Surah: 024 An-Noor
Surah An-Nur is a Madni surah, and its knowledge is fundamental to understanding the laws against adultery and all the steps that are taken to protect the chastity of individuals to protect the society from corruption. Umar(RA) instructed the Muslim women to learn Surah Nur.
Unfortunately, in present times many of the laws revealed in this surah, are singled out for an attack, and their effectiveness questioned. But what’s not considered is that Islam provides a holistic solution to the problems of the society, so all these laws must be implemented together, or at least to the greatest possible extent, to minimize corruption and injustice.
This surah is named after the Ayatun Nur, the ayah of Light, describing Allaah (SWT) as the “light of the heavens and the earth”, in the middle of the surah.
Those guilty of fornication should be flogged a hundred lashes, but when it has been established by the testimony of four witnesses. Those who fail to produce four witnesses, then the accusers will be punished with eighty lashes, and their testimony will be rejected in the future unless they repent and reform.
The incident that led to the revelation of laws of Qadhaf (false accusation of adultery), was the accusation against Aisha(RA), the wife of the Prophet ﷺ. The slander was spread by Abdullah ibn Ubayy, the chief of Hypocrites, and the opinion among the people of Madina was divided. It caused much distress to the Prophet ﷺ and his family, especially since believers as Hassan ibn Thabit (RA) and Hamnah bint Jahsh (RA) were involved in spreading the rumours as well, and so they were punished when these laws were revealed and Aisha (RA) was absolved of any sin by Allaah (SWT).
Allaah (SWT) warns against following the footsteps of Satan, who invites to adultery and makes it easier to fall into. And falsely accusing chaste women will invite the punishment of Allaah(SWT) in this world and in the Hereafter. The believers must be careful to lower their gaze and protect their private parts. Women, in particular, must conceal their beauty by covering up properly, although they are allowed to relax their coverings in front of their close relatives, who have been listed and are called “mahram”. Children must be taught to ask permission before entering the rooms of elders.
The true believers are characterized by their willingness to listen and obey to Allaah (SWT) and His Messenger ﷺ. Allaah (SWT) promises security and authority to the believers as a reward for obedience to Him.
The Prophet ﷺ is not an ordinary man, and so must be addressed with due respect. And obedience to him is indispensable.