Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 230-240) The Cow

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.

231. When you divorce women, and they have reached their term, either retain them amicably, or release them amicably. But do not retain them to hurt them and commit aggression. Whoever does that has wronged himself. And do not take God’s revelations for a joke. And remember God’s favor to you, and that He revealed to you the Scripture and Wisdom to teach you. And fear God, and know that God is aware of everything.

232. When you divorce women, and they have reached their term, do not prevent them from marrying their husbands, provided they agree on fair terms. Thereby is advised whoever among you believes in God and the Last Day. That is better and more decent for you. God knows, and you do not know.

233. Mothers may nurse their infants for two whole years, for those who desire to complete the nursing-period. It is the duty of the father to provide for them and clothe them in a proper manner. No soul shall be burdened beyond its capacity. No mother shall be harmed on account of her child, and no father shall be harmed on account of his child. The same duty rests upon the heir. If the couple desire weaning, by mutual consent and consultation, they commit no error by doing so. You commit no error by hiring nursing-mothers, as long as you pay them fairly. And be wary of God, and know that God is Seeing of what you do.

234. As for those among you who die and leave widows behind, their widows shall wait by themselves for four months and ten days. When they have reached their term, there is no blame on you regarding what they might honorably do with themselves. God is fully acquainted with what you do.

235. You commit no error by announcing your engagement to women, or by keeping it to yourselves. God knows that you will be thinking about them. But do not meet them secretly, unless you have something proper to say. And do not confirm the marriage tie until the writing is fulfilled. And know that God knows what is in your souls, so beware of Him. And know that God is Forgiving and Forbearing.

236. You commit no error by divorcing women before having touched them, or before having set the dowry for them. And compensate them-the wealthy according to his means, and the poor according to his means-with a fair compensation, a duty upon the doers of good.

237. If you divorce them before you have touched them, but after you had set the dowry for them, give them half of what you specified-unless they forego the right, or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract foregoes it. But to forego is nearer to piety. And do not forget generosity between one another. God is seeing of everything you do.

238. Guard your prayers, and the middle prayer, and stand before God in devotion.

239. But if you are in fear, then on foot, or riding. And when you are safe, remember God, as He taught you what you did not know.

240. Those of you who die and leave wives behind-a will shall provide their wives with support for a year, provided they do not leave. If they leave, you are not to blame for what they do with themselves, provided it is reasonable. God is Mighty and Wise.

My Interpretation:

Laws against the violence of women are established here for Muhammad. This is proof that this Quran could only come from a loving source to look out for the “underdogs” of society such as orphans and women back in those days. There is an idea that women were used sexually and for what they could offer in terms of children, and Gabriel is telling Muhammad how to treat women to stop this treatment of women. There is always a reminder to be kind to women and to not oppress them in any way that they have been in the past.

Parental guidance is given at this point to on the nursing of infants, that should stop at 2 years from birth. The men’s duty is to provide for the woman and the child, and the woman takes care of the children. In today’s world it is not like this, but you can see negative effects on children of having both a working mother and a father. The child needs bonding and nurturing at a young age or they grow up seeking it in other ways. Gabriel is advising Muhammad on how best to raise a family here.

A nurse maid to help with the nursing and caring for the child, like a midwife, is acceptable in Islam as long as the woman is compensated and it is mutual consent between the parents.

There is also laws to protect widows of men who die in battle or by other means. Widows are to be left property and money to help them support themselves for awhile, before they stand on their own two feet or remarry. They are allowed to marry after 4 months and ten days, which makes sense considering the time frame back then. Women generally did not provide for themselves so they needed to have a grieving period, but then remarry if they could. There are laws being shown to Muhammad that require once again for men to treat women with respect and not touch women except with good intentions to marry them.

Keep up with prayers throughout the day to keep the spiritual connection and do not worry if you can not get down on your knees to thank God while traveling. You may pray while in motion when there is inconvenience to sit down and reflect spiritually.