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`Iddah of Pregnant Women

Allah's statement,

﴿ وَأُوْلَـٰتُ ٱلۡأَحۡمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعۡنَ حَمۡلَهُنَّ‌ۚ

(And for those who are pregnant, their `Iddah is until they lay down their burden;) Allah says: the pregnant woman's `Iddah ends when she gives birth, whether in the case of divorce or death of the husband, according to the agreement of the majority of scholars of the Salaf and later generations. This is based upon this honorable Ayah and what is mentioned in the Prophetic Sunnah. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Salamah said, "A man came to Ibn `Abbas while Abu Hurayrah was sitting with him and said, `Give me your verdict regarding a lady who delivered a baby forty days after the death of her husband.' Ibn `Abbas said,` (Her `Iddah period lasts until) the end of the longest among the two prescribed periods.' I recited,

﴿ وَأُوْلَـٰتُ ٱلۡأَحۡمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعۡنَ حَمۡلَهُنَّ‌ۚ

(For those who are pregnant, their prescribed period is until they deliver their burdens;) Abu Hurayrah said, `I agree with my cousin (Abu Salamah).' Then Ibn `Abbas sent his slave Kurayb to Umm Salamah to ask her. She replied, `The husband of Subay`ah Al-Aslamiyyah was killed while she was pregnant, and she delivered a baby forty days after his death. Then she received a marriage proposal and Allah's Messenger married her to somebody. Abu As-Sanabil was one of those who proposed to her.'' Al-Bukhari collected this short form of the Hadith, which Muslim and other scholars of Hadith collected using its longer form. Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miswar bin Makhramah said, "Subay`ah Al-Aslamiyyah gave birth to a child a few days after the death of her husband. When she finished the post delivery term, she was proposed to. So she sought the permission of Allah's Messenger for the marriage, and he permitted her to marry, so she got married.'' Al-Bukhari collected this narration, as did Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah with a different chain of narration from the Hadith of Subay`ah. Muslim bin Al-Hajjaj recorded that `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Utbah said that his father wrote to `Umar bin `Abdullah bin Al-Arqam Az-Zuhri, requesting that he go to Subay`ah bint Al-Harith Al-Aslamiyyah to ask her about the matter in question, and about what Allah's Messenger said to her when she sought his verdict. `Umar bin `Abdullah wrote to `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Utbah informing him that Subay`ah told him that she had been married to Sa`d bin Khawlah, and he was one of those who participated in the battle of Badr. He died during the Farewell Pilgrimage, while she was pregnant. Soon after his death, she gave birth. When she passed the postnatal term, she beautified herself for those who might propose to her. Abu As-Sanabil bin Ba`kak came to her and said, `Why do I see you have beautified yourself Do you wish to remarry By Allah, you cannot marry unless four months and ten days have passed.'' Subay`ah said, "When he said that, I dressed myself in the evening and went to Allah's Messenger and asked him about his verdict. He gave me a religious verdict that I was allowed to marry after I had given birth to my child, saying I could marry if I wish.'' This is the narration that Muslim collected. Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith in a shorter form. Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجۡعَل لَّهُ ۥ مِنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦ يُسۡرً۬ا

(and whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make his matter easy for him.) means, Allah will make his matters lenient for him and will soon bring forth relief and a quick way out,

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ أَمۡرُ ٱللَّهِ أَنزَلَهُ ۥۤ إِلَيۡكُمۡ‌ۚ

(That is the command of Allah, which He has sent down to you;) meaning, this is His commandment and legislation that He sent down to you through His Messenger,

﴿ وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يُكَفِّرۡ عَنۡهُ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِۦ وَيُعۡظِمۡ لَهُ ۥۤ أَجۡرًا

(and whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will expiate from him his sins, and will increase his reward.) means, Allah will prevent what he fears and multiply his reward even for the little good he does.

﴿ أَسۡكِنُوهُنَّ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ سَكَنتُم مِّن وُجۡدِكُمۡ وَلَا تُضَآرُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُواْ عَلَيۡہِنَّ‌ۚ وَإِن كُنَّ أُوْلَـٰتِ حَمۡلٍ۬ فَأَنفِقُواْ عَلَيۡہِنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَضَعۡنَ حَمۡلَهُنَّ‌ۚ فَإِنۡ أَرۡضَعۡنَ لَكُمۡ فَـَٔاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ‌ۖ وَأۡتَمِرُواْ بَيۡنَكُم بِمَعۡرُوفٍ۬‌ۖ وَإِن تَعَاسَرۡتُمۡ فَسَتُرۡضِعُ لَهُ ۥۤ أُخۡرَىٰ لِيُنفِقۡ ذُو سَعَةٍ۬ مِّن سَعَتِهِۦ‌ۖ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيۡهِ رِزۡقُهُ ۥ فَلۡيُنفِقۡ مِمَّآ ءَاتَٮٰهُ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا مَآ ءَاتَٮٰهَا‌ۚ سَيَجۡعَلُ ٱللَّهُ بَعۡدَ عُسۡرٍ۬ يُسۡرً۬ا

(6. Lodge them where you dwell, according to what you have, and do not harm them so as to suppress them. And if they are pregnant, then spend on them till they lay down their burden. Then if they suckle the children for you, give them their due payment, and let each of you deal with each other in a mannerly way. But if you make difficulties for one another, then some other woman may suckle for him.) (7. Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease.)

The Divorced Woman has the Right to Decent Accommodations, and what is Reasonable

Allah the Exalted orders His faithful servants that when one of them divorces his wife, he should provide housing for her until the end of her `Iddah period,

﴿ أَسۡكِنُوهُنَّ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ سَكَنتُم

(Lodge them where you dwell,) means, with you,

﴿ مِّن وُجۡدِكُمۡ

(according to what you have,) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and several others said, it refers to "Your ability.'' Qatadah said, "If you can only afford to accommodate her in a corner of your house, then do so.''

Forbidding Ill-Treatment of Divorced Women

Allah's statement,

﴿ وَلَا تُضَآرُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُواْ عَلَيۡہِنَّ‌ۚ

(and do not harm them in order to suppress them.) Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "meaning, do not annoy her to force her to pay her way out nor expel her from your house.'' Ath-Thawri said from Mansur, from Abu Ad-Duha:

﴿ وَلَا تُضَآرُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُواْ عَلَيۡہِنَّ‌ۚ

(and do not harm them in order to suppress them) "He divorces her, and when a few days remain, he takes her back.''

The Irrevocable Divorced Pregnant Woman has the Right of Support (Maintenance) from Her Husband until She gives Birth

Allah said,

﴿ وَإِن كُنَّ أُوْلَـٰتِ حَمۡلٍ۬ فَأَنفِقُواْ عَلَيۡہِنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَضَعۡنَ حَمۡلَهُنَّ‌ۚ

(And if they are pregnant, then spend on them till they lay down their burden.) This is about the woman who is irrevocably divorced. If she is pregnant, then she is to be spent on her until she lays down her burden. This is supported due to the fact that if she is revocably divorced, the she has then right to receive her support (maintenance) whether she is pregnant or not.

The Divorced Mother may take Compensation for suckling Her Child

Allah said,

﴿ فَإِنۡ أَرۡضَعۡنَ لَكُمۡ

(Then if they suckle them for you,) meaning, when pregnant women give birth and they are irrevocably divorced by the expiration of the `Iddah, then at that time they may either suckle the child or not. But that is only after she nourishes him with the milk, that is the early on milk which the infant's well-being depends upon. Then, if she suckles, she has the right to compensation for it. She is allowed to enter into a contract with the father or his representative in return for whatever payment they agree to. This is why Allah the Exalted said,

﴿ فَإِنۡ أَرۡضَعۡنَ لَكُمۡ فَـَٔاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ‌ۖ

(Then if they suckle the children for you, give them their due payment,) Allah said,

﴿ وَأۡتَمِرُواْ بَيۡنَكُم بِمَعۡرُوفٍ۬‌ۖ

(and let each of you deal with each other in a mannerly way.) meaning, the affairs of the divorced couple should be managed in a just way without causing harm to either one of them, just as Allah the Exalted said in Surat Al-Baqarah,

﴿ لَا تُضَآرَّ وَٲلِدَةُۢ بِوَلَدِهَا وَلَا مَوۡلُودٌ۬ لَّهُ ۥ بِوَلَدِهِۦ‌ۚ

(No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of child.) (2:233) Allah said,

﴿ وَإِن تَعَاسَرۡتُمۡ فَسَتُرۡضِعُ لَهُ ۥۤ أُخۡرَىٰ

(But if you make difficulties for one another, then some other woman may suckle for him.) meaning, if the divorced couple disagrees, because the woman asks for an unreasonable fee for suckling their child, and the father refuses to pay the amount or offers an unreasonable amount, he may find another woman to suckle his child. If the mother agrees to accept the amount that was to be paid to the woman who agreed to suckle the child, then she has more right to suckle her own child. Allah's statement,

﴿ لِيُنفِقۡ ذُو سَعَةٍ۬ مِّن سَعَتِهِۦ‌ۖ

(Let the rich man spend according to his means;) means, the wealthy father or his representative should spend on the child according to his means,

﴿ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيۡهِ رِزۡقُهُ ۥ فَلۡيُنفِقۡ مِمَّآ ءَاتَٮٰهُ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا مَآ ءَاتَٮٰهَا‌ۚ

(and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him.) This is as Allah said,

﴿ لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَا‌ۚ

(Allah does not burden a person beyond what he can bear.) (2:286)

A Story of a Woman who had Taqwa

Allah's statement;

﴿ سَيَجۡعَلُ ٱللَّهُ بَعۡدَ عُسۡرٍ۬ يُسۡرً۬ا

(Allah will grant after hardship, ease.) This is a sure promise from Him, and indeed, Allah's promises are true and He never breaks them, This is an Allah's saying;

﴿ فَإِنَّ مَعَ ٱلۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرًا إِنَّ مَعَ ٱلۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرً۬ا

(Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, along with every hardship is relief.) ﴿94:5-6 There is a relevant Hadith that we should mention here. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "A man and his wife from an earlier generation were poor. Once when the man came back from a journey, he went to his wife saying to her, while feeling hunger and fatigued, `Do you have anything to eat' She said, `Yes, receive the good news of Allah's provisions.' He again said to her, `If you have anything to eat, bring it to me.' She said, `Wait a little longer.' She was awaiting Allah's mercy. When the matter was prolonged, he said to her, `Get up and bring me whatever you have to eat, because I am real hungry and fatigued.' She said, `I will. Soon I will open the oven's cover, so do not be hasty.' When he was busy and refrained from insisting for a while, she said to herself, `I should look in my oven.' So she got up and looked in her oven and found it full of the meat of a lamb, and her mortar and pestle was full of seed grains; it was crushing the seeds on its own. So, she took out what was in the mortar and pestle, after shaking it to remove everything from inside, and also took the meat out that she found in the oven.'' Abu Hurayrah added, "By He in Whose Hand is the life of Abu Al-Qasim (Prophet Muhammad)! This is the same statement that Muhammad said,

« لَوْ أَخَذَتْ مَا فِي رَحْيَيْهَا وَلَمْ تَنْفُضْهَا (لَطَحَنَتْهَا) إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَة »

(Had she taken out what was in her mortar and not emptied it fully by shaking it, it would have continued crushing the seeds until the Day of Resurrection.)''

﴿ وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ عَتَتۡ عَنۡ أَمۡرِ رَبِّہَا وَرُسُلِهِۦ فَحَاسَبۡنَـٰهَا حِسَابً۬ا شَدِيدً۬ا وَعَذَّبۡنَـٰهَا عَذَابً۬ا نُّكۡرً۬ا فَذَاقَتۡ وَبَالَ أَمۡرِهَا وَكَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ أَمۡرِهَا خُسۡرًا أَعَدَّ ٱللَّهُ لَهُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا شَدِيدً۬ا‌ۖ فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ يَـٰٓأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ‌ۚ قَدۡ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَيۡكُمۡ ذِكۡرً۬ا رَّسُولاً۬ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬ لِّيُخۡرِجَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ مِنَ ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ‌ۚ وَمَن يُؤۡمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ وَيَعۡمَلۡ صَـٰلِحً۬ا يُدۡخِلۡهُ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡہَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيہَآ أَبَدً۬ا‌ۖ قَدۡ أَحۡسَنَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُ ۥ رِزۡقًا

(8. And many a town revolted against the command of its Lord and His Messengers; and We called it to a severe account, and We shall punish it with a horrible torment.) (9. So it tasted the evil result of its affair, and the consequence of its affair was loss.) (10. Allah has prepared for them a severe torment. So have Taqwa of Allah, O men of understanding, those who believe! Allah has indeed sent down to you a Reminder.) (11. A Messenger, who recites to you the Ayat of Allah containing clear explanations, that He may take out those who believe and do righteous good deeds, from the darkness to the light. And whosoever believes in Allah and performs righteous deeds, He will admit him into Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allah has indeed granted for him an excellent provision.)

Punishment for defying Allah's Commandments

Allah the Exalted threatens those who defy His commands, deny His Messengers and contradict His legislation, by informing them of the end that earlier nations met who did the same,

﴿ وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ عَتَتۡ عَنۡ أَمۡرِ رَبِّہَا وَرُسُلِهِۦ

(And many a town revolted against the command of its Lord and His Messengers;) meaning, they rebelled, rejected and arrogantly refused to obey Allah and they would not follow His Messengers,

﴿ فَحَاسَبۡنَـٰهَا حِسَابً۬ا شَدِيدً۬ا وَعَذَّبۡنَـٰهَا عَذَابً۬ا نُّكۡرً۬ا

(and We called it to a severe account, and We shall punish it with a horrible torment.) meaning, horrendous and terrifying,

﴿ فَذَاقَتۡ وَبَالَ أَمۡرِهَا

(So it tasted the evil result of its affair,) meaning, they tasted the evil consequences of defiance and they regretted their actions when regret does not avail,

﴿ وَكَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ أَمۡرِهَا خُسۡرًا أَعَدَّ ٱللَّهُ لَهُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا شَدِيدً۬ا‌ۖ

(and the consequence of its affair was loss. And Allah has prepared for them a severe torment.) means, in the Hereafter, added to the torment that was sent down on them in this life. Allah the Exalted said, after mentioning what happened to the disbelieving nations,

﴿ فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ يَـٰٓأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ

(So have Taqwa of Allah, O men of understanding,) meaning, `O you who have sound understanding, do not be like them because if you do, you will suffer what they suffered, O people of comprehension,'

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ‌ۚ

(who believe) meaning, in Allah and His Messengers,

﴿ قَدۡ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَيۡكُمۡ ذِكۡرً۬ا

(Allah has indeed sent down to you a Reminder.) meaning, this Qur'an. Allah also said,

﴿ إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَزَّلۡنَا ٱلذِّكۡرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ ۥ لَحَـٰفِظُونَ

(Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely, We will preserve it.) (15:9)

The Qualities of the Messenger

Allah's statement,

﴿ رَّسُولاً۬ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬

(A Messenger, who recites to you the Ayat of Allah containing clear explanations,) Some said that the Messenger is the subject of what is being sent (as a reminder) because the Messenger is the one that conveys the Dhikr. Ibn Jarir said that what is correct is that the Messenger explains the Dhikr. This is why Allah the Exalted said here,

﴿ رَّسُولاً۬ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬

(A Messenger, who recites to you the Ayat of Allah containing clear explanations,) meaning, plain and apparent. The statement of Allah;

﴿ لِّيُخۡرِجَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ مِنَ ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ‌ۚ

(that He may take out those who believe and do righteous good deeds, from the darkness to the light.) Allah's is like saying;

﴿ ڪِتَـٰبٌ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ إِلَيۡكَ لِتُخۡرِجَ ٱلنَّاسَ مِنَ ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ

(A Book which We have revealed unto you in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness) (14:1), and,

﴿ ٱللَّهُ وَلِىُّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ يُخۡرِجُهُم مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ‌ۖ

(Allah is the Guardian of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light.) (2:257) meaning, out of the darkness of disbelief and ignorance into the light of faith and knowledge. Allah the Exalted called the revelation that He has sent down, light, on account of the guidance that it brings. Allah also called it Ruh, in that, it brings life to the hearts,

﴿ وَكَذَٲلِكَ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ رُوحً۬ا مِّنۡ أَمۡرِنَا‌ۚ مَا كُنتَ تَدۡرِى مَا ٱلۡكِتَـٰبُ وَلَا ٱلۡإِيمَـٰنُ وَلَـٰكِن جَعَلۡنَـٰهُ نُورً۬ا نَّہۡدِى بِهِۦ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا‌ۚ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَہۡدِىٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬

(And thus We have sent to you Ruh of our command. You knew not what is the book, nor what is faith But We have made it a light wherewith we guide whosoever of Our servants We will. And verily, you are indeed guiding to the straight path.) (42:52) Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمَن يُؤۡمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ وَيَعۡمَلۡ صَـٰلِحً۬ا يُدۡخِلۡهُ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡہَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيہَآ أَبَدً۬ا‌ۖ قَدۡ أَحۡسَنَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُ ۥ رِزۡقًا

(And whosoever believes in Allah and performs righteous good deeds, He will admit him into Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allah has indeed granted for him an excellent provision.) was explained several times before, and therefore, we do not need to repeat its explanation here. All the thanks and praises are due to Allah.

﴿ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبۡعَ سَمَـٰوَٲتٍ۬ وَمِنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مِثۡلَهُنَّ يَتَنَزَّلُ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ بَيۡنَہُنَّ لِتَعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ۬ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَدۡ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عِلۡمَۢا

(12. It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof. His command descends between them, that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds all things with (His) knowledge.)

Allah's Perfect Power

Allah the Exalted asserts His perfect power and infinite greatness, so that the great religion that He has legislated is honored and implemented,

﴿ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبۡعَ سَمَـٰوَٲتٍ۬

(It is Allah Who has created seven heavens) Allah said in similar Ayat, like what Prophet Nuh said to his people,

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَوۡاْ كَيۡفَ خَلَقَ ٱللَّهُ سَبۡعَ سَمَـٰوَٲتٍ۬ طِبَاقً۬ا

(See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another) (71:15), and,

﴿ تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتُ ٱلسَّبۡعُ وَٱلۡأَرۡضُ وَمَن فِيہِنَّ‌ۚ

(The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him.) (17:44) Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مِثۡلَهُنَّ

(and of the earth the like thereof.) means, He created seven earths. In the Two Sahihs, there is a Hadith that states,

« مَنْ ظَلَمَ قِيدَ شِبْرٍ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ طُوِّقَهُ مِنْ سَبْعِ أَرَضِين »

(Whoever usurps the land of somebody unjustly, even if it was a mere hand span, then his neck will be encircled with it down to the seven earths.) And in Sahih Al-Bukhari the wording is:

« خُسِفَ بِهِ إِلَى سَبْعِ أَرَضِين »

(...he will sink down to the seven earths.) In the beginning of my book, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, I mentioned the various narrations for this Hadith when I narrated the story of the creation of the earth. All the thanks and praise is due to Allah. Those who explained this Hadith to mean the seven continents have brought an implausible explanation that contradicts the letter of the Qur'an and the Hadith without having proof. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat At-Talaq, all the thanks and praise is due to Allah.