This is a call, an admonishment, an allusion, a bearing witness, and a ruling. O is the call, you is the admonishment, who is the allusion, have faith is the bearing witness. It is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will is the ruling.
4:19 O you who have faith, it is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will, neither debar them from the marriage that you may go off with part of what you have given them, unless they commit a flagrant indecency. Consort with them honorably. For, if you are averse to them, it may be that you are averse to something within which God has placed much good.
The explanation of the ruling is that women are considered weak, and they are imprisoned beneath your severity. Beware of tormenting them, and do not rule over them by way of scheming and deceit. Do not be severe, and do not ask of them what the Shariah does not approve. On the contrary, live with them honorably. Consort with them honorably, that is, with the teachings of the religion and by modeling one’s courtesy on the character traits of the submitted. Show them the road of religion and religiosity and teach them the courteous acts of being a Muslim and the Shariah. And protect them from the Fire, as He says in another place: “Shield yourselves and your families from a fire” [66:6].
Preserve the courteous acts of companionship when consorting with them and tolerate suffering from them, but do not place on them the burden of your service, making them suffer for you. Although outwardly and specifically He is talking about women, by way of allusion He is talking generally about all Muslims.
He is saying, “Watch out so that you never see yourself as having a mandatory rightful due from, or excellence over, any other Muslim. Do not ask those above you to serve you, and do not push yourself on those beneath you. Do not use force against the folk of weakness, but rather strive to show consideration and give comfort to them and seek proximity to them.”
The revelation came to David: “O David, if you see someone has broken in My road, or someone whose heart has been lost in My work, take care to serve him. With a bit of bread, or a drink of water, seek proximity to him and sit next to the sun of his heart’s light. O David, the heart of that pain-stricken poor man is the rising place of My light’s sun. The sun of My majesty’s light is always shining in the chamber of his heart.”
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “O miserable man! If you cannot seek proximity to Him, at least seek proximity to the hearts of His friends, for He gazes down on their hearts. Whomsoever He sees in their hearts, He takes as His friend.”
Do you not see how Muṣṭafā used to sit with the weak among the Emigrants, considering himself one of them? He used to say, “Praise belongs to God who placed in my community those with whom He commanded me to make myself patient.” That is in the hadith of Abū Saʿīd al-Khudarī, who said, “I was with a group among whom were the weak among the Emigrants. A reciter was reciting the Qur’an for us and we were listening to his recitation. The Prophet came and stood over us, and when the reciter saw him, he became silent. He greeted us and said, ‘What are you doing?’ “We said, ‘O Messenger of God, a reciter was reciting for us and we were listening to his recitation.’ “God’s Messenger said, ‘Praise belongs to God who placed in my community those with whom He commanded me to make myself patient.’ Then he sat in our midst so as to be level with us. Then he indicated with his hand that we should form a circle, and their faces were illumined, but God’s Messenger did not recognize any of them, for they were the weak among the Emigrants. Then he said, ‘To the destitute among the Emigrants give the good news of complete light on the Day of Resurrection. You will enter the Garden a half-day before the rich among the faithful, a half-day whose measure is five hundred years.’”
If you are averse to them, it may be that you are averse to something within which God has placed much good. Whatever is harder for your soul today will be sweeter for your heart tomorrow. Whatever has the form of suffering today in the house of the decree will be the basis of the treasure tomorrow in the house of a union. Today, unreached desires and missed pleasures are mounted on the soul, but what desires and pleasures are contained in this work tomorrow!