View Printable Version :: Email to a Friend
Surah al-Baqarah (233-235)
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)

وَالْوَالِدَاتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ وَعَلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ نَفْسٌ إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا لَا تُضَارَّ وَالِدَةٌ بِوَلَدِهَا وَلَا مَوْلُودٌ لَهُ بِوَلَدِهِ وَعَلَى الْوَارِثِ مِثْلُ ذَلِكَ فَإِنْ أَرَادَا فِصَالًا عَنْ تَرَاضٍ مِنْهُمَا وَتَشَاوُرٍ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا وَإِنْ أَرَدْتُمْ أَنْ تَسْتَرْضِعُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا سَلَّمْتُمْ مَا آتَيْتُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ (٢٢٣)

وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنْكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَعَشْرًا فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا فَعَلْنَ فِي أَنفُسِهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ  وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا عَرَّضْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْ خِطْبَةِ النِّسَاءِ أَوْ أَكْنَنتُمْ فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ سَتَذْكُرُونَهُنَّ وَلَكِنْ لَا تُوَاعِدُوهُنَّ سِرًّا إِلَّا أَنْ تَقُولُوا قَوْلًا مَعْرُوفًا وَلَا تَعْزِمُوا عُقْدَةَ النِّكَاحِ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْكِتَابُ أَجَلَهُ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ فَاحْذَرُوهُ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ (٢٣٤-٣٥)

And [after divorce also] mothers shall suckle their offspring for two whole years, for those who desire to complete the term. And the child’s father [in such a case] shall have to bear the cost of their food and clothing according to the norms. No one should be burdened beyond his capacity. Neither shall the mother be treated unfairly because of her child, nor the father on account of his child – and an heir shall be accountable in the same way – But if they both decide on weaning by mutual consent and after due consultation, there is no blame on them. And if you decide to engage someone else to suckle you’re your offspring, there is no blame on you, provided you pay [the mother] in accordance with the norms [of the society] what you promised. But fear Allah and know that Allah sees well what you do.1 (233)

And those of you who die and leave widows behind, they should keep themselves in waiting for four months and ten days2; then when they have fulfilled their term, there is no blame on you3 about what they do with themselves in accordance with the norms [of the society]. And Allah is well acquainted with what you do. And there is also no blame on you also if you tacitly send a marriage proposal to these women or hold it in your hearts. Allah knows that you would definitely talk to them. [Do so] but do not make a secret contract. Of course you can say something in accordance with the norms [of the society]. And do not decide to marry till the law reaches its term. And know that Allah knows what is in your hearts, so be fearful of Him; and know that Allah is Most forgiving and Most Forbearing4. (235)







1. The previous verses mention the directives regarding divorce. These verses now take up the issue of suckling the offspring. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, while summarizing the directives of suckling that these verses mention, writes:

i) It is the responsibility of a divorced lady to suckle her offspring for two full years in case the husband wants her to complete the total suckling period.

ii) During this period, it is the responsibility of the father to provide his divorced wife with food and clothing, keeping in view the norms of the society. In other words, the status of the husband, the needs of the divorced wife and her own status shall be kept in consideration while providing her this maintenance.

iii) Neither of the parties shall be burdened beyond their capacity. Neither the mother shall be harmed in any way by taking advantage of the fact that she is the mother of the child nor the father be unduly pressurized in any way on the pretext that he is the father of the child.   

iv) If the father of the child is dead, his heirs will be responsible for all the above mentioned rights and obligations.

v) If through mutual consent and consultation, the estranged husband and wife decide to terminate the suckling period before two years, they can do so.

vi) If the child’s father or, in his absence, the heirs of the child want to suckle the child from some other lady instead of the mother, they are authorized to do so provided what has been agreed with the mother regarding her maintenance is fully honored. (Islāhī, Amīn Ahsan, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1986), p. 545)

2. In contrast with the waiting period (‘iddat) of a divorced lady, the waiting period of a widow has been extended by forty days. The reason is that while a husband has been asked to divorce his wife in the period of purity in which he has had no sexual intercourse with her, no such principle can obviously be established in the case of a widow. It is to exercise care that these days have been added by the Qur’ān.

Since the reason to observe the waiting period for a divorced lady and a widow is the same, all the exceptions that have been stated in the directive of divorce for a divorced lady shall also hold in case of the waiting period of a widow. Consequently, there shall be no waiting period for a widow with whom the deceased husband has had no intercourse. Similarly, the waiting period of a pregnant widow shall extend till childbirth. It is narrated in Bukhārī (No. 5320) that when a pregnant widow Sabī‘ah (rta) presented her case before the Prophet (sws), her case was decided on these very grounds by him.

3. After the expiry of the waiting period, she is free to do whatever she deems appropriate for herself. However, she should follow the norms of the society in this matter. In other words, she should not indulge in any activity which damages the repute, honor and integrity of the family nor the conventions of the society. If all this is kept in consideration, then no blame can be caste on her or her guardians. Writes Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī:

What is implied is that one should not blame and censure one another without any reason by equating all un-islamic customs with Islam. On the one hand, a situation should not develop where the guardians of the widow or the heirs of the deceased husband are censured on the grounds that they got tired of her much before she could mourn the loss of her husband. On the other hand, circumstances should not deteriorate to where the widow herself is censured on the grounds that she became interested in re-marrying soon after her husband’s death. In all cases, only the bounds of the Almighty should be observed and one should remember that the Almighty is aware of all the deeds of his creatures. (Islāhī, Amīn Ahsan, Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1986), p. 546)

4. If a person wants to marry a widow, then it is according to the norms that he make up his mind during her waiting period or inform her of his intentions in a very tacit manner. However, it is no way permitted that he, without considering the sentiments of the affected family, send a marriage proposal to the widow or make some hidden agreement with her. On such occasions, whatever is said must never exceed the bounds of sympathy and expressing of condolences. Consequently, the verses forewarn a person that since it is definite that he would express his intention in such a situation, it should not be in the form of a marriage proposal or some hidden or open agreement. This intention should be expressed in a manner that is befitting to the situation and in accordance with the norms of the society. Of course, once the waiting period expires, a person can decide to marry such a lady. At that time, he cannot be blamed in any way. 

It stems from this directive that the behavior of the widow should also befit the situation she finds herself in. On these very grounds, the Prophet (sws) directed such women to spend their waiting period in the house of their deceased husband in a state of mourning and to refrain from embellishing themselves. He is reported to have said:

A widow should not wear colored clothes, neither golden nor red nor ochre. She should not adorn jewelry nor put on henna or stain her eyes with antimony. (Abū Dā’ūd, No: 1960)

For Questions on Islam, please use our

Replica Handbags Bottega Veneta fake Bvlgari fake Celine fake Christian Dior fake Gucci fake Gucci Bag fake Gucci Wallet fake Gucci Shoes fake Gucci Belt fake Hermes fake Loewe fake Louis Vuitton fake Louis Vuitton Belt fake Louis Vuitton Calf Leather fake Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Damier Graphite Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Damier Infini Leather fake Louis Vuitton Damier Quilt lamb fake Louis Vuitton Embossed Calfskin fake Louis Vuitton Epi fake Louis Vuitton Game On Monogram Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Jewellery fake Louis Vuitton Key Holder fake Louis Vuitton Mahina Leather fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Denim fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Eclipse Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Empreinte fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Seal fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Shadow fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Watercolor fake Louis Vuitton New Wave fake Louis Vuitton Shoes fake Louis Vuitton Since 1854 fake Louis Vuitton Strap fake Louis Vuitton Taiga Leahter fake Louis Vuitton Taurillon leather fake Louis Vuitton Transformed Game On canvas fake Louis Vuitton Utah Calfskin fake Louis Vuitton X Supreme fake Mulberry fake Prada fake YSL fake