Surah An Nur Ayat 32 In Arabic
وَأَنْكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنْكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ ۚ إِنْ يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿32﴾
Surah An Nur Ayat 32 Transliteration
Wa ankihul ayaamaa minkum was saaliheena min ‘ibaadikum wa imaa’ikum; iny-yakoonoo fuqaraaa’a yughni himul laahu min fadlih; wal laahu Waasi’un ‘Aleem
Surah An Nur Ayat 32 Translation
And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maid-servants. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means, Aware.
[From Holy Quran Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall ]
Surah An Nur Ayat 32 Explanation
Some injunctions regarding marriage
It has been pointed out earlier that Surah an-Nur contains mostly the injunctions relating to protection of chastity and continence, and prevention of obscenity and shamelessness. In this connection severe punishments against adultery and related matters are mentioned, then istidhan is highlighted, and after that hijab for women is described. Since Islamic jurisprudence is based on the precept of moderation, all its injunctions are moderate, and have affinity with natural human emotions and desires. It is also based on the principle to control the tendency of excessiveness and transgression. When it is enjoined to desist strictly from unlawful lust, it is equally important to provide a lawful access for the natural human emotions and desires. At the same time it is also needed both from a rational and religious point of view that men and women are shown a way for the lawful copulation for the preservation of human race. In the terminology of Qur’an and Sunnah it is called nikah (marriage). In the verse under consideration the guardians of unmarried girls and the owners of slave girls and boys are enjoined to marry them off.
وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنكُمْ
And arrange the marriage of the spouse-less among you – 24:32.
Ayama (أَيَامَىٰ ) is the plural of Aym (اَيم)which is used for all those men and women who are not married, irrespective of the situation whether they have not yet been married or were married earlier and have become divorcee or widow /widower. The guardians of such men and women are directed in this verse to arrange their marriage.
Scholars and jurists are unanimous on the point that according to the manner of address of this verse the preferable and masnun way of marriage is that men and women have it arranged through their guardians, rather than arranging it directly. There are many a worldly and religious benefits in this tradition, especially in the case of girls it is a sort of indecency that they arrange their own marriages. Also, there is a risk that this system may open the doors for obscenity. Therefore, in some narrations of hadith women are prohibited to contract their own marriages without the mediation of guardians. Imam Abu Hanifah (رح) and some other Imams have ruled that this instruction describes a sunnah and the preferred way for the contract of marriage. But if an adult girl marries someone within her own kuf without her guardian’s permission, it is a proper marriage, although she would be reprehensible for this act, because it is against the sunnah, unless she has done so under unavoidable circumstances.
Imam Shafi` i (رح) and some other Imams have ruled that her marriage will be null and void if carried out without her guardian’s mediation. It is not the intention to describe and argue here the details of approach and arguments put forward by the two jurists on their different points of view, but this much is obvious from the verse under discussion that it is preferable to have guardian’s mediation in the matter of marriage. But the Qur’anic verse itself is silent on the issue of status of marriage, if solemnized without the consent of guardians. The other reason is that in the word Ayama (أَيَامَى) both male and female adults are included, and there is consensus that the marriage of adult boys is perfectly valid if solemnized without the mediation of guardians. No one considers that marriage to be null and void. But this is true that in either case it is against the sunnah, for which both should be reproached.
The status of marriage in Shari’ah
Jurists are almost all unanimous that whoever has a strong apprehension that in case he does not marry, he would not be able to maintain the prescribed limits of Shari’ ah and will get involved in sins, and he has the means to get married, it is obligatory on him to get married. As long as he does not get married, he will remain a sinner. But in case he does not have the means to get married, or a suitable woman is not available, or he does not possess the needed prompt dower etc., for all such situations the injunction is given in the next verse that he should keep striving to obtain what is required and until such time that the needful is arranged, he should keep his emotions under control and wait with patience. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has advised such persons in this situation to fast continuously, for fasting calms down the sexual desire.
It is reported in Masnad of Ahmad that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) enquired from Sayyidna ` Akkaf whether he had a wife, to which he replied in the negative. Then the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) enquired whether he had a lawful slave girl. He again replied in the negative. Then he asked ` Do you have the means?’ To this he replied in the affirmative. The purpose of this enquiry was to find out whether he possessed the means to arrange his marriage, to which he answered in the positive. After that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said ` In that case you are a brother of Shaitan, for our sunnah is to get married. The worst persons among you are those who are unmarried, and the most mean among your men are those who die without marrying’. (Mazhari).
Majority of the jurists have attributed this narration as well to that condition when there is a predominant risk of sinning by abstaining from marriage. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) must have known the situation of ` Akkaf that he would not be able to resist. Similarly, it is reported in Masnad of Ahmad on the authority of Sayyidna ‘Anas (رض) that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had instructed him to get married, and warned against remaining bachelor. (Mazhari). There are some other similar narrations of the hadith as well, and majority of the jurists have held them to be applicable only in those situations where there is a strong apprehension of being involved in a sin if one avoids marriage. Similarly, jurists are almost all unanimous that if someone has strong notion that he would indulge in sin by marrying a woman, for instance he is not capable of meeting conjugal rights of the wife or will get involved for sure in some other sin, in such a situation marriage is prohibited or unbecoming for him.
Now the case of that person has to be looked at who is in an even position. For him neither the risk of sin is very strong by abstaining from marriage, nor there is a strong risk of sin if the marriage is performed. For this situation there are different views of the jurists, that is, which act is better; to get married or abstaining from marriage and get involved in extra prayers. Imam Abu Hanifah (رح) has ruled that getting married is better than offering extra prayers, while Imam Shafi` i (رح) has recommended that getting involved in prayers is preferable. The reason for the different views is that by itself the marriage is a lawful act, just like eating, drinking sleeping etc. or as any other necessity of life is lawful, and the element of worship is included in marriage for the simple reason that one can save himself from sin by this act, and when the righteous children are born, it will add up to his reward. When one performs any lawful act with the intent of pleasing Allah Ta’ ala, it becomes an indirect worship for him. Eating, drinking, sleeping etc. all become indirect worship when carried out with this intention.
Since occupation in prayers is a direct worship in itself, hence, Imam Shafi` i (رح) regards prayers to be preferable to marriage. But in the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah (رح) the element of worship is greater in marriage than other lawful acts. In many Sahih ahadith it is emphasized repeatedly to follow this tradition of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . In the light of all these ahadith it becomes evident that marriage is not just lawful like other lawful acts, but is a sunnah (practice) of the messengers, and has also been emphasized repeatedly in hadith. It is a worship not only from the viewpoint of intention but also being a tradition of the messengers. If someone suggests that by the same token eating, drinking and sleeping should also be regarded as sunnah, because all messengers used to perform them. The answer to this is very clear that despite these acts being performed by all messengers, no one has said or narrated in any hadith that eating, drinking and sleeping are sunnah of the messengers. Instead these acts are regarded as common human habits, which were observed by messengers as well. As against this, marriage is clearly declared as sunnah of the messengers and the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself.
Tafsir Mazhari has given a moderate view on the subject that, if someone is on an even position, that is neither he is helpless or overcome by prevalence of lust, nor feels the risk of indulging in sin by abstaining from marriage, and thinks that if he gets married, his involvement in household would not be a hindrance in his worships and remembrance of Allah Ta’ ala, then it is preferable for him to get married. This was exactly the case of the messengers of Allah and the righteous people of the Ummah. But if he has a hunch that his marriage and involvement in household will not let him promote his religious status and will hinder Allah’s remembrance, then for him abstaining from marriage for performing worship would be preferable, provided he is in an even position, described above. Many a Qur’anic verses are in support of this position, one of them being: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِاللَّـهِ believers, let not your possessions nor your children divert you from Allah’s remembrance – 63:9).This verse advises that the wealth and children should not come in the way of remembering Allah Ta’ ala.
وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ
And the capable from among your bond-men and bond-girls – 24:32.
This sentence is addressed to the masters of the slaves. Here the word salihin is used in its literal meaning, that is whoever among them has the means and capacity of marrying; arrangement of his/her marriage is made incumbent upon their owners and masters. Here the word capacity is purported to have the means to fulfill the conjugal rights of wife and ability to make payment of maintenance and prompt dower. If the word salihin is taken in its common sense, that is good and pious people, then their exclusiveness from the rest will be on the basis that marriage is basically the means to keep away from the sins, a trait which only the good persons possess.
So, it is made incumbent upon the masters of the slaves and slave girls that those among them who have the ability to get married, their marriage should be arranged. It is purported to mean here that if they show their need and desire to get married, then according to some jurists it is binding on the owners to marry them off. But the majority of jurists have ruled that in such a situation it is incumbent upon the masters not to place any hindrance in their marriage and allow them to get married, because the marriage of slaves and slave girls cannot be performed without the permission of their owners. Thus, this injunction is similar in nature with another verse of the Holy Qur’an فَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ أَن يَنكِحْنَ أَزْوَاجَهُنَّ that is ` It is incumbent upon the guardians of women not to stop the women under their charge from marriage’. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has also said on the subject that ` If someone of that kind comes to you with the proposal and you like his morals, then surely may him off. If you do not do it then great mischief will be created on earth’. (Tirmidhi) The gist of this all is that the owners are instructed here not to make any delay in granting permission of marriage to their subjects, notwithstanding that arrangement of their marriage may not be their responsibility. (Allah knows best)
إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ
If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His grace – 24:32.
There is a good news in this verse for such poor Muslims who want to marry for the security of their religious obligation, but they have no means. If they marry with the good intention for the security of their religion and to follow the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، Allah Ta’ ala will grant them sufficient means. There is also an advice in the verse to those who might reject the proposal of marriage from poor people on the basis of their current condition. Wealth is something which does not always stay. The important thing is merit of a person. If they possess merit then their proposal for marriage should not be turned down.
Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) has said that Allah Ta’ ala has persuaded all Muslims for marriage in this verse, for which He has included every one, either free or slave, and has promised to enrich ti em if they marry. (Ibn Kathir). And Ibn Abi Hatim has reported that Sayyidna Abu Bakr (رض) while addressing the Muslims said that ` You follow the injunction of Allah Ta’ ala for marriage, and He will fulfill His promise for granting the riches’. Then he recited this verseإِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّـهُ (32) Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud (رض) has said ` If you want to be rich, then get married, because Allah Ta’ ala has said إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّـهُ (Ibn Kathir)
[From Ma’ariful Quran English by Mufti Taqi Uthmani]
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