Surah An-Nisa Ayat 24 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 24
And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. [This is] the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath Allah ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,- desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.
And also forbidden to you are all married women (muhsanat) except those women whom your right hands have come to possess (as a result of war). This is Allah’s decree and it is binding upon you. But it is lawful for you to seek out all women except these, offering them your wealth and the protection of wedlock rather than using them for the unfettered satisfaction of lust. And in exchange of what you enjoy by marrying them pay their bridal-due as an obligation. But there is no blame on you if you mutually agree to alter the settlement after it has been made. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you. All others are lawful, provided you seek (them in marriage) with Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) from your property, desiring chastity, not committing illegal sexual intercourse, so with those of whom you have enjoyed sexual relations, give them their Mahr as prescribed; but if after a Mahr is prescribed, you agree mutually (to give more), there is no sin on you. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.
And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise.
And women in wedlock (are forbidden to you), except what your right hands possess. It is the prescribing (Literally: the book) of Allah for you. And lawful for you, beyond all that, is that you seek after (them) with your riches (i.e., that you pay them a dowry) in wedlock, other than infornication. So (with) whomever of these (women) you enjoy the privilege of marriage, then bring them their rewards as an ordinance, and it is no fault in you in whatever you consented to among yourselves even after the ordinance. Surely Allah has been Ever-Knowing, Ever-Wise.
women already married, other than your slaves.God has ordained all this for you. Other women are lawful to you, so long as you seek them in marriage, with gifts from your property, looking for wedlock rather than fornication. If you wish to enjoy women through marriage, give them their bride-gift- this is obligatory- though if you should choose mutually, after fulfilling this obligation, to do otherwise [with the bride-gift], you will not be blamed: God is all knowing and all wise.
Quran 4 Verse 24 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 24, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(4:24) And also forbidden to you are all married women (muhsanat) except those women whom your right hands have come to possess (as a result of war). This is Allah’s decree and it is binding upon you. But it is lawful for you to seek out all women except these, offering them your wealth and the protection of wedlock rather than using them for the unfettered satisfaction of lust. And in exchange of what you enjoy by marrying them pay their bridal-due as an obligation. But there is no blame on you if you mutually agree to alter the settlement after it has been made. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
44. Women who come as captives of war, leaving their husbands behind in Dar al-Harb (Domain of War), are not prohibited, for their marriage is nullified by virtue of their entry into Dar al-Islam (Domain of Islam). A man may marry such women and, if they happen to be his slave-girls, he may have sexual relations with them. There is disagreement, however, among jurists as to what should be done if both husband and wife have been taken captive together. Abu Hanifah and the jurists of his school are of the opinion that their marriage should remain intact. Malik and Shafi’i, on the other hand, argue that their matrimonial contract should be rendered void.
Many misunderstandings seem to persist about the right to have sexual relations with one’s slave-girls. It is pertinent to call attention to the following regulations of Islam:
(1) Islam does not permit soldiers of the Islamic army to have sexual relations with women they capture in war. Islamic Law requires that such women should first be handed over to the government, which then has the right to decide what should be done with them. It may either set them free unconditionally, release them on payment of ransom, exchange them for Muslim prisoners of war held by the enemy or distribute them among the soldiers. A soldier may have sexual relations only with that woman who has been entrusted to him by the government.
(2) Even then, he may not have sexual relations with her until at least one menstrual period has expired; this is in order to establish that she is not already pregnant. If the woman concerned is pregnant one may not have sexual relations with her until after the birth of her child.
(3) It is not necessary for female captives of war to be People of the Book in order that sexual relations with them be permitted. The man to whom such a woman is entrusted has the right to have sexual relations with her regardless of her religious affiliations.
(4) Only that person to whom a female captive has been entrusted has the right to have sexual relations with her. Any child born to her will be regarded as the legitimate child of her master, and will be entitled to all the rights laid down by the Law for one’s issue. Moreover, once such a woman has given birth to a child she may not be sold to anyone, and on the death of her master she automatically becomes a free person.
(5) If the master allows the woman to marry someone else he ceases to have the right to sexual relations with her but retains the right to have her serve him in other ways.
(6) Although the Law has fixed the maximum number of wives at four, it has set no limit with regard to slave-girls. The Law does not lay down a limit in order to encourage people to accumulate huge armies of slave-girls, and thereby turn their homes into dens of sexual enjoyment. Rather the Law does not define the limit because the effects of war and the total number of female captives that would have to be disposed of after a certain war are unpredictable.
(7) In the same way as other rights of property are transferable, so are the proprietary rights regarding the captives of war that have been legally entrusted to a man by the state.
(8) Since the regular conferment of property rights is as legal an act as that of marriage, there is no basis for a person who feels no revulsion towards the idea of marriage to feel revulsion towards the idea of having sexual relations with a slave-girl duly entrusted to him.
(9) If a government confers proprietary rights to a man over a female captive of war it forfeits the right to withdraw those rights in the same way as the guardian (wali) of a woman ceases to have the right to withdraw his agreement to the marriage proposal after the marriage has been contracted.
(10) If a military commander permitted his soldiers to temporarily use the female captives as objects of sexual desire and distributed them among the soldiers for that purpose, such an act would be considered unlawful by Islamic Law. Such an act is not essentially different from fornication or adultery. For details see my book Tafhimat, vol. 2, pp. 366-84, and Rasai’il wa Masa’il, 6th edition, Lahore, 1976, vol. 3, pp. 102-4.
24. Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you. All others are lawful, provided you seek them (with a dowry) from your property, desiring chastity, not fornication. So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due, but if you agree mutually (to give more) after the requirement (has been determined), there is no sin on you. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.
(Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess.) The Ayah means, you are prohibited from marrying women who are already married,
(except those whom your right hands possess) except those whom you acquire through war, for you are allowed such women after making sure they are not pregnant. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, “We captured some women from the area of Awtas who were already married, and we disliked having sexual relations with them because they already had husbands. So, we asked the Prophet about this matter, and this Ayah was revealed, e
(Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess). Consequently, we had sexual relations with these women.” This is the wording collected by At-Tirmidhi An-Nasa’i, Ibn Jarir and Muslim in his Sahih. Allah’s statement,
(Thus has Allah ordained for you) means, this prohibition was ordained for you by Allah. Therefore, adhere to Allah’s Book, do not transgress His set limits, and adhere to His legislation and decrees.
(All others are lawful) meaning, you are allowed to marry women other than the prohibited types mentioned here, as `Ata’ and others have stated. Allah’s statement,
(provided you seek them (with a dowry) from your property, desiring chastity, not fornication,) meaning, you are allowed to use your money to marry up to four wives and for (the purchase of) as many female slaves as you like, all through legal means,
((desiring) chastity, not fornication.) Allah’s statement,
(So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due,) means, to enjoy them sexually, surrender to them their rightful dowry as compensation. In other Ayat, Allah said,
(And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other),
(And give to the women (whom you marry) their dowry with a good heart), and,
(And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of what (dowry) you gave them)
Mujahid stated that,
(So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due,) was revealed about the Mut`ah marriage. A Mut`ah marriage is a marriage that ends upon a predeterminied date. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Leader of the Faithful `Ali bin Abi Talib said, “The Messenger of Allah prohibited Mut`ah marriage and eating the meat of domesticated donkeys on the day of Khaybar (battle).” In addition, in his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Ar-Rabi` bin Sabrah bin Ma`bad Al-Juhani said that his father said that he accompanied the Messenger of Allah during the conquest of Makkah, and that the Prophet said,
(O people! I allowed you the Mut`ah marriage with women before. Now, Allah has prohibited it until the Day of Resurrection. Therefore, anyone who has any women in Mut`ah, let him let them go, and do not take anything from what you have given them.) Allah’s statement,
(but if you agree mutually (to give more) after the requirement (has been determined), there is no sin on you.) is similar to His other statement,
(And give to the women their dowry with a good heart). The meaning of these Ayat is: If you have stipulated a dowry for her, and she later forfeits it, either totally or partially, then this bears no harm on you or her in this case. Ibn Jarir said, “Al-Hadrami said that some men would designate a certain dowry, but then fall into financial difficulties. Therefore, Allah said that there is no harm on you, O people, concerning your mutual agreement after the requirement (has been determined).” meaning, if she gives up part of the dowry, then you men are allowed to accept that. Allah’s statement,
(Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) is suitable here, after Allah mentioned these prohibitions.
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