Surah Ahzab Ayat 36 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 36
It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.
It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.
It does not behove a believer, male or female, that when Allah and His Messenger have decided an affair they should exercise their choice. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has strayed to manifest error.
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.
And it becometh not a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His messenger have decided an affair (for them), that they should (after that) claim any say in their affair; and whoso is rebellious to Allah and His messenger, he verily goeth astray in error manifest.
And in no way should a male believer or a female believer, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a Command, have the choice in their Command. Whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then he has readily erred away into evident error.
When God and His Messenger have decided on a matter that concerns them, it is not fitting for any believing man or woman to claim freedom of choice in that matter: whoever disobeys God and His Messenger is far astray.
Quran 33 Verse 36 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ahzab ayat 36, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(33:36) It does not behove a believer, male or female, that when Allah and His Messenger have decided an affair they should exercise their choice. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has strayed to manifest error.
65. From here begin the verses which were revealed in connection with the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) marriage with Zainab (may Allah be pleased with her).
66. Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, Ikrimah and Muqatil bin Hayyan say that this verse was revealed at the time when the Prophet (peace be upon him) proposed to Zainab for Zaid, and Zainab and her relatives did not agree. According to Ibn Abbas, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) made the proposal, Zainab said, “I am better than him in lineage.” Ibn Saad says that she also said, “I do not approve him for myself. I am a Quraishite by birth. The same sort of disapproval was expressed by her brother, Abdullah bin Jahsh, because Zaid was a freed slave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Zainab was the daughter of his paternal aunt, Umaimah bint Abdul Muttalib. They did not like the Prophet (peace be upon him) to propose a girl of a noble Quraishite family, who was none other than his own first cousin, for his freed slave. At this, this verse was sent down and on hearing it Zainab and all her relatives yielded to the proposal at once. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) married them, paid ten diners and 60 dirhams from his own pocket as dower on behalf of Zaid, provided the bridal dress and sent some articles of food for domestic use.
Though this verse was revealed on a special occasion, the injunction given in it is the cardinal principle of the constitutional law of Islam, and it applies to the entire Islamic system of life. According to it no Muslim individual or nation, or institution, or court or parliament or state, is entitled to use its own freedom of opinion in a matter in which Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him) have already given a decision. To be a Muslim means to surrender one’s freedom of opinion and action before Allah and His Messenger. It would be a contradiction in terms if a person or a nation claimed to be Muslim and then reserved for itself the freedom of choice and action. No sensible person can think of combining the two contradictory attitudes together. The one who desires to remain a Muslim will inevitably have to bow down to the command of Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him), and the one who is not inclined to bow will have to admit that he is not a Muslim. If he does not admit he will be regarded as a hypocrite both by God and by the people even though he might proclaim to be a Muslim at the top of his voice.
36. It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Barzah Al-Aslami said: “Julaybib was a man who used to enter upon women and joke with them. I said to my wife, `Do not let Julaybib enter upon you, for if he enters upon you I shall do such and such.’ If any of the Ansar had a single female relative, they would not arrange a marriage for her until they found out whether the Prophet wanted to marry her or not. The Prophet said to one of the Ansar:
(Give me your daughter for marriage.) He said, `Yes, O Messenger of Allah, it would be an honor and a blessing.’ He said,
(I do not want her for myself.) He said, `Then for whom, O Messenger of Allah’ He said,
(For Julaybib.) He said, `O Messenger of Allah, let me consult her mother.’ So he went to the girl’s mother and said, `The Messenger of Allah is proposing marriage for your daughter.’ She said, `Yes, it would be a pleasure.’ He said, `He is not proposing to marry her himself, he is proposing on behalf of Julaybib.’ She said, `What! Julaybib No, by Allah, we will not marry her to him.’ When he wanted to get up and go to the Messenger of Allah to tell him what the girl’s mother had said, the girl asked, `Who is asking for my hand’ So her mother told her, and she said, `Are you refusing to follow the command of the Messenger of Allah Follow his command, for I will not come to any harm.’ So her father went to the Messenger of Allah and said, `Deal with her as you wish.’ So he married her to Julaybib. Then the Messenger of Allah went out on one of his military campaigns, and after Allah had granted him victory, he said to his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them,
(See whether there is anybody missing.) They said, `We have lost so-and-so, and so-and-so.’ He said,
(See if there is anybody missing.) They said, `No one.’ He said:
(But I see that Julaybib is missing.) He said:
(Go and look for him among the dead.) So they looked for him, and found him beside seven of the enemy whom he had killed before he was himself killed. They said, `O Messenger of Allah, here he is, beside seven of the enemy whom he had killed before he was himself killed.’ The Messenger of Allah came and stood beside him and said,
(He killed seven before he was himself killed. He belongs to me and I belong to him.) He said this two or three times, then the Messenger of Allah carried him in his arms and held him while his grave was dug, then he placed him in his grave. It was not mentioned that he washed him, may Allah be pleased with him.” Thabit, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “There was no widow among the Ansar who was more sought after for marriage than that girl.” Ishaq bin `Abdullah bin Abi Talhah asked Thabit, “Do you know how the Messenger of Allah prayed for that girl” He told him: “He said,
(O Allah, pour blessings upon her and do not make her life hard.) And this is how it was; there was no widow among the Ansar who was more sought after for marriage than her.” This is how it was recorded by Imam Ahmad, in full. Muslim and An-Nasa’i recorded the story of his death in Al-Fada’il. Al-Hafiz Abu `Umar bin `Abd Al-Barr mentioned in Al-Isti`ab that when the girl said in her seclusion, `Are you refusing to follow the command of the Messenger of Allah ‘ — This Ayah was revealed:
(It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision.) It was narrated that Tawus asked Ibn `Abbas about praying two Rak`ahs after `Asr and he told him not to do that. Ibn `Abbas recited:
(It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision.) This Ayah is general in meaning and applies to all matters, i.e., if Allah and His Messenger decreed a matter, no one has the right to go against that, and no one has any choice or room for personal opinion in this case. Allah says: o
(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.) (4:65) Hence the issue of going against it is addressed in such strong terms, as Allah says:
(And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.) This is like the Ayah:
(And let those who oppose the Messenger’s commandment, beware, lest some Fitnah should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them) (24:63).
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