Ayah

Word by Word
وَمَن
And whoever
لَّمۡ
(is) not
يَسۡتَطِعۡ
able to
مِنكُمۡ
among you
طَوۡلًا
afford
أَن
to
يَنكِحَ
marry
ٱلۡمُحۡصَنَٰتِ
the free chaste
ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَٰتِ
[the] believing women
فَمِن
then (marry) from
مَّا
what
مَلَكَتۡ
possess[ed]
أَيۡمَٰنُكُم
your right hands
مِّن
of
فَتَيَٰتِكُمُ
your girls
ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَٰتِۚ
(of) the believers
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
أَعۡلَمُ
knows best
بِإِيمَٰنِكُمۚ
about your faith
بَعۡضُكُم
You
مِّنۢ
(are) from
بَعۡضٖۚ
(one) another
فَٱنكِحُوهُنَّ
So marry them
بِإِذۡنِ
with (the) permission
أَهۡلِهِنَّ
(of) their family
وَءَاتُوهُنَّ
and give them
أُجُورَهُنَّ
their bridal due
بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ
in a fair manner
مُحۡصَنَٰتٍ
(They should be) chaste
غَيۡرَ
not
مُسَٰفِحَٰتٖ
those who commit immorality
وَلَا
and not
مُتَّخِذَٰتِ
those who take
أَخۡدَانٖۚ
secret lovers
فَإِذَآ
Then when
أُحۡصِنَّ
they are married
فَإِنۡ
and if
أَتَيۡنَ
they commit
بِفَٰحِشَةٖ
adultery
فَعَلَيۡهِنَّ
then for them
نِصۡفُ
(is) half
مَا
(of) what
عَلَى
(is) on
ٱلۡمُحۡصَنَٰتِ
the free chaste women
مِنَ
of
ٱلۡعَذَابِۚ
the punishment
ذَٰلِكَ
That
لِمَنۡ
(is) for whoever
خَشِيَ
fears
ٱلۡعَنَتَ
committing sin
مِنكُمۡۚ
among you
وَأَن
and that
تَصۡبِرُواْ
you be patient
خَيۡرٞ
(is) better
لَّكُمۡۗ
for you
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
غَفُورٞ
(is) Oft-Forgiving
رَّحِيمٞ
Most Merciful
وَمَن
And whoever
لَّمۡ
(is) not
يَسۡتَطِعۡ
able to
مِنكُمۡ
among you
طَوۡلًا
afford
أَن
to
يَنكِحَ
marry
ٱلۡمُحۡصَنَٰتِ
the free chaste
ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَٰتِ
[the] believing women
فَمِن
then (marry) from
مَّا
what
مَلَكَتۡ
possess[ed]
أَيۡمَٰنُكُم
your right hands
مِّن
of
فَتَيَٰتِكُمُ
your girls
ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَٰتِۚ
(of) the believers
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
أَعۡلَمُ
knows best
بِإِيمَٰنِكُمۚ
about your faith
بَعۡضُكُم
You
مِّنۢ
(are) from
بَعۡضٖۚ
(one) another
فَٱنكِحُوهُنَّ
So marry them
بِإِذۡنِ
with (the) permission
أَهۡلِهِنَّ
(of) their family
وَءَاتُوهُنَّ
and give them
أُجُورَهُنَّ
their bridal due
بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ
in a fair manner
مُحۡصَنَٰتٍ
(They should be) chaste
غَيۡرَ
not
مُسَٰفِحَٰتٖ
those who commit immorality
وَلَا
and not
مُتَّخِذَٰتِ
those who take
أَخۡدَانٖۚ
secret lovers
فَإِذَآ
Then when
أُحۡصِنَّ
they are married
فَإِنۡ
and if
أَتَيۡنَ
they commit
بِفَٰحِشَةٖ
adultery
فَعَلَيۡهِنَّ
then for them
نِصۡفُ
(is) half
مَا
(of) what
عَلَى
(is) on
ٱلۡمُحۡصَنَٰتِ
the free chaste women
مِنَ
of
ٱلۡعَذَابِۚ
the punishment
ذَٰلِكَ
That
لِمَنۡ
(is) for whoever
خَشِيَ
fears
ٱلۡعَنَتَ
committing sin
مِنكُمۡۚ
among you
وَأَن
and that
تَصۡبِرُواْ
you be patient
خَيۡرٞ
(is) better
لَّكُمۡۗ
for you
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
غَفُورٞ
(is) Oft-Forgiving
رَّحِيمٞ
Most Merciful

Translation

If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: And Allah hath full knowledge about your faith. Ye are one from another: Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: They should be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours: when they are taken in wedlock, if they fall into shame, their punishment is half that for free women. This (permission) is for those among you who fear sin; but it is better for you that ye practise self-restraint. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

Tafsir

And whoever has not the means wherewith, [whoever] is not wealthy enough, to be able to marry believing (al-mu'minaat, 'believing', is in accordance with the prevalent practice, and does not add to the import), free, women in wedlock, let him take, in marriage, believing maids whom your right hands own. God knows very well your faith, so suffice yourself with its outward manifestation and leave the innermost matters to Him, for He is the One to know her [true] merit: many a slavegirl may be more excellent [in faith] than a free woman, and this is meant to encourage marriage with slavegirls; the one of you is as the other, being equal in religion, so do not disdain to marry with them. So marry them, with the permission of their folk, their guardians, and give them their wages, their dowries, honourably, without procrastination or diminution, as women in wedlock (muhsanaat, a circumstantial qualifier), in decency, not illicitly, openly fornicating, or taking lovers, companions fornicating in secret. But when they are given in wedlock, [when] they are married off (a variant reading [for the passive uhsinna, 'they are given in wedlock'] has the active ahsanna, 'they enter into wedlock'), if they commit lewdness, such as adultery, they shall be liable to half the chastisement, the legal punishment, of married, free, virgin, women, who commit adultery, and are thus given fifty lashes and banished for half a year; [male] slaves by analogy are liable to the same punishment. Here, God has not made wedlock the precondition for the prescribed punishment to show that stoning does not apply in their case [sc. slavegirls]. That, marrying of slavegirls on account of insufficient means, is for those of you who fear the distress of sin, fornication (al-'anat originally means distress, but is used to mean zinaa, 'fornication', because of the distress that it causes in the way of the punishment in this world and in the Hereafter), as opposed to those of you who might not have such a fear [of distress] with regard to their free women and for whom it is unlawful to marry her [the slavegirl]; likewise for one who has sufficient means to marry a free woman [it is unlawful for him to marry a slavegirl instead]: this is the opinion of al- Shaafi'ee. Moreover, God's words 'believing maids' precludes unbelieving women, whom it is unlawful to marry, even if one should find no believing women and fear [the distress of fornication]; yet it is better for you to be patient, and abstain from marrying slavegirls, lest the child should become enslaved also. God is Forgiving, Merciful, by allowing room for manoeuvre in these matters.

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