Surah al-Mujadilah (The Contention) 58 : 3

وَٱلَّذِينَ يُظَٰهِرُونَ مِن نِّسَآئِهِمْ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُوا۟ فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّا ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ تُوعَظُونَ بِهِۦ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And those who pronounce thihār from their wives and then [wish to] go back on what they said - then [there must be] the freeing of a slave before they touch one another. That is what you are admonished thereby; and Allāh is Acquainted with what you do.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Having laid down the principle so clearly, the verdict is stated in detail: "Those who separate themselves from their wives by saying, 'You are as unlawful to me as my mother,' and then go back on what they have said, must atone by freeing a slave before the couple may resume theirfill marital relation. This is an admonition to you, and God is Ally aware of all that you do." 

God has made freeing a slave a way of atonement for various offences. This is one way Islam freed those who had fallen into slavery in consequence of the system prevalent at the time, which allowed for the enslavement of prisoners of war. Various views have been stated with regard to the phrase, "then go back on what they have said." We choose the view that says that they resume marital relations which they had earlier forbidden themselves by zihar. The freeing of a slave should occur before it becomes permissible for them to so go back. A comment is added here: "This is an admonition to you." The atonement required is an admonition and a warning against reverting to this totally unacceptable practice. "God is filly aware of all that you do." He knows its nature, how it happens and your intention in doing it.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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There is no hadith to tell as to when this incident of pleading and arguing took place, but there is a hint in the subject matter of the Surah on the basis of which it can be said with certainty that it happened sometime after the battle of the Trench (Shawwal, 5 A.H.). In Surah 33: al-Ahzab (The Confederates), God while negating that an adopted son could be one’s real son, had just said this and no more; “And God has not made those of your wives whom you divorce by dhihar your mothers.” But in that Surah there was nothing to the effect that to divorce a wife by dhihar was a sin or a crime, nor anything about the legal injunction concerning it. Contrary to it, in this Surah the whole law relating to dhihar has been laid down, which shows that these detailed injunctions were sent down some time after the brief reference to it in Surah 33: al-Ahzab (The Confederates).

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