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Surah al-Nur
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.


سُورَةٌ أَنزَلْنَاهَا وَفَرَضْنَاهَا وَأَنزَلْنَا فِيْهَآ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُوْنَ

This is a grand surah1 that We have revealed2 and have made its directives mandatory3 [upon you] and have also revealed very clear admonitions in it4 so that you take heed. (1)


الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِیْ فَاجْلِدُوْا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِئَةَ جَلْدَةٍ وَّلَا تَأْخُذْكُمْ بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِیْ دِيْنِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

A man or a woman guilty of fornication, flog each of them with a hundred lashes5 [if their crime is proven], and in [the implementation of] this law of God any feeling of sympathy with them should not arise in you if you in reality believe in God and in the Hereafter.6 And at the time of their punishment a group of Muslims should also be present there.7 (2)


الزَّانِیْ لَا يَنْكِحُ إلَّا زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِكَةً وَّالزَّانِيَةُ لَا يَنْكِحُهَآ إِلَّا زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِكٌ وَحُرِّمَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

[After this punishment,] this man guilty of fornication8 can only marry a woman guilty of fornication or an idolatress. And this woman guilty of fornication will only be wedded to a man guilty of fornication or by an idolater. This has been prohibited to Muslims.9 (3)


وَالَّذِيْنَ يَرْمُوْنَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَأْتُوْا بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَآءَ فَاجْلِدُوْهُمْ ثَمَانِيْنَ جَلْدَةً وَّلَا تَقْبَلُوْا لَهُمْ شَهَادَةً أَبَدًا وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُوْنَ. إِلَّا الَّذِيْنَ تَابُوْا مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُوْرٌ رَّحِيْمٌ. وَالَّذِيْنَ يَرْمُوْنَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُمْ شُهَدَآءُ إِلَّا أَنْفُسُهُمْ فَشَهَادَةُ أَحَدِهِمْ أَرْبَعُ شَهَادَاتٍ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الصَّادِقِيْنَ. وَالْخَامِسَةُ أَنَّ لَعْنَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ إِنْ كَانَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِيْنَ وَيَدْرَأُ. عَنْهَا الْعَذَابَ أَنْ تَشْهَدَ أَرْبَعَ شَهَادَاتٍ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الْكَاذِبِيْنَ. وَالْخَامِسَةَ أَنَّ غَضَبَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا إِن كَانَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِيْنَ. وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ حَكِيْمٌ.

And those who accuse chaste women [of fornication,]10 then do not bring four witnesses [as evidence to it], flog them with eighty lashes and never accept their testimony in future11 and it is these people who are defiant. However, those who repent and reform after this, they will not be considered defiant before God because God is gracious; His mercy is eternal. But they who accuse their wives and have no other witness except themselves then the evidence of each is that he should swear four times by God that he is truthful and the fifth time he should say that may the curse of God be on him if he lying. [After this,] the punishment12 can be averted from  the woman only [when in return] she also swears four times by God that this person is a liar and the fifth time she should say that may the wrath of God come upon her if he is truthful [in his accusation. Believers!] Had not God’s mercy and blessings been upon you and had it not been that God is generous in accepting repentance and wise, then the attitude you had adopted would have invited the wrath of God instead of being given these directives.13 (4-10)


إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ جَآؤُوْا بِالْإِفْكِ عُصْبَةٌ مِّنْكُمْ لَا تَحْسَبُوهُ شَرًّا لَّكُمْ بَلْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُمْ مَّا اكْتَسَبَ مِنَ الْإِثْمِ وَالَّذِیْ تَوَلَّى كِبْرَهُ مِنْهُمْ لَهُ عَذَابٌ عَظِيْمٌ

Undoubtedly, those who have fabricated this slander14 are a group among you.15 Do not think this to be a misfortune for you; it is in fact better for you.16 The sin each of them has earned will be placed in his account and for [the originator of this mischief] who has the greatest share in it17 from among them there is great torment. (11)


لَوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوْهُ ظَنَّ الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بِأَنفُسِهِمْ خَيْرًا وَّقَالُوْا هَذَا إِفْكٌ مُّبِيْنٌ

When you people heard this, why did not believing men and believing women think graciously in favour of their people and why did they not say: “This is an open slander.”18 (12)


لَوْلَا جَآؤُوْا عَلَيْهِ بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَآءَ فَإِذْ لَمْ يَأْتُوْا بِالشُّهَدَآءِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْكَاذِبُوْنَ

Why did not these [accusers] bring forth four witnesses to substantiate their accusation?19 Then, when they did not bring witnesses, then it is they who are liars in the sight of God.20 (13)


وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ فِیْ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِیْ مَآ أَفَضْتُمْ فِيْهِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيْمٌ. إِذْ تَلَقَّوْنَهُ بِأَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَتَقُوْلُوْنَ بِأَفْوَاهِكُمْ مَّا لَيْسَ لَكُم بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَّتَحْسَبُونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَّهُوَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَظِيْمٌ. وَلَوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوْهُ قُلْتُمْ مَّا يَكُوْنُ لَنَا أَن نَّتَكَلَّمَ بِهَذَا سُبْحَانَكَ هَذَا بُهْتَانٌ عَظِيْمٌ.

But for God’s mercy on you [Muslims] in this world and in the Hereafter, some big torment would have visited you because of the path you have adopted. Remember when you were continuously spreading it with your tongues21 and saying with your mouths which you had no knowledge of. You considered this to be something ordinary; yet it was something very grave to God. Why did not you say as soon as you heard it: “It is not befitting for us to utter such words. God forbid, this is a great slander.” (14-16)


يَعِظُكُمُ اللَّهُ أَنْ تَعُوْدُوْا لِمِثْلِهِ أَبَدًا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُّؤْمِنِيْنَ. وَيُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيْمٌ حَكِيْمٌ.

God counsels you that if you are believers you must not do this again.22 God profoundly explains His revelations for you and God is all-knowing and wise.23 (17-18)


إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ يُحِبُّوْنَ أَنْ تَشِيْعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِیْ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِی الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُوْنَ. وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ وَأَنَّ اللَّه رَؤُوْفٌ رَحِيْمٌ.

Indeed, those who want lewdness to spread among Muslims,24 for them is a painful torment in this world25 and in the Hereafter too. God knows all these people, but you do not know. In reality, were God’s grace and mercy not upon you, and it was not the case that God is very gracious and ever-merciful, a great calamity would have struck you because of this sin.26 (19-20)


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ وَمَنْ يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَآءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَا مِنْكُمْ مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا وَّلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُزَكِّیْ مَنْ يَشَآءُ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيْعٌ عَلِيْمٌ.

Believers! Do not follow the footsteps of Satan27 and [remember that] he who follows the footsteps of Satan will only ruin himself because he only entices [people to] lewdness and evil. [You accuse others and regard your own selves to be very pure?] In reality, were God’s grace and mercy not upon you, none of you could have ever become pure. However, it is God Who purifies whomsoever He wishes [according to His law]28 and God hears and knows all.29 (21)


وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُوا الْفَضْلِ مِنْكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَنْ يُّؤْتُوْا أُوْلِی الْقُرْبَى وَالْمَسَاكِيْنَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ فِیْ سَبِيْلِ اللَّهِ وَلْيَعْفُوْا وَلْيَصْفَحُوْا أَلَا تُحِبُّوْنَ أَنْ يَّغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُوْرٌ رَّحِيْمٌ.

Those among you who are affluent and who have been given extensively30 [while seeing someone entangled in this matter] should not swear that now they will not spend on the kindred, the needy and those who migrate for the cause of God.31 [No; in fact,] they should forgive and forgo. Do you not want God to forgive you? Indeed, God is forgiving, ever-merciful.32 (22)


إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ يَرْمُوْنَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوا فِی الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيْمٌ. يَّوْمَ تَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَلْسِنَتُهُمْ وَأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُوْا يَعْمَلُوْنَ. يَوْمَئِذٍ يُّوَفِّيْهِمُ اللَّهُ دِينَهُمُ الْحَقَّ وَيَعْلَمُوْنَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ الْمُبِيْنُ.

Those who accuse33 chaste and decent34 believing women stand cursed both in this world and in the Hereafter35 and for them is a great punishment. On the Day, when their tongues, hands and feet will bear witness against them in favour of their deeds. The retribution they deserve, on that Day God will give it to them in full and they will know that only God is the truth and He reveals all truths. (23-25)


الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِيْنَ وَالْخَبِيثُوْنَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِيْنَ وَالطَّيِّبُوْنَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ أُوْلَئِكَ مُبَرَّؤُوْنَ مِمَّا يَقُوْلُوْنَ لَهُمْ مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيْمٌ

On that Day, evil women will be for evil men and evil men will be for evil women. Similarly, pure women will be for pure men and pure men will be for pure women.36 They will be acquitted from the evil things these people say [about them]. For them, is forgiveness and sustenance of honour there.37 (26)


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا لَا تَدْخُلُوْا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ بُيُوْتِكُمْ حَتَّى تَسْتَأْنِسُوْا وَتُسَلِّمُوْا عَلَى أَهْلِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُوْنَ. فَإِنْ لَّمْ تَجِدُوْا فِيْهَآ أَحَدًا فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا حَتَّى يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ وَإِنْ قِيْلَ لَكُمُ ارْجِعُوْا فَارْجِعُوْا هُوَ أَزْكَى لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ عَلِيْمٌ. لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوْا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ مَسْكُوْنَةٍ فِيْهَا مَتَاعٌ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُوْنَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُوْنَ.

Believers! [To attain this very purity] enter not the houses other than your own until you have introduced yourselves and wished peace to those in them.38 It is this way which is better for you so that you may be heedful.39 Then if you find no one there, enter them not until permission is given to you and if you are asked to go back, return.40 It is this way which is purer for you and [remember that] God is well aware of all that you do.41 It is however no sin for you to enter non-residential places42 in which there is benefit for you. God has knowledge of what you reveal and what you conceal. (27-29)


قُلْ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ يَغُضُّوْا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوْا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيْرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُوْنَ. وَقُلْ لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوْجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِيْنَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِيْنَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِیْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِیْ أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِيْنَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِیْ الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِيْنَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوْا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَآءِ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِيْنَ مِنْ زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوْبُوْا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيْعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُوْنَ.

[O Prophet!] Tell those who believe in you to restrain their eyes43 and guard their private parts44 [if there are women present in these houses]. This is purer for them. Indeed, God is well aware of what they do. And tell believing women to restrain their eyes and to guard their private parts and to display of their embellishments45 only those which are normally revealed46 and for this they should draw their coverings over their chest and necklines.47 And they should not reveal their embellishments48 to anyone except their husbands or their fathers or their husbands’ fathers49 or their sons or their husbands’ sons or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons50 or their women of acquaintance51 or their slaves52 or the subservient male servants who do not feel attraction for women53 or children who have no awareness of the hidden aspects of women. And they should not stamp their feet so that attention is drawn to their hidden ornaments. Believers! Turn to God in repentance [on the sins committed till now] that you may prosper. (30-31)


وَأَنْكِحُوا الْأَيَامَى مِنْكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِيْنَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَآئِكُمْ إِنْ يَّكُوْنُوْا فُقَرَآءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيْمٌ. وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِيْنَ لَا يَجِدُوْنَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمْ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَالَّذِيْنَ يَبْتَغُوْنَ الْكِتَابَ مِمَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيْهِمْ خَيْرًا وَّآتُوْهُمْ مِّنْ مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِیْ آتَاكُمْ وَلَا تُكْرِهُوْا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَآءِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا لِّتَبْتَغُوْا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَنْ يُّكْرِههُّنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِنْ بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُوْرٌ رَّحِيْمٌ. وَلَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ آيَاتٍ مُّبَيِّنَاتٍ وَّمَثَلًا مِّنَ الَّذِيْنَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِيْنَ.

[Similarly, it is also essential that] you should wed54 those among you who are single55 and those among your slave-men and slave-women who are able to.56 If they are poor, God will make them rich out of His grace.57 God has great capacity and has knowledge of everything. And let those who find not an opportunity for marriage58 restrain themselves59 until God gives them means out of His grace.60 And those of your slaves ask for mukatabat,61 give it to them if you find good in them [so that they too advance in purity62] and [for this, if there is a need, O Muslims!] give them out of the wealth which God has given to you.63 And do not force your slave-women64 to prostitution merely to obtain some benefit for your worldly life when they want to remain chaste. And he who forces them will bear its sin because after this compulsion on them God is most gracious and ever-merciful [to them].65 We have revealed to you [O Prophet!] these verses which thoroughly explain and the parable of those also who were before you66 and counsel for those also who fear God. (33-34)


اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيْهَا مِصْبَاحٌ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِیْ زُجَاجَةٍ اَلزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّیٌّ يُّوْقَدُ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُوْنِةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَّلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَّكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِیْءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِی اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَنْ يَشَآءُ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَیْءٍ عَلِيْمٌ. فِیْ بُيُوْتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيْهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيْهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ. رِجَالٌ لَّا تُلْهِيْهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَآءِ الزَّكَاةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيْهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ. لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوْا وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّنْ فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ.

[The parable is that] God is the light of the heavens and the earth.67 [In the heart of a person,] the example of his light is as if there is a niche which has a lamp.68 The lamp is in crystal. The crystal is such as if it is a shining star.69 It is lit up by oil that comes from a lush tree which is neither eastern nor western.70 Its oil is [so transparent] as if it will light up even without fire touching it.71 Light upon light.72 God grants the light of His guidance to whomsoever He wills.73 God mentions these parables to guide people and God is aware of everything74 – [These niches] are found in houses about which God has directed that they be built75 and His name be mentioned in them.76 In it those, upright people glorify Him morning and evening whom neither trade nor sale purchase divert from showing diligence in the prayer and in paying zakah.77 They keep fearing the day on which hearts will be in anguish and eyes will remain tilted to one side so that God gives them the best reward of their deeds78 and gives them more out of His grace. God will give immeasurably to whomsoever He desires. (35-38)


وَالَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيْعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَآءً حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءَهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَّوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيْعُ الْحِسَابِ. أَوْ كَظُلُمَاتٍ فِیْ بَحْرٍ لُّجِّیٍّ يَّغْشَاهُ مَوْجٌ مِّنْ فَوْقِهِ مَوْجٌ مِّنْ فَوْقِهِ سَحَابٌ ظُلُمَاتٌ بَعْضُهَا فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ إِذَا أَخْرَجَ يَدَهُ لَمْ يَكَدْ يَرَاهَا وَمَنْ لَّمْ يَجْعَلِ اللَّهُ لَهُ نُورًا فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ نُّورٍ.

On the other hand, people who deny this light,79 the parable of their deeds is as if there is a mirage in a desolate desert which the thirsty thinks to be water until when he comes close to it, he finds it to be nothing. However, he will find God there.80 Then He will take His account in full and it does not take long for God to take account. Or like expansive darkness in a deep sea such that it is being covered by a wave upon wave; clouds overspread from the top. [In short,] layers of darkness one top of the other. When a person takes out his hand, he is not even able to see it.81 In reality, he whom God does not give light, for him there is no light. (39-40)


أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَنْ فِی السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالطَّيْرُ صَافَّاتٍ كُلٌّ قَدْ عَلِمَ صَلَاتَهُ وَتَسْبِيْحَهُ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيْمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُوْنَ. وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيْرُ.

Have you not seen that whatever is in the heavens and the earth all glorify God and the birds too with outstretched wings?82 Each knows well its prayer and glorification. [If you do not know, then what, but] God knows whatever they do. The sovereignty of the heavens and the earth belongs to God and to God [everyone] has to return.83 (41-42)


أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُزْجِیْ سَحَابًا ثُمَّ يُؤَلِّفُ بَيْنَهُ ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُ رُكَامًا فَتَرَى الْوَدْقَ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلَالِهِ وَيُنَزِّلُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مِنْ جِبَالٍ فِيْهَا مِنْ بَرَدٍ فَيُصِيْبُ بِهِ مَنْ يَّشَآءُ وَيَصْرِفُهُ عَنْ مَّنْ يَّشَآءُ يَكَادُ سَنَا بَرْقِهِ يَذْهَبُ بِالْأَبْصَارِ. يُقَلِّبُ اللَّهُ الَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ إِنَّ فِیْ ذَلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّأُوْلِی الْأَبْصَارِ.

Have84 you not seen that God brings forth the clouds, then joins [their independent pieces] together; after that makes them into layers? Then you see that from within it the rain [of benevolence] emerges [for you] and [in a similar way when He wants to warn] He unleashes from the sky – from the mountains of [hail] in it85 – hail. Then He makes them fall on whomsoever He likes and turns them away from whomsoever He wants.86 Such is the flash of its lightning as if it will snatch away the eyes. The alternation of day and night is also being done by God. In reality, there is a great lesson in it for those who have sight.87  (43-44)


وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَ كُلَّ دَآبَّةٍ مِّنْ مَّآءٍ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ يَّمْشِیْ عَلَى بَطْنِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ يَمْشِیْ عَلَى رِجْلَيْنِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ يَّمْشِیْ عَلَى أَرْبَعٍ يَخْلُقُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَیْءٍ قَدِيْرٌ.

It is God Who has created every living being from water. Then [you see that] some of them creep on their bellies, some of them walk on two feet and some on four feet.88  God creates whatever He intends. Indeed, God has power over all things. (45)


لَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا آيَاتٍ مُّبَيِّنَاتٍ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِیْ مَنْ يَشَآءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ.

We have sent down these revelations which explain [so that people may understand. Moreover,] it is God Who guides whomsoever He wills to the straight path [according to His law]. (46)


وَيَقُوْلُوْنَ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالرَّسُوْلِ وَأَطَعْنَا ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّى فَرِيْقٌ مِّنْهُمْ مِّنْ بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَمَآ أُوْلَئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ. وَإِذَا دُعُوْا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُوْلِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُم مُّعْرِضُوْنَ. وَإِن يَّكُنْ لَّهُمُ الْحَقُّ يَأْتُوْا إِلَيْهِ مُذْعِنِيْنَ. أَفِیْ قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ أَمِ ارْتَابُوا أَمْ يَخَافُونَ أَن يَحِيْفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَرَسُولُهُ بَلْ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُوْنَ. إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ إِذَا دُعُوْا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَنْ يَقُوْلُوْا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ. وَمَنْ يُّطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَخْشَ اللَّهَ وَيَتَّقْهِ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُوْنَ.

[They do not understand.] They say: “We have professed faith in God and in His Messenger and We have accepted [their] obedience.” Then one group among them turns away after this. In reality, these people are not believers. When they are called to God and His Messenger so that the Messenger may resolve [their mutual differences,] then one of their groups turns away right at that moment.89 However, if they are able to obtain the truth, they come to the messenger very obediently. Is there the ailment [of hypocrisy] in their hearts or are they inflicted with doubt90 or do they fear that God and His Messenger will be unjust to them? Certainly not! In fact, these people are themselves unjust.91  Such are the words of the believers that when they are called to God and His Messenger so that the Messenger may decide among them, they say: “We listened and we obeyed.” In reality, it is these people who will prosper. [Remember that] those who obey God and His messenger and fear God and abide by His limits,92 it is they who will be successful. (47-52)


وَأَقْسَمُوْا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لَئِنْ أَمَرْتَهُمْ لَيَخْرُجُنَّ قُلْ لَّا تُقْسِمُوْا طَاعَةٌ مَّعْرُوْفَةٌ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيْرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ. قُلْ أَطِيْعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْهِ مَا حُمِّلَ وَعَلَيْكُم مَّا حُمِّلْتُمْ وَإِنْ تُطِيْعُوهُ تَهْتَدُوْا وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُوْلِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِيْنُ.

[Such are these hypocrites that] they swear strong oaths by God that if you direct them [to wage jihad,] they will certainly march out. Say: “Do not swear oaths. Obedience in the conventional way is needed from you.93 God indeed knows what you are doing.” Tell them: “Obey God and obey His messenger. However, if you turn away, then [remember that] the responsibility on the messenger is only that which has been imposed on him and on you what is imposed on you.94 If you obey him, you will be guided and the responsibility of the messenger is only to clearly communicate.” (53-54)


وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِی الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِيْنَهُمُ الَّذِی ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِّنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِیْ لَا يُشْرِكُوْنَ بِیْ شَيْئًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُوْنَ.

God’s promise with those among you who have professed faith and done righteous deeds is that He will definitely grant them authority in this land95 the way He granted it to those before them96 and for this He will fully establish their religion which He chose for them and after this state of their fear He will certainly transform it into peace. They will worship Me; associate none with Me. And those who reject even after this, it is they who are the disobedient.97 (55)


وَأَقِيْمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُوْلَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُوْنَ. لَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا مُعْجِزِيْنَ فِی الْأَرْضِ وَمَأْوَاهُمُ النَّارُ وَلَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيْرُ.

[If you want to remove your doubts,] be diligent in the prayer and pay zakah and remain obedient to the Messenger so that mercy be shown to you. Never think about these disbelievers that they will be able to defeat God in this land. [Certainly not! They themselves will be defeated] and their abode [in future also] is Hell and it is a very evil abode. (56-57)


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا لِيَسْتَأْذِنْكُمُ الَّذِيْنَ مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ وَالَّذِيْنَ لَمْ يَبْلُغُوا الْحُلُمَ مِنْكُمْ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ مِنْ قَبْلِ صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ وَحِيْنَ تَضَعُوْنَ ثِيَابَكُمْ مِّنَ الظَّهِيْرَةِ وَمِنْ بَعْدِ صَلَاةِ الْعِشَآءٍ ثَلَاثُ عَوْرَاتٍ لَّكُمْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَا عَلَيْهِمْ جُنَاحٌ بَعْدَهُنَّ طَوَّافُوْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيْمٌ حَكِيْمٌ. وَإِذَا بَلَغَ الْأَطْفَالُ مِنْكُمُ الْحُلُمَ فَلْيَسْتَأْذِنُوْا كَمَا اسْتَأْذَنَ الَّذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيْمٌ حَكِيْمٌ. وَالْقَوَاعِدُ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ اللَّاتِیْ لَا يَرْجُوْنَ نِكَاحًا فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِنَّ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ يَّضَعْنَ ثِيَابَهُنَّ غَيْرَ مُتَبَرِّجَاتٍ بِزِينَةٍ وَأَنْ يَّسْتَعْفِفْنَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُنَّ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيْعٌ عَلِيْمٌ.

Believers! [If you need more explanation of the directives We gave to purify your heart and sight, then listen:] Let your slave men and women and those who have yet to reach maturity ask your permission on three occasions when they come in to see you: before the fajr prayer, when you take off your garments in the afternoon and after the ‘isha prayer.98 These three occasions are times of your privacy.99 At other times, [if they come without permission] it shall be no offence for you or them, because you go around meeting one another.100 God explains to you His revelations in this way and God is all-knowing and all-wise. The children among you when they reach maturity, let them still ask your permission as those before them would do.101 God explains to you His revelations in this manner and God is all-knowing and all-wise. And it shall be no sin for aged women who have no hope of marriage to discard their cloaks from their chests and necklines102 on the condition that they do not display their embellishments.103 However, if they too exercise caution, it is better for them. And God hears all and knows all.104 (58-60)


لَيْسَ عَلَى الْأَعْمَى حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى الْأَعْرَجِ حَرَجٌ وَّلَا عَلَى الْمَرِيْضِ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَنْ تَأْكُلُوْا مِنْ بُيُوْتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ آبَائِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوْتِ إِخْوَانِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوْتِ أَخَوَاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوْتِ أَعْمَامِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوْتِ عَمَّاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوْتِ أَخْوَالِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوْتِ خَالَاتِكُمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكْتُم مَّفَاتِحَهُ أَوْ صَدِيقِكُمْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَأْكُلُوْا جَمِيْعًا أَوْ أَشْتَاتًا فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمْ بُيُوْتًا فَسَلِّمُوْا عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ تَحِيَّةً مِّنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ مُبَارَكَةً طَيِّبَةً كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُوْنَ.

[God does not want to create undue restrictions on you through these directives, so] there is no harm if the blind, the lame, and the sick eat at your table nor if you eat in your own houses, your fathers’ or grandfathers’, your mothers’, your brothers’ and your sisters’, your paternal uncles’, your paternal aunts’, your maternal uncles’, your maternal aunts’, or of those who are dependent on you105 or your friends’. There is no sin on you if [men and women] eat together or apart.106 However, when you enter a house, say “peace to you” – a blessed and noble invocation fixed by God. God thus explains to you His revelations so that you use your intellect. (61)


إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِذَا كَانُوْا مَعَهُ عَلَى أَمْرٍ جَامِعٍ لَّمْ يَذْهَبُوْا حَتَّى يَسْتَأْذِنُوْهُ إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ يَسْتَأْذِنُوْنَكَ أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِيْنَ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُوْلِهِ فَإِذَا اسْتَأْذَنُوكَ لِبَعْضِ شَأْنِهِمْ فَأْذَن لِّمَن شِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمُ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُوْرٌ رَّحِيْمٌ.

[This same purity is also needed in your deeds because] believers are in fact those who have true faith in God and His messenger107 and when they are with the Messenger for some collective task, they do not go away from there unless they seek permission. Those who go after seeking permission from you [O Prophet] only they are the ones who believe in God and His messenger. So, when they seek permission from you for some of their work you can give permission to whomsoever you like and keep praying for their forgiveness before God.108 Indeed, God is forgiving and ever-merciful. (62)


لَا تَجْعَلُوْا دُعَآءَ الرَّسُوْلِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَآءِ بَعْضِكُمْ بَعْضًا قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِيْنَ يَتَسَلَّلُوْنَ مِنْكُمْ لِوَاذًا فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِيْنَ يُخَالِفُوْنَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَن تُصِيْبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيْبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيْمٌ. أَلَا إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِی السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ مَا أَنْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَيَوْمَ يُرْجَعُوْنَ إِلَيْهِ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا عَمِلُوْا وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَیْءٍ عَلِيْمٌ.

Do not regard the way you call the messenger among yourselves to be similar to how you address one another. God fully knows those among you who secretly slip away while hiding behind others.109 So, those people should have fear who evading the Messenger’s directive have been opposing him110 that a trial may afflict them or a painful punishment visit them. Listen! Whatever is in the heavens and the earth belongs to God. God is aware of the situation which you are in. The day they are returned to Him, He will tell them whatever they had done. And [remember that] God is aware of everything.111 (63-64)


Kuala Lumpur

10th Aug 2013                                                                         

(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)


1. The inchoative (mubtada’) is suppressed in the verse. This has directed all attention to the enunciative (khabar) from which is evident the exaltedness and significance of the surah. The translation keeps this aspect in consideration.

2. Ie., it should not be regarded as something ordinary. It has been revealed by the Almighty. Hence it is mandatory for every Muslim to obey it and hence its directives should be followed in this capacity.

3. This has been stated because such directives have proven to be a pitfall for previous nations and they have tried to find ways and means to evade them. Thus it is warned that these are not recommendations; they are obligations and definite directives of God which have to be obeyed at every place and in every period of time without the slightest hesitation. There is not the slightest possibility of any slackness or indifference in following them.

4. This is a reference to the admonitions which are stated repeatedly after directives are mentioned in the surah.

5. According to the Qur’an, fornication is the third greatest sin after polytheism and murder. In the shari‘ahs revealed by God to His prophets, it has been regarded as a punishable offence. Thus because of the special status of the Israelites and because of being directly governed by God, adultery was regarded as an offence of the category of waging war against God. If the woman was a virgin, a concession was given in punishment and it was made incumbment on the man to pay a penalty for it and keep that women as his wife for the rest of his life. (See: Deuteronomy, 22:23-29). As the institution of prophethood was to be terminated on Muhammad (sws), and since the situation was to be changed, hence the law was changed. Thus initially it was said that the criminals of this offence were to be given physical punishment without determining its extent and nature. This directive is stated in verse 16 of Surah al-Nisa’. After this, the punishment of a hundred lashes was fixed as an eternal law of God. This is an extreme punishment for this offence. The reason for this is that adjectives are used in the Qur’an in stating this punishment, which express the ultimate nature of the act. Hence this punishment is to be given only when the crime has been committed in its ultimate form and the criminal does not deserve any lenience as far as the circumstances of the crime are concerned. Consequently, criminals who are foolish, insane, have been compelled by circumstances, are without the necessary protection required to abstain from committing a crime, or cannot bear the punishment are all exempt from this punishment. About the women whom their masters force to take to prostitution, the Qur’an (24:33) clearly says that God is Forgiving and Merciful to them, they being compelled to it. Similarly, about the slave women who were present in the Prophet’s times, the Qur’an (4:25) says that they also cannot be administered this punishment because of improper upbringing and education and because of a lack of family protection – so much so that if their husbands and masters have done all they can to keep them chaste and in spite of this they commit the crime, they shall be given only half this punishment ie. fifty lashes instead of a hundred.

6. This harsh treatment given to the criminal is necessary because the stability of a society relies on the sanctity of the relationships in a family and on their protection from every type of disorder. Fornication, a little deliberation shows, makes a society unstable and turns it into a herd of animals. It, therefore, deprives a society of its well-being and prosperity. Writes Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi in his celebrated commentary of the Qur’an:

… Ie. no lenience should be shown in the implementation of this punishment; softness should be shown to neither a woman nor a man, to neither the rich nor the poor. The limits set by God should be observed without granting any alleviation or showing partiality, for this is a requirement of belief in God and in the Hereafter. The faith in God and in the Hereafter of those who show weakness in this regard cannot be trusted. A noteworthy point in the statement of this punishment is that the woman is mentioned before the man. One reason for this is that without a woman’s consent fornication cannot take place; secondly, there is a strong possibility that being the weaker sex, feelings of compassion may arise for her; the Qur’an, therefore, has mentioned her before the man so that it becomes evident from the style of the verse that in the Almighty’s eyes no lenience should be shown to either the woman or the man. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 362

7. So that this punishment is a humiliation for the criminals and those who watch it are taught a lesson and as a result the Muslim society is protected from the disruption which can be created by fornication.

8. Ie., the one mentioned earlier. After the first mention of الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِیْ, a repetition of the word الزَّانِیۡ here bears evidence to this. A restriction on the marriage of a man or a woman guitly of fornication obviously can only be imposed when their crime is proven in a court of law.

9. In Islamic law, a condition for marriage is that it can only take place between chaste people or those who become chaste after repentance and reformation. The directive stated in the above verse is a corollary of this law. It is evident from the verse that if the man guilty of fornication is punished once his crime has been proven, he will not be allowed to marry a chaste woman. The same will be the case of a woman guilty of fornication. Thus it is said that after this they should find someone similarly guilty of fornication or polytheism. The Qur’an does not allow in any case that a believing woman marry a person guilty of fornication nor does it allow a believer to bring home such filth. Every marriage of this sort is prohibited.

10. Here and in the succeeding verses also though only the accusation of women is mentioned, yet in the Arabic language this style which can be termed as عَلَي سَبِيْلِ الْتَغْلِيْب (‘ala sabil al-taghlib: addressing the dominant element) is adopted because normally in a society only women become targets of such allegations, and the society is also sensitive about them. Consequently, there is no doubt that on the grounds of “similarity of basis” this directive pertains to both men and women and cannot be restricted to women only. Similar is the case with the directive of li‘an ahead.

11. The implication is that the accuser shall have to produce four witnesses in all circumstances. Anything less than this will not prove his accusation. Mere circumstantial evidence or mere medical examination in this case is of absolutely no importance. If a person is of lewd and loose character, such things have a very important role, but if he has a morally sound reputation, Islam wants that even if he has faltered, his crime should be concealed and he should not be disgraced in the society. Consequently, in this case, it wants four eye-witnesses for the testimony to initiate the hearing, and if the accuser fails to produce them, he should be flogged eighty times and his testimony should never be accepted in future in any matter and in this way his reputation should be permanently dented in the society.

12. I.e., the punishment of a hundred lashes stated earlier. The word used in the verse is الْعَذَابَ. To convey the same meaning, the word used is عَذَابَهُمَا in verse 2 just prior to these verses. Scholars of Arabic know that according to grammatical principles, whenever a noun has been defined by alif-lam and is repeated later, then if something within the context does not pose a hindrance, the repeated noun shall have the same meaning as the first. Consequently, here, no other punishment than a hundred lashes can be regarded as implied. Thus it is absolutely certain that if any absolute difference is considered between the punishment for a married and an unmarried person guilty of this offence, then this would be totally against the Qur’an.

13. This is the answer to the conditional sentence which is suppressed in accordance with linguistic principles. In verse 14, it is revealed and the translation here keeps this in consideration.

14. Which slander is being referred to here? The Qur’an has not mentioned it but it is evident from various narratives that it refers to the mischief worked up by the Hypocrites to defame ‘Ā’ishah (rta) at the time of the battle of Bani Mustaliq. Most of its details found in the narratives invoke serious question. However, the context and the way in which the Qur’an has mentioned this incident and referred to its various characters shows that the matter related to slander against some such personality. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... It is evident from books of history and biographies that the only thing that happened was that in 6 AH, the Prophet (sws) was returning to Madinah from the battle of Bani Mustaliq. ‘Ā’ishah (rta) was traveling on a separate camel. During the journey, the caravan stopped at a place to spend the night. Before the caravan departed, ‘Ā’ishah (rta) had gone out to relieve herself. During this time, the army was ordered to march ahead. The caravan departed and her camel-driver also walked off with them thinking that she was sitting in the camel-cubicle. When ‘Ā’ishah (rta) returned she found no option in the dark of night but to stay there until God created some way out for her. Safwan (rta), a companion of the Prophet (sws) was given the task of walking behind the caravan to detect anything that may have been left behind. When in the morning he reached the place where the caravan had stopped and saw ‘Ā’ishah (rta) there, he spontaneously uttered: .... إِنّا للّٰہِ. Ultimately, he made her sit on her camel. She climbed on it while he took hold of the camel’s bridle and led away the animal. Finally, they reached the caravan. It was not something extra-ordinary for such an incident to have taken place during a caravan journey. However, the Hypocrites worked great propaganda on the basis of this small incident. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 382)

The Qur’an has rejected this propaganda by using the word إِفْك, which means an absolute falsehood and a fake blame. God did not deem it appropriate to describe the nature of the incident or to mention its characters. This is because the addressees of those times were aware of all the details and the later ones did not need to be informed of a filthy blame.

15. Ie., apparently they belonged to the Muslims and to his group but in reality are Hypocrites who are always on the lookout to avail such an opportunity to harm him.

16. What are the good aspects found in this incident. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

The greatest good concealed in it was that Muslims were able to fully detect a dissident group that was hiding among them. Had this not been the case, who knows what this cancerous growth could have ended up in and the disorder it could have created. 

The second good found in it was that the weaknesses that were concealed among Muslims were fully highlighted as a result of this trial and were reformed at the right time. The importance this has for the spiritual purification of the society is absolutely evident. 

The third good found in it is that it created a very appropriate atmosphere for the revelation of many directives for the reformation and organization of the society. Had these directives been revealed without these conducive circumstances, their real significance would not have become evident to many people. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 382

17. It is evident from various narratives that this is a reference to ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy who had worked such mischief earlier as well.

18. This is the right of every Muslim man and woman and it is incumbent on every person to respect this right. Hence, unless an offence is proven, he should keep giving the alleged guilty the benefit of the doubt and continue to say this.

19. This is said because it is stated in verse 15 of Surah al-Nisa’ that four witnesses are required even for women who habitually commit fornication.

20. Ie., in accordance with God’s law otherwise God knows that this was a false blame and concomitant indications clearly showed that whatever was being said had no basis.

21. Ie., continuing to report it from person to another without critically investigating it. It is evident from this that without evaluating the substance of a report, its mere narration can result in grave mistakes.

22. The actual words are: أَنْ تَعُوْدُوْا لِمِثْلِهِ أَبَدًا. Though they connote a negation, yet لاَ does not occur here after أَنْ. This is because the word وَعْظ evidences it with regard to its meaning.

23. For this reason, He only knows better what to tell and teach them on their mistake.

24. Ie., men and women start doing what they are slandered about so that the moral superiority which Muslims now have ends as soon as possible.

25. There is a painful torment for them in the world because they are committing this sin under the direct rule of God and His messenger and according to the Qur’an this is waging war against these authorities. The punishment of this offence is mentioned in verses 33-34 of Surah al-Ma’idah.

26. Ie., God would have seized them and instead of the respite of repentance and reformation that is now being given to them, His punishment would have descended on them.  

27. This is a reference to the attitude of spreading slander which the people  who were influenced by the propaganda of the Hypocrites had adopted.

28. This is a very subtle admonition. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... There are people who carelessly accept all kinds of baseless things that relate to the honour and integrity of others and on this basis make evil estimations about them. This attitude of such people shows that they have an excessively good opinion about their own selves – in fact, lay claim to spiritual advancement, whether they have any comprehension of their inner selves or not. These people are being informed of this hidden thief – people who accepted the rumour spread by the enemies without any condemnation. It is stated that everyone must remember that whoever attains purification does so merely because of God’s grace. If His graciousness is not present none can be purified. So no one should show such pride and vanity on his purity and piety that he accepts accusations on others without any investigation. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 387

29. The implication is that if they have such a claim then they must be well advised: God is aware of the pure and the evil among them. Hence, He knows the most hidden of their secrets.

30. These words are meant to remind people of their rights and obligations: there is no one without blemishes. And if in spite of their own faults, God has blessed them with sustenance, their attitude too should be no different.

31. This is a statement of entitlement. The implication is that the needy are worthy of help because of their needs. They must not be deprived of help merely because they have intentionally or unintentionally committed a mistake. It is mentioned in various narratives that among those who had spread slander and mischief against ‘Ā’ishah (rta) was a poor companion called Misthah ibn Uthathah (rta) who was a relative of Abu Bakr (rta). Abu Bakr (rta) helped him financially and was naturally very hurt at his attitude. He swore that he would never help him again. A similar attitude was expected from other honourable Muslims. Hence God advised them to abstain from this attitude.

32. This also is a reference to the subtle reality mentioned earlier. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... Just as making evil estimations about someone merely on the basis of rumours is an evidence to one’s own excessive superiority, in fact a claim to self-purification, in a similar way not forgiving a person for his mistake and absolving one’s self in supporting him is tantamount to thinking that one is flawless, even though a person may not be aware of this hidden thought. Viewed thus, a little deliberation shows that with regard to the philosophy of religion both these mistakes belong to the same category. Hence both were adjacently mentioned. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 388

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

34. The actual word is: يَرْمُوْنَ. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... Here there is a special eloquence in using this word for accusing an innocent woman. Hidden in this expression is the purport that those who accuse innocent and chaste women of fornication in fact make them a target of their arrows while they are sleeping. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 389) 

35. It is a result of this curse that even before the Hereafter they have been disgraced in this world as well and they have been totally wiped out from the land of Arabia. The Qur’an has mentioned this at many instances that once the truth is conclusively conveyed to the disbelievers, this is the fate they meet, in accordance with the established practice of the Almighty.

36. This is precisely the same as what has been stated in Surah al-Takwir by the words: إِذَا النُّفُوْسُ زَوِّجَتْ: on that day, people will be united together on the basis of their faith and conduct.

37. This is a comprehensive term adopted by the Qur’an for all the favours of the Hereafter.

38.. The implication is that if a need arises to visit one another, suddenly barging into a house without introducing one’s self is improper. On such occasions, the visitor should first of all properly introduce himself. A decent and polite way to do this is to pay salutations to the residents of the house, while standing at the door. This will make the residents aware of the visitor, provide them with the opportunity to determine the purpose of his visit and whether it is appropriate for them to let him in. If the visitor hears a reply to his salutations and is given permission, only then should he enter; otherwise he should return. In this regard, while explaining this directive, the Prophet (sws) has directed the visitor to seek permission three times and if he hears no reply even after his third call, he should turn back. (Al-Bukhari, (no. 6245); Muslim, (no. 5633))

Similarly, the Prophet (sws) is reported to have said that the permission to enter must not be sought by standing right at the front door of the house and peeping in because the very reason for seeking permission is that the visitor should not catch a glimpse of the residents. (Al-Bukhari, (no. 6241); Muslim, (no. 5638))

39. Ie., the reminder of the fact that a person is entering the sacred abode of someone, where a code of conduct must be followed, and those present in the house should also be reminded that there is a person present among them about whom a certain decorum should be followed.

40. The implication is that if there is no one present in the house to give him permission or if someone is present and the visitor is told on his behalf that meeting him is not possible, he should retreat without any feelings of ill-will.

41. This warning with regard to God’s attribute of knowledge is repeated twice ahead as well. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... This repeated reminder is being sounded because what is being asked to be abstained from is something for which there are many subterfuges found in one’s inner self. Unless one is fully aware and cognizant of God’s absolute knowledge, mere directives and commands will not be able to plug these fissures. Satan finds one way or the other and a person succumbs to his guiles. However, if a person’s heart is always overwhelmed with the concept that God is watching all the time, it will protect a person from the most concealed ploys of Satan. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 395

42. The Qur’an uses the words بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ بُيُوْتِكُمْ for such places. They include hotels, rest-houses, guest-houses, shops, offices and male-meeting places. A person can enter such places because of some need or benefit without seeking permission. The restriction of seeking permission does not relate to such places.

43. This directive is also given for women ahead. The words used for it are يَغُضُّوْا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ. If there is modesty in the gaze, and men and women refrain from feasting their eyes on the physical attributes of one another and ogling each other, then no doubt the purport of the directive stands fulfilled. The expression غَضِّ بَصَرْ does not mean that men and women should not look at each other or have to constantly stare at the floor while interacting with one another. It means to guard one’s gaze from taking undue liberty and to refrain from staring at one another. If this vigil on the eyes is not kept, then in the words of the Prophet (sws), this would be tantamount to adultery of the eyes. Once a person indulges in it, his sexual organ either fulfils the ultimate objective of what his eyes initiated or is unable to do so. (Al-Bukhari, (no. 6243); Muslim, (no. 6754))

It is regarding this first accidental gaze about which the Prophet (sws) has directed the believers to turn it away. (Al-Bukhari, (no. 1855); Muslim, (no. 5644, 3251)

44. Ie., one must guard them. The implication is that they should neither have any inclination for others nor should they be revealed to others; in fact, on occasions of gender intermingling, body parts which need to be covered must be covered even more carefully and always a dress should be worn which besides covering adornments also fully covers sexual organs.

45. Ie., jewellery, make up and party outfits which women specially wear on occasions of dressing-up.

46. The actual words used for this are: إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ. Their correct meaning is:  جَرَتِ الْعَادَة وَ الْجِبِلَّة عَلي ظُهُورِهِ وَ الْاَصْل فِيِهِ الْظُهُوْر اِلَّا مَا, as pointed out by al-Zamakhshari, (Al-Kashshaf, vol. 3, 236). It means the embellishments of the body parts which a person does not cover generally and instinctively and they are always left bare. These include hands, feet, face etc. The reason for this is that according to syntactical consideration, it is: الظاهر منها. It cannot be taken in the meaning of أن يظهر منها شئ as has been done by some scholars.

47. If this purpose can be achieved by some other method than through shawls, there is no harm in it. The purpose is that if women are wearing adornments, they should not open their chests and necklines before men. In fact, they should cover them in such a manner that their adornments are not evident in any way.

48. The first exception was that of: إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا. Now the second exception is  stated ie., relatives before whom there is no restriction to hide adornments.

49. For one’s father and father-in-law, the word used by the Qur’an is آبَا (aba). This word not only implies the father but also the paternal and maternal uncles and grandfathers. Therefore, a lady can display her embellishments before these adults of both her maternal and paternal family and those of her husband’s just as she can before her father and father-in-law.

50. The word “son” implies the grand and great grand sons, both maternal and paternal ones without any discrimination of real or step relations. The same implies for the sons of brothers and sisters. In these relations also, the sons of real, step and foster brothers and sisters are understood to be included.

51. It is evident from these words that unknown women should be treated the same way as men and a Muslim lady should be very careful in displaying her concealed embellishments before them. The reason is that at times a woman can have sexual leanings towards her own gender. Similarly, at times, being influenced by the physical features and attributes women, these unrelated women become a means of inclining men towards them and vice versa too.

52. The institution of slavery existed in Arabia in the times of the Prophet Muhammad (sws). The words used in the above quoted verse while referring to this institution areمَا مَلَكَتْ اَيْمَانُهُنَّ . Some jurists have understood this expression to only mean “slave-women”. However, there is no reason for this exception. Writes Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi:

Had only slave-women been implied by this expression, then the appropriate words would have beenاَوْ اَمَآئِهِنَّ . A common expression that connotes both slave-men and slave-women would never have been used. Moreover, the verses already mention the category which, as has been explained, includes both women with whom one is generally acquainted as well as slave-women and maidservants. After a mention of this category, an independent mention of slave-women is needless. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 398) 

53. Ie., people who live in a house as dependents and because of their subservience or owing to any other reason are incapable of feeling any attraction towards women.

54. If people do not have spouses, then at times this situation may lead them to moral wrongs and opens the door for Satan to intervene. Then from here, the miscreants are also provided with an opportunity to spread slander and allegations. Thus this directive was also necessary for purity and purification.

55. Ie., do not have a husband or a wife.

56. Ie., have the ability to fulfill its responsibilities and also are able to carry out the rights and obligations that are imposed on them as a result.

57. These glad tidings are meant to encourage the poor. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:  

… As long as a person does not have a wife, his life is more like a nomad and many of his abilities remain shrunk and dormant. Similarly, as long as a woman is unmarried, she resembles a creeper which is not able to grow and flourish owing to want of support. But once a woman has a husband and a man has a wife, their abilities develop and increase, and when both of them start to strive in life together, the Almighty blesses them in their struggle and their circumstances also change [for the better]. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 400) 

58. Ie., they want to marry but because of being poor no woman wants to marry them.

59. This is because if marriage is not possible then this does not give them any license to satisfy their sexual desires through other women.

60. Concealed in these words are glad tidings that a person who exercises self-control to protect his faith and conduct should expect that his Lord will definitely open up a way for him or her.

61. This is a term. It means that a slave makes a contract with his master according to which he would be required to pay a certain sum of money in a specific time period or would carry out a specific service for his master; once he successfully fulfils either of these two options, he would stand liberated.

62. The Almighty has directed the Muslims to necessarily accept this contract made by a slave if he wants to make it and has the required ability to become financially independent. This is because slavery in itself becomes a source of mental contamination and moral degradation. Here it may be kept in mind that at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an, the institution of slavery was as essential to the economic and social needs of the society as the institution of interest is considered in present day societies. In markets, slave-men and slave-women were bought and sold, and affluent houses had slave-men and slave-women of all ages. In such circumstances, a sudden directive for their emancipation would have resulted in many evils: for livelihood, men would have been forced to resort to beggary and women to prostitution. For this reason, the Qur’an adopted a gradual way to eradicate this evil from the society and after many gradual measures of eradication, the above quoted verse revealed a directive for their liberation. This, in other words, was in fact a declaration that slaves could now be masters of their destiny and could obtain liberation whenever they wanted. Before this last directive, various other measures that were adopted to eradicate slavery can be seen in my book Mizan (Islam: A Comprehensive Introduction) in its chapter Qanun-i Mu‘asharat (The Social Shari‘ah). The most important of these directives is given in verse 4 of Surah Muhammad. There the Qur’an made it clear that in future those captured in battles were not to be kept as slaves and were to be kept as prisoners of war. After this, if they were to be released, there were two possibilities: they could be freed either by accepting ransom or as a favour by not taking any ransom money.

63. This directive is given to the society and the words مِّنْ مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِیْ in the verse are meant to stimulate sentiments of gratitude in people: they should not hesitate in spending what they have been given by God for His cause. This same directive obviously would also be for those in authority that they should help the slaves from the public treasury. Thus the head فِي الرِّقَابِ (to release necks) has been placed in heads in which zakah has to be expended for this purpose.

64. The actual word is فَتًيَات, which is the plural of فتاة. It means “girl.” The Qur’an has used this word for slave-women instead of (أمة) so that the psychological approach towards slave-men and women should change, and centuries-old concepts should be transformed. It is because of this purport of the Qur’an that the Prophet (sws) has directed people not to call their slave-men and slave-women by the names عبد (slave-man) and أمة (slave-woman) respectively; in fact, they should be called as فتي (boy) and فتاة (girl). (Muslim, no. 5875, 5877). This was a significant reformatory measure to raise the status of slaves. It was undertaken to gradually root out slavery.

65. This realization arose in the minds of slave-women as a result of the reformatory measures that have been mentioned earlier. Thus it is stated as a warning that no one should force these girls to prostitution. Otherwise, they should remember that if they do so, God will forgive the girls but those who force them to prostitution should contemplate their fate. They will not be able to run away from God’s grasp. This warning was sounded because in those times mostly slave-women were used for prostitution and their masters would not have easily given up what they earned through them. Thus it was feared that they would use all kinds of ploys to stop their slave-women from leading chaste lives.

66. This parable is stated ahead.

67. Ie., only God’s comprehension and faith in Him is the light of this universe. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... These heavens and the earth, in fact the whole universe is a place of darkness for him who does not believe in God or does believe in Him but does not accept His attributes and the corollaries of these attributes. Such a person can neither know the origin of this universe nor the purpose of its creation. He is not able to decide his own purpose of existence either: does he have absolute powers in this world without any accountability or is he governed and controlled? Is he accountable or unaccountable? What is good and evil for him? Should he adopt the path of oppression or that of justice? Should he merely follow his vested interests and desires or some higher mission in life? A successful and true life is based on the correct answer to these questions. However, he who does not believe in God cannot correctly answer these questions. He roams in the darkness like a blind animal and ultimately one day falls in the pit of destruction and reaches the fate he deserves. However, a person who believes in God with His true attributes is able to solve the riddle of this universe and its fate is also evident to him. All those questions become clear to him as well which can never be answered by someone who does not believe in God. For this reason, this world does not remain a place of darkness for him; in fact, the radiance of faith lights up everything for him and each of its aspects becomes evident to him. Whatever step he takes, he takes in broad daylight and in whichever direction he walks, he is guided by the light of belief in God. It is this reality which is explained in this part of the verse by stating that God is the light of the heavens and the earth. He who has this light has the light of guidance and is treading the straight path. And he who is deprived of this light is wandering in a world of darkness and no one else can give him light:  وَمَن لَّمْ يَجْعَلِ اللَّهُ لَهُ نُورًا فَمَا لَهُ مِننُّورٍ.  (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 409) 

68. This is a compound parable. The niche here refers to the heart of a person which is like a place which houses a lamp. If the fire of God’s faith is made to burn in it, then the inner and outer self of a person lights up in much the same way as when a lamp is placed at a high level in a house it lights up the whole house.

69. Ie., it is fully protected from external influences. Neither is its flame scattered about by some deviant philosophies nor by the gusts of wind of base desires. Also there is no dust of deviation on the crystal that can make it dirty and cause obstruction in the light that is given out. It is clear and luminous like a shining star.

70. Ie., the oil of natural demand and ability with which this lamp of faith is lit up is the oil obtained from trees planted in the middle of orchards, which are more lush. On the other hand, trees which are planted on the eastern and western borders are always prone to heat and wind. For this reason, they do no bear good fruit. A little deliberation shows that there is also an indication in it of adhering to the exact medial point of demand and ability.

71. The implication is that so powerful is the ability of accepting the truth, it is as if it is anxiously waiting for the truth to dawn before it so that it accepts it immediately without any hesitation.

72. Ie., the light of faith on the light of human nature which makes the whole existence of a person to be: نُوۡرٌ عَلٰی نُوۡرٍ (light upon light).

73. In the verse, the preposition of the verb يَهْدِي is ل. This has incorporated in it the meaning of blessing a person with the urge. The implication is that when God observes this ability of accepting the truth in a person, He blesses him with the urge of accepting the true call of a God’s messenger and lights up his chest with the radiance of faith. The law in accordance with which this urge is granted is mentioned at many places in the Qur’an: God grants this urge only to those who value the urge they have already been blessed with.

74. Thus He deals with everyone in a manner a person is worthy of it.

75. This is a reference to the places of worship which were built at the direct command of God ie. the Baytullah and the Bayt al-Maqdis. For them, the word رَفْع is used in the same meaning as it is used in the following verse of Surah al-Baqarah: وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ.

76. The word ذِكْر here embraces all forms of remembrance to reminding others of it.

77. Earlier the light of faith had been mentioned. Now people who have it are highlighted. In verse 34, the words الَّذِيْنَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ are used for them. The implication is that the niche of hearts in which the lamp of faith is placed is not found in temples and places where liquor is consumed. These niches are found in the places of God’s worship. Thus people having such hearts are also not found everywhere. The places where they can be found are mosques and abodes of worship. This is a statement of the affectee (deeds) after the explanation of the affect-producer (faith): when hearts light up with the radiance of faith not only a person’s knowledge but also his actions are guided by this radiance and these places of worship set up by God become inhabited with those servants of His who for centuries are kneeling and prostrating in them. These words obviously counsel the addressees that they too should try to acquire this purity of thought and actions. This parable of their pious predecessors has been stated for precisely this purpose.

78. The actual words are: لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا . Here the particle ل is not for causation; it denotes the consequence of a verb.

79. It becomes further evident from this that the light in the above mentioned parable in fact refers to the light of faith. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... In the parable of the believers first the affect-producer (ie. faith) is highlighted and then the affectee (deed). In the parable of the disbelievers it is the opposite. The reason for this is that faith is a very deep reality whose roots have penetrated deep into the nature of a human being. It is the blessed consequences of faith which become apparent in deeds and conducts. On the other hand, disbelief is like a tree that has sprouted on filth and garbage whose poisonous fruits are before the eyes in the form of deeds and conduct but does not have any roots in human nature that need to be highlighted. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 413)

80. From here, in accordance with its special style, the Qur’an has turned the direction of the parable to the reality for which it is stated. Thus the words حَتَّي إِذَا جَاءَهُ actually imply: حتي اذا جاء الكافر أعماله يوم القيامة and the accusative pronoun occurs in deference to the object with which the comparison is made ie. mirage. The implication is that when the disbelievers reach their deeds on the Day of Judgement they will be confronted with much the same situation as when someone thirsty reaches a mirage. They will see that disbelief and polytheism have totally obliterated all their deeds and their deeds which they apparently regarded as virtuous do not have any weight. Instead of their deeds, they will find their Lord there who will take their account in the blink of an eye.

81. This is a mention of the darkness which arises once a person is deprived from the radiance of faith.

82. This is a portrayal of birds bowing down before God. If a person has insight he can see this submission in the apparent form of everything. The Qur’an has informed us that the inner form of every object of the heavens and the earth also prostrates before their Lord in a similar way and glorifies and extols Him. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… All these objects by their very existence invite human beings to unite with them in this glorification and praise and like them, worship only their Lord. If a person adopts some other way than this, then he adopts a way which is entirely different from the rest of the world. He plays a tune which is in total dissonance with the collective tune of the universe. Also found in this is encouragement for those who adopt God’s way: they are not to regard themselves to be alone or in minority. A traveller who treads this path is never alone. This path is full of caravans. All the universe is with him in this journey. Why should he despair and feel disappointed if a handful of individuals are treading a different path. The fact is that God’s heavens and the earth, His sun and moon, His seas and mountains and all His animals and birds are with this person. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 419) 

83. Stated here is the reason as to why every object glorifies God alone and why everyone should glorify and extol Him only.

84. It is stated earlier that the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs to God alone. From here onwards, this premise is substantiated.

85. Ie., if frozen clouds are viewed from the top, they appear as mountains and when they unleash hail, it is as if mountains after mountains come down on earth.

86. This is a parable of torment. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... In it is a reference to winter clouds which appear with stormy winds and intense lightning and thunder and such is the extent of the hail storm they unleash that whole settlements below them get covered with hail. It is as if they contain mountains of hail. Some of the nations which were destroyed through divine punishment as mentioned by the Qur’an were destroyed through this calamity. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 421) 

87. Ie., a lesson which eyes can access by penetrating the apparent that this universe is the creation of a wise and knowledgeable God Who also solely governs it. Thus only He is worthy of being shown submission to and being worshipped.

88. Ie., He is so powerful and wise that He creates living beings of all kinds from the same water.

89. This is the reason for their hypocrisy and lack of faith mentioned earlier.

90. This doubt can be about the prophethood of Muhammad (sws) and about the future of Islam as well.

91. Here the word ظَالِم connotes ظالم لنفسه (those who are unjust to their souls).

92. The actual word is يَتَّقْهِ. Its shape has changed because of diminution. However, scholars of the language know that such diminution is common is Arabic. The word خَشْيَة is used along with it. When both these words – ie. خَشْيَة and تَقْوَى – are used together, then generally the first one specifies the inner self and the second the outer self.

93. The actual words are: طَاعَةْ مَعْرُوْفَةٌ. It can be the inchoative (mubtada’) of a suppressed enunciative (khabar) and vice versa as well. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... In both cases, there will not be much difference in meaning because the purpose of such suppression is to fully focus the attention of the addressee to what is stated and this purpose can be achieved in both cases. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 425) 

94. Ie., the responsibility of faith, guidance and obedience which is being demanded here.

95. Ie., in the land of Arabia.

96. This is a reference to those who accepted the call of the messengers sent to them and the Almighty, in accordance with His established practice, granted them dominance over the disbelievers. The direction of address, a little deliberation shows, is towards the hypocrites about whom it is mentioned earlier that they had doubts about the future of Islam. It is stated that in accordance with the persistent established practice of God regarding His messengers, He has promised Muhammad (sws) and his companions that He will grant them political authority in the land of Arabia. It is further explained that as a result of this, the rule of the religion of truth will be set up here, danger will cease for the believers and worship will become specific to God alone. History bears witness that this promise was fulfilled with such majesty that no one can deny it now.

97. This word connotes its consequence. Ie., if they are disobedient, very soon they will meet their fate.

98. Earlier, believers have been directed to seek permission when they enter a house. Here it is explained that it is not necessary for slaves and sexually immature children who frequent a house to seek permission every time they enter. It is sufficient for them if they ask permission in these three times only.

99. This is the reason for the earlier directive: if someone suddenly enters a private room in these times, he may see the residents in an inappropriate state.

100. Why are slaves and children exempt? Stated here is its wisdom.

101. Ie., because children have been frequenting the house ever since their childhood is not reason enough for them to continue with the exception granted to them. Consequently, once they reach this age, they must follow the regulations that pertain to all.

102. Earlier it was stated that women should cover the embellishments of the chest and the neckline in front of non-mahram relatives. Here it is explained that this directive of covering the embellishments of the chest and the neckline does not pertain to old women have lost their sexual urge and towards whom men feel no attraction. If they want, they can dispense with the cloth. There is no harm in it.

103. Ie., they no longer have the desire to be embellished and show themselves to others.

104. Ie., what is desirable for them too is that in the presence of men they do not dispense with their shawls and follow these directives in their essence. This is because the Being from whom these directives are being given hears and knows all. Nothing can be hidden from Him.

105. This is a reference to houses which are under the benefaction of someone like those of the orphans under their guardians.

106. The implication is that the purpose is not to prohibit any of these things. If people have understood something different than this, then it is wrong. The norms of gender interaction that are being delineated are not meant to deprive people of those who are in contact with them or to impose restrictions on their social freedom. If they are sensible, all these relationships can also be maintained while giving due regard to these norms.

107. The actual verb used is: آمَنُوْا. Concomitant indications show that here it is used in its complete meaning.

108. It is evident from this that such permission should only be sought from God’s messenger for some essential need because this is not something desirable. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... This is because there can be nothing greater than supporting and helping God’s messenger particularly when some collective task is at hand. However, giving regard to human weaknesses a messenger has been given permission that if he wants to give permission to someone he can and seek his forgiveness from God for this weakness of his. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 5, 434) 

109. The actual words are: قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنكُمْ لِوَاذًا. An incomplete verb is suppressed before this sentence. Every person having a literary taste can see the extent of anger and reprimand concealed in this style.

110. The opposition which is mentioned here is in reality of the nature of evasion and avoidance. Thus the preposition of عَنْ is used with يُخَالِفُوْنَ, as a result of which the verb encompasses the meaning of evasion and avoidance.

111. It is evident from the change in style that this statement is uttered while turning away from the addressees.


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