Verse. 496

٤ - ٱلنِّسَاء

4 - An-Nisa

وَاِنْ خِفْتُمْ اَلَّا تُقْسِطُوْا فِي الْيَتٰمٰى فَانْكِحُوْا مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَاۗءِ مَثْنٰى وَثُلٰثَ وَرُبٰعَ۝۰ۚ فَاِنْ خِفْتُمْ اَلَّا تَعْدِلُوْا فَوَاحِدَۃً اَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ اَيْمَانُكُمْ۝۰ۭ ذٰلِكَ اَدْنٰۗى اَلَّا تَعُوْلُوْا۝۳ۭ
Wain khiftum alla tuqsitoo fee alyatama fainkihoo ma taba lakum mina alnnisai mathna wathulatha warubaAAa fain khiftum alla taAAdiloo fawahidatan aw ma malakat aymanukum thalika adna alla taAAooloo


Ahmed Ali

If you fear you cannot be equitable to orphan girls (in your charge, or misuse their persons), then marry women who are lawful for you, two, three, or four; but if you fear you cannot treat so many with equity, marry only one, or a maid or captive. This is better than being iniquitous.



'Abdullāh Ibn 'Abbās / Muḥammad al-Fīrūzabādī

تفسير : (and if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans) and if you fear that you will not preserve orphans' wealth, you should also fear not dealing fairly with women in relation to providing sustenance and apportionment. this was because they used to marry as many women as they liked, as many as nine or ten. qays ibn al-harth for example had eight wives. allah forbade them from doing so and prohibited them from marrying more than four wives, saying: (marry of the women, who seem good to you) marry that which allah has made lawful for you, (two or three or four) marry one, two, three or four but do not marry more than four wives; (and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice) to four wives in relation to apportionment and providing sustenance (then one (only)) then marry only one free woman (or that your right hands possess) of captives, and in that case you do not owe them any apportionment, and they need not observe any waiting period. (thus it) marrying just one woman (is more likely that ye will not do injustice) that you will not incline to some at the expense of others or that you transgress regarding the provision of sustenance and apportionment to four wives.

Jalāl al-Dīn al-Maḥallī

تفسير : if you fear that you will not act justly, [that] you will [not] be equitable, towards the orphans, and are thus distressed in this matter, then also fear lest you be unjust towards women when you marry them; marry such (mā means man) women as seem good to you, two or three or four, that is, [each man may marry] two, or three, or four, but do not exceed this; but if you fear you will not be equitable, towards them in terms of [their] expenses and [individual] share; then, marry, only one, or, restrict yourself to, what your right hands own, of slavegirls, since these do not have the same rights as wives; thus, by that marrying of only four, or only one, or resorting to slavegirls, it is likelier, it is nearer [in outcome], that you will not be unjust, [that] you will [not] be inequitable.

Ali ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi

تفسير : (and if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans…) [4:3]. abu bakr al-tamimi informed us> ‘abd allah ibn muhammad> abu yahya> sahl ibn ‘uthman> yahya ibn za’idah> hisham ibn ‘urwah> his father> ‘a’ishah who said, regarding the words of allah (and if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans): “this was revealed about any custodian under whose care is a female orphan who possesses some wealth and does not have anyone to defend her rights. the custodian refuses to give this orphan in marriage out of greed for her money, harms her and treats her badly. and so allah, exalted is he, says (and if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans marry of the women, who seem good to you…) as long as they are lawful to you and leave this one”. this was narrated by muslim> abu kurayb> abu usamah> hisham. sa‘id ibn jubayr, qatadah, al-rabi‘, al-dahhak and al-suddi said: “people used to be wary of the wealth of orphans but took liberty with women and married whoever they liked. and sometimes they were fair to them and sometimes they were not. so when they asked about the orphans and the verse (give unto orphans their wealth), regarding the orphans, was revealed, allah, exalted is he, also revealed (and if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans). he says here: ‘just as you fear that you will not deal fairly by the orphan, so should you fear that you do not deal fairly by women. therefore, marry only as many as you can fulfil their rights, for women are like orphans as far as weakness and incapacity are concerned’. this is the opinion of ibn ‘abbas according to the narration of al-walibi”.