Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 220-230) The Cow

220. About this world and the next. And they ask you about orphans. Say, “Improvement for them is best. And if you intermix with them, then they are your brethren.” God knows the dishonest from the honest. Had God willed, He could have overburdened you. God is Mighty and Wise.

221. Do not marry idolatresses, unless they have believed. A believing maid is better than an idolatress, even if you like her. And do not marry idolaters, unless they have believed. A believing servant is better than an idolater, even if you like him. These call to the Fire, but God calls to the Garden and to forgiveness, by His leave. He makes clear His communications to the people, that they may be mindful.

222. And they ask you about menstruation: say, “It is harmful, so keep away from women during menstruation. And do not approach them until they have become pure. Once they have become pure, approach them in the way God has directed you.” God loves the repentant, and He loves those who keep clean.”

223. Your women are cultivation for you; so approach your cultivation whenever you like, and send ahead for yourselves. And fear God, and know that you will meet Him. And give good news to the believers.

224. And do not allow your oaths in God’s name to hinder you from virtue, and righteousness, and making peace between people. God is Listener and Knower.

225. God does not hold you responsible for your unintentional oaths, but He holds you responsible for your intentions. God is Forgiving and Forbearing.

226. Those who vow abstinence from their wives must wait for four months. But if they reconcile-God is Forgiving and Merciful.

227. And if they resolve to divorce-God is Hearing and Knowing.

228. Divorced women shall wait by themselves for three periods. And it is not lawful for them to conceal what God has created in their wombs, if they believe in God and the Last Day. Meanwhile, their husbands have the better right to take them back, if they desire reconciliation. And women have rights similar to their obligations, according to what is fair. But men have a degree over them. God is Mighty and Wise.

229. Divorce is allowed twice. Then, either honorable retention, or setting free kindly. It is not lawful for you to take back anything you have given them, unless they fear that they cannot maintain God’s limits. If you fear that they cannot maintain God’s limits, then there is no blame on them if she sacrifices something for her release. These are God’s limits, so do not transgress them. Those who transgress God’s limits are the unjust.

230. If he divorces her, she shall not be lawful for him again until she has married another husband. If the latter divorces her, then there is no blame on them for reuniting, provided they think they can maintain God’s limits. These are God’s limits; He makes them clear to people who know.

My Interpretation:

We left off with Muhammad getting guidance that helping orphans is best for humanity to do. I can see this aides in our evolution. As we know children our always our next generation, so raise them right and they will become good people who will further society in a positive way. Raise children wrong and you will see the effects of it later in humanity.

Marriage to a disbeliever of God’s messages is worse than marriage of an uneducated war slave. It was not just Arabs that took slaves in as war captives, but when Islam arrived it was better to free these slaves if they were innocent and just caught up in the wars. So freeing of a maid or a slave is generally by ransoming them and also offering marriage to them. Here Gabriel  is saying that it is best to marry a slave girl than a pagan woman who believes in the false gods of Mecca. This will ensure the message of God being passed down from generation to generation.

The woman’s period is something, as a woman, I personally struggle with. Yes, it is a hurt and a “dirty” time where the egg from the body is trying to rid itself. It has been scientifically proven that sex on periods can cause infections later since the blood and linings do not fully get washed out of the body with penetration happening at this time. So this is not to say that women are “dirty” at this time, it is to say that it can cause medical issues within the body by not fully cleaning the body of the uterus lining that is shedding during the unfertilized egg. Remember God never wants to make this life harder than it already is to us. We are always being guided.

Absence from sex is permitted for the four holy months for reflection on spiritual matters, but it is said here that if sex happens Allah is merciful and understands what we do. Divorce is something that is up to the couple God says, but it is vital that the woman not be pregnant or conceal pregnancy or terminating it. Allah is aware of all we do, so righteous decisions in love and marriage is needed in order to free the soul from any guilt. Divorce is allowed twice, but not any more than that in excess to drag on a relationship that is not meant to be. We all deserve our happiness and God wished to guide us to it, and end any unnecessary suffering that we humans may cause to each other and ourselves.

There is a protection to the woman here which shows the knowledge of our sensitivity in the matters of love. God says that a man can not divorce and remarry a woman over and over again, and to stop this playing of her emotions, Gabriel tells Muhammad that a woman must be allowed to find a new husband and only after she divorces that new husband can the old one come back into her life. This must have happened a lot in these times. Women were treated like commodity and Gabriel was telling Muhammad what women really are to men-a gift, as men are a gift to us. 

This is to protect her and if I may say, I am a feminist, but also I understand that woman are more fragile in ways men are not. It makes us desirable to men in order to care and protect women (it’s wired in a male’s brain when he is ready to be a father or fall in love)  and so Allah has made men stronger physically and in a non-emotional sense, which is how I can interpret that men are a “higher degree than woman”. This can mean social status in the structure they had back then.

 I can see how men were the protectors and guardians of women who in turn provide a home and love that is felt on a spiritual level. Today in society woman are very independent and this is good and bad for us. We have gained an independence, but we have also gained a removal of our connection to each other as Adam and Eve at times in this modern world. Sometimes when the roles are reversed both sides are not happy. There are many interesting books on how the brain is wired in a male and a female brain, and what makes us unique from one another.

Eve was created after Adam, because God knew Adam wouldn’t feel whole without her in his life as a companion through this journey. And Eve needed Adam just as equally to thrive.

Adam-and-Eve (1)