An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

Explanation of Surah an-Nisa Ayaat 26 – 28

Allah Accepts Repentance

In these ayaat, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala points to His blessings and favors saying that our being obligated with these commands is for our own good, even though we may not be able to understand its manifestation in details. Then, along with it, there is the motivation to follow the divine commands. Finally, there is the message of alert against the evil intentions of the misguided who wish ill of us and would like us to stray far away from the straight path.

Commentary

Following the description of several commands relating to marriage, the present ayaat say that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is making His commands very clear and explicitly for us, and He is putting us in line with the ways of the Prophets and the righteous who have come earlier. Do not think that these details of what is unlawful and what is not are there for us alone. The fact is that communities, earlier than us, were also charged with such commands. Those who acted in accordance with them were rewarded with Allah’s favor.

As for those who follow the dictates of their desires, which includes fornicators, adulterers and nations and peoples adhering to false creeds who just do not recognize the restrictions of halal and haram and make no distinction between lawful and unlawful would very much like us too to move away from the straight path and start giving ear to their false intentions and crooked ways. Be on your guard against them. There are creeds where it is all right to marry women – marriage with whom is not proper. Then there are many atheists who favor the very elimination of the institution of marriage as something out of tune with modern times. Not content with what they call, “living together”, there are people in some countries who are talking about women as a shared item of enjoyment.

All this comes from people who take orders from their desiring self. Some Muslims, subscribing to Islam yet weak in their faith, when they keep company with disbelievers and atheists of such inclinations, fall a prey to their lustful claims and begin to think that their own religion is out-dated and that the position of the enemy is the very epitome of human progress. They do not realize that they have been framed into believing that people with such ideas are moderns forward-looking, something they start wishing their own religion could have permitted. Refuge with Allah from such spineless surrendering! The best policy is to take the warning given by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and stay away from owning and practicing ideas and ways of people with dispositions so wicked.

After this, in the first part of ayah 28, it was said:

يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ

It means that Allah, great in His majesty, intends to make things easy on you, that is, prescribes commands which can be carried out by everyone obligated with them. If one cannot afford marrying free women, permission has been given to marry bondwomen. Parties to a marriage were given the right to settle the dower by mutual consent. Also given was the right to marry more than one woman under circumstantial necessity, of course, on condition that justice is not compromised.

At the end, in the second part of ayah 28, the text says

وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً 

“…And man has been created weak.” It means that man is weak by nature, and constituted desire-prone. If man was asked to stay away from women, totally and absolutely, he would have been a hopeless performer when it came to obeying the commands of Allah. It was, in view of his weakness and limitations, that he was not only permitted to marry women, but also that he was induced to do so. It goes without saying that the post-marriage life of a couple offers great benefits of mutual self-realization and most of all they enjoy the blessings of a sight that is untainted and a character that is unalloyed. This mutual purity of the couple increases the moral quality of life for both of them, making them strong, self-reliant and happy. So, marriage is a smart mutual contract to remove any chances of weakness that may afflict men and women – a peerless method indeed.

(Taken from Maaruf-ul-Qur’an by Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani)

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