This is a third instance of discipline directed at those who hear evil talk, believe it to some extent, and start to spread it; they should not spread such talk or pass it on to others. Allah says:
(Verily, those who like that Fahshah should be circulated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment) meaning, those who like to see evil talk about them (the believers) appear,
(they will have a painful torment in this world) means, because of the prescribed punishment, and in the Hereafter because of the torment in Hell.
(And Allah knows and you know not.) means, return the matter to Him and you will be guided. Imam Ahmad recorded from Thawban that the Prophet said:
(Do not annoy the servants of Allah, nor abuse them, nor seek their hidden shortcomings. Whoever seeks out the faults of his Muslim brother, Allah will expose his faults and degrade him, even if he is hiding in his house.)
(20. And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, and that Allah is full of kindness, Most Merciful.) (21. O you who believe! Follow not the Khutuwat of Shaytan. And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytan, then, verily, he commands Al-Fahsha' and the evil deeds. And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.)
(And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, and that Allah is full of kindness, Most Merciful.) meaning, if it were not for this, it would have been another matter altogether, but He, may He be exalted, is full of kindness towards His servants and Merciful towards them. He accepts the repentance of those who repent to Him from this sin, and purifies those among them who are purified by the prescribed punishment carried out on them. Then Allah says:
(O you who believe! Follow not the Khutuwat of Shaytan.) hmeaning, his ways and paths and what he commands,
(And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytan, then, verily, he commands immorality and the evil deeds.) This is a warning given in the most concise and eloquent manner. `Ali bin Abi Talhah recorded from Ibn `Abbas that
(the Khutuwat of Shaytan) means his deeds. `Ikrimah said that it means his evil whispers. Qatadah said: "Every sin is one of the footsteps of Shaytan.'' Abu Mijlaz said: "Vowing to commit sin is one of the footsteps of Shaytan.'' Then Allah says:
(And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins.) meaning, if He did not help whomever He wills to repent and come back to Him and be purified from Shirk, evil and sin, and whatever bad characteristics each person has according to his nature, no one would ever attain purity and goodness.
(But Allah purifies whom He wills) means, among His creation, and He sends astray whomever He wills, leaving him to be doomed in his misguidance and sin.
(and Allah is All-Hearer,) means, He hears what His servants say,
(All-Knower.) of who deserves to be guided and who deserves to be misguided.
(22. And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give to their kinsmen, the poor, and those who left their homes for Allah's cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)
(And let not swear) meaning, make an oath,
(those among you who are blessed with graces) means, those who have the means to give charity and do good,
(and wealth) means, good fortune,
(to give to their kinsmen, the poor, and those who left their homes for Allah's cause.) means, do not swear that you will not uphold the ties of kinship with your relatives who are needy or who migrated for the sake of Allah, which is the ultimate act of kindness in the area of upholding kinship ties. Allah says,
(Let them pardon and forgive.) past insults and bad treatment. This is part of the patience, generosity and kindness of Allah towards His creation, despite the fact that they wrong themselves. This Ayah was revealed concerning As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) when he swore that he would not help Mistah bin Uthathah after he said what he said about `A'ishah, as we have already seen in the Hadith. When Allah revealed the innocence of the Mother of the believers, `A'ishah, and the believers were happy and content with the outcome of this incident, and those believers who had talked about the matter repented, and the prescribed punishment had been carried out upon those on whom it was carried out, then Allah started to soften the heart of As-Siddiq towards his relative Mistah bin Uthathah. Mistah was the cousin of As-Siddiq, the son of his maternal aunt, and he was a poor man with no wealth except whatever Abu Bakr spent on him. He was one of those who had migrated for the sake of Allah. He had invented the lies and the slander, but then Allah accepted his repentance from that and the prescribed punishment was carried out on him. As-Siddiq was known for his generosity and he did favors to his relatives and strangers alike. When this Ayah was revealed:
(Do you not love that Allah should forgive you), which shows that the reward fits the action, and that `if you forgive others, you will be forgiven,' then As-Siddiq said, "Of course, by Allah, we love -- O our Lord -- that You should forgive us.'' Then he resumed his spending on Mistah and said, "By Allah I will never stop spending on him.'' This was to counteract what he had said previously, "By Allah I will never spend on him.'' This proves that he deserved to be called As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him and his daughter.
(23. Verily, those who accuse chaste believing women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers -- are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter, and for them will be a great torment.) (24. On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their legs will bear witness against them as to what they used to do.) (25. On that Day Allah will pay them the recompense of their deeds in full, and they will know that Allah, He is the Manifest Truth.)
This is a warning and threat from Allah to those who accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything effecting their chastity since they are good believers. The Mothers of the believers are more entitled to be included in this category than any other chaste woman, especially the one who was the reason for this Ayah being revealed: `A'ishah bint As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with them) both. All of the scholars agree that whoever slanders her or makes accusations against after what has been said in this Ayah, is a disbeliever, because of his being obstinate with the Qur'an. The same ruling applies to all of the Mothers of the believers.
(are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter,) This is like the Ayah:
(Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger,) (33:57) `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "This is about `A'ishah, and whoever does anything similar nowadays to Muslim women, the same applies to him, but `A'ishah is the one who is primarily referred to here.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Shun the seven destructive sins.) He was asked, "What are they, O Messenger of Allah'' He said:
(Associating partners with Allah; magic; killing a soul whom Allah has forbidden to be killed, except with just cause; consuming Riba; consuming the property of orphans; desertion at the time of war; and accusing chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers.) This was recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim in the Two Sahihs.
(On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their legs will bear witness against them as to what they used to do.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "This refers to the idolaters when they realize that no one will enter Paradise except the people who used to perform Salah. They will say, `Come, let us deny (everything).' So they will deny (everything), then their mouths will be sealed and their hands and feet will testify against them, and they will not be able to hide anything from Allah.'' Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "We were with the Prophet and he smiled so broadly that his back teeth could be seen, then he said:
(Do you know why I am smiling) We said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said,
(Because of the way a person will dispute with his Lord. He will say, "O Lord, did you not protect me from doing wrong'' Allah will say, "Of course,'' The person will say, "I will not accept for anyone to give testimony concerning me except myself.'' Allah will say, "You are sufficient as a witness against yourself.'' Then a seal will be put upon his mouth and it will be said to his faculties, "Speak.'' So they will speak about his deeds. Then he will be permitted to speak, and he will say, "Away with you! I was only speaking in your defense!'') This was recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa'i.
(On that Day Allah will pay Dinahum,) Ibn `Abbas said,
(Dinahum) "Meaning `their account.' Every time Dinahum appears in the Qur'an it means `their account.''' This was also the view of other scholars.
(and they will know that Allah, He is the Manifest Truth.) means, His promise, His threat and His reckoning are all just and there is no unfairness in them.
(26. Bad statements are for bad people and bad people for bad statements. Good statements are for good people and good people for good statements: such are innocent of (every) bad statement which they say; for them is forgiveness, and honored provision.)
Ibn `Abbas said, "Evil words are for evil men, and evil men are for evil words; good words are for good men and good men are for good words. This was revealed concerning `A'ishah and the people of the slander.'' This was also narrated from Mujahid, `Ata', Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan bin Abu Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Habib bin Abi Thabit and Ad-Dahhak, and it was also the view favored by Ibn Jarir. He interpreted it to mean that evil speech is more suited to evil people, and good speech is more suited to good people. What the hypocrites attributed to `A'ishah was more suited to them, and she was most suited to innocence and having nothing to do with them. Allah said:
(such (good people) are innocent of (every) bad statement which they say;) `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "Evil women are for evil men and evil men are for evil women, and good women are for good men and good men are for good women.'' This also necessarily refers back to what they said, i.e., Allah would not have made `A'ishah the wife of His Messenger unless she had been good, because he is the best of the best of mankind. If she had been evil, she would not have been a suitable partner either according to His Laws or His decree. Allah said:
(such are innocent of (every) bad statement which they say;) meaning, they are remote from what the people of slander and enmity say.
(for them is forgiveness,) means, because of the lies that were told about them,
(and honored provision.) meaning, with Allah in the Gardens of Delight. This implies a promise that she will be the wife of the Messenger of Allah in Paradise.
(27. O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them; that is better for you, in order that you may remember.) (28. And if you find no one therein, still enter not until permission has been given. And if you are asked to go back, go back, for it is purer for you. And Allah is All-Knower of what you do.) (29. There is no sin on you that you enter houses uninhabited, you have any interest in them. And Allah has knowledge of what you reveal and what you conceal.)