Exposition of the Holy Quran – 58 Al-Mujadilah (G A Parwez)

Surah 58: Al-Mujadilah

(The Debate)


(1) Allah has heard the assertion of the woman who was arguing with you (O Rasool!) and complaining to Allah about her husband’s unjust treatment. Allah was listening to the conversation between the two of you. He is All-hearing, All-seeing.  (Now listen to His decision.)

(2) Those amongst you who (in a fit of rage) call their wives ‘mothers’, should know that the wives do not in actual fact become their mothers. (They do not become haram for you by the simple utterance of these words.) Only those who gave birth to them are their mothers (33:4). Those who utter these words in rage should know that such words are absurd, superfluous and against facts. The divine guidance is to ignore such foolish talk and gibberish. This law keeps them safe from the unpleasant outcome of such frivolous utterances.

(3) (But such absurdities should not be allowed to prevail in a society of decent and noble people.) People who call their wives as their mothers (or use similar words), and later repent and wish to take their words back then (the penalty for this is) before they resume their conjugal relations, they should free a slave. They must suffer some penalty so that they keep themselves under control and not utter whatever comes to their mind. This is being ordained so that you learn a lesson and realize that Allah is fully aware of all that you do.

(4) If one does not have (a slave or if slavery no longer exists in that society), then he should fast for two consecutive months before they resume conjugal relations. If he is unable to do so then he should feed sixty indigent people. This is so that, you can have absolute eiman on the truth of the system, ordained by Allah and established through His Rasool.

These boundaries have been laid down by Allah and you have to remain within them. (If you violate them by mistake then as mentioned above, the remedy has also been prescribed. Those who totally deny these bounds are the kafireen and) For the kafireen there shall be a grievous punishment.

(5) People who deny the divine order and oppose it will ultimately be disgraced like those before them. Verily, We have explicitly revealed Our laws and for those who (still) deny the truth, there will be disgraceful chastisement.

(6) On that day, Allah will raise all of them and make them aware of the results of their deeds. Allah’s Law of Mukafat preserves everything, although people themselves may have forgotten their deeds. Everything remains before Him.

(7) Have they not considered that Allah knows about everything that exists in the heavens and the earth, so much so, that if three people secretly discuss something, then He is the fourth among them; and if they are five He is the sixth. (These numbers are given as examples.) If the number is more or less or whatever it is and wherever they may be, Allah is always with them. Then He makes the results of their deeds known to them (on the day of the manifestation of deeds). Certainly, He has full knowledge of everything.

(8) Have you not observed that those who were forbidden to hold secret consultations have reverted to them and are conspiring with a view to committing various offences? Some of these consultations are confined to themselves and some affect others. They even go to the extent of conspiring against the divine order. (All this is done in a hypocritical manner and) When they come to you they greet you (in a low tone) with (ambiguous) words which Allah has not sanctioned for use in greetings. Then they ask themselves (if Allah knows everything then) why does He not punish us for what we say? (They do not know that) The jahannam that has been prepared for them is sufficient for them as punishment; they will be admitted in it (and will see for themselves) what an awful abode it is!

(9) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! You should not hold mutual consultations with a view to committing a crime or to plan rebellion against the divine order. Always hold consultations for noble causes and taqwa (guarding the divine laws). In short, you should always remain conscious of the divine laws and guard them because that should be the ultimate and central point of all your efforts.

(10) Remember that in all secret consultations of the munafiqeen, the basic motive is their selfish desire that instigates rebellion in them. Their purpose is to dishearten and sadden the momineen. However, they do not know that they cannot harm the momineen in the least, as losses (or gains) occur according to the divine laws. And the Jamat-ul-Momineen is fully conscious of the divine laws and always guards them. Therefore, such conspiracies cannot harm them in any way. They have full confidence and trust in the firmness of these divine laws.

(11) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! (the munafiqeen come to your assemblies and sit close together so that they can whisper to each other, so) when you are told to spread out in gatherings, do so and sit separately from each other. (In this way they too will have to sit apart from each other. Moreover, this will remove your doubt that anyone amongst you is conspiring against a particular person. This should be the normal way of sitting in such gatherings.) In a similar manner Allah will also open up many avenues for you. And when you are told to disperse after the assembly is over, you should get up and go. (These matters appear very ordinary but they have far reaching effects.) (As regards adherence to such manners) Allah will elevate the status of those who accept such behaviour to be correct and know the rationale. Remember Allah’s Law of Mukafat is fully aware of all that you do.

(12) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! Whenever you want to consult the Rasool privately you should first, according to your capability, offer something for the social welfare of the people. Not only will this be for your own good, but it will also remove many other doubts. (Another advantage will be that the munafiqeen who are always insisting on meeting the Rasool for private consultations, would stop doing so. However, if sometimes you do not have anything to give it does not matter. (You should inform the Rasool about this). Provisions have been made in the divine law for such a situation because the aim is to provide protection and training (and not to inflict any hardship on you).

(13) The requirement that you should offer something to the Rasool before consulting him in privacy should not perturb you. (This will save a lot of the Rasool’s time, which other people waste in trivialities.) A provision has already been made for those who are unable to offer anything. (The need to make such a provision is for the initial stages of a mission; as in these gatherings the style of consultations is totally different – 42:38). You should strive hard for the establishment of the Nizam-us-Sala and for providing nourishment to needy human beings. For this purpose you should fully obey the divine order. Then such precautionary measures would not be required. Remember Allah is fully aware of all that you do.

(14) (Such precautionary steps are essential at this stage, because the munafiqeen, who have penetrated your organization can be dangerous to your order. In fact they establish friendship with people who have been opposing the divine order. They are neither sincere with you nor are they openly with your opponents. They assure you of their sincerity by swearing falsely; and they do all this knowingly.

(15) As their attitude is most abominable, a severe chastisement has been ordained for them as per Allah’s law.

(16) They make their false oaths a shield and while taking shelter behind it, obstruct people from coming towards the divine order. They will get a humiliating punishment.

(17) The wealth they are so proud of, and the family members on whose strength they take such a stand, will be of no avail to them against Allah’s Law of Mukafat. They shall enter the jahannam of doom and destruction and abide therein forever.

(18) On that day, Allah will raise them all. Just as they are doing now before you, even at that time they will swear before Him, thinking that such oaths will show that they are trustworthy and make them succeed in their fraud. (How can they outwit Allah? His Law of Mukafat knows even the secrets of their hearts.) Remember! They are great liars.

(19) The fact is that rebellious and selfish desires have completely overpowered them and these compel them to tread the wrong path. That is why they have become oblivious to the divine code. They are partisans of Satan. And it should be understood clearly that the partisans of Satan will truly be the losers!

(20) Just think! Can those who oppose the divine order that is being established for the good of humanity ever succeed? Ultimately, they will be totally humiliated.

(21) It is Allah’s decree that in the tussle between good and evil, good will prevail. Allah’s rusul shall ultimately be victorious and successful. This is the decree of Allah, Who is Almighty and all-powerful. It is just not possible for any power on earth to defeat it.

(22) (It therefore stands as a fact that good and evil are the opposites of each other.) How is it possible for people who have faith in the divine law and the life hereafter, to establish friendship with those who oppose the divine order; even though the opponents may be their fathers, their sons, their brothers, or other kindred (3:117, 60:4).

These (momineen) are the people in whose hearts eiman has penetrated deeply and taken firm roots; and for them Allah’s wahi (the Qur’an) is a source of great strength. They shall abide (in this world as well as in the hereafter) in a happy and blissful society where freshness and greenery shall never fade. When they have harmonized their lives with divine laws, they are sure to receive Allah’s bounties and blessings.

This is Allah’s party (as opposed to the party of Satan); and remember that Allah’s party will ultimately be successful. Truth eventually prevails.

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