Allah commands His believing servants to establish prayer, which means worshipping Allah Alone with no partner or associate; to pay the Zakah, which is an act of kindness towards His poor and weak creatures; and by doing so to obey the Messenger of Allah, i.e., to do as he commands them and to avoid what he forbids them, so that Allah will have mercy on them for that. No doubt, whoever does that, Allah will have mercy on him, as Allah says in another Ayah:
(Allah will have His mercy on them) (9:71)
(Consider not) means, `do not think, O Muhammad,' that:
(the disbelievers) meaning, those who opposed and denied you,
(can escape in the land.) means, that they can flee from Allah. No, Allah is able to deal with them and He will punish them most severely for that. Allah says:
(Their abode) meaning, in the Hereafter,
(shall be the Fire -- and worst indeed is that destination.) means, how terrible the consequences will be for the disbelievers, how evil a place to stay in and how awful a place to rest!
(58. O you who believe! Let your slaves and slave-girls, and those among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission on three occasions: before the Fajr prayer, and while you put off your clothes during the afternoon, and after the `Isha' prayer. (These) three (times) are of privacy for you; other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending to each other. Thus Allah makes clear the Ayat to you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.) (59. And when the children among you come to puberty, then let them (also) ask for permission, as those senior to them (in age) ask permission. Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat for you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.) (60. And the Qawa`id among women who do not hope for marriage, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain is better for them. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.)
These Ayat include a discussion of how people who are closely related should seek permission to enter upon one another. What was mentioned earlier in the Surah had to do with how unrelated people should seek permission to enter upon one another. Allah commanded the believers to ensure that their servants and their children who have not yet reached puberty should seek permission at three times: the first is before the Fajr prayer, because people are asleep in their beds at that time.
(and while you put off your clothes during the afternoon,) means, at the time of rest, because a man may be in a state of undress with his wife at that time.
(and after the `Isha' prayer.) because this is the time for sleep. Servants and children are commanded not to enter upon household members at these times, because it is feared that a man may be in an intimate situation with his wife and so on. Allah says:
((These) three (times) are of privacy for you; other than these times there is no sin on you or on them) If they enter at a time other than these, there is no sin on you if you let them enter, and no sin on them if they see something at a time other than these times. They have been given permission to enter suddenly, because they are those who go around in the house, i.e., to serve you etc., and as such they may be forgiven for things that others will not be forgiven. Although this Ayah is quite clear and has not been abrogated, people hardly follow it, and `Abdullah bin `Abbas denounced the people for that. Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Abbas said: "Most of the people do not follow it, the Ayah that speaks about asking permission, but I tell my servant woman to seek permission to enter.'' Abu Dawud said: `Ata' also narrated that Ibn `Abbas commanded this. Ath-Thawri narrated that Musa bin Abi `A'ishah said, "I asked Ash-Sha`bi (about the Ayah):
(Let your slaves and slave-girls ask your permission.) He said, `It has not been abrogated.' I said: `But the people do not do that.' He said, `May Allah help them.''' Then Allah says:
(And when the children among you come to puberty, then let them (also) ask for permission, as those senior to them (in age)) meaning: when the children who used to seek permission at the three times of privacy reach puberty, then they have to seek permission at all times, i.e., with regard to those who are non-relatives, and at times when a man may be in a state of intimacy with his wife, even if it is not one of the three times stated above.
(And the Qawa`id among women.) Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said that these are the women who no longer think that they can bear children,
(who do not hope for marriage,) meaning, they no longer have any desire for marriage,
(it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment.) meaning, they do not have to cover themselves in the same way that other women have to. Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah:
(And tell the believing women to lower their gaze) (24:31) was abrogated and an exception was made in the case of:
(the past childbearing among women who do not hope for marriage, .)
(it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing) Ibn Mas`ud said about (outer) clothing…"The Jilbab or Rida'.'' A similar view was also narrated from Ibn `Abbas, Ibn `Umar, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Ash-Sha`tha', Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Az-Zuhri, Al-`Awza`i and others.
(in such a way as not to show their adornment.) Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "They should not make a wanton display of themselves by removing their outer garment so that their adornment may be seen.''
(But to refrain is better for them.) means, not removing their outer garment, even though that is permissible for them, is better for them.
(And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.)
(61. There is no restriction on the blind, nor any restriction on the lame, nor any restriction on the sick, nor on yourselves, if you eat from your houses, or the houses of your fathers, or the houses of your mothers, or the houses of your brothers, or the houses of your sisters, or the houses of your father's brothers, or the houses of your father's sisters, or the houses of your mother's brothers, or the houses of your mother's sisters, or (from that) whereof you hold keys, or (from the house) of a friend. No sin on you whether you eat together or apart. But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allah, blessed and good. Thus Allah makes clear the Ayat to you that you may understand.)