Period of Revelation:
This Sürah was revealed in A.H. 7, after the conquest of Khaiber
Major Issues, Divine Laws and Guidance:
• Do not make something unlawful which Allah has made lawful.
• Wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are admonished on their behavior with him.
• Believers are commanded to turn to Allah in sincere repentance if they want to be forgiven.
• Example of the wives of Nuh (Noah) and Lût (Lot) who will go to hell and the example of Fir'aun's (Pharaoh's) wife and Maryam who will go to paradise.
This is a very important Sürah in which guidance is provided relating to questions of grave significance in reference to some incidents concerning the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him), rules relating to lawful and unlawful and that kinship to the Prophet is not the criteria for salvation:
- The powers to prescribe the bounds of the lawful and the unlawful, the permissible and the forbidden, are entirely and absolutely in the hands of Allah and nothing of this sort has been delegated even to the Prophet of Allah, much less any other person.
- The position of a Prophet is very delicate. A minor incident experienced by an ordinary man in his life may not be of any consequence, but it assumes the status of law when experienced by a Prophet. That is why, the lives of the Prophets have been kept under close supervision by Allah, so that none of their acts, not even a most trivial one, may deviate from Divine Will.
- The Prophet (peace be upon him) was checked on a minor thing, which was not only corrected but also recorded. It gives us complete satisfaction that whatever actions, commands and instructions we now find in the documented life of the Prophet concerning which there is nothing on record in the nature of criticism or correction from Allah, we can trust that they are wholly based on truth, are in complete conformity with Divine Will and that guidance can be drawn from them with full confidence and peace of mind.
- It has been stated in this Surah that the Prophet, whose reverence and respect Allah Himself has enjoined as a necessary part of the faith of His servants, once during his sacred life, he made a thing declared lawful by Allah unlawful for himself only to please his wives. Allah severely reproved the error and admonished the wives of the Prophet, whom Allah Himself has declared as mothers of the faithful; worthy of the highest esteem and honor. Further, this criticism of the Prophet and the administration of the warning to his wives was made not secretly but included in the Book, which the entire Ummah has to read and recite forever. Obviously, the intention of making mention of this instance in the Book of Allah was not, nor could it have been, that Allah wanted to degrade His Rasool and the mothers of the faithful in the eyes of the believers. It is also obvious that no Muslim has lost respect for them after reading this Surah of the Qur'an. There cannot be any other reason of mentioning this instance in the Qur'an other than that Allah wants to acquaint the believers with the correct manner of reverence for their personalities. A Prophet is a Prophet, not God, and he may commit error. Respect for the Prophet has not been enjoined because he is infallible, but because he is a perfect representative of Divine Will, and Allah has not permitted any of his errors to pass unnoticed. This gives us the satisfaction that the noble pattern of life left by the Prophet wholly and fully represents the Will of Allah.
It is made explicitly clear that Allah's religion is absolutely fair and just. It has for every person just the recompense of which he becomes worthy of, on the basis of his faith and works. No relationship or connection, even with the most righteous person or the most evil person, can be beneficial or harmful for him in any way. In reference to this, three kinds of women have been cited as examples before the Prophet's wives in paparticular.
- One example is of the wives of the Prophets Nuh (Noah) and Lút (Lot), who, if they had believed and cooperated with their illustrious husbands, would have occupied the same rank and position in the Muslim community which is enjoyed by the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Since they were disbelievers, their being the wives of the Prophets is not going to save them from hell.
- The second example is of the wife of Pharaoh, who in spite of being the wife of a staunch enemy of Allah believed and chose a path of action separate from that followed by the Pharaoh's people. Her being the wife of a staunch disbeliever did not cause her any harm, and Allah made her worthy of Paradise.
- The third example is of Sayyidah Maryam (Mary) (peace be upon her), who attained to her high rank because she submitted to the severe test Allah decided to put her to. Apart from Maryam, no other chaste and righteous woman in history has been put to such a difficult test. In spite of being unmarried, she was miraculously made pregnant by Allah’s command and she was informed of the service that her Rabb willed to take from her. When Sayyidah Maryam accepted this decision, and agreed to bear, like a true believer, everything that she inevitably had to bear in order to fulfil Allah’s Will, then Allah exalted her to the noble rank of "Sayyidah tun-Nisa' Fil-Jannah (Leader of the women in Paradise)."
We also learn from this Surah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not receive from Allah only that knowledge which is included and recorded in the Qur'an, but was additionally given information about other things also by revelation, which was not recorded in the Qur'an. Clear proof of this is found in verse 3 of this Surah. In which we are told that the Prophet (peace be upon him) confided a secret to one of his wives, and she told it to another. Allah informed the Prophet of this secret. Then, when the Prophet warned this particular wife on this mistake of disclosure, she said: "Who has informed you of this mistake of mine?" He replied: "I have been informed of it by Him Who knows everything and is All-Aware." Is there any 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?" There is no such verse in the Qur'an. Thus it is an express proof of the fact that some times revelation that descended on the Prophet was not included in the Qur'an, and refutes the claim of the deniers of Hadith who allege that nothing was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) apart from the Qur'an.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكَ ۖ تَبْتَغِي مَرْضَاتَ أَزْوَاجِكَ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
قَدْ فَرَضَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ تَحِلَّةَ أَيْمَانِكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
وَإِذْ أَسَرَّ النَّبِيُّ إِلَىٰ بَعْضِ أَزْوَاجِهِ حَدِيثًا فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَتْ بِهِ وَأَظْهَرَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ عَرَّفَ بَعْضَهُ وَأَعْرَضَ عَن بَعْضٍ ۖ فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَهَا بِهِ قَالَتْ مَنْ أَنبَأَكَ هَٰذَا ۖ قَالَ نَبَّأَنِيَ الْعَلِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ
إِن تَتُوبَا إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا ۖ وَإِن تَظَاهَرَا عَلَيْهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ مَوْلَاهُ وَجِبْرِيلُ وَصَالِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ ظَهِيرٌ
عَسَىٰ رَبُّهُ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَاجًا خَيْرًا مِّنكُنَّ مُسْلِمَاتٍ مُّؤْمِنَاتٍ قَانِتَاتٍ تَائِبَاتٍ عَابِدَاتٍ سَائِحَاتٍ ثَيِّبَاتٍ وَأَبْكَارًا
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلَائِكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ شِدَادٌ لَّا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا الْيَوْمَ ۖ إِنَّمَا تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُكَفِّرَ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ يَوْمَ لَا يُخْزِي اللَّهُ النَّبِيَّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ ۖ نُورُهُمْ يَسْعَىٰ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ جَاهِدِ الْكُفَّارَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَاغْلُظْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۖ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ