بسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

سُورَةٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهَا وَفَرَضْنَاهَا وَأَنْزَلْنَا فِيهَا آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ {1}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:1]

The stress on the word “We” implies the special importance of the commandments referring to sex offences mentioned in this surah. It is Allah who has ordained these obligatory statutes, and therefore they are all to be complied with implicitly, and cannot be changed or modified by individual or collective “rethinking”. Strict observance of divine laws not only benefits man in the life of this world but also ensures spiritual welfare in the life of hereafter.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Surah means a piece of land surrounded by walls to distinguish it; or a higher place. It is figuratively used to refer to the pieces of the holy book distinguished from each other by bismillah, except al Bara-at which begins without bismillah, but is not a continuation of the preceding surah. The word surah here and in other places proves the existence of the Quran in the form of surahs during the time of its revelation.

الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ ۖ وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُمْ بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {2}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:2]

Refer to the commentary of Nisa: 15 and 16 to 18; and particularly Bani-lsrail: 32 for the correct meaning of zina (adultery).

The punishment of flogging both the adulterer and the adulteress with a hundred stripes is restricted to unmarried offenders. The punishment should be open, in order to be deterrent. There can be no leniency in enforcing this law because as said in verse 1 it is Allah who has ordained this punishment. As the punishment is severe the proof of the offence has to be beyond all possibilities of concoction. Let not even the slightest shade of falsehood play a part in such cases (see commentary of Nisa: 15 and 16).

To give an example of how meticulous one should be in judging such cases an event that took place in the reign of Umar bin Khattab is narrated below:

Six persons, accused of adultery, were produced before the then caliph, Umar bin Khattab. At once he sentenced them to flogging, each of them with a hundred stripes. When Ali pointed out to him that his judgement was in contravention of the divine law, Umar requested him to give his own judgement.

Ali said:

Execute the first.

Stone to death the second.

Punish the third with a hundred stripes.

Punish the fourth with fifty stripes. Warn the fifth and set him free.

Set the sixth free without any penalty.

All wondered as to why Ali gave a different verdict for each of the 6 persons tried for the same crime.

Ali explained:

The first is a dhimmi, a disbeliever under the protection of the Muslim state, who committed the crime of adultery with a believing woman, and having violated the law of Islam has ceased to be a dhimmi, therefore he must be executed.

The second is a married man whose punishment is stoning to death.

The third is to be flogged with a hundred stripes because he is a bachelor.

The fourth is a slave, so fifty stripes is his punishment .

The fifth has only been warned because he was caught in the crime inadvertently.

The sixth is insane, so the law cannot be applied on him.

Then Umar said:

“Had there not been Ali, Umar would have perished.”

In almost all modern societies adultery is regarded as a social misconduct, but Islam categorises it among the most heinous crimes, because it destroys the very social fabric of the society and makes the lives of the affected individuals so miserable that they feel as if they are neither living nor dead. The essential harmony of the Society is ruined beyond recovery .

Refer to Deuteronomy 17: 5.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

“A party of the believers” are those who have not committed any crime, and who know the divine laws and their true application. Refer to fiqh for the minimum number of the witnesses.

الزَّانِي لَا يَنْكِحُ إِلَّا زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِكَةً وَالزَّانِيَةُ لَا يَنْكِحُهَا إِلَّا زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِكٌ ۚ وَحُرِّمَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {3}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:3]

Islam prescribes a healthy and orderly sex life, for men and for women, at all times-before marriage, during marriage and after the dissolution of marriage-in order to maintain a respectable society. Those guilty of adultery or fornication are shut out of the marriage circle of chaste men and women so that the gross immoral contamination should not spread among the healthy and normal members of the society.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This verse refers to the general trend and tendency of those men and women who can be described as habitual offenders.

Hurrima implies that the believers dislike and detest such people.

Nikah means wedlock as well as cohabitation.

It is not a legislative ordinance, therefore there is no abrogation.

وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَاءَ فَاجْلِدُوهُمْ ثَمَانِينَ جَلْدَةً وَلَا تَقْبَلُوا لَهُمْ شَهَادَةً أَبَدًا ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ {4}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:4]

In view of the severe punishment if a woman is charged with the crime of adultery, it should be supported by evidence twice as strong as would ordinarily be required for other offences, even in murder cases. Therefore four witnesses (God-fearing and upright whose impartiality is beyond all doubts in the eyes of the people) are required instead of two. If the accuser fails to produce such preponderant evidence, then he should be punished with eighty stripes. Not only is he subjected to the disgrace of punishment but is also deprived of the right of giving evidence in all matters all his life. It is a very effective check. It almost puts a stop to false accusations, slander and gossip. It is a necessary provision to protect the honour, integrity and reputation of innocent women. Refer to fiqh. Refer to Nisa: 16.

إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ {5}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:5]

وَالَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُمْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُمْ شُهَدَاءُ إِلَّا أَنْفُسُهُمْ فَشَهَادَةُ أَحَدِهِمْ أَرْبَعُ شَهَادَاتٍ بِاللَّهِ ۙ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ {6}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:6]

The case of married persons is different from that of outsiders. If a man truly accuses his wife of unchastity, after having caught her in adultery, more often it is not possible to produce four witnesses, sometimes not even one, therefore he should bear witness four times, calling Allah four times as his witness, and solemnly swear to the fact, and in addition invoke the curse of Allah upon himself if he is telling a lie. It is a prima facie evidence of the wife’s guilt. She should be punished. But if she swears similarly four times and similarly invokes Allah’s curse on herself, she is acquitted of the guilt. In either case the marriage is dissolved, as it is against human nature that the two can live together happily after such an incident. Refer to fiqh. Refer to Nisa: 15.

وَالْخَامِسَةُ أَنَّ لَعْنَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ إِنْ كَانَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ {7}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:7] (see commentary for verse 6)

وَيَدْرَأُ عَنْهَا الْعَذَابَ أَنْ تَشْهَدَ أَرْبَعَ شَهَادَاتٍ بِاللَّهِ ۙ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ {8}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:8] (see commentary for verse 6)

وَالْخَامِسَةَ أَنَّ غَضَبَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا إِنْ كَانَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ {9}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:9] (see commentary for verse 6)

وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ حَكِيمٌ {10}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:10]

It is the mercy of Allah that He has given such just laws to regulate relations among the people otherwise they would certainly be ruined. Allah is oft-forgiving to those who confess their guilt, repent and amend their conduct.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ جَاءُوا بِالْإِفْكِ عُصْبَةٌ مِنْكُمْ ۚ لَا تَحْسَبُوهُ شَرًّا لَكُمْ ۖ بَلْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۚ لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِنْهُمْ مَا اكْتَسَبَ مِنَ الْإِثْمِ ۚ وَالَّذِي تَوَلَّىٰ كِبْرَهُ مِنْهُمْ لَهُ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ {11}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:11]

The particular incident referred to here occurred on the return from the defensive expedition of the Bani Mustaliq in 5-6 Hijra. At one of the halts, A-isha, the Holy Prophet’s wife, withdrew from the camp to cleanse herself in the nearby desert. There she lost her necklace. As it was dark there she took time to discover it. In the meantime the march was ordered. As her litter was veiled, it was not noticed that she was not in it. When she returned to the camp, she could do nothing but wait. She fell asleep. Next morning she was found by Safwan who had been left behind to pick up anything inadvertently left behind. He put her on his camel and brought her, leading the camel on foot. This episode furnished some malicious enemies of the Holy Prophet, particularly the hypocrites, with an opportunity to raise a scandalous storm in order to hurt the feelings of the Holy Prophet. The ringleader among them was the chief of the Madina hypocrites, Abdullah ibn Ubay. Mistah, her uncle, also helped him. Ibn Ubay is referred to as the man who “took on himself the lead among them” to spread the scandal.

Ali ibn abi Talib knew that it was an obvious lie (as said in verse 12), concocted to hurt the Holy Prophet, so he asked Burayrah, the maid of A-isha, to tell the mischief-makers the truth about her mistress. On Burayrah’s report the scandal was diffused.

For verse 13 refer to the commentary of verse 4.

Mistah was a sahabi (companion) of the Holy Prophet but because of his role in the incident he was punished by the Holy Prophet. It shows that every sahabi was not righteous. According to Allah’s law (indallah) four witnesses have to be produced even if the accusation is true.

People may think it is an insignificant matter to speak lightly of something which damages a person’s character or reputation, but with Allah it is a most serious matter in all cases, particularly when it involves the honour and reputation of pious men and women.

Dissemination of scandalous news and gossip is a wide-spread social evil. In modern times it is carried out through books and magazines.

For thorough purification see commentary of Ahzab: 33 and for partial purification verse 26 of this surah.

Verse 22 refers to Abu Bakr, the father of A-isha, and Mistah, his cousin. Abu Bakr was given ample means by Allah. He used to support Mistah, but after this incident he withdrew his help. According to the highest standards of Islamic ethics, as said in this verse, a truly generous patron should not, in personal anger, withdraw his support even from a delinquent if he is in need. The general application holds good for all time. Those who desire that Allah should forgive their faults must be forgiving and merciful in their dealings with men who have wronged them.

لَوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ ظَنَّ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ خَيْرًا وَقَالُوا هَٰذَا إِفْكٌ مُبِينٌ {12}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:12] (see commentary for verse 11)

لَوْلَا جَاءُوا عَلَيْهِ بِأَرْبَعَةِ شُهَدَاءَ ۚ فَإِذْ لَمْ يَأْتُوا بِالشُّهَدَاءِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْكَاذِبُونَ {13}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:13] (see commentary for verse 11)

وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِي مَا أَفَضْتُمْ فِيهِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ {14}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:14] (see commentary for verse 11)

إِذْ تَلَقَّوْنَهُ بِأَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَتَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِكُمْ مَا لَيْسَ لَكُمْ بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَتَحْسَبُونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَهُوَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمٌ {15}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:15] (see commentary for verse 11)

وَلَوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ قُلْتُمْ مَا يَكُونُ لَنَا أَنْ نَتَكَلَّمَ بِهَٰذَا سُبْحَانَكَ هَٰذَا بُهْتَانٌ عَظِيمٌ {16}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:16] (see commentary for verse 11)

يَعِظُكُمُ اللَّهُ أَنْ تَعُودُوا لِمِثْلِهِ أَبَدًا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ {17}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:17] (see commentary for verse 11)

وَيُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ {18}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:18] (see commentary for verse 11)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَنْ تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ{19}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:19] (see commentary for verse 11)

وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ {20}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:20] (see commentary for verse 11)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ ۚ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَىٰ مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُزَكِّي مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ {21}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:21] (see commentary for verse 11)

وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنْكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَنْ يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ {22}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:22] (see commentary for verse 11)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَرْمُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ {23}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:23]

To slander a chaste woman, who is not even aware of the sin she is accused of, is the gravest moral offence. Such slanderers are cursed in this life and in the hereafter where they shall be severely punished.

يَوْمَ تَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَلْسِنَتُهُمْ وَأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ {24}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:24]

Our limbs and our faculties will be the strongest witnesses against our evil deeds on the day of judgement, because Allah, being the real truth, makes all things manifest. All that we thought of hiding will be clear as daylight.

يَوْمَئِذٍ يُوَفِّيهِمُ اللَّهُ دِينَهُمُ الْحَقَّ وَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ الْمُبِينُ {25}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:25] (see commentary for verse 24)

الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ ۖ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ ۖ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ {26}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:26]

This verse says that the wives of the Holy Prophet are free from impurity of adultery.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

This verse is like verse 3 of this surah. There is no legislative significance. The pure consort with the pure, and the impure with the impure. It refers to the general pattern of human behaviour.

Verse 10 of At Tahrim says that the wicked wives of Nuh and Lut betrayed their purified husbands, the prophets of Allah. To remove the contradiction it is necessary to restrict the meaning of the cleanness to chastity and impurity to adultery in this verse, because it was revealed in connection with the accusation of adultery. “They are free from what they say” confirms it. Verse 10 of At Tahrim clearly accuses the wicked wives of the two prophets of disloyalty to their husbands. The wives of the prophets are free from the dirt of adultery but they are not free from other evils.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ بُيُوتِكُمْ حَتَّىٰ تَسْتَأْنِسُوا وَتُسَلِّمُوا عَلَىٰ أَهْلِهَا ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ{27}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:27]

Islam regards sudden and abrupt entry into another’s house an act of moral offence. The conventions of propriety and privacy are essential to a refined life of decency and morality.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Tastanisu-to seek familiarity-has been used figuratively for asking permission so as to stop the practice of entering stealthily without notice.

It is essential to invoke peace on the inmates of the house (say: assalamu alaykum) and obtain definite permission to enter the house, be it of parents, brothers, sisters or any relative.

The rule about dwelling houses is strict, because privacy is precious and necessary to a refined, decent and well-ordered life, but such restrictions are not applicable to other houses used for commercial and social purposes, though permission should be obtained from the owner or in-charge. Islam regulates every aspect of human life, individual as well as collective.

فَإِنْ لَمْ تَجِدُوا فِيهَا أَحَدًا فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا حَتَّىٰ يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ قِيلَ لَكُمُ ارْجِعُوا فَارْجِعُوا ۖ هُوَ أَزْكَىٰ لَكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ {28}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:28] (see commentary for verse 27)

لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ مَسْكُونَةٍ فِيهَا مَتَاعٌ لَكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُونَ {29}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:29] (see commentary for verse 27)

قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَزْكَىٰ لَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ {30}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:30]

The rule of modesty applies to men as well as women.

It is man, as the stronger sex, who ignites the flame of passion into woman, so he is addressed first to observe the rules of discipline mentioned in these verses. Not to look freely at the faces of the women who are not his sisters, daughters, mothers or wives is the fundamental injunction to put a complete ban on the lusting with the eyes which serves as a most powerful agency for the prevention and control of sexual crimes. The way in which sense-perceptions give rise to sex stimulation can hardly be overrated. Islam does not allow free and unrestricted intermingling of the sexes. It insists upon segregation of the sexes and bans altogether lewd audio and video presentation of life, real as well as imaginary. It completely bans every form of nudity.

On account of the differentiation of the sexes in nature, temperament, and social life, a stricter discipline is required for woman than for man, especially in the matter of dress and public exhibition of the beauty of the body. Zinat implies the beauty of the body as well as the adornment a women adds to make it more attractive and stimulating.

The woman is asked not to make a display of her figure except to the classes of people mentioned in verse 31.

It is reported that once Abdullah bin Makhtum, a blind companion of the Holy Prophet, came to meet him at his daughter’s house. Bibi Fatimah immediately went inside her room. Afterwards she told her father that she went away because, although Abdullah was a blind man, she was not. Earlier in a similar situation the Holy Prophet had advised his wives Ummi Salima and Maymuna not to stay in the company of even a blind man like Abdullah because of the same reason Bibi Fatimah had given.

The Holy Prophet has strongly disapproved the women who do not keep their bodies clean and attractive for their husbands, or give false excuses to avoid the fulfilment of their husband’s desires. He has also condemned the husbands who allow their wives to display the beauty of their bodies to others. In another tradition it is stated that the Holy Prophet has advised all wives to obey the instructions of their husbands, no matter what the circumstances are, because obedience and faithfulness unto their husbands would earn forgiveness of the sins they have committed.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

These verses contain the legislation regarding modesty in dress, and discipline in intermingling of sexes, for both men and women. Women are not allowed to display their parts of body, adorned or not, to men except those mentioned in verse 31. They have to cover their bodies except face, hands (from the wrist) and feet (including ankles), but they should not be adorned as to stimulate sexual desire when they go out of their homes. There is no restriction on them if they have to come out from their houses. In any event what the Muslim women are doing under the influence of western civilisation is against the tenets of Islam.

وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖ وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّ ۖ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَىٰ عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاءِ ۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِنْ زِينَتِهِنَّ ۚ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ {31}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:31] (see commentary for verse 30)

وَأَنْكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنْكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ ۚ إِنْ يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ {32}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:32]

Ayama, plural of aiyim (single), here means anyone not in the bond of wedlock, whether unmarried or lawfully divorced, or widowed. The choice of the spouse should not be influenced by beauty or wealth. There is no better quality than righteousness to be sought in the life-partner.

There is no other alternative for normal human beings except fulfilment of sexual desires through lawful means. So the act of wedding is in itself a virtue. It is essential for the continuation of life on the earth in order to serve the meaningful plan of the author of the universe. Any deviation from the law laid down by Allah to discipline this procreative activity not only leads to unmanageable disorder but also condemns the human soul to spiritual depravity and devastation.

The normal way to the life of perfection is marriage, not celibacy, suppression of the natural urge which is given to man for continuation of life. Celibacy is unnatural. It is a denial of the divine plan. So it never worked as a genuine activity. In the subterranean dwellings of almost all the monasteries thousands of skeletons of murdered children have been found. According to the Holy Prophet a true Muslim has to marry, not for the satisfaction of lust or for acquisition of wealth, but to bring righteous servants of Allah in this world for the service and worship of the Lord. He declared that nikah (wedlock) was his way of life. Allah has promised to give necessary means of sustenance to every created being that lives in this world, so not to marry for the fear of poverty amounts to want of trust in Allah. The modern tendency to satisfy sex desires through “permissive means” and “living together” by avoiding the discipline of matrimony and its consequences on the false excuse of insufficient means to bear the burden of “more mouths to feed” is unislamic.

The Holy Prophet said:

“A two rakat salat prayed by a married person is better than the whole night of prayers and a day of fasting spent by an unmarried person.”

Every healthy person with sufficient means is liable to seek fulfilment of the sexual desire, so it is obligatory to marry, otherwise the outlet would be adultery.

وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّىٰ يُغْنِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ يَبْتَغُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِمَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا ۖ وَآتُوهُمْ مِنْ مَالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ ۚ وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاءِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا لِتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۚ وَمَنْ يُكْرِهْهُنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِنْ بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ {33}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:33]

A Muslim cannot satisfy his natural cravings outside marriage. If he cannot afford to maintain a family he must wait for Allah’s grace and keep himself chaste until Allah gives him sufficient means. In religion fasting has been recommended for such a person.

Kitab refers to a written instrument which allows a slave to redeem himself on paying a certain amount. This document obliges the master to set his slave at liberty on receiving the agreed amount which the slave collects either by his labour or by receiving donations from others. See fiqh.

Slavery is now obsolete. Islam made it possible to put an end to slavery by enacting laws which, step by step, gave freedom to slaves. See the commentary of al Baqarah: 177. To set a slave free was considered to be one of the most distinguishing qualities of a believer. The Holy Prophet came with the divine message of Islam in a world wholly governed by the institution of slavery. A worst form of slavery was the basis of all human activity, social, economic and political. In such a predominantly slave-based system of social order Islam began to liberate slaves. According to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq it is the duty of a true believer to forgo the agreed amount if the slave desires freedom. Although the Imams among the Ahl ul Bayt gave freedom to their slaves but it is a historic fact that most of them refused to leave the service of the Imams. Even today the free followers of these Imams feel proud to say that they are the slaves (followers) of the Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt.

What is now called the “white slave traffic” was carried on by wicked people like Abdullah ibn Obay who hired six women slaves for prostitution. According to this verse no more despicable trade can be imagined, so it is emphatically condemned and prohibited.

وَلَقَدْ أَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ آيَاتٍ مُبَيِّنَاتٍ وَمَثَلًا مِنَ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ وَمَوْعِظَةً لِلْمُتَّقِينَ {34}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:34]

The guidance from Allah has been made available to all mankind, but only those who safeguard themselves against evil with full awareness of the laws made by Allah follow it as has also been said in al Baqarah: 2 and Ali Imran: 138.

This verse indicates that the history of the people who passed away is a lesson for the living and future generations.

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ ۖ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ ۖ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لَا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ ۚ نُورٌ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ ۗ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ {35}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:35]

The great mystery of existence, its eternal origin and infinite permanence is described in the most comprehensive and eloquent parable of light, which contains layer upon layer of allegorical comparisons to make apparent to man the purpose of the great author of the universe. The physical light is but a reflection of the true light in the realm of reality, and that true light is Allah. The performance of light is to manifest. It is Allah who manifests the universe. The human beings can only think of the factors of the spiritual world in terms of the phenomenal experience obtainable through physical senses; and in the phenomenal world light is the purest thing known to man. Due to the limitations of human experience man cannot see the real light but perceive only the lighted objects. So the physical experience is an illusion, because physical light has drawbacks incidental to its physical nature. It is dependent upon some source external to itself; it is a passing phenomenon; if it is taken to be a form of motion or energy it is unstable, like all physical phenomena; and it is dependent on space and time. The perfect light of Allah is free from any such defects. It prevails everywhere. It envelops everything. It is independent of time and space. The niche (mishkat) is the recess in the wall, high from the ground in the house. The divine light, according to the parable, is placed high above everything, all that which has been created, the whole universe. The lamp is the core of the real illumination. It is placed inside a glass which protects it from any outside interference or disturbance (refer to Saff: 8). The illumination shines bright like a star. In this world, governed by the laws of cause and effect, it becomes natural to know what makes the lamp burn, as no lamp burns without oil. So to give man the idea of causative factor of the generation of light, it is said that the oil of the blessed tree of olive keeps the lamp alive. It is said that after the great flood, the olive tree was the first to grow on the earth. This mystic olive is not localised. It is neither of the east nor of the west. It is universal like the light of Allah.

The light of wisdom (the Quran) in the heart of the Holy Prophet is as protected as the lamp in the glass. Verses 77 to 79 of al Waqi-ah clearly state that the Quran is a protected book; and no one can touch it save the thoroughly purified, the Ahl ul Bayt, according to the verse 33 of Ahzab. Therefore the true interpretation of “light upon light” is the Holy Prophet and his Ahl ul Bayt. It is further made clear in the next verse.

For “Allah guides whom He wills to His light” see the commentary of al Baqarah: 256 and 257-he who believes in Allah, indeed, has taken hold of the firmest handhold (or rope) which will not break off. Allah brings them out of the darkness into light-It is obvious that those who are guided unto His light are the thoroughly purified ones. They alone are the manifestations of the real light. Those who follow these reflection of the divine light receive guidance from the grace of Allah to the extend or degree of their sincere attachment to them. Salman was the only companion of the Holy Prophet who achieved the distinction of becoming one of the Ahl ul Bayt.

The Holy Prophet said:

“My Ahl ul Bayt are like the ark of Nuh. Whosoever sails on it is safe, and whosoever holds back shall perish.”

Nubuwwah and imamah, jointly or separately, are the most perfect guidance unto the light of Allah. Allah Himself chooses and appoints the guide, but His choice is not arbitrary. There are conditions which have to be fulfilled. Refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 124. When Allah appointed Ibrahim as an Imam after testing his faith and awareness, for the whole mankind, he requested Allah to continue this august office in his progeny. Allah agreed to do so, but “it is a covenant which shall not reach the unjust (zalim)” was added. According to verse 13 of Luqman polytheism is the greatest injustice (zulm), therefore as explained in detail in the commentary of al Baqarah: 124 the Ahl ul Bayt of the Holy Prophet was the only group which never worshipped any ghayrallah. Those who had worshipped idols at any time in their lives could not be chosen as Imams at all, but after becoming Muslims if they had accepted the Imams of the Ahl ul Bayt as their guides, and followed them, then, according to the degree of their sincerity and awareness, they are entitled to occupy suitable position in the journey towards the enlightenment available from the light of Allah. Mere verbal profession of faith in Allah without attachment to the Ahl ul Bayt is as bad as hypocrisy.

The existence of the supreme being has been compared to light in order to make human intellect understand a great attribute of Allah, otherwise He is the inconceivable absolute who has created the light. Light is His manifestation. It is not His being.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

To know the proper application of ayah al Nur the following points should be kept in view:

(i) It is a parable.

(ii) A parable implies several applications corresponding to various aspects.

(iii) The light should be understood in its widest sense, as a self-evident being which is evident by itself, and through which other beings become evident.

(iv) The light emanating from a source may pass through transparent or opaque mediums. Generally it is not serviceable when it passes through an opaque medium but is profitable when it goes through a transparent medium.

Transparent mediums have different degrees of transparency. Better conductivity depends on the degree of refinement and purification of the medium.

There may be a source or cause which produces the light. It may also be self-illuminating .

(vii) Usually light proceeding from a source illuminates a particular area, leaving other areas unlighted.

(viii) The source of the light, in this verse, is not localised. It is neither of the east nor the west-not any particular area or direction. See my note in Maryam: 16 to 40.

(ix) The parable is applicable to the process of creation as well as to guidance and also to legislation in order to regulate human behaviour both as an individual and as a member of society.

(x) Light as a symbol of guidance is one of the attributes of Allah. It is manifested in both the realms of creation and legislation.

Allah is the light through which every created being comes into evidence, and every being is guided toward the destination where it should reach. To reach to the destination of salvation, bliss and satisfaction it has to do that which guidance points out.

In every realm and sphere there is a point in which the light of creation or guidance manifests itself originally, and then illuminates the surroundings. Niche {mishtat) refers to this “point” as the exalted holy place chosen for the manifestation of Allah’s name and attributes. There should be an entity whose cognitive self becomes the focus of light. Such entities have been pointed out clearly in Ahzab: 33 and Ali Imran: 61 as the first and the foremost in receiving the light of existence in the arc of descent and the-last in the arc of ascent. In the realm of creation they are the best entities or “points” in which the light of creation manifested itself originally. In the realm of legislation and guidance too they are the best models.

If applied to any individual the niche is the power of expression and the “house” (in which the niche is situated) is the body.

If applied to the group of the Ahl ul Bayt and the prophets, the niche in the house is the Holy Prophet.

The divine light passed through the purest transparent chain of prophets, without any detour, and manifested itself in its full glory in the Holy Prophet, to illuminate the human society for ever.

All the mediums-lamp, glass etcetera-which are the various stages between the original source and the final spreading of the light should be of the highest transparency so as not to affect the purity of light passing through them. It implies that the minds, hearts, loins and wombs of the ancestors of the Holy Prophet were free from the dirt of polytheism.

The house in which the niche always remained is described in verse 36. There always exists a group of persons whose hearts and minds are fully occupied with the remembrance of Allah.

The niche is the source of light, and the oil of the blessed tree is a pure “light above light”. There is not a slightest trace of darkness. Darkness or evil exists outside the sphere of the houses in which the niche is located and cannot enter into it.

Also refer to the commentary of al Baqarah: 275; Nisa: 175 ; Ma-idah: 1 5 and Yunus: 87.

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ {36}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:36]

The houses referred to in this verse are said to be (i) the Ka-bah, built by Ibrahim and Ismail (ii) the masjid in Jerusalem, built by Dawud and Sulayman (iii) the masjid in Quba and the masjid in Madina, both built under the command of the Holy Prophet.

Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said:

“The houses referred to in verse 36 of An Nur are the houses of the prophets and the holy Imams.”

Thalabi, in the interpretation of this verse, relates from Anas bin Malik and Buraydah that when the Holy Prophet recited this verse, Abu Bakr stood up and asked, pointing towards the house of Ali and Fatimah, whether that house was included in the houses referred to and the Holy Prophet replied:

“Yes, and it is better than other houses to which this verse refers.”

Qutadah, an eminent scholar, says that once he told Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq, while sitting in his company:

“I sat with many a great scholar, but my heart never felt the awe and reverence in any company it feels in your presence.”

The Imam said:

“Because you are sitting in the house glorified by Allah in the Quran (and recited this verse).”

رِجَالٌ لَا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ ۙ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ{37}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:37]

This verse describes the qualities of those who are chosen by Allah to remember and glorify Him. They glorify Allah day and night. No worldly involvement distracts their attention from the service, worship and remembrance of Allah. Verse 163 of An-am : “Verily my worship and my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allah,” gives a true picture of the life of every Imam of the Ahl ul Bayt. See commentary of Muminun: 2 for the total surrender to the remembrance of Allah by Ali ibn abi Talib. Also refer to the commentary of Ma-idah: 55 for the highest example of “spending in the way of Allah” by Ali ibn abi Talib.

لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ {38}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:38]

Out of the unbounded grace of Allah more is added to that which the righteous earn by their good deeds. In giving rewards, Allah’s grace is boundless. It is said that whosoever goes to themasjid or a house where Allah is remembered and worshipped to pray salat, learn from or teach others the meanings and interpretation of the verses of Quran, enjoin good and forbid evil, shall have an abode in paradise.

Imam Ali said:

“The “worldly gains” is a corpse; its seekers are dogs.”

“O world, you have made every attempt to beguile me. I have no connection with you. I have divorced you thrice.”

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاءً حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءَهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ {39}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:39]

As it is almost impossible for man to comprehend the absolute reality on account of the limitations he is encumbered with, Allah sets forth parables for him. Although Allah’s being can never be compared to anything at all, yet to enable man to see a glimpse of the truth the parable of light has been given in verse 35. In this verse the disbelievers’ fate is compared to the disappointment of a traveller in the desert who sees false image of water and pursues it with conviction that he will quench his thirst when he reaches it, but as soon as he comes up to it, he finds it to be a mirage (nothing), and dies in protracted agony.

See commentary of al Baqarah: 48, 123, 254,; An-am: 165 and Bani Israil: 15 for “Allah will pay him his account.”

Imam Ali said:

“Allah shall take account of all at one and the same time as He gives sustenance to them all without a break or gap in His divine system of nourishing and cherishing the living beings all over the universe.”

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

First the perfect man has been presented as the niche and the inhabitants of the divine house as those through whom the divine light spreads to guide all mankind. On the contrary the deeds and the theories of the infidels may appear to be of some use and attract people as a mirage does, but darkness or falsehood brings nothing except disappointment and gives nothing save punishment .

أَوْ كَظُلُمَاتٍ فِي بَحْرٍ لُجِّيٍّ يَغْشَاهُ مَوْجٌ مِنْ فَوْقِهِ مَوْجٌ مِنْ فَوْقِهِ سَحَابٌ ۚ ظُلُمَاتٌ بَعْضُهَا فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ إِذَا أَخْرَجَ يَدَهُ لَمْ يَكَدْ يَرَاهَا ۗ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَجْعَلِ اللَّهُ لَهُ نُورًا فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ نُورٍ {40}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:40]

This verse gives a graphic picture of darkness (infidelity) in the depths of ocean, wave upon wave, and on top of all, dense dark clouds.

In verse 35 the likeness of the divine light is as “light upon light” unto which the believers are drawn to be rightly guided, and in contrast, in this verse, the disbelievers are overwhelmed in utter darkness; and darkness is not a reality but a negation of reality.

The darkness over darkness alludes to the persistent disbelief of the infidels, the depth of ocean is the dark chamber of a disbeliever’s heart, the wave over wave is the thick cover of disbelief under which the obstinate mind of the disbeliever works, and the “dark clouds” is the seal of infidelity with which the disbelieving heart is closed up and locked for ever. A man who belies and rejects the message of Allah presented to him with clear signs and decisive arguments can go no where but to the bottom of utter darkness.

The Holy Prophet said:

“My followers will cross the bridge of sirat guided and aided by the light of Ali, and Ali by my light, and I by the light of Allah. Those who are not attached with us shall not have the light to cross it, because to whom Allah does not give light, for him there is no light.”

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Verses 123 of An-am and 52 of Shura, together with this verse, clearly indicate that the light of guidance comes from the divine source-prophets, Imams and the revealed scriptures. Even the proper understanding of the revealed scriptures requires divine endowment of knowledge as per verse 32 of al Fatir.

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالطَّيْرُ صَافَّاتٍ ۖ كُلٌّ قَدْ عَلِمَ صَلَاتَهُ وَتَسْبِيحَهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ {41}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:41]

Refer to the commentary of Bani Israil: 44 and Anbiya: 19 and 20.

Every being celebrates the praises of Allah. Each one has his own mode of prayer and praise. It is not necessarily with words, because language is peculiar to man only, but other beings celebrate the glory of Allah through other modes of self-expression. Unto Allah is the ultimate return of all.

وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ {42}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:42] (see commentary for verse 41)

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُزْجِي سَحَابًا ثُمَّ يُؤَلِّفُ بَيْنَهُ ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُ رُكَامًا فَتَرَى الْوَدْقَ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلَالِهِ وَيُنَزِّلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ جِبَالٍ فِيهَا مِنْ بَرَدٍ فَيُصِيبُ بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَصْرِفُهُ عَنْ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۖ يَكَادُ سَنَا بَرْقِهِ يَذْهَبُ بِالْأَبْصَارِ {43}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:43]

Clouds float in the air; and, when they join together in huge mountain like masses, rain comes forth from their midst; then hail storms develop and with it lightning flashes with which the author of nature strikes whom He pleases and keeps it away from whom He pleases.

يُقَلِّبُ اللَّهُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِأُولِي الْأَبْصَارِ {44}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:44]

His power, wisdom and goodness are manifested in the regular phenomena of nature like the succession of night and day, as they are manifested in the seasonal movement of clouds, rain, hail and lightning. Those who have the vision and insight can understand the working of nature to draw conclusions for the benefit of mankind.

وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَ كُلَّ دَابَّةٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ ۖ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ بَطْنِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ رِجْلَيْنِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ أَرْبَعٍ ۚ يَخْلُقُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ {45}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:45]

Refer to the commentary of Hud : 11; Ibrahim: 33 and particularly Anbiya: 30.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Dabbah here refers to the terrestrial animals. Ma (water) refers to the protoplasm which is the basis of all living matter because the vital power of protoplasm depends on the constant presence of water in it.

If it refers to all terrestrial and celestial beings including jinn and angels then ma is to be interpreted as that substance which was used to create the heavens and the earth and all that which is in them as mentioned in Hud: 7.

لَقَدْ أَنْزَلْنَا آيَاتٍ مُبَيِّنَاتٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ {46}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:46]

وَيَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالرَّسُولِ وَأَطَعْنَا ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّىٰ فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۚ وَمَا أُولَٰئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ {47}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:47]

وَإِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ {48}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:48]

Refer to the commentary of Nisa: 60 to 65.

The hypocrites wanted to go to the judge who they thought was likely to give judgement in their favour. If their case was incontestable, and justice was on their side, they readily came to the Holy Prophet, knowing that he was just and would judge in their favour, even against his own people. But if they had done wrong, they would go to some one who would tip the balance in their favour.

The real fact is that their guilty conscience forewarned them not to go before a just judge.

Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said:

“These three verses were revealed about a dispute that emerged between Ali and Uthman. Ali agreed to abide by the Holy Prophet’s decision. Abdur Rahman bin Awf advised Uthman not to appoint the Holy Prophet as the judge because he would decide the issue in Ali’s favour. He suggested the name of Ibn Shayba who was a Jew. Uthman then refused to go to any one save Shayba. Shayba told Uthman: ‘What! Do you doubt the integrity of the Holy Prophet who, as you Muslims say, says and does only that which Allah commands him to do. Your refusal to go to him amounts to blasphemy.”

وَإِنْ يَكُنْ لَهُمُ الْحَقُّ يَأْتُوا إِلَيْهِ مُذْعِنِينَ {49}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:49] (see commentary for verse 48)

أَفِي قُلُوبِهِمْ مَرَضٌ أَمِ ارْتَابُوا أَمْ يَخَافُونَ أَنْ يَحِيفَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَرَسُولُهُ ۚ بَلْ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ {50}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:50] (see commentary for verse 48)

إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَنْ يَقُولُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ {51}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:51]

وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَخْشَ اللَّهَ وَيَتَّقْهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ {52}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:52]

وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لَئِنْ أَمَرْتَهُمْ لَيَخْرُجُنَّ ۖ قُلْ لَا تُقْسِمُوا ۖ طَاعَةٌ مَعْرُوفَةٌ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ {53}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:53]

قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ ۖ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْهِ مَا حُمِّلَ وَعَلَيْكُمْ مَا حُمِّلْتُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ تُطِيعُوهُ تَهْتَدُوا ۚ وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ {54}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:54]

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ {55}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:55]

Imam Ali bin Husayn Zayn al Abidin says:

“This verse refers to the period when the last of the holy Imams, Al Mahdi al Qa-im will rule the world. He will root out iniquity and polytheism for ever.”

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

If the removal of fear, inheritance of authority for the overall good and welfare of the people, establishment of religion, and peace and security are mentioned here in connection with the administration of human society in this world, then it either refers to the advent of the awaited saviour, Imam Muhammad al Mahdi, before the resurrection, or to the nature of legislative process to be applied to the succession of the Holy Prophet, which should be by the divine command. “Establishment” implies full awareness and masterly ability to apply religious and natural laws made by Allah in all aspects of material and spiritual life with maximum degree of certitude. “Whosoever disbelieves” refers to those who disagree with the method of succession laid down by Allah. The legislative character of this verse is clearly asserted. It does not refer to the historical development of the khilafat, because then it has to be admitted that true believers ceased to exist after the first four caliphs, or all the subsequent caliphs up to Ataturk were good believers which is historically not true, and that after the termination of caliphate there have been no believers at all.

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ {56}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:56]

لَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مُعْجِزِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ وَمَأْوَاهُمُ النَّارُ ۖ وَلَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ {57}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:57]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِيَسْتَأْذِنْكُمُ الَّذِينَ مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَبْلُغُوا الْحُلُمَ مِنْكُمْ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ ۚ مِنْ قَبْلِ صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ وَحِينَ تَضَعُونَ ثِيَابَكُمْ مِنَ الظَّهِيرَةِ وَمِنْ بَعْدِ صَلَاةِ الْعِشَاءِ ۚ ثَلَاثُ عَوْرَاتٍ لَكُمْ ۚ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَا عَلَيْهِمْ جُنَاحٌ بَعْدَهُنَّ ۚ طَوَّافُونَ عَلَيْكُمْ بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ {58}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:58]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

The three occasions refer to the usual hours during which people want to avail the blessings of privacy. Even for a domestic servant or a child it is not proper to come into anyone’s room without notice. Such are the Islamic rules of decorum.

وَإِذَا بَلَغَ الْأَطْفَالُ مِنْكُمُ الْحُلُمَ فَلْيَسْتَأْذِنُوا كَمَا اسْتَأْذَنَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ {59}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:59]

وَالْقَوَاعِدُ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ اللَّاتِي لَا يَرْجُونَ نِكَاحًا فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْهِنَّ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ يَضَعْنَ ثِيَابَهُنَّ غَيْرَ مُتَبَرِّجَاتٍ بِزِينَةٍ ۖ وَأَنْ يَسْتَعْفِفْنَ خَيْرٌ لَهُنَّ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ {60}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:60]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Women of extreme old age are permitted to relax for themselves the proper rules of dress and use of veil, made necessary for young women in verses 30 and 31, provided there is no wanton exhibition of their womanhood.

لَيْسَ عَلَى الْأَعْمَىٰ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى الْأَعْرَجِ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى الْمَرِيضِ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَنْ تَأْكُلُوا مِنْ بُيُوتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ آبَائِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ إِخْوَانِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أَخَوَاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أَعْمَامِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ عَمَّاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أَخْوَالِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ خَالَاتِكُمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكْتُمْ مَفَاتِحَهُ أَوْ صَدِيقِكُمْ ۚ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَأْكُلُوا جَمِيعًا أَوْ أَشْتَاتًا ۚ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمْ بُيُوتًا فَسَلِّمُوا عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِكُمْ تَحِيَّةً مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ مُبَارَكَةً طَيِّبَةً ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ{61}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:61]

There were many Arab superstitions and fancies which are rejected in this verse.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

In order to create love and friendship among the believers the traditions based upon superstitions have been removed.

Salute each other as done in every prayer: Assalamu alayna wa ala ibadillahis salihin-peace be on us and on the righteous servants of Allah. In Allah’s grace and blessing is our peace.

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِذَا كَانُوا مَعَهُ عَلَىٰ أَمْرٍ جَامِعٍ لَمْ يَذْهَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَسْتَأْذِنُوهُ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَأْذِنُونَكَ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۚ فَإِذَا اسْتَأْذَنُوكَ لِبَعْضِ شَأْنِهِمْ فَأْذَنْ لِمَنْ شِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمُ اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ {62}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:62]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says;

This verse explains “afallahu anka” (Allah makes allowance for you) in verse 43 of al Bara-at. Allah has already given the Holy Prophet the authority to give or refuse permission to whomsoever he liked in the exercise of his impartial discretion. The blame in verse 43 of al Barat is on those who asked for his permission. Those who asked his permission to leave (in al Bara-at: 43 to 45) were hypocrites who did not want to take part in the defensive preparations, therefore were blamed and condemned.

لَا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاءَ الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاءِ بَعْضِكُمْ بَعْضًا ۚ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنْكُمْ لِوَاذًا ۚ فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَنْ تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ {63}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:63]

Among the companions there were some who were unwilling to attend the assemblies summoned by the Holy Prophet, so they used to stealthily disappear. This tendency to bypass the commands of the Holy Prophet became a common practice in his last days when he was about to depart from this world. See commentary of Nisa 65.

أَلَا إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ مَا أَنْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَيَوْمَ يُرْجَعُونَ إِلَيْهِ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا عَمِلُوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ {64}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 24:64]

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