(And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans…) [4:3]. Abu Bakr al-Tamimi informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad> Abu Yahya> Sahl ibn ‘Uthman> Yahya ibn Za’idah> Hisham ibn ‘Urwah> his father> ‘A’ishah who said, regarding the words of Allah (And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans): “This was revealed about any custodian under whose care is a female orphan who possesses some wealth and does not have anyone to defend her rights. The custodian refuses to give this orphan in marriage out of greed for her money, harms her and treats her badly. And so Allah, exalted is He, says (And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans marry of the women, who seem good to you…) as long as they are lawful to you and leave this one”. This was narrated by Muslim> Abu Kurayb> Abu Usamah> Hisham. Sa‘id ibn Jubayr, Qatadah, al-Rabi‘, al-Dahhak and al-Suddi said: “People used to be wary of the wealth of orphans but took liberty with women and married whoever they liked. And sometimes they were fair to them and sometimes they were not. So when they asked about the orphans and the verse (Give unto orphans their wealth), regarding the orphans, was revealed, Allah, exalted is He, also revealed (And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans). He says here: ‘Just as you fear that you will not deal fairly by the orphan, so should you fear that you do not deal fairly by women. Therefore, marry only as many as you can fulfil their rights, for women are like orphans as far as weakness and incapacity are concerned’. This is the opinion of Ibn ‘Abbas according to the narration of al-Walibi”.
Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou