Surah Tahrim >> Currently viewing Surah Tahrim Ayat 5 (66:5)

Surah Tahrim Ayat 5 in Arabic Text

عَسَىٰ رَبُّهُۥٓ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُۥٓ أَزْوَٰجًا خَيْرًۭا مِّنكُنَّ مُسْلِمَـٰتٍۢ مُّؤْمِنَـٰتٍۢ قَـٰنِتَـٰتٍۢ تَـٰٓئِبَـٰتٍ عَـٰبِدَٰتٍۢ سَـٰٓئِحَـٰتٍۢ ثَيِّبَـٰتٍۢ وَأَبْكَارًۭا
‘Asaa rabbuhooo in tallaqakunna anyyubdilahooo azwaajan khairam minkunna muslimaatim mu’minaatin qaanitaatin taaa’ibaatin ‘aabidaatin saaa’ihaatin saiyibaatinw wa abkaaraa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 5

Sahih International
Perhaps his Lord, if he divorced you [all], would substitute for him wives better than you – submitting [to Allah], believing, devoutly obedient, repentant, worshipping, and traveling – [ones] previously married and virgins.

Yusuf Ali
It may be, if he divorced you (all), that Allah will give him in exchange consorts better than you,- who submit (their wills), who believe, who are devout, who turn to Allah in repentance, who worship (in humility), who travel (for Faith) and fast,- previously married or virgins.

Abul Ala Maududi
Maybe if he were to divorce you, your Lord might grant him in exchange wives better than you – those who truly submit to Allah, are full of faith, obedient, disposed to repentance, and given to worship and fasting – both previously wedded ones and virgins.

Muhsin Khan
It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you, Muslims (who submit to Allah), believers, obedient to Allah, turning to Allah in repentance, worshipping Allah sincerely, fasting or emigrants (for Allah’s sake), previously married and virgins.

It may happen that his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your stead wives better than you, submissive (to Allah), believing, pious, penitent, devout, inclined to fasting, widows and maids.

Dr. Ghali
It may be that, in case he divorces you, his Lord will give him, in exchange, spouses more charitable (i.e., better) than you, Muslim (i.e., who have surrendered to Allah) women, believing, devout, repentant, worshiping Allah), (and) wandering (Sometimes understood to mean “fasting”) (in His way), who were married before and virgins (too).

Abdel Haleem
His Lord may well replace you with better wives if the Prophet decides to divorce any of you: wives who are devoted to God, true believers, devout, who turn to Him in repentance and worship Him, given to fasting, whether previously married or virgins.

Quran 66 Verse 5 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Tahrim ayat 5, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(66:5) Maybe if he were to divorce you, your Lord might grant him in exchange wives better than you[10] – those who truly submit to Allah,[11] are full of faith, obedient,[12] disposed to repentance,[13] and given to worship[14] and fasting[15] – both previously wedded ones and virgins.

10. This shows that the fault did not lie only with Aisha and Hafsah but the other wives also had some share in it. That is why, after them, all the other wives too, have been warned in this verse. No light has been thrown on the nature of the error in the Quran. However, some details are found in the Hadith, which we shall relate below.

In Bukhari, a tradition has been reported from Anas, saying that Umar said: The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wives because of their mutual envies and rivalries had utterly displeased him. At this I said to them: It may well be that if the Prophet (peace be upon him) divorced you, Allah would give him in your place better wives than you. Ibn Abi Hatim has, on the authority of Anas, reported the statement of Umar in these words: I was informed that a discord had been created between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his wives. At this I went to each of them and asked them to refrain from vexing the Prophet (peace be upon him); otherwise Allah would give him in their stead better wives than themselves. So much so that when I went to the last of them (and according to a tradition of Bukhari, to Umm Salamah), she said to me: O Umar, is not the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself enough to admonish his wives? Then why should you come out to counsel them. This made me quiet, and after this Allah sent down this verse.

In Muslim, Abdullah bin Abbas has related that Umar said to him: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) separated himself from his wives, I went to the mosque and found the people worried and upset and playing with pebbles and saying to one another: The Prophet (peace be upon him) has divorced his wives. After this Umar related his visiting the apartments of Aishah and Hafsah and admonishing them. Then he said: I went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: Why do you feel upset with regard to your wives? If you divorce them, Allah is with you, all the angels and Gabriel and Michael are with you, and I and Abu Bakr and all the believers are with you. I thank Allah that seldom has it so happened that I said a thing and did not have hope from Allah that He would testify to what I said. So, after this these verses of Surah At-Tahrim were sent down. Then I asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): Have you divorced your wives? He said: No. Thereupon I stood at the entrance of the Mosque and announced in a loud voice: The Prophet has not divorced his wives.

The traditions related in Bukhari from Anas and in Musnad Ahmad from Abdullah bin Abbas, Aishah and Abu Hurairah say that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had pledged to remain away from his wives for a month and he retired in seclusion to his apartment. When 29 days passed, Gabriel came and said: You have fulfilled your oath: a month has come to completion. Hafiz Badruddin Aini in Umdat al-Qari has related this on the authority of Aishah: The wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) had become divided into two parties. One party consisted of Aishah herself and Hafsah, Saudah and Safiyyah, and the other of Zainab, Umm Salamah and the rest of the wives. These traditions indicate to some extent the conditions that existed in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) domestic life at that time, which made it necessary that Allah Almighty should intervene and reform the attitude of the wives. Although the wives were the best ladies of society, yet they were human beings and were not free from human weaknesses. Sometimes, when it became difficult for them to lead a life of continuous poverty and hardship, they would become restive, impatient and would start pressing the Prophet (peace be upon him) for better maintenance. At this Allah sent down (verses 28-29 of Surah Al-Ahzab )and admonished them to the effect: If you seek the world and its adornments, our Messenger will give you of these and send you of in a good way. But if you seek Allah and His Messenger and the Hereafter, you should bear up against the hardships with patience, which you might have to face when living with the Messenger. (For details, see( E.N. 41 of Surah Al-Ahzab )and the introduction to it). Then on account of the feminine nature they sometimes happened to behave in a way, which though not unusual in everyday human life, did not go well with the unique dignity and great responsibilities of the house to which Allah had given them the honor to belong. So, when it was apprehended that those things might embitter the Prophet’s domestic life and might even adversely affect the great mission that Allah had entrusted to him, He sent down this verse in the Quran, and reformed them so that the wives may realize the responsibilities of the position and rank which they had attained as the life-companions of the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah, and should not regard themselves as ordinary women and their household as a common household. The very first sentence of this verse was such as might have caused their hearts to shudder. There could be no severer warning for them than this: It may well be that if the Prophet (peace be upon him) divorces all of you, Allah will give him in your place better wives than yourselves. In the first place, even the thought of being divorced by the Prophet (peace be upon him) was unbearable for them: more than that, this would deprive them of the honor of being mothers of the believers, and the other women whom Allah would give as wives to the Prophet (peace be upon him) would be better than them, After this it was no longer possible for the wives to behave in a way as would have occasioned a reproof from Allah. That is why we find only two places in the Quran where these selected and distinguished ladies have been administered a warning, in Surah Al-Ahzab and here in Surah At-Tahrim.

11. In the places where the words Muslim and momin have been used together, Muslim means the one who carries out Ddivine commands practically, and momin the one who believes sincerely and truly. Thus, the foremost quality of the best Muslim wives is that they should be believing in Allah and His Messenger and His religion (deen) sincerely and also practically following Allah’s religion in their morals, habits, customs and conduct.

12. Obedient has two meanings and both are implied here.

(1) They are obedient to Allah and His Messenger.

(2) They are obedient to their husbands.

13. The word when used as attribute of a man does not imply the one who offers repentance only once but the one who continues to implore Allah again and again for the forgiveness of his mistakes, whose conscience is alive and active, who is always aware of his weaknesses and errors and is penitent for them. Such a person never feels proud, arrogant and conceited, but is gentle and clement by nature.

14. A worshiper can never be so heedless of God as a nonworshiper. This also helps much in making a woman a good wife. Being devout she adheres to the bounds set by Allah, recognizes and discharges the rights of others and keeps her faith fresh and alive at all times. Because of these qualities she can better be expected that she would not reject obedience to divine commands.

15. The word saihat in the original has been interpreted by several companions and large number of their successors to mean the same as saimat (those given to fasting). The reason why the word siyahat journeying has been used for fasting is that in the ancient times journeys were mostly undertaken by the monks and ascetics, who had no provisions and had to go without food till they got something to eat from somewhere. On that account fasting also is a kind of asceticism, for a faster has to remain hungry until the time of breaking the fast. Ibn Jarir in his commentary of (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 12) has cited a saying of Aishah, saying: The journeying (i.e. asceticism) of the Ummah is fasting. Here, making mention of fasting as an attribute of the pious wives does not mean that they observe the obligatory fasting month of Ramadan only but that they observe voluntary fasts also besides the obligatory fasts.

Addressing the wives Allah’s saying: If the M


The tafsir of Surah Tahrim verse 5 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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