Exposition of the Holy Quran – 24 Surah An-Noor (G A Parwez)
Surah 24: An-Noor
(The Radiated Light)
(1) We have revealed this surah (like other surahs of the Qur’an) and have made obedience to it obligatory (like other injunctions of the Qur’an – 28:85). The injunctions in it are very clear, so that you may always keep the facts in front of you (and know which laws must be obeyed and which matters you should abstain from).
(2) (One difference between man and animals is that the latter have no sense of chastity. The protection of chastity is essential for the development and growth of both the individual and the nation. Islamic society lays emphasis on protection of chastity and in this regard, the first commandment is:) Flog each of the zania (adulteress) and zani (adulterer) with one hundred lashes. Let no compassion for them deter you from carrying out the law of Allah; if you truly believe in Allah and the Day of Judgment. (If you have faith in the fact that these are the divine laws and that you will surely have to face the consequences, either in this world or in the hereafter) Openly enforce this punishment in the presence of a group of momineen. (The punishment for slave girls is half of that – 4:25. The punishment for other immoral acts has been given in verse 4:15.)
(3) Zina (illicit sexual intercourse) is not an ordinary offence. If you analyze it carefully, the only woman who would agree to such sexual contact is one who does not consider her chastity to be a permanent value; or who becomes subservient to her passions (instead of the divine laws) and surrenders to every urge (45:23). Similarly, the only man who agrees to having such sexual intercourse is one who surrenders to his passions and does not differentiate between human and animal life. (Thus zina can only take place when both the man and woman are driven by similar desires – 24:26. If even one of them wants to remain chaste, there is no possibility of such an act ever taking place. That is why the punishment for zina is equal for both, the man and the woman). Such a relationship is forbidden for momineen(1-2).
(4) Since chastity is regarded as a very precious virtue and a permanent value, every step should be taken to protect and safeguard it. In this context, it is hereby decreed that those who accuse a virtuous woman and fail to bring in four witnesses in support of their accusation, shall be flogged with eighty lashes and thereafter never again be accepted as a witness. (Deprive them of the civic rights which are normally availed by all citizens; and if even that does not deter them then inflict a severer punishment on them – 24:23.) This is because they have abandoned the right path and have become wicked transgressors.
(5) However, if these people revert and refrain from such a course and make amends, and reform themselves, then they can be pardoned. (The divine law has such in-built provisions for the one who does tauba (to repent and undo what wrong has been done) and reforms himself. In this way, a less serious offender remains safe from punishment and continues to receive means of nourishment.)
(6) As for those who accuse their wives but have no witness except themselves, let such a person call upon Allah four times to witness that he indeed is telling the truth.
(7) And when calling out the fifth time, he should declare that if he is indeed telling a
lie, then Allah’s curse should be upon him.
(In other words, he should be deprived of the facilities and fundamental rights which he enjoys as a citizen of the Islamic state.)
(8-9) If the woman comes out in her defense and similarly calls upon Allah four times to witness that the man is indeed telling a lie, and if during the fifth time declares that if he indeed is truthful, then let Allah’s curse be upon her (that is she should be punished for taking a false oath). In this way she will be absolved of the accusation.
(10) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! It is Allah’s grace and rahma that in His laws He has provided for forgiveness and leniency. (The philosophy and wisdom behind this provision is that if anyone, after realizing his fault leaves the erroneous path and returns to the divine laws, then in turn the divine laws also come back to him, speedily restoring all his rights. This approach is based on absolute wisdom, in that the purpose of making a law is to protect society as well as to reform the offender. Why must punishment be inflicted if this objective can be achieved by forgiveness and leniency?)
(11) (In the light of these directives, think about the incident which took place in your society when) Some people amongst you brought up a claim against others (24:12). They thought that this would gravely disturb the whole atmosphere, but you should not worry as such a thing will not happen. On the contrary, something good has come out of this (in that a definite case has been decided according to the above laws and society has learnt what it ought to do in such situations). Now, everyone will receive due punishment for their misdeeds; and the ringleader’s penalty will be more grievous than that of others.
(12) (But under the circumstances, those who fabricated the accusation and unduly publicized it must be held answerable, but others too cannot be absolved of their responsibility. Just ask them) “When you heard this rumour, why was your first reaction not like that of righteous men and women? You should have shown a positive attitude about your own people and should have responded: ‘This appears to be an accusation.’” (Until such time that an accused is found guilty in a court of law, he should be considered innocent.)
(13) Moreover, it was incumbent upon the people who had made this accusation to bring four witnesses in support of their allegations (24:4). Since they failed to do so, it is they who are liars according to the divine law.
(14) This was only due to Allah’s grace and rahma (that the rumour did not spread far and was quickly brought under control); otherwise, given the way you had got involved in this mischief, it could have brought you nothing but devastation and misery. The adverse effects would be felt in the present, and would have continued into your future life. (It is quite possible that your society would have become involved in a sort of civil war, severely damaging your present life and the hereafter; for the conscious killing of one momin by another brings about the chastisement of jahannam – 4:93.)
(15) In fact you did not realize the importance of the matter and took it very lightly. Therefore the moment you heard it, you started talking about the matter and spread it further without due inquiry (17:36). You thought that this was an ordinary matter, but according to the divine laws it was a serious issue.
(16) And (once again) when you had heard this rumour for the first time, you should have said, “It does not suit us to say anything about it. Without doubt it is Allah alone Who is faultless; but apparently this rumour does seem to be a very serious accusation.”
(17) (Although this episode is over now) Allah admonishes you severely. If you are a momin you should never do such a thing again.
(18) This is the reason why He has clearly explained to you the provisions of the law concerning the making of false accusations. He is All-knowing and every word of His is based on wisdom.
(19) Take note that those of you who want to spread such scandals within the Jamat-ul-Momineen, will be severely punished in this world (due to the laws) as well as in the hereafter. Allah knows (how seriously it damages society) whereas you do not.
(20) The fact (as has been said in 24:14) is that were it not for Allah’s grace and rahma, you would have come into serious trouble. (He guides you aright in such matters because) He does not want anyone to be ruined due to ignorance. He is for the protection of human beings, not their destruction.
(21) (Everywhere there are people who like to spread mischief in society.) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! You are advised not to follow the footsteps of such mischief-mongers. They incite those who follow them, encouraging them towards vulgarity. (This not only causes disorder in society but it also retards the growth of human abilities.) And were it not for Allah’s grace and rahma on you (and had He not given you a code of conduct like the Qur’an), none of you would be able to develop your human abilities. Such development can take place only according to the laws given by Allah, Who is all-hearing, all-knowing.
(22) (Now that the episode is over, you too should consider it to be a bygone affair. Let it not leave behind any effect. We are fully aware of the feelings of those who have been directly or indirectly hurt by this accusation.) In their hearts they must have a lot of bitter feelings against the accusers, but the incident which has been put behind by Allah now stands closed. (You should also forget it; and wipe off its traces from your minds.) It should not be that the affluent and generous, who have been helping their near ones who cannot earn enough for themselves as well as the muhajireen (migrants from Makkah), should stop doing so. You should also not swear to stop monetary help for anyone who was unfortunately involved in this incident (saying that in future you shall have nothing to do with them). This should not happen at all. (Just consider: If this was a lapse on the part of anyone amongst you, would you not desire Allah’s protection against its evil effects? This is exactly what these people desire. This is why Allah has incorporated the provisions of protection and nourishment.)
(23) (Although human relations demand benevolence, the provisions of law demand justice under all circumstances. And the law is that) Whosoever accuses chaste women, who even in their dreams would not think of such lewd acts, should be deprived of civic rights (in addition to receiving the punishment mentioned in 29:4).
Furthermore, they will be punished in the hereafter. (But they will not be deprived of their rights which they were enjoying as human beings. The accused or convict is, after all, a human being. He should not be deprived of those rights.)
(24) (The exigency of equity and justice is such that even if an accused is let off by the court because of insufficient evidence, or even if he is not apprehended in this world, he will not escape the punishment in the hereafter.) In the hereafter their tongues, hands and feet would testify against them and clearly describe all that they had done. (Thus they will be unable to escape the punishment there.)
(25) On that day everyone will be paid back in full measure for their deeds; and they will surely realize that the Law of Mukafat is an established truth.
(26) (In ordinary circumstances a wicked criminal, by concealing his misdeeds, may leave a court as a free man; and as before he would be considered to be from amongst the decent people. Likewise, it may happen that a decent and pious woman may not obtain an honorable acquittal from the court, and is instead placed in the category of wicked people. However, whenever a fair judicial system is established, such things would rarely happen; and in the world hereafter it will not be possible at all.) At that time the wicked will be with the wicked, and the pious with pious people. Those who have been falsely and slanderously accused will be absolved. They shall be safe from the mischief of wicked people and also obtain honorable means of nourishment (24:3).
(By the degree to which the environment and standard of justice come close to that in the hereafter, life here will also continue to become similar to that in janna.)
(27) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! (Now listen to some social directives) When you go to any house other than your own, seek permission; do not enter till you are granted permission to do so. (Thereafter) Greet the residents of the house with prayers of peace and best wishes. It is better for you to keep in mind the ethics and norms of this social code, so that your society always considers the high principles of human relations.
(28) And do not enter if you find no one in the house. Whatever the case may be, enter the houses of others only when you are given permission. And if you are asked to leave, then turn back (without having any ill feeling).
The circumstances around you will improve considerably by practicing this social code. Allah’s law is well aware of whatever you do.
(29) There is however, no harm if you enter houses not meant for living, such as where goods belonging to you are kept (like a warehouse). In case goods belonging to others are also kept there and you are going in alone, there should be no dishonest intention in your mind. Bear in mind that the Law of Mukafat is fully aware of all you do openly and all that you conceal.
(30) (O Rasool! Now convey to them another directive.) Tell the momineen that they should not let their gaze go wayward and (to keep in view) that their chastity should not become tarnished. (Eyes can also secretly let wrong ideas develop and lead to lewdness in society.) The human personality is nourished by purity of sight and mind. (Also tell them that these directives are not to be observed mechanically. They should become a part of their personality because) Allah’s Law of Mukafat is fully aware about which action takes place mechanically (and which occurs spontaneously from the depth of one’s heart).
(31) Likewise, tell momin women not to let their gazes go wayward; they should also fully guard their chastity. It is also imperative for them not to display their adornments, except what becomes apparent by itself when moving around normally (as intentional display would mean that they have an inner desire to express(3)). And let them cover their bosoms (so that mischief-mongers cannot say that they were unaware that these ladies were noble, otherwise they would not have pestered them – 33:59). While walking they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.
The above directive that women should not display their adornments is necessary only for the non-mahram (those who one can marry). The mahram (who one cannot marry) are not included. The mahram are: their husbands; their fathers; their husband’s fathers; their sons; their husband’s sons (including their own sons or stepsons); their brothers; their brother’s sons; their sister’s sons; their women-folk (known or familiar to them); their male or female slaves (who in those days were commonly working as domestic servants); aged male attendants who are beyond sexual desires; and children who are as yet unaware of sexual relations. (Note that the Qur’an closed the doors on
slavery; and all slaves were gradually absorbed into society.)
These are general laws for society, to which all momin men and women should revert so that they may attain happiness and success.
(32) It is also the duty of your society to make arrangements for the marriage of unmarried males or females (whether they are bachelors, widows or widowers); and also for male or female slaves(4) who are capable of marriage. (In other words society should make arrangements that one should not have any difficulty in finding a suitable match. Also if those who intend to marry need financial help, suitable support should be arranged.)
All arrangements should be made by the social order ordained by Allah, Who is infinite in His bounties and is all-knowing. (The state government that is formed under divine laws must be like this.)
(33) And let those who cannot afford to marry, live in continence (and protect their chastity(5)) till the divine system makes suitable arrangements for them.
And for your male and female slaves who desire to obtain a release, write it out for them, provided you think that they are capable of looking after themselves. (In other words, you have to ensure that they are not dull or weak in understanding, and are capable of looking after themselves on their own – 4:5-6.) For that purpose give them something from yourself, out of the wealth
that Allah has provided to you. Do not stop your young girls (maid servants or slave girls) who are desirous of marriage, from marrying in order to gain some worldly benefit. They may otherwise resort to illicit relations. If any one of you forces them to do so, there exists a provision in the divine law for their protection against this coercion and for their nourishment. (It certainly is incumbent on the divine system to protect their rights.)
(34) And We have revealed unto you these directives in clear and candid terms. Also (in order to explain and illustrate them further) We have quoted some evidence from the history of earlier generations, showing what happens to those who rebel against the divine laws. Therefore, Our directives and the historical evidence given in their support are clear guidelines which provide high ethical values for those who want their lives to be safe from devastation.
( 35) (All these guidelines coming to you from Allah Almighty, will illuminate the dark avenues of your life – 5:15, 42:52.) This light (is not given to you alone but) is spread throughout the universe.
(Allah has created everything and then provided the guidance which would take it to its destined course – 20:51. This light has not been provided to you alone; it is spread all over. This guidance is given instinctively to everything in the universe at the very time of its creation. However, to human beings, it is given separately in the form of a book.) A parable of this torch of Allah’s guidance (wahi) is that it is like a source of light which is placed in a niche (which is closed from the back and therefore safe, but open in front from where this light can spread everywhere). This source of light would be like a glittering lamp giving out pure, clear and soothing light while it is enclosed in a spotlessly clear transparent glass wherein it is safe from outward impurities (41:42). This light itself shines like a radiant star from where rivulets of light emerge. Furthermore, that lamp is lit from the oil of the blessed olive tree, which is far above any affinity with the east or west and is available to all human beings alike. That oil itself is not dependent on any outside source for its ignition. It is luminous by itself and provides light to others. (Wahi therefore, does not need any outside help to explain its text.) In fact, it is much more than a lamp; it is many layers of light, one set upon the other. It is the embodiment of light; it is all light.
Such is the light of Allah (the wahi) towards which He guides everyone who seeks guidance. Allah propounds such perceptible parables to explain abstract realities, so that people may comprehend clearly. Such parables come from Allah, Who knows what the reality is and how best it can be explained by various similitudes.
(36) This light of Allah’s wahi illuminates the homes (of the Jamat-ul-Momineen) where various attributes and directives of Allah are under constant consideration; and whereby they attain high positions in the world. (By always adhering to these laws) The residents of these homes are (continuously) busy, day and night in establishing and stabilizing the divine system.
(37) (One should not get the impression that this jamaa is a group of clergy who have left aside all worldly affairs and are busy only in religious rituals.) These people do carry on with their normal worldly business but the professions such as trade, commerce, buying and selling, neither divert their attention from the divine order, nor do they make them neglect the important obligations of life. And what are these important statutory obligations? They are the establishment of the system of Salat, in which everyone will follow the divine laws and provide means of growth and development for all mankind. They are watchful (about the very thought) of the day when their hearts and eyes will change outright; when veils over their eyes will be removed; and they will come face to face with absolute realities (50:22).
(38) (This revolution takes place according to the Law of Mukafat whereby every action produces a perceptible result. The outcome of wrong deeds is nothing but devastation and) The reward for noble deeds is extremely handsome and pleasant. In fact, the reward for noble deeds is returned a hundred times over (2:261). People who seek sustenance according to the divine laws receive much more than their expectations.
(39) On the contrary, the deeds of those who reject the guidance of this divine light, are like a mirage in a desert; whereby a man, parched with thirst, mistakes it for water and on reaching there finds that it was nothing but a delusion. At that point one does find one thing at least: that Allah’s Law of Mukafat is (always) present with him and that it settles all scores forthwith; for Allah is swift in reckoning.
(40) (In contrast to the divine light) The similitude of their deeds is the depth of darkness in a vast and deep ocean, that is further darkened by waves billowing over waves and the dark clouds above. These will be such depths of darkness, layer upon layer, that one can hardly see even his outstretched hand; for, how can he get any light from anywhere else when Allah’s light (of wahi) is not available?
(41) (Despite the availability of this light which illuminates the world, man alone is wasting his life in the deepest depths of darkness. This is not the case with other things in the universe.) If you ponder over it seriously, you will conclude that everything that exists in the universe is very seriously and fervently active, throughout the day and night, in performing its destined functions. (Just look at the birds which with their wings outspread fly thousands of miles across the sky to reach their destination, doing so without any outside guidance or sign post. They never get lost because) Everything in the universe knows its destined functions (sala) and also knows how to perform its duty (tasbeeh). Therefore, it is busy achieving its destiny.
This is because of Allah’s light which is spread all over the universe. It is because of this light that everything in the universe is fully aware of its destination and of the ways leading to it. Allah also knows everything that everyone is doing.
(42) Remember! Sovereignty over the entire universe rests with Allah alone and it is only His law that is in force. Everything in the universe is destined towards Him and nothing can go beyond the control of His laws.
(43) Do you not see how clouds gently continue to move around and intermix to become one; and how when they become a layered heap, the rain starts to pour down? It appears as if the drops of rain are coming down from within these clouds and when these clouds are atop mountains, their water content is frozen into snow. (Later this snow melts into water and flows down.) The water reaches those who want to put it to use; and for those who do not desire it, the water flows away. (Water is freely available for everyone’s benefit, but only the person who puts it to use according to the laws of nature can benefit from it. If one does not want it, the water turns away and continues flowing onward along its course.)
(Besides water and snow) Out of these clouds come strong flashes of lightning which dazzle the sight (2:19-20).
(44) It is the same law of Allah which alternates day and night. In all these laws of nature there is enough matter for those who have the vision to cross the bounds and take lessons from the outer universe and apply them to human society. (They can then safely conclude that if human society is run according to Allah’s divine laws, it can also produce extremely pleasant results.)
(45) And according to His law, Allah has created every living being out of water (in that the process of life was initiated from water and its survival also depends on it – 21:30). Among living objects there are some which crawl on their bellies, some walk on two legs and some on four. Allah creates whatever He likes according to His law of creation. He has set measures for everything; and He has absolute control over everything.
(46) And behold how We have revealed these laws which clearly explain everything. Thus these laws guide whoever wants such guidance, to a well-balanced and straight path of life.
(47) (But only those who firmly believe in the truth of these laws and act accordingly can get to this straight and balanced path. However) There are some people (munafiqeen) among them, who express eiman verbally on Allah and His Rasool and claim to obey them; but some among them will turn away after this. In actual fact they are not momineen.
(48) (The proof of their attitude is that) Whenever they are called towards this system established by the Rasool to manifest Allah’s directives, so that he may adjudicate between them, a section of them (as referred to above) turns away.
(49) But if they come to know that the decision would be in their favour, they submissively come running to him.
(50) This attitude of theirs is very surprising for sincere momineen. They fail to understand what has gone wrong with these people.) Are they mentally sick (which makes them so capricious); or are they in doubt that the divine code is based on truth; or are they apprehensive that Allah and His Rasool (the divine order) would be unjust to them? (In fact there is nothing of that sort. These people do not want to obey this system and are rebelling because it does not allow them to commit aggression against anyone.) Indeed they are the zalimeen. (Because tyrants find justice being administered against their vested interests, they do not want to comply with the divine order.)
(51) Whenever people who have firm faith in the truth of the system are called upon to have their disputed matters adjudged, their spontaneous response is, “Yes we have heard the call and we are ready to obey it.” These people will flourish and live a happy and successful life.
(52) In fact the only people who can be successful are those who obey the divine system, are watchful of (the consequences of disobeying) these laws and who fully guard them.
(53) These people (the munafiqeen) make you believe by the strongest oaths on Allah, that if they are called upon to fight a war they would certainly come out fully prepared. Tell them, “There is no need to swear, instead give practical proof by obeying it. Obedience or compliance needs no oaths for recognition. Visible or open compliance is its own proof.” Allah is fully aware of all that you do.
(54) Tell them once again (that instead of trying to create confidence by such swearing), “You have to give practical proof by obeying Allah and His Rasool. The divine system set up by His Rasool will clarify your stand. If these people turn away after this (then the Rasool will not be held responsible). The responsibility of the Rasool is to convey the divine revelations in clear and explicit terms. Thereafter, it is up to you to obey them or not. If you obey them you will get the guidance to the correct way (but if you turn away, you yourself will suffer the consequences).
(55) (The question arises as to what one would gain by obeying these laws? Allah has promised people who have faith in the truth of the divine laws and who do righteous deeds, that He will establish their authority on this earth – 33:27; and their government will turn their land into jannah – 39:74.) This is Our eternal law according to which We caused previous generations to establish their authority on this earth (28:6). According to this law and as a result of their eiman and righteous deeds, We will grant them rule over the land and strengthen the system of life which We have chosen for them. The result will be that it will replace their erstwhile state of fear by a sense of security and peace, so that they may obey Our laws in comfort. Also there will be no pressure on them to obey anyone else, and thus becoming guilty of shirk. (No worldly power or authority should force them to obey man-made or other laws instead of those given by Allah.)
(But keep one thing in mind. This order will last as long as they continue to obey Our laws.) For those who, after the establishment of the system, do not work according to it (and start enforcing their own laws), this will amount to going astray and abandoning the straight path which leads them to the right destination. (They will thus be deprived of the bounties of a blissful life which are the result of eiman and righteous deeds. How can fruitful results be sustained when the basis is lost?)
(56) (Therefore, if you want to achieve such authority in the land and ensure its continuity) You have to establish the system of sala and make the social structure along a line that ensures that mankind continues to get the maximum means of nourishment. (This is not an individual function, but a collective effort possible only under a disciplined and orderly system. For this it is important that) You should obey the Rasool (the centre of authority in the system), and the result will be that the divine bounties will be showered on you.
(Keep in mind that the one and only way of establishing supremacy of your deen and living an Islamic way of life, is if you make the entire fabric of society conform with Qur’anic injunctions. And thereafter everyone should obey the system.)
(57) (Keep implementing this programme without any apprehension or fear and) Do not even think that the people who oppose this system will ever succeed in subverting it or making Our programme helpless – (certainly not!) All their efforts will end up in smoke and their fate will be extremely miserable.
(58) (Now come back to certain other social customs, some of which have been mentioned earlier. It is important that you should have privacy in your houses.)
O momineen, your servants and your young ones who have not yet attained the age of puberty can move about the house freely. This is permissible. However, if they want to come into your rooms when you are in privacy, (say for example) before the morning prayers, or after you lay aside your garments in the middle of the day and after the night prayers, they should seek permission before entering. This would cause inconvenience neither to you nor to others. Besides these times they may move about freely. This is how Allah makes His directives, which are based on knowledge and wisdom, clear to you.
(59) When these children reach the age of puberty, let them (at all times) seek your permission to enter your houses just like other adults who have been enjoined to do so (24:27). In this way Allah makes clear to you His directives, which are based on knowledge and wisdom.
(60) (As has been mentioned before, women should cover their bosoms and avoid display of their adornments – 24:31. But) For women who are old and have passed the age of marriage and no longer have desire for it, there is no harm if they do away with the over-coverings, provided the motive in doing so is not the display of their adornment (33:33). Yet if they are careful (and continue to wear them) it is better for them. Remember, Allah is all-seeing, all-knowing. (The intention for not wearing the over-coverings, whether for showy display of charms or out of necessity, cannot remain hidden from Him.)
(61) (The above directive in which We asked you to take permission before entering houses belonging to others, is not intended to create any estrangement among near relatives; it is essentially to maintain privacy to a degree. However, in order to nurture relationships) There is no harm in eating in your own houses; or in the houses of your fathers and your mothers; your brothers and your sisters; your father’s brothers and sisters; your mother’s brothers and sisters; in houses whose management is in your hands; or in the houses of your sincere friends. (This does not in any way mean that you are disabled or needy. It is an expression of a close-knit society. In this regard) There is no discrimination between the disabled, the blind, the lame, the sick or other physically unfit persons. They are all alike and on the basis of relationships and not as a charity, they enjoy meals with each other. (Evidently, all momineen are members of one society and the best expression of this is to eat together and share everything.) However, do not consider this to mean that eating alone is detestable, as there is no harm in eating alone if need be.
(As mentioned before in 24:27) You should seek permission before entering other people’s residences. And then greet each other invoking Allah’s blessings and countless pleasures. This is how Allah makes His directives clear unto you, so that you may live in society under the light of these directives, using your intellect and reasoning.
(62) (Now, after socio-customary directions, come the problems concerning the polity. Here it is important to understand that in order to be a momin, mere observance of social etiquette is not enough.) Real momineen are those who firmly believe in the truth of the divine laws which they have received through Muhammad’s risala (prophethood). Practically, when they are working with the centre of their system (the position held by the Rasool in his lifetime) on matters concerning the whole community, they should not depart (unilaterally) without getting permission from that central authority. This shows that they really have firm faith in Allah and His Rasool.
(So, O Rasool!) When they ask leave of you for some business of their own, grant it to whosoever you consider suitable. In this way those who depart will not be deprived of Allah’s protection which is available to those who actively participate in that activity. Such exceptions are provided for in His laws of protection and rahma.
(63) And remember; when you receive a call from the centre of the divine system (Rasool), do not take it lightly like you would treat your own calls from each other (62:9). (Do not be under the impression that if you slip away quietly no one will notice; for) Allah is well aware of those who slip away surreptitiously, ignoring this directive. They should be very careful lest they become involved in some serious trouble which can bring grievous suffering and result in their destruction.
(64) Remember that in accordance with the Law of Mukafat, everything which exists in the universe is actively fulfilling the mission assigned to it (53:31). Allah knows the path you are taking and when the day of reckoning comes, He will tell you about whatever you had been doing, for He has full knowledge of everything.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………(1) Here the word (nikah) means the sexual act, not marriage in the technical sense. Lexically, the word (nikah) has also been used in these meanings.
(2) Rape has a different nature; the woman cannot be held guilty in cases of rape and the guilt of a man in this case would be twice as much.
(3) One reason that women are forbidden to display their adornment is obvious, in that it invokes wayward thoughts in the minds of men; but there is another more deep-rooted reason behind it. For centuries the wrong idea has been implanted in women’s minds by men that the sole purpose of their creation is to satisfy the desires of men. Their existence does not mean anything in itself.
By adornment and its exhibition women, consciously or otherwise, think that they are fulfilling their role. According to the Qur’an men and women are equal and they both have unique roles in life. A woman’s life is not only to fulfill any of man’s goals. The Qur’an therefore wants to remove from her mind this wrong idea. (This is the reason for stopping her from showing off her adornments.) The Qur’an does not want women to become men’s playthings. It wants them to find their high position. It wants both men and women to meet as human beings. This world will change the day when this is clearly understood.
(4) Wherever the Qur’an mentions male and female slaves, it means the slaves who were generally found in Arab society at that time. The Qur’an gradually absorbed them into the free society and closed the doors of slavery forever.
(5) In desperation, the Holy Qur’an has allowed consumption of forbidden food in the event that it is an extraordinary need (6:146). However, it has not allowed the fulfillment of sexual desires out of the permissible way. This is so because hunger is not within human control. Deprivation of food may result in sickness and eventual death. However, it is perfectly possible to control or repress one’s sexual desires. Therefore, there is no question of desperation in sexual matters.
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