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UNCOVERING the original message of the Arabic Qur'an by using Lexicons compiled more than 1,000 years ago.

ISOLATING Fact from Fiction.

RECOVERING Hope and regaining the perspective where Humanity is one, God's Message is one, and our Future CAN become one we all look forward to!


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A BREAKTHROUGH project which helps understand the Qur'an AS REVEALED -not just 'as explained.'


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 272; Qur’an 65: 1-12, pages 558-559

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!

Thank God this chapter is done!  What a relief..
It’s an amazing opportunity for us that Laleh Bakhtiar’s Qur’an explanation has been added to our oft-visited ‘Tafaseer’ Website!  What a bonus for researchers of comparative explanation!

Yusuf Ali’s explanation of this Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s explanation of this Chapter.

Their commentaries can be read in ‘verse by verse’ view.
سورة الطلاق
The Release ([i])

From Introduction of Yusuf Ali:

The aspect dealt with here is Divorce, and the necessity of precautions to guard against its abuse. The relations of the sexes are an important factor in the social life of Community, and this and the following Surah deal with certain aspects of it. "Of all things permitted by law", said the prophet (peace be upon him), "divorce is the most hateful in the sight of Allah". (Abu Dawud, Sunan, 13:3). While the sanctity of marriage is the essential basis of family life, the incompatibility of individuals and the weaknesses of human nature require certain outlets and safeguards if that sanctity is not to be made into a fetish at the expense of human life. That why the question of Divorce is in this Surah linked with the question of insolent impiety and its punishment.”

From Introduction of Muhammad Asad:

“THE WHOLE of this surah (revealed about the middle of the Medina period) is devoted to one particular aspect of the problem of divorce, namely, to ordinances relating to the waiting period which divorced women must undergo before the marriage is finally dissolved and they are allowed to remarry - thus amplifying and elucidating verses 228-233 of Al-Baqarah.”


This Chapter gives the community a few guidelines on how couples with irreconcilable differences can be released from their marriage-contracts.  
But before we get into the subject of ‘Divorce,’ let us grasp the importance and sanctity of the Marriage Contract ‘Meethaq Ghaleeth’ ‘The Marriage Union: Sanctity and Fulfillment.’  This will help us understand why divorce is discouraged yet permissible as a final resort.

In a nut-shell: 
The Qur’an tells us that the goal of life is to grow in Awareness, and we know that anyone tied-down by an unhappy relationship cannot do that.  Despite that, a doting parent (most often the mother) might choose to remain in a marriage, forgoing her own growth for the growth of her children (provided he is a good father.  If not, then divorce might be better for them too).  When matters are beyond reconciliation, and when every possibility has been exhausted, nothing remains but Divorce; the last choice.

I have spent weeks reading, researching and asking others so as to settle certain questions in my mind and present to you, dear Reader, a balanced reading of this chapter.  Jurists of all ‘Islamic’ schools have written countless ordinances about every matter related to Divorce, as seen from their vantage point, reinforcing their views with reports they may have obtained of the Prophet’s sayings or of his companions.  That is why the laws may differ in different jurisdictions.  And then there are differences in what constitutes a ‘legal’ (Shariah-accepted) divorce, even within the same School of Thought. 
Sunni scholars generally deem a divorce ‘final’ after the husband has announced his intention for the third time, or the ‘iddat’ time has passed without reconciliation.  Most say that a valid intention must be voiced during her time of ‘Tahaara’ or ‘ritual purity from menses.’  Sunni scholars seem to consider it irrelevant that the Qur’an requires two ‘just/ righteous’ witnesses to be present at the time of such a declaration, some even deeming the divorce ‘final’ when the husband simply states to his wife once: ‘I divorce you threefold’ ([ii]). 
I thought it interesting to find that Shiite scholars consider any declaration of divorce invalid unless witnessed by two ‘just/ righteous’ witnesses, after which the couple may remarry with a new ‘aqd/ agreement,’ and if he divorces her (with witnesses) for the second time, they can remarry again, but the third divorce would be final. 

I try not to lean towards any explanation in my research, which I hope to keep in line with the Arabic language AND Qur’anic context simply because I wish to understand the Arabic Qur’an as close as possible to how its earlier recipients understood it, before any ‘schools of thought’ presented themselves.  I know that I might end up with an over-simplified explanation, one which does not delve into the complicated arguments and counterarguments of divorce… but if the Qur’an had put it simply, drawing guidelines for Humanity to move in, according to their specific circumstances, guided by the spirit of the Prophet’s practice and his ‘modus operandus,’ peace upon him, then that is what this research is all about.

Q. What happens in ‘Islamic’ communities if the woman wishes to divorce her husband? 
A. In some places, that can be done through the courts and is called ‘khula’/ خُلْع’.  In fact, during the Prophet’s time a woman presented ‘lack of attraction’ as grounds for divorce, and was only told to give back to her husband his marriage-gift ([iii]).

Anyway, although a couple’s divorce procedures depend on the laws enacted in their own community, there are matters of importance for women, which remain in some communities unapplied and controversial:

A woman has the right to stipulate ANYTHING she considers important in her marriage contract, including:

·      Equal right to DIVORCE the man HERSELF, which is commonly understood as the ‘ISmah/ عِصمة’ being in her hand.’
·      Her OUTLAWING the possibility of his taking a second wife while he is married to her (he cannot be lawfully wed again unless divorced from her).
·      WHATEVER else she considers important, and is agreed to by him in the contract (a certain monthly allowance during marriage, or a marital-gift of jewelry or cash upon marriage, or that he make her shared or sole property-owner of land or house, or designate any amount of money to her as a ‘debt,’ which she would be entitled to, in cash, upon divorce or widowhood... etc..)

Although Marriage is the most solemn of ‘covenants’ we could get into, yet it remains, on the practical side, a ‘contract’ between two agreeing parties, the man and the woman.  The man and woman are each in charge of themselves, and no ‘guardian’ has the right to marry any of them off without their consent.  Consent is either voiced, or sworn to, in front of 2 witnesses during legal proceedings.
I do realize that in some tribal locations a marriage has been known to take place with a guardian speaking ‘for’ the woman/ girl, and that in some locations the female is under-aged, but that goes AGAINST the Qur’an, which speaks of a ‘woman;’ How can she be a ‘woman’ unless she has fully developed her ‘womanly’ traits?
I have not researched countries to see differences, but most ‘Islamic’ countries will probably follow what’s in this link, well-explained by Maududi.
If you are in Europe, read the ‘Muslim Marriage Contract’ which was developed for use in Britain. Besides information on the particulars, it also discusses the laws in different ‘Islamic’ countries.
If you are in the U.S., read the ‘Journal of Law and Practice’: ‘Women’s Rights in Islam regarding Marriage and Divorce.’  Here we find mention of a protective measure for the wife which has become common practice in most Muslim societies due to the fact that ‘Islam,’ as practiced, does NOT entitle the divorced wife to housing, any kind of alimony, nor any part of the assets gathered during the marriage unless she was working and had a part in obtaining them, or they were legally registered in her name during the marriage.  Common understanding is that, once the divorce is final and her 3 month waiting period is over, provided the children are all grown or she has no children, she should gather her clothes and jewelry, and get out of the house ([iv]). 
The ‘Debt’ as ‘protective measure’ (which was probably instituted by concerned parents of brides, and has now become custom in many places) stipulates in the legal witnessed marriage contract, that the ‘Marriage gift/ Mahr/ Sadaaq’ is in TWO sections: 
·      The first, called ‘muqaddam/ pre-nuptial gift,’ is related to what is given to the bride while the legal marriage proceedings are taking place, before the couple are physically joined. 
·      The second, called ‘mu’akh-khar/ post-nuptial gift,’ is related to what both parties consider a ‘debt’ upon the husband to be given to the wife when their marriage comes to an end. But marriages don’t only end by divorce.  Marriages also end by death, in which case when HE is the deceased, it becomes the duty of the community/ executor - before anyone divides up the inheritance- to pay up the deceased’s debts ([v]), foremost of which is his widow’s post-nuptial gift.  On the other hand, if SHE is the deceased, it becomes their duty to handover the post-nuptial gift to her heirs (out of which the deceased, as an heir, inherits ½ or ¼, depending on whether or not she has children).
Readers will not be surprised to know that, in practice, many people have drawn marriage contracts with nominal pre-nuptial gifts, and huuuuge post-nuptial gifts for their daughters!  Although intended to thwart divorce, or help the divorcee/ widow when her husband does leave her, this is sometimes counter-productive due to the husband’s reluctance or inability to pay up!  What has been known to happen, is that husbands have resorted to harsh treatment or left the woman ‘hanging,’ neither married nor divorced, forcing her to absolve him, in return for freedom.  All this goes AGAINST the Qur’an. 
Indeed, the subject of ‘Women’s Rights in Islam’ and the struggle for ‘gender-equality’ is on-going as you read this.  Watch the BBC Doha Debates.  Here is the part in which Toujan Faisal tells us how non-democratic Arab/ Muslim governments take a detour to democratization by using ‘female empowerment’ as a ‘Trojan horse’ by which they escape the real issue, which is empowering their entire population (I found that observation VERY interesting and worth studying with a view to our region’s history).  Here is the part in which Dr. Tarek Sweidan exclaims that many Western countries are more ‘Islamic’ than so-called ‘Muslim’ countries.  There is interesting discussion here, so do watch it when you have the time. 
Q. What if AFTER the divorce has become final, the couple have second-thoughts and want to get back together?
A. Once the divorce is final, the man cannot remarry his divorcee until she has married and divorced someone else

 PAGE 558 Arabic Qur’an

1.     The first verse begins by addressing the ‘Prophet,’ NOT the ‘Messenger,’ which is a VERY important distinction we spoke of earlier, which few commentators seem to have noticed.  Actually, they all seem to consider these two terms interchangeable, without distinguishing between them, as the Qur’an indeed does! 

Here is the main distinction:

When we check 13 instances in the Qur’an of ‘Oh Prophet /يا أيها النبي  versus the two instances of ‘Oh Messenger/يا أيها الرسول we note that the main difference between the two terms is that:

·   ‘Prophet’ describes his relationship (as a chosen person) vis-à-vis other people from amongst whom he was chosen, as well as the specific circumstances of his interaction with them and others.
Read more below ([vi]).

·      ‘Messenger’ (of God) describes his relationship (as a chosen person) vis-à-vis the Message itself (in both receipt and delivery) and its Divine Source, God.
Read more below ([vii]).
THIS PLACES RESPONSIBILITY UPON THE COMMUNITY OF THE FAITHFUL -FOR ALL TIME- TO UPHOLD THE MESSAGE (the Arabic Qur’an itself) WORKING WITHIN ITS BOUNDARIES WITHOUT NECESSARILY ENFORCING THE PROPHET’S EXACT APPLICATION upon each and every circumstance, yet remaining ALWAYS within the language and context of the Arabic Qur’an (ie: The deeds of the ‘Messenger’ are related to his Message, and are therefore ‘timeless’ and ‘required,’ while the deeds of the ‘Prophet’ are related to his People and therefore ‘dated’ and ‘optional’).

Q. Why is this SO important
A. Because for too long, the difference between ‘Prophet’ and ‘Messenger’ has been ignored, and both Islamists AND Islam-Bashers have gotten away with considering every strategy taken by the Prophet ‘universally enforceable.’  Some ‘Muslims’ have taken it upon themselves to adopt these strategies and enforce them upon others, stating that they are ‘Divine,’ while ‘Islam-Bashers’ have attacked Islam and the Qur’an for having (as they allege) ‘universally and timelessly sanctioned’ these strategies!  Extremists from both sides have fed (and continue to feed) on such explanations and on their enmity towards each other, while their victims suffer helplessly.  We don’t need to quote ‘anti-Muslim’ websites or listen to the many bigots around the world to see examples of this.  Look at what’s happening in Muslim-majority countries.  Seven people killed on the streets of Cairo, Egypt, during the past two-days-protest against the ‘Islamization’ of the Constitution… this taking place AFTER their revolution had toppled their dictator, and AFTER they’d sworn in their first democratically-elected president. 
Q. Why are ‘Islamists’ so mistrusted? 
A. Because most of them consider every practice of the ‘Prophet,’ whether in Qur’an or ‘Hadeeth,’ and every Shari’ah/ Jurisprudence ruling accepted by the major schools of thought as a Timeless Guideline for how things should be, everywhere.  Full-stop.  No argument being allowed when this is considered ‘Divine,’ and they are only fulfilling ‘God’s will.’   People will never trust them to do what is right by them in the long run, as long as they see them as aiming to do what is ‘right by their ideology.’
This should be addressed: 
If we truly want to help Humanity, or promote this magnificent faith as God sent it (not our warped version of it), we must look at what the Qur’an says.  PRECISELY ([viii]).
Explaining the Qur’an by LANGUAGE and CONTEXT is the CHALLENGE which is now being undertaken.  Things must change for the better, and everyone can agree that it is about time.
Back to our verses:
So here, after calling upon the ‘Prophet,’ the first verse continues in the masculine plural ‘you,’ speaking to the responsible community of men and women, drawing the general procedure in which Divorce should be carried out ([ix]). 
As understood by the following three commentators, the first stipulation is that divorce should take place:
·       Y. Ali:  “…at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately), their prescribed periods: And fear God your Lord: and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness…” 
·       M. Asad:  “….with a view to the waiting-period appointed for them, and reckon the period [carefully]. , and be conscious of God, your Sustainer. Do not expel them from their homes; and neither shall they [be made to] leave unless they become openly guilty of immoral conduct…..”
·       L. Bakhtiar:  “…after their (f) waiting periods and count their (f) waiting periods. And be Godfearing of God, your Lord.  And drive them (f) not out from their (f) houses nor let them (f) go forth unless they approach a manifest indecency.…” 
Here we note the differences in these 3 translations ‘at’ ‘before’ or ‘after’ their prescribed periods, which shows that the ‘li’ before ‘iddattihinna’ has been explained from more than one angle with regard to time.  Muhammad Asad however has it closer to common understanding, which is that the husband should notify his wife of divorce ‘in view of the waiting period,’ meaning that the proclamation of divorce should be made when a woman can enter immediately into her ‘iddat’ or ‘counting & waiting period,’ being just FREE OF MENSES. 
So Verse 1 states they women are to remain in their homes for the duration of the ‘iddat,’ and Verse 4 explains what it is.  The ‘counting period’ for a divorcee is: 
·      Three menstrual courses- if she menstruates.
·      Three months- if she does not menstruate.
·      Childbirth- if she turns out to be pregnant.  
Remaining where she is may be the most important stipulation for the duration of ‘three menstrual cycles/ months’ of ‘iddat,’ prescribed for the purpose of reconciliation HQ2: 228.  If they reconcile during this time (as is hoped) the divorce is intercepted (but it can only be intercepted twice.  The third time he announces his divorce is his last).  So the reason for the ‘iddat’ to be performed in ‘her home’ is so that the family can be kept together in case more thought is required.  It is a time of reassessment.
When the entire period has passed without reconciliation or intimate marital relations, the contract that had bound them together is terminated, and she is no longer his wife.  However, because a father is responsible for his children who might still need their mother, divorced-mothers in different ‘Islamic’ countries are often helped by law to facilitate their stay with the children and be thus provided for, especially if these mothers are citizens of their country of residence.

See also how ‘faahisha mubayyana’ was explained by Ali, Asad and Bakhtiar, as  ‘open lewdness,’ ‘openly guilty immoral conduct,’ and the ‘approaching of manifest indecency.’  I don’t think these explanations can help us pinpoint what it is we are talking about:  Lewdness, immorality, and indecency are changing concepts, relative to people and place! 
The Arabic is much clearer: 
Evidenced Pervading Atrocity,’ is the 4-person witnessed and sworn to ‘consummate sexual act’ (when the actual ACT has been witnessed.  Indeed, if the accusation does not reach the consensus of all four witnesses swearing to have seen THE COMPLETE ACT -or the spouse on his own, seeing it and swearing 4 times, PLUS his wife admitting to it (put ‘accusing spouse’ in ‘Search’), each accuser will face 80 lashes and be considered an ‘unreliable witness’ for life, whether or not they were reporting truthfully what they had witnessed!!  This means that if any of the witnesses has second thoughts, or is proven not to have actually seen it, all others get 80 lashes each (put ‘accusers witnesses’ in ‘Search’) [x]. 
Our explanation has to follow set linguistic guidelines.
Without that, our application becomes based on ambiguity rather than fact.
These issues will vary from country to country, and we might find that the more so-called ‘Islamic’ a country, the narrower its interpretation and the less it will ensure women’s rights or work towards their progress and participation.  It is tragic when commentators add their own slant to certain Qur’anic words and concepts.  Indeed, when we read most applied explanations of this chapter, we find few Qur’anic words on each page, surrounded by countless comments and clarifications.  What we obtain in the end is the Commentator’s intent, and not the Qur’an’s. 
2.   After mentioning that divorced women should NOT be put out of THEIR residences, Verse 1 continues, asserting that THESE ARE GOD’S BOUNDARIES (حدود الله), and whoever crosses God’s boundaries has indeed wronged himself.  The verse ends by telling the listener that he (masculine singular) cannot determine (what would indeed take place), for God may well bring about a new matter after that (another set of circumstances.  Put ‘daraa’ in ‘Search’)
Here, dear Reader, we have an IMPORTANT DISCOVERY to ponder:
The warning statement ‘..these are God’s boundaries/ Hudoodul-Lah…’ appears six times in the Qur’an, ALWAYS related to how husbands and wives TREAT each other!!
In the case of husbands and wives, the  couple/ the community is warned SIX times not to transgress God’s boundaries:
·      (Once) with regard to the couple not having intercourse during the (Ramadan) day’s fast or seclusion in places of prayer (HQ 2:187).
·      (Once) with regard to wives’ inheritance – after many verses about inheritance (HQ 4:13).
·      (Four times) with regard to husbands’ separation from their wives:
---Three times about ‘Divorce/ Talaaq’ (HQ 2:229, 2:30, 65:1)
---Once about ‘Thihaar’ which we spoke of earlier (HQ 58:4).
Therefore, the warning statement ‘..these are God’s boundaries/ Hudoodul-Lah…’ ALWAYS relates to the NUCLEUS of society, to the inner, PRIVATE relationship between spouses, which when aright, sets everything else aright, and when broken, endangers the entire social fabric.  
Q. Shouldn’t we wonder WHY NO ONE seems to have paid attention to this fact?  
Furthermore, shouldn’t we RAISE OUR VOICES IN INDIGNATION and ask:
HOW on earth did the Qur’anic word ‘Hudood’ come to mean something totally different and UNRELATED in our literature?
WHY have important family-matters called the ‘Hudood of God’ in the Qur’an, been replaced in our literature and in cognition by something else, given the name ‘Hudood,’ and said to be deterrent punishments ‘ordained by God for serious crimes’.. (flogging, misinterpreted cutting off of hands etc.. see Wikipedia or Google the word in English or Arabic). 
Violation upon violation of Qur’anic intent!
How many people, and what amounts of effort, would it take to get this information out, allow open-minded discussion, and make changes that would put our version of ‘Islam’ back on the Straightened Path?  
Let us correct our MIS-nomers so as to begin understanding the Qur’an!
This is where YOU come in, dear Reader.  Spread this important knowledge. 
But remember that what is presented here is NOT the last word on the subject: It is only the first. 
After research, we discuss and assess.  Then we make changes. 
Your children and grandchildren will thank you for it.

3.  Continuing on the subject of divorce, Verse 2 directs husbands that when the divorced women have reached the ‘end of term/ ajal,’ they (husbands) are to either to hold onto them (the wives) as is mutually acceptable, or part from them as is mutually acceptable, and to have two persons of ‘justice’ as witnesses, and to uphold the testimony/ witness for God.  Then the last part of the verse underlines the seriousness of this, stating that the aforementioned (directives) are what someone who believes in God and the last day is admonished with, asserting that anyone (husband or wife) who is aware of God shall be rendered a way out (of any inconvenience/ hardship, especially if related to these directives).
And then Verse 3 CONTINUES, adding four more assertions. 
These assurances are VERY IMPORTANT, so I shall list them clearly below.
Once you’ve studied them, dear Reader, you will note that they are the key to ‘BREAKTHROUGH FROM HARDSHIP’:

·      Whoever is AWARE of God, He shall render a way out of hardship for him
·      and He shall grant provision to him from unexpected sources
·      for whoever RELIES on God, He (God Alone) shall suffice him
·      indeed, God’s Purpose shall attain itself بالغٌ أمرُهُ. ([xi])
·      since ([xii]) God has rendered for everything a capacity for projection to its utmost (see ‘qadr’).

Whoever is in hardship may use this ‘miraculous’ key, after making sure its 4 ‘bits’ are all functional:

Awareness of God
Reliance upon Him
Knowing that there is purpose for everything in life
Making the Effort to project what we have, to full potential.

That key ensures us… ENSURES us (can we ever doubt God’s assurances?)… it ensures us A BREAKTHROUGH FROM HARDSHIP:  Doors that had been closed, or hidden from us, suddenly open… and provision comes to us from directions we hadn’t even thought of!

This verse, Verse 3, is VERY important for those of us who wish to understand ‘qadr,’ which is embedded in everything God has bestowed upon us, as the verse says:  ‘…God ‘shall attain to His affair/ command….’  It is how everything gets implemented.  Please put the word in ‘Search.’
Q. We might wonder why this ‘key’ is mentioned here, within verses related to divorce. 
A. Actually, these verses are just as much about resolving conflict within a marriage, as they are about divorce.  To make possible any successful resolution of conflict between two parties, we need three ingredients:  MUTUAL RESPECT, GENEROSITY, and WILL/ intent ([xiii]).  The existence of these three makes us spare no EFFORT to physically deliver the ‘resolution’ from Possibility into Reality.
·      Awareness of God makes us RESPECTFUL of each other.
·      Reliance on God makes us GENEROUS to one another.
·      Believing in Qadr makes us WORK to obtain the best out of everything.

And since marriage is the most prevalent and most important ‘contract’ in life, the Qur’an seems to place it here as a STANDARD for the continuation OR dissolution of every other contract we might make.
Isn’t it beautiful how this verse continued the statement begun at the end of Verse 2, which asserted that whoever is aware of God shall be rendered a way out of hardship?

4.     We’ve already explained Verse 4 as it relates to the ‘iddat’ time-frame.  This verse also has a beautiful ending where it assures that:
‘…whoever is aware of God, for him God shall render ‘ease’ in his affairs …
Isn’t the facilitation/ easening of our difficulties a wonderful thing?  All we have to do, is be Aware of God!
Verse 5 states that this is a command of God descended upon you (all), and whoever is aware of God, God shall ‘cover/ compensate’ for him his misdeeds against others and shall increase his recompense (see ‘sayyi’aat’).

Dear Reader:
It is truly amazing that on this one page of the Qur’an, we find ALL three verses which begin with the words: 
‘… and whoever is aware of God, God shall…’
These words are followed by FIVE PROMISES.
For Those who are AWARE of God: 
·      God shall OPEN a way for them out of hardship, and
·      grant them PROVISION from unexpected sources, and
·      EASE their affairs, and
·      ‘COMPENSATE for’ their misdeeds, and
·      Increase their REWARD. 

What more could one wish for?
Let us all make a conscious decision today to enhance our awareness of God.
It is worth it! 

PAGE 559 Arabic Qur’an
5.    Verses 6 directs listeners (husbands) towards generosity with their ex-wives, indicating that they house the divorced-women at a location ‘from where you reside,’ at a standard ‘within your means,’ in a manner which is ‘not hurtful to them’ with the intention of ‘restricting (livelihood) upon them.’  Pregnant divorcees are mentioned specifically at the end of the verse, so that their ex-husbands would also support them financially for the duration of the pregnancy AND the suckling/ breast-feeding of the newborn (see Yusuf Ali.. .[xiv]). 
Society / both parties are then urged to command (and agree to) what is mutually acceptable among each other, failing which (when difficulties arise), breast-feeding could be undertaken by another woman on behalf of the husband (it is the father’s duty to feed & support the child; mothers breast-feed voluntarily, even in stable marriages).
Scholars have differed as to whether (fully) divorced women (during their waiting period) should get housing plus allowance, each basing their argument on precedence, and on what they’ve heard of the Prophet’s ‘Hadeeth,’ peace upon him. 
For example:
‘Ash-hab Ibn Malek’ says (about such a divorcee, termed by scholars: ‘Baa-en’ بائن) that the husband should depart from her, leaving her in the house for the duration of her ‘iddat.’  He argues that God would not have said to the men ‘house them (the women)’ had the divorced couple been intended to remain in the house together (remember, even if they were to reconcile at that point, they cannot remarry because the divorce is already final.  Her ex-husband can only approach her for marriage after she had married and divorced someone else). 
-Ibn Nafi’ says of Imam Malik, that if she is not pregnant, she should only get housing without allowance. Imam Shaafi’i is of the same view, based on a single Hadeeth by ‘Fatimah Bint Qays’ in which she said the Prophet had told her that she was to get NEITHER housing nor allowance.  Interestingly, when Omar Ibn Al Khattab was later asked in a similar case, he ruled against this ‘Hadeeth’ saying, ‘We do not authorize anything upon Muslims based on the word of one woman.’ And he gave divorcees right to both housing and allowance.  Imam Abu Haneefah says she gets both housing and allowance, based on the verse itself which directs men not to hurt their divorcees by restricting (livelihood) upon them.
Dear Reader:
In matters of ‘jurisprudence/ Fiqh’ such as this, you’d find many views, and pages upon pages of argument.  Since each era and each case had its particulars, we find early scholars differing in opinion, sometimes even with their own teachers (which is great: Differing was considered healthy at the time!).  Later on, jurists were discouraged from offering their own educated opinions based on research, and the doors to ‘ijtihaad’ were ‘closed.’  Everyone felt safer to abide by precedence, without seeking fresh outlook into matters.  Indeed, ‘innovation’ was strongly discouraged, which is one reason why ‘Muslims’ fell behind in development and advancement.   
Do you now see, dear Reader, why the address at the beginning of the chapter was to the Prophet, not to the Messenger? 
These directives are related literally to the Prophet and to the people among whom he was chosen.  Other generations CAN and SHOULD take this as a basis AND WORK FURTHER towards the BEST dissolution of a marriage, both in general as well as case by case. Everyone must bear in mind that the main provider is the man, therefore he is the one spoken to, and urged to provide and be as generous as he can afford to be.  The woman, on the other hand, is usually the one in danger of being wronged, which is why Verse 6 specifically forbids harassing or constraining her. 
 People are urged to demand of each other what is mutually acceptable.
In different parts of the world we find the laws changing in favor of women, which is how it should be ‘Qur’anically.’  How else would we be fulfilling the requisites mentioned above?  
Furthermore, how else could Verse 7 be implemented, with both its open-ended commands and both its assurances? 
·       ‘He who is of abundant means is to spend of his abundance…’
How much? It doesn’t say, but God knows and states that it should be as much as he can afford!
(‘Li:’ The ‘laam’ of command.)

·       ‘…and He whose provision has (already) been projected upon/ against him, is to spend of what God has given him…’
(‘Li:’ The ‘laam’ of command.)
How much?  It doesn’t say, but God knows and states that no matter how little he has, he must spend whatever he can afford on her, REMINDING him that it is God who gave him that provision in the first place!

·       ‘..God does not burden any Self with more than what He has given it…’
So do your best within what you’ve been given.

·       ‘..God SHALL render, after hardship: Ease.’

It is now obvious that these directives are open-ended, and their limits are according to THE BEST OF OUR MEANS, and NOT pre-set.

The open-endedness of these directives, and their suitability to different situations are perhaps the main reasons why the address at the beginning of the chapter was to the ‘Prophet,’ not to the ‘Messenger.’
As we continue to the next verses, we realize that the directives related to divorce are but part of the picture, and there is dire warning to those who defy or oppose their Lord’s commands! 

6.     Verses 8-9, which appear right after the verses on divorce, warn of the seriousness of not heeding God’s commands, reminding us indirectly to handle the dissolution of marriages in the best manner possible.  An example is given of townships which had received command from their Lord and His Messengers to which they did not comply, and were taken to account, receiving dire suffering and tasting the consequence of their affair (total Loss).
Verses 10- 11 elaborate (on what was mentioned in Verse 9), mentioning the suffering which was prepared for such townships, and cautioning ‘Those of Insight and Commitment who have attained Faith’ to be aware of God, and that God has ‘sent down / delivered’ to them an ‘Evocation/ Reminder,’ a Messenger who recites His ‘clarifying/ expounding’ Signs (in sequence) so as to bring out ‘Those who Have Attained Faith and Performed Good Deeds’ from the Darkness-es into Light (Regular Readers will remember that Darkness is always plural while Light is always singular).  Verse 11 ends with a general statement about such a person (who has faith in God and performs good deeds) that he shall be entered into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein for a Time (extensive time-span), God has indeed well-provided for him!
Isn’t it interesting, how the picture flows seamlessly and we hardly notice that, once in the Garden, ‘he’ becomes ‘they’ (singular becomes plural) ..!?
(There is a famous proverb which says: ‘Al-Janneh bila naas, maa btindaas!’ Heaven without people is not worth stepping into!)
New Readers:  Please check out the meanings of ‘khuld’ and ‘abad,’ which most people explain as ‘eternity,’ or infinite endless time.
Regular Readers know that ‘Those of Insight and Commitment/ Ulul Albaab’ are a category of people we aspire to.  The Qur’an tells us that it is they who ‘remember,’ and that any lesson learnt in life is a ‘Reminder’ for them ([xv]).
Important observation:
Did you notice that, once the subject of divorce had ended, we have the command to be aware of God and that God had sent us a Reminder, a MESSENGER reciting God’s Signs (not a ‘Prophet’)? It is through The Message itself that Muhammad, peace upon him, reminds us Believers…. regardless of what era we happen to live in or what location we might inhabit.  This is VERY important for those who wish to understand the difference between ‘Prophet’ and ‘Messenger.’
Also, when we reread the entire Chapter, we find ourselves tying the subject of how society handles the break-up of a marriage, to its breaking-down as a township, suffering the consequences of not having heeded God’s command.  This reminds us of the Chapter titled ‘The Light/ Al Noor,’ which is all about protecting the community of the Faithful, from the inside, out.  
7.     The final verse flows in seamlessly: 
In Verse 11 we learnt that whoever has Faith in God and performs good deeds shall be entered into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein for a Time, and God has indeed well-provided for him.. Now Verse 12 continues:
GOD WHO created the seven Exalted Expanses, and of the Earth alike to them, the Command descends continuously between them so that you (all) will ‘know’ (mark out/ recognize the fact) that God is over all things ‘Qadeer’ (Creator and Projector) and that He has encompassed everything with Knowledge.’
Regular Readers will remember that although the traditional explanation of the word is ‘Capable/ Powerful,’ yet the Arabic LANGUAGE and the 1,000 year old definition of the root-verb ‘qadara’ have given us deeper meaning: 
To read the amazing concept of ‘qadr’ put the word in ‘Search.’ 
Remember that God has created everything in ‘qadr’ (HQ: 25:2), which means it has an innate capacity for PROJECTION to its utmost. Where it ends up projecting to, is related to its specific circumstances and ‘motivation.’  We also said that ‘qadr’ is embedded in everything He bestows upon us as per HIS attribute of ‘Qadeer’ (being Omnipotent Creator and Projector).
Notice how being ‘Qadeer’ (of ‘Power /Capability/ Creation/ Projection’ is inseparable from ‘Knowledge.’
We can all agree that, had we (as Arabs or as ‘Muslims’) recognized the relationship between Knowledge and Power, we wouldn’t have been where we are today.
I have no doubt that what is happening today is the beginning of our ‘Awakening.’  May we work together and seek enlightenment, finding our way back to the ‘Straightened Path’ and to Peace, and help our world progress in the right direction.

        Peace unto all!

 طلق: يدلُّ على التَّخلية والإرسال. يقال انطلقَ الرّجل ينطلق انطلاقاً. ثمَّ ترجع الفروع إليه، تقول أطْلَقْتهُ إطلاقاً. والطِّلْق: الشيء الحلال، كأنَّه قد خُلِّيَ عنه فلم يُحظَر.
ومن الباب عَدَا الفرس طَلَقاً أو طَلَقين. وامرأة طالقٌ: [طَلَّقها زوجُه، وطالقةٌ غداً. وأطلَقْتُ النّاقةَ من عِقالها وطَلّقتها فطلَقت. ورجل طَلْق الوَجه وطليقُه، كأنَّه منطلق. وهو ضدُّ الباسر؛ لأنَّ الباسر الذي لا يكاد يَهَشّ ولا ينفسِحُ ببشاشة. وأهل اليمن يقولون: أبسر المركب، إذا وقف. ويقال طَلَقَ يدَه بخير وأطْلَقَ بمعنى.

 Renowned Sunni scholars, such as Imam Abu Hanifah, have said that the declaration ‘I divorce you,’ if repeated, must be announced in three separate months during ritual purity for a divorce to be considered final.  Imam Shafi’i said that he did not know of any ‘Sunna versus Bid’a classification’ with regard to the number of divorce announcements.  Imam Malik saw no necessity for three declarations, considering the single declaration a ‘Sunna’ (see this link for Arabic commentary). 

As in the famous story of the wife of Thabit ibn Qays.

If the couple DO have young children, it is common for their divorced mother to stay with them supported by their father until they are old enough to leave her and be with him (different countries have different ages depending on gender). 
Sadly, what usually takes place, especially with younger women, is that they tend to leave their homes and move back to their parents as soon as problems seem irreconcilable.  This robs her of the option of softening to him, makes their spontaneous get-back-together impossible, and places often insurmountable hurdles in the way of reconciliation.  It is to preserve marriages that the ‘iddat’ was advised ‘on location.’

See how important it is to FIRST execute the deceased’s will (waSeeyyah/ communication/ instruction) AND pay his debts BEFORE dividing up the inheritance (4 times mentioned in two verses): BOTH THE WILL AND DEBTS HAVE TO BE SETTLED before anything can be divided up.

When we list the first group by topic we realize that these verses call:

·       (1 once) ‘O Prophet’ initially, to appoint him also as Emissary/Messenger (أرسلناك), entrusting him with what that role entails: HQ 33:45.

·       (1 once) Commanding his Awareness and non-compliance to the Deniers and the Hypocrites: HQ 33:1.

·       (5 times) Encouraging him and authorizing battle: HQ 8:64, 65; 9:73, 66:9, and with regard to captives HQ 8:70.

(6 times) Directing him on issues related to women/family life: HQ 33:28, 50, 59; 65:1; 66:1; and the acceptance of women’s pledge 60:12.

[vii] However, when we copy + paste "يا أيها الرسول" (O Messenger) we note that it appears only twice, both times related to the Message which Muhammad, peace upon him, is receiving and has to convey:

·       HQ 5:67 commands the Messenger to deliver the Message, granting him immunity[vii] يعصمك (as Messenger), meaning that his successful delivery of the Message will be not be obstructed or tampered with by the people.  It also states that God does not guide those who Deny Him.

·       HQ 5:41 tells him most importantly that, as Messenger, his responsibility is in delivering the Message, and NOT in convincing people; he should therefore not be grieved by those who are rushing into Denial.

Q. What is the difference when Qur’an mentions Muhammad, peace upon him, as Prophet or Messenger?

A.  It is important to begin from the premise that each word in the Qur'an carries ITS OWN WEIGHT and nothing is redundant. Also, that there are no synonyms in the Arabic language, where EACH SOUND denotes a specific meaning. 'Nabi' and Rasool are as different as their root-verbs, the first relating to the general imparting of 'News,' and the other to the specific delivery of a 'Message.' 
Indeed, to us today the difference is CRUCIAL and the mixing-up of these two terms is at the root of most of our problems!
We must understand that the Message is Divine, and that anything Muhammad, peace upon him, is told to convey as 'Messenger' is unconditional and universal, and as Timeless as the final Message itself. The Messenger Muhammad therefore, did NOT fall prey to any error or temptation, and he certainly did NOT make any false Qur’anic recitals. 
(Note that God's Messengers could be either human or angelic.) 

On the other hand, Prophet-hood is not Divine.  Prophets are a 'higher,' more knowledgeable category of humans with 'anbaa'- or 'breaking news' to impart to others.  They are 'Prophets' in their communities.  They could and do have human weaknesses, and they commit mistakes. It is in Muhammad’s capacity as ‘Prophet,’ peace upon him, that he was susceptible to a few personal errors, which God promptly called upon him to correct, and these corrections are recorded in the Qur’an: RECORDED IN THE DIVINE MESSAGE which he, as Messenger, conveyed even as it reproached him in his capacity as 'Prophet' of his community.
Note that it is also in his capacity as ‘Prophet’ that he was called upon to take certain strategic positions as in HQ 8:67, 9:73.

Look for yourself:

The address, ‘O Prophet’ appears 13 times in the Qur’an, calling upon him with commands ranging from the very personal (inter-marital), or the reproachful, to the rallying calls to decisive action, which sometimes encourage and authorize battle, even as they combine severity with compassion.

Listing them by topic shows us that these verses call:

•(1 once) ‘O Prophet’ initially, to appoint him also as Emissary/Messenger (أرسلناك), entrusting him with what that role entails: HQ 33:45.

•(1 once) Commanding his Awareness and non-compliance to the Deniers and the Hypocrites: HQ 33:1. 

•(5 times) Encouraging him and authorizing battle: HQ 8:64, 65; 9:73, 66:9, and with regard to captives HQ 8:70.

•(6 times) Directing him on issues related to women/family life: HQ 33:28, 50, 59; 65:1; 66:1; and the acceptance of women’s pledge 60:12.

However, the Qur’an calls upon him ‘O Messenger’ only twice, both times related to the Message which Muhammad, peace upon him, is receiving and has to convey:

•HQ 5:67 commands the Messenger to deliver the Message, granting him immunity يعصمك (as Messenger), meaning that his successful delivery of the Message will be not be obstructed or tampered with by the people. It also states that God does not guide those who Deny Him.

•HQ 5:41 tells him most importantly that, as Messenger, his responsibility is in delivering the Message, and NOT in convincing people; he should therefore not be grieved by those who are rushing into Denial.

This research further confirms that:

‘Prophet’ describes the relationship of a chosen person to the people from amongst whom he was chosen and the specific circumstances of their interaction, while ‘Messenger of God’ describes the relationship of this chosen person to the Message itself (in both its receipt and delivery), and its Divine Source, God.

 According to what I understand (due to the Qur’an’s differentiation between Prophet and Messenger), in THESE verses, other details surrounding these procedures CAN and SHOULD be added (by later communities) as they enact legal proceedings to safeguard the family unit, making sure they protect the rights of women and children in a divorce.  Thus, generation after generation, laws will get amended or added to, ensuring fairness and stability.  It is only when that takes place that everyone can feel safe, and we won’t find wives fearing ‘Islamic’  practices/ laws.

 I would be remiss if I did not mention that the two words ‘faahisha mubayyanah’ have often been mis-explained in ways that subdue women, some even stating that it means: ‘being discourteous to in-laws’..! 
  أصولٌ خمسةٌ: الأمر من الأمور، والأمر ضدّ النهي، والأَمَر النَّماء والبَرَكة بفتح الميم، والمَعْلَم، والعَجَب.
فأمّا الواحد من الأمور فقولهم هذا أمرٌ رَضِيُتُه، وأمرٌ لا أَرضاه. ...والأمر الذي هو نقيض النَّهْي قولك افعَلْ ... ومن هذا الباب الإمْرَة والإمارة، وصاحبها أميرٌ ...ومن هذا الباب الإمَّرُ الذي لا يزال يستأمِر النّاسَ وينتهي إلى أمرهم. قال الأصمعي: الإمّرُ الرّجل الضعيف الرأي الأحمق. الذي يَسمعُ كلامَ هذا وكلام هذا فلا يدري بأيِّ شيءٍ ..
وأمّا النّماء فقال الخليل: الأمَرُ النّماء والبَرَكة وامْرَأَةٌ أَمِرَةٌ أي مباركةٌ على زوجها. وقد أمِرَ الشّيء أَي كثُر. ويقول العرب: "من قَلَّ ذَلَّ، ومن أَمِر فَلّ" أَي من كثُرَ غَلَبَ. وتقول: أمِرَ بنو فلان أمَرَةً أي كثُروا وولدَتْ نَعَمُهُم.
قال الأصمعيّ: يقول العرب: "خيرُ المالِ سِكّةٌ مَأْبُورَة، أو* مُهْرَةٌ مأمورة" وهي الكثيرةُ الولدِ المبارَكة. ويقال: أَمرَ الله مالـه وآمَرَه. ومنه "مُهرةٌ  ومن الأوّل: {أَمَرْنا مُتْرَفِيها [الإسراء 16]. ومن قرأ (أَمَّرْنا) فتأويله وَلَّيْنا.
وأمّا المَعْلَمُ والمَوْعِد فقال الخليل: الأَمارة المَوْعِد...
قال الأصمعيّ: الأمارة العلامة، تقول اجْعَلْ بيني وبينك أمَارة وأمَاراً.
والأمارُ أمارُ الطّريق: مَعالِمُه، الواحدة أَمارة.
والأمَرُ واليَأْمُور العَلَم أَيضاً، يقال: جعلتُ بيني وبينه أمَاراً ووَقْتا ومَوْعِداً وأَجَلاً، كل ذلك أَمارٌ.
وأمّا العَجَبُ فقول الله تعالى: {لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئاً إمْراً} [الكهف 71].

‘Qad’ + verb in past tense: Shows that something has taken place of a certainty; a fact of matter.

See HQ 4:35 (…if both intend reconciliation, God will help them to it..).  Therefore, when an arbiter cannot reconcile both parties, it means that one side was not fully willing.

Yusuf Ali:  If there is pregnancy, a sacred third life comes on the scene, for which there is added responsibility (perhaps added hope of reconciliation) for both parents. In any case no separation is possible until after the child is born. Even after birth, if no reconciliation between parents is possible, yet for the nursing of the child and for its welfare the care of the mother remains the duty of the father, and there must be mutual counsel between him and the mother in all truth and sincerity.”

Put ‘Ulul Albaab’ in ‘Search.’  Of the 16 times in the Qur’an that they are mentioned, here is the last.

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