Surah Mumtahanah Ayat 12 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 12
O Prophet, when the believing women come to you pledging to you that they will not associate anything with Allah, nor will they steal, nor will they commit unlawful sexual intercourse, nor will they kill their children, nor will they bring forth a slander they have invented between their arms and legs, nor will they disobey you in what is right – then accept their pledge and ask forgiveness for them of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
O Prophet! When believing women come to thee to take the oath of fealty to thee, that they will not associate in worship any other thing whatever with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit adultery (or fornication), that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood, and that they will not disobey thee in any just matter,- then do thou receive their fealty, and pray to Allah for the forgiveness (of their sins): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
O Prophet, when believing women come to you and pledge to you that they will not associate aught with Allah in His Divinity, that they will not steal, that they will not commit illicit sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children, that they will not bring forth a calumny between their hands and feet, and that they will not disobey you in anything known to be good, then accept their allegiance and ask Allah to forgive them. Surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate.
O Prophet! When believing women come to you to give you the Bai’a (pledge), that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit illegal sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood (i.e. by making illegal children belonging to their husbands), and that they will not disobey you in any Ma’ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all that which Islam ordains) then accept their Bai’a (pledge), and ask Allah to forgive them, Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
O Prophet! If believing women come unto thee, taking oath of allegiance unto thee that they will ascribe no thing as partner unto Allah, and will neither steal nor commit adultery nor kill their children, nor produce any lie that they have devised between their hands and feet, nor disobey thee in what is right, then accept their allegiance and ask Allah to forgive them. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
O you Prophet, when female believers come to you, swearing allegiance to you that they will not associate with Allah anything, and will not steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor come up with (i.e., bring) all-evident calumny they fabricate between their hands and their legs, nor disobey you in anything beneficent, then accept their allegiance and ask the forgiveness of Allah for them. Surely Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.
Prophet, when believing women come and pledge to you that they will not ascribe any partner to God, nor steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor lie about who has fathered their children, nor disobey you in any righteous thing, then you should accept their pledge of allegiance and pray to God to forgive them: God is most forgiving and merciful.
اے پیغمبر! جب مسلمان عورتیں آپ سے ان باتوں پر بیعت کرنے آئیں کہ وه اللہ کے ساتھ کسی کو شریک نہ کریں گی، چوری نہ کریں گی، زنا کاری نہ کریں گی، اپنی اوﻻد کو نہ مار ڈالیں گی اور کوئی ایسا بہتان نہ باندھیں گی جو خود اپنے ہاتھوں پیروں کے سامنے گھڑ لیں اور کسی نیک کام میں تیری بےحکمی نہ کریں گی تو آپ ان سے بیعت کر لیا کریں، اور ان کے لیے اللہ سے مغفرت طلب کریں بیشک اللہ تعالیٰ بخشنے اور معاف کرنے واﻻ ہے
Quran 60 Verse 12 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Mumtahanah ayat 12, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(60:12) O Prophet, when believing women come to you and pledge to you that they will not associate aught with Allah in His Divinity, that they will not steal, that they will not commit illicit sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children, that they will not bring forth a calumny between their hands and feet, and that they will not disobey you in anything known to be good, then accept their allegiance and ask Allah to forgive them. Surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate.
18. As we have explained above, this verse was sent down some time before the conquest of Makkah. After the conquest the Quraish started coming to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in large numbers to take the oath of allegiance. From the men he took the oath himself on Mount Safa. As for the women he appointed Umar to administer the oath to them on his behalf and to ask them to pledge that they would refrain from the things mentioned in this verse. (Ibn Jarir, on the authority of Ibn Abbas; Ibn Abi Hatim, on the authority of Qatadah). Then, on his return to Al-Madinah he ordered the Muslim women of Al-Madinah to be gathered together in a house and he sent Umar to take the oath from them. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Marduyah, Bazzar, Ibn Hibban, on the authority of Umm Atiyyah Ansariah). On the Eid day also, after his address to men, he went to the assembly of women and in his sermon to them, he recited this verse and asked them to pledge that they would refrain from the things mentioned in it. (Bukhari on the authority of Ibn Abbas’s tradition). Apart from these occasions, at different other times also, the women came before the Prophet (peace be upon him) individually as well as collectively to take the oath of allegiance, as mentioned in several Ahadith.
19. In Makkah, when the oath of allegiance was being administered, Hind bint Utbah, wife of Abu Sufyan, asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) its explanation and said: Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is rather stingy. Will it be sinful if I take out something from his wealth without his permission to meet my own and my children’s needs. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: Nay, but only, justly and lawfully; i.e. take only that much as may actually suffice for your needs. (Ibn al-Arabi, Ahkam al-Quran).
20. This also includes abortion, whether it is abortion of the legitimate or of the illegitimate fetus.
21. This implies two kinds of calumny:
(1) A woman’s accusing other women of having illicit relations with other men and her spreading such stories among the people, for the women are generally prone to spreading such things.
(2) A woman’s delivering a child by somebody else and making her husband believe that it is his. Abu Daud has related a tradition from Abu Hurairah saying that he heard the Prophet say: The woman who brings such a child into a family as does not actually belong to it, has no connection with Allah, and Allah will never admit her to Paradise.
22. In this brief sentence two important points of the law have been stated:
First, that obedience even to the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been restricted to “in what is good”, although about the Prophet (peace be upon him) no one could imagine that he would order somebody to do an evil. From this it automatically follows that no one in the world can be obeyed outside the bounds of divine law. For when obedience to Allah’s Messenger himself is conditional upon “in what is good”, who else can have a position to demand unconditional obedience and require the people to obey and follow each of his commands, laws, rules or customs, which are opposed to the law of Allah? The Prophet (peace be upon him) has stated this principle, thus: There is no obedience in the disobedience of Allah; obedience is only in what is good and right. (Muslim, Abu Daud, Nasai). Our great doctors have derived this very theme from this verse, Abdur Rehman bin Zaid bin Aslam says:
Allah has not said that they should not disobey you (the Prophet) but that they should not disobey you in what is good.
Then, when Allah Almighty has made obedience even to the Prophet himself conditional upon this, how can another person have the right that he should be obeyed in anything but what is good? (Ibn Jarir).
Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas writes:
Allah knew that His Prophet (peace be upon him) never enjoined anything but what was good. Still He restricted obedience to him only in what is good, so that no one ever may find a provision to obey the kings when they enjoined something outside the obedience of Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: He who obeys a creature in disobedience to the Creator, Allah appoints the same creature over him in power. (Ahkam al-Quran).
Allama Alusi says:
This command refutes the view of those ignorant people who think that obedience to the ruler is absolutely necessary. Allah has restricted even obedience to His Messenger (peace be upon him) only in what is good, whereas the Messenger (peace be upon him) never enjoins anything but what is good. This is meant to warn the people that obedience to no one is lawful in disobedience to the Creator. (Ruh al-Maani).
Thus, this command in fact, is the foundation stone of the rule of law in Islam. The rule is that anything which is opposed to the law of Islam is a crime, and no one has the right to enjoin any such thing on any one. Anyone who enjoins anything against the law, is a culprit; and the one who obeys such a command is also a culprit. No subordinate can escape the punishment on the basis of the excuse that his superior officer had ordered him to do something which was a crime in the law.
The other thing which has great legal import is that in this verse after enjoining five prohibitions only one positive command has been given, namely that the Prophet (peace be upon him) will be obeyed in all good things. As for the evils, the major evils in which women of the pre-Islamic days were generally involved, have been mentioned and a pledge taken from them to refrain from them. But as for the good works, they have neither been mentioned nor any pledge taken to observe them. The only pledge that has been taken is that they will have to obey the Prophet (peace be upon him) in every good work that he enjoins. Now obviously, if the good works be only those which Allah Almighty has enjoined in the Quran, the pledge should have been to the effect: You will not disobey Allah, or You will not disobey the injunctions of the Quran. But when the pledge taken was to the effect: You will not disobey any good work that is enjoined by the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah, it automatically leads to the conclusion that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been given vast powers for the reformation of society, and it is obligatory to obey all his commands, whether they are found in the Quran or not.
On the basis of this very legal authority the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked the women to pledge that they would refrain from all those evils which were prevalent among the women of the Arabian society at that time, and gave several such commands as have not been mentioned in the Quran. One may study the following Ahadith in this connection:
Ibn Abbas, Umm Salamah, Umm Atiyyah Ansariah and others have reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) while administering the oath of allegiance to the women asked them to pledge that they would refrain from mourning over the dead. These traditions have been related by Bukhari, Muslim, Nasai and Ibn Jarir.
A tradition reported by Ibn Abbas contains this detail: The Holy Prophet appointed Umar to administer the oath of allegiance to the women and commanded that he should forbid them to mourn over the dead, for in the days of pre- Islamic ignorance women used to tear their clothes and hair, scratched their faces and bewailed in aloud voice. (Ibn Jarir).
Zaid bin Aslam has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him), while administering the oath of allegiance forbade the women to scratch their faces, tear their garments, bewail and sing verses while mourning over the dead. (Ibn Jarir). Another tradition bearing on the same subject has been reported by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir from a woman who was among the women taking the oath of allegiance. Qatadah and Hasan Basri say that one of the things that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had made the women to pledge also was that they would refain from talking with the other men freely. Ibn Abbas has explained it in a tradition, thus: That they would not talk with the other men in private.
Qatadah has further explained it thus: Hearing this command Abdur Rahman bin Auf said: O Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah, sometimes it so happens that we are not present in the house and somebody comes to see us. The Prophet replied: I do not mean this. That is, the woman is not forbidden to tell the visitor that the master of the house is not present. (These traditions have been cited by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim).
Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas has reported another tradition from Umaimah bint-Rugaiqah, maternal aunt of Fatimah, saying: The Prophet (peace be upon him) made me to pledge that I would neither bewail the dead nor display myself like the women of the pre-Islamic paganism. (Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Jarir).
Salmah bint Qais, a maternal aunt of the Prophet (peace be upon him), says: I went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) with some other women of the Ansar to take the oath of allegiance. He made us to pledge that we would abstain from the things mentioned in this verse, and then said: Do not defraud your husbands. When we were about to leave, a woman said to me: Go and ask the Prophet (peace be upon him) what is meant by defrauding the husbands? When I went and asked the explanation, he replied: This that you should defraud him of his money and expend it on others. (Musnad Ahmad).
Umm Atiyyah says: The Prophet (peace be upon him) after administering to us the oath commanded us that we would attend the Eid congregational prayers, but the Friday prayer is not obligatory for us, and he forbade us to follow the bier. (Ibn Jarir).
The people who think that the constitutional powers and authority that the Prophet (peace be upon him) possessed emanated from his position as a ruler instead of his position as a Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah, and say that since he was also the ruler at the time, whatever commands he gave in that capacity were only meant to be obeyed during his time, say an absurd thing. Consider the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) commands and instructions that we have cited above. If these instructions given by him for the reformation of the woman had emanated only from his position as a ruler how could these reforms then be introduced and enforced among the women of the Muslim society of the entire world forever? Which ruler has there been in the world, who might have had the position that a command issued by him just once for a reform might have become enforced in the Muslim society everywhere in the world forever? For further explanation, see (Surah Al-Hashr, ayat 7) note 15.
23. Several authentic Ahadith show that in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time the procedure of administering the oath of allegiance to the women was different from that to the men. For the men the procedure was that the ones pledging allegiance would give their hand in the hand of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and take the oath. As for the women; the Prophet (peace be upon him) never took any woman’s hand in his own hand, but adopted other different methods. In this connection, the following traditions have been reported:
Aishah says: By God, in connection with the oath of allegiance the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) hand never touched any other woman’s hand. While administering the oath of allegiance to a woman, he would only say to her: I have accepted your allegiance. (Bukhari, Ibn Jarir).
Umaimah bint Ruqaiqah has stated: I along with some other women went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) to pledge allegiance, and ho made us to pledge according to this verse of the Quran. When we said: We will not disobey you in what is good and right, he said: As far as it is in your power. We submitted: Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) are more kind to us than we could be to ourselves. Then we said: O Messenger of Allah, stretch your hand so that we may pledge allegiance. He replied: I do not shake hands with women: I only make them take the pledge. So he made us to pledge. In another tradition she has stated: The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not take the hand of any of us in his own hand. (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim).
Abu Daud in Marasi has related this from Shabi: While administering the oath of allegiance to the women, a sheet of cloth was stretched towards the Prophet (peace be upon him), which he took in his hand and said: I do not take the woman’s hand in my hand. This same subject has been related by Ibn Abi Hatim from Shabi, by Abdur Razzaq from Ibrahim Nakhai and by Saeed bin Mansur from Qais bin Abi Hazim.
Ibn Ishaq, in Maghazi has related this from Aban bin Salih: The Prophet (peace be upon him) would put his hand in a vessel full of water and then the woman also would put her hand in the same vessel. In Bukhari, a tradition from Abdullah bin Abbas is to the effect: After giving the Eid congregational sermon, the Prophet (peace be upon him) went through the rows of the men to the place where the women were sitting. There, in his address, he recited this verse of the Quran, then asked the women: Do you promise to act according to it? A woman from the assembly replied: Yes, O Messenger of Allah.
In a tradition related by Ibn Hibban, Ibn Jarir, Bazzar and others, Umm Atiyyah Ansariah has stated this: The Prophet (peace be upon him) extended his hand from outside the house and we extended our hands from inside the house. But this does not prove that the women might have shaken hands with the Prophet (peace be upon him), for Umm Atiyyah has not made any mention of the shaking of hands. Probably on this occasion for the purpose of taking the pledge the Prophet (peace be upon him) might have extended his hand from outside and the women their hands from inside the house towards him without any of their hands touching his.
The tafsir of Surah As-Saff verse 12 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Saff ayat 11 which provides the complete commentary from verse 11 through 13.
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