The Quran

Commentaries for 24.34

An Nur (The light) - النور

24.34 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And verily We have sent down for you revelations that make plain) He says: We have sent Gabriel to your prophets with revelations that make plain the lawful and the unlawful, the commands and the prohibitions of adultery and indecencies, (and the example of those who passed away before you) the trait of those who passed away from among the believers and disbelievers. (An admonition) a prohibition (unto those who ward off (evil)) adultery and indecencies.
24.34 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And verily We have revealed to you clear verses (read mubayyanāt or mubayyināt), in this sūra, [verses] in which [if read mubayyanāt] what is mentioned is [already] clear, or which [if read mubayyināt] are clarificatory of [that which is mentioned], and an example, a curious tale, namely, that of ‘Ā’isha, of those who passed away before you, that is to say, of their kind of example, that is, [an example] of their curious tales, such as the tales of Joseph and Mary, and an admonition for those who fear God, in what He, exalted be He, has said: And do not let any pity for them overcome you in God’s religion [verse 2, above]; and, Why, when you [first] heard about it, did the believing men [and women] not think [good of themselves]… to the end [of verse 12, above]; and, And why, when you heard it, did you not say … to the end [of verse 16, above]; and, God admonishes you lest you should ever repeat [the like of it] … to the end [of verse 17, above]. This [admonition] is specifically for ‘those who fear God’ because they are the ones to benefit from such [an admonition].
24.32-34 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Command to marry
These clear Ayat include a group of unambiguous rulings and firm commands.
وَأَنْكِحُواْ الأَيَـمَى مِنْكُمْ
(And marry those among you who are single (Al-Ayama)....) This is a command to marry. The Prophet said:
«يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ، مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ»
(O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him marry, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting the private parts. Whoever cannot do that, then let him fast, for it is a protection for him.) This was recorded in the Two Sahihs from the Hadith of Ibn Mas`ud. In the Sunan, it was recorded from more than one person that the Messenger of Allah said:
«تَزَوَّجُوا تَوَالَدُوا تَنَاسَلُوا فَإِنِّي مُبَاهٍ بِكُمُ الْأُمَمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ»
(Marry and have children, for I will be proud of you before the nations on the Day of Resurrection.) The word Al-Ayama, the plural form of Ayyim, is used to describe a woman who has no husband and a man who has no wife, regardless of whether they have been married and then separated, or have never been married at all. Al-Jawhari reported this from the scholars of the (Arabic) language, and the word is applied to men and women alike.
إِن يَكُونُواْ فُقَرَآءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ
(If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas: "Allah encouraged them to get married, commanded both free men and servants to get married, and He promised to enrich them.''
إِن يَكُونُواْ فُقَرَآءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ
(If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty.) It was recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said: "Seek the richness through marriage, for Allah says:
إِن يَكُونُواْ فُقَرَآءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ
(If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty.)'' This was recorded by Ibn Jarir. Al-Baghawi also recorded something similar from `Umar. It was reported from Al-Layth from Muhammad bin `Ajlan from Sa`id Al-Maqburi from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said:
«ثَلَاثَةٌ حَقٌّ عَلَى اللهِ عَوْنُهُمْ: النَّاكِحُ يُرِيدُ الْعَفَافَ، وَالْمُكَاتَبُ يُرِيدُ الْأَدَاءَ، وَالْغَازِي فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ»
(There are three whom it is a right upon Allah to help: one who gets married seeking chastity; a slave who makes a contract with his master with the aim of buying his freedom; and one who fights for the sake of Allah.) This was recorded by Imam Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah. The Prophet performed the marriage of a man who owned nothing but his waist wrap, and could not even buy a ring made of iron, but he still married him to that woman, making the Mahr his promise to teach her whatever he knew of the Qur'an. And it is known from the generosity and kindness of Allah that He provided him with whatever was sufficient for her and for him.
The Command to keep Oneself Chaste if One is not able to get married
Allah's saying:
وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحاً حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ
(And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His bounty.) This is a command from Allah to those who do not have the means to get married: they are to keep themselves chaste and avoid unlawful things, as the Prophet said:
«يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ»
(O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him marry, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting the private parts. Whoever cannot do that, then let him fast, for it is a protection for him.) This Ayah is general in meaning, and the Ayah in Surat An-Nisa' is more specific, where Allah says:
وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَـتِ
(And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women)until His statement;
وَأَن تَصْبِرُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ
(but it is better for you that you practise self-restraint) 4:25 meaning, it is better for you to be patient and refrain from marrying slave-girl, because any child that is born will also be a slave.
وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful) 4:25.
وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحاً
(And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste,) `Ikrimah said, "This refers to a man who sees a woman and it is as if he feels desire; if he has a wife then let him go to her and fulfill his desire with her, and if he does not have a wife, then let him ponder the kingdom of heaven and earth until Allah grants him means of livelihood.''
The Command to grant Slaves a Contract of Emancipation
وَالَّذِينَ يَبْتَغُونَ الْكِتَـبَ مِمَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ فَكَـتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمُتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْراً
(And such of your servants as seek a writing (of emancipation), give them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty in them.) This is a command from Allah to slave-owners: if their servants ask them for a contract of emancipation, they should write it for them, provided that the servant has some skill and means of earning so that he can pay his master the money that is stipulated in the contract. Al-Bukhari said: "Rawh narrated from Ibn Jurayj: `I said to `Ata', "If I know that my servant has money, is it obligatory for me to write him a contract of emancipation'' He said, "I do not think it can be anything but obligatory.'' `Amr bin Dinar said: "I said to `Ata', `Are you narrating this from anybody' He said, `No,' then he told me that Musa bin Anas told him that Sirin, who had a lot of money, asked Anas for a contract of emancipation and he refused. So he went to `Umar (bin Al-Khattab), may Allah be pleased with him, and he said, `Write it for him.' He refused, so `Umar hit him with his whip and recited,
فَكَـتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمُتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْراً
(give them such writing, if you find that there is good and honesty in them.)Then he wrote the contract.'' This was mentioned by Al-Bukhari with a disconnected chain of narration. It was also narrated by `Abdur-Razzaq who said Ibn Jurayj told them: I said to `Ata', "If I know that my servant has some money, is it obligatory for me to write him a contract of emancipation'' He said, `I do not think it can be anything but obligatory.''' It was also said by `Amr bin Dinar who said, "I said to `Ata', `Are you narrating this from anybody' He said, `No.''' Ibn Jarir recorded that Sirin wanted Anas bin Malik to write a contract of emancipation and he delayed, then `Umar said to him, "You should certainly write him a contract of emancipation.'' Its chain of narrators is Sahih. Allah's saying:
إِنْ عَلِمُتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْراً
(if you find that there is good and honesty in them.) Some of them said (this means) trustworthiness. Some said: "Honesty,'' and others said: "A skill and ability to earn.''
وَءَاتُوهُمْ مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِى ءَاتَـكُمْ
(And give them something out of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you.) This is the share of the wealth of Zakah that Allah stated to be their right. This is the opinion of Al-Hasan, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and his father and Muqatil bin Hayyan. It was also the opinion favored by Ibn Jarir.
وَءَاتُوهُمْ مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِى ءَاتَـكُمْ
(And give them something out of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you. ) Ibrahim An-Nakha`i said, "This is urging the people, their masters and others.'' This was also the view of Buraydah bin Al-Husayb Al-Aslami and Qatadah. Ibn `Abbas said: "Allah commanded the believers to help in freeing slaves.''
The Prohibition of forcing One's Slave-Girls to commit Zina ®257
؛ Allah's saying:
وَلاَ تُكْرِهُواْ فَتَيَـتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَآءِ
(And force not your slave-girls to prostitution...) Among the people of the Jahiliyyah, there were some who, if he had a slave-girl, he would send her out to commit Zina and would charge money for that, which he would take from her every time. When Islam came, Allah forbade the believers to do that. The reason why this Ayah was revealed, according to the reports of a number of earlier and later scholars of Tafsir, had to do with `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul. He had slave-girls whom he used to force into prostitution so that he could take their earnings and because he wanted them to have children which would enhance his status, or so he claimed.
Reports narrated on this Topic
In his Musnad, Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Ahmad bin `Amr bin `Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Bazzar, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Az-Zuhri said, "`Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul had a slave-girl whose name was Mu`adhah, whom he forced into prostitution. When Islam came, the Ayah
وَلاَ تُكْرِهُواْ فَتَيَـتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَآءِ
(And force not your slave-girls to prostitution...) was revealed.'' Al-A`mash narrated from Abu Sufyan that Jabir said concerning this Ayah, "This was revealed about a slave-girl belonging to `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul whose name was Musaykah. He used to force her to commit immoral actions, but there was nothing wrong with her and she refused. Then Allah revealed this Ayah:
وَلاَ تُكْرِهُواْ فَتَيَـتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَآءِ
(And force not your slave-girls to prostitution,) until His saying;
وَمَن يُكْرِههُنَّ فِإِنَّ اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(But if anyone compels them, then after such compulsion, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)'' An-Nasa'i also recorded something similar. Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "I heard -- and Allah knows best -- that this Ayah was revealed about two men who used to force two slave-girls of theirs (into prostitution). One of them was called Musaykah who belonged to the Ansari, and Umaymah the mother of Musaykah belonged to `Abdullah bin Ubayy. Mu`adhah and Arwa were in the same situation. Then Musaykah and her mother came to the Prophet and told him about that. Then Allah revealed:
وَلاَ تُكْرِهُواْ فَتَيَـتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَآءِ
(And force not your slave-girls to prostitution), meaning Zina.
إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّناً
(if they desire chastity,) means, if they want to be chaste, which is the case with the majority of slave-girls.
لِّتَبْتَغُواْ عَرَضَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا
(in order that you may make a gain in the goods of this worldly life.) meaning, from the money they earn and their children. The Messenger of Allah forbade the money earned by the cupper, the prostitute and the fortune-teller. According to another report:
«مَهْرُ الْبَغِيِّ خَبِيثٌ وَكَسْبُ الْحَجَّامِ خَبِيثٌ، وَثَمَنُ الْكَلْبِ خَبِيثٌ»
(The earnings of a prostitute are evil, the earnings of a cupper are evil, and the price of a dog is evil.)
وَمَن يُكْرِههُنَّ فِإِنَّ اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(But if anyone compels them, then after such compulsion, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) meaning, towards them, as has already been stated in the Hadith narrated from Jabir. Ibn Abi Talhah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, "If you do that, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, and their sin will be on the one who forced them to do that.'' This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Al-A`mash and Qatadah. After explaining these rulings in detail, Allah says:
وَلَقَدْ أَنْزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـتٍ مُّبَيِّنَـتٍ
(And indeed We have sent down for you Ayat that make things plain,) meaning, in the Qur'an there are Ayat which are clear and explain matters in detail.
وَمَثَلاً مِّنَ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ
(and the example of those who passed away before you,) means, reports about the nations of the past and what happened to them when they went against the commandments of Allah, as Allah says:
فَجَعَلْنَـهُمْ سَلَفاً وَمَثَلاً لِّلاٌّخِرِينَ
(And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations.) 43:56; We made them a lesson, i.e., a rebuke for committing sin and forbidden deeds.
لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
(for those who have Taqwa. ) meaning, for those who remember and fear Allah.
24.34 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This verse is not only connected with the verse immediately preceding it but with the entire discourse right from the beginning. "Revelations giving clear guidance" are those verses which: (1) state the law concerning Zina, Qazf and Li an. (2) forbid the believers to marry impure men or women, (3) prohibit the slandering of chaste people and propagating indecencies in society, (4) lay stress on men and women to restrain their gaze and guard their private parts, (5) prescribe the limits of purdah` for women, (6) disapprove of the marriageable people's remaining unmarried, (7) lay down the rule for slaves to earn their freedom through written agreements, and (8) ban prostitution to purify society. After all these commands and instructions, a warning is being given that now if the people violated these instructions it would only mean that they wanted to meet with the same doom as had been the lot of the wretched communities before them, whose stories have been related in the Qur'an itself. There could probably be no severer warning at the end of an edict. But it is a pity that a people who profess to he believers, and recite the holy edict and hold it sacred, yet continue to defy and violate its provisions in spite of the severe warning