Surah Ahzab >> Currently viewing Surah Ahzab Ayat 4 (33:4)

Surah Ahzab Ayat 4 in Arabic Text

مَّا جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِرَجُلٍۢ مِّن قَلْبَيْنِ فِى جَوْفِهِۦ ۚ وَمَا جَعَلَ أَزْوَٰجَكُمُ ٱلَّـٰٓـِٔى تُظَـٰهِرُونَ مِنْهُنَّ أُمَّهَـٰتِكُمْ ۚ وَمَا جَعَلَ أَدْعِيَآءَكُمْ أَبْنَآءَكُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ قَوْلُكُم بِأَفْوَٰهِكُمْ ۖ وَٱللَّهُ يَقُولُ ٱلْحَقَّ وَهُوَ يَهْدِى ٱلسَّبِيلَ
Maa ja’alal laahu lirajulim min qalbaini fee jawfih; wa maa ja’ala azwaajakumul laaa’ee tuzaahiroona minhunna ummahaatikum; wa maa ja’ala ad’iyaaa’akum abnaaa’akum; zaalikum qawlukum bi afwaa hikum wallaahu yaqoolul haqqa wa Huwa yahdis sabeel

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 4

Sahih International
Allah has not made for a man two hearts in his interior. And He has not made your wives whom you declare unlawful your mothers. And he has not made your adopted sons your [true] sons. That is [merely] your saying by your mouths, but Allah says the truth, and He guides to the [right] way.

Yusuf Ali
Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his (one) body: nor has He made your wives whom ye divorce by Zihar your mothers: nor has He made your adopted sons your sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths. But Allah tells (you) the Truth, and He shows the (right) Way.

Abul Ala Maududi
Allah has never put two hearts within one person’s body; nor has He made your wives, whom you compare to your mothers’ backs (to divorce them), your true mothers; nor has He made those whom you adopt as sons your own sons. These are only words that you utter with your mouths. But Allah proclaims the Truth and directs you to the Right Path.

Muhsin Khan
Allah has not put for any man two hearts inside his body. Neither has He made your wives whom you declare to be like your mothers’ backs, your real mothers. [AzZihar is the saying of a husband to his wife, “You are to me like the back of my mother” i.e. You are unlawful for me to approach.], nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths. But Allah says the truth, and He guides to the (Right) Way.

Pickthall
Allah hath not assigned unto any man two hearts within his body, nor hath He made your wives whom ye declare (to be your mothers) your mothers, nor hath He made those whom ye claim (to be your sons) your sons. This is but a saying of your mouths. But Allah saith the truth and He showeth the way.

Dr. Ghali
In no way has Allah made to any man two hearts within the hollow (of his breast); and in no way has He made your spouses whom you (declare) as your mother’s back (i.e., divorce by Dhihar, a pre-Islamic form of divorc) (truly) your mothers; and in no way has He made your adopted sons your sons (in fact). That (Literally: temptation; i.e., if the hypocrites had been asked to apostatize from Islam) is your saying, (the words) of your mouths; and Allah says the Truth, and He guides on the way.

Abdel Haleem
God does not put two hearts within a man’s breast. He does not turn the wives you reject and liken to your mothers’ backs into your real mothers; nor does He make your adopted sons into real sons. These are only words from your mouths, while God speaks the truth and guides people to the right path.

Quran 33 Verse 4 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ahzab ayat 4, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(33:4) Allah has never put two hearts within one person’s body;[5] nor has He made your wives, whom you compare to your mothers’ backs (to divorce them),[6] your true mothers; nor has He made those whom you adopt as sons your own sons.[7] These are only words that you utter with your mouths. But Allah proclaims the Truth and directs you to the Right Path.


5. That is, one and the same person cannot be a believer and a hypocrite, truthful and false, wicked and righteous, at one and the same time. He does not have two hearts in this chest that one should have sincerity in it and the other fearlessness of God. Therefore, a man can have only one kind of character at a time: either he will be a believer or a hypocrite, a disbeliever or a Muslim. Now if you call a believer a hypocrite, or a hypocrite a believer, it will not change the reality. The true character of the person will inevitably remain the same.

6. Zihar is a term in Arabic. In old days when an Arab; in the heat of a domestic quarrel, would say to his wife: “Your back for me is as the back of my mother,” it was thought that the woman was no longer lawful for him because he had compared her to his mother. About this Allah says: “A woman does not become a man’s mother just because he has called her his mother or compared her to his mother. His mother is the woman who bore him. Only his calling his wife his mother cannot change the reality.” See (Surah Al- Mujadilah: Ayats 2-4).

7. This is what is intended to be said. The two preceding sentences are meant to support and emphasize this same point.

Ibn-Kathir

4. Allah has not made for any man two hearts inside his body. Neither has He made your wives whom you declare to be like your mothers’ backs, your real mothers nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths. But Allah says the truth, and He guides to the way. 5. Call them by their fathers, that is more just with Allah. But if you know not their father’s, your brothers in faith and Mawalikum (your freed servants). And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.


Abolition of Adoption

Before Allah discusses ideas and theoretical matters, He gives tangible examples: one man cannot have two hearts in his body, and a man’s wife does not become his mother if he says the words of Zihar to her: “You are to me like the back of my mother.” By the same token, an adopted child does not become the son of the man who adopts him and calls him his son. Allah says:

﴿مَّا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِّن قَلْبَيْنِ فِى جَوْفِهِ وَمَا جَعَلَ أَزْوَجَكُمُ اللاَّئِى تُظَـهِرُونَ مِنْهُنَّ أُمَّهَـتِكُمْ﴾

(Allah has not made for any man two hearts inside his body. Neither has He made your wives whom you declare to be like your mothers’ backs, your real mothers…) This is like the Ayah:

﴿مَّا هُنَّ أُمَّهَـتِهِمْ إِنْ أُمَّهَـتُهُمْ إِلاَّ اللاَّئِى وَلَدْنَهُمْ﴾

(They cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth) (58:2).

﴿وَمَا جَعَلَ أَدْعِيَآءَكُمْ أَبْنَآءَكُمْ﴾

(nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons.) This was revealed concerning Zayd bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him, the freed servant of the Prophet . The Prophet had adopted him before prophethood, and he was known as Zayd bin Muhammad. Allah wanted to put an end to this naming and attribution, as He said:

﴿وَمَا جَعَلَ أَدْعِيَآءَكُمْ أَبْنَآءَكُمْ﴾

(nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. ) This is similar to the Ayah later in this Surah:

﴿مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَـكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيماً ﴾

(Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.) (33:40). And Allah says here:

﴿ذَلِكُمْ قَوْلُكُم بِأَفْوَهِكُمْ﴾

(That is but your saying with your mouths.) meaning, `your adoption of him is just words, and it does not mean that he is really your son,’ for he was created from the loins of another man, and a child cannot have two fathers just as a man cannot have two hearts in one body.

﴿وَاللَّهُ يَقُولُ الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ يَهْدِى السَّبِيلَ﴾

(But Allah says the truth, and He guides to the way.) Sa`id bin Jubayr said:

﴿يَقُولُ الْحَقَّ﴾

(But Allah says the truth,) means, justice. Qatadah said:

﴿وَهُوَ يَهْدِى السَّبِيلَ﴾

(and He guides to the way) means, the straight path. Imam Ahmad said that Hasan told them that Zuhayr told them from Qabus, meaning Ibn Abi Zibyan, that his father told him: “I said to Ibn `Abbas, `Do you know the Ayah,

﴿مَّا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِّن قَلْبَيْنِ فِى جَوْفِهِ﴾

(Allah has not made for any man two hearts inside his body.) What does this mean’ He said that the Messenger of Allah stood up one day to pray, and he trembled. The hypocrites who were praying with him said, `Do you not see that he has two hearts, one heart with you and another with them’ Then Allah revealed the words:

﴿مَّا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِّن قَلْبَيْنِ فِى جَوْفِهِ﴾

(Allah has not made for any man two hearts inside his body.)” This was also narrated by At-Tirmidhi, who said, “It is a Hasan Hadith”. It was also narrated by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim from the Hadith of Zuhayr.

An Adopted Child should be named after His Real Father

﴿ادْعُوهُمْ لاًّبَآئِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللَّهِ﴾

(Call them (adopted sons) by their fathers, that is more just with Allah.) This is a command which abrogates the state of affairs that existed at the beginning of Islam, when it was permitted to call adopted sons after the man who adopted them. Then Allah commanded that they should be given back the names of their real fathers, and states that this was more fair and just. Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated that `Abdullah bin `Umar said: “Zayd bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him, the freed servant of the Messenger of Allah , was always called Zayd bin Muhammad, until (the words of the) Qur’an were revealed:

﴿ادْعُوهُمْ لاًّبَآئِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللَّهِ﴾

(Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allah.)” This was also narrated by Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i. They used to deal with them as sons in every respect, including being alone with them as Mahrams and so on. Hence Sahlah bint Suhayl, the wife of Abu Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with them both, said: “O Messenger of Allah! We used to call Salim our son, but Allah has revealed what He has revealed. He used to enter upon me, but I feel that Abu Hudhayfah does not like that. The Prophet said:

«أَرْضِعِيهِ تَحْرُمِي عَلَيْه»

(Breastfeed him and he will become your Mahram. )” Hence when this ruling was abrogated, Allah made it permissible for a man to marry the ex-wife of his adopted son, and the Messenger of Allah married Zaynab bint Jahsh, the divorced wife of Zayd bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him, Allah said:

﴿لِكَىْ لاَ يَكُونَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ فِى أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَآئِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْاْ مِنْهُنَّ وَطَراً﴾

(So that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them) (33:37). And Allah says in Ayat At-Tahrim:

﴿وَحَلَـئِلُ أَبْنَآئِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَـبِكُمْ﴾

(The wives of your sons from your own loins) (4:23). The wife of an adopted son is not included because he was not born from the man’s loins. A “foster” son through breastfeeding is the same as a son born from one’s own loins, from the point of view of Shari`ah, because the Prophet said in the Two Sahihs:

«حَرَّمُوا مِنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ مَا يُحَرَّمُ مِنَ النَّسَب»

(Suckling makes unlawful as lineage does.) As for calling a person “son” as an expression of honor and endearment, this is not what is forbidden in this Ayah, as is indicated by the report recorded by Imam Ahmad and the Sunan compilers — apart from At-Tirmidhi — from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: “We young boys of Banu `Abd Al-Muttalib came to the Messenger of Allah at the Jamarat; he slapped us on the thigh and said,

«(أُبَيْنِيَّ) لَا تَرْمُوا الْجَمْرَةَ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْس»

(O my sons, do not stone the Jamarah until the sun has risen.) This was during the Farewell Pilgrimage in 10 AH.

﴿ادْعُوهُمْ لاًّبَآئِهِمْ﴾

(Call them by their fathers.) This is concerning Zayd bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him. He was killed in 8 AH at the battle of Mu’tah. In Sahih Muslim it is reported that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allah said:

«يَابَنِي»

(O my son.)” It was also reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi.

﴿فَإِن لَّمْ تَعْلَمُواْ ءَابَاءَهُمْ فَإِخوَانُكُمْ فِى الدِّينِ وَمَوَلِيكُمْ﴾

(But if you know not their father’s then they are your brothers in the religion and Mawalikum (your freed servants).) Here Allah commands that adopted sons should be given back their fathers’ names, if they are known; if they are not known, then they should be called brothers in faith or freed servants, to compensate for not knowing what their real lineage is. When the Messenger of Allah left Makkah after performing his `Umrat Al-Qada’, the daughter of Hamzah, may Allah be pleased with her, started following him, calling, “O uncle, O uncle!” `Ali took her and said to Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, “Take care of your uncle’s daughter,” so she picked her up. `Ali, Zayd and Ja`far — may Allah be pleased with them — disputed over of which of them was going to take care of her, and each of them gave his reasons. `Ali said, “I have more right, because she is the daughter of my paternal uncle.” Zayd said, “She is the daughter of my brother.” Ja`far bin Abi Talib said: “She is the daughter of my paternal uncle and I am married to her maternal aunt — meaning Asma’ bint `Umays.” The Prophet ruled that she should stay with her maternal aunt, and said:

«الْخَالَةُ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الْأُم»

(The maternal aunt has the same status as the mother.) He said to `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him,

«أَنْتَ مِنِّي وَأَنَا مِنْك»

(You belong to me and I belong to you.) He said to Ja`far, may Allah be pleased with him,

«أَشْبَهْتَ خَلْقِي وَخُلُقِي»

(You resemble me both in your looks and in your attitude.) And he said to Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him,

«أَنْتَ أَخُونَا وَمَوْلَانَا»

(You are our brother and our freed servant.) This Hadith contains a number of rulings, the most important of which is that the Prophet ruled according to the truth, and that he sought to appease all the disputing parties. His saying to Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him,

«أَنْتَ أَخُونَا وَمَوْلَانَا»

(You are our brother and our freed servant.) is as Allah says in this Ayah:

﴿فَإِخوَانُكُمْ فِى الدّينِ وَمَوَلِيكُمْ﴾

(your brothers in faith and your freed servants. ) Then Allah says:

﴿وَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَآ أَخْطَأْتُمْ بِهِ﴾

(And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake,) meaning, if you call one of them after someone who is not in fact his father, by mistake, after trying your best to find out his parentage, then Allah will not attach any sin to this mistake. This is like the Ayah in which Allah commands His servants to say:

﴿رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا﴾

(Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error) (2:286). It was reported in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah said:

«قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: قَدْ فَعَلْت»

(Allah says, “Certainly I did (so).”) In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it was recorded that `Amr bin Al-`As, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allah said:

«إِذَا اجْتَهَدَ الْحَاكِمُ فَأَصَابَ فَلَهُ أَجْرَانِ، وَإِنِ اجْتَهَدَ فَأَخْطَأَ فَلَهُ أَجْر»

(If the judge makes Ijtihad and reaches the right decision, he will have two rewards; if he makes Ijtihad and reaches the wrong decision, he will have one reward.) In another Hadith:

«إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالى رَفَعَ عَنْ أُمَّتِي الْخَطَأَ وَالنِّسْيَانَ وَمَا يُكْرَهُونَ عَلَيْه»

(Allah will forgive my Ummah for mistakes, forgetfulness and what they are forced to do.) And Allah says here:

﴿وَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَآ أَخْطَأْتُمْ بِهِ وَلَـكِن مَّا تَعَمَّدَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً﴾

(And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) meaning, the sin is on the person who deliberately does something wrong, as Allah says elsewhere:

﴿لاَّ يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّهُ بِالَّلغْوِ فِى أَيْمَـنِكُمْ﴾

(Allah will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths) (2:225). Imam Ahmad narrated from Ibn `Abbas that `Umar said: “Allah sent Muhammad with the Truth and revealed to him the Book. One of the things that was revealed in it was the Ayah of stoning, so the Messenger of Allah stoned ﴿adulterers﴾ and we stoned ﴿them﴾ after he died.” Then he said, “We also used to recite, `Do not attribute yourselves to anyone other than your fathers, for this is disbelief, to attribute yourselves to anyone other than your fathers.”’ The Messenger of Allah said:

«لَا تُطْرُونِي كَمَا أُطْرِيَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ، فَإِنَّمَا أَنَا عَبْدُاللهِ، فَقُولُوا: عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُه»

(Do not exaggerate in praising me as `Isa bin Maryam was praised upon him be peace and blessings. I am just a servant of Allah. Say, “He is His servant and Messenger.”) Or Ma`mar may have said:

«كَمَا أَطْرَتِ النَّصَارَى ابْنَ مَرْيَم»

(As the Christians praised the son of Maryam. ) This was also narrated in another Hadith:

«ثَلَاثٌ فِي النَّاسِ كُفْرٌ: الطَّعْنُ فِي النَّسَبِ، وَالنِّيَاحَةُ عَلَى الْمَيِّتِ، وَالْاسْتِسْقَاءُ بِالنُّجُوم»

(Three things that people do are parts of disbelief: slandering a person’s lineage, wailing over the dead and seeking rain by the stars.)

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