60-Surah Al-Mumtahanah ( The Woman to be examined ) 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.
    يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ عَلَىٰ أَن لَّا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَسْرِقْنَ وَلَا يَزْنِينَ وَلَا يَقْتُلْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ وَلَا يَأْتِينَ بِبُهْتَانٍ يَفْتَرِينَهُ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِنَّ وَأَرْجُلِهِنَّ وَلَا يَعْصِينَكَ فِي مَعْرُوفٍ ۙ فَبَايِعْهُنَّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُنَّ اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

    Quran's Tafhim ( explanation)

    *18) As we have explained above, this verse was sent down some time before the conquest of Makkah. After the conquest the Quraish stated coming to the Holy Prophet in large numbers to take the oath of allegiance. From the men he took the oath himself on Mount Safa, As for the woman he appointed Hadrat '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 Madinah he ordered the Muslim women of Madinah to be gathered together in a house and he sent Hadrat Umar to take the oath from them. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Marduyah, Bazzar, Ibn Hibban, on the authority of Umm 'Atiyyah Ansariah). On the 'Id day also, after his address to men, he went to the assembly of women and in his sermon to than 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 tithes also, the women came before the Holy Prophet 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 Holy Prophet 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 Holy Prophet replied: "Nay, but only ,lastly and lawfully; i.e. take only that much as may actually suffice for your needs." (Ibn al--'Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur'an).
    *20) This also includes abortion, whether ii is abortion of the legitimate or of the illegitimate foetus.
    *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; and (2) a woman's delivering a child by somebody else and making her husband believe that it is his. Abu Da'ud has related a tradition from Abu Hurairah saying that he heard the Holy 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 Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah s peace) has boon restricted to "in what is good", although about the Holy Prophet no one could imagine that he would order somebody 10 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 Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) 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 Da'ud, Nasa'i). Our great doctors have derived this very theme from this verse, Hadrat 'Abdur Rehman bin Zaid bin Aslam says:
    "Allah has not said that they should not disobey you (the Holy Prophet) but that they should not disobey you in what is good.
    Then, when Allah Almighty has made obedience even to the Holy 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 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 AIIah. The Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) has said: 'He who obeys a creature in disobedience to the Creator, Allah appoints the. same c creature over him in power' . " (Ahkam al-Qur an).
    '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 only in what is good, whereas the Messenger never enjoins anything but what is good. This is meant to wam the people that obedience to no one is lawful in disobedience to the Creator. " (Ruh al-Ma ani).
    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 Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) will be obeyed in aII 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 Holy Prophet in every good work that he enjoins. Now obviously, if the good works be only those which AIIah Almighty has enjoined in the Qur'an,.the pledge should have been to the effect: "You will not disobey AIIah," or "You will not disobey the injunctions of the Qur'an." But when the pledge taken was to the effect: "You will not disobey any good work that is enjoined by the Messenger of Allah", it automatically leads to the conclusion that the Holy Prophet has been given vast powers for the reformation of society, and it is obligatory to obey aII his commands, whether they are found in the Qur'an or not.
    On the basis of this very legal authority the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) asked the women to pledge that they would refrain from all those evils which were prevalent among the women of .he Arabian society at that time, and gave several such commands as havc not been mentioned in the Qur'an. One may study the following AhadIth in this connection
    Ibn 'Abbas, Umm Salamah, Umm `Atiyyah Ansariah and others have reported that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) while administering the oath of allegiance to the women asked them to pledge that they would refrain from mourning over the dead. These traditions havc been related by Bukhari, Muslim, Nasa'i and Ibn Jarir.
    A tradition reported by Ibn `Abbas contains this detal: "The Holy Prophet appointed Hadrat `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 Holy Prophet white 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 (may Allah bless them) say that one of the things that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) 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 Hadrat 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Auf said; `O Messenger of Allah. sometimes it so happens that we are not present in the house and somebody comes to see us.' The Holy 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).
    Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-'As has reported another tradition from Umaimah bint-Rugaiqah, maternal aunt of Hadrat Fatimah (may AIlah be pleased with her), saying: "The Holy Prophet 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 Holy Prophet, says: °I went before the Holy Prophet 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 Holy Prophet 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 Holy Prophet after administering to us the oath commanded us that we would attend the `Id 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 Holy Prophet possessed emanated from his position as a ruler instead of his position as a Messenger 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 Holy Prophet's commands and intructiions 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 for ever? 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 for ever? (For further explanation, see E. N . 15 of Surah Al-Hashr).
    *23) Several authentic Ahadith show that in the Holy Prophet's 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 Holy Prophet and take the oath. As for the women; the Holy Prophet never took any woman's hand in his own hand, but adopted different other methods. In this connection, the following traditions have been reported:
    Hadrat 'A'ishah says: "By God, in connection with the oath of allegiance the Holy Prophet's 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 wvmcn went before the Holy Prophet to pledge allegiance, and ho made us to pledge according to this verse of the Qur'iin. 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: `AIIah and His Messenger arc 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 Holy Prophet did not take the hand of any of us in his own hand. " (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim).
    Abu Da'ud, in Marasi, has related this from Sha'bi: "While administering the oath of allegiance to the women, a sheet of cloth was stretched towards the Holy Prophet, 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 Sha'bi, by 'Abdur Razzaq from Ibrahim Nakha`i and by Sa'id bin Mansur from Qais bin Abi Hazim.
    Ibn Ishaq, in Maghazi has related this from Aban bin Salih.: "The Holy Prophet 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 'Id congregational sermon, the Holy Prophet went through the rows of the then to the place where the women were sitting. There, in his address, he recited this verse of the Qur'an, 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 Holy Prophet extended his hand from outside the house and we extended our hands from inside the house. " But this does not prove that the wvmcn might have shaken hands with the Holy Prophet, for Hadrat Umm `Atiyyah has not made any mention of the shaking of hands. Probably on this occasion for the purpose of taking the pledge the Holy Prophet 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.
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