Monday 29 March 2021

Surah At-Talaq (The Divorce): Exegesis / Tafsir 65th Chapter of Quran

Sūrah Aṭ-Ṭalāq "الطلاق " - The Divorce is the sixty fifth sürah with 12 āyāt with two rukus, part of the 28th Juzʼ  of the Qur'ān. 
At-Talaq is not only the name of this Surah but also the title of its subject matter, for it contains commandments about Talaq (divorce) itself. Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud has described it as Surah an-Nisa al-qusra also, i.e. the shorter Surah an-Nisa.

Theme and Subject Matter: Although the following connected verses and rules of divorce have already been shred in the Overview/Summary of the surah, however, in view of the criticality and sensitivity of matter under discussion, i.e., divorce and the waiting period (Iddat), these are re-shared as a prelude to the tafsir/exegesis of the surah: [2]
  • "Divorce may be pronounced twice; then the wife may either be kept back in fairness or allowed to separate in fairness." (Al Baqarah 229)
  • "And the divorced women (after the pronouncement of the divorce) must wait for three monthly courses... and their husbands are fully entitled to take them back (as their wives) during this waiting period, if they desire reconciliation." (Al Baqarah 228)
  • "Then, if the husband divorces his wife (for the third time), she shall not remain lawful for him after this divorce, unless she marries another husband..." (Al-Baqarah : 230)
  • "When you marry the believing women, and then divorce them before you have touched them, they do not have to fulfill a waiting period, the completion of which you may demand of them." (Al-Ahzab : 49)
  • "And if those of you who die, leave wives behind, the women should abstain (from marriage) for four months and ten days." (Al-Baqarah 234)
The rules prescribed in these verses were as follows:
  • A man can pronounce at the most three divorces on his wife.
  • In case the husband has pronounced one or two divorces he is entitled to keep the woman back as wife within the waiting period and if after the expiry of the waiting period the two desire to re-marry, they can re- marry there is no condition of legalization (tahlil). But if the husband has pronounced three divorces, he forfeits his right to keep her as his wife within the waiting. period, and they cannot re-marry unless the woman re-marries another husband and he subsequently divorces her of his own free will.
  • The waiting period of the woman, who menstruates and marriage with whom has been consummated, is that she should pass three monthly courses. The waiting period in case of one or two divorces is that the woman is still the legal wife of the husband and he can keep her back as his wife within the waiting period. But if the husband has pronounced three divorces, this waiting period cannot be taken advantage of for the purpose of reconciliation, but it is only meant to restrain the woman from re-marrying another person before it comes to an end.
  • There is no waiting. period for the woman, marriage with whom has not been consummated, and who is divorced even before she is touched. She can re-marry, if she likes, immediately after the divorce.
  • The waiting period of the woman whose husband dies, is four months and ten days.
Here, one should understand well that Surah At-Talaq was not sent down to annul any of these rules or amend it, but it was sent down for two purposes;
First, that the man who has been given the right to pronounce divorce should be taught such judicious methods of using this right as do not lead to separation, as far as possible however, if separation does take place, it should only be in case all possibilities of mutual reconciliation have been exhausted. For in the Divine Law provision for divorce has been made only as an unavoidable necessity; otherwise Allah does not approve that the marriage relationship that has been established between a man and a woman should ever break. The Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) has said "Allah has not made lawful anything more hateful in His sight than divorce." (Abu Daud). And: "Of all the things permitted by the Law, the most hateful in the sight of Allah is the divorce, (Abu Daud)
The second object was to complement this section of the family law of Islam by supplying answers to the questions that had remained after the revelation of the commandments in Surah Al-Baqarah. So, answers have been supplied to the following questions: What would be the waiting period of the women, marriage with whom has been consummated and who no longer menstruate, or those who have not yet menstruated, in case they are divorced? What would be the waiting period of the woman, who is pregnant, or the woman whose husband dies, if she is divorced? And what arrangements would be made for the maintenance and lodging of the different categories of divorced women, and for the fosterage of the child whose parents have separated on account of a divorce?

Yusuf Ali's Introduction to the Surah

This is the ninth of the ten short Madinah Surahs dealing with the social if the Community. The aspect dealt with here is Divorce, and the necessity precautions to guard against its abuse. The relations of the sexes are an important factor in the social life of the Community, and this and the following Surah deal with certain aspects of it. "Of all things permitted by Law", said the Prophet, "divorce is the most hateful in the sight of Allah". (Abu Da-ud, an, xiii. 3). While the sanctity of marriage is the essential basis of family the incompatibility of individuals and the weaknesses of human nature require certain outlets and safeguards if that sanctity is not to be made into a fetish at the expense of human life. That is why the question of Divorce is his Surah linked with the question of insolent impiety and its punishment. 

Although it is mere 12 āyāt sürah, it is divided into two Ruku to stress on the one of the most critical decisions of ones life: The Divorce !
  • Ruku One Verses 1-7: Laws of divorce and Iddat (waiting period) before the divorce take effect and Iddat (waiting period) is three menstruation periods or three months and delivery in case of pregnancy
  • Ruku Two Verses 8-12: Rebellion against Allah's commandment may bring stern reckoning or exemplary punishment, so fear Allah and adhere to His laws
We have already presented the overview / summary of the sürah. Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer in English. 

Note: In view of the criticality and sensitivity of the social issue of Divorce, please read the explanations, which are rather very elaborate in Ruku One, very carefully to really understand the implications of divorce. Also listen to Mufti Menk in video shared at the end of Ruku One if you are planning on a Divorce.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku One Verses 1-7:

یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ اِذَا طَلَّقۡتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَطَلِّقُوۡہُنَّ لِعِدَّتِہِنَّ وَ اَحۡصُوا الۡعِدَّۃَ ۚ وَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ رَبَّکُمۡ ۚ لَا تُخۡرِجُوۡہُنَّ مِنۡۢ بُیُوۡتِہِنَّ وَ لَا یَخۡرُجۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یَّاۡتِیۡنَ بِفَاحِشَۃٍ مُّبَیِّنَۃٍ ؕ وَ تِلۡکَ حُدُوۡدُ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّتَعَدَّ حُدُوۡدَ اللّٰہِ فَقَدۡ ظَلَمَ نَفۡسَہٗ ؕ لَا تَدۡرِیۡ لَعَلَّ اللّٰہَ یُحۡدِثُ بَعۡدَ ذٰلِکَ اَمۡرًا
( 1 )   O Prophet, when you [Muslims] divorce women, divorce them for [the commencement of] their waiting period and keep count of the waiting period, and fear Allah, your Lord. Do not turn them out of their [husbands'] houses, nor should they [themselves] leave [during that period] unless they are committing a clear immorality. And those are the limits [set by] Allah. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah has certainly wronged himself. You know not; perhaps Allah will bring about after that a [different] matter.
That is, O believers, you should not make undue haste in the matter of pronouncing divorce: your minor family quarrels should not so incite you that you should pronounce the final divorce in a fit of anger and there remains no chance for reconciliation. However When you have to divorce your wives, you should divorce them for their prescribed waiting period. Pronouncing divorce for the waiting period has two meanings and both are implied here.
First, that you should divorce them at a time when their waiting period can begin. This thing has already been prescribed in ( Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 228). The waiting period of the married woman who menstruates is three monthly courses after the pronouncement of divorce. If this commandment is kept in view the only appropriate time of pronouncing divorce that the waiting period may duly begin is when she is not in her courses, for the waiting period cannot begin from the course during which she may have been divorced, and divorcing her in that state would mean that, contrary to the divine command, her waiting period should extend to four courses instead of three courses. Furthermore, this commandment also demands that the woman should not be divorced in the period of purity during which the husband may have had sexual intercourse with her. For in this case, at the time divorce is pronounced, neither the husband nor the wife can know whether she has conceived in consequence of the intercourse or not. Because of this neither the waiting period can begin on the hypothesis that this would be reckoned in view of the succeeding monthly courses nor on the hypothesis that this would be the waiting period of a pregnant woman. So, this commandment lays down two rules simultaneously. First, that divorce should not be pronounced during menstruation.
Second, that divorce may be pronounced either in the period of purity during which there was no sexual intercourse with the woman, or in the state when the woman’s being pregnant was known. A little consideration of the matter will show that the restrictions imposed on the pronouncement of divorce are for good reasons. The reason for imposing the restriction on the pronouncement of divorce during menstruation is that in this state the husband and the wife are somewhat estranged from each other because of the prohibition of sexual intercourse in this state and also from the medical viewpoint it is confirmed that the woman is not temperamentally normal during the courses. Therefore, if a quarrel starts between them in this state, both the husband and the wife would be helpless to an extent to put an end to it, and if the matter is deferred till the woman is free from her courses, there is the possibility that the woman also may return to her normal temperamental state and the mutual attraction that nature has placed between them also may work and reunite them. Likewise, the reason for prohibiting the pronouncement of divorce during the purity period in which sexual intercourse may have taken place, is that if in consequence of it conception takes place, it can neither be known to the husband nor to the wife. Therefore, it cannot be a suitable time for pronouncing the divorce. If the man comes to know that conception has taken place, he would think a hundred times before deciding finally whether he should pronounce divorce or not on the woman who carries his child in her womb. The woman also in view of the future of her child would try her best to remove the causes of her husband's displeasure. But if a decision is taken blindly, in undue haste, and then it is known that conception had taken place, both will regret it later.
This is the first meaning of divorcing for the prescribed waiting period, which applies only to those women marriage with whom has been consummated, who menstruate and may possibly conceive. As for its second meaning it is this: If you have to divorce your wives, you should divorce them till the expiry of their waiting period. That is, do not pronounce three divorces all at once leading to permanent separation, but pronounce one, or at the most two divorces, and wait till the end of the waiting period, so that there remains some chance for reconciliation for you at any time during this period. According to this meaning; this commandment is also useful in respect of those woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who menstruate as well as of those who no longer menstruate, or those who have not yet menstruated, or those whose pregnancy at the time of the pronouncement of divorce is known. If this divine command is rightly followed, no one will regret after having pronounced divorce, for if divorce is pronounced in this way, there remains room for reconciliation within the waiting period, and even after the expiry of the waiting period the possibility remains that the separated husband and wife may remarry if they wish reconciliation.

This same meaning of talliqu-hunna li-iddati hinna (divorce them for their prescribed waiting-period) has been given by the earliest commentators. Ibn Abbas has given this commentary of it: One should not pronounce divorce during menstruation nor in the period of purity (tahr) during which the husband may have had sexual intercourse. But one should leave the wife alone till she attains purity after the course; then one may pronounce a single divorce on her. In this case even if there is no reconciliation and the waiting period expires, she would be separated by the single divorce. (Ibn Jarir).

Abdullah bin Masud says:
Divorce for the waiting period means that one should pronounce the divorce in the woman‘s state of purity without having had an intercourse with her. The same commentary has been reported from Abdullah bin Umar, Ata, Mujahid, Maimun bin Mahran, Muqatil bin Hayyan, and Dahhak, Ibn Kathir. Ikrimah has explained it thus: One may pronounce the divorce in the state when the woman’s being pregnant is known, and not when one has had sexual intercourse with her and it is not known whether she has conceived or not. (Ibn Kathir). Both Hasan Basri and lbn Sirin say: Divorce should be pronounced during the state of purity without having had sexual intercourse or when the woman’s being pregnant becomes known. (Ibn Jarir).
The intention of this verse was best explained by the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself on the occasion when Abdullah bin Umar had divorced his wife while she was discharging the menses. 
The details of this incident have been reported in almost all collections of Hadith and the same, in fact, are the source of the law in this connection. It so happened that when Abdullah divorced his wife while she was menstruating, Umar came before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and mentioned it to him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) expressed great displeasure and said: command him to take her back and keep her as his wife till she is purified, that she again menstruates and is again purified: then if he so desires he may divorce her in her state of purity without having any sexual intercourse with her. This is the waiting period which Allah Almighty has prescribed for the divorce of women. In a tradition the words are to the effect: Either one may pronounce the divorce in the woman’s state of purity without having a sexual intercourse, or in the state when her being pregnant becomes fully known.
The intention of this verse is further explained by a few other Ahadith which have been reported from the prophet (peace be upon him) and some of the major companions. Nasai has related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed that a person had pronounced three divorces on his wife in one sitting. He stood up in anger and said: Are the people playing with the Book of Allah, although I am present among you? Seeing the Prophet's extreme anger on this occasion, a person asked: Should I not go and kill the man?

Abdur Razzaq has reported about Ubadah bin as-Samit that his father pronounced one thousand divorces on his wife. He went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked his ruling on it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: 
By the three divorces the woman stood separated from him along with Allah’s disobedience, and 997 pronouncement remained as acts of injustice and sin, for which Allah might punish him if He so willed and forgive him if He so willed.
In the details of the incident concerning Hadrat Abdullah bin Umar, which have been related in Daraqutni and Ibn Abi Shaibah, another thing also is that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded Abdullah bin Umar to take his wife back, he asked: Had I pronounced three divorces on her, could I have taken her back even then? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: No, she would have stood separated from you, and this would have been an act of sin. In another tradition the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) words are to the effect: Had you done this, you would have committed disobedience of your Lord while your wife would have been separated from you.

The legal rulings reported from the companions in this regard are also in complete conformity with the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) injunctions. According to a tradition in Muwatta, a person came to Abdullah bin Masud and said: I have pronounced eight divorces on my wife. Ibn Masud asked: What legal opinion have you been given in this regard? He said: I have been told that the woman stands separated from me. Ibn Masud said: The people have said the right thing: the legal position is the same as they have told you.

Abdur Razzaq has related from Alqamah that a person said to Ibn Masud: I have pronounced 99 divorces on my wife. He said: Three divorces separate her from you; the rest are (acts of sin) excesses.

Waki bin al-Jarrah in his sunah has reported this very viewpoint of both Uthman and Ali. A person came to Uthman and said: I have pronounced a thousand divorces on my wife. He replied: She stood separated from you by three divorces. When a similar problem was presented before Ali he replied; By three divorces she stood separated from you. You may distribute the rest of your pronouncements on the rest of your wives if you so like.

Abu Daud and Ibn Jarir have related, with a little variation in wording, a tradition from Mujahid, saying: While I was sitting with Ibn Abbas, a person came and said: I have pronounced three divorces on my wife. Ibn Abbas heard it but kept silent for so long that I thought he was perhaps going to return his wife to him. Then he said: One of you first commits the folly of pronouncing the divorces; then he comes and says: O lbn Abbas, O Ibn Abbas! whereas Allah has said that whoever fears Him in whatever he does, He will open a way for him out of the difficulties. You did not fear Allah; now I do not find any way for you: you have disobeyed your Lord, and your wife stands separated from you.

Another tradition, which also has been reported from Mujahid and related with a little variation in wording in muwatta and Tafsir by Ibn Jarir, says: A person pronounced a hundred divorces on his wife; then he asked Ibn Abbas for his opinion. He replied: By three divorces she stood separated from you. With the other 97 you made a jest of the revelations of Allah! This is according to Muwatta. According to Ibn Jarir the words of Ibn Abbas were to the effect: You disobeyed your Lord, and your wife stood separated from you, and you did not fear Allah that He might open a way for you out of the difficulty.

Imam Tahavi has related that a man came to Ibn Abbas and said: My uncle has pronounced three divorces on his wife. He replied: Your uncle has disobeyed Allah and committed a sin and followed Satan. Now, Allah has left no way open for him out of the difficulty.

According to a tradition in Muwatta and Abu Daud, a man pronounced three divorces on his wife before the consummation of marriage; then desired to remarry her, and came out to know the legal aspect of the matter. The reporter of the Hadith, Muhammad bin lyas bin Bukair, says: I accompanied him to Ibn Abbas and Abu Hurairah. The reply each one gave was: You have let slip from your hand whatever opportunity was there for you. Zamakhshari has stated in al-Kashshaf that Umar used to beat the man who would pronounce three divorces on his wife (at one and the same time) and then would enforce his divorces.

Saeed bin Mansur has related this very thing from Anas on sound authority. In this connection, the general opinion of the companions which Ibn Abi Shaibah and Imam Muhammad have related from Ibrahim Nakhai was: The companions approved of this method that one may pronounce a single divorce on the wife and leave her alone till she completes three monthly courses. These are the words of Ibn Abi Shaibah. The words of Imam Muhammad are to the effect: The approved method with them was that in the matter of divorce one should not exceed one divorce till the waiting period is completed.

The detailed law that the jurists of Islam have compiled with the help of these Ahadith and traditions in the light of the above mentioned Quranic verse, is as follows:
(1) The Hanafis regard divorce as of three kinds: Ahsan, hasan, and bidi. The ahsan form of divorce is that one may pronounce only one divorce on his wife during a tahr (purity) period in which one must refrain from sexual intercourse and leave the wife to complete her waiting period. The hasan form of divorce is that one may pronounce one divorce in each period of purity: in this case pronouncement of three divorces, one each in three periods of purity, is also not against the Shariah, although the best approved method is to pronounce only one divorce and leave the wife to complete her waiting period. The bidi form of divorce is that one must pronounce three divorces in a single sitting, or pronounce three divorces at different times during the same period of purity, or pronounce divorce during menstruation, or pronounce it in the period of purity during which he has had a sexual intercourse. Of these whichever course one may adopt one will be guilty a sin. This is the law in respect of the woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who has regular courses. As for the woman marriage with whom has not been consummated, she can be divorced both in the state of purity and during menstruation, and this is according to the sunnah. And if the woman is such a one marriage with whom has been consummated who no longer menstruates, or the one who has not yet menstruated, she can be divorced even after the sexual intercourse for there is no chance of her being pregnant. And if the woman is pregnant, she also can be divorced after the sexual intercourse, for her pregnancy is already established. But the method of pronouncing divorce on these women according to the sunnah, is that the divorce may be pronounced at the interval of one month in each case. However, the ahsan method is that only one divorce may be pronounced and the woman left to complete her waiting period. (Hedayah, fath al-Qadir, Ahkam al-Quran Al- Jassas, Umdat al-Qari).
According to Imam Malik divorce is also of three kinds. sunni, bidi makruh and bidi haram. The divorce according to the sunnah is that a single divorce be pronounced on the woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who menstruates, during her state of purity without having had sexual intercourse, and the woman be left to complete her waiting period. The bidi makruh form is that divorce be pronounced in the period of purity during which one may have had sexual intercourse, or more divorces than one be pronounced in the period of purity while there was no sexual intercourse, or three divorces be pronounced, one each in separate periods of purity within the waitingperiod, or three divorces be pronounced all at once. And bidi haram is that divorce be pronounced during menstruation. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi alal-Sharh-al-Kabir Ibn aI- Arabi, Ahkam al-Quran).

The authentic viewpoint of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal which is generally agreed upon by the Hanbalis is: The approved method (i.e. the one according to the sunnah) of divorcing a wife with whom marriage has been consummated and who menstruates is that a single divorce be pronounced on her in her period of purity without having had sexual intercourse with her, and then she be left to complete her waiting period. But if she is giver three divorces, one each in three separate periods of purity or three divorces in one and the same period of purity, or divorced thrice at once, or divorced during the courses, or divorced in the period of purity during which the husband has had sexual intercourse and her being pregnant is not known, all these would be disapproved and forbidden forms of divorce. But if the woman is such that marriage with her has been consummated but who no longer menstruates, or such who has not yet menstruated, or is pregnant, in her case there is neither any difference of approved and disapproved with regard to time nor with regard to the number of divorces pronounced. (Al-Insaf fi Marifat-ar-Rajih min al-Khilaf ala Madhhab Ahmad bin Hanbal).

According to Imam Shafei, in the matter of divorce the difference between the approved (i.e. according to the sunnah) and the reprehensible (i.e. against the sunnah) forms of divorce is only with regard to time and not with regard to number, That is, to pronounce divorce on a woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who menstruates, during menstruation or to pronounce divorce on a ovarian, who can conceive, during such a period of purity in which the husband has had sexual intercourse with her and the woman’s pregnancy is unknown, is disapproved and forbidden. As for the number, whether three divorces are pronounced at one time, or pronounced in the same period of purity, or pronounced in separate periods of purity, they are not against the sunnah in any case. In case the woman is such that marriage with her has not been consummated, or the one who no longer menstruates, or the one who has not yet menstruated, or the one whose being pregnant is known, there is no difference between the approved and the disapproved forms of divorce. (Mughni al-Muhtaj).
(2) A divorce being irregular, reprehensible, forbidden, or sinful with the four Imams does not mean that it does not have effect. According to all the four Sunni Schools, whether a divorce is pronounced during menstruation, or thrice at once, or pronounced in the period of purity during which the husband has had sexual intercourse and the woman’s being pregnant is unknown, or pronounced in a manner disapproved by an Imam, in any case it does become effective, although the pronouncer commits an act of sin. But some other scholars differ in this regard from the four Imams.
Sai bin al-Musayyab and some other immediate followers of the companions say that the divorce of the person who pronounces it during menstruation, or pronounces it thrice at one time, does not take place at all. The same is the opinion of the Imamiah sect of the Shias. The basis of this opinion is that since this form of divorce is forbidden and utterly irregular, it is ineffective, whereas the Ahadith that we have cited above, clearly show that when Abdullah bin Umar divorced his wife during menstruation, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded him to take her back; had the divorce not taken effect at all, the command to take the wife back would have been meaningless. And this also confirmed by many Ahadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the major companions considered the pronouncement of more divorces than one at one time sinful but did not regard his divorce as ineffective.

Taus and Ikrimah say that only one divorce takes place if divorce is pronounced thrice at once, and this very view has been adopted by Imam Ibn Taimiyyah. The source of his this opinion is that Abu as-Sahba asked Ibn Abbas: Don’t you know that in the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr and in the early period of Umar a triple divorce was considered a single divorce? He replied: Yes. (Bukhari, Muslim). And in Muslim, Abu Daud and Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Abbas’s this statement has been cited: In the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr and during the first two years of the caliphate of Umar a triple divorce was considered a single divorce. Then Umar expressed the view: As the people have started acting hasty in a matter in which they had been advised to act judiciously and prudently, why should we not enforce this practice? So, he enforced it.

But this view is not acceptable for several reasons. In the first place, according to several traditions lbn Abbas’s own ruling was against it, as we have explained above. Secondly, it is contrary to those Ahadith also, which have been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the major companions, in which the ruling given about the pronouncement of a three-fold divorce at one time is that all his three divorces become effective. These Ahadith have also been cited above. Thirdly, from Ibn Abbas’s own tradition itself it becomes evident that Umar had publicly enforced the triple divorce in the assembly of the companions, but neither then nor after it these companions ever expressed any difference of opinion. Now, can it be conceived that Umar could decide an issue against the Sunnah? And could the companions also accept his decision without protest? Furthermore, in the story concerning Rukanah bin Abdi Yazib, a tradition has been related by Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Imam Shafei, Darimi and Hakim, saying that when Rukanah pronounced three divorces on his wife in one and the same sitting, the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him to state on oath whether his intention was to pronounce one divorce only, (That is, the two subsequent divorces were pronounced only to lay emphasis on the first divorce; the triple divorce was not intended to create separation permanently). And when he stated this on oath, the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave him the right to take his wife back. This brings out the truth of the matter as to what kind of divorces were considered a single divorce in the earliest period of Islam. On this very basis, the interpreters of the Hadith have explained the tradition of Ibn Abbas thus: As in the early period of Islam deceit and fraud in religious matters was almost unknown among the people, the statement of the pronouncer of a triple divorce was admitted that his real intention was to pronounce only a single divorce, and the two subsequent divorces had been pronounced only for the sake of emphasis. But when Umar saw that the people first pronounced three divorces in haste and then presented the excuse of pronouncing them only for the sake of emphasis, he refused to accept this excuse. Imam Nawawi and Imam Subki regard this as the best interpretation of the tradition from Ibn Abbas, Finally, there is disagreement in the traditions of Abu as-Sahba himself, which he has related concerning the saying of Ibn Abbas. Muslim, Abu Daud and Nasai have related from this same Abu as-Sahba another tradition; saying that on an inquiry by him. Ibn Abbas said: When a person pronounced a three-fold divorce on his wife before consummation of marriage, it was considered a single divorce in the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr and in the early period of Umar, Thus, one and the same reporter has reported from Ibn Abbas traditions containing two divergent themes and this diversity weakens both the traditions.
(3) As the Prophet (peace be upon him) had commanded the pronouncer of the divorce during menstruation to take his wife back, the dispute has arisen among the jurists as to what is the exact sense of this command. Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shafei, Imam Ahmad, Imam Auzai, Ibn Abi Laila, Ishaq bin Rahawaih and Abu Thaur say that such a person would be commanded to take his wife back, but would not be compelled to do so. (Umdat al-Qari). The Hanafi viewpoint as stated in Hedayah is that in this case taking the wife back is not only preferable but also obligatory. In Mughni al-Muhtaj the Shafei viewpoint has been stated to be that the approved (i.e. one according to Sunnah) method for the one who has pronounced divorces during menstruation, but has not pronounced a triple divorce, is that he should take his wife back, and should refrain from pronouncing divorce in the following period of purity, but should pronounce it, if he so likes, in the period of purity when the wife has become free from her next menstrual course and attained purity, so that his revocation of the divorce pronounced during menstruation is not taken in jest. The Hanbali viewpoint as presented in Al-Insaf is that in this state it is preferable for the pronouncer of divorce to take his wife back. But Imam Malik and his companions say that pronouncement of divorce during menstruation is a cognizable offense. Whether the woman makes a demand or not, it is in any case the duty of the ruler that if such an act of some one is brought to his notice, he must compel the person to take his wife back and should continue to press him till the end of the waiting-period; and if he refuses to take her back, he should imprison him; if he still refuses, he should beat him; and if he still does not accede, the ruler should give his own decision, saying: I return your wife to you. And the ruler’s this decision would be effective after which it would be lawful for the man to have sexual intercourse with the woman, whether he intends to take her back or not, for the ruler’s intention represents his intention. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi). The Malikis also say that if the person, who has taken his wife back willingly or unwillingly, after divorcing her during menstruation, has made up his mind to repudiate her, the preferable method for him is that he should refrain from divorcing her in the period of purity following the menstruation during which he divorced her, but should divorce her in the period of purity following the next menstruation. The prohibition to pronounce divorce in the period of purity following the menstruation in which divorce was pronounced, has been enjoined so that the return of the pronouncer during menstruation does not remain merely oral, but he should have sexual intercourse with the woman during the period of purity. Then, since the pronouncement of divorce in the period of purity in which sexual intercourse has taken place is prohibited, the right time for pronouncing it is the following period of purity only. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi).
(4) As to the question: Till when has the pronouncer of one revocable divorce the power to take his wife back? Difference of opinion has arisen among the jurists and this difference has occurred on the question: What do the words thalathata quru-in of( Surah AI-Baqarah, Ayat 228) imply: three menstruation or three periods of purity? According to Imam Shafei and Malik, qara implies a period of purity, and this view is held on the authority of Aishah, Ibn Umar and Zaid bin Thabit. The Hanafi viewpoint is that qara implies menstruation and the same is the authentic viewpoint of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal too. This view is based on the authority of all the four rightly-guided Caliphs, Abdullah bin Masud, Abdullah bin Abbas, Ubayy bin Kab, Muadh bin Jabal, Abu ad-Darda, Ubadah bin as- Samit and Abu Musa al-Ashari. Imam Muhammad in his Muwatta has cited a saying of Shabi, saying that he met thirteen of the Prophet’s companions and they all held this same opinion, and this very view was adopted by many of the immediate followers of the companions also.
On account of this difference of opinion, according to the Shafeis and the Malikis, the waiting period of the woman comes to an end as soon as she enters the third menstruation, and the man’s power to take her back is terminated. And if the divorce has been pronounced during menstruation, this menstruation will not be counted towards the waiting-period but the waiting-period will come to an end as soon as the woman enters the fourth menstruation. (Mughni al-Muhtaj; Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi). The Hanafis viewpoint is that if the menstrual discharge in the third menstruation stops after ten days, the waiting period of the woman will come to an end with it whether she takes purification bath or not; and if the discharge ceases within less than ten days, the waiting-period will not come to an end until the woman has taken her purification bath, or until a prayer time has passed. In case water is not available, according to Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Abu Yusuf, the man’s right to return to her will be terminated, when she has performed her prayer with tayammum (purification with dust), and, according to Imam Muhammad, as soon as she has performed tayammwn itself. (Hedayah). Imam Ahmad’s authentic viewpoint which is held by the majority of the Hanbalis is that as long as the woman does not have her purification bath after the third menstruation, the man’s right to return to her will remain. (Al-Insaf).
(5) As for the question that is the method of taking the wife back? The jurists agree that the person, who has pronounced a revocable divorce on his wife, can return to her whenever he likes before the expiration of the waiting period, whether the woman is desirous of this or not, for the Quran says: Their husbands are best entitled to take them back as their wives during this waiting-period. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 228). From this it can automatically be concluded that until the expiry of the waiting-period, the marriage tie remains intact and the husbands can take them back before they are separated absolutely and finally. In other words, taking the wife back does not mean renewal of marriage for which the woman’s consent may be necessary. After being unanimous so far, the jurists have different opinions about the method of taking the wife back.
According to the Shafeis, return can take place only by the oral word, not by conduct. If the husband does not say with the tongue that he has taken the wife back, no act of intercourse or intimacy, even if performed with the intention of resuming marital relationship, will be considered resumption of the relationship. Rather in this case seeking of any kind of enjoyment from the woman is unlawful even if it is without lust. But there is no ban on having sexual intercourse with the woman, who has been divorced revocably, for the scholars have not agreed on its being unlawful. However, the one who believes in its being unlawful will be punishable. Furthermore, according to the Shafei viewpoint, it is in any case, incumbent to pay a proper or customary dower (mahr mithal) in case the husband has intercourse with the wife whom he had divorced revocably, whether after it he takes her back orally or not. (Mughni a-Muhtaj).

The Malikis say that return can be effected both orally and by conduct. If for the purpose of resumption by word of mouth the husband uses express words, the resumption will take place whether he intended it or not; even if he uttered express words of resumption in jest, these words would amount to return and resumption. But if the words are not express, they would be considered resumption of relationship only in case they were pronounced with the intention of resumption. As for resumption by conduct, no act whether it is an act of intimacy or sexual intercourse, can be considered resumption as long as it has not been performed with the intention of the resumption of marital relation. (Hashiyah adDusuqi; Ibn Arabi; Ahkam al- Quran).

As for resumption of relationship by the word of mouth, the Hanafi and the Hanbali viewpoint is the same as the Maliki. As for resumption by conduct, the ruling of both the Schools, contrary to the Malikis, is that if the husband performs sexual intercourse with the woman whom he has divorced revocably within the waiting-period, it would by itself amount to resumption whether there was the intention of resumption or not. However, the difference between the viewpoints of the two Schools is that according to the Hanafis every act of intimacy amounts to resumption even if it is of a lesser degree than sexual intercourse; whereas the Hanbalis do not regard a mere act of intimacy as resumption of marital relationship. (Hedayah, Fath al- Qadir, Umdat al-Qari Al-Insaf).
(6) As for the consequences of talaq as-sunnah (regular form of divorce according to the sunnah) and talaq al-bidi (irregular form of divorce) the difference is this: In case one or two divorces have been pronounced, the divorced woman and her former husband can re-marry by mutual consent even if the waiting-period has expired. But if a man has pronounced three divorces, resumption of marital relation is neither possible within the waiting-period, nor after the expiry of the waiting period, unless, however, the woman marries another person, the marriage is duly contracted and consummated, and then either the second husband divorces her or dies; then if the woman and her former husband wish to re-marry by mutual consent, they can do so. In most collections of the Ahadith, a tradition has been reported on sound authority, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: A man pronounced three divorces on his wife, then the woman married another man and the two had privacy but there was no intercourse; then he divorced her. Now, can this woman re-marry her former husband? The Prophet replied: No, unless her second husband has enjoyed her just as her first husband had enjoyed her. As for the prearranged marriage (tahlil) which is meant to legalize the woman for her former husband, so that she would marry another man, who would divorce her after having had sexual intercourse with her, this is invalid according to Imam Abu Yusuf, and according to Imam Abu Hanifah, the woman would become lawful for her former husband by this ceremony but such a thing is reprehensible to the extent of being unlawful. Abdullah bin Masud has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: AIIah has cursed both, the legaliser (muhallil) and the one for whom legalization is performed (muhallil-lahu). (Tirmidhi, Nasai). Uqbah bin Amir says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked his companions: Should I not tell you as to who is a hired bull? The companions said that he should. He said: It is he who performs tahlil (legalization of marriage). Allah’s curse falls both on the muhalil (legalizer) and on the muhallal-lahu (the one for whose sake marriage is legalized). (Ibn Majah, Daraqutni).
and compute the waiting period accurately " This command is addressed to the men as well as the women and the people of their families. It means: Do not treat divorce lightly; it is a grave matter, which gives birth to many legal questions for the man, the woman, their children and the people of their house. Therefore, when divorce is pronounced, its time and date should be remembered and also the state in which divorce was pronounced on the woman; one should keep an accurate account of when the waiting period started and when it would expire. On this reckoning will depend the determination of the following questions: Till when the husband has the power to take the wife back? Till when he has to keep her in the house? Till when is he bound to maintain her? Till when will he inherit the woman and the woman him? When will the woman be separated from him finally and obtain the right to remarry? And if this matter takes the shape of a law-suit, the court also in order to arrive at the correct decision, will need to know the correct date and time of pronouncing the divorce and the woman’s state at the time, for without this information, it cannot give the right decision on the questions arising from the divorce in respect of the women who have been enjoyed, or not, pregnant, or not, who menstruate, or no longer menstruate, and who have been divorced revocably or irrevocably.

"  Do not turn them out of their homes (during the waiting period) – nor should they go away (from their homes)"  That is, neither should the man turn out the woman in anger, nor the woman herself should leave the house in anger and haste. The house is hers during the waitingperiod, and both the man and the wife should live together so that advantage may be taken if there is any chance of reconciliation. If the divorce is revocable, the husband may at any time be inclined towards the wife, and the wife also may try to win the husband’s pleasure by removing the causes of dispute and difference. If both stay together in the same house, there may appear many an occasion for reconciliation during the three months or the three menstrual periods, or till child birth in case of pregnancy. But if the man turns her out in angry haste, or the woman returns to her parents imprudently, chances of reconciliation diminish, and the divorce generally leads to permanent separation. That is why the jurists have even suggested that in case of a revocable divorce the woman should adorn herself during her waiting-period so as to attract the husband. (Hedayah; Al-Insaf ).
The jurists agree that the revocably divorced woman has a right to lodging and maintenance during the waiting period, and it is not lawful for the woman to leave the house without the husband’s permission, nor is it lawful for the husband to turn her out of the house. If the husband turns her out, he will be guilty of an act of sin and if the woman leaves of her own accord, she will not only commit a sin but will also forfeit her right to lodging and maintenance.
unless they have committed a manifestly evil deed " Several meanings of this have been given by different jurists. Hasan Basri, Amir Shabi, Zaid bin Aslam, Dahhak, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ibn Zaid, Hammed and Laith say that it implies adultery. Ibn Abbas says that it implies abusive language that the woman may continue to use against the husband and the people of his house even after the divorce, during the waiting-period. Qatadah says that it implies the woman’s disobedient to her husband. That is, if the wife has been divorced because of her disobedience, she may continue to be disobedient to her husband even during the waiting-period. Abdullah bin Umar, Suddi, Ibn as-Saib and Ibrahim Nakhai say that this implies the woman’s leaving the house of herself. That is, in their opinion the woman’s leaving the house in the waiting-period by itself amounts to committing an open indecency, and the command: Nor should they themselves leave the house except in case they commit an open indecency, is an admonition of this nature: Do not abuse others except in case you wish to be known as a discourteous person. According to the first three of these four viewpoints, “except in case” is related with “Do not turn them out of their houses,” and the sentence means that if they are guilty of immorality or of using invectives or of disobedience, it would he lawful to turn them out of the houses. And according to the fourth view, it is related with “nor should they themselves leave their houses,” and it means that if they leave their houses they would be guilty of open indecency.

" Such are the bounds set by Allah; and he who transgresses the bounds set by Allah commits a wrong against himself. You do not know: maybe Allah will cause something to happen to pave the way (for reconciliation) " Both these sentences refute the viewpoint of those who hold that divorce does not take place at all if it is pronounced during menstruation or thrice at once, and also the view of those who think that a triple divorce amounts to a single divorce. The question arises: If an irregular (bidi) divorce does not take place, or a triple divorce amounts to a single revocable divorce, what then is the need of saying: Whoever transgresses the bounds set by Allah (i.e. the method taught by the Sunnah), would wrong his own self; and you do not know Allah may after this bring about a situation of reconciliation? These two things would be meaningful only in case pronouncement of divorce against the method taught by the Sunnah should be harmful for which one may have to regret later, and the pronouncement of a triple divorce at once may not leave any room for reconciliation; otherwise, obviously by pronouncing a divorce which does not take effect at all one does not transgress the bounds set by Allah, which may be regarded as wronging one’s own self, and after a divorce which is in any case only revocable there does remain room for reconciliation; thus, there would be no need to say: Allah may after this bring about a situation of re-conciliation.

Here, one should again understand well the mutual relationship between (verses 228-230 of Surah Al-Baqarah) and (these verses of Surah At-Talaq). In Surah Al-Baqarah the number of divorces laid down is three of which after pronouncing the first two one retains the right to take his wife back and the right to re-marry her in case the wailing period has expired, without resort to legalization (tahlil), and if divorce is pronounced for the third time, the husband forfeits both these rights. These verses of Surah At-Talaq were not sent down to amend or cancel this rule but to teach the people how to use wisely the powers that they have been given to divorce their wives, which if used rightly could save homes from ruin, could protect the husband from remorse if he had pronounced a divorce. could provide him maximum opportunities for reconciliation, and even if separation had taken place, could show him a way to reunite in marriage as a last resort if the couple so desired. But if a person happens to use these powers unwisely, in a wrong way, he could only be wronging his own self and wasting all opportunities for making amends. It is just like a father’s giving three hundred rupees in his son’s possession and telling him to spend the amount as he may like; then advising him to the effect: Spend the money given to you carefully, at the right place, and piece meal, so that you may benefit by it fully. Otherwise, if you spend it unwisely and carelessly in wrong places, or spend the whole of it at once, you will incur losses, and then I would not give you any more. This advice would be meaningless it the father did not give the amount in the son’s possession at all, so that if he had wanted to spend it in a wrong place, he should be powerless to spend it, or if he had wanted to spend the whole amount, he could only take out a part of it while the rest lay safe with him in any case. If the condition be such, there could obviously be no need for this kind of advice.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Note that in the first instance the Prophet is himself addressed individually, as the Teacher and representative of the Community. Then the actual directions: "when ye...." are addressed to the Community collectively.

"Of all things permitted by law, Divorce is the most hateful in the sight of Allah"; see Introduction to this Surah. The general directions and limitations of Divorce may be studied in ii. 228-232, 236-237, 241, and notes; also iv. 35.

'Iddat, as a technical term in divorce law, is explained in n. 254 to ii. 228. Its general meaning is "a prescribed period": in that general sense it is used in ii. 185 for a prescribed period for fasting.

The prescribed period (see last note) is in the interests of the wife, of the husband, of an unborn child (if there is any), and of sex laws in nature, and therefore the elementary dictates of refined human society. In English Law the six months interval between the decree nisi and the decree absolute in divorce attains the same purpose in a round-about way. The Commentators suggest that the divorce should not be pronounced during the courses. Read with ii. 222, this implies that any incipient differences between husband and wife should not be forced to an issue at a time when sex is least attractive and almost repulsive. Everything should be done to strengthen the social and spiritual aspects of marriage and keep down stray impulses of animal instinct. The parties are to think seriously in a mood of piety, keeping the fear of Allah in their minds.

As Islam treats the married woman as a full juristic personality in every sense of the term a married woman has a right, in the married state, to a house or apartment of her own. And a house or apartment implies the reasonable expenses for its upkeep and for her own and her children's maintenance. And this is obligatory not only in the married state, but during the 'iddat, which is necessarily a most trying period for the woman. During this period she must not only not be turned out, but it is not decent for her to leave of her own accord, lest the chances of reconciliation should be diminished: see the next note.

A reconciliation is possible, and is indeed recommended at every stage. The first serious difference between the parties are to be submitted to a family council on which both sides are represented (iv. 35); divorce is not to be pronounced when mutual physical attraction is at an ebb (n. 5506); when it is pronounced, there should be a period of probationary waiting: dower has to be paid and due provision has to be made for many things on equitable terms; every facility has to be given for reconciliation till the last moment, and impediments are provided against hasty impulses leading to rupture. "Thou knowest not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new situation."

Muhammad Asad Explanation: See 2:228 and explanation. - Most of the great jurists hold the view that the required three pronouncements of divorce, which make it final and irrevocable (cf. first paragraph of 2:229 , must be made singly, i.e., spaced over the waiting-period of three months, so as to give the husband time to reconsider his intention, and thus to prevent a hasty act which might be subsequently regretted. This provision is in tune with the well-authenticated saying of the Prophet, "In the sight of God, the most hateful of all things allowed (abghad al-halali) is divorce" (Abu Da'ud, on the authority of 'Abd Allah ibn 'Umar). In other words, divorce is just barely permissible, and must not be resorted to unless it is absolutely evident that nothing can save the marriage from utter hopelessness.

I.e. during the waiting-period. As shown in verse {6} below, during that period the husband is fully responsible for the maintenance of the wife whom he is divorcing in accordance with the standard of living observed during their married life.

E.g., by their husbands' failure to provide for their maintenance. (This particular injunction does not imply a prohibition of a divorced woman's leaving her home of her own free will.)

Implying that in such a case she may be lawfully turned out of her marital home. Regarding the term fahishah ("immoral conduct"), see surah {4}and its explanation.

According to Ibn 'Abbas (as quoted by Razi) and several other authorities (see Ibn Kathir), this is an allusion to the possibility of reconciliation and, hence, a resumption of marital relations before the divorce becomes final (see surah {2}, second part of verse {228} and first paragraph of {229}).

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Though the address is directed towards the Prophet Muhammad (sws), the very next word explains that all Muslims are addressed. The purpose giving a directive to the Prophet (sws) while addressing him is to underscore the fact that when a prophet of God is bound to obey them, others should be even more careful in following it.

This means that it is incorrect to divorce a wife in a manner that separates her instantaneously. In all instances, it must be given so that it becomes effective after a specific waiting period. ‘Iddat (waiting period) in religious parlance means the period in which a divorced or widowed lady cannot marry any other person. Since this period has been primarily fixed in order to ascertain whether a lady is pregnant or not, therefore it is necessary that divorce be given after a lady has completed her menstrual cycle in that period of cleanliness in which the husband did not have any sexual intercourse with his wife. Every Muslim should be fearful of his Lord about emotions of anger which on such instances do arise against the wife.

Since divorce is a matter of great consequences, and a lot of legal issues arise for the man, the woman, their children and their whole family, it is essential that the time and date of divorce be properly accounted for. Moreover, it is essential that at the time of divorce, the state of the woman, the date when the ‘iddat commenced and the date when it will end be kept track of. Whether the whole issue is ultimately settled within the family or has to be taken to court for settlement, in both cases it is this period of ‘iddat which dictates the time span within which a husband can revoke his decision and take back his wife (ruju‘). Similarly, it is this period which will determine the time for which the husband is liable to keep his wife in the house and provide for her. Likewise, the time when the inheritance is to be given to her and the time when the divorce process is complete and the lady is free to marry again shall be ascertained from the ‘iddat.

Ie., Muslims must abide by His bounds.

This directive has been given because living together might change both, they evaluate their behaviours and thus save a family from breaking.

The only exception to the above directive is if the basis on which a divorce has been given is فَاحِشَۃٍ مُّبَیِّنَۃٍ. In the Arabic language, this expression implies fornication and other lesser forms of sexual contact. Obviously, in such a situation neither is it proper to demand from the husband to keep such a woman in the house nor can the benefit be attained for which this directive had been given

The implication is that a person who transgresses the bounds set by God will not harm God in any way; he will only ruin his own interests. The Almighty has not set these bounds for any personal benefit of His; they have been prescribed by Him for the benefit of His people; hence if anyone breaks them, he is only unjust to his own soul.

The implication is that God creates a situation in which a husband and wife are prepared to reconcile after this difference. This is a reference to the benefit for which the directive of لَا تُخۡرِجُوۡہُنَّ مِنۡۢ بُیُوۡتِہِنَّ وَ لَا یَخۡرُجۡنَ (do not turn them out of their houses, nor should they [themselves] leave) has been given. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… If this happens, then it will greatly please God. He wants to see united hearts and families, and does not like that such difference arise between husband and wife that both end up separated, and that the children get separated from the mother and the mother from them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 438)
فَاِذَا بَلَغۡنَ اَجَلَہُنَّ فَاَمۡسِکُوۡہُنَّ بِمَعۡرُوۡفٍ اَوۡ فَارِقُوۡہُنَّ بِمَعۡرُوۡفٍ وَّ اَشۡہِدُوۡا ذَوَیۡ عَدۡلٍ مِّنۡکُمۡ وَ اَقِیۡمُوا الشَّہَادَۃَ لِلّٰہِ ؕ ذٰلِکُمۡ یُوۡعَظُ بِہٖ مَنۡ کَانَ یُؤۡمِنُ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ۬ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّتَّقِ اللّٰہَ یَجۡعَلۡ لَّہٗ مَخۡرَجًا
( 2 )   And when they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or part with them according to acceptable terms. And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah. That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out
"  And when they reach the end of their term (of waiting), then either honourably retain them (in the bond of wedlock) or honourably part with them " That is, in case you have pronounced one or two revocable divorces, you should take a decision before the expiry of the waiting-period whether you would keep the wife in wedlock or send her away. If you decide to keep her, then you should keep her with honor and dignity and not with a view to tormenting and harassing her and getting another opportunity to prolong her waiting-period by divorcing her once again; and if you decide to part with her, then you should part with her gracefully, without indulging in any quarrel or vilification. If you still owe her the dower, or a part of it, pay it off, and give her something in addition also at her departure according to your means, as has been enjoined in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 241). (For further explanation, see (E.N. 86 of Surah Al-Ahzab).

" and call two persons of known probity as witnesses from among yourselves"  Ibn Abbas says that this implies calling to witness two men both at divorce and at reconciliation. (Ibn Jarir). Imran bin Husain was asked: A man divorced his wife and then took her back, but he neither called anybody to witness pronouncement of the divorce nor resumption of the relation. He replied: You pronounced the divorce against the sunnah and you took your wife back against the sunnah. You should call to witness men both at divorce and at resumption of relation, and you should not commit this mistake again. (Abu Daud, Iba Majah). But the four Sunni Imams agree that to call men to witness the divorce and the resumption and separation is no condition for these acts to be valid, so that if there was no witness, neither divorce should take place nor resumption should be valid nor separation. But this condition has been enjoined so that the parties may not deny any of the facts later and in case there was a dispute the matter might be settled easily and any suspicions and doubts might also be removed. This command is just like the command: Have witnesses in case of commercial transactions. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 282). This does not mean that it is obligatory to have witnesses at business transactions, and if there was no witness, the transaction would be invalid; but this is a wise instruction which has been given to prevent disputes and it is good to follow it. Likewise, in the case of divorce and resumption also although a person’s act and conduct would be legally valid even without the witnesses yet caution demands that whatever is done, it should be witnessed, simultaneously or later, by two just men.

and (let these witnesses) give upright testimony for the sake of Allah. That is to what all those that believe in Allah and the Last Day are exhorted "  These words clearly show that the instructions given above are in the nature of advice and not law. If a man pronounces divorce against the approved method as explained above, or fails to reckon the waiting-period accurately, or expels the wife from the house without a good reason, or returns to her at the end of the waiting period only to harass her, or sends her away after a quarrel, or fails to call the men to witness the divorce, reconciliation, or separation, if will not affect the legal effects of divorce or reconciliation or separation at all. However, his acting against Allah’s advice would be a proof that his heart was devoid of the taste faith in Allah and the Last Day. That is why he adopted a course which a true believer would never adopt.

Allah will find a way out for him who fears Allah "  The context itself shows that here “fearing Allah in whatever one does” means to pronounce divorce in accordance with the approved method taught by the Sunnah, to reckon the waiting-period accurately, to avoid turning the wife out of the house, to take the wife back if one decides to keep her at the expiry of the waiting-period with the intention of keeping her equitably and to send her away in a fair manner if one decides to part with her, and to call two just men to witness the divorce, reconciliation or separation, as the case may be. In respect of this, Allah says that whoever acts in fear of Him, He will open for him a way out of the difficulties. This automatically gives the meaning that whoever does not fear Allah in these matters, will create for himself such complications and difficulties from which he will find no way out.

A study of these words clearly shows that the view of those who hold that the irregular (bidi) form of divorce does not take place at all and of those who regard a triple divorce pronounced at once or during the same period of purity as a single divorce, is not correct. For if an irregular form of divorce does not take place at all, it does not create any complication from which one may have to find a way out; and if only a single divorce takes place when one has pronounced three divorces at once, then also there arises no need for a person to seek a way out of a difficulty or complication.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: It is evident that a husband has the right to take back his wife during the ‘iddat period. Thus it has been said that once this period is about to expire, a husband must decide whether he wants to revoke his decision and take his wife or wants to separate from her. In both cases, the directive of God is that this should be done according to the good conventions of the society. It is further directed in Surah al-Baqarah, if the husband wants to revoke his decision and keep his wife, then should certainly not be to oppress her; on the contrary, the objective behind this decision should be to provide love and harmony to the marital life. If this is not the case, it will be counted as an oppression which will bring great wrath of God in the Hereafter.

The purpose is that either of the two spouses does not later negate that decision, and if any dispute arises, it can be settled easily; moreover, all kinds of doubts are thwarted and everything is clear and certain for the people.

This is said because a person after divorcing his wife should not turn her thinking that he will now merely provide for her for free.

Thus the time of God’s help is fixed. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi  writes:
… If there is a delay in it, then this is only because He wants to try people whether they show patience or not. A person should rest assured that God will fulfil all His promises. If there is delay in this, then it is only as much as is necessary to try his patience, and this trial is for a person’s own well-being. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 440)
Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. ii. 231. Everything should be done fairly and squarely, and all interests should be safeguarded.

Publicity and the establishment of proper evidence ensure that no one will act unjustly or selfishly. All should remember that these are matters of serious import, affecting our most intimate lives, and therefore our position in the next life.

In these very delicate and difficult matters, the wisdom of jurists provides a less satisfactory solution than a sincere desire to be just and true, which is described as the "fear of Allah". Where such a desire exists, Allah often provides a solution in the most unexpected ways or from the most unexpected quarters; e.g., the worst enemies may be reconciled, or the cry or the smile of an infant baby may heal seemingly irreparable injuries or unite hearts seemingly alienated for ever. And Faith is followed at once by a psychological feeling of rest for the troubled spirit.

وَّيَرۡزُقۡهُ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ لَا يَحۡتَسِبُ​ ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى اللّٰهِ فَهُوَ حَسۡبُهٗ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ بَالِغُ اَمۡرِهٖ​ ؕ قَدۡ جَعَلَ اللّٰهُ لِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدۡرًا‏ 
( 3 )   And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah - then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.
" And will provide for him from where he does not expect " It means: keeping the divorced wife in the house during the waiting period, to maintain her and to pay her the dower, or something in addition at departure certainly burdens a man financially. To spend on a woman whom one has already decided to send away because of strained relations will surely be irksome, and if the man is also poor, this expenditure will further pinch him. But a man, who fears Allah, should endure all this gracefully. Allah is not niggardly as the people are. If a person spends his wealth in accordance with His law, He will provide for him in a manner beyond all expectations.

" Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose " That is, there is no power that can prevent Allah’s decree from enforcement.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Our anger and our impatience have to be curbed. Our friends and our mates or associates may seem to us ever so weak and unreasonable, and the circumstances may be ever so disheartening; yet we must trust in Allah. How can we measure our own weakness or perhaps blindness? He knows all. His universal Purpose is always good. His Will must be accomplished, and we should wish for its accomplishment. His ordering of the universe observes a due, just, and perfect proportion.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "whence he does not expect". It is to be noted that the relative pronoun man ("whoever" or "everyone who") - although grammatically requiring the use of the masculine gender in the verbs or pronouns to which it relates - applies to persons of either sex, as is evidenced by innumerable passages in the Qur'an: hence, the present passage, too, including the sentence that follows, must be understood as relating to the women as well as to the men in question; and the same holds good of verses {5} and {11} below.

وَالّٰٓـىٴِۡ يَـئِسۡنَ مِنَ الۡمَحِيۡضِ مِنۡ نِّسَآئِكُمۡ اِنِ ارۡتَبۡتُمۡ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلٰثَةُ اَشۡهُرٍ وَّالّٰٓـىٴِۡ لَمۡ يَحِضۡنَ​ ؕ وَاُولَاتُ الۡاَحۡمَالِ اَجَلُهُنَّ اَنۡ يَّضَعۡنَ حَمۡلَهُنَّ ​ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّـتَّـقِ اللّٰهَ يَجۡعَلْ لَّهٗ مِنۡ اَمۡرِهٖ یُسْرًا‏ 
( 4 )   And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease.
And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women - if you doubt, then their period is three months " This is in respect of the women who no longer menstruation and have reached menopause because of age. Their waiting-period will be reckoned from the day divorce was pronounced on them and three months imply three lunar months. If divorce was pronounced at the commencement of the lunar month, it is agreed that the waiting-period will be reckoned with regard to the sighting of the new moon; and if it was pronounced somewhere in the middle of the month, according to Imam Abu Hanifah, three months will have to be completed reckoning each month of 30 days. (Badaias-Sami ).

As for the women whose courses are irregular due to some reason, the jurists have held different opinions:
Saeed bin al-Musayyab says that Umar ruled: If the woman who has been divorced stops having menses after having them once or twice after the divorce, she will wait for 9 months. If signs of pregnancy appear, well and good, otherwise after the passage of 9 months, she should observe the waiting-period of three additional months. Then she would be lawful for marriage to another person.
Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Ikrimah say that the waitingperiod of the woman who has not menstruated for a year is three months.
Taus says that the waiting-period of the woman who menstruates once in a year, is three menstruations. This very opinion has been reported from Uthman, Ali and Zaid bin Thabit.
Imam Malik relates that a person by the name Habban divorced his wife during the period when she was suckling her child. A year passed on it, but she did not have the menses. Then the man died. The divorced wife laid claim to inheritance. The case came before Uthman. He consulted with AIi and Zaid bin Thabit, and gave the decision that the woman was an heiress. The argument given was that the woman was neither of those women a who might have despaired of menstruation, nor of those girls who may not have menstruated yet: therefore, up till the husband’s death she was on the menses she had discharged last, and had still to pass her waiting-period.
The Hanafis say that the waiting-period of the woman, who no longer menstruates, which may not be on account of menopause so that there may be no hope of her having it later will either be reckoned from the menstruation if she has it in the future, or in accordance with the age at which women generally reach menopause, and after attaining that age she will pass three months of the waiting period in order to be released from the marriage bond. The same opinion is held by Imam Shafei, Imam Thauri and Imam Laith, and the same also is the view of Umar, Uthman and Zaid bin Thabit. Imam Malik has adopted the view of Umar and Abdullah bin Abbas and it is this: The woman will first pass nine months. If she does not have her menses during this period, she will pass three months of the waiting-period like the woman who has despaired of menstruation. Ibn al-Qasim explaining the viewpoint of Imam Malik says: The period of nine months will be reckoned from the day she became free from the previous menstrual discharge and not from the day divorce was pronounced on her. (All these have been taken from al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Quran and al-Kasani, Badai as-Sanai).
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal says that if the woman whose waiting-period started from menstruation despairs of menstruation during the waiting-period, she will be required to pass the waiting-period of the menopausal woman and not of the women who menstruate regularly. And if she stops menstruating and the cause of the cessation is unknown, she will first pass nine months in the doubt of pregnancy, and then will have to complete three months of the waiting-period, And if the cause of the cessation of the menses becomes known, e.g. a disease, or suckling, or some other cause, she will lie in the waiting-period till the time that either she starts having the menses again so that the waiting-period may be reckoned in accordance with the courses, or she reaches menopause and may pass the waiting-period of the menopausal woman. (Al-Insaf).
and [also for] those who have not menstruated " They may not have menstruated as yet either because of young age, or delayed menstrual discharge as it happens in the case of some women, or because of no discharge at all throughout life which, though rare, may also be the case. In any case, the waiting-period of such a woman is the same as of the woman, who has stopped menstruation. That is three months from the time divorce was pronounced.
Here, one should bear in mind the fact that according to the explanations given in the Quran the question of the waiting period arises in respect of the women with whom marriage may have been consummated, for there is no waiting period in case divorce is pronounced before the consummation of marriage. (Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayat 49). Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for the girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl in marriage at this age but it is also permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Quran has held as permissible.
The girl who is divorced in the state when she has not yet menstruated and then she starts having the menses during the waiting-period, will reckon her waiting-period from the same menstruation and her waiting-period will be reckoned just like the woman who menstruates regularly.

And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth " The consensus of scholarly opinion is that the waiting period of the pregnant divorced woman is till child birth. But a difference of opinion has occurred about whether the same also applies to the woman whose husband may die during her pregnancy. The dispute has arisen because in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 234 ) the waiting-period of the woman whose husband dies has been laid down as four months and ten days, and there is no mention whatever whether this injunction applies to all widows generally or only to those who are not pregnant.

Ali and Abdullah bin Abbas, reading both these verses together, have drawn the rule that the waiting-period of the pregnant divorced woman is till child-birth, but that of the pregnant widow is the longer of the two periods, whether it be of the divorced woman or of the pregnant woman. For example, if delivery takes place before four months and ten days, she will have to observe a waiting period of four months and ten days, and if it does not take place till then, her waiting period will come to an end at delivery. The same is the viewpoint of the Imamiah sect of the Shias.

Abdullah bin Masud says that this verse of Surrah At- Talaq was sent down after the verse of Surah Al-Baqarah; therefore, the later injunction has made the earlier injunction particularly applicable to the non pregnant widow, and has laid down the waiting-period of every pregnant woman as till child birth, whether she is divorced or widowed. Accordingly, whether delivery takes place immediately after the husband’s death, or takes longer than four months and ten days, the woman’s waiting period in any case will come to an end at the birth of the child. This view is supported by this tradition of Ubayy bin Kaab. He says: When this verse of Surah At-Talaq came down, I asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): Is it both for the divorced woman and for the widow? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: Yes. In another tradition the Prophet (peace be upon him) further explained it thus: The waiting period of every pregnant woman is till child-birth. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abu Hatim). Ibn Hajar says that although its reliability is questionable, yet as it has been related through several chains of transmitters, one has to admit that it has some basis. More than that, it is further confirmed by the incident concerning Subaiah-i Aslamiyyah which occurred in the sacred time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself. She became a widow during her pregnancy and a few days after her husband’s death (according to some traditions 20 days, (according to others 23 days, 25 days, 35 days or 40 days) she delivered her burden. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked for his ruling concerning her and he permitted her to remarry. This incident has been related by Bukhari and Muslim in different ways on the authority of Umm Salamah. This same incident has been related by Bukhari Muslim, Imam Ahmed, Abu Daud, Nasai and Ibn Majah with different chains of transmitters on the authority of Miswar bin Makhramah also. Muslim has cited this statement of Subaiah-i Aslamiyyah herself: I was the wife of Saed bin Khawalah. He died during the Farewell Pilgrimage when I was pregnant. A few days after his death I gave birth to a child. A man told me that I could not remarry before the expiry of four months and ten days. I went and asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he gave the verdict: You have become lawful as soon as you gave birth to the child: you can re-marry if you so like. This tradition has been related briefly by Bukhari also.

This same viewpoint has been reported from a large number of the companions. Imam Malik, Imam Shafei, Abdur Razzaq, Ibn Abi Shaibah and Ibn al-Mundhir have related that when Abdullah bin Umar was asked concerning the pregnant widow, he replied that her waiting-period is till childbirth. At this a man from among the Ansar confirmed, saying: Umar had said that even if the deceased husband had not yet been buried, and his body still lay on bed in the house and his wife gave birth to a child, she would become pure and lawful for remarriage. The same opinion was held by Abu Hurairah, Abu Mansur Badri and Aishah, and the same has been adopted by the four Sunni Imams and the other early jurists.

The Shafeis say that if the pregnant woman has more children than one in her womb, her waiting-period will come to an end at the birth of the last child; even if it is still born, the waiting-period will expire at its birth. In case of abortion, if the mid-wives, on the basis of their knowledge and experience, state that it was not merely a piece of flesh but had human form, or that it was not a tumor but a human embryo, their statement will be admitted and the waiting period will expire. (Mughni, al-Muhtaj). The viewpoint of the Hanbalis and the Hanafis is also very close to it. But in case of abortion, their viewpoint is that unless the human form is clearly visible, the mid-wives’ statement that it is human embryo, will not be admitted and this will not bring the waiting-period to an end. (Bade ias-Sanei; Al- Insaf). But in the modern times by means of medical investigation it can be easily ascertained whether what has been expelled from the womb was actually something of the nature of human fetus or a kind of tumor or congealed blood. Therefore, whenever it is possible to obtain expert medical opinion, it can be easily decided whether what is described as abortion, was really abortion or not, and whether it has brought the waiting-period to an end or not. However, in cases when such medical investigation is not possible, the viewpoint of the Hanbalis and the Hanafis itself is preferable and it is not fit to rely on the ignorant mid-wives.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "He grants ease out of his condition" - i.e., makes his condition easy: the implication being that God-consciousness makes it easy for the believer to submit gladly to whatever God may decree.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. ii. 228, For normal women, the 'iddat is the three monthly courses after separation: if there are no courses or if the courses are in doubt, it is three calendar months. But that time it will be clear whether there is pregnancy: if there is, the waiting period is still after delivery.

Cf. n. 5511. If there is a true and sincere desire to obey the Will of Allah and do right the difficulties will vanish, and these delicate matters will be settled for the greatest happiness of all.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual words are: وَ الِّٰٓیۡٔ لَمۡ یَحِضۡنَ. In the Arabic language, the word لَمۡ is used for total and strong negation. Hence the expression cannot connote those girls who have not started to menstruate; it can only connote girls who have not menstruated in spite of reaching the age.

What does the condition of اِنِ ارۡتَبۡتُمۡ (if you are doubtful) appended to this directive mean? While explaining this condition, Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… it seems to me that the condition of اِنِ ارۡتَبۡتُمۡ (if you are doubtful) is to differentiate between a lady who does not menstruate because of age but has had sexual intercourse with her husband and a lady in similar state but who did not have sexual intercourse with her husband. For if a lady who does not menstruate because of age has had sexual intercourse with the husband there might be a chance of pregnancy if her state was temporary for some reason. A similar situation may arise for a lady who has not menstruated in spite of reaching the age and she has sexual intercourse with her husband … It is possible that the question may arise in the mind of a person that if this was the case, then why did the Qur’an not explicitly state that the ‘iddat of a lady who does not menstruate because of age and who has had sexual intercourse is three months. The answer to this question is that such a statement of the Qur’an would not have pointed to the underlying reason of ‘iddat – which was essential to be highlighted. This underlying reason is not merely the fact that whether a lady has had sexual intercourse or not: it is the possibility that she may be pregnant. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 442)

ذٰ لِكَ اَمۡرُ اللّٰهِ اَنۡزَلَهٗۤ اِلَيۡكُمۡ​ ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّـتَّـقِ اللّٰهَ يُكَفِّرۡ عَنۡهُ سَيِّاٰتِهٖ وَيُعۡظِمۡ لَهٗۤ اَجۡرًا‏ 
( 5 )   That is the command of Allah, which He has sent down to you; and whoever fears Allah - He will remove for him his misdeeds and make great for him his reward.
Although this is a general exhortation which applies to all matters and conditions of human life, yet in this particular context the object is to warn the Muslims to follow the commands mentioned above in fear of God, no matter what responsibilities they may have to shoulder in consequence thereof, for as a reward for this Allah will remove their ills and will forgive their sins and will enhance their rewards in the Hereafter. Obviously, the waiting period of the divorced woman whose term has been prescribed as three months will be longer than that of the woman whose term has been appointed as three menstruation, and the term of the pregnant woman may be several months longer. To shoulder the responsibility of the maintenance and lodging of the woman whom a man may have decided to give up, during this whole period, will be an unbearable burden for the people, but Allah’s promise is that He will lighten the burden that is borne in fear of Him and in following His command, by His special bounty and grace, and will reward the person much more generously and richly in comparison to the small burden borne by him in the world.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Allah's ordinance is nothing arbitrary. "It is to help us, and to lead us on to our highest good, temporal and spiritual. If we obey Allah, His wisdom will not only solve our difficulties, but it will remove other ills that we may have, subjective and objective. Like a good shepherd, He will lead us on to more and more luscious pastures. With each step higher, our position becomes more and more sure and our reward more and more precious.

اَسۡكِنُوۡهُنَّ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ سَكَنۡـتُمۡ مِّنۡ وُّجۡدِكُمۡ وَلَا تُضَآرُّوۡهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُوۡا عَلَيۡهِنَّ​ ؕ وَاِنۡ كُنَّ اُولَاتِ حَمۡلٍ فَاَنۡفِقُوا عَلَيۡهِنَّ حَتّٰى يَضَعۡنَ حَمۡلَهُنَّ​​ ۚ فَاِنۡ اَرۡضَعۡنَ لَـكُمۡ فَاٰ تُوۡهُنَّ اُجُوۡرَهُنَّ​ ۚ وَاۡتَمِرُوۡا بَيۡنَكُمۡ بِمَعۡرُوۡفٍ​ۚ وَاِنۡ تَعَاسَرۡتُمۡ فَسَتُرۡضِعُ لَهٗۤ اُخۡرٰى ؕ‏ 
( 6 )   Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them. And if they should be pregnant, then spend on them until they give birth. And if they breastfeed for you, then give them their payment and confer among yourselves in the acceptable way; but if you are in discord, then there may breastfeed for the father another woman.
Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them " The jurists agree that if the woman has been divorced revocable, the husband is responsible for her lodging and maintenance. They also agree that if the woman is pregnant, the husband will bear the responsibility of her lodging and maintenance till child-birth whether she has been divorced revocable or irrevocably. However, the difference of opinion has arisen about whether the nonpregnant woman who has been divorced irrevocably is entitled to both lodging and maintenance, or only to lodging, or to neither.

One group says that she is entitled to both lodging and maintenance. This is the opinion of Umar, Abdullah bin Masud, Ali bin Husain (Imam Zain al-Abidin), Qadi Shuraih and Ibrahim Nakhai. The same has been adopted by the Hanafis, and the same is also the viewpoint of Imam Sufyan Thauri and Hasan bin Saleh. This is supported by the Hadith of Daraqutni in which Abdullah bin Jabir reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The woman who has been divorced thrice has a right to lodging and maintenance during the waiting-period. This is further supported by those traditions in which it has been reported that Umar had rejected the Hadith of Fatimah bint-Qais, saying: We cannot abandon the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of our Prophet (peace be upon him) on the word of a woman. This shows that the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the knowledge of Umar must be that such a woman is entitled to both maintenance and lodging. Furthermore in a tradition from Ibrahim Nakhai there is the explanation that Umar rejecting the Hadith of Fatimah bint-Qais, had said: I have heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say that such a woman has a right to lodging as well as to maintenance. The first argument that Imam Abu Bakr al Jassas has given in his discussion of this question in his Ahkam al-Quran is that Allah has explicitly said: Divorce them for their prescribed waiting periods. This divine command also applies to that person who might have taken his wife back after divorcing her twice in the first instance, and now he is left with only one divorce to pronounce. His second argument is: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught this method of pronouncing divorce that one should either pronounce divorce in such a period of purity in which one may not have had sexual intercourse, or in a state when the signs of a woman’s being pregnant might have appeared. In this he did not make any distinction between the first, second, or final divorce. Therefore, the divine command: Lodge them (in the waiting period) where you yourselves live, will be regarded as relevant to every form of divorce. His third argument is: The maintenance and lodging of the pregnant woman, whether divorced revocable or irrevocably, is binding on the husband, and in respective the non-pregnant revocably divorced woman also both these rights are binding. This shows that the maintenance and lodging have not been made incumbent on the basis of pregnancy but because both are legally bound to stay in the husband’s house. Now, if the same injunction be applicable to the irrevocably divorced non-pregnant woman also, there can be no reason why her lodging and maintenance should not be incumbent on the man divorcing her.

The second group says that the irrevocably divorce woman has a right to lodging but not to maintenance. This is the viewpoint of Saed bin al-Musayyab, Suleman bin Yasar, Ata, Shabi, Auzai, Laith and Abu Ubaid, and Imam Shafei and Imam Malik also have adopted the same. But in Mughni al-Muhtaj a different viewpoint of Imam Shafei has been stated as will be explained below.

The third group say that the irrevocably divorced woman is neither entitled to lodging nor to maintenance. This is the viewpoint of Hasan Basri, Hammad Ibn Laila, Amr bin Dinar, Taus, Ishaq bin Rahawaih and Abu Thaw. Ibn Jarir has cited this very viewpoint as of Ibn Abbas, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and the Imamiah sect of the Shias also have adopted the same, and in Mughni al-Muhtaj the viewpoint of the Shafeis also has been stated to be this: The woman who is passing her waiting-period on the basis of divorce has an obligatory right to lodging, whether she is pregnant or not, but for the woman who has been irrevocably divorced, it is not obligatory. And for the nonpregnant irrevocably divorced woman there is neither maintenance nor clothing. This viewpoint in the first place is based on this verse of the Quran: You do not know: Allah may after this bring about a situation (of reconciliation). From this they conclude that this could be correct only about a revocably divorced woman, and not about an irrevocably divorced one. Therefore, the command of lodging the divorced woman in the house is specifically applicable only to the revocably divorced woman. Their second reasoning is from the Hadith of Fatimah bint-Qais, which has been reported in the collections of Hadith through many authentic channels.

This Fatimah bint-Qais al-Fihriyyah was one of the earliest emigrants. She was esteemed for her wisdom and sagacity, and the consultative body of the companions on the occasion of Umar's martyrdom had met together at her house. She was first married to Abu Amr bin Hafs bin al- Mughirah al-Makhzumi. After she was separated by him by three divorces, the Prophet (peace be upon him) married her to Usamah bin Zaid. According to reports, her husband, Abu Amr had pronounced two divorces on her. Then, when he was sent to Yemen along with Ali, he also sent from there the third and final divorce. According to some, lodge her in the house during the waiting-period and maintain her. According to some others, she herself had laid claim to maintenance and lodging. Whatever be the case, the husband’s relatives refused to concede her claim. Thereupon she took her case to the Prophet (peace be upon him), and he gave the decision that she was neither entitled to maintenance nor to lodging. According to a tradition, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The husband is under obligation to provide maintenance and lodging to the woman only in case he had a right to return to her, but when he had no such right, she was neither entitled to maintenance nor to lodging. (Musnad Ahmad). Tabarani and Nasai have also related almost the same tradition, the concluding words of which are to the effect: But when she is not lawful for him until she marries another man than him, there is neither maintenance for her nor lodging. After giving this decision the Prophet (peace be upon him) first commanded her to pass her waiting period in the house of Umm Sharik and then told her to stay in the house of Ibn Umm Muktum.

However, the arguments of those who have not accepted this Hadith are as follows:

In the first place, she had been commanded to leave the house of her husband’s relatives because she was rude of tongue and they were fed up with her ill-temper. Saed bin al-Musayyab says: This lady by reporting her Hadith has misguided the people. The truth is that she was rude and impudent, that is why she was lodged in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum. (Abu Daud). In another tradition Saed bin al Musayyab is reported to have said: She had been impudent and rude to her husband’s relatives; that is why she was commanded to shift from that house. (Al-Jassas). Suleman bin Yasar says: Her expulsion from the house was because of her ill-temper. (Abu Daud).

Secondly, her tradition was repudiated by Umar at a time when many of the companions were still living, and the matter could be fully investigated. Ibrahim Nakhai says: When this Hadtih of Fatimah reached Umar, he said: We cannot abandon a verse of the Book of Allah and a saying of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) because of the saying of a woman who seems to be conjecturing. I have myself heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say that the woman who has been divorced irrevocably is entitled to both lodging and maintenance. (AI-Jassas). Abu Ishaq says: I was sitting with Aswad bin Yazid in the mosque of Kufah, when Shabi made mention of the Hadith of Fatimah bint-Qais. Aswad thereupon threw pebbles at Shabi and said: When in the time of Umar this tradition of Fatimah was brought to his notice, he said: We cannot cast off the Book of our Lord and the Sunnah of our Prophet (peace be upon him) on the strength of the tradition of a woman. Maybe she has forgotten. The woman has a right to maintenance as well as to lodging, for Allah says: Do not turn them out of their houses. This tradition has been reported in Muslim, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi and Nasai with some variation in wording.

Thirdly, during the reign of Marwan when a dispute arose in respect of the irrevocably divorced woman, Aishah had subjected the tradition of Fatimah bint-Qais to severe criticism. Qasim bin Muhammad says: I asked Aishah: Don’t you know the incident concerning Fatimah? She replied: Better not mention the Hadith of Fatimah. (Bukhari), The words of Aishah in the other tradition related by Bukhari are to the effect: What has happened to Fatimah? Is she not afraid of God? In the third tradition Urwah bin Zubair says that Aishah said: There is no good for Fatimah in reporting this hadith. In still another tradition Urwah says that Aishah expressed great indignation against Fatimah and said: She in fact was in an empty house, where she had no sympathizer; therefore, for the sake of her convenience the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed her to change her house.

Fourthly, this lady was later married to Usamah bin Zaid, and Muhammad bin Usamah says: Whenever Fatimah made mention of this Hadith, my father would throw at her whatever fell in his hand. (AI-Jassas). Obviously, had not Usamah known that the Sunnah was contrary to what Fatimah said, he could not have felt so annoyed at the mention of this Hadith.

" And if they should be pregnant, then spend on them until they give birth " There is complete consensus that whether the woman has been divorced revocably or irrevocably, her husband is responsible for her lodging and maintenance till child-birth if she is pregnant. However, a difference of opinion has arisen in case the husband of the pregnant woman may have died, irrespective of whether he may have died after pronouncing the divorce, or may not have pronounced any divorce and the woman may have been widowed during pregnancy. In this regard, the jurists have expressed the following views:

(1) Ali and Abdullah bin Masud hold that she has an obligatory right to maintenance in the husband’s undivided legacy. The same has also been cited as the view of Abdullah bin Umar, Qadi Shuraih, Abul Aliyah, Shabi and Ibrahim Nakhai, and a saying of Abdullah bin Abbas also supports the same. (Alusi, Al-Jassas).

(2) Ibn Jarir has cited another view of Abdullah bin Abbas to the effect: If the deceased person has left some inheritance, expenditure should be made on her from the share of the child of her womb; and if he has left no inheritance, the heirs of the deceased should spend on her, for Allah says: And the same responsibility for the maintenance of the mother devolves upon the heir. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 233).

(3) Jabir bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Zubair, Hasan Basri, Hadrat Saed bin al-Musayyab and Ata bin Abi Rabah say that there is no maintenance for her in the inheritance of the deceased husband. A third saying from Abdullah bin Abbas also has been cited to be the same. (Al-Jassas). This means that she can meet her expenses from the share of inheritance that she may receive from the husband’s legacy, but she has no right of inheritance on the husband’s combined legacy, which may burden the other heirs.

(4) Ibn Abi Laila says: Her maintenance in the deceased husband's legacy is as obligatory as is somebody’s debt obligatory in his legacy. (Al-Jassas). That is, just as a debt has to be paid out of a combined legacy, so also should her maintenance be paid out of it.

(5) Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad and Imam Zufar say: She has neither any right to lodging in the deceased husband’s legacy nor to maintenance, for nothing belongs to the deceased after death: whatever remains after him belongs to the heirs. The widowed pregnant woman, therefore, cannot have any maintenance in their property. (Hedayah, Al-Jassas). The same is the viewpoint of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Al- Insaf).

(6) Imam Shafei says: There is no maintenance for her; but she has a right to lodging (Mughni al-Muhtaj). His reasoning is based on the incident concerning Furaiah bint- Malik, sister of Abu Saed Khudri: when her husband was put to death, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded her to pass her waiting-period in the house of her husband. (Abu Daud, Nasai, Timtidhi). Furthermore, they deduce their view from the tradition of Daraqutni: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: there is no maintenance for the widowed pregnant woman. The same is the view of Imam Malik also. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi).

" And if they breastfeed for you, then give them their payment and confer among yourselves in the acceptable way " This divine command teaches several important things:

(1) That the woman is the owner of her milk; otherwise, obviously she could not be authorized to receive wages for it.

(2) That as soon as she becomes free from the marriage bond with her previous husband at child-birth, she is not legally bound to nurse her child; but if the father desires that she nurse it, and she also is willing for it, she would suckle it and would be entitled to receive the wages.

(3) that the father also is not legally bound to have the child suckled only by its mother;

(4) that the maintenance of the child is the responsibility of the father.

(5) that the mother is best entitled to suckle the child, and the other woman can be employed for suckling only in case the mother herself is not willing for it, or demands too high a wage for the father to pay. The sixth rule that automatically follows is that if the other woman also demands the same wages as the mother, then the mother's right is superior.

The following are the opinions of the jurists in this regard:
  • Dahhak says: The child’s mother is best entitled to suckle it, but she has the option to suckle it or not. However, if the child does not take to the new nurse-maid, the mother will be compelled to suckle it. A similar opinion is held by Qatadah, Ibrahim Nakhai and Sufyan Thauri. 
  • ibrahim Nakhai adds: In case another woman is not available for nursing the child, the mother will be compelled to nurse it. (Ibn Jarir). 
  • According to Hedayah: If at the separation of the parents the child has not yet been weaned, it is not obligatory that the mother alone should suckle it. However, if another woman is not available, the mother would be compelled to suckle the child. And if the father says: I shall employ another woman to suckle the child on wages instead of having it suckled by the mother on wages, and if the mother demands the same wages as the other woman, or is willing to perform the service gratis, the mother’s right will be regarded as superior. And if the child’s mother demands higher wages, the father will not be compelled to accede to her demand.
" but if you are in discord, then there may breastfeed for the father another woman " This contains a severe rebuke both for the father and for the mother. The style clearly shows that if the two do not settle the question of the child’s suckling amicably, overlooking the previous bitterness that led to divorce, it is not approved by Allah, The woman has been warned to the effect: If you demand too high a wage only in order to embarrass the man, the fosterage of the child is not dependent on you alone: some other woman will muse it. And the man has also been warned as if to say: It would be unfair if you pressed the mother unjustly only because she was the mother. In this connection, also see (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayat 233) for details.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "let them dwell wherever you dwell" - i.e., tropically, "let them share fully your standard of living".

" And if both of you find it difficult [that the mother should nurse the child] " E.g., for reasons of her health, or because she intends to remarry, etc.

" let another woman nurse it on behalf of him [who has begotten it] " I.e., at the father's expense: see 2:233

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. verse 1 explanation above ("As Islam treats the married woman as a full juristic personality....). A selfish man, because he has divorced his wife, may, in the probationary period before the divorce becomes absolute, treat her with contumely, and while giving her residence and maintenance, may so restrict it as to make her life miserable. This is forbidden. She must be provided on the same scale as he is, according to his status in life. There is still hope of reconciliation, and if not, yet the parting must be honourable.

If there is pregnancy, a sacred third life comes on the scene, for which there is added responsibility (perhaps added hope of reconciliation) for both parents. In any case no separation is possible until after the child is born. Even after birth, if no reconciliation between parents is possible, yet for the nursing of the child and for its welfare the care of the mother remains the duty of the father, and there must be mutual counsel between him and the mother in all truth and sincerity.

"If ye find yourselves in difficulties": e.g., if the mother's milk fails, or if her health fails, or if any circumstance arises which bars the natural course of the mother nursing her own child. There may be psychological difficulties also.

That is, the father must stand all expenses.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The implication is that the way to lodge a divorced wife should not be one that damages here self-esteem; in fact, all matters in this regard should be in accordance with the income and standard of living of the husband. This has been stated because after giving divorce, a husband can become stingy in this regard.

Ie., during this period, the wife should not be harassed so that very soon she become so upset that she is forced to leave her husband’s home.

لِيُنۡفِقۡ ذُوۡ سَعَةٍ مِّنۡ سَعَتِهٖ​ؕ وَمَنۡ قُدِرَ عَلَيۡهِ رِزۡقُهٗ فَلۡيُنۡفِقۡ مِمَّاۤ اٰتٰٮهُ اللّٰهُ​ؕ لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللّٰهُ نَفۡسًا اِلَّا مَاۤ اٰتٰٮهَا​ؕ سَيَجۡعَلُ اللّٰهُ بَعۡدَ عُسۡرٍ يُّسۡرًا‏ 
( 7 )   Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted - let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: We must trust in Allah, and do whatever is possible for us in the interests of the young life for which we are responsible. We must not be frightened by difficulties. Allah will give us relief and provide a solution if we act with honest integrity. Cf. xciv. 5-6.

If you are planning to divorce, please watch this motivational video by eminent Muslim scholar Mufti Menk, before doing so:

Ruku Two Verse 8-12:

وَكَاَيِّنۡ مِّنۡ قَرۡيَةٍ عَتَتۡ عَنۡ اَمۡرِ رَبِّهَا وَرُسُلِهٖ فَحَاسَبۡنٰهَا حِسَابًا شَدِيۡدًاۙ وَّعَذَّبۡنٰهَا عَذَابًا نُّكۡرًا‏ 
( 8 )   And how many a city was insolent toward the command of its Lord and His messengers, so We took it to severe account and punished it with a terrible punishment.
Now, the Muslims are being warned of the fate they would meet in this world and in the Hereafter is they disobeyed the commands they have been given through the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah and His Book and the rewards they would receive if they adopted obedience.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Insolent impiety consists not only in the breach of the rites of religion. Even more vital is the defiance of the laws of nature which Allah has made for us. These laws, for us human beings include those which relate to our fellow-beings in society to whom kindness and consideration form the basis of our social duties. Our duties to our families and our children in intimate matters such as were spoken of in the last Section, are as important as any in our spiritual life. Peoples who forgot the moral law in marriage or family life perished in this world and will have no future in the Hereafter. The lessons apply not only to individuals but to whole nations or social groups.

This refers to the present life: apparently the Hereafter is implied in verse 10 below.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: This connects with, and stresses, the fact that all the preceding injunctions are divinely ordained.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual words are: عَتَتۡ عَنۡ اَمۡرِ رَبِّہَا. The particle عَنۡ here indicates that the word encompasses the meaning of evasion. The complete meaning would be: rebelled and evaded.

فَذَاقَتۡ وَبَالَ اَمۡرِهَا وَكَانَ عَاقِبَةُ اَمۡرِهَا خُسۡرًا‏ 
( 9 )   And it tasted the bad consequence of its affair, and the outcome of its affair was loss.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: As explained for 64:5 - This is an allusion to the disasters and the suffering which, as history shows, inevitably befall every community or nation bent on rejecting the basic ethical truths and, thus, all standards of morality.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This is a reference to those nations who were punished in this world in accordance with the divine law of retribution. The Qur’an has related their accounts at several instances.

اَعَدَّ اللّٰهُ لَهُمۡ عَذَابًا شَدِيۡدًا​ ۙ فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ يٰۤاُولِى الۡاَ لۡبَابِ ۖۚ ۛ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا ۛؕ قَدۡ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰهُ اِلَيۡكُمۡ ذِكۡرًا ۙ‏ 
( 10 )   Allah has prepared for them a severe punishment; so fear Allah, O you of understanding who have believed. Allah has sent down to you the Qur'an.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: There is no excuse for us to go astray, seeing that Allah in His infinite Mercy has explained to us His Message by His many Signs around us and clearly by means of the human Teachers and Messengers whom He has sent for our instruction: see next verse.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: It is evident from this that intellect and faith necessarily entail one another. If a person has intellect, he will necessarily embrace faith and if he does not embrace faith, then there certainly is some defect in his intellect. It must have succumbed to desires, emotions and biases.

The 11th verse describe the required attitude of the true believers that they exhort to faith in messenger and the regarding bounties. Finally God’s power and knowledge are emphasized at the end.

رَّسُوۡلًا يَّتۡلُوۡا عَلَيۡكُمۡ اٰيٰتِ اللّٰهِ مُبَيِّنٰتٍ لِّيُخۡرِجَ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَعَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ مِنَ الظُّلُمٰتِ اِلَى النُّوۡرِ​ؕ وَمَنۡ يُّؤۡمِنۡۢ بِاللّٰهِ وَيَعۡمَلۡ صَالِحًـا يُّدۡخِلۡهُ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِىۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِهَا الۡاَنۡهٰرُ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَاۤ اَبَدًا​ؕ قَدۡ اَحۡسَنَ اللّٰهُ لَهٗ رِزۡقًا‏ 
( 11 )   [He sent] a Messenger [Muhammad] reciting to you the distinct verses of Allah that He may bring out those who believe and do righteous deeds from darkness into the light. And whoever believes in Allah and does righteousness - He will admit him into gardens beneath which rivers flow to abide therein forever. Allah will have perfected for him a provision.
Some of the commentators opine that admonition here implies the Quran and Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Some others say that admonition implies the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself, because he was admonition for the people through and through. We are of the opinion that this second interpretation is more correct, for according to the first commentary the sentence would read: We have sent down to you an ddmonition and sent such a Messenger. Obviously, there is no need for such an interpolation in the Quranic passage when it is perfectly meaningful, even more so, without it.

" Out of darkness into light" : out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge. The full significance of this divine saying becomes obvious only when one studies the other ancient and modern family laws of the world pertaining to divorce, waiting-period and provision of maintenance. This comparative study will show that in spite of the un-ending alterations, modifications and continual legislation no nation has been able so far to build for itself such a rational, natural and socially useful law as had been given by this Book and the Messenger (peace be upon him) who brought it 1500 wears ago. It has never stood in need of revision nor it ever will. There is no occasion here for a detailed comparative study of it; we have, however, given a brief specimen of it in the concluding portion of our book Huquq az-Zaujain; the scholars who are interested in the subject can for themselves compare the world’s religious and secular laws with this law of the Quran and Sunnah.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. xxiv. 40: the unbelievers' state is "like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by dark clouds; depths of darkness, one above another." Cf. ii. 257; "Allah is the Protector of those who have Faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light."

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This word is a permutative (badal) from the word reminder and the word reminder refers to the Qur’an. In other words, the Qur’an and the messenger are two names of the same reality. This style has been adopted because the messenger reminded people through the Qur’an and the Qur’an reached the people through the blessed tongue of the messenger. Why is a messenger called the Qur’an? 

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahihas explained this. He writes: "… The Qur’an reminds a person of everything found in human nature. Furthermore, it also reminds people of the teachings which God revealed in various periods of time to guide them, and which were often rejected by previous nations. It also reminds people of how the Almighty dealt with those who rejected His messengers sent to them. Most of all, it reminds people of the reward and punishment which will necessarily manifest on a particular day at the culmination of this world. This day is the very purpose of this world. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 446)"

اَللّٰهُ الَّذِىۡ خَلَقَ سَبۡعَ سَمٰوٰتٍ وَّمِنَ الۡاَرۡضِ مِثۡلَهُنَّ ؕ يَتَنَزَّلُ الۡاَمۡرُ بَيۡنَهُنَّ لِتَعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰهَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ ۙ وَّاَنَّ اللّٰهَ قَدۡ اَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عِلۡمًا‏ 
( 12 )   It is Allah who has created seven heavens and of the earth, the like of them. [His] command descends among them so you may know that Allah is over all things competent and that Allah has encompassed all things in knowledge.
“The like of them” does not mean that He created as many earths as the heavens, but it means that He has also created several earths as He has created several heavens. “Of the earth” means that just as this earth which is inhabited by man is serving as bed and cradle for the creatures living on it, so has Allah made and set other earths also in the universe. which serve as beds and cradles for the creatures living on them. Moreover, there are clear pointers in the Qur'an to the effect that living creatures are not found only on the earth but also in the heavens. (For instance, see (Surah Ash-Shura: 29 and E.N. 50) on it. In other words! the countless stars and planets seen in the sky are not all lying desolate, but like the earth there are many among them which are inhabited.

From among the earliest commentators Ibn Abbas is the one, who had expressed this truth in the period when man was not even prepared to imagine that in the universe there are other habitats also, apart from the earth, where rational creatures live. Even the scientists of today are yet in doubt about this being a reality, nothing to say of the people living 1500 years ago, That is why Ibn Abbas felt hesitant about whether he should say such a thing before the common people are not, because he feared it might affect their faith. Mujahid says that when he was asked the meaning of this verse, he said: "If I give you the commentary of this verse, you will turn disbelievers, and your disbelief will be that you will deny it." Almost the same thing has been related from Sa'id bin Jubair, saying; Ibn Abbas said: what can be the guarantee that if I tell you its meaning, you would not turn disbelievers?" (lbn Jarir, 'Abd bin Humaid). However, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Hakim and Baihaqi in Shu'ab al-Iman and Kitab al-Asma' was Sifat have cited, on the authority of Abud-Doha, this commentary from Ibn Abbas in different words: "In each of those earths there is a Prophet like your Prophet, an Adam like your Adam, a Noah like your Noah, an Abraham like your Abraham, and a Jesus like your Jesus." This tradition has been related by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bat and by Ibn Kathir in his Commentary, and Imam Dhahbi says: "It has been reported authentically, but in my knowledge none apart from Abud-Doha has related it; therefore, it is an uncommon and rare tradition." Some other scholars regard it as a falsehood and Mulla 'AIi; Qari, in his Maudu at Kabir (p. 19), has described it as a fabrication, and written: `Even if it is a tradition from Ibn 'Abbas, it is based on Israelite traditions." But the truth is that the actual reason why the people have rejected it is their regarding it as remote from reason and beyond understanding; otherwise there is nothing in it which may by itself be opposed to reason. Thus, Allama Alusi in his discussion of it in his commentary writes: "There is neither any intellectual barrier to taking it as correct nor religious. It only means that in every earth there is a creation which turns to its origin just as mankind in our earth turns to Adam (peace be upon him). and in every earth there are individuals, who are distinguished among others just as the Prophets Noah and Abraham (peace be upon them) are distinguished among us. " A little below the Allama writes: "The earths may be more than seven, and likewise the heavens also may not be only seven. To rest content with the number seven, which is an indivisible integer, does not necessarily negate the higher numbers." Then, about the distances between one heaven and another, which have been stated as five hundred years or so in some Ahadith. the 'Allama says: "This is not meant to give the exact measurement of the distances, but to express the truth in a manner easily comprehensible to the people."

It is would be interesting to note that lately the Rand Corporation of America has estimated on the basis of their astronomical observations that only in the Galaxy to which our earth belongs there are about 600,000,000 (600 million) planets physical conditions on which closely resembles those on earth, and there is a possibility that they may be inhabited just as in the earth by living creatures. (Economist, London, 26 July, 1969)

Muhammad Asad Explanation: As explained for 2: 29 " The term sama' ("heaven" or "sky") is applied to anything that is spread like a canopy above any other thing. Thus, the visible skies which stretch like a vault above the earth and form, as it were, its canopy, are called sama': and this is the primary meaning of this term in the Qur'an; in a wider sense, it has the connotation of "cosmic system". As regards the "seven heavens", it is to be borne in mind that in Arabic usage - and apparently in other Semitic languages as well - the number "seven" is often synonymous with "several" (see Lisan al-'Arab), just as "seventy" or "seven hundred" often means many or "very many" (Taj al-'Arus). This, taken together with the accepted linguistic definition that "every sama' is a sama' with regard to what is below it" (Raghib), may explain the "seven heavens" as denoting the multiplicity of cosmic systems. 

For my rendering of thumma, at the beginning of this sentence, as "and", see surah {7}, first part of note [43] - reproduced herein under:
The conjunctive particle thumma which precedes this clause does not always denote order in time ("then" or "thereupon"). In cases where it is used to link parallel statements it has often the function of the simple conjunction wa ("and") - as, for instance, in 2:29 ("and has applied His design...", etc.) As regards the term 'arsh (lit., "throne" or "seat of power"), all Muslim commentators, classical and modern, are unanimously of the opinion that its metaphorical use in the Qur'an is meant to express God's absolute sway over all His creation. It is noteworthy that in all the seven instances where God is spoken of in the Qur'an as "established on the throne of His almightiness" 7:54 , 10:3 , 13:2 , 20:5 , 25:59 , 32:4 and 57:4 , this expression is connected with a declaration of His having created the universe. - The word yawm, commonly translated as "day" - but rendered above as "aeon" - is used in Arabic to denote any period, whether extremely long ("aeon") or extremely short ("moment"): its application to an earthly "day" of twenty-four hours is only one of its many connotations. (Cf. in this respect note [26] above, where the meaning of sa'ah - lit., "hour" - is explained.)
Lit., "the command". The verbal form yatanazzalu implies recurrence and continuity; its combination with the noun al-amr reflects the concept of God's unceasing creative activity.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: "Seven Firmaments." (Cf. ii. 29; xvii. 44; xxiii- 86; and xli. 12.) Literally: they are seven in number, each one separate from the other.

But in all spheres of life and Creation, whatever conception we are able to form of them, it is certain that the Command or Law of Allah runs through them all, for His knowledge and power extend through all things.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The implication is that there are six more heavens besides the heaven which is visible to people, and separate earths have been made for each heaven. Obviously, these earths will have their own life-forms and physical laws.

Here at the end, the Almighty has sounded a reminder of His attribute of power and of His attribute of knowledge so that it remains evident to people who the being from whom the warning and assurance sounded earlier is.

Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation and explanation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources (links to Reference Pages given below):  
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given below. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites:

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | Also Read: | Divorce in Islam | Iddah (The Waiting Periof)

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