Interpretation of Sura Hud - Verses 72-74
72. " She said: 'Voe is me! Shall I bear a child when I am an old woman, and this my husband is an old man Verily this is a wonderful thing! '"
Sarah, who had given up hope of having children, with a tone of tremendous wonder, exclaimed implying that alas for her. Might she give birth to a child despite her old age and despite the fact that her husband too was old That was a truly amazing matter.
The verse itself says:
" She said: 'Voe is me! Shall I bear a child when I am an old woman, and this my husband is an old man Verily this is a wonderful thing! '"
That same Allah Who had made the fire cold for Abraham(a.s.) and had made him win over the idol- worshippers, is definitely able to make an infertile old woman fertile and an old man sire a child.
73. " They said: "Do you wonder at Allah's decree The grace of Allah and His blessings on you, O people of the House! Verily He is Praise worthy, Glorious. "
One day, Amir- ul- Mu'mineen Ali(a.s.) gave greetings to a group of people which returned his greetings, saying: "Our greetings to you and may Allah's favor and blessings be with you, the Ahl- ul- Bayt, and may His forgiveness and His paradise also be upon you as well. " Ali(a.s.) said: "Do not add anything to what the angels said to Abraham(a.s.) , therefore, the phrase 'And may Allah's favour and blessings be with you' would suffice. " The verse says:
" They said: "Do you wonder at Allah's decree The grace of Allah and His blessings on you, O people of the House! Verily He is Praise worthy, Glorious. "
Question: Considering the fact that in the above verse, the angels addressed Abraham's wife using the phrase Ahl- ul- Bayt, and since, naturally, everyone's wife is considered as part of one's household, why is it then that in the verse of Tathir in the Sura Al Ah zab, No. 33, verse 33, 32 the wives of the Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) are not included in his household??
Answer: Regarding only the literal meaning of the word, it would be natural for the word Ahl- ul- Bayt to include reference (1) It says: "... Verily Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House and to purify you a(thorough)purifying. "
to one's wife. However, we have firm grounds regarding the fact that someone can be excluded from this denotation even when normally they would be included in its purview, like in the verse saying: "Verily he is not of your household" where Noah's son is not counted as a member in Noah's household. Sometimes it also happens that there could be a reason to include someone who would normally not be considered as a member of the household, as has been said of Salman: "Salman belongs to our household(Ahl- ul- Bayt)"
There are numerous narrations concerning the verse of Tathir which say that the blessed Prophet(p.b.u.h.) had taken certain people under his cloak calling them his Ahl- ul- Bayt, while he did not allow his wife, the pious Umm- us- Salamah, to enter.
This Divine favor and blessings were not confined to that time and place. It has continued in this family, too. What Divine blessing can be superior to that bestowed upon the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) and the Immaculate Imams(a.s.) who have emerged from this household?
74. " So when fear had passed from Abraham and the glad tidings reached him, he began disputing with Us concerning the people of Lot. "
Perhaps Abraham's(a.s.) plea is the same one mentioned in Sura 'Ankabout, No. 92, verse 13, where, in addressing the angels, he asked how they would overturn the land when Lot(a.s.) still remained among them.
They answered that they were well aware of their status, so they would save Lot and his followers. The verse says:
" So when fear had passed from Abraham and the glad tidings reached him, he began disputing with Us concerning the people of Lot. "
The angels removed his anxiety and in directly addressing Sarah they reinforced the good tidings of them being graced with progeny. Concern and anxiety in the face of possible danger are safety- orientated issues while having children has an emotional dimension. Safety issues relate to society as a whole and children are related to the household.
(32) Sura Hud No. 11, verse 46
Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah Hud" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"
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