Surah An-Nisa : Chapter 4 (line 10-20) Women

10. Those who consume the wealth of orphans illicitly consume only fire into their bellies; and they will roast in a Blaze.

11. God instructs you regarding your children: The male receives the equivalent of the share of two females. If they are daughters, more than two, they get two-thirds of what he leaves. If there is only one, she gets one-half. As for the parents, each gets one-sixth of what he leaves, if he had children. If he had no children, and his parents inherit from him, his mother gets one-third. If he has siblings, his mother gets one-sixth. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts. Your parents and your children-you do not know which are closer to you in welfare. This is God’s Law. God is Knowing and Judicious.

12. You get one-half of what your wives leave behind, if they had no children. If they had children, you get one-fourth of what they leave. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts. They get one-fourth of what you leave behind, if you have no children. If you have children, they get one-eighth of what you leave. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts. If a man or woman leaves neither parents nor children, but has a brother or sister, each of them gets one-sixth. If there are more siblings, they share one-third. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts, without any prejudice. This is a will from God. God is Knowing and Clement.

13. These are the bounds set by God. Whoever obeys God and His Messenger, He will admit him into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide therein forever. That is the great attainment.

14. But whoever disobeys God and His Messenger, and oversteps His bounds, He will admit him into a Fire, wherein he abides forever, and he will have a shameful punishment.

15. Those of your women who commit lewdness, you must have four witnesses against them, from among you. If they testify, confine them to the homes until death claims them, or God makes a way for them.

16. If two men among you commit it, punish them both. But if they repent and reform, leave them alone. God is Redeemer, Full of Mercy.

17. Repentance is available from God for those who commit evil out of ignorance, and then repent soon after. These-God will relent towards them. God is Knowing and Wise.

18. But repentance is not available for those who commit evils, until when death approaches one of them, he says, “Now I repent,” nor for those who die as disbelievers. These-We have prepared for them a painful torment.

19. O you who believe! It is not permitted for you to inherit women against their will. And do not coerce them in order to take away some of what you had given them, unless they commit a proven adultery. And live with them in kindness. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike something in which God has placed much good.

20. If you wish to replace one wife with another, and you have given one of them a fortune, take nothing back from it. Would you take it back fraudulently and sinfully?


My Interpretation: 

Wealth distribution in society is being laid out in terms of what is ethical and reasonable. Since men were the earners of the family in the past, they should receive twice as much as the females because the men are the providers. Men had to buy the materials to create a home, earn a living working hard in the sun to pay for food not grown by him. Men had the majority of financial responsibilities back then while women cleaned, cooked, and took care of children.

Gabriel is speaking towards the time at hand in 600AD and many people who read the Quran forget this. This needs to be taken into context of the time in history to fully understand the Quran and it’s laws. Still today, many women do stay home with the children while the men work. I personally, love this role as a care giver. Some women will work as well as their husband, but someone has to care for the children, so either it is you as the parent, or a nanny.

The distribution laws between relatives continue and it can be seen as a logical distribution according to the person’s age, status in life, and needs. There is a warning to remember these fair boundaries set and to not overstep them and take more of your share, or it can cause you to imprint badly on your own soul.

God makes it very hard to punish people. But in any society some form of justice has to be taken, so here Muhammad is given a way to protect women from unjust accusations of their personal character. It must be VERY hard to get 4 witnesses to say truthfully with the fear of God, that a women was acting in adultery. So instead of just having a riot charge at the prostitute that Jesus saved, named Mary Magdalene, there must be a true trial and witnesses. God must have found something honorable in her heart in order for Jesus to recognize her and to teach the people the unjustness of their ways.

Now in Arabia, a just trial had to be given where 4 people were true witnesses to seeing a women be a prostitute or cheat on her husband. And once again God knows the women’s heart. So if they are truly guilty of not being a good women who cares for herself and others, then she will perish in a prison. But if God does find her innocent or worthy of mercy in her quest for forgiveness, then through the acts of others, she will be released.

No more can men make one claim against a woman he lusts for or does not like, and she be killed by a riot or himself. NOW a law is established in these once pagan lands in Arabia.

Even men are not exempt from sleeping around on their wives now. They will be punished in the same way by God, except if they show sincere change and repent. But if someone is too stubborn to seek forgiveness until the day they fear their death-it is too late to show your change.

It was very difficult to be a woman BEFORE Islam, in these desert lands. As you can see women were forced into situations without any prior knowledge of consequences. God is indeed the protector of innocent women. No longer can a man rape, force a woman into a relationship with him, take all her wealth away, and then leave a woman for another younger woman. God is always watching and the Angels are always recording.

Men must be kind and just towards women-ALWAYS.