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The Story of Zihar : “The Marital dispute of a Pleading Woman”

the story of Zihar

The Story of “Zihar” from Surah “Al-Mujadila ” : A lesson to a Women who has Problems with her Spouse

Assalamu Alaikum,

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Today’s reflection is Surah Al Mujadilah :”The Story of Zihar “

Allah hath heard the saying of her that disputeth with thee (Muhammad) concerning her husband, and complaineth unto Allah. And Allah heareth your conversation. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Knower. Qad Sami`a Allāhu Qawla Allatī Tujādiluka Fī Zawjihā Wa Tashtakī ‘Ilá Allāhi Wa Allāhu Yasma`u Taĥāwurakumā ‘Inna Allāha Samī`un Başīrun


Do You Know that this Chapter of Quran Mujaadala itself means “the Pleading Woman” . So Let us read Who was the Pleading Woman and what was her Story .

The Pleading Woman in the Surah Al Mujadilah is Hadhrat Khowla bint Maalik (R.A) .She was an extremely eloquent and well-spoken person. Her story is being related to teach all Muslim women what to do when they have problems with their husbands.

Ahmad recorded that Khuwaylah bint Thalabah said, “By Allah! Allah sent down the beginning of Surat Al-Mujadilah in connection with me and Aws bin As-Samit. He was my husband and had grown old and difficult. One day, he came to me and I argued with him about something and he said, out of anger, `You are like my mother’s back to me.’ He went out and sat with some of his people. Then he came back and wanted to have sexual intercourse with me. I said, No, by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Khuwaylah! You will not have your way with me after you said what you said, until Allah and His Messenger issue judgement about our case.’ He wanted to have his way regardless of my choice and I pushed him away from me; he was an old man.’ I next went to one of my neighbors and borrowed a garment from her and went to the Messenger of Allah .

She Pled the case of her Husband (Zihar)  before Allah

She presented her case thus, “O Rasulullaah (pbuh)! My husband has consumed my youth and I have given birth to his children. I have served him all my life and now that I am an old woman and my children have left me, he has carried out Zihar with me. If my small children are left with me, they would probably die of starvation and if they are left with my husband, they would be destroyed.” As she was saying this, she raised her eyes to the heavens saying, “O Allah! I plead my case before You. Reveal a command to Your Nabi SAW so that my difficulty is alleviated.”

Allaah  then revealed the opening verses of Surah Mujaadalah(1-6 )saying, “Allaah had certainly heard the speech of the lady who debated with you concerning her husband and who complained to Allah . Allah was listening to your discussion. Verily Allah is All Hearing, All Seeing.” [Ma’aariful Qur’aan Vol. 8 Pg. 331]
Rasulullaah SAW then addressed Hadhrat Khowla (R.A) saying, “O Khowla! You cousin (husband) has grown old, so fear Allah Ι with regard to him (i.e. exercise patience with him).”  This statement was commonly used by the Arabs to divorce their wives and it is referred to as Dhihaar. When Hadhrat Aws bin Saamit RA used the words on this occasion, it was the first time that a Muslim had done so. Consequently, the opening verses of Surah Mujaadalah were revealed to clarify the issue. Verses pertaining to Zihar were revealed, Rasulullaah  (pbuh) told Hadhrat Khowla (R.A) to inform her husband that he would have to free a slave in expiation of his act (of Zihar). When she told Rasulullaah  (pbuh) that he was unable to do this, Rasulullaah SAW said that he will then have to fast for two consecutive months. When she submitted that he was unable to do this also, Rasulullaah SAW mentioned that he should then feed two meals to sixty poor people. When she informed Rasulullaah SAW that her husband would not be able to afford this either, Rasulullaah SAW offered to assist by supplying some dates. Hadhrat Khowla (R.A) then said that she would also supply some dates to assist her husband. Thereupon, Rasulullaah SAW said, “You have done well. Go and act charitably towards him and treat him kindly.”

Hadhrat Khowla (R.A) was such a distinguished woman in Islamic history that Allaah  responded to her plea and the Ummah will remember her as long as the Quraan is recited. Hadhrat Umar RA was once riding his donkey when an old lady stopped him to say something. When Hadhrat Umar  stopped, the people asked him why he stopped for a frail old woman. Hadhrat Umar RA said to them, “Don’t you know who this old lady is? She is Khowla bint Thalaba. Allaah  listened to her from above the seven heavens. How can Umar not listen to her when Allaah  did.”

Those who put away their wives (by saying they are as their mothers) and afterward would go back on that which they have said, (the penalty) in that case (is) the freeing of a slave before they touch one another. Unto this ye are exhorted; and Allah is Informed of what ye do. Wa Al-Ladhīna Yužāhirūna Min Nisā’ihim Thumma Yaūdūna Limā Qālū Fataĥrīru Raqabatin Min Qabli ‘An Yatamāssā Dhālikum Tūažūna Bihi Wa Allāhu Bimā Ta’malūna Khabīrun

﴿الَّذِينَ يُظَـهِرُونَ مِنكُمْ مِّن نِّسَآئِهِمْ﴾

(Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by Zihar) refers to Zihar, which is derived from Az-Zahr, meaning, the back. During the time of Jahiliyyah, when one wanted to declare Zihar towards his wife, he would say, “To me, you are like the back of my mother.” That was one way they issued divorce during that time. Allah allowed this Ummah to pay expiation for this statement and did not render it as a divorce, contrary to the case during the time of Jahiliyyah. Allah said,

﴿مَّا هُنَّ أُمَّهَـتِهِمْ إِنْ أُمَّهَـتُهُمْ إِلاَّ اللاَّئِى وَلَدْنَهُمْ﴾

(they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth.) meaning, when the husband says to his wife that she is like his mother, or the back of his mother etc., she does not become his mother. Rather his mother is she who gave birth to him. This is why Allah said,

﴿وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَقُولُونَ مُنكَراً مِّنَ الْقَوْلِ وَزُوراً﴾

(And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie.) meaning, false and sinful speech,

﴿وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُورٌ﴾

(And verily, Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.) meaning, `what you used to do during the time of Jahiliyyah, and what accidentally slips out of your mouth, unintentionally. Allah’s statement,

Penalty of Zihar

Those who put away their wives (by saying they are as their mothers) and afterward would go back on that which they have said, (the penalty) in that case (is) the freeing of a slave before they touch one another. Unto this ye are exhorted; and Allah is Informed of what ye do. Wa Al-Ladhīna Yužāhirūna Min Nisā ihim Thumma Ya’ūdūna Limā Qālū Fataĥrīru Raqabatin Min Qabli An Yatamāssā Dhālikum Tū’ažūna Bihi Wa Allāhu Bimā Ta’malūna Khabīrun


﴿وَالَّذِينَ يُظَـهِرُونَ مِن نِّسَآئِهِمْ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُواْ﴾

(And those who make unlawful to them (their wives) by Zihar and wish to free themselves from what they uttered,) Ash-Shafi’i said, “It means to keep her for a while after the Zihar, without divorcing her, even though his is able to do so.” Ahmad bin Hanbal said, “To return to having sexual relations with her or to merely intend to do so, but only after he pays the expiation mentioned in the Ayah for his statement.” It has been quoted from Malik that it is the intention to have sexual relations or to keep her or actually having sexual intercourse. Sa’id bin Jubayr said that this Ayah,

﴿ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُواْ﴾

(and wish to free themselves from what they uttered,) meaning, if they want to return to having sexual intercourse which was forbidden between them. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that it is to utilize her sexual organ, and he did not see any harm in doing what is less than that before paying the expiation. Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas:

﴿مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّا﴾

(before they touch each other.) “The ‘touching’ refers here to sexual intercourse.” Similar was said by  Ata, Az-Zuhri, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan. Az-Zuhri added, “He is not to kiss or touch her until he pays the expiation.” The Sunan compilers recorded from Ikrimah, from Ibn Abbas that a man said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I pronounced Zihar on my wife, but then had sexual intercourse with her before I paid the expiation.” The Messenger said,

«مَا حَمَلَكَ عَلى ذَلِكَ يَرْحَمُكَ الله»

(May Allah grant you His mercy, what made you do that) He said, “I saw the adornment she was wearing shining in the moon’s light.” The Prophet said,

«فَلَا تَقْرَبْهَا حَتْى تَفْعَلَ مَا أَمَرَكَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَل»

(Then do not touch her until you do what Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has ordered you to do.) At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Gharib Sahih.” Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i also recorded it. Allah said,

﴿فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ﴾

((the penalty) in that case is the freeing of a slave) indicating the necessity of freeing a slave before they touch each other. This Ayah mentions any slave, not only believing servants as in the case of the expiation for (unintentional) killing,

﴿ذَلِكُمْ تُوعَظُونَ بِهِ﴾

(That is an admonition to you.) meaning, a warning to threaten you in this case.And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) meaning, He is All-Knower in what brings you benefit.

And he who findeth not (the wherewithal), let him fast for two successive months before they touch one another; and for him who is unable to do so (the penance is) the feeding of sixty needy ones. This, that ye may put trust in Allah and His messenger. Such are the limits (imposed by Allah); and for disbelievers is a painful doom. Faman Lam Yajid Faşiyāmu Shahrayni Mutatābi ayni Min Qabli ‘An Yatamāssā Faman Lam Yastaţi` Fa’iţ`āmu Sittīna Miskīnāan Dhālika Litu’uminū Billāhi Wa Rasūlihi Wa Tilka Ĥudūdu Allāhi Wa Lilkāfirīna Adhābun ‘Alīmun


And he who finds not must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And he who is unable to do so, should feed sixty of the poor is explained by the Hadiths that prescribe these punishments in this order, just as in the Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs about the man who had sexual intercourse with his wife during the day, in Ramadan. Allah said,That is in order that you may have perfect faith in Allah and His Messenger. meaning, `We legislated this punishment so that you acquire this trait.These are the limits set by Allah.) meaning, the things that He has forbidden, so do not transgress them,


Lesson Learned:

Plead Only to Allah

The story of Hadhrat Khowla (R.A) displays the perfect confidence that a Muslim should have in Allah . Allah swt will always provide the solution for every problem because He brings ease after every difficulty. Everything comes from Him. Allah says in the Quraan,“It is certainly Him (Allah) Who makes (people) laugh and cry. It is only He Who gives death and life…Verily He grants affluence and poverty.”
Allah  creates every favourable condition just as he creates every unfavourable condition. He makes people happy just as He can make them sad. He gives wealth to whoever He pleases and takes wealth from whoever He pleases.There is therefore no need for anyone to be despondent. When faced by any difficulty, all that one needs to do is to perform wudhu, perform two Rakaahs salaah with concentration and then plead to Allaah . One should supplicate to Allaah  by saying what Hadhrat Khowla (R.A) said. She said, “O Allaah ! I complain only to You. O Allaah ! I plead my case to you. O Allaah ! My home is deserted and my children are distressed. Reveal a command to Your Nabi SAW so that my difficulty is alleviated.”

Seek Counsel 

Allaah  says in the Qur’aan17, “O you who believe! Seek help by means of patience and salaah. Verily Allaah is with the p atient ones.” It is therefore necessary for every woman to plead to Allah Ι for the solutions to all her domestic problems. Allah  is the Only One who can solve one’s problems. Whenever a woman is faced with a serious problem, she should seek counsel from a reliable person so that it may be addressed. This is necessary because when certain problems are pent up, they cause one’s mental and physical health to deteriorate. Although Allah Ι is the One who solves all problems, Allah Ι has instructed us to consult with others. Even Rasulullaah (pbuh) consulted with the Sahabah . When Rasulullaah SAW received the first revelation, he did not keep the anxiety to himself and bottle it up within himself. Instead, he told Hadhrat Khadeeja (R.A) about it and together with consoling him, she took him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal who was learned in the previous scriptures. In this manner, Rasulullaah ’s found comfort and reassurance.


If a woman’s husband is extremely short-tempered, she should recite “Bismillaahir Rahmaan nir Raheem” seven times and blow on his food or drink. When blowing, tiny droplets of sputum should also be allowed to fall into the food/drink. Mulla Ali Qaari (A.R) has expressly mentioned this in is commentary of “Mishkaat”. The same prescription can be used for one’s children and mother-in-law if they are short tempered. If this is done diligently, Insha Allaah the results will be visible after forty days. Tempers will be cooled and love will be generated between the members of the family. Such are the blessings of Allaah ’s pure names.(Collected from the book-A gift to the Bride )

Be Patient

The incident of Hadhrat Khowla (R.A) also teaches us that when one’s husband becomes irritable and difficult as he becomes old, one should exercise patience even though he may sometimes become intolerable. When Hadhrat Khowla (R.A) complained of this to Rasulullaah SAW, he advised her saying, “O Khowla! You cousin (husband) has grown old, so fear Allaah Ι with regard to him (i.e. exercise patience with him).” This means that a woman should be even more patient when her husband ages and will therefore receive greater rewards.When a person is young and healthy, everyone is prepared to be with him. However, when he grows old and becomes sickly and temperamental, people stay far from him because they will have to offer some services. At this stage, it will be only a good wife who will stay loyal to her husband. Only a good wife will agree with everything her husband says at this stage and who will fulfil his every wish before he expresses it. It is only such a dedicated wife who will refrain from anything he dislikes and who will take the blame for anything that he finds unpleasant.If she becomes frustrated with his behaviour, she should think that Allaah  readily forgives when people fail to fulfil the rights they owe to Him. Similarly, she should also forgive him. If she does this, the spiritual benefit she will receive shall be tremendous and so too will be the rewards she will receive.

Jazak Allah Khair. Keep us in your Prayers.

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Pakistani Actor Hamza Ali Abbasi,ex aetheist to quit acting for Allah and to Spread Islam.

In a video shared by him on Twitter, Hamza Ali Abbasi spoke about his journey – how he became an atheist when he was 14-15 years old and how science “brought him back” being a theist when he went to the US.

“I want to spend the rest of my life talking about God,” Abbasi said in the video-sharing that his decision is based on 10 years research.

Abbasi, who recently married Naimal Khawar, said that now he will try to shape his life in accordance with Islam and will try to spread across the message through various platforms.

“Being an ‘ex-atheist’, I want to share the answers I have received about God with people. I don’t want to debate or convince people, I just want to share,” he said and added that if he will make any movie or show, then it will be about Islam.

Read –What Allah says to the disbelievers

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babri masjid demolisher now a muslim

Man involved in Babri Masjid demolition now builds mosques to wash away guilt

Do you know that Kar sevak from Haryana who was part of Babri Masjid demolition, now preaches Islam, builds masjids ?He has built 90 Mosque so far.

Aamir, a former Shiv Sena leader from Panipat, Haryana often recalls the fateful day of December 6, 1992, that marked the demolition of Babri Masjid.

Aamir said that along with his friend Mohammed Umar, formerly Yogendra Pal, he had vowed to construct the Sri Ram Mandir at Ayodhya demolishing the masjid. Today, the two are fulfilling their pledge to renovate 100 mosques, in an attempt to purge themselves of their sins.

On December 1, 1992, Aamir reached Ayodhya to join thousands of kar sevaks coming from across the country. On December 6 that year, according to Aamir, he was the first man to climb the middle dome.

“We feared that the army might have been deployed in large number. But on ground there was hardly any security, that gave us a boost and we were mentally prepared to demolish the masjid that day,” said Mohammed Aamir.

Aamir along with many other kar sevaks from Sonipat and Panipat demolished the dome with spades and pickaxes.

“When I reached my home town Panipat after that I was given a hero’s welcome by the people,” Aamir said.

“But at home, my family’s reaction shocked me. My secular family denounced my actions. I had participated in the kar seva because I felt strongly about it, but I realized later that I was wrong.”

Mohammed Aamir, born a Rajput, said, “I realized that I had taken law in my hands and violated the constitution of India. Guilty, I embraced Islam.”

Ref :India Today.

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#Hijabisanidentity- Hijab walk to Stop the discrimination and marginalization of Muslim women and girls.

Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right in the Ghanaian legal system. To be specific Article 21 (c) of the 1992 Constitution states: “All persons shall have the right to freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such practice.”

Unfortunately, most Muslim women and girls living in Ghana have dealt with individuals who exert their biases and bigotry into institutional cultures. Thus, making it impossible for Muslim women to wear the hijab as part of their religious freedoms stipulated in the 1992 constitution.

The #Hijabisanidentity campaign pushes for the right of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab to be free to do so without intimidation from any individual or institution.

Why do Muslim Woman Wear Hijab.

Recently, an invigilator of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) asked a candidate to remove her hijab before sitting her exams. This latest move sparked a recent social media campaign by Islam advocates dubbed: #Hijabisanidentity

They believe the successful campaign which culminated in a massive demonstration in some regions – North, Ashanti and Accra – will help shake up some traditionally-held cultural misconceptions about the female Muslim identity. On Saturday October 12, Ghanaian Muslim women marched for their right to wear the hijab. The #Hijabisanidentity campaign is still on.

Stop policing Women’s bodies!

My hijab, my CHOICE My choice, my right

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Sinead o connor

Sinéad O’Connor Performs in Hijab.Says : ‘I have been a Muslim all my life and I didn’t realise it’

Dublin: Singer Sinead O’Connor stepped out in a traditional hijab with her son after converting to Islam in October.

The 52-year-old wore a bright red abaya and matching hijab when she appeared on “The Late Late Show” in Dublin on Friday night, reports ” the sun”

Earlier in the day, she arrived at the studio with her son, 15-year-old Shane Lunny, who looks exactly like his mom.

Sinead was dressed more casually in blue trousers, a matching belted shirt, and a navy cardigan. She complete the look with a dark blue headscarf. Shane carried his mother’s red abaya to the venue.

Shane apart, Sinead is also mother to 32-year-old Jake, 23-year-old Roisin and 12-year-old Yeshua.

In October last year, Sinead announced that she had converted to Islam, changing her name to Shuhada Davitt.

Sinéad O’Connor has described how she felt “at home” after reading the Koran and subsequently embracing the Muslim religion.

The singer, who has returned following a five-year hiatus from touring, announced her decision to “revert” to Islam almost a year ago and says she often wears the hijab as a means of signalling her new-found beliefs.

The word ‘revert’ refers to the idea that if you were to study the Koran you would realise that you were a Muslim all your life and you didn’t realise it. That’s what happened to me,” she said on Friday night’s Late Late Show.

“I am 52. I grew up in a very different Ireland to the one that exists now and it was a very oppressed country religiously speaking. And everybody was miserable; nobody was getting any joy in God.

”The singer, who has long captivated audiences with her views on Irish life, spoke about reading the scriptures as a child and later exploring other religious texts “trying to find the truth about God”. She left Islam until last because she held her own prejudices about the religion, she said.

Ref :”The Sun”

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oldest rural mosque

Archeologists finds the World’s Oldest Rural Mosque in Israel

 Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the remains of one of the world’s oldest rural mosques, built around the time Islam arrived in the holy land,

world's oldest rural mosque

The Israel Antiquities Authority estimates that the mosque, uncovered ahead of new construction in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert, dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries.

There are large mosques known to be from that period in Jerusalem and in Makkah but it is rare to find a house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers, the antiquities authority said.

Play the Quiz : Identify these Mosques

Excavated at the site were the remains of an open-air mosque — a rectangular building, about the size of a single-car garage, with a prayer niche facing south toward Makkah.

“This is one of the earliest mosques known from the beginning of the arrival of Islam in Israel, after the Arab conquest of 636 C.E.,” said Gideon Avni of the antiquities authority.

“The discovery of the village and the mosque in its vicinity are a significant contribution to the study of the history of the country during this turbulent period.”

Source : Arab news

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2 thoughts on “The Story of Zihar : “The Marital dispute of a Pleading Woman””

  1. @ Sadia , It is found in tafsir that Quran translates to “feed 60 People ” and it is further explained by the hadeeth of Prophet and text of Islamic jurisprudence that expiation will be fulfilled if a poor person is given two meals for 60 days .Alternatively it is possible to give two meals to 60 Poor People in a single day . In each case poor should be fed to their fill .Another possible alternative is to give to a poor People 1.6 kg of wheat or 2.12 kg dates or barley for 60 days.Or equivalent price of these food items may be given .

    Ref :Tafseer Mariful Quran .

    Jazak Allah for taking out the time to read the article .

  2. The first paragraph you wrote says this: ….Rasulullaah SAW mentioned that he should then feed two meals to sixty poor people.

    But under the heading Penalty of Zihar, it is mentioned: …….And he who is unable to do so, should feed sixty of the poor.)
    What is correct expiation? Please explain.

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