Surah Tahreem question

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Answered by:  Moulana Imran Mughal​


Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

I’d like to know which, the incident this verse refers to:

“If ye two turns in repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined; But if ye back up each other against him, truly Allah is his Protector, and Gabriel, and (every) righteous one among those who believe,- and furthermore, the angels – will back (him) up.”

Is it the incident of the honey or is the incident between Hafsa (RA) and Maria (RA)?

The incident between Hafsa and Maria found in Tafsīr al-Ṭabarī 66:1 & ibn Sa’d in Tabaqat, is it this authentic?

It seems the second incident fits the seriousness of the verse.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.


This verse refers to the incident of Hafsah and Aishah (may Allah be pleased with them both), the incident in question is below:

Imam Ahmad collected in the Musnad mentions that `A’ishah and Hafsah were the plotters. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “I was eager to ask `Umar about the two ladies among the wives of the Prophet, about whom Allah said,


﴿إِن تَتُوبَآ إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا﴾


(If you two turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined;) Then I performed Hajj along with `Umar, and on our way back from Hajj he went aside (to relieve himself). I also went aside along with him carrying a tumbler of water. When he finished and returned, I poured water on his hands from the tumbler and he performed ablution. I said, `O Commander of the faithful! Who were the two ladies among the wives of the Prophet, to whom Allah said,


﴿إِن تَتُوبَآ إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا﴾


(If you two turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined)’ `Umar said, `I am astonished at your question, O Ibn `Abbas.”’ – Az-Zuhri (a sub-narrator) said that `Umar did not like the question, but he still answered it, saying that they were `A’ishah and Hafsah. “Then `Umar went on relating the story and said, `We, the people of Quraysh, used to have authority over our women. But when we came to live with the Ansar, we noticed that the Ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so our women started acquiring the habits of the Ansari women.

At that time, I was residing at the house of Umayyah bin Zayd, in Al-`Awali. Once I got angry with my wife, and she talked back to me; I disliked her answering me back.

She said, `Why do you dislike me talking back to you By Allah, the wives of the Prophet talk back to him, and some of them may not speak with him for the whole day, until nightfall.’ Then I went to Hafsah and asked her, `Do you talk back to Allah’s Messenger’ She said, `Yes.’ I asked, `Does any of you keep Allah’s Messenger angry all day long, until night’

She replied, `Yes.’ I said, `Whoever among you does this is a ruined, losing person! Doesn’t she fear that Allah may get angry for the anger of His Messenger and, thus, she will be ruined Don’t ask Allah’s Messenger too many things, and don’t retort him in any case. Demand from me whatever you like, and don’t be tempted to imitate your neighbour, for she is more beautiful than you, and more beloved to Allah’s Messenger than you.’ He meant `A’ishah.


I, and an Ansari neighbour of mine used to visit the Prophet in turns. He used to go one day, and I another day. When I went I would bring him the news of what had happened that day regarding the revelation and when he went, he used to do the same for me. In those days it was rumoured that the Ghassan (tribe) were preparing their horses to invade us.

My companion went and returned to us at night and knocked at my door. I came out to him. He said that a grave thing happened. I asked him, `What is it Have Ghassan come’ He replied that it was worse and more serious than that, adding that Allah’s Messenger had divorced all his wives. I said, `Hafsah is a ruined loser!

I expected that would happen someday.’ So I dressed and I performed the Subh prayer. I went to Hafsah and found her weeping. I asked her, `Has Allah’s Messenger divorced all of you’ She replied, `I don’t know. He is there alone in the upper room.’ I went to the upper room and asked a black slave of the Prophet to ask for his permission to see me, and the boy went in and then came out saying, `I mentioned you to him and he remained silent.’

I then went out and came to the Minbar and found a group of people around it and some of them were weeping. I sat with them for some time, but could not endure the situation. So, I requested to the boy, `Will you get the permission for `Umar’ He went in and then came out saying, `I mentioned you to him, but he did not reply.’

So, I went to Minbar and sat with the people who were sitting by the Minbar, but I could not bear the situation, so I went to the boy again and said, `Will you get the permission for `Umar’ He went in and brought the same reply as before. When I was leaving, behold, he called me saying, `Allah’s Messenger has granted you permission.’ So, I entered the Prophet’s room, greeted him with the Salam and saw him lying on a mat without bedding on it, and the mat had left its mark on the body of the Prophet.


I said, `Have you divorced your wives, O Allah’s Messenger’ He raised his eyes to me and replied no. I said, `Allahu Akbar. O Allah’s Messenger! We, the people of Quraysh used to have the upper hand over our women. But when we came to Al-Madinah, we found a people whose women had the upper hand over them. Our women started learning this behaviour from them. Once, I got angry with my wife, and she talked back to me.

I disliked that behaviour from her and she said, `Why do you dislike that I talk back to you By Allah, the Prophet’s wives talk back to him and one of them would ignore him the whole day, until the night.’ I said to her, `Whoever does this among them is the ruined loser! Does she feel safe from Allah getting angry with her on account of His Messenger’s anger, In that case, she would be ruined.’ On that, the Prophet smiled. I then said, `O Allah’s Messenger! I went to Hafsah and said to her, `

Do not be tempted to imitate your companion (`A’ishah) for she is more beautiful than you and more beloved to the Prophet.’ The Prophet smiled again. When I saw him smiling, I said, `Does the Messenger feel calm’ He said, `Yes.’ So, I sat down and cast a glance at the room, and by Allah, I couldn’t see anything of importance, except three hides. I said, `Invoke Allah, O Allah’s Messenger, to make your followers prosperous, for the Persians and the Byzantines have been made prosperous and given worldly luxuries, even though they do not worship Allah.’ The Prophet sat upright and said,


«أَفِي شَكَ أَنْتَ يَا ابْنَ الْخَطَّابِ أُولَئِكَ قَوْمٌ عُجِّلَتْ لَهُمْ طَيِّبَاتُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا»


(O Ibn Al-Khattab! Do you have any doubt These people have been given rewards of their good deeds in this world only.) I asked the Prophet, `Please beg Allah’s forgiveness for me, O Allah’s Messenger.’ The Prophet swore that he would not go to his wives for one month, because of his severe anger towards them, until Allah the Exalted and Most Honored censured him.”[1]


Only Allah SWT alone knows best.

Answered by Moulana Imran Mughal

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham




[1] Shaykh Sabuni, Mukhtasar Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Maktabatul Manar: Quetta), 3:545-546.




This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.