Surah Tahrim Ayat 4 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 4
If you two [wives] repent to Allah, [it is best], for your hearts have deviated. But if you cooperate against him – then indeed Allah is his protector, and Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are [his] assistants.
If ye two turn in repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined; But if ye back up each other against him, truly Allah is his Protector, and Gabriel, and (every) righteous one among those who believe,- and furthermore, the angels – will back (him) up.
If the two of you turn in repentance to Allah (that is better for you), for the hearts of both of you have swerved from the Straight Path. But if you support one another against the Prophet, then surely Allah is his Protector; and after that Gabriel and all righteous believers and the angels are all his supporters.
If you two (wives of the Prophet SAW, namely ‘Aishah and Hafsah) turn in repentance to Allah, (it will be better for you), your hearts are indeed so inclined (to oppose what the Prophet SAW likes), but if you help one another against him (Muhammad SAW), then verily, Allah is his Maula (Lord, or Master, or Protector, etc.), and Jibrael (Gabriel), and the righteous among the believers, and furthermore, the angels are his helpers.
If ye twain turn unto Allah repentant, (ye have cause to do so) for your hearts desired (the ban); and if ye aid one another against him (Muhammad) then lo! Allah, even He, is his Protecting Friend, and Gabriel and the righteous among the believers; and furthermore the angels are his helpers.
In case you two repent to Allah, then your hearts are readily attentive; and in case you two back one another against him, then surely Allah, Ever He, is his Patronizer, and Jibrîl, (Angle Gabriel) and the righteous (among) the believers, and, after that, the Angels are (his) backers.
If both of you [wives] repent to God––for your hearts have deviated––[all will be well]; if you collaborate against him, [be warned that] God will aid him, as will Gabriel and all righteous believers, and the angels too will back him.
Quran 66 Verse 4 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Tahrim ayat 4, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(66:4) If the two of you turn in repentance to Allah (that is better for you), for the hearts of both of you have swerved from the Straight Path. But if you support one another against the Prophet, then surely Allah is his Protector; and after that Gabriel and all righteous believers and the angels are all his supporters.
7. The word saghat in the original is from saghy which means to swerve and to become crooked. Shah Waliyullah and Shah Rafiuddin have translated this sentence thus: Crooked have become your hearts. Abdullah bin Masud, Abdullah bin Abbas, Sufyan Thauri and Dahhak have given this meaning of it: Your hearts have swerved from the right path. Imam Razi explains it thus: Your hearts have swerved from what is right, and the right implies the right of the Prophet (peace be upon him). And Allama Alusis commentary is although it is incumbent on you that you should approve what the Messenger (peace be upon him) approves and disapprove what he disapproves, yet in this matter your hearts have swerved from conformity with him and turned in opposition to him.
8. The word tazahur means to cooperate mutually in opposition to another person, or to be united against another person. Shah Waliyullah has translated this sentence, thus: If you mutually join together to cause distress to the Prophet. Shah Abdul Qadir’s translation is: If you both overwhelm him. Ashraf Ali Thanwi’s translation says: And if you both continued to work thus against the Prophet. And Shabbir Ahmad Uthmami has explained it thus: If you two continued to work and behave thus (against the Prophet, peace be upon him).
The verse is clearly addressed to two ladies and the context shows that these ladies are from among the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for in ( verses 1-5 of this Surah ) the affairs concerning the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives only have been discussed continuously, and this becomes obvious from the style of the Quran itself. As for the question who were the wives, and what was the matter which caused Allah’s displeasure, the details are found in the Hadith. In Musnad Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Nasai, a detailed tradition of Abdullah bin Abbas has been related, which describes the incident with some variation in wording. Ibn Abbas says:
I had been thinking for long time to ask Umar as to who were the two of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives, who had joined each other against him, and about whom Allah sent down this verse: In tatuba…..; but I could not muster courage because of his awe-inspiring personality until he left for Hajj and I accompanied him. On our way back while helping him to perform ablutions for the Prayer at one place I had an opportunity to ask him this question. He replied: they were Aishah and Hafsah. Then he began to relate the background, saying: We, the people of Quraish, were used to keeping our women folk under strict control. Then, when we came to Al-Madinah, we found that the people here were under the control of their wives, and the women of Quraish too started learning the same thing from them. One day when I became angry with my wife, I was amazed to see that she argued with me. I felt badly about her conduct. She said: Why should you feel so angry at my behavior. By God, the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) answer him back face to face, (the word in the original is li yuraji nahu) and some one of them remains angrily apart from him for the whole day. (According to Bukhari: the Prophet, peace be upon him, remains angry and apart from her the whole day). Hearing this I came out of my house and went to Hafsah (who was Umar’s daughter and the Prophet’s, peace be upon him, wife). I asked her: Do you answer back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) face to face? She said: Yes. I asked: And does one of you remain apart from him for the whole day, (according to Bukhari: the Holy Prophet remains angry and apart from her for the entire day). She said: Yes. I said: Wretched is the one from among you, who behaves thus. Has one of you become so fearless of this that Allah should afflict her with His wrath because of the wrath of His Prophet (peace be upon him) and she should perish, So, do not be rude to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Here also the words are: la turaji-i, nor demand of him anything, but demand of me whatever you desire. Do not be misled by this that your neighbor (i.e. Aishah) is more beautiful and dearer to the Prophet (peace be upon him). After this I left her house and went to the house of Umm Salamah, who was related to me, and talked to her on this subject. She said: Son of Khattab, you are a strange man: you have meddled in every matter until you are now interfering in the affair between Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and his wives. She discouraged me. Then it so happened that an Ansari neighbor came to my house at night and he called out to me. We used to sit in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) assembly by turns and each used to pass on to the other the news of the day of his turn. It was the time when we were apprehending an attack by the Ghassanids any time. On his call when I came out of my house, he said that something of grave significance had happened. I said: Have the Ghassanids launched an attack? He said: No, but something even more serious. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has divorced his wives. I said: Doomed is Hafsah (the words in Bukhari are: Raghima anfu Hafsah wa Aishah). I already had a premonition of this.
We have left out what happened after this, how next morning Umar went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and tried to appease his anger. We have described this incident by combining the traditions of Musnad Ahmad and Bukhari. In this the word murajat which Umar has used cannot be taken in its literal sense, but the context shows that the word has been used in the sense of answering back face to face and Umar’s saying to his daughter: La turaji-i Rasul Allah clearly has the meaning: Do not be impudent to the Messenger of Allah.
Some people say that this is a wrong translation, and their objection is: Although it is correct to translate murajaat as answering back, or answering back face to face, yet it is not correct to translate it as being impudent. These objectors do not understand that if a person of a lower rank or position answers back or retorts to a person of a higher rank and position, or answers him back face to face this very thing is described as impudence. For example, if a father rebukes his son for something or feels angry at his behavior, and the son instead of keeping quiet or offering an excuse, answers back promptly, this could only be described as impudence. Then, when the matter is not between a father and a son, but between the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah and an individual of his community, only a foolish person could say that it was not impudence. Some other people regard this translation of ours as disrespectful, whereas it could be disrespectful in case we had had the boldness to use such words in respect of Hafsah from ourselves. We have only given the correct meaning of the words of Umar, and these words he had used while scolding and reproving his daughter for her error. Describing it as disrespectful would mean that either the father should treat his daughter with due respect and reverence even when scolding and rebuking her or else the translator should render his rebuke and reproof in a way as to make it sound respectful and reverent.
Here, what needs to be considered carefully is that if it was such an ordinary and trivial matter that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) said something to his wives they would retort to Him, why was it given so much importance that in the Quran Allah administered a severe warning directly to the wives themselves? And why did Umar take it as such a grave matter that first he reproved his own daughter, then visited the house of the other wives and asked them to fear the wrath of Allah? And, above all, was the Prophet (peace be upon him) also so sensitive that he would take offense at minor things and become annoyed with his wives, and was he, God forbid, so irritable that once having been annoyed at such things he had severed his connections with all his wives and retired to his private apartment in seclusion? If a person considers these questions deeply, he will inevitably have to adopt one of the two views in the explanation of these verse
The tafsir of Surah Tahrim verse 4 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Tahrim ayat 1 which provides the complete commentary from verse 1 through 5.
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