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يَٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُواْ ٱلنِّسَآءَ كَرْهاً وَلاَ تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُواْ بِبَعْضِ مَآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلاَّ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَٰحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ فَإِن كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئاً وَيَجْعَلَ ٱللَّهُ فِيهِ خَيْراً كَثِيراً
-An-Nisâ’ ( النساء )

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(O ye who believe! It is not lawful for you forcibly) coercively (to inherit the women (of your deceased kinsmen)) the women of your fathers, (nor (that) ye should put constraint upon them) by preventing them from marrying again. This verse was revealed about Kabshah Bint Ma'an al-Ansariyyah and Muhsin Ibn Abi Qays al-Ansari; for before the advent of Islam, they used to inherit the women of their fathers (that ye may take away a part of that which ye have given them) take away part of that which your fathers gave them, (unless they be guilty of flagrant lewdness) unless they are guilty of fornication by the testimony of witnesses in which case they should be imprisoned. However, imprisoning fornicators was abrogated by the verse on stoning. In the pre-Islamic period, men used to inherit the wives of their fathers in the same way as they inherited their properties. The wife of a deceased father used to be inherited by the eldest son. If the woman was rich and beautiful, the eldest son would marry her without giving her any dowry. If, however, she was neither rich, young nor beautiful, he would not marry her but instead leave her untouched until she ransomed herself with her own money. Allah forbade them from indulging in such a practice. Then He showed them how one must treat women, saying: (But consort with them) keep their company (in kindness) with beneficence and goodness, (for if ye hate them) i.e. hate their company (it may happen that ye hate a thing) their company (wherein Allah hath placed much good) Allah may provide you with righteous children from them.

Tafsir Ibn 'Abbas, trans. Mokrane Guezzou
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