The Precise and Unspecific Verses
Fatwa No: 384562

Question

assalam alikum in verse 3:7 when it says clear verses does that mean the clear verses cant have a different interpretation like for example scholors have a different interpretation for 33:59 some say this verse means niqab and some say it only means hijab so does this verse belong to the clear verses or ambigoty verse the non clear verses etc

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 verse that you referred to in the question is the Saying of Allah (which means): {It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise - they are the foundation of the Book - and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]….} [Quran 3:7]

Ibn Jareer at-Tabari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"What are the verses [that are] precise in the Book (the Quran)? And what are the verses [that are] unspecific? Some scholars said, 'the verses [that are] precise in the Book, are the verses that are still acted upon, whether they abrogate (other verses or rulings), or (they are) verses that initiated a ruling (without abrogating others).' On the other hand, the verses [that are] unspecific, are the verses that are not acted upon, and which were abrogated. […] Some other scholars said: 'The verses [that are] precise in the Book, are the verses that can only be interpreted to mean one thing, and the verses that are unspecific are the verses that can have more than one meaning.'" [End of quote]

Accordingly, the verse about the Hijab in the Saying of Allah (which means): {O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused.} [Quran 33:59], according to the view that the precise verses are the verses of rulings that were not abrogated, then it is a precise verse. However, according to the view that the precise verses are the verses about which there is no difference of opinion on their meanings (i.e., have only one meaning), and the unspecific ones are the verses about whose meaning there is a difference of opinion, then it is among the unspecific. Ibn Jareer at-Tabari said: "Then the interpreters of the Quran differed in opinion about the interpretation of the method of bringing down over themselves [part] of their outer garments, which Allah ordered them to do." However, most interpreters determined that its meaning is: Covering the face. The Jilbab (outer garments) is what is placed on the head, and when it is lowered down, it covers the face. Another view is that the Jilbab is a garment that covers the entire body; this is the view that Imaam Al-Qurtubi considers to be correct.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 322657, 88383 and 284359.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa