Revealed at Madina.


THIS chapter was probably revealed to supplement the law of divorce given in chap. ii. 226-237 ; hence the title, found in the first verse.

That this is not the original law of divorce, as the title might suggest, is evident from the statement in the first verse, as well as from the testimony of tradition, which states that it was revealed to correct an abuse of the privilege of divorce by Ibn Omar, who, having put away his wife at an improper time, was hereby obliged to take her again.

The latter portion of the chapter reads very much like a Makkan revelation, and indeed is so regarded by at least one author, Umar Bin Muhammad. However, since it is addressed to true believers, it is probably Madinic. It was intended to impress more deeply the Muslim mind with the solemnity of the law which precedes it.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

If the first verse refers to Ibn Omar, as tradition declares, then we must refer this chapter to a period as late as A.H. 6 or 8, because Ibn Omar was then only eighteen or twenty years of age. But, NoŽldeke informs us, another and an accurate tradition declares that Muhammad only read this passage from the Quran, it having been revealed before. NoŽldeke places it in his chronological list just after chap. iv., whose date is A.H. 4 or 5.

Principal Subjects.

Certain limitations to the law of divorce . . . . 1-7
The apostate and disobedient chastised for their sin ... 8-10
True believers exhorted to faith in Muhammad... 11
God hath created the seven heavens . . . 12



R 1/17.

(1) O Prophet, when ye divorce women, put them away at their appointed term; and compute the term exactly: and fear GOD your LORD. Oblige them not to go out of their apartments, neither let them go out, until the term be expired, unless they be guilty of manifest uncleanness. These are the statutes of GOD; and whoever transgresseth the statutes of GOD assuredly injureth his own soul. Thou knowest not whether GOD will bring mething new to pass, which may reconcile them after this. (2) And when they shall have fulfilled their term, either retain them with kindness, or part from them honourably: and take witnesses from among you, men of integrity; and give your testimony as in the presence of GOD. (3) This admonition is given unto him who believeth in GOD and the last day; and whoso feareth GOD, unto him will he grant a happy issue out of all his afflictions, and he will bestow on him an ample provision from whence he expecteth it not: and whoso trusteth in GOD, he will be his sufficient support; for GOD will surely attain a is purpose. Now hath GOD appointed unto everything determined period. (4) As to such of your wives as shall despair having their courses, by reason of their age; if ye be in doubt thereof, let their term be three months: and let the same be the term of those who have not yet had their courses. But as to those who are pregnant, their term shall be until they be delivered of their burden. And whoso feareth GOD, unto him will he make his command

(1) Their appointed time. " That is, when they shall have had their courses thrice after the time of their divorce, if they prove not to be with child; or, if they prove with child, when they shall have been delivered. Al Baidhawi supposes husbands are hereby commanded to divorce their wives while they are clean; and says that the passage was revealed on account of Ibn Omar, who divorced his wife when she had her courses upon her, and was therefore obliged to take her again."-Sale.

On this whole passage see also notes on chap. ii. 226-237.


easy. (5) This is the command of GOD, which he hath sent down unto you. And whoso feareth GOD, he will expiate his evil deeds from him and will increase his reward. (6) Suffer the women whom ye divorce to dwell in some part of the houses wherein ye dwell; according to the room and conveniences of the habitations which ye possess: and make them not uneasy, that ye may reduce them to straits. And if they be with child, expend on them what shall be needful, until they be delivered of their burden. And if they suckle their children for you, give them their hire; and consult among yourselves, according to what shall be just and reasonable. And if ye be put to a difficulty herein, and another woman shall suckle the child for him, (7) let him who hath plenty expend proportionably in the maintenance of the mother and the nurse out of his plenty: and let him whose income is scanty expend in proportion out of that which GOD hath given him. GOD obligeth no man to more than he hath given him ability to perform: GOD will cause ease to succeed hardship.

R 2/18.

(8) How many cities have turned aside from the command of the LORD and his apostles! Wherefore we brought them to a severe account; and we chastised them with a grievous chastisement: (9) and they tasted the evil consequence of their business; and the end of their business was perdition. (10) GOD hath prepared for them severe punishment; wherefore fear GOD, O ye who are endued with understanding. (11) True believers, now hath GOD sent down unto you an admonition, an Apostle who may rehearse unto you the perspicuous signs of GOD; that he may bring forth those who believe and do good works from darkness into light. And whoso believeth in GOD and doth that which is right, him will he lead into gardens beneath which rivers flow, to remain therein for ever: now hath GOD made an excellent provision for him. (12) It is GOD who hath created seven heavens, and as many

(12) Seven heavens. See note on chap. ii. 29.


different storeys of the earth; the divine command descendeth between them; that ye may know that GOD is omnipotent, and that GOD comprehendeth all things by his knowledge.

And as many of the earth. "The earth has seven storeys like unto the seven storeys of the heavens," so says the Tafsir-i-Raufi, but what it means it would be difficult to explain.

The command descendeth, &c. "Penetrating and pervading them all with absolute efficacy."-Sale.

Table of Contents
Answering Islam Home Page