Be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner. And stay in your houses, and do not display your selves like that of the times of ignorance. Quran 33:32-33

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Quran: Chapter 22, Wa Maiinyaqnut’, Sura: 33 ‘Al-Ahzab’ ‘The Confederates’, Verse: 32- 33

Verse 32: O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner.

Verse 33: And stay in your houses, and do not display your selves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform perfect obligatory prayers, As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger PBUH. Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs, evil deeds and sins, from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet PBUH), and to purify you with a thorough purification.

Explanation by Ibne Kathir (‘Imad Ad-Din, Isma’il bin ’Umar bin Kathir b.702 Hijri in Basra, Syria– d.774 H/ b. 1301 Christian Era– d. 1373CE)

[Explanation for 33:32 by Ibne Kathir]

Enjoining certain Manners so that the Mothers of the Believers may be an Example; and the Prohibition of Tabarruj:

Allah enjoined upon the wives of the Prophet;

يَا نِسَاء النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاء إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ …

O wives of the Prophet!

You are not like any other women. If you keep you have Taqwa,

These are the good manners which Allah enjoined upon the wives of the Prophet so that they would be an example for the women of the Ummah to follow. Allah said, addressing the wives of the Prophet that they should fear Allah as He commanded them, and that no other woman is like them or can be their equal in virtue and status.

Then Allah says:

… فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ …

then be not soft in speech,

As-Suddi and others said, this means, do not be gentle in speech when addressing men.

Allah says:

… فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ …

lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire,

means, something unclean.

… وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا ﴿٣٢﴾

but speak in an honorable manner.

Ibn Zayd said:

“Decent and honorable talk that is known to be good.”

This means that she should address non-Mahram men in a manner in which there is no softness, i.e., a woman should not address a non-Mahram man in the same way that she addresses her husband.

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ … 

And stay in your houses,

means, stay in your houses and do not come out except for a purpose.

One of the purposes mentioned in Shariah is prayer in the Masjid, so long as the conditions are fulfilled, as the Messenger of Allah said:

لَا تَمْنَعُوا إِمَاءَ اللهِ مَسَاجِدَ اللهِ وَلْيَخْرُجْنَ وَهُنَّ تَفِلَات

Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from the Masjids of Allah, but have them go out without wearing fragrance.

According to another report:

وَبُيُوتُهُنَّ خَيْرٌ لَهُن

even though their houses are better for them.

… وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى …

and do not Tabarruj yourselves like the Tabarruj of the times of ignorance,

Mujahid said:

“Women used to go out walking in front of men, and this was the Tabarruj of Jahiliyyah.”

Qatadah said: وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى (and do not Tabarruj yourselves like the Taburruj of the times of ignorance),

“When they go out of their homes walking in a shameless and flirtatious manner, and Allah, may He be exalted, forbade that.”

Muqatil bin Hayyan said:

“Tabarruj is when a woman puts a Khimar on her head but does not tie it properly.”

So her necklaces, earrings and neck, and all of that can be seen. This is Tabarruj, and Allah addresses all the women of the believers with regard to Tabarruj.

… وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ …

and perform the Salah, and give Zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger.

Allah first forbids them from evil, then He enjoins them to do good by establishing regular prayer, which means worshipping Allah alone with no partner or associate, and paying Zakah, which means doing good to other people.

وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ (and obey Allah and His Messenger). This is an instance of something specific being followed by something general.

[Explanation for 33:33 by Ibne Kathir]

The Wives of the Prophet are Members of His Household (Ahl Al-Bayt):

Allah says;

… إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ﴿٣٣﴾

Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification.

This is a clear statement that the wives of the Prophet are included among the members of his family (Ahl Al-Bayt) here, because they are the reason why this Ayah was revealed, and the scholars are unanimously agreed that they were the reason for revelation in this case, whether this was the only reason for revelation or there was also another reason, which is the correct view.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ikrimah used to call out in the marketplace: إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا (Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification).

“This was revealed solely concerning the wives of the Prophet.”

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said concerning the Ayah: إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا (Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family),

“It was revealed solely concerning the wives of the Prophet.”

Ikrimah said:

“Whoever disagrees with me that it was revealed solely concerning the wives of the Prophet, I am prepared to meet with him and pray and invoke the curse of Allah upon those who are lying.”

So they alone were the reason for revelation, but others may be included by way of generalization.

Ibn Jarir narrated that Safiyyah bint Shaybah said:

“A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said,

`The Prophet went out one morning wearing a striped cloak of black camel’s hair. Al-Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, came and he wrapped him in the cloak with him. Then Al-Hussein, may Allah be pleased with him, came and he wrapped him in the cloak with him. Then Fatima, may Allah be pleased with her, came and he wrapped her in the cloak with him. Then Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, came and he wrapped him in the cloak with him, then he said: إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا (Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification).

This was recorded by Muslim.

[From samia2010: Muslim: Full name Imam Abu’l-Husain ‘Asakir-ud-Din Muslim b. Hajjaj al-Qushayri al-Naisaburi (202 H261H/ 817 CE874 CE) http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/Imam_muslim.htm ]

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Yazid bin Hayyan said:

“Husayn bin Sabrah, Umar bin Muslim and I went to Zayd bin Arqam, may Allah be pleased with him, and when we had sat down with him, Husayn said:

`You are so fortunate, O Zayd! You saw the Messenger of Allah and heard his speeches, and you went on military campaigns with him, and you prayed behind him. You are so fortunate, O Zayd! Tell us what you heard from the Messenger of Allah.’

He said, `O son of my brother, by Allah, I have grown old and it has been a long time, and I have forgotten some of the things that I used to know from the Messenger of Allah. Whatever I tell you, accept it, and whatever I do not tell you, do not worry about it.’ Then he said,

`One day, the Messenger of Allah stood up to address us by the well of Khumm, between Makkah and Al-Madinah, and he praised Allah and thanked Him, and he preached and reminded us. Then he said:

أَمَّا بَعْدُ، أَلَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فَإِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ يُوشِكُ أَنْ يَأْتِيَنِي رَسُولُ رَبِّي فَأُجِيبَ، وَأَنَا تَارِكٌ فِيكُمْ ثَقَلَيْنِ: أَوَّلُهُمَا كِتَابُ اللهِ تَعَالَى، فِيهِ الْهُدَى وَالنُّورُ فَخُذُوا بِكِتَابِ اللهِ وَاسْتَمْسِكُوا بِه

Thereafter! O people, I am merely a human being and soon the messenger of my Lord will come and I will answer him. I am leaving behind two things with you, the first of which is the Book of Allah in which is guidance and light, so seize the Book of Allah and hold fast to it.

He urged them to cling to the Book of Allah, then he said:

وَأَهْلُ بَيْتِي أُذَكِّرُكُمُ اللهَ فِي أَهْلِ بَيْتِي، أُذَكِّرُكُمُ اللهَ فِي أَهْلِ بَيْتِي

And the members of my family (Ahl Al-Bayt): Remember Allah with regard to the members of my family, remember Allah with regard to the members of my family.

saying it three times.’ Husayn said to him, `Who are the members of his family (Ahl Al-Bayt), O Zayd! Are not his wives members of his family?’

He said, `His wives are members of his family, but the members of his family are those who are not permitted to receive charity after he died.’

He said, `Who are they!’

He said, `They are the family of Ali, the family of Aqil, the family of Jafar and the family of Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them.’

He said, `Were all of these forbidden to receive charity after his death!’

He said, `Yes.”’

This Commentary is from Zayd bin Arqam and is not Marfu`

The Command to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah:

The one who ponders the meaning of the Qur’an will have no doubt that the wives of the Prophet are included among those who are referred to in the Ayah:  إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا (Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification). The context clearly refers to them.

Allah then says:

وَاذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَى فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ …

And remember, that which is recited in your houses of the Ayat of Allah and Al-Hikmah.

meaning, `act in accordance with that of the Qur’an and Sunnah which Allah revealed to His Messenger in your houses.’

This was the view of Qatadah and others.

`And remember this blessing with which you alone of all the people have been favored, that the revelation comes down in your houses and not those of other people.’

A’ishah As-Siddiqah bint As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with them, was foremost among them with in this blessing and was the most fortunate, and the most favored with this mercy. For the revelation did not come to the Messenger of Allah in the bed of any of his wives except hers, as he stated. Some of the scholars, may Allah have mercy on them, said:

“This was because he did not marry any other virgin besides her, and no man slept with her in her bed before him, may Allah be pleased with her.”

So it was befitting that she should be singled out for this blessing and high status. But if his wives are members of his household, then this title is even more fitting for his own relatives.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Jamilah said:

“Al-Hasan bin Ali, may Allah be pleased with them both, was appointed as Khalifah when Ali was killed.”

He said:

“While he was praying, a man leapt on him and stabbed him with a dagger.”

Hussein claimed that he heard that the one who stabbed him was a man from Banu Asad, and Al-Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, was prostrating at the time.

He said, “They claimed that he received the wound in his hip. He was ill as a result for many months, then he recovered. He ascended the Minbar and said: `O people of Iraq! Have Taqwa of Allah concerning us, for we are your leaders and your guests, and we are members of the family (Ahl Al-Bayt) concerning whom Allah said: إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا (Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification).’ He kept saying this until there was no one left in the Masjid who was not weeping and sobbing.”

http://www.quran4u.com/Tafsir%20Ibn%20Kathir/033%20Ahzab.htm#لاَّ ج

Notes by samia2010oct: In Quran addressing the wives of the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him is a way of addressing all Muslim women because all Muslim women look up to the wives of the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him as examples for their own lives. In the Holy Quran whatever order is given to the wives of the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him, is meant for all the faithful women who believe in Allah and His Messenger Peace Be Upon Him. Allah orders Muslim women to talk in a strong clear voice to a non- mahram so that every word is clearly heard and not misunderstood. Mahram means that a woman, with whom a man has a relationship (of blood or foster) that prevents marriage to that woman, is considered a Mahram to him.

Also Allah orders Muslim women to go out of their houses only if it is needed, otherwise women should stay at home. Allah does not put any barrier on women, not to be a productive and a successful citizen. Women can do everything considered honourable in a Muslim society. For e.g. they can do business. They can own property. They can work outside their homes. They can study any field and groom themselves to take any profession. They can drive a vehicle. They can pay visits to their relatives and friends etc. etc. They can also do sightseeing but if they have to go some far off place, they can do that in company of a Mahram.

It is Big Sin, Gunaahe Kabira, for women to talk in a very soft malleable voice with a ‘non mahram’, intentionally to give wrong impression and wrong message to the non mahram hearer. Also it is Big Sin, Gunaahe Kabira, for women to go out from their houses without any reason and to display their selves like that of the times of ignorance.

For further reading about ‘The concept of Mahram and Na Mahram’ please visit http://www.usislam.org/islam/Concept_Of_Mahram_And_NaMahram_In_Islam.htm 

 

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