Surah Tahreem Background And Summary of Main Topics.

Surah Tahreem Statistics: Total Number of Verses, Revelation Period, Main Characters, Theme And Key Verses.

NAME: التحريم, At-Tahrim.

Name taken from Verse 1 where there is a mention of the word ”Tuharram”.

١  يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكَ ۖ تَبْتَغِي مَرْضَاتَ أَزْوَاجِكَ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
1  O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.s.

But It does not mean that this name is the actual topic discussed in the whole Surah. It is just a reference and mark/symbol to distinguish this Surah from others as is with most other Surahs of Quran. While there are diversified topics discussed in these Surahs.

ENGLISH NAME: Forbiddance/Prohibition.







Medinan, Approx. 629 – 630 AD.


God, Prophet Muhammad, His Wives, Gabriel, Angels, Believers, Wives of Prophet Nuh And Lut, Wife Of Pharaoh, Mary/Maryam.


Wives Of Prophet Warned And Asked for Repentance, If Prophet Divorce, Allah Will Give Him Others Better Than The Present Wives.


٣  وَإِذْ أَسَرَّ النَّبِيُّ إِلَىٰ بَعْضِ أَزْوَاجِهِ حَدِيثًا فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَتْ بِهِ وَأَظْهَرَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ عَرَّفَ بَعْضَهُ وَأَعْرَضَ عَنْ بَعْضٍ ۖ فَلَمَّا نَبَّأَهَا بِهِ قَالَتْ مَنْ أَنْبَأَكَ هَٰذَا ۖ قَالَ نَبَّأَنِيَ الْعَلِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ

3  And [remember] when the Prophet confided to one of his wives a statement; and when she informed [another] of it and Allah showed it to him, he made known part of it and ignored a part. And when he informed her about it, she said, “Who told you this?” He said, “I was informed by the Knowing, the Acquainted.”

٤  إِنْ تَتُوبَا إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَدْ صَغَتْ قُلُوبُكُمَا ۖ وَإِنْ تَظَاهَرَا عَلَيْهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ مَوْلَاهُ وَجِبْرِيلُ وَصَالِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ ظَهِيرٌ

4  If you two [wives] repent to Allah, [it is best], for your hearts have deviated. But if you cooperate against him – then indeed Allah is his protector, and Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are [his] assistants.

٥  عَسَىٰ رَبُّهُ إِنْ طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَنْ يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَاجًا خَيْرًا مِنْكُنَّ مُسْلِمَاتٍ مُؤْمِنَاتٍ قَانِتَاتٍ تَائِبَاتٍ عَابِدَاتٍ سَائِحَاتٍ ثَيِّبَاتٍ وَأَبْكَارًا

5  Perhaps his Lord, if he divorced you [all], would substitute for him wives better than you – submitting [to Allah], believing, devoutly obedient, repentant, worshipping, and traveling – [ones] previously married and virgins.

١٠  ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا امْرَأَتَ نُوحٍ وَامْرَأَتَ لُوطٍ ۖ كَانَتَا تَحْتَ عَبْدَيْنِ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا صَالِحَيْنِ فَخَانَتَاهُمَا فَلَمْ يُغْنِيَا عَنْهُمَا مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَقِيلَ ادْخُلَا النَّارَ مَعَ الدَّاخِلِينَ

10  Allah presents an example of those who disbelieved: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of Our righteous servants but betrayed them, so those prophets did not avail them from Allah at all, and it was said, “Enter the Fire with those who enter.”


1(Instructions To prophet That Do Not Make Something Unlawful Which Allah Has Made Lawful, Wives Of Prophet Admonished), 2(Expiation Of Oaths), 3(Prophet Gave A Secret To A Wife, She Told To The Other, Allah Revealed This To Prophet, He Inquired), 4(Wives Are Instructed To Repent, Otherwise God Is With Prophet, And Prophet Has Protector Gabriel And Other Angels And Helpers From Believers), 5(If Prophet Divorce, Allah Will Give Him Others Better Than The Present Wives), 6(Hell Fuel Is Men And Stones, Its Guardian Are Angels, Harsh And Severe), 8(Last Day Believers Light/Nur Will Proceed Before Them And On Their Right), 10(Example Of Prophet Nuh And Lut Wives For Disbelievers), 11-12(Example Of Pharaoh Wife And Of Mary/Maryam For Believers)


This Surah has 12 verses divided into 2 Rukus/Sections. It takes its name from verse 1: “….   يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكَ” (O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you…..) where the word “تُحَرِّمُ” meaning “you prohibit” appears. This Surah was revealed in Madina around 7th to 8th year after Hijrah 629-630 AD.

It refers to an incident that took place between the Prophet and his wives. There are different traditions some say that Prophet’s Oath was regarding Honey, and some say it was regarding not going to one of His wives. In the second case the narrations tell that the women were either Hazrat Safia or Hazrat Maria Qibtiyyah and because both were very beautiful and in Hazrat Aisha’s words I have never felt so much jealous of any of prophet’s wife and marriage as with Safia/OR Maria. Thus she with the help of Hazrat Hafsa plotted a plan and Prophet swear that he will not go to Safia Or Maria’s apartment again.

Most consensus is that the incident referred here was regarding honey. Some traditions state it was Hafsah who gave Prophet the honey and Aaisha with the help of Hazrat Sawdah bint Zamah plotted. Other narrations tell it was Zaynab bint Jahsh who gave the honey to the Prophet, while Aaisha and Hafsah were the plotters.

A detail of the event is mentioned below as per two Bukhari Hadiths whose references are also quoted.

Book: Divorce – كتاب الطلاق

Global Id: 5121 (17)

English reference: Vol. 7, Book 63, Hadith 193

Arabic reference: Book 68, Hadith 5323

حَدَّثَنَا فَرْوَةُ بْنُ أَبِي الْمَغْرَاءِ، حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُسْهِرٍ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُحِبُّ الْعَسَلَ وَالْحَلْوَاءَ، وَكَانَ إِذَا انْصَرَفَ مِنَ الْعَصْرِ دَخَلَ عَلَى نِسَائِهِ، فَيَدْنُو مِنْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ، فَدَخَلَ عَلَى حَفْصَةَ بِنْتِ عُمَرَ، فَاحْتَبَسَ أَكْثَرَ مَا كَانَ يَحْتَبِسُ، فَغِرْتُ فَسَأَلْتُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ فَقِيلَ لِي أَهْدَتْ لَهَا امْرَأَةٌ مِنْ قَوْمِهَا عُكَّةً مِنْ عَسَلٍ، فَسَقَتِ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنْهُ شَرْبَةً، فَقُلْتُ أَمَا وَاللَّهِ لَنَحْتَالَنَّ لَهُ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ لِسَوْدَةَ بِنْتِ زَمْعَةَ إِنَّهُ سَيَدْنُو مِنْكِ، فَإِذَا دَنَا مِنْكِ فَقُولِي أَكَلْتَ مَغَافِيرَ فَإِنَّهُ سَيَقُولُ لَكِ لاَ‏.‏ فَقُولِي لَهُ مَا هَذِهِ الرِّيحُ الَّتِي أَجِدُ مِنْكَ فَإِنَّهُ سَيَقُولُ لَكِ سَقَتْنِي حَفْصَةُ شَرْبَةَ عَسَلٍ فَقُولِي لَهُ جَرَسَتْ نَحْلُهُ الْعُرْفُطَ‏.‏ وَسَأَقُولُ ذَلِكَ، وَقُولِي أَنْتِ يَا صَفِيَّةُ ذَاكِ‏.‏ قَالَتْ تَقُولُ سَوْدَةُ فَوَاللَّهِ مَا هُوَ إِلاَّ أَنْ قَامَ عَلَى الْبَابِ، فَأَرَدْتُ أَنْ أُبَادِيَهُ بِمَا أَمَرْتِنِي بِهِ فَرَقًا مِنْكِ، فَلَمَّا دَنَا مِنْهَا قَالَتْ لَهُ سَوْدَةُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَكَلْتَ مَغَافِيرَ قَالَ ‏”‏ لاَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَتْ فَمَا هَذِهِ الرِّيحُ الَّتِي أَجِدُ مِنْكَ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ سَقَتْنِي حَفْصَةُ شَرْبَةَ عَسَلٍ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ جَرَسَتْ نَحْلُهُ الْعُرْفُطَ فَلَمَّا دَارَ إِلَىَّ قُلْتُ لَهُ نَحْوَ ذَلِكَ، فَلَمَّا دَارَ إِلَى صَفِيَّةَ قَالَتْ لَهُ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ فَلَمَّا دَارَ إِلَى حَفْصَةَ قَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَلاَ أَسْقِيكَ مِنْهُ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ لاَ حَاجَةَ لِي فِيهِ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَتْ تَقُولُ سَوْدَةُ وَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ حَرَمْنَاهُ‏.‏ قُلْتُ لَهَا اسْكُتِي‏.‏

Narrated `Aisha:

Allah’s Apostle was fond of honey and sweet edible things and (it was his habit) that after finishing the `Asr prayer he would visit his wives and stay with one of them at that time. Once he went to Hafsa, the daughter of `Umar and stayed with her more than usual. I got jealous and asked the reason for that. I was told that a lady of her folk had given her a skin filled with honey as a present, and that she made a syrup from it and gave it to the Prophet to drink (and that was the reason for the delay). I said, “By Allah we will play a trick on him (to prevent him from doing so).” So I said to Sawda bint Zama “The Prophet will approach you, and when he comes near you, say: ‘Have you taken Maghafir (a bad-smelling gum)?’ He will say, ‘No.’ Then say to him: ‘Then what is this bad smell which i smell from you?’ He will say to you, ‘Hafsa made me drink honey syrup.’ Then say: Perhaps the bees of that honey had sucked the juice of the tree of Al-`Urfut.’ I shall also say the same. O you, Safiyya, say the same.” Later Sa`da said, “By Allah, as soon as he (the Prophet ) stood at the door, I was about to say to him what you had ordered me to say because I was afraid of you.” So when the Prophet came near Sawda, she said to him, “O Allah’s Apostle! Have you taken Maghafir?” He said, “No.” She said. “Then what is this bad smell which I detect on you?” He said, “Hafsa made me drink honey syrup.” She said, “Perhaps its bees had sucked the juice of Al-`Urfut tree.” When he came to me, I also said the same, and when he went to Safiyya, she also said the same. And when the Prophet again went to Hafsa, she said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Shall I give you more of that drink?” He said, “I am not in need of it.” Sawda said, “By Allah, we deprived him (of it).” I said to her, “Keep quiet.” ‘

Book: Prophetic Commentary on the Qur’an- كتاب التفسير

Global Id: 4756 (41)

English reference: Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 435

Arabic reference: Book 65, Hadith 4962

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ بِلاَلٍ، عَنْ يَحْيَى، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ بْنِ حُنَيْنٍ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ يُحَدِّثُ أَنَّهُ قَالَ مَكَثْتُ سَنَةً أُرِيدُ أَنْ أَسْأَلَ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ عَنْ آيَةٍ، فَمَا أَسْتَطِيعُ أَنْ أَسْأَلَهُ هَيْبَةً لَهُ، حَتَّى خَرَجَ حَاجًّا فَخَرَجْتُ مَعَهُ فَلَمَّا رَجَعْتُ وَكُنَّا بِبَعْضِ الطَّرِيقِ عَدَلَ إِلَى الأَرَاكِ لِحَاجَةٍ لَهُ ـ قَالَ ـ فَوَقَفْتُ لَهُ حَتَّى فَرَغَ سِرْتُ مَعَهُ فَقُلْتُ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مَنِ اللَّتَانِ تَظَاهَرَتَا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنْ أَزْوَاجِهِ فَقَالَ تِلْكَ حَفْصَةُ وَعَائِشَةُ‏.‏ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ وَاللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُ لأُرِيدُ أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ عَنْ هَذَا مُنْذُ سَنَةٍ، فَمَا أَسْتَطِيعُ هَيْبَةً لَكَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَلاَ تَفْعَلْ مَا ظَنَنْتَ أَنَّ عِنْدِي مِنْ عِلْمٍ فَاسْأَلْنِي، فَإِنْ كَانَ لِي عِلْمٌ خَبَّرْتُكَ بِهِ ـ قَالَ ـ ثُمَّ قَالَ عُمَرُ وَاللَّهِ إِنْ كُنَّا فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ مَا نَعُدُّ لِلنِّسَاءِ أَمْرًا، حَتَّى أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِنَّ مَا أَنْزَلَ وَقَسَمَ لَهُنَّ مَا قَسَمَ ـ قَالَ ـ فَبَيْنَا أَنَا فِي أَمْرٍ أَتَأَمَّرُهُ إِذْ قَالَتِ امْرَأَتِي لَوْ صَنَعْتَ كَذَا وَكَذَا ـ قَالَ ـ فَقُلْتُ لَهَا مَالَكِ وَلِمَا هَا هُنَا فِيمَا تَكَلُّفُكِ فِي أَمْرٍ أُرِيدُهُ‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ لِي عَجَبًا لَكَ يَا ابْنَ الْخَطَّابِ مَا تُرِيدُ أَنْ تُرَاجَعَ أَنْتَ، وَإِنَّ ابْنَتَكَ لَتُرَاجِعُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَتَّى يَظَلَّ يَوْمَهُ غَضْبَانَ‏.‏ فَقَامَ عُمَرُ فَأَخَذَ رِدَاءَهُ مَكَانَهُ حَتَّى دَخَلَ عَلَى حَفْصَةَ فَقَالَ لَهَا يَا بُنَيَّةُ إِنَّكِ لَتُرَاجِعِينَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَتَّى يَظَلَّ يَوْمَهُ غَضْبَانَ‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ حَفْصَةُ وَاللَّهِ إِنَّا لَنُرَاجِعُهُ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ‏.‏ تَعْلَمِينَ أَنِّي أُحَذِّرُكِ عُقُوبَةَ اللَّهِ وَغَضَبَ رَسُولِهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَا بُنَيَّةُ لاَ يَغُرَّنَّكِ هَذِهِ الَّتِي أَعْجَبَهَا حُسْنُهَا حُبُّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِيَّاهَا ـ يُرِيدُ عَائِشَةَ ـ قَالَ ثُمَّ خَرَجْتُ حَتَّى دَخَلْتُ عَلَى أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ لِقَرَابَتِي مِنْهَا فَكَلَّمْتُهَا‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ أُمُّ سَلَمَةَ عَجَبًا لَكَ يَا ابْنَ الْخَطَّابِ دَخَلْتَ فِي كُلِّ شَىْءٍ، حَتَّى تَبْتَغِي أَنْ تَدْخُلَ بَيْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَزْوَاجِهِ‏.‏ فَأَخَذَتْنِي وَاللَّهِ أَخْذًا كَسَرَتْنِي عَنْ بَعْضِ مَا كُنْتُ أَجِدُ، فَخَرَجْتُ مِنْ عِنْدِهَا، وَكَانَ لِي صَاحِبٌ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ إِذَا غِبْتُ أَتَانِي بِالْخَبَرِ، وَإِذَا غَابَ كُنْتُ أَنَا آتِيهِ بِالْخَبَرِ، وَنَحْنُ نَتَخَوَّفُ مَلِكًا مِنْ مُلُوكِ غَسَّانَ، ذُكِرَ لَنَا أَنَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَسِيرَ إِلَيْنَا، فَقَدِ امْتَلأَتْ صُدُورُنَا مِنْهُ، فَإِذَا صَاحِبِي الأَنْصَارِيُّ يَدُقُّ الْبَابَ فَقَالَ افْتَحِ افْتَحْ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ جَاءَ الْغَسَّانِيُّ فَقَالَ بَلْ أَشَدُّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ‏.‏ اعْتَزَلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَزْوَاجَهُ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ رَغَمَ أَنْفُ حَفْصَةَ وَعَائِشَةَ‏.‏ فَأَخَذْتُ ثَوْبِيَ فَأَخْرُجُ حَتَّى جِئْتُ فَإِذَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي مَشْرُبَةٍ لَهُ يَرْقَى عَلَيْهَا بِعَجَلَةٍ، وَغُلاَمٌ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَسْوَدُ عَلَى رَأْسِ الدَّرَجَةِ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ قُلْ هَذَا عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ‏.‏ فَأَذِنَ لِي ـ قَالَ عُمَرُ ـ فَقَصَصْتُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ، فَلَمَّا بَلَغْتُ حَدِيثَ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ تَبَسَّمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَإِنَّهُ لَعَلَى حَصِيرٍ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهُ شَىْءٌ، وَتَحْتَ رَأْسِهِ وِسَادَةٌ مِنْ أَدَمٍ حَشْوُهَا لِيفٌ، وَإِنَّ عِنْدَ رِجْلَيْهِ قَرَظًا مَصْبُوبًا، وَعِنْدَ رَأْسِهِ أَهَبٌ مُعَلَّقَةٌ فَرَأَيْتُ أَثَرَ الْحَصِيرِ فِي جَنْبِهِ فَبَكَيْتُ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا يُبْكِيكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ كِسْرَى وَقَيْصَرَ فِيمَا هُمَا فِيهِ وَأَنْتَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَمَا تَرْضَى أَنْ تَكُونَ لَهُمُ الدُّنْيَا وَلَنَا الآخِرَةُ ‏”‏‏.‏

For the whole year I had the desire to ask `Umar bin Al-Khattab regarding the explanation of a Verse (in Surat Al-Tahrim) but I could not ask him because I respected him very much. When he went to perform the Hajj, I too went along with him. On our return, while we were still on the way home. `Umar went aside to answer the call of nature by the Arak trees. I waited till he finished and then I proceeded with him and asked him. “O chief of the Believers! Who were the two wives of the Prophet who aided one another against him?” He said, “They were Hafsa and `Aisha.” Then I said to him, “By Allah, I wanted to ask you about this a year ago, but I could not do so owing to my respect for you.” `Umar said, “Do not refrain from asking me. If you think that I have knowledge (about a certain matter), ask me; and if I know (something about it), I will tell you.” Then `Umar added, “By Allah, in the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance we did not pay attention to women until Allah revealed regarding them what He revealed regarding them and assigned for them what He has assigned. Once while I was thinking over a certain matter, my wife said, “I recommend that you do so-and-so.” I said to her, “What have you got to do with the is matter? Why do you poke your nose in a matter which I want to see fulfilled.?” She said, How strange you are, O son of Al-Khattab! You don’t want to be argued with whereas your daughter, Hafsa surely, argues with Allah’s Apostle so much that he remains angry for a full day!” `Umar then reported; how he at once put on his outer garment and went to Hafsa and said to her, “O my daughter! Do you argue with Allah’s Apostle so that he remains angry the whole day?” H. afsa said, “By Allah, we argue with him.” `Umar said, “Know that I warn you of Allah’s punishment and the anger of Allah’s Apostle . . . O my daughter! Don’t be betrayed by the one who is proud of her beauty because of the love of Allah’s Apostle for her (i.e. `Aisha).” `Umar addled, “Then I went out to Um Salama’s house who was one of my relatives, and I talked to her. She said, O son of Al-Khattab! It is rather astonishing that you interfere in everything; you even want to interfere between Allah’s Apostle and his wives!’ By Allah, by her talk she influenced me so much that I lost some of my anger. I left her (and went home). At that time I had a friend from the Ansar who used to bring news (from the Prophet) in case of my absence, and I used to bring him the news if he was absent. In those days we were afraid of one of the kings of Ghassan tribe. We heard that he intended to move and attack us, so fear filled our hearts because of that. (One day) my Ansari friend unexpectedly knocked at my door, and said, “Open Open!’ I said, ‘Has the king of Ghassan come?’ He said, ‘No, but something worse; Allah’s Apostle has isolated himself from his wives.’ I said, ‘Let the nose of `Aisha and Hafsa be stuck to dust (i.e. humiliated)!’ Then I put on my clothes and went to Allah’s Apostle’s residence, and behold, he was staying in an upper room of his to which he ascended by a ladder, and a black slave of Allah’s Apostle was (sitting) on the first step. I said to him, ‘Say (to the Prophet ) `Umar bin Al-Khattab is here.’ Then the Prophet admitted me and I narrated the story to Allah’s Apostle. When I reached the story of Um Salama, Allah’s Apostle smiled while he was lying on a mat made of palm tree leaves with nothing between him and the mat. Underneath his head there was a leather pillow stuffed with palm fibres, and leaves of a saut tree were piled at his feet, and above his head hung a few water skins. On seeing the marks of the mat imprinted on his side, I wept. He said.’ ‘Why are you weeping?’ I replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! Caesar and Khosrau are leading the life (i.e. Luxurious life) while you, Allah’s Apostle though you are, is living in destitute”. The Prophet then replied. ‘Won’t you be satisfied that they enjoy this world and we the Hereafter?’ ”