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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 4 (Al-Nisa’ - The Women) > Section 19 (Verses 127 to 134)


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Section/Ruku Ruku 19 [Verses 127 to 134]: Equitable dealings with orphans and women:
Chapter Chapter 4: (Al-Nisa’: The Women)
(Revealed at Madinah: 24 sections; 176 verses)

1. Translation:

127 TAnd they ask thee a decision about women. Say: Allah makes known to you His decision concerning them; and that which is recited to you in the Book is concerning widowed women, whom you give not what is appointed for them, while you are not inclined to marry them, nor to the weak among children, and that you should deal justly with orphans. And whatever good you do, Allah is surely ever Knower of it.
a

128 And if a woman fears ill-usage from her husband or desertiona no blame is on them if they effect a reconciliation between them. And reconciliation is better. And avarice is met with in (men’s) minds. And if you do good (to others) and keep your duty, surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do.

129 And you cannot do justice between wives, even though you wish (it), but be not disinclined (from one) with total disinclination, so that you leave her in suspense. And if you are reconciled and keep your duty, surely Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

130 And if they separate, Allah will render them both free from want out of His ampleness. And Allah is ever Ample-giving, Wise.

131 And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And certainly We enjoined those who were given the Book before you and (We enjoin) you too to keep your duty to Allah. And if you disbelieve, surely to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And Allah is ever Self-sufficient, Praiseworthy.

132 And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And Allah suffices as having charge of affairs.

133 If He please, He will take you away, O people, and bring others. And Allah is ever Powerful to do that.

134 Whoever desires the reward of this world — then with Allah is the reward of this world and the Hereafter. And Allah is ever Hearing, Seeing.

2. Commentary:

127a. The reference in the words, that which is recited to you in the Book, is to v. 3, see 3a. There is almost a consensus of opinion on this point. Yatama-l-nisa’i means orphans of women; also women having no husbands or widows (LA). The doing of good to women and orphans is stressed in the Holy Qur’an again and again. What is stated here is that a decision regarding the doing of good to women, to weak children and to orphans has already been given. The words, and that which is recited to you in the Book is concerning widowed women whom you give not what is appointed for them while you are not inclined to marry them, are parenthetical, being a reference to v. 3. Whatever significance of the words yatama-l-nisa’i is adopted, the meaning of the parenthetical passage is that the order given in v. 3 in the words if you fear that you cannot do justice to orphans marry such women as seem good to you, relates to orphans of the women (or to widows) whom their share in inheritance was denied, both their share and the share of their orphan children, nor were people inclined to marry them owing to the burden which they brought with them in the shape of their children. So the permission was given that they may marry such women, even up to four. It is an admitted fact that widows and their orphaned children received no share of inheritance. The Qur’an brought about a great change: it required the giving of inheritance to both women and their orphaned children, and it also recommended that such women should be taken in marriage. The reference to v. 3 is made further clear in v. 129 which speaks of justice between wives. [Back to verse 127]

128a. There are two words, nushuz and i‘rad, used here. The former literally means rising, and nushuz on the part of the wife has already been explained in 34e. Nushuz on the part of the husband signifies treating her unjustly, being unkind to her or disliking and hating her (LL), and hence it is rendered here as ill-usage or cruelty. I‘rad is literally turning away, avoiding, shunning or leaving a thing. Hence I render it as desertion. [Back to verse 128]

 

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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 4 (Al-Nisa’ - The Women) > Section 19 (Verses 127 to 134)


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