Sura Al-Baqarah (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-241



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Similarly, if a girl wishes to marry outside her kaf (كفو) : equal, like without the permission of her guardians, or wishes to enter into nikah (marriage) on a dower which is less than her mahr al-mithl (a dower approximately similar to the one customary in her family) then this affects the family. Since she has no right to do this, her consent is also not in accordance with the method prescribed by the Shari'ah in this situation, the guardians of the girl have a right to stop her from this marriage. However, the words إِذَا تَرَاضَوْا :'When they mutually agree' do point out that a sane and pubert girl cannot be given in marriage without her consent or permission.

Towards the end of verse 232 there are three sentences appearing one after the other. The first one is: ذَ‌ٰلِكَ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ مِنكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ It means: 'These injunctions are for those who believe in Allah and the Last Day.' Here it was hinted that the necessary outcome of believing in Allah and the Last Day, (the Day of Judgment) is that man should observe, practice and be bound by these Divine injunctions in toto. Those who fall short in following these injunctions should realize that their ' honor belief is in disarray.

In the second sentence, it was said: ذَ‌ٰلِكُمْ أَزْكَىٰ لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ , that is, 'adherence to these injunctions is for you a modality of purity and cleanliness.' It has been suggested here that the result of acting contrary to these injunctions is defilement with the pollution of sin, and involvement in discord and strife; for instance, if sane, pubert and young girls were categorically prevented from marriage, it would, on one hand, be an act of cruelty to them and a denial of their rights and on the other, this would put their modesty and chastity in danger. Thirdly, if God forbid, they get involved in sin, the resulting curse will also fall on those who prevented them from marrying. And it is quite possible that, much before the curse of the life to come (the Akhirah), the misfortune of these helpless women may drive men to the outside limits of wars and murders, as is not uncommon even now. If that happens, much before the curse of the Akhirah, their deeds will become a curse for them right here in this world. And if they were not, categorically at least, prevented from marriage, but were forced to enter into marriage with a person not of their choice and liking, that too will result in perpetual hostility, discord and strife, or talaq (divorce) and khul' (خلع : Divorce at the instance of wife against compensation). Its unpleasant effects are obvious. It was, therefore, said that in not preventing them from marrying the husbands of their choice there is for you easy access to purity and cleanliness.

In the third sentence it was said: وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ that is, 'and Allah knows (that which is good for you) and you do not know'. The purpose of this statement is that people who prevent divorced women from marrying see some benefits coming to them according to their conjecture, for instance, the notion of retaining honour and prestige or the hope of extracting some money on the pretext of their marriage. In order to remove this Satanic deception and unjust expediency, it was said: Allah Almighty knows very well what is suitable or beneficial for you so, when injunctions are given, these considerations are already taken care of. Since you do not know the reality of things and the end of affairs, you go ahead with your imperfect thoughts and faulty opinions, taking such things to be suitable or beneficial at times, while in them there is nothing but ruin and destruction for you. The assumed honour and prestige that you uphold will be rolling in dust if divorced women were to go out of control. And when you think of illegitimate monetary gains, it is likely that these may get you involved in intrigues and conflicts which may become dangerous not only for your money but also for your life.

The Qur'anic strategy about the enforcement of a law
At this point here, the Holy Qur'an presents a law to the effect that preventing divorced women from marrying as they choose is prohibited. Now, in order that acting in accordance with this law becomes easy, and that a climate of acceptance is generated in the public mind, these three sentences have followed after the initial declaration of the law. In the first sentence man is induced to be ready for action in accordance with this law by warning him against the accountability of the Day of Judgment and the subsequent punishment of crimes. In the second sentence, man is persuaded to abide by the law by telling him about evils caused by acting against it and many a harm that such contravention may bring to humanity. In the third sentence it was said that your own betterment lies in abiding by the law given by Allah Almighty. If, in acting against it, you have some expedient gain in mind, that then, is an outcome of your short-sightedness and insensitivity to consequences.

This manner and style of the Holy Qur'an does not end here; in fact, it runs throughout all injunctions. When a law is identified, along with it comes the warning that Allah is Almighty and that there is accountability and punishment in the Hereafter. With the beginning and the end of each law there are affixes and suffixes like اتق الله (Fear Allah) and ان الله خبير بما تعملون  (Allah is All-Aware of what you do) and ان الله بما تعملون بصير (Allah is watchful of what you do). The Qur'an is. for the' whole world, and for the generations to come till the Day of Doom (Qiyamah) a complete code of life, and a law covering all aspects of living. Of course, it does describe restrictive ordinances and legal punishments, but the manner in which these are handled is unique, not to be found in the law books of the whole world. The diction it has is more sympathetic than authoritarian. In the description of each Taw, there is an objective approach that no man should, by disobeying it, become deserving of punishment. This is not something like the governments of the contemporary world which make a law, publish it and then anyone who acts against it is left out to go through his punishment.

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