No Treason in Orphan's Prophets
 

In any community parents may pass away and leave in behind them some orphans. Islam wants the rights of the orphans to be strictly observed, and any treason in orphan's properties is counted as the most heinous and great sins. Now through this verse (NO. 2) three important instructions are issued concerning the rights and guarding the properties of the orphans: 1) Their heritage, whatever it might be, should be handed over to them when they reach the age of maturity and become due. The guardian must not postpone restoring the orphan's property when due time comes.

2) the second instruction is to keep their properties in a safe and secure condition lest there should be any temptation to get a personal advantage to their guardian, by mixing their properties with the guardian's properties, or with those of his household:

And do not exchange your corrupt things with their good ones.'' So the property restored must be of equal value to the property received.

3) The third instruction is not to eat the property of the orphan with that of yours. When in certain cases, perishable goods must necessarily be consumed, the strictest honesty and uprightness must be observed when the separation takes place:

And devour not their properties with your properties by changing or mixing yours with theirs.''

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And even if human law is not able to detect him he should know: ``Eating the orphan property is indeed a great heinous sin.'' (( 3 )) 3- AND IF YOU FEAR THAT YOU MAY NOT TREAT ORPHANS JUSTLY, (IN MARRYING THEM) THEN MARRY SUCH WOMEN THAT ARE GOOD (AND LAWFUL) TO YOU, TWO, THREE, OR FOUR. BUT IF YOU FEAR YOU WILL NOT BE EQUITABLE (TO THEM ALL) THEN (MARY) ONLY ONE, OR THAT WHICH YOUR RIGHT HANDS OWN. THIS WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU TO AVOID INJUSTICE.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 3)


It was customary before Islam that people took the female orphan to look after them as a guardian. When they matured, the guardian took them for wife with much less dower. When married, the husband owned her properties, and by a least annoyance gave her a divorce! The verse was sent down to put the marriage with the orphans on conditions of justice and equity: ``And if you fear that you may not treat the orphans justly and with fairness in marrying them; then marry other women who are good and lawful to you, two, three, or four.''

This verse revealed after the bitter incident of Ohud, when the Muslim new community was left with many orphans, widow, and captives. Their treatment was some how to be governed by justice and equity; and so says the verse to marry the orphans if you are quite sure that you will in that way protect them and their property with justice

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and fairness. If not so; and you doubt to do that, then make other arrangements for the orphans and your marriage. Marry other women of your choice who are good - two, three or four - a maximum of four provided you could treat them with equality and equity, both in material things and in immaterial things. But if you think that you cannot, then suffice with one wife only: And if you fear you will not be equitable to them all, then marry only one.''

POLYGAMY IS A NEED IN THE SOCIETY

The above verse has admitted polygamy on the hard and heavy condition of JUSTICE. There are objections and questions around this matter that are aroused enthusiastically and not scientifically, and reasonably. The westerns accuse Islam of supporting and enjoining women's apartments, and gynaeceums, while Islam has neither permitted woman's apartments as they think, nor the polygamy is accepted without strict and hard conditions.

Islamic laws are legislated on the basis of natural needs and wants of man. No one can deny that man passes away more than women in the community, due to the wars, hardship of works, and industrial accidents. The second world war proved this clearly. On the other hand the sexual life of man is much logner than that of the woman. The woman has also sexual stops during their menstrual discharge, and other cases such as maternity. There is also - sometimes - the problem of being barren with both sexs and the want of children in one side.

Consisting these, and many other moral and spiritual reasons, we come to the conclusion that polygamy is a need - a serious need of the community and it should not be ignored. In this relation we have to answer so many questions that are among the most important ones of human beings and their society. Should we neglect and ignore the

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instinct and natural needs of millions of widows, and if we do so, should we believe that our negligence will cancel and nullify the consequences of such an important need? Should we adhere to secret relationship and create freedom of illicit sexual intercourse and fornications, taking illegal mistresses and violate the sanctity of the sacred territory of marriage and wedlock through picking up girl-friends and boy-friends of the sort you know well? Should we lead them to the brothels and to the bawdy houses? Or should we marry them lawfully and with decency, and observe their rights by justice and equity?

* * * *

SOME MORE DETAILS OF THIS MATTER

In the pre-Islamic time which is known as the Pagan Era, the number of wives were not restricted. One man could have as many wives that he wanted or he could afford and supervise! On the other hand, marriage for a woman was not necessarily leaving her family house in order to live in the husband's. The man could pay her visits, in times, short or long. In many instances too, the case was easy for a woman to have two or more husbands at a time!

Even after the spread of Islam, some of the pagans kept on with their old customs. It was not important to the Pagan Arab, for the most purposes to know who the father of a child was! It could be enough only to know the mother, and the child did belong to the mothers family! We know many famous Arabs contemporary to our prophet whose fathers were unknown because the mother had made love with several men at a time! As an instance we may mention, ZIAD-IBN-ABIH, which means ZIAD the son of his father. He was one of the famous courtiers of MOAVIYEH the founder of Ommayid Dynasty orcaliphate.

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It was due to such backgrounds that the marriage reforms of the prophet restricted the number of wives to a maximum of four to accord with the above verse and its relatively hard condition: ``If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with orphan, females, then marry a woman of your choice - two, three, or four. But if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with all of them, then only one or that whom your right hand possess.'' Therefore, the unrestricted number of wives has been strictly limited to a maximum of four, provided you could treat them justly and in perfect equality in material things, as well as in immaterials. And as the condition is indeed difficult to fulfill, the recommendation turns towards monogamy and having one wife only! To confirm this idea, there is another verse in the glorious Qur?n saying: ``You are never able to be equitable as between women, even if it be your ardent desire. Then turn not all your attention and inclination to one, leaving the other hanged as a divorced.'' Qur?n - S 4:129 (TRANSLATOR'S NOTE)

(( 4 )) 4- AND GIVE WOMEN THEIR DOWRIES AS FREE GIFT; (OR A LOAN) BUT IF THEY OFFER YOU A PART OF IT WITH CONSENT, EAT IT (HAVE IT) AS LAWFUL AND WHOLESOME.

THE COMMENTARY
DOWRIES (VERSE NO. 4)


Here reference is made to one of the certain rights of women in their marriage, which is their dower. Qur?n strictly bids man to observe and respect the rights of women: ``And give women their dowries as

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a free gift or as a loan that you may owe.'' Then, to respect the sentiments and refined feelings of both parties, the verse implies that; although men are under the obligation to pay and fulfill what they have promised, yet when a woman with her own decision and consent, offers a part or all her dower, the man may have it as a lawful and wholesome; so that besides the bare and dry law and regulation, there might also sit some kindness and love.

DOWER IS SOCIAL SUPPORT TO WOMEN

In the Pagan Era, wherein women had not obtained any of their deserved values, it was such that when they were given a divorce, their dowery was handed over to some guardians like their father, brother or uncle, and not to themselves. Thus many a time it would happen that the dower of one woman in a household was used in the expense of another's marriage! Islam definitely crossed out such unjust attitudes and partialities by declaring the dower as an indisputable right and property of women.

If some through a feeling of disapproval may consider the dowery as a price for buying a women, their ideas has nothing to do with Islam which never consider such an important matter of marriage as trades and selling or buying and etc. This is because the most important Islamic principle of marriage is the pronounciation of the formula of marriage between the couple. It is not the payment of the dower in the sight of Islam, that makes the man and woman the legal and lawful wife and husband. The dower is merely a by-product of the marriage and the covenant of wedlock, and yet it is incumbent upon the man to pay it.

(( 5 ))

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5- AND DO NOT GIVE THE FEEBLE- MINDED YOUR PROPERTIES THAT ALLAH HAS MADE A MEANS OF SUPPORT FOR YOU, BUT SUSTAIN THEM THEREWITH AND CLOTHE THEM, AND SPEAK TO THEM HONOURABLE WORD.

(( 6 ))

6- AND TEST THE ORPHANS UNTIL THEY REACHED THE AGE OF MARRIAGE. THEN IF YOU FIND THEM MATURE ENOUGH, DELIVER TO THEM THEIR PROPERTIES AND CONSUME IT NOT WASTEFULLY AND HASTILY BEFORE THEY ARE GROWN. AND WHOEVER (OF THE GUARDIANS) IS RICH LET HIM ABSTAIN. (FROM TAKING WAGES) BUT WHOEVER IS POOR, HE SHOULD CONSUME REASONABLY. THEN WHEN YOU DELIVERED TO THEM THEIR PROPERTIES TAKE WITNESSES OVER THEM, AND ALLAH SUFFICES FOR A RECKONER.

THE COMMENTARY
WHO IS FEEBLE - MINDED (SAFEEH)


The verse begins with: ``Give not your properties to the feeble-minded.'' Although this applies to orphans, but the expression of word is general, and aims to settle cases according to general principles of justice and fairness that is not covered by the LAW. Therefore, by the feeble-minded it may mean he who has not

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matured enough to handle his economical affairs. Here the owner's rights are limited for the good of the community, but his interest is protected and he is treated with special kindness, and is sustained, provided and clothed well. Islam looks with a deeper line of sight into the economical development of the community when decrees: Do not give the feeble-minded your properties that Allah has made a means of support for you, but feed them and clothe them and speak to them well.''

Here the most sacred book in Islam, declares the wealth and capital as a means of support to man and his society. And so is economics one of the most important of matters to be concerned in the ideal of Islam. This is of course contrary to that which the present perverted scriptures has: ``I assure you: it will be very hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven - harder than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.'' MATTEW - 19: 24

Here a question may come to mind, that: ``If in this verse the object is the properties of the orphans, why then Allah has said (YOUR PROPERTIES) - Don't give YOUR PROPERTIES to the feeble minded.''

To answer this we may say: Ultimately all the properties which are from God, belongs to the whole community and is intended for the support of all of us. Therefore by the pronoun `YOU' in the said phrase, the whole community and all the people might be intended - so it belongs to all, but is held in trust by a particular individual. If that individual is feeble - minded and he is not able to make a good and profitable use of the properties, he is to be put aside, but must be treated gently and with fairness.

Here in this verse lays a good lesson, that we should not appoint weak and incapable persons upon a task only for his own benefit; having a small gain for him and a great loss for the society which is the real owner of all the properties. In other word: Give a work to a worker who knows it and will do it well.

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VERSE NO. 6

In this verse another instruction has been issued about the orphans; and that is to have them tested until they have matured enough and reached the age of marriage. When you are sure of their maturity you will have to deliver to them their inheritance, and not to consume their properties wastefully and in a haste before they are grown enough. So much so, that even the guardian if he is a rich man, he should abstain from taking wages or salary for his guardianship. He must do his job honourably and for the sake of God. But if the guardian is a poor person he may feed and clothe himself reasonably. The last instruction in this matter is taking witnesses when the orphan's properties are handed over to him, not to let room for disputes.

(( 7 )) 7- MEN SHALL HAVE A SHARE IN WHAT THEIR PARENTS AND KINSMEN LEAVE, AND WOMEN SHALL HAVE A SHARE IN WHAT THEIR PARENTS AND KINSMEN LEAVE - WHETHER (WHAT THEY LEAVE) BE LITTLE OR MUCH; A SHARE APPORTIONED.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION


In the Pagan Era, the Arabs recognized the man as the only heir of their parents and nearest relatives, and their women and children had no share in the heritage! Then it happened so that one of the prophet's companions named; AWS-IBN-S?BIT, passed away, and his

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cousins took all his heritage, and gave nothing of his properties to his wife or children. His wife complained to the messenger of God (AS) about that. Then the verse (No. 7) revealed and accordingly the prophet ordered the cousins not to touch the inheritance of AWS, leaving it for his first grade relative such as the wife and children.

ANOTHER STEP TOWARDS THE PROTECTION OF THE WOMEN'S RIGHTS

The Arabs through their oppressive and wrong customs deprived the women and the children from the least of the human rights that they could have. The verse appeared to cancel and cross off such unjust customs of theirs, saying: ``From the inheritance of parents and nearest relatives there must be a share for man, and also there must be a share for woman - a share which is determined and apportioned.''

(( 8 )) 8- AND WHEN AT THE TIME OF DIVISION (OF THE INHERITANCE) RELATIVES, ORPHANS, OR NEEDY ARE PRESENT, GIVE THEM ALSO A PORTION OF IT, AND SPEAK TO THEM HONOURABLE WORDS.

THE COMMENTARY
AN ETHICAL COMMANDMENT (VERSE NO. 8)


Evidently this verse has been revealed after the LAW OF HERITAGE for saying: ``When you are dividing the inheritance among the heirs, if some relatives, orphans or poor and needy are present there, give them also a portion of

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the heritage, and speak to them with honourable words - this may mean; taunt them not with scornful or critical remarks.'' (( 9 )) 9- AND THOSE WHO ARE SOLICITOUS ABOUT THE WELFARE OF THEIR) WEAK OFFSPRINGS AFTER THEM, THEY SHOULD BEWARE OF ALLAH (NOT TO OPPRESS OTHER'S ORPHANS) AND SAY THE RIGHT WORDS. (OF JUSTICE)

THE COMMENTARY
MOVING THE COMPASSIONS TOWARDS THE ORPHANS
(VERSE. 9)


In order to move the compassions of people towards the orphans, Qur?n points out a fact that most of the people forget it or ignore it; in a touching style, the verse addresses those who have to divide a heritage, to look after orphans, and says to them: ``How full of concern and anxiety would you be if you had left a weak and helpless family behind? Therefore be helpful and kind to others if you expect the others be kind and helpful to your offspring.'' As a matter of fact the social affairs, in the form of a habitual or usual course of action will pass from one to another, and from to-day to to-morrow, and finally the wrong custom or action will catch the laps of our own offspring. And if it is so, the guardians of the orphans should strictly follow the law and the consent of Allah about the orphans. The last phrase or ending of the verse which is: ``And speak well and right to them.'' implies that the orphan is not only in need of shelter,

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food and clothe; but more than that, he is in need of kindness and compassion.

(( 10 )) 10- THOSE WHO EAT THE PROPERTIES OF THE ORPHANS UNJUSTLY, THEY SWALLOW FIRE INTO THEIR BELLIES, AND SOON WILL JOIN THE BLAZING FIRE. (IN HELL)

THE COMMENTARY
THE INWARD FACE OF OUR ACTS


Here is an instance of:

The veiled presentation of our actions in a figurative manner, that are metaphorically stated: ``Those who eat the properties of the orphan, they swallow fire into their bellies.'' The verse then ends in that: ``Besides eating fire in their stomachs, soon will they join the blazing Fire of Hell in their next life!'' This implies that our actions has an outward face and appearance, and a real inward and internal face which is hidden from our sight in this life, but will soon be manifested in our life to come, and that makes the principle of the personification of our deeds in the Resurrection Day.



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(( 11 )) 11- ALLAH CHARGES YOU CONCERNING YOUR CHILDREN, THAT A MALE SHALL INHERIT TWICE AS A FEMALE. IF THERE BE MORE THAN TWO WOMEN THEY SHALL HAVE TWO THIRD OF WHAT HE HAS LEFT. BUT IF SHE WAS ONLY ONE, THEN FOR HER SHALL BE HALF. AND AS FOR HIS PARENT, FOR EACH ONE OF THE TWO IS ONE SIXTH OF THE INHERITANCE PROVIDED HE HAS CHILD; BUT IF HE HAS NO CHILD, AND HIS HEIRS ARE ONLY HIS PARENTS, THEN HIS MOTHER SHALL HAVE ONE THIRD; (AND THE REST OF THE HERITAGE BELONGS TO HIS FATHER) OR IF HE HAS BROTHERS, THEN HIS MOTHER SHALL HAVE ONE SIXTH. ALL THIS IS AFTER THE PAYMENT OF HIS DEBTS, OR ANY BEQUEST THAT HE MAY HAVE BEQUEATHED.

WHETHER YOUR FATHERS OR YOUR SONS - YOU KNOW NOT WHICH OF THEM IS NEARER TO YOU IN PROFIT. THIS IS AN ORDINANCE FROM ALLAH, THAT ALLAH IS ALL- KNOWING, ALL- WISE.

(( 12 ))

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12- AND FOR YOU SHALL BE THE HALF OF WHAT YOUR WIVES LEAVE IF THEY HAVE NO CHILD. BUT IF THEY HAVE CHILD, THEN YOU SHALL HAVE ONE FOURTH OF WHAT THEY LEAVE, AFTER THE PAYMENT OF ANY BEQUEST THAT THEY MAY HAVE BEQUEATHED OR ANY DEBT. AND YOUR WIVES SHALL HAVE ONE FOURTH OF YOUR HERITAGE IF YOU HAVE NO CHILD, BUT IF YOU HAVE CHILD THEN THEY SHALL HAVE ONE EIGHT OF WHAT YOU LEAVE AFTER THE PAYMENT OF ANY BEQUEST THAT YOU MAY HAVE BEQUEATHED OR DEBT.

AND IF A MAN OR WOMAN LEAVE NEITHER CHILDREN NOR PARENTS (HE HAS NO DIRECT HEIRS) AND HAS A BROTHER OR SISTER THEY SHALL EACH INHERIT ONE SIXTH. IF THEY ARE MORE THAN THAT, THEY SHALL EQUALLY SHARE THE ONE THIRD OF THE INHERITANCE, AFTER THE PAYMENT OF ANY BEQUEST THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN BEQUEATHED, OR ANY DEBT- WITHOUT ANY PREJUDICE TO THE RIGHTS OF THE HEIRS. THAT IS A COMMANDMENT FROM ALLAH, AND ALLAH IS ALL- KNOWING, ALL- CLEMENT.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 11)


In relation to this verse and the next one, JABIR-IBN-ABDULLA ANSARI has narrated: ``I was sick in bed. Once the prophet paid a visit to me while I was unconscious for having fallen in a swoon. When the prophet entered my house, he

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renewed his ablution and sprayed the droplets of water over my face and I was revived. When so, I asked the Messenger of God, what is to happen with my wealth and properties if I am to die?'' The prophet said nothing in answer to JABIR'S question and kept quiet; until the two verses revealed.

THE SHARES OF INHERITANCE

In this verse, the law of inheritance, for the first ranks or line of the family such as the children, father or mother is stated, beginning with: ``Allah charges you concerning your children that a son shall inherit twice as much as a daughter.'' But if the children of the deceased are only daughters and two or more of them, they shall have two third of the heritage. And if he has left behind only one daughter: ``Then for her shall be half of the inheritance.'' As for the father and mother who are also among the first grades of family, there might be one of three cases:

1) The deceased has no children, and the father and mother are his only heirs; then his mother shall have one third and the rest will belong to the father.
2) The deceased has no children, and his father and mother are the only heirs, but he has also some brothers. In this case his mother should get one sixth of the heritage. In other word; though the brothers have no share in heritance themselves, yet their very existence reduces the mother's share from one third to one sixth.

3) The deceased has some children, and also parents. Then for each one of the father or mother is one sixth of the inheritance. The verse emphasizes that all the said divisions must be calculated after the payment of any bequest that has been bequeathed by the deceased, and his funeral expenses should also be reasonable. On the other hand the power of testamentary dispositions is restricted to one third of the property and not all of it. So the

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remaining two third must be completely divided among the heirs as it is laid down. Then comes the ending of the verse that: ``You do not know which one of your fathers or children are nearer to you in profit.'' Then dispute not about the legislation, that it is an ordinance from Allah.

WHY SHOULD A MAN INHERIT TWICE THAT MUCH OF A WOMAN?

With reference to many Islamic traditions, we come to know that this question has always been on the tip of the tongues, and has always been answered reasonably. As an instance; HAZRAT IMAM REZA (AS) was asked that; and he said: ``If the share of man in heritiage is more than that of a woman; it is because, a woman in her marraige will have a dower, and also her sustenance has been made incumbent upon her man, and she has not any responsibility for her own provision.

THE HERITAGE SHARE OF SPOUSES (VERSE NO. 12)

Here it has been described how a husband and wife will inherit each other: ``The husband takes one half of his deceased wife's property, provided that she leaves behind no children, and if she has child, he gets only one fourth.'' The division is performed after the payment of any debt and bequest that might have been bequeathed. Then it refers to the widow whose share from the heritage of her deceased husband is one fourth, supposing that he has no children. But if the man has left any children behind, his wife will get one eigth of the inheritance. Then the argument advances to the share of brothers and sisters: ``If a deceased man or woman, leaves neither children nor parents and have not heirs in the first rank, but they do have a brother or a sister, each of them will inherit one sixth of the heritage. If more than one brother or sister survives, they all take one third of the inheritance and collectively divide it among themselves.''

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The ending of the verse implies that justice and fair dealing should be observed in all the said divisions so that no one's interest is prejudiced. Thus the bequests, the debts, the calculation of shares, and funeral expenses must all be fair, and genuine.

(( 13 ))

13- THESE ARE THE BOUNDS SET BY ALLAH. AND WHOEVER OBEYS ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER, HE WILL ENTER HIM TO THE GARDENS (OF BLISS - PARASIDE) BENEATH WHICH STREAMS FLOW, THEREIN THEY DWELL FOR EVER. THAT IS THE GREAT ACHIEVEMENT.

(( 14 )) 14- AND WHOEVER DISOBEYS ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER, AND TRANSGRESSES HIS BOUNDS, HE WILL ENTER HIM TO A FIRE, TO DWELL THEREIN FOR EVER, AND FOR HIM SHALL BE A HUMILITATING PUNISHMENT.

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 13


Through this verse the inheritance laws and rules are declared as the limits and bounds of Allah that no one should pass them over. And if they transgress and cross the red line of the boundaries, they have committed a sin which deserves a hard punishment. But if they obey Allah and his Messenger, their final abode shall be the Paradise, the gardens of which are watered by streams that flow beneath the trees there in.

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VERSE NO. 14

Contrary to those with great achievement in the preceding verse, there are the abased ones in penalty mentioned here, who have disobeyed Allah and His Messenger and as a consequence of their disobedience they shall join the blazing Fire of Hell.

(( 15 )) 15- AND IF ANY OF YOUR WOMEN COMMIT FORNICATION, CALL FOUR OF YOU (MUSLIMS) TO WITNESS AGAINST THEM. AND IF THEY WITNESSED, CONFINE THEM IN THE HOUSES UNTIL DEATH TAKES THEM AWAY, OR ALLAH ORDAINS FOR THEM SOME OTHER WAY.

(( 16 )) 16- AND THOSE TWO OF YOU (WHO ARE BACHELORS AND HAVE NOT MARRIED YET) IF THEY COMMIT THAT, (FORNICATION) PUNISH THEM BOTH, (FLOG EACH OF THEM WITH A HUNDRED STRIPES) BUT IF THEY REPENT AND AMEND, THEN LEAVE THEM ALONE, THAT ALLAH IS OFT- RETURNING (TO MERCY) AND COMPASSIONATE.

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 15


The Arabic F?HISHA, literally may mean: ill-looking - filthy - foul, disgusting and ugly; but generally it is taken to mean fornication or adultery.

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The term has been used in thirteen cases in the HOLY QUR?N; sometimes with the meaning of fornication, sometimes to mean pederasty, and elsewhere in its general meaning of indecency or lewdness. Most of the commentators have understood this instruction of; ``keeping them for life in the houses;; as the penalty and punishment for their adultery which technically means voluntary sexual intercourse by a married man or woman with another than their mates.

In order to protect the honour of the woman and the reputation of her family, stricter evidences are needed to prove the indecency. Here, four witnesses instead of the usual two, have to testify that the adultary is proved to them, or they have seen the act of evil! Then if it is proved so; the maximum punishment would be imprisonment for life. Those who take the indecency to be adultery, construe this definite order which is added to it: ``OR ALLAH MAY ORDAIN FOR THEM SOME OTHER WAY'' to mean some difinite pronouncement by the prophet under inspiration, and this could have been the punishment of flogging under the verse. Q- S 24:2

*****

(I understand according to the successive and serial order of the revelations, the chapter of LIGHT, in which the lashing punishment has been ordained, came down before the chapter of WOMAN in which is the imprisonment for life. and therefore the verse S 4: 15 has not been abrogated. (TRANSLATOR'S NOTE)

VERSE NO. 16

This verse has in a general sense the order of punishment for fornication, which technically means illicit sexual intercourse on the part of an unmarried person. More details of the punishment had been

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already sent down is S 24: 2 saying: ``Flog each of them with a hundred lashes stripes.'' The verse ends in that, Allah may accept their repentance and return, if they sincerely repent and resolutely decide to amend themselves and their way. It also implies that no one has any right to reproach and blame those sinners who have repented and returned to correct their wrongs.

(( 17 ))

(( 18 )) 18- BUT ALLAH WILL NOT ACCEPT THE REPENTANCE OF THOSE WHO DO EVIL (ALL THEIR LIFE) UNTIL DEATH CAME TO ONE OF THEM, HE SAID: ``NOW I HAVE REPENTED INDEED''. NOR THOSE WHO DIE AND THEY ARE UNBELIEVERS. FOR THEM WE HAVE PREPARED A PAINFUL PUNISHMENT.

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 17


The rules and regulations and the limits and Boundaries of indecencies and virtues and moralities have been defined in the

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previous verses. Here the argument is driven towards the terms and conditions of repentance: ``Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in IGNORANCE and soon after the sin, they repent and return.'' By `IGNORANCE' here we understand it to mean the outburst of instincts, passion, and the domination of caprices, and the prevalence of such evil powers over the wisdom and belief. In such condition, man's knowledge and wisdom may be defeated or vanquished for the time being, and one may yield his will to Satanic temptations and do wrong. When knowledge has no effect, ignorance must have replaced it, and hence the verse: ``But soon after sinning they repent and amend their way.'' It is such a repentance that might be accepted by Allah.

VERSE No. 18

This verse alludes to those whose repentance will not be accepted by God: ``The repentance of those who continue to do evil until death faces them, then they may say: now I repent sincerely, has not any effect and is of no value in the sight of God, and it will not be accepted.'' The second group of people whose repentance is not accepted are those who die and they are unbelievers. Here is a fine touch that those who have repented in due and correct time, when they were safe and sound, but have rejected Faith, and died unbelievers, their repentance will also be of no value and of no use to them- Both of these two groups of people are in Hell and a painful punishment awaits them in the life to come.

(( 19 ))

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19- O, YOU WHO BELIEVE! IT IS NOT LAWFUL FOR YOU TO INHERIT WOMEN AGAINST THEIR WILL. AND DO NOT FORCE THEM TO TAKE BACK A PART OF WHAT YOU HAVE GIVEN THEM, UNLESS THEY BE GUILTY OF A MANIFEST INDECENCY, AND TREAT THEM HONOURABLY. AND IF YOU DISLIKE THEM, IT MAY BE THAT YOU DISLIKE A THING, WHILE ALLAH HAS SET IN IT MUCH GOOD.

THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 19)


HAZRAT IMAM SADIQ (AS) has said: ``There were some Arabs in the Pagan Era who detained their wives in the worst of conditions, without giving them a divorce or treating them as a wife! They did so waiting for her to die in order to own her property and wealth.''