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CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE

WOMEN’S RIGHTS, SEX, MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE


(16:57-60, 62) And [thus, too,] they ascribe daughters unto God, who is limitless in His glory - whereas for themselves [they would
choose, if they could, only] what they desire: for, whenever any of them is given the glad tiding of [the birth of] a girl, his face
darkens, and he is filled with suppressed anger, avoiding all people because of the [alleged] evil of the glad tiding which he has
received, [and debating within himself:] Shall he keep this [child] despite the contempt [which he feels for it] - or shall he bury it in
the dust? Oh, evil indeed is whatever they decide! [Thus it is that] the attribute of evil applies to all who do not believe in the life to
come – whereas unto God applies the attribute of all that is most sublime: for He alone is almighty, truly wise! As it is, they ascribe
to God something that they [themselves] dislike – and [all the while] their tongues utter the lie that [by doing so] they earn supreme
merits!Truly, they earn but the fire, and will be left out [of God’s grace]!
(17:31) Hence, do not kill your children for fear of poverty: it is We who shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily,
killing them is a great sin.
(81:8-9) When the girl-child that was buried alive is made to ask for what crime she had been slain?
(60:10-12) O you who have attained to faith! Whenever believing women come unto you, forsaking the domain of evil, examine
them, [although only] God is fully aware of their faith; and if you have thus ascertained that they are believers, do not send them
back to the deniers of the truth, [since] they are [no longer] lawful to their erstwhile husbands, and these are [no longer] lawful to
them.Nonetheless, you shall return to them whatever they have spent [on their wives by way of dower]; and [then, O believers,] you
will be committing no sin if you marry them after giving them their dowers. On the other hand, hold not to the marriage-tie with
women who [continue to] deny the truth, and ask but for [the return of] whatever you have spent [by way of dower] - just as they
[whose wives have gone over to you] have the right to demand [the return of] whatever they have spent. Such is God’s judgment:
He judges between you [in equity] - for God is all-knowing, wise. And if any of your wives should go over to the deniers of the truth,
and you are thus afflicted in turn, then give unto those whose wives have gone away the equivalent of what they had spent [on their
wives by way of dower], and remain conscious of God, in whom you believe! O Prophet! Whenever believing women come to you to
pledge their allegiance to you, [pledging] that [henceforth] they would not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught but God, and would
not steal, and would not commit adultery, and would not kill their children, and would not indulge in slander, falsely devising it out
of nothingness, and would not disobey you in anything [that you declare to be] right - then accept their pledge of allegiance, and
pray to God to forgive them their [past] sins: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
(4:32) Men shall have a benefit from what they earn, and women shall have a benefit from what they earn. Ask, therefore, God [to
give you] out of His bounty: behold, God has indeed full knowledge of everything.
(2:282) And call upon two of your men to act as witnesses; and if two men are not available, then a man and two women from
among such as are acceptable to you as witnesses, so that if one of them should make a mistake, the other could remind her.
(24:30-31) Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: this will be most conducive to their purity -
[and,] verily, God is aware of all that they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity,
and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof; hence, let them draw their head-
coverings over their bosoms. And let them not display [more of] their charms to any but their husbands, or their fathers, or their
husbands’ fathers, or their sons, or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their
womenfolk, or those whom they rightfully possess, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desire, or children that are as
yet unaware of women’s nakedness; and let them not swing their legs [in walking] so as to draw attention to their hidden
charmsAnd [always], O you believers - all of you - turn unto God in repentance, so that you might attain to a happy state!
(24:60) And [know that] women advanced in years, who no longer feel any sexual desire, incur no sin if they discard their [outer]
garments, provided they do not aim at a showy display of [their] charms. But [even so,] it is better for them to abstain [from this]:
and God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
(33:53) And [as for the Prophet’s wives,] whenever you ask them for anything that you need, ask them from behind a screen: this
will but deepen the purity of your hearts and theirs. (33:59) O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters, as well as all [other]
believing women, that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments [when in public]: this will be more conducive
to their being recognized [as decent women] and not annoyed. But [withal,] God is indeed much- forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
(42:11-12) The Originator [is He] of the heavens and the earth. He has given you mates of your own kind - just as [He has willed
that] among the beasts [there be] mates - to multiply you thereby: [but] there is nothing like unto Him, and He alone is all-hearing,
all-seeing.And He it is who has created all opposites.
(23:1, 5-7) Truly, to a happy state shall attain the believers: who are mindful of their chastity, [not giving way to their desires] with
any but their spouses - that is, those whom they rightfully possess [through wedlock]: for then, behold, they are free of all blame,
whereas such as seek to go beyond that [limit] are truly transgressors.

(16:72-73) And God has given you mates of your own kind and has given you, through your mates, children and children’s children,
and has provided for you sustenance out of the good things of life. Will men, then, [continue to] believe in things false and vain, and
thus blaspheme against God’s blessings? - and will they [continue to] worship, instead of God, something that has it not within its
power to provide for them any sustenance whatever from the heavens or the earth, and can do nothing at all?
(25:74) And who pray “O our Sustainer! Grant that our spouses and our offspring be a joy to our eyes, and cause us to be foremost
among those who are conscious of Thee!”
(42:49-50) God’s alone is the dominion over the heavens and the earth. He creates whatever He wills: He bestows the gift of female
offspring on whomever He wills, and the gift of male offspring on whomever He wills; or He gives both male and female [to
whomever He wills], and causes to be barren whomever He wills: for, verily, He is all-knowing, infinite in His power.
(2:223) Your wives are your tilth; go, then, unto your tilth as you may desire, but first provide something for your souls, and remain
conscious of God, and know that you are destined to meet Him. And give glad tidings unto those who believe.
(4:34) Men shall take full care of women with the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the
latter, and with what they may spend out of their possessions. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the
intimacy, which God has [ordained to be] guarded.
(24:32-33) And [you ought to] marry the single from among you as well as such of your male and female slaves as are fit [for
marriage]. If they [whom you intend to marry] are poor, [let this not deter you;] God will grant them sufficiency out of His bounty -
for God is infinite [in His mercy], all-knowing. And as for those who are unable to marry, let them live in continence until God
grants them sufficiency out of His bounty.
(5:5) And [lawful to you are], in wedlock, women from among those who believe [in this divine writ], and, in wedlock, women from
among those who have been vouchsafed revelation before your time - provided that you give them their dowers, taking them in
honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions.
(4:127) And they will ask you to enlighten them about the laws concerning women. Say: “God [Himself] enlightens you about the
laws concerning them” - for [His will is shown] in what is being conveyed unto you through this divine writ about orphan women
[in your charge], to whom - because you yourselves may be desirous of marrying them - you do not give that which has been
ordained for them; and about helpless children; and about your duty to treat orphans with equity. And whatever good you may do
- behold, God has indeed full knowledge thereof.
(2:221) And do not marry women who ascribe divinity to aught beside God before they attain to [true] belief: for any believing
bondwoman [of God] is certainly better than a woman who ascribes divinity to aught beside God, even though she please you
greatly. And do not give your women in marriage to men who ascribe divinity to aught beside God before they attain to [true]
belief: for any believing bondman [of God] is certainly better than a man who ascribes divinity to aught beside God, even though
he please you greatly. [Such as] these invite unto the fire, whereas God invites unto paradise, and unto [the achievement of]
forgiveness by His leave; and He makes clear His messages unto mankind, so that they might bear them in mind.
(4:22-24) And do not marry women whom your fathers have previously married - although what is past is past: this, verily, is a
shameful deed, and a hateful thing, and an evil way. [I.e., forgiven shall be he who did it before the promulgation of this Quranic
ordinance or (in the case of a conversion in later times) before one’s acceptance of Islam.] Forbidden to you are your mothers, and
your daughters, and your sisters, and your aunts paternal and maternal, and a brother’s daughters, and a sister’s daughters; and
your milk-mothers, and your milk-sisters; and the mothers of your wives; and your step-daughters - who are your foster children -
born of your wives with whom you have consummated your marriage; but if you have not consummated your marriage, you will
incur no sin [by marrying their daughters]; and [forbidden to you are] the spouses of the sons who have sprung from your loins;
and [you are forbidden] to have two sisters [as your wives] at one and the same time - but what is past is past: for, behold, God is
indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace. And [forbidden to you are] all married women other than those whom you rightfully
possess [through wedlock]: this is God’s ordinance, binding upon you. But lawful to you are all [women] beyond these, for you to
seek out, offering them of your possessions, taking them in honest wedlock, and not in fornication. And unto those with whom you
desire to enjoy marriage, you shall give the dowers due to them; but you will incur no sin if, after [having agreed upon] this lawful
due, you freely agree with one another upon anything [else]: behold, God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
(4:4) And give unto women their marriage portions in the spirit of a gift; but if they, of their own accord, give up unto you aught
thereof, then enjoy it with pleasure and good cheer.
(2:222) And they will ask you about [woman’s] monthly courses. Say: “It is a vulnerable condition. Keep, therefore, aloof from
women during their monthly courses, and do not draw near unto them until they are cleansed; and when they are cleansed, go in
unto them as God has bidden you to do.” Verily, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance, and He loves those who keep
themselves pure.
(4:19) O you who have attained to faith! It is not lawful for you to [try to] become heirs to your wives [by holding onto them]
against their will; and neither shall you keep them under constraint with a view to taking away anything of what you may have
given them, unless it be that they have become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct.
(4:19-21) And consort with your wives in a goodly manner; for if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something which
God might yet make a source of abundant good. But if you desire to give up a wife and to take another in her stead, do not take
away anything of what you have given the first one, however much it may have been. Would you, perchance, take it away by
slandering her and thus committing a manifest sin. And how could you take it away after you have given yourselves to one another,
and she has received a most solemn pledge from you? (4:129-131) And it will not be within your power to treat your wives with
equal fairness, however much you may desire it; and so, do not allow yourselves to incline towards one to the exclusion of the other,
leaving her in a state, as it were, of having and not having a husband. But if you put things to rights and are conscious of Him -
behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace. And if husband and wife do separate, God shall provide for each of
them out of His abundance: for God is indeed infinite, wise, and unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth.
(4:3) And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among [other] women such
as are lawful to you - [even] two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal
fairness, then [only] one - or [from among] those whom you rightfully possess. This will make it more likely that you will not
deviate from the right course.
(4:34) And as for those women whose ill-will you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then leave them alone in bed; then beat
them; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great!
(4:35) And if you have reason to fear that a breach might occur between a [married] couple, appoint an arbiter from among his
people and an arbiter from among her people; if they both want to set things aright, God may bring about their reconciliation. Be-
hold, God is indeed all-knowing, aware. (4:128) And if a woman has reason to fear ill-treatment from her husband, or that he might
turn away from her, it shall not be wrong for the two to set things peacefully to rights between themselves: for peace is best, and
selfishness is ever-present in human souls. But if you do good and are conscious of Him - behold, God is indeed aware of all that
you do.
(64:14-15) O you who have attained to faith! Behold, some of your spouses and your children are enemies unto you: so beware of
them! But if you pardon [their faults], and forbear, and forgive - then, behold, God will be much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Your worldly goods and your children are but a trial and a temptation, whereas with God there is a tremendous reward.
(33:4) He [God] has never made your wives whom you may have declared to be “as unlawful to you as your mothers’ bodies”
[truly] your mothers.
(58:1-6) God has indeed heard the words of her who pleads with you concerning her husband, and complains Unto God. And God
does hear what you both have to say: verily, God is all-hearing, all-seeing. As for those of you who [henceforth] separate themselves
from their wives by saying, “You are as unlawful to me as my mother”, [let them bear in mind that] they can never be [as] their
mothers: none are their mothers save those who gave them birth: and so, behold, they but utter a saying that runs counter to
reason, and is [therefore] false. But, behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving: hence, as for those who would
separate themselves from their wives by saying, “You are as unlawful to me as my mother”, and thereafter would go back on what
they have said, [their atonement] shall be the freeing of a human being from bondage before the couple may touch one another
again: this you are [hereby] exhorted to do - for God is fully aware of all that you do. [See 2:225 - “God will not take you to task for
oaths which you may have uttered without thought, but will take you to task [only] for what your hearts have conceived [in
earnest]”.] However, he who does not have the wherewithal shall fast [instead] for two consecutive months before the couple may
touch one another again; and he who is unable to do it shall feed sixty needy ones: this, so that you might prove your faith in God
and His Apostle. Now these are the bounds set by God; and grievous suffering [in the life to come] awaits all who deny the truth.
Verily, those who contend against God and His Apostle shall be brought low even as those [evildoers] who lived before them were
brought low after We had bestowed [on them] clear messages from on high. And [so,] for those who deny the truth there will be
shameful suffering in store on the Day when God will raise them all from the dead and will make them truly understand all that
they did [in life]: God will have taken [all of] it into account, even though they [themselves] may have forgotten it - for God is wit-
ness unto everything.
(2:226-229) Those who take an oath that they will not approach their wives shall have four months of grace; and if they go back [on
their oath] – behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace. But if they are resolved on divorce – behold, God is all-hearing,
all-knowing. And the divorced women shall undergo, without remarrying, a waiting-period of three monthly courses: for it is not
lawful for them to conceal what God may have created in their wombs, if they believe in God and the Last Day. And during this
period their husbands are fully entitled to take them back, if they desire reconciliation; but, in accordance with justice, the rights of
the wives [with regard to their husbands] are equal to the [husbands’] rights with regard to them, although men have precedence
over them [in this respect]. And God is almighty, wise. A divorce may be [revoked] twice, whereupon the marriage must either be
resumed in fairness or dissolved in a goodly manner.
(65:1) O prophet! When you [intend to] divorce women, divorce them with a view to the waiting-period appointed for them, and
reckon the period [carefully], and be conscious of God, your Sustainer. Do not expel them from their homes; and neither shall they
[be made to] leave unless they become openly guilty of immoral conduct. These, then, are the bounds set by God - and he who
transgresses the bounds set by God does indeed sin against himself: [for, O man, although] you know it not, after that [first breach]
God may well cause something new to come about.
(65:2-3) And so, when they are about to reach the end of their waiting-term, either retain them in a fair manner or part with them
in a fair manner. And let two persons of [known] probity from among your own community witness [what you have decided]; and
do yourselves bear true witness before God: thus are admonished all who believe in God and the Last Day. And unto everyone who
is conscious of God, He [always] grants a way out [of unhappiness], and provides for him in a manner beyond all expectation; and
for everyone who places his trust in God, He [alone] is enough. Verily, God always attains to His purpose: [and] indeed, unto
everything has God appointed it’s [term and] measure.
(65:4-5) Now as for such of your women as are beyond the age of monthly courses, as well as for such as do not have any
courses, their waiting-period - if you have any doubt [about it] - shall be three [calendar] months; and as for those who are with
child, the end of their waiting-term shall come when they deliver their burden. And for everyone who is conscious of God, He
makes it easy to obey His commandment: [for] all this is God’s commandment, which He has bestowed upon you from on high.
And unto everyone who is conscious of God will He pardon [some of] his bad deeds, and will grant him a vast reward.
(65:6-11) [Hence,] let the women [who are undergoing a waiting-period] live in the same manner as you live yourselves, in
accordance with your means; and do not harass them with a view to making their lives a misery. And if they happen to be with
child, spend freely on them until they deliver their burden; and if they nurse your offspring [after the divorce has become final],
give them their [due] recompense; and take counsel with one another in a fair manner [about the child’s future]. And if both of you
find it difficult [that the mother should nurse the child], let another woman nurse it on behalf of him [who has begotten it]. [In all
these respects,] let him who has ample means spend in accordance with his amplitude; and let him whose means of subsistence are
scanty spend in accordance with what God has given him: God does not burden any human being with more than He has given him
- [and it may well be that] God will grant, after hardship, ease. And how many a community has turned with disdain from the
commandment of its Sustainer and His apostles! - whereupon We called them all to account with an accounting severe, and caused
them to suffer with a suffering unnamable: and thus they had to taste the evil outcome of their own doing: for, [in this world,] the
end of their doings was ruin, [the while] God has readied for them [yet more] suffering severe [in the life to come]. Hence, remain
conscious of God, O you who are endowed with insight - [you] who have attained to faith! God has indeed bestowed on you a
reminder from on high: [He has sent] an apostle who conveys unto you God’s clear messages, so that He might lead those who have
attained to faith and do righteous deeds out of the depths of darkness into the light. And whoever believes in God and does what is
right and just, him will He admit into gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time:
indeed, a most goodly provision will God have granted him
(33:49) O you who have attained to faith! If you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them, you
have no reason to expect, and to calculate, any waiting period on their part: hence, make [at once] provision for them, and release
them in a becoming manner.
(2:229) And it is not lawful for you to take back anything of what you have ever given to your wives unless both [partners] have
cause to fear that they may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God: hence, if you have cause to fear that the two may not
be able to keep within the bounds set by God, there shall be no sin upon either of them for what the wife may give up [to her
husband] in order to free herself. These are the bounds set by God; do not, then, transgress them: for they who transgress the
bounds set by God – it is they, they who are evildoers!
(2:230) And if he divorces her [finally], she shall thereafter not be lawful unto him unless she first takes another man for husband;
then, if the latter divorces her, there shall be no sin upon either of the two if they return to one another - provided that both of them
think that they will be able to keep within the bounds set by God: for these are the bounds of God which He makes clear unto
people of [innate] knowledge.
(2:231) And so, when you divorce women and they are about to reach the end of their waiting-term, then either retain them in a fair
manner or let them go in a fair manner. But do not retain them against their will in order to hurt [them]: for he who does so sins
indeed against himself. And do not take [these] messages of God in a frivolous spirit; and remember the blessings with which God
has graced you, and all the revelation and the wisdom which He has bestowed on you from on high in order to admonish you
thereby; and remain conscious of God, and know that God has full knowledge of everything.

(2:232) And when you divorce women, and they have come to the end of their waiting-term, hinder them not from marrying other
men if they have agreed with each other in a fair manner. This is an admonition unto every one of you who believes in God and the
Last Day; it is the most virtuous [way] for you, and the cleanest. And God knows, whereas you do not know.
(2:233) And the [divorced] mothers may nurse their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the period of nursing;
and it is incumbent upon him who has begotten the child to provide in a fair manner for their sustenance and clothing. No human
being shall be burdened with more than he is well able to bear: neither shall a mother be made to suffer because of her child, nor,
because of his child, he who has begotten it. And the same duty rests upon the [father’s] heir. And if both [parents] decide, by
mutual consent and counsel, upon separation [of mother and child], They will incur no sin [thereby]; and if you decide to entrust
your children to foster-mothers, you will incur no sin provided you ensure, in a fair manner, the safety of the child which you are
handing over. But remain conscious of God, and know that God sees all that you do.
(2:234-235) And if any of you die and leave wives behind, they shall undergo, without remarrying, a waiting-period of four months
and ten days; whereupon, when they have reached the end of their waiting-term, there shall be no sin in whatever they may do with
their persons in a lawful manner. And God is aware of all that you do. But you will incur no sin if you give a hint of [an intended]
marriage-offer to [any of] these women, or if you conceive such an intention without making it obvious: [for] God knows that you
intend to ask them in marriage. Do not, however, plight your troth with them in secret, but speak only in a decent manner; and do
not proceed with tying the marriage-knot before the ordained [term of waiting] has come to its end. And know that God knows
what is in your minds, and therefore remain conscious of Him; and know too, that God is much-forgiving, forbearing.

(2:236-237) You will incur no sin if you divorce women while you have not yet touched them nor settled a dower upon them; but
[even in such a case] make provision for them - the affluent according to his means, and the straitened according to his means - a
provision in an equitable manner: this is a duty upon all who would do good. And if you divorce them before having touched them,
but after having settled a dower upon them, then [give them] half of what you have settled - unless it be that they forego their claim
or he [the husband] in whose hand is the marriage-tie foregoes his claim [to half of the dower]: and to forgo what is due to you is
more in accord with God-consciousness. And forget not [that you are to act with] grace towards one another: verily, God sees all
that you do.
(2:241-242) And the divorced women, too, shall have [a right to] maintenance in a goodly manner: this is a duty for all who are
conscious of God. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages, so that you might [learn to] use your reason.