66:3 with tafseer. There are different interpretation of it, some interpretation deals with Maria, other with Abu Bakar, Umar and then some regarding Ali (RA). What is the correct interpretation of this verse?

And when the prophet secretly communicated a piece of information to one of his wives-- but when she informed (others) of it, and Allah made him to know it, he made known part of it and avoided part; so when he informed her of it, she said: Who informed you of this? He said: The Knowing, the one Aware, informed me.

Do we have any authentic evidence regarding the secret message? Also what is not clear, was it Aisha (RA) or Hafsa (RA) to whom this secret was revealed.

  • 2
    Who ever reads this question and its answers, do authenticate(source) what is written.
    – user46
    Oct 15, 2012 at 17:23
  • Sectarianism is ruining this question.
    – user46
    Oct 15, 2012 at 17:26
  • @goldPseudo This question asks about the meaning of the verse which is really important from historic point of view and how we interpret Islam today.
    – muslim1
    Oct 16, 2012 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


The secret message refers to incident of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wassalam) drinking honey. This is mentioned in the tafsir of Ibn Kathir with several ahadeeth.

What happened was that the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wassalam) used to stay with Zainab bint Jahsh and drink honey at her house (A later narration mentions it could be Hafsah). Ayesha (radiallahu anha) and Hafsah (radiallahu anha) agreed that if the Prophet came to either of them, they would say to the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wassalam): 'I detect the smell of Maghafir (a nasty-smelling gum) on you; have you eaten Maghafir?' He came to one of them and she said that to him. He said: 'No, rather I drank honey at the house of Zainab bint Jahsh, but I will never do it again.'

Then the verse was revealed : "O Prophet! Why do you forbid (for yourself) that which Allah has allowed to you, seeking the approval of your wives?." referring to the incident that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wassalam) forbade for himself drinking honey after one of his other wives asked regarding it. This verse appears a verse before the verse you mentioned in question. Usually, there is a coherence between verses when it refers to incidents like these.

Then Allah says referring to Aisha (radiallahu anha) and Hafsah (radiallahu anha) "If you two turn in repentance to Allah, (it will be better for you)". It is also mentioned in the narration of Umar that the verses were regarding Aisha and Hafsah (radiallahu anhuma).

"And (remember) when the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his wives" refers to the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wassalam) saying: "No, rather I drank honey."

This has been recorded in several hadeeth in Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abi Dawood and Sunan An-Nasa'i source1 source2 source3 source4 source5 .

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    Thanks for the answer. Why did the Prophet (pbuh) forbid himself from drinking honey anymore? What was wrong in it?
    – rowman
    Dec 22, 2012 at 8:10

There are more than one tafseer recorded in history for this verse.

One says the secret is that prophet did not eat a honey drink because did not want to his holy mouth take the smell of that special honey made of a bad smell flower. But told his wife do not tell this to people because I do not want to people say prophet made Haram what in fact is Halal (i.e. drinking honey drink). But she published this secret. (Reference: summary translation from Tafseer Nemooneh which is a great and new tafseer by collaborative effort of a group of top scholars)

And this is another tafseer from the book hayat-al-Qulub by great scholar Muhammad Baqir Majlisi:

But what is the secret? The Prophet said: “It is that Abu Bakr will become the Caliph after me through injustice and oppression and after him, your father will become the Caliph.” Hafasa asked him, “Who has told you this?” The Holy Prophet (S) said that “the Almighty Allah has informed me about it.” Hafasa revealed this secret to Ayesha the same day and she mentioned it to her father, Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr came to Umar and said that “Ayesha has quoted Hafasa thus, but I don’t trust her statement, you ask Hafasa directly if this is true.” Umar came to Hafasa, “Is it true what Ayesha has mentioned on your authority?” Initially Hafasa denied having said any such thing to Ayesha. Umar said, “Don’t conceal this from us if it is true, so that we may plan about it beforehand.” Hafasa said, “Yes, the Holy Prophet (S) had mentioned thus.” Then the two men and their daughters plotted to poison the Prophet. Jibraeel came down with those verses. And the secret that the Almighty Allah had mentioned is the same secret. And apart from that the Almighty Allah had informed His Messenger about some other secrets. And they had decided to expose the secret and to eliminate the Prophet.


Section 55 Account of Ayesha and Hafasa


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