What was the reason for the purification of blessed wives of prophet(Saw)?

What was the reason for the purification of blessed wives of prophet(Saw)?

The answer to this is in the verse just next to the verse of purification, where Allah wishes to purify the wives of prophet(saw), then he says: Wives of the Prophet, remember the revelations of God and Words of wisdom that are recited in your homes. God is Most Kind and All-aware.((33:34) shia translator sarwar).

And the verse before this verse was (Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying (33:33))

So this shows that Allah wanted to teach the wives of prophet(saw) in-depth knowledge of quran , sunnah of prophet(saw) and fiqh. So as to make the wives of prophet(saw) a main source of gaining Islamic knowledge. That is why Allah wanted to purify wives of prophet(saw)

Shia commentary for verse (33:34):

There have been mentioned two meanings for the Qur’ānic word /ŏikr/: one is ‘to memorizeand the other is ‘to utter’. Therefore the Qur’ānic phrase: /waŏkurna/ means: O’ wives of the Prophet! You should remember, and do not forget, that the Divine revelation is sent down in your house; or it means: you should reiterate for others whatever of the Book of Allah is recited in your house and you learn.

Upon the difference between /’āyātillāh/ (the signs of Allah) and hikmat/ (wisdom) some of the commentators have said that both of them)/ refer to the Qur’ān, but the application of the Qur’ānic word /’āyāt/ ikmat/)states its being as a miracle, and the application of /h reiterates the deep content and knowledge hidden in it.

Some other Islamic commentators have said that /’āyātullah/ points to ikmat/ refers to the Prophet’s way of)the verses of the Qur’ān and /h treatment and his wise admonitions.

Both of these two commentaries adapt to the rank and words of the verse, but the first one seems nearer, because the application of the word ‘recite’ is more appropriate in respect to the Divine verses.((The Light of The Holy Qur’an by Ayatullah Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars, under explanation of verse 33;34) shia commentry )


Sunni Commentary of verse (33:34):

The Meaning of Al-Hikmah:
(and Al-Hikmah) meaning, the Sunnah, as Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Muqat il bin Hayyan and Abu Malik asserted. It was also said that ` Al-Hikmah’, means ` comprehension in the religion’, and both meanings are correct .

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn ` Abbas said, “That is (hikma) knowledge of the Qur’an. For instance, the abrogating and the abrogated, what is plain and clear and what is not as plain and clear, what it allows, and what it does not allow, and its parables. ”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Masud said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying, (There is no envy except in two instances: a person whom Allah has endowed with wealth and he spends it righteously, and a person whom Allah has given Hikmah and he judges by it and teaches it to others. ) This was also collected by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Maj ah.

taken from tafseer ibn katheer.

The word ayatillah in the verse (33:34) means quran and hikmah means the teachings and sunnah of prophet(Saw) , as the commentators at large have explained “hikmah” at this place to mean sunnah.

The word wadhkurna in the original has two meanings: Remember and mention. According to the first meaning the verse would mean: “O wives of the Prophet, you should never forget that yours is the house from where the would is being instructed in Divine Revelations and Wisdom; therefore, your responsibility is very great. Let it not happen that the people might see specimens of ignorance in this very house.”

According to the second meaning, it would mean: “O wives of the Prophet, you should mention and relate before the people whatever you hear and see, for by virtue of your close and constant social association and attachment with the Prophet you will know and experience many such things which the other people. will not be able to know by any other means than you. “ Two things have been mentioned in this verse: (1) The Revelations of Allah; and (2) the wise sayings. The revelations of Allah are the verses of Allah’s Book, but hikmat (wisdom) is a comprehensive word which includes all those wise things which the Holy Prophet taught the people. This word may also imply the teachings of the Book of Allah, but there is no reason why it should be made exclusively applicable to them. It inevitably includes the wisdom that the Holy Prophet taught by his pure character and by his sayings besides reciting the verses of the Qur’an. Some people(this part is the refutation to the last paragraph of the shia tafseer), only on the basis that the word ma yutla (that which is recited) has been used in the verse, make the assertion that the “Revelations of Allah” and “Wisdom” imply only the Qur’an, for the word “recitation” as a term is specifically used for the recitation of the Qur’an. But this reasoning is absolutely wrong. The use of the word “recitation” specifically as a term for the recitation of the Qur’an or the Book of Allah is the work of the people of the later ages. The Qur’an has not used this word as a term. In Surah AI-Baqarah: 102, this same word has been used for the incantation of the magical formulas which the satans falsely attributed to the Prophet Solomon and taught the people. (“They followed that which the satans recited attributing it to the kingdom of Solomon. “) This shows that the Qur’an uses this word in its lexical meaning, and does not specify it for reciting the verses of the Book of Allah. (tafseer of sayyid abul ala maudoodi , tahfeem ul quran)

From the verses and commentaries and the verses before this verse, i.e Allah wanted to purify the wives of prophet(saw), it shows that Allah wanted to make the wives of prophet(saw) a source of islamic knowledge, because in this verse Allah “specifically” commanded them some special commands through which they can purify themselves then he commanded them to remember/memorize the deep understanding of quran , the sunnah(hikmah), So that they can teach the believers because the wives were more closer to prophet(Saw) than others relatives as they used reside with him.Thus we see as they were being made a source to teach this knowledge they were purified.

And this is even affirmed from other verses of quran where people were purified in order to be taught quran and hikmah.

Even as We have sent among you a Messenger from among you who recites to you Our communications(verses) and purifies you and teaches you the Book(quran) and the hikmah((i.e. Sunnah, Islamic laws and Fiqh,jurisprudence)) and teaches you that which you did not know. Quran (2:151)

Certainly Allah conferred a benefit upon the believers when He raised among them a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His communications and purifying them, and teaching them the Book(quran) and  Al-hikmah, although before that they were surely in manifest error. Quran (3:164)

He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His Ayat , purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the Hikmah. And verily, they had been before in manifest error.  Quran (62:2)

And we know from various narrations that after the death of prophet(Saw) many companions of prophet(saw) used to go to wives of prophet(saw) to solve their religious queries, and even manier times the wives of prophet(saw) corrected the companions. As Imam ibn qayim(rah) said about one of the wives of prophet(Saw): And from her unique virtues [May Allah be pleased with her] is that: The seniors from among the companions [May Allah be pleased with them] when they were confused or unsure about a matter pertaining to the Religion, they would ask her and would find knowledge of what they asked with her. Jalaa Al-Afhaam by Ibn Al-Qayim [1/237-241: Shamela].

And this reasoning is specific to wives of prophet(Saw) because even the shia commentators agree that verse (33:34) was addressing the wives of prophet(Saw) and the narrations which speak about prophet(saw) praying for family of hz fatima(ra) prophet(saw) didn’t recite the verse 34 of surah Ahzab.


An interesting point which supports the above answer is that Prophet(saw) SPECIFICALLY asked his WIVES to teach believing women ISLAMIC RULINGS:

علی بن إبراهیم. عن هارون بن مسلم، عن مسعدة بن زیاد، عن أبی عبدالله (علیه السلام) أن النبی (صلى الله علیه وآله) قال لبعض نسائه: مری نساء المؤمنین أن یستنجین بالماء ویبالغن فإنه مطهرة للحواشی ومذهبة للبواسیر

الفـروع من الكــافی
تألیف أبی جعفر محمد بن یعقوب بن اسحاق الكلینی الرازی
المتوفی فی سنة 328 / 329 ه

From Abi Abdullah (pbuh) that the prophet (pbuh and his family) told some of his wives: Order the women of the believers to clean themselves with water and to exagerate in it because it cleanses the surrounding areas and it makes the hemorrhoids disappear. [Al Kafi]

This was considered an authentic quote by Al Majlisi:
12- (مجلسي صحيح13/58 )
عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ هَارُونَ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ عَنْ مَسْعَدَةَ بْنِ زِيَادٍ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ( عليه السلام ) أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) قَالَ لِبَعْضِ نِسَائِهِ مُرِي نِسَاءَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنْ يَسْتَنْجِينَ بِالْمَاءِ وَ يُبَالِغْنَ فَإِنَّهُ مَطْهَرَةٌ لِلْحَوَاشِي وَ مَذْهَبَةٌ لِلْبَوَاسِيرِ .

Comment: From the above Hadith we understand that the mother of believers (ra) had a high status in the sight of the messenger of Allah (SAW). Secondly, this hadith proves their belief and high status in Islam, because the Messenger of Allah (saw) never sent a ‘Kafir’ to teach the believers. The important point is why the messenger of Allah (saw) didn’t order Fatima (ra), who is ‘infallable’ according to shia, to teach the people the Deen and the method of ‘Wudhu” (Ablution)? Is an ‘infallable’ person suitable for this job or a fallable?

و لا یخفى ما فیه فإنه لیس فی الخبر دلالة على ان الغسلة الثانیة لازالة شی‏ء فی المحل یعبر عنه بالأثر، بل الظاهر منه لیس الا وجوب غسل المحل بعد ازالة العین عنه و انه یحصل به الإنقاء أی طهارة المحل.و یستدل له أیضا بالخبر العامی النبوی، و فیه: قال صلّى اللّه علیه و آله و سلّم لعائشة: «مری نساء المدینة یستنجین بالماء و یبالغن فإنه مطهرة للحواشی» بتقریب ان فی قوله صلّى اللّه علیه و آله و سلّم‏«یبالغن» مع التعلیل دلالة أو اشعارا بلزوم إزالة الأثر (و الانصاف) وهن هذه الدعوى أیضا، حیث لا دلالة و لا إشعار فی قوله صلّى اللّه علیه و آله و سلّم: «یبالغن» و لا فی التعلیل بان فی المبالغة فی التطهیر یحصل طهر الحواشی على لزوم إزالة الأثر، فالحق انه لیس لإثبات الفرق المذكور دلیل سوى دعوى مثل الشیخ الأكبر (قده) الاتفاق علیه.
مصباح الهدى فی شرح العروة الوثقى، ج‏3
المؤلف: الآملی، المیرزا محمد تقی‏
تاریخ وفاة المؤلف: 1391 ه ق‏
تاریخ الطبع: 1380 ه ق‏
الطبعة: الأولى‏
مكان الطبع: طهران- إیران‏
الأمر الثانی عشر انهم قد فرقوا بین الغسل بالماء و بین المسح بالأحجار
ص: 51 – ص: 52

و یشیر إلیه أیضا قول النبی (صلى الله علیه و آله) «3» لعائشة: «مری نساء المدینة یستنجین بالماء. و یبالغن، فإنه مطهرة للحواشی» فإن قوله (صلى الله علیه و آله) و یبالغن مع التعلیل مشعر بذلك، أو یقال انا لا نلتزم طهارة تلك الأجزاء حال المسح بالأحجار، بل نقول: انه معفو عنها و عما یلاقیها مما یكون فی اجتنابه عسر ما دامت على المحل، أما لو ارتفع ذلك فإنها تنجس ما یلاقیها، و لا ینافی ما ذكرنا من التحدید بزوال العین ما وقع لبعضهم من التحدید بالنقاء كالخبر، لما عرفت من أن النقاء فی كل شی‏ء بحسبه، كما سمعت ذلك فی الروایة، فالنقاء حینئذ متحد المعنى، لكن مختلف بالنسبة إلى ما یحصل به، فان نقاء كل شی‏ء بحسب حاله.جواهر الكلام فی شرح شرائع الإسلام، ج‏2 شیخ الفقهاء و إمام المحققین محمد حسن بن الشیخ باقر بن الشیخ عبد الرحیم النجفی( ت 1266 ه) الناشر: دار إحیاء التراث العربی‏ الطبعة: السابعة مكان الطبع: بیروت- لبنان‏ المحقق / المصحح: الشیخ عباس القوچانی‏ [فی وجوب إزالة الغائط بالماء تخییرا] ص: 26 – ص: 27

These are quotes from shia books of jurisprudence, quoting the Prophet (pbuh) telling Aisha (may God be pleased with her) to “Command the women of Medina to use water to clean their private parts and to exaggerate in the quantity used because it purifies the surrounding areas as well”. The first quote is by “Al Amali” and the second by “al Najafi”.


Additional reasons  for Allah wishing to purify wives of prophet(saw) :

Answer 1:

Its because Allah wanted to grant the favour to his messenger in this lifetime which for believers was to be achieved in heaven.

Say: “Shall I inform you of things far better than those For those who have Taqwa there are Gardens (Paradise) with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow. Therein (is their) eternal (home) and Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives). And Allah will be please with them. And Allah is All-Seer of the servants.Quran (3:15)

This is the reward which believers will receive in paradise but, Allah wished the wives of prophet(saw) who were going to be his wives even in paradise to be purified. Because the normal believers in the paradise will be rewarded with purified wives, then doesn’t the prophet of Allah(Saw) deserves something superior to this? That is why Allah wished to purify wives of Prophet(saw) even in this life.

And please ponder that why would Allah make impure woman wives of prophet(saw) in hereafter(if at all they were impure) , whereas the believers would be given purified wives? Prophet’s(saw) wives who were going to be his wives even in hereafter were purified even in this world and will remain pure and will again additional purification even in hereafter inshallah.

Shias might argue that wives of prophet(Saw) will be purified in hereafter but not in this world. So we ask them that this argument is illogical because why would Allah purify those who remain evildoers(according to shias) in this life. And even if they remain evildoers(mazallah) then just because they were wives of prophet(saw) will they be purified in the hereafter? No, this is not a sensible reason and what is correct and logical is that they were purified(by following some divine commands exclusive for them) even in this world.

Moreover, it seems because Allah wanted to purify the wives of prophet(Saw) he declared their superiority over all women when He said: {You [feminine] are not like anyone [masculine] of the women} (33:32). Al-Zajjaj said: ‘He did not say, “like any other woman” in the feminine, because the masculine form denotes a general exclusion of both male and female [human beings], one and all.'”

And also  this seems to be the reason why wives of prophet(saw) were titled as mother of the believers(momineen, not just muslims) and they were made unlawful to be married even after death of prophet(saw). Surely Allah wanted to purify the wives of  pure prophet(Saw) and wanted to make women who were purified as the mothers of believers.


Narrations that wives of prophet(saw) will be his wives even in hereafter:

Sunni narrations:

1. Sahi bukhari 9.220:
Narrated Abu Maryam `Abdullah bin Ziyad Al−Aasadi: When Talha, AzZubair and `Aisha moved to Basra, `Ali sent `Ammar bin Yasir and Hasan bin `Ali who came to us at Kufa and ascended the pulpit. Al−Hasan bin `Ali was at the top of the pulpit and `Ammar was below Al−Hasan. We all gathered before him. I heard `Ammar saying, “`Aisha has moved to Al−Busra. By Allah! She is the wife of your Prophet in this world and in the Hereafter. But Allah has put you to test whether you obey Him or her (`Aisha).

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ بنُ حُمَيْدٍ ، أخبرنا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ عن عَبْدِ اللّهِ بنِ عَمْرِو بنِ عَلْقَمَةَ المَكِّيِّ عن ابنِ أَبي حُسَيْنٍ عن ابنِ أَبي مُلَيْكَةَ عن عائشةَ ، «أَنَّ جِبْرِيلَ جَاءَ بِصُورَتِهَا في خِرْقَةِ حَرِيرٍ خَضْرَاءَ إِلَى النَّبيِّ فقالَ: إنّ هَذِهِ زَوْجَتُكَ في الدُّنيْا وَالآخِرَةِ

2. Sayyidah Ayesha (R.A) narrates: Jibril (A.S) came in my appearance on a piece of green silk cloth before the Prophet (PBUH) and said, “this is your wife in this world and the Hereafter”.

Source: Sunnan Tirimdhi, Hadith # 3880 & Grading: SAHIH.

3. Ibn Asakir in his history has recorded from Ibn Umar that he quoted the Prophet thus: “Every kinship and relationship (by marriage) shall be severed on the day of judgement except my kinship and relationship (by marriage).”  [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Vol. 7, pg. 34]

4. Ibn Abbas has been quoted by Tibrani, whereby he relates from the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) the saying, “On the day of Qiyamat every relationship and kinship will come to an end except my relationship. [Tareekh Baghdadi, Vol. 1, pg. 271  and kinship.”]

Shia narration:

al kafi: H , Ch. 112, h 1
A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Barqi from Ja‘far ibn al-Muthanna al-Khatib who has said the following. “I was in Madina when the roof over the grave of the Holy Prophet (s.a) had crumbled down and the workers were climbing up and down (for repairs). We were a group and said to our people, “Who has an appointment with abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.)?” Mihran ibn abu Nasr said, “I have an appointment with the Imam (a.s.).” ’Isma‘il ibn ‘Ammar al-Sayrafi said, “I have an appointment with the Imam (a.s.).” I said to them, “Ask the Imam (a.s.) if it is permissible to climb up and look on to the grave of the Holy Prophet (s.a).” Next day we met them and we all came together. ’Isma‘il said, “We asked your question and he said this. “I do not like anyone to climb over him and I do not feel safe for anyone whose eye sight may go away because of catching sight of something that cause him such loss or see him standing in prayer or see him with anyone of his wives.”

Answer 2:

Wives of prophet(Saw) were being made as an example for the believing women. They were the chosen by Allah to be an example for the believing women, that is why we see that the wives of prophet(Saw) were given some commands which were already given to general Muslims in the previous verses of quran, but here they were given these commands in specific. Similar is mentioned in the shia commentary for verse 29 of surah Ahzaab: Thus, Allah made the duty of the Prophet’s wives clear forever, that they must be an example for the faithful women. ((The Light of The Holy Qur’an by Ayatullah Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars, under explanation of verse 33;29) shia commentry )

That is why Allah was greatly concerned about the Duniya and Akhirat of the wives of the Prophet(saw), this is evident from verses of surah Ahzaab i.e., verse 30,31 and 32 .

The point to note is that, Allah always selects the best ones who could be taken as examples for the believers to follow.

And Allah knows the best.

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