Monday, September 30, 2013

'THE WOMEN' An Nisaa' (Title of a Chapter in the Quran)

Understanding the 1-6 verses of the 4th Chapter ‘the women’ in the Quran.

A whole chapter in the Quran is dedicated to ‘women’. The title of the 4th chapter in the Quran is ‘the women’, which is called ‘An Nisaa’ in Arabic.  Women should feel good about this. Allah has given them special reference so that the rights of women are protected and they are given the respect that they deserve. There is no chapter in the Quran with the title “the men”.

Apart from women, this verse mentions the orphans in its verses from 1to 6.
Let us try to understand what these six verses teach us.


Primarily Allah addresses the whole of mankind as He states, “O people, who fear your Creator.” This is clear enough to understand that Allah is addressing the whole of mankind.
Then Allah tells us that He has made all of the mankind from one single human being, i.e. Adam alayhissalaam and from him he has scattered many men and women on the earth.

This explains that we all are from human race and not from the apes as presented in the theory of evolution.

Moreover, we all are from a single pair of parents, hence are related to each other. The family units today are an extension of the family of Adam and Eve who were originally created.

This further clarifies that the natural marriage is of a male and female and not the so called same-sex marriages that have ruined the sanctity of this pure and healthy relationship.

Allah tells us that we must fear Him as He is the One Whom we take oath upon in our dealings and relations and He is very close to us, watching us.

This first verse is preparing us to understand who we are, how all of us are related to each other and that Allah is the one who has created us and is ever watching. 

This verse is also a part of sermons especially the sermon of Nikah.


Now before talking about women in particular, the next verse talks about orphans.

This verse talks about giving the orphans their property and not to change bad with good things. The guardian is being told to hand over the wealth or property or anything that he took under his care to the orphans when they reach the age of maturity.

The guardian of the orphan is warned not to usurp their belongings by cleverly mixing them up with their own as this is a heinous sin.


In this verse the guardian is told to do justice with the orphan girls. If he wishes to marry then it should not be with the intention of taking over their property or gaining some benefit from them rather this marriage should be based on mutual love and agreement. If this is not the case then the guardian should choose some other woman to marry. If he is able to do justice he can take 1-4 wives but if he fears that he cannot do justice then only one wife should be taken in marriage.
The notion of polygamy is not to be misunderstood as an obligation or ruling rather it should be based on the need and should be conditional. Otherwise, in normal circumstances men are advised to take only one wife in marriage as there is a fear of injustice.


In this verse the men are ordered to give the dower (Mahr) to their wives wholeheartedly. If the wife gifts her husband anything from that money he is told to take it happily. This is so that both of them live with mutual compatibility and understanding and give each other’s rights consciously and dutifully.


Here the wisdom of handing over the wealth or property to the one who is capable and sensible is highlighted. Allah asks the guardians not to give the money or property to the one whom you think is not worthy in the sense of taking care of it properly and wisely because money is something which you earn for your sustenance and living. One should not be careless about it. In continuation, though, Allah mentions that one must feed them and clothe them according to their need and talk to them nicely. Given that they are not intelligent or wise one is not supposed to behave in the same foolish manner rather should be good-natured in dealing with them.


This is so practical to see if the one you are taking care of has reached the stage where you can now depend on him for certain tasks. This verse sheds light on such a situation in the case of orphans. Since they are under the care of a guardian and he is being asked to do justice to them and their property, Allah asks the guardian to keep testing if they have reached the level at which you can now hand them over their assets or property. You can be sure that now they can take care of it themselves. The guardian is told to watch them and test them till they reach the age of marriage. He is also warned not to usurp their wealth and spend it in a hurry before they reach puberty.

The guardians can be either wealthy or poor and needy. According to their state Allah has asked them to deal with the orphans and their property. If the guardian is himself needy and has no extra money to take care of the orphan he can take from the orphan’s money as per the need.

All this care and consideration is only possible if the person has fear of Allah.
Moreover Allah asks the guardian to make witness over the handing over of the property so that in future there is no confusion about the matter.

The ayah (verse) end with the fact that Allah is enough to take account of whatever we do. All the matters related to women and family life and guardian ship of orphans calls for justice and good treatment and giving the rights due to the concerned persons. This is only possible if we have the fear of Allah and we realize that Allah is Watchful and enough to take account of our dealing.

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