Assalamualaikum SS Mufti. I always hear that imperative clauses in the Quran hold obligatory command. My question is, there is a verse of al-Quran which means: “And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you” (When one’s wife has purified themselves from her menses, then the husband shall have sexual intercourse with her). Then, is it obligatory for the husband to do so?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Basically, all command from Allah SWT and His Prophets holds obligatory command. This is based on the verse of al-Quran:
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّـهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ
It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair
Surah Al-Ahzab (36)
In the above verse, Allah SWT forbid believing men and women from doing anything based on their ikhtiar (choice) when there is a command from Allah SWT and the Prophet.
It is also in accordance with the saying of Allah SWT in the Quran:
فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَن تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet's order, lest fitnah strike them or a painful punishment
Surah Al-Nur (63)
If we observe the stated verse carefully, we will find that there is a threat of torments and afflictions to those who contradict the Prophet PBUH’s command. As we all know, one is not simply threatened with torments except when he leaves obligatory commands.
Both verses are the indication that all command of Allah SWT and the Prophet PBUH hold the meaning of obligations in which no single person may defy them. Hence, the jurists (usuliyyun) upon discussing the issue of dalalah al-amr (indication for imperative clauses), they bring along a famous Islamic legal maxim:
الأَمْرُ يَقْتَضِي الوُجُوب
Imperative clauses indicate obligatory commandment
Imam Al-Haramain Abd al-Malik al-Juwaini said: “Amar (imperative clauses) is a command of doing something through words towards those who are inferiors in the form of obligatory (to do). Its sighah (form) is through the phrase افْعَل (do it!) and the command comes in an absolute form while being excluded from any qarinah (clue/connotation) which makes it be interpreted differently. Except if the imperative clauses have any indication that they hold Sunnah or permissibility (harus) meanings” (Refer to Al-Waraqat, Abdul Malik al-Juwaini, page 13).
Nevertheless, this maxim cannot be used for every occasion. This is because, the jurists also had discussed on the dalalah al-amr ba’da al-nahyi (indication for imperative clauses that come after words of prohibition).
This happens due to the presence of certain actions prohibited in the Quran at first, but later followed by the commandment to practice the same said actions afterwards. Then, is the ruling to do the actions become wajib (obligatory) or otherwise?
The following we state some examples related to this issue. Among them are:
First: The Ruling of Trade after the Performance of Friday Prayer
As we know, the ruling of trade when adhan for Juma’h prayer is called is haram (prohibited). This is clearly stated in the verse of Qur’an:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ
O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu'ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade
Surah Al-Jumu’ah (9)
Then, in the phrase “and leave trade”, it indicates the prohibition of trade upon the adhan for Juma’h prayer is called. However, the verse is followed by:
فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَاةُ فَانتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِ اللَّـهِ
And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah,
Surah Al-Jumu’ah (10)
According to these two verses, the scholars discussed on the ruling of seeking for provision (rizq) after performing the Juma’h prayer. This is because, the excerpt is by imperative clause. Does this indicate the obligation of disperse within the land and seek for provision (rizq) from the bounty of Allah right after performing Juma’h prayer?
Second: The Ruling of Hunting Upon the Completion of Tahallul for Ihram
Among the issues discussed is regarding the ruling of hunting when one completes his tahallul (comes out of ihram). This is due to the prohibition of hunting when he is in the state of ihram. This is in accordance with the saying of Allah SWT in the Quran:
يَٰٓا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ ۚ أُحِلَّتْ لَكُم بَهِيمَةُ الْأَنْعَامِ إِلَّا مَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ غَيْرَ مُحِلِّي الصَّيْدِ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَحْكُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ
O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts. Lawful for you are the animals of grazing livestock except for that which is recited to you [in this Qur'an] - hunting not being permitted while you are in the state of ihram. Indeed, Allah ordains what He intends.
Surah al-Maidah (1)
According to the verse, Allah SWT prohibit those who are in the state of ihram to hunt. Meanwhile, the verse after that states:
وَإِذَا حَلَلْتُمْ فَاصْطَادُوا
But when you come out of ihram, then [you may] hunt
Surah Al-Maidah (2)
Therefore, is hunting after coming out of ihram hold obligatory command?
Third: The Ruling of Having Sexual Intercourse between Husband and Wife Upon the Wife is Cleansed from Her Menses
This issue is a topic of discussion among the jurists. Allah SWT state in the Quran:
وَلَا تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَطْهُرْنَ
And do not approach them until they are pure
Surah Al-Baqarah (222)
However, the verse is followed by:
فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّـهُ
And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you
Surah Al-Baqarah (222)
Hence, the jurists discussed: Is the ruling of having sexual intercourse once the wife is purified from her menses becomes obligatory (wajib) due to the imperative clauses?
Then, the answer to these three questions is by observing the indications held by the imperative clauses that come after words of prohibition. The following, we share statement of Syeikh Dr. Abdul Karim Zaidan on this issue:
He said: “The scholars who state that imperative clauses indicate the ruling of obligation (wajib) had different opinions on imperative clauses which come after words of commandment or prohibition.
- The Hanabilah state that it (imperative clauses which come after words of commandment or prohibition) indicate permissibility (harus). This is because, (for example) in the issue of hunting, then the ruling is permissible (harus) and not obligatory (wajib).
Same is for the issue of working and searching for provision (rizq) after Juma’h prayer which is also permissible (harus).
- However, majority of the Hanafite hold the opinion: imperative clauses which come after words of prohibition hold the ruling of wajib. It is just the same with those other imperative clauses which come without the presence of any prohibition words beforehand.
This is because, their opinion has no difference whether the imperative clauses come after the words of prohibition or without the presence of any prohibition words beforehand.
- While, some Hanabilah and also the opinion of Al-Kamal bin Al-Humam among the Hanafite state: Imperative clauses which come after the words of prohibition will revoke the ruling of prohibition. Hence, the ruling of committing the act is back according to before the prohibition even exist.
If the action is originally permitted, then its ruling is permissible, and if the action is originally wajib or mustahab, then it coincides with them. Dr Abdul Karim Zaidan also said: “It is clear for me that the last opinion is closer towards being acceptable. It is revealed by the istiqra’ (thorough inspection) towards the nusus (Al-Quran, hadith and other sources of ruling) which are warid that there are rulings of commandment and prohibition (different rulings upon this issue).” Refer to Al-Wajiz fi Usul al-Fiqh, Abdul Karim Zaidan (page 295-296)
To conclude, the chosen opinion is the ruling of the commandment of something that was prohibited before is referred back to its ruling before the prohibition even exist.
Simply put, the original ruling for hunting is permissible (harus). When one is in the state of ihram, he is prohibited to hunt. Then, although there is a commandment to hunt after tahallul, the ruling of this commandment still refers back to its original ruling before the prohibition even exist, which is permissibility.
The same goes to the original ruling of jihad and battle for the sake of Allah when there is an order from the Muslim rulers, which is wajib. However, when months of haram start, Muslims are prohibited to have a battle during this time. Then, when the months passed, and there is an order to go for jihad, the ruling then becomes wajib again.
As a conclusion, we would like to state here that basically, all imperative clause holds the ruling of obligatory (wajib) if there is no qarinah (clue/connotation) which renounces the obligation.
While, imperative clauses that come after the prohibition of a particular action beforehand indicate that its ruling is referred back to the ruling before the prohibition exists.
Hence, based on the question asked, we hereby state that the ruling of a husband having sexual intercourse with his wife after she is cleansed from her menses is referred back to the ruling of the said action before the wife experiences her menses, which is permissible.
To end, may this explanation be helpful in giving the correct understanding for us in this religion. Ameen.