The Quran

Commentaries for 4.27

An Nisa (The women) - النساء

4.27 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And Allah wishes to turn to you in mercy) He wishes to overlook your transgression when He made adultery and marrying your sisters, from the father's side, forbidden for you; (but those who follow vain desires) i.e. adultery and marrying their sisters from their fathers' side, namely, the Jews (would have you go tremendously astray) commit a serious error by marrying your sisters, from the father's side, by claiming that it is lawful in their Scripture.
4.27 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And God desires to turn [forgivingly] towards you (He repeats this in order to expand upon it), but those who follow their passions, the Jews and Christians, or the Magians and adulterers, desire that you deviate with a terrible deviation, transgressing what is right by committing what has been forbidden you, so that you might be like them.
4.26-28 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ
(And to show you the ways of those before you,) meaning their righteous ways and how to adhere to the commandments that He likes and is pleased with.
وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ
(and accept your repentance) from sin and error,
وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
(and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.) in His commands, decrees, actions and statements. Allah's statement,
وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَتِ أَن تَمِيلُواْ مَيْلاً عَظِيماً
(but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the right path)) indicates that the followers of Shaytan among the Jews, Christians and the adulterous, wish that you would take the horrendous path of falsehood instead of the truth.
يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ
(Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you'') His legislation, orders, what He prohibits and what He decrees for you. This is why Allah has allowed free men to marry slave girls under certain conditions, as Mujahid and others have stated.
وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً
(and man was created weak.) and this is why it is suitable in his case that the commands are made easy for him, because of his weakness and feebleness. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Tawus said that,
وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً
(and man was created weak), "Concerning women''. Waki` said, "Man's mind leaves when women are involved.''
4.26-28 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The "way" refer to all those instructions that have been given from the beginning of the Surah to this point, and to those already given in Al-Baqarah about cultural and social problems. Allah is telling the believers that it is His bounty that He is taking them out of the ways of "ignorance" and guiding them to the moral ways of good people, that have always been followed by the Prophets of every age and their pious followers.
Those who intended to turn the believers back from the Right Way to the ways of error were the hypocrites, the ignorant people of the old ways, and the Jews living in the suburbs of Madinah The first two groups strongly disliked the changes that were being made to reform their centuries old prejudices, rites and customs. They were opposed to (a) the share of the daughters in inheritance; (b) the freedom of the widow from the restrictions placed on her by her husband's people, and to marry the husband of her liking after the expiry of the term, (c) the prohibition of marriage with step-mother, and with two real sisters simultaneously. They were averse to the reform of the institution of adoption which abolished the share of the adopted sons in inheritance and removed the restriction on the marriage of their divorced wives or their widows with their adopted fathers. These and such other reforms so upset the worshipers of the old traditions and customs that they cried themselves hoarse with protests against them. The mischief mongers criticized bitterly the Holy Prophet and incited the people against his person and his invitation. For instance, if there was a person who was born as a result of a marriage which had become unlawful by the application of the reformed laws, they would incite him by saying that he had been declared illegitimate by the Holy Prophet. Thus the foolish people were opposing the work of reform which was being carried out under Divine Guidance.
Then there were the Jews who were engaged in vicious propaganda against this reformative work which went against their self-made laws. They demanded that the Qur'an should declare these laws to be the Divine Laws, even though they had changed their very character and substance, by making fine and unnecessary distinctions, by introducing into it their own superstitious customs as laws, by imposing their own restrictions and hard conditions and making many lawful things unlawful. They, therefore, could not appreciate the simple rules and regulations that were being presented by the Qur'an. That is why their rabbis, scribes and common people did not accept the Qur'an as the Book of Allah. They were so upset by its reformative laws that they made each and every Commandment of the Qur'an the target of their criticism and opposed and rejected it.
For instance, the Jews considered the women utterly unclean during the menses. They would not take the meals cooked by them nor drink water touched by their hands nor even sit on the same carpet with them. In short, the women were practically made untouchables in their homes. As the Ansar had also adopted the same customs when the Holy Prophet migrated to Madinah, they asked him about the monthly course. In answer to this question, v. 222 of Al-Bagarah was sent down; accordingly the Holy Prophet instructed that during the monthly course only cohabitation was prohibited and all other relations with the women would remain the same as before. At this, the Jews raised a great hue and cry, saying, "This man is bent upon opposing us in everything ants making lawful what is unlawful with us and unlawful what is lawful with us."
4.27-28 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And God desires to turn [forgivingly] toward you but those who follow their passions desire that you deviate with a terrible deviation. God desires to lighten things for you; for man was created weak. He separates here the story of the former from the story of the latter. Whenever God desires to turn toward someone He will not let an enemy gloat over him and He will not give him anything bad in the two abodes. But those who follow their passions shahawāt desire...: Their desire irāda becomes weak enfeebled and held back before the desire irāda of the Real سبحانه. God desires to lighten things for you. This means [the lightening of] the weight of litanies through intermittent incomings wāridāt to your hearts. It is said that God desires to lighten what you endure in struggles mujāhadāt with the lights of witnessings mushāhadāt that enter deeply into your hearts. It is said that God desires to lighten the burdens of service for you with the sweetness of acts of obedience. It is said that He lightens the difficulties of the trust amāna for you by carrying its burden for you. It is said that He lightens the hardships of seeking with the refreshment of arriving. For man was created weak: He describes by this their need and affliction Ḍurr but does not accept by this their excuse ʿudhr.