¡ O Prophet! Why dost thou forbid that which God has made lawful unto thee, seeking the good pleasure of thy wives? And God is Forgiving, Merciful.
1 This verse was reportedly revealed after the Prophet had sworn to his wife Ḥafṣah that he would no longer have intimate relations with his Coptic slave girl, Māriyah. The Prophet had been intimate with Māriyah in Ḥafṣah’s apartment on Ḥafṣah’s day (the Prophet’s wives rotated, each having one day with him in turn). When Ḥafṣah became upset, the Prophet asked her to tell no one of it and then told Māriyah that she was forbidden to him, after which this verse and the following verses were revealed (Q, Sy, Ṭ, W), according to some after a period of twenty-one days (W). According to others, this verse was revealed after the Prophet forbade a certain beverage to himself that God had not forbidden, though it could apply to any instance in which the Prophet might have forbidden something that was permitted to him (Ṭ), an error that all Muslims are counseled to avoid, as in 5:87: O you who believe! Forbid not the good things that God has made lawful unto you (see also 6:140).