At-Taḥrīm (Arabic: التحريم, “Banning, Prohibition”) is the 66th Surah or chapter of the Quran and contains 12 verses. This Surah deals with questions regarding Prophet Muhammad’s wives. The name of the Surah is derived from the words “lima tuharrimu” of the first verse, indicating that it is the Surah in which the incident of tahrim (prohibition, forbiddance) has been mentioned. The Surah touches upon the following points:
1. Emphasis on Repentance and Forgiveness
Surah At-Tahrim accentuates the boundless mercy of Allah. It conveys that regardless of the severity of one’s transgressions, Allah’s capacity to forgive is unparalleled. This central theme not only offers solace to those burdened by their misdeeds but also motivates believers to constantly turn back to Allah, recognizing that His mercy encompasses all. The surah serves as a beacon of hope, ensuring believers that a sincere heart seeking forgiveness will never be turned away.
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2. The Importance of Guarding One’s Tongue
Words have power, and with that power comes responsibility. The surah elucidates the potential harm that can arise from careless speech, be it in the form of false testimony, gossip, or slander. It encourages mindfulness in speech, urging believers to ensure their words reflect truth and kindness. The surah acts as a moral compass, guiding individuals to use their words constructively, fostering harmony and trust within the community.
3. Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership
Leadership is not merely a position but a trust and responsibility. Through the actions and decisions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the surah delineates the qualities of a righteous leader. It emphasizes the importance of leading with justice, compassion, and integrity, always prioritizing the well-being of the community. The surah serves as a blueprint for leaders, urging them to lead by example and remain steadfast in their commitment to their people.
4. Lessons from the Lives of Past Prophets
History is replete with lessons, and the stories of Prophets Noah and Lot are no exception. Their narratives provide profound insights into the dynamics of faith, perseverance, and divine intervention. While their communities were steeped in disobedience, these prophets remained unwavering in their mission, teaching believers the virtues of patience and resilience. Their stories also underscore the consequences of turning away from divine guidance, serving as a cautionary tale for future generations.
5. The Role and Influence of Righteous Women
Women have always played a pivotal role in shaping societies. The surah sheds light on the influential roles of the Prophet’s wives, highlighting their virtues and contributions. It underscores the potential of righteous women to bring about positive change, emphasizing their role as nurturers, educators, and moral anchors. Conversely, the surah also touches upon the repercussions of straying from righteousness, using the examples of the wives of Prophets Noah and Lot as a warning.
6. The Imperative of Protecting One’s Family
Family is the cornerstone of society, and its well-being directly impacts the larger community. The surah emphasizes the paramount importance of safeguarding one’s family from moral and spiritual harm. It encourages believers to instill values, provide guidance, and create an environment conducive to spiritual growth. The surah serves as a reminder that the responsibility of guiding one’s family towards righteousness is not to be taken lightly.
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7. The Significance of Prayer in Spiritual Growth
Prayer is more than a ritual; it’s a direct communication with the Divine. The surah extols the virtues of prayer, highlighting its role in grounding believers, fostering discipline, and nurturing a deep sense of gratitude and humility. It underscores the transformative power of prayer, emphasizing its ability to purify the soul, provide solace in times of distress, and strengthen one’s connection with Allah.
8. The Grave Consequences of Disobedience
Disobedience to divine commandments comes with repercussions. The surah elucidates the dire consequences that befall those who knowingly defy Allah’s guidance. It serves as a stark reminder of the transient nature of worldly pleasures and the eternal consequences of one’s actions. The surah urges believers to tread the path of righteousness, keeping the Hereafter in perspective.
9. The Promise of Paradise for the Righteous
For those who lead a life of faith, righteousness, and good deeds, the surah brings tidings of eternal bliss in Paradise. It paints a vivid picture of the rewards awaiting the righteous, from gardens beneath which rivers flow to eternal peace and contentment. The surah serves as a motivation for believers, urging them to persevere in their faith and deeds, with the promise of unparalleled rewards in the Hereafter.
10. The Necessity of Unity Among Believers
Unity is strength, and this principle is emphasized in the surah. It underscores the importance of solidarity among believers, urging them to stand together in the face of challenges, support one another, and uphold the teachings of Islam. The surah serves as a reminder that a united community, bound by faith and brotherhood, is better equipped to overcome adversities and thrive.
Why was Surah at-Tahrim revealed?
Surah At-Tahrim (The Prohibition) is the 66th chapter of the Qur’an and was revealed in Madinah. The circumstances of its revelation are rooted in specific incidents related to the personal life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Here’s a brief overview of the context behind its revelation:
The incident of the Honey and the Oath: The initial verses of Surah At-Tahrim are commonly understood to be related to an incident involving the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his wives. According to various narrations and tafsir (exegesis) sources:
- The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to spend time with his wives in turns. Once, while he was with Hafsah bint Umar (may Allah be pleased with her), he consumed some honey.
- Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) and some other wives, possibly out of a sense of playful rivalry or jealousy, told Hafsah to pretend that there was a strong odor coming from the Prophet’s mouth, suggesting that what he consumed was unpleasant.
- When the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited Aisha afterward, she too remarked about the odor. The Prophet, not wanting to have an unpleasant odor, said that he would not consume that honey again and made an oath to that effect.
- Allah then revealed the opening verses of Surah At-Tahrim, questioning why the Prophet (peace be upon him) would declare something
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What is the lesson of Surah Tahrim?
Surah At-Tahrim, while rooted in specific incidents from the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), imparts several universal lessons for believers. Here are some of the primary lessons derived from this surah:
1. Personal Sacrifices for Allah
The opening verses highlight the incident where the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited himself from consuming honey to please his wives. Allah questions this decision, teaching that believers should not prohibit what Allah has made lawful. The lesson here is that one should not make unnecessary personal sacrifices or prohibitions, especially when they go against what Allah has ordained.
2. The Power of Influence
The incident with the Prophet’s wives underscores the influence individuals can have on one another. It’s a reminder to be cautious of the impact of peer pressure and to always prioritize divine guidance over societal or personal influences.
3. Individual Accountability
The surah mentions the wives of Prophets Noah and Lot, who, despite being married to prophets, were held accountable for their own actions. This serves as a potent reminder that one’s relationship with Allah is personal, and everyone will be judged based on their deeds, regardless of their associations.
4. Righteousness Transcends Relationships
Conversely, the surah also highlights the righteousness of Pharaoh’s wife, Asiya, and Maryam (Mary), the mother of Jesus. Despite their challenging circumstances or associations, their faith and righteousness shone through. This teaches that true faith is a matter of personal conviction and can thrive even in adverse conditions.
5. The Importance of Repentance
The surah emphasizes the significance of turning back to Allah in repentance. It serves as a reminder that Allah’s mercy is vast, and He is always ready to forgive those who sincerely repent.
6. Guarding One’s Tongue
The incident with the honey also serves as a lesson on the importance of being careful with one’s words and not causing undue harm or discomfort to others through thoughtless remarks.
7. Protecting One’s Family
The surah advises believers to protect themselves and their families from the Fire, emphasizing the importance of guiding one’s family towards righteousness and the consequences of neglecting this duty.
8. Unity and Solidarity
The surah underscores the importance of unity and solidarity among believers, urging them to support one another in faith and righteousness.
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