Showing posts with label Chapter 66. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chapter 66. Show all posts

Wednesday 24 March 2021

Surah At-Tahrim (The Prohibition): Exegesis / Tafsir 66th Chapter of Qur'an

Sūrah At Tahrim is the sixty sixth sürah with 12 āyāt with two rukus, part of the 28th Juzʼ  of the Qur'ān. The Sūrah derives its name from the words lima tuharrimu " تُحَرِّمُ " of the very first verse. This too is not a title of its subject matter, but the name implies that it is the Sūrah in which the incident of tahrim (prohibition, forbiddance) has been mentioned.

In connection with the incident of tahrim referred to in this Surah, the traditions of the Hadith mention two ladies who were among the wives of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) at that time Hadrat Safiyyah and Hadrat Mariyah Qibtiyyah. The former (i. e. Hadrat Safiyyah) was taken to wife by the Holy Prophet after the conquest of Khaiber, and Khaiber was conquered, as has been unanimously reported, in A. H. 7. The other lady, Hadrat Mariyah, had been presented to the Holy Prophet by Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt, in A. H. 7 and she had borne him his son, Ibrahim, in Dhil-Hijjah, A. H. 8.These historical events almost precisely determine that this Surah was sent down some time during A.H. 7 or A. H 8. This makes it a Median Surah.

Yusuf Ali writes about this Sūrah:
This is the tenth and last of the series of short Madinah Sūrahs which began with S. lvii Al Hadid: see Introduction to that Sūrah (given herein under). 
We have now studied the contents of nearly nine-tenths of the Qur’an. We have found that the arrangement of the Surahs in the present Text is not haphazard, but they follow a distinct logical order more helpful for study than the chronological order. The comprehensive scheme of building up the new Ummat or Brotherhood and its spiritual implications is now complete. The remaining tenth of the Our-an may be roughly considered in two parts. The first contains ten Surahs (S. lvii. to S. lxvi. At Tahrim), all revealed in Madinah, and each dealing with some special point which needs emphasis in the social life of the Ummat. The second (S. !xvii Mulk. to cxiv Nas.) contains short Makkan lyrics, each dealing with some aspect of religious life, expressed in language of great artistic beauty.
The point dealt with here is: how tr the turning away from sex or the opposition of one sex against another or want of harmony between the sexes may injure the higher interests of society.
The date may be taken to be somewhere about A.H. 7.

Summary.- The failings of the weaker sex should not turn away men from normal social life: harmony and mutual confidence should be taught and enforced, and Allah's blessing will descend on the virtuous.

The Surah is divided into two Ruku as under:
  • Ruku One (Verses 1-7): Do not make something unlawful which Allah has made lawful and Wives of the Holy Prophet are admonished on their behavior with him
  • Ruku Two (Verses 8-12): O believers! Turn to Allah in sincere repentance if you want to be forgiven and Example of the wives of Nuh and Lut who will go to hell and example of Pharaoh's wife and Maryam who will go to paradise
Note: Although the Surah contains just twelve verses, but the sensitivity of the subject mater entails very lengthy explanations taken from historical archives. Readers are therefore requested to read this post very when they have adequate time or break it into periods of time.

We have already presented the overview / summary of the sürah. Read the summary/overview to know about the theme and topics of this sürah. Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer in English.

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

Ruku One (Verses 1-7)

یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَاۤ اَحَلَّ اللّٰہُ لَکَ ۚ تَبۡتَغِیۡ مَرۡضَاتَ اَزۡوَاجِکَ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ 
( 1 )   O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
This is not, in fact, a question but an expression of disapproval. The object is not to ask the Prophet (peace be upon him) why he had done so, but to warn him that his act to make unlawful for himself what Allah had made lawful is not approved by Allah. This by itself gives the meaning that nobody has the power to make unlawful what Allah has made lawful; so much so that the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself also did not possess any such power. Although the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not regard this as unlawful as a matter of faith nor legally but only forbade himself its use, yet since he was not an ordinary man but Allah’s Messenger, and his forbidding himself something could have the effect that his followers too would have regarded it as forbidden, or at least reprehensible, or the people of his community might have thought that there was no harm in forbidding oneself something his Allah had made lawful, Allah pointed it out to him and commanded him to refrain from such prohibition.

This shows that in this case the Prophet (peace be upon him) had not made a lawful thing unlawful because of a personal desire but because his wives had wanted him to do so, and he had made it unlawful for himself only in order to please them. Here, the question arises: why has Allah particularly made mention of the cause of making the thing unlawful besides pointing out the act of prohibition? Obviously, if the object had been to make him refrain from making a lawful thing as unlawful, this could be fulfilled by the first sentences and there was no need that the motive of the act also should have been stated. Making mention of it in particular clearly shows that the object was not to check the Prophet (peace be upon him) only for making a lawful thing as unlawful, but along with that to warn the his wives also to the effect that in their capacity as the Prophet’s wives they had not understood their delicate responsibilities and had made the Prophet (peace be upon him) do a thing which could lead to making a lawful thing as unlawful.

Although it has not been mentioned in the Quran as to what it was that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had made forbidden upon himself, yet the traditionists and commentators have mentioned in this regard two different incidents, which occasioned the revelation of this verse. One of these relates to Mariyah Qibiyyah (Mary, the Copt lady) and the other to his forbidding upon himself the use of honey.

The incident relating to Mariyah is that after concluding the peace treaty of Hudaibiyah, one of the letters that the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent to the rulers of the adjoining countries was addressed to the Roman Patriarch of Alexandria also, whom the Arabs called Muqawqis. When Hatib bin Abi Baltaa took this letter to him, he did not embrace Islam but received him well, and in reply wrote: I know that a Prophet is yet to rise, but I think he will appear in Syria. However, I have treated your messenger with due honor, and am sending two slave-girls to you, who command respect among the Coptics. (Ibn Saad). One of those slave-girls was Sirin and the other Mariyah (Mary). On his way back from Egypt, Hatib presented Islam before both and they believed. When they came before the Prophet (peace be upon him), he gave Sirin in the ownership of Hassan bin Thabit and admitted Mariyah into his own household. In Dhil-Hijjah, A.H. 8 she gave birth to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) son, Ibrahim. (Al-Istiab; Al-Isabah). This lady was very beautiful. Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Al-Isabah has related this saying of Aishah about her: No woman’s entry into the Prophet’s household vexed me so much as that of Mariyah, because she was very beautiful and pleased him much. Concerning her the story that has been narrated in several ways in the Hadith is briefly as follows:

One day the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited the house of Hafsah when she was not at home. At that time Mariyah came to him there and stayed with him in seclusion. Hafsah took it very ill and complained of it bitterly to him. Thereupon, in order to please her, the Prophet (peace be upon him) vowed that he would have no conjugal relation with Mariyah in future. According to some traditions, he forbade Mariyah for himself, and according to others, he also swore an oath on it. These traditions have been mostly reported by the immediate successors of the companions without mentioning any intermediary link. But some of these have been reported from Umar, Abdullah bin Abbas and Abu Hurairah also. In view of the plurality of the methods of narration, Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari has expressed the view that there is some truth in the story. But in none of the six authentic collections of the Hadith has this story been narrated. In Nasai only this much has been related from Anas: The Prophet (peace be upon him) had a slave-girl with whom he had conjugal relations. Then, Hafsah and Aishah began to point out this to him repeatedly until he forbade her for himself. There upon, Allah sent down this verse: O Prophet, why do you make unlawful that which Allah has made lawful for you.

The other incident has been related in Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Nasai and several other books of Hadith from Aishah herself and its purport is as follows:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) usually paid a daily visit to all his wives after the Asr Prayer. Once it so happened that he began to stay in the house of Zainab bint-Jahsh longer than usual, for she had received some honey from somewhere as a gift and the Prophet was very fond of sweet things; therefore, he would have a drink of honey at her house. Aishah states that she felt envious of this and spoke to Hafsah, Saudah and Safiyyah about it and together they decided that whoever of them was visited by the Prophet, she should say to him: Your mouth smells of maghafir. Maghafir is a kind of flower, which gives out an offensive smell, and if the bee obtains honey from it, it is also tainted by the same odor. They all knew that the Prophet was a man of very fine taste and he abhorred that he should emit any kind of unpleasant smell. Therefore, this device was contrived to stop him from staying in the house of Zainab and it worked. When several of his wives told him that his mouth smelt of maghafir, he made a promise not to use the honey any longer. In one tradition his words are to the effect: Now, I will never have a drink from it: I have sworn an oath. In another tradition he only said: I will never have a drink from it, and there is no mention of the oath. And in the tradition which Ibn al Mundhir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Tabarani and Ibn Marduyah have related from Ibn Abbas the words are to the effect: By God, I will not drink it.

Our eminent scholars regard this second version as correct and the first as unreliable. Imam Nasai says: About honey the Hadith reported from Aishah is authentic, and the story of forbidding Mariyah for himself by the Prophet (peace be upon him) has not been narrated in a reliable way. Qadi Iyad says: The truth is that this verse was sent down concerning honey and not Mariyah. Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al- Arabi also regards the story about honey as correct and the same is the opinion of Imam Nawawi and Hafiz Badruddiu Aini. Ibn Humam writes in Fath al-Qadir: The story of the prohibition of honey has been narrated in Bukhari and Muslim from Aishah who was herself a party to it; therefore, it is much more reliable.
Hafiz Ibn Kathir says: The truth is that this verse was sent down about forbidding honey upon himself by the Prophet (peace be upon him).
That is, although the act of making a lawful thing unlawful only in order to please your wives was an act unbecoming of your high and responsible office, yet it was no sin, which might have entailed a punishment. Therefore, Allah has only pointed it out to you and corrected it, and has forgiven you for this error.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The Prophet's household was not like other households. The Consorts of Purity were expected to hold a higher standard in behaviour and reticence than ordinary women, as they had higher work to perform. See explanation of xxxiii. 28. But they were human beings after all, and were subject to the weaknesses of their sex, and they sometimes failed. The commentators usually cite the following incident in connection with the revelation of these verses. It is narrated from 'Aisha, the wife of the holy Prophet (peace be on him) by Bukhari, Muslim, Nasai. Abu Dawud and others that the holy Prophet usually visited all his wives daily after 'Asr Prayer. Once it so happened that he stayed longer than usual at the quarters of Zainab bint Jahsh, for she had received from somewhere some honey which the holy Prophet liked very much. "At this", says 'Aisha, "I felt jealous, and Hafsa, Sawda, Safiya, and I agreed among ourselves that when he visits us each of us would tell him that a peculiar odour came from his mouth as a result of what he had eaten, for we knew that he was particularly sensitive to offensive smells". So when his wives hinted at it, he vowed that he would never again use honey. Thereupon these verses were revealed reminding him that he should not declare to himself unlawful that which Allah had made lawful to him. The important point to bear in mind is that he was at once rectified by revelation, which reinforces the fact that the prophets are always under divine protection, and even the slightest lapse on their part is never left uncorrected.

The tender words of admonition addressed to the Consorts in xxxiii. 28-34 explain the situation far better than any comments can express. If the holy Prophet had been a mere husband in the ordinary sense of the term, he could not have held the balance even between his private feelings and his public duties. But he was not an ordinary husband, and he abandoned his renunciation on his realization of the higher duties with which he was charged, and which required conciliation with firmness.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Pleasing wives and showing affection to them is a noble social norm and a very commendable thing in its own right; however, the case of a messenger of God is different. Every word and deed of his has great significance in religion. If Muhammad (sws) had sworn not to use a thing it was very much possible that no pious Muslim would have touched it either, and the same situation would have arisen as the one that arose in the case of Jacob (sws): for some reason he did not like to eat the meat of a camel; the result was that the Jews regarded it as eternally prohibited.

This haste in the proclamation of forgiveness from the Almighty is because the matter related to Muhammad (sws). The Prophet (sws) merely out of his affection and love and to please the weaker gender had imposed a restriction on himself. The Almighty checked this attitude – yet at the same time declared forgiveness on this so that this checking may not weigh down heavily on the Prophet (sws). 

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: … Pleasing one’s wife is not an evil thing; it is, in fact, a requisite of decency, honour and benevolence and a requirement of human nature as well as of the shari‘ah revealed by the Almighty. The Qur’an has directed man to fulfil this requirement on the condition that it remains within the bounds of the shari‘ah. If it exceeds these bounds, it becomes a source of trial for the Muslims from which one must protect one self as well as others. However, when the motive of a mistake is pious, it should be checked hand in hand with forgiveness. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 459)

قَدۡ فَرَضَ اللّٰہُ لَکُمۡ تَحِلَّۃَ اَیۡمَانِکُمۡ ۚ وَ اللّٰہُ مَوۡلٰىکُمۡ ۚ وَ ہُوَ الۡعَلِیۡمُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ 
( 2 )   Allah has already ordained for you [Muslims] the dissolution of your oaths. And Allah is your protector, and He is the Knowing, the Wise.
It means: Act according to the method Allah has prescribed for absolution from oaths by expiation in( Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 89 )and break your promise that you have made to forbid yourself of a lawful thing. Here, an important legal question arises and it is this: Is this command applicable to the case when a person has forbidden upon himself a lawful thing on oath, or is forbidding oneself a lawful thing by itself tantamount to swearing an oath, whether the words of the oath have been used or not. The jurists in this regard have expressed different opinions:

One section of them says that mere forbidding oneself of a lawful thing is not an oath. If a person without swearing an oath has forbidden upon himself a wife, or some other lawful thing, it is an absurd thing which does not entail any expiation, but he can resume without any expiation the use of the thing that he had forbidden for himself. This is the opinion of Masruq, Shabi, Rabiah and Abu Salamah; and the same view is held by Ibn Jarir and all the Zahiris. According to them forbidding oneself of something would be an oath only in case express words of oath are used when forbidding it for oneself. In this regard, their reasoning is that since the Prophet (peace be upon him) while forbidding himself a lawful thing had also sworn an oath, as has been reported in several traditions, Allah told him to act according to the method that had been appointed for absolving oneself from oaths.

The second group says that to forbid oneself something without using the words of oath is not an oath by itself, but the case of the wife is an exception. If a person has forbidden himself a garment, or an article of food, it is meaningless, and one can use it without expiation. But if concerning a wife or a slave-girl he has said: I forbid myself an intercourse with her, she would not become unlawful and forbidden, but one would have to expiate the oath before going in to her. This is the opinion of the Shafeis. (Mughni al-Muhtaj). And a similar opinion on this question is held by the Malikis. (Ibn al-Arabi, Ahkam al-Quran).

The third group says that to forbid oneself something is by itself an oath even if the words of oath have not been used. This is the opinion of Abu Bakr. Aishah, Umar, Abdullah bin Masud, Zaid bin Thabit and Abdullah bin Abbas. Although from Ibn Abbas another opinion has been reported in Bukhari to the effect: If a man has forbidden himself his wife, it is meaningless, yet it has been interpreted to mean that according to him this is not divorce but an oath which entails an expiation. For, in Bukhari, Muslim and Ibn Majah, another saying of Ibn Abbas has been reported that to forbid oneself one’s wife entails an expiation, and in Nasai the tradition is to the effect that when Ibn Abbas was asked his opinion on this, he said: She is not forbidden to you, but you must pay the expiation. And in Ibn Jarir’s tradition the words of Ibn Abbas are to the effect: If the people forbid themselves what Allah has made lawful for them, they must expiate their oath. This same is the opinion of Hasan Basri, Ata, Taus, Suleman bin Yasar, Ibn Jubair and Qatadah, and the same has been adopted by the Hanafis. Imam Abu Bakr al- Jassas says: The words of the verse lima tuharrimu do not indicate that the Prophet (peace be upon him) along with forbidding himself the lawful thing had also sworn an oath, therefore, one will have to admit that tahrim (to forbid oneself something) itself is an oath; for after it Allah made obligatory the expiation of the oath in connection with the prohibition. Farther on he writes again: Our companions (i.e. the Hanafis) regard tahrim as an oath in case it is not accompanied by the intention of divorce. If a person forbade upon himself his wife, he in fact said: By God, I will not come near you, thus, he committed ila (act of temporary separation). And if he forbade himself an article of food, etc, he in a way said: By God, I will not use that article. For Allah first said: Why do you forbid that which Allah has made lawful. And then said: Allah has appointed a way to absolve you from your oaths. Thus, Allah has regarded tahrim as an oath, and the word tahrim in its meaning and legal effect becomes synonymous with an oath.

Here, for the benefit of the common man, it would be useful to tell what the legal command is, according to the jurists, in respect of someone forbidding upon himself his wife and the other things besides the wife.

The Hanafis say that if without the intention of divorce somebody forbade upon himself his wife, or swore an oath that he would not have conjugal relations with her, this would be ila (temporary separation), and in this case he would have to expiate his oath before having the sexual relation. But if with the intention of divorce he said: You are unlawful to me, it will have to be ascertained what was his real intention. If his intention was of three divorces, the three divorces will take place, and if the intention was of a lesser number, of one or two divorces, only one divorce will take place in either case. And if somebody says: I have forbidden myself whatever was lawful for me, this would not apply to the wife unless he said these words with the intention of forbidding himself the wife. Apart from the wife, one cannot use the thing he has forbidden upon himself until he has expiated the oath. (Badai as-Sanai: Hedayah; Fath Al-Qadir, al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Quran).

The Shafeis say that if one forbids upon himself the wife with the intention of divorce or zihar, the intended thing would become effective, whether it is a revocable divorce or an irrevocable divorce or zihar. And if a person used the words of tahrim with the intention of both divorce and zihar, he would be asked to choose one, or the other, for both divorce and zihar cannot be established at one and the same time. Divorce dissolves marriage but in case of zihar it continues and if without any intention the wife is forbidden, she would not become forbidden, but expiation of the oath would become necessary. And if another thing, apart from the wife, is forbidden, it would be meaningless; there is no expiation for it. (Mughni al-Muhtaj).

The Malikis say that if a person forbids upon himself anything other than the wife, it neither becomes forbidden nor entails an expiation. But if he says to the wife: You are unlawful, or unlawful for me, or I am unlawful for you, this would amount to a triple divorce in any case whether this was said to a wife with whom marriage has been consummated, or to one with whom it has not yet been consummated, unless his intention was of less than three divorces. Asbagh says: If a person says: whatever was lawful for me, is unlawful, the wife also becomes forbidden unless he makes an exception of the wife. In al- Mudawwanah, distinction has been made between the wife with whom marriage has been consummated and the wife with whom it has not been consummated. If one forbids upon himself the former, a threefold divorce will take place irrespective of the intention, but in case of the latter the same number of divorces would take effect as was intended, and if there was no intention of any particular number, it would be considered a triple divorce. (Hashiyah ad- Dusuqi). Qadi Ibn al-Arabi in his Ahkam al-Quran has cited three statements of Imam Malik: (1) That forbidding oneself the wife amounts to an irrevocable divorce. (2) That it amounts to three divorces. (3) That in case of the wife with whom marriage has been consummated it amounts to three divorces, but in case of the one with whom it has not been consummated, to only one divorce if one was intended. Then he says: The correct thing is that forbidding oneself the wife amounts to one divorce only. For if the man uses the word divorce instead of calling her unlawful without specifying the number, only one divorce will take place.

Three different views in this regard have been reported from Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal: (1) That to forbid oneself the wife, or to make a lawful thing absolutely unlawful for oneself, is zihar, whether zihar was intended or not. (2) That this is an express allusion to divorce, and it amounts to pronouncing a triple divorce whether only one divorce was intended. (3) That it is an oath, unless the man had the intention of divorce or zihar and in this case the same would take effect as was intended. Of these only the first one is the best known view among the Hanbalis. (Al-Insaf).

That is, Allah is your Master and Guardian of your affairs. He knows best in what lies your own good, and whatever commands He has given, they are all based on wisdom. The first thing means: You are not independent in this world, but you are servant of Allah and He is your Master; therefore, none of you possesses any power to alter or change the ways and methods prescribed by Him; the best thing for you is to entrust your affairs to Him and continue to obey Him.

The second thing means that all the methods and laws that Allah has enjoined, are based on knowledge and wisdom. Whatever He has made lawful, has been made lawful on the basis of knowledge and wisdom and whatever He has made unlawful also has been made unlawful on the basis of knowledge and wisdom. Nothing has been made lawful or unlawful at random. Therefore, those who believe in Allah should understand that it is Allah Who is All-Knowing and All-Wise and not they. And their well-being lies only in carrying out duly the commands given by Him.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. ii. 224. If your vows prevent you from doing good, or acting rightly, or making peace between persons, you should expiate the vow, but not refrain from your good deed.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Here the direction of address has changed towards the Muslims. The reason is that this law of breaking such oaths is not merely confined to the Prophet (sws). Moreover, the purpose to check him was that general Muslims remain in no doubt regarding what is allowed and what is prohibited. Hence all are addressed and it is said that if anyone swears to prohibit on himself something that is allowed, then it is mandatory on him to break this oath.

The implication is that since God is the master, He alone has the right to decide what is allowed and what is not and it is His knowledge and wisdom on the basis of which such decisions can be made.

وَ اِذۡ اَسَرَّ النَّبِیُّ اِلٰی بَعۡضِ اَزۡوَاجِہٖ حَدِیۡثًا ۚ فَلَمَّا نَبَّاَتۡ بِہٖ وَ اَظۡہَرَہُ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡہِ عَرَّفَ بَعۡضَہٗ وَ اَعۡرَضَ عَنۡۢ بَعۡضٍ ۚ فَلَمَّا نَبَّاَہَا بِہٖ قَالَتۡ مَنۡ اَنۡۢبَاَکَ ہٰذَا ؕ قَالَ نَبَّاَنِیَ الۡعَلِیۡمُ الۡخَبِیۡرُ
( 3 )   And [remember] when the Prophet confided to one of his wives a statement; and when she informed [another] of it and Allah showed it to him, he made known part of it and ignored a part. And when he informed her about it, she said, "Who told you this?" He said, "I was informed by the Knowing, the Acquainted."
Different things have been reported in different traditions, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had told such and such a thing to one of his wives in confidence, which she disclosed to another wife. But for us, in the first place, it is not right to investigate it, for it is on the disclosure of a secret that Allah is taking a wife to task, it cannot therefore be right for us to inquire into it and try to uncover it. Secondly, in view of the object for which this verse was sent down, it is not at all important to know what the secret was. Had it any connection with the object of the discourse, Allah would Himself have mentioned it. 
The real object for which this incident has been related in the Quran is to warn the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives and through them, the wives of the responsible people among the Muslims not to be careless in the matter of guarding secrets. 
Had it been only a private and personal affair, as is generally the case between the husband and the wife in the world, there was no need that Allah should have directly informed the Prophet (peace be upon him) of it through revelation, and then did not rest content only with giving the information, but should also have recorded it in the Book which the whole world has to recite forever. The reason why it was given such importance was that this wife was not the wife of an ordinary husband but of that illustrious husband, whom Allah had appointed to the office of the highest responsibility, who was locked in an incessant battle with the disbelievers, polytheists and hypocrites at all times and under whose leadership a fierce conflict was going on for establishing Islam in place of paganism. In the house of such an illustrious man there could be countless things which if not kept secret but disclosed before time, could harm the great mission which he was performing. Therefore, when a lady of the house happened to show this weakness for the first time in that she disclosed a secret that had been told her in confidence, to another (a member of her own household), the weakness was immediately pointed out to her, not secretly but openly in the Quran, so as to impart training in the guarding of secrets not only to the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) but also to the wives of all responsible people of the Muslim community. 

In the verse the question whether the secret disclosed pertained to a matter of any consequence or not, and whether its disclosure could cause any harm to the mission or not, has been altogether ignored. What has been disapproved and pointed out in particular is that the secret was disclosed to another. The higher the position of responsibility a person holds the more dangerous would be the leakage of secrets from his house. No matter whether a thing is of any consequence or not, once a person becomes careless in the matter of guarding secrets, he may reveal important things as well as trivial matters.

The word saghat in the original is from saghy which means to swerve and to become crooked. Shah Waliyullah and Shah Rafiuddin have translated this sentence thus: Crooked have become your hearts. Abdullah bin Masud, Abdullah bin Abbas, Sufyan Thauri and Dahhak have given this meaning of it: Your hearts have swerved from the right path. Imam Razi explains it thus: Your hearts have swerved from what is right, and the right implies the right of the Prophet (peace be upon him). And Allama Alusis commentary is although it is incumbent on you that you should approve what the Messenger (peace be upon him) approves and disapprove what he disapproves, yet in this matter your hearts have swerved from conformity with him and turned in opposition to him.
We learn from this Surah is that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) did not receive from Allah only that knowledge which is included and recorded in the Qur'an, but he was given information about other things also by revelation, which has not been recorded in the Qur'an. Its clear proof is verse 3 of this Surah. In it we are told that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) confided a secret to one of his wives, and she told it to another. Allah informed the Holy Prophet of this secret. Then, when the Holy Prophet warned his particular wife on the mistake of disclosure and she said: "Who has informed you of this mistake of mine7" he replied: "I have been informed of it by Him Who knows everything and is All Aware." Now, the question is where in the Qur'an is the verse in which Allah has said "O Prophet, the secret that you had confided to one of your wives, has been disclosed by her to another person, or to so and so? If there is no such verse in the Qur'an, and obviously there is none, this is an express proof of the fact that revelation descended on the Holy Prophet besides the Qur'an as well. This refutes the claim of the deniers of Hadith, who allege that nothing was sent down to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) apart from the Qur'an.[2]

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Who these two consorts were, and what was the matter in confidence which was disclosed, we are not expressly told, but the facts mentioned in n. 5529 above will help us to understand this passage. The sacred words imply that the matter was of great importance as to the principle involved, but that the details were not of sufficient importance for permanent record. For the lessons to be drawn, see the notes following.

The moral we have to draw is manifold. (1) If anything is told us in confidence, especially by one at the head of affairs, we must not divulge it to our closest friend. (2) If such divulgence is made in the most secret whispers, Allah's Plan is such that it will come to light and expose those guilty of breach of confidence. (3) The breach of confidence must inevitably redound to the shame of the guilty party. 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: What was this secret? The Almighty has not revealed it. Hence, it is not proper for us to go after it. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… Wives of the Prophet (sws) are like our mothers. It is not at all appropriate for the children to go after secrets which are between their fathers and mothers. This is so in particular when knowing this secret has no role in understanding this verse. Here, the admonishment relates to divulging a secret, and if we start investigating this secret, it would only mean that we are doing something from which we have been stopped. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 460)
It is evident from the verses ahead that one of the wives confided this secret to another and the secret remained among the wives; no other person was able to know of it.

This happened because the Prophet (sws) was not merely a husband; he was also a messenger of God. It was not at all appropriate to divulge a secret of his even though this was someone of the household. It was very much possible that if this weakness persisted a great secret be leaked that could severely harm the whole endeavour of the Prophet (sws). Hence the Almighty directly checked this matter and made it evident to people that no one is beyond accountability in the limits prescribed by God.

The implication is that the Prophet (sws) did conduct this accountability because this is a requisite of religion; however, this was only to the extent of making the wife realize her fault; so he expressed part of their mistake and ignored the rest so that this admonishment should not weigh down heavily on her. The reason for this was that though a mistake had been committed, yet it did not have any evil intent behind it. This only happened because one of the wives did not feel she was doing anything wrong in confiding a secret of her husband within the household to another beloved wife of his.

It is evident from this question that instead of attending to her mistake she was more concerned as to how this act of hers came into the knowledge of the Prophet (sws). Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… she must have thought that the wife in whom she had confided must have told him; she had grounds to believe so because she had not disclosed this secret to any one else except her. It is even possible that she might have been angry at this situation, as is indicated by the words: مَنۡ اَنۡۢبَاَکَ. If this was the case, then there was a need to be surprised about it. If a person thinks that his or her trust has been breached, he naturally feels sad. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 462)
Once the Prophet (sws) told her that he was informed by God, the misconception of the wife was dispelled, yet this chiding weighed heavily on both the wives and they showed their slight displeasure to the Prophet (sws). For one, the reason was that if she had revealed a secret it was only to another wife; so what was the reason for this accountability? For the second, the reason was that the secret had only been divulged to her and not to any stranger; so why this anger? It only means that she has been regarded as an outsider.

These sentiments from both of the wives showed that they were united against him in this matter. They are both checked ahead for this attitude.

اِنۡ تَتُوۡبَاۤ اِلَی اللّٰہِ فَقَدۡ صَغَتۡ قُلُوۡبُکُمَا ۚ وَ اِنۡ تَظٰہَرَا عَلَیۡہِ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ مَوۡلٰىہُ وَ جِبۡرِیۡلُ وَ صَالِحُ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ۚ وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ بَعۡدَ ذٰلِکَ ظَہِیۡرٌ
( 4 )   If you two [wives] repent to Allah, [it is best], for your hearts have deviated. But if you cooperate against him - then indeed Allah is his protector, and Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are [his] assistants.
The word tazahur means to cooperate mutually in opposition to another person, or to be united against another person. Shah Waliyullah has translated this sentence, thus: If you mutually join together to cause distress to the Prophet. Shah Abdul Qadir’s translation is: If you both overwhelm him. Ashraf Ali Thanwi’s translation says: And if you both continued to work thus against the Prophet. And Shabbir Ahmad Uthmami has explained it thus: If you two continued to work and behave thus (against the Prophet, peace be upon him).

The verse is clearly addressed to two ladies and the context shows that these ladies are from among the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for in ( verses 1-5 of this Surah ) the affairs concerning the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives only have been discussed continuously, and this becomes obvious from the style of the Quran itself. As for the question who were the wives, and what was the matter which caused Allah’s displeasure, the details are found in the Hadith. In Musnad Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Nasai, a detailed tradition of Abdullah bin Abbas has been related, which describes the incident with some variation in wording. Ibn Abbas says:

I had been thinking for long time to ask Umar as to who were the two of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives, who had joined each other against him, and about whom Allah sent down this verse: In tatuba.....; but I could not muster courage because of his awe-inspiring personality until he left for Hajj and I accompanied him. On our way back while helping him to perform ablutions for the Prayer at one place I had an opportunity to ask him this question. He replied: they were Aishah and Hafsah. Then he began to relate the background, saying: We, the people of Quraish, were used to keeping our women folk under strict control. Then, when we came to Al-Madinah, we found that the people here were under the control of their wives, and the women of Quraish too started learning the same thing from them. One day when I became angry with my wife, I was amazed to see that she argued with me. I felt badly about her conduct. She said: Why should you feel so angry at my behavior. By God, the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) answer him back face to face, (the word in the original is li yuraji nahu) and some one of them remains angrily apart from him for the whole day. (According to Bukhari: the Prophet, peace be upon him, remains angry and apart from her the whole day). Hearing this I came out of my house and went to Hafsah (who was Umar’s daughter and the Prophet’s, peace be upon him, wife). I asked her: Do you answer back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) face to face? She said: Yes. I asked: And does one of you remain apart from him for the whole day, (according to Bukhari: the Holy Prophet remains angry and apart from her for the entire day). She said: Yes. I said: Wretched is the one from among you, who behaves thus. Has one of you become so fearless of this that Allah should afflict her with His wrath because of the wrath of His Prophet (peace be upon him) and she should perish, So, do not be rude to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Here also the words are: la turaji-i, nor demand of him anything, but demand of me whatever you desire. Do not be misled by this that your neighbor (i.e. Aishah) is more beautiful and dearer to the Prophet (peace be upon him). After this I left her house and went to the house of Umm Salamah, who was related to me, and talked to her on this subject. She said: Son of Khattab, you are a strange man: you have meddled in every matter until you are now interfering in the affair between Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and his wives. She discouraged me. Then it so happened that an Ansari neighbor came to my house at night and he called out to me. We used to sit in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) assembly by turns and each used to pass on to the other the news of the day of his turn. It was the time when we were apprehending an attack by the Ghassanids any time. On his call when I came out of my house, he said that something of grave significance had happened. I said: Have the Ghassanids launched an attack? He said: No, but something even more serious. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has divorced his wives. I said: Doomed is Hafsah (the words in Bukhari are: Raghima anfu Hafsah wa Aishah). I already had a premonition of this.

We have left out what happened after this, how next morning Umar went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and tried to appease his anger. We have described this incident by combining the traditions of Musnad Ahmad and Bukhari. In this the word murajat which Umar has used cannot be taken in its literal sense, but the context shows that the word has been used in the sense of answering back face to face and Umar’s saying to his daughter: La turaji-i Rasul Allah clearly has the meaning: Do not be impudent to the Messenger of Allah.

Some people say that this is a wrong translation, and their objection is: Although it is correct to translate murajaat as answering back, or answering back face to face, yet it is not correct to translate it as being impudent. These objectors do not understand that if a person of a lower rank or position answers back or retorts to a person of a higher rank and position, or answers him back face to face this very thing is described as impudence. For example, if a father rebukes his son for something or feels angry at his behavior, and the son instead of keeping quiet or offering an excuse, answers back promptly, this could only be described as impudence. Then, when the matter is not between a father and a son, but between the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah and an individual of his community, only a foolish person could say that it was not impudence. Some other people regard this translation of ours as disrespectful, whereas it could be disrespectful in case we had had the boldness to use such words in respect of Hafsah from ourselves. We have only given the correct meaning of the words of Umar, and these words he had used while scolding and reproving his daughter for her error. Describing it as disrespectful would mean that either the father should treat his daughter with due respect and reverence even when scolding and rebuking her or else the translator should render his rebuke and reproof in a way as to make it sound respectful and reverent.

Here, what needs to be considered carefully is that if it was such an ordinary and trivial matter that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) said something to his wives they would retort to Him, why was it given so much importance that in the Quran Allah administered a severe warning directly to the wives themselves? And why did Umar take it as such a grave matter that first he reproved his own daughter, then visited the house of the other wives and asked them to fear the wrath of Allah? And, above all, was the Prophet (peace be upon him) also so sensitive that he would take offense at minor things and become annoyed with his wives, and was he, God forbid, so irritable that once having been annoyed at such things he had severed his connections with all his wives and retired to his private apartment in seclusion? If a person considers these questions deeply, he will inevitably have to adopt one of the two views in the explanation of these verses. Either on account of his excessive concern for reverence for the wives he should not at all mind if a fault is imputed to Allah and His Messenger, or else he should admit in a straightforward way that at that time the attitude and behavior of these wives has actually become so objectionable that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was justified in becoming annoyed over it, and more than that, Allah Himself was justified that He should administer a severe warning to the wives on their unseemly behavior and attitude.

That is, you would only harm yourselves if you upheld and supported each other against the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), for none could succeed against him whose Protector is Allah and who had Gabriel and the angels and all the righteous believers on his side.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: There are further lessons. (4) Both the party betraying confidence and that encouraging the betrayal must purge their conduct by repentance. (5) Frank repentance would be what their hearts and conscience themselves would dictate and they must not resist such amends on account of selfish obstinacy. (6) If they were to resist frank repentance and amends, they are only abetting each other's wrong, and they cannot prevail against all the moral forces which will be ranged on the side of the right.

Do not forget the dual meaning: immediate, in application to the holy Prophet, and general, being the lesson which we ought all to learn. The holy Prophet could not be injured by any persons doing anything against him even though they might unconsciously put him in great jeopardy: for Allah, the Angel Gabriel (who was the Messenger to him), and the whole Community, would protect him,-to say nothing of the army of angels or hidden spiritual forces that always guarded him. Cf. xxxiii. 56. The general lemon for us is that the good man's protection is that of the moral forces around him; it is divine protection, against which human weakness or folly will have no power.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual words are: اِنۡ تَتُوۡبَاۤ اِلَی اللّٰہِ فَقَدۡ صَغَتۡ قُلُوۡبُکُمَا. The implication is that though both wives were put off yet this only sprung from the trust and confidence a wife has on the affection of her husband. Display of annoyance on such situations is only a veil; hidden behind it is the intense desire that if a little affection is shown from the other side, then there is a great impatience that reconciliation takes place as soon as possible. This whole implication is evident from the translation done above. Our exegetes have severely faltered in the interpretation of this verse. If someone wants to find out the reasoning behind the translation done by this writer, he can look up the tafsir of Imam Ḥamid al-Din Farahi.

The implication is that they are not dealing with some ordinary person; it is the prophet of God whom they are dealing with; this great difference must be kept in mind in all circumstances. If they unite against him, the loss will be theirs. How can such a united front succeed against a person whose protector and helper is God, Gabriel, the angels and all Muslims?

عَسٰی رَبُّہٗۤ اِنۡ طَلَّقَکُنَّ اَنۡ یُّبۡدِلَہٗۤ اَزۡوَاجًا خَیۡرًا مِّنۡکُنَّ مُسۡلِمٰتٍ مُّؤۡمِنٰتٍ قٰنِتٰتٍ تٰٓئِبٰتٍ عٰبِدٰتٍ سٰٓئِحٰتٍ ثَیِّبٰتٍ وَّ اَبۡکَارًا 
( 5 )   Perhaps his Lord, if he divorced you [all], would substitute for him wives better than you - submitting [to Allah], believing, devoutly obedient, repentant, worshipping, and traveling - [ones] previously married and virgins.
This shows that the fault did not lie only with Aisha and Hafsah but the other wives also had some share in it. That is why, after them, all the other wives too, have been warned in this verse. No light has been thrown on the nature of the error in the Quran. However, some details are found in the Hadith, which we shall relate below.
In Bukhari, a tradition has been reported from Anas, saying that Umar said: The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives because of their mutual envies and rivalries had utterly displeased him. At this I said to them: It may well be that if the Prophet (peace be upon him) divorced you, Allah would give him in your place better wives than you. Ibn Abi Hatim has, on the authority of Anas, reported the statement of Umar in these words: I was informed that a discord had been created between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his wives. At this I went to each of them and asked them to refrain from vexing the Prophet (peace be upon him); otherwise Allah would give him in their stead better wives than themselves. So much so that when I went to the last of them (and according to a tradition of Bukhari, to Umm Salamah), she said to me: O Umar, is not the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself enough to admonish his wives? Then why should you come out to counsel them. This made me quiet, and after this Allah sent down this verse.
In Muslim, Abdullah bin Abbas has related that Umar said to him: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) separated himself from his wives, I went to the mosque and found the people worried and upset and playing with pebbles and saying to one another: The Prophet (peace be upon him) has divorced his wives. After this Umar related his visiting the apartments of Aishah and Hafsah and admonishing them. Then he said: I went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: Why do you feel upset with regard to your wives? If you divorce them, Allah is with you, all the angels and Gabriel and Michael are with you, and I and Abu Bakr and all the believers are with you. I thank Allah that seldom has it so happened that I said a thing and did not have hope from Allah that He would testify to what I said. So, after this these verses of Surah At-Tahrim were sent down. Then I asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): Have you divorced your wives? He said: No. Thereupon I stood at the entrance of the Mosque and announced in a loud voice: The Prophet has not divorced his wives.
The traditions related in Bukhari from Anas and in Musnad Ahmad from Abdullah bin Abbas, Aishah and Abu Hurairah say that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had pledged to remain away from his wives for a month and he retired in seclusion to his apartment. When 29 days passed, Gabriel came and said: You have fulfilled your oath: a month has come to completion. Hafiz Badruddin Aini in Umdat al-Qari has related this on the authority of Aishah: The wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) had become divided into two parties. One party consisted of Aishah herself and Hafsah, Saudah and Safiyyah, and the other of Zainab, Umm Salamah and the rest of the wives. These traditions indicate to some extent the conditions that existed in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) domestic life at that time, which made it necessary that Allah Almighty should intervene and reform the attitude of the wives. Although the wives were the best ladies of society, yet they were human beings and were not free from human weaknesses. Sometimes, when it became difficult for them to lead a life of continuous poverty and hardship, they would become restive, impatient and would start pressing the Prophet (peace be upon him) for better maintenance. At this Allah sent down (verses 28-29 of Surah Al-Ahzab )and admonished them to the effect: If you seek the world and its adornments, our Messenger will give you of these and send you of in a good way. But if you seek Allah and His Messenger and the Hereafter, you should bear up against the hardships with patience, which you might have to face when living with the Messenger. 

Then on account of the feminine nature they sometimes happened to behave in a way, which though not unusual in everyday human life, did not go well with the unique dignity and great responsibilities of the house to which Allah had given them the honor to belong. So, when it was apprehended that those things might embitter the Prophet’s domestic life and might even adversely affect the great mission that Allah had entrusted to him, He sent down this verse in the Quran, and reformed them so that the wives may realize the responsibilities of the position and rank which they had attained as the life-companions of the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah, and should not regard themselves as ordinary women and their household as a common household. The very first sentence of this verse was such as might have caused their hearts to shudder. There could be no severer warning for them than this: It may well be that if the Prophet (peace be upon him) divorces all of you, Allah will give him in your place better wives than yourselves. In the first place, even the thought of being divorced by the Prophet (peace be upon him) was unbearable for them: more than that, this would deprive them of the honor of being mothers of the believers, and the other women whom Allah would give as wives to the Prophet (peace be upon him) would be better than them, After this it was no longer possible for the wives to behave in a way as would have occasioned a reproof from Allah. That is why we find only two places in the Quran where these selected and distinguished ladies have been administered a warning, in Surah Al-Ahzab and here in Surah At-Tahrim.

In the places where the words Muslim and momin have been used together, Muslim means the one who carries out Ddivine commands practically, and momin the one who believes sincerely and truly. Thus, the foremost quality of the best Muslim wives is that they should be believing in Allah and His Messenger and His religion (deen) sincerely and also practically following Allah’s religion in their morals, habits, customs and conduct.

Obedient has two meanings and both are implied here.

(1) They are obedient to Allah and His Messenger.

(2) They are obedient to their husbands.

The word when used as attribute of a man does not imply the one who offers repentance only once but the one who continues to implore Allah again and again for the forgiveness of his mistakes, whose conscience is alive and active, who is always aware of his weaknesses and errors and is penitent for them. Such a person never feels proud, arrogant and conceited, but is gentle and clement by nature.

A worshiper can never be so heedless of God as a nonworshiper. This also helps much in making a woman a good wife. Being devout she adheres to the bounds set by Allah, recognizes and discharges the rights of others and keeps her faith fresh and alive at all times. Because of these qualities she can better be expected that she would not reject obedience to divine commands.

The word saihat in the original has been interpreted by several companions and large number of their successors to mean the same as saimat (those given to fasting). The reason why the word siyahat journeying has been used for fasting is that in the ancient times journeys were mostly undertaken by the monks and ascetics, who had no provisions and had to go without food till they got something to eat from somewhere. On that account fasting also is a kind of asceticism, for a faster has to remain hungry until the time of breaking the fast. Ibn Jarir in his commentary of (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 12) has cited a saying of Aishah, saying: The journeying (i.e. asceticism) of the Ummah is fasting. Here, making mention of fasting as an attribute of the pious wives does not mean that they observe the obligatory fasting month of Ramadan only but that they observe voluntary fasts also besides the obligatory fasts.

Addressing the wives Allah’s saying: If the Messenger (peace be upon him) divorces all of you, Allah will give him in your place better wives who will have this quality does not mean that the wives were not virtuous, but it means; Give up your wrong conduct which is causing so much distress to the Prophet (peace be upon him); instead, pay attention to developing in yourselves these noble qualities to the highest degree.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: From the case of two in verse 4, we now come to the case of all the Consorts generally, in verse 5. Cf. xxxiii. 28-30. Their duties and responsibilities were higher than those of other women, and therefore their failure would also be more serious. This is only hypothetical, in order to show us the virtues expected of them: faith and devotion, worship and service, readiness for travel or hijrat, whether they were young or old, new to married life or otherwise. From them again the more general application follows-to all women in Islam.

Saihat: literally, those who travel. Here it means those who fast. Note that the spiritual virtues are named in the descending order: submitting their wills (Islam), faith and devotion, turning ever to worship and faith, and performing other rites, or perhaps being content with asceticism. And this applies to all women, maiden girls or women of mature experience who were widows or separated from previous husbands by divorce.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual word is: سٰٓئِحٰت. It is from سياحت (traveling). As a religious term, it once referred to those travels which are undertaken to seek knowledge and comprehension of God and for spiritual purification and advancement. It is evident from the usage of this word in the Qur’an that in later times the meaning of this word became confined to “abstinence and non-indulgence.” This contraction of meaning can be seen in many words of the Arabic language.

Ie., what is actually required are these attributes; it does not matter whether they are found in virgins or formerly-wedded women. The tone of this verse has become very sharp viz a viz accountability. The objective however is that they should give up unwarranted self-esteem and move forward. If they commit a mistake, then it is more befitting for them than others to not remain stubborn; in fact, they should reform their attitude. If this does not happen and they continue to unite against him, the Almighty will choose better wives for him for his companionship who have all worthy attributes. The relationship of a wife and husband is not superior to the person of the Prophet (sws) and his mission. They should understand this aspect and take steps to please him.

It is evident from these verses that in matters of religion the wives of Prophet (sws) are also not beyond accountability – so, what to speak of others. It is the responsibility of each person to keep the emotions of mutual love and affection subservient to the bounds and limits prescribed by God, and try to maintain the preference of religion in his circle of authority.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا قُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ وَ اَہۡلِیۡکُمۡ نَارًا وَّ قُوۡدُہَا النَّاسُ وَ الۡحِجَارَۃُ عَلَیۡہَا مَلٰٓئِکَۃٌ غِلَاظٌ شِدَادٌ لَّا یَعۡصُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ مَاۤ اَمَرَہُمۡ وَ یَفۡعَلُوۡنَ مَا یُؤۡمَرُوۡنَ
( 6 )   O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.
 This verse tells that a person’s responsibility is not confined to making effort to save himself from the punishment of God but it is also his responsibility that he should so educate and also train to the best of his ability members of his family to become Allah’s favorite servants, who have been entrusted to his care in the natural process of life; and if they might be following a path to Hell, he should try, as much as he can, to correct them. His concern should not only be that his children should lead a happy and prosperous life in the world but, more than that, he should be anxious to see that they do not become fuel of Hell in the Hereafter. According to a tradition reported in Bukhari by Abdullah bin Umar, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Each one of you is a herdsman and is accountable with regard to his herd. The ruler is a herdsman and is accountable with regard to his subjects. The man is a herdsman of his family and is accountable with regard to them. And the woman is a herdsman of her husband’s house and his children and is accountable with regard to them.

“Whose fuel...stone’ probably implies coal. Ibn Masud, Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and Suddi say that this will be brimstone.

That is, they will enforce on every culprit precisely the same punishment which they will be commanded to enforce on him without making any alteration in it, or showing any pity for him.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Note how we have been gradually led up in admonition from two Consorts to all consorts, to all women, to all Believers, and to all men and women. We must carefully guard not only our own conduct, but the conduct of our families, and of all who are near and dear to us. For the issues are most Serious, and the consequences of a fall are most terrible.

"A Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones." Cf. ii. 24. This is a terrible Fire: not merely like the physical fire which burns wood or charcoal or substances like that, and consumes them. This Fire will have for its fuel men who do wrong and are as hard hearted as stones, or stone Idols as symbolical of all the unbending Falsehoods in life.

Cf. lxxiv. 31. We think of the angel nature as gentle and beautiful, but in another aspect perfection includes justice, fidelity, discipline, and the firm execution of duty according to lawful commands. So, in the attributes of Allah Himself, Justice and Mercy, Kindness and Correction are not contradictory but complementary. An earthly ruler will be unkind to his loyal subjects if he does not punish evil-doers.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Reference here is to those people who did not purify themselves in this world, and appeared before God in the Hereafter incriminated with the filth to cleanse which He had revealed the shari‘ah to them.

The implication is that when today they are asked to make their family pass through accountability, it weighs down heavily on them and consider this to be against their love for their family, yet this will certainly not weigh down heavily on the keepers of Hell and the love of someone will not hinder them in following the directive of God so that people are able to escape from their grasp.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لَا تَعۡتَذِرُوا الۡیَوۡمَ ؕ اِنَّمَا تُجۡزَوۡنَ مَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ 
( 7 )   O you who have disbelieved, make no excuses that Day. You will only be recompensed for what you used to do.
The style of both these verses contains a severe warning for the Muslims. In the first verse the Muslims have been addressed and told that they should save themselves and their households from the dreadful punishment. In the second that this will be said to the disbelievers while subjecting them to punishment in Hell. This by itself gives the meaning that the Muslims in the world should avoid adopting that conduct and behavior in consequence of which they may have to meet with the fate as the disbelievers in the Hereafter.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: 'This is no hardship or injustice imposed on you. It is all but the fruit of your own deeds; the result of your own deliberate choice.'

Ruku Two (Verses 8-12)

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا تُوۡبُوۡۤا اِلَی اللّٰہِ تَوۡبَۃً نَّصُوۡحًا ؕ عَسٰی رَبُّکُمۡ اَنۡ یُّکَفِّرَ عَنۡکُمۡ سَیِّاٰتِکُمۡ وَ یُدۡخِلَکُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ ۙ یَوۡمَ لَا یُخۡزِی اللّٰہُ النَّبِیَّ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَہٗ ۚ نُوۡرُہُمۡ یَسۡعٰی بَیۡنَ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ وَ بِاَیۡمَانِہِمۡ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَاۤ اَتۡمِمۡ لَنَا نُوۡرَنَا وَ اغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ۚ اِنَّکَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ
( 8 )   O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, "Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent."
Literally, taubat an-nasuh-an may either mean that one should offer such true repentance as may have no tinge of pretense and hypocrisy in it, or that one should wish his own self well and repenting of sin should save oneself from the evil end, or that one should so adorn and improve his life after repentance as to become a cause of admonition for others, and seeing his example others also also reform themselves accordingly. These are the meanings of taubat an-nasuh which are indicated by its literal sense. As for its religious meaning, its explanation is found in the Hadith which Ibn Abi Hatim has related on the authority of Zirr bin Hubaish. He says: When I asked Ubayy bin Kaab the meaning of taubat an-nasuh, he said that he had asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) the same question, and he had replied: It implies that when you happen to commit an error, you should feel penitent for it, then should implore Allah for forgiveness remorsefully, and then should refrain from committing the same error again. This same meaning has been reported from Umar, Abdullah bin Masud and Abdullah bin Abbas also, and in a tradition Umar has defined taubat an-nasuh, thus: After offering repentance one should not even think of committing the sin, not to speak of repeating it. (Ibn Jarir). Ali once heard a desert Arab chanting the words of repentance and forgiveness quickly and mechanically and remarked: This is the repentance of the liars. The man asked: What is true repentance? Ali replied: It should be accompanied by six things

(1) You should feel penitent for the wrong you have done. (2) You should carry out the duties that you have ignored. (3) Restore the rights that you have usurped. (4) Ask forgiveness of him whom you have wronged. (5) Make a resolve not to repeat the sin again. (6) Consume yourself in obedience to Allah as you have so far been consuming it in wrongdoing, and cause it to taste the bitterness of obedience as you have so far been causing it to enjoy the sweet taste of disobedience and sin. (Al- Kashshaf).

In connection with repentance there are also some other points which should be well understood. (1) That repentance, in fact, is to show remorse for an act of disobedience only because it is a disobedience of Allah. Otherwise to make a resolve to refrain from a sin because it is harmful for health, for instance, or it is likely to cause defamation or financial loss, is no repentance. (2) That man should offer repentance as soon as he realizes that he has committed disobedience of Allah and should compensate for it without delay in whatever form possible and should not defer it in any way. (3) That violating one’s repentance again and making a jest of repentance and repeating the sin again and again of which one has repented, is a proof of the falsity of one’s repentance. For the essence of repentance is penitence, and breaking his repentance repeatedly is a sign that it has not been motivated by penitence. (4) that if the person who has repented sincerely and resolved not to repeat the sin again, happens to repeat it once again because of human weakness, it will not revive his past sin. However, he should offer a fresh repentance for the latter sin and should resolve more firmly that he would not commit the sin in future. (5) That it is not necessary to renew one’s repentance again every time one remembers the disobedience committed in the past, but if one’s self derives pleasure from the remembrance of the past, sinful life, one should offer repentance again and again until the remembrance of the sins causes remorse instead of pleasure and enjoyment. For the person who has actually repented of disobedience because of fear of God cannot derive pleasure from the thought that he has been disobeying God. His deriving pleasure from it is a sign that fear of God has not taken root in his heart.

The words of the verse deserve deep consideration. It has not been said that if you repeat, you will surely be forgiven and will certainly be admitted to Paradise, but that: If you offer true repentance, it may well be that Allah will treat you kindly. It means that it is not incumbent upon Allah to accept the repentance of the sinner and to grant him Paradise instead of subjecting him to punishment but it will be His kindness and compassion that He may forgive well as reward His servant. One should have hope of His forgiveness, but one should not commit a sin with the confidence that he will achieve forgiveness by repentance.

That is, He will not allow the reward of their good deeds to go to waste. He will not let the disbelievers and the hypocrites taunt the believers that they had gained nothing in spite of their worship. Humiliation will be the fate of the rebels and the disobedient and not of the faithful and obedient.

When this verse is read along with (verses 12-13 of Surah Al-Hadid), it becomes clear that the running of the light before the believers will take place when they will be proceeding towards Paradise from the Plain of Resurrection. There it will be pitch dark all around and those who will have been condemned to Hell, will be groping about in it. The light will only be with the believers by which they will be traveling on their way. On this critical occasion, hearing the wailings and groaning of those groping in the dark the believers will be feeling terror stricken. In view of their past errors and shortcomings they will be afraid lest they too should be deprived of their light and made to grope about like those wretched people. Therefore, they will pray: O our Lord, forgive us our sins and let our light remain with us until we reach Paradise. Ibn Jarir has cited Abdullah bin Abbas as explaining the meaning of Rabbana-atimim lava nurana thus: They will implore Allah Almighty that their light be allowed to remain with them and kept from going out until they have crossed the bridge across Hell. The commentary given by Hasan Basri, Mujahid and Dahhak is also almost the same. Ibn Kathir has cited theirs this saying: When the believers see that the hypocrites have been deprived of the light, they will pray to Allah for the perfection of their light. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The opposition of sex against sex, individual or concerted, having been condemned , we are now exhorted to turn to the Light, and to realize that the good and righteous can retain their integrity even though their mates, in spite of all their example and precept, remain in evil and sin.

Whatever may have been the faults of the past, unite in good deeds, and abandon petty sectional jealousies, and Allah will remove your difficulties and distresses, and all the evils from which you suffer. Indeed He will grant you the Bliss of Heaven and save you from any humiliation which you may have brought on yourselves by your conduct and on the revered Prophet and Teacher whose name you professed to take.

See lvii. 12. The darkness of evil will be dispelled, and the Light of Allah will be realized by them more and more. But even so they will not be content: for they will pray for the least taint of evil to be removed from them, and perfection to be granted to them. In that exalted state they will be within reach of perfection,-not by their own merits, but by the infinite Mercy and Power of Allah.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual words are: تَوۡبَۃً نَّصُوۡحًا. They refer to repentance which is done with full resolve and penitence after which no desire remains to commit a sin.

The actual word is: عَسٰی. When this word is addressed by God to His people, it incorporates in it the meaning of promise and glad tidings.

The actual words are: اَتۡمِمۡ لَنَا نُوۡرَنَا. What do they mean? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained this. He writes:
… This light shall be shown to these people before they enter Paradise in order to guide them to it. At that time, there will be darkness around them except on their front and on their right. For this reason, these people while showing deep gratitude on this favour of the Almighty will pray to Him to complete their light, and to forgive them. Obviously, when they will be given the light to guide them on while they would be treading the path leading to Paradise, this will also induce in them the expectation that the Almighty will bless them with His forgiveness, and that will be the time when this light will completely manifest itself. Thus, they will pray that this expectation of theirs is fulfilled. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 472)
The implication is that this was a person’s belief; however, on the Day of Judgement he will see from his very eyes that God has power over everything.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ جَاہِدِ الۡکُفَّارَ وَ الۡمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ وَ اغۡلُظۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ وَ مَاۡوٰىہُمۡ جَہَنَّمُ ؕ وَ بِئۡسَ الۡمَصِیۡرُ 
( 9 )   O Prophet, strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them. And their refuge is Hell, and wretched is the destination.
This is similar as verse 73 Surah At-Taubah): [9:73] O Prophet! Strive against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be severe to them. Hell shall be their abode; what an evil destination! This verse is explained as under:
This command enunciated the change of policy towards the hypocrites. Up to this time, leniency was being shown to them for two reasons. First, the Muslims had not as yet become so powerful as to take the risk of an internal conflict in addition to the one with the external enemies. The other reason was to give enough respite to those people who were involved in doubts and suspicions so that they could get sufficient time for attaining to faith and belief. But now the time had come for a change of policy. The whole of Arabia had been subdued and a bitter conflict with the external enemies was about to start; therefore it was required that these internal enemies should be crushed down so that they should not be able to conspire with the external enemies to stir up any internal danger to the Muslims. And now it had become possible to crush them. As regards to the second reason, these hypocrites had been given respite for a period of nine years to observe, to consider and test the right way, and they could have availed of it, if they had any good in them. So there was no reason why any more leniency should be shown to them. Therefore, Allah enjoined the Muslims to treat the hypocrites on one and the same level with the disbelievers and start Jihad against them, and to give up the policy of leniency they had adopted towards them and adopt a fine and stern policy instead.

In this connection, it should also be noted that this verse does not enjoin the Muslims to fight with the hypocrites. It merely meant to end the policy of leniency that had hitherto been adopted towards them. This verse enjoined that they were no more to be considered a part and parcel of the Muslim community, nor were they to be allowed to take part in the management of its affairs, nor consulted about any matter, so that they might not be able to spread the poison of hypocrisy. This changed policy required that the true believers should expose all those, who adopted a hypocritical attitude and conduct and showed in any way that they were not sincere allies to Allah, His Messenger (peace be upon him) and the true Muslims. Each and every one of such hypocrites should be openly criticized and reproved so that there should remain for them no more place of honor and trust in the Muslim society. They should be socially boycotted and kept away from the consultations of the community. Their evidence in the courts of law should be regarded as untrustworthy. The doors of offices and positions of trust should be closed against them and they should be held in contempt in the social meetings. In short, every Muslim should show by his behavior to such a one that there was no place of honor or respect or trust for a hypocrite in the Muslim society. Besides this, if any one of them was found to be guilty of treachery, there should be no connivance at his crime, nor should he be pardoned but openly tried in a court of law and should be duly punished.

This command was urgently needed at the time it came. It was obvious that in order to save the Muslim community from fall and degradation, it was essential to purge it of all the internal dangers to its solidarity. A community which nourishes hypocrites and traitors and allows the internal enemies to flourish with honor and security will inevitably be doomed to moral degradation and ultimate destruction. Hypocrisy is a plague and a hypocrite is the rat that carries and spreads its germs. Therefore to allow him the freedom of movement in the society is to expose the whole population to the danger of hypocrisy. Likewise, to give a place of honor and prestige to a hypocrite is to encourage many others in hypocrisy and treachery, for this shows that it is not sincerity, true faith, and its welfare that count in it. One may flourish and prosper in it even if one verbally professes to be a Muslim and at the same time indulges in dishonesty and treachery. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has expressed the same thing in a pithy saying. He said, “Whoso honors and respects the inventor of new practices which are un-Islamic, indeed helps to demolish the very structure of Islam.” 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: See ix. 73, where the same words introduce the argument against the Hypocrites. Here they introduce the argument against wickedness, which, though given the privilege of association with goodness and piety, persisted in wicked deeds, and in favour of those noble souls, which, though tied to wickedness; retained their purity and integrity. Two examples of each kind are given,-of women, as this Surah is mainly concerned with women. 

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The word jihad here refers to jihad both with the tongue and the sword. The implication is that the phase of tazkiyah and tathir (purifying the individual and collective lives of the believers while at the same time unifying them by being cleansed from the disbelievers) is reaching its culmination; hence the Prophet (sws) should abandon the way of softly making his adversaries understand the truth; it is essential that before punishment visits them friend should be separated from the foe; for this stern accountability is essential and each person should be dealt in the way he is worthy of and in this way he reaches his fate so that the worldly judgement of God takes place with full justice.

ضَرَبَ اللّٰہُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوا امۡرَاَتَ نُوۡحٍ وَّ امۡرَاَتَ لُوۡطٍ ؕ کَانَتَا تَحۡتَ عَبۡدَیۡنِ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا صَالِحَیۡنِ فَخَانَتٰہُمَا فَلَمۡ یُغۡنِیَا عَنۡہُمَا مِنَ اللّٰہِ شَیۡئًا وَّ قِیۡلَ ادۡخُلَا النَّارَ مَعَ الدّٰخِلِیۡنَ
( 10 )   Allah presents an example of those who disbelieved: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of Our righteous servants but betrayed them, so those prophets did not avail them from Allah at all, and it was said, "Enter the Fire with those who enter."
This betrayal was not in the sense that they had committed an indecency but in the sense that they did not follow the Prophets Noah and Lot (peace be upon them) on the way of faith but sided with their enemies against them. Ibn Abbas say: No Prophet’s wife has ever been wicked and immoral. The betrayal of these two women in fact was in the matter of faith and religion. They did not acknowledge the religion of the Prophets Noah and Lot (peace be upon them). The Prophet Noah’s wife used to convey news about the believers to the wicked of her people, and the Prophet Lot’s wife used to inform the immoral people about those who visited him in his house. (Ibn Jarir).

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Read Noah's story in xi. 36-48. Evidently his contemporary world had got so corrupt that it needed a great Flood to purge it. "None of the people will believe except those who have believed already. So grieve no longer over their evil deeds." But there were evil ones in his own family. A foolish and undutiful son is mentioned in xi. 42-46. Poor Noah tried to save him and pray for him as one "of his family"; but the answer came: "he is not of thy family; for his conduct is unrighteous". We might expect such a son to have a mother like him, and here we are told that it was so. Noah's wife was also false to the standards of her husband, and perished in this world and in the Hereafter.

The wife of Lot has already been mentioned more than once. See xi. 81; vii. 83. The world around her was wicked, and she sympathised with and followed that wicked world, rather than her righteous husband. She suffered the fate of her wicked world.

"Betrayed their husbands": not in sex, but in the vital spiritual matters of truth and conduct. They had the high privilege of the most intimate relationship with the noblest spirits of their age: but if they failed to rise to the height of their dignity, their relationship did not save them. They could not plead that they were the wives of pious husbands. They had to enter Hell like any other wicked women. There is personal responsibility before Allah. One soul cannot claim the merits of another, any more than one pure soul can be injured by association with a corrupt soul. The pure one should keep its purity intact. See the next two examples.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This refers to their betrayal in the matter of religion. The actual word used is: خَانَتَا. It does not necessarily relate to marital betrayal so that the wives be regarded as guilty of adultery.

وَ ضَرَبَ اللّٰہُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا امۡرَاَتَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ ۘ اِذۡ قَالَتۡ رَبِّ ابۡنِ لِیۡ عِنۡدَکَ بَیۡتًا فِی الۡجَنَّۃِ وَ نَجِّنِیۡ مِنۡ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ عَمَلِہٖ وَ نَجِّنِیۡ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ 
( 11 )   And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, "My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people."
From Pharaoh and his work: from the evil end that Pharaoh would meet in consequence of his evil deeds.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Traditionally she is known as 'Asiya, one of the four perfect women, the other three being Mary the mother of Jesus, Khadija the wife of the holy Prophet, and Fatima his daughter. Pharaoh is the type of arrogance, godlessness, and wickedness. For his wife to have preserved her Faith, her humility, and her righteousness was indeed a great spiritual triumph. She was probably the same who saved the life of the infant Moses: xxviii. 9.

Her spiritual vision was directed to Allah, rather than to the worldly grandeur of Pharaoh's court. It is probable that her prayer implies a desire for martyrdom, and it may be that she attained her crown of martyrdom.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The implication is that even in the luxuries of the royal palace her faith remained alive. She was never influence by this atmosphere and continued to pray to God to relieve her of this abode of torment.

The actual words are: اَحۡصَنَتۡ فَرۡجَہَا. The word فَرْج is used in the Arabic language for a place of apprehension. The implication is that she guarded all parts of her body from which sin could infiltrate. In the verse ahead, it is stated that in reward for this attitude the Almighty chose her for the manifestation of a great sign of His, and imputed such majesty to her which in the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi was never imputed to anyone in this world.

وَ مَرۡیَمَ ابۡنَتَ عِمۡرٰنَ الَّتِیۡۤ اَحۡصَنَتۡ فَرۡجَہَا فَنَفَخۡنَا فِیۡہِ مِنۡ رُّوۡحِنَا وَ صَدَّقَتۡ بِکَلِمٰتِ رَبِّہَا وَ کُتُبِہٖ وَ کَانَتۡ مِنَ الۡقٰنِتِیۡنَ
( 12 )   And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.
It may be that the name of Mary’s father was Imran, or she may have been called daughter of Imran because she belonged to the family of Imran.

This is a refutation of the accusation by the Jews that the birth of Jesus was, God forbid, the result of a sin of his mother. Their same accusation has been called a monstrous calumny in (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 156). 

That is, without her having any connection with a man, Allah breathed into her womb a Spirit from Himself. (For more, see explanation of verse (171 of Surah 4. An-Nisa) and (81 of Surah Al-Anbiya).

For the explanation of the object for which these three kinds of women have been cited as an example, see the Introduction to the Surah.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: 'Imran was traditionally the name of the father of Mary the mother of Jesus: see iii. 35. She was one of the purest of women, though the Jews accused her falsely of unchastity: cf. xix. 27-28.

Cf. xxi. 91. As a virgin she gave birth to Jesus: xix. 16-29. In xxxii. 9, it is said of Adam's progeny, man, that Allah "fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit". In xv. 29, similar words are used with reference to Adam. The virgin birth should not therefore be supposed to imply that Allah was the father of Jesus in the sense in which Greek mythology makes Zeus the father of Apollo by Latona or of Minos by Europa. And yet that is the doctrine to which the Christian idea of "the only begotten Son of God" leads.

Mary had true faith and testified her faith in the prophet Jesus and in his revelation as well as in the revelations which he came to confirm (and to foreshadow). She was of the company of the Devout of all ages. The fact that Qanitin (devout) is not here in the feminine gender implies that the highest spiritual dignity is independent of sex. And so we close the lesson of this Sura, that while sex is a fact of our physical existence, the sexes should act in harmony and cooperation for in the highest spiritual matters we are all one. "We made her and her son a Sign for all peoples. Verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore serve Me and no other" (xxi. 91-92).

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual words are: اَحۡصَنَتۡ فَرۡجَہَا. The word فَرْج is used in the Arabic language for a place of apprehension. The implication is that she guarded all parts of her body from which sin could infiltrate. In the verse ahead, it is stated that in reward for this attitude the Almighty chose her for the manifestation of a great sign of His, and imputed such majesty to her which in the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi was never imputed to anyone in this world.

All these four examples relate to women. God has chosen them to cite examples of both good and bad from their lot. What is the purpose of this? 

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: … The purpose is to negate the notion that the fountainhead of all vice is a woman. The truth of the matter is that as per her creation a woman too has good and bad abilities. If she does not use her freedom of will in the right manner, she can become the worst of companions to the best of people, and if she tastes the sweetness of faith and obedience, she is like a houri of Paradise in the most evil of environments.(Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 476)

For Tafsir Ibn Kathir, please click here.

You may now like to listen to Tafsir of the surah by prominent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:

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
  • Tafsir Jalalayn
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 |  9 |

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