I would think (someone correct me if i am wrong) but in the verse it says "wa" and
because they spend. so i would think from the wa
that it is mentioning two things not just spending. click that link and read it closely.
money is not the main factor that separates men and women.
20- THE RIGHT OF THE WIFE
And the right of your subject through matrimonial contract is that you should know that God has made her repose, a comfort and a companion, and a maintainer for you. It is incumbent upon each of you to thank God for the other and realize that the other one is God's blessing for you. It is obligatory to be a good companion for God's Blessing, and to honor her and treat her gently. Yet, your right over her is more incumbent and she must obey you in every matter that you like or detest- except in acts of disobedience to God. She should enjoy the rights of mercy and intimacy, as she is an object of tranquility. You should care for her through consummation of the lust that must be consummated. And that is surely great. And there is no power but in God.
Here is Allama Tabatab'i's
tafseer from Al Mizan on this verse
The verses are connected with the preceding laws of inheritance and marriage; they reinforce the preceding rules and promulgate some general principles that would effect reconciliation in some cases of strained relationship between husband and wife.
QUR'AN: And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others:
Coveting is to say: 'Would that this were like that'. Such words are called coveting because they describe the covetousness hidden in the heart. It is an exclamatory construction that shows a psychological attitude as when one loves something which is difficult or almost difficult to obtain, whether one declares it in words, or not. Obviously, the verse forbids people to covet the extra bounties granted to others - that bestowal of additional bounties is the cause of covetousness. But one should not attach oneself to those who enjoy such abundance; rather a man should attach himself to Allah, asking Him to bestow on him such bounties from His treasures. Obviously, the 'extra bounties' specifically refers to the special rights granted to a particular group - men or women - by the divinely ordained law; for example, man has been given the right to marry more than one wife, and gets a double share in inheritance, while woman is entitled to receive her dower and maintenance from her husband.
Coveting such rights exclusively given to a particular sex has been forbidden in order to completely uproot the tree of evil and disorder. These bounties are coveted by human beings because by nature they love such things and try to achieve and obtain what others have got. At first, it is just a desire and covetousness. When it continues for some time, it changes into hidden envy. When the envy takes root in the heart it shows itself in talk and action. When many people suffering from this disease join together, they cause disorder on the earth and destroy the tilt and the stock.
Also, it shows that this prohibition is of advisory nature, not a legislative order; it aims at safeguarding the preceding legislated regulations.
The verse ascribes the bestowal of bounties to Allah; also both groups have been described as ''some of you over the others". The aim is to awaken their submissiveness to Allah's decrees because they believe in Him, and to strengthen their mutual love by reminding them that the receiver of the coveted bounty is not some alien body; but an integral part of him/her.
: men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn:
ar-Raghib has said, 'al-Iktisab'
(to earn) is used for what a man earns or acquires for himself; while 'al-kasb
' (to earn) denotes what he acquires for himself or for someone else.." [This verse uses the former verb; and] it appears from the above that this sentence explains the preceding prohibition of coveting and describes its underlying reason. That is, you should not covet these things because this excellence, found exclusively with one or the other group, has been granted because that group has earned it through natural traits or physical diligence. For example, men and not the women, have been allowed to marry up to four wives, because men's place in human society demands it - to the exclusion of women. The same is the reason of their having been allotted double shares in inheritance. Likewise, women have been given half of men's shares in heritance, while the responsibility of their maintenance is put on men's shoulders and they have exclusive right to take dower - all this because women's position in the society demands it. Also, whatever wealth is earned by one group - by trade or in other ways - is exclusively reserved to it; and Allah does not want injustice to His servants.
It is now clear that the 'earning' mentioned here actually means a sort of acquisition and reservation; it makes no difference whether this happens through voluntary activity (e.g., handcraft or business;) or otherwise. What is important is that the person concerned has some characteristic which entitles him/her to that excellence; for example, the person's being male or female which makes him/her entitled to a certain fixed portion in inheritance.
Philologists have opined that the verbs, al-kasb
, both are reserved for what a person acquires through voluntary action; even so, they say that the basic element in their meaning is 'acquisition'. It may be said that 'He has earned fame by his beauty.' Some exegetes have explained the verb in this verse in the same meaning. It may be said that the verb, al-iktisab
, in this verse has been used in this meaning by way of simile or extended simile.
In any case, the verb here cannot be restricted to what man acquires by his own efforts; because it would then mean: Men shall have benefit of the wealth they earn for themselves through their activities; and so shall the women. It would be a prohibition of coveting what other people have acquired through craft and production. This meaning is correct in itself, but the verse cannot be confined to it; otherwise it will have no relevance to the preceding verses of inheritance and marriage.
However, the correct meaning of the verse is as follows: Do not covet the financial and non-financial advantages and excellence which Allah has exclusively given to either men or women, and has thus given some of you excellence over the others; this bounty has been given to the concerned group because it has acquired and proved its entitlement by its psychological traits or physical activities (like trade, etc.); so it shall have its benefit, and every body shall have the benefit of what he or she has acquired.
: and ask Allah of His grace
.., : When one bestows some tiling on someone else, usually it is a surplus which the bestower does not need himself, that is why it is called "al-fadl"
which is translated here as 'grace' but literally means surplus. Allah has ordered people to turn their faces away from the bounties bestowed on others. But the desire of excellence in life and livelihood - rather, love of monopolizing it and surpassing all fellow beings in this respect - is an inseparable human trait. Therefore, the Qur'an tells them to look towards Allah Himself and to ask Him for His grace. They should turn away from what the others have got and look towards Allah to ask for His grace; the grace is in Allah's hands, and it is He Who has given everyone his or her excellence; He alone can give you the means to surpass others - the others whose bounties you desire and whose excellence you covet.
The grace to be asked for has been left vague by adding the preposition 'of before it. It has two implications:
It teaches the manner of invocation and prayer addressed to Allah. Man is basically ignorant of what would benefit - or harm - him in the long run, while Allah is aware of what would in reality be beneficial or harmful to His creatures, and He has power over all things. Therefore, it is only proper to ask Him for the best in what the invoker desires; he should not go on specifying what he wants and how should it reach him. Many times we have seen someone with intense desire of some things like wealth, child, honour or health; he was persistently praying for it, fixing his eyes on that goal; but when his prayer was answered and his desire fulfilled, it brought nothing but destruction and disaster, nullifying all his life's efforts.
It is an indication that one should not ask for something which would be contrary to the underlying divine reason of a certain creative or legislative excellence bestowed. It is imperative that one should not ask of the excellence exclusively reserved for others. If men ask the bounty given to women, or vice versa, and Allah grants their prayer, the underlying reason would be negated and the laid down laws and regulations nullified. Think it over.
When man prays to Allah for one of his pressing needs, he should not ask Him for what is given to other people; rather he should ask Him "from what is in His hands; even then he should not teach his Lord what is good for him, nor how should that benefit be brought to him. The only proper way is to ask Allah to fulfill his need in a way He deems best.
The concluding sentence, surely Allah knows all things
, explains the reason of the preceding prohibition: You should not covet the bounties which Allah has bestowed on others; Allah knows everything, He is not unaware of underlying reasons, nor does He make error in His decisions.
A Qur'anic Reality
Difference in men's aptitudes and abilities in acquisition of the life's advantages is based on natural creative phenomenon which inevitably brings about differences in the lives grades. And, as far as we know, this phenomenon has always been evident in human societies from the earliest times to this day.
In ancient times strong people subjugated weaker persons, using them according to their whims to fulfill their desires without any restraint or hindrance. The poor wretched had no choice but to submit to their orders, and to do as their 'masters' required them to do. But their hearts overflowed with rage and hatred, and they always waited for a chance to throw away that yoke. This system continued in history changing its appearance from time to time, beginning from shaikhdom and ending on monarchy and imperialism.
At last, human beings succeeded, through rising after rising, in bringing down this overpowering citadel of usurpation forcing the rulers to abide by the constitutions and laws made for society's well-being and happiness. On the surface, it puts an end to whimsical rules of tyrants. Human beings were no longer divided into various strata; there was no longer an autocratic ruler to lord over slaves whose rein was in his (master's) hand.
Even so, the tree of disorder and mischief continued to grow - finding another base to spread its roots, appearing in another shape - but the fruit was the same, the result unaltered. There remained the same difference between various classes, based on economic disparity. Some had wealth and riches piled up while others' hands were empty. The two groups were poles apart; the wealthy interfered in all aspects of society, because of their wealth, while the poor had no option but to stand and fight against oppression.
This resulted in appearance of communism which believed in sharing all resources of livelihood, by nullifying private property and taking away all capital from private hands. It said that every individual should enjoy the fruits of his labor, accomplished by his personal expertise. This erased the difference that was based on personal wealth and affluence. But it opened some new avenues of disorder and mischief which were unheard of in previous systems - it totally destroyed the free will of the individual and stripped him of all discretion and choice. But nature does not agree with it nor does human instinct allow it. And how can something continue if nature rejects it and human instinct discards it.
Apart from that, the communism has not removed the basic disorder. Human beings by nature do not like to exert themselves except where there is a possibility of gaining distinction and acquiring honour and position. Remove the element of competition and distinction and you have destroyed the work itself; it will result in negation of human nature.
The communists have tried to remove this basic difficulty by trying to fix the workers eyes on immaterial distinction and glory. But it has brought the difficulty back in toto.
If a man does not accept those distinctions as real, he will not try for them; and if he believes in them, it will have the same effect as the material incentive.
Democracy resorted to a strategy to remove the disorder sneaking into it. First, it employed wide spread propaganda to expose the defects of communism. Second, it levied heavy taxes that ate away a greater part of the profits of business and industry. But it was of no use. Exposition of the defects of their adversaries' system could not block the way of the defects and disorder infiltrating into their own system. Nor could the gathering of most of the profit in the treasury prevent the affluent classes from their luxurious life and the resulting oppression. Now, their strategy is to get power arid authority over the collected wealth, instead of personally owning it. They get the same benefits from that money by having authority over it and by managing it according to their wish, as they would have done it if was owned by them outright.
Neither the democrats could cure the disease nor the communists; and there is no medicine after burning.
All this is because the purpose and goal chosen by man for the society leads to the core of mischief and disorder; his adopted goal is enjoyment of material life by all means; and it cannot be divested of its basic conflict and disorder, whatever changes are brought into its appearance.
And what is the way adopted by Islam to uproot this disorder? It has given the man total freedom in all matters to which his nature leads. Then it has brought the two groups nearer by raising the have-nots' standard of life through levying various taxes on the 'haves', and lowering the haves' standard by prohibition of extravaganza and show of affluence that would increase their distance from middle classes; then it has created a balance with unity and good manners, and has diverted people's attention from material distinction to the honor of piety; and taught them to ask Allah for whatever bounty and excellence they desire.
This is to which the Qur'anic verses points: and ask Allah of His grace; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you who is most pious
(49:13); Therefore fly to Allah
(51: 50). We have already explained that by turning their faces towards Allah people would inevitably hold fast to the real and genuine causes for their desired goals - without resorting to lethargy in earning their livelihood or laziness in getting at their happiness and bliss. Strangely enough, some people say that Islam is a religion of idleness which discourages man from acquiring material benefits in life. Such assertion is totally off the mark and shows ignorance of the speakers.
This is a short note on this subject; and we have written in detail on various points of this subject in various discourses of this book.
: And to every one We have appointed heirs of what parents and near relatives leave...: "al-Mawali"
here as 'heirs') is plural of al-mawla
which is synonymous to al-wilayah
, although mostly it is used for some particular cases of al-wilayah
(rule, sovereignty, friendship, authority). For example, a slave's master is called his mawla
, as he has authority over him; a helper is called mawla
, because he manages the affairs of the helped one; an uncle's son is called mawla
as sometimes he acts as guardian of his uncle's daughter in matters of marriage. Most probably it is an infinite verb beginning with mim
or an adverb of place, indicating a person having in him some kind of authority - as today we say 'government ' or 'court' and mean the ruler or the judge.
(to tie) is opposite of "al-hall"
(to unite); "al-yamin
" is opposite of "al-yasar"
(left hand); al-yamin
means right hand, and is also used for oath; it has some other meanings also.
The verse follows the preceding one; And do not covet. .,
, having the same context, and contains the admonition to give due share to every one who is entitled to it, and declares that Allah has appointed for every one heirs in all that is left by parents and near relatives. It shows that this second verse, in conjunction with the preceding one, gives a gist of all the rules and laws laid down by the verses of inheritance; and sums up the detailed regulations. It is not unlike the verse: Men shall have a share of what the parents and the near relatives leave...
[4:7] which, coming before the verses of inheritance stated a general principle which served as the basis and referring point of the inheritance laws.
It follows that the heirs and the inherited ones (summed up in the verse) would refer to those who have been described in detail in the verses of inheritance. Thus, al-mawali
would refer to all who have been enumerated as heirs in those verses, like children, parents, brothers, sisters and so on.
Also, the three categories mentioned here - parents, near relatives and those with whom your right hands have ratified agreements - will apply to the three categories mentioned in the verses of inheritance, i.e., parents, near relatives and husband and wife.Thus the phrase: those with whom your right hands have ratified agreements
, would refer to the husband and the wife.
The meaning, therefore, will be as follows: And to every one of you, whether male or female, We have appointed heirs to inherit whatever property you leave behind. The preposition min
translated here as 'of') may also mean 'from'; in that case it would be connected with 'heirs'., i.e., inheritance originates from the property; it may alternatively be connected to a deleted but understood verb, 'they shall inherit', i.e., the heirs shall inherit from what you leave. What they leave refers to the property left by the deceased relatives - the parents, the near relatives and the husband and wife.
The phrase, "and those with whom your right hands have ratified agreements", alludes to husband and wife; it was a custom to shake hands at the conclusion of an agreement or deal; it was as though it was their right hand which had concluded the deal and ratified it. The meaning, therefore, will be as follows: those with whom you have established material relationship through formula of marriage.
"So give them", i.e., to the heirs, "their portion", which has been described in the verses of inheritance. The conjunction, 'so' connects the sentence with, and bases it on, the sentence, "And to every one We have appointed heirs...". The order to give them their share has been further emphasized by the concluding sentence, surely Allah is a witness over all things.
The above is the most appropriate of the meanings given by the exegetes. [The following are examples of some unsuitable explanations given by them:]
Some have said that al-mawali
(heirs, relatives, etc.) refers to agnates other than the heirs who are more entitled to the inheritance. But the wording of the verse does not support this view.
Also it has been said that min
(from, of) in "minuna tarak"
is explanatory, and refers to the heirs, i.e., to every one We have appointed heirs who shall inherit him, and they are those whom he has left behind, that is, the parents and near relatives.
Further it is said that the phrase, "those with whom your right hands have ratified agreements", refers to the allies. In pre-Islamic days a man used to make agreement with another, saying: 'My blood is your blood, my war is your war, my peace is your peace; and you shall inherit me and I shall inherit you; and you shall pay blood money for me and I shall pay blood money for you.' Such an ally used to get one-sixth of the estate of his deceased ally. According to this interpretation, the sentence will be disconnected from the preceding one, and would mean, 'give the allies their one-sixth share'. And then it will have to be treated as abrogated by the verse: and the possessors of relationship are nearer to each other in the ordinance of Allah
But some say that, "so give them their portion", means that they should be helped, advised and given material assistance; it does not refer to inheritance, hi that case there will be no abrogation in the verse.
Some others claim that the phrase refers to those whom the Prophet (s.a.w.) had declared to be 'brothers' to each other in Medina, and they inherited from each other, until the system was abrogated by the verse of inheritance.
Still others have said that it refers to those who were adopted as sons in the era of ignorance. According to them, this verse exhorts the Muslims to bequeath something to them, as it advises to give them their portions.
None of these meanings is supported by the text or the context of the verse, as any thoughtful scholar may realize; and that is why we see no need to rebut them.
: Men are the maintainers of women because of that with which Allah has made some of them to excel the others and because of what they spend out of their property. "al-Qayyim"
one who looks after the affairs of another person); al-qawwam
(give the same meaning in its highly emphasized form. The clause, "that with which Allah has made some of them to excel the others", refers to the natural characteristics of man in which he excels the woman; men have much greater judicious prudence than women, and consequently they are much stronger and braver and more capable of performing strenuous tasks requiring intrepidity and forbearance; while women's life is dominated by feelings and emotions and based on gracefulness and delicateness. The next phrase, "what they spend out of their property", refers to the wealth which men spend on women's dower and maintenance.
The generality of these causes shows that the resulting principle, "Men are the maintainers of women", is not confined to the husbands. In other words, it does not say that man is the main-tamer of his wife; rather it gives authority to the men, as a group, over the whole group of women, in the common affairs which effect lives of both sexes on the whole. The general social aspects which are related to man's excellence as, for example, rulership and judiciary, are the things on which a society depends for its continuence. It is because of the prudence and judiciousness which are found in men in a higher degree than in women. Likewise, the fight and defense depend on strength and far-reaching strategic planning. In such affairs men have authority over women.
Consequently, the order, Men are the maintainers of women
, is totally unrestricted and comprehensive, while the next sentence, the good women are therefore obedient...
, is apparently restricted to the relationship between a man and his wife, as will be explained later on. This next declaration has branched out from the above general principle; but it does not restrict its generality in any way.
QUR'AN: the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded: "as-Salah"
(merit, virtue, goodness); "al-qunut"
(abiding obedience and submission). Its place, opposite to, those on whose part you fear recalcitrance
, shows that "the good women" means good wives; and that it is applied to them during continuance of matrimony, not before or after that; and that the sentence, "the good women are therefore obedient..." which gives an order in the form of praise, and means that they should be obedient and should guard... - is an order related to matrimonial affairs and domestic life. Even so, it is a command whose scope of jurisdiction depends on its basic cause - the man's maintaining the woman by virtue of marriage. It is therefore incumbent upon her to obey him and guard their mutual or conjugal affairs.
Let us explain it further. Men as a group have authority over women as a group in those common affairs which have more affinity with man's enhanced prudence and hardiness, i.e., rulership, judiciary and wax; but it does not negate the independence of woman in her individual will and activities, she decides what she wants and acts as she wishes and man has no right to interfere in any way - except when she intends to do something unlawful. In short, there is no restriction on them in whatever they want to do for themselves in a proper way. In the same way, husband's authority over the wife does not mean that she has lost control over her own self or property or is restricted in her will or action regarding its management; nor does it mean that woman is not free and independent in safeguarding and protecting her personal and social rights, nor is she hindered from adopting suitable means to achieve those rights. Rather it means that when the husband spends his wealth on her in return for conjugal rights, then she must obey and submit to him in all things connected with sexual intercourse (when he is present), and protect him in his absence - she should not betray him behind his back by having unlawful affairs with another man. Also she should not deceive him concerning the property which he gives her by virtue of matrimony as a partner in domestic life.
The sentence, "the good women are therefore obedient..." means that they should achieve goodness for themselves; then inevitably they would be obedient. In other words, they are obliged to submit to their husbands and obey them without fail in all matters pertaining to conjugal relations. Also they must safeguard their interest in all their rights during their absence.
Apparently the word ma
(translated here with 'as') in the clause, "as Allah has guarded", has the import of infinitive verb, and bi
implies instrumentality. The meaning therefore will be as follows: The good women are obedient to their husbands and guard their interest in their absence, through the husband's rights which Allah has preserved by giving him the authority and obliging the wives to obey them and guard the unseen for them.
Alternatively, the letter bi
may imply exchange. Then it will mean that the wives are obliged to obey and guard the unseen in exchange of the rights which Allah has bestowed on the wives, as He has given a new life to them in human society and has obliged the men to pay them dower and maintenance. But the former meaning is more obvious.
Some other meanings have been given by exegetes, but it is not necessary to mention them as none of them is supported by the context.
(as to) those on whose part you fear recalcitrance, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping places, and beat them;: "an-Nushuz"
(disobedience, refusal to submit); fear of recalcitrance connotes appearance of the signs of disobedience. The order is based, not on disobedience, but on its fear. It is in order that the man should keep the admonition at the level suitable at a particular stage, because admonition has its place at the beginning of recalcitrance as well as at the appearance of its signs - [but with less intensity].
The three remedies - admonition, leaving them alone in the sleeping places and beating - have to be applied one after another in that sequence, although they have been mentioned together, joined with the conjunctive 'and'. First comes admonition; if that fails, then leaving her alone in the sleeping place; if that too proves ineffective, then the beating. This gradual process is inferred from the sequence wherein these remedies are increasing in intensity from leniency to severity. In short, this graduality is inferred from the context, not from the conjunctive 'and'.
It appears from the words, "leave them alone in the sleeping places", that he is not asked to sleep in a separate bed, but he should show his displeasure by turning away from her and not touching her, etc. It is far-fetched to believe that it means leaving her bed altogether. The meaning given by us may be supported by the fact that "sleeping places" has been used in plural; apparently there was no need of the plural if the latter meanings were intended.
: then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them:
That is, if they are obedient to you, then do not be on look out for excuses to trouble them. Why? Because surely Allah is High, Great.
Greatness and grandeur is reserved for your Lord; do not be deceived by your power and strength nor use it in oppressing your wives, thinking yourselves too high and superior.
: And if you fear a breach between the two... Allah is Knowing, Aware: "ash-Shiqaq"
(breach, enmity). Allah has ordered to appoint two judges, as it would reduce the possibility of injustice and arbitrariness. If the husband and wife both desire reconciliation, without obstinacy and obduracy, Allah will create harmony between them. When both parties divest themselves of power, and entrust the two judges with the responsibility of effecting harmony, then reconciliation is bound to follow.
The verse attributes effecting of harmony to Allah, although there happens to be a normal cause, i.e., the parties' willingness to be reconciled and their acceptance of the judges' decision. It is because Allah is the real cause; it is he who relates causes to effects, and gives everyone his right. The speech ends with the sentence, "surely Allah is Knowing, Aware;" its appropriateness is self-evident.
A Discourse on Men's Authority Over Women
It is not secret that the noble Qur'an puts great emphasis on healthy human intellect, and prefers it over desire and pleasure-seeking. It does not encourage people to follow their excessive passions and emotions. It exhorts man to follow the path of reason, and admonishes him to guard this divine gift, lest it be lost. This Qur'anic reality is well-known and needs no bookish proof; there are a lot of verses that point to it explicitly and implicitly, in various way and different words.
Even so, the Qur'an has not neglected good and pure feelings and emotions, nor has it turned its eyes from their important and beautiful effects which help man to properly build his self, and which in its turn gives strength to the society. For example:
...severe against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves;..
...that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion;...
Say: "Who has prohibited the embellishment of Allah which He has brought forth for His servants and the good provisions ?"
Yet He has balanced it by requiring it to conform with the demands of intellect; thus by following such feelings and emotions, one would in fact be following the intellect.
It has been explained somewhere earlier that it is because of the protection which Islam accords to the intellect (by basing all its ordained laws on reason) that it has prohibited all such actions, and forbidden all such conditions, and declared as unlawful all such characteristics, which confuse the intellect in its judgment and cause it to act haphazardly in its implementation, thus making it lose its bearing in the society's affairs; for example, liquor, gambling, fraudulent deals, lies, slander and backbiting.
This much is enough to convince a thoughtful scholar that as far as the broad issues and general social aspects - like rulership, judiciary and war - are concerned, they have to be controlled by intellect, free from the influence of emotions and feelings. Thus they have to be entrusted, not to women but, to men who are governed more by intellectual power than emotional feelings.
And this is what Allah has ordained, when He says: Men are the maintainers of women
; and the prophetic pronouncements, being the expositions of the Qur'anic principles, establish its factu-ality; and the Prophet (s.a.w.) followed this principle throughout his life; he did not appoint any woman as a ruler or governor of any people, nor did he give her any judicial post, nor were they called upon to participate in any war, i.e., to actively fight in it.
As for other aspects of life, like learning, teaching, trade deals, nursing, medical profession, etc. - the tasks which are not hindered by emotion and feeling - the Prophet's ahadith
(traditions) do not prohibit it, and the Prophet himself had allowed many of it. The Qur'an too is not without some hint to its being lawful for the women, because it is a necessary concomitant of the freedom of will and action which women have been allowed in many aspects of life. They have been removed from man's guardianship, and given independent right of owning property and wealth; then how can they be stopped from managing that property and developing it in a way they think fit. Likewise, it would be meaningless to give them the right to lodge a case or to give evidence in a case and then to forbid them to appear before a judge or magistrate. And so on and so forth.
Of course, their freedom will cease if it collides with the husband's right. She is duty-bound to obey him in his presence and protect his interests in his absence, and any right of hers which stands in the way of his rights will cease to exist.
The author of Majma'u'l-bayan
explains the verse, And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others
, in these words. "One should not say, 'Would that the bounty and the beautiful woman which that man has got were for me'; for it would be jealousy; but one is allowed to say: 'O Allah! give me similar to that'." Then he has written that it has been narrated from Abu 'Abdillah (a.s.).
The author says:
al-'Ayyashi too has narrated this tradition in his at-Tafsir
from the same Imam (a.s.).
Ibn Shahrashub narrated from al-Baqir and as-Sadiq (a.s.) about the words of Allah, That is Allah's grace; He grants it to whom He pleases
, and, do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others
, that they were revealed about Ali (a.s.).
The author says
: This tradition is based on the principle of the flow of the Qur'an; in other words it points to an application of the verses.
Ibrahim ibn Abi'l-Bilad narrates through his father from Abu Ja'far (a.s.) that he said: "There Is no soul but Allah has apportioned for him his sustenance lawfully which is to reach him with ease and comfort; and He has also shown it (the sustenance) to him alternatively by unlawful means; if he takes something by unlawful means, Allah reduces it from Ms apportioned lawful (sustenance); and Allah has with Him plenty of grace, apart from the two (aforesaid portions of sustenance); and that is the (meaning of the) word of Allah, and ask Allah of His grace" (al-Kafi; at-Tafsir
The author says:
al-'Ayyashi has narrated it from Isma'il ibn Kathir who has reported it from the Prophet (s.a.w.). Also the same meaning has been narrated from Abu'l-Hudhayl from as-Sadiq (a.s.). A nearly similar tradition has been reported by al-Qumml in his at-Tafsir
from al-Husayn ibn Muslim from al-Baqir(a.s.).
We have already discussed in the second volume the meaning of sustenance, its apportionment and its division into lawful and unlawful, under the verse, and Allah provides with sustenance whom He pleases without measure
Ibn Mas'ud says that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said: "Ask Allah of His grace, because Allah loves to be asked." (as-Sahfh
Ibn Jarir has narrated through Hakim ibn Jubayr from a man whom he has not named who said that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) had said: "Ask Allah of His grace, because Allah loves to be asked; and that the best of worship is to wait for ease." (ad-Durru 1-manthur)
[ash-Shaykh at-Tusi] has narrated through his chains from Zurarah that he said: "I heard Abu 'Abdillah (a.s.) reciting, And to every one We have appointed heirs of what parents and near relatives leave
; then he said: 'He [Allah] refers [with the word, mawali
] to the relatives who inherit, not to benefactors; the most entitled to (the inheritance of) a deceased is the one who is nearest to the womb that connects him to the deceased '." (at-Tahdhib)
The same author narrates through his chains from Ibrahim ibn Muhriz that he said: "A man asked Abu Ja'far (a.s.), in my presence, about a person who said to his wife, 'Your affair is in your hand.' [The Imam, a.s.] said: 'How can it be, while Allah says, "Men are the maintainers of women" ?
1t is nothing.'" (ibid.)
Ibn Abi Hatim has narrated through Ash'ath ibn 'Abdi'l-Malik from al-Hasan that he said: "A woman came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) complaining against her husband that he had slapped her. The Messenger of Allah, (s.a.w.) said: 'Retribution.' Then Allah sent down the verse, Men are the maintainers of women...
; so the woman returned without retribution." (ad-Durru'l-manthur)
The author says:
[as-Suyuti] has narrated it from the Prophet (s.a.w.) through other chains too. Some of them say that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said: "I wanted one thing but Allah decided otherwise." Probably it was a case of the woman's recalcitrance; otherwise, the verse, then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them
, disallows it (the slapping).
Moreover, there is another snag in-these traditions' apparent meaning. Apparently the Prophet's word, "Retribution", was an answer to a religious question of the questioner to explain the rule of shari'ah
; it could not be a judgment of a case as the opposite party was not present. If so, then it would mean that the said verse was sent down to show the error of the Prophet (s.a.w.) in exposition of the law, but it goes against his being sinless. Again, it could not be an abrogation, because it cancelled the law before it was acted upon. Of course, there were some instances where Allah had amended some prophetic orders by adding to or deleting from it, but it was only in his administrative orders, not in matters of the law ordained by him for his people; otherwise it would have been an invalid nullification.
Abu 'l-Jarud has narrated from Abu Ja'far (a.s.) that the word, "qanitat"
means obedient ones.
Abu Ja'far (as.) has said that, leave them alone in the sleeping places
, means that man should turn away from her; and beat them
, means hitting her with tooth brush- (Majma 'u'l-bayan)
[al-Kulayni] has narrated through his chain from Abu Bastr that Abu 'Abdillah (a.s.) said about the words of Allah, then appoint a judge from his people and a judge from her people:
"The two judges will make a condition that they may decide to separate them if they so wish, and to join them if they so wish. Then if they caused separation it would be lawful and if they joined them it would be lawful." (al-Kafi)
The author says:
This and nearly similar meaning has been narrated through several other chains in al-Kafi
Ibn Muslim has narrated from Abu Ja'far (a.s.) that he said: "The Leader of the faithful (a.s.) gave judgment concerning a woman whom a man had married with an undertaking given to her and her people that she would be [ipso facto]
divorced if he married another woman and neglected her, or if he took a slave-girl in her presence. He [the Leader of the faithful] said: 'The condition laid down by Allah has precedence over your condition. [It is upto him;] he may fulfil his condition if he so desires; or he may keep this woman and also marry another woman, or take a slave-girl if he so wishes; and then he may leave (this) woman if she comes in his way. Allah has said in His Book:... then marry such
(other) women as seem good to you, two and three and four...
[4:3];... of those whom your right hands possess
(as to) those on whose part you fear recalcitrance, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great'
al-Bayhaqi has narrated from Asma bint Yazid al-Ansariyyah that she came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and he was (sitting) among his companions. She said: "My father and mother be your ransom! I have come to you as representative of the women-folk; and you should know, may I be your ransom! that there is no women, be she in the east or in the west who, having heard of my this deputation, does not agree with my views.
"Surely Allah has sent you with truth to the men and the "women. We do believe in you and your God who has sent you. We women-folk are confined and under pressure, restricted to your houses, satisfying your sexual urge, carrying your offspring; while you men-folk have got superiority over us by Friday and congregational prayers, visiting sick, attending funerals, performing hajj
, and, even better than that, fighting in the way of Allah. Even so, when one of you goes out for hajj
or camping (for jihad)
, we women guard your properties for you, spin your clothes for you and bring up your properties for you. Then what is our share in reward, 0 Messenger of Allah? "
The Prophet (s.a.w.) turned his face to his companions, and said: "Have you ever heard any woman talking in a better way than this question of hers concerning her religious affairs?" They said: "O Messenger of Allah! We never thought that any woman would find her way to a (talk) like this."
Then the Prophet (s.a.w.) turned towards her and said: "O woman! Go back and inform those women who are behind you that when one of you behaves nicely towards her husband, and seeks his pleasure and pursues his conformance, then this equals (in reward) to all those activities of men."
The woman then turned back happily saying: "La ilaha ilia Allah"
and "Allahu Akbar". (ad-Durru'l-manthur)
The author says:
There are numerous traditions of similar import, narrated in the Shi'ah and Sunni collections of hadith
The most beautiful is the hadith
narrated in al-Kafi
from Abu Ibrahim Musa ibn Ja'far (peace be on both): "Woman's jihad
is (her) nice behaviour towards (her) husband." The most comprehensive is the sentence narrated in Nahju'l-balaghah
that also points to the basic reason of this legislation; and it has also been narrated by al-Kulayni through his chain of narrators from 'Abdullah ibn Kathir from as-Sadiq (a.s.) from Ali (a.s.);and also through his chain from al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah from 'Ali (a.s.) quoting a letter which he (a.s.) had written to "his" son; "Surely, woman is a flower, and not a steward."
Also it has been narrated from the Prophet (s.a.w.) that he said: "Woman is but a doll; he who takes it should not destroy it." The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) used to wonder aloud: "How can you embrace the woman with a hand you had hit her with?"
It is narrated also in al-Kafi
through his chain from Abu Maryam from Abu Ja'far (a.s.) that he said: "The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) has said: 'What! does one of you hit the woman and then goes embracing her?'" Countless such statements are found in traditions; and one may understand from them the Islamic views on this subject.
Let us turn our attention to the above-mentioned hadith
of Asma' bint Yazid al-Ansariyyah. If we think over this and other similar traditions which show that women used to come to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and talk to him on religious matters that concerned them; and also look at various laws ordained by Islam about them, it will be clear that although they observed hijab
= veil) and confined themselves mostly to the domestic affairs, they were not prevented from approaching the highest authority, trying to solve the problems confronting them which they were unable to solve by themselves. This is the freedom of faith which we had described under the last verse of the chapter of "The House of'Imran".
It may be inferred from this and other similar traditions that:
The woman's life-style, preferred and liked by Islam, is that she should confine herself to the management of domestic affairs and bringing up the children. Of course, it is an emphasized sunnah
and not an obligatory order. Yet the exhortation and persuasion to follow this highly recommended path had preserved and guarded this system, especially as the atmosphere was that of religion, and environment, of piety, when people sought the pleasure of Allah and preferred the reward of hereafter over worldly gains, and women were brought up and trained in good characteristics like chastity and modesty, love of children and involvement in domestic life.
Their engagement in these affairs and their focus on revival of pure feelings (ingrained in their beings) prevented them from coming to men's gatherings or mingling with men (even within the permitted limits). Its proof may be found in the un-interrupted continuation of this custom among the Muslims for centuries and centuries after the early days of Islam. This continued until the western licentiousness - called "freedom of women" - seeped into the society. It brought in its wake - for both men and women - moral corruption and life's destruction in a way they do not realize - but will soon see. And if the people of the towns had believed and guarded
(against evil), We would certainly have opened up for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they rejected so We overtook them for what they had earned
It is a part of the laid down shari'ah
of Islam to forbid women to fight (in jihad)
, in the same way as they are prevented from judgeship and rulership.
Islam has not left these deprivations (e.g., woman's inability to participate in jihad
in the way of Allah) without suitably compensating the women for it, nor without making up for it with such virtuous acts of equal value which have intrinsic real glory. For example, it has made good matrimonial behavior as equal to jihad
for women. May be, these virtues and glories have lost their value in our eyes - as we live in these days in this polluted atmosphere. But the Islamic social order evaluates every thing accurately and exhorts people to try to excel one another in human excellence which is appreciated by Allah (and He measures everything with truth). When a person proceeds on the path he or she is required to walk on, and keeps to the lane prescribed for Mm or her, the Islamic society evaluates his/her achievement in such a way that various services and activities are considered equal in value to some other services and activities of the same importance. In the eyes of Islam, man's martyrdom on the battlefield and sacrifice of his life's blood - in spite of its great glory - is no better than woman's good matrimonial behavior. Likewise, a ruler manages the affairs of society, and a judge sits in the judicial court. These are the jobs that give no privileges to their holders. If a ruler or a judge follows the path of truth and justice in his actions and decisions, he gets no worldly reward; on the other hand, lie carries a heavy burden of responsibilities on his shoulders, and puts himself in various types of dangers and pitfalls which endanger his spiritual and material well-being - especially in respect of the rights of those who have no protector except the Lord of the worlds, and surely your Lord is on lookout.
Now what superiority these officials have got over a woman who has been forbidden by religion to accept such responsibilities, and has been shown a different path and advised not to deviate from it.
Only that society can strengthen and revitalize these sociologically important and essential responsibilities (by encouraging a group to volunteer for them) which trains its members to come forward to do whatever they are called to, without any reservation.
No one can deny that social orders and human behavior differ with changes in the societies' atmosphere. Look at that soldier who puts his life in the utmost danger - that of high explosive bombs that would shatter his life. He volunteers for it for glory, hoping that his name will be included in the roll of honor as the one who sacrificed his life for his country. He prides himself on it considering himself superior to all, while he himself believes that death is total annihilation. Thus that supposed honor is mere imagination and that superiority just a myth. In the same way these film stars influence the whole society, basking in a glory which many heads of states would envy. But the work they do and the way they expose themselves to the public was considered for untold centuries the greatest disgrace a woman could face, the ugliest ignominy she could be accused of. Why this change? It is because the social environment decides what should be acceptable to the masses; it glorifies the vulgar and disgraces the respectable. That being the case, what is wrong if Islam exalts some things which we - living in this volatile era - consider vile; or if it regards some things with contempt which we consider good enough to be vied for. Remember that the environment in the early days of Islam was that of piety - where people preferred the hereafter to this world.
Edited by Maitham, 25 June 2012 - 10:15 PM.