The Quran

Commentaries for 2.240

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.240 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
((In the case of) those who are about to die and leave behind them wives, they should bequeath unto their wives a provision) regarding their wealth (for the year) sustenance and habitation for a year (without turning them out) of the houses of their husbands, (but if they go out) of their own accord, or if they marry before the lapse of a year (there is no sin on you) on the inheritors of the deceased to stop providing sustenance and habitation after she leaves the house of her husband or remarries (in that which they do of themselves) nor is there any blame on them in what the wives do to themselves (within their rights) looking forward to remarriage, making themselves beautiful for this purpose. This, i.e. the sustenance due on the deceased towards any wife he leaves behind, was however abrogated by her inheritance. (Allah is Mighty) for He is vengeful towards any that leaves what He has commanded, (Wise) in that He abrogated apportioning a year of sustenance and habitation to the wife whose husband is deceased and substituted it with what is due to her of inheritance: a quarter or eighth of the deceased's wealth.
2.240 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And those of you who die, leaving wives, let them, make testament (wasiyyatan, or wasiyyatun) for their wives, as an obligation, and give them provision, what they can enjoy of property and clothes, for, until the completion of, a year (matā‘an ilā l-hawl, ‘provision for a year’, is a circumstantial qualifier), that is, without expelling them from their habitations; but if they go forth, of their own accord, you would not be at fault, [you] the guardians of the dead one, regarding what they may do with themselves honourably, in accordance with the Law, such as adorning themselves or abandoning the mourning, or that you should cut off their expenditure; God is Mighty, in His Kingdom, Wise, in His actions. The testament mentioned here was abrogated by the ‘inheritance’ verse [Q. 4:12], and the waiting of one year [without expulsion] was abrogated by the previous verse four months and ten [Q. 2:234] which was revealed later. In the opinion of al-Shāfi‘ī, may God have mercy on him, the habitation remains hers.
2.240-242 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Ayah (2:240) was abrogated
The majority of the scholars said that this Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah (2:234), what Allah said:
يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْرًا
(...they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days.) (2:234)
For instance, Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn Az-Zubayr said: I said to `Uthman bin `Affan:
وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَجًا
(And those of you who die and leave wives behind them) was abrogated by the other Ayah (2:234). Therefore, why did you collect it (meaning, in the Qur'an)'' He said, "O my nephew! I shall not change any part of the Qur'an from its place.''
The question that Ibn Az-Zubayr asked `Uthman means: `If the ruling of the Ayah (2:240) was abrogated to four months (the `Iddah of the widow, and refer to 2:234), then what is the wisdom behind including it in the Qur'an, although its ruling has been abrogated If the Ayah (2:240) remains (in the Qur'an) after the Ayah that abrogated it (2:234), this might imply that its ruling is still valid.' `Uthman, the Leader of the faithful, answered him by stating that this is a matter of the revelation, which mentioned these Ayat in this order. `Therefore, I shall leave the Ayah where I found it in the Qur'an.'
Ibn Abu Hatim reported that Ibn `Abbas said about what Allah said:
وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَجًا وَصِيَّةً لازْوَاجِهِم مَّتَـعًا إِلَى الْحَوْلِ غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ
(And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year's maintenance (and residence) without turning them out, ) "The widow used to reside, and have her provisions provided for her for a year, in her deceased husband's house. Later, the Ayah that specified the inheritance (4:12) abrogated this Ayah (2:240), and thus the widow inherits one-fourth or one-eighth of what her (deceased) husband leaves behind.''
Ibn Abu Hatim also related that `Ali bin Abu Talhah stated that Ibn `Abbas said, "When a man died and left behind a widow, she used to remain in his house for a year for her `Iddah, all the while receiving her provisions during this time. Thereafter, Allah revealed this Ayah:
وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَجًا يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْرًا
(And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days.) (2:234)
So, this is the `Iddah of the widow, unless she was pregnant, for her `Iddah then ends when she gives birth. Allah also said:
وَلَهُنَّ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُنْ لَّكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَلَهُنَّ الثُّمُنُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُم
(In that which you leave, their (your wives') share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave.) (4:12)
So Allah specified the share of the widow in the inheritance and there was no need for the will or the Nafaqah (maintenance) which were mentioned in (2:240).''
Ibn Abu Hatim stated that Mujahid, Al-Hasan, `Ikrimah, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that the Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by:
أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْرًا
(four months and ten days.) (2:234)
Al-Bukhari reported that Mujahid said that:
وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَجًا
(And those of you who die and leave wives behind them) (2:234) used to be the `Iddah, and the widow had to remain with her (deceased) husband's family (during that period, i.e., four months and ten days). Then, Allah revealed:
وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَجًا وَصِيَّةً لازْوَاجِهِم مَّتَـعًا إِلَى الْحَوْلِ غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ فَإِنْ خَرَجْنَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِى مَا فَعَلْنَ فِي أَنفُسِهِنَّ مِن مَّعْرُوفٍ
(And those of you who die and leave behind wives should bequeath for their wives a year's maintenance (and residence) without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves, provided it is honorable (e.g., lawful marriage).)
So, Allah made the rest of the year, which is seven months and twenty days, as a will and testament for her. Consequently, if she wants, she could use her right in this will and remain in the residence (for the rest of the year). Or, if she wants, she could leave the (deceased husband's) house after the four months and ten days have passed. This is the meaning of what Allah said:
غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ فَإِنْ خَرَجْنَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ
(...without turning them out, but if they (wives) leave, there is no sin on you.)
Therefore, the required term of `Iddah is still unchanged (refer to 2:234).
`Ata' quoted Ibn `Abbas, "This Ayah (2:240) has abrogated (the requirement that) the widow spends the `Iddah with his (i.e., her deceased husband's) family. So, she spends her `Iddah wherever she wants. This is the meaning of what Allah said:
غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ
(without turning them out,).''
`Ata' also said: "If she wants, she spends the `Iddah with his family and resides there according to the will (meaning the rest of the year). If she wants, she is allowed to leave, for Allah said:
فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا فَعَلْنَ
(there is no sin on you for that which they do of themselves,).''
`Ata' then said: "Then (the Ayah on) the inheritance (refer to 4:12) came and abrogated the residence. Hence, the widow spends her `Iddah wherever she wants and does not have the right to residence any more.''
The statement of `Ata' and those who held the view that the Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah on the inheritance (4: 12), is only valid for more than the four months and ten days (required in 2:234). However, if they mean that the four months and ten days are not required from the deceased husband's estate, then this opinion is the subject of disagreement among the scholars. As proof, they said that the widow is required to remain in her (deceased) husband's house (for four months and ten days) according to what Malik reported from Zaynab bint Ka`b bin `Ujrah. She said that Fari`ah bint Malik bin Sinan, the sister of Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, told her that she came to Allah's Messenger asking him to return to her family's residence with Banu Khudrah. Her husband had pursued some of his servants who ran away, but when he reached the area of Al-Qadum, they killed him. She said, "So I asked Allah's Messenger if I should stay with my family in Banu Khudrah, for my (deceased) husband did not leave me a residence that he owns or Nafaqah (maintenance). Allah's Messenger answered in the positive. While I was in the room, Allah's Messenger summoned me or had someone summon me and said:
«كَيْفَ قُلْت»
(What did you say) I repeated the story to him about my (deceased) husband. He said:
«امْكُثي فِي بَيْتِكِ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الكِتَابُ أَجَلَه»
(Stay at your home until the term reaches its end.) So I remained through the `Iddah term for four months and ten days in my (deceased husband's) house. Thereafter, `Uthman bin `Affan sent for me during his reign and asked me about this matter and I told him what happened. He made a judgment to the same effect.'' This Hadith was also collected by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih".
The Necessity of the Mut`ah (Gift) at the Time of Divorce
Allah said:
وَلِلْمُطَلَّقَـتِ مَتَـعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ
(And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqin (the pious).)
`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that when Allah's statement:
مَتَـعاً بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ
(...a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good) (2:236) was revealed, a man said, "If I want, I will be excellent and if I do not, I will not.'' Thereafter, Allah revealed this Ayah:
وَلِلْمُطَلَّقَـتِ مَتَـعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ
(And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqin (the pious).)
The scholars who ruled that the Mut`ah (reasonable gift) at the time of divorce is required for every divorced woman, whether she had a bridal-money appointed for her or not, and whether the marriage was consummated or not, relied on this Ayah (2:241) when they issued their ruling. This is the view taken on this subject by Sa`id bin Jubayr and several others among the Salaf and also Ibn Jarir. Hence, Allah's statement:
لاَّ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ مَا لَمْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ أَوْ تَفْرِضُواْ لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً وَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ عَلَى الْمُوسِعِ قَدَرُهُ وَعَلَى الْمُقْتِرِ قَدْرُهُ مَتَـعاً بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ
(There is no sin on you, if you divorce women while yet you have not touched (had sexual relation with) them, nor appointed for them their due (dowry). But bestow on them (a suitable gift), the rich according to his means, and the poor according to his means, a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good.) (2:236) only mentions some specifics of this general ruling.
Allah then said:
كَذلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُآيَـتِهِ
(Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat (Laws) to you,) meaning, what He allows, forbids, requires, His set limits, His commandments and His prohibitions are all explained and made plain and clear for you. He did not leave any matter in general terms if you needed the specifics,
لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
(in order that you may understand.) meaning, understand and comprehend.
2.240-241 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
At the end of the discourse, this has been added as an appendix and supplement.
2.240 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And those of you who die leaving wives make testament for their wives provision for a year; but if they go forth you would not be at fault regarding what they may do with themselves honorably; God is Mighty Wise. The waiting period after the death of the husband in the beginning of Islam was an uninterrupted year according to the words and actions of the Arabs. With respect to that the one who spoke for them said: Until the end of the year then “peace be upon both of you.” Whoever weeps for an entire year has absolved themselves of any guilt. Then this was abrogated [and made] four months and ten days since the mourning period inevitably ends. The one who spoke for them said: He said “If you die I cannot live.” I said “You are being hypocritical so be silent. What living thing do you see that dies from love for something which is deadḍ”