Commentary : Verse 2

(2) وَآتُواْ الْيَتَامَى أَمْوَالَهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَبَدَّلُواْ الْخَبِيثَ بِالطَّيِّبِ وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَالَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَالِكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوبًا كَبِيرًا

  1. " And give the orphans their property, and do not exchange something bad (of yours) for something good (of theirs) , nor devour their property along with your own; (for) it is surely a great crime.

Occasion of Revelation:

At the time of the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) , one of the members of a tribe by the name of Bani-Qatfan had a rich brother, and it happened that the rich brother passed away.

Then, as a guardian of his brother's orphans, he took his property in his possession, but when his brother's son matured and demanded it, he denied returning his right to him. The subject was explained to the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) . Then this verse was revealed, and when the man heard it, he repented and returned the property to its owner. Then the man said:" I refuge with Allah from that I be polluted through the great sin."

Commentary : Treachery in Orphans' Property Is Forbidden!

In any society it happens that, as a result of some events and accidents, some parents die and there remain some little children from them. There are three important instructions upon the property of orphans mentioned in this verse.

  1. At first, it instructs as such:

" And give the orphans their property, ..."

This ordinance means that your interference in these properties is in the rank of a trustee and as an inspector, not as a possessor.

  1. The second instruction is to prevent guardians from devouring the property of orphans. Sometimes it happens that some guardians of the orphans, under the pretext that changing the property of the orphan is benefitable for the orphan, or it makes no difference to change it, or if it remains it will be wasted, take the best and choice parts of the properties of the orphans and put their own bad and undemanded properties in their places. The Qur'an says:

"... and do not exchange something bad (of yours) for something good (of theirs) ,..."

3.The third instruction has been added as follows:

"... nor devour their property along with your own; ..."

This sentence means that: do not mix the property of the orphans with your own property so that its result ends to the possession of the whole. Or, do not mix your undesirable property with their good property so that its result be treading the rights of the orphans. At the end of the verse, to emphasize and prove the importance of the matter, - that this kind of transgression to the property of the orphans is a great sin, it says:

"... (for) it is surely a great crime."

Commentary : Verse 3

(3) وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِي الْيَتَامَى فَانكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاء مَثْنَى وَثُلاَثَ وَرُبَاعَ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ فَوَاحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُواْ

  1. " And, if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry those women who seem good to you, two, or three, or four; but if you (still) fear that you will not act justly (between them) then (marry) only one or someone your right hands have acquired. That is more proper, that you may not deviate from equity."

Occasion of Revelation :

Before Islam, it was customary in Arabia among many people that they took the orphan girls to their houses under the name of defraying and guardianship and then they married them and appropriated their property, too. They assigned even their dowries less than what the ordinary amount was, since every thing was in their own hand, and when they felt the least inconvenience from them, they would easily leave them off. At that time the verse was revealed and instructed the guardians of the orphans that they could marry the girl orphans if they observed justice about them completely.

Commentary:

In this verse, another right, out of the rights of the orphans, is pointed out. It admonishes that at the time of marrying the girl orphans, if you fear that you cannot observe the right and justice about the conditions of matrimony, as well as their property, relinguish marrying them and refer to other women. It says :

" And, if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry those women who seem good to you, ..."

Then, it adds that you may choose from among them two or three or four to marry with. It says :

"... two, or three, or four; ..."

So, immediately after that it continues saying that this is in the case that you keep the perfect justice. But, if you fear that you do not observe justice unto those wives of yours, you must suffice to only one wife, so that you keep away from imposing cruelty and transgression against others. It says:

"... but if you (still) fear that you will not act justly (about them) then (marry) only one, ..."

Or, instead of taking a second wife, you may take advantage of the She-slave that you have, because their conditions are less heavy, although they must enjoy of their own rights, too. it says:

"... or someone your right hands have acquired. ..."

This action - choosing only one wife or your slave, better prevents you from cruelty and deviating from the path of equity. It says :

"... That is more proper that you may not deviate from equity."

Justice about Wives:

What a man is enjoined to observe in justice about his wife is the observance of the equity in one's practical conditions and outward aspects of life, because applying justice in heartily affections is out of the ability of man. (1)

(1) It can be said that the windom of polypany liens is the following :

* 1- The number of death for men in wars and accidents is larger than that of women and, therefore, some women become windows. * 2- Women have monthly periods when no associon occurs. * 3- Few of the young men are willing to marry a widow womman. * 4- Not all of the hushandes widows are pious or have the power to control themselves. Therfore, ether for the sonent of the first hushand , the rights of the widowsshould be ignored, or the problem must be solved by a project. Thus, basing on some conditions, men can marry a second wife in order to solve the difficully of the both parties.

Explanations :

  1. Islam is the supporter of the deprived class of the socity, especially the orphans, and the girl orphans in particular, emphatically on the subject of chastity, matrimony, and misusing them.

  2. It is not necessary to be assured of inequity of yourself to abandon marrying the orphans, but probability and fear from it of your own side, is enough either.

  3. In choosing a wife, heartily willing is a principal.

  4. On the whole, Islam agrees with conditioned polygamy for men.