;
Disciplining Those Who like that Illegal Sexual Intercourse should be circulated among the Believers

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:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَن تَشِيعَ ٱلۡفَـٰحِشَةُ فِى ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬

(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,

﴿ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬ فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا

(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.

﴿ وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ وَأَنتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ

(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:

« لَا تُؤْذُوا عِبَادَ اللهِ وَلَا تُعَيِّرُوهُمْ، وَلَا تَطْلُبُوا عَوْرَاتِهِمْ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ طَلَبَ عَوْرَةَ أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ طَلَبَ اللهُ عَوْرَتَهُ، حَتَّى يَفْضَحَهُ فِي بَيْتِهِ »

(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.)

﴿ وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ وَرَحۡمَتُهُ ۥ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَءُوفٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَٲتِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ‌ۚ وَمَن يَتَّبِعۡ خُطُوَٲتِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ فَإِنَّهُ ۥ يَأۡمُرُ بِٱلۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَٱلۡمُنكَرِ‌ۚ وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَرَحۡمَتُهُ ۥ مَا زَكَىٰ مِنكُم مِّنۡ أَحَدٍ أَبَدً۬ا وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُزَكِّى مَن يَشَآءُ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ۬

(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.)

A Reminder of the Grace of Allah and a Warning against following the Footsteps of Shaytan

Allah says:

﴿ وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ وَرَحۡمَتُهُ ۥ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَءُوفٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

(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:

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَٲتِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ‌ۚ

(O you who believe! Follow not the Khutuwat of Shaytan.) hmeaning, his ways and paths and what he commands,

﴿ وَمَن يَتَّبِعۡ خُطُوَٲتِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ فَإِنَّهُ ۥ يَأۡمُرُ بِٱلۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَٱلۡمُنكَرِ‌ۚ

(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

﴿ خُطُوَٲتِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ

(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:

﴿ وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَرَحۡمَتُهُ ۥ مَا زَكَىٰ مِنكُم مِّنۡ أَحَدٍ أَبَدً۬ا

(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.

﴿ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُزَكِّى مَن يَشَآءُ‌ۗ

(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.

﴿ وَٱللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ

(and Allah is All-Hearer,) means, He hears what His servants say,

﴿ عَلِيمٌ۬

(All-Knower.) of who deserves to be guided and who deserves to be misguided.

﴿ وَلَا يَأۡتَلِ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡفَضۡلِ مِنكُمۡ وَٱلسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤۡتُوٓاْ أُوْلِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَـٰكِينَ وَٱلۡمُهَـٰجِرِينَ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ وَلۡيَعۡفُواْ وَلۡيَصۡفَحُوٓاْ‌ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغۡفِرَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ

(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.)

Urging Those Who have been blessed with Wealth to give and to be tolerant

Allah says,

﴿ وَلَا يَأۡتَلِ

(And let not swear) meaning, make an oath,

﴿ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡفَضۡلِ مِنكُمۡ

(those among you who are blessed with graces) means, those who have the means to give charity and do good,

﴿ وَٱلسَّعَةِ

(and wealth) means, good fortune,

﴿ أَن يُؤۡتُوٓاْ أُوْلِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَـٰكِينَ وَٱلۡمُهَـٰجِرِينَ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ

(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,

﴿ وَلۡيَعۡفُواْ وَلۡيَصۡفَحُوٓاْ‌ۗ

(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:

﴿ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغۡفِرَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ‌ۗ

(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.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَرۡمُونَ ٱلۡمُحۡصَنَـٰتِ ٱلۡغَـٰفِلَـٰتِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَـٰتِ لُعِنُواْ فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأَخِرَةِ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ۬ يَوۡمَ تَشۡہَدُ عَلَيۡہِمۡ أَلۡسِنَتُهُمۡ وَأَيۡدِيہِمۡ وَأَرۡجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ يُوَفِّيہِمُ ٱللَّهُ دِينَهُمُ ٱلۡحَقَّ وَيَعۡلَمُونَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ ٱلۡمُبِينُ

(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.)

A Threat to Those who accuse Chaste Women, Who never even think of anything touching their Chastity and are Good Believers

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.

﴿ لُعِنُواْ فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأَخِرَةِ

(are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter,) This is like the Ayah:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡذُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ

(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:

« اجْتَنِبُوا السَّبْعَ الْمُوبِقَاتِ »

(Shun the seven destructive sins.) He was asked, "What are they, O Messenger of Allah'' He said:

« الشِّرْكُ بِاللهِ، وَالسِّحْرُ، وَقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ، وَأَكْلُ الرِّبَا، وَأَكْلُ مَالِ الْيَتِيمِ، وَالتَّوَلِّي يَوْمَ الزَّحْفِ، وَقَذْفُ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ »

(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.

﴿ يَوۡمَ تَشۡہَدُ عَلَيۡہِمۡ أَلۡسِنَتُهُمۡ وَأَيۡدِيہِمۡ وَأَرۡجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ

(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:

« أَتَدْرُونَ مِمَّ أَضْحَكُ؟ »

(Do you know why I am smiling) We said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said,

« مِنْ مُجَادَلَةِ الْعَبْدِ لِرَبِّهِ يَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ أَلَمْ تُجِرْنِي مِنَ الظُّلْمِ؟ فَيَقُولُ: بَلَى، فَيَقُولُ: لَا أُجِيزُ عَلَيَّ شَاهِدًا إِلَّا مِنْ نَفْسِي، فَيَقُولُ: كَفَى بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ شَهِيدًا وَبِالْكِرَامِ عَلَيْكَ شُهُودًا، فَيُخْتَمُ عَلَى فِيهِ وَيُقَالُ لِأَرْكَانِهِ: انْطِقِي فَتَنْطِقَ بِعَمَلِهِ، ثُمَّ يُخَلَّى بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْكَلَامِ فَيَقُولُ: بُعْدًا لَكُنَّ وَسُحْقًا فَعَنْكُنَّ كُنْتُ أُنَاضِلُ »

(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.

﴿ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ يُوَفِّيہِمُ ٱللَّهُ دِينَهُمُ ٱلۡحَقَّ

(On that Day Allah will pay Dinahum,) Ibn `Abbas said,

﴿ دِينَهُمُ

(Dinahum) "Meaning `their account.' Every time Dinahum appears in the Qur'an it means `their account.''' This was also the view of other scholars.

﴿ وَيَعۡلَمُونَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ ٱلۡمُبِينُ

(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.

﴿ ٱلۡخَبِيثَـٰتُ لِلۡخَبِيثِينَ وَٱلۡخَبِيثُونَ لِلۡخَبِيثَـٰتِ‌ۖ وَٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَٱلطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ‌ۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ‌ۖ لَهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٌ۬ وَرِزۡقٌ۬ ڪَرِيمٌ۬

(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.)

The Goodness of `A'ishah because She is married to the best of Mankind

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:

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ‌ۖ

(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:

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ‌ۖ

(such are innocent of (every) bad statement which they say;) meaning, they are remote from what the people of slander and enmity say.

﴿ لَهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٌ۬

(for them is forgiveness,) means, because of the lies that were told about them,

﴿ وَرِزۡقٌ۬ ڪَرِيمٌ۬

(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.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَدۡخُلُواْ بُيُوتًا غَيۡرَ بُيُوتِڪُمۡ حَتَّىٰ تَسۡتَأۡنِسُواْ وَتُسَلِّمُواْ عَلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِهَا‌ۚ ذَٲلِكُمۡ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّكُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَكَّرُونَ فَإِن لَّمۡ تَجِدُواْ فِيهَآ أَحَدً۬ا فَلَا تَدۡخُلُوهَا حَتَّىٰ يُؤۡذَنَ لَكُمۡ‌ۖ وَإِن قِيلَ لَكُمُ ٱرۡجِعُواْ فَٱرۡجِعُواْ‌ۖ هُوَ أَزۡكَىٰ لَكُمۡ‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ۬ لَّيۡسَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَدۡخُلُواْ بُيُوتًا غَيۡرَ مَسۡكُونَةٍ۬ فِيہَا مَتَـٰعٌ۬ لَّكُمۡ‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ مَا تُبۡدُونَ وَمَا تَكۡتُمُونَ

(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.)