English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 2: Al-Baqarah — The Cow (Revealed at Madinah: 40 sections, 286 verses)

Section 30 (Verses 2:232–2:235): Remarriage of Divorced Women and Widows

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Translation:

وَ اِذَا طَلَّقۡتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَبَلَغۡنَ اَجَلَہُنَّ فَلَا تَعۡضُلُوۡہُنَّ اَنۡ یَّنۡکِحۡنَ اَزۡوَاجَہُنَّ اِذَا تَرَاضَوۡا بَیۡنَہُمۡ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ یُوۡعَظُ بِہٖ مَنۡ کَانَ مِنۡکُمۡ یُؤۡمِنُ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ؕ ذٰلِکُمۡ اَزۡکٰی لَکُمۡ وَ اَطۡہَرُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۲۳۲﴾

2:232 And when you divorce women and they end their term, do not prevent them from marrying their husbands if they agree among themselves in a lawful manner. With this is instructed he among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day. This is more virtuous for you and purer. And Allah knows while you do not know.1

وَ الۡوَالِدٰتُ یُرۡضِعۡنَ اَوۡلَادَہُنَّ حَوۡلَیۡنِ کَامِلَیۡنِ لِمَنۡ اَرَادَ اَنۡ یُّتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَۃَ ؕ وَ عَلَی الۡمَوۡلُوۡدِ لَہٗ رِزۡقُہُنَّ وَ کِسۡوَتُہُنَّ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ ؕ لَا تُکَلَّفُ نَفۡسٌ اِلَّا وُسۡعَہَا ۚ لَا تُضَآرَّ وَالِدَۃٌۢ بِوَلَدِہَا وَ لَا مَوۡلُوۡدٌ لَّہٗ بِوَلَدِہٖ ٭ وَ عَلَی الۡوَارِثِ مِثۡلُ ذٰلِکَ ۚ فَاِنۡ اَرَادَا فِصَالًا عَنۡ تَرَاضٍ مِّنۡہُمَا وَ تَشَاوُرٍ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَیۡہِمَا ؕ وَ اِنۡ اَرَدۡتُّمۡ اَنۡ تَسۡتَرۡضِعُوۡۤا اَوۡلَادَکُمۡ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اِذَا سَلَّمۡتُمۡ مَّاۤ اٰتَیۡتُمۡ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ ؕ وَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ اعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ بَصِیۡرٌ ﴿۲۳۳﴾

2:233 And mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years,2 for him who desires to complete the time of suckling. And their maintenance and their clothing must be borne by the father according to usage. No soul shall be burdened beyond its capacity. Neither shall a mother be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child; and a similar duty (devolves) on the (father’s) heir. But if both desire weaning by mutual consent and counsel, there is no blame on them. And if you wish to engage a wet-nurse for your children, there is no blame on you so long as you pay what you promised according to usage. And keep your duty to Allah and know that Allah is Seer of what you do.

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یُتَوَفَّوۡنَ مِنۡکُمۡ وَ یَذَرُوۡنَ اَزۡوَاجًا یَّتَرَبَّصۡنَ بِاَنۡفُسِہِنَّ اَرۡبَعَۃَ اَشۡہُرٍ وَّ عَشۡرًا ۚ فَاِذَا بَلَغۡنَ اَجَلَہُنَّ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ فِیۡمَا فَعَلۡنَ فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِہِنَّ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۲۳۴﴾

2:234 And (as for) those of you who die and leave wives behind, such women should keep themselves in waiting for four months and ten days;3 when they reach their term, there is no blame on you for what they do for themselves in a lawful manner.4 And Allah is Aware of what you do.

وَ لَا جُنَاحَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ فِیۡمَا عَرَّضۡتُمۡ بِہٖ مِنۡ خِطۡبَۃِ النِّسَآءِ اَوۡ اَکۡنَنۡتُمۡ فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ ؕ عَلِمَ اللّٰہُ اَنَّکُمۡ سَتَذۡکُرُوۡنَہُنَّ وَ لٰکِنۡ لَّا تُوَاعِدُوۡہُنَّ سِرًّا اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡا قَوۡلًا مَّعۡرُوۡفًا ۬ؕ وَ لَا تَعۡزِمُوۡا عُقۡدَۃَ النِّکَاحِ حَتّٰی یَبۡلُغَ الۡکِتٰبُ اَجَلَہٗ ؕ وَ اعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ یَعۡلَمُ مَا فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ فَاحۡذَرُوۡہُ ۚ وَ اعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ حَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۳۵﴾٪

2:235 And there is no blame on you concerning what you speak indirectly in the asking of (such) women in marriage or keep (the proposal) concealed within your minds. Allah knows that you will have them in your minds, but do not give them a promise in secret unless you speak in a lawful manner. And do not confirm the marriage tie until the prescribed period reaches its end. And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so beware of Him; and know that Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.

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Commentary:

  1. As already stated, when a divorce is pronounced, the conjugal rela­tions can be re-established within the period of waiting. Here it is stated that if the period of waiting has elapsed, even then the former husband can remarry the divorced wife. The decision to re-marry is determined solely by mutual agreement between the former husband and wife, on terms of equality with one another.
  2. By mothers here are meant in particular, as the context shows, women who have been divorced having children to suckle.
  3. The period of waiting in the case of a widow is four months and ten days. But in case a divorced woman or a widow is pregnant, the period of waiting is extended to the time of delivery (65:4).
  4. The meaning is that the widow may look out for a husband and remarry. (Editor’s Note: The words “what they do for themselves in a lawful manner” place decisions about the widow’s remarriage entirely in her hands.)

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