by the then governor of Egypt, it is said in Surah lxvi. 1, 2: "O Prophet, why deemest thou unlawful what God hath made lawful to thee? Thou seekest the approval of thy wives; and God is Forgiving, Gracious. God hath announced to you the annulment of your oaths, and God is your Master, and He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise."Al Baizawi gives two different explanations of this passage, but the one which is confirmed by other commentators is this: " It 1 is related that Muhammad was alone in company with Mary in 'Ayishah's or Hafsah's turn. Hafsah became aware of that, and therefore scolded him about it. He declared Mary unlawful. Therefore (these verses) descended. "The whole story, which is not an edifying one, is told at length in the Rauzatu's Safa 2 and elsewhere. We have chosen a short and simple form of it, so as to avoid details unfit for these pages. But the light which the whole incident throws upon Muhammad's character is noteworthy. It is also worthy of notice as strange that a Revelation from the Holy One should sanction the breach of oaths and such conduct as is mentioned by the commentators.

In reference to Muhammad's marriage with Zainab, daughter of Jahsh, and wife of his own adopted son Zaid ibn Harithah, we read in Surah xxxiii. 37, 38: "And (remember) when thou saidst to him on whom God had conferred favours and on whom thou hadst conferred favours, 'Keep thy wife to thyself, and reverence God,' and thou dost conceal within thyself what God manifests, and thou fearest men, and God is more deserving that thou shouldst fear Him. Accordingly, when Zaid had satisfied a requirement from her, We wedded her to thee, lest there should be upon the Believers a crime in (taking) the wives of their adopted sons, when they have satisfied a requirement from them: and God's command was performed. There was no crime for the Prophet in what God enjoined

1 Baizawi's Commentary, Vol. ii, pp. 340, 341.
2 Vol. ii, p. 188.

unto him, as God's rule in the case of those who were previously 1 free: and God's command is a fixed decree."

In speaking of the Zainab here referred to, the two Jalals say 2: "The Prophet wedded her to Zaid; then his glance fell on her after a time, and there fell into his soul love of her, and into the soul of Zaid abhorrence of her. He said to the Prophet, 'I wish to be separated from her.' Therefore said he, 'Keep thy wife to thyself,' as God Most High said ...Then Zaid divorced her, and her time was fulfilled. "On the words, "And We wedded her to thee," they say: "Accordingly the Prophet went in unto her without permission, and he sated the Muslims with bread and meat."

Al Baizawi says 3: "'Keep thy wife to thyself,' i. e. Zainab: and that because Muhammad beheld her after he had wedded her to him (Zaid), and she fell into his soul: therefore he said, 'Praise to God who turneth hearts upside down.' And Zainab heard the ascription of praise, and mentioned it to Zaid. He was quick to understand that, and there occurred to his soul an aversion from her society. Therefore he came to the Prophet and said, 'I desire to put away my consort.' (Muhammad) said, 'What is the matter with thee? Has anything made thee doubtful of her?' (Zaid) said, 'No, by God, I have seen nothing (done) by her but what is good; but truly her dignity is too exalted for me.' Accordingly he said to him, 'Keep thy wife to thyself' .... 'Therefore when Zaid satisfied a requirement from her,' i.e. a need; since he wearied of her, and he divorced her, and her time was completed. . . 'We wedded her to thee': ... the meaning is that He commanded him to wed her, or He made her his (Muhammad's) wife without the interposition of a marriage-contract. And what confirms it (this explanation) is that she used to say to the rest of the Prophet's wives, 'Verily God

1 Commentators explain this of former prophets.
2 Commentary on ver. 36.
3 Vol. ii, p. 129.