The Quran

Commentaries for 2.232

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.232 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And when ye have divorced women) one or two pronouncements of divorce (and they have reached their term) have completed their waiting period and want to return to their first husbands with a new dowry and marriage contract, (place not difficulties in the way of) do not prevent them (their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness) a new dowry and marriage contract. (This) what is mentioned above (is an admonition) a command (for him among you who believeth in Allah and the Last Day. This) what is mentioned above (is more virtuous) better (for you, and cleaner) for your hearts and theirs from misgivings and enmity. (Allah knoweth) the love of the wife for her husband: (while ye know not) this. This verse was revealed about Ma'qil Ibn Yasar al-Muzani who prevented his sister Jamilah from returning to her first husband 'Abdullah Ibn 'Asim with a new dowry and marriage contract. Allah forbade him from doing so.
2.232 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
When you divorce women, and they have reached, completed, their term, of waiting, do not debar them — addressing the guardians here — from marrying their, divorced, husbands when they, the male spouses and their women, have agreed together honourably, in accordance with the Law. The occasion for the revelation [of this verse] was: Ma‘qil b. Yasār’s sister was divorced by her husband, who then wanted to restore her, but Ma‘qil refused, as reported by al-Hākim. That, the prohibition against debarring, is an admonition for whoever of you believe in God and the Last Day, because it is for the benefit of such a person; that, refraining from debarring, is purer for you, better, and cleaner, for you and for them, bearing in mind the suspicion that can be aroused by the couple on account of prior intimacy. God knows, what is in your interest, and you know not, any of this, so follow His commands.
2.232 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Wali (Guardian) of the Divorced Woman should not prevent Her from going back to Her Husband
`Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This Ayah was revealed about the man who divorces his wife once or twice and her `Iddah finishes. He later thinks about taking her back in marriage and the woman also wishes that, yet, her family prevents her from remarrying him. Hence, Allah prohibited her family from preventing her.'' Masruq, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Az-Zuhri and Ad-Dahhak stated that this is the reason behind revealing the Ayah (2:232). These statements clearly conform to the apparent meaning of the Ayah.
There is no Marriage without a Wali (for the Woman)
The Ayah (2:232) also indicates that the woman is not permitted to give herself in marriage. Rather, she requires a Wali (guardian such as her father, brother, adult son, and so forth) to give her away in marriage, as Ibn Jarir and At-Tirmidhi have stated when they mentioned this Ayah. Also, a Hadith states that:
«لَا تُزَوِّجُ الْمَرْأةُ الْمَرْأَةَ، ولَا تُزَوِّج الْمَرأةُ نَفْسَهَا، فَإِنَّ الزَّانِيَةَ هِيَ الَّتِي تُزَوِّجُ نَفْسَهَا»
(The woman does not give another woman away for marriage and the woman does not give herself away in marriage, for only the adulteress gives herself away for marriage.)
Another Hadith states:
«لَا نِكَاحَ إلَّا بِوَلِيَ مُرْشِدٍ وَشَاهِدَيْ عَدْل»
(No marriage is valid except with the participation of a mature Wali and two trustworthy witnesses.)
The Reason behind revealing the Ayah (2:232)
It was reported that this Ayah was revealed about Ma`qil bin Yasar Al-Muzani and his sister. Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih, when he mentioned the Tafsir of this Ayah (2:232), that the husband of the sister of Ma`qil bin Yasar divorced her. He waited until her `Iddah finished and then asked to remarry her, but Ma`qil refused. Then, this Ayah was sent down:
فَلاَ تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ أَن يَنكِحْنَ أَزْوَجَهُنَّ
( not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands.)
Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Jarir and Ibn Marduwyah and Al-Bayhaqi reported this Hadith from Al-Hasan from Ma`qil bin Yasar. At-Tirmidhi rendered this Hadith authentic and in his narration, Ma`qil bin Yasar gave his sister in marriage for a Muslim man during the time of Allah's Messenger. She remained with him for a while and he divorced her once and did not take her back until her `Iddah finished. They then wanted to get back with each other and he came to ask her for marriage. Ma`qil said to him, "O ungrateful one! I honored you and married her to you but you divorced her. By Allah! She will never be returned to you.'' But Allah knew his need for his wife and her need for her husband and He revealed:
وَإِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَبَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ
(And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, ) until He said:
وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
(...and you know not.)
When Ma`qil heard the Ayah, he said, "I hear and obey my Lord.'' He then summoned the man and said, "I will honor you and let you remarry (my sister).'' Ibn Marduwyah added (that Ma`qil said), "And will pay (the expiation) for breaking my vow.''
Allah said:
ذلِكَ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ مِنكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ
(This (instruction) is an admonition for him among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day.) meaning, prohibiting you from preventing the women from marrying their ex-husbands, if they both agree to it,
مَن كَانَ مِنكُمْ
(among you) O people,
يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ
(who believes in Allah and the Last Day.) meaning, believes in Allah's commandments and fears His warnings and the torment in the Hereafter. Allah said:
ذلِكُمْ أَزْكَى لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ
(That is more virtuous and purer for you.) meaning, obeying Allah's Law by returning the women to their ex-husbands, and abandoning your displeasure, is purer and cleaner for your hearts,
وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ
(Allah knows) the benefits you gain from what He commands and what He forbids.
وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
(and you know not) the benefits in what you do or what you refrain from doing.
2.232 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "If both agree to re-marry after the expiry of the term, the relatives of the divorced woman should not prevent her from remarrying her former husband, who had divorced her once or twice but had not become re-united with her during the prescribed term. It may also mean that the husband who had divorced his wife thrice should not prevent her from marrying another person after the expiry of the prescribed term. There is nothing meaner that one should prevent his divorced wife from marrying another man just because he himself has divorced her. "
2.232 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
When you divorce women and they have reached their term do not debar them from marrying their [former] husbands when they have agreed together honorably. That is an admonition for whoever of you believe in God and the Last Day; that is purer for you and cleaner. God knows and you know not. The verse contains a prohibition for guardians against hurting [the women under their protection] abandoning the fierceness of the time of ignorance jāhiliyya and yielding to the decree of God to allow [divorced] women to marry if they wish it without indignation or rage. Rather [the message is] “since you were sufficiently pleased to betroth her to a mate it is prohibited to [then] oppress her.” Letting go of the [baser] human instincts by subjugating the lower self is a more difficult struggle [than the fierce ways of the time of ignorance] and a more sincere way of behaving for the sake of God.
2.232 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
(And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way…) [2:232]. Abu Sa‘id ibn Abi Bakr ibn al-Ghazi informed us> Abu Ahmad Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Hafiz> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Husayn> Ahmad ibn Hafs ibn ‘Abd Allah> his father> Ibrahim ibn Tahman> Yunus ibn ‘Ubayd> al-Hasan that he said regarding the saying of Allah, Glorious and Majestic is He (And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness…): “Ma‘qil ibn Yasar informed me that this verse was revealed about him. He said: ‘I had given one of my sisters to a certain man who went on to divorce her. When my sister’s waiting period was over, the same man came back asking for my sister’s hand. I said to him: ‘I had given my sister to you as a bride; I married her to you and honoured you, but you went on to divorce her. No, by Allah, you will never go back to her!’ He said: ‘the man was not bad, and the woman wanted to go back to him. Then Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed this verse. I said: I will do it now, O Messenger of Allah’. And he gave his sister in marriage to this man’ ”. This was narrated by Bukhari from Ahmad ibn Hafs. Al-Hakim Abu Mansur Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Mansuri informed us> ‘Ali ibn ‘Umar ibn Mahdi> Muhammad ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Bukhturi> Yahya ibn Ja‘far> Abu ‘Amir al-‘Uqadi> ‘Abbad ibn Rashid> al-Hasan> Ma‘qil ibn Yasar who said: “I had a sister whose hand I always decline to give until a cousin of mine proposed to her. I gave her to him in marriage and they remained married as long as Allah willed. He then divorced her a revocable divorce, waited until her waiting period elapsed and came forward, along with other suitors, to ask for her hand. I said to him: ‘I had refused to marry her off to other people and, instead, gave her to you in marriage. You chose to divorce her a revocable divorce and waited until the waiting period elapsed. Now that her hand is asked for, you come to me asking to marry her. I will never marry her to you’. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands…). I therefore did amend for my oath and gave her to him in marriage”. Isma‘il ibn Abi al-Qasim al-Nasrabadhi informed us> Abu Muhammad ‘Abd Allah ibn Ibrahim ibn Masi al-Bazzaz>Abu Muslim Ibrahim ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Basri> Hajjaj ibn Minhal> Mubarak ibn Fudalah> al-Hasan who reported that Ma‘qil ibn Yasar married his sister to a Muslim man. He remained married to her for a certain period and then divorced her one single divorce. He left her until the waiting period elapsed, and she became free to marry whoever she choose to, and came along with other suitors asking for her hand. She agreed to go back to him. He therefore went to Ma‘qil ibn Yasar asking for her hand. Ma‘qil was angry. He told him: “I honoured you by giving her to you in marriage but you divorced her. By Allah, she will never go back to you!” Al-Hasan said: “Allah knew the man's need for his wife and the wife's need for her husband, and He revealed regarding this in the Qur’an (And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness…). When Ma‘qil ibn Yasar heard this, he said: ‘I hear my Lord and obey!’ He then called the man and said: ‘I will give you my sister for marriage and honour you’, and he did”. Sa‘id ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Shahid informed us> his grandfather> Abu ‘Amr al-Hiri> Muhammad ibn Yahya> ‘Amr ibn Hammad> Asbat> al-Suddi who said, reporting from his sources of narration: “This verse was revealed about Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari. He had a cousin whose husband divorced her one single divorce. When her waiting period elapsed, he came back, wanting to take her back. But Jabir refused, saying: ‘You have divorced our cousin and now you want to marry her a second time [this will not happen]’. The woman however wanted to go back to her husband because she accepted him, and so this verse was revealed about them”.