Aug 20, 2011

The precision of verse endings in the Quran.

Asalamu alaykum 

I was asked this question by a student of the Quran and it reads. 

Have the scholars explained the wisdom why Allah subhanwataala mentioning He is all hearing, although the verse is relating to Hijab. What is the relationship between His attribute of being "All hearing" and this verse. Surah nur ayah 60 :And women of post-menstrual age who have no desire for marriage - there is no blame upon them for putting aside their outer garments [but] not displaying adornment. But to modestly refrain [from that] is better for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

My response:

One of the linguistic features of the Quran is the ending of verses ( Al-khawateem) . Scholars of the past have spoken about the ending of verses in great detail which Allah (Most High) uses to the greatest of precision.I also discuss this issue in some details ( along with many other linguistic discussions) in the course I offer entitled The Linguistic Miracle of the Quran - Journey to Allah 

There are Many verses in the Quran that end in the attributes of Allah (Most High) . One such verse was discussed based on a historical account that occurred many centuries ago. It was narrated that a scholar was reciting the verse regarding the punishment of the male and female thief, found in Surat Al Maida :

However the scholar ended the verse with:

وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

And Allah (swt) is merciful and forgiving

A desert Arab who was not learned in the Quran heard the recitation and told him that he (the scholar) was mistaken. People were surprised that a desert Arab who was illiterate could actually find fault in the recitation.. He was then asked by the scholar why he believed his recitation was a mistake.

The desert Arab then responded by saying “ that cutting the hands of male and female thief is not a verse related to Allah's (Most High) mercy and forgiveness but is related to Allah’s Power and wisdom”

When the verse was checked it was discovered that  desert Arab was correct and the scholar was mistaken. This desert Arab understood that Allah (Most High) didn’t just use attributes to end verses that had no connection to the subject matter but are in fact appropriate,intended and used with the up-most precision. 

Now getting to the verse in question. Allah (Most High) says:

Now if one was to read the context of the Surah and verses that precede this verse one would understand that the whole topic of Hijab ( covering) is mentioned along with male and female interactions and commands of lowering the gaze and not displaying one's beauty (in regards to the women.)

What the verse in question and the preceding verse deal with are some exceptions to these laws and commands. The verse in question refers to another exception related to old women. Women who have grown so old that that one would have no sexual desire towards them. 

For such a women concessions in Hijab are allowed in that even strangers ( unrelated men to her) are treated as mahram ( male relatives). She is not required to cover those parts of her body before non-Mahrams. However this condition of uncovering is allowed with the condition that no adornment or makeup is applied in order to attract the male.

Allah (Most High) gives a dispensation but say that the second option i.e. To modestly refrain from that is better for them

Now the final ending of the verse says:
And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

So the question was why use these attributes and what is the wisdom in using this ending as opposed to another.

Let us ask ourselves the following if a women is covered or not displaying her beauty, what is the other way a man can be attracted to a women.This is mentioned in the Quran in Surat Al Ahzab ayah 32:

O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah , then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.

Speech and conversation which is spoken and heard. "And Allah is Hearing" .So in other words Allah (Most High) is telling the women that He is aware of every thing they say and how they say it.

"and Knowing" and Allah (Most High) knows what is in their hearts i.e. their intentions and motives.

It is quite clear that the ending perfectly matches the context of the verse.

Wa Allahu Subhanahu A'lam wa Huwa Hasbuna wa ni'mal Wakeel.

Reference:  Sharh Tafseer Qadi Al Baydawi Volume 6 page 254


  1. wooaaah this is amazing subhannAllah, this is something that by itself is a study.

  2. JAZAK'ALLAH khair for sharing such informative information. May ALLAH reward you and Bless you and your family and all mankind.