Surah Ahzab >> Currently viewing Surah Ahzab Ayat 32 (33:32)

Surah Ahzab Ayat 32 in Arabic Text

يَـٰنِسَآءَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍۢ مِّنَ ٱلنِّسَآءِ ۚ إِنِ ٱتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِٱلْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ ٱلَّذِى فِى قَلْبِهِۦ مَرَضٌۭ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًۭا مَّعْرُوفًۭا
Yaa nisaaa’an Nabiyyi lastunna ka ahadim minan nisaaa’i init taqaitunna falaa takhda’na bilqawli fa yatma’al lazee fee qalbihee maradunw wa qulna qawlam ma’roofaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 32

Sahih International
O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.

Yusuf Ali
O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just.

Abul Ala Maududi
Wives of the Prophet, you are not like other women. If you fear Allah, do not be too complaisant in your speech lest those with diseased hearts should covet you; but speak in a straight forward manner.

Muhsin Khan
O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.

Pickthall
O ye wives of the Prophet! Ye are not like any other women. If ye keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft of speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease aspire (to you), but utter customary speech.

Dr. Ghali
O wives of the Prophet, you are not as any other women. In case you act piously, then do not 208 be too subdued of speech, so that he in whose heart is sickness may long for (too much expectation of you); and speak beneficent words.

Abdel Haleem
Wives of the Prophet, you are not like any other woman. If you are truly mindful of God, do not speak too softly in case the sick at heart should lust after you, but speak in an appropriate manner;

Quran 33 Verse 32 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ahzab ayat 32, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(33:32) Wives of the Prophet, you are not like other women.[46] If you fear Allah, do not be too complaisant in your speech lest those with diseased hearts should covet you; but speak in a straight forward manner.[47]


46. The verses from here to the end of the paragraph are those with which the commandments of hijab were introduced in Islam. In these verses, though, only the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) have been addressed, the intention is to enforce reforms in all the Muslim houses. The object of addressing the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives in particular is that when a pure way of life will start from his house, it will be followed by the women of all other Muslim houses as well, because this house was looked upon by the Muslims as a model to follow. Some people, when they see that these verses have been addressed only to the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him), assert that these commandments were only meant for them. But when one reads what follows in these verses, he feels that there is nothing which might have been meant particularly for the wives and not for the other Muslim women. Could Allah have intended only this that the wives alone should be free from un-cleanliness and they alone should obey Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him) and they alone should offer the Salat and pay the Zakat? If this could not be the intention, then how could the command for them to stay in their houses and avoid displaying the fineries and abstain from talking to the other men in an alluring voice be meant particularly for them to the exclusion of all other Muslim women? Is there any rational proof on the basis of which some commands in one and the same context and series be regarded as general and some others as particular and special?

As for the sentence, “You are not like any other women,” it also does not mean that the other women should come out in full makeup and should talk to the other men coquettishly and flirt with them, but “as for you, you should not adopt such a conduct.” The style, to the contrary, is such as if a gentleman would tell his child, “You are not like the common children of the street: you should not use abusive language.” From this no sensible person would ever conclude that the speaker regarded only his own child using abusive language as bad; as for others he would not mind if they used abusive language.

47. That is, “There is no harm if the other man is spoken to in case of a genuine need, but on such an occasion the woman’s tone and manner of speech should be such as does not let the other man think that he could cherish any false hope from her. There should be no undue softness in her tone, no allurement in her conversation, no consciously affected mellowness in her voice, which should excite the male hearer’s emotions and encourage him to make advances.”

About such a manner of speech Allah clearly says that this does not behoove a woman who has any fear of God in her heart and desire to avoid evil. In other words, this is the way and manner of the wicked and unchaste woman’s speech and not of the believing pious woman’s speech: If this verse is read together with verse 31 of Surah An-Nur, in which Allah says: “They should not stamp the ground in walking lest their hidden decoration is revealed,” the intention of the Lord clearly seems to be that the women should not attract other men by their voice or the jingle of their ornaments unnecessarily, and if at all they have to speak to the other men, they should speak to them in an unaffected tone and manner. That is why it is forbidden for the woman to pronounce the call to the Prayer. Moreover, if a woman is attending a congregational Prayer and the Imam commits a mistake, she is not permitted to say Subhan-Allah like the males but should only tap her hands to call the imam’s attention to the error.

Now just consider this: When Islam disallows the woman to talk to other men in a soft and sweet tone and even forbids her to produce her voice before the other men without a genuine need, will it approve her to appear on the stage and sing, dance, flirt and behave coquettishly? Will it permit her to sing love songs over the radio and excite the people’s emotions by presenting sweet melodies full of obscene themes? Will it permit that she should play the roles of the wives and sweethearts of others in dramas? Or that the women should be made the air hostesses and be especially trained to charm and allure the passengers? Or that they should visit clubs and attend social functions and gatherings in full makeup and mix freely with men and have fun and a good time with them? From which Quran has this culture been derived? For, the Quran that was sent down by God there is to be found no hint as to the admissibility of this sort of culture.

Ibn-Kathir

32. O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep you have Taqwa, then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner. 33. And stay in your houses, and do not Tabarruj yourselves like the Tabarruj of the times of ignorance, and perform the Salah, and give Zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to remove the Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification. 34. And remember, that which is recited in your houses of the Ayat of Allah and Al-Hikmah. Verily, Allah is Ever Most Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things.


Enjoining certain Manners so that the Mothers of the Believers may be an Example; and the Prohibition of Tabarruj

These are the good manners which Allah enjoined upon the wives of the Prophet so that they would be an example for the women of the Ummah to follow. Allah said, addressing the wives of the Prophet that they should fear Allah as He commanded them, and that no other woman is like them or can be their equal in virtue and status. Then Allah says:

﴿فَلاَ تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ﴾

(then be not soft in speech,) As-Suddi and others said, this means, do not be gentle in speech when addressing men. Allah says:

﴿فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِى فِى قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ﴾

(lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire,) means, something unclean.

﴿وَقُلْنَ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفاً﴾

(but speak in an honorable manner.) Ibn Zayd said: “Decent and honorable talk that is known to be good.” This means that she should address non-Mahram men in a manner in which there is no softness, i.e., a woman should not address a non-Mahram man in the same way that she addresses her husband.

﴿وَقَرْنَ فِى بُيُوتِكُنَّ﴾

(And stay in your houses,) means, stay in your houses and do not come out except for a purpose. One of the purposes mentioned in Shari`ah is prayer in the Masjid, so long as the conditions are fulfilled, as the Messenger of Allah said:

«لَا تَمْنَعُوا إِمَاءَ اللهِ مَسَاجِدَ اللهِ وَلْيَخْرُجْنَ وَهُنَّ تَفِلَات»

(Do not prevent the female servants of Allah from the Masjids of Allah, but have them go out without wearing fragrance.) According to another report:

«وَبُيُوتُهُنَّ خَيْرٌ لَهُن»

(even though their houses are better for them.)

﴿وَلاَ تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَـهِلِيَّةِ الاٍّولَى﴾

(and do not Tabarruj yourselves like the Tabarruj of the times of ignorance,) Mujahid said: “Women used to go out walking in front of men, and this was the Tabarruj of Jahiliyyah.” Qatadah said:

﴿وَلاَ تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَـهِلِيَّةِ الاٍّولَى﴾

(and do not Tabarruj yourselves like the Taburruj of the times of ignorance,) “When they go out of their homes walking in a shameless and flirtatious manner, and Allah, may He be exalted, forbade that.” Muqatil bin Hayyan said:

﴿وَلاَ تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَـهِلِيَّةِ الاٍّولَى﴾

(and do not Tabarruj yourselves like the Tabarruj of the times of ignorance,) “Tabarruj is when a woman puts a Khimar on her head but does not tie it properly.” So her necklaces, earrings and neck, and all of that can be seen. This is Tabarruj, and Allah addresses all the women of the believers with regard to Tabarruj.

﴿وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَوةَ وَءَاتِينَ الزَّكَـوةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ﴾

(and perform the Salah, and give Zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger.) Allah first forbids them from evil, then He enjoins them to do good by establishing regular prayer, which means worshipping Allah alone with no partner or associate, and paying Zakah, which means doing good to other people.

﴿وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ﴾

(and obey Allah and His Messenger.) This is an instance of something specific being followed by something general.

The Wives of the Prophet are Members of His Household (Ahl Al-Bayt)

﴿إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُـمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيــراً﴾

(Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification.) This is a clear statement that the wives of the Prophet are included among the members of his family (Ahl Al-Bayt) here, because they are the reason why this Ayah was revealed, and the scholars are unanimously agreed that they were the reason for revelation in this case, whether this was the only reason for revelation or there was also another reason, which is the correct view. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Ikrimah used to call out in the marketplace:

﴿إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُـمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيــراً﴾

(Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification.) “This was revealed solely concerning the wives of the Prophet.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said concerning the Ayah:

﴿إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُـمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ﴾

(Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family,) “It was revealed solely concerning the wives of the Prophet .” `Ikrimah said: “Whoever disagrees with me that it was revealed solely concerning the wives of the Prophet , I am prepared to meet with him and pray and invoke the curse of Allah upon those who are lying.” So they alone were the reason for revelation, but others may be included by way of generalization. Ibn Jarir narrated that Safiyyah bint Shaybah said: “`A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, `The Prophet went out one morning wearing a striped cloak of black camel’s hair. Al-Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, came and he wrapped him in the cloak with him. Then Al-Husayn, may Allah be pleased with him, came and he wrapped him in the cloak with him. Then Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, came and he wrapped her in the cloak with him. Then `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, came and he wrapped him in the cloak with him, then he said:

﴿إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُـمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيــراً﴾

(Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification.) This was recorded by Muslim. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Yazid bin Hayyan said: “Husayn bin Sabrah, `Umar bin Muslim and I went to Zayd bin Arqam, may Allah be pleased with him, and when we had sat down with him, Husayn said: `You are so fortunate, O Zayd! You saw the Messenger of Allah and heard his speeches, and you went on military campaigns with him, and you prayed behind him. You are so fortunate, O Zayd! Tell us what you heard from the Messenger of Allah .’ He said, `O son of my brother, by Allah, I have grown old and it has been a long time, and I have forgotten some of the things that I used to know from the Messenger of Allah . Whatever I tell you, accept it, and whatever I do not tell you, do not worry about it.’ Then he said, `One day, the Messenger of Allah stood up to address us by the well of Khumm, between Makkah and Al-Madinah, and he praised Allah and thanked Him, and he preached and reminded us. Then he said:

«أَمَّا بَعْدُ، أَلَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فَإِنّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ يُوشِكُ أَنْ يَأْتِيَنِي رَسُولُ رَبِّي فَأُجِيبَ، وَأَنَا تَارِكٌ فِيكُمْ ثَقَلَيْنِ: أَوَّلُهُمَا كِتَابُ اللهِ تَعَالَى، فِيهِ الْهُدَى وَالنُّورُ فَخُذُوا بِكِتَابِ اللهِ وَاسْتَمْسِكُوا بِه»

(Thereafter! O people, I am merely a human being and soon the messenger of my Lord will come and I will answer him. I am leaving behind two things with you, the first of which is the Book of Allah in which is guidance and light, so seize the Book of Allah and hold fast to it.) He urged them to cling to the Book of Allah, then he said:

«وَأَهْلُ بَيْتِي أُذَكِّرُكُمُ اللهَ فِي أَهْلِ بَيْتِي، أُذَكِّرُكُمُ اللهَ فِي أَهْلِ بَيْتِي»

(And the members of my family (Ahl Al-Bayt): Remember Allah with regard to the members of my family, remember Allah with regard to the members of my family.) saying it three times.’ Husayn said to him, `Who are the members of his family (Ahl Al-Bayt), O Zayd Are not his wives members of his family’ He said, `His wives are members of his family, but the members of his family are those who are not permitted to receive charity after he died.’ He said, `Who are they’ He said, `They are the family of `Ali, the family of `Aqil, the family of Ja`far and the family of `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them.’ He said, `Were all of these forbidden to receive charity after his death’ He said, `Yes.”’ This Commentary is from Zayd bin Arqam and is not Marfu`

The Command to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah

The one who ponders the meaning of the Qur’an will have no doubt that the wives of the Prophet are included among those who are referred to in the Ayah:

﴿إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُـمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيــراً﴾

(Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification.) The context clearly refers to them. Allah then says:

﴿وَاذْكُـرْنَ مَا يُتْـلَى فِى بُيُوتِكُـنَّ مِنْ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ وَالْحِكْــمَةِ﴾

(And remember, that which is recited in your houses of the Ayat of Allah and Al-Hikmah.) meaning, `act in accordance with that of the Qur’an and Sunnah which Allah revealed to His Messenger in your houses.’ This was the view of Qatadah and others. `And remember this blessing with which you alone of all the people have been favored, that the revelation comes down in your houses and not those of other people.’ `A’ishah As-Siddiqah bint As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with them, was foremost among them with in this blessing and was the most fortunate, and the most favored with this mercy. For the revelation did not come to the Messenger of Allah in the bed of any of his wives except hers, as he stated. Some of the scholars, may Allah have mercy on them, said: “This was because he did not marry any other virgin besides her, and no man slept with her in her bed before him , may Allah be pleased with her.” So it was befitting that she should be singled out for this blessing and high status. But if his wives are members of his household, then this title is even more fitting for his own relatives. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Jamilah said: “Al-Hasan bin `Ali, may Allah be pleased with them both, was appointed as Khalifah when `Ali was killed.” He said: “While he was praying, a man leapt on him and stabbed him with a dagger.” Husayn claimed that he heard that the one who stabbed him was a man from Banu Asad, and Al-Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, was prostrating at the time. He said, “They claimed that he received the wound in his hip. He was ill as a result for many months, then he recovered. He ascended the Minbar and said: `O people of `Iraq! Have Taqwa of Allah concerning us, for we are your leaders and your guests, and we are members of the family (Ahl Al-Bayt) concerning whom Allah said:

﴿إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُـمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيــراً﴾

(Allah wishes only to remove Ar-Rijs from you, O members of the family, and to purify you with a thorough purification.)’ He kept saying this until there was no one left in the Masjid who was not weeping and sobbing.”

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ لَطِيفاً خَبِيراً﴾

(Verily, Allah is Ever Most Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things.) means, `by His kindness towards you, you have reached this status, and by His knowledge of you and that you are qualified for that status, He has given this to you and singled you out for it.’ Ibn Jarir, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “And remember how Allah blessed you by causing the Ayat of Allah and Al-Hikmah to be recited in your houses, so give thanks to Allah for that and praise Him.

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ لَطِيفاً خَبِيراً﴾

(Verily, Allah is Ever Most Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things.) means, `He is kind towards you, for He has caused the Ayat of Allah and Al-Hikmah to be recited in your houses,’ and Al-Hikmah means the Sunnah. And He is Well-Acquainted with you means, `He chose you as wives for His Messenger.’ Qatadah said:

﴿وَاذْكُـرْنَ مَا يُتْـلَى فِى بُيُوتِكُـنَّ مِنْ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ وَالْحِكْــمَةِ﴾

(And remember, that which is recited in your houses of the Ayat of Allah and Al-Hikmah.) “He is reminding them of His favor.” This was narrated by Ibn Jarir. `Atiyah Al-`Awfi commented on the Ayah:

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ لَطِيفاً خَبِيراً﴾

(Verily, Allah is Ever Most Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things.) “He knows when and where to reveal Al-Hikmah.” This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim, then he said: “This was also narrated from Ar-Rabi` bin Anas from Qatadah. ”

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