43 - Az Zukhruf (Gold)

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 43.16

Al-Jalalayn

Or (am has the significance of the hamza of denial; the ‘saying’ is implied, in other words, a-taqūlūna, ‘[or] do you say that …’) He has adopted, from all that He has created, daughters, for Himself, and preferred you, privileged you, with sons? — that which is the necessary inference from what you claim and which by itself is an abomination.

Ibn Al Kathir

Condemnation of the Idolators' attribution of Offspring to Allah

Here Allah speaks of the lies and fabrications of the idolators, when they devoted some of their cattle to their false gods and some to Allah, as He described in Surat Al-An`am where He said:

وَجَعَلُواْ لِلَّهِ مِمَّا ذَرَأَ مِنَ الْحَرْثِ وَالاٌّنْعَامِ نَصِيباً فَقَالُواْ هَـذَا لِلَّهِ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَهَـذَا لِشُرَكَآئِنَا فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَآئِهِمْ فَلاَ يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ فَهُوَ يَصِلُ إِلَى شُرَكَآئِهِمْ سَآءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ

(And they assign to Allah share of the tilth and cattle which He has created, and they say: "This is for Allah'' according to their claim, "and this is for our partners.'' But the share of their partners reaches not Allah, while the share of Allah reaches their partners! Evil is the way they judge!) (6:136). Similarly, out of the two kinds of offspring, sons and daughters, they assigned to Him the worst and least valuable (in their eyes), i.e., daughters, as Allah says:

أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الاٍّنثَى - تِلْكَ إِذاً قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى

(Is it for you the males and for Him the females That indeed is a division most unfair!) (53:21-22) And Allah says here:

وَجَعَلُواْ لَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ جُزْءًا إِنَّ الإنسَـنَ لَكَفُورٌ مُّبِينٌ

(Yet, they assign to some of His servants a share with Him. Verily, man is indeed a manifest ingrate!) Then He says:

أَمِ اتَّخَذَ مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ بَنَاتٍ وَأَصْفَـكُم بِالْبَنِينَ

(Or has He taken daughters out of what He has created, and He has selected for you sons) This is a denunciation of them in the strongest terms, as He goes on to say:

وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ مَثَلاً ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدّاً وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ

(And if one of them is informed of the news of that which he sets forth as a parable to the Most Gracious, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with grief!) means, if one of these people is given the news that there has been born to him one of those which he attributes to Allah, i.e., a daughter, he hates this news and it depresses and overwhelms him so much that he keeps away from people because he feels so ashamed. Allah says, so how can they dislike that so much and yet they attribute it to Allah

أَوَمَن يُنَشَّأُ فِى الْحِلْيَةِ وَهُوَ فِى الْخِصَامِ غَيْرُ مُبِينٍ

(A creature who is brought up in adornments, and who in dispute cannot make itself clear) means, women are regarded as lacking something, which they make up for with jewelry and adornments from the time of childhood onwards, and when there is a dispute, they cannot speak up and defend themselves clearly, so how can this be attributed to Allah

وَجَعَلُواْ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـنِ إِنَـثاً

(And they make females the angels who themselves are servants of the Most Gracious.) means, that is what they believe about them, but Allah denounces them for that and says:

أَشَهِدُواْ خَلْقَهُمْ

(Did they witness their creation) meaning, did they see Allah creating them as females

سَتُكْتَبُ شَهَـدَتُهُمْ

(Their testimony will be recorded,) means, concerning that,

وَيُسْـَلُونَ

(and they will be questioned!) means, about that, on the Day of Resurrection. This is a stern warning and a serious threat.

وَقَالُواْ لَوْ شَآءَ الرَّحْمَـنُ مَا عَبَدْنَـهُمْ

(And they said: "If it had been the will of the Most Gracious, we should not have worshipped them.'') means, (they said:) `if Allah had willed, He would have prevented us from worshipping these idols which are images of the angels who are the daughters of Allah; He knows about this and He approves of it.' By saying this, they combined several types of error: First: They attributed offspring to Allah -- exalted and sanctified be He far above that. Second: They claimed that He chose daughters rather than sons, and they made the angels, who are the servants of the Most Gracious, female. Third: They worshipped them with no proof, evidence or permission from Allah. This was based on mere opinion, whims and desires, imitation of their elders and forefathers, and pure ignorance. They used Allah's decree as an excuse, and this reasoning betrayed their ignorance. Fourth: Allah denounced them for this in the strongest terms, for from the time He first sent Messengers and revealed Books, the command was to worship Him Alone with no partner or associate, and it was forbidden to worship anything other than Him. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلَـلَةُ فَسِيرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ

(And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah, and avoid all false deities.'' Then of them were some whom Allah guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied.) (16:36)

وَاسْئلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ أَجَعَلْنَا مِن دُونِ الرَّحْمَـنِ ءَالِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ

(And ask those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: "Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious'') (43:45) And Allah says in this Ayah, after mentioning this argument of theirs:

مَّا لَهُم بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ

(They have no knowledge whatsoever of that.) meaning, of the truth of what they say and the arguments they put forward.

وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَخْرُصُونَ

(They do nothing but lie!) means, they tell lies and fabricate untruths.

مَّا لَهُم بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَخْرُصُونَ

(They have no knowledge whatsoever of that. They do nothing but lie!) Mujahid said, "They do not appreciate the power of Allah.''

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

Here, the folly of the polytheists of Arabia has been fully exposed. They said that the angels were the daughters of Allah. They had carved out their images as females, and these were their goddesses whom they worshiped. About this Allah says: In the first place, in spite of knowing and recognizing that the Creator of the earth and heavens is Allah and it is He Who has made this earth a cradle for you and it is He Who sends down the rain from the sky. and it is He Who has created these animals for your service, yet you have taken others as gods beside Him, whereas those whom you serve as deities are not God but creatures of God. Then, further more, you have made some of the servants associates of Allah not only in His attributes but in His Being as well, and invented the creed that they were Allah's offspring. Then, not resting content with this, you assigned to Allah that kind of the offspring which you regard as disgraceful for your own selves: When a daughter is born in your house, your face grows dark, you feel distressed, and sometimes you bury her alive. This offspring you assign to Allah and reserve for yourselves the sons, whom you regard as a source of joy and pride. Even then you claim that you believe in Allah.

In other words, You have assigned to Allah the offspring that is by nature delicate, weak and frail, and adopted for yourselves the offspring that is bold, courageous and fearless.

This verse shows permissibility of the ornaments for the women, for Allah has mentioned the ornaments as a natural thing for them. The same is also confirmed by the Hadith. Imam Ahmad, Abu Da'ud and Nasa'i have related on the authority of Hadrat `Ali that the Holy Prophet took silk in one hand and gold in the other and said that both were forbidden to be used in dress by the men of his Ummah. Tirmidhi and Nasa'i have related from Hadrat Abu Musa Ash`ari a tradition, saying that the Holy Prophet said: "Silk and gold have been forbidden for the men but made lawful for the women of my Ummah." `Allama Abu Bakr al-Jassas has discussed this question in his Ahkam ai-Qur'an and related the following traditions:

Hadrat 'A'ishah says: Once Usamah, son of Zaid bin Harithah, was hurt and started bleeding. The Holy Prophet loved him like his own children. He sucked his blood and spat it out, and cheered him saying, "Had Usamah been a daughter we would have adorned him with ornaments! Had Usamah been a daughter, we would have dressed him in fine clothes !"

Hadrat Abu Musa Ash'ari has related that the Holy Prophet said: 'Wearing of silken clothes and ornaments of gold is unlawful for the men of my Unmah but lawful for the women. ".

Hadrat 'Amr bin `As has related: `Once two women came before the Holy Prophet, and they were wearing bracelets of gold. He said: Would you like that Allah should make you wear bracelets of the fire instead of these? They replied that they would not. Thereupon he said: Pay their dues, i.e. the zakat due on them. "

Hadrat `A'isha has stated that there is no harm in wearing the ornaments if the zakat due on them is paid.

Hadrat 'Umar wrote to Hadrat Abu Musa Ash'ari: Order the Muslim women who live in the areas under your administrative control that they should pay the zakat dues on their ornaments.

Imam Abu Hanifah has related the following traditions on the authority of 'Amr bn Dinar: Hadrat 'A'ishah had arranged ornaments of gold for her sisters and Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Umar for his daughters.

After citing all these traditions 'Allama Jassas writes: "The traditions that have been related from the Holy Prophet and the Companions about the permissibility and lawfulness of gold and silk for the women are better known and more common than those that are there about their unlawfulness, and the above. verse also points to their lawfulness. Then the practice of the Muslims also from the time of the Holy Prophet and his Companions till our time (i.e. till the latter part of the 4th century of hijrah) has been the same, and no one ever objected to it. In such matters, no objection can be admitted on the basis of the isolate reports (Akhbar ahab)."

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(Or chooseth He daughters of all that He hath created) i.e. of the angels, (and honours) and choose (He you) i.e. the Banu Malih (with sons?