The Quran

Commentaries for 66.3

At Tahrim (Prohibition) - التحريم

66.3 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(When the Prophet confided a fact unto one of his wives) i.e. Hafsah (and when she afterward divulged it) Hafsah divulged to 'A'ishah what the Prophet (pbuh) told her in confidence (and Allah apprised him thereof) and Allah informed him that Hafsah informed 'A'ishah, (he made known (to her) part thereof) part of what she said to 'A'ishah regarding the leadership of Abu Bakr and 'Umar; and it is said: about seeing Maria the Copt on his own (and passed over part) he did not mention making forbidding Maria the Copt on himself nor what he told her concerning the leadership of Abu Bakr and 'Umar after him, for he did not reproach him for this. (And when he told it her) when the Prophet (pbuh) informed Hafsah about what she said to 'A'ishah (she said) Hafsah said: (Who hath told thee) that I informed 'A'ishah? (He said) the Prophet (pbuh) said: (The Knower, the Aware hath told me) what you divulged to 'A'ishah.
66.3 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And, mention, when the Prophet confided to one of his wives, namely, Hafsa, a certain matter, which was his prohibition of Māriya, telling her: ‘Do not reveal it!’; but when she divulged it, to ‘Ā’isha, reckoning there to be no blame in [doing] such a thing, and God apprised him, He informed him, of it, of what had been divulged, he announced part of it, to Hafsa, and passed over part, out of graciousness on his part. So when he told her about it, she said, ‘Who told you this?’ He said, ‘I was told by the Knower, the Aware’, namely, God.
66.1-5 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Allah censures His Prophet for Prohibiting Himself from what He has allowed for Him In the Book
Al-Bukhari recorded that `Ubayd bin `Umayr said that he heard `A'ishah claiming that Allah's Messenger used to stay for a period in the house of Zaynab bint Jahsh and drink honey in her house. (She said) "Hafsah and I decided that when the Prophet entered upon either of us, we would say, `I smell Maghafir on you. Have you eaten Maghafir' When he entered upon one of us, she said that to him. He replied (to her),
«لَا، بَلْ شَرِبْتُ عَسَلًا عِنْدَ زَيْنَبَ بِنْتِ جَحْشٍ وَلَنْ أَعُودَ لَه»
(No, but I drank honey in the house of Zaynab bint Jahsh, and I will never drink it again.)'' Then the following was revealed;
يأَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَآ أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكَ
(O Prophet! Why do you fobid that which Allah has allowed to you) up to,
إِن تَتُوبَآ إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا
(If you both turn in repentance to Allah, your hearts are indeed so inclined;) in reference to `A'ishah and Hafsah.
وَإِذَ أَسَرَّ النَّبِىُّ إِلَى بَعْضِ أَزْوَجِهِ حَدِيثاً
(And (remember) when the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his wives,) which refers to this saying,
«بَلْ شَرِبْتُ عَسَلًا»
(But I have drunk honey.) Ibrahim bin Musa said that Hisham said that it also meant his saying,
«وَلَنْ أَعُودَ لَهُ وَقَدْ حَلَفْتُ فَلَا تُخْبِرِي بِذَلِكِ أَحَدًا»
(I will not drink it anymore, I have taken an oath to that. Therefore, do not inform anybody about it.) Al-Bukhari also recorded this Hadith in the Book of Divorce; then he said, "Al-Maghafir is a type of sap, and in Ar-Rimth (a type of citrus) its taste is sweet...'' Al-Jawhari said, "The `Urfut is a tree of the shrub variety, which secretes Maghfur.'' Muslim collected this Hadith from `A'ishah in the Book of Divorce in his Sahih, and his wording is the same as Al-Bukhari in the Book of Vows. In the Book of Divorce, Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said, "Allah's Messenger liked sweets and honey. After performing the `Asr prayer, he used to visit his wives, going close to them. So he went to Hafsah, daughter of `Umar, and stayed with her more than his usual stay. I (`A'ishah) became jealous and asked about that. It was said to me, `A woman of her family sent her a small vessel of honey as a gift, and she gave a drink to Allah's Messenger made from it.' I said, `By Allah, we will contrive a plot against him.' I said to Sawdah bint Zam`ah, `When the Messenger visits you and draws close to you, say to him, `Have you eaten Maghafir' And when he says to you, `No', then ask him, `What is this odor' He will say to you, `Hafsah has given me a drink of honey.' Then you should say to him, `The honeybees might have eaten from Urfut, and I will also say the same to him. Safiyyah, you should also say this.' Sawdah later said, `It was under compulsion that I had decided to state that which you told me; soon, by Allah, he was standing at my door.' So when Allah's Messenger came near her, she said, `O Messenger of Allah! Did you eat Maghafir' He said, `No.' She again said, `Then what is this odor' He said,
«سَقَتْنِي حَفْصَةُ شَرْبَةَ عَسَل»
(Hafsah gave me honey to drink.) She said, `The honeybees might have eaten from `Urfut.')'' `A'ishah continued, "When he came to me I said the same to him. He then visited Safiyyah and she also said similar to him. When he again visited Hafsah, she said, `O Messenger of Allah, should I not give you that (drink)' He said,
«لَا حَاجَةَ لِي فِيه»
(I do not need it.) Sawdah said, `By Allah! We have prevented him from drinking honey.' I said to her, `Keep quiet!''' Muslim also recorded this Hadith, but this wording is from Al-Bukhari. In the narration of Muslim, `A'ishah said, "The Messenger of Allah used to hate to have a bad odor coming from him'' This is why they suggested to him that he ate Maghafir, because it causes a bad odor. When he said,
«بَلْ شَرِبْتُ عَسَلًا»
(No, I had some honey.) They said that the bees ate from a tree that is called Al-`Urfut, which has Maghafir gum, suggesting that this is the reason behind the bad odor they claimed was coming from him. The latter narration, collected through `Urwah from `A'ishah, mentions that it was Hafsah who gave the Prophet the honey. In another narration collected from `Ubayd bin `Umayr, from `A'ishah, it was Zaynab bint Jahsh who gave the honey to the Prophet, while `A'ishah and Hafsah were the plotters. Allah knows best. Some might say that they were two separate incidents. However, it is not likely that the Ayat were revealed about both incidents, if indeed they were two separate incidents. Allah knows best. A Hadith that Imam Ahmad collected in the Musnad mentions that `A'ishah and Hafsah were the plotters. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "I was eager to ask `Umar about the two ladies among the wives of the Prophet, about whom Allah said,
إِن تَتُوبَآ إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا
(If you two turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined;) Then I performed Hajj along with `Umar, and on our way back from Hajj he went aside (to relieve himself). I also went aside along with him carrying a tumbler of water. When he finished and returned, I poured water on his hands from the tumbler and he performed ablution. I said, `O Commander of the faithful! Who were the two ladies among the wives of the Prophet, to whom Allah said,
إِن تَتُوبَآ إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا
(If you two turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined)' `Umar said, `I am astonished at your question, O Ibn `Abbas.''' - Az-Zuhri (a subnarrator) said that `Umar did not like the question, but he still answered it, saying that they were `A'ishah and Hafsah. "Then `Umar went on relating the story and said, `We, the people of Quraysh, used to have authority over our women. But when we came to live with the Ansar, we noticed that the Ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so our women started acquiring the habits of the Ansari women. At that time, I was residing at the house of Umayyah bin Zayd, in Al-`Awali. Once I got angry with my wife, and she talked back to me; I disliked her answering me back. She said, `Why do you dislike me talking back to you By Allah, the wives of the Prophet talk back to him, and some of them may not speak with him for the whole day, until nightfall.' Then I went to Hafsah and asked her, `Do you talk back to Allah's Messenger' She said, `Yes.' I asked, `Does any of you keep Allah's Messenger angry all day long, until night' She replied, `Yes.' I said, `Whoever among you does this is a ruined, losing person! Doesn't she fear that Allah may get angry for the anger of His Messenger and, thus, she will be ruined Don't ask Allah's Messenger too many things, and don't retort him in any case. Demand from me whatever you like, and don't be tempted to imitate your neighbor, for she is more beautiful than you, and more beloved to Allah's Messenger than you.' He meant `A'ishah.
I, and an Ansari neighbor of mine used to visit the Prophet in turns. He used to go one day, and I another day. When I went I would bring him the news of what had happened that day regarding the revelation and when he went, he used to do the same for me. In those days it was rumored that the Ghassan (tribe) were preparing their horses to invade us. My companion went and returned to us at night and knocked at my door. I came out to him. He said that a grave thing happened. I asked him, `What is it Have Ghassan come' He replied that it was worse and more serious than that, adding that Allah's Messenger had divorced all his wives. I said, `Hafsah is a ruined loser! I expected that would happen some day.' So I dressed myself and I performed the Subh prayer. I went to Hafsah and found her weeping. I asked her, `Has Allah's Messenger divorced all of you' She replied, `I don't know. He is there alone in the upper room.' I went to the upper room and asked a black slave of the Prophet to ask for his permission to see me, and the boy went in and then came out saying, `I mentioned you to him and he remained silent.' I then went out and came to the Minbar and found a group of people around it and some of them were weeping. I sat with them for some time, but could not endure the situation. So, I requested to the boy, `Will you get the permission for `Umar' He went in and then came out saying, `I mentioned you to him, but he did not reply.' So, I went to Minbar and sat with the people who were sitting by the Minbar, but I could not bear the situation, so I went to the boy again and said, `Will you get the permission for `Umar' He went in and brought the same reply as before. When I was leaving, behold, he called me saying, `Allah's Messenger has granted you permission.' So, I entered the Prophet's room, greeted him with the Salam and saw him lying on a mat without bedding on it, and the mat had left its mark on the body of the Prophet.
I said, `Have you divorced your wives, O Allah's Messenger' He raised his eyes to me and replied no. I said, `Allahu Akbar. O Allah's Messenger! We, the people of Quraysh used to have the upper hand over our women. But when we came to Al-Madinah, we found a people whose women had the upper hand over them. Our women started learning this behavior from them. Once, I got angry with my wife, and she talked back to me. I disliked that behavior from her and she said, `Why do you dislike that I talk back to you By Allah, the Prophet's wives talk back to him and one of them would ignore him the whole day, until the night.' I said to her, `Whoever does this among them is the ruined loser! Does she feel safe from Allah getting angry with her on account of His Messenger's anger In that case, she would be ruined.' On that the Prophet smiled. I then said, `O Allah's Messenger! I went to Hafsah and said to her, `Do not be tempted to imitate your companion (`A'ishah) for she is more beautiful than you and more beloved to the Prophet.' The Prophet smiled again. When I saw him smiling, I said, `Does the Messenger feel calm' He said, `Yes.' So, I sat down and cast a glance at the room, and by Allah, I couldn't see anything of importance, except three hides. I said, `Invoke Allah, O Allah's Messenger, to make your followers prosperous, for the Persians and the Byzantines have been made prosperous and given worldly luxuries, even though they do not worship Allah.' The Prophet sat upright and said,
«أَفِي شَكَ أَنْتَ يَا ابْنَ الْخَطَّابِ أُولَئِكَ قَوْمٌ عُجِّلَتْ لَهُمْ طَيِّبَاتُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا»
(O Ibn Al-Khattab! Do you have any doubt These people have been given rewards of their good deeds in this world only.) I asked the Prophet, `Please beg Allah's forgiveness for me, O Allah's Messenger.' The Prophet swore that he would not go to his wives for one month, because of his severe anger towards them, until Allah the Exalted and Most Honored censured him.'' Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i also collected this Hadith using various chains of narration. Al-Bukhari and Muslim also collected it from Ibn `Abbas, who said, "For a whole year, I was eager to ask `Umar bin Al-Khattab about an Ayah. However, I hesitated out of respect for him. Once, he went on a Hajj trip and I accompanied him. On our way back, he stopped to relieve himself behind some trees of Arak. I stopped until he finished and then walked along with him and asked him, `O Leader of the believers! Who are the two women who helped each other (or plotted) against the Prophet ''' This is the narration that Al-Bukhari collected, while Muslim recorded that Ibn `Abbas asked, "Who are the two women about whom Allah the Exalted said,
وَإِن تَظَاهَرَا عَلَيْهِ
(but if you help one another against him, )'' `Umar replied, "A'ishah and Hafsah.'' Muslim mentioned the rest of the Hadith. Muslim also recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said to him, "When Allah's Messenger stayed away from his wives, I entered the Masjid and found people striking the ground with pebbles. They said, `Allah's Messenger has divorced his wives.' That occurred before Hijab was commanded. I said to myself, `I must investigate this news today.''' So he mentioned the Hadith in which he went to `A'ishah and Hafsah and admonished them. He then said, `I went in and found Rabah, the servant of Allah's Messenger, sitting on a window sill. I called, `O Rabah, seek permission for me from Allah's Messenger.''' He then mentioned the story as we mentioned above. `Umar continued, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah, what trouble do you feel from your wives If you have divorced them, verily Allah is with you, His angels, Jibril, Mikal, I, Abu Bakr and the rest of believers are with you.' Often, when I talked, all praise is due to Allah, I hoped that Allah would testify to the words that I uttered. And so the Ayat of option was revealed. Allah said,
عَسَى رَبُّهُ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَجاً خَيْراً مِّنكُنَّ
(Maybe his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him in your place wives better than you,) and,
وَإِن تَظَاهَرَا عَلَيْهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ مَوْلَـهُ وَجِبْرِيلُ وَصَـلِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ ظَهِيرٌ
(but if you help one another against him, then verily, Allah is his Protector, and Jibril, and the righteous among the believers; and after that the angels are his helpers.) I said, `Messenger of Allah, have you divorced them' He said, `No.' I stood at the door of the Masjid and called out at the top of my voice, `The Messenger of Allah has not divorced his wives.' It was on this occasion that this Ayah was revealed,
وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الاٌّمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى أُوْلِى الاٌّمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ
(When any matter pertaining to peace or alarm comes to them, they broadcast it; whereas, if they would refer it to the Messenger and those who have been entrusted with authority among them, those of them who are engaged in obtaining intelligence would indeed know (what to do with) it.)(4:83) It was I who understood (and properly investigated) this matter.'' Similar was said by Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ad-Dahhak and others. The Ayah,
وَصَـلِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
(and the righteous among the believers;) refers to Abu Bakr and `Umar. Al-Hasan Al-Basri added `Uthman to them. Layth bin Abi Sulaym said from Mujahid:
وَصَـلِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
(and the righteous among the believers;) includes `Ali bin Abi Talib also. Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas said, "`Umar said, `The wives of the Prophet were all jealous for his affection, and I said to them,
عَسَى رَبُّهُ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَجاً خَيْراً مِّنكُنَّ
(Maybe his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him instead of you, wives better than you.) Thereafter, this Ayah was revealed.''' We mentioned before that `Umar said statements that were confirmed by the Qur'an, such as about the revelation about Hijab see 33:53 and the captive idolators after the battle of Badr see 8:67. `Umar's suggestion to take the Station of Ibrahim as a place for prayer and Allah revealed this Ayah;
وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
(And take you the Maqam (station) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer.) (2:125) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Anas said that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "I heard news that the Mothers of the faithful had a dispute with the Prophet. So I advised them, saying, `Either stop bothering Allah's Messenger or Allah might provide him better wives than you. Al-Hasan Al-Basri added `Uthman to them. Layth bin Abi Sulaym said from Mujahid:
وَصَـلِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
(and the righteous among the believers;) includes `Ali bin Abi Talib also. Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas said, "`Umar said, `The wives of the Prophet were all jealous for his affection, and I said to them,
عَسَى رَبُّهُ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَجاً خَيْراً مِّنكُنَّ
(Maybe his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him instead of you, wives better than you.) Thereafter, this Ayah was revealed.''' We mentioned before that `Umar said statements that were confirmed by the Qur'an, such as about the revelation about Hijab see 33:53 and the captive idolators after the battle of Badr see 8:67. `Umar's suggestion to take the Station of Ibrahim as a place for prayer and Allah revealed this Ayah;
وَاتَّخِذُواْ مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
(And take you the Maqam (station) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer.) (2:125) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Anas said that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "I heard news that the Mothers of the faithful had a dispute with the Prophet. So I advised them, saying, `Either stop bothering Allah's Messenger or Allah might provide him better wives than you. Abu `Abdur-Rahman As-Sulami, Abu Malik, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi, and others.
66.3 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Different things have been reported in different traditions, saying that the Holy Prophet had told such and such a thing to one of his wives in confidence, which she disclosed to another wife. But for us, in the first place, it is not right to investigate it, for it is on the disclosure of a secret that Allah is taking a wife to task it cannot therefore be right for us to inquire into it and try to uncover it. Secondly, in view of the object for which this verse was sent down, it is not at all important to know what the secret was. Had it any connection with the object of the discourse, Allah would Himself have mentioned it The real object for which this incident has been related in the Qur'an is to warn the Holy Prophet's wives and. through them, the wives of the responsible people among the Muslims not to be careless in the matter of guarding secrets. Had it been only a private and personal affair, as is generally the case between the husband and the wife in the world there was no need that Allah should have directly informed the Holy Prophet of it through revelation, and then did not rest content only with giving the information, but should also have recorded it in the Holy Book which the whole world has to recite forever. The reason why it was given such importance was that this wife was not the wife of an ordinary husband but of that illustrious husband, whom Allah had appointed to the office of the highest responsibility, who was locked in an incessant battle with the disbelievers, polytheists and hypocrites at all times and under whose leadership a fierce conflict was going on for establishing Islam in place of paganism. In the house of such an illustrious man there could be countless things which if not kept secret but disclosed before time, could harm the great mission which he was performing. Therefore, when a lady of the house happened to show this weakness for the first time in that she disclosed a secret that had been told her in confidence, to another (a member of her own household), the weakness was immediately pointed out to her, not secretly but openly in the Qur'an, so as to impart training in the guarding of secrets not only to the wives of the Holy Prophet but also to the wives of all responsible people of the Muslim community. In the verse the question whether the secret disclosed pertained to a matter of any consequence or not, and whether its disclosure could cause any harm to the mission or not, has been altogether ignored. What has been disapproved and pointed out in particular is that the secret was disclosed to another. The higher the position of responsibility a person holds the more dangerous would be the leakage of secrets from his house. No matter whether a thing is of any consequence or not, once a person becomes careless in the matter of guarding secrets, he may reveal important things as well as trivial matters.