Surah Al-Baqarah >> Currently viewing Surah Baqarah Ayat 223 (2:223)

Surah Baqarah Ayat 223 in Arabic Text

نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌۭ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُوا۟ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّىٰ شِئْتُمْ ۖ وَقَدِّمُوا۟ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَٱعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّكُم مُّلَـٰقُوهُ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Nisaaa’ukum harsullakum faatoo harsakum annaa shi’tum wa qaddimoo li anfusikum; wattaqul laaha wa’lamooo annakum mulaaqooh; wa bash shirilmu ‘mineen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 223

Sahih International
Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers.

Yusuf Ali
“Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.

Abul Ala Maududi
Your wives are your tilth: so you may go to your tilth as you please, but you should take care of your future and refrain from the displeasure of Allah. Know it well that One Day you shall meet Him. (O Prophet!) bear good tidings to the Believers.

Muhsin Khan
Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth when or how you will, and send (good deeds, or ask Allah to bestow upon you pious offspring) before you for your ownselves. And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give good tidings to the believers (O Muhammad SAW).

Pickthall
Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad).

Dr. Ghali
Your women are a tillage for you; so come up to your tillage however you decide, and place forward (good deeds) for yourselves; and be pious to Allah, and know that you will be meeting Him. And give good tidings to the believers.

Abdel Haleem
Your wives are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like,and send [something good] ahead for yourselves. Be mindful of God: remember that you will meet Him.’ [Prophet], give good news to the believers.

Quran 2 Verse 223 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 223, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(2:223) Your wives are your tilth; go, then, into your tilth as you wish[241] but take heed of your ultimate future[242] and avoid incurring the wrath of Allah. Know well that one Day you shall face Him. Announce good tidings to the believers.


241. That is, God’s purpose in the creation of women is not merely to provide men with recreation. Their mutual relationship is like that between a farmer and his tilth. A farmer approaches his field not just for the sake of pleasure, but to acquire produce. Similarly, man ought to approach the tilth of the human race with the purpose of acquiring produce, that is, offspring. What is of concern to the Law of God is not the particular mode of cultivating one’s tilth, but rather that one should go only to one’s tilth and not elsewhere, and that one should go there for the purpose of cultivation.

242. These words are susceptible to two meanings. First, that a person should try to maintain the continuity of the human race so that when he departs from this world there should be others to replace him in his tasks. Second, that one should be concerned with the quality of the coming generation, i.e., how far it is endowed with religious devotion, moral excellence and humanity, and that one should do all that is possible to promote these qualities. The latter part ot the verse contains the warning that those who deliberately neglect these two duties will he severely taken to task by God.

Ibn-Kathir

222. They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: “That is an Adha, therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not in unto them till they are purified.” And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you. Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves. 223. Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will, and send (good deeds, or ask Allah to bestow upon you pious offspring) for your own selves beforehand. And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give good tidings to the believers (O Muhammad ).


Sexual Intercourse with Menstruating Women is prohibited

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Jews used to avoid their menstruating women, they would not eat, or even mingle with them in the house. The Companions of the Prophet asked about this matter and Allah revealed:

﴿وَيَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْمَحِيضِ قُلْ هُوَ أَذًى فَاعْتَزِلُواْ النِّسَآءَ فِي الْمَحِيضِ وَلاَ تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّى يَطْهُرْنَ﴾

(They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: “That is an Adha, therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not in unto them till they are purified.)

Allah’s Messenger said:

«اصْنَعُوا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا النِّكَاح»

(`Do everything you wish, except having sexual intercourse.)

When the Jews were told about the Prophet’s statement, they said, “What is the matter with this man He would not hear of any of our practices, but would defy it.” Then, Usayd bin Hudayr and `Abbad bin Bishr came and said, “O Messenger of Allah! The Jews said this and that, should we have sex with our women (meaning, during the menstruation period)” The face of Allah’s Messenger changed color, until the Companions thought that he was angry with them. They left. Soon after, some milk was brought to Allah’s Messenger as a gift, and he sent some of it for them to drink. They knew then that Allah’s Messenger was not angry with them. Muslim also reported this Hadith. Allah said:

﴿فَاعْتَزِلُواْ النِّسَآءَ فِي الْمَحِيضِ﴾

(. ..therefore, keep away from women during menses.) meaning, avoid the sexual organ. The Prophet said:

«اصْنَعُوا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا النِّكَاح»

(Do anything you wish except having sexual intercourse.)

This is why most of the scholars said that it is allowed to fondle the wife, except for having sexual intercourse (when she is having her menses). Abu Dawud reported that `Ikrimah related to one of the Prophet’s wives that she said that whenever the Prophet wanted to fondle (one of his wives) during her menses, he would cover her sexual organ with something.

Abu Ja`far bin Jarir related that Masruq went to `A’ishah and greeted her, and `A’ishah greeted him in return. Masruq said, “I wish to ask you about a matter, but I am shy.” She replied, “I am your mother and you are my son.” He said, “What can the man enjoy of his wife when she is having her menses” She said, “Everything except her sexual organ.” This is also the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and `Ikrimah.

One is allowed to sleep next to his wife and to eat with her (when she is having her menses). `A’ishah said, “Allah’s Messenger used to ask me to wash his hair while I was having the menses. He would lay on my lap and read the Qur’an while I was having the period.” It is also reported in the Sahih that `A’ishah said, “While having the menses, I used to eat from a piece of meat and give it to the Prophet who would eat from the same place I ate from. I used to have sips of a drink and would then give the cup to the Prophet who would place his mouth where I placed my mouth.”

It is also reported in the Two Sahihs that Maymunah bint Al-Harith Al-Hilaliyah said, “Whenever the Prophet wanted to fondle any of his wives during the periods (menses), he used to ask her to wear an Izar (a sheet covering the lower-half of the body).” These are the wordings collected by Al-Bukhari. Similar was reported from `A’ishah. In addition, Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah reported that `Abdullah bin Sa`d Al-Ansari asked Allah’s Messenger , “What am I allowed of my wife while she is having her menses” He said, “What is above the Izar (a sheet covering the lower-half of the body).” Hence, Allah’s statement: h

﴿وَلاَ تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّى يَطْهُرْنَ﴾

(…and go not in unto them till they are purified.) explains His statement:

﴿فَاعْتَزِلُواْ النِّسَآءَ فِي الْمَحِيضِ﴾

(…therefore, keep away from women during menses.)

Allah prohibited having sexual intercourse with the wife during menstruation, indicating that sexual intercourse is allowed otherwise.

Allah’s statement:

﴿فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ﴾

(And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you.) indicates that men should have sexual intercourse with their wives after they take a bath. The scholars agree that the woman is obliged to take a bath, or to perform Tayammum with sand, if she is unable to use water, before she is allowed to have sexual intercourse with her husband, after the monthly period ends. Ibn `Abbas said:

﴿حَتَّى يَطْهُرْنَ﴾

“(till they are purified) means from blood, and,

﴿فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ﴾

(And when they have purified themselves) means with water.” This is also the Tafsir of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Al-Layth bin Sa`d and others.

Anal Sex is prohibited

Allah said:

﴿مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ﴾

(…as Allah has ordained for you.) this refers to Al-Farj (the vagina), as Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and other scholars have stated. Therefore, anal sex is prohibited, as we will further emphasize afterwards, Allah willing. Abu Razin, `Ikrimah and Ad-Dahhak and others said that:

﴿فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ﴾

(…then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you.) means when they are pure, and not during the menses. Allah said afterwards:

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَبِينَ﴾

(Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance) from the sin even if it was repeated,

﴿وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ﴾

(and loves those who purify themselves.) meaning, those who purify themselves from the impurity and the filth that include having sexual intercourse with the wife during the menses and anal sex.

The Reason behind revealing Allah’s Statement: “Your Wives are a Tilth for You.

Allah said:

﴿نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ﴾

(Your wives are a tilth for you,)

Ibn `Abbas commented, “Meaning the place of pregnancy.” ﴿Allah then said:﴾

﴿فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ﴾

(…so go to your tilth, when or how you will,) meaning, wherever you wish from the front or from behind, as long as sex takes place in one valve (the female sexual organ), as the authentic Hadiths have indicated.

For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Al-Munkadir said that he heard Jabir say that the Jews used to claim that if one has sex with his wife from behind (in the vagina) the offspring would become cross-eyed. Then, this Ayah was revealed:

﴿نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ﴾

(Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will,)

Muslim and Abu Dawud also reported this Hadith.

Ibn Abu Hatim said that Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir narrated that Jabir bin `Abdullah told him that the Jews claimed to the Muslims that if one has sex with their wife from behind (in the vagina) their offspring will become cross-eyed. Allah revealed afterwards:

﴿نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ﴾

(Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will,)

Ibn Jurayj (one of the reporters of the Hadith) said that Allah’s Messenger said:

«مُقْبِلَةً ومُدْبِرَةً إِذَا كَان ذلِكَ فِي الْفَرْج»

(From the front or from behind, as long as that occurs in the Farj (vagina).)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “The Ayah,

﴿نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ﴾

(Your wives are a tilth for you) was revealed about some people from the Ansar who came to the Prophet and asked him (about having sex with the wife from behind). He said to them:

«ائْتِهَا عَلى كُلِّ حَالٍ إِذَا كَانَ فِي الْفَرْج»

(Have sex with her as you like as long as that occurs in the vagina.)

Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Sabit said: I went to Hafsah bint `Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr and said, “I wish to ask you about something, but I am shy.” She said, “Do not be shy, O my nephew.” He said, “About having sex from behind with women.” She said, “Umm Salamah told me that the Ansar used to refrain from having sex from behind (in the vagina). The Jews claimed that those who have sex with their women from behind would have offspring with crossed-eyes. When the Muhajirun came to Al-Madinah, they married Ansar women and had sex with them from behind. One of these women would not obey her husband and said, `You will not do that until I go to Allah’s Messenger (and ask him about this matter). ‘ She went to Umm Salamah and told her the story. Umm Salamah said, `Wait until Allah’s Messenger comes.’ When Allah’s Messenger came, the Ansari woman was shy to ask him about this matter, so she left. Umm Salamah told Allah’s Messenger the story and he said:

«ادْعِي الْأَنْصَارِيَّـة»

(Summon the Ansari woman.)”

She was summoned and he recited this Ayah to her:

﴿نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ﴾

(Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will.) He added:

«صِمَامًا وَاحِدًا»

(Only in one valve (the vagina).)”

This Hadith was also collected by At-Tirmidhi who said, “Hasan.”

An-Nasa’i reported that Ka`b bin `Alqamah said that Abu An-Nadr said that he asked Nafi`, “The people are repeating the statement that you relate from Ibn `Umar that he allowed sex with women in their rear (anus).” He said, “They have said a lie about me. But let me tell you what really happened. Ibn `Umar was once reciting the Qur’an while I was with him and he reached the Ayah:

﴿نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ﴾

(Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will,) He then said, `O Nafi`! Do you know the story behind this Ayah’ I said, `No.’ He said, `We, the people of Quraysh, used to have sexual intercourse with our wives from the back (in the vagina). When we migrated to Al-Madinah and married some Ansari women, we wanted to do the same with them. They disliked it and made a big issue out of it. The Ansari women had followed the practice of the Jews who have sex with their women while they lay on their sides. Then, Allah revealed:

﴿نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ﴾

(Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will,)”

This has an authentic chain of narrators.

Imam Ahmad reported that Khuzaymah bin Thabit Al-Khatami narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

«لَا يَسْتَحْيِي اللهُ مِنَ الْحَقِّ ثَلَاثًا لَا تَأْتُوا النِّسَاءَ فِي أَعْجَازِهِن»

(Allah does not shy from the truth – he said it thrice-, do not have anal sex with women.)

This Hadith was collected by An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.

Abu `Isa At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i reported that Ibn `Abbas narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

«لَا يَنْظُرُ اللهُ إِلى رَجُلٍ أَتَى رَجُلًا أَوِ امْرَأَةً فِي الدُّبُر»

(Allah does not look at a man who had anal sex with another man or a woman.)

At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Gharib.” This is also the narration that Ibn Hibban collected in his Sahih, while Ibn Hazm stated that this is an authentic Hadith.

In addition, Imam Ahmad reported that `Ali bin Talaq said, “Allah’s Messenger forbade anal sex with women, for Allah does not shy away from truth.” Abu `Isa At-Tirmidhi also reported this Hadith and said, “Hasan”.

Abu Muhammad `Abdullah bin `Abdur-Rahman Darimi reported in his Musnad that Sa`id bin Yasar Abu Hubab said: I said to Ibn `Umar, “What do you say about having sex with women in the rear” He said, “What does it mean” I said, “Anal sex.” He said, “Does a Muslim do that” This Hadith has an authentic chain of narrators and is an explicit rejection of anal sex from Ibn `Umar.

Abu Bakr bin Ziyad Naysaburi reported that Isma`il bin Ruh said that he asked Malik bin Anas, “What do you say about having sex with women in the anus” He said, “You are not an Arab Does sex occur but in the place of pregnancy Do it only in the Farj (vagina).” I said, “O Abu `Abdullah! They say that you allow that practice.” He said, “They utter a lie about me, they lie about me.” This is Malik’s firm stance on this subject. It is also the view of Sa`id bin Musayyib, Abu Salamah, `Ikrimah, Tawus, `Ata , Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, Mujahid bin Jabr, Al-Hasan and other scholars of the Salaf (the Companions and the following two generations after them). They all, along with the majority of the scholars, harshly rebuked the practice of anal sex and many of them called this practice a Kufr.

Allah said:

﴿وَقَدِّمُواْ لاًّنفُسِكُمْ﴾

(. ..and send for your own selves beforehand.) meaning, by performing the acts of worship while refraining from whatever Allah has prohibited for you. This is why Allah said afterwards:

﴿وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّكُم مُّلَـقُوهُ﴾

(And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter),)

meaning, He will hold you accountable for all of your deeds,

﴿وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ﴾

(…and give good tidings to the believers (O Muhammad ).) meaning, those who obey what Allah has commanded and refrain from what He has prohibited. Ibn Jarir reported that `Ata’ said, or related it to Ibn `Abbas,

﴿وَقَدِّمُواْ لاًّنفُسِكُمْ﴾

(…and send for your own selves beforehand.) means, mention Allah’s Name, by saying, `Bismillah’, before having sexual intercourse.” Al-Bukhari also reported that Ibn `Abbas narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

«لَوْ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ إِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ أَهْلَهُ قَالَ: بِاسْمِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ جَنّبْنَا الشَّيْطَانَ وَجَنِّبِ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا، فَإنَّهُ إِنْ يُقَدَّرْ بَيْنَهُمَا وَلَدٌ فِي ذلِكَ، لَمْ يَضُرَّهُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَبَدًا»

(If anyone of you on having sexual relations with his wife said: `In the Name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you bestow upon us (i.e., the coming offspring) from Satan,’ and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm him.)

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