NAME: المجادلة, الظهار, Al-Mujadila, Zihar.

Surah has two names. Names taken from Verse 1 and 2 where there is a mention of “Mujadila” and “Zihar” respectively. In this Surah beginning verses deals with the question and pleading of a woman asking prophet about “Zihar” and requesting prophet to tell her a way out.

١  قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِي إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ يَسْمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمَا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ
1  Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.

٢  الَّذِينَ يُظَاهِرُونَ مِنْكُمْ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ مَا هُنَّ أُمَّهَاتِهِمْ ۖ إِنْ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ إِلَّا اللَّائِي وَلَدْنَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَقُولُونَ مُنْكَرًا مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَزُورًا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُورٌ
2  Those who pronounce thihar among you [to separate] from their wives – they are not [consequently] their mothers. Their mothers are none but those who gave birth to them. And indeed, they are saying an objectionable statement and a falsehood. But indeed, Allah is Pardoning and Forgiving.

ENGLISH NAME: She who Disputes, Zihar.







Medinan, Approx. 627 – 628 AD.


God, Prophet Muhammad, A Woman Arguing, Hypocrites, Believers, God’s Messengers.


Questions and Clarifications Regarding “Zihar” and Its Expiation, Hypocrites Greet Muhammad With A Different Greeting, Etiquette Of Private Meeting and Of Assemblies, God Commands Believers To Offer Alms Before Talk/Or Question With Prophet, God’s Decree That My Messenger Will Surely Overcome.


٣  وَالَّذِينَ يُظَاهِرُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُوا فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَتَمَاسَّا ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ تُوعَظُونَ بِهِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

3  And those who pronounce thihar from their wives and then [wish to] go back on what they said – then [there must be] the freeing of a slave before they touch one another. That is what you are admonished thereby; and Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

٧  أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۖ مَا يَكُونُ مِنْ نَجْوَىٰ ثَلَاثَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلَا خَمْسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ وَلَا أَدْنَىٰ مِنْ ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْثَرَ إِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كَانُوا ۖ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا عَمِلُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

7  Have you not considered that Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is on the earth? There is in no private conversation three but that He is the fourth of them, nor are there five but that He is the sixth of them – and no less than that and no more except that He is with them [in knowledge] wherever they are. Then He will inform them of what they did, on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah is, of all things, Knowing.

١٢  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَاجَيْتُمُ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ نَجْوَاكُمْ صَدَقَةً ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ ۚ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَجِدُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

12  O you who have believed, when you [wish to] privately consult the Messenger, present before your consultation a charity. That is better for you and purer. But if you find not [the means] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

٢١  كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَأَغْلِبَنَّ أَنَا وَرُسُلِي ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ

21  Allah has written, “I will surely overcome, I and My messengers.” Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.


1(Woman Disputing/Asking Prophet: Regarding Pagan Practice Of “Zihar”), 2(Zihar: Calling Your Wife As Your Mother Not Make Them Your Mothers), 3-4(Expiation of This: Free One Slave, Or Two Months Fast, Or Feed Sixty Poor), 7(Nothing Hides From God He Is Omnipresent: Private Talks Of Three persons, God Is The 4th, Private Talks Of Five, He Is The 6th), 8-10(Hypocrites Greet Muhammad With A Different Greeting Which May Have Double Meanings, Secret Counsels/Whispering Is Bad, Etiquette Of Private Meeting), 11(Etiquette Of Sitting In Assemblies), 12-13(God Commands Believers To Offer Alms Before Talk/Or Question With Prophet, Relaxation Given To This), 18(Last Day Allah Will Resurrect Them All, And Wrongdoers Will Swear To Him As They Swear To Prophet), 21(God’s Decree That My Messenger Will Surely Overcome)


This Surah has 22 verses divided into 3 Rukus/Sections. It takes its name from verse 1:  قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ  The word “المجادلة” derived from تُجَادِلُكَ . “the one who argues with you” and المجادلة means the woman who argued and pleaded. This is regarding a woman who argued and requested Prophet Muhammad to suggest a way out as her husband separated her by pronouncing “Zihar”: a bad social custom of pre-Islamic times in which a husband would call his wife “mother” and thus would separate from her, but would not give her the divorce just to oppress her.

The Surah was revealed sometime after Battle of Trench 5 AH. As we know that after battle of Trench God revealed Surah Ahzab where in verse 4 :  مَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِنْ قَلْبَيْنِ فِي جَوْفِهِ ۚ وَمَا جَعَلَ أَزْوَاجَكُمُ اللَّائِي تُظَاهِرُونَ مِنْهُنَّ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ ۚ ,  (God has not made for a man two hearts in his breast. And He has not made your wives your mothers, whom you divorce by zihar ). There is a mention of the custom of “Zihar” but no detailed instructions available.

Traditions tell that the Surah was revealed in reply to a juridical appeal by a Muslim woman Khaula bint Thalaba, whose husband Aws bin Samit, divorced her using the pre-Islamic Arabian custom of Zihar. According to which, when a man proclaims the statement “You are to me as my mother’s back,” that man would be free to remarry and free from his duties towards his wife, while the wife could not remarry. Khaula bint Thalaba requested Prophet Muhammad to reconsider this practice as it is unfair to women. Prophet initially did not give a ruling in her favor because of the absence of any instructions on this topic in the Quran, until he received God’s revelation, which traditions tell that Khaula prayed to God about her case and the first six verses of this Surah revealed saying that God has heard her prayer.