way that the shari’ah approves. And Allah is All-Aware of your actions, both outward and inward, and He will repay you for them. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 221-227: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar

This is the twenty-third installment of our translation of al-Tafsir al-Muyassar‘s explanation of surah al-Baqarah, covering ayaat 221-227. This section continues with a series of legal rulings, specifically concerning marriage and oaths. See the series guide here for more information about this series and other installments.

وَلَا تَنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنَّ ۚ وَلَأَمَةٌ مُّؤْمِنَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكَةٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ ۗ وَلَا تُنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنُوا ۚ وَلَعَبْدٌ مُّؤْمِنٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن مُّشْرِكٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكُمْ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ ۖ وَاللَّهُ يَدْعُو إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَالْمَغْفِرَةِ بِإِذْنِهِ ۖ وَيُبَيِّنُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ

And do not marry the polytheist women until they believe. A believing slave woman is better than a polytheist woman, even though she might amaze you. And do not wed to the polytheist men until they believe. A believing slave is better than a polytheist, even those he might amaze you. Those ones invite to the fire, while Allah invites to Paradise and forgiveness, by His permission. And He clarifies His verses to the people so that they might remember. [2:221]

ولا تتزوجوا- أيها المسلمون- المشركات عابدات الأوثان، حتى يدخلن في الإسلام. واعلموا أن امرأة مملوكة لا مال لها ولا حسب، مؤمنةً بالله، خير من امرأة مشركة، وإن أعجبتكم المشركة الحرة. ولا تُزَوِّجوا نساءكم المؤمنات- إماء أو حرائر- للمشركين حتى يؤمنوا بالله ورسوله. واعلموا أن عبدًا مؤمنًا مع فقره، خير من مشرك، وإن أعجبكم المشرك. أولئك المتصفون بالشرك رجالا ونساءً يدعون كل مَن يعاشرهم إلى ما يؤدي به إلى النار، والله سبحانه يدعو عباده إلى دينه الحق المؤدي بهم إلى الجنة ومغفرة ذنوبهم بإذنه، ويبين آياته وأحكامه للناس؛ لكي يتذكروا، فيعتبروا. ـ

221. O Muslims, do not marry the polytheist women who worship idols until they enter Islam. Be aware that a slave women without any wealth or status who believes in Allah is better than a polytheist woman, even if the free polytheist woman might amaze you. And do not marry your believing women – neither slave women or free women – to a polytheist man until he believes in Allah and His Messenger. Be aware that, despite his poverty, a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even if the polytheist man might amaze you. Those men and women who are characterized with polytheism call anyone that they keep company with to things which would lead to the Hellfire. But Allah calls His servants to His true religion which will lead them to Paradise and forgiveness of their sins, by His permission. And He makes His verses and rulings clear to the people so that they would remember and take a lesson.

Continue reading

How the Prophet Lived with His Wives: Tafsir ibn Kathir

In the midst of legal rulings related to marriage in surah al-Nisaa’, Allah commands the believing to treat their wives well by saying:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

… and live with them honorably … [4:19]

al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir wrote a brief but beautiful commentary on this phrase in his tafsir:

وَقَوْلُهُ : ( وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ) أَيْ : طَيِّبُوا أَقْوَالَكُمْ لَهُنَّ ، وَحَسِّنُوا أَفْعَالَكُمْ وَهَيْئَاتِكُمْ بِحَسَبِ قُدْرَتِكُمْ ، كَمَا تُحِبُّ ذَلِكَ مِنْهَا ، فَافْعَلْ أَنْتَ بِهَا مِثْلَهُ ، كَمَا قَالَ تَعَالَى : ( وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ) [ الْبَقَرَةِ : 228 ] وَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِهِ ، وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِي ” وَكَانَ مِنْ أَخْلَاقِهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ جَمِيلُ الْعِشْرَةِ دَائِمُ الْبِشْرِ ، يُدَاعِبُ أَهْلَهُ ، وَيَتَلَطَّفُ بِهِمْ ، ويُوسِعُهُمْ نَفَقَتَهُ ، وَيُضَاحِكُ نِسَاءَهُ ، حَتَّى إِنَّهُ كَانَ يُسَابِقُ عَائِشَةَ أُمَّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَتَوَدَّدُ إِلَيْهَا بِذَلِكَ . قَالَتْ : سَابَقَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَسَبَقْتُهُ ، وَذَلِكَ قَبْلَ أَنْ أَحْمِلَ اللَّحْمَ ، ثُمَّ سَابَقْتُهُ بَعْدَ مَا حَمَلْتُ اللَّحْمَ فَسَبَقَنِي ، فَقَالَ : ” هَذِهِ بِتِلْكَ ” وَيَجْتَمِعُ نِسَاؤُهُ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ فِي بَيْتِ الَّتِي يَبِيتُ عِنْدَهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فَيَأْكُلُ مَعَهُنَّ الْعَشَاءَ فِي بَعْضِ الْأَحْيَانِ ، ثُمَّ تَنْصَرِفُ كُلُّ وَاحِدَةٍ إِلَى مَنْزِلِهَا . وَكَانَ يَنَامُ مَعَ الْمَرْأَةِ مِنْ نِسَائِهِ فِي شِعَارٍ وَاحِدٍ ، يَضَعُ عَنْ كَتِفَيْهِ الرِّدَاءَ وَيَنَامُ بِالْإِزَارِ ، وَكَانَ إِذَا صَلَّى الْعِشَاءَ يَدْخُلُ مَنْزِلَهُ يَسْمُرُ مَعَ أَهْلِهِ قَلِيلًا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَنَامَ ، يُؤَانِسُهُمْ بِذَلِكَ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَقَدْ قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى : ( لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ ) [ الْأَحْزَابِ : 21 ] . وَأَحْكَامُ عِشْرَةِ النِّسَاءِ وَمَا يَتَعَلَّقُ بِتَفْصِيلِ ذَلِكَ مَوْضِعُهُ كِتَابُ ” الْأَحْكَامِ ” ، وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

… and live with them honorably …

that is: beautify your speech, actions and manners towards them to the best of your ability. Just as you would like for them to do that towards you, then do that towards them. This is as Allah said:

وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

… and women have rights over their husbands similar to the rights their husbands have over them … [2:228]

and Allah’s Messenger said: Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Divorce in the Qur’an – Part 2: 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 ninth section overall – and the second on divorce – : 12345678 – 9 – 10

وقال تعالى: {يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَكَحْتُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا فَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ وَسَرِّحُوهُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا} [الأحزاب: 49] ـ

And Allah said:

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَكَحْتُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا فَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ وَسَرِّحُوهُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا

O you who believe! When you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them, then there is not any ‘iddah to count concerning them for you. Then provide for them, and release them in a handsome manner. [33:49]

ففي هذه الآية أن المفارقة في الحياة بطلاق ونحوه ليس لزوجها عليها عدة إذا لم يدخل أو يخل بها، بل بمجرد ما يطلقها لها التزوج في الحال. ـ

So this ayah contains the fact that separation while both are alive due to divorce and the likes of that does not require any ‘iddah (waiting period) for the wife if the husband has not had intercourse with her or been alone with her in seclusion. Rather, from the very moment of her being divorced she is able to marry (another person) in that scenario.

وفي هذا أن العدة تثبت بالدخول، وكذلك الخلوة، كما ثبت عن الخلفاء الراشدين، ومفهوم الآية أن الفراق بالموت تعتد له الزوجة المعقود عليها ولو قبل الدخول . ـ

And this ayah also contains the fact that the ‘iddah is confirmed in the case of intercourse, and likewise in the case of seclusion, as has been authenticated by the Rightly-Guided Khulafaa’. And the implication of this ayah is that in the case of separation by death, the wife who is engaged in a marriage contract must complete the ‘iddah for her husband even if the death took place prior to intercourse. Continue reading

Divorce in the Qur’an – Part 1: 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 eighth section overall – and the first on divorce – : 12345678 – 9 – 10

 قال الله تعالى في أحكام الطلاق والعدد: {الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّ‌تَانِ} إلى قوله : {وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ} [البقرة: ٢٢٩-٢٣١] ، وقال : {يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ} [الطلاق ١] الآيات . ـ

Regarding the rulings of divorce and ‘idad (plural of ‘iddah – waiting periods), Allah said:

الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّ‌تَانِ

The divorce is twice… [2:229]

Until His statement:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

… and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything [2:231]

And He said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ

O Prophet, when you [Muslims] divorce women, divorce them at their ‘iddah … [65:1]

until the end of the relevant ayaat.

ذكر الله أحكام الفراق كما ذكر أحكام النكاح والدخول فيه، تقدم أنه تعالى حث الزوج على الصبر على زوجته ما دام متمكنا من الصبر، وفي هذا ذكر الله أنه إذا كان لا بد له من الطلاق، فعليه أن يطلق زوجته لعدتها، أي: لتستقبل عدتها، وذلك أن يطلقها مرة واحدة في طهر لم يجامعها فيه، أو يطلقها وهي حامل قد تبين حملها، أو وهي آيسة أو صغيرة؛ لأنها في هذه الأحوال كلها تبتدئ بالعدة البينة الواضحة، فمن طلقها أكثر من واحدة، أو وهي حائض أو نفساء، أو في طهر قد وطئ فيه ولم يتبين حملها فإنه آثم متعد لحدود الله، وإذا طلقها هذا الطلاق المشروع فله أن يراجعها ما دامت في العدة كما قال تعالى: {وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوا إِصْلَاحًا} [البقرة: 228] وسواء رضيت أو كرهت. ـ

Allah has mentioned the rulings of separation just as he mentioned the rulings of marriage and entering into marriage. And we have already mentioned how He encourages the husband to be patient with his wife for as long as he is able to do so. But on this note, Allah has mentioned that when he must resort to divorce, then he should divorce his wife at her ‘iddah – meaning: when she enters her ‘iddah – and that is that he divorces her one time while she is in a state of purity [i.e. not during her menses] during which they have not yet had intercourse, or that he divorces her while she is pregnant and her pregnancy has become clear, or while she is beyond the age of menses or being too young for menses because all of these circumstances are initiated by a clear and apparent ‘iddah. Continue reading

Marriage in the Qur’an pt.7 – Justice Between Wives: 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 seventh section, click the links the visit the other sections: 12345678 – 9 – 10

{وَلَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِنْ تُصْلِحُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا} [النساء: 129] .ـ

وَلَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِنْ تُصْلِحُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا

And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] thus leaving another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah – then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful. [4:129]

يخبر تعالى أنه ليس في قدرة الأزواج العدل التام بين زوجاتهم، فإن العدل التام يقتضي أن يكون الداعي والحب على السواء، والميل القلبي على السواء، ويقتضي مع ذلك الإيمان الصادق، والرغبة في مكارم الأخلاق للعمل بمقتضى ذلك، وهذا متعذر غير ممكن، فلذلك عذر الله الأزواج، وعفا عنهم عما لا يقدرون عليه، ولكنه أمرهم بالعدل الممكن فقال: {فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ} [النساء: 129] أي: لا تميلوا إلى إحداهن عن الأخرى ميلا كثيرا، بحيث لا تؤدون حقوقهن الواجبة، بل افعلوا مستطاعكم من العدل، فالنفقة والكسوة والقسم في المبيت والفراش ونحو ذلك مقدور، فعليكم العدل فيها بينهن، بخلاف الحب والوطء وتوابع ذلك، فالعبد لا يملك نفسه فعذره الله . ـ

Allah informs us that it is not within the power of a husband to be completely equal between his wives, for completely equal treatment would require his desire of and love towards each of his wives to be the same and that his heart’s inclination towards each is the same. And in addition to that, it would require true eemaan and an aspiration to have noble manners in order for him to behave with what completely equal treatment of his wives would entail. And that is something that is not feasible, nor is it possible. Therefore, Allah has excused and pardoned the husbands for what they are not able to do. However, He did command them with a type of equal treatment which is possible, for He said:

فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ

So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave another hanging [4:129]

meaning: do not incline towards one of them over another in a significant way, such that you would not give them their obligatory rights. Rather, you should be as just and equal as you are able. This applies to spending, clothing, housing, the division of one’s nights among them, and so on. This is something you can do. It is incumbent upon you to be fair and equal with each one of your wives regarding these things. This is in contrast to the issues of love, intercourse, and related matters, for the slave does not have complete control over his own self, and so Allah has excused him. Continue reading

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: Continue reading

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. Continue reading