Al-Quran Surah 33. Al-Ahzab, Ayah 37

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وَإِذْ تَقُولُ لِلَّذِي أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ زَوْجَكَ وَاتَّقِ اللَّهَ وَتُخْفِي فِي نَفْسِكَ مَا اللَّهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَى النَّاسَ وَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَنْ تَخْشَاهُ ۖ فَلَمَّا قَضَىٰ زَيْدٌ مِنْهَا وَطَرًا زَوَّجْنَاكَهَا لِكَيْ لَا يَكُونَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ فِي أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَائِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْا مِنْهُنَّ وَطَرًا ۚ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُولًا


Asad : AND Lo,42 [O Muhammad,] thou didst say unto the one to whom God had shown favour and to whom thou hadst shown favour,43 "Hold on to thy wife, and remain conscious of God!" And [thus] wouldst thou hide within thyself something that God was about to bring to light44 - for thou didst stand in awe of [what] people [might think], whereas it was God alone of whom thou shouldst have stood in awe!45 [But] then, when Zayd had come to the end of his union with her,46 We gave her to thee in marriage, so that [in future] no blame should attach to the be-lievers for [marrying] the spouses of their adopted children when the latter have come to the end of their union with them.47 And [thus] God's will was done.
Khattab :

And ˹remember, O  Prophet,˺ when you said to the one1 for whom Allah has done a favour and you ˹too˺ have done a favour,2 “Keep your wife and fear Allah,” while concealing within yourself what Allah was going to reveal. And ˹so˺ you were considering the people, whereas Allah was more worthy of your consideration. So when Zaid totally lost interest in ˹keeping˺ his wife, We gave her to you in marriage, so that there would be no blame on the believers for marrying the ex-wives of their adopted sons after their divorce. And Allah’s command is totally binding.

Malik : O Prophet, remember when you said to the one (Zaid, Prophet's adopted son) whom Allah as well as you had favored: "Keep your wife in wedlock and fear Allah". You sought to hide in your heart what Allah intended to reveal; you were afraid of the people whereas it would have been more appropriate to fear Allah. So when Zaid divorced his wife, We gave her to you in marriage, so that there remains no hindrance for the believers to wed the wives of their adopted sons if they divorced them. And Allah's Command had to be carried out.
Pickthall : And when thou saidst unto him on whom Allah hath conferred favor and thou hast conferred favor: Keep thy wife to thyself, and fear Allah. And thou didst hide in thy mind that which Allah was to bring to light, and thou didst fear mankind whereas Allah had a better right that thou shouldst fear Him. So when Zeyd had performed the necessary formality (of divorce) from her, We gave her unto thee in marriage, so that (henceforth) there may be no sin for believers in respect of wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have performed the necessary formality (of release) from them. The commandment of Allah must be fulfilled.
Yusuf Ali : Behold! thou didst say to one who had received the grace of Allah and thy favor: "Retain thou (in wedlock) thy wife and fear Allah." But thou didst hide in thy heart that which Allah was about to make manifest: thou didst fear the people but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear Allah. Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her with the necessary (formality) We joined her in marriage to thee: in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them: and Allah's command must be fulfilled. 3722 3723 3724 3725 3726
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Asad   
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Asad 42 For this rendering of the particle idh, see surah {2}, note [21]. - With the above verse, the discourse returns to the problem of "elective" relationships touched upon in verses {4} ff. Several years before Muhammad's call to prophethood, his wife Khadijah made him a present of a young slave, Zayd ibn Harithah, a descendant of the North-Arabian tribe of Banu Kalb, who had been taken captive as a child in the course of one of the many tribal wars and then sold into slavery at Mecca. As soon as he became the boy's owner, Muhammad freed him, and shortly afterwards adopted him as his son; and Zayd, in his turn, was among the first to embrace Islam. Years later, impelled by the desire to break down the ancient Arabian prejudice against a slave's or even a freedman's marrying a "free-born" woman, the Prophet persuaded Zayd to marry his (Muhammad's) own cousin, Zaynab bint Jahsh, who, without his being aware of it, had been in love with Muhammad ever since her childhood. Hence, she consented to the proposed marriage with great reluctance, and only in deference to the authority of the Prophet. Since Zayd, too, was not at all keen on this alliance (being already happily married to another freed slave, Umm Ayman, the mother of his son Usamah), it was not surprising that the marriage did not bring happiness to either Zaynab or Zayd. On several occasions the latter was about to divorce his new wife who, on her part, did not make any secret of her dislike of Zayd; and each time they were persuaded by the Prophet to persevere in patience and not to separate. In the end, however, the marriage proved untenable, and Zayd divorced Zaynab in the year 5 H. Shortly afterwards the Prophet married her in order to redeem what he considered to be his moral responsibility for her past unhappiness.
Asad   
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Asad 43 I.e., Zayd ibn Harithah, whom God had caused to become one of the earliest believers, and whom the Prophet had adopted as his son.
Asad   
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Asad 44 Namely, that the marriage of Zayd and Zaynab, which had been sponsored by Muhammad himself, and on which he had so strongly insisted, was a total failure and could only end in divorce (see also next note).
Asad   
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Asad 45 Lit., "whereas God was more worthy (ahaqq) that thou shouldst stand in awe of Him". Referring to this divine reprimand (which, in itself, disproves the allegation that the Qur'an was "composed by Muhammad"), A'ishah is reliably quoted as having said, "Had the Apostle of God been inclined to suppress anything of what was revealed to him, he would surely have suppressed this verse" (Bukhari and Muslim).
Asad   
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Asad 46 Lit., "ended his want of [or "claim on"] her", se., by divorcing her (Zamakhshari).
Asad   
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Asad 47 Thus, apart from the Prophet's desire to make amends for Zaynab's past unhappiness, the divine purpose in causing him to marry the former wife of his adopted son (stressed in the phrase, "We gave her to thee in marriage") was to show that - contrary to what the pagan Arabs believed - an adoptive relationship does not involve any of the marriage-restrictions which result from actual, biological parent-and-child relations (cf. note [3] on verse {4} of this surah).

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Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 3722 This was Zaid son of Haritha, one of the first to accept the faith of Islam. He was a freedman of the holy Prophet, who loved him as a son and gave him in marriage his own cousin Zainab. The marriage however turned out to be unhappy. See next note.
Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 3723 Zaid's marriage with the Prophet's cousin Zainab daughter of Jahsh did not turn out happy. Zainab the high-born looked down upon Zaid the freedman who had been a slave. And he was not comely to look at. Both were good people in their own way, and both loved the Prophet, but there was mutual incompatibility and this is fatal to married life. Zaid wished to divorce her, but the Prophet asked him to hold his hand, and he obeyed. She was closely related to the Prophet; he had given a handsome marriage gift on her marriage to Zaid; and people would certainly talk if such a marriage was broken off. But marriages are made on earth, not in heaven, and it is no part of Allah's Plan to torture people in a bond which should be a source of happiness but actually is a source of misery. Zaid's wish-indeed the mutual wish of the couple-was for the time being put away, but it became eventually an established fact, and everybody came to know of it.
Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 3724 All actual facts are referred to Allah. When the marriage is unhappy, Islam permits the bond to be dissolved, provided that all interests concerned are safeguarded. Apparently there was no issue here to be considered. Zainab had to be considered, and she obtained the dearest wish of her heart in being raised to be a Mother of the Believers, with all the dignity and responsibility of that position. See n. 3706 to xxxiii. 28 above.
Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 3725 The Iddat or period of waiting after divorce (ii. 228, and n. 254) was duly completed.
Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 3726 The Pagan superstition and taboo about adopted sons had to be destroyed. See xxxiii. 4-5 and notes 3671-3672 above.
   
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29651

 This refers to Zaid ibn Ḥârithah, the Prophet’s adopted son before adoption was made unlawful. His wife, Zainab bint Jaḥsh was from a prestigious family. Because Zaid and Zainab came from two different social classes, the marriage was not successful. Eventually, Zaid insisted on divorcing his wife, despite several appeals from the Prophet (ﷺ). Since one’s adopted son was no longer considered to be one’s own son, the Prophet (ﷺ) was later allowed to marry Zainab.

   
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29652

 Allah’s favour to Zaid was to guide him to Islam, and the Prophet’s favour was to free him from slavery.

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