Different Kinds Of Pilgrimage
 

Our great JURISPRUDENTS, have classified the pilgrimage in three kinds or classes:

A- INTERRUPTED PILGRIMAGE, which is called HAJJ-Al-TAMATOA. It is the formal pilgrimage of which the chief rites are during the first ten days of the month of ZUL-HAJJ. It is for those who live at a distance no less than 48 miles from Mecca.

B- The COMBINED PILGRIMAGE, known as HAJJ-AL-GHERAN in Arabic.

C- And the SINGLE PILGRIMAGE called, HAJJ-ALAFRAD.

The latter two are for those who live within a distance less than 48 miles from Mecca.

There is also the Lesser Pilgrimage (UMREH), which is a less formal pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of the year; and of course it is performed by those who are far from Mecca. As for the residents of Mecca the question of UMREH does not arise, for they are there in the sacred town all the time.

In the Interrupted Pilgrimage, first the rites of UMREH are performed, then the pilgrims come out of their Garbs. After that they perform the chief rites of HAJJ, in the appointed days. But in the Combined and Single pilgrimage, first the rites of HAJJ are performed, and then the rites of UMREH. In the Combined Pilgrimage an animal has to be sacrified but for the Single Pilgrimage the sacrifice is not necessary.

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(( 197 ))

197- THE Pilgrimage IS (PERFORMED IN) THE WELL-KNOWN MONTHS. SO WHOEVER DETERMINES TO PERFORM IT, (BY PUTTING ON THE PILGRIM'S GARB) THERE SHALL BE NO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE NEITHER OBSCENITY, NOR WRANGLING IN THE PILGRIMAGE, AND WHATEVER OF GOOD YOU DO, ALLAH KNOWS IT.

PROVIDE YOURSELF WELL, AND KNOW THAT THE BEST PROVISION IS PIETY. AND BE CAREFUL OF ME, O, YOU MEN OF UNDERSTANDING.

(( 198 ))

198- THERE IS NO BLAME ON YOU TO SEEK THE BOUNTY OF YOUR LORD. (BY TRADING DURING HAJJ) WHEN YOU DECAMPED FROM ARAFAT, (A DESERT NEAR THE SACRED MOSQUE) THEN REMEMBER ALLAH NEAR THE SACRED MONUMENT, OF MASHAR (IN THE MASHAR - AL - HARAM, ABOUT MIDWAY BETWEEN ARAF?T AND MIN?) AND REMEMBER HIM AS HE HAS GUIDED YOU, AND FORMERLY YOU WERE OF THOSE WHO ARE ASTRAY.

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(( 199 )) 199- THEN DECAMP FROM WHERE THE PEOPLE DECAMP, AND PRAY FOR GOD'S FORGIVENESS, FOR ALLAH IS ALL-FORGIVING THE COMPASSIONATE.

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 197


1- Here again the rules and rites of HAJJ are followed up and new instructions and commandments are given us. It begins with: ``The Pilgrimage is performed in the well known months.''

These known months are three; namely: SHAWWAL - ZULQAAD - ZULHAJJ.

2- Then new instructions are added to the previous ones. For those who have proceeded to perform the rites of HAJJ by wearing the GRAB=IHR?M; in the state of IHRAM, there should be no sexual intercourse; and so is touching the opposite sex with lust. During the state of the GARB (IHR?M), whatever Allah has prohibited as obscenity and commiting sin, such as wrong doing, quarreling, and wrangling, must strictly be avoided.

The pilgrim should guard himself against injuring Muslims by deeds or by words.

3- Then some spiritual aspects of the pilgrimage are mentioned that; all that Allah has made obligatory; such as the daily prayers, and other services must be done without any worldy purposes and ends, and merely for the pleasure of Allah; knowing that whatever of good we do Allah will know it.

Then it is recommended that the pilgrim should come with provisions to satisfy his needs during the pilgrimage. Then at once the attention is directed to fine spiritual instruction that, the pilgrim should provide for his final journey to hereafter; and the best provision for that purpose is PIETY.

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As a matter of fact, there are so many signs, symbols, and symptoms, left in Mecca and Medina, which are related to ABRAHAM and our prophet and his near companions, and the history of Islam, that the pilgrim may study and take lessons and prepare himself for a pious return. VERSE NO. 198

Through this verse some mistakes have been corrected, and rules amended. The verse commences with: ``There is no blame on the pilgrims, if they seek the bounty of their Lord by trading or a business deal, during pilgrimage, but the profit must be sought legitimately, and from the bounty of God. There should be no profiteering through trade tricks.'' In the Pagan Era, every sort of trade and bargain, and carriage or transport of goods, was declared unlawful and counted as a sin during pilgrimage. The verse nullified that custom null, because good and honest trade is a form of service to the community and therefore to God. Then once again the verse directs our attention to the chief rites of HAJJ; saying: ``When you decamp from ARAFAT, then remember Allah in MASHAR-AL-HAR?M.''

About midway between the plain of ARAF?T and Mina is a place called MUZDALIFE, which has become a sacred monument, and famed as MASHAR-AL-HAR?M.

MASHAR is from the root word, `SHOW-UP' which means intelligence and common sense - or wit and understanding. In the tenth day of the month ZELHAJJEH, the pilgrims of the house of God, who have performed all the rites of HAJJ so far, encamp on that plain which is covered with fine sands, and they stay there for the night, in praying and celebrating the praise of God. That field and scenery there, is an example of the Dooms Day! On that extensive bed of fine sands and soft gravels, under the bright flickering stars of Arabian nights, several of millions of pilgrims, all in their white Garbs, stay awake in prayer or in meditation with deep reflection on some religious theme.

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This opens many secret and mysterious windows in the hearts and souls, from which springs out intelligence and understanding in the minds of the devotee. And here is called MASHAAR to mean wit, intelligence or common sense.
VERSE NO. 199

The rites of pilgrimage are mentioned one after another, till the verse No. 199 tells us: ``Then decamp from where the people decamp'' (i.e. from MASHAAR to MINA) According to Islamic traditions, certain arrogant tribes who lived in Mecca, claimed some special advantage for themselves - they did not go to ARAFAT with the crowd of pilgrims, and only stayed in MOZDALIFA for a short interval. The verse here rebukes them with such fineness saying: ``Then decamp (GO COLLECTIVELY) from where (OTHER) people decamp, and pray for God's forgiveness...'' It implies that there is equal and equality in Islam, and all of you must perform all the rites simultaneously and in crowd; like the rest of the pilgrims.

(( 200 ))

200- AND WHEN YOU HAVE PERFORMED YOUR HOLY RITES, THEN LAUD ALLAH, AS YOU LAUD YOUR FATHERS OR A GREATER LAUDING. THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO SAY: LORD! GIVE US (OF YOUR BOUNTIES) IN THIS WORLD'' THEY WILL HAVE NO SHARE IN THE WORLD TO COME.

(( 201 )) 201- AND SOME OF THEM SAY: ``OUR LORD! GIVE US GOOD IN THIS WORLD, AND GOOD IN THE LAST (THE LIFE TO COME) AND GUARD US AGAINST THE CHASTISEMENT OF THE FIRE

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(( 202 )) 202- THEY ARE THOSE FOR WHOM IS A PORTION OF WHAT THEY HAVE EARNED, AND ALLAH IS SWIFT RECKONING.

THE COMMENTARY

OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 200)


According to a tradition from HAZRAT IMAM BAGHER (AS), in the Pagan Era, after the completion of HAJJ, the pilgrims used to gather in assemblies in which the praises of the ancestors were rehearsed. In order to spiritualise the whole of the pilgrimage rites, it was recommended for the pilgrims to stay on a two or three days after pilgrimage to celebrate the praise of God, and laud Allah as they used to laud their fathers or even a greater lauding.

COMMENTS:

The argument on pilgrimage is continued saying: ``When you have accomplished your rites of pilgrimage, celebrate the praises of Allah, as you used to celebrate the praises of your fathers with a rather more or greater lauding. Of course this does not imply that a pilgrim should celebrate the praises of God, as well as that of his fathers and ancestors. It rather signifies that: if your fathers for a little talent or aptitude, are worthy of praises, and deserve lauding, what about the Lord God who has created you and your fathers and who owns the whole universe?''

VERSE NO. 201

Then people are divided in two groups: one group adhere to the mortal life and their prayer and demand is: ``Our Lord! Give us your bounties in this world.'' But the second group ask for God's favour and bounties in this mortal life, as well as the life to come which is everlasting. This refers to the aims and goals of people, some of whom know nothing but the goods of this life in the sensual world, and some other

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want to use this world and its goods as a stepping platform, or a ladder for their spiritual evolution and development, to be used in Hereafter. As to the meaning of the word ``GOOD'' which is used in this verse, the prophet has said: ``He who has been given a thankful heart, a tongue busy in the remembrance of God and a faithful spouse to help him in this world and last, the goods of the world have been given to him and he is saved from the torture of the fire.'' As for the phrase `SWIFT RECKONING' at the end of the verse, implies that God will consider the deeds of HIS servant and rewards them very soon - According to a tradition: God will judge all the creatures, and issue HIS decree on their accounts in a twinkle of an eye!

(( 203 ))

203- AND LAUD ALLAH DURING THE NUMBERED DAYS (WHICH ARE THE 11th, 12th, AND 13th OF ZELHAJJEH) BUT WHOEVER HASTENS ON IN TWO DAYS, INCURS NO SIN, AND IF ANYONE STAYS ON (FOR THREE DAYS), IT IS NOT A SIN IN HIM TOO, IF HE BE GOD FEARING. BEWARE OF ALLAH, AND KNOW THAT UNTO HIM YOU SHALL BE MUSTERED.

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 203


This is the last verse here, in which the rules and rites of HAJJ are discussed. Hereby the customs of the Pagan Era are condemned and driven away; recommending the believers to stay after the feast of sacrifice, in the valley of Mina, for prayer and praise: ``And laud Allah during the numbered days.'' The (NUMBERED DAYS) here, are the three days after the tenth

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which are known as the days of TASHRICH - being optional for the pilgrims to leave on the second or third day of TASHRIGH. As for the Arabic `ZIKR' here that has been translated to `LAUDING' we have traditions; that after performance of fifteen prayers beginning in the noon of the festival day and ending in the 13th of ZELHAJJEH, the following holy sentence should be repeatedly rehearsed: ``Allah is Greater! Allah is Greater! There is no god but Allah. Praise belongs to HIM only. Greater is Allah who protected us. HE who gives us sustenance out of the domestic animals.''

The verse ends in the clause: ``Beware of Allah! and know that unto HIM you shall be mustered.'' This may imply that through the spiritual rites of the pilgrimage your sins might have been forgiven you; and you are now like a newly born and innocent child free of guilt. Then guard yourself against doing evil or commiting new sins, from now on, and after your pilgrimage.

(( 204 )) 204- AND THERE ARE SOME MEN WHOSE SAYING ABOUT THE LIFE IN THIS WORLD AMAZES YOU, AND HE CALLS ALLAH TO WITNESS WHAT IS IN HIS HEART, AND YET HE IS THE MOST STUBBORN IN ALTERCATION.

(( 205 )) 205- AND WHEN HE TURNS HIS BACK, (LEAVES YOU AND RETURNS) HE HASTENS ABOUT THE EARTH, TO DO CORRUPTION THERE DESTROYING CROPS AND CATTLE, AND ALLAH LOVES NOT MISCHIEF.

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(( 206 )) 206- AND WHEN IT IS SAID TO HIM: `BEWARE OF ALLAH,' VAIN GLORY SEIZES HIM IN SIN. THEN SUFFICES HIM THE HELL, A DISMAL CRADLING.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 204)


This verse and the next two verses are said to have been revealed about a man named: `AKHNAS - IBN - SHRIGH' who was a handsome, and eloquent man, with a smooth tongue by which he indulged in plausible-talk with many oaths, and pretended to be a worldly wise Muslim, but when he went away, and out of the sight of the prophet, he proved to be a real enemy of Islam and Muslims. In fact he was a true hypocrite, and a false pretender to virtue and piety! In an incident he wildly put to fire the crops and farms, and killed many of the Muslim's domestic animals in vain.

COMMENTS

This verse alludes to some of the hypocrites in brief; that there are some people whose eloquent speech and smooth tongue, about this life and this world amazes you, but you must take care of his tricks and try to realize his frauds, because in your back he may cause all sorts of mischief and devilish acts!

VERSE NO. 205

Then the verse directs our attention to signs of the enmity of such a one, which is generally his mischief, annoyance, and corruption. He stirs up quarrels, and destroys the crops and cattle, while he knows that God loves not mischief. [ 225 ]

VERSE NO. 206 And finally when he is advised not to do wrong and corruption, and fear Allah, he pays no heed to the advice, and following his vanity and arrogance, he continues with his mischief and increases his corruption. Therefore he can never win God's salvation and love, and his final abode is no where but the Hell.

(( 207 )) 207- AND AMONG MEN IS HE WHO (LIKE HAZRAT IMAM ALI (AS) WHO REPLACED THE PROPHET IN HIS BED TO SAVE HIS LIFE) SELLS HIS LIFE TO EARN THE PLEASURE OF ALLAH; AND ALLAH IS COMPASSIONATE TO HIS SERVANTS.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 207)


The famous SONNI commentator, SAALABI, has narrated: ``When the prophet was compelled to emigrate from Mecca to Medina, the idolaters gathered round his house, in order to arrest and kill him! HAZRAT ALI (AS), volunteered to lie on the prophet's bed, so as to throw dust on the enemy's eye; and save the prophet's life, even at the price of his own life! He therefore laid down on the bed, and covered himself with the prophet's special green bed sheet, so that he could be seen from behind of the short walls of the house that he was there, but none could recognize whether he was Mohammand or Ali due to the darkness of the night.

Meanwhile, God, through inspiration said to HIS two arch angels, GABRIEL and MICHAEL: that I have already made you brothers, and I am going to give one of you a longer life than the others. Now tell me which one of you two is willing to grant gis extra length of life to his brother? None of the two consented to leave it for the other! Then Allah said to the arch angels: `Just now, upon the earth, Ali has volunteered to sacrifice himself to save the life of his brother Mohammad for my pleasure. Now hasten to guard Ali's life against my enemies. Then Gabriel appeared

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to HAZRAT ALI and said to him: How happy to say that the angels are proud of you and your self - sacrifice in the way of God.''

COMMENT

Some men in early Islam, like HAZRAT ALI (AS) were firm, sincere, willing to give his life for the cause of Allah. Persecution, torture, and threat to their lives could not separate them from the prophet, and that was what won the love of God and established God's religion. In this verse, and in this bargain the seller is man (ALI (AS)) the buyer is God: The thing sold is human life; and the price obtained through the bargain is God's pleasure; what a nice deal!

(( 208 )) 208- O, YOU WHO BELIEVE! ENTER ALL OF YOU IN PEACE, AND DO NOT FOLLOW THE FOOTSTEPS OF SATAN, FOR HE IS A MANIFEST ENEMY TO YOU.

(( 209 )) 209- THEN IF YOU BACK SLIDE AFTER THE CLEAR SIGNS THAT CAME TO YOU, THEN KNOW THAT ALLAH IS MIGHTY AND WISE. (YOU CANNOT ESCAPE HIS JUST JUDGEMENT)

THE COMMENTARY
THE ONLY WAY TO UNIVERSAL PEACE IS THROUGH FAITH


After pointing to two contrasted types of man - one firm, sincere, devoted, and willing to self - sacrifice to the cause, and the other a hypocrite and pretender to false belief and piety, the verse now addresses all the believers generally, and calls them to enter peace and reconciliation. The verse implies that peace and comfort can only be [ 227 ]

obtained through the rays of FAITH. To overcome, the causes of dispersion and division, such as race and language, a strong uniting or binding cord is needed, and no better than a general faith in God can be found on this account. The argument is then continued to devil and doing wrong, and says: ``Do not follow the footsteps of Satan who is an avowed and manifest enemy of yours.''

It is repeatedly mentioned here that, turning back to peace equity, and justice, and also adhering to enmity, warfare, and blood-shed, always commences through simple matters and worthless differences, and gradually develops into dreadful conflicts.
VERSE NO. 209

By this verse all the believers are warned that if they back slide after receiving so many convincing evidences and clear signs, and yield to Satan and let their rein in the hand of their arrogance and vanity, resisting peace and justice to prevail and win mastery, then they have to know that they are not able to defeat and frustrate the power and plan of God, and loss will be theirs. Now that the path and plan has been made clear enough, there is no room for devilish temptations, and following caprices, for the Mighty and Wise Lord God will punish them with justice.

(( 210 ))
210- ARE (THE FOLLOWERS OF SATAN AFTER ALL THE EVIDENCES AND CLEAR SIGNS THAT HAVE BEEN REVEALED TO THEM) WAITING FOR ALLAH TO COME TO THEM IN THE SHADOW OF THE CLOUDS, AND THE ANGELS? (WITH NEW SIGNS AND REASONS? NOT SO) THE MATTER HAS ALREADY BEEN DECREED, AND TO ALLAH RETURN ALL MATTERS.

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THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 210


Though the verse seems to be a little complex, but by some ponder over the expressions, we may easily get the meaning. Here the prophet is addressed saying: ``Do they expect God to appear to them with his angels in HIS glory, and under the shadow of the clouds!? While the matter has already been decreed.'' The last clause of the sentence implies that the punishment of God has been decreed for the obstinate rejectors of faith. the verse then ends in that all matters return to Allah. Matters, here, may mean the raise of the prophet, sending of the HOLY BOOKS, and revealing so many facts that man did not know it. This is just like saying: the rewards and the chastisement of the believers or the mischief makers both return to Allah which means He is the One who decides on these matters.

SEEING GOD

Without any doubt, the sense of sight can only see material bodies that have colour and are confined in space and time. As for the substance of God who is not a material entity, and is superior to space and time; eyes can see HIM neither in this world nor in the Last. This matter is so evident that needs not any further discussion. Of course God is not absent for the inner eyes of the hearts and the faith, and in the life to come He will be more obvious than here.

(( 211 ))

211- ASK THE ISRAELITES HOW MANY A CLEAR SIGN HAVE WE GIVEN THEM, AND WHOEVER CHANGES THE FAVOUR OF ALLAH AFTER IT HAS COME TO HIM, ALLAH IS STERN IN PUNISHMENT.

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THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 211


This verse gives an instance of those whose characters were mentioned in the previous verses - the children of Israel - who were shown so many miracles and clear signs, and yet they went after their own ways, and preferred their own fancies over the truth that came to them through the scripture! So they sought excuses and adhered to some childish pretexts - and so do people of all ages, and hence the verse: ``Ask the children of Israel how many a clear sign have We sent to them?''

But they ignored and repudiated the signs, and miracles and paid no heed to such great favours that their Lord bestowed on them. They even used the bounties of Allah in wrong ways to please their caprices in, though they should have known that: ``Whoever changes the favour of Allah after it has come to him, Allah is strict in punishment.'' That is to say God's retribution is stern and His justice is sure, when it comes it will be strict and unmistakable to those who change His Grace, and misuse HIS favour.

By changing the favour and bounties of God, it means to use the physical and spiritual resources and abilities in a wrong way, and for sinful purposes. This was not only done by the Israelites who are exemplified here, and rather so do it people of all ages. Now a days, our industrial world is afflicted by such misfortunes, because the favours and the graces of God, which are bestowed to mankind through science and knowledge, have been badly changed. Science came down to serve man but changed the man to its servant, and now man is the slave of his factory and industry! Now man uses his unique power of science and technique to either enslave other men, or to destroy and annihilate his kind! Man uses his physical and scientific power to extend oppression and injustice, and he should come to know that God's punishment is sure and stern!

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(( 212 )) 212- THE LIFE OF THIS WORLD IS ADORNED TO THE UNBELIEVERS. THEY SCOFF AT THE BELIEVERS, BUT THOSE WHO WERE GOD FEARING SHALL BE ABOVE THEM ON THE RESURRECTION DAY. (BECAUSE THE REAL MEASURES AND VALUES WILL APPEAR THERE) AND ALLAH WILL GIVE SUSTENANCE TO WHOM HE WILL, WITHOUT RECKONING.

THE COMMENTARY OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 212)

IBN - ABBASS, the famous commentator has narrated that: ``the verse came down to answer a group of aristocrats and chiefs who had formed a minority class in Mecca. They lived in affluent surroundings, and in the luxurious houses. On the contrary, the believers were generally poor and worked hard for their sustenance.'' The aristocrats scoffed at the believers and said to them: ``If Mohammad was a man of eminent personality, and was a distinguished man of God, as he claims, all the lord, and chiefs of the tribes would have been his followers instead of these poor and indigent people who have now adhered to him.'' So the verse came down to this effect to render futile such childish ideas and reasonings.

COMMENTS

The said cause of the revelation prevents us not to draw a general and common rule of the verse, and taking it as a complementary to the preceding verse. It signifies that the mortal life of this world is adorned and made alluring in the sight of the unbelievers, and those men of rank and wealth who reject faith. They


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have been blind drank by vanity and arrogance, and therefore they ridicule the believers who might probably be poor and needy. They know not that God in His wisdom and plan, may give more to those who seem to deserve it the least; and this temporary favour does not mean that the favoured is dearer and nearer to God. The account is not taken down here. It will be taken in the Last Day of Doom. There; in the life to come the spiritual ranks and positions will take shape and form and are personified. The believers will live a high class of life, and will have the most comfortable positions; on contrary to the heathens who may be men of rank and wealth, and social position here, but the losers there who live in the worst of the abodes. Therefore God in HIS wisdom and for His general plan may give of His bounty here, to whomsoever He pleases. These are glad-tidings for the believers, and warnings for the unbelievers.

(( 213 ))

213- THE PEOPLE (AT THE BEGINNING) WERE A SINGLE NATION (AND THERE WERE NO CONFLICT BETWEEN THEM. THEN GRADUALLY CLASSES AND SOCIETIES DEVELOPED AND RESULTED IN CONFLICTS AND DIFFERENCES) ALLAH RAISED PROPHETES AS BEARERS OF GLAD - TIDINGS AND AS WARNERS, AND HE SENT DOWN WITH THEM THE BOOK IN TRUTH, TO JUDGE BETWEEN PEOPLE IN MATTERS WHEREIN THEY DIFFERED. AND NONE BUT THE VERY PEOPLE WHO WERE GIVEN (THE BOOK) DIFFERED IN IT AFTER

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THE CLEAR SIGNS THAT HAD COME TO THEM, DUE TO ENVY OF ONE ANOTHER. THEN ALLAH GUIDED THOSE WHO BELIEVED, TO THE TRUTH OF WHAT THEY DIFFERED ON, BY HIS LEAVE, FOR ALLAH GUIDES WHOM HE PLEASES TO A STRAIGHT PATH.

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 213


Leaving the arguments about the believers the unbelievers, and the hypocrites, now a general and essential discussion is brought on, about the genesis of religion and sects, and their purposes and goals, and different conditions that has passed over them, saying: ``At the beginning all the people were of one kind, and of a single community or nation.'' They had no differences and conflicts among them. Then they formed into a social life because they were created for progress and development, and evolution could be obtained only through a social life. Then differences, and diversity of opinions appeared when social life was developed, and people differed in words as well as in deeds.

Then mankind felt that he needed a LAW to bring him social and spiritual security and comfort. Such a law had to be a Divine one, that could be sent down through the prophets, in order to give an end to the conflicts and differences; and hence the verse: ``And Allah raised prophets as bearers of glad - tidings, and as warners.''

Through the warnings of the apostles and their good news, attentions were directed to the genesis and destination of man, and people were prepared mentally and physically to ask for, and accept a law; and so points the verse: ``And Allah sent down with the prophet the BOOK in truth, in order to judge between people in the matters wherein they differed.'' Thus through faith in the prophets, and by sticking to their instructions, some water was poured down on the fire of differings and adversaries, quenching it for a while, and this was in a fifth stage of work.

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That quiet condition continued for sometimes, till gradually the Satanic temptation, and the roaring waves of caprices and passions worked hard and effectively, and allured and seduced a certain group of man, and so points to this stage the holy verse: ``And none but the very people who were given the BOOK, differed in it; and that was after the clear signs that had come to them. This was due to their arrogance and envy at each other.'' Here people were divided in two groups: The truthful believers who submitted to the will of Allah and the LAW brought down by the prophets.'' They cleared their differences by the scriptures, and thus the verse continues with: ``Then Allah guided those who believed, to the truth of what they differed on.''

Meanwhile the arrogant and spiteful unbelievers remained astray and stayed by differences and adversities; and the verse ends saying: ``For Allah guides whom HE wills to a straight path.''

(( 214 ))

214- OR DID YOU SUPPOSE THAT YOU WOULD ENTER THE PARADISE WITHOUT SUCH (TRIALS) AS CAME TO THOSE WHO PASSED AWAY BEFORE YOU? THEY WERE AFFLICTED WITH MISERY AND HARDSHIP AND WERE SO SHAKEN THAT THE MESSENGER AND THOSE WHO BELIEVED WITH HIM SAID: ``WHEN WILL THE HELP OF ALLAH COME? (HERE THEY ASKED FOR GOD'S HELP, AND IT WAS SAID TO THEM) KNOW THAT THE HELP OF ALLAH IS NEAR.''

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THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 214)


COMMENTS

The verse implies that the believers were of opinion that, through their mere FAITH, they could obtain salvation and enter the Paradise without any good work and action. The verse denied them that, saying: ``Did you think that you would enter the Garden of Bliss without such trials as came to those who passed away before you; while they encountered many hardship and suffering, and were so shaken in spirit that even the prophets and those who believed with them cried: When the help of God may come?''

Of course they did not issue that word through objection, but as a request and their wish. This verse points at one of the everlasting Divine rules and customs; that in all ages the believers have to work hard for salvation, and encounter sufferings and hardship, if they are willing to enter the Paradise. In other word: ``NO PAIN, NO GAIN''

(( 215 ))

215- THEY ASK YOU WHAT THEY SHOULD EXPEND? SAY WHATEVER GOOD YOU EXPEND, SHOULD BE FOR PARENTS, AND KINS MEN, ORPHANS, THE NEEDY AND THE WAYFARERS, AND WHATEVER GOOD YOU DO, ALLAH KNOWS IT WELL.

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THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 215)


AMR - IBN - JOMUH, an old wealthy Muslim believer asked the prophet: ``What shall we give in charity, and to whom shall we give?'' This verse came down to answer him.

COMMENTS

In the Holy Qur?n, there are so many verses that are revealed about charity and alms; that are to be given in the sight of God, and for the sake of God and it made the believers to ask for a more detail of that: `` They ask you what should they spend? Say: Give any thing that is good - any capital whether material or spiritual; such as property, money, a helping hand, and even a word of kindness - Your charity is for the parent, KINS MEN, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarers.'' The five groups mentioned here are as example, and the charity is not only limited to them and for them. The verse ends in: ``Whatever good you do; Allah knows it well.'' This implies that, you need not to stick to pretence on that, because God knows well whatever of good you do. So give the charity and spend your money in the sight of Allah, and only for the sake and cause of Allah, and shut out all sorts of prentence.

(( 216 ))

216- FIGHTING IS PRESCRIBED FOR YOU, AND YOU DISLIKE IT, AND IT MAY BE THAT YOU DISLIKE A THING AND IT IS GOOD FOR YOU; AND IT MAY BE THAT YOU LOVE A THING WHICH IS BAD FOR YOU. AND ALLAH KNOWS AND YOU DO NOT KNOW.

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THE COMMENTARY VERSE NO. 216

The precedent verse argued about charity through property, and here again charity is wanted; but through life. This is because fighting for the cause of truth, and for the sake of God, is one of the highest kind of charity, as no one has anything more precious to offer, other than his life. The Arabic `KOTEBA' which means written or prescribed implies that the commandment of sacred war (JAHAD) is strictly definite and final.

It is natural for man to dislike warfare, because it serves to destroy life and property, and brings forth injury and hardship. But for those who love martyrdom for the cause of truth and in the way of God, which occurs usually against selfish and aggressive persons, or a vain glorious bully; it might taste as a sweet and delicious soft drink to a thirsty man. The account of such a loving martyr is of surety different from the account of a stubborn quarrelsome bull-dog, who merely fights to conquer, and to rule the other, to satisfy his self-delusion and selfishness.

The verse then points at a general and natural rule: ``That it is possible that a man may dislike a thing which is good for him, or, on the contrary, one may love a thing which is bad for him. God knows the value of the things better than we do.'' Therfore our Creator definitely wants us not to govern our fate with our fancies and conjectures; because our knowledge is very little and limited. What we know comparing it to what we know not, is only a droplet compared with an ocean. So if God has prescribed to us the pilgrimage, the fasting or the fighting, it is definitely for our own good and benefit, and they serve to increase our insight and to extend the field of our vision.

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(( 217 ))

217- THEY ASK YOU CONCERNING THE HOLY MONTH AND FIGHTING IN IT? SAY: FIGHT IN IT IS A GREAT, (SIN) BUT TO BAR FROM GOD'S WAY, AND DISBELIEF IN HIM, AND (TO PREVENT HAVING ACCESS) TO THE SACRED MOSQUE, AND TO EXPEL ITS PEOPLE FROM IT, IS MORE HEINOUS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. AND TUMULT IS WORSE THAN SLAUGHTER. AND THEY WILL CONTINUE FIGHTING WITH YOU, UNTIL THEY TURN YOU FROM YOUR RELIGION IF THEY COULD DO IT. AND WHOEVER OF YOU TURN FROM HIS RELIGION AND DIE BEING UNBELIEVER, THEIR WORKS HAVE FAILED IN THIS WORLD AND IN THE HEREAFTER. THOSE ARE THE COMPANIONS OF FIRE, ABIDING THEREIN FOREVER.

(( 218 )) 218- THOSE WHO BELIEVED, AND THOSE WHO EMIGRATED AND STROVE IN THE PATH OF ALLAH, MAY HOPE FOR ALLAH'S MERCY - ALLAH IS OFT-FORGIVING COMPASSIONATE.

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THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 217)


On the 21st. OF THE prohibited month RAJAB-2 A.H. the prophet sent out a group of nine armed men commanded by ABDULLAH - IBN JAHASH, on an expedition to collect some information about the enemy's movements and tactics. The prophet handed to the commander of the group a sealed latter, and told him not to open it until he had travelled for a two days distance in that direction towards NAKHLAH VILLAGE; and there he was allowed to open the letter and fulfil the order that was written in it. When the commander opened and read the letter as per order, the prophet had commanded him: ``Continue your journey and go as far as NAKHLEH, and there stay and look round for informations about the fighting forces of GHOREISH, and their strategies, and convey your collected informations to me as soon as possible.'' In addition to the order was: ``Meanwhile do not compel your men to come with you up to NAKHLEH, and if they are willing to return home, let them do that.''

When all of them knew what was the order in the sealed letter the companions said to their commander: ``Our life is not dearer than yours. We shall not leave you alone in the midway and we shall come with you where you like to go.'' In a place called BEHR?N, two of them namely SAAD and ATBEH went in search of their lost camel, and were taken captives by the enemy. ABDULLAH and his group encountered with a very rich caravan of GHOREISH, who were going on a trade.

The caravan that had only a few guards, could easily be trapped and captured by a little fighting; but they still were in the prohibited month of RAJAB for one or two days to expire. They had also no authority from the prophet to fight an enemey unless they were attacked. After all, their existence there was discovered by the enemy, and were in danger of being captured and killed. They therefore held a military consultation meeting, and all of them agreed to lay an attack of surprise upon the enemy's caravan. They did so; killing one of the guards, and captivated two of them namely HAKAM - IBN - KAYSAN, and OTHM?N, and the others escaped to bring new forces.

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ABDULLAH and his men returned to Medina with so much booties and two captives, but the prophet did not welcome them for violating the sanctity of the prohibited months in which war was declared to be unlawful.

The jews and the hypocrites of Medina, simultaneously with the idolaters of Mecca, gave them an uproarious welcome, and made much fuss that Mohammad through his newly invented religion, violates the sanctity of the prohibited months! The Helpers, as well as the Emigrants, also reproached ABDULLAH and his men for their unlawful attack on the caravan. Fear and anxiety filled the heart of ABDULLAH and his men. They did not know what to say or what to do. He and his colleagues prayed ardently for God's help, and Allah the Merciful answered their prayer, and many questions through this verse. ``They ask you about fighting in the prohibited months?''

COMMENTS

This verse is to answer some questions about JAHAD, and the exceptions therein. Firstly it admits that fighting in the sacred month is prohibited and declared unlawful by Islam too. Fighting in these months is a great and heinous sin.

Then it adds that this law too, like any other law may have its own exceptions - It should not be permitted that some evil doers, and mischief makers, under the name of the law, commit oppressions and corruptions. True that warfare is prohibited in certain months that are held sacred, but to bar people from God's way, and disbelief in HIM, and preventing people of having access to the House of God, and to expel its people from it, is more heinous a sin than fight in a sacred month.

Then the verse in its remarks alludes to tumult, counting it worse than slaughter; and that's true, because tumult is that sort of a crime that affects and injures the soul and the faith of man, where as slaughter impresses and harms the body. Therefore the Islam's instruction is to

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stand firm and steadfast in front of the enemy, in the sight of whom means can justify the end, and whenever, and wherever they raised their hands against you, you have every right to raise your hands to defend.

(( 219 ))

219- THEY ASK YOU ABOUT INTOXICANTS AND GAMBLING? SAY: IN BOTH OF THEM IS GREAT SIN, AND (THERE ARE ALSO SOME) PROFIT IN THEM FOR PEOPLE; BUT THEIR SIN IS GREATER THAN THEIR PROFIT.

AND THEY ASK YOU WHAT SHOULD THEY EXPEND (FOR CHARITY)? SAY: WHAT IS BEYOND YOUR NEEDS. THUS ALLAH MAKES CLEAR HIS SIGNS TO YOU THAT YOU MAY REFLECT.

(( 220 ))

220- UPON THIS WORLD AND THE LAST WORLD. AND THEY ASK YOU CONCERNING THE ORPHANS? SAY: TO SET THEIR AFFAIRS ARIGHT IS GOOD. AND IF YOU MIX THEIR AFFAIRS WITH YOURS, THEY ARE YOUR BROTHERS, AND ALLAH KNOWS THE JUST FROM THE UNJUST; AND IF ALLAH WISHED HE WOULD HAVE HARASSED YOU, THAT ALLAH IS MIGHTY WISE.1

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THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION


Some of the prophet's companions asked him what the commandment of Allah is about wine and gambling, and the verse came down to answer that question.

COMMENTS

``They ask you concerning intoxicants and gambling: Say; in them is great sin and some profit for men, but the sin is greater than the profit.''

The Arabic `KHAMR' translated here to intoxicant, literally means fermented juice of the grape; but in the law it is applied to any intoxicant liquor or drug. Whatever makes you drink and sot is KHAMR, and its drink is unlawful for Muslim. The liquors may have various names and marks but they are all of the same nature and intoxicating and declared unlawful.

The Arabic `MAISIR' which is translated `GAMBLING'; literally means easy, or getting something easily, such as obtaining some profit or wealth in an easy way and without doing any work for it. This is the reason for the prohibition of gambling in Islam. In the gambling and drinking there are great sin, and a little profit too, and a man with a common sense will not, and should not, adhere to great physical and spiritual loss, and sin, merely to obtain a little profit out of it.

The second question that is answered here is: ``What are we to spend for charity?'' And the Qur?nic answer is: ``Spend that which is beyond your needs; i.e. `AFV'

The Arabic AFV, literally means; to eliminate - to efface - to obliterate and etc. It also means medium, and the excess and extra amount of something; and this is why it was translated here to mean: ``What is beyond your needs.'' To make it short: ``any superfluities we must spend in good works and in charity.''

VERSE NO. 220

After the revelation of the verses: S4: 10 and S 17:34, through which approaching the properties of the orphans was prohibited, and [ 242 ]

eating their wealth was declared as eating fire! even the guardians of the orphans became anxious, and some resigned and left the sponsorhip of the orphans. Some men who looked after an orphan, discharged him from his house and guardianship, for fear of committing a sin so great, concerning the orphans! This caused a lot of trouble for the guardians, as well as the orphans. So they came to the prophet and asked him what was to be done in this relation?

In this verse (NO. 220) the main point and the object of thought and reflection is declared to be this present world, and the world to come: ``Reflect upon this world and upon the next.'' Although Man has to obey God and His prophets; yet he has to fulfill the commandments thoughtfully and not blindly.

Then the verse answers the third question concerning the orphans and says: ``The best thing to do concerning the orphans, is to set their affairs aright and justly. It is not good to leave them and avoid to give them a hand for fear of committing a sin. The test is what is best in the orphans interest. Allah knows well the just man fron the unjust one.''

(( 221 ))

221- AND DO NOT MARRY POLYTHEIST WOMEN UNTIL THEY BELIEVE. A BELIEVING SLAVE GIRL IS BETTER THAN A POLYTHEIST WOMAN, EVEN THOUGH SHE ALLURSE YOU. (BY HER BEAUTY OR WEALTH).

AND DO NOT MARRY POLYTHEISTS UNTIL THEY BELIEVE. ABELIEVING SLAVE IS BETTER THAN A POLYTHEIST EVEN THOUGH HE ALLURES YOU.

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THOSE CALL UNTO THE FIRE, AND GOD CALLS UNTO THE PARADISE AND PARDON BY HIS LEAVE, AND MAKES CLEAR HIS SIGNS FOR PEOPLE, THAT THEY MAY BE MINDFUL

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 221)


The prophet sent a man named MARSAD to Mecca on an assignment. There he met with a beautiful woman whom he knew her from the Pagan Era. The woman invited him for love, but he refused to accept. The lady asked him to marry her, but this request of her was also rejected. Marsad told her that for that purpose he has to consult with the prophet. When he asked for the prophet's advice concerning the matter, this verse (221) revealed saying: ``Do not marry polytheist women (and idolateress) until they believe and convert.''

Then in a comparison the verse adds: ``A believing slave girl is better than a polytheist free woman even though she allures you by her beauty, wealth, or some other qualifications.'' Therefore the aim of marriage lays not only in sexual affairs. A wife is supposed to be the partner of her husband for life. She is to be the tutor and guardian of his children and race. She makes half of the man's personality. How can he or she, then take the polytheism and its inauspicious consequences, in exchange for some temporary beauty and sex?

A happy and successful marriage can be obtained when spiritual harmony is combined with the physical link: A difference in idea and religion will affect the lives of both sexes, more profoundly than differences of birth, race, language, and social positions. If two persons love each other their outlook in the highest things of life must be the same. Then the verse applies to the opposite phase of the commandment, saying: ``Believer women too should not marry the polytheist until he converts - a believing slave is better than a free man who is a polytheist and idolater, even though his qualifications allure you.''

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(( 222 ))222- THEY ASK YOU CONCERNING MENSTRUATION. SAY: IT IS A HURT, (AND A POLLUTION) SO KEEP ALOOF FROM WOMEN DURING THEIR MENSTRUAL PERIOD, AND DO NOT APPROACH THEM UNTIL THEY ARE CLEAN AGAIN. WHEN THEY HAVE CLEANSED, THEN COME TO THEM AS ALLAH HAS COMMANDED YOU. ALLAH LOVES THOSE WHO TURN TO HIM, (IN REPENTANCE) AND HE LOVES THOSE WHO KEEP CLEAN.

(( 223 ))

223- WOMEN ARE YOUR TILTH, SO COME UNTO YOUR TILTH AS YOU WISH, AND SEND FORTH FOR YOUR SOULS, (BY BRINGING UP GOOD AND FAITHFUL CHILDREN AND RACE) AND BEWARE OF ALLAH, AND KNOW THAT YOU SHALL MEET HIM, AND GIVE TIDINGS TO THE BELIEVERS.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO.222)


Women have a menstrual flow of minimum of three to a maximum of ten days, and their average menstrual cycle ranger from 26 to 30 days.

[ 245 ]

A group of the Jews believe that, association with women during their monthly courses is absolutely unlawful and forbidden, even eating with them on the same table was prohibited by them! On the contrary, a group of Christians believe that it makes not much difference whether a woman be in her period or be not. To them association with such women, and even having sexual intercourse with them is of no harm and objection. Pagan Arabs, more or less were affected by the Jewish ideas, and kept themselves aloof from women in their menstrual periods. To this effect some of the Muslims asked the prophet what was to be done concerning the menstruation and the verse (No. 222) came to answer that question.

COMMENTS

In this verse we come to another question which is about menstruation saying: ``They ask you concerning menstruation? Say: It is a harm. So keep aloof from women during their periods, and do not approach them for sexual intercourse, until they are clean again.'' Sexual intercourse in such a condition is dangerous for both of the sexes. It may create abhorrence in them, and result in barrenness of either of the couple; and also for many medical reasons, sexual affairs in the menstrual period is also forbidden by physicians too.

The verse then adds: ``When they have cleansed come to them as Allah has commanded you.'' This is because physical cleanliness and purity makes for health; bodily as well as spiritual.

VERSE NO. 223

Here a beautiful target is settled for the sexual intercourse saying: ``Your wives are your tilth.'' - It is compared to man's tilth in which - he sows the seed in order to reap the harvest. This comparison may seem too heavy and obscure to some people saying why should one half of the humanity be compared with fertile pieces of land or field! But by that the Glorious Qur?n shows the necessity of a woman, and her state of being exigent in creation of man. It also implies that women are not created for being a means of

[ 246 ]

satisfying the lusts of the flesh, not to provide for sexual enjoyments of man, and neither are to be used as a play-toy! Woman is rather an important means of keeping on the race and the kind of human. The verse then ends in enjoining piety and GOD FEARING: ``And beware of Allah, and know that you shall meet HIM, and give good news to the faithfuls.''

(( 224 )) 224- AND DO NOT MAKE ALLAH THE SUBJECT OF YOUR OATHS AGAINST DOING GOOD, OR BEING PIOUS, OR MAKING PEACE BETWEEN PEOPLE. (DON'T SWEAR!) ALLAH HEARS AND KNOWS (EVERYTHING)

(( 225 ))225- ALLAH WILL NOT CALL YOU TO ACCOUNT FOR A SLIP IN YOUR OATHS, BUT WILL CALL YOU TO ACCOUNT FOR WHAT YOUR HEARTS HAVE EARNED, AND ALLAH IS ALL-FORGIVING, FORBEARING.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 224)


There was a scuffle between ABDULLAH - IBN - REVAHEH one of the prophet's companions and his son in law, when he swore not to interfere in their affairs, and take no part in their concerns. This verse came down to prohibit this kind of oaths.

[ 247 ]

COMMENTS

This verse and the next one are about misapply of oaths, and it counts an introductory to the argument about ``EELAA'' which is leaving sexual intercourse with wives, merely by an oath. Such was an Arab's custom of the Pagan Era, which many a time resulted in the separation between husband and wife. The verse is: ``Do not make Allah the subject of your oaths, for such and such trifles.'' It implies that swearing is not a good deed, unless it be for something important.

VERSE NO. 225

This is to emphasize that an oath should not stop an important good work, or prevent one from doing a significant duty or job: ``Allah will not call you to account for slip in your oaths.'' This verse alludes to two sorts of oaths:

1) One which is merely an idle talk without worth or basis. God calls this not to account, and it has no expiation, but should be stopped anyhow. When it has been a thoughtless oath with no intention behind it, it may be expiated and cleared by an act of charity.

2) The second kind of oath is that which is taken intentionally and earned by hearts, as Qur?n has pointed in this verse. - Such an oath is a sin, and calls for expiation in order to get rid of its inauspicious consequences.

(( 226 ))

226- THOSE WHO RENOUNCE THEIR WIVES ON OATH, (i.e. THOSE WHO SWEAR THAT THEY WILL HAVE NOT ANY MORE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH THEIR WIVES) WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOUR MONTHS; IF THEY CHANGED THEIR MINDS ALLAH IS FORGIVING AND MERCIFUL.

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(( 227 )) 227- BUT IF THEIR INTENTION IS FIRM TO GIVE A DIVORCE, THEN ALLAH HEARS AND KNOWS ALL THINGS.

THE COMMENTARY VERSE NO. 226

In the pagan era, woman was a thing of no value in the sight of Pagan Arabs. They had ugly and unfair ways of harming and suppressing their wives and putting them down. One of such a bad ways and customs was famed as: `ellaa' - Sometimes through anger or his caprice, a husband took an oath by God not to approach his wife in sexual affairs. This deprived her of all her matrimonial rights, and at the same time kept her tied to the husband, as a slave girl was tied to her master! She was, in fact, not like a married woman, neither a widow.

On the other hand the husband was not under any pressure, and had not such shortcomings as the woman, because they usually had several wives in their service! If he was blamed for his act, and was asked to present reasons for his refrain, he would say that his oath of `ELLAA' has bound him! This unfair and unjust custom was suppressed by Islam: ``As for those who take an oath for abstention from their wives, a waiting for four months is ordained - If they changed their minds, Allah is forgiving.''

In such a serious matter if an oath is put forward as an excuse, the man is told that it is no excuse at all, and God is Forgiving. He can easily return back to his wife with an expiation for his oath which may be an act of charity. The parties are allowed a period of four months, in order to make up their minds, and see if they are seriously determined against reconciliation, then divorce is the only fair and equitable way that is left before them.

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VERSE NO. 227

But if the husband insits in keeping from with his wife; after the respite of four months, then the Islamic judge may put him in jail to force him to change his mind and intention. He has either to reconcile or give a divorce, and cannot live his wife unattended. Of course the judge will do his best to reconcile them, and bring the couple back to harmony, because our prophet (AS) has said: ``Of all things declared lawful, divorce is the most hateful one in the sight of Allah.''



(( 228 ))228- DIVORCED WOMEN SHALL WAIT BY THEMSELVES FOR THREE MONTHLY PERIODS. AND IT IS NOT LAWFUL FOR THEM TO HIDE WHAT ALLAH HAS CREATED IN THEIR UTERUS, IF THEY BELIEVE IN ALLAH AND THE LAST DAY. AND THEIR HUSBANDS HAVE A HIGHER RIGHT TO TAKE THEM BACK IN THAT PERIOD, IF THEY INTEND RECONCILIATION. WOMEN HAVE RIGHTS SIMILAR TO THE RIGHTS THAT ARE AGAINST THEM, WITH JUSTICE; BUT MEN HAVE A GRADE ABOVE THEM, AND ALLAH IS EXALTED IN POWER, WISE.

[ 250 ]

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 228


This verse alludes to some commandments and rules about divorce. There are four of such commands in this verse:

1) Divorced woman have to wait by themselves for three monthly periods.

Islam wants to maintain the married state as far as possible and this waiting period is settled to prevent any hastly action and leave the door of reconciliation open to the couple. The Arabic `GHOROOA' translated here as monthly period; means cleanliness of the woman of menstruation. Giving a divorce can only be lawful when the woman is clean of menstruation and has had no sexual intercourse with her husband for sometimes. Therefore the woman has to wait for a third period in her menstrual cycle, and finally when she is cleansed, she can decide on remarriage or else. 2) It is not lawful for them to hide what Allah has created in their uterus.

3) The third commandment which can be deduced here, is that the husband, in that waiting period, has a priority to take his divorced wife back: ``And their husband have a right to take their wives back in that period, if they intend reconciliation.'' In such cases and during the waiting period, the husband has a right to return to his wife without any formalities, and begin a new life with her.

4) Then the verse applies to a fourth commandment saying: ``Women have rights similar to the rights that are against them with justice, but men have a grade above them.''

Due to some physical and spiritual differences that exists between man and woman, the management of the house is given to man and the assistance is given to his wife.

Here it is definitely declared that man and woman shall have

[ 251 ]

similar rights against each other. But the difference in economic position between the sexes, makes the man's rights and liabilities a grade higher than the woman's. Elsewhere in the HOLY QUR?N (S 4: 34) man is declared responsible to provide for his wife and maintain her. Subject to this both sexes are on terms of equality in law, but in certain matters the weaker sex is entitled to special protection. Then the verse ends in that: ``Allah is mighty and wise.'' That is to say; God's wisdom and plans require that every individual in the community perform a certain task which is in harmony with the laws of nature and instinct.

(( 224 ))

224- DIVORCE IS TWICE, (WITH RECONCILIATION BETWEEN) THEN HONOURABLE RETENTION OR SEPARATION WITH KINDNESS. AND IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR YOU TO TAKE ANYTHING OF WHAT YOU HAVE GIVEN THEM, UNLESS THE COUPLE FEAR THAT THEY MAY NOT MAINTAIN THE LIMITS OF ALLAH. THEN IF YOU FEAR THAT THEY CANNOT KEEP WITHIN THE LIMITS OF ALLAH, IT IS NO FAULT ON THEM FOR HER TO REDEEM HERSELF. THOSE ARE THE BOUNDS OF ALLAH, SO DO NOT TRANSGRESS THEM, AND WHOEVER TRANSGRESSES THE BOUNDS OF ALLAH, THEN THOSE ARE THE OPPRESSORS.

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THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 229)


A woman complained to the prophet's wife saying: ``My husband frequently gives me a divorce, and again and again returns in reconciliation! In Pagan Era man had the right of divorcing his wife as many times as he wanted to.'' When the complain reached the prophet through his wife, the verse revealed limiting divorce to twice.

COMMENTS

In the prceding verse we came to know that, the rules and laws of the waiting period and reconciliation, were prescribed in the interests of a good and honourable life, for both sides, and to maintain their married state as far as possible. Unfortunately some of the new converts in the life time of the prophet, misapplied the law, and did as they used to do it in their paganism before Islam. By the law they managed to put their wives under a pressure. They frequently divorced her, and before she could obtain a chance to settle a new marriage their husband proceeded again to reconciliation, and took the wife back.

This verse came down to give an end to such tricks and unfair deeds, saying: ``Divorce is only permissible twice. After that the couple should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate from each other with kindness.'' Therefore, there is no return and reconciliation in the case of the third divorce, and after the second divorce the spouses must definitely make up their minds either to dissolve their tie of marriage permanently, or to live an honourable life together in mutual love and forbearance.

The verse (NO. 229) then continues with issuing another command: ``It is not lawful for a man to take back any thing of his gifts or dowers to her.'' This commandment is for the protection of the woman who is economically weaker than the man.

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Then the verse points out at another kind of Divorce which is known as `KHALEE' in the LAW. It is a kind of divorce given at a woman's request against compensation, saying: ``Then if you fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allah, it is no fault on them, for her to redeem.'' In some exceptional cases wherein the husband treats his wife with cruelty and unjustice, and the very person and freedom of the woman, besides her different rights are in danger; she is permitted to give some material consideration to the husband in order to release her and let her go free.

In this sort of divorce, woman is the source and the cause of separation, and therefore she is the one to compensate the losses. Then the verse stresses that all the prohibitions and limits that are prescribed here, are justly ordained by Allah, so do not approach and transgress the limits, and whoever goes out of the bounds of Allah are counted as oppressors and have to answer for that.

(( 230 ))

230- THEN IF HE DIVORCES HER (FOR THE THIRD TIME) SHE SHALL NOT BE LAWFUL TO HIM AFTERWARDS, UNLESS SHE MARRIES ANOTHER HUSBAND. THEN IF HE DIVORCED HER' THEN THERE IS NO FAULT IN THEM, TO RETURN TO EACH OTHER (IN MARRIAGE) IF THEY THINK THAT THEY WOULD KEEP WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF ALLAH. AND SUCH ARE ALLAH'S BOUNDS, WHICH MAKES THEM CLEAR FOR A PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND.

[ 254 ]

THE COMMENTARY
CAUSE OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 230)


A woman said to the prophet: ``I was my cousin's wife. He divorced me for three times. I then married another man. He, too divorced me. Can I marry my cousin again?'' The prophet said to her: ``Yes you can; on condition that your second husband had made love to you.'' (i. e. sexual intercourse)

COMMENTS

This verse (NO. 230) is a continuation, and a note of first sentence of the preceding verse (NO. 229), that two divorces followed by a reunion are allowed. In the third time the divorce becomes irrevocable, until the woman marries some other man, and the man makes love to her, and then divorces her. In such conditions their reunion and marriage is permissible, if they think this time they can keep within the bounds of Allah, which are made clear for a people who understand.

(( 231 ))

231- WHEN YOU DIVORCED WOMEN, AND THEY REACHED THE END OF THEIR WAITING PERIOD, EITHER RETAIN THEM IN HONOUR OR LET THEM GO WITH KINDNESS. DO NOT RETAIN THEM BY FORCE TO TRANSGRESS. AND WHOEVER DOES THAT, HE HAS IN FACT OPPRESSED HIS OWN SELF. AND DO NOT TAKE THE SIGNS OF ALLAH IN MOCKERY. AND REMEMBER THE FAVOURS OF ALLAH BESTOWED UPON YOU,

[ 255 ]

AND FOR WHAT HE SENT DOWN TO YOU OF THE BOOK AND WISDOM, TO ADVISE YOU THEREBY. AND BEWARE OF ALLAH, AND KNOW THAT ALLAH HAS THE KNOWLEDGE OF ALL THINGS.

THE COMMENTARY
MORE LIMITS IN DIVORCE (VERSE NO. 231)


This verse continues with establishing more limits in giving a divorce, in order to look after the rights of the weaker sex: ``When you divorce woman, and they have reached the end of their waiting period; either take them back in equitable terms, or set them free with kindness and honour.'' And then the stress is put on the other side of the matter, saying:

``And do not retain them by force to injure them or to take undue advantages.'' The latter sentence is an explanation for the phrase: ``SET THEM FREE WITH KINDNESS''. In other word; If some one uses the law to injure the weaker party, his own morals and personality will have to suffer from that. Therefore one should not through negligence, or taking the appearances for judgement; treat the signs and commandments of Allah, as a joke or in mockery; because, such a sin is very heinous, and its punishment by God will be stern and serious. The verse ends in a warning, that no one should think that the power and authority that is given to him, should be used for his own selfish and satanic purposes. Then: ``Beware of Allah and know that Allah has the knowledge of all things.

(( 232 ))

232- WHEN YOU DIVORCED WOMEN, AND THEY REACHED THE

[ 256 ]

END OF THEIR WAITING PERIODS, DO NOT PREVENT THEM FROM MARRYING THEIR (FORMER) HUSBANDS, IF THEY HAVE COME TO AN HONOURABLE AGREEMENT. THAT IS AN ADMONITION FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO BELIEVE IN ALLAH AND THE LAST DAY. THAT IS CLEANER AND PURER FOR YOU AND ALLAH KNOWS, AND YOU KNOW NOT.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 232)


One of the prophet's companions named MAAGHAL - IBN - YAS?R, had a sister that was divorced. At the end of her waiting period, she came to a fair mutual agreement with her former husband, and decided to return and join him, but her brother prevented her from doing so. The case was referred to the prophet and the verse NO. 232 revealed.