Surah Ahzab >> Currently viewing Surah Ahzab Ayat 51 (33:51)

Surah Ahzab Ayat 51 in Arabic Text

تُرْجِى مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ وَتُـْٔوِىٓ إِلَيْكَ مَن تَشَآءُ ۖ وَمَنِ ٱبْتَغَيْتَ مِمَّنْ عَزَلْتَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَدْنَىٰٓ أَن تَقَرَّ أَعْيُنُهُنَّ وَلَا يَحْزَنَّ وَيَرْضَيْنَ بِمَآ ءَاتَيْتَهُنَّ كُلُّهُنَّ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى قُلُوبِكُمْ ۚ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَلِيمًۭا
Turjee man tashaaa’u minhunna wa tu’weee ilaika man tashaaa’u wa manibta ghaita mimman ‘azalta falaa junaaha ‘alaik; zaalika adnaaa an taqarra a’yunuhunna wa laa yahzanna wa yardaina bimaa aataitahunna kulluhunn; wal laahu ya’lamu maa fee quloo bikum; wa kaanal laahu ‘Aleeman haleemaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 51

Sahih International
You, [O Muhammad], may put aside whom you will of them or take to yourself whom you will. And any that you desire of those [wives] from whom you had [temporarily] separated – there is no blame upon you [in returning her]. That is more suitable that they should be content and not grieve and that they should be satisfied with what you have given them – all of them. And Allah knows what is in your hearts. And ever is Allah Knowing and Forbearing.

Yusuf Ali
Thou mayest defer (the turn of) any of them that thou pleasest, and thou mayest receive any thou pleasest: and there is no blame on thee if thou invite one whose (turn) thou hadst set aside. This were nigher to the cooling of their eyes, the prevention of their grief, and their satisfaction – that of all of them – with that which thou hast to give them: and Allah knows (all) that is in your hearts: and Allah is All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.

Abul Ala Maududi
Of them you may put off any of them you wish, and you may take any of them whom you wish, and you may call back any of those whom you had (temporarily) set aside: there will be no blame on you (on this account). It is likelier that they will thus be comforted, and will not grieve, and every one of them will be well-pleased with what you give them. Allah knows what is in your hearts. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Forbearing.

Muhsin Khan
You (O Muhammad SAW) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive whom you will. And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside (her turn temporarily), it is no sin on you (to receive her again), that is better; that they may be comforted and not grieved, and may all be pleased with what you give them. Allah knows what is in your hearts. And Allah is Ever AllKnowing, Most Forbearing.

Pickthall
Thou canst defer whom thou wilt of them and receive unto thee whom thou wilt, and whomsoever thou desirest of those whom thou hast set aside (temporarily), it is no sin for thee (to receive her again); that is better; that they may be comforted and not grieve, and may all be pleased with what thou givest them. Allah knoweth what is in your hearts (O men), and Allah is ever Forgiving, Clement.

Dr. Ghali
You may put off whom you decide of them, and you may give abode to whom you decide of them; and whomever you seek (again) of the ones you have kept apart, then there is no fault in you. That (makes) it likelier for them to comfort (Literally: so that their eyes may settle down) their eyes and not to grieve, and for all of them to be satisfied with what you bring them. And Allah knows what is in your hearts; and Allah has been Ever-Knowing, Ever-Forbearing.

Abdel Haleem
You may make any of [your women] wait and receive any of them as you wish, but you will not be at fault if you invite one whose turn you have previously set aside: this way it is more likely that they will be satisfied and will not be distressed and will all be content with what you have given them. God knows what is in your hearts: God is all knowing, forbearing.

Quran 33 Verse 51 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ahzab ayat 51, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(33:51) Of them you may put off any of them you wish, and you may take any of them whom you wish, and you may call back any of those whom you had (temporarily) set aside: there will be no blame on you (on this account). It is likelier that they will thus be comforted, and will not grieve, and every one of them will be well-pleased with what you give them.[91] Allah knows what is in your hearts. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Forbearing.[92]


91. This verse was meant to relieve the Prophet (peace be upon him) of the domestic worries and anxieties so that he could carry out his duties with full peace of mind. When Allah clearly gave him the power and the authority to treat any of his wives as he liked, there remained no chance that those believing ladies would trouble him in any way, or would create complications for him by their mutual rivalries and domestic squabbles. But in spite of having this authority from Allah the Prophet (peace be upon him) meted out full justice to his wives. He did not prefer one to the other and would visit each of them regularly by turns. Only Abu Razin from among the traditionalists has said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited only four of his wives, Aishah, Hafsah, Zainab and Umm Salamah by turns and no turn had been fixed for the other wives. But all other traditionalists and commentators contradict this and prove by authentic traditions that even after having this authority the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited all his wives in turn and treated there alike. Bukhari, Muslim, Nasai, Abu Daud and others have reported on the authority of Aishah that even after the revelation of this verse the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) practice was that whenever he wanted to visit any of us, his wives, on the turn of another wife, he would first ask her permission for it. Abu Bakr al-Jassas relates from Urwah bin Zubair that Aishah told him, “As to our rants the Prophet (peace be upon him) never preferred any of us to the other, although it seldom happened that he did not visit all his wives on the same day, but he never touched a wife unless it was her day by turn.” And this also is a tradition from Aishah that during his last illness when it became difficult for him to move about he asked for his other wives’ permission to stay with her, and only on their approval he passed his last days in her apartment. Ibn Abi Hatim has cited this from Imam Zuhri that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not known to have deprived any of his wives of her turn. To this only Saudah was an exception, who on account of her advanced age had willingly surrendered her turn in favor of Aishah.

Here, nobody should entertain the doubt that Allah had, God forbid, shown an undue privilege to His Prophet (peace be upon him) and deprived his wives of their rights. As a matter of fact, the great objectives for the sake of which the Prophet (peace be upon him) had been made an exception to the general rule in respect of the number of wives, also demanded that he should be afforded full peace in domestic life and anything that could cause him distraction and embarrassment should be eradicated. It was a unique honor for the wives that they were privileged to be the life-partners of the greatest of all men like the Prophet (peace be upon him), and by virtue of this they got the opportunity to become his companions and helpers in the great task of reform and invitation that was to become the means of true success for mankind till the end of time. Just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) was offering every kind of sacrifice for the sake of this objective and the companions were also following his example according to their capabilities, so it was also the duty of his wives to display selflessness in every way. Therefore, all the wives accepted Allah’s decision with regard to themselves happily and willingly.

92. This is a warning for the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives as well as for all other people. For the wives it is a warning in the sense that if after the coming down of this divine command they did not feel reconciled to it in their hearts, they would not escape Allah’s punishment. And for others the warning is that if they entertained any kind of suspicion in their hearts in regard to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) matrimonial life, or harbored any misgiving in any recess of their minds, this would not remain hidden from Allah. Along with this Allah’s attribute of forbearance has also been mentioned so that they know that although even a thought of insolence in regard to the Prophet (peace be upon him) is punishable, yet if a person got rid of such a suspicion he might have the hope of His forgiveness.

Ibn-Kathir

51. You can postpone whom you will of them, and you may receive whom you will. And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside, it is no sin on you: that is better that they may be comforted and not grieved, and may all be pleased with what you give them. Allah knows what is in your hearts. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.


The Prophet has the Choice of either accepting or rejecting Women who offer Themselves to Him

Imam Ahmad recorded that `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, used to feel jealous of the women who offered themselves to the Prophet . She said, “Would a woman not feel shy to offer herself without any dowery” Then Allah revealed the Ayah,

﴿تُرْجِى مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ وَتُؤْوِى إِلَيْكَ مَن تَشَآءُ﴾

(You can postpone whom you will of them, and you may receive whom you will.) She said, “I think that your Lord is hastening to confirm your desire.” We have already stated that Al-Bukhari also recorded this. This indicates that what is meant by the word:

﴿تُرْجِى﴾

(postpone) is delay, and

﴿مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنّ﴾

(whom you will of them) means, `of those who offer themselves to you.’

﴿وَتُؤْوِى إِلَيْكَ مَن تَشَآءُ﴾

(and you may receive whom you will.) means, `whoever you wish, you may accept, and whoever you wish, you may decline, but with regard to those whom you decline, you have the choice of going back to them later on and receiving them.’ Allah says:

﴿وَمَنِ ابْتَغَيْتَ مِمَّنْ عَزَلْتَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكَ﴾

(And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside, it is no sin on you (to receive her again).) Others said that what is meant by:

﴿تُرْجِى مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ﴾

(You can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them,) means, `your wives: there is no sin on you if you stop dividing your time equally between them, and delay the turn of one of them and bring forward the turn of another as you wish, and you have intercourse with one and not another as you wish.’ This was narrated from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Abu Razin, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and others. Nevertheless, the Prophet used to divide his time between them equally, hence a group of the scholars of Fiqh among the Shafi`is and others said that equal division of time was not obligatory for him and they used this Ayah as their evidence. Al-Bukhari recorded that `A’ishah said: “The Messenger of Allah used to ask permission of us (for changing days) after this Ayah was revealed:

﴿تُرْجِى مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ وَتُؤْوِى إِلَيْكَ مَن تَشَآءُ وَمَنِ ابْتَغَيْتَ مِمَّنْ عَزَلْتَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكَ﴾

(You can postpone whom you will of them, and you may receive whom you will. And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside, it is no sin on you.)” I (the narrator) said to her: “What did you say” She said, “I said, `If it were up to me, I would not give preference to anyone with regard to you, O Messenger of Allah!”’ This Hadith indicates that what is meant in this Hadith from `A’ishah is that it was not obligatory on him to divide his time equally between his wives. The first Hadith quoted from her implies that the Ayah was revealed concerning the women who offered themselves to him. Ibn Jarir prefered the view that the Ayah was general and applies both to the women who offered themselves to him and to the wives that he already had, and that he was given the choice whether to divide him time among them or not. This is a good opinion which reconciles between the Hadiths. Allah says:

﴿ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن تَقَرَّ أَعْيُنُهُنَّ وَلاَ يَحْزَنَّ وَيَرْضَيْنَ بِمَآ ءَاتَيْتَهُنَّ كُلّهُنَّ﴾

(that is better that they may be comforted and not grieved, and may all be pleased with what you give them.) meaning, `if they know that Allah has stated that there is no sin on you with regard to dividing your time. If you wish, you may divide you time and if you do not wish, you need not divide your time, there is no sin on you no matter which you do. Therefore if you divide your time between them, this will be your choice, and not a duty that is enjoined upon you, so they will feel happy because of that and will recognize your favor towards them in sharing your time equally among them and being fair to all of them.’

﴿وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى قلُوبِكُمْ﴾

(Allah knows what is in your hearts.) means, `He knows that you are more inclined towards some of them than others, which you cannot avoid.’ Imam Ahmad recorded that `A’ishah said: “The Messenger of Allah used to divide his time between his wives fairly and treat them equally, then he said:

«اللَّهُمَّ هَذَا فِعْلِي فِيمَا أَمْلِكُ،فَلَا تَلُمْنِي فِيمَا تَمْلِكُ وَلَا أَمْلِك»

(O Allah, I have done as much as I can with regard to what is under my control, so do not blame me for that which is under Your control and not mine.)” It was also recorded by the four Sunan compilers. After the words “so do not blame me for that which is under Your control and not mine,” Abu Dawud’s report adds the phrase:

«فَلَا تَلُمْنِي فِيمَا تَمْلِكُ وَلَا أَمْلِك»

(So do not blame me for that which is under Your control and not mine.) meaning matters of the heart. Its chain of narration is Sahih, and all the men in its chain are reliable. Then this phrase is immediately followed by the words,

﴿وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً﴾

(And Allah is Ever All-Knowing,) i.e., of innermost secrets,

﴿حَلِيماً﴾

(Most Forbearing.) meaning, He overlooks and forgives.

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