The Quran

Commentaries for 2.231

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.231 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(When ye have divorced women) one pronouncement of divorce, (and they have reached their term) their waiting period before they have a major ritual ablution after the third menstruation, (then retain them) take them back as your wives (in kindness) with kind companionship and intercourse (or release them) let them have their major ritual ablution and end the waiting period (in kindness) that will restore their rights. (Retain them not to their hurt) in a way that causes their hurt (so that ye transgress (the limits)) that you transgress against them by prolonging their waiting period for them. (He who doeth that) he who so hurts his wife (hath wronged his own soul) has caused harm to himself. (Make not the revelations of Allah) His commands and prohibitions (a laughing stock (by your behaviour)) by not acting upon them, (but remember Allah's grace upon you) preserve Allah's blessing on you Who gave you Islam (and that which He hath revealed unto you of the Scripture) in the Scripture of commands and prohibitions (and of wisdom) the lawful and the unlawful, (whereby He doth exhort you) prohibits you from hurting them. (Observe your duty to Allah) fear Allah if you hurt them (and know that Allah is Aware of all things) harming others as well as other things.
2.231 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
When you divorce women, and they have, very nearly, reached, the end of, their term, then retain them, by returning to them, honourably, not harming them, or set them free honourably, or leave them until their term is completed; do not retain them, when reverting, in harm (dirāran is an object denoting reason), to transgress, that is, so as to force them to redemption, or to repudiate them or confine them indoors for a long time; whoever does that has wronged his soul, by exposing it to God’s chastisement; take not God’s verses in mockery, in jest by contravening them, and remember God’s grace upon you, that is, Islam, and the Book, the Qur’ān, and the wisdom, the rulings contained therein, He has revealed to you, to exhort you therewith, so that you should give thanks by acting in accordance with it; and fear God, and know that God has knowledge of all things, and nothing can be hidden from Him.
2.231 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Being Kind to the Divorced Wife
This is a command from Allah to men that when one of them divorces his wife with a reversible divorce, he should treat her kindly. So when her term of `Iddah (waiting period) nears its end, he either takes her back in a way that is better, including having witnesses that he has taken her back, and he lives with her with kindness. Or, he should release her after her `Iddah finishes and then kindly asks her to depart from his house, without disputing, fighting with her or using foul words. Allah then said:
وَلاَ تُمْسِكُوهُنَّ ضِرَارًا لِّتَعْتَدُواْ
(But do not take them back to hurt them,)
Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Masruq, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that a man used to divorce his wife, and when her `Iddah came near its end, he would take her back to harm her and to stop her from marrying someone else. He then divorced her and she would begin her `Iddah and when her `Iddah term neared its end, he would take her back again, so that the term of `Iddah would be prolonged for her. After that, Allah prohibited this practice. Allah has also threatened those who indulge in such practices, when He said;
وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ
(...and whoever does that, then he has wronged himself.) meaning, by defying Allah's commandments. Allah then said:
وَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ آيَـتِ اللَّهِ هُزُوًا
(And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in a jest,)
Ibn Jarir said that Abu Musa (Al-Ash`ari) narrated that Allah's Messenger once became angry at the Ash`ari tribe. Abu Musa went to him and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Are you angry with the Ash`ariyyin'' The Prophet said:
«يَقُولُ أَحَدُكُمْ: قَدْ طَلَّقْتُ، قَدْ رَاجَعْتُ، لَيْسَ هَذَا طَلَاقُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ، طَلِّقُوا الْمَرْأَةَ فِي قُبُلِ عِدَّتِهَا»
(One of you says, `I divorced her' -then says- `I took her back!' This is not the appropriate way Muslims conduct divorce. Divorce the woman when she has fulfilled the term of the prescribed period.)
Masruq said that the Ayah refers to the man who harms his wife by divorcing her and then taking her back, so that the `Iddah term is prolonged for her. Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Ar-Rabi` and Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "He is the man who divorces his wife and says, `I was joking.' Or he frees a servant or gets married and says, `I was only joking.' Allah revealed:
وَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ آيَـتِ اللَّهِ هُزُوًا
(And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in a jest,)
Then such men were made to bear the consequences of their actions.
Allah then said:
وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ
(...but remember Allah's favors on you,) meaning, by His sending His Messenger with the right guidance and clear signs to you:
وَمَآ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ
(...and that which He has sent down to you of the Book (i.e., the Qur'an) and Al-Hikmah) meaning the Sunnah,
يَعِظُكُمْ بِهِ
(...whereby He instructs you.) meaning, commands you, forbids you and threatens you for transgressing His prohibitions. Allah said:
وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ
(And fear Allah) meaning, concerning what you perform and what you avoid,
وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
(and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything.) none of your secret or public affairs ever escapes His knowledge, and He will treat you accordingly.
2.231 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
It is not right for a person to divorce his wife and then reunite with her before the expiry of the term simply to get another opportunity to torment and harass her. Therefore Allah has warned that if the husband sincerely intends to take his wife back, he should re-unite with the intention of treating her well; otherwise the best thing would be to release her in a noble way. (Please also refer to E.N. 250).
It means, "Do not forget the fact that Allah has appointed you to a position of the highest responsibility. He has given you the Book and taught you wisdom and entrusted you with the duty of guiding the world. You have been made the "Community of the Golden Mean" and the witnesses of virtue and truth. It does not, therefore, behove you to play with the Revelations by means of sophistry and take undue advantage of the letter of the Law and lead wicked and unjust lives in your homes, when you are expected to show the Right Way to the world. "
2.231 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
When you divorce women and they have reached their term then retain them honorably or set them free honorably; do not retain them in order to hurt [them]; whoever does that has wronged his soul; take not God's verses in mockery and remember God's grace upon you and the Book and the wisdom He has revealed to you to exhort you therewith; and fear God and know that God has knowledge of all things. The verse contains the command to goodly marital relations which means abandoning anger and stubborn bickering with the wife. So either release [her] without being rough min ghayri jafāÌ or practice true companionship as it should be carried out ʿalā sharṬi al-wafāÌ.