اَلرِّجَالُ قَوّٰمُوۡنَ عَلَی النِّسَآءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللّٰہُ بَعۡضَہُمۡ عَلٰی بَعۡضٍ وَّ بِمَاۤ اَنۡفَقُوۡا مِنۡ اَمۡوَالِہِمۡ ؕ فَالصّٰلِحٰتُ قٰنِتٰتٌ حٰفِظٰتٌ لِّلۡغَیۡبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ الّٰتِیۡ تَخَافُوۡنَ نُشُوۡزَہُنَّ فَعِظُوۡہُنَّ وَ اہۡجُرُوۡہُنَّ فِی الۡمَضَاجِعِ وَ اضۡرِبُوۡہُنَّ ۚ فَاِنۡ اَطَعۡنَکُمۡ فَلَا تَبۡغُوۡا عَلَیۡہِنَّ سَبِیۡلًا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ عَلِیًّا کَبِیۡرًا ﴿۳۵﴾
ٱلرِّجَالُ قَوَّـٰمُونَ عَلَى ٱلنِّسَآءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ ٱللَّهُ بَعۡضَهُمۡ عَلَىٰ بَعۡضٖ وَبِمَآ أَنفَقُواْ مِنۡ أَمۡوَٰلِهِمۡۚ فَٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتُ قَٰنِتَٰتٌ حَٰفِظَٰتٞ لِّلۡغَيۡبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ ٱللَّهُۚ وَٱلَّـٰتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَٱهۡجُرُوهُنَّ فِي ٱلۡمَضَاجِعِ وَٱضۡرِبُوهُنَّۖ فَإِنۡ أَطَعۡنَكُمۡ فَلَا تَبۡغُواْ عَلَيۡهِنَّ سَبِيلًاۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيّٗا كَبِيرٗا
a. 2:229. (close)
598. Qawwamun is derived from Qama and Qama ‘Alal-Mar’ati means, he undertook the maintenance of the woman; he protected her. Qawwamun, therefore, means, maintainers, managers of affairs; protectors (Lisan). The verse gives two reasons why man has been made the head of the family, (a) his superior mental and physical faculties; and (b) his being the bread-earner and maintainer of the family. It is, therefore, natural and fair that he, who earns and supplies the money for the maintenance of the family, should enjoy a supervisory status in the disposal of its affairs. (close)
b. 2:238; 4:33. (close)
599. Nashazatu-Mar’atu ‘ala Zauji-ha means, the woman rose against her husband; resisted him; deserted him (Lane & Taj). (close)
600. The clause may signify, (a) abstention from conjugal relations; (b) sleeping in separate beds; (c) ceasing to talk to them. These measures are not to remain in force for an indefinite period, for wives are not to be left like a thing suspended (4:130). Four months, according to the Qur’an, is the maximum limit for abstention from conjugal relations, i.e. practical separation (2:227). If the husband deems the affair to be sufficiently grave, he will have to observe the conditions mentioned in 4:16. (close)
601. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that if at all a Muslim has to beat his wife, the beating should not be such as to leave any mark on her body (Tirmidhi & Muslim) but the husbands who beat their wives are not the best among men (Kathir, iii). (close)
b. 2:229. (close)
c. 2:238; 4:33. (close)
512. Important Words:
قوامون (guardians) is derived from قام i.e. he stood. They say قام علیه i.e. he tended or took care of it or him. قام بالیتم means, he maintained the orphan. قام علی المرأة means, he undertook the maintenance of the woman; he undertook or managed her affairs; he protected her, or became her guardian. قوم الشیء (qawwama) means, he set the thing right, or made it straight or even. قوام therefore means, one who manages affairs well; a ruler or governor; one in a position to issue orders (Lane & Aqrab).
قانتات (obedient) is the plural of قانتة being the active participle from قنت. They say قنت لله i.e. he was obedient to God. امرأة قنوت means, a woman humble, submissive and obedient to her husband (Lane). See also 2:117.
نشوز (disobedience) is the noun-infinitive from نشز i.e. he rose or raised himself. نشزت المرأة علی زوجھا means, the woman rose against, or was disobedient to her husband and exalted herself against him and resisted him and was an evil companion to him. نشز المرء علی زوجته means, the husband treated his wife unjustly and was unkind to her or forsook her or hated her and was an evil companion to her (Lane & Aqrab).
اھجروھن (leave them alone). ھجر means, he cut him off from friendly or loving communion or intercourse; he forsook or abandoned him; he "cut" him, i.e. he boycotted him and ceased to speak to him or to associate with him. ھجر الشیء means, he forsook, or abandoned the thing; he shunned or avoided it. ھجر زوجته means, he separated himself from his wife or kept away from her (Lane & Mufradat).
اضربوھن (chastise them) is derived from ضرب. They say ضربه i.e. he beat, struck, smote or hit him (with hand, stick, etc.); hence, he chastised him.
علیا (High) is derived from علا i.e. he or it was or became high, elevated, lofty or exalted. تعالی means, he was or became high, elevated, exalted or supremely exalted or extolled. علی means high, elevated or lofty in rank, condition or state. العلیwhich is one of the attributive names of God (e.g. 2:256) means, the High; the Most High; He above Whom is nothing. المتعالی is also an attributive name of God (e.g. 13:10) meaning, He Who is Great or Supremely Great, the High or the Most High; One Higher than every other high one. تعال means, come thou, as if said by a man in a high place when calling upon a man in a low place, but is also used generally (Lane).
The verse gives two reasons why man has been made the head of the family: (a) his superior mental and physical powers; (b) his being bread-earner and maintainer of the family. It is natural and fair that he who earns and supplies the money should have the final say in the disposal of affairs.
The word قانتات (obedient) spoken of wives may mean either obedient to God, or to husbands.
The expression, guard the secrets of their husbands, means that when the husbands are at home, they are obedient to them and guard their secrets; and when they are away, they not only guard their secrets but take care of their property and guard their own chastity.
The clause, leave them alone in their beds, may mean: (a) abstention from conjugal relations with them; (b) sleeping in separate beds; or (c) ceasing to talk to them. The use of the word "beds" also incidentally implies that the disobedient wives are to stay at home and are not to be allowed to leave or be turned out of their homes.
The measures mentioned in the verse are not to remain in force for an indefinite period, for wives are not to be left like a thing suspended (4:130). Four months, according to the Quran, is the utmost limit for abstention from conjugal relations, i.e. for practical separation (2:227).
If the husband deems the affair to be sufficiently grave, he will have to observe the conditions mentioned in 4:16.
Regarding "chastisement" mentioned as a last resort in the verse under comment a Companion reports the Holy Prophet to have said that if at all a Muslim has to beat his wife, the beating should not be such as to leave any mark on her body (Tirmidhi, ch. on Rida‘). According to Abu Dawud and Nasa’i, the Holy Prophet forbade the beating of women at all, but when ‘Umar complained that they had become refractory, he gave the permission with the aforementioned condition; but on complaint of ill-treatment of women by their husbands he indignantly said that the husbands who beat their wives were not the best among men (Kathir, iii). On another occasion the Holy Prophet is reported to have said: "The best among you is he who treats his wife best and I am the best of you in this respect" (Tirmidhi).
The Divine attributes of "High and Great" mentioned at the end of the verse are also intended to warn husbands that the chastisement of their wives, if at all resorted to should not be unjust or vindictive or highhanded; for if they are high and great above their wives, there is One Who is High and Great above all and He shall call husbands to account for any improper use of the qualified authority given to them over their wives. (close)
وَ اِنۡ خِفۡتُمۡ شِقَاقَ بَیۡنِہِمَا فَابۡعَثُوۡا حَکَمًا مِّنۡ اَہۡلِہٖ وَ حَکَمًا مِّنۡ اَہۡلِہَا ۚ اِنۡ یُّرِیۡدَاۤ اِصۡلَاحًا یُّوَفِّقِ اللّٰہُ بَیۡنَہُمَا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ عَلِیۡمًا خَبِیۡرًا ﴿۳۶﴾
وَإِنۡ خِفۡتُمۡ شِقَاقَ بَيۡنِهِمَا فَٱبۡعَثُواْ حَكَمٗا مِّنۡ أَهۡلِهِۦ وَحَكَمٗا مِّنۡ أَهۡلِهَآ إِن يُرِيدَآ إِصۡلَٰحٗا يُوَفِّقِ ٱللَّهُ بَيۡنَهُمَآۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرٗا
a. 4:129. (close)
602. The pronoun, "you" in the expression, "if you fear" refers to the Muslim State or to the whole community collectively or the people generally. (close)
603. The arbiters should preferably be chosen from the relations of the contending parties, because they are expected to be acquainted with the real causes of differences and because also it is easier for both parties to put their differences before them. (close)
513. Important Words:
حکما (arbiter) is fromحکم. They say حکمه i.e. he made him judge. حکمor حاکم means, one who judges, a judge, an arbiter, an arbitrator or umpire between people; a ruler or governor (Lane).
The pronoun, used in the plural number, in the expression إن خفتم (if you fear) refers to a Muslim State, or community, or the people generally. The arbiters should prefer-ably be chosen from the relations of the contending parties, because they are expected to be acquainted with the real cause of differences and it is easier also for both parties to put their case before them. The verse makes it clear that Islam leaves no avenue unexplored to bring about reconciliation between husband and wife before it allows them to sever the tie of marriage. (close)
وَ اعۡبُدُوا اللّٰہَ وَ لَا تُشۡرِکُوۡا بِہٖ شَیۡئًا وَّ بِالۡوَالِدَیۡنِ اِحۡسَانًا وَّ بِذِی الۡقُرۡبٰی وَ الۡیَتٰمٰی وَ الۡمَسٰکِیۡنِ وَ الۡجَارِ ذِی الۡقُرۡبٰی وَ الۡجَارِ الۡجُنُبِ وَ الصَّاحِبِ بِالۡجَنۡۢبِ وَ ابۡنِ السَّبِیۡلِ ۙ وَ مَا مَلَکَتۡ اَیۡمَانُکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُحِبُّ مَنۡ کَانَ مُخۡتَالًا فَخُوۡرَا ﴿ۙ۳۷﴾
۞وَٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَلَا تُشۡرِكُواْ بِهِۦ شَيۡـٔٗاۖ وَبِٱلۡوَٰلِدَيۡنِ إِحۡسَٰنٗا وَبِذِي ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَٰكِينِ وَٱلۡجَارِ ذِي ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡجَارِ ٱلۡجُنُبِ وَٱلصَّاحِبِ بِٱلۡجَنۢبِ وَٱبۡنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتۡ أَيۡمَٰنُكُمۡۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخۡتَالٗا فَخُورًا
b. 6:152; 7:34; 17:24, 25; 23:60. (close)
604. After having enjoined in the preceding verses that one should be kind to one’s wife, in the present verse the Qur’an directs a Muslim to make his kindness so comprehensive as to include in its scope the whole of mankind, from parents, who are the nearest, to strangers who are the farthest removed. (close)
605. Slaves, bondwomen, servants, subordinates. (close)
b. 6:152; 7:34; 17:24; 23:60. (close)
514. Important Words:
جار الجنب (neighbour that is a stranger) is a compound word made up of جار (neighbour) and جنب (stranger or one distant). The compound word thus means, a neighbour who is not from one’s own tribe or community; a distant neighbour (Aqrab & Mufradat).
صاحب بالجنب (companion by your side) is also a compound word made up of صاحب (companion) and جنب (one’s side). The compound word thus means, the immediate neighbour or the near neighbour; or simply companion or co-worker or colleague (Aqrab, Lisan & Mufradat).
After laying down in the preceding verses that one should be kind to one’s wife, in the present verse the Quran enjoins a Muslim to make his kindness so comprehensive as to include in its scope the whole of mankind, from parents who are the nearest, to strangers who are the farthest removed.
The Arabic expression rendered as, neighbour that is a kinsman, may also mean: (1) the neighbour that lives near; (2) the neighbour that is kindly.
Similarly, the words, neighbour that is a stranger, may also include: (1) the neighbour that lives at a distance; (2) the neighbour that is not kindly.
The expression, companion by your side, may mean:(1) wife or husband; (2) comrade on a journey; (3) fellow-partner in a trade or a co-worker; (4) associate; (5) immediate neighbour.
The words, those whom your right hands possess, may refer to slaves, bondwomen, servants and even subordinates.
A person who does not carry out the Divine commandments contained in this verse is condemned as "proud and boastful" because, instead of doing good to others and being kind to them, he looks down upon them and behaves arrogantly. The very act of abstaining from being kind to one’s fellow beings, whether relations or neighbours or strangers, is an act of pride condemned by Islam. (close)
ۣالَّذِیۡنَ یَبۡخَلُوۡنَ وَ یَاۡمُرُوۡنَ النَّاسَ بِالۡبُخۡلِ وَ یَکۡتُمُوۡنَ مَاۤ اٰتٰہُمُ اللّٰہُ مِنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ ؕ وَ اَعۡتَدۡنَا لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ عَذَابًا مُّہِیۡنًا ﴿ۚ۳۸﴾
ٱلَّذِينَ يَبۡخَلُونَ وَيَأۡمُرُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ بِٱلۡبُخۡلِ وَيَكۡتُمُونَ مَآ ءَاتَىٰهُمُ ٱللَّهُ مِن فَضۡلِهِۦۗ وَأَعۡتَدۡنَا لِلۡكَٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٗا مُّهِينٗا
a. 3:181; 17:30; 25:68. (close)
a. 3:181; 17:30; 25:68. (close)
Some persons are so niggardly that, far from spending their wealth for the benefit of others, they do not spend it even upon themselves, lest people should come to know of it. These, as it were, conceal Allah’s bounty. They are not only deprived of the rewards and good results of charity but also become guilty of concealing God’s bounty which He has bestowed upon them for the good of mankind. Elsewhere the Quran says: Acknowledge the bounty of thy Lord in word and deed (93:12). (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ رِئَآءَ النَّاسِ وَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ لَا بِالۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّکُنِ الشَّیۡطٰنُ لَہٗ قَرِیۡنًا فَسَآءَ قَرِیۡنًا ﴿۳۹﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمۡوَٰلَهُمۡ رِئَآءَ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَلَا بِٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأٓخِرِۗ وَمَن يَكُنِ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ لَهُۥ قَرِينٗا فَسَآءَ قَرِينٗا
b. 2:265. (close)
c. 43:37, 39. (close)
a. 2:265. (close)
b. 43:37, 39. (close)
516. Important Words:
قرین (companion) is the verbal adjective from قرن. They say قرن شیئا بشییء i.e. he connected, coupled or conjoined a thing with another. قرین means, an associate; a comrade; a companion; also a husband (Lane & Aqrab).
Some people spend their money while they have no faith in God or in the Last Day. They do it to win the applause of men and not the pleasure of God. So, instead of winning reward, they earn God’s displeasure. Sometimes, however, money is spent openly in the cause of God with the object of inducing others to do the same. This display of charity belongs to an altogether different category and is commendable. (close)
وَ مَاذَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ لَوۡ اٰمَنُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَ اَنۡفَقُوۡا مِمَّا رَزَقَہُمُ اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ کَانَ اللّٰہُ بِہِمۡ عَلِیۡمًا ﴿۴۰﴾
وَمَاذَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ لَوۡ ءَامَنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأٓخِرِ وَأَنفَقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَهُمُ ٱللَّهُۚ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِمۡ عَلِيمًا
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَظۡلِمُ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّۃٍ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تَکُ حَسَنَۃً یُّضٰعِفۡہَا وَ یُؤۡتِ مِنۡ لَّدُنۡہُ اَجۡرًا عَظِیۡمًا ﴿۴۱﴾
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَظۡلِمُ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّةٖۖ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةٗ يُضَٰعِفۡهَا وَيُؤۡتِ مِن لَّدُنۡهُ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمٗا
d. 10:45; 18:50; 28:85. (close)
606. No action of man goes unrequited. Wherever the Qur’an says that the deeds of disbelievers will not avail them, it only means that they will not succeed in their designs and efforts against Islam. (close)
c. 10:45; 18:50; 28:85. (close)
517. Important Words:
مثقال (weight) is derived from ثقل meaning, it was or became heavy, weighty or ponderous. مثقال means, the weight of a thing whether great or small; a thing with which one weighs; a certain weight of which the quantity is well-known; a dirham; a dinar (Lane).
ذرة (atom) is derived from ذر meaning, he sprinkled or scattered. ذر of whichذرة is the singular means, the young of ants; ant’s eggs; small red ants; the smallest of ants; the motes that are seen in a ray of the sun that enters through an aperture (Lane).
No good deed, done even by a disbeliever, goes unrewarded. If the good deeds of disbelievers do not make them deserving of salvation, they at least serve to mitigate the severity, and lessen the duration of their punishment. In fact, wherever the Quran says that the deeds of disbelievers will not avail them, it means either that they will not succeed in their efforts against the truth or that their deeds will be of no help to them in securing for them admission into Heaven.
The reward promised in this verse is of two kinds: firstly, the direct result of one’s good acts; and secondly, their indirect consequence in the form of God’s pleasure. (close)
فَکَیۡفَ اِذَا جِئۡنَا مِنۡ کُلِّ اُمَّۃٍۭ بِشَہِیۡدٍ وَّ جِئۡنَا بِکَ عَلٰی ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ شَہِیۡدًا ﴿ؕ۴۲﴾
فَكَيۡفَ إِذَا جِئۡنَا مِن كُلِّ أُمَّةِۭ بِشَهِيدٖ وَجِئۡنَا بِكَ عَلَىٰ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ شَهِيدٗا
a. 16:90. (close)
607. Every Prophet will bear witness on the Day of Judgment concerning those to whom he was sent as a Messenger. The word "these" includes both believers and disbelievers, the nature of evidence being different in different cases. (close)
a. 16:90. (close)
Every Prophet will bear witness on the Day of Judgement against or concerning those to whom he was sent as a Messenger. The word ھؤلاء(these) includes both believers and disbelievers, the nature of evidence being different in different cases. (close)
یَوۡمَئِذٍ یَّوَدُّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ عَصَوُا الرَّسُوۡلَ لَوۡ تُسَوّٰی بِہِمُ الۡاَرۡضُ ؕ وَ لَا یَکۡتُمُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ حَدِیۡثًا ﴿٪۴۳﴾
يَوۡمَئِذٖ يَوَدُّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَعَصَوُاْ ٱلرَّسُولَ لَوۡ تُسَوَّىٰ بِهِمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ وَلَا يَكۡتُمُونَ ٱللَّهَ حَدِيثٗا
b. 78:41. (close)
608. Hadith means, a piece of information; an announcement; news or tidings (Lane). (close)
519. Important Words:
حدیثا (anything) is derived from حدث meaning, it came into existence, not having been before. حدث (haddatha) means, he talked or related or narrated, etc.حدیث means, a piece of information; an announcement; news or tidings; an account; a narration or story; a tradition; a thing or matter that is talked of or narrated or transmitted; any talk or discourse that one hears. The word also means, new or recent or brought into existence newly (Lane & Aqrab).
The expression, will wish that the earth were made level with them, shows that the words 'earth and heaven' as mentioned in the Quran, do not always signify the physical earth and heaven but may represent one’s existing moral and spiritual condition. On the day when men will stand before God, the earth will have ceased to exist for them. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَقۡرَبُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ سُکٰرٰی حَتّٰی تَعۡلَمُوۡا مَا تَقُوۡلُوۡنَ وَ لَا جُنُبًا اِلَّا عَابِرِیۡ سَبِیۡلٍ حَتّٰی تَغۡتَسِلُوۡا ؕ وَ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مَّرۡضٰۤی اَوۡ عَلٰی سَفَرٍ اَوۡ جَآءَ اَحَدٌ مِّنۡکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡغَآئِطِ اَوۡ لٰمَسۡتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَلَمۡ تَجِدُوۡا مَآءً فَتَیَمَّمُوۡا صَعِیۡدًا طَیِّبًا فَامۡسَحُوۡا بِوُجُوۡہِکُمۡ وَ اَیۡدِیۡکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ عَفُوًّا غَفُوۡرًا ﴿۴۴﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَقۡرَبُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَأَنتُمۡ سُكَٰرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعۡلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلَا جُنُبًا إِلَّا عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىٰ تَغۡتَسِلُواْۚ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرۡضَىٰٓ أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوۡ جَآءَ أَحَدٞ مِّنكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡغَآئِطِ أَوۡ لَٰمَسۡتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَلَمۡ تَجِدُواْ مَآءٗ فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدٗا طَيِّبٗا فَٱمۡسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمۡ وَأَيۡدِيكُمۡۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا
609. Sukara is the plural of Sakaran which means, a person who is drunk; or is in a fit of anger; in raptures of love; is stricken with fear; or is overpowered by sleep or some other disturbing element which may distract his attention or obscure his reason, etc. (Lane). (close)
610. The expression, "nor when you are unclean," means that just as a man cannot perform Prayers when he is not in full possession of his senses, similarly he cannot perform Prayers when he is unclean until he performs total ablution by bathing. Sexual intercourse creates a sort of uncleanness in the body which must be removed by bathing in order to ensure proper state of purity, cheerfulness, and vivacity necessary for worship. (close)
611. The clause, except when you are travelling along a way, means that though ordinarily a person who is in a state of "uncleanness" cannot perform his Prayers except after proper bathing, yet if he becomes "unclean" when he is actually travelling on the way, bathing is not obligatory for him. He can in this case perform Tayammum as ordered in the concluding part of the verse. (close)
612. Of the four classes, viz. the sick; those on a journey; those coming from the privy; and those having gone in unto their wives, only the last two, being in a state of uncleanness, need ablution or washing as the case may be, and if they do not find water, they can perform Tayammum. For the former two classes no condition as to water is necessary. They may resort to Tayammum even if they find water. This is why the words "while unclean" have been added after the words if you are ill or you are on a journey. It must be noted that the expression "on a journey" is the same as the expression "travelling along a way", both signifying the state of actual travelling when one is, as it were, on the wing. Dust has been chosen as a substitute for water because, just as water reminds a person of his origin (77:21), thus creating in him a sense of humility; similarly dust calls to his mind the other humble substance from which he is created (30:21). (close)
520. Important Words:
سکاری (not in full possession of your senses) is the plural of سکران which is derived from سکر i.e. he was or became intoxicated, inebriated or drunken. They say سکر علی فلان i.e. such a one became angry or violently angry with him. سکرت الریح means, the wind, became still after blowing. سکر الباب means, he closed or stopped up the door. سکرة الموت means, the intoxication or agony of death which causes confusion of intellect and deprives the sufferer of reason. سکرة الھم والنومmeans, the oppressive sensation, etc. attendant upon anxiety and upon sleep. سکر (sukrun) which is the noun-infinitive from the verb سکر means, the state of intoxication, inebriation or drunkenness; a state that intervenes as an obstruction between a man and his intellect, mostly used in relation to intoxicating drinks but sometimes as meaning such a state arising from anger or from the passion of love, etc. (Lane). For further explanation see 15:73; 22:3. In view of the different meanings of this word a person would be called سکران (intoxicated) when he is drunk; or is in a fit of anger; or in raptures of love; or has received a great and sudden shock; or is stricken with fear; or is overpowered by sleep or some other disturbing element which may distract his attention or obscure his reason, etc.
جنبا (unclean) is derived from جنب. They say جنبه i.e. he led him or it by his side; he put him or it at a distance. جنب الیهmeans he was or became disquieted by a vehement desire to see or meet him. جنابة means distance; the stage of being unclean owing to sexual intercourse or discharge of semen, when it becomes obligatory for one to perform total ablution by bathing. جنب means, stranger; one who is distant and remote; or ( who is under the obligation of performing total ablution (bathing) by reason of sexual intercourse or discharge of semen. The word is used both as masculine and feminine, singular and plural (Lane).
عابری سبیل (are travelling along a way) عابری is really عابرین which is the plural of عابر which is derived from عبر. They say عبرہ i.e. he crossed it, went across it, or passed over it from one side to another. عبر السبیل means, he travelled or passed along the way or road. عبر also means, he died, as though he had travelled the road of life (Lane). The expression عابری سبیل signifies one who is actually travelling. Every person away from home cannot be called عابری سبیل. Again, if a person is away from home on a journey but halts at a place or decides to stay in a town or village for a few days, he will not be reckoner as one of the عابری سبیل (those travelling along a way); but if, while travelling, he halts for a night on the roadside, for example in a inn or at a rest-house or at a railway station, etc., he will be regarded as one.
غائط (privy) is derived from غاط which means, he or it became hidden in the ground; he dug, excavated or hollowed out in the earth; it sank or became depressed in the ground; it descended or sloped downwards in the ground. غائط therefore means:(1) a wide and depressed piece of ground having acclivities bordering it; (2) a place in which one satisfies one’s want of nature, the custom being to do so in a depressed place where one may remain hidden; (3) human excrement or ordure because it is cast away in a غائط (a depressed place). The expression اتی الغائط means, he responded to the call of nature; he satisfied the want of nature; he voided excrement or ordure (Lane).
تیمموا (betake yourselves to) is derived from یممه. They say یممه i.e. he aimed at it or desired it, or he betook himself to it. تیمم المریض means, the sick man, instead of performing the usual ablution for Prayer, betook himself to pure dust and wiped his face and hands therewith. تیمم (tayammum) is technically the process of striking the palms of the hands on the surface of pure earth and then wiping or passing them over the face, etc., in the prescribed manner (Taj).
According to this verse, Prayer cannot be considered to have been properly performed if the devotee simply repeats the words of Prayer without understanding what he says. It is also implicit in the verse that a non-Arab Muslim, besides praying in the prescribed Arabic words, should also pray to God and supplicate to Him in his own tongue, in the language which he usually speaks and in which he can best express his thoughts and feelings.
The word سکاری though primarily meaning "intoxicated" is, as shown under Important Words, much wider in its significance. Any state or condition in which one is not in full possession of oneself, either through anger or love or hunger or sleep, etc. is included in this expression. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said: "If a man is sleepy, then he should not say his Prayers till the state of sleepiness has left him" (Bukhari, ch. on Wudu’). Again: "A man should not say his Prayers when he is hungry and the food has been placed before him (Bukhari, ch. on Salat), or when the call of nature demands his attention" (Dawud, ch. on Taharat).
The expression, nor when you are unclean, means that just as a man cannot perform Prayers when he is in a state of سکر (not in full possession of his senses). Similarly, he cannot perform Prayers in a state of being جنبا (for the meaning of which see Important Words above), until he performs total ablution by bathing. Sexual intercourse creates a sort of uncleanness in the body which must be removed by bathing in order to ensure proper state of purity, cheerfulness and readiness necessary for worship.
The clause, except when you are travelling along a way, means that though ordinarily a person who is in a state of "uncleanness" cannot perform his Prayers except after properly bathing, yet if he becomes "unclean" when he is actually travelling on the way, bathing is not obligatory on him for the performance of Prayers. He can in this case perform tayammum as ordered in the concluding part of the verse.
The sentence, if you are ill or you are on a journey (while unclean) or if one of you comes from the privy or you have touched women and you find no water, then betake yourselves to pure dust, mentions four classes of persons on whom وضوء (ablution) or غسل (total ablution) is not obligatory for the performance of Prayer, they being required to perform what is known as tayammum, i.e. betaking to pure dust and wiping therewith the face and the hands, as detailed in Hadith and Sunnah. These four classes are: (1) the sick; (2) those on a journey; (3) those coming from the privy; (4) those touching women, (i.e. having carnal knowledge of them). Out of these four classes only the last two are such as produce a state of uncleanness, necessitating the performance of وضوء (ablution) or غسل (total ablution), as the case may be. So the clause, and you find no water, only relates to them. The verse thus purports to say that if the last-mentioned two classes of men do not find water, they can perform tayammum, i.e. wipe their faces and hands with pure dust before saying their Prayers.
In the case of the former two clauses no condition as to water is necessary. These two classes of men may resort to تیمم (tayammum) even if they find water. This is why the words, "and you are unclean" have been supplied after the words, if you are ill or you are on a journey. It must be noted that the expression علی سفر (on a journey), in the present verse, is the same as the expression عابری سبیل (travelling along a way), both signifying the state of actual travelling when one is, as it were, on the wing.
Finally, it must be noted that dust has been chosen as a substitute for water because, just as water reminds a person of his origin (77:21), thus creating in him a sense of humility, similarly, dust calls to his mind the other humble substance from which he was created (He created you from dust, 30:21). But the dust used must be pure, which is a necessary condition for the performance of Prayers. Any excess should be blown away before it is used in order to ensure just the minimum quantity for the performance of تیمم.
From the verse it is clear that though performing proper ablution is ordinarily necessary for Prayers yet, Islam being a perfect religion, one is allowed to substitute tayammum in place of ablution in certain exceptional cases. (close)