English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)
by Maulana Muhammad Ali
Chapter 24: An-Nur — The Light (Revealed at Madinah: 9 sections, 64 verses)
Section 8 (Verses 24:58–24:61): Respect for Privacy
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لِیَسۡتَاۡذِنۡکُمُ الَّذِیۡنَ مَلَکَتۡ اَیۡمَانُکُمۡ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَمۡ یَبۡلُغُوا الۡحُلُمَ مِنۡکُمۡ ثَلٰثَ مَرّٰتٍ ؕ مِنۡ قَبۡلِ صَلٰوۃِ الۡفَجۡرِ وَ حِیۡنَ تَضَعُوۡنَ ثِیَابَکُمۡ مِّنَ الظَّہِیۡرَۃِ وَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ صَلٰوۃِ الۡعِشَآءِ ۟ؕ ثَلٰثُ عَوۡرٰتٍ لَّکُمۡ ؕ لَیۡسَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ وَ لَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ جُنَاحٌۢ بَعۡدَہُنَّ ؕ طَوّٰفُوۡنَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ بَعۡضُکُمۡ عَلٰی بَعۡضٍ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ یُبَیِّنُ اللّٰہُ لَکُمُ الۡاٰیٰتِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۵۸﴾
24:58 O you who believe, let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained to puberty ask permission of you three times: Before the morning prayer, and when you put off your clothes for the heat of noon, and after the prayer of night. These are three times of privacy for you; besides these it is no sin for you nor for them, (that) you go round about each other. Thus does Allah make clear to you the messages. And Allah is Knowing, Wise.1
وَ اِذَا بَلَغَ الۡاَطۡفَالُ مِنۡکُمُ الۡحُلُمَ فَلۡیَسۡتَاۡذِنُوۡا کَمَا اسۡتَاۡذَنَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ یُبَیِّنُ اللّٰہُ لَکُمۡ اٰیٰتِہٖ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۵۹﴾
24:59 And when the children among you attain to puberty, they should seek permission as those before them sought permission. Thus does Allah make clear to you His messages. And Allah is Knowing, Wise.
وَ الۡقَوَاعِدُ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ الّٰتِیۡ لَا یَرۡجُوۡنَ نِکَاحًا فَلَیۡسَ عَلَیۡہِنَّ جُنَاحٌ اَنۡ یَّضَعۡنَ ثِیَابَہُنَّ غَیۡرَ مُتَبَرِّجٰتٍۭ بِزِیۡنَۃٍ ؕ وَ اَنۡ یَّسۡتَعۡفِفۡنَ خَیۡرٌ لَّہُنَّ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ سَمِیۡعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۶۰﴾
24:60 And (as for) women past childbearing,2 who do not hope for marriage, it is no sin for them if they put off their (outer) clothes without displaying their adornment. And if they are modest, it is better for them. And Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
لَیۡسَ عَلَی الۡاَعۡمٰی حَرَجٌ وَّ لَا عَلَی الۡاَعۡرَجِ حَرَجٌ وَّ لَا عَلَی الۡمَرِیۡضِ حَرَجٌ وَّ لَا عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ اَنۡ تَاۡکُلُوۡا مِنۡۢ بُیُوۡتِکُمۡ اَوۡ بُیُوۡتِ اٰبَآئِکُمۡ اَوۡ بُیُوۡتِ اُمَّہٰتِکُمۡ اَوۡ بُیُوۡتِ اِخۡوَانِکُمۡ اَوۡ بُیُوۡتِ اَخَوٰتِکُمۡ اَوۡ بُیُوۡتِ اَعۡمَامِکُمۡ اَوۡ بُیُوۡتِ عَمّٰتِکُمۡ اَوۡ بُیُوۡتِ اَخۡوَالِکُمۡ اَوۡ بُیُوۡتِ خٰلٰتِکُمۡ اَوۡ مَا مَلَکۡتُمۡ مَّفَاتِحَہٗۤ اَوۡ صَدِیۡقِکُمۡ ؕ لَیۡسَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ جُنَاحٌ اَنۡ تَاۡکُلُوۡا جَمِیۡعًا اَوۡ اَشۡتَاتًا ؕ فَاِذَا دَخَلۡتُمۡ بُیُوۡتًا فَسَلِّمُوۡا عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ تَحِیَّۃً مِّنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰہِ مُبٰرَکَۃً طَیِّبَۃً ؕ کَذٰلِکَ یُبَیِّنُ اللّٰہُ لَکُمُ الۡاٰیٰتِ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿٪۶۱﴾
24:61 There is no blame on the blind man, nor any blame on the lame, nor blame on the sick,3 nor on yourselves that you eat in your own houses, or your fathers’ houses, or your mothers’ houses, or your brothers’ houses, or your sisters’ houses, or your paternal uncles’ houses, or your paternal aunts’ houses, or your maternal uncles’ houses, or your maternal aunts’ houses, or (houses) of which you possess the keys, or your friends’ (houses). It is no sin in you that you eat together or separately. So when you enter houses, greet your people with a salutation from Allah, blessed (and) goodly. Thus does Allah make clear to you the messages that you may understand.
- Rules relating to personal and family privacy are of the utmost importance in the betterment of social relations, and their non-observance leads to all kinds of false reports, which scandal-mongers are always ready to lay hold upon, thereby creating dissensions in society. ↩
- The word used signifies a woman who has ceased to bear children and to have the menstrual discharge. The reference in putting off clothes is to the over-garment spoken of in 33:59. ↩
- The Arabs had their scruples in eating with the blind, etc., in which respect they were like the Jews and some other people, including Hindus. Islam lays down a middle rule, and allows the individual a great latitude in this respect. A man may eat alone or with others, he may eat with the maimed, etc., or he may eat in the houses of near relations and friends. The latter part of the verse shows that a certain degree of familiarity with near relatives is recommended, so that one can take food with them, even though he may not have been invited specially. ↩