Al-Baqarah · Juz 2 · Qur'an Tafseer

Marriage Proposal during ‘Iddah

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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Allah knows what is within

Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 235

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“There is no blame upon you for that to which you (indirectly) allude concerning a proposal to women or for what you conceal within yourselves. Allah knows that you will have them in mind. But do not promise them secretly except for saying a proper saying. And do not determine to undertake a marriage contract until the decreed period reaches its end. And know that Allah knows what is within yourselves, so beware of Him. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.” [al-Baqarah 2: 235]

There is no if a marriage proposal to the widow is indirectly made during her ‘Iddah. Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu commented that it means saying: I want to marry and I am looking for a woman whose qualities are such and such. Thus talking to her in general terms in a way that is better. In another narration he said that it means saying: I wish that Allah endows me with a wife. However, a direct marriage proposal is not made.

Al-Bukhari reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said this could mean that the man says: I wish to wish, I desire a wife, or I wish I could find a good wife.

Mujahid, Tawus, ‘Ikrimah, Sa’eed bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-Nakha’i, Ash-Sha’bi, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Az-Zuhri, Yazid ibn Qusayt, Muqatil ibn Hayyan and Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad and several others among the Salaf and the Imams said that one is allowed to mention marriage indirectly to the woman whose husband died. It is also allowed to indirectly mention marriage to a woman who had gone through final, irrevocable divorce. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered Fatimah bint Qays to remain in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum radhiAllahu ‘anhu for ‘Iddah when her husband Abu ‘Amr ibn Hafs divorced her for the third time. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to her,

فَإِذَا حَلَلْتِ فَآذِنِينِي

“Inform me when your ‘Iddah term ends.”

When she finished the ‘Iddah, Usamah ibn Zayd radhiAllahu ‘anhu asked to marry her, and the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married her to him. As for the divorced wife (not irrevocably divorced), there is no disagreement that it is not allowed for other than her husband to mention marriage proposals to her directly or indirectly (before the ‘Iddah finishes). Allah knows best.

A person can indirectly make the marriage proposal or conceal it in his heart, therefore, it was said, “or for what you conceal within yourselves.” Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows everything that is in our hearts and minds. One can have a desire in their heart but they should refrain from doing anything immoral therefore, it was said, “But do not promise them secretly…” Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu commented that it means do not say to the widow: ‘I am in love (with you),’ or ‘Promise me you will not marry someone else (after the ‘Iddah finishes’. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commands us to speak in an honorable way meaning saying: I wish to marry or I desire someone like you.

Muhammad ibn Sireen said: I asked ‘Ubaydah about the meaning of Allah’s statement: except for saying a proper saying. He said, “He says to her wali, ‘Do not give her away (in marriage) until you inform me first.’” This statement was narrated by Ibn Abu Hatim.

Marriage Contract during the ‘Iddah are Invalid

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then said, “And do not determine to undertake a marriage contract until the decreed period reaches its end,” meaning do not make marriage contract before the ‘Iddah finishes. Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, and others said that it means do not consummate the marriage before the ‘Iddah term finishes. The scholars agree that marriage contracts during the ‘Iddah are invalid. Again, we have been reminded to fear Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and a warning has been given to the men against the ideas they conceal in their hearts about women, directing them to think good about them rather than the evil. However, He does not let His slaves despair of His mercy, as He follows the warning with these words, “And know that Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.”

DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayah 235

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم                
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 127]
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