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Reference : Dr Javed Jamil

A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’an-17

Laws Related to Civil Matters


Related to

In the name of God, the Kind, the Merciful


1.  Deals, contracts and property


In Writing


O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed   period of time, reduce them to writing. Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as God has taught him, so let him write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord God, and not diminish aught of what he owes. (2: 282/A)


Disdain not to reduce to writing (your contract) for a future period, whether it be small or big: it is just in the sight of God, more suitable as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves ... (2: 282/A)


If the party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, let his guardian dictate faithfully...(2: 282/A)


..but if it be a transaction which ye carry out on the spot among yourselves, there is no blame on you if ye reduce it not to writing. (2: 282/A)


If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let the trustee (faithfully) discharge his trust, and let him fear his Lord. (2: 283/A)


.....out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her... (2: 282/A)


Witnesses should oblige


The witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (for evidence). (2: 282/A)


Conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it,- His heart is tainted with sin. (2: 283/A)


But take witness whenever ye make a commercial contract...(2: 283/A)


...and let neither scribe nor witness suffer harm. If ye do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you.   (2: 282/A)


Trusts to be safeguarded


God doth command you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due;………..( 4: 58 /A)


No Wrongdoing


And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property. (2: 188/A)


Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due...(7: 85/A)


Orphans’ properties protected


To orphans restore their property (when they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. (4: 2/A)


Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then ye find sound judgement in them,  release their property to them; but consume it not wastefully, nor in haste against their growing up. If the guardian is well-off, let him claim no remuneration, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable. When ye release their property to them, take witnesses in their presence...(4: 6/A)


To those weak of understanding make not over your property, which God hath made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice. (4: 5/A)



2. Inheritance


Share for both men and women


From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women...(4: 7/A)


* …whether the property be small or large,-a determinate share. (4: 7/A)


But if at the time of division other relatives, or orphans or poor, are present, feed them out of the (property), and speak to them words of kindness and justice. (4:8)


God (thus) directs you as regards your Children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. ( 4: 11 /A)


Share of husbands and children


In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child; but if they leave a child, ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what ye leave, their share is a fourth, if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child, they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and debts....( 4: 12 /A)


If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question, has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to any one). ( 4: 12 /A)


God directs (thus) about those who leave no descendants or ascendants as heirs. If it is a man that dies, leaving a sister but no child, she shall have half the inheritance: If (such a deceased was) a woman, who left no child, her brother takes her inheritance. If there are two sisters, they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance (between them): if there are brothers and sisters, (they share), the male having twice the share of the female. (4: 176/A)


To those, also, to whom your right hand was pledged, give their due portion. ( 4: 33 /A)



3. Wills


Will desirable


It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leave any goods that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage... (2: 180/A)


If anyone changes the bequest after hearing it, the guilt shall be on those who make the change.  (2: 181/A)


For Widows


Those of you who die and leave widows should  bequeath for their widows a year’s maintenance and residence...(2: 240/A)


Witnesses for bequests


O ye who believe! When death approaches any of you, (take) witnesses among yourselves when making bequests,- two just men of your own (brotherhood) or others from outside if ye are journeying through the earth, and the chance of death befalls you (thus). If ye doubt (their truth), detain them both after prayer, and let them both swear by God: “We wish not in this for any worldly gain, even though the (beneficiary) be our near relation: we shall hide not the evidence before God; if we do, then behold! the sin be upon us!” But if it gets known that these two were guilty of the sin (of perjury), let two others stand forth in their places,- nearest in kin from among those who claim a lawful right. Let them swear by God: “We affirm that our witness is truer than that of those two, and that we have not trespassed (beyond the truth): if we did,  behold! the wrong be upon us!” That is most suitable: that they may give the evidence in its true nature and shape, or else they would fear that other oaths would be taken after their oaths. (5: 106-108/A)


Adopted children not equal to natural inheritors


..nor has He made your wives whom ye divorce by Zihar your mothers: nor has He made your adopted sons your sons. (33: 4/A)


(Note: Islam does not give adopted children the same rights as the real ones. The near relatives have bigger right to inherit than the adopted ones. But one is always free to make a will about one third of one’s property which one can bequeath to any one including adopted children.)


4. Booty


And know that out of all the booty that ye may   acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to God,- and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer...( 8: 41 /A)


So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you.    And fear God; for God is strict in punishment. (Some part is due) to the indigent Muhajirs, those who were expelled from their homes and their property... (59: 7-8/A)



5. Oaths


God will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths...(5: 89/A)


..but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is   beyond your means, fast for three days.( 5: 59 /A)



6. Marriage and dower


 Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female..(24: 32/A)


If those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until God gives them means out of His grace. (24: 33/A)


{NOTE: See Prohibited Degrees )


There is no blame on you if ye make an offer of betrothal or hold it in your hearts. God knows that ye cherish them in your hearts. But do not make a secret contract with them except in terms honourable, nor resolve on the tie of marriage till the term prescribed is fulfilled. (2: 235/A)


Polygyny allowed but not preferred


Marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess...(4: 3/A)


Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). (4: 129/A)




And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it with right good cheer...(4: 4/A)


Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath God ordained (prohibitions) against you: except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,- desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you...(4: 24/A)


Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable...( 4: 25 /A)



7. Divorce and related matters




If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, God will cause their reconciliation...( 4: 35 /A)




For those who take an oath for abstention from their wives, a waiting for four months is ordained; if then they return, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (2: 226/A)


Divorce before consummation


There is no blame on you if ye divorce women before consummation or the fixation of their dower; but bestow on them (a suitable gift), the wealthy according to his means, and the poor according to his means;- a gift of a reasonable amount is due from those who wish to do the right thing. (2: 236/A)


And if ye divorce them before consummation, but after the fixation of a dower for them, then the half of the dower (is due to them), unless they remit it or (the man’s half) is remitted by him in whose hands is the marriage tie; and the remission (of the man’s half) is the nearest to righteousness. And do not forget Liberality between yourselves. For God sees well all that ye do. (2: 237/A)




O ye who believe! When ye marry believing women, and then divorce them before ye have touched them, no period of ‘Iddat’ have ye to count in respect of them: so give them a present. And set them free in a handsome manner. (33: 49/A)


O Prophet! When ye do divorce women, divorce them for their prescribed periods, and count (accurately), their prescribed periods; and fear God your Lord: and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness; those are limits set by God. And any who transgresses the limits of God, does verily wrong his (own) soul; thou knowest not if     perchance God will bring about thereafter some new situation. Thus when they fulfil their term appointed, either take them back on equitable terms or part with them on equitable terms...(65: 1-2/A)


Procedure of divorce and related matters


* …and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence (as) before God...(65: 2/A)


Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. (2: 228/A)


Iddah only at husband’s place


Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same). (65: 4/A)


For those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens... (65: 4/A)


..if they have faith in God and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them       back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. (2: 228/A)


Let the women live (in ‘iddah) in the same style as ye live, according to your means: annoy them not, so as to restrict them. A (65: 6/A)


When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their (‘Iddah), either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms; but do not take them back to injure them, (or) to take undue  advantage; if any one does that, he wrongs his own soul. (2: 231/A)


Iddah for widows


If any of you die and leave widows behind, they shall wait concerning themselves four months and ten days...(2: 234/A)


When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their (‘Iddat), do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms. (2: 232/A)


A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. (2: 229/A)


If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an  amicable settlement between themselves; and such  settlement is best...(4: 128/A)




For divorced women provision (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous. (2: 241/A)


But if ye decide to take one wife in place of another, even if ye had given the latter a whole treasure for dower, take not the least bit of it back: would ye take it by slander and manifest wrong? And how could ye take it when ye have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a solemn covenant? (4: 20-21/A)


It is not lawful for you, (men), to take back any of your gifts (from your wives), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by God. If ye (judges) do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by God, there is no blame on either of them if she give something for her freedom. (2: 229/A)  


So if a husband divorces his wife (irrevocably), he cannot, after that, remarry her until after she has married another husband and he has divorced her. In that case there is no blame on either of them if they reunite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by God. (2: 230/A)


Divorce by Zihar


But those who divorce their wives by Zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered,- (It is   ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other. Thus are ye admonished to perform: and God is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do. And if any has not (the wherewithal), he should fast for two months consecutively before they touch each other. But if any is unable to do so, he should feed sixty indigent ones...(58: 3-4/A)


(Note: Zihar was a method of divorce prevalent in the pre-Islamic Arab society, in which the husband used to call his wife as his mother, sister, etc.; if anyone did that, it would signal an end to their relationship.)


Rights of mothers and infants


See under the head of “Reproductive and Child Health” in the chapter, “Social System of Islam”.




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