سورة النور   

Surah Name: An-Noor Meaning: The Light

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • Its basic theme is the guarding of one's shame. The violation of chastity and modesty has been declared as heinous and a punishable crime.
  • Islam authorizes a Qadhi (judge) to adjudge after carefully evaluating eye witness accounts. The circumstantial evidence, the plea of guilty or not guilty by the accused must be duly taken into account. Punishment aims at reforming the society, as well as the criminal, and when awarded by a Qadhi is termed as T'azir. However, there are four aspects in which a Qadhi cannot alter the punishment prescribed by Shari'ah. He can only evaluate the available evidence and decide whether the crime was committed or not. Allah-SWT Himself has prescribed the punishment, termed as Hudud. These crimes are; (1) theft (2) accusing chaste women (3) drinking alcohol and (4) adultery.

    All these crimes are so heinous that wherever committed, the society is divested of peace and tranquillity. It fails to flourish even in the worldly sense, and is ruined from the religious point of view as it loses the very belief in Allah-SWT ’s Greatness. The use of inebriating drinks and adultery in the Western society present great lessons of admonition, including complete deterioration of the sanctity of relationships. There remains no importance of lineage, nor any concept of modesty and honour. The children of Adam are living a life below the moral standards of animals while the very fibre of relationships, both worldly and religious, has frayed. A society stripped of modesty, chastity and sanctity of relationships can, by no stretch of imagination, be termed as a human society. It is only an outward facade of superiority which the West puts up for the world; otherwise they are hollow and feeble inside. Despite employing all its military power, America returned from Vietnam in humiliation. Russia invaded and occupied Afghanistan but was destroyed in her war with the Mujahidin. Forty countries jointly attacked Iraq but could not cause it harm equal to what America, Britain and France incurred in turn. They only use threats and deceit to control the world. If only the Muslim of today would waken and take to Jihad, with Allah-SWT's Grace, these nations would soon realise their worth. They are societies plagued by alcohol and adultery, and are a loathsome burden on the earth. So Islam has enjoined preventive measures to fight these evil forces.

  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 9
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 64
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 24
  • Rukū / Section 4 contains Āyāt / Parts 8
  • Siparah/ Volume 18


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ بُيُوتِكُمْ حَتَّى تَسْتَأْنِسُوا وَتُسَلِّمُوا عَلَى أَهْلِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la tadkhuloo buyootan ghayra buyootikum hatta tastanisoo watusallimoo AAala ahliha thalikum khayrun lakum laAAallakum tathakkaroon(a)

O you who believe! Do not enter houses other than your own until you have asked leave and invoked peace on their inmates. That is better for you; perhaps you may take heed.


فَإِن لَّمْ تَجِدُوا فِيهَا أَحَدًا فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا حَتَّى يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ وَإِن قِيلَ لَكُمُ ارْجِعُوا فَارْجِعُوا هُوَ أَزْكَى لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ

Fain lam tajidoo feeha ahadan fala tadkhulooha hatta yuthana lakum wain qeela lakumu irjiAAoo fa(i)rjiAAoo huwa azka lakum wa(A)llahu bima taAAmaloona AAaleem(un)

That if you find no one therein, do not enter until leave has been given you. And if you are told: Go bade, then go back. It is cleaner for you, and Allah-SWT is Knower of what you do.


لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتًا غَيْرَ مَسْكُونَةٍ فِيهَا مَتَاعٌ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُونَ

Laysa AAalaykum junahun an tadkhuloo buyootan ghayra maskoonatin feeha mataAAun lakum wa(A)llahu yaAAlamu ma tubdoona wama taktumoon(a)

No fault it is with you that you enter a house uninhabited in winch there is some property for you; Allah-SWT Knows what you disclose and what you conceal.


قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ

Qul lilmumineena yaghuddoo min absarihum wayahfathoo furoojahum thalika azka lahum inna Allaha khabeerun bima yasnaAAoon(a)

Say you to the faithful that they shall lower their sights and guard their private parts; that is cleaner for them. Verily Allah-SWT is Aware of what they perform.


وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاء وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

Waqul lilmuminati yaghdudna min absarihinna wayahfathna furoojahunna wala yubdeena zeenatahunna illa ma thahara minha walyadribna bikhumurihinna AAala juyoobihinna wala yubdeena zeenatahunna illa libuAAoolatihinna aw abaihinna aw abai buAAoolatihinna aw abnaihinna aw abnai buAAoolatihinna aw ikhwanihinna aw banee ikhwanihinna aw banee akhawatihinna aw nisaihinna aw ma malakat aymanuhunna awi a(l)ttabiAAeena ghayri olee alirbati mina a(l)rrijali awi a(l)ttifli allatheena lam yathharoo AAala AAawrati a(l)nnisai wala yadribna biarjulihinna liyuAAlama ma yukhfeena min zeenatihinna watooboo ila Allahi jameeAAan ayyuha almuminoona laAAallakum tuflihoon(a)

And say to the believing women that they shall lower their sights and guard their private parts and shall not disclose their adornment except what appears of it: And they shall draw their shawls over their bosoms, and shall not disclose their adornment save to their husbands or their fathers or their husband’s fathers or their sons or their husbands sons or thew brothers or their brothers’ sons or their sisters' sons or their women or what their right hands own or male followers wanting in sex desire or children not acquainted with the privy parts of women. And they shall not strike their feet so that there be known what they hide of their adornment. And turn penitently to Allah-SWT you all, O you faithful! Perhaps you may thrive.


وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَى مِنكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاء يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Waankihoo alayama minkum wa(al)ssaliheena min AAibadikum waimaikum in yakoonoo fuqaraa yughnihimu Allahu min fadlihi wa(A)llahu wasiAAun AAaleem(un)

And wed the single among you and the fit ones among you male and female slaves. If they are poor, Allah-SWT will enrich them of His-SWT bounty, Allah-SWT is Ample, Knowing.


وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمْ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَالَّذِينَ يَبْتَغُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِمَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا وَآتُوهُم مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاء إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا لِّتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَن يُكْرِههُّنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِن بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

WalyastaAAfifi allatheena la yajidoona nikahan hatta yughniyahumu Allahu min fadlihi wa(a)llatheena yabtaghoona alkitaba mimma malakat aymanukum fakatiboohum in AAalimtum feehim khayran waatoohum min mali Allahi allathee atakum wala tukrihoo fatayatikum AAala albighai in aradna tahassunan litabtaghoo AAarada alhayati a(l)ddunya waman yukrihhunna fainna Allaha min baAAdi ikrahihinna ghafoorun raheem(un)

And those who do not find means to marry shall restrain themselves until Allah-SWT enriches them of His-SWT bounty. And from among those whom your right hands own those who seek writing, write it for them if you find any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah-SWT which He-SWT has given you. And do not constrain your handmaids to harlotry if they would live chastely, in order that you may seek the chance gain of this world. And whoever will constrain them, then verily Allah-SWT is, after their constraint, Forgiving, Merciful.


وَلَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ آيَاتٍ مُّبَيِّنَاتٍ وَمَثَلًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

Walaqad anzalna ilaykum ayatin mubayyinatin wamathalan mina allatheena khalaw min qablikum wamawAAithatan lilmuttaqeen(a)

And assuredly We-SWT have sent down to you revelations illuminating and a similitude for those who passed away before you and an exhortation to the God-fearing.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Now preventive measures are revealed to preclude the spread of immorality in a society. The foremost step is that whenever a believer visits the house of another, he will not enter without seeking permission. Although he does not need to seek permission to enter his own house where his wife or his mother is living; yet it is commendable that he informs them of his arrival, either by coughing or speaking out loudly. But it is mandatory to seek permission to enter somebody elses house. The mode of seeking permission is to call out loudly and identify yourself, or if you have knocked at the door because you feel that the voice may not be heard inside then introduce yourself when someone attends to the door. Or if there is a door bell, ring it gently, or if you have a visiting card, send it across. However, under no circumstances, one must cause any inconvenience to the inmates. Do not raise your voice and be mindful of time, as people often rest in the afternoons, particularly during summer.


Once allowed to enter the house, one must offer greetings to the members according to the Sunnah so that the visit or conversation opens with noble words. Besides, the visitor must neither bother nor embarrass anyone, nor create a situation where in spite of not being welcome he forces his way in, like some ignorants who barge in and then ask "May I enter!" This is not permitted. It is possible that a person may be doing something strictly private inside his house, which he wouldn't like to disclose and a barging in would compromise his secret. So it is imperative to take permission before entering any house for both believing men and women. For a chaste society, and for upholding of honour, these are the most appropriate measures prescribed for those who understand. It is also not proper that upon receiving no answer and assuming that no one was inside, one enters someone's house. The only way of entering a family house is by seeking prior permission. There may yet be another situation where a person is denied the permission and told to return for whatever reason. So he must return as this is the most virtuous and graceful thing to do. Allah-SWT is fully Aware of what everyone does and He-SWT has reserved this right for the one being visited, that if he does not wish to meet, the visitor must not impose himself. Details as given in the Ahadith are that a visitor also enjoys the right to be welcomed open-heartedly and listened to, and that he must not be returned without meeting but for a compelling reason. The Sunnah is to seek permission for admission thrice and if no one answers, the visitor must realise that either there is nobody around or they do not wish to be disturbed, so he must return.


The non-residential public buildings like shops, masaajid, schools, inns and shrines etc can, however, be entered without seeking any formal permission. Everyone is allowed to benefit from them. However, the hidden matters, that is, the intentions for entering, or the manifest, that is, the actions that are taken after entering are all known to Allah-SWT . Therefore, whatever one does, Allah-SWT's awareness must be the top priority. Similar are the rules that must be observed while talking to someone on telephone. The person calling must only let the bell ring for a reasonable time. If he wishes to converse for a longer time, the person called may be asked if he has the time to spare or should he be called some other time. On the other hand, those on the receiving end must respond to the ringing telephone quickly. It is not proper that the bell keeps on ringing and nobody bothers to answer.


The next measure to prevent immorality is to avoid such situations which might lead to indecency in any form. So the believers are being instructed to lower their gaze. They must not stare at what is forbidden, or look lustfully at the one lawfully forbidden. And so should the believers safeguard their honour and must never indulge in any lewdness. This indeed is the most graceful way of life. However, if someone covertly indulges in indecency, he must know that Allah-SWT is well Aware of his actions. Besides, the believing women are also commanded to lower their gaze and safeguard their honour.


Modern Scientific Approach

What Islam laid down fourteen centuries ago has been discovered by the modem science today. The scientific research reveals that every human being exudes certain vibes, including those related to sexuality, which are transmitted into the atmosphere through the eyes. The vibes of every human being have a frequency, so if the frequencies of a man and a woman match the moment their eyes meet they will be attracted to one another. The more compatible their frequencies, the more they will desire each other. However, where glances are not exchanged this phenomenon is avoided altogether. Praise be to Allah-SWT , How long has it taken science to discover a single advantage behind this Quranic injunction? Only He-SWT knows what more benefits the future has in store or which may never ever be known.


The female adornment is also a source of attracting males attention. It is, therefore, not permissible for women to display their fashion and ornaments before others save what is inevitable in compelling circumstances such as hands, feet and face. This exposure being permitted in Salat is taken as a standard of Pardah. However, if these are also covered in a veil and not opened unneeded, it is the ideal form of Pardah. Besides, even if the hands and the feet are exposed, the covering of the heads must be extended to cover the bosoms so that the bodv and its physical contours are concealed. The tight fitted veil that silhouettes the body further falls under exposure. It is not permissible for believing women to go out in public adorned, to attend mixed parties, or to roam around in hotels, clubs or parks. Appearing on the television in make-up and trendy turnouts is also forbidden. However, there are people whom women can meet without Pardah like husband, father, father-in-law, children, the children of husband from another wife, brothers, nephews and other Muslim women.


Purdah From A Non Believing Woman

The learned Commentators assert that a believing woman shall also observe Pardah from a non believing woman. There will be no Pardah from maid servants, but it will be observed from the slaves or male servants. There is no Pardah from men who are insane and live as dependants on others, and also from children who have not attained maturity and are unaware of the peculiar qualities of women. And it is imperative for women to safeguard their adornment even under Pardah. So they must not step in a manner whereby their anklet or any jewellery may jingle. The tinkling of the bangles also falls under the same slot. They add that a gaudy veil boosts the adornment and is not allowed. Men and women must all seek Allah-SWT's Forgiveness and pledge to refrain from what has been forbidden in order to attain total success in life.


One of the causes of immorality is celibacy, so all men and women must be married, the bachelors, the spinsters, the widows, the widowers and the divorcees. In other words, nobody must remain without Nikah unnecessarily due to restraints of the customs and thus promote immorality. If the slaves, male or female, qualify to be married, that is can fulfill their duties, the masters must not stand in the way of their Nikah. And it must never be a consideration hindering Nikah that one is poor or has children as liabilities, because to provide is the domain of Allah-SWT , He-SWT can crunch a poor person having children, or impoverish a rich person without children. It is He-SWT Who controls all sources of life while human beings are all needy. He-SWT is well Aware of the state everyone is in.


Family Planning Is Forbidden; Its Advertisements Illegitimate

According to the scholars, if health of the woman is at stake, temporary measures of contraception are permitted without altering the natural anatomy through surgery etc. However, family planning initiated with the intention that the resources of life are not overburdened is totally forbidden and all allied advertisements illegitimate, as the resources are at Allah-SWT's Command. Instead of restricting the number of children it is far more important to arrest the wastage of resources.


If someone has no means of Nikah, being impoverished or unemployed, he must control his natural instincts and must work hard to earn a livelihood so that Allah-SWT may bless him or improve his situation. Or if a disease prevents a person from getting married, he must seek treatment In short, if a man feels that he shall not be able to fulfil his duties towards his wife, he must be patient, until Allah-SWT eases out his condition.


The next step towards the reformation of the society is that if a slave of any gender seeks contract for his or her redemption on payment of some money, he or she must be facilitated. The previous injunction ordained that they be given the right to get married provided they had the capacity to fulfil their marital duties. This is because if they are forced into celibacy under compulsion they may indulge in immorality, and plague the entire society. Redemption means that on payment of a fixed amount, they shall become free. However, the master must ensure that they are virtuous and their freedom shall not compromise the national interests by their spying or other hostile activities against the State.


Slaves Men And Women

Since Islam allowed men captured on the battlefield fighting against Muslims to be taken as slaves, the women in their households too became bondswomen. If a couple was captured, both were slaves, yet remained as husband and wife. While those captured single, male or female, were slaves as such. The treatment meted out to the vanquished and their household by the nations critical of Islam over this issue, is worth studying, especially that of the Jews and the Christians, in order to draw a comparison. Islam forbids genocide of the vanquished and delivers peace to those who do not participate in the battle. Neither the crops are decimated, nor their houses and worship places are damaged. However, those who fight and are defeated lose their freedom and are taken as slaves. They nevertheless enjoy religious freedom. Besides, Islam encourages their masters to free them every now and then, and calls upon the believers to feed them well and not to make them do what is beyond their strength. They are also allowed to get married and can be redeemed under a contract after payment of a mutually agreed amount, either by earning wages or receiving gifts from affluent Muslims, subject to the condition that they would not revert to the crime they had been captured for. A bondswoman is permissible only for her master, no one else may dare set eyes on her with malafide intentions. Did any other nation or ideology offer these rights to the prisoners of war, other than Islam? To cap it all, Allah-SWT also wants the believers to help the slaves in their liberation, from the wealth He-SWT has blessed them with.


Reformation Of Society And Economics

The life line for any society is its economic system. Globally, apart from Islam, two well known economic systems are being followed. Firstly, the ‘Capitalism' in which every individual enjoys the right of ownership. Everyone can attain everything by whatever means he chooses and can spend wherever he wants. This system created an affluent and aristocrat class while the masses were enchained by the elite. Secondly; the ‘Socialism', which is based on partnership. It disallows individuals to own anything. In this system every individual works and the output goes to the State Treasury, which, in turn, caters to the needs of the workers. This system proved far too detrimental than the Capitalism, and subjected people to the worst form of slavery.


Islam enjoins the basic rule of economy that everything is owned by Allah-SWT . So provisions of life must be acquired within the limits laid down by Him-SWT . However, the one who acquires these provisions remains as a custodian while the real ownership belongs to Allah-SWT . Therefore, the spending must be in accordance with the wishes of the real Owner. The custodian is allowed to enjoy good food and clothing, without being extravagant and is enjoined to help the have-nots who, due to any shortcoming, lag behind in the attainment of livelihood. Allah-SWT desires that whatever provisions He-SWT has given to the believers should be used to help the slaves pay the agreed money to their masters. This shall supplement their earnings in order to facilitate their freedom. And the believers must never force their slaves or bondswomen into immorality. The slavery in vogue prior to Islam was completely different from the Islamic concept, whence anybody could be overpowered and sold as a slave. The masters would force their slave women into harlotry, as a source of income. Islam allowed slavery only as a penalty for a grave crime otherwise liable to capital punishment by merely divesting the criminals freedom and allowing them respite to reform and repent. It strongly prohibited forcing the slave women into prostitution, as they were also human beings and none amongst the mankind is devoid of natural modesty. So long as a person possesses an inkling of humanity, he detests immorality. The entire blame for harlotry would go to the masters who forced them into it, for Allah-SWT is Forgiving and Relenting towards the oppressed. It was strictly forbidden to force the bondswomen into indecency. Allah-SWT expounds to the believers clear evidence from the history of preceding nations so that those who have established a link with Him-SWT , may be admonished and avoid the path of His-SWT Annoyance.