Consisting of 22 verses, this sūrah was revealed in Madīnah, most probably after the Battle of the Trench, in the fifth year after Hijrah. It derives its name from the first verse, where a woman’s plea to the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, to solve a problem between her and her husband is recounted. It decisively abolishes the pre-Islamic custom of a form of divorce that took effect when a man said to his wife, “You are henceforth like my mother’s back to me.” It also denounces the hypocrites for their holding secret counsels against the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and forbids the believers from taking as guardians those whom God has condemned to eternal punishment. Finally, it orders that support be given to God’s Religion.
God has indeed heard (and accepted) the words of the woman who pleads with you concerning her husband and refers her complaint to God. God hears the dialogue between you.1 Surely God is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.2