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alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
Those who
yuẓāhirūna
يُظَٰهِرُونَ
pronounce zihar
minkum
مِنكُم
among you
min
مِّن
[from]
nisāihim
نِّسَآئِهِم
(to) their wives,
مَّا
not
hunna
هُنَّ
they
ummahātihim
أُمَّهَٰتِهِمْۖ
(are) their mothers.
in
إِنْ
Not
ummahātuhum
أُمَّهَٰتُهُمْ
(are) their mothers
illā
إِلَّا
except
allāī
ٱلَّٰٓـِٔى
those who
waladnahum
وَلَدْنَهُمْۚ
gave them birth
wa-innahum
وَإِنَّهُمْ
And indeed, they
layaqūlūna
لَيَقُولُونَ
surely say
munkaran
مُنكَرًا
an evil
mina
مِّنَ
[of]
l-qawli
ٱلْقَوْلِ
[the] word
wazūran
وَزُورًاۚ
and a lie.
wa-inna
وَإِنَّ
But indeed,
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
laʿafuwwun
لَعَفُوٌّ
(is) surely, Oft-Pardoning,
ghafūrun
غَفُورٌ
Oft-Forgiving.

Allazeena yuzaahiroona minkum min nisaaa'ihim maa hunnaa ummahaatihim in ummahaatuhum illal laaa'ee waladnahum; wa innaahum la yaqooloona munkaram minal qawli wa zooraa; wa innal laaha la'afuwwun ghafoor

Sahih International:

Those who pronounce thihar among you [to separate] from their wives - they are not [consequently] their mothers. Their mothers are none but those who gave birth to them. And indeed, they are saying an objectionable statement and a falsehood. But indeed, Allah is Pardoning and Forgiving.

1 A. J. Arberry

Those of you who say, regarding their wives, 'Be as my mother's back,' they are not truly their mothers; their mothers are only those who gave them birth, and they are surely saying a dishonourable saying, and a falsehood. Yet surely God is All-pardoning, All-forgiving.

2 Abdul Haleem

Even if any of you say to their wives, ‘You are to me like my mother’s back,’they are not their mothers; their only mothers are those who gave birth to them. What they say is certainly blameworthy and false, but God is pardoning and forgiving.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

As to those among you who put away their wives by pronouncing zihar their mothers they are not. Their mothers are but those who gave them birth; and verily they utter a saying disputable and false. And verily Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar (calling them mothers), they cannot be their mothers; None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false; but truly Allah is one that blots out (sins), and forgives (again and again).

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Those among you who divorce their wives by declaring them to be their mothers, such are not their mothers; none are their mothers except those who gave birth to them. Indeed what they say is highly contemptible and false. Verily Allah is Most Pardoning, Most Forgiving.

6 Ahmed Ali

Those of you who divorce your wives by calling them 'mothers,' cannot (make them) their mothers. Their mothers are only those who gave birth to them. They surely utter what is unseemly and a lie. But God is forbearing and forgiving.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Those among you who have proclaimed their wives as their mothers – so their wives are not their mothers; their mothers are only those that gave them birth; and undoubtedly they utter evil and a blatant lie; and indeed Allah is Most Pardoning, Oft Forgiving.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

As for those of you who repudiate their wives by zihar, they are not their mothers; their mothers are only those who bore them, and indeed they utter an outrage and a lie. Indeed Allah is all-excusing, all-forgiving.

9 Ali Ünal

Those among you who declare their wives to be unlawful for them by using of them the expression "Be as my mother’s back to me," (should know that) their wives are not their mothers. Their mothers are none other than the women who gave them birth. Such men certainly utter a word abhorred (by the Shari‘ah) and a falsehood. Yet God is surely All-Pardoning (He overlooks the faults of His servants), All-Forgiving.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Such of you who give up (conjugal relationship with) their wives by calling them mothers (should realise that) they do not thereby become their mothers. Their mothers are only those who have given them birth. And they (by calling their wives mothers by Zihâr) utter words that are most unseeming and false. And of course Allâh is All-Pardoning, Great Protector (against faults).

11 English Literal

Those who declare their wives as forbidden for them as their mothers (forbidden pre-Islamic form of divorce) from you from their women (wives), they (F) are not their mothers, that truly their mothers (are not) except who (F) gave birth to them, and that they truly say a defiance of God and His orders/an obscenity from the words/opinion and belief and falsehood , and that truly God (is) often forgiving/ pardoning, forgiving.

12 Faridul Haque

Those among you who have proclaimed their wives as their mothers – so their wives are not their mothers; their mothers are only those that gave them birth; and undoubtedly they utter evil and a blatant lie; and indeed Allah is Most Pardoning, Oft Forgiving.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Those of you who divorce their wives by Zihar (likening them to the backs of their mothers), they are not their mothers; their mothers are no others than those who gave them birth; and most surely they utter a hateful word and a falsehood and lo! Allah is He Who blots out (past wrongs), and is oft Forgiving.

14 Hilali & Khan

Those among you who make their wives unlawful (Az-Zihar) to them by saying to them "You are like my mother's back." They cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie. And verily, Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Allah indeed has heard the plea of her who pleads with thee about her husband and complains to Allah; and Allah hears the contentions of both of you. Surely Allah is Hearing, Seeing.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

(As for) those of you who put away their wives by likening their backs to the backs of their mothers, they are not their mothers; their mothers are no others than those who gave them birth; and most surely they utter a hateful word and a falsehood and most surely Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Such of you as put away your wives (by saying they are as their mothers) - They are not their mothers; none are their mothers except those who gave them birth - they indeed utter an ill word and a lie. And lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Those who renounce their wives by calling them mothers should know that their wives could never become their mothers. Their mothers are those who have given birth to them. The words that they speak are certainly detestable and sinful. But God is Pardoning and All-forgiving.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Those of you who say to their wives, 'Be as my mother's back' indeed, they are not their mothers. Their mothers are only those who gave birth to them. Indeed they speak dishonorably and falsely. But Allah is the Pardoning, the Forgiving.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by Zihar they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie. And verily, Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Those who separate themselves from their wives by pronouncing, "To me you are like my mother's back," must concede that they are not their mothers; none are their mothers except those who gave birth to them -- surely they utter an evil word and a lie. God is pardoning, forgiving.

22 Talal Itani

Those of you who estrange their wives by equating them with their mothers—they are not their mothers. Their mothers are none else but those who gave birth to them. What they say is evil, and a blatant lie. But God is Pardoning and Forgiving.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Those of you who repudiate their wives by zihr (yazzahharna is actually yatazahharna, in which the t' has been assimilated with the z'; a variant reading has yazzharna, and still another has yuzhirna, similar [in form] to yuqtilna; the same applies for the second instance [of this verb below]), they are not their mothers; their mothers are only those who (read all', or without the [final long] y', all'i) gave birth to them, and indeed they, [in repudiating them] by zihr, utter indecent words and a calumny, a lie. Yet assuredly God is Pardoning, Forgiving, to the one who repudiates by zihr through an atonement [which he must offer].

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Az-Zihar and the Atonement for It

Imam Ahmad recorded that Khuwaylah bint Tha`labah said,

"By Allah! Allah sent down the beginning of Surah Al-Mujadilah in connection with me and `Aws bin As-Samit.

He was my husband and had grown old and difficult. One day, he came to me and I argued with him about something and he said, out of anger,

`You are like my mother's back to me.'

He went out and sat with some of his people. Then he came back and wanted to have sexual intercourse with me. I said,

`No, by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Khuwaylah! You will not have your way with me after you said what you said, until Allah and His Messenger issue judgement about our case.'

He wanted to have his way regardless of my choice and I pushed him away from me; he was an old man. I next went to one of my neighbors and borrowed a garment from her and went to the Messenger of Allah. I told him what happened and kept complaining to him of the ill treatment I received from `Aws. He said,

يَاخُوَيْلَةُ ابْنُ عَمِّكِ شَيْخٌ كَبِيرٌ فَاتَّقِي اللهَ فِيه

O Khuwaylah! Your cousin is an old man, so have Taqwa of Allah regarding him.

By Allah! Before I departed, parts of the Qur'an were revealed about me. Allah's Messenger felt the hardship upon receiving the revelation as he usually did and then became relieved. He said to me,

يَا خُوَيْلَةُ قَدْ أَنْزَلَ اللهُ فِيكِ وَفِي صَاحِبِكِ قُرْانًا

O Khuwaylah! Allah has revealed something about you and your spouse. He recited to me,
قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِي إِلَى اللَّهِ

وَاللَّهُ يَسْمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ
(Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband, and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer), until,
وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
(And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment). He then said to me,

مُرِيهِ فَلْيُعْتِقْ رَقَبَة

Command him to free a slave.

I said, `O Allah's Messenger! He does not have any to free.'

He said,

فَلْيَصُمْ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْن

Let him fast for two consecutive months.

I said, `By Allah! He is an old man and cannot fast.'

He said,

فَلْيُطْعِمْ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا وَسْقًا مِنْ تَمْر

Let him feed sixty poor people a Wasq of dates.

I said, `O Allah's Messenger! By Allah, he does not have any of that.'

He said,

فَإِنَّا سَنُعِينُهُ بِعَرَقٍ مِنْ تَمْر

We will help him with a basket of dates.

I said, `And I, O Allah's Messenger! I will help him with another.'

He said,

قَدْ أَصَبْتِ وَأَحْسَنْتِ فَاذْهَبِي فَتَصَدَّقِي بِهِ عَنْهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَوْصِي بِابْنِ عَمِّكِ خَيْرًا

You have done a righteously good thing. So go and give away the dates on his behalf and take care of your cousin.

I did that."'

Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith in the Book of Divorce in his Sunan, according to which her name is Khawlah bint Tha`labah. She is also known as Khawlah bint Malik bin Tha`labah, and Khuwaylah. All these are close to each other, and Allah knows best. This is what is correct about the reason behind revealing this Surah. Therefore,

Allah's statement,

الَّذِينَ يُظَاهِرُونَ مِنكُم مِّن نِّسَايِهِم


Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by Zihar.

refers to Zihar, which is derived from Az-Zahr, meaning, the back. During the time of Jahiliyyah, when one wanted to declare Zihar towards his wife, he would say, "To me, you are like the back of my mother."

That was one way they issued divorce during that time. Allah allowed this Ummah to pay expiation for this statement and did not render it as a divorce, contrary to the case during the time of Jahiliyyah.

Allah said,

مَّا هُنَّ أُمَّهَاتِهِمْ

إِنْ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ إِلاَّ اللَّيِي وَلَدْنَهُمْ

they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth.

meaning, when the husband says to his wife that she is like his mother, or the back of his mother etc., she does not become his mother. Rather his mother is she who gave birth to him.

This is why Allah said,

وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَقُولُونَ مُنكَرًا مِّنَ الْقَوْلِ وَزُورًا

And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie.

meaning, false and sinful speech,

وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُورٌ



And verily, Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.

meaning, `what you used to do during the time of Jahiliyyah, and what accidentally slips out of your mouth, unintentionally.'

Allah's statement