The Issue For Accusing A Wife
 

If a husband catches his wife in adultery, it is not possible to prove it, because it is much difficult to find four witnesses in time. [ 328 ]

Eventually, it will be more difficult for them to live a normal married life, and it only depends to the honour and agreement of the spouses. The solution suggested by Qura"n in this case is; if the husband swears four times that he has seen the guilt, and in addition invokes the curse of Allah on himself, if he be a liar; that will be the first step in proving the guilt and betrayal. But if the wife too, swears and invokes the curse similarly to deny the charge, she will be acquitted of the guilt. If she confesses, or does not take the steps, the charge is proved and the punishment will follow. Then after such an incident it is difficult for the spouses to live together happily, unless they excuse each other and show some tolerance.

(( 11 ))

11- VERILY THOSE WHO CAME WITH THE SLANDER, WERE A BAND OF YOU. DO NOT RECKON IT EVIL FOR YOU. IT RATHER IS GOOD FOR YOU.

FOR EVERY MAN OF THEM IS WHAT HE HAS EARNED OF THE SIN. AND FROM AMONG THEM ALL, HE WHO TOOK UPON HIMSELF THE MAIN PART OF IT, FOR HIM IS A GREAT PUNISHMENT.

(( 12 ))

12- WHY WHEN YOU HEARD IT, THE BELIEVING MEN AND WOMEN DID NOT THINK WELL OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE, AND SAY; THIS IS A MANIFEST SCANDAL?

[ 329 ]

(( 13 ))

13- WHY DID THEY BRING NOT FOUR WITNESSES ON THAT? NOW THAT THEY DO NOT BRING THE (NECESSARY) WITNESSES THEY ARE THE LIARS IN THE SIGHT OF ALLAH.

(( 14 ))

14- AND IF IT WAS NOT FOR THE GRACE OF ALLAH ON YOU AND HIS MERCY, IN THE PRESENT WORLD AND HEREAFTER, THERE WOULD HAVE TOUCHED YOU A GREAT PUNISHMENT FOR WHAT YOU SUBMERGED IN IT (OF SIN).

(( 15 ))

15- WHEN YOU RECEIVED IT BY YOUR TONGUES, AND WERE SAYING WITH YOUR MOUTHS, THAT OF WHICH YOU HAD NO KNOWLEDGE; AND YOU CONSIDERED IT AS A TRIFLE, WHILE IT IS VERY GREAT WITH ALLAH.

(( 16 ))

16- AND WHY WHEN YOU HEARD IT, YOU DID NOT SAY; IT IS NOT RIGHT FOR US TO SPEAK OF THAT, GLORY BE TO YOU! THIS IS A GREAT CALUMNY.

[ 330 ]

THE COMMENTARY

OCCASION OF THE REVELATION


In the expedition of, ``BANU-MUSTALAGH'', the prophet took his young wife, HAZRAT AISHA with him. It was a late evening when the army was ordered to return back to Medina. In that very time, that Aisha, the mother of believers had gone a distance to perform ablution for the night prayer, she lost her valuable necklace. The search for the lost necklace kept her busy for a while, and when she returned to the camp, they all had gone! The carriers had also taken her camel-litter which was usually covered and provided with curtains, and she being very light in weight, her absence was not known to them. So they put the litter on the camel and set out with the army. When the army reached the next halt, they noticed that she was not on the couch.

When she saw the camp gone, she knew not what to do in the dark of the night and where to go. She therefore sat down to rest, hoping that some one would come to fetch her, as soon as her absence was noticed. Next morning she was found by Safwan a young pious believer, whose duty was to search the place when the camp had left, with the aim to pick up anything valuable that could have been left behind. When Safwan saw the mother of believers there, he very politely lowered his camel, so that Hazrat Aisha could ride on the animal, and then rode on, and Safwan brought her leading the camel on foot.

This incident gave occasion to the hypocrites, and in particular to their chief, ``ABDULLAH-IBN-UBAI'' to raise a malicious scandal against the prophet's young and pious wife, in order to defame the Messenger of God; but on contrary, shame and infamy fell upon themselves, when their shameful plot was disclosed.

COMMENTS

VERSE NO.1116 The first verse in this passage, without going through the incident, implies how a false report, or a slander maliciously uttered, [ 331 ]

may stir up a population and cause great troubles. They were a band among the new community of Muslims.... a small band of united hypocrites who were always tending to injure the reputation of the prophet and his disciples. They were some forty people or less, and both men and women were involved in spreading the scandal, while the ring leader in them was ABDULLAH-IBN-UBAI, whom the prophet did not want to punish, till he died and joined the fire in Hell. They spread the scandal with the bad intention of ruining the reputation of the prophet and his companions, but Allah turned it to the benefit and good of the believers.

The incident served to tear off the veil from ugly faces of the non-believers given to hypocrisy. By that event, Muslims learned that they should not pay attention to the rumours that the gossipers spread here and there. The next lesson to have been taken was that, Muslims should not think too much of the mere appearances of events unless its inner truth has been revealed to them. Such are some of the reasons by which Qura"n gives comfort to the prophet and to his truthful companions: ``.... Do not reckon it evil, it rather is good, (useful) for you.''

The pronoun,``YOU'' here refers to all believers, and it may imply that all the believers are as one single body of brotherhood, sharing each other in happiness or sadness. Or they may be reckoned as one single soul in many bodies.

Then another group of believers were addressed who were deceived in this regard, for being simple minded. They should have thought well of the believers when the rumour was maliciously spread: ``Why when you heard it, the believing men and women did not think well of their own people and say; this is a manifest scandal?'' [ 332 ]

MORE ABOUT THE CALUMNY

In return from the expedition of BANIMOSTALAQ, an incident gave an opportunity and a fit time to IBN-UBAI (LA) and to the other hypocrites to flaunt, and attack the prophet's good name and reputation in a showy manner. The prophet always took one of his wives, and in turn; in his journeys and expedition with him. In that of BANIMOSTALAQ, it was the turn of A"YESHEH, the only young wife of the prophet to come with the army. Women were usually carried by what it is called a litter. This was then a couch covered and provided with curtains, and it was carried upon a camel back. In the stations and halts of the army, the camel driver made his camel to sit down, and then he himself went aside, leaving his passenger free to get down the litter for a little walk, or some rest and refreshment.

It happened so that in a station, the cameleer lowered down his camel for A"YESHEH to come out of her litter, and he went afar, so as to not invade the privacy of the mother of believers. She dismounted and went to a distance out of sight in search of a private lavatory. When she returned, she found that she had left a precious ornament which was a gift of her mother, in that remote place. She hastened to get the ornament. It was grown dark now; and she wasted sometimes for the search, and at last when she found her lost ornament and returned back to the camp, all had gone and there was no body there!

Because her litter was veiled, and she very light in weight, her absence was not noticed by the camel driver until the army had reached to the next station. When she saw that the army had decamped, she could do nothing but to stay there and wait till some one could come to take her. The prophet always assigned some one to lag after the army, and stay in search in the left stations, to find if anything or any body is remained or left behind.

[ 333 ]

In this turn, ``SAFWAN'' a pious believer was appointed to stay behind for the search business. It was late in the dark of the night when Safwan saw something in black from a distance. He came nearer and saw that she was the MOTHER OF THE BELIEVERS! He discretely placed her on the camel he had, and brought her leading the camel by foot. At the day break, they reached the town, and ZAINAB'S sister who was now the prophet's wife; saw them. She went to ZAINAB, and in that small society of rivals, said to her sister that: ``AISHA WAS OUT WITH SAFWAN ALL THE NIGHT!''

Soon the rumour reached to the ear of ABDULLAH-IBN-UBAI, the leader of the hypocrites, who was an expert rumour monger. He took the incident as an effective weapon and used it against the prophet and his wife's chastity. As a ring leader, he magnified the petty gossip and made it a general topic of idle talk! And soon after there was much ado about nothing in the town. IBN-UBAI the chief of the hypocrites became the ring leader among the rumour mongers.

The slander kept growing for weeks, while Aisha was not aware of it the least! She only was amazed to see the behaviour of the prophet towards her being a little changed. One day she was sick in bed, and was taken to her mother's house to be looked after and nursed. Then her mother gave her the news of the rumour and hearsay.

Henceforth she wept so bitterly that her health and life was seriously endangered. She continually prayed to God to reveal the truth whatever it was, about her. Then one day the prophet sat upon the pulpit and delivered a sermon saying: ``Why are these people vexing me about my family? I have seen nothing but good of them. Safwan is a pious believer and a zealous in prayer. Why should they accuse him so falsely?''

Then the prophet went to visit his wife who was sick in bed, in the house of ABUBAKR. When he entered, she was badly sick, as if in her death bed, and drowned in her bitter tears, that recently she had heard of the scandal. [ 334 ] The prophet sat down in front of her asking how she was? It was as if she wanted to tell him: ``If you visit me in my death-bed as my physician, I won't give the pleasure of sickness in exchange with the two worlds.''

He then said to her: ``AISHA! you may know what the people are saying about you!? You should have known by now that Allah is the All-forgiving, the Most Merciful. If you have done something wrong, and people are right in their assertion, then repent and return to Allah, and of course He will forgive you.'' She, not unlike an angry tigeress, once again burst into tears, and roared upon her parent who were present and said to them: ``Why don't you speak of my innocence? Why you two have shut up your tongues?'' She then addressed the prophet and said loudly and in rage:

``No! No! I will not repent! Should I repent of something that I have not done it? I have not done anything wrong so as to beg pardon for it.''

She then raised up her hands towards the heavens and prayed: ``O, My Lord! O, My Merciful and truthful Lord! At least reveal to your prophet whether I have sinned or not; because I cannot stand his being cross with me!'' The prophet like a learned psychologist could see and read the lines of innocence throughout her countenance. He was sure that she was truthful. At once the marks of inspiration appeared in him. He perspired and asked to cover him. ABUBAKR and his wife were filled with fear, lest the accusation be confirmed by the revelation. On the other hand, Aisha became calm and quiet. The signs of happiness appeared in her face. They all waited to see what would come out of the supernatural inspiration.

The prophet got up and gave the glad-tidings to his trustworthy wife. He said: ``AISHA! Don't you worry anymore; for Allah has acquitted you of the slander.'' Thus the above verses of Qura"n were revealed about the calumny.

FROM: MOHAMMAD THE MESSENGER OF GOD

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

[ 335 ]

(( 17 ))

17- ALLAH WARNS YOU NEVER TO REPEAT THE LIKE OF IT, IF YOU ARE BELIEVERS.

(( 18 ))

18- AND ALLAH MAKES THE SIGNS CLEAR FOR YOU, AND ALLAH IS ALL-KNOWING ALL-WISE.

(( 19 ))

19- THOSE WHO LOVE TO SPREAD OBSCENE ACTS AMONG THE BELIEVERS, FOR THEM IS A PAINFUL PUNISHMENT IN THE PRESENT WORLD, AND IN HEREAFTER, AND ALLAH KNOWS AND YOU KNOW NOT.

(( 20 ))

20- AND IF IT WAS NOT FOR THE GRACE OF ALLAH ON YOU AND HIS MERCY AND THAT ALLAH IS ALL-GENTLE, COMPASSIONATE. (HE WOULD HAVE PUNISHED YOU SEVERELY)

THE COMMENTARY
SPREADING OBSCENE ACTS

VERSE NO.1720 The above verses are complementary to the story of the calumny; which is so heinous and hateful a sin that Allah has explained it from various stand points, so that Muslims may not fall into such traps any more:

[ 336 ] ``Allah warns you never to repeat the like of it, if you are believers.'' It is a sign of belief to avoid committing such shameful sins.

Then the incident is turned from a private affair into a general matter, that may affect the society in its worst of forms: ``Those who love to spread obscene acts among the believers, for them is a painful punishment.'' This verse does not say; ``Those who do spread obscene acts''. It rather threatens those who love to do so. Obscene act is not only a deed which is offensive to chastity or to modesty. Any kind of mischievous and morally corrupt act is obscene. Therefore the backbiting and speaking ill of an absent person, has been condemned in Islam. This is because it reveals the hidden faults and guilts, and may serve to reduce the degree of its ugliness and unlawfulness.

Sin is the like of fire. When the fire is kindled in a room, it must either be extinguished or controlled. If we blow it up, or increase its fuel; soon the whole room will catch fire.

The most effectual mischief which is planned by Evil; is to seduce the simple minded and common people who have no harm for the community. They are easily deluded by gossip, and by the spread of obscene acts step by step, until they eventually become the instrument of Satan. Such social dangers are not known by all, even by the learned people; but Allah knows it well. Casual talk about the affairs of other people, typically including rumour and critical comments, is one of the most dangerous weapons that the enemy may use against the good fame and reputation of people, and to terror their personality.

This was why the nonbelievers and the hypocrites, in their foul play; spread in their most cowardly manner, the gossips and rumours to impair the reputation of the prophet, whom Allah has raised above all! [ 337 ]

(( 21 ))

21- O, YOU WHO HAVE BELIEVED! DO NOT FOLLOW THE FOOTSTEPS OF SATAN. FOR WHOEVER FOLLOWS THE FOOTSTEPS OF SATAN, THEN HE BIDS TO OBSCENE ACTS AND EVIL DEEDS.

AND IF IT WAS NOT FOR THE GRACE OF ALLAH ON YOU, AND HIS MERCY, NONE OF YOU WOULD EVER BE SANCTIFIED, BUT ALLAH PURIFIES WHOM HE WILL, AND ALLAH IS ALL-HEARING, ALL-KNOWING.

(( 22 ))

22- AND THE RICH, AND THOSE ENDUED WITH GRACE AMONG YOU SHOULD NOT SWEAR (OR DECIDE) TO WITHHOLD GIVING KINSMEN, THE POOR, AND THE EMIGRANTS IN THE WAY OF ALLAH. THEY RATHER SHOULD PARDON AND OVERLOOK. DO YOU NOT WISH THAT ALLAH WOULD FORGIVE YOU? AND ALLAH IS ALL-FORGIVING COMPASSIONATE.

(( 23 ))

[ 338 ]

23- VERILY THOSE WHO ACCUSE THE BELIEVING WOMEN IN WEDLOCK WHO ARE UNAWARE, ARE CURSED IN THIS WORLD, AND IN THE NEXT, AND FOR THEM IS A GREAT PUNISHMENT.

(( 24 ))

24- ON THE DAY WHEN THEIR TONGUES, THEIR HANDS, AND THEIR FEET, SHALL TESTIFY AGAINST THEM; AS TO WHAT THEY WERE DOING.

(( 25 ))

25- ON THAT DAY, ALLAH WILL REQUIT THEM THEIR DUE RIGHT, AND THEY WILL KNOW THAT ALLAH IS THE PERSPICUOUS TRUTH.

THE COMMENTARY
THE PUNISHMENT TOO, HAS AN ACCOUNT

VERSE NO.2125

This passage too, can be considered as a complementary to the story of calumny, and it also is a warning to the believers that the Satanic temptations and traces may be weak at beginning, but gradually will become stronger and stronger. If Man does not stop following the temptations of evil, he will soon find himself subject to it. A believer is never cast down into the bosom of evil and corruption, suddenly and at once. But he may fall to that abyss gradually and step by step. At first he may befriend the evil doer, and in the second step, he may take part in their parties and meetings. After that he may think of committing a sin, and then do some doubtful deeds. In his fourth step, he will commit minor sins, and [ 339 ]

eventually he proceeds on major sins, and is ruined. We therefore may say that; piety, which includes the purity in heart, word, and in deed, is a high standard of believing people, and it is a measure for the evaluation of Man's spiritual grades. Therefore it can only come by the Grace of God and His Mercy, because Allah is the only protector who can protect His servants against Satanic Temptations, to which our nature is subject: ``.... And if it was not for the Grace of Allah on you, and His Mercy, none of you would ever be sanctified; but Allah purifies whom He will, that Allah is All-hearing, All-knowing.''

Although the next verse (NO.22), in a general application holds good for all times; that, a generous patron should not withdraw his support on account of personal anger; Some Sonni Commentators have written that the immediate reference of the verse was to ABUBAKR, the father of Hazrat Aisha. He was a wealthy companion of our prophet, and used a good part of his wealth in the service of Islam and Muslim. It so happened that one of the slanderers of Hazrat Aisha, was MASTIH-IBN-ASASIH a cousin of ABUBAKR, whom he had been in habit of supporting. When Mastih took part in spreading the calumny, ABUBAKR decided to stop his aid. Commentators say through this verse ABUBAKR was asked to forgive and forget his cousin's wrong, and hence the verse:

``The rich and those endued with Grace among you, should not swear or decide to withhold giving kinsmen, and the poor, and the emigrants in the way of Allah. They should rather pardon and overlook.''

Then once again in the next verse, (NO.23) the slanderers of believing women in wedlock who are unaware have been attacked and threatened of being cursed and punished in both lives:

``Verily those who accuse the believing women in wedlock who are unaware, are cursed in this world, and in the next, and for them is a great punishment.''

Truthful and chast women are usually indiscreet, because their mind is pure and they think of no evil.

[ 340 ] And the ending verses state the condition in which such a sinners may fall:

``On the day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet shall testify against them, as to what they were doing.'' If we do not confess bravely and do not repent seriously, then we must wait for our faculties of sight, hearing, speech, and movement, to become witnesses against us; and to complain that we have misused them.

(( 26 ))

26- UNCLEAN WOMEN ARE FOR UNCLEAN MEN, AND UNCLEAN MEN ARE FOR UNCLEAN WOMEN. AND, CLEAN WOMEN ARE FOR CLEAN MEN, AND CLEAN MEN ARE FOR CLEAN WOMEN. THEY ARE ACQUITTED OF WHAT THEY SAY. FOR THEM IS FORGIVENESS AND HONOURABLE SUSTENANCE.

THE COMMENTARY
LOVERS OF LIGHT, LOOK FOR LOVERS OF LIGHT
VERSE NO.26

This verse is to emphasize the previous verses about the calumny. It is natural that, ``birds of a feather flock together''. And chaste women are for chaste men, and clean spouses for clean spouse. Such are the pious men and women that God's forgiveness and honourable sustenance is theirs.

[ 341 ]

According to Arabic grammer, the letter, = T at the end of a word is the sign for a feminine gender; be it a real female or a figurative one. This is why the word, ``AL-KHABISA"T'' has been translate to unclean women which implies a woman given to indiscriminate lewdness. But if the word is to be taken as a figurative female, its meaning will change. To this effect some of the expounders of Qura"n have understood the clause; ``UNCLEAN WOMEN ARE FOR UNCLEAN MEN = '' to mean figurativelly unclean words and unclean deeds, are issued from unclean men and women. So are good and pure words and deeds issued by chaste men and women. To some of the commentators, this verse is the like of S 24:3 which denotes the adulterer:

``The adulterer will not marry except an adulteress or a polytheist woman; and the adulteress should not marry, except an adulterer, or polytheist; and such a marriage has been made unlawful for the believers.''

(( 27 ))

27- O, YOU WHO HAVE BELIEVED; ENTER NOT HOUSES OTHER THAN YOUR OWN HOUSE, UNTIL YOU FAMILIARIZE WITH THE HOUSEHOLD AND SALUTE THEM. THAT IS THE BEST FOR YOU, PERHAPS YOU MAY BE ADMONISHED.

(( 28 ))

28- THEN IF YOU FIND NO ONE THEREIN, DO NOT ENTER IT, UNTIL YOU ARE PERMITTED. AND IF YOU ARE TOLD TO GO [ 342 ]

BACK, THEN RETURN; THAT IS CLEANER FOR YOU, AND ALLAH KNOWS WHATEVER YOU DO.

(( 29 ))

29- IT IS NOT A FAULT ON YOU IF YOU ENTER AN INHABITED HOUSE IN WHICH THERE ARE SOME USES FOR YOU, AND ALLAH KNOWS WHATEVER YOU REVEAL AND WHATEVER YOU CONCEAL.

THE COMMENTARY
DON'T ENTER PEOPLE'S HOUSE WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION


VERSE NO.2729 In these verses, some ethical injunctions are given about admittance, which helps to protect the general chastity: ``O, you who have believed! Enter not houses other than your own house, until you familiarize with thehousehold, and salute them (when you enter). That is the best for you. Perhaps you may be admonished.''

The Arabic word; ``TASTAANISU'' translated to familiarize with the household, will briefly imply that you should not knock at the door hardly. You have to ask for permission politely and mildly. After all, you should not enter without a kind salutation which is a sign of peace and brotherhood. In other word; the conventions of privacy in homes is essential to a refined life; and it should not be intruded wildly. According to the Islamic Law, it must be respected with dignity and acted with social conformity. For a Muslim to enter a house, it is a principle to ask for a respectful permission, after a due familiarity which must be followed by offering a good salutation.

[ 343 ]

Then comes the complementary to the above instruction saying: ``If you find no one in the house, do not enter it until you are permitted. Even if you are told to go back; you better return, which is cleaner a deed.''

Even if no one answers, there might be people in that house who are not authorized to give you the permission, or they are not ready or willing to present themselves. In such a condition a Muslim has no right to enter. He should wait. He should knock at the door or ring the bell a few times. If no answer, or no permission is given, we should not be angry, and must withhold patiently. Any way! No one is allowed to intrude the privacy of other people without their wishes.

This rule too, has its own exceptions. It does not apply to houses used for other useful purposes, like a shop, a restaurant or store.

(( 30 ))

30- AND SAY TO THE BELIEVEING MEN TO MAKE SHORT OF THEIR LOOKS, AND GUARD THEIR SEXUAL ORGANS. THIS IS CLEANER FOR THEM, THAT ALLAH IS AWARE OF WHAT THEY MAKE.

[ 344 ]

(( 31 ))

31- AND SAY TO THE BELIEVING WOMEN TO MAKE SHORT OF THEIR LOOKS, AND GUARD THEIR SEXUAL ORGANS, AND REVEAL NOT THEIR ADORNMENT EXCEPT WHAT (UN- INTENTIONALLY) APPEARS OF IT.

AND THEY SHOULD CAST THEIR TUCKERS OVER THEIR BOSOMS, AND DO NOT REVEAL THEIR ADORNMENT EXCEPT TO THEIR HUSBANDS, OR THEIR FATHERS, OR THEIR HUSBAND'S FATHER, OR THEIR SONS, OR THEIR HUSBAND'S SONS, OR THEIR BROTHERS OR THEIR BROTHER'S SONS, OR THEIR SISTER'S SONS, OR THEIR WOMEN, OR WHAT THEIR RIGHT HANDS OWN, OR THE MEN WHO ATTEND THEM WITHOUT HAVING SEXUAL DESIRE, OR CHILDREN WHO HAVE NOT YET ATTAINED THE SEXUAL KNOWLEDGE OF WOMEN. NOR SHOULD THEY STRIKE THEIR FEET TO MAKE KNOWN WHAT IS HIDDEN OF THEIR ORNAMENT.

AND REPENT TO ALLAH ALL OF YOU, O BELIEVERS, PERHAPS YOU MAY PROSPER.