In this post, we will look at the full and complete Surah Nur ayat 31 Tafseer in English. It is one of the Ayats in Quran that talk about lowering gaze and hijab.
Surah Nur Ayat 31 Meaning In English
- Tell the believing women to avert their gaze [from that which is forbidden] and restrain their carnal desires, and not to showtheir adornments except what ordinarily appears thereof. And let them draw [part of] their headcovers over their chests and not show their adornments except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their [fellow Muslim] women, slaves whom they own, male retainers who are free of physical desire, or small children who still have no awareness of the private aspects of women. Nor let them stamp their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And, O believers, turn all together towards Allah in repentance, so that you may prosper.
Surah Nur Ayat 31 Tafseer In English
Having instructed the believing men to avert their gaze and restrain their carnal desires, Allah now instructs the believing women to do likewise:
Tell the believing women to avert their gaze and avoid looking at that which they are not supposed to look at, such as looking at men with desire and other kinds of prohibited looking.
And restrain their carnal desires by not allowing anyone to have intercourse with them, touch them or look at them in prohibited ways.
And not to show their adornments such as beautiful clothes and jewellery; the entire body comes under the heading of adornment.
Because the outer garment is something that cannot be concealed, Allah says:
Except what ordinarily appears thereof that is, the outer garment that is usually worn, so long as there is nothing in it that could cause temptation.
And let them draw [part of] their headcovers over their chests. This is in order to perfect their covering up.
This indicates that the adornment that is prohibited to show includes the entire body, as we have mentioned.
Then Allah repeats the prohibition on showing adornment, then makes an exception from that:
Except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, this includes the father himself, and grandfathers, no matter how far the line of ascent reaches their sons, their husbands’ sons, this includes sons and grandsons, no matter how far the line of descent reaches.
Their brothers, their brothers’ sons this includes both full brothers and half-brothers through the father or mother.
Their sisters’ sons, their [fellow Muslim] women that is, it is permissible for women to look at one another in all cases.
It may be that what is meant by “their women” is women of the same religion as them, namely other Muslim women.
This is quoted as proof by those who say that it is not permissible for a dhimmi (non-Muslim) woman to see a Muslim woman (without hijab).
Slaves whom they own)? it is permissible for a slave, if the woman owns him completely, to see his mistress, so long as he belongs to her.
If that ownership comes to an end, in full or partially, then it is not permissible for him to see her.
Male retainers who are free of physical desire)? that is, those who are dependent on you and are connected to you of men who have no desire, such as one who has an intellectual disability and is not aware of what is going around him, or one who is impotent and has no desire, physical or otherwise.
In this case it is not prohibited for these individuals to look at the woman.
Or small children who still have no awareness of the private aspects of women that is, children below the age of discernment. It is permissible for them to look at non-mahram women.
Allah gives the reason for that, which is that they have no awareness of the private aspects of women. In other words they have no knowledge and no desire yet.
This indicates that once the child has reached the age of discernment, women should cover in front of him, because he is now aware of the private aspects of women.
Nor let them stamp their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments, that is, they should not stamp the ground with their feet so that the jewellery they are wearing, such as anklets and the like, makes a noise by which their adornments may be known, and thus become a means of temptation.
From this verse and others is derived the principle of barring the means.
If something is permissible in and of itself, but it may lead to something that is prohibited, or there is the fear that that may happen, then it is disallowed.
Stamping the feet on the ground is permissible in principle, but if it is a means of making hidden adornment known, then it is disallowed. Having issued these goodly instructions and this excellent advice, because it is inevitable that there will be some shortcomings on the part of the believers, Allah enjoins us to repent, as He says:
And, O believers, turn all together towards Allah in repentance, because the believer’s faith calls him to repent.
Then that is made a condition of attaining prosperity, as Allah says: so that you may prosper, for there is no way to prosper except by repenting, which means giving up that which Allah hates, both inwardly and outwardly, and focusing on that which He loves, both inwardly and outwardly.
This indicates that every believer needs to repent, because here Allah is addressing all the believers together.
And He urges them to be sincere in repentance, as He says:
Turn all together towards Allah in repentance^ that is, not for any other purpose except seeking His pleasure; it should not be for any other purpose such as seeking protection from troubles in this world, or showing off and seeking to enhance one’s reputation, or other corrupt purposes.