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Interpretation of Sura Cow - Verse 228

228. " And the divorced women should wait (not wedding anyone else) concerning themselves for three (monthly) courses; and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and (in) the Last Day. And their husbands have a greater right (than others) to take them back in the meanwhile, if they wish for reconciliation (indeed) . And they (women) have rights similar to those against them in a fair manner, but men have precedence above them; and Allah is the Mighty, the Wise."

Commentary

In the previous verse the words were about divorce, and then, in this verse, a part of the ordinances of divorce and some of its concerning details are stated. There are five ordinances mentioned in it. At first, it speaks about ' waiting period ', saying: " And the divorced women should wait (not wedding anyone else) concerning themselves for three (monthly) courses; ..." The Qur'anic term /quru'/, mentioned in the above verse, is applied in the sense of the period of cleanliness of a woman. And, since the accomplishment of divorce should be performed at the time that the woman is clean and has not had sexual intercourse with her husband, this cleanliness is counted once, and when, afterward, she passes two menstruations and becomes clean, one after another, as soon as the third cleanliness finishes and at the moment that mestruation is seen, the waiting period has passed and, at that very status, her marriage is permissible.

The second ordinance is:

"...and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and in the Last Day. ..." It is noteworthy that the problem of the beginning and ending of the waiting period, that usually a woman understands herself rather than anyone else, has been trusted to the statement of the woman and it is accepted as a document. The third ordinance understood from the verse is that the husband can revoke during the waiting period of a revocable divorce. It says:

"...And their husbands have a greater right (than others) to take them back in the meanwhile, if they wish for reconciliation (indeed) . ... " In fact, when the woman is passing the waiting period of the revocable divorce, the husband can begin the conjugal relation again without any ceremonies. This meaning may happen with any word or action which is with the intention of revocation.

Then the verse pays to the fourth ordinance, stating:

"...And they (women) have rights similar to those against them in a fair manner, but men have precedence above them;..." Thus, as there are some rights for men upon the wives, there are also some rights for women upon husbands who are charged to observe them. Regarding to the clear difference between the physical and spiritual powers of woman and man, the administration of the family is up to man and its assistance has been given to the woman. This difference cannot be an obstacle that some women, from the point of spiritual offices, knowledge, and piety be in a higher degree than many of men. The Arabic term /ma'ruf/ which means a benevolent, logical and reasonable action, has been repeated 12 times in these verses to be counted as a warning against men and women in order that they do not abuse their rights, but, by respecting the mutual rights of each other, they should try to fix their conjugal relations and obtain the pleasure of Allah. Finally, at the conclusion of the verse, it says:

"... and Allah is the Mighty, the Wise." This concluding phrase of the verse points to the fact that the Wisdom and Prudence of Allah requires that in the society every person undertakes the very duties that the law of creation has assigned for the one and they are adapted to the structure of his body and spirit. The Wisdom of Allah also requires that similar to the duties that have been given over to women, there would be settled some certain rights for them, too, in order that there appears an equality and justice between duty and right.

The significance of this meaning, and the difference between the sexes and their responsibilities, will be explained later when the occasion applies.

Adapted from the book: "The Light of The Quran - Interpretation of Sura Al-Baqarah (The Cow)" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars"

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