Shia answers: Tafsir of Imam Al-Askari A.S

Question 243:  Asslaoalakum! I need to know about the book called “Tafsir Imam Alaskari A.S”, is it an authentic book? I came to know about this book by a “whabi” Shia type person, so i want to make sure if it’s safe for me to go through this book because I’m but a learner.

Answer 243: Despite Imam Hasan al-Askari (as) being martyred in the year 260 A.H, there hasn’t been any mention that this Tafsir was attributed to the Imam (as) among prominent scholars such as Sheikh Kulaini, Ali bin Abraham Qomi, Ahmad Barqi, Ahmad bin Edris, Ibn Qulawayh, Muhammad bin Hamam Baghdadi or Muhammad bin Abraham Nomani.

In the middle of the fourth century, Muhammd bin Qasim Jorjani Astar Abadi, who was known by some nicknames such as Mufasser (interpreter) and Khatib (orator), has quoted some content of this Tafsir to Sheikh Tawhid Sadouq. Sheikh Sadouq in some of his books like Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā, Amali and Man lā yahduruhu al-Faqīh mentioned some parts of this Tafsir, but some of the Shia prominent scholars don’t mention any of this tafsir.

At the beginning of the fifth century, Ahmad bin Hussain Ghadayeri mentioned this tafsir and its author, but considered the author (Jorjani) as a liar and introduced his book as a fake book.[1]

During the age of Safawi, Fakhr al-Din Ali bin Hasan Zawarei, the student of Ghiyath al-Din, translated this Tafsir from the Arabic language into Farsi, as Shah Tahmasib Safawi had ordered him to do so.

He has chosen “Athar al-Akhyar” as the name of this tafsir when it was translated into the Farsi language. This Tafsir is now available at the library of Shahid Mutahari Schools.

Those who accepted this Tafsir and quoted many parts of it, are as follows: Sheikh Tousi and Sheikh Mufid have narrated this tafsir from Sheikh Sadouq and Muhammad bin Qasim Jorjani AstarAbadi.[2]

Abu Mansour Tabarsi, in the book al-Ihtijaj, mentioned some topics from Imam Hasan al-Askari (as) with Sanad. He also added some traditions from the Holy Prophet (pbuh) concerning this tafsir.[3] In the book Monyatul Morid Shahid Thani, it has been narrated many traditions from this tafsir.

According to Ibn Shahrashoub, “This tafsir is certainly attributed to Imam Hasan al-Askari (as).”[4]

According to Allamah Hasan Zadeh Amoli, “This tafeer was attributed to Imam Hasan Askari (as) and became available in Tehran in 1268 A.H. It contains 309 pages and I have it in my library.”[5]

According to Mohaqiq Karaki, Ali bin Hasan Zawari’s professor, “This is one of the most authentic tafsir.”[6]

Sheikh Al-Hurr al-Aamili said, “Although this tafsir contains some traditions that are against the Shia belief, Ibn Babawayh trusted it; in his books was narrated many traditions from this tafsir.”. [7]

Mirza Hussain Noori, Mirdamad, and Ibn Ghadayeri are some of those scholars who criticized this book and didn’t accept that this tafsir is attributed to Imam Hasan al-Askari (as). [8]

It should be noted that until now the Farsi translation of this book hasn’t been published yet. Athar al-Akhyar is the only version of this tafsir available in some famous Iranian libraries and other countries libraries.

[1] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 107, Pg. 123.

[2] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 20, Pg. 59.

[3] . Al-Ihtijaj, Tabarsi, Pgs. 14 & 55.

[4] . Manaqib A’ale Abi Talib (as), Ibn Shahrashoub Mazandarani, Vol. 2, Pgs. 300, 313 and 339.

[5] . Sahifeh Mobin Magazine, 1994, Pg. 7.

[6] . Mostadrak al-Wasel, Vol. 3, Pg. 661.

[7] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 20, Pg. 59.

[8] . Mostadrak al-Wasael, Vol. 3, Pg. 661; Majma al-Rijal, Qahpaee, Vol. 6, Pg. 25.


Quran says: Every Soul Shall Taste Death

Question 461: Salamualekum. Please, what is the Ahlul bayt view on the fact that every soul shall taste death?

Answer 461: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “Every soul shall taste death. Then you shall be brought back to Us”.[1] According to the Holy Quran and traditions, before the judgment day, all of creatures will die. The holy Quran says: “And the trumpet shall be blown, so all those who are in the heavens and those who are in the earth shall swoon, except those who Allah pleases.”[2]

At first, this verse says that all those who are in skies and earth will die including all of the angels, and then there are some exceptions. So, we realize by this verse that some creatures will not die at sound of the trumpet. Who are they? There is a talk among commentators; some groups believe that there is a group of great angles such as: Gabriel, Michael, Israfil and Israel.

In another narration when the Holy Prophet Mohammad (s) recites this verse, people asked him who the exceptions are. He answered: Gabriel, Israfil and the angel of death and when all spirits was taken, they will die by order of Allah.[3] Another narration adds the carriers of Allah’s throne besides these angels[4].

In any case, by these narrations[5] and others that said: When the time of first horn comes, Israfil will blow on the trumpet and all creatures that have a soul will die except Israfil who will die later by Allah`s order.[6] And also by some verses like: “All things will die except His face,”[7] It is generally said that all things will die except Allah’s face. We can use this verse to show that this rest group will eventually die as there is not any creatures that will remain alive in any part of the world, except Almighty Allah.

How do angels die? It must be said that what we call death (the spirit leaving the body and the material world) does not have any meaning for angels because they do not have bodies for their soul to leave. For this, there are some possibilities about what the essence of their death is:

The first possibility means death by breaking the relationship between their soul and their mithali existence .[8] The second possibility means, ending their continuous activities and losing their perceptual ability.

Therefore, every soul shall taste death, and you will indeed be paid your full rewards on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is delivered from the Fire and admitted to paradise has certainly succeeded. The life of this world is nothing but the wares of delusion.[9] Everyone on it must pass away, and yet lasting is the Face of your Lord, majestic and munificent.[10]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answers:

Index: Satan Taste Death / Every Soul Must Taste of Death, answer 217.


Index: Delaying Death and Called before its Time, answer 505.


[1] . Surah al—Ankaboot, verse 57.

[2] . Zumar (the companies) verse 68

[3] . Bihar al Anvar, volume 79, page 184

[4] . Ibid, volume 6, page 329

[5]. Ibid, volume 6, page329

[6]. Ibid, volume 6, page 324

[7]. Qasas, verse 88

[8]. Refer to Tafsir Namoneh volume 19 page 541

[9] . Surah Aal Emran, verse 185.

[10] . Surah al-Rahman, verses 26-27.


Satan Taste Death / Every Soul Must Taste of Death

Question 217: Assalamu aleykum as it written or said innalillahi Wainnailyhi Rajiun. Shall Satan taste death as the rest of the creation will?

Answer 217: In the Holy Qur’an Allah (swt) says, “And certainly we created you, then we fashioned you, then we said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam.” So they did prostrate, except Iblis; he was not of those who prostrated. He said, “What hindered you so that you did not prostrate when I commanded you?” He said, “I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him thou didst create of dust.” He said, “Then get forth from this (state), for it does not befit you to behave proudly therein. Go forth, therefore, surely you are of the abject ones.” Satan said, “Respite me until the day when they are raised up.”[1]

Allah (swt), the Almighty says: “So surely you are of the respited ones.” “Till the period of the time made known.”[2]

In some traditions there have been mentioned different interpretations regarding “The Time Made Known” as follows:

Some say, it means when this universe has ended and there will be no taklif (duty) for the human being. All creatures will be died on that day and Allah (swt) will be the only one who is the Ever living who dies not. In this regards, the Holy Qur’an says, “Everything is perishable but He.”[3]

Allama Tabatabaei said: the meaning of “The Time Made Known” is not the Day of Judgment nor the end of the universe when there is no duty. It is during the time when the universe still exist and everyone has Taklif.[4]

According to Tafseer al-Qummi, when Imam Sadiq (as) was asked by Muhammad bin Younes that “What is the interpretation of this following verse of the Holy Qur’an, “So surely you are of the respited ones; Till the period of the time made known?” The Imam (as) replied: “The Satan will be killed by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) on the stone of Baitul-muqaddas at the time made known.”[5]

In Tafseer Ayyashi it is mentioned that the Imam of the time (ajtf) will kill the Satan.[6]

Therefore, the Satan will be killed by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) or the Imam of the Time (ajtf) during the Rajah time, according to the previous mentioned traditions.[7] It is also said in the Holy Qur’an that “Every soul must taste of death then to us you shall be brought back.”[8]

For further information in this regards, please read the following answer:

Index:  Satans are chained during the Holy Month of Ramadan, answer 061.

Index: Quran says: Every Soul Shall Taste Death, answer 461.

[1] . Surah Aa’raf, verses 11-14.

[2] . Surah Hijr, verses 37-38; Tafseer Nemooneh, Vol. 6, Pg. 109.

[3] . Surah Qasas, verse 88.

[4] . Tafseer al-Mizan, Vol. 12, Pg. 258.

[5] . Tafseer al-Qummi, Vol. 1, Pg. 349.

[6] . Al-Borhan, Vol. 2, Pg. 343, Hadith 7; Ayyashi, Vol. 2, Pg. 242, H 14.

[7] . Rajah literally means ‘to return’, and in Islamic terms it refers to the return of certain people from the dead. These people may consist of dedicated believers and mushrik (polytheists) alike. It has been narrated that after the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam (ajtf) and the establishment his global Islamic government, prior to the Day of Judgment, certain individuals will be raised from their graves and brought back to this world.

[8] . Surah Al-‘Ankabut, verse 57; Surah Namibian verse 35; Surah Ale-Iran, verse 185. Therefore, the Satan will die.


Ifk, the Slander / Shia Beliefs about Aisha

Question 180:  Salam everyone, I’m not Shia Muslim but my husband is Shia Muslim. I have several question, since I saw lots of story about Sunni and Shia in internet. How are Shia beliefs about Aisha (i.e. about Ifk, the Slander)? Does is true that in Shia Muslim Aisyah position is not too good as others wife’s prophet?

Answer 180: In order to give a clear answer to the question, we must deal with various subjects so that after analyzing them, we may reach an appropriate conclusion in this regard. Those subjects are the following:

  1. Which is the verse in the Quran that you intend to refer to and what story does it relate to?
  2. What does the term “momeen” (faithful) mean in the verse of the Quran? Do you mean to say that if a person is described as momeen in the Quran, he turns into a legendary and unobjectionable personality?!
  3. To what extent can men influence the lives of their wives? If a woman is a prophet’s wife, does it mean that she is immune to all kinds of errors and mistakes?
  4. What is Shi’ah belief about Aisha? What are our criticisms of Aisha?

We will discuss the above questions in the same order:

  1. Most probably, the intended verse in your question is verse 23 of Sura al-Al-Noor which was revealed in connection with the “slander” story. It says:

“ان الذین یرمون المحصنات الغافلات المؤمنات لعنوا فی الدنیا و الآخرة و لهم عذاب عظیم”


“Surely those who accuse chaste believing women, unaware (of the evil), are cursed in this world and the hereafter, and they shall have a grievous chastisement.[1]

Some commentators of the Holy Quran is of the view that this verse is general and that it applies to every person who accuses a chaste woman of an indecent action. Such an interpretation seems to be more coherent and suitable as it can be inferred from the context of the verse. Some other scholars are of the view that the verse is particular to wives of the Prophet (s). There is also a third group of scholars who say that the said verse relates to the “slander” story and the person of Aisha[2]. If so, all these interpretations lead to a fixed conclusion which is the meanness and abominableness of accusing others without a valid reason because it is not wise to say that it is mean to accuse only the wives of the Prophet not those of others. Therefore, assuming that your interpretation of the verse is correct and that it relates to the “slander” story and Aisha, then we have to see what the “Ifk, the slander” story is.

It is better to hear the story from Aisha herself since she has narrated this event at length but the summary of the story narrated by her as under:

“Whenever the Prophet (S) would intend to go on a journey, he would cast lots amongst his wives. So whoever’s lot would be picked, would accompany the Prophet (S). So he cast these lots on one of these expeditions and my name came up, so I traveled with the Prophet (S). This was after the verses pertaining to hijab were revealed and therefore I would travel in my hawdaj and be carried in it. After the expedition had finished and we were returning to Madinah, the Prophet (s) gave orders to camp the night outside of Madinah. When the orders were given to encamp, I stood up and walked away from the army to relieve myself. When I returned, I felt my chest and noticed that my onyx necklace had broken [and fallen] so I returned to where I had been [to search for it]. I was delayed in searching for it and in the meantime the people that were assigned to carry my hawdaj had already placed it on top of the camel, presuming that I was [back] in it. So they sent the camel forward and I found my necklace after they had gone. By the time I returned to the caravan camping ground, there was not a soul in sight. One of the companions was also lagging behind the army.  For some reason he was late so he was not up with the army and he walked up to my place. We both moved out together and reached the army of the Messenger of Allah.  This led some people to spread gossip about me and finally the verse of Ifk was revealed and which was a proof of my chastity. [3]

Now, we should see as to who were most involved in spreading this gossip. What is understood from the historical narrations in this regard is that Abdullah bin Ubai, Hassan bin Thabit and Musattah bin Athatha were at the top gossipers.[4] As for the social position of those who spread the gossip, this is an inquiry that also needs to be replied. The answer to this inquiry helps us reach a correct analysis of the story:

  1. A) Abdullah bin Ubai: He is one of the famous and renowned hypocrites who left no stone unturned to weaken the Holy Prophet (s)? It is very natural on his part to exploit this incident for his own benefit.
  2. B) Hassan bin Thabit: He is a poet who has composed a lot of poems on different occasions about different events during the period of the Holy Prophet (s) but Shiites criticize him for his performance in the ensuing years after the demise of the Prophet (s). His actions against the Commander of the Faithful are not approved of by Shiites. Hassan is one of the poets who composed different poems about the first caliphs and even in praise of Aisha but he also had a hand in this gossip. Years later, after the demise of the Holy Prophet (s) Hassan composed a poem in which he expressed his willingness to meet Aisha but she rebuked him expressly for his involvement in the accusation or what was known as “slander event”. [5]
  3. C) Musattah bin Athatha: This man was Abu Bakr’s maternal cousin who due to poverty was also finally supported by him. Sunni exegetes are of the view that Abu Bakr no longer supported him after the slander incident when he learned that he was involved in accusing his daughter. But then a verse was revealed saying that it was not good to do such an action and Abu Bakr started giving him his support afresh.[6]

Almost all Shi’ah jurisprudents have narrated the story in the same way as reported in Sunni books and they believe that the verse of Ifk (slander) is in regard with the same event.[7] There is a small minority of commentators of the Quran who do not consider this verse to be about Aisha saying that the verse has been about Maria al-Qibtiyya.[8] This was a brief explanation of the story of “Ifk” about which the verse in question has been revealed.

  1. The next point to mention is that even if we suppose that the verse in question makes an explicit reference to Aisha’s iman (faith) then our question is: Does the verse imply that whosoever is described in the Quran as faithful, it is guaranteed that he/she will remain faithful until the end of his/her life or that his/her actions will not be subject to any criticism?! We do not accept such an interpretation because, as the Quran says, there were some believers who returned to disbelief and infidelity and became even further stern than other disbelievers.[9] Also, the Holy Quran has many a time addressed some people as momeen (faithful) yet it has threatened and rebuked them in the severest manner.[10] Some Sunni brothers have made the same mistake about the companions of the Holy Prophet (s). Relying on some Quranic verses which implies God’s pleasure and satisfaction with the companions at a particular period of time, the Sunni scholars have considered their positions higher than they can be objected and they believe that despite the fact that many of the companions fought one another and engaged in bloodshed, it is not permissible for other Muslims to criticize them or make any remarks about them. Thus they believe that every companion of the Prophet (s) irrespective of whether he is a murderer or the murdered or impartial in an event must be respected. You can read more by referring to questions 3499 and 3517 on our website.

The conclusion we draw is that even if we assume that your interpretation of the verse is correct and that the term “faithful” in it concerns Aisha, we cannot, with reference to the said verse, consider Aisha to be a personality beyond any criticism.

  1. Perhaps, some may think that Aisha’s spousal relationship to the Holy Prophet (s) is a reason that makes us avoid raising any criticisms about her. We must say in this regard that if we go through the religious texts and Quran on top of them, we will find out that women have an independent personality and that it is they themselves who decide to be good or bad at the end of the day. Nevertheless, if we want to assess women in relation to their husbands, we can divide them into five separate groups:

1-3. The First group consists of women who both themselves and their husbands believe firmly in God and follow His commandments. Naturally, such an understanding is the best possible situation and believing men always pray to God to grant them such a success and bestow upon them such prosperity. They say: “Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”[11] Couples like the Prophet (s) and the Mother of the Faithful, Khadijah and also the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s) and the greatest lady of the worlds, Fatima (s.a) can be introduced as the most manifest examples of this group.

2-3. The second group consists of wicked and cruel women who, with the help and collaboration of their irreligious husbands, endeavor to oppose the prophets and divine saints.  Unlike the first group, such couples will be in the worst abode.

The Holy Quran has given an example of such women in Sura al-Masad. It reproaches Abu Lahab who despite having family relationship with the Prophet (s) hurt and tormented him. Also, his wife Umm Jamil, sister of the great enemy of Islam, Abu Sufyan has been reproached. [12]

3-3. There are also women who fail to get married in their lives due to the unavailability of means or opportunity but such women remain chaste and religiously adherent and Allah bestows special attention to them. Lady Maryam is in this group. There are many ayahs (verses) throughout the Qur’an which refer to Maryam[13] and there is a chapter in the Qur’an revealed in Maryam’s name.  She is a lady with such dignified position for whose protection and taking care, the pious ones quarreled with one another.[14]  And Zakariyah, the prophet of Allah, noticing the divine attention towards this great lady and despite being old and his wife being infertile, he prayed to God to grant him a child and his prayer was answered.[15]

4- 3. If we go through the historical reports, we come across ladies who, despite marrying oppressive and unjust rulers, maintained their faith and showed great resistance against their tyrant husbands. Asiya wife of Pharaoh can be introduced as a suitable model representing such ladies. She was harassed and tormented so much by Pharaoh that she prayed to God for death and martyrdom and she finally achieved her goal. The Quran praising the bravery and valor of this woman introduces her as a model for all faithful people irrespective of whether they are male or female.[16]

5-3. Contrary to the above group, we find women who enjoyed the privilege to become the prophets’ wives but unfortunately and to every one’s dismay, they not only did not help them and thank God for this great blessing but they continuously conspired against them, hurt and annoyed them and did whatever they could to create hurdles on the way of those prophets.  One of them was Noah’s wife; God, the Almighty, ordered Prophet Noah, after the typhoon had just started, to load from every species of animals a couple and He forbade him from picking his wife and one of his sons who did not believe in him.[17]

Prophet Lut’s wife also ended having an evil fate as she was subjected to divine punishment along with other unbelievers.[18]

In the last part of Sura al-Tahrim, God introduces these two women as ungrateful women who despite being married to noble and righteous people, acted treacherously towards them. Their relationship with the prophets was of no avail to them and therefore they were told to enter Hell along with other unbelievers.[19]

It is interesting to know that at the beginning of the same short chapter i.e. Sura Al-Tahrim in which reference has been made to the evil fate of Noah and Lut’s wives, two of the Holy Prophet’s wives have also been reproached and reprimanded for their unfavorable and annoying behaviors towards him.[20] They have been introduced to Islamic society as individuals whose hearts have been stained with darkness.[21]

Regardless of how they hurt and misbehaved with the Prophet (s), there is no doubt among the historians and exegetes – Sunni and Shia – that these two women were Aisha, the daughter of the First Caliph and  Hafsa, the daughter of the Second Caliph!

If you do not believe us and you think that Shiites have fabricated this story, we advise you to go through some of the most important Sunni sources to see to your amazement that they have also confirmed the same story seeing no one other than Aisha and Hafsa to be the manifestations of the aforementioned verses. We just cite only two examples of the traditions narrated in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and leave the rest to you to study:

  1. A) Narrated Ibn Abbas: “I intended to ask ‘Umar so I said, “Who were those two ladies who tried to back each other against the Prophet?” I hardly finished my speech when he said, They were ‘Aisha and Hafsa.”[22]
  2. B) Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: I had been eager to ask ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab about the two ladies from among the wives of the Prophet regarding whom Allah said ‘If you two (wives of the Prophet namely Aisha and Hafsa) turn in repentance to Allah, your hearts are indeed so inclined (to oppose what the Prophet likes) till ‘Umar performed the Hajj and I too, performed the Hajj along with him. (On the way) ‘Umar went aside to answer the call of nature, and I also went aside along with him carrying a tumbler full of water, and when ‘Umar had finished answering the call of nature, I poured water over his hands and he performed the ablution. Then I said to him, “O chief of the Believers! Who were the two ladies from among the wives of the Prophet regarding whom Allah said: ‘If you two (wives of the Prophet) turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined (to oppose what the Prophet likes)?” He said, “I am astonished at your question, O Ibn Abbas. They were ‘Aisha and Hafsa.”[23]

Now, we want you to answer as to why God, the Exalted, speaks about the fate of another two ladies immediately after He reveals verses denouncing Aisha and Hafsa for their act of hurting the Prophet (s). Why does God speak about the fate of two women who, like Aisha and Hafsa, were the wives of prophets but their relationship to those prophets were of no avail to them?

Therefore, one cannot consider the wives of prophets as being utterly and absolutely beyond any criticism.

  1. Having said that, we can now meticulously illustrate Shi’ahs’ perspective about Aisha and say that she enjoys two positions according to us:

First position:  Although we criticize Aisha for the reasons mentioned above, we also respect her as one of the wives of the Holy Prophet (s) and because the Quran regards the Prophet’s wives as the mothers of the faithful.[24] We respect her to the same degree that our Master, Imam Ali (a.s.) respected her following his victory in the Battle of Jamal in which Aisha pleaded Imam Ali for forgiveness and the Imam returned her to Medina with full respect and with forty armed women accompanying and guarding her.[25]

Also, we do not accept the false accusation levied against her in the “slander” event. As stated in some Shia sources, we believe that such sins cannot be committed by a wife of the Prophet (s) and that what is mentioned in the Quran as treachery refers to other offences committed by her.[26] Basically, we do not assail anyone by levying false accusations against him/her simply because we have some objections towards him/her. We believe such an act, as per the Quranic verse, is unjust because the Quran says that our criticism of people should not incite us to act unjustly.[27]

Second position: We know that obeying a mother is incumbent to a limited degree determined by God. We are not allowed to obey her absolutely and under all circumstances.[28] Unfortunately, this wife of the Prophet (s) and the Mother of the Faithful, committed acts which have given rise to objections on the part of some Shiites as well as some fair-minded Sunnis. We shall now mention only two important instances and leave the rest to you to study:

First instance: “Aisha hurt the Prophet (s) many times during the period she lived with him. As was stated in the third part of this answer, a few verses were revealed denouncing her and one another wife of the Prophet (s).

Second instance: Aisha was one of the most important individuals involved actively in the internal and well-organized civil wars ignited among Muslims. She ignored the Prophet’s advice to her[29] as we shall explain below:

During the period of the third caliph when public indignation increased against some of his designees, Aisha was one of the people who propagated heavily against him and even likened him to a Jewish man named Na’thal. She even incited people to kill him telling them “Kill the Na’thal” but when the insurgency intensified, she left Medina for Mecca thinking that as soon as Uthman would relinquish from power, her relative, Talha, who was also one of the leaders of the insurgency, would take the reign and occupy the caliphate. On her way to Mecca, she learned that Uthman had been killed. She became happy hearing the news and immediately asked the reporter as to whom the caliphate had been transferred to. When she heard that the people had chosen the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) as the caliph, she suddenly changed her position and expressed regret over Uthman’s murder! The reporter was taken aback with this sudden change of position. Therefore, he asked: “You were one of those people, who were instigating people against Uthman, how come you have now changed your opinion? Aisha answering this criticism and without denying her role in the insurgency answered: “Yes, I was among the opponents of Uthman but I believe the people must have made Uthman to repent and then they might have killed him! Then she returned to Medina and completed all preparations for the Battle of Jamal.[30]

What was presented in this study has been extracted from Sunni sources and one cannot deny or reject them.  Also, there are many other topics in the same books and also in Shi’ah sources each of which can give rise to  more criticisms but we are not going to discuss them for the sake of brevity but we want you to reply to our question without any prejudgment:

What is the reason a person cannot criticize a lady who enjoyed the honor to be the wife of the greatest Prophet sent to mankind but who with her annoying the Prophet (s) caused some intimidating verses to be revealed. In addition, she played an important role in starting an internal war among Muslims because she was involved in Uthman’s murder and, by ignoring the Holy Prophet’s warning, she launched the “Battle of Camel” causing the blood of thousands of her children to be spilled without any specific results.

If she is beyond any criticisms simply because she is the wife of the Holy Prophet (s), then why God considers, in Sura al-Tahrim, the wives of some of the prophets as being entitled to the Fire of Hell?! Why does God, addressing the Prophet’s wives, say that whoever among you commits a blatant sin will be punished twice as much as other people?[31] Do you find a sin more blatant and open than a military surge against the Prophet’s brother, his successor and the murder of thousands of people under the pretext of avenging the blood of a person in whose death she herself was primarily and overtly involved?

[1] – Al-Noor, 23.

[2] – Qurtubi, Muhammad bin Ahmad, Al-Jame’ le-Ahkaam al-Qur’an, vol.13, pg. 209, Nasir Khosro Publications, Tehran, 1364 (1985).

[3] – Sahih Bukhari, vol.3, pg. 154 – 155, Dar al-Fikr Publication, Beirut, 1401 A.H.

[4] – Sahih Bukhari, vol.6, pg. 13.

[5] – Sahih Bukhari, vol.5, pg. 61.

[6] – Tabari, Abu Ja’far, Jami’ul Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol.18, pg. 82, under verse 22 of Sura al-Noor, Dar al-Ma’arefah Publication, Beirut, 1412 A.H.

[7] – Vide: Tabarsi, Fazl bin Hasan, Jawame’ul Jami’, vol.3, pg.98, Tehran University Press, 1377 (1998); Tusi, Muhammad bin Hasan, Al-Tebyan fi Tafsir al-Quran, vol.7,pg. 415, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut.

[8] – Ali bin Ibrahim, Tafsir Qommi, vol.2, pg. 99, Darul Kitab Institute, Qom, 1404 A.H.

[9] – Al-Nisa, 137; Al-Munafeqoon, 3; Al-Maedah, 54

[10] – Al-Tawbah, 38; Al-Maedah, 51, Al-Ahzab, 69; Al-Hojurat, 1-2; Momtahenah, 1; Al-Saf, 2; Al-Munafeqoon, 9; Al-Anfal,5.

[11] – Al-Furqan, 74.

[12] – Al-Masad, 1-5: Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he! No profit to him from all his wealth, and all his gains! Burnt soon will he be in a Fire of Blazing Flame! His wife shall carry the (crackling) wood – As fuel!- A twisted rope of palm-leaf fibre round her (own) neck!

[13] – Al-Tahrim, 12; Aal-e Imran, 42-43 etc.

[14] – Aal-e Imran, 44: “hou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: Nor wast thou with them when they disputed (the point).”

[15] – Aal-e Imran, 37 -40: “There did Zakariya pray to his Lord; he said: My Lord! grant me from Thee good offspring; surely Thou art the Hearer of prayer.”

[16] – Al-Tahrim, 11: “And Allah sets forth, as an example to those who believe the wife of Pharaoh: Behold she said: “O my Lord! Build for me, in nearness to Thee…”

[17] – Hud 40: We said: “We said: Load therein two of every kind, a pair (the male and female), and thy household, save him against whom the word hath gone forth already, and those who believe.”

[18] – Hud, 81, “And let not any of you look back: but thy wife (will remain behind): To her will happen what happens to the people.”

[19] – Al-Tahrim, 10: “Allah sets forth, for an example to the Unbelievers, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lut: they were (respectively) under two of our righteous servants, but they were false to their (husbands), and they profited nothing before Allah on their account, but were told: “Enter ye the Fire along with (others) that enter!”

[20] – Read the full story in reliable Sunni or Shi’ah Tafsir (commentary books) under Chap. Al-Tahrim.

[21] – Al-Tahrim, 4-6: “If ye two turn in repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined; But if ye back up each other against him, truly Allah is his Protector, and Gabriel, and (every) righteous one among those who believe,- and furthermore, the angels – will back (him) up.”

[22] – Sahih Bukhari, vol.6, pg. 70

[23] – Sahih Bukhari, vol.6, pg. 147 – 148; Sahih Muslim, vol.4, pg. 192, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut.

[24] – Al-Ahzab, 6: “And his wives are their mothers.”

[25] – Shakh Mufid, Al-Jamal, pg. 415, Congress on Shaykh Mufid, Qom, 1413 A.H.

[26] – Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Behar al-Anwar, vol.11, pg. 308, Al-Wafa Institute, Beirut, 1404 A.H.

[27] – Al-Maedah, 8: “And let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice.”

[28] – Al-Ankabut, 8; Luqman, 15: “But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration).”

[29] – Ibn Kathir al-Demashqi, Al-Bedayah wan-Nehayah, vol.6, pg. 212, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1407 A.H.

[30] – Tarikh al-Tabari, vol.4, pg. 458 – 459, Dar al-Turath, Beirut, 2nd edition, 1387 A.H.

[31] – Al-Ahzab, 30: “O wives of the prophet! whoever of you commits an open indecency, the punishment shall be increased to her doubly.”; Adopted from answer 4523 IQ.


Good women are for good men / Types of Family in Quran

Question 512: ‘Good women are for good men and vice versa’. What about Asia and Pharaoh or other examples we daily see in our lives. How does one interpret this verse?

Answer 512: As an improvement for their opinions that is behind why ‘Good women are for good men’ some adduce an argument of the Holy Quran in which Allah (SWT) says: “Vicious women are for vicious men, and vicious men for vicious women. Good women are for good men, and good men for good women. These are absolved of what they say [about them]. For them is forgiveness and a noble provision”.[1]

Arabic version:

الْخَبيثاتُ لِلْخَبيثينَ وَ الْخَبيثُونَ لِلْخَبيثاتِ وَ الطَّيِّباتُ لِلطَّيِّبينَ وَ الطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّباتِ أُولئِكَ مُبَرَّؤُنَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَ رِزْقٌ كَريم‏

But, considering that every general rule has exceptional cases we see many different examples some of which have mentioned in the Holy Quran that are against the rule as follows:

In one hand, Allah draws an example for the faithless: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of our righteous servants, yet they betrayed them. So they did not avail them in any way against Allah, and it was said [to them],” Enter the Fire, along with those who enter [it].

Arabic version:

ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ امْرَأَتَ نُوحٍ وَ امْرَأَتَ لُوطٍ  كَانَتَا تحَْتَ عَبْدَيْنِ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا صَلِحَينْ‏ِ فَخَانَتَاهُمَا فَلَمْ يُغْنِيَا عَنهُْمَا مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيًْا وَ قِيلَ ادْخُلَا النَّارَ مَعَ الدَّاخِلِين‏

As we see, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot’ relationship with the prophets was of no avail to them and therefore they were told to enter Hell along with other unbelievers.[2] Because, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God wary among you.[3]

On the other hand, Allah draws an [other] example for those who have faith: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said,” My Lord! Build me a home near You in paradise, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his conduct, and deliver me from the wrongdoing lot.” [4]

Arabic version:

وَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ امْرَأَتَ فِرْعَوْنَ إِذْ قَالَتْ رَبّ‏ِ ابْنِ لىِ عِندَكَ بَيْتًا فىِ الْجَنَّةِ وَ نجَِّنىِ مِن فِرْعَوْنَ وَ عَمَلِهِ وَ نجَِّنىِ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِين‏

Also, Allah (SWT) draws another example: “And Mary, daughter of Imran, who guarded the chastity of her womb, so We breathed into it of Our spirit. She confirmed the words of her Lord and His Books, and she was one of the obedient”

Arabic version:

وَ مَرْيمَ‏َ ابْنَتَ عِمْرَانَ الَّتىِ أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِنَا وَ صَدَّقَتْ بِكلَِمَاتِ رَبهَِّا وَ كُتُبِهِ وَ كاَنَتْ مِنَ الْقَانِتِين‏

In addition to the above mentioned issues, we need to take the followings into our consideration.

  1. This verse of the Holy Quran (i.e. surah al-Tahrim, verse 10) is the continuation of the story of Ifk “slander” was revealed and which was a proof of chastity. Allah, the Almighty speaks about the fate of the two ladies immediately after He reveals verses denouncing Aisha and Hafsa for their act of hurting the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He (SWT) introduces these two women as ungrateful women who despite being married to noble and righteous people, acted treacherously towards them. They were the wives of the Prophets (as), but their relationship with them was of no avail to them and therefore they were told to enter Hell along with other unbelievers.
  2. The main aim of the word ‘Khabithat’ (Unclean things) mentioned in this verse is unchaste. Meaning that none of the Prophets (as) and the Imams’ (pbuth) wives deviated from the right path and committed such sins. When the holy Quran talks about the wives of the Prophet Noah and Lot that they betrayed the prophets, it means that they spied for the disbelievers. It doesn’t mean that they committed adultery. Because, the houses of the Prophets must be keep away from such sins that people hate. Otherwise, they couldn’t communicate what has been sent down to them from Allah, the Almighty.
  3. Some of the Prophets and Imams’ (pbuth) wives were not infidel or disbeliever at the time getting married to them. They sometimes went astray after nubuwwat (prophet hood), so after that the prophets didn’t continue their relations with them.

When Asiah got married to Pharaoh the Prophet Musa (as) wasn’t born. When Musa (as) raised up among people she acknowledged His faith, but she had no choice except to live with Pharaoh and then she finally had been killed by Pharaoh.[5]

Ju’dah bint Ash’ath, the wife of Imam Hasan (as) is another example we need to know about. This marriage took place in Kufa and she poisoned Him on instigation of Mu’aviya.

Imam Ali (as) asked Saeed bin Qays, the Ash’ath’s brother to marry his daughter to Imam Hasan (as). When As’ath realized he goes to his brother and dissuaded him from marrying his daughter to the Imam and married Saeed’s daughter to his son (i.e. Ash’ath’s son). He then goes to Imam Ali (as) and said: The girl you proposed for Imam Hasan is my son’s wife. After that he married his own daughter to Imam Hasan (as) with much importunity.[6] According to some sources, Imam Hasan (as) hasn’t had any children from Judah.

According to Shia sources, Judah instigated by Mu’aviyah (according to Ibn Abi al-Hadid, she instigated by Yazid bin Mu’aviyah[7]) as he promised her that if you poison your husband (Imam Hasan) you will get married to my son Yazid and be received a lot of money.[8]

According to Tabarsi, when Imam Hasan (as) has become martyr Mu’aviyah gave Ju’dah money but didn’t fulfil the other promise.[9]

What the reason behind why Judah and his father committed such capital sin was that they instigated by Mu’aviah, the caliphate of that time. It wasn’t because she loved yazid.

This may raise a question as to whether or not the Prophets and Imams (pbuth) didn’t use the knowledge of the unseen in such situation to get married to a pious woman but not like the one who poisoned the Imam.

In the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “In the Apostle of Allah there is certainly for you a good exemplar, for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remember Allah greatly”.[10](10) So, the answer is obvious as they are our examples we ordinary people follow their sayings, behaviors, and demeanors.

If they use the knowledge of the unseen in this matter how is this thing possible for us that don’t have the knowledge of the unseen to choose a woman we made sure she will never go astray in the future!

According to the above mentioned issues and the following types of families mentioned in the holy Quran we can conclude that however it is a rule that good women are for good men, but there are some exceptional cases are against the rule. Also, this verse of the Holy Quran is about unchaste that comes after verses denouncing Aisha and Hafsa for their act of hurting the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Therefore, it is not an obligatory rule that we Muslims must act upon it. It is just examples for us to know that the noblest of us in the sight of Allah is the most God wary among us and being wife or husband of the pious persons like the prophets was of no avail to us.

Types of Families in the Holy Quran: there are four types of families mentioned in the holy Quran as follows:

  1. Husband and wife of the same mind in doing the righteous deeds like Imam Ali and Fatimah Zahra (pbuth). “They give food, for the love of Him, to the needy, the orphan and the prisoner”[11]
  2. Husband and wife that are in harmony with each other in malignancy. “Perish the hands of Abu Lahab, and perish he”[12]
  3. A family that man is good but the woman is bad. “the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of our righteous servants, yet they betrayed them. So they did not avail them in any way against Allah, and it was said [to them],” Enter the Fire, along with those who enter [it].””[13]
  4. A family that man is bad but the woman is good. “Allah draws an [other] example for those who have faith: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said,” My Lord! Build me a home near You in paradise, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his conduct, and deliver me from the wrongdoing lot.””[14]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

Index: The holy Prophet’s (pbuh) knowledge of the unseen (Gheyb), answer 393.

Index: Death of Asiya Bint Muzahim / Pharaoh ordered her be nailed to the floor, answer 528.

[1] . Surah Noor, verse 26.

[2] . Tafsir al-Mizan, Vol. 19, Pg. 575.

[3] . Surah Hujurat, verse 13.

[4] . Surah Tahrim, verses 10-11.

[5] . Tafsir Nemooneh, Vol. 14, Pgs. 425-426.

[6] . Abi al-Faraj Abdul Rahman bin Jozi, Pg. 27.

[7] . Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Vol. 16, Pg. 11.

[8] Mufid, Vol. 2, Pg. 16;  Ibn Shahrashoob, Vol. 3, Pg. 202;  Arbeli, Vol. 2, Pgs. 138-139.

[9] . Tabrasi, Vol. 2, Pg. 13.

[10] . Surah al-Ahzab, verse 21.

[11] . Surah al-Insan, verse 8.

[12]. Surah al-Masad, verse 1.

[13] . Surah al-Tahrim, verse 10.

[14] . Surah Al-Tahrim, verse 11.