Introduction of An-Nisa'
(Revealed after Hijrah)
This Surah consists of 177 verses including Bismillah. ‘A’ishah is reported by Bukhari to have said that this chapter was revealed when, after her marriage to the Holy Prophet, she had come into his house; and as ‘A’ishah came into the Holy Prophet’s house sometime after the Hijrah, the chapter proves to be wholly of Medinite origin. Qurtubisays that the verse, Verily Allah commands you to give over the trusts to those entitled to them (4:58), belongs to Meccan revelations and was revealed at the time of the Fall of Mecca. This is a case of faulty nomenclature, for everything revealed after Hijrah is Medinite, even though it may have been revealed at Mecca. The Rev. E. M. Wherry, Nöldeke and some other European scholars are agreed on its being of the Medinite period and regard it as having been revealed between the fourth and fifth years of the Hijrah. Nöldeke, however, is inclined to place some of its verses among the Meccan revelations because in them, "Jews are referred to in a friendly spirit." Wherry thinks that the words, "O people" occurring in verse 134 of this Surah show that it was revealed at Mecca because this form of address has been exclusively used in the Meccan Surahs.
The fact, however, remains that this is a Medinite Surah and some of its parts were revealed very late in the Holy Prophet’s ministry. European scholars are wrong in inferring from the form of address, viz. "O people", used in this Surah that some of its verses belong to the Meccan period. Similarly, their inference that, because in some of its verses Jews are referred to in a friendly spirit, therefore, those verses must belong to the Meccan period, carries no weight. The inference that the above-mentioned form of address was used only at Mecca has no basis in as much as this form of address has also been used in Surahs, which by the consensus of the opinion of scholars belong to the Medinite period, viz. chapters Al-Baqarah and Al-Hajj (e.g. 2:22; 22:2), though because this form of address has been used in these Surahs, these European scholars regard some of their verses also as having been revealed at Mecca. But to say that because a certain verse uses the expression: "O people" it must, in spite of all contrary evidence belong to the Meccan period is anything but reasonable.
The truth, however, is that as long as the Holy Prophet was at Mecca, very few of the commandments of the Shari‘ah had been revealed and the people of Mecca were the principal addressees. Therefore, in the Meccan Surahs,the words: "O people" were frequently employed as a form of address. But with the Holy Prophet’s coming to Medina, Muslims became welded into an organised community; therefore, at Medina the form of address: "O people" generally became changed into: "O ye who believe". This change was quite natural. But with the Prophet’s advent to Medina, disbelievers were not altogether ignored. At Medina also they used to enquire of the Holy Prophet about many things and their questions were answered and those answers are recorded in the Quran. So whenever in Medina an answer to a certain question was revealed in which along with Muslims, disbelievers were also addressed, the form of address consisted of the words: "O people." But when the revealed answer or commandment concerned only Muslims, the words: "O ye who believe" were used. So there was no reason for the words: "O people" to be definitely given up at Medina; and to fix Mecca as the place of revelation of a specific Surah because of these words having been used in it is simply arbitrary.
Similarly, the inference of Nöldeke that because Jews have been referred to in some of the verses of this Surahin a friendly spirit, therefore these verses must belong to the Meccan period, is ill-based. In the verses which deal with Jews, the Quran maintains an attitude of uniform fairness to them whether those verses belong to the Meccan or the Medinite period. For instance, it is in a Medinite Surah, i.e. Al-Baqarah, that occurs the verse, And the Jews say, 'the Christians stand on nothing,' and the Christians say, 'the Jews stand on nothing' while they both read the same Book (2:114). In this verse the Quran has been scrupulously fair towards both Jews and Christians. So the argument that because in a certain verse Jews have been referred to in a friendly spirit, therefore that verse must necessarily belong to the Meccan period, carries no weight.
As in Al-e-‘Imran, the Christian faith constitutes the main theme of this Surah. But in this Surah greater space has been assigned to a comparison of the detailed teachings of the two religions, Islam and Christianity, with special reference to the progress and domination of Christianity in the Latter Days. As in the Latter Days, Christianity was loudly to profess and proclaim its superiority over Islam on the basis of its teachings regarding women, this chapter largely deals with them, and even a cursory glance over these teachings establishes the fact that even in this respect, Islamic teachings are infinitely superior to those of Christianity. And as the subject of orphans is intimately connected with that of women, it has also received special mention here. The Surah is the first among Divine revelations to safeguard the rights of women. They are not only given the right of inheritance along with men, but have also been declared to be the masters and arbiters of their property.
The second main topic dealt with in this chapter is that of hypocrisy. As in the latter days Christianity was to gain worldwide predominance and a large number of Muslims were to live under Christian governments and, as a result of their subservience to Christian rulers and their fear of Christian criticism of Islam, they were to adopt a hypocritical attitude towards their own faith, the subject of hypocrisy has been particularly treated in this chapter along with that of women, and light is thrown on the depths to which a hypocrite sinks spiritually and temporally. Pointed reference has also been made to the ultimate success of Islam, when shame and abasement will seize these weak-hearted and hypocritical Muslims who feared men more than their Creator.
Towards the end of the Surah a somewhat detailed mention is made of the crucifixion of Jesus, and it is declared that the religious predominance of Christianity is due to the belief that Jesus is not dead but living. This belief is shown to be utterly unfounded because as Jesus is proved not to have died on the cross, but to have died a natural death, the question of his resurrection simply does not arise. In the concluding verses of this Surah, it is declared that this false doctrine will in the end be obliterated and the doctrine of the Oneness of God will reign supreme in the world.
یہ سورت ہجرت کے تیسرے اور پانچویں سال کے درمیان نازل ہوئی۔ بسم اللہ سمیت اس کی ایک سو ستتر آیات ہیں۔ اس سورت کا آغاز ایک ایسی آیت سے ہوتا ہے جس میں نفسِ واحدہ سے انسانی پیدائش کے معجزانہ آغاز کا ذکر ملتا ہے۔ گویا لفظ آدم کی ایک اَور تفسیر پیش فرمائی گئی ہے۔ اس سورت کا اس سے پہلی سورت کے اختتام سے گہرا تعلق ہے۔ گزشتہ سورت کے اختتام پر صبر کی تعلیم کے علاوہ یہ تعلیم دی گئی تھی کہ ایک دوسرے کو صبر کی تلقین بھی کرتے رہو اور اپنی سرحدوں کی بھی حفاظت کرو۔ یہاں سورۃ النساء میں دشمن کے ساتھ ہولناک جنگوں کا ذکر ہے جس کے نتیجہ میں کثرت سے عورتیں بیوہ اور بچے یتیم رہ جائیں گے۔ جنگوں کے نتیجہ میں پیدا ہونے والی مشکلات اور بیواؤں اور یتیموں کے حقوق کے تعلق میں اس کا ایک حل ایک سے زیادہ شادیاں کرنے کی صورت میں پیش فرمایا گیا ہے بشرطیکہ مومن انصاف پر قائم رہ سکے۔ اگر انصاف پر قائم نہیں رہ سکتا تو صرف ایک شادی پر ہی اکتفا کرنی ہوگی۔ اس سورت میں اسلامی نظام وراثت کے بنیادی اصول اور ان کی تفصیل بیان ہوئی ہے۔ اسی سورت میں یہودیت اور عیسائیت کے باہمی رشتے کا ذکر اور حضرت عیسیٰ علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کی بعثت کا ذکر اس طرح ملتا ہے کہ جب یہودنے اپنے سب عہدوں کو توڑ دیا اور سخت دل ہوگئے اور حضرت عیسیٰ علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کو صلیب پر چڑھا کر مارنے کی کوشش کی تو کس طرح اللہ تعالیٰ نے صلیب کے ذریعہ حضرت عیسیٰ علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کو قتل کرنے کی اُن کی کوشش کو ناکام و نامراد فرما دیا اور حضرت عیسیٰ علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کا ان تمام الزامات سے بری ہونا ثابت فرمایا جو آپ پر اور آپ کی پاکدامن والدہ پر یہود کی طرف سے لگائے گئے تھے۔ اس سورت میں حضرت عیسیٰ علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کی ہجرت کا بھی ذکر ملتا ہے اور یہ پیشگوئی مذکور ہے کہ اہلِ کتاب میں سے کوئی فریق بھی ایسا نہیں رہے گا جو حضرت عیسیٰ علیہ الصلوٰۃ والسلام کی صداقت اور آپؑ کی طبعی وفات پر ایمان نہ لے آیا ہو۔ یہ پیشگوئی افغانستان کے رستے کشمیر میں آپ کی ہجرت کے ذریعہ من و عن پوری ہوگئی۔
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ﴿۱﴾
بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
a. 1:1. (close)
a. 1:1. (close)
483. Important Words:
See under 1:1. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوۡا رَبَّکُمُ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَکُمۡ مِّنۡ نَّفۡسٍ وَّاحِدَۃٍ وَّ خَلَقَ مِنۡہَا زَوۡجَہَا وَ بَثَّ مِنۡہُمَا رِجَالًا کَثِیۡرًا وَّ نِسَآءً ۚ وَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ الَّذِیۡ تَسَآءَلُوۡنَ بِہٖ وَ الۡاَرۡحَامَ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ رَقِیۡبًا ﴿۲﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ٱتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ ٱلَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفۡسٖ وَٰحِدَةٖ وَخَلَقَ مِنۡهَا زَوۡجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنۡهُمَا رِجَالٗا كَثِيرٗا وَنِسَآءٗۚ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ ٱلَّذِي تَسَآءَلُونَ بِهِۦ وَٱلۡأَرۡحَامَۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ رَقِيبٗا
b. 33:71; 59:19. (close)
c. 7:190; 16:73; 30:22; 39:7. (close)
556. "Single soul" may signify: (1) Adam; (2) man and woman taken together, because when two things jointly perform one function, they may be spoken of as one; (3) man and woman taken separately, because mankind may be said to have been created from one "single soul" in the sense that each and every individual is created from the seed of man who is "one soul" and is also born of woman who is likewise "one soul". (close)
557. The words do not mean that woman was created out of the body of man but that she belonged to the same species as man, possessing identical aptitudes and propensities. The idea that Eve had been created out of the rib of Adam seems to have arisen from a saying of the Holy Prophet, viz. "Women have been created from a rib, and surely, the most crooked part of a rib is the highest part thereof. If you set yourself to straighten it, you will break it" (Bukhari, ch. on Nikah). This saying, if anything, constitutes an argument against the above view rather than being in its favour, for it makes no mention of Eve, but only speaks of all women, and it is clear that every woman has not been created from a rib. The word Dil‘ used in the above saying of the Prophet signifies a certain crookedness of manners, the word itself meaning crookedness (Bihar & Muhit). In fact, it refers to a certain peculiarity of woman, viz. her affectation of displeasure and coquetry. This "crookedness" has been spoken of in this saying as the highest or the best trait in her character, and those who take affectation of anger on woman’s part as an expression of her real anger and begin to deal harshly with her for that reason, in fact, destroy the most attractive and winning aspect of her personality. (close)
558. The verse places "the fear of God", side by side with "respect for the ties of kinship", thus emphasizing the importance of good treatment of relatives, on which the Qur’an has laid so much stress. The Holy Prophet used to recite this verse when delivering a marriage sermon in order to remind both the parties of their duties to each other. (close)
b. 33:71; 59:19. (close)
484. Important Words:
رقیبا (Watcher) is derived from رقب. They say رقبه i.e. he watched him; or guarded him; or waited for him; or he kept or preserved it. رقیبis one of God’s attributes meaning, Watcher, Guardian, Keeper; One from Whom nothing is hidden.رقیب also means, an observer; a spy (Lane & Aqrab).
The words نفس واحدة (single soul) may signify: (1) Adam; or (2) man and woman taken together, because when two things jointly perform one function, they may be spoken of as one. For instance, 2:62 speaks of one food, while it consisted of manna and quails; or (3) man and woman taken individually, because mankind may be said to have been created from one "single soul" in the sense that each and every individual is created from the seed of man who is "one soul" and is also born of woman who is likewise "one soul".
The expression, and created therefrom its mate, does not mean that woman was created out of the body of man but that she belonged to the same kind and species as man, having the same nature and the same propensities. The meaning of this expression becomes clear when elsewhere we read in the Quran: And Allah has made for you mates from among yourselves (16:73); and He has made for you pairs of your own selves, and of the cattle also pairs (42:12). This means that, like other human beings, a wife was provided for Adam from his own species. And just as other men’s wives are not created from their ribs, so was the wife of Adam not created out of his ribs; and just as our wives have been made from ourselves in the sense that they are of the same kind as ourselves, so was the wife of Adam created from his rib in the sense that she belonged to the same race as Adam did. The preposition من (from) which has given rise to this misconception has been used in the Quran not only about Adam but about other men as well (e.g. 4:60; 9:128; 10:3; 62:3, 4), and in both cases it should mean the same thing, i.e. belonging to the same kind or species. The Quran lends no support whatever to the view that Eve was actually created from the rib of Adam, as is clear from the following verses: We have created you in pairs (78:9); And of everything have We created pairs (51:50), which means that, just as God created a mate for every living thing, so did He make one for Adam. He did not need to depart from this law in respect of Adam and to create a female for him out of his own body.
The idea of Eve having been created out of the rib of Adam seems to have arisen from a saying of the Holy Prophet to the effect "Women have been created from a rib, and surely, the most crooked part of a rib is the highest part thereof. If you set yourself to straighten it, you will break it" (Bukhari, ch. on Nikah). This hadith is, however, an argument against the above view rather than in favour of it, for it makes no mention of Eve, and speaks of all women, and it is clear that every woman has not been created from a rib.
The expression "created from a rib" is evidently figurative and must not be taken literally. What it means is only that, like unto a rib, there is a sort of crookedness in the nature of woman and that this very crookedness lends charm to her. An analogous Quranic expression, viz.: خلق الانسان من عجل i.e. "man is made of (lit. from) haste" (21:38) helps to illustrate the point. These words clearly do not mean that man has been created out of a substance called عجل or haste. They mean only that man is hasty by nature. The above view has been supported by Majma‘ul Bihar, Bahrul-Muhit and Sirajul-Wahhaj, which all agree that in the above hadith the Arabic word ضلع means a certain crookedness of manners, the word itself meaning crookedness.
In fact, this hadith refers to a certain peculiarity of woman, viz. her affectation of displeasure and coquetry. This "crookedness" has been spoken of in the hadith as the highest or the best trait in her character, and those, who take affectation of anger on her part as an expression of her real anger and begin to deal harshly with her for that reason, in fact destroy woman’s most attractive and winning feature.
The verse places "the fear of God", side by side with "respect for the ties of relationship", thus emphasizing the importance of good treatment of relatives, on which the Quran lays so much stress. The Holy Prophet used to recite this verse when delivering a marriage sermon in order to remind the parties of their duties to one another. (close)
وَ اٰتُوا الۡیَتٰمٰۤی اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ وَ لَا تَتَبَدَّلُوا الۡخَبِیۡثَ بِالطَّیِّبِ ۪ وَ لَا تَاۡکُلُوۡۤا اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ اِلٰۤی اَمۡوَالِکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ کَانَ حُوۡبًا کَبِیۡرًا ﴿۳﴾
وَءَاتُواْ ٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰٓ أَمۡوَٰلَهُمۡۖ وَلَا تَتَبَدَّلُواْ ٱلۡخَبِيثَ بِٱلطَّيِّبِۖ وَلَا تَأۡكُلُوٓاْ أَمۡوَٰلَهُمۡ إِلَىٰٓ أَمۡوَٰلِكُمۡۚ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ حُوبٗا كَبِيرٗا
a. 4:11, 128; 6:153; 17:35. (close)
559. After mentioning the two favours of God in the previous verse, viz. the multiplication of many men and women from a "single soul", and their preservation from destruction by instituting ties of relationship, the Qur’an proceeds to emphasize the need of protecting posterity by safeguarding the rights and interests of orphans. (close)
a. 4:11, 128; 6:153; 17:35. (close)
485. Important Words:
حوبا (sin) is derived from حاب meaning, he sinned; he did what was unlawful. حوب means: (1) a great sin or simply sin or crime; (2) wrong or injustice; (3) perdition, destruction or death; (4) disease; (5) a trial, trouble or affliction (Lane & Aqrab).
After mentioning two favours of God in the previous verse, viz. the multiplying of many men and women from a "single soul", and preserving them from destruction by instituting ties of relationship, the Quran proceeds to emphasize the need of protecting posterity by safeguarding the rights and interests of orphans.
The expression, and exchange not the bad for the good, means that if you do not give the orphans their property, the result will be that your own pure possessions will become impure and you yourselves will suffer in the long run.
The words, devour not their property with your own, contain a warning to guardians not to mix up the property of orphans with their own with the intention of misappropriating it. The clause also hints that if the guardian of an orphan possesses sufficient means of subsistence, he should not take anything out of the property of his ward as a compensation for his guardianship. (close)
وَ اِنۡ خِفۡتُمۡ اَلَّا تُقۡسِطُوۡا فِی الۡیَتٰمٰی فَانۡکِحُوۡا مَا طَابَ لَکُمۡ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ مَثۡنٰی وَ ثُلٰثَ وَ رُبٰعَ ۚ فَاِنۡ خِفۡتُمۡ اَلَّا تَعۡدِلُوۡا فَوَاحِدَۃً اَوۡ مَا مَلَکَتۡ اَیۡمَانُکُمۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ اَدۡنٰۤی اَلَّا تَعُوۡلُوۡا ؕ﴿۴﴾
وَإِنۡ خِفۡتُمۡ أَلَّا تُقۡسِطُواْ فِي ٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰ فَٱنكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ ٱلنِّسَآءِ مَثۡنَىٰ وَثُلَٰثَ وَرُبَٰعَۖ فَإِنۡ خِفۡتُمۡ أَلَّا تَعۡدِلُواْ فَوَٰحِدَةً أَوۡ مَا مَلَكَتۡ أَيۡمَٰنُكُمۡۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدۡنَىٰٓ أَلَّا تَعُولُواْ
560. The verse is important inasmuch as it permits polygamy under certain circumstances. Islam allows (though it certainly does not enjoin or encourage) a man to have more than one wife up to four at a time. As this permission has been given in connection with the subject of orphans, it should be taken primarily to be based on the question of the care of that much-neglected class of society. There are cases when the interests of orphans can only be protected by marrying one or more wives from among the female wards or from other women as the exigencies of circumstances may require. Though the verse mentions polygamy in connection with the subject of orphans, yet other situations may arise when it may become a necessary remedy for some social or moral evils. If only the objects of marriage itself are considered, the permission appears to be not only justifiable but in some cases desirable and even necessary; nay, in such cases it may become positively injurious to the best interests of individuals and of the community not to take advantage of this permission. According to the Qur’an the objects of marriage are four, viz. (1) protection against physical, moral and spiritual maladies (2:188; 4:25); (2) peace of mind and the availability of a loving companion (30:22); (3) procreation of children; and (4) widening of the circle of relationship (4:2). Now one or all of the above-mentioned four objects of marriage are sometimes not realized in the case of one wife; for instance, if the wife of a person becomes a permanent invalid or suffers from a contagious disease, the object of marriage is certainly defeated if such a person does not marry another wife. Indeed, no course is left to him but either to contract another lawful marriage or failing successfully to resist the attacks of carnal passions, to lead an immoral life. And an ailing wife cannot make a good companion either, because however worthy of regard and compassion she may be, her company cannot give peace of mind to her husband in all respects. Similarly, if she happens to be barren, the natural and perfectly legitimate desire of the husband to have an issue to succeed him and perpetuate his name remains unfulfilled in the absence of a polygamous marriage. It is to meet such exigencies that Islam has allowed the contraction of plural matrimonial connections. If, however, in any of the above cases a husband divorces his first wife, it would be a shame and disgrace for him. In fact, the objects of a polygamous marriage are, to a certain extent, the same as those of a monogamous marriage. When one or all of these objects are not realized by a monogamous marriage, a polygamous marriage becomes a necessity. There are, however, other reasons also which may sometimes render it necessary for a person to have one or more wives in addition to the one whom he dearly loves and who also fulfils the objects of marriage. Those reasons are: (a) to protect orphans; (b) to provide husbands for marriageable widows and (c) to supplement the depleted manhood of a family or community. It is clear from the verse under comment that polygamy is resorted to particularly with a view to taking under one’s protection orphans left unprotected. The verse implies that the mother of such orphans as are left in the guardianship of a person should preferably be married by him so that he should become directly related to, and more intimately connected with, them and thus may become more interested in their welfare than he otherwise would be. To provide husbands for widows (24:33) is another object which the institution of polygamy fulfils. Muslims were perpetually engaged in fighting in the time of the Holy Prophet. Many fell in wars and left behind widows and orphans without near relatives to look after them. The preponderance of women over men and an exceptionally large number of orphans with no one to look after them, which is the inevitable result of wars, necessitated that in order to save Muslim society from moral degeneration, polygamous marriages should have been encouraged. The last two World Wars have vindicated this useful institution of Islam. They have left an abnormally large number of young women without husbands. Indeed, the great preponderance of females over males in the West, due to the appalling loss of manhood caused by these Wars, is responsible for the present laxity of morals which is eating into the vitals of Western society. Besides this contingency of providing husbands for young widows the institution of polygamy is also intended to meet the serious situation that follows in the wake of a war, when, besides other aspects of decline, the manhood of a nation becomes so depleted as to threaten national destruction. The fall of birthrate, which is a potent cause of the decay of a people can be effectively remedied only by resorting to polygamy. Polygamous marriages, instead of being an outlet for the gratification of sexual passions as is mistakenly understood, constitute a sacrifice demanded of men and women alike—a sacrifice in which personal and passing sentiments are required to be subordinated to the wider communal or national interests. (close)
b. 4:130. (close)
561. The expression, Ma Malakat Aimanukum, generally signifies, women prisoners of war who are not ransomed and who are in the custody and control of their Muslim captors because they had taken part in a war which was waged to destroy Islam and thus had legitimately deprived themselves of their freedom. The term has been used in the Qur’an in preference to ‘Ibad and Ima’ (slaves and bondwomen) to point to a just and rightful possession, the expression Milku Yamin signifying full and rightful possession (Lisan). It includes both slaves and bondwomen, and it is only the context which determines what the expression signifies in a particular place. Much misunderstanding prevails as to what the expression "their right hands possess" signifies, and what are the rights and status of the persons to whom it applies. Islam has condemned slavery in unequivocal terms. According to it, it is a mortal sin to deprive a person of his or her liberty, unless, of course, he or she renders himself or herself liable to deprivation of it by taking part in a war waged to destroy Islam or an Islamic State. It is also a grievous sin to buy or sell slaves. Islamic teaching on this point is quite clear, unequivocal and emphatic. According to it a person who makes another person his slave commits a grave sin against God and man (Bukhari, Kitabul-Bai‘ & Dawud as quoted by Fathul-Bari). It is worthy of note that when Islam came into the world, slavery was an integral part of the human social system and there existed a large number of slaves in every country. It was, therefore, not feasible, nor even wise, to abolish with a stroke of the pen, an institution which had become so inextricably interwoven into the whole texture of human society, without doing serious injury to its moral tone. Islam, therefore, sought to abolish it gradually but effectively and surely. The Qur’an has laid down the following very sound rules for the speedy and complete abolition of slavery: (1) Prisoners can only be taken after a regular battle. (2) They cannot be retained after the war is over, but (3) are to be set free either as a mark of favour or by exchange of prisoners (47:5). Those unfortunate persons, however, who, may fail to gain their freedom through any of these means, or should choose to remain with their Muslim masters, can purchase their emancipation by entering into a contract called Mukatabah with them (24:34). Now, if a woman is taken prisoner in a war of the nature mentioned above and thus loses her liberty and becomes Milku Yamin, and she fails to get her release by the exchange of prisoners of war, and the exigencies of government also do not justify her immediate release as a mark of favour, nor do her own people or government get her ransomed and she does not even seek to buy her freedom by entering into Mukatabah, and her master, in the interest of morality, marries her without her prior consent, in what way can this arrangement be regarded as objectionable?
As regards establishing sexual relations with a female prisoner of war or a slave-wife without marrying her, neither this nor any other verse of the Qur’an lends any support to it whatever. Not only does the Qur’an not give any sanction for the treatment of female prisoners of war as wives without taking them into proper wedlock but there are clear and positive injunctions to the effect that these prisoners of war, like free women, should be married if they are to be treated as wives, the only difference between the two being a temporary difference of social status, inasmuch as prior consent of prisoners of war to their marriage which they forfeit by taking part in a war against Islam is not considered necessary as in the case of free women. Thus the expression Ma Malakat Aimanukum, signifying female prisoners, according to the Qur’an, lends no support whatsoever to the view that Islam has upheld concubinage. Besides the present verse, at least in as many as three other verses, the injunction has been laid down in clear and unambiguous terms that female prisoners of war should not remain unmarried (2:222; 4:26; 24:33). The Holy Prophet is also very explicit on this point. He is reported to have said, "He who has a slave girl and gives her proper education and brings her up in a becoming manner and then frees and marries her, for him is double reward". (Bukhari, Kitabul-‘Ilm). This saying of the Holy Prophet implies that if a Muslim wishes to have a slave girl as wife, he should first set her free and then marry her. The Holy Prophet’s own practice was quite in harmony with his precept. Two of the Holy Prophet’s wives, Juwairiyah and Safiyyah, came to him as prisoners of war. They were his Milku Yamin. But he married them according to Islamic Law. He also married Mariyah who was sent to him by the King of Egypt, and she enjoyed the status of a free wife like the Prophet’s other wives. She observed Purdah and was included among "The Mothers of the Faithful". The Qur’an makes it clear that the commandment regarding marriage applies to "whom your right hands possess" as much as it does to "the daughters of the Holy Prophet’s paternal and maternal uncles and aunts". Both are to be wedded before they are treated as wives. All the three categories mentioned above were made lawful to the Holy Prophet through marriage (33:51). Further, the verse "And forbidden to you are married women, except such as your right hands possess" (4:25) along with its preceding one deals with women whom it is unlawful for a man to marry and among these are included married women. But it makes one exception, which is that those married women who are taken prisoner in a religious war and then choose to remain with Muslims, can be married to their masters. The fact that they choose not to go to their former husbands is considered to be tantamount to the annulment of their former marriage.
It may also be noted in passing that it is not permitted to take in marriage such female relations of a bondwoman as correspond to the relations of a free woman within the prohibited degree. For instance, the mothers, sisters, daughters, etc., of a slave-wife cannot be taken in marriage. It may further be stated that in view of the circumstances obtaining at the time of its revelation the Qur’an had to make a distinction between the social status of two classes of women. That distinction was expressed by the word Zauj (a free woman taken in marriage) and Milku Yamin (bondwoman taken in marriage). The former word connotes a sense of equality between husband and wife while the latter implies a somewhat inferior status of the wife. That was, however, a temporary phase. The Qur’an and the Holy Prophet had strongly recommended that bondwomen should first be given full freedom and full status and then married as the Holy Prophet himself had done. Besides, Islam does not allow women taken prisoner in ordinary wars to be treated as bondwomen. The permission about marrying a bondwoman without her prior consent comes into operation only when a hostile nation first wages a religious war against Islam in order to extirpate it and to compel Muslims to abandon their religion at the point of the sword and then treats their prisoners men and women—as slaves, as was done in the time of the Holy Prophet. At that time the enemy took away Muslim women as prisoners and treated them as bondwomen. The Islamic injunction was only a retaliatory measure and was in its very nature temporary. It also served the additional purpose of protecting the morals of captive women. Those conditions have ceased to exist now. There are no religious wars now and hence no prisoners of war to be treated as slaves or bondwomen. (close)
562. Ta‘ulu (do injustice) is derived from ‘Ala which means; (1) he had a large family; (2) he supported the family; (3) he was or became poor; (4) he acted wrongfully; or deviated from the right course (Lane). (close)
486. Important Words:
طاب (as may be agreeable). طاب الشیء means, the thing was or became pleasing, delightful, agreeable or delicious. طابت به نفسی means, my mind or my soul became pleased and satisfied with it. طاب العیش لفلان means, life became pleasant and free from cares for such a one. طاب عن الشیء نفسا means, he willingly parted with the thing (Aqrab & Lane).
مثنی (two) is derived from ثنی. They say ثناہ i.e. he doubled it or folded it; or he turned one part of it upon another. ثنیsignifies the repetition of a thing, doing it one time after another, or a thing or affair done twice. مثنی means اثنان اثنان i.e. two and two; two and two together; or two at a time and two at a time. Similarly, ثلاث means, three and three; three and three together; or three at a time and three at a time; and so is the meaning of رباع (Lane & Aqrab). The expression مثنی و ثلاث و رباع would thus mean, two at a time, or three at a time, or four at a time.
تعولوا (do injustice) is derived from عال which means:(1) he had a family or a large family; (2) he sustained and supported the family; (3) he was or became poor; (4) he acted unjustly and wrongfully, or he deviated from the right course.
The verse is important inasmuch as it permits polygamy under special circumstances. Islam allows (though it certainly does not enjoin) a man to have more than one wife up to four at a time. As the permission concerning polygamy has been given in connection with the subject of orphans, it should be taken to be primarily based on the question of the care of that much-neglected class of society. There are cases when the interests of orphans can best be protected by marrying one or more wives from among the female wards or from other women as the exigencies of circumstances may require. This can generally happen in one of the following cases:
(1) A man has a number of orphans, including girls, to look after. He is unmarried and there is danger of his falling into temptation. In this case he should marry one or more girls, as the case may be, from among his wards and thus protect himself from falling into sin or from betraying his trust and acting wrongfully towards his wards.
(2) He is married, but his wife fails to treat the orphans properly. He may in such a case also marry one of his female wards so that they may have a good and separate home of their own.
(3) Some of his younger relations, e.g., brothers or sisters, become orphans, and he finds that he or his existing wife cannot properly look after them. In such an eventuality, he may marry a suitable woman of mature age who may treat them like a mother. It is on record that in similar circumstances Jabir, a young man and one of the Holy Prophet’s distinguished Companions, married a widow of mature age and when the Prophet asked him why he had not married a young girl, Jabir replied that he had done so that his wife might look after his brothers and sisters who were left orphans by the death of his father. The Holy Prophet was much pleased at this act of Jabir and prayed for him (Bukhari, ch. on Buyu‘).
(4) If a person is afraid that the orphans under his care being strangers to him, he may not treat them as kindly as he should do, he may establish direct relationship with them by marrying one of the female wards.
(5) If a person has a large number of orphans under his care and he finds that he cannot do full justice to them without marrying more wives than one, he is permitted to do so to the limit of four.
The words, two or three or four, signify that the last number marks the utmost limit. It is related that after this verse was revealed, the Holy Prophet asked those of his Companions who had more than four wives to keep any four of them they liked and divorce the rest, so that the number might not exceed four (Tirmidhi, ch. on Nikah).
A general note on polygamy is appropriate here. Though the verse mentions polygamy in connection with the subject of orphans, yet other situations may also arise in which polygamy may become a necessary remedy for many social or moral evils.
If only the objects of marriage be considered, the permission of the Quran to its followers to wed more wives than one, appears to be not only justifiable but in some cases desirable and even necessary; nay, in such cases it may become positively injurious to the best interests of individuals and of the community not to take advantage of this permission. According to the Quran, the objects of marriage are four, i.e. (1) protection against physical, moral and spiritual maladies; (2) peace of mind and the availability of a loving companion; (3) procreation of children; and (4) widening of the circle of relationship.
With respect to the first-mentioned object, the Quran says: "And allowed to you are those beyond that, (i.e. the cases mentioned in the earlier verses) that you seek them by means of your property—marrying them properly (and guarding yourselves against animal passions) and not committing fornication (and not indulging in unrestricted gratification) (4:25). The word محصنین occurring in the verse quoted above is derived from احصان which means, to seek protection from the attacks of an enemy by entering into a fort. Thus Islam regards marriage as a sort of fort, or a means of protection against moral and spiritual diseases. With respect to this object the Quran further says: They (your wives) are a garment for you and you are a garment for them (2:188). Now, the dress of a person serves a threefold purpose: (1) It protects him against the inclemency of weather; (2) it serves as an embellishment and adornment; and (3) it covers one’s private parts and any defects that may be in one’s physical formation. With respect to the second object the Quran says: And of His Signs is this, that He has created wives for you from among yourselves that you may find peace of mind in them and He has engendered love and tenderness between you (30:22). About the third object it says: Your wives are a tilth for you so approach your tilth when and how you like (2:224).
Now every one can easily conceive that one or all of the above-mentioned four objects of marriage, i.e. (1) protection against physical, moral and spiritual diseases; (2) procreation and propagation of the human race: (3) company of a life-long and loving companion and (4) widening of the circle of relationship are, sometimes, not realized in the case of one wife only. It is a hard fact which cannot be denied that there are persons whose sexual instinct is too strong to be satisfied with one wife. This is a physical necessity inherent in man and it is playing with fire to make light of this, the most powerful of all physical instincts. The only sane and proper course open to a man whose sexual powers are abnormally strong is to marry another, if one wife does not satisfy him. Such cases may be rare, but you cannot ignore their existence altogether. And a perfect religious system, as Islam claims to be, has to provide for the physical and spiritual requirements of all sorts of people. Again, if the wife of a person becomes a permanent invalid or suffers from a contagious disease, the object of marriage is certainly defeated if such a person does not marry another wife. Indeed, no course is left to him but either to contract another lawful marriage or, failing successfully to combat the attacks of his passions, to lead a dissolute life. And an ailing wife cannot make a good companion either, because, however worthy of regard and com- passion she may be, her company cannot give peace of mind to her husband in all respects. In the third instance, if the wife of a person happens to be barren, the natural and perfectly legitimate desire of the husband to have an issue to succeed him and perpetuate his name remains unfulfilled in the absence of a polygamous marriage. It is to meet the requirements of all such persons that Islam has allowed the contraction of plural matrimonial relations. If, however, in any of these cases a husband divorces his first wife, it would be a shame and disgrace for him. For instance, in the case of an invalid wife it would mean that he lived with her as long as she was whole and deserted her at a time when she most needed his protection. The only honourable course in such a case would be to look after the diseased wife tenderly and marry another woman who may fulfil the functions of a wife.
It will thus be seen that the objects of a polygamous marriage are, to a certain extent, the same as those of a monogamous marriage. When one or all of those objects are not realized by a monogamous marriage, a polygamous marriage becomes a necessity and is allowed. There are, however, other reasons which may also render it necessary for a person to have one or more wives in addition to the one whom he dearly loves and who also fulfils the objects of marriage. Those reasons are: (a) to protect orphans; (b) to provide husbands for marriageable widows and (c) to supplement the decreasing manhood of a family or community.
It is manifestly clear from the verse under comment in which permission is given to marry more wives than one that polygamy is resorted to particularly with a view to taking under one’s protection orphans left unprotected. The verse clearly states: If you fear that you will not be fair in dealing with orphans (under your protection), then marry of women as may be agreeable to you, two or three or four; and if you fear you will not deal justly (between your wives) then marry only one. The words hint that the mother of such orphans as are left in the guardianship of a person should preferably be married by him so that he should become directly related to, and more intimately connected with, them and thus become more interested in their welfare than he otherwise could be.
Again, the Quran says: And marry widows from among you (24:33). To provide husbands for widows is thus another object which the institution of polygamy fulfils. Muslims were perpetually engaged in fighting in the time of the Holy Prophet. Many fell in wars and left behind widows and orphans without near relations to look after them. The preponderance of women over men and an exceptionally large number of orphans with no one to look after them, which is the inevitable result of war, necessitated that to save the Muslim society from moral degeneration, polygamous marriages should be encouraged. The last World War also vindicated this useful institution of Islam. It left an abnormally large number of young women without husbands. Indeed, the great preponderance of females over males in the west, due to the appalling loss of manhood caused by the War, is responsible for the present awful laxity of morals which is eating into the vitals of western society. Young girls fail to get suitable husbands. But natural passions must be satisfied. The result is dissolution and depravity. In view of the moral depravity prevailing in many countries, who has the hardihood to deny the wisdom of the Islamic institution of polygamy? Many indescribable moral and physical evils have arisen in the west as the result of this preponderance of women over men, the only proper remedy for which is polygamy.
The institution of polygamy is also intended to meet the serious situation that follows in the wake of a war, when, besides other aspects of decline, the manhood of a nation becomes so depleted as to threaten national destruction. The fall of birth-rate, which is a potent cause of the decay of a people and from which some Western countries are badly suffering, can be effectively remedied only by resorting to polygamy. The West will never recover from the terrible moral and social diseases from which it is suffering as well as from the appalling numerical decline facing certain countries and communities unless, setting aside all false notions and false sentiments, it submits to the Islamic injunctions about polygamy. It is a sacrifice demanded of men and women alike—a sacrifice in which personal and passing sentiments are required to be partly ignored for the wider and permanent interests of whole communities and countries. (close)
وَ اٰتُوا النِّسَآءَ صَدُقٰتِہِنَّ نِحۡلَۃً ؕ فَاِنۡ طِبۡنَ لَکُمۡ عَنۡ شَیۡءٍ مِّنۡہُ نَفۡسًا فَکُلُوۡہُ ہَنِیۡٓــًٔا مَّرِیۡٓــًٔا ﴿۵﴾
وَءَاتُواْ ٱلنِّسَآءَ صَدُقَٰتِهِنَّ نِحۡلَةٗۚ فَإِن طِبۡنَ لَكُمۡ عَن شَيۡءٖ مِّنۡهُ نَفۡسٗا فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيٓـٔٗا مَّرِيٓـٔٗا
a. 4:25-26; 60:11. (close)
563. Saduqat is the plural of Saduqah which means, dowry or a gift which is given to or for a bride (Lane). (close)
564. The verse may be taken to be addressed to both the husband and the relations of the wife. In the latter case, it would mean that the relations of a woman should not spend her dowry to meet their own needs, but should faithfully hand it over to her. Primarily, however, the verse is addressed to the husband whom it requires to pay the agreed dowry to his wife willingly, cheerfully and without demur. The words "giving the dowry willingly and cheerfully" also imply that the amount of the dowry should be well within the means of the husband so that its payment may not be a burden to him. He should be in a position to pay it willingly and cheerfully. (close)
a. 4:25, 26; 60:11. (close)
487. Important Words:
صدقات (dowries) which is the plural of صدقة (saduqah) and not صدقة (sadaqah), as might be wrongly supposed, is derived from صدق. They say صدق فی الحدیث i.e. he was true in his speech, or he spoke the truth, or he spoke truthfully. صدق فی القتال means, he fought well: he gave a good account of himself in the fight; he was true to his duty in the fight. صدق فی الوعدmeans, he was truthful in his promise. The expression صدقه النصیحة والاخاء means, he was sincere to him in his advice and brotherly affection. See also 2:32. صدقة (sadaqah) of which the plural is صدقات (sadaqat) means, anything given to win the pleasure of God and a good reward from Him; alms and charity; Zakah, i.e. the prescribed tax of Islam for helping the poor, etc. صدقة (saduqah) of which the plural is صدقات (saduqat) as in the present verse, means, dowry or nuptial gift a gift that is given to or for a bride (Lane & Aqrab). Another word for it is صداق (or مھر) which Islam prescribes for every marriage tie, making it binding on the husband to pay to his wife. It is so called because it is a symbol of truthfulness and sincerity on the part of the husband.
نحلة (willingly) is derived from نحل. The expression نحل المراة means, he gave his wife her مھر or dowry. They say نحل فلانا i.e. he gave such a one willingly and cheerfully without expecting a return. نحلة means, giving a thing willingly and cheerfully without expecting a return; payment of the dowry to a wife; a free gift. نحلة is distinguishable from ھبة (a free gift) in that everyھبة is نحلة but every نحلة is not ھبة (Aqrab & Mufradat).
The verse may be taken to be addressed to both the husband and the relations of the wife. In the latter case, it would mean that the relations of a woman should not spend her dowry received from the husband to meet their own needs, but should faithfully hand it over to her. Some persons receive the dowry of their female wards from their husbands and then, instead of giving it to them, keep it for themselves. Primarily, however, the verse is addressed to the husband whom it requires to pay the agreed dowry to his wife willingly, cheerfully and without demur. Some people fix dowries for their wives and then hesitate or even refuse to pay them, expecting them and even urging them to forego the right. The verse condemns this evil practice.
The word نحلة (paying the dowry willingly and cheerfully) also points to the amount of the dowry being reasonable it should be well within the means of the husband so that its payment may not be a painful burden to him. He should be in a position to pay it willingly and cheerfully.
The clause, if they, of their own pleasure, remit to you a part thereof, applies to those wives who voluntarily and willingly give up or pay back anything out of the agreed dowry. It does not apply to a case in which the wife is asked or made to relinquish the whole or part of the dowry before it has been actually paid to her. According to ‘Umar, a woman might claim back her dowry even after she has given it up, if she has done so under any vestige of pressure.
The words, then enjoy it as something pleasant and wholesome, imply a compliment to such husbands as evoke a willing and voluntary response from their wives owing to their kind and loving treatment of them. In such cases the wives are so pleased with their husbands that they offer to them a part of their dowry out of their own free will, as a token of the true love that exists between them. (close)
وَ لَا تُؤۡتُوا السُّفَہَآءَ اَمۡوَالَکُمُ الَّتِیۡ جَعَلَ اللّٰہُ لَکُمۡ قِیٰمًا وَّ ارۡزُقُوۡہُمۡ فِیۡہَا وَ اکۡسُوۡہُمۡ وَ قُوۡلُوۡا لَہُمۡ قَوۡلًا مَّعۡرُوۡفًا ﴿۶﴾
وَلَا تُؤۡتُواْ ٱلسُّفَهَآءَ أَمۡوَٰلَكُمُ ٱلَّتِي جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ قِيَٰمٗا وَٱرۡزُقُوهُمۡ فِيهَا وَٱكۡسُوهُمۡ وَقُولُواْ لَهُمۡ قَوۡلٗا مَّعۡرُوفٗا
565. The words, "who are weak of understanding" have been substituted for "orphans" in the present verse to supply the required reason for the injunction, as well as to make it one of general application, including in its scope all such persons as are unable to take care of their property. In the case of grown-up imbeciles, the verse would be taken to be addressed to the State which should take effective steps to set up institutions like Courts of Wards to look after the property of persons who cannot manage it themselves. (close)
566. The verse speaks of the property of orphans as "your property", hinting thereby that the guardians of orphans should be very careful about spending their property and should treat it as their own. The expression "your property" may also signify "the property of the orphans which are in your custody". It is also possible that the expression has been used here to include all property whether belonging to the orphans or to their guardians. (close)
488. Important Words:
قیاما (means of support) is derived from قام i.e. he stood up. قام بالامر means, he undertook or managed the affair. قام علیهmeans, he took care of him or it. قام بالیتیم means, he supported or maintained the orphan (Lane). So قیام would mean, the act or state of standing; a means of support or sustenance.
The verse speaks of the property of the orphans as "your property," hinting thereby that the guardians of orphans should be very careful about spending the orphans’ property and should in this respect treat it as their own. The expression "your property" may also signify "the property of the orphans which is in your custody." It is also possible that the expression has been used here to include all property whether belonging to the orphans or to their guardians.
As special emphasis was laid in the preceding verses on the care and good treatment of orphans, there was a likelihood that some Muslims might too readily give orphans their money on demand from them. This verse cautions guardians against such a hasty step, because, being young and inexperienced, orphans might waste their money and might also thereby spoil their character. Muslims are, therefore, bidden to meet the legitimate needs of orphans but not to squander away their money, which is a means of their support and maintenance. The same injunction applies to the children or persons of weak understanding in general, the reason being the same in both cases.
The word سفھاء translated as "foolish" but properly meaning, "those who cannot take proper care of their possessions", has been substituted for the word "orphans" in the present verse to supply the needed reason for the injunction, as well as to make it of general application, including in its scope all such persons as are unable to take care of their possessions.
In the case of disabled adults, the verse would be taken to be addressed to the State which should take effective steps to set up institutions like courts of wards to look after the property of such persons as cannot manage it themselves. (close)
وَ ابۡتَلُوا الۡیَتٰمٰی حَتّٰۤی اِذَا بَلَغُوا النِّکَاحَ ۚ فَاِنۡ اٰنَسۡتُمۡ مِّنۡہُمۡ رُشۡدًا فَادۡفَعُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِمۡ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ ۚ وَ لَا تَاۡکُلُوۡہَاۤ اِسۡرَافًا وَّ بِدَارًا اَنۡ یَّکۡبَرُوۡا ؕ وَ مَنۡ کَانَ غَنِیًّا فَلۡیَسۡتَعۡفِفۡ ۚ وَ مَنۡ کَانَ فَقِیۡرًا فَلۡیَاۡکُلۡ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ ؕ فَاِذَا دَفَعۡتُمۡ اِلَیۡہِمۡ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ فَاَشۡہِدُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ وَ کَفٰی بِاللّٰہِ حَسِیۡبًا ﴿۷﴾
وَٱبۡتَلُواْ ٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغُواْ ٱلنِّكَاحَ فَإِنۡ ءَانَسۡتُم مِّنۡهُمۡ رُشۡدٗا فَٱدۡفَعُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِمۡ أَمۡوَٰلَهُمۡۖ وَلَا تَأۡكُلُوهَآ إِسۡرَافٗا وَبِدَارًا أَن يَكۡبَرُواْۚ وَمَن كَانَ غَنِيّٗا فَلۡيَسۡتَعۡفِفۡۖ وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيرٗا فَلۡيَأۡكُلۡ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِۚ فَإِذَا دَفَعۡتُمۡ إِلَيۡهِمۡ أَمۡوَٰلَهُمۡ فَأَشۡهِدُواْ عَلَيۡهِمۡۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ حَسِيبٗا
567. Under no circumstances should the property of the orphans be made over to them before they attain puberty and are so mature of intellect as to take care of and properly manage it. (close)
568. The verse also warns guardians not to squander away in haste the money of their wards before they are old enough to take charge of it. The guardian, if he is poor, is, however, allowed a reasonable wage, which should be in proportion to the amount of work he does and to the value of the ward’s property. (close)
569. The property should be handed over to the wards in the presence of reliable witnesses as the word "presence" hints. (close)
Guardians of orphans are enjoined to continue to test them so that if, after having reached the age of puberty, which according to some authorities is 18 years, and according to others 21, they are found to be capable of taking charge of their property, it should be handed over to them. But in no circumstances is it to be made over to them before puberty is attained and before they are so mature of intellect as to take care of and manage their property. If even at the mature age of 18 or 21, they are found to be incapable of managing their property, it may be withheld from them for a further period, with the sanction of the State.
The verse also warns guardians not to squander away in haste the money of their wards before they are old enough to take charge of it. The guardian is, however, allowed a reasonable wage, if he is poor, which should be in proportion to the amount of work he does and to the value of the ward’s property.
But if the guardian is a person of ample means, he should take nothing out of the orphan’s property. In that case, his should be a labour of love, done in hope of reward from God. This verse is not a repetition, but an explanation of 4:3 which contains a prohibitory injunction for such guardians as possess sufficient income with the addition that it allows a certain remuneration for guardians of meagre means.
The words, when you deliver to them their property, then take witnesses in their presence, have been added as a safeguard against all possible frauds as well as misunderstanding. The property should be handed over to the wards in the presence of reliable witnesses when both the wards and the witnesses are present, as the word "presence" hints.
The verse ends with a stern warning in the words, Allah is sufficient as a Reckoner. So all concerned should fear the All-Seeing and All-Knowing God. Indeed, the fear of being called to account before God is the only true basis of all righteousness and the real and most effective preventive against sin and iniquity. One should fear not only the punishment of God, but also losing His love and mercy. (close)
لِلرِّجَالِ نَصِیۡبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَکَ الۡوَالِدٰنِ وَ الۡاَقۡرَبُوۡنَ ۪ وَ لِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِیۡبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَکَ الۡوَالِدٰنِ وَ الۡاَقۡرَبُوۡنَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنۡہُ اَوۡ کَثُرَ ؕ نَصِیۡبًا مَّفۡرُوۡضًا ﴿۸﴾
لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٞ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ ٱلۡوَٰلِدَانِ وَٱلۡأَقۡرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٞ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ ٱلۡوَٰلِدَانِ وَٱلۡأَقۡرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنۡهُ أَوۡ كَثُرَۚ نَصِيبٗا مَّفۡرُوضٗا
a. 4:34. (close)
570. This verse forms the basis of the Islamic Law of Inheritance. It lays down the general principle of the social equality of man and woman. Both are entitled to a suitable share in the property. Detailed rules are given in the verses that follow. (close)
This verse, without giving the details, forms the basis of the Islamic law of inheritance. Detailed rules are given in the succeeding verses. The verse lays down the general principle of the social equality of man and woman. Both are entitled to a suitable share in the property. (close)
وَ اِذَا حَضَرَ الۡقِسۡمَۃَ اُولُوا الۡقُرۡبٰی وَ الۡیَتٰمٰی وَ الۡمَسٰکِیۡنُ فَارۡزُقُوۡہُمۡ مِّنۡہُ وَ قُوۡلُوۡا لَہُمۡ قَوۡلًا مَّعۡرُوۡفًا ﴿۹﴾
وَإِذَا حَضَرَ ٱلۡقِسۡمَةَ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَٰكِينُ فَٱرۡزُقُوهُم مِّنۡهُ وَقُولُواْ لَهُمۡ قَوۡلٗا مَّعۡرُوفٗا
571. By the words, other relations and orphans and the poor, are here meant those distant relatives and orphans and poor persons, who, being not included among the deceased’s legal heirs, are not entitled to receive any part of his property as of right. The verse, though not giving a legal right of inheritance to them, exhorts Muslims, while making a will about the division of their property, to set apart a portion of it for them. (close)
571A. La-hum may also mean, in their favour. (close)
The Surah began by enjoining men and women to treat one another with kindness. Next, it exhorted believers to take care of orphans, for these matters have an important bearing upon social order. The present verse treats of yet another social subject of importance.
By the words, relations and orphans and the poor, are here meant those distant relatives, and those orphans and poor persons who, being not among the testator’s lawful heirs, are not entitled to receive any part of his property as of right. The verse, though not giving a legal right of inheritance to them, exhorts all true Muslims, while making a will about the division of their property, to set apart a portion of it for orphans and the poor and such distant relatives as are entitled to no legal share. A testator, however, can leave by will not more than one-third of his property to other than his lawful heirs (Bukhari ch. on Wasaya).
According to Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn Musayyib, Ibn Sa‘id and Abu Ja‘far, the time referred to in the verse is when a person is about to make his will regarding the division of his property (Muhit). If nothing can be spared out of the property for this class of people, the testator should at least state in the will that they should be treated with kindness and he himself should also say kind words to them. The injunction laid down in the verse does not concern orphans particularly, but forms a part of the law of inheritance in general. As death leaves behind orphans, therefore, injunctions pertaining to orphans have been coupled with those pertaining to the disposal of a deceased person’s property. (close)
وَ لۡیَخۡشَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَوۡ تَرَکُوۡا مِنۡ خَلۡفِہِمۡ ذُرِّیَّۃً ضِعٰفًا خَافُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ ۪ فَلۡیَتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ لۡیَقُوۡلُوۡا قَوۡلًا سَدِیۡدًا ﴿۱۰﴾
وَلۡيَخۡشَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَوۡ تَرَكُواْ مِنۡ خَلۡفِهِمۡ ذُرِّيَّةٗ ضِعَٰفًا خَافُواْ عَلَيۡهِمۡ فَلۡيَتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَلۡيَقُولُواْ قَوۡلٗا سَدِيدًا
572. The verse contains a strong and highly forceful appeal in favour of the orphans. (close)
The verse contains a strong and highly forceful appeal in favour of orphans. Those to whom the guardianship of orphans is entrusted are told to imagine just how they would feel if they knew that they were to die leaving behind little children and no one to take care of them. The implication is that they should treat their wards as kindly as they would like their own little children to be treated in case of their own death. (close)