Surah Baqarah Ayat 229 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 229
Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment. And it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them unless both fear that they will not be able to keep [within] the limits of Allah. But if you fear that they will not keep [within] the limits of Allah, then there is no blame upon either of them concerning that by which she ransoms herself. These are the limits of Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah – it is those who are the wrongdoers.
“A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold Together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. It is not lawful for you, (Men), to take back any of your gifts (from your wives), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah. If ye (judges) do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah, there is no blame on either of them if she give something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by Allah; so do not transgress them if any do transgress the limits ordained by Allah, such persons wrong (Themselves as well as others).
Divorce may be pronounced twice; then either the wife be kept honourably or parted with gracefully. And it is not lawful for you to take back anything out of what you have given them. There is, however, an exception to this; if you fear that they might not be able to keep within the limits imposed by Allah, there is no harm if both agree mutually that the wife should obtain divorce by giving something as compensation to the husband. These are the bounds set by Allah; therefore do not violate them, for those who violate the bounds of AIIah are the tansgressors.
The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness. And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of your Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) which you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah (e.g. to deal with each other on a fair basis). Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or a part of it) for her Al-Khul’ (divorce). These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are the Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.).
Divorce must be pronounced twice and then (a woman) must be retained in honour or released in kindness. And it is not lawful for you that ye take from women aught of that which ye have given them; except (in the case) when both fear that they may not be able to keep within the limits (imposed by) Allah. And if ye fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, in that case it is no sin for either of them if the woman ransom herself. These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Transgress them not. For whoso transgresseth Allah’s limits: such are wrong-doers.
Divorce is twice; then retention with beneficence or release in fairness. And it is not lawful for you to take anything of whatever you have brought (the women) except (in case) they both fear that they may not keep within (Literally: Keep up) the bounds of Allah. So, in case you fear that they may not keep within (Literally: Keep up) the bounds of Allah, it is no fault in them (both) for her to ransom herself. Those are the bounds of Allah; so, do not transgress them; and whoever transgresses the bounds of Allah then those are they (who are) the unjust.
Divorce can happen twice, and [each time] wives either be kept on in an acceptable manner or released in a good way. It is not lawful for you to take back anything that you have given [your wives], except where both fear that they cannot maintain [the marriage] within the bounds set by God: if you [arbiters] suspect that the couple may not be able to do this, then there will be no blame on either of them if the woman opts to give something for her release. These are the bounds set by God: do not overstep them. It is those who overstep God’s bounds who are doing wrong.
Quran 2 Verse 229 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 229, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(2:229) Divorce can be pronounced twice: then, either honourable retention or kindly release should follow.
(While dissolving the marriage tie) it is unlawful for you to take back anything of what you have given to your wives unless both fear that they may not be able to keep within the bounds set by Allah. Then, if they fear that they might not be able to keep within the bounds set by Allah, there is no blame upon them for what the wife might give away of her property to become released from the marriage tie. These are the bounds set by Allah; do not transgress them. Those of you who transgress the bounds set by Allah are indeed the wrong-doers.
250. This little verse aims at the reform of a serious evil that was rampant in the social life in pre-Islamic Arabia. According to the customary law of Arabia, a person was entitled to pronounce any number of divorces upon his wife. As a result divorce was resorted to at the least provocation and annoyance. In addition, the husband often exercised his right to revoke the divorce he had pronounced with the result that the poor wife could neither live with him in happiness nor free herself to contract a fresh marriage with someone else. Here the Qur’an seeks to shut the door on this injustice. According to this verse, a man may pronounce revocable divorce upon his wife not more than twice. Should he pronounce divorce for the third time after revoking it twice, the wife will be permanently alienated from him.
The appropriate procedure for divorce, according to the Qur’an and Hadith, is that a person should pronounce one divorce outside the time of the wife’s menstrual period. After the first divorce he may pronounce a second in the next clear period if he wants to, though it is preferable that he should confine himself to pronouncing the first. In this case the husband retains the right to revoke the divorce at any time before the lapse of the period of waiting (‘iddah) even if the period of waiting has lapsed, the couple have the right to recontract the marriage by mutual consent. If the husband, however, pronounces divorce in his wife’s third clear period he has no right to revoke the divorce, and the spouses are not entitled to recontract the marriage. The pronouncing of triple divorce in one session is a highly sinful act according to the Law, and the Prophet has strongly denounced it. (See Nasii, ‘Talaq’, 6 – Ed.) It has even been established that ‘Umar used to flog those who pronounced triple divorce in one session. Although this procedure of divorce is considered sinful, the founders of the four legal schools consider it to have legal effect, with the result that such divorce, in their view, becomes absolutely irrevocable.
251. This refers to the mahr (bridal gift) and the jewellery, clothes and so on which the husband offers as a gift to his wife, and to which he has no right of reclaim. It is, indeed, normally inconsistent with Islamic ethics that a person should reclaim anything he has made over to another by way of donation or gift. In the Hadith this disgraceful act is likened to a dog licking its own vomit. (See Bukhari, ‘Hibah’, 30; Nasiii, ‘Hibah’, 3, etc. – Ed.)
In the case of a husband, in particular, it is a matter of the utmost disgrace that, at the time of saying farewell to his divorced wife he should try to dispossess her of what he had once given her out of his own goodwill. On the contrary, the morals that Islam seeks to cultivate require that at the time of parting the husband ought to present her with a farewell gift. See (verse 241 below.)
252. In the terminology of Islamic Law this is known as khul’, i.e. a woman’s securing the annulment of her marriage through the payment of some compensation to her husband. Whatever settlement is made between a husband and wife should come into effect. If the matter is referred to the court, however, it will investigate only whether the wife has really become too disgusted with the husband to put up with him. (For the Traditions on the basis of which the author concludes this see the commentaries on this verse in Ibn Kathir and Qurtubi, see especially the latter, vol. 2, pp. 946-8 – Ed.) Once this is determined the court is entitled to fix the amount of payment incumbent on the wife as compensation for the repudiation of her marriage, and the husband will be bound to accept that amount and divorce his wife. In general, the jurists believe that the payment, thus fixed, should not be higher than the original mahr paid by the husband.
The divorce that comes into effect is irrevocable and brings separation into effect immediately. Since the woman has paid compensation, she has in effect purchased the right of repudiation and the husband, therefore, has ceased to have the right to revoke the divorce. If, however, the spouses agree to recontract marriage, they may do so.
According to the majority of jurists the period of waiting under khul’ is the same as under divorce. However, there are several Traditions in Abu Da’ud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, etc., which show that the Prophet fixed the period of waiting at one menstrual period, and that ‘Uthman applied this in a case which he decided. (See Ibn Kathir’s commentary on the verse.)
228. And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
This Ayah contains a command from Allah that the divorced woman, whose marriage was consummated and who still has menstruation periods, should wait for three (menstrual) periods (Quru’) after the divorce and then remarry if she wishes.
Ibn Jarir related that `Alqamah said: We were with `Umar bin Al-Khattab when a woman came and said, “My husband divorced me one or two periods ago. He then came back to me while I had prepared my water ﴿for taking a bath﴾, took off my clothes and closed my door.” `Umar asked `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, “What do you think” He said, “I think that she is still his wife, as long as she is not allowed to resume praying (i.e., until the third period ends before he takes her back).” `Umar said, “This is my opinion too.” This is also the opinion of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, `Umar, `Uthman, `Ali, Abu Ad-Darda’, `Ubadah bin As-Samit, Anas bin Malik, Ibn Mas`ud, Mu`adh, Ubayy bin Ka`b, Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari and Ibn `Abbas. Furthermore, this is the opinion of Sa`id bin Musayyib, `Alqamah, Aswad, Ibrahim, Mujahid, `Ata’, Tawus, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Muhammad bin Sirin, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ash-Sha`bi, Ar-Rabi`, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi, Makhul, Ad-Dahhak and `Ata’ Al-Khurasani. They all stated that the Quru’ is the menstruation period. What testifies to this is the Hadith that Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i reported that Fatimah bint Abu Hubaiysh said that Allah’s Messenger said to her:
(Do not pray during your Aqra’ (pl. for Quru’, the menstruation period).)
If this Hadith was authentic, it would have been a clear proof that the Quru’ is the menstruation period. However, one of the narrators of this Hadith, Al-Mundhir, is an unknown person (in Hadith terminology), as Abu Hatim has stated, although Ibn Hibban has mentioned Al-Mundhir in his book Ath-Thiqat.
(…and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs,) meaning, of pregnancy or menstruation periods. This is the Tafsir of Ibn `Abbas, Ibn `Umar, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hakam bin `Utaybah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Ad-Dahhak and others.
Allah then said:
(…if they believe in Allah and the Last Day.)
This Ayah warns women against hiding the truth (if they were pregnant or on their menses), indicating that they are the authority in such matters as they alone know such facts about themselves. Since verifying such matters is difficult, Allah left this decision with them. Yet, women were warned not to hide the truth in case they wish to end the `Iddah sooner, or later, according to their desires. Women were thus commanded to say the truth (if they were pregnant or on their menses), no more and no less.
(And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation.)
Hence, the husband who divorces his wife can take her back, providing she is still in her `Iddah (time spent before a divorced woman or a widow can remarry) and that his aim, by taking her back, is righteous and for the purpose of bringing things back to normal. However, this ruling applies where the husband is eligible to take his divorced wife back. We should mention that (when this Ayah 2:228 was revealed), the ruling that made the divorce thrice and specified when the husband is ineligible to take his divorced wife back, had not been revealed yet. Previously, the man used to divorce his wife and then take her back even if he had divorced her a hundred separate times. Thereafter, Allah revealed the following Ayah (2:229) that made the divorce only thrice. So there was now a reversible divorce and an irreversible final divorce.
(And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable,)
This Ayah indicates that the wife has certain rights on her husband, just as he has certain rights on her, and each is obliged to give the other spouse his due rights. Muslim reported that Jabir said that Allah’s Messenger said:
(Fear Allah regarding your women, for you have taken them by Allah’s covenant and were allowed to enjoy with them sexually by Allah’s Words. You have the right on them that they do not allow anyone you dislike to sit on your mat. If they do that, then discipline them leniently. They have the right to be spent on and to be bought clothes in what is reasonable.)
Bahz bin Hakim said that Mu`awiyah bin Haydah Al-Qushayri related that his grandfather said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is the right the wife of one of us has” The Prophet said:
(To feed her when you eat, buy her clothes when you buy for yourself and to refrain from striking her on the face, cursing her or staying away from her except in the house.)
Waki` related that Ibn `Abbas said, “I like to take care of my appearance for my wife just as I like for her to take care of her appearance for me. This is because Allah says:
(And they (women) have rights similar (to those of their husbands) over them to what is reasonable.)” This statement is reported by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abu Hatim.
(but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them.)
This Ayah indicates that men are in a more advantageous position than women physically as well as in their mannerism, status, obedience (of women to them), spending, taking care of the affairs and in general, in this life and in the Hereafter. Allah said (in another Ayah):
(Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.) (4:34)
(And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise) means, He is Mighty in His punishment of those who disobey and defy His commands. He is Wise in what He commands, destines and legislates.
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