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The Prophet has the Choice of either accepting or rejecting Women who offer Themselves to Him Print E-mail

Imam Ahmad recorded that `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, used to feel jealous of the women who offered themselves to the Prophet . She said, "Would a woman not feel shy to offer herself without any dowery'' Then Allah revealed the Ayah,

﴿تُرْجِى مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ وَتُؤْوِى إِلَيْكَ مَن تَشَآءُ﴾

(You can postpone whom you will of them, and you may receive whom you will.) She said, "I think that your Lord is hastening to confirm your desire.'' We have already stated that Al-Bukhari also recorded this. This indicates that what is meant by the word:

﴿تُرْجِى﴾

(postpone) is delay, and

﴿مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ﴾

(whom you will of them) means, `of those who offer themselves to you.'

﴿وَتُؤْوِى إِلَيْكَ مَن تَشَآءُ﴾

(and you may receive whom you will.) means, `whoever you wish, you may accept, and whoever you wish, you may decline, but with regard to those whom you decline, you have the choice of going back to them later on and receiving them.' Allah says:

﴿وَمَنِ ابْتَغَيْتَ مِمَّنْ عَزَلْتَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكَ﴾

(And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside, it is no sin on you (to receive her again).) Others said that what is meant by:

﴿تُرْجِى مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ﴾

(You can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them,) means, `your wives: there is no sin on you if you stop dividing your time equally between them, and delay the turn of one of them and bring forward the turn of another as you wish, and you have intercourse with one and not another as you wish.' This was narrated from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Abu Razin, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and others. Nevertheless, the Prophet used to divide his time between them equally, hence a group of the scholars of Fiqh among the Shafi`is and others said that equal division of time was not obligatory for him and they used this Ayah as their evidence. Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said: "The Messenger of Allah used to ask permission of us (for changing days) after this Ayah was revealed:

﴿تُرْجِى مَن تَشَآءُ مِنْهُنَّ وَتُؤْوِى إِلَيْكَ مَن تَشَآءُ وَمَنِ ابْتَغَيْتَ مِمَّنْ عَزَلْتَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكَ﴾

(You can postpone whom you will of them, and you may receive whom you will. And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside, it is no sin on you.)'' I (the narrator) said to her: "What did you say'' She said, "I said, `If it were up to me, I would not give preference to anyone with regard to you, O Messenger of Allah!''' This Hadith indicates that what is meant in this Hadith from `A'ishah is that it was not obligatory on him to divide his time equally between his wives. The first Hadith quoted from her implies that the Ayah was revealed concerning the women who offered themselves to him. Ibn Jarir prefered the view that the Ayah was general and applies both to the women who offered themselves to him and to the wives that he already had, and that he was given the choice whether to divide him time among them or not. This is a good opinion which reconciles between the Hadiths. Allah says:

﴿ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن تَقَرَّ أَعْيُنُهُنَّ وَلاَ يَحْزَنَّ وَيَرْضَيْنَ بِمَآ ءَاتَيْتَهُنَّ كُلُّهُنَّ﴾

(that is better that they may be comforted and not grieved, and may all be pleased with what you give them.) meaning, `if they know that Allah has stated that there is no sin on you with regard to dividing your time. If you wish, you may divide you time and if you do not wish, you need not divide your time, there is no sin on you no matter which you do. Therefore if you divide your time between them, this will be your choice, and not a duty that is enjoined upon you, so they will feel happy because of that and will recognize your favor towards them in sharing your time equally among them and being fair to all of them.'

﴿وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى قلُوبِكُمْ﴾

(Allah knows what is in your hearts.) means, `He knows that you are more inclined towards some of them than others, which you cannot avoid.' Imam Ahmad recorded that `A'ishah said: "The Messenger of Allah used to divide his time between his wives fairly and treat them equally, then he said:

«اللَّهُمَّ هَذَا فِعْلِي فِيمَا أَمْلِكُ،فَلَا تَلُمْنِي فِيمَا تَمْلِكُ وَلَا أَمْلِك»

(O Allah, I have done as much as I can with regard to what is under my control, so do not blame me for that which is under Your control and not mine.)'' It was also recorded by the four Sunan compilers. After the words "so do not blame me for that which is under Your control and not mine,'' Abu Dawud's report adds the phrase:

«فَلَا تَلُمْنِي فِيمَا تَمْلِكُ وَلَا أَمْلِك»

(So do not blame me for that which is under Your control and not mine.) meaning matters of the heart. Its chain of narration is Sahih, and all the men in its chain are reliable. Then this phrase is immediately followed by the words,

﴿وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً﴾

(And Allah is Ever All-Knowing,) i.e., of innermost secrets,

﴿حَلِيماً﴾

(Most Forbearing.) meaning, He overlooks and forgives.

﴿لاَّ يَحِلُّ لَكَ النِّسَآءُ مِن بَعْدُ وَلاَ أَن تَبَدَّلَ بِهِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجٍ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ حُسْنُهُنَّ إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكَتْ يَمِينُكَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ رَّقِيباً ﴾

(52. It is not lawful for you (to marry other) women after this, nor to change them for other wives even though their beauty attracts you, except those whom your right hand possesses. And Allah is Ever a Watcher over all things.)

 
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