Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(There is no sin on you) there is no harm in talking (in that which ye proclaim or hide in your mind concerning your troth with women) concerning your offer to the woman whose husband is dead, before the waiting period ends, that you desire to marry her after the waiting period, such as saying to her: “If Allah unites us lawfully, I would like that”. (Allah knoweth that you will remember them) remember marrying them. (But plight not your troth with them) to have sexual intercourse with them (except by uttering a recognised form of words) properly and unequivocally by saying for example: “If Allah unites us lawfully, I would like that”, and no more. (And do not consummate the marriage until (the term) prescribed is run) until the waiting period comes to an end. (And know that Allah knoweth what is in your minds) in your hearts whether you are going to honour your pledge or not, (so beware of Him) beware of contravening Him; (and know that Allah is Forgiving) of those who repent of transgressing against Him, (Clement) since He does not hasten His punishment upon those who transgress against Him.
You would not be at fault regarding the proposal, with the intention of marriage, you present, offer, or hide in your hearts, during the waiting period, to women, whose spouses have died: such as men saying, ‘How beautiful you are!’, or, ‘Who could find one like you?’, or ‘How many a man must desire you!’. God knows that you will be mindful of them, in proposing to them impatiently, and so He has permitted you to make such offers; but do not make arrangements, of marriage, with them secretly, unless you speak honourable words, such as are acknowledged by the Law, in other words, such as proposals, that which is permitted to you. And do not resolve on the knot, the consummation, of marriage until that which is written, the period prescribed, has reached its term, and has been completed; and know that God knows what is in your souls, of resolve or otherwise; so be fearful of Him, that He should chastise you if you have made such resolve; and know that God is Forgiving, toward him who is fearful of Him, Forbearing, in delaying the chastisement of the one deserving it.
(And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal) "means saying, `I want to marry and I am looking for a woman whose qualities are such and such,' thus talking to her in general terms in a way that is better.'' In another narration (by Ibn `Abbas), "Saying, `I wish that Allah endows me with a wife,' but he should not make a direct marriage proposal.'' Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah:
(And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal) means, "The man could say, `I wish to marry,' `I desire a wife,' or, `I wish I could find a good wife'.'' Mujahid, Tawus, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Az-Zuhri, Yazid bin Qusayt, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Al-Qasim bin Muhammad and several others among the Salaf and the Imams said that one is allowed to mention marriage indirectly to the woman whose husband died. It is also allowed to indirectly mention marriage to a woman who had gone through final, irrevocable divorce. The Prophet ordered Fatimah bint Qays to remain in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum for `Iddah when her husband Abu `Amr bin Hafs divorced her for the third time. He said to her:
«فَإِذَا حَلَلْتِ فَآذِنِينِي»
(Inform me when your `Iddah term ends.)
When she finished the `Iddah, Usamah bin Zayd, the Prophet's freed slave asked to marry her, and the Prophet married her to him. As for the divorced wife (not irrevocably divorced), there is no disagreement that it is not allowed for other than her husband to mention marriage proposals to her directly or indirectly (before the `Iddah finishes). Allah knows best.
أَوْ أَكْنَنتُمْ فِى أَنفُسِكُمْ
(...or conceal it in yourself,) meaning, if you hide the intention of seeking marriage with them. Similarly, Allah said:
(...while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal.) (60: 1) So, Allah said here:
عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ سَتَذْكُرُونَهُنَّ
(Allah knows that you will remember them) meaning, in your hearts, so He made it easy for you. Allah then said:
وَلَـكِن لاَّ تُوَاعِدُوهُنَّ سِرًّا
(...but do not make a promise (of contract) with them in secret)
`Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that
وَلَـكِن لاَّ تُوَاعِدُوهُنَّ سِرًّا
(but do not make a promise (of contract) with them in secret) means do not say to her, "I am in love (with you),'' or, "Promise me you will not marry someone else (after the `Iddah finishes),'' and so forth. Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ash-Sha`bi, `Ikrimah, Abu Ad-Duha, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri, Mujahid and Ath-Thawri said that it (meaning of the Ayah) means taking the woman's promise not to marry someone else.
Afterwards, Allah said:
إِلاَّ أَن تَقُولُواْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفًا
(...except that you speak an honorable saying.)
Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri and Ibn Zayd said that the Ayah means to indirectly refer to marriage, such as saying, "I desire someone like you.'' Muhammad bin Sirin said: I asked `Ubaydah about the meaning of Allah's statement:
إِلاَّ أَن تَقُولُواْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفًا
(...except that you speak an honorable saying.) He said, "He says to her Wali, `Do not give her away (in marriage) until you inform me first'.'' This statement was narrated by Ibn Abu Hatim.
(And do not be determined on the marriage bond until the term prescribed is fulfilled.) meaning, do not make marriage contracts before the `Iddah finishes. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Abu Malik, Zayd bin Aslam, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Az-Zuhri, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri and Ad-Dahhak said that:
حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْكِتَـبُ أَجَلَهُ
(until the term prescribed is fulfilled.) means, `Do not consummate the marriage before the `Iddah term finishes.' The scholars agree that marriage contracts during the `Iddah are invalid.
(And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him.) warning the men against the ideas they conceal in their hearts about women, directing them to think good about them rather than the evil, and Allah would not let them despair of His mercy, as He said:
وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ
(And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This prescribed term for waiting also applies to those widows who might not have had any intercourse with their husbands. The pregnant widow is, however, an exception. Her prescribed term is her delivery whether it takes place just after the death of the husband or several months after it.
"They must abstain" implies that they must not remarry during the term, nor adorn themselves in any manner during this period. Traditions give clear instructions that widows should not wear ornaments and coloured and showy dresses, nor adorn themselves with any kind of make-up during the term. There is, however, a difference of opinion as to whether a widow should pass the term in the house of the deceased husband or not. Hadrat 'Umar, `Uthman Ibn `Umar, Zaid bin Thabit, Ibn Mas'ud, Umm Salamah, Said bin al-Musayyib, Ibrahim Nakha'i, Muhammad bin Sirin, and the four Imams (may Allah show mercy to all of them) are of the opinion that she should reside in the house of the deceased husband. On the contrary, Hadrat 'A'ishah, Ibn 'Abbas, Hadrat 'Ali, Jabir bin 'Abdullah, 'Ata', Ta'us, Hasan Basri, 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz, and all the Zahiris are of the opinion that she is free to pass the period wherever she likes, and can also go on a journey.
You would not be at fault regarding the proposal you present or hide in your hearts to women. God knows that you will be mindful of them; but do not make arrangements with them secretly unless you speak honorable words. This permits seeking affection and laying the foundation for [marital] union. It forbids doing prohibited sinful acts or preparing for such acts. And do not resolve on the knot of marriage until that which is written has reached its term; and know that God knows what is in your souls; so be fearful of Him; and know that God is Forgiving Forbearing. That is the waiting period for the first [marriage] is required to avoid any disrespect for the deceased.
…But do not make arrangements with them secretly…That is, arrangements of marriage, …and know that God knows what is within yourselves, so be wary of Him…, by which is meant that He knew what was hidden within yourselves before He created you, namely, every single act done in the way of goodness, that He was to commandand the performance of which He would aid, and [likewise] every act [you would do], which He had forbidden, and from which He would not protect [you]. He abandoned whom He willed to his desire, so that the act which He had forbidden would become manifest from that person, and He did not grant His protection, out of His justice and decree. The meaning of His words, what is within yourselves refers to that which you have not yet done, and within yourselves refers to that which you will do. So be wary of Him, that is to say, humbly implore Him concerning it, that He should be the one who takes care of your affairs by extending His aid and guaranteeing your success in the [realisation] of obedience, and by granting His protection from forbidden [acts] through [His] help and support. Do you not take heed of the words of ʿUmar and Ibn Masʿūd? y:‘O God! If in the Mother of the Book that is with You, we are among those who are wretched and deprived, then erase that from [our destiny] and appoint us to be among those of felicity who are encompassed by Your mercy. Truly You erase what You will and establish [what You will] and the Mother of the Book is with You.’His words: