The Quran

Commentaries for 66.4

At Tahrim (Prohibition) - التحريم

66.4 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(If ye twain turn unto Allah repentant) if you two, i.e. Hafsah and 'A'ishah, repent of hurting and disobeying the Prophet (pbuh) ((ye have cause to do so) for your hearts desired (the ban)) for your hearts have deviated from the Truth; (and if ye aid one another against him (Muhammad)) but if you help one another to harm and disobey him (then lo! Allah, even He, is his protecting Friend) then Allah is his Protector and Helper against you, (and Gabriel) will help him against you (and the righteous among the believers) all true believers are helpers to him against you: Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Ali, may Allah be well pleased with, and all other true believers; (and furthermore the angels are his helpers) and the angels are with all these his helpers against you.
66.4 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
If the two of you, namely, Hafsa and ‘Ā’isha, repent to God … for your hearts were certainly inclined, towards the prohibition of Māriya, that is to say, your keeping this secret despite [knowing] the Prophet’s (s) dislike of it, which is itself a sin (the response to the conditional [‘if the two of you repent to God’] has been omitted, to be understood as, ‘it will be accepted of both of you’; the use of [the plural] qulūb, ‘hearts’, instead of [the dual] qalbayn, ‘both [your] hearts’, is on account of the cumbersomeness of putting two duals together in what is effectively the same word); and if you support one another (tazzāharā: the original second tā’ [of tatazāharā] has been assimilated with the zā’; a variant reading has it without [this assimilation, tazāharā]) against him, that is, the Prophet, in what he is averse to, then [know that] God, He (huwa, [a pronoun] for separation) is indeed his Protector, His supporter, and Gabriel, and the righteous among the believers, Abū Bakr and ‘Umar, may God be pleased with both of them (wa-Jibrīlu wa-sālihu’l-mu’minīna is a supplement to the [syntactical] locus of the subject of inna [sc. ‘God’]), who will [also] be his supporters, and the angels furthermore, further to the support of God and those mentioned, are his supporters, assistants of his, in supporting him [to prevail] over both of you.
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.
66.4-5 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The word saghat in the original is from Baghy which means to swerve and to become crooked. Shah Waliyullah and Shah Rafi'uddin have translated this sentence thus: "Crooked have become your hearts." Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas, Sufyan Thauri and Dahhak have given this meaning of it: "Your hearts have swerved from the right path." Imam Razi explains it thus: "Your hearts have swerved from what is right, and the right implies the right of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace)." And 'Allama Alusi's commentary is Although it is incumbent on you that you should approve what the Holy Messenger (upon whom he peace) approves and disapprove what he disapproves, yet in this matter your hearts have swerved from conformity with him and turned in opposition to him."
The word tazahur means to cooperate mutually in opposition to another person, or to be united against another person. Shah Waliyullah has translated this sentence, thus: "If you mutually join together to cause distress to the Prophet. " Shah 'Abdul Qadir's translation is: "If you both overwhelm him." Maulana Ashraf 'Al Thanwi's translation urns: "And if you both continued to work thus against the Prophet. " And Maulana Shabbir Ahmad 'Uthmami has explained it thus:,"If you two continued to work and behave thus (against the Prophet)."
The verse is clearly addressed to two ladies and the context shows that these ladies are from among the wives of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) for in vv. 1-5 of this Surah the affairs concerning the Holy Prophet's wives only have been discussed continuously, and this becomes obvious from the style of the Qur'an itself..As for the question who were the wives, and what was the matter which caused Allah's displeasure, the details are found in the Hadith. In Musnad Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Nasa'i, a detailled tradition of Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas has been related, which describes the incident with sane variation in wording. Ibn 'Abbas says:
"I had been thinking a long time to ask Hadrat 'Umar as to who were the two of the Holy Prophet's wives, who had joined each other against him, and about whom Allah sent down this verse: In tatuba.....; but I could not muster courage because of his awe-inspiring personality until he left for Hajj and I accompanied him. On our way back while helping him to perform ablutions for the Prayer at one place I had an opportunity to ask him this question. He replied: they were 'A'ishah and Hafsah. Then he began to relate the background, saying: "We, the people of Quraish, were used to keeping our women folk under strict control. Then. when we came to Madinah, we found that the people here were under the control of their wives, and the women of Quraish too started learning the same thing from them. One day when I became angry with my wife, I was amazed to see that she argued with me. I felt badly about her conduct. She said, 'Why should you feel so angry at my behavior? By God, the wives of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) answer him back face to face,' (the word in the original is li yuraji nahu) and some one of them remains angrily apart from hire for the whole day. (According to Bukhari: the Holy Prophet remains angry and- apart from her the whole day). Hearing this I came out of my house and went to Hafsah (who was Hadrat `Umar's daughter and the Holy Prophet's wife). I asked her. Do you answer back to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) face to face? She said: Yes. asked: And does one of you remain apart from him for the whole day (According to Bukhari: the Holy Prophet remains angry and apart from her for the entire day). She said: Yes. I said: Wretched is the one from among you, who behaves thus. Has one of you become so fearless of this that Allah should afflict her with His wrath because of the wrath of His Prophet and she should perish? So, do not be rude to the Prophet (here also the words are: la turaji-'i), nor demand of him anything, but demand of me whatever you desire. Do not be misled by this that your neighbor (i.e. Hadrat `A'ishah) is more beautiful and dearer to the Holy Prophet. After this I left her house and went to the house of Umm Salamah, who was related to me, and talked to her on this subject. She said: Son of Khattab, you are a strange man: you have meddled in every matter until you are now interfering in the affair between Allah's Messenger and his wives. She discouraged me. Then it so happened that an Ansari neighbor came to my house at night and he called out to me. We used to sit in the Holy Prophet's assembly by turns and each used to pass on to the other the news of the day of his turn. It was the time when we were apprehending an attack by the Ghassanids any time. On his call when I came out of my house, he said that something of grave significance had happened. 1 said: Have the Ghassanids launched an attack? He said: No, but something even more serious! The Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has divorced his wives. I said: Doomed is Hafsah (the words in Bukhari are: Raghima anfu Hafsah wa `Aishah). I already had a premonition of this."
We have left out what happened after this, how next morning Hadrat 'Umar went before the Holy Prophet and tried to appease his anger. We have described this incident by combining the traditions of Musnad Ahmad and Bukhari. In this the word muraj`at which Hadrat `Umar has used cannot be taken in its literal sense, but the context shows that the word has been used in the sense of answering back face to face and Hadrat `Umar's saying to his daughter: La turaji- `I Rasul Allah clearly has the meaning: Do not be impudent to the Messenger of Allah, Some people say that this is a wrong translation, and their objection is: Although it is correct to translate muraja `at as answering hack, or answering hack face to face, yet it is not correct to translate it as "bing impudent". These objectors do not understand that if a person of a lower rank or position answers back or retorts to a person of a higher rank and position, or answers him back face to face this very thing is described as impudence. For example, if a father rebukes his son for something or feels angry at his behaviour, and the son instead of keeping quiet or offering an excuse, answers back promptly this could only he described as impudence. Then, when the matter is not between a father and a son, but between the Messenger of Allah and an individual of his community, only a foolish person could say that it was not impudence.
Some other people regard this translation of ours as disrespectful, whereas it could be disrespectful in case we had had the boldness to use such words in respect of Hadrat Hafsah from ourselves. We have only given the correct meaning of the words of.Hadrat 'Umar, and these words he had used while scolding and reproving his daughter for her error. Describing it as disrespectful would mean that either the father should treat his daughter with due respect and reverence even when scolding and rebuking her or else the translator should render his rebuke and reproof in a way as to make it sound respectful and reverent.
Here, what needs to be considered carefully is that if it was such an ordinary and trivial matter that when the Holy Prophet said something to his wives they would retort to Him, why was it given so much importance that in the Qur'an Allah administered a severe warning directly to the wives themselves? And why did Hadrat 'Umar take it as such a grave matter that first he reproved his own daughter, then visited the house of the other wives and asked them to fear the wrath of Allah? And, about all, was the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) also so sensitive that he would take offense at minor things and become annoyed with his wives, and was he, God forbid, so irritable that once having been annoyed at such things he had severed his connections with all his wives and retired to his private apartment in seclusion? If a person considers these questions deeply, he will inevitably have to adopt one of the two views in the explanation of these verses Either on account of his excessive concern for reverence for the holy wives he should not at all mind if a fault is imputed to Allah and His Messenger, or else he should admit in a straightforward way that at that time the attitude and behavior of these holy wives has actually become so objectionable that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) was justified in becoming annoyed over it, and more than that, Allah Himself was justified that He should administer a severe warning to the wives on their unseemly behavior and attitude.
That is, "You would only harm yourselves if you upheld and supported each other against the Messenger of Allah (upon whom be Allah's peace), for none could succeed against him whose Protector was Allah and who had Gabriel and the angels and all the righteous Believers on his side. "
This shows that the fault did not lie only with Hadrat 'A'isha and Hadrat Hafsah but the other wives also had some share in it. That is why, after them, all the other wives too, have been warned in this verse. No light has been thrown on the nature of the error in the Qur'an. However, some details are found in the Hadith, which we shall relate below.
In Bukhari, a tradition has been reported from Hadrat Anas, saying that Hadrat 'Umar said: "The Holy Prophet's wives because of their mutual envies and rivalries had utterly displeased him. At this I said to them: It may well be that if the Holy Prophet divorced you, Allah would give him in your place better wives than you. " Ibn Abi Hatim has, on the authority of Hadrat Anas, reported the statement of Hadrat Umar in these words: "I was informed that a discord had been created between the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) and his wives. At this I went to each of them and asked them to refrain from vexing the Holy Prophet; otherwise Allah would give him in their stead better wives than them selves. So much so that when I went to the last of them (and according to a tradition of Bukhari, to Umm Salamah), she said to me: O `Umar, is not the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) himself enough to admonish his wives? Then why should you come out to counsel them? This made me quiet, and after this Allah sent down this verse.'
In Muslim, Hadrat `Abdullah bin 'Abbas has related that Hadrat 'Umar said to him: "When the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) separated himself from his wives, I went to the Mosque and found the people worried and upset and playing with pebbles and saying to one another: 'The Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has divorced his wives.' After this Hadrat `Umar related his visiting the apartments of Hadrat 'A'ishah and Hafsah and admonishing them. then said: I went before the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) and said: Why do you feel upset with regard to your wives? If you divorce them, Allah is with you, all the angels and Gabriel and Michael arc with you, and I and Abu Bakr and all the Believers are with you. I thank Allah that seldom has it so happened that I said a thing and did not have hope from Allah that He would testify to what I said. So, after this these verses of Surah At-Tahrim were sent down. Then I asked the Holy Prophet: Have you divorced your wives'? He said: No. Thereupon I stood at the entrance of the Mosque and announced in a loud voice: The Holy Prophet has not divorced his wives."
The traditions related in Bukhari from Hadrat Anas and in Musnad Ahmad from Hadrat 'Abdullah bin `Abbas, Hadrat 'A'ishah and Hadrat Abu Hurairah say that the Holy Prophet had pledged to remain away from his wives for a month and he retired in seclusion to his apartment. When 29 days passed, Gabriel carne and said; "You have fulfilled your oath: a month has come to completion."
Hafiz Badruddin 'Aini in 'Umdat al-Qari has related this on the authority of Hadrat 'A'ishah: The wives of the Holy Prophet had become divided into two parties. one party consisted of Hadrat 'A'ishah herself and Hadrat Hafsah. Hadrat Saudah and Hadrat Safiyyah, and the other of Hadrat Zainab, Hadrat.Umm Salamah and the rest of the wives.
These traditions indicate to some extent the conditions,that existed in the Holy Prophet's domestic life at that time, which made it necessary that Allah Almighty should intervene and reform the attitude of the holy wives. Although the wives were the best ladies of society, yet they were human beings and were not tree from human weaknesses. Sometimes when it became difficult for them to lead a life of continuous poverty and hardship, they would become restive, impatient and would start pressing the Holy Prophet for better maintenance. At this Allah sent down vv. 28-29 of Surah Al-Ahzab and admonished them to the effect: 'If you seek the world and its adornments,.our Messenger will give you of these and send you of in a good way. But if you seek Allah and His Messenger and the Hereafter, you should bear up against the hardships with patience, which you might have to face when living with the Messenger." (For details, see E.N. 41 of Surah Al-Ahzab and the Introduction to it). Then on account of the feminine nature they sometimes happened to behave in a way, which though not unusual in everyday human life, did not go well with the unique dignity and great responsibilities of the house to which Allah had given them the honor to belong. So, when it was apprehended that those things might embitter the Holy Prophet's domestic life and might even adversely affect the great mission that Allah had entrusted to him, He sent down this verse in the Qur'an, and reformed them so that the holy wives may realize the responsibilities of the position and rank which they had attained as the life-companions of the Last Messenger of Allah, and should not regard themselves as ordinary women and their household as a common household. The very first sentence of this verse was such as might have caused Their hearts to shudder. There could be no severer warning for them than,this: `It may well be that if the Prophet divorces all of you, Allah will give him in your place better wives than yourselves." In the first place, even the thought of being divorced by the Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) was unbearable for them: more than that, this would deprive them of the honor of being Mothers of the Believers, and the other women whom Allah would give as wives to the Prophet would be better than them, After this it was no longer possible for the holy wives to behave in a way as would have occasioned a reproof from Allah. That is why we find only two places in the Qur'an where these select and distinguished ladies have been administered a warning, in Surah Al-Ahzab and here in Surah At-Tahrim.
In the places where the words Muslim and mu min have been used together, Muslim means the one who carries out Divine commands practically, and mu min the one who believes sincerely and truly Thus, the foremost quality of the best Muslim wives is that they should be believing in Allah and His Messenger and His Religion (din) sincerely and also practically following Allah's Religion in their morals, habits, customs and conduct.
"Obedient" has two meanings and both are implied here
(1) They are obedient to Allah and His Messenger:
(2) they are obedient to their husbands.
The word when used as attribute of a man does not imply the one who offers repentance only once but the one who continues to implore Allah again and again for the forgiveness of his mistakes, whose conscience is alive and active, who is always a are of his weaknesses and errors and is penitent for them. Such a person never feels proud, arrogant and conceited, but is gentle and clement by nature.
A worshiper can never be so heedless of God as a non-worshiper. This also helps much in making a woman a good wife. Being devout she adheres to the bounds set by Allah, recognizes and discharges the rights of others and keeps her faith fresh and alive at all times. Because of these qualities she can better be expected that she would not reject obedience to Divine Commands.
The word saihat in the original has been interpreted by several companions and large number of their successors to mean the same as sa imat (those given to fasting). The reason why the word siyahat journeying has been used for fasting is that in the ancient times journeys were mostly undertaken by the monks and ascetics, who had no provisions and had to go without food till they got something to eat from somewhere. On that account fasting also is a kind of asceticism, for a faster has to remain hungry until the time of breaking the fast. Ibn Jarir in his Commentary of At-Taubah 12 has cited a saying of Hadrat 'A'ishah, saying: "The journeying (i.e. asceticism) of the Ummah is fasting. Here, making mention of fasting as an attribute of the pious wives does not mean that they observe the obligatory fasting month of Ramadan only but that they observe voluntary fasts also besides the obligatory fasts.
Addressing the holy wives Allah's saying: "If the Holy Messenger divorces all of you, Allah will give him in your place better wives who will have this quality" does not mean that the wives were not virtuous, but it means; "Give up your wrong conduct which is causing so much distress to the Holy Prophet; instead, pay attention to developing in yourselves these noble qualities to the highest degree.'
66.4 Wahidi - Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi
(If ye twain turn unto Allah repentant, (ye have cause to do so) for your hearts desired (the ban)…) [66:4]. Abu Mansur al-Mansuri informed us> Abu’l-Hasan al-Daraqutni> al-Husayn ibn Isma‘il> ‘Abd Allah ibn Shabib> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz> his father> al-Zuhri> ‘Ubayd Allah ibn ‘Abd Allah> Ibn ‘Abbas who said: “Hafsah found the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, with Umm Ibrahim when it was ‘A’ishah’s turn. She said to him: ‘I will definitely inform her!’ The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘She is forbidden for me if I touch her again’. Hafsah went ahead and informed ‘A’ishah. Allah informed His Messenger of this and he let Hafsah know some of the things she said. She asked him: ‘Who informed you of this?’ He said: ‘(The Knower, the Aware hath told me) [66:3]’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, stayed away from his wives for a month and then Allah, glorious and exalted is He, revealed: (If ye twain turn unto Allah repentant, (ye have cause to do so) for your hearts desired (the ban)…)”.