Wednesday 30 November 2022

Cursed are those who accuse chaste believing women

Islam lays an immense emphasis on dignity, honour and respect of both believing men and women in many verses of Qur'an. However, the dignity and honour of believing women is specially emphasized for a false accusation or slander can ruin the piety of an innocent and pious believing woman.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has also stressed not to harm the good name and morality of a believing woman. He has been quoted as saying: To slander chaste women is one of the seven deadly sins. According to another tradition cited by Tabarani from Huzaifah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: To slander a pious woman suffices to ruin the good deeds of a hundred years.

In this context we share the 23rd verse of Surah 24. An Noor and its explanation by eminent Muslim scholars and exegetes:
اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يَرۡمُوۡنَ الۡمُحۡصَنٰتِ الۡغٰفِلٰتِ الۡمُؤۡمِنٰتِ لُعِنُوۡا فِى الدُّنۡيَا وَالۡاٰخِرَةِ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيۡمٌۙ‏
(24:23) Those that accuse chaste, unwary, believing women,21 have been cursed in the world and the Hereafter, and a mighty chastisement awaits them.
The word ghafilat " الۡغٰفِلٰتِ "as used in the text means the women who are simple, unpretentious souls, who do not know any artifice, who have pious hearts and have no idea of immorality. They cannot even imagine that their names could ever be associated with any slander.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (A Threat to Those who accuse Chaste Women, who never even think of anything touching their Chastity and are Good Believers)
This is a warning and threat from Allah to those who accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything effecting their chastity since they are good believers. The Mothers of the believers are more entitled to be included in this category than any other chaste woman, especially the one who was the reason for this Ayah being revealed: `A'ishah bint As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with them both. All of the scholars agree that whoever slanders her or makes accusations against after what has been said in this Ayah, is a disbeliever, because of his being obstinate with the Qur'an. The same ruling applies to all of the Mothers of the believers.

(لُعِنُواْ فِى الدُّنْيَا وَالاٌّخِرَةِ are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter,) This is like the Ayah:(Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger,) ﴿33:57﴾ `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "This is about `A'ishah, and whoever does anything similar nowadays to Muslim women, the same applies to him, but `A'ishah is the one who is primarily referred to here.'' 

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said: (اجْتَنِبُوا السَّبْعَ الْمُوبِقَاتِ Shun the seven destructive sins. ) He was asked, "What are they, O Messenger of Allah'' 
He said: (Associating partners with Allah; magic; killing a soul whom Allah has forbidden to be killed, except with just cause; consuming Riba; consuming the property of orphans; desertion at the time of war; and accusing chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers.) This was recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim in the Two Sahihs.
Muhammad Asad Explanation:
According to Razi, the absence of repentance is incontrovertibly implied in the condemnation expressed in the sequence, since the Qur'an makes it clear in many places that God always accepts a sinner's sincere repentance.

Lit., "chaste, unmindful [or "careless"] believing women", i.e., virtuous women who thoughtlessly expose themselves to situations on which a slanderous construction may be put.

Yusuf Ali Explanation
Good women are sometimes indiscreet because they think of no evil. But even such innocent indiscretion lands them, and those who hold them dear, in difficulties. Such was the case with Hadhrat 'Aisha, who was in extreme pain and anguish for a whole month because of the slanders spread about her. Her husband and her father were also placed in a most awkward predicament, considering their position and the great work in which they were engaged. But unprincipled people, who start false slanders, and their unthinking tools who help in spreading such slanders, are guilty of the gravest spiritual offence, and their worst punishment is the deprivation of Allah's grace, which is the meaning of a state of Curse.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Ie., simple and decent women who are unaware of the deceptions of the world. A subtle reference is also found in this to the pure and chaste lady who faced the aforementioned slander and allegation.

The actual word is: يَرْمُوْنَ. Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes:
... Here there is a special eloquence in using this word for accusing an innocent woman. Hidden in this expression is the purport that those who accuse innocent and chaste women of fornication in fact make them a target of their arrows while they are sleeping. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 5, 389)
It is a result of this curse that even before the Hereafter they have been disgraced in this world as well and they have been totally wiped out from the land of Arabia. The Qur’ān has mentioned this at many instances that once the truth is conclusively conveyed to the disbelievers, this is the fate they meet, in accordance with the established practice of the Almighty.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
The forgiveness of which God reminds the believers is granted only to those who repent of their errors, accusing chaste women of adultery and spreading corruption in the Muslim community. On the other hand, those who, like Ibn Ubayy, deliberately, and out of malice, make such accusations, will have no pardon or forgiveness. Even though they may escape punishment in this world, because no witnesses will testify against them, they will inevitably endure the punishment in the hereafter when no witnesses will be required. Those who accuse chaste women who may have been unthinkingly careless but remained true believers, shall be rejected by God in this world as well as in the life to come. The sūrah paints their crime in stark colours so as to expose its odious nature. It is an accusation against chaste women believers who go about their lives, totally oblivious to any possibility of accusation. They behave naturally, not thinking that they will be accused of something, simply because they have done nothing wrong. To accuse them of immorality is thus seen to be very serious, betraying the contemptible and mean nature of their accusers. Hence, they are cursed now by God, and expelled from among those who receive His grace in this present life and in the life to come.

Now you may listen to the following short clipped video to explanation of the aforesaid Ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān 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. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the 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.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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