Meaning of {restrained} in verse 55:72
Fatwa No: 351103

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I was just wondering; what does verse 55:72 mean by 'restrained'? Does it mean that they cannot come out? Or are they like slaves and so on?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The meaning of {Fair ones restrained in pavilions.} [Quran 55:72] – as stated by the interpreters of the Quran – is that they are confined in their pavilions to their husbands. This is among the beautiful and praised characteristics in women. They are confined to their husbands and do not see other than them, and they do not need or aspire to other than their husbands.

The Tafseer (exegesis) of Ad-Durr Al-Manthoor reads, Mujaahid said, ‘Their hearts, their sight, and their own selves are confined to their husbands in pearl pavilions, and they do not see other than their husbands.’

This does not mean that they do not leave their pavilions to go for a walk in the gardens of Paradise, if they so wish, as is the custom for the daughters of kings and their like.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said in Haadi Al-ArwaahThis does not necessarily mean that they are confined to the tents and do not go to the chambers and gardens; in the same manner that the women of the kings and women of similar status who are confined and preserved are not prevented from going out in travel and the like to a park or garden and the like, but the description that generally applies to them is staying in their homes while they occasionally go out with their servants to the gardens and the like.

Manthoomat Al-Aadaab, authored by As-Saffaareeni from the Hanbali School of Fiqh, reads:

It does not necessarily mean that they do not go out of their pavilions to other rooms and gardens, in the same manner that the women of the kings and other similar women who are confined and preserved are not prevented from going out in travel and the like to a park or garden, and the like, but the description that generally applies to them is staying in their homes, while they occasionally go out with their servants to the gardens and the like. As regards the statement of Mujaahid, 'Their hearts are confined to their husbands in pearl pavilions,' then this is derived from their description as {companions of modest gaze} [Quran 37:48].

Therefore, it does not mean that they are slaves or that they are imprisoned and do not leave their pavilions (tents) if they so wish; because, if this is the case, it would resemble a punishment and be far from the mercy and the bliss of Paradise. Rather, it means restricting themselves from looking at other than their husbands.

Allah knows best.

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