This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.
CHAPTER 18 MOHAMMED’S FAMILY LIFE
48:13 We have prepared a blazing Fire for these unbelievers who do not believe in Allah and His Messenger.
Mohammed had many wives. The Koran goes into detail about his romances.
When Mohammed went on his missions to attack those who resisted Islam, he took one of his wives with him. Which one got to go was determined by lots. Mohammed took Aisha with him on this trip to fight in Allah’s cause in attacking the Mustaliq tribe.
Now there was a problem in taking one of Mohammed’s wives on an expedition and that was privacy. By now the veil had been prescribed for his wives. So the wife was not supposed to be seen or heard. To accomplish this a light cloth-covered howdah was used. Basically this was a box with a seat that could be mounted on a camel’s saddle. On the way back on the expedition Aisha had gone out in the morning to relieve herself. When she got back she discovered that she had lost a necklace and went back to find it. The tent had been struck and the men in charge loaded the howdah on the camel and off they went without Aisha.
When Aisha got back the entire group had moved on. She returned on a camel lead by a young Muslim who had lagged behind the main body and brought her back to Medina.
Tongues began to wag, imaginations worked overtime and gossip spread. Aisha fell ill and was bedridden for three weeks.
Tempers flared and men offered to kill the gossips. Something had to be done. In the end the innocence or guilt of Aisha was determined by revelation in the Koran which to this day is the sharia (Islamic law) about adultery.
24:1 A sura [chapter] which We have sent down and ordained, and in which We give you clear signs so that you will take warning. The man and woman who commit adultery should each be beaten with a hundred lashes, and do not let your pity for them prevent you from obeying Allah. If you believe in Allah and the Last Day, then allow some of the believers to witness their punishment. An adulterer can only marry an adulteress or an unbeliever, and a adulteress cannot marry anyone other than an adulterer or an unbeliever. Such marriages are forbidden for believers.
24:4 Those who make accusations against honorable women and are unable to produce four witnesses should be given eighty lashes. Thereafter, do not accept their testimony, for they are terrible sinners, except those who repent afterwards and live righteously. Allah is truly forgiving and merciful.
24:6 If a husband accuses his wife of adultery but he has no witnesses other than himself, his evidence can be accepted if he swears by Allah four times that he is telling the truth and then calls down Allah’s curse upon him if he is lying. If, however, the wife swears by Allah four times that she is innocent and calls Allah’s curse down upon herself if she is lying, then she should not be punished.
24:10 If it were not for Allah’s grace and mercy towards you and that Allah is wise, this would not have been revealed to you.
24:11 Truly there is a group among you who spread that lie [During an armed raid, Aisha—Mohammed’s favorite wife since their marriage when she was age six—accidentally spent a day alone with a young jihadist. Gossip about what might have happened consumed the Muslims], but do not think of it as a bad thing for you [Aisha was cleared of doubt of sexual infidelity by a revelation in the Koran] for it has proved to be advantageous for you. Every one of them will receive the punishment they have earned. Those who spread the gossip will receive a torturous punishment.
24:12 Why did the believing men and women, when they heard this, not think better of their own people and say, “This is an obvious lie”? Why did they not bring four witnesses? And because they could not find any witnesses, they are surely liars in Allah’s sight.
24:14 If it were not for Allah’s goodness towards you and His mercy in this world and the world to come, you would have been severely punished for the lie you spread. You [the Muslims] gossiped about things you knew nothing about. You may have thought it to be only a light matter, but it was a most serious one in Allah’s sight. And why, when you heard it, did you not say, “It is not right for us to talk about this. Oh, Allah! This is a serious sin.” Allah warns you never to repeat this if you are true believers. Allah makes His signs clear to you, for Allah is all-knowing, wise. Those who take pleasure in spreading foul rumors about the faithful will be severely punished in this world and the world to come. And Allah knows, while you do not.
24:20 If it were not for Allah’s grace and mercy towards you, you would have been punished long ago, but know that Allah is kind and merciful.
24:21 Believers, do not follow in Satan’s footsteps for those who do so will be commanded to commit shameful and evil acts. If it were not for Allah’s grace, not one of you would be pure. And Allah purifies those He pleases, and Allah is all-hearing.
24:22 And do not allow those among you who are wealthy and have many possessions to swear that they will not give to their family, the poor, and those who have fled their homes for Allah’s cause [jihad]. Instead, let them be forgiving and indulgent. Do you not want Allah to show you forgiveness? Allah is forgiving and merciful.
24:23 Truly, those who carelessly slander believing women will be cursed in this world and the world to come. Their own tongues, hands, and feet will one day testify against them concerning their own actions. On that day Allah will give them what they have earned, and they will know that Allah is the clear truth.