Interpretation of Sura Cow - Verse 232
232. " And when you divorce women, and they have reached their waiting-period, do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, when they agree between themselves in a fair manner. With this is admonitioned whoever of you believes in Allah and the Last Day; that is more virtuous and purer for you; surely Allah knows and you know not."
Occasion of Revelation
One of the companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) by the name of Ma'qal-ibn-Yasar opposed the marriage of his sister with her former husband named 'Asim ibn 'Ady. This man, 'Asim, had divorced her but, after concluding the prescribed waiting-period, both of them were willing to fasten their wedlock again by a new wedding.
For this reason the revelation was sent down and prevented him (Ma'qal) from opposing such a marriage.
It is also cited in another narration that the verse was revealed when Jabir-ibn-'Abdullah opposed the marriage of his cousin with her former husband. Perhaps, in the Age of Ignorance, this right had been given to many close relatives. (No doubt, in our jurisprudent, brothers and cousins have no guardianship (wilayat) over their sisters or cousins, but, as we will explain in this discussion later, the meaning of the above verse is a general ordinance about guardians and other than them that neither of these people may rightfully oppose such a marriage: neither father nor mother, nor cousin, nor non-relative persons.)
Another Chain Was Broken!
As was stated in the former explanations, in old times women were living bound in the chains of ignorance and were terribly captured by the will, desire, and lust of lewd men without having any regard for women's affection, thought and decision. One of the examples of that status was the subject of choosing husband where the like or dislike and willingness of women had no place. Concerning to this style, even when the woman was formally married and then separated from her husband thereafter, her second marriage with him again depended on the decision of her guardian or guardians, although those two (the man and the woman) wished to continue their former conjugal life.
Their guardians, then, used to prevent that wedlock because of their (guardians') own interests or for some vain imaginations and superstitions.
The Qur'an has clearly condemned this style. It says that the guardians and other individuals have not such a right, because when both the man and woman, who are the main elements of marriage, have unanimity with each other and after that separation they are willing to marry again, opposition of others is meaningless.
" And when you divorce women, and they have reached their waiting-period, do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, when they agree between themselves in a fair manner. ..." Thus, it is understood from this verse that divorcees need not to obtain permission or agreement of their guardians to marry again, and even the opposition of their guardians, if any, is invalid. Now, the question is about the marriage of the virgin girls that: is it necessary to obtain her guardian's permission? The above verse is silent in this regard and we must refer to the jurisprudent books for its explanation. It only continues saying:
"...With this is admonitioned whoever of you believes in Allah and the Last Day; ..." This part of the verse means that these ordinances, that are stated for individuals' benefits, affect on those who believe both in Allah, the Creator of the world, and in the Day of Judgement. It is in this case that a person, under the light of theology, can detach from egoism and, controlling his low desire, rescues himself from deviation.
"...that is more virtuous and purer for you; surely Allah knows and you know not." This concluding statement points to the fact that the fruit of one's action upon these ordinances is perfectly his, but as a result of unsufficient information some individuals may not be aware of the philosophy of divine ordinances; while the Lord, Who knows all the secrets, has assigned these instructions for the sake of protecting their interests and purification and cleanliness of family members.
It is noteworthy that, in this sentence, acting upon these instructions are introduced as the causes of both vitrue and purity, (more virtuous and purer) , which means that acting upon these instructions removes both the different impurities, resulted from doing some worng deeds, from families so that it purifies them, and attains development, improvement, favour and blessing for them.
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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