Surah 66. At-Tahreem – Prohibition
[Author’s Note] This is the 66th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 12 verses. A Noble Ideology must form the basis of lasting relationships. God alone has the authority of declaring something lawful or unlawful. And these laws are given in the Qur’an.
The Surah has no room for the contradictory and irrational stories of the exalted Prophet prohibiting honey for himself or of divorcing Maria, the Coptic. Among the historical accounts the one that stands up to reason is this: The exalted Prophet had mentioned to his wife Hafsah r.a. that Abu Bakr r.a. would likely be his successor followed by Umar r.a. Then, Hafsah r.a. shared this confidential information with another wife Ayesha r.a. (It is a well-known saying that a secret between more than two persons is no more a secret.) The exalted Prophet probably did not wish to announce his foresight in order to let the believers mutually consult and elect their leader after him.
With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness
66:1 O Prophet! Would you prohibit something that God has made lawful for you, even to please your wives? God is Absolver of (their) imperfections, Merciful.
[The big question: What would the exalted Prophet ban on himself that is lawful and that would please his wives? My humble understanding: In his compassion, the Prophet wished to promise his wives that he would not divorce any of them under any circumstances. (He never did anyhow.) Divorce, although a very unpleasant last resort, is not prohibited by God. To my knowledge, no exponent of the Qur’an has answered the big question as stated above, however, it sounds reasonable keeping in view the context and the flow of the verses. The conjecture of Shaan-e-Nuzool (circumstances of a revelation) leads people into thinking of weird situations such as: One night, the Prophet (S) stayed a bit too long with a wife since she offered him honey. Then Hazrat Ayesha and Hazrat Hafsah became jealous and told him that his mouth had an odor. The Prophet (S) then declared honey Haraam for himself. What an insult!]
66:2 God has already decreed for you believers the procedure for dealing with your oaths. God is your Master, and He is the Knower, the Wise. [2:225, 5:89]
66:3 [Family life must be a relation of mutual trust. Now follows an example for the believers] The Prophet confided a certain statement to one of his wives but then she divulged it. And God made this known to him. He then informed his wife of part of the issue and disregarded part. She asked him, “Who informed you of this?” He said, “The Knower, the Aware has informed me.”
66:4 You two should turn in repentance to God, since your hearts had deviated. But if you back up each other against him (in divulging family matters), then, remember, God is with him, and so is Gabriel (who brings the revelation in truth), and the righteous believers. Also angels are his helpers. [‘Angels’ here denotes perseverance, restraint, courage, resolve, contentment 3;126, 8:9, 9:26, 33:56]
[Here is the absolute refutation of the Hadith collectors who obnoxiously try to spy into fabricated accounts of the Prophet’s private life]