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Concerning romantic pledges to the opposite gender

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Zainab_M
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« on: December 31, 2011, 06:32:36 am »

 BismEm


"There is no sin for you in that which ye proclaim or hide in your minds concerning your troth with women. Allah knoweth that ye will remember them. But plight not your troth with women except by uttering a recognised form of words. And do not consummate the marriage until (the term) prescribed is run."  (2:235)  Al-Baqrah.

By looking at its preceding verse, V.2:235  primarily refers to pledges of marriage made to widowed women.  But I would presume that apparently the rule for such a pledge as stated in V.2:235 is to be applicable in the case of all women, widows included.

To be precise, the term "troth" means a pledge of loyalty or fidelity. 

From this Verse we can deduce that men are allowed to make pledges and promises of their loyalty to women whom they love and desire to marry, but a certain condition needs to be kept in view.  We can also conclude that when women make similar promises to the men they intend to marry must also keep in mind the same condition.

Muslims need to choose their words carefully while making a pledge to the opposite gender.

According to some tafsir writers the words "But plight not your troth with women except by uttering a recognised form of words."  refers to avoiding making "secret engagements and carrying out one's duties in an honorable manner."  Well, surely such acts of decency are taken for granted.  But if we concentrate on the words of this verse quoted above, it clearly refers to verbal promises or pledges of loyalty (troth).

As a Muslim one is required to be wise and cautious while choosing one's words of promise and love to the opposite gender.  The reason being, at such times people often get carried away with the charm of worldly love for the opposite gender to the extent that one sometimes doesn't hesitate to express their love with exaggerated descriptions of divinity, overlooking the importance of Allah, The Almighty.  Expressions involving exaggerated love for other humans can lead to lessening the importance of Allah in that person's heart, it can lead to shirk and thus open the avenue for misguidance in future.  Examples of careless speech can be cited in various secular poetic works where some authors might go to the extent of expressing such depths of love for their beloved that those expressions reflect a spirit of worship of a human being by another.   Though matters like these are often taken lightly, one does need to be careful lest a foot might slip unexpectedly after being firmly planted by the force of earthly temptations.   For a believer, love for Allah, The Exalted, must be at the highest level and any verbal insinuations that refer to being dismissive of the love of Allah in preference to anyone or anything else amounts to gross disrespect and could lead to the act of sinning.   

Briefly put, expressing troth with the opposite gender is fine but it must be kept within certain limits by the choice of right words.

One last  point worth mentioning after checking some other commentaries and tafsirs is concerning the next line of the same Verse 2:235.  "And do not consummate the marriage until (the term) prescribed is run."   Since many Muslims, in order to appease their own selfish desires, often portray only adultery as a violation and not fornication, have interpreted this part of the Verse as ".. you should not settle anything finally about the marriage until the waiting term expires."   A very misleading interpretation, if not completely incorrect!  This clearly shows how people misconstrue and alter Quranic principles in their commentaries to suit their own purpose.  As we can read in the Verse clearly, it categorically states "do not consummate the marriage" in case of widows until their waiting period (or iddat) is completed.  And the waiting period for widows before they can re-marry is 4 months and 10 days (reference Verse 2:234).   Similarly, on the basis of Quranic principles and our common sense, even if the woman is not a widow, there's no question of consummation of the relationship until legally married.
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 05:24:03 am »

An important point and really cool elucidation. 




One last  point worth mentioning after checking some other commentaries and tafsirs is concerning the next line of the same Verse 2:235.  "And do not consummate the marriage until (the term) prescribed is run."   Since many Muslims, in order to appease their own selfish desires, often portray only adultery as a violation and not fornication, have interpreted this part of the Verse as ".. you should not settle anything finally about the marriage until the waiting term expires."   A very misleading interpretation, if not completely incorrect!  This clearly shows how people misconstrue and alter Quranic principles in their commentaries to suit their own purpose.  As we can read in the Verse clearly, it categorically states "do not consummate the marriage" in case of widows until their waiting period (or iddat) is completed.  And the waiting period for widows before they can re-marry is 4 months and 10 days (reference Verse 2:234).   Similarly, on the basis of Quranic principles and our common sense, even if the woman is not a widow, there's no question of consummation of the relationship until legally married.

Well this is the same point which Rose mentioned at Pious Sinner post.  I can see how this tafsir writer is trying to evade the actual point even though the term "consummation" with regard to a relationship has a very clear meaning.  Who is that tafsir writer, btw?   I'm glad he's been exposed.
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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 05:35:47 am »

Yeah u see that.  They always try to show that adultery is the only big sin but fornication is fine.  I think that tafsir looks to be from Maududi but sister Zeynab would know where she got it.

One question.  It might be hard to know the precise reason but just an idea.  If divorce is finalized, waiting period before the woman can remarry is 3 months.  If she's not a divorcee but becomes a widow, the waiting period or iddat is 4 months and 10 days.  Why is the waiting period more for widows than divorcees?  The purpose in both cases is to determine the paternity of the unborn child, in case the woman is pregnant.  So why this difference of time?
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 05:56:22 am »


One question.  It might be hard to know the precise reason but just an idea.  If divorce is finalized, waiting period before the woman can remarry is 3 months.  If she's not a divorcee but becomes a widow, the waiting period or iddat is 4 months and 10 days.  Why is the waiting period more for widows than divorcees?  The purpose in both cases is to determine the paternity of the unborn child, in case the woman is pregnant.  So why this difference of time?

I'll tell you why.  As analysed in the post Divorce in the Glorious Quran, you will recall that before divorce is finalized, i.e. between the 2nd and 3rd pronouncement of divorce there's a separation period of 4 months for the couple to re-think their decision.  During this period the wife and husband are supposed to be separated (literally) with no physical contact from what I quite clearly understand.  However, they are still married and thus physical contact wouldn't be Haram.  Then after 4 months if they decide go head with the divorce and finalize it instead of coming together, then the woman again has to wait for 3 months before she can re-marry.  So you see, in case of a divorce, she has already waited 4 months during separation with the presumption that there was no physical contact with husband.  Thus, an additional 3 months is enough after divorce so that in case during separation they did have some contact, there's still 3 months after divorce.  It's because of the 4 months of separation that the period after divorce is shortened into 3 months.  As compared to this, widowhood can come anytime.  There's no separation prior to that.  For this reason it has a flat 4 months waiting period to be sure of the child's paternity in case of pregnancy.

One might ask, if during separation the woman has already waited 4 months then why does she have to wait another 3 months in case of divorce?  That's basically to keep it on the safe side.  Presuming that at any time during those 4 months of separation prior to divorce the couple had any contact then the 3 months after divorce would suffice to confirm whether or not she's pregnant.
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012, 06:05:49 am »

Okay .. okay, got it.  How perfectly Allah arranges all matters for the convenience of humans.  Alhumdulilah.

Thanks a lot for your perception sis.  So helpful as always
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