This is 4:129
وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُواْ أَن تَعْدِلُواْ بَيْنَ النِّسَاء وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلاَ تَمِيلُواْ كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِن تُصْلِحُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
Walan tastateeAAoo an taAAdiloo bayna alnnisai walaw harastum fala tameeloo kulla almayli fatatharooha kaalmuAAallaqati wain tuslihoo watattaqoo fainna Allaha kana ghafooran raheeman
The Aya says:
And you (plural) will not be able to do justice between the women even if you strongly pursued. Therefore do not tilt al the way so you leave her like the stuck woman. And if you cause reconciliation and act consciously then Allah happened to be, protectively covering, merciful.
My personal note:
This Aya may need to be looked at in relation to 4:3. 4:3 is the Aya that is cited as allowing polygamy and it ends in “And if you feared that you will not justice, then one”. Some modern western oriented Muslims may point to this Aya and would say: since one can never do justice, then he should marry only one woman. I would disagree with this understanding.
Indeed, 4:3 suggests to the man who fears injustice to marry only one. However, this does not mean a binding order. In addition there may be other more pressing reasons for a man to marry more than one woman. Aya 4:129 reassures the Muslim men that there are areas beyond their control where they cannot be completely just. Those can be the matters of the heart or pleasurable company. It gives them peace, while still asking them to be just in the matters where they can have control.
The Aya then moves further to suggest that a man who lost hope of being completely just should not tilt all the way in a direction of one wife over another. That way he will leave the other wife stuck in a marriage that may not provide her with her needs, emotional and otherwise, but where it is also stressful for her to get out of it.
The Aya ends in working on conscious action including reconciliation where it reassures us of God’s forgiveness, protective cover and mercy.
Translation of the Transliterated words:
Walan: and not/ never
tastateeAAoo: will you (plural) be able
Note: the root is TTa-W-Ain and it means willing compliance as a concept. This can be extended to obeying and so forth. TASTATeeAAoo is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of seeking and achieving obeying or willing compliance of the object (an taAAdiloo=that you act justly) is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person plural). In here, it points to the ability to do things and general capabilities.
taAAdiloo: you (plural) act justly
Note: the root is AIN-D-L and it means just or straightforward or straight without bends. TaAADILOO is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of acting justly straightforwardly is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person plural).
Alnnisai: the women
Note: the word means the women. It has two potential roots that may be related to it. The first N-S-Y and it is the one used for women. This same root is used for the sciatic nerve as a concrete word and for forgetting. The relation between the different meanings is only in an indirect manner. Another root is N-S-Hamza and it means putting things behind in time or space of delaying things. Concrete words are the women that have a delay in the menses because of possibility of pregnancy.
Walaw: even if/ and if
Harastum: pursued strongly
Note: the root is Ha-R-Sad and it means strong will or strong pursuit. HARASTUM is an action that is completed. It means: the action of pursuing or willing strongly happened by the subject (second person plural).
Fala: therefore not/ so not
Tameeloo: you (plural) tilt/ go in one direction/ go to one extreme
Note: The root is M-Y-L and it means tilting of the land. One concrete understanding means the distance as far the eye can see. Conceptually, it takes the meaning of a tilt towards something or towards one extreme over another, instead of maintaining balance. It can also point to putting the weight in one direction or another so it tilts under pressure. TAMEELOO is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means the action of the tilting or moving to one edge is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person plural). In this context, it points to moving in one direction and leaving another.
Note: the root is K-L-L and it means the parts put together. This is the concrete and it means all or every or each. KULLA means each or every or all. In this context, it means all.
Almayli: the tilt/ the way
Note: The root is M-Y-L and it means tilting of the land. One concrete understanding means the distance as far the eye can see. Conceptually, it takes the meaning of a tilt towards something or towards one extreme over another, instead of maintaining balance. It can also point to putting the weight in one direction or another so it tilts under pressure. ALMAYLI means the tilt or the direction. LA TAMEELOO KULLA ALMAYLI ends up meaning: do not tilt completely in one direction.
Fatatharooha: so you (plural) leave her
Note: FA means therefore or so or then. TATHAROOHA is derived from the root W-TH-R and it means in one concrete usage the pieces of flesh that are cut and mostly discarded or put apart. Conceptually, it is used when you leave an entity or ignore it or discard it or put it aside. TATHAROOHA is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of leaving the object (HA= her and it points to the wife) aside or abandoning her is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person plural).
kaalmuAAallaqati: like the stuck/ like the hanging
Note: KA means like or as. ALMuAAaLLAQATI is derived from the root Ain-L-Qaf and it means in concrete forms the spear when it penetrates the hunt and then the hunt is stuck and carried hanging from the spear. Another concrete word is the Leach which sticks to the skin and is not easily unstuck. So, conceptually, the word takes the imagery of some entity being stuck in a situation or being hanging from a situation while also being stuck ad unable to be unstuck. ALMuAAaLLAQATI is the entity that is stuck or hanging and unable to be unstuck.
Wain: and if
Tuslihoo: you (plural) cause reconciliation
Note: the root is Sad-L-Ha and it means becoming helpful or useful in a good direction. This means mainly: becoming one of benefit as in benefiting oneself and others. Included in this meaning is becoming fixed after having been broken. TUSLIHOO is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of causing benefit or reconciliation is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person plural).
Watattaqoo: and make yourselves act consciously/ including making your-selves act and think consciously
Note: WA is a letter that links what is before with what is after. This link is through inclusion, either one is included in the other or they are all included in the bigger sentence or bigger picture. WA is often translated as an addition (and), but inclusion probably covers the meaning a little better. TATTAQOO is derived from the root W-Qaf-Y and it means guarding and the best form of guarding is consciousness or action and thoughts according to consciousness. TATTAQOO is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of making oneself conscious or guard is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person plural).
Fainna: then indeed
Kana: happened to be
Note: the root is K-W-N and it means being. KANA is an action that is completed that is derived from the root. It means: the action of being happened by the subject (third personal singular). This in turn means: He happened to be
Ghafooran: forgiving/ provider of protective cover
Note: the root is GH-F-R and it means covering for protection. The concrete word is the helmet of the fighter. GHAFOORAN is the one that covers to protect. This, in turn means protection from committing the sin and protection from the consequences of sin, which also means forgiving
Note: the root is R-Ha-M and it means womb in concrete. This term is used to mean mercy and all the good that the womb provides. RAHEEM is the one with the womb-like mercy.
Salaam all and have a great day.