Question: Assalaam Alaikum,
1. I would like to know the meaning of the word ‘قواعد’ in surah Nur ayat 60.
2. Please give any helpful tafseer of the portion of this ayat that relates to an elderly woman removing some portion of her outer garments (even in front of non mehrah).
Some women may remove their niqab or jilbab at various ages (30 yrs +) using this portion of the ayat as proof of its allowance.
3. Will a Muslim woman, is the main caretaker of her non-Muslim mother who has died, be responsible for the funeral and burial of her mother? Meaning will she manages the Christian burial of her mother. Are there any things she (the Muslim daughter) should not do in relation to the funeral arrangements, etc.?
Wa Alaikum Assalaam,
الجواب بالله و التوقيف
- The word Qawaa’id ‘قواعد’ in verse 60 of Sura An Nur, means those old women who have grown to an age that they no longer have a desire for marriage and no one has a desire towards them for marriage. While explaining this word, Hafiz Ibn Katheer states, ‘Saeed Ibn Jubair, Maqatil, Qatada and Dhahak (who were great authorities in Tafseer) state that قواعد refers to such old women that menses have stopped in them, and they can no longer have children (on account of their old age), and they have no inclination for marriage.
- The verse of the Quran mentioned in Sura Nur, V.60, explains that a woman who has reached such old age as mentioned above, then a concession has been granted to her to remove her outer garment (like an open sheet or large clothing that she places over her inner clothing), even while in front of non-blood relatives (non-Mahram). However, in this allowance, such women will not be allowed to display their beauty and adornment. This verse does not mean that such women are allowed to remove their hijab etc., it only speaks about removing the large outer garment (like the Jilbaab or Rida’a). The verse goes further at the end to state that although an allowance is given for this, yet, it is better for them to cover themselves properly.
- If there are other family members (non-Muslims), who can look after the funeral arrangements for the non-Muslim mother, then they should manage it and do all the rituals. If however, there isn’t anyone, and the only person to do it is the Muslim daughter, then she can do the funeral, but must refrain from actions and prayers that are non-Islamic.
This is in the case where there isn’t any other person to do the funeral rites. In all cases, the Muslim daughter must refrain from being a part of the Christian prayers and rituals.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.