The Sura derived its name from the words lima tuharrimu of the very first verse. This too is not a title of its subject matter but the name implies that it is the Sura in which the incident of tahrim (prohibition forbiddance) has been mentioned.
In connection with the incident of tahrim referred to in this Sura the traditions of the Hadith mention two ladies who were among the wives of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) at that time Hadrat Safiyyah and Hadrat Mariyah Qibtiyyah. The former (i. e. Haurat Safiyyah) was taken to wife by the Holy Prophet after the conquest of Khaiber and Khaiber was conquered as has been unanimously reported in A. H. 7. The other lady Hadrat Mariyah had been presented to the Holy Prophet by Muqawqis the ruler of Egypt in A. H. 7 and she had borne him his son Ibrahim in Dhil-Hijjah A. H. 8.These historical events almost precisely determine that this Sura was sent down some time during A.H. 7 or A. H 8.
This is a very important Sura in which light has been thrown on some questions of grave significance with reference to some incidents concerning the wives of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allahّs peace). First that the powers to prescribe the bounds of the lawful and the unlawful the permissible and the forbidden are entirely and absolutely in the hand of Allah and nothing has been delegated even to the Prophet of Allah himself not to speak of any other man. The Prophet as such can declare something lawful or unlawful only if he receives an inspiration from Allah to do so whether that inspiration is embodied in the Qur'an or imparted to him secretly. However even the Prophet is not authorised to declare anything made permissible by Allah unlawful by himself much less to say of another man. Second that in any society the position of a Prophet is very delicate. A minor incident experienced by an ordinary man in his life may not be of any consequence but it assumes the status of law when experienced by a Prophet. That is why the lives of the Prophets have been kept under close supervision by Allah so that none of their acts not even a most trivial one may deviate from Divine Will. Whenever such an act has emanated from a Prophet it was rectified and rectified immediately so that the Islamic law and its principles should reach the people in their absolute purity not only through the Divine Book but also through the excellent example of the Prophet and they should include nothing which may be in disagreement with Divine Will Thirdly and this automatically follows from the above mentioned point that when the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) was checked on a minor thing which was not only corrected but also recorded it gives us complete satisfaction that whatever actionsand commands and instructions we now find in the pure life of the Holy Prophet concerning which there is nothing on record in the nature of criticism or correction from Allah they are wholly based on truth are in complete conformity with Divine Will and we can draw guidance from them with full confidence and peace of mind. The fourth thing that we learn from this discourse is that about the Holy Messenger himself whose reverence and respect Allah Himself has enjoined as a necessary part of the Faith of His servants it has been stated in this Sura that once during his sacred life he made a thing declared lawful by Allah unlawful for himself only to please his wives; then Allah has severely reproved for their errors those very wives of the Holy Prophet whom He Himself has declared as mothers of the faithful and worthy of the highest esteem and honour by them. Then this criticism of the Prophet and the administration of the warning to the wives also has not been made secretly but included in the Book which the entire ummah has to read and recite for ever. Obviously neither the intention of making mention of it in the Book of Allah was nor it could be that Allah wanted to degrade His Messenger and the mothers of the faithful in the eyes of the believers; and this also is obvious that no Musliin has lost respect for them in his heart after reading this Sura of the Qur'an. Now there cannot be any other reason of mentioning this thing in the Qur'an than that Allah wants to acquaint the believers with the correct manner of reverence for their great personalities. The Prophet is a Prophet not God that he may commit no error. Respect of the Prophet has not been enjoined because he is infallible but because he is a perfect representative of Divine Will and Allah has not permitted any of his errors to pass by unnoticed. This gives us the satisfaction that the noble pattern of life left by the Prophet wholly and fully represents the will of Allah. Likewise the Companions of the holy wives of the Prophet were human not angels or supermen. They could commit mistakes. Whatever ranks they achieved became possible only because the guidanc