32 Preface يا نِساءَ النَّبِيِّ لَستُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِنَ النِّساءِ ۚ إِنِ اتَّقَيتُنَّ فَلا تَخضَعنَ بِالقَولِ فَيَطمَعَ الَّذي في قَلبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلنَ قَولًا مَعروفًاYusuf AliO Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women:1 if ye do fear (God), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just.2This is the core of the whole passage. The Prophet’s Consorts were not like ordinary women, nor was their marriage an ordinary marriage, in which only personal or social considerations enter. They had a special position and special responsibilities, in the matter of guiding and instructing women who came into the fold of Islam. Islam is a Way of Life, and the Muslims are a family: women have as much place in Islam as men, and their intimate instruction must obviously be through women.While they were to be kind and gentle to all, they were to be guarded on account of their special position lest people might misunderstand or take advantage of their kindness. They were to make no vulgar worldly displays as in the times of Paganism.