I was just wondering if there were any directives in the Qur’an which are suggestions as opposed to commands. In other words, does the Qur’an recommend certain things which a believer can choose to do, but would not be sinning if he chose not do them.
If so, could you give me the references and verses.
There are indeed certain verses in the Qur’an, which entail recommendations rather than directives which are obligatory upon Muslims. Al-Baqarah 2: 237 entails one such recommendation. The Qur’an says:
And if you divorce them before you have copulated with them, but have fixed Meh’r with them, then you should pay half of the amount that you have fixed, except that she forgoes [even this half] or that he, in whose hands is the Nikah contract, lets go [and pays the whole amount of his own will] – and that you let go [and pay the full amount] is closer to piety. (Al-Baqarah 2: 237)
In this verse, the Qur’an has first given the law relating to divorce before copulation with reference to the payment of Meh’r. The Qur’an has prescribed that in such a situation, a man is legally bound to pay half of the amount of the total Meh’r that has been fixed in the marriage contract. Subsequently, the Qur’an continues to say, however, that if the woman, of her own accord, frees the man from this liability then she may do so and then the man will not have to pay any amount to the woman. On the other hand, if the man is willing to pay the full amount agreed upon in the marriage contract then he may not benefit from the allowance given by the Qur’an. Finally, the Qur’an has also recommended for the man to take a more graceful stance and pay the full amount to the woman.
The referred verse is clearly an example of a verse of the Qur’an entailing recommendations.
I hope this helps.
February 5, 2003