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وَلَوْلاۤ إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ قُلْتُمْ مَّا يَكُونُ لَنَآ أَن نَّتَكَلَّمَ بِهَـٰذَا سُبْحَانَكَ هَـٰذَا بُهْتَانٌ عَظِيمٌ
-An-Nûr ( النور )

Asbab Al-Nuzul

(Wherefor, when ye heard it, said ye not: It is not for us to speak of this…) [24:16]. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Humayd al-‘Adl informed us> Abu Bakr ibn Zakariyya> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Daghuli> Abu Bakr ibn Abi Khaythamah> al-Haytham ibn Kharijah> ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Yazid ibn Jabir> ‘Ata’ al-Khurasani> al-Zuhri> ‘Urwah who reported that ‘A’ishah related to him the incident of the slander in which she said: “Abu Ayyub al-Ansari was asked by his wife: ‘Did you not hear about what people are saying?’ ‘And what are they saying’, he exclaimed. She informed him about the slander perpetuated by a group of people regarding ‘A’ishah, upon which he said: ‘It is not for us to speak about this. Glory be to You (O Allah)! This is awful calumny’. Allah, glorious and majestic is He, then revealed (Wherefor, when ye heard it, said ye not: It is not for us to speak of this. Glory be to Thee (O Allah)! This is awful calumny)”. Abu Sa‘id ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Hamdan informed us> Abu Bakr ibn Ahmad ibn Ja‘far ibn Malik> ‘Abd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal> his father> ‘Abd al-Razzaq> Ma‘mar> ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Uthman ibn Khuthaym> Ibn Abi Mulaykah> Dhakwan, the client of ‘A’ishah who reported that he asked permission for Ibn ‘Abbas to enter in on ‘A’ishah when she was dying while she had at her side her nephew ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman, saying: “Ibn ‘Abbas is here and he asks permission to visit you; he is one of your best sons!” She said: “Spare me from Ibn ‘Abbas and his praise”. ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman said: “He is a reader of the Book of Allah, glorified and exalted is He, and a man of knowledge regarding the religion of Allah, glorified is He. Give him permission so that he greets you and bids you farewell”. She said: “Give him permission, if you wish!” He gave him permission to enter. He entered, gave the greeting of peace, sat down and then said: “Good news for you, O mother of the believers. By Allah, in a short while all harm and toil will disappear from you. You will meet the loved ones, Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, and his party (or he said Companions). The spirit has only to leave the body [to realise this]. You were the dearest of the wives of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, to him, and he did not love anything but good. Allah, exalted is He, has declared your innocence from above seven heavens such that there is not a single mosque on earth except that the verses of your innocence are recited at night and during the day. Moreover, your necklace fell on the night of al-Abwa’ and so the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was held back, along with other people, in this site, trying to find the necklace, until dawn broke. People did not have water, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (…go to the high clean soil and rub your faces and your hands (therewith)) [4:43]. That was a general legal dispensation which happened because of you. By Allah, you are blessed”. She said: “O Ibn ‘Abbas, spare me all this; by Allah, I wish I had become a thing of naught, forgotten!"

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou