Surah al-Baqarah Ayat 223 is a profound verse that provides guidance on marital relationships in Islam. It emphasizes the importance of consensual and respectful interaction between spouses.
Al baqarah ayat 223 in Arabic:
نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌۭ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُوا۟ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّىٰ شِئْتُمْ ۖ وَقَدِّمُوا۟ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَٱعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّكُم مُّلَٰقُوهُ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Surah baqarah ayat 223 English Translation:
“Your wives are like farmland for you, so approach them ˹consensually˺ as you please. And send forth something good for yourselves. Be mindful of Allah, and know that you will meet Him. And give good news to the believers.”
Surah al Baqarah ayat 223 transliteration:
“Nisā’ukum ḥarthun lakum fa’tū ḥarthakum annā shi’tum wa qaddimū li’anfusikum wa ittaqū Allāha wa i’lamū annakum mulāqūhu wa bashshiri al-mu’minīn.”
Hint: Dive deep into the teachings of the Quran with the Intensive Quran Course, a comprehensive program that covers Quranic recitation, memorization, and interpretation.
Al baqarah 223 tafsir – Tafsir Ibn Kathir:
نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ …
Your wives are a tilth for you,
Ibn Abbas commented,
“Meaning the place of pregnancy.”
Allah then said:
… فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ …
…so go to your tilth, when or how you will,
meaning, wherever you wish from the front or from behind, as long as sex takes place in one valve (the female sexual organ), as the authentic Hadiths have indicated.
For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that;
Ibn Al-Munkadir said that he heard Jabir say that the Jews used to claim that if one has sex with his wife from behind (in the vagina) the offspring would become cross-eyed.
Then, this Ayah was revealed: نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ (Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will).
Muslim and Abu Dawud also reported this Hadith.
Ibn Abu Hatim said that Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir narrated that Jabir bin Abdullah told him that;
the Jews claimed to the Muslims that if one has sex with their wife from behind (in the vagina) their offspring will become cross-eyed.
Allah revealed afterwards: نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ (Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will).
Ibn Jurayj (one of the reporters of the Hadith) said that Allah’s Messenger said:
مُقْبِلَةً ومُدْبِرَةً إِذَا كَان ذلِكَ فِي الْفَرْج
From the front or from behind, as long as that occurs in the Farj (vagina).
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said,
“The Ayah, نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ (Your wives are a tilth for you) was revealed about some people from the Ansar who came to the Prophet and asked him (about having sex with the wife from behind).
He said to them:
ائْتِهَا عَلى كُلِّ حَالٍ إِذَا كَانَ فِي الْفَرْج
Have sex with her as you like as long as that occurs in the vagina.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Sabit said:
I went to Hafsah bint Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr and said, “I wish to ask you about something, but I am shy.”
She said, “Do not be shy, O my nephew.”
He said, “About having sex from behind with women.”
She said, “Umm Salamah told me that the Ansar used to refrain from having sex from behind (in the vagina). The Jews claimed that those who have sex with their women from behind would have offspring with crossed-eyes. When the Muhajirun came to Al-Madinah, they married Ansar women and had sex with them from behind. One of these women would not obey her husband and said, `You will not do that until I go to Allah’s Messenger (and ask him about this matter).’
She went to Umm Salamah and told her the story.
Umm Salamah said, `Wait until Allah’s Messenger comes.’ When Allah’s Messenger came, the Ansari woman was shy to ask him about this matter, so she left.
Umm Salamah told Allah’s Messenger the story and he said:
Summon the Ansari woman.
She was summoned and he recited this Ayah to her:
نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ
Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will.
Only in one valve (the vagina).”
This Hadith was also collected by At-Tirmidhi who said, “Hasan.”
An-Nasa’i reported that Ka`b bin Alqamah said that Abu An-Nadr said that;
he asked Nafi, “The people are repeating the statement that you relate from Ibn Umar that he allowed sex with women in their rear (anus).”
He said, “They have said a lie about me. But let me tell you what really happened.
Ibn Umar was once reciting the Qur’an while I was with him and he reached the Ayah: نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ (Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will), he then said,
O Nafi! Do you know the story behind this Ayah?’
I said, `No.’
He said, `We, the people of Quraysh, used to have sexual intercourse with our wives from the back (in the vagina). When we migrated to Al-Madinah and married some Ansari women, we wanted to do the same with them. They disliked it and made a big issue out of it. The Ansari women had followed the practice of the Jews who have sex with their women while they lay on their sides. Then, Allah revealed: نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ (Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will).”
This has an authentic chain of narrators.
Imam Ahmad reported that Khuzaymah bin Thabit Al-Khatami narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:
لَا يَسْتَحْيِي اللهُ مِنَ الْحَقِّ ثَلَاثًا لَا تَأْتُوا النِّسَاءَ فِي أَعْجَازِهِن
Allah does not shy from the truth – he said it thrice-, do not have anal sex with women.
This Hadith was collected by An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.
Abu Isa At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i reported that Ibn Abbas narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:
لَا يَنْظُرُ اللهُ إِلى رَجُلٍ أَتَى رَجُلًا أَوِ امْرَأَةً فِي الدُّبُر
Allah does not look at a man who had anal sex with another man or a woman.
At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Gharib.”
This is also the narration that Ibn Hibban collected in his Sahih, while Ibn Hazm stated that this is an authentic Hadith.
In addition, Imam Ahmad reported that Ali bin Talaq said,
“Allah’s Messenger forbade anal sex with women, for Allah does not shy away from truth.”
Abu Isa At-Tirmidhi also reported this Hadith and said, “Hasan”.
Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Abdur-Rahman Darimi reported in his Musnad that;
Sa`id bin Yasar Abu Hubab said: I said to Ibn Umar, “What do you say about having sex with women in the rear?”
He said, “What does it mean?”
I said, “Anal sex.”
He said, “Does a Muslim do that?”
This Hadith has an authentic chain of narrators and is an explicit rejection of anal sex from Ibn Umar.
Abu Bakr bin Ziyad Naysaburi reported that Ismail bin Ruh said that;
he asked Malik bin Anas, “What do you say about having sex with women in the anus?”
He said, “You are not an Arab. Does sex occur but in the place of pregnancy? Do it only in the Farj (vagina).”
I said, “O Abu Abdullah! They say that you allow that practice.”
He said, “They utter a lie about me, they lie about me.”
This is Malik’s firm stance on this subject.
It is also the view of Sa
id bin Musayyib, Abu Salamah, Ikrimah, Tawus, Ata, Said bin Jubayr, Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, Mujahid bin Jabr, Al-Hasan and other scholars of the Salaf (the Companions and the following two generations after them).
They all, along with the majority of the scholars, harshly rebuked the practice of anal sex and many of them called this practice a Kufr.
… وَقَدِّمُواْ لأَنفُسِكُمْ …
…and send for your own selves beforehand.
meaning, by performing the acts of worship while refraining from whatever Allah has prohibited for you.
This is why Allah said afterwards:
… وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّكُم مُّلاَقُوهُ …
And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter),
meaning, He will hold you accountable for all of your deeds.
… وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢٢٣﴾
…and give good tidings to the believers (O Muhammad).
meaning, those who obey what Allah has commanded and refrain from what He has prohibited.
Ibn Jarir reported that Ata said, or related it to Ibn Abbas, وَقَدِّمُواْ لأَنفُسِكُمْ (…and send for your own selves beforehand) means,
mention Allah’s Name, by saying, `Bismillah‘, before having sexual intercourse.”
Al-Bukhari also reported that Ibn Abbas narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:
لَوْ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ إِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ أَهْلَهُ قَالَ: بِاسْمِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنَا الشَّيْطَانَ وَجَنِّبِ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا، فَإنَّهُ إِنْ يُقَدَّرْ بَيْنَهُمَا وَلَدٌ فِي ذلِكَ، لَمْ يَضُرَّهُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَبَدًا
If anyone of you on having sexual relations with his wife said: `In the Name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you bestow upon us (i.e., the coming offspring) from Satan,’ and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm him.
Here we conclude the interpretation of the verse by Ibn Kathir