English - Ma'ariful Qur'an - Mufti Shafi Usmani RA - Vol - 1
Surah Al-Baqarah - 2 : Verses 231 - 232
Pages for Current Surah - Verse/s :-
Do not make a marriage and divorce a plaything
The second rule presented in this verse is that the word of Allah should not be taken lightly as some amusement: : 'And do not take the verses of Allah in jest.' According to one explanation of the expression -- playing games with the verses of Allah or making a mockery of it -- means acting against Divine ordinances in matters of marriage and divorce. The second explanation reported from Sayyidna Abu al-Darda' is that some people during pre-Islam Arabia would give divorce or free a slave, then they would go back on their word and start saying that this was all in fun; talaq (divorce) or 'itaq (to free a slave) was not intended. Thereupon, this verse was revealed which gave the ruling that anyone going through divorce and marriage, even if it be playfully or jokingly, would find these enforced and the plea of 'having no intention' will not be accepted as valid.
The Holy Prophet has said that there are three things in which acting seriously, or in jest, are both equal: One -- talaq (divorce); two -'itaq (to free a slave); three -- nikah (marriage) (reported by ibn Marduwayh
from Ibn al-'Abbas and Ibn al-Mundhir from 'Ubadah ibn al-Samit).
This hadith has been reported from Sayyidna Abu Hurayrah in the following words:
It means that there are three things which take effect equally whether done seriously or jokingly. These are: The marriage, the divorce and the revocation of divorce. (Mazhari)
The Islamic law governing these three is: Should a man and a woman go through the process of offer and acceptance before witnesses, even if it be without any intention or just in jest, the marriage stands solemnized anyway. Similarly, if divorce is given in clear words, without any intention, or just in jest, divorce takes effect; or revocation, if done, becomes valid too. Similarly again, if a slave is playfully declared to be free, the slave becomes free. Jest or fun are not taken as valid excuses.
After stating this injunction, the noble Qur'an then educates man, in its unique style, how he should obey Allah Almighty and fear the consequences of the life to come (akhirah). It was said:
That is, And remember the grace of Allah on you and what He has revealed to you of the Book and the wisdom giving you good counsel thereby. And fear Allah, and be sure that Allah is all-knowing in respect of everything' -- It means: He knows the secrets hidden in your hearts, your intentions and your purposes. Therefore, when you have to release your wife from your marriage bond by giving divorce, you should do so with the intention of avoiding mutual disputes, loss of mutual rights and doing injustice, and not with the intention of releasing anger on your wife or disgracing or hurting her.
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