Surah Ahzab Ayat 33 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 33
And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.
And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.
And stay in your homes and do not go about displaying your allurements as in the former Time of Ignorance. Establish Prayer, give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only wishes to remove uncleanness from you, O members of the (Prophet’s) household, and to purify you completely.
And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform As-Salat (IqamatasSalat), and give Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes only to remove ArRijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet SAW), and to purify you with a thorough purification.
And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing.
And reside in your homes, and do not flaunt your finery as was the flaunting of finery in the earliest (times) of Ignorance, and keep up the prayer, and bring the Zakat, (Pat the poor-dues) and obey Allah and His Messenger. Surely Allah wills only to put away indeed from you abomination, Population of the Home, and to purify you a thorough purification.
stay at home, and do not flaunt your finery as they used to in the pagan past; keep up the prayer, give the prescribed alms, and obey God and His Messenger. God wishes to keep uncleanness away from you, people of the [Prophet’s] House, and to purify you thoroughly.
اور اپنے گھروں میں قرار سے رہو اور قدیم جاہلیت کے زمانے کی طرح اپنے بناؤ کا اﻇہار نہ کرو اور نماز ادا کرتی رہو اور زکوٰة دیتی رہو اور اللہ اور اس کے رسول کی اطاعت گزاری کرو۔ اللہ تعالیٰ یہی چاہتا ہے کہ اے نبی کی گھر والیو! تم سے وه (ہر قسم کی) گندگی کو دور کردے اور تمہیں خوب پاک کردے
Quran 33 Verse 33 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ahzab ayat 33, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(33:33) And stay in your homes and do not go about displaying your allurements as in the former Time of Ignorance. Establish Prayer, give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only wishes to remove uncleanness from you, O members of the (Prophet’s) household, and to purify you completely.
48. The word qarna in the original is derived from qarar according to some lexicographers and from waqar according to others. In the first sense, it will mean: “settle down, stick firmly” and in the second sense: “live peacefully, sit with dignity.” In both the cases the verse means to impress that the woman’s real sphere of activity is her home; she should carry out her functions within that sphere peacefully, and she should come out of the house only in case of a genuine need. This meaning is clear from the words of the verse itself and the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Ahadith also impress it even more forcefully. Hafiz Abu Bakr Bazzar has related on the authority of Anas that the women made a submission to the Prophet (peace be upon him), saying: “All kinds of virtues have been secured by the men: they fight and accomplish great deeds in the way of Allah. What should we do that we may also get a reward equal to that of the warriors?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “The one who sits in her house from among you; will attain the reward of the warriors.” What he meant was: The warrior can fight confidently and with full peace of the mind in the way of Allah only when he is sure that all is well at home. His wife is there to look after the house and the children, and there is no cause for him to worry that she will betray him in his absence. The woman who will provide him this satisfaction and peace of the mind will be an equal partner with him in his fighting though she will be sitting back at home. According to another tradition that Bazzar and Tirmidhi have related on the authority of Abdullah bin Masud, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The woman must remain veiled and concealed. When she comes out of her house, Satan stares at her. And she is closer to Allah’s mercy when she is inside her house.” See (Surah An-Nur, ayat 31) note 49.
In the presence of such a clear and express command of the Quran, it is not at all permissible that the Muslim women should seek membership of the councils and parliaments; that they should run after social activities outside the house; that they should work side by side with men in the government offices, should get education along with boys in the colleges, serve as nurses in the male wards of hospitals, should be employed as hostesses in the airplanes and rail cars, and should be sent abroad for education and training. The greatest argument that is given in support of the permissibility of the women’s outdoor activities is that Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) had taken part in the battle of the Jamul. But the people who present this argument perhaps do not know what was Aishah’s own opinion in this regard. Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal has related in his Zawa id az-Zuhd and Ibn Mundhir, Ibn Abi Shaibah and Ibn Saad in their own books the tradition from Masruq, saying that when Aishah during her recitation of the Quran would reach this verse (wa qarna fi buyut-i kunna), she would start crying involuntarily; so much so that her head-wrapper would become wet, for this reminded her of the error that she had committed in the battle of the Jamul.
49. In this verse two important words have been used, which must be understood for the proper understanding of its intention. They are tabarruj and jahiliyyat al-ula.
The word tabarruj in Arabic means to become manifest and appear openly before others. The Arabs use the word baraj for every conspicuous and elevated object. A burj (tower) is so called because of its prominence and elevation. A sailingboat is called barijah, because its sails become visible from a distance. The word tabarruj when used in respect of a woman will have three meanings: (1) that she should show the charms of her face and body before the people. (2) That she should display the adornments of her dress and ornaments before others. (3) That she should make herself conspicuous by her gait and figure and coquetry. The same explanation of this word has been given by the leading lexicographers and commentators. Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Abi Nujaih say: Tabarruj means to walk in a vain, alluring and coquettish manner. Muqatil says: It means a woman’s displaying of her necklaces, ear-rings and bosom. Al-Mubarrad says: That a woman should reveal her adornments which she should conceal. Abu Ubaidah comments: This that a woman should make herself conspicuous by display of her body and dress to attract the attention of men.
The word jahiliyyat has been used at three other places in the Quran besides this, in (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 154), where about those who shirk fighting in the way of Allah, it has been said: “They began to cherish about Allah thoughts of Ignorance Uahiljyyat, which were void of the truth. And in (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 50), where about those who want to be judged by their own law instead of the law of Allah, it has been said: “Do they desire to be judged by the laws of ignorance (Jahiliyyat)?” and in (Surah Al-Fath, Ayat 26), where the prejudice of the people of Makkah due to which they did not permit the Muslims to perform Umrah, has been called as “the haughty spirit of paganism (jahiliyyat). According to a Hadith once Abu ad-Darda in the heat of a quarrel abused another person in respect of his mother. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) heard of it, he remarked: You still have jahiliyyat in you. According to another Hadith the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Three things show jahiliyyat: to taunt the lineage of another person, to take omens from the movement of the stars, and to mourn over the dead. All these customs show that jahiliyyat in the Islamic terminology is every such conduct which goes against Islamic culture and civilization and Islamic morality and etiquette and Islamic way of thinking and behavior. Thus, jahiliyyat al-ula would mean all those evils in which the Arabs of the pre-Islamic days and the people of the entire world were involved.
This explanation makes it abundantly clear that what Allah forbids women is to move out of their houses showing off their physical charms and beauty. He instructs them to stay in their houses because their real sphere of activity is their home and not the world outside. However, if they have to move out of the house for an outdoor duty, they should not move out as the women used to do in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance. For it does not behoove the women of a Muslim society to walk out fully embellished to make their face and figure conspicuous by adornments and tightfitting or transparent dresses, and to walk coquettishly. These are the ways of ignorance which Islam does not approve. Now everybody can see for himself whether the culture which is being made popular in our country is the culture of Islam, according to the Quran, or the culture of ignorance.
50. The context in which this verse occurs makes it manifest that the word ahl al-bait (people of the house) here implies the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him), because the address begins with: “O wives of the Prophet,” and they are the addressees in the whole discourse preceding it as well as following it. Moreover, the word ahl al-bait in Arabic is used precisely in the sense in which the word “household” is used in English, which includes both a man’s wife and children. No one would exclude the wife from the “household.” The Quran itself has used this word at two other places besides this, and at both the wife is included in its sense, rather as the most important member of the family. In Surah Hud, when the angels give the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) the good news of the birth of a son, his wife exclaims: “Shall I bear a child now when I have grown too old, and this husband of mine has also become old?” The angels say: “What! Are you surprised at Allah’s decree, O people of Abraham’s household? Allah’s mercy and blessings are upon you.” In Surah Al-Qasas, when the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) reaches the Pharaoh’s house as a suckling, and the Pharaoh’s wife is in search of a suitable nurse for the child, the Prophet Moses’ (peace be upon him) sister says, “Shall I tell you of a household whose people will bring him up for you and look after him well?” Thus, the Arabic idiom and the usage of the Quran and the context of this verse, all point clearly to the fact that the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives as well as his children are included in his ahl albait; rather the more correct thing is that the verse is actually addressed to the wives and the children become included in the household only because of the sense of the word. That is why according to lbn Abbas and Urwah bin Zubair and Ikrimah, the word ahl al-bait in this verse implies the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
But if somebody says that the word ahl al-bait has been used only for the wives and none else can be included in it, it will also be wrong. Not only this that the word “household” includes all the members of a man’s family, but the Prophet (peace be upon him) has himself explained that this includes even himself. According to Ibn Abi Hatim, once when Aishah was asked about Ali, she said, “Do you ask me about the person who was among the most loved ones of the Prophet and whose wife was the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) daughter and most beloved to him?” Then she related the event when the Prophet (peace be upon him) had called Ali and Fatimah and Hasan and Husain (may Allah be pleased with them all) and covered them all with a sheet of cloth and prayed: “O Allah, these are my household, remove uncleanness from them and make them pure.” Aishah says, “I said: I also am included among your household (i.e. I may also be covered under the sheet and prayed for).” Thereupon the Prophet replied: “You stay out: you, of course, are already included.” A great many Ahadith bearing on this subject have been related by traditionalists like Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ibn Jarir, Hakim, Baihaqi, etc. on the authority of Abu Said Khudri, Aishah, Anas, Umm Salamah, Wathilah bin Aqsa and some other companions, which show that the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared Ali and Fatimah and their two sons as his ahl al-bait. Therefore, the view of those who exclude them from the ahl al-bait is not correct.
Similarly the view of those people also is not correct, who, on the basis of the above cited Ahadith, regard the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as excluded from his ahl al-bait. In the first place, anything which has been clearly stated in the Quran cannot be contradicted on the basis of a Hadith. Secondly, these Ahadith also do not have the meaning that is put on them. As related in some traditions that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not cover Aishah and Umm Salamah under the sheet of cloth which he put on the four members of his family, does not mean that he had excluded those ladies from his “household.” But it means that the wives were already included in ahl al-bait, because the Quran, in fact, had addressed them as ahl albait. The Prophet (peace be upon him), however, thought that the apparent words of the Quran might cause somebody the misunderstanding about these members that they were excluded from the ahl al-bait. Therefore, he felt the need for clarification in their case and not in the case of his wives.
A section of the people have not only misconstrued this verse to the extent that they have made the word ahl al-bait exclusively applicable to Ali and Fatimah and their children to the exclusion of the wives, but have gone even further and concluded wrongly from its words “Allah only intends to remove uncleanliness from you and purify you completely”, that Ali and Fatimah and their children are infallible like the Prophets of Allah. They say that “uncleanliness” implies error and sin, and, as Allah says, these ahl al-bait have been purified of this, whereas the words of the verse do not say that uncleanliness has been removed from them and they have been purified. But the words are to the effect: “Allah intends to remove uncleanliness from you and purify you completely.” The context also does not tell that the object here is to mention the virtues and excellences of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) household. On the contrary, they have been advised here what they should do and what they should not, because Allah intends to purify them. In other words, they have been told that if they adopted such and such an attitude and way of life, they will be blessed with cleanliness, otherwise not. However, if the words “Allah intends to remove uncleanliness from you” are taken to mean that Allah has made them infallible, then is no reason why all the Muslims who perform their ablutions before offering the Prayer are not held as infallible, because about them also Allah says: “But Allah wills to purify you and complete His blessings upon you.” (Surah Al-Maidah, Ayat 6).
The tafsir of Surah Ahzab verse 33 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Ahzab ayat 32 which provides the complete commentary from verse 32 through 34.
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