You Will Never Be Able To Do Perfect Justice Between Wives Even If It Is Your Ardent Desire

Al-ʿAllāmah Abū al-Ḥasan Mālik Ādam

A detailed explanation compiling various tafāsīr from the mufassirūn of the Salaf. The article explains Sūrah al-Nisāʾ, verse 129, “You will never be able to [perfectly] deal justly between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them so as to leave the other hanging. And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear Allāh by keeping away from all that is wrong, then Allāh is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
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“You will never be able to [perfectly] deal justly between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them so as to leave the other hanging. And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear Allāh by keeping away from all that is wrong, then Allāh is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

[Sūrah al-Nisā: 4:129]

Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Naṣir al-Saʿdī [d. 1376] says in the commentary of these verses [pg. 208]: “Allāh, the Most High, informs us that husbands do not have the ability to be completely just between wives, and that is because complete justice requires the presence of equal love, attraction, and an inclination of the heart, and then the action this necessitates, and this is impossible, therefore Allāh has pardoned him for what he is not able (to do), and has prohibited him from that which he has the ability with His Statement “So do not incline too much to one of them so as to leave the other hanging…”. Meaning, do not incline heavily to one (over the other) to the point where you do not give them their obligatory rights, rather do all that is in your power to be just (between them). So, maintenance, clothing, the division of time etc., it is upon you to be equal between them in these, as opposed to love, sexual intercourse, etc., so if the husband abandons his wife she becomes as if she is suspended, neither divorced so as to marry, nor married where she receives her rights.” [End of the words of al-Saʿdī]

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Published: May 30, 2007
Edited: July 21, 2022

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