THE HOLY QUR'AAN

 


SURAH 24
An-Nuur  (The Light)


INTRODUCTION:

 

This Surah consists of 64 verses and 9 Ruku's, 

Name

This Sura takes its name An Nur from verse 35.

Period of Revelation

The consensus of opinion is that it was sent down after the Campaign against Bani al-Mustaliq and this is confirmed by vv. 11-20 that deal with the incident of the "Slander", which occurred during that Campaign. But there is a difference of opinion as to whether this Campaign took place in 5 A.H. before the Battle of the Trench or in 6 A.H. after it. It is important to decide this issue in order to determine whether this Surah was sent down earlier or Surah Al-Ahzab (33), which is the only other Surah containing the Commandments about the observance of purdah by women. Surah Al-Ahzab was admittedly sent down on the occasion of the Battle of the Trench. Now if this Battle occurred earlier, it would mean that the initial instructions in connection with the Commandments of purdah were sent down in Surah Al-Ahzab and they were complemented later by the Commandments revealed in this Surah. On the other hand, if the Campaign against Bani al-Mustaliq occurred earlier, the chronological order of the Commandments would be reversed, and it would become difficult to understand the legal wisdom and implications of the Commandments of purdah.

 

According to Ibn Sa'd, the Campaign against Bani al Mustaliq took place in Shaban 5 A.H. and the Battle of the Trench in Zil-Qa'dah the same year. This opinion is based on some traditions from Hadrat Ayesha about the events connected with the "Slander" in which she refers to a dispute between Hadrat Sa'd bin 'Ubadah and Sa'd bin Mu'az. Hadrat Sa'd bin Mu'az, according to authentic traditions, died during the Campaign against Bani Quraizah, which took place immediately after the Battle of the Trench. It is, therefore, evident that he could not be present in 6 A.H. to take part in a dispute about the "Slander".

 

On the other hand, Muhammad bin Ishaq says that the Battle of the Trench took place in Shawwal 5 A.H. and the Campaign against Bani al-Mustaliq in Sha'ban 6 A.H. This opinion is supported by many authentic traditionss from Hadrat Ayesha and others. According to these traditions,

1.       the Commandments about purdah had been sent down in Surah Al-Ahzab before the incident of the "Slander",

2.       the Holy Prophet had married Hadrat Zainab in Zil-Qa'dah 5 A.H. after the Battle of the Trench,

3.       Hamnah, sister of Hadrat Zainab, had taken a leading part in spreading the "Slander", just because Hadrat Ayesha was a rival of her sister. All this evidence supports the view of Muhammad bin Ishaq.

Now let us consider the two opinions a little more closely. The only argument in favour of the first opinion is the mention of the presence of Hadrat Sa'd bin Mu'az in a dispute connected with the incident of the "Slander". But this argument is weakened by some other traditions from Hadrat Ayesha, in which she mentions Hadara Usaid bin Hudair instead of Hadrat Sa'd bin Mu'az in this dispute. It may, therefore, be assumed that there has been some confusion regarding the two names in reporting the traditions. Moreover, if we accept the first opinion, just because of the mention of the name of Hadrat Sa'd bin Mu'az in some traditions, we encounter other difficulties that cannot be resolved in any way. For, in that case, we shall have to admit that the revelation of the Commandments of purdah and the Holy Prophet's marriage with Hadrat Zainab had taken place even earlier than the Battle of the Trench. But we learn from the Qur'an and many authentic traditions that both these events happened after that Battle and the Campaign against Bani Quraizah. That is why Ibn Hazm, Ibn Qayyim and some other eminent scholars have held the opinion of Muhammad bin Ishaq as correct, and we also hold it to be so. Thus, we conclude that Surah Al Ahzab was sent down earlier than Surah An-Nur, which was revealed in the latter half of 6 A.H. several months after Surah Al Ahzab.

Historical Background

Now let us review the circumstances existing at the time of the revelation of this surah. It should be kept in mind that the incident of the "Slander", which was the occasion of its revelation, was closely connected with the conflict between Islam and the disbelievers.

 

After the victory at Badr, the Islamic movement began to gain strength day by day; so much so that by the time of the Battle of the Trench, it had become so strong that the united forces of the enemy numbering about ten thousand failed to crush it and had to raise the siege of Al-Madinah after one month. It meant this, and both the parties understood it well, that the war of aggression which the Disbelievers had been waging for several years, had come to an end. The Holy Prophet himself declared: "After this year, the Quraish will not be able to attack you; now you will take the offensive."

When the disbelievers realized that they could not defeat Islam on the battlefield, they chose the moral front to carry on the conflict. It cannot be said with certainty whether this Change of tactics was the outcome of deliberate consultations, or it was the inevitable result of the humiliating retreat in the Battle of the Trench, for which all the available forces of the enemy had been concentrated:They knew it well that the rise of Islam was nor due to the numerical strength of the Muslims nor to their superior arms and ammunition nor to their greater material resources; nay, the Muslims were fighting against fearful odds on all these fronts. They owed their success to their moral superiority. Their enemies realized that the pure and noble qualities of the Holy Prophet and his followers were capturing the hearts of the people, and were also binding them together into a highly disciplined community. As a result of this, they were defeating the mushriks and the Jews both on the peace and on the war front, because the latter lacked discipline and character.

 

Under the above mentioned circumstances, the wicked designs of the disbelievers led them to start a campaign of vilification against the Holy Prophet and the Muslims in order to destroy the bulwark of morale that was helping them to defeat their enemies. Therefore the strategy was to attain the assistance of the hypocrites to spread slanders against the Holy Prophet and his followers so that the mushriks and the Jews could exploit these to sow the seeds of discord among the Muslims and undermine their discipline.

 

The first opportunity for the use of the new strategy was afforded in Zil-Qa'dah 5 A.H. when the Holy Prophet married Hadrat Zainab (daughter of Jahsh), who was the divorced wife of his adopted son, Zaid bin Harithah. The Holy Prophet had arranged this marriage in order to put an end to the custom of ignorance, which gave the same status to the adopted son that was the right only of the son from one's own loins. The hypocrites, however, considered it a golden opportunity to vilify the Holy Prophet from inside the community, and the Jews and the mushriks exploited it from outside to ruin his high reputation by this malicious slander. For this purpose fantastic stories were concocted and spread to this effect: "One day Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) happened to see the wife of his adopted son and fell in love with her; he manouvered her divorce and married her." Though this was an absurd fiction it was spread with such skill, cunning and artfulness that it succeeded in its purpose; so much so that some Muslim traditionalist and commentators also have cited some parts of it in their writings, and the orientalists have exploited these fully to vilify the Holy Prophet. As a matter of fact, Hadrat Zainab was never a stranger to the Holy Prophet that he should see her by chance and fall in love with her at first sight. For she was his first cousin, being the daughter of his real paternal aunt, Umaimah, daughter of Abdul Muttalib. He had known her from her childhood to her youth. A year before this incident, he himself had persuaded her against her will to marry Hadarat Zaid in order to demonstrate practically that the Quraish and the liberated slaves were equal as human being. As she never reconciled herself to her marriage with a liberated slave, they could not pull on together for long, which inevitably led to her divorce. The above mentioned facts were well known to all, yet the slanderers succeeded in their false propaganda with the result that even today there are people who exploit these things to defame Islam.

 

The second slander was made on the honour of Hadrat Ayesha, a wife of the Holy Prophet, in connection with an incident which occurred while he was returning from the Campaign against Bani al-Mustaliq. As this attack was even severer than the first one and was the main background of this Surah, we shall deal with it in greater detail.

Let us say a few words about Abdullah bin Ubayy, who played the part of a villain in this attack. He belonged to the clan of Khazraj and was one of the most important chiefs of Al-Madinah. The people had even intended to make him their king a little before the Holy Prophet's migration there, but the scheme had to be dropped because of the changed circumstances. Though he had embraced Islam, he remained at heart a hypocrite and his hypocrisy was so manifest that he was called the "Chief of the Hypocrites". He never lost any opportunity to slander Islam in order to take his revenge.

Now the main theme. When in Sha'ban 6 A.H. the Holy Prophet learned that the people of Bani al-Mustaliq were making preparations for a war against the Muslims and were trying to muster other clans also for this purpose, he fore- stalled and took the enemy by surprise. After capturing the people of the clan and their belongings, the Holy Prophet made a halt near Muraisi, a spring in their territory. One day a dispute concerning taking water from the spring started between a servant of Hadrat Umar and an ally of the clan of Khazraj, and developed into a quarrel between the Muhajirs (immigrants) and the Ansar (Muslims of Mad!nah), but was soon settled. This, however, did not suit the strategy of Abdullah bin Ubayy, who also had joined the expedition with a large number of hypocrites. So he began to incite the Ansar, saying, "You yourselves brought these people of the quraish from Makkah and made them partners in your wealth and property. And now they have become your rivals and want domination over you. If even now you withdraw your support from them, they shall be forced to leave your city." Then he swore and declared, "As soon as we reach back Al-Madinah, the respectable people will turn out the degraded people from the city."

 

When the Holy Prophet came to know of this, he ordered the people to set off immediately and march back to Al-Madinah. The forced march continued up to noon the next day without a halt on the way so that the people became exhausted and had no time for idle talk.

 

Though this wise judgment and quick action by the Holy Prophet averted the undesirable consequences of the mischief, Abdullah bin Ubayy got another opportunity for doing a far more serious and greater mischief, i.e. by engineering a "Slander" against Hadrat Ayesha, for that was a mischief which might well have involved the young Muslim Community in a civil war, if the Holy Prophet and his sincere and devoted followers had not shown wisdom, forbearance and marvellous discipline in dealing with it. In order to understand the events that led to the incident of the "Slander", we cite the story in Hadrat 'Ayesha's own words. She says "Whenever the Holy Prophet went out on a journey, he decided by lots as to which of his wives should accompany him. Accordingly, it was decided that I should accompany him during the expedition to Bani al Mustaliq. On the return journey, the Holy Prophet halted for the night at a place which was the last stage on the way back to Al-Madinah. It was still night, when they began to make preparations for the march. So I went outside the camp to ease myself. When I returned and came near my halting place, I noticed that my necklace had fallen down somewhere. I went back in search for it but in the meantime the caravan moved off and I was left behind all alone. The four carriers of the litter had placed it on my camel without noticing that it was empty. This happened because of my light weight due to lack of food in those days. I wrapped myself in my sheet and lay down in the hope that when it would be found that I had been left behind, a search party would come back to pick me up. In the meantime I fell asleep. In the morning, when Safwan bin Mu'attal Sulami passed that way, he saw me and recognised me for he had seen me several times before the Commandment about purdah had been sent down. No sooner did he see me than he stopped his camel and cried out spontaneously : "How sad! The wife of the Holy Prophet has been left here!" At this I woke up all of a sudden and covered my face with my sheet. Without uttering another word, he made his camel kneel by me and stood aside, while I climbed on to the camel back. He led the camel by the nose-string and we overtook the caravan at about noon, when it had just halted and nobody had yet noticed that I had been left behind. I learnt afterwards that this incident had been used to slander me and Abdullah bin Ubayy was foremost among the slanderers." (According to other traditions, when Hadrat Ayesha reached the camp on the camel, led by Safwan, and it was known that she had been left behind, Abdullahbin Ubayy cried out, 'By God, she could not have remained chaste. Look, there comes the wife of your Prophet openly on the camel led by the person with whom she passed the night.')

 

"When I reached Al-Madinah, I fell ill and stayed in bed for more than a month. Though I was quite unaware of it, the news of the "Slander" was spreading like a scandal in the city, and had also reached the Holy Prophet. Anyhow, I noticed that he did not seem as concerned about my illness he used to be. He would come but without addressing me directly, would inquire from others how I was and leave the house. Therefore it troubled my mind that something had gone wrong somewhere. So I took leave of him and went to my mother's house for better nursing.

 

"While I was there, one night I went out of the city to ease myself in the company of Mistah's mother, who was a first cousin of my mother. As she was walking along she stumbled over something and cried out spontaneously, 'May Mistah perish!' To this I retorted, 'What a good mother you are that you curse your own son, the son who took part in the Battle of Badr.' She replied, 'My dear daughter, are you not aware of his scandal mongering?' Then she told me everything about the campalgn of the 'Slander'." (Besides the hypocrites, some true Muslims also had been involved in this campaign, and among them who took leading part in it, were Mistah, Hassan bin Thabit, the famous poet of Islam, and Hamnah, daughter of Jahsh and sister of Hadrat Zainab). "Hearing this horrible story, my blood curdled, and I immediately returned home, and passed the rest of the night in crying over it.

 

"During my abcence the Holy Prophet took counsel with Ali and Usamah bin Zaid about this matter. Usamah said good words about me to this effect: 'O Messenger of Allah, we have found nothing but good in your wife. All that is being spread about her is a lie and calumny.' As regards Ali, he said, 'O Messenger of Allah, there is no dearth of women; you may, if you like, marry an other wife. If, however, you would like to investigate into the matter, you may send for her maid servant and enquire into it through her.' Accordingly, the maid servant was sent for and questioned. She replied, 'I declare on an oath by Allah, Who has sent you with the Truth, that I have never seen any evil thing in her, except that she falls asleep when I tell her to look after the kneaded dough in my absence and a goat comes and eats it.'

 

"On that same day the Holy Prophet addressed the people from the pulpit, saying: 'O Muslims, who from among you will defend my honour against the attacker of the person who has transgressed all bounds in doing harm to me by slandering my wife. By God, I have made a thorough enquiry and found nothing wrong with her nor with the man, whose name has been linked with the "Slander".' At this Usaid bin Hudair (or Sa'd bin Mauz) according to other traditions) stood up and said, 'O Messenger of Allah, if that person belongs to our clan, we will kill him by ourselves, but if he belongs to the Khazraj clan, we will kill him if you order us to do so.' Hearing this Sa'd bin 'Ubadah, chief of the Khazraj clan, stood up and said, 'You lie you can never kill him. You are saying this just because the person belongs to our clan of Khazraj. Had he belonged to your clan, you would never have said so.' Hadrat Usaid retorted, 'You are a hypo- crite: that is why you are defending a hypocrite.' At this, there was a general turmoil in the mosque, which would have developed into a riot, even though the Holy Prophet was present there the whole time. But he cooled down their anger and came down from the pulpit."

The remaining details of the incident will be cited along with our commentary on the Text, which honourably absolved Hadrat Aishah from the blame. But here we would only want to point out the enormity of the mischief that was engineered by Abdullah bin Ubayy:

1.       It implied an attack on the honour of the Holy Prophet and Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq.

2.       He meant to undermine the high moral superiority which was the greatest asset of the Islamic Movement.

3.       He intended to ignite civil war between the Muhajirs and the Ansar, and between Aus and Khazraj, the two clans of the Ansar.

Theme and Topics

This Surah and vv. 28-73 of Surah Al-Ahzab (of which this is the sequel) were sent down to strengthen the moral front, which at that time was the main target of the attack, vv. 28-73 of Al-Ahzab were sent down concerning the Holy Prophet's marriage with Hadrat Zainab, and on the occasion of the second attack (the "Slander" about Hadrat Aishah), Surah An-Nur was sent down to repair the cracks that had appeared in the unity of the Muslim Community. If we keep this in view during the study of the two Surahs, we shall understand the wisdom that underlies the Commandments about purdah. Allah sent the following instructions to strengthen and safeguard the moral front, and to counteract the storm of propaganda that was raised on the occasion of the marriage of Hazrat Zainab:

1.       The wives of the Holy Prophet were enjoined to remain within their private quarters, to avoid display of adornments and to be cautious in their talk with other persons (vv. 32, 33).

2.       The other Muslims were forbidden to enter the private rooms of the Holy Prophet and instructed to ask whatever they wanted from behind the curtain.(v. 53).

3.       A line of demarcation was drawn between the mahram and the non-mahram relatives. Only the former were allowed to enter the private rooms of those wives of the Holy Prophet with whom they were so closely related as to prohibit marriage with them.(v. 55).

4.       The Muslims were told that the wives of the Prophet were prohibited for them just like their own real mothers; therefore every Muslim should regard them with the purest of intentions (vv. 53, 54).

5.       The Muslims were warned that they would invite the curse and scourge of Allah if they offended the Holy Prophet. Likewise it was a heinous sin to attack the honour of or slander any Muslim man or woman.(vv. 57, -8).

6.       All the Muslim women were enjoined to cover their faces with their sheets if and when they had to go out of their houses.(v. 59).

On the occasion of the second attack, this Surah was sent down to keep pure and strengthen the moral fibre of the Muslim society, which had been shaken by the enormity of the slander. We give below a summary of the Commandments and instructions in their chronological order so that one may understand how the Qur'an makes use of the psychological occasion to reform the Community by the adoption of legal, moral and social measures.

1.       Fornication which had already been declared to be a social crime (4:15,16) was now made a criminal offence and was to be punished with a hundred lashes.

2.       It was enjoined to boycott the adulterous men and women and the Muslims were forbidden to have any marriage relations with them.

3.       The one, who accused the other of adultery but failed to produce four witnesses, was to be punished with eighty lashes.

4.       The Law of Lian was prescribed to decide the charge of adultery against his own wife by a husband.

5.       The Muslims were enjoined to learn a lesson from the incident of the "Slander" about Hadrat Aishah, as if to say, "You should be very cautious in regard to charges of adultery against the people of good reputation, and should not spread these; nay, you should refute and suppress them immediately." In this connection, a general principle was enunciated that the proper spouse for a pure man is a pure woman, for he cannot pull on with a wicked woman for long, and the same is the case with a pure woman, as if to say, "When you knew that the Holy Prophet was a pure man, nay, the purest of all human beings, how could you believe that he had experienced happiness with a wicked woman and exalted her as the most beloved of his wives? For it was obvious that an adulterous woman could not have been able to deceive, with her affected behaviour, a pure man like the Holy Prophet. You ought also to have considered the fact that the accuser was a mean person while the accused was a pure woman. This should have been enough to convince you that the accusation was not worth your consideration; nay, it was not even conceivable.

6.       Those who spread news and evil rumours and propagate wickedncss in the Muslim Community, deserve punishment and not encouragement.

7.       A general principle was laid down that relations in the Muslim Community should be based on good faith and not on suspicion: everyone should be treated as innocent unless he is proved to be guilty and vice versa.

8.       The people were forbidden to enter the houses of others unceremoniously and were instructed to take permission for this.

9.       Both men and women were instructed to lower their gaze and forbidden to cast glances or make eyes at each other.

10.   Women were enjoined to cover their heads and breasts even inside their houses.

11.   Women were forbidden to appear with make-up before other men except their servants or such relatives with whom their marriage is prohibited.

12.   They were enjoined to hide their make-ups when they went out of their houses, and even forbidden to put on jingling ornaments, while they moved out of their houses.

13.   Marriage was encouraged and enjoined even for slaves and slave girls, for unmarried people help spread indecency.

14.   The institution of slavery was discouraged and the owners and other people were enjoined to give financial help to the slaves to earn their freedom under the law of Mukatabat.

15.   Prostitution by slave girls was forbidden in the first instance, for prostitution in Arabia was confined to this class alone. This in fact implied the legal prohibition of prostitution.

16.   Sanctity of privacy in home life was enjoined even for servants and under age children including one's own. They were enjoined not to enter the private rooms of any man or woman without permission; especially in the morning, at noon and at night.

17.   Old women were given the concession that they could set aside their head covers within their houses but should refrain from display of adornments. Even they were told that it was better for them to keep themselves covered with head wrappers.

18.   The blind, lame, crippled and sick persons were allowed to take any article of food from the houses of other people without permission, for it was not to be treated like theft and cheating, which are cognizable offences.

19.   On the other hand, the Muslims were encouraged to develop mutual relationships by taking their meals together, and the nearest relatives and intimate friends were allowed to take their meals in each other's house without any formal invitation. This was to produce mutual affection and sincere relationships between them to counteract any future mischief. Side by side with these instructions, clear signs of the Believers and the hypocrites were stated to enable every Muslim to discriminate between the two. At the same time the Community was bound together by adopting disciplinary measures in order to make it stronger and firmer than it was at the time so as to discourage the enemies from creating mischief in it.

Above all, the most conspicuous thing about this discourse is that it is free from the bitterness which inevitably follows such shameful and absurd attacks. Instead of showing any wrath at this provocation, the discourse prescribes some laws and regulations and enjoins reformative commandments and issues wise instructions that were required at the time for the education and training of the Community. Incidentally, this teaches us how to deal with such provocative mischiefs coolly, wisely and generously. At the same time, it is a clear proof that this is not the word of Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) but of a Being Who is observing all human conditions and affairs from the highest level, and guiding mankind without any personal prejudices, feelings and leanings. Had this been the word of the Hoiy Prophet; there would have been at least some tinge of natural bitterness in spite of his great generosity and forbearance, for it is but human that a noble man naturally become enraged when his own honour is attacked in this mean manner.

 

maududi

 

IMPORTANT: Please note that the Digest is based upon these outstanding translations and they have been reproduced here for the benefit of serious readers of the Quraan; the copyrights of these works are held by their respective authors/publishers from whom they can be purchased by anyone interested in acquiring them and we ardently hope that no offence will be taken by their inclusion.

 

    

THE HOLY QUR'AAN


SURAH 24
AN-NUR (THE LIGHT)

 

Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi

 

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.


Section 1 

24 : 1

1. Sooratun anzalnaha wafaradnaha waanzalna feeha ayatin bayyinatin laAAallakum tathakkaroona

This is a Surah which We have revealed and have made its stipulations mandatory and have included in them several definitive tokens so that you pay heed.

24 : 2

2. Alzzaniyatu waalzzanee faijlidoo kulla wahidin minhuma mi-ata jaldatin wala ta/khuthkum bihima ra/fatun fee deeni Allahi in kuntum tu/minoona biAllahi waalyawmi al-akhiri walyashhad AAathabahuma ta-ifatun mina almu/mineena

The adulterer and the adulteress, - punish each of them with one hundred lashes. And let not pity towards them prevent you from fulfilling the command of Allah, - if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day! And let a group of believers be witnesses to the flagellation!
 

(It should be noted that the punishment of flagellation is applied only to unmarried men and women who are guilty of sexual intercourse outside the marriage knot.

In the case of married men and women who have sexual intercourse with others, their punishment is stoning to death, provided certain stringent conditions are met : (i) they were caught while they were actually engaged in intercourse: (ii) there are four eye witnesses present to testify to it under oath: (iii) both are mature enough to understand precisely what constitutes the felony of adultery; and (iv) both confess four times without duress to have committed the act.

Condition (iii) is to make sure that if a boy or a girl below the age of consent is seduced into having sex by an older person, without any idea of its ramifications, their culpability is aptly mitigated by the judge

According to Islamic clerics, the change was implemented either by the Sunna or by an over-riding commandment of Allah.

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when certain impoverished immigrants to Madina came to know that there were several disbelieving women in the town who were wealthy but of easy virtue and asked the Prophet if the believers were permitted by Islam to wed them.

24 : 3

3. Alzzanee la yankihu illa zaniyatan aw mushrikatan waalzzaniyatu la yankihuha illa zanin aw mushrikun wahurrima thalika AAala almu/mineena

The adulterer shall not marry except an adulteress or an idolatress, and no one shall marry an adulteress other than an adulterer or an idolater. They are all forbidden to the believers.

* * *

24 : 4

4. Waallatheena yarmoona almuhsanati thumma lam ya/too bi-arbaAAati shuhadaa faijlidoohum thamaneena jaldatan wala taqbaloo lahum shahadatan abadan waola-ika humu alfasiqoona

And those who accuse honourable women of wrong-doing but do not produce four witnesses in support of their allegations, punish them with eighty lashes and never again rely upon their testimony, for verily they are evil men -

24 : 5

5. Illa allatheena taboo min baAAdi thalika waaslahoo fa-inna Allaha ghafoorun raheemun

Except those who repent and then reform themselves! Verily Allah is Magnanimous and forgiving and kind!

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed when a close associate of the Prophet wanted to know what was the right recourse for him if he was aware that his wife was being unfaithful to him but he did not have any witnesses to prove it.

24 : 6

6. Waallatheena yarmoona azwajahum walam yakun lahum shuhadao illa anfusuhum fashahadatu ahadihim arbaAAu shahadatin biAllahi innahu lamina alssadiqeena

And those who accuse their wives of wrong-doing but have no witnesses other than their own word, their recourse is to make the accusation four times and swear upon Allah that they are speaking the truth -

24 : 7

7. Waalkhamisatu anna laAAnata Allahi AAalayhi in kana mina alkathibeena

And the fifth time invoke the curse of Allah on himself, if he is lying!

24 : 8

8. Wayadrao AAanha alAAathaba an tashhada arbaAAa shahadatin biAllahi innahu lamina alkathibeena

But the woman can also avert chastisement by testifying four times in the name of Allah that he is lying -

24 : 9

9. Waalkhamisata anna ghadaba Allahi AAalayha in kana mina alssadiqeena

And the fifth time invoking the wrath of Allah on herself, if he is speaking the truth.
 

(An outstanding example of Allah's impartiality to both sexes. In the absence of reliable eye witnesses, when only the word of each stands against the other, they have equal right to make an accusation or to offer a defence in the name of Allah and take responsibility for their word by invoking the wrath of Allah on themselves in the event that one of them is lying).

* * *

24 : 10

10. Walawla fadlu Allahi AAalaykum warahmatuhu waanna Allaha tawwabun hakeemun

Had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy towards you, and that Allah is Forgiving and judicious, (you would have been doomed)! (R)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

MUHSIN:

1. (This is) a Srah (chapter of the Qur'n) which We have sent down and which We have enjoined, (ordained its legal laws) and in it We have revealed manifest Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations lawful and unlawful things, and set boundries of Islmic Religion), that you may remember.

2. The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allh, if you believe in Allh and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. (This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime but if married persons commit it, the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allh's Law)[].

3. The adulterer marries not but an adulteress or a Mushrikah and the adulteress none marries her except an adulterer or a Muskrik [and that means that the man who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan or idolatress) or a prostitute, then surely he is either an adulterer, or a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater, etc.) And the woman who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater) or an adulterer, then she is either a prostitute or a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan, or idolatress, etc.)]. Such a thing is forbidden to the believers (of Islmic Monotheism).

4. And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever, they indeed are the Fsiqn (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allh).

5. Except those who repent thereafter and do righteous deeds, (for such) verily, Allh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

6. And for those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (i.e. testifies four times) by Allh that he is one of those who speak the truth.

7. And the fifth (testimony) (should be) the invoking of the Curse of Allh on him if he be of those who tell a lie (against her).

8. But it shall avert the punishment (of stoning to death) from her, if she bears witness four times by Allh, that he (her husband) is telling a lie.

9. And the fifth (testimony) should be that the Wrath of Allh be upon her if he (her husband) speaks the truth.

10. And had it not been for the Grace of Allh and His Mercy on you (He would have hastened the punishment upon you)! And that Allh is the One Who accepts repentance, the All-Wise.


024.001
YUSUFALI: A sura which We have sent down and which We have ordained in it have We sent down Clear Signs, in order that ye may receive admonition.
PICKTHAL: (Here is) a surah which We have revealed and enjoined, and wherein We have revealed plain tokens, that haply ye may take heed.
SHAKIR: (This is) a chapter which We have revealed and made obligatory and in which We have revealed clear communications that you may be mindful.

024.002
YUSUFALI: The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.
PICKTHAL: The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.
SHAKIR: (As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement.

024.003
YUSUFALI: Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry and but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.
PICKTHAL: The adulterer shall not marry save an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress none shall marry save an adulterer or an idolater. All that is forbidden unto believers.
SHAKIR: The fornicator shall not marry any but a fornicatress or idolatress, and (as for) the fornicatress, none shall marry her but a fornicator or an idolater; and it is forbidden to the believers.

024.004
YUSUFALI: And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;-
PICKTHAL: And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony - They indeed are evil-doers -
SHAKIR: And those who accuse free women then do not bring four witnesses, flog them, (giving) eighty stripes, and do not admit any evidence from them ever; and these it is that are the transgressors,

024.005
YUSUFALI: Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct); for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Save those who afterward repent and make amends. (For such) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: Except those who repent after this and act aright, for surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

024.006
YUSUFALI: And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth;
PICKTHAL: As for those who accuse their wives but have no witnesses except themselves; let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies, (swearing) by Allah that he is of those who speak the truth;
SHAKIR: And (as for) those who accuse their wives and have no witnesses except themselves, the evidence of one of these (should be taken) four times, bearing Allah to witness that he is most surely of the truthful ones.

024.007
YUSUFALI: And the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of Allah on themselves if they tell a lie.
PICKTHAL: And yet a fifth, invoking the curse of Allah on him if he is of those who lie.
SHAKIR: And the fifth (time) that the curse of Allah be on him if he is one of the liars.

024.008
YUSUFALI: But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie;
PICKTHAL: And it shall avert the punishment from her if she bear witness before Allah four times that the thing he saith is indeed false,
SHAKIR: And it shall avert the chastisement from her if she testify four times, bearing Allah to witness that he is most surely one of the liars;

024.009
YUSUFALI: And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of Allah on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth.
PICKTHAL: And a fifth (time) that the wrath of Allah be upon her if he speaketh truth.
SHAKIR: And the fifth (time) that the wrath of Allah be on her if he is one of the truthful.

024.010
YUSUFALI: If it were not for Allah's grace and mercy on you, and that Allah is Oft-Returning, full of Wisdom,- (Ye would be ruined indeed).
PICKTHAL: And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy unto you, and that Allah is Clement, Wise, (ye had been undone).
SHAKIR: And were it not for Allah's grace upon you and His mercy-- and that Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Wise!

 

Section 2.

Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed when a spurious scandal was spread by some of the hypocrites about the Prophet's youngest wife Ayesha that she had been unfaithful to him!

24 : 11

11. Inna allatheena jaoo bial-ifki AAusbatun minkum la tahsaboohu sharran lakum bal huwa khayrun lakum likulli imri-in minhum ma iktasaba mina al-ithmi waallathee tawalla kibrahu minhum lahu AAathabun AAatheemun

Verily those who have spread this scandal are a group of men from amongst you; so do not look upon it as something bad. Nay! It is something that happened for your own good. Although each of the slanderers has earned for himself a sin equal to his share in the slander, he who has played the biggest role in it shall receive the worst punishment!
 

(The reference is to a most unsavoury incident which occurred on the Prophet's way back from the Banu Mustaliq expedition in A.H. 5. It so happened that while the caravan was preparing to leave, Hadrath Ayesha excused herself to visit the closet where she lost an ornament she was wearing and got delayed looking for it. However, unaware that she was held up, the caravan left without her. When she found out what had transpired, she decided to sit it out and wait there until she was missed and someone came back for her.

Sometime later, as soon as she was missed, her attendant Sufwan came in search of her, found her and escorted her back to the caravan on a camel he had brought for her, she riding the camel with due propriety and he on foot.

The hypocrites seized upon the opportunity to denigrate the Prophet and traduced her of infidelity, headed by Abdullah ibn Ubayy, to whom reference is made in the last part of the verse.

After returning to Madina, she was taken ill and spent several days confined to her tent, blissfully unaware of the horrendous storm raging behind her back about her loyalty to her husband as well as her own personal rectitude; but after coming to know, she was so distraught that never again were her eyes seen to be dry nor shut in sleep, in spite of the solemn reassurances of the Prophet that he was convinced the rumours were groundless and that her honour was beyond reproach.

In due course her agony reached such a peak that, in the same way as Allah robustly exonerated Mary of wrongdoing because she was not guilty of fornication as charged; Ayesha was also robustly vindicated by Allah of all wrongdoing, commanding the scandalmongers to be penalized according to Law and their ring-leader Abdullah ibn Ubayy to be condemned to die in a state of apostasy, which he did).
 

24 : 12

12. Lawla ith samiAAtumoohu thanna almu/minoona waalmu/minatu bi-anfusihim khayran waqaloo hatha ifkun mubeenun

If only the believing men and believing women, when they first heard about it, had rallied to the side of a fellow believer and said : 'Verily this is a false imputation?'

24 : 13

13. Lawla jaoo AAalayhi bi-arbaAAati shuhadaa fa-ith lam ya/too bialshshuhada-i faola-ika AAinda Allahi humu alkathiboona

If only they had produced the four witnesses! Since they have failed to produce the witnesses, in the eyes of Allah they are liars.

24 : 14

14. Walawla fadlu Allahi AAalaykum warahmatuhu fee alddunya waal-akhirati lamassakum fee ma afadtum feehi AAathabun AAatheemun

Had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you in this world as well as in the Hereafter, you would have been severely punished for that in which you have participated!

24 : 15

15. Ith talaqqawnahu bi-alsinatikum wataqooloona bi-afwahikum ma laysa lakum bihi AAilmun watahsaboonahu hayyinan wahuwa AAinda Allahi AAatheemun

When you entertained these rumours in your minds on the strength of what you heard from one another and uttered with your mouths that about which you had no knowledge of your own, you may well have thought of it as a trifling matter, but in the sight of Allah it is of the utmost significance!

24 : 16

 

16. Walawla ith samiAAtumoohu qultum ma yakoonu lana an natakallama bihatha subhanaka hatha buhtanun AAatheemun

Why then, when you heard about it, did you say not : 'It is not for us to utter these words! Glory be to you (O Allah!) This surely is a spurious allegation!'

24 : 17

17. YaAAithukumu Allahu an taAAoodoo limithlihi abadan in kuntum mu/mineena

Allah exhorts you never again to speak such words, if you are true believers.

24 : 18

18. Wayubayyinu Allahu lakumu al-ayati waAllahu AAaleemun hakeemun

And He clearly expounds to you all His revelations! And Allah is Erudite and Wise!

24 : 19

19. Inna allatheena yuhibboona an tasheeAAa alfahishatu fee allatheena amanoo lahum AAathabun aleemun fee alddunya waal-akhirati waAllahu yaAAlamu waantum la taAAlamoona

Verily those who desire to disgrace the believers by means of slander, for them is a painful castigation in this world as well as in the Hereafter! Allah knows whereas you know not.

24 : 20

20. Walawla fadlu Allahi AAalaykum warahmatuhu waanna Allaha raoofun raheemun

Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, and for the fact that Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful, you would have been doomed! (R)


 OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

MUHSIN:

11. Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against 'Aishah <> <> the wife of the Prophet SAW) are a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment.

12. Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it (the slander) think good of their own people and say: "This (charge) is an obvious lie[]?"

13. Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they (the slanderers) have not produced witnesses! Then with Allh they are the liars.

14. Had it not been for the Grace of Allh and His Mercy unto you in this world and in the Hereafter, a great torment would have touched you for that whereof you had spoken.

15. When you were propagating it with your tongues, and uttering with your mouths that whereof you had no knowledge, you counted it a little thing, while with Allh it was very great.

16. And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right for us to speak of this. Glory be to You (O Allh) this is a great lie."

17. Allh forbids you from it and warns you not to repeat the like of it forever, if you are believers.

18. And Allh makes the Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) plain to you, and Allh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

19. Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allh knows and you know not.

20. And had it not been for the Grace of Allh and His Mercy on you, (Allh would have hastened the punishment upon you). And that Allh is full of kindness, Most Merciful.


024.011
YUSUFALI: Those who brought forward the lie are a body among yourselves: think it not to be an evil to you; On the contrary it is good for you: to every man among them (will come the punishment) of the sin that he earned, and to him who took on himself the lead among them, will be a penalty grievous.
PICKTHAL: Lo! they who spread the slander are a gang among you. Deem it not a bad thing for you; nay, it is good for you. Unto every man of them (will be paid) that which he hath earned of the sin; and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be an awful doom.
SHAKIR: Surely they who concocted the lie are a party from among you. Do not regard it an evil to you; nay, it is good for you. Every man of them shall have what he has earned of sin; and (as for) him who took upon himself the main part thereof, he shall have a grievous chastisement.

024.012
YUSUFALI: Why did not the believers - men and women - when ye heard of the affair,- put the best construction on it in their own minds and say, "This (charge) is an obvious lie"?
PICKTHAL: Why did not the believers, men and women, when ye heard it, think good of their own own folk, and say: It is a manifest untruth?
SHAKIR: Why did not the believing men and the believing women, when you heard it, think well of their own people, and say: This is an evident falsehood?

024.013
YUSUFALI: Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of Allah, (stand forth) themselves as liars!
PICKTHAL: Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they produce not witnesses, they verily are liars in the sight of Allah.
SHAKIR: Why did they not bring four witnesses of it? But as they have not brought witnesses they are liars before Allah.

024.014
YUSUFALI: Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, in this world and the Hereafter, a grievous penalty would have seized you in that ye rushed glibly into this affair.
PICKTHAL: Had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy unto you in the world and the Hereafter an awful doom had overtaken you for that whereof ye murmured.
SHAKIR: And were it not for Allah's grace upon you and His mercy in this world and the hereafter, a grievous chastisement would certainly have touched you on account of the discourse which you entered into.

024.015
YUSUFALI: Behold, ye received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things of which ye had no knowledge; and ye thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah.
PICKTHAL: When ye welcomed it with your tongues, and uttered with your mouths that whereof ye had no knowledge, ye counted it a trifle. In the sight of Allah it is very great.
SHAKIR: When you received it with your tongues and spoke with your mouths what you had no knowledge of, and you deemed it an easy matter while with Allah it was grievous.

024.016
YUSUFALI: And why did ye not, when ye heard it, say? - "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to Allah! this is a most serious slander!"
PICKTHAL: Wherefor, when ye heard it, said ye not: It is not for us to speak of this. Glory be to Thee (O Allah)! This is awful calumny.
SHAKIR: And why did you not, when you heard it, say: It does not beseem us that we should talk of it; glory be to Thee! this is a great calumny?

024.017
YUSUFALI: Allah doth admonish you, that ye may never repeat such (conduct), if ye are (true) Believers.
PICKTHAL: Allah admonisheth you that ye repeat not the like thereof ever, if ye are (in truth) believers.
SHAKIR: Allah admonishes you that you should not return to the like of it ever again if you are believers.

024.018
YUSUFALI: And Allah makes the Signs plain to you: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.
PICKTHAL: And He expoundeth unto you the revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: And Allah makes clear to you the communications; and Allah is Knowing, Wise.

024.019
YUSUFALI: Those who love (to see) scandal published broadcast among the Believers, will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows, and ye know not.
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who love that slander should be spread concerning those who believe, theirs will be a painful punishment in the world and the Hereafter. Allah knoweth. Ye know not.
SHAKIR: Surely (as for) those who love that scandal should circulate respecting those who believe, they shall have a grievous chastisement in this world and the hereafter; and Allah knows, while you do not know.

024.020
YUSUFALI: Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, and that Allah is full of kindness and mercy, (ye would be ruined indeed).
PICKTHAL: Had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy unto you, and that Allah is Clement, Merciful, (ye had been undone).
SHAKIR: And were it not for Allah's grace on you and His mercy, and that Allah is Compassionate, Merciful.

 

Section 3.

24 : 21

21. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la tattabiAAoo khutuwati alshshaytani waman yattabiAA khutuwati alshshaytani fa-innahu ya/muru bialfahsha-i waalmunkari walawla fadlu Allahi AAalaykum warahmatuhu ma zaka minkum min ahadin abadan walakinna Allaha yuzakkee man yashao waAllahu sameeAAun AAaleemun

O those of you who believe! Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan, for whosoever follow in the steps of Satan, he can only teach them shamelessness and immorality! And if the Grace and Mercy of Allah had not been upon you, none of you would be purified. But Allah purifies whom He will! And Allah hears and knows everything!

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Prophet's close friend and father-in-law Abu Bakr swore that he would never again give financial support to his impoverished cousin because he too was involved in the scandal which was spread against his daughter Ayesha, even though his cousin had emigrated from Mecca to Madina along with the Prophet and had taken part in the battle of Badr and was in dire need of help, - three prime conditions which qualified him to solicit help, - regardless of what he had done.

24 : 22

22. Wala ya/tali oloo alfadli minkum waalssaAAati an yu/too olee alqurba waalmasakeena waalmuhajireena fee sabeeli Allahi walyaAAfoo walyasfahoo ala tuhibboona an yaghfira Allahu lakum waAllahu ghafoorun raheemun

Let not those among you who have the status and the means to help swear that they would not help the near of kin and the needy and the fugitive for the Cause of Allah, but be forgiving and indulgent. Do you not seek forgiveness of Allah for yourselves? Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful!
 

(In the same way as the citizens of any country, whether it is a democracy, a dictatorship, a monarchy or a plutocracy, are forbidden from taking the law into their own hands and seek vengeance on their enemies, in the Kingdom of Allah too His slaves are not allowed to pre-empt the Divine Law and impose their own sanctions on those who harmed them. If we learn to forgive one another for our indiscretions and misgivings, Allah is there to forgive us our greater sins)
 
 

* * *

24 : 23

23. Inna allatheena yarmoona almuhsanati alghafilati almu/minati luAAinoo fee alddunya waal-akhirati walahum AAathabun AAatheemun

Those who slander virtuous believing women for their indiscretions are accursed in this world as well as in the Hereafter and for them awaits an astringent retribution -

24 : 24

24. Yawma tashhadu AAalayhim alsinatuhum waaydeehim waarjuluhum bima kanoo yaAAmaloona

On the Day when their tongues and their hands and their feet testify against them as to whatever they used to do -

24 : 25

25. Yawma-ithin yuwaffeehimu Allahu deenahumu alhaqqa wayaAAlamoona anna Allaha huwa alhaqqu almubeenu

On that Day Allah will surely requite them their just dues in full and they will realize then that Allah is the Quintessence of Truth!

24 : 26

 

26. Alkhabeethatu lilkhabeetheena waalkhabeethoona lilkhabeethati waalttayyibatu lilttayyibeena waalttayyiboona lilttayyibati ola-ika mubarraoona mimma yaqooloona lahum maghfiratun warizqun kareemun

Lewd women are for lewd men and lewd men for lewd women; and chaste women are for chaste men and chaste men for chaste women! Such are innocent of lies with which people indict them, and for them is pardon and a generous provision! (R)

(All the above verses were revealed in the same context of false rumours levelled against Hadrath Ayesha by her tormentors.

It should be noted that she was a lady of great many distinctions as opposed to all other believing women in her times : she was the only virgin the Prophet had ever married, all the others being either widows or divorcees; when the Prophet breathed his last, he was in her tent and in her arms; on many an occasion, when the Archangel came to reveal the verses of the Qur'aan to him, she too was present in the room; she is the daughter of Abu Bakr who, besides being a close associate of the Prophet, also became the first Caliph of the Islamic world after his demise; above all, she was born guiltless as all babies are and also died in a state of immaculacy as his only surviving widow and, as it is clear from the above verse, she is assured of Allah's lenity in every respect and a generous provision in the Hereafter).


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

MUHSIN:

21. O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaitn (Satan). And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaitn (Satan), then, verily he commands Al-Fahsh' [i.e. to commit indecency (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.)], and Al-Munkar [disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and wicked deeds; to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islm, etc.)]. And had it not been for the Grace of Allh and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allh purifies (guides to Islm) whom He wills, and Allh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

22. And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give (any sort of help) to their kinsmen, Al-Maskn (the poor), and those who left their homes for Allh's Cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allh should forgive you? And Allh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

23. Verily, those who accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter, and for them will be a great torment,

24. On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their legs or feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do.

25. On that Day Allh will pay them the recompense of their deeds in full, and they will know that Allh, He is the Manifest Truth.

26. Bad statements are for bad people (or bad women for bad men) and bad people for bad statements (or bad men for bad women). Good statements are for good people (or good women for good men) and good people for good statements (or good men for good women), such (good people) are innocent of (each and every) bad statement which they say, for them is Forgiveness, and Rizqun Karm (generous provision i.e.Paradise).


024.021
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! follow not Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will (but) command what is shameful and wrong: and were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: but Allah doth purify whom He pleases: and Allah is One Who hears and knows (all things).
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Follow not the footsteps of the devil. Unto whomsoever followeth the footsteps of the devil, lo! he commandeth filthiness and wrong. Had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy unto you, not one of you would ever have grown pure. But Allah causeth whom He will to grow. And Allah is Hearer, Knower.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not follow the footsteps of the Shaitan, and whoever follows the footsteps of the Shaitan, then surely he bids the doing of indecency and evil; and were it not for Allah's grace upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have ever been pure, but Allah purifies whom He pleases; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

024.022
YUSUFALI: Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want, and those who have left their homes in Allah's cause: let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: And let not those who possess dignity and ease among you swear not to give to the near of kin and to the needy, and to fugitives for the cause of Allah. Let them forgive and show indulgence. Yearn ye not that Allah may forgive you? Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And let not those of you who possess grace and abundance swear against giving to the near of kin and the poor and those who have fled in Allah's way, and they should pardon and turn away. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

024.023
YUSUFALI: Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous Penalty,-
PICKTHAL: Lo! as for those who traduce virtuous, believing women (who are) careless, cursed are they in the world and the Hereafter. Theirs will be an awful doom
SHAKIR: Surely those who accuse chaste believing women, unaware (of the evil), are cursed in this world and the hereafter, and they shall have a grievous chastisement.

024.024
YUSUFALI: On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions.
PICKTHAL: On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet testify against them as to what they used to do,
SHAKIR: On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet shall bear witness against them as to what they did.

024.025
YUSUFALI: On that Day Allah will pay them back (all) their just dues, and they will realise that Allah is the (very) Truth, that makes all things manifest.
PICKTHAL: On that day Allah will pay them their just due, and they will know that Allah, He is the Manifest Truth.
SHAKIR: On that day Allah will pay back to them in full their just reward, and they shall know that Allah is the evident Truth.

024.026
YUSUFALI: Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity: these are not affected by what people say: for them there is forgiveness, and a provision honourable.
PICKTHAL: Vile women are for vile men, and vile men for vile women. Good women are for good men, and good men for good women; such are innocent of that which people say: For them is pardon and a bountiful provision.
SHAKIR: Bad women .are for bad men and bad men are for bad women. Good women are for good men and good men are for good women

 

 Section 4.

24 : 27

27. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la tadkhuloo buyootan ghayra buyootikum hatta tasta/nisoo watusallimoo AAala ahliha thalikum khayrun lakum laAAallakum tathakkaroona

O those of you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own until you have obtained the consent of the occupants and have prayed for peace upon them. It is better for you that you take such a precaution.
 

(Most of the verses grouped in this Surah deal with the Code of Conduct preached by the Qur'aan to its adherents, as has already been mentioned several times before.

In the above verse, the protocol of entering houses of other people is outlined, stressing on two things : never to enter without the permission of the dwellers and always address them with a seemly greeting even before permission to enter is sought).
 

24 : 28

28. Fa-in lam tajidoo feeha ahadan fala tadkhulooha hatta yu/thana lakum wa-in qeela lakumu irjiAAoo fairjiAAoo huwa azka lakum waAllahu bima taAAmaloona AAaleemun

Even if you find no occupants therein, still do not enter them without the permission of owners. And if it is said to you : 'Go away!' then go away, for this is a much safer course of action for you! Allah is constantly aware of all your actions!
 

(In this verse, if permission is declined and we are asked to leave, it is made incumbent upon us that we respected this decision and left at once).

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the people asked the Prophet in the light of the above revelation if prior consent was needed to enter the rest houses for travellers situated en-route to Mecca and Syria.

24 : 29

29. Laysa AAalaykum junahun an tadkhuloo buyootan ghayra maskoonatin feeha mataAAun lakum waAllahu yaAAlamu ma tubdoona wama taktumoona

It is no sin for you to enter houses that are not meant for anyone in particular and you are entitled to their temporary occupation. Allah is aware of what you reveal and what you conceal!

* * *

24 : 30

30. Qul lilmu/mineena yaghuddoo min absarihum wayahfathoo furoojahum thalika azka lahum inna Allaha khabeerun bima yasnaAAoona

Enjoin believing men to keep their eyes downcast and to protect their modesty. It is seemly behaviour for them. Verily Allah is cognizant of what they do.

24 : 31

 

31. Waqul lilmu/minati yaghdudna min absarihinna wayahfathna furoojahunna wala yubdeena zeenatahunna illa ma thahara minha walyadribna bikhumurihinna AAala juyoobihinna wala yubdeena zeenatahunna illa libuAAoolatihinna aw aba-ihinna aw aba-i buAAoolatihinna aw abna-ihinna aw abna-i buAAoolatihinna aw ikhwanihinna aw banee ikhwanihinna aw banee akhawatihinna aw nisa-ihinna aw ma malakat aymanuhunna awi alttabiAAeena ghayri olee al-irbati mina alrrijali awi alttifli allatheena lam yathharoo AAala AAawrati alnnisa-i wala yadribna bi-arjulihinna liyuAAlama ma yukhfeena min zeenatihinna watooboo ila Allahi jameeAAan ayyuha almu/minoona laAAallakum tuflihoona

And enjoin believing women to keep their eyes downcast and protect their rectitude and not to flaunt their ornaments except those that are visible, and to keep their chests covered with an over cloth and do not display their embellishment to anyone except their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their nephews, or sons of their sisters, or other believing women, or maids whom they possess, or impotent menservants, or children who are not yet conscious of feminine nakedness. And let them not thump their feet so as to attract attention to their hidden ornaments. Turn to Allah together with due compunction, O believers, so that you may attain salvation!
 

(The above two verses deal with personal decorum and deportment for men and women, more elaborate for women than for men because women make easier targets than them. So thorough are these ordinances that nothing is left to our imagination or to inferences, every one of which are meticulously observed by a vast majority of Muslim women in all parts of the world, in the East or in the West, except those who wilfully break away from tradition for reasons of their own).
 

24 : 32

32. Waankihoo al-ayama minkum waalssaliheena min AAibadikum wa-ima-ikum in yakoonoo fuqaraa yughnihimu Allahu min fadlihi waAllahu wasiAAun AAaleemun

And arrange the marriages of those amongst you who are single and of the righteous among your slaves and maids. If they are poor, Allah will make them affluent by His Grace. Allah is kind and Compassionate.
 
 

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when some of the slave girls, being forced into prostitution by a Hypocrite for financial considerations, approached the Prophet and sought his help.

24 : 33

33. WalyastaAAfifi allatheena la yajidoona nikahan hatta yughniyahumu Allahu min fadlihi waallatheena yabtaghoona alkitaba mimma malakat aymanukum fakatiboohum in AAalimtum feehim khayran waatoohum min mali Allahi allathee atakum wala tukrihoo fatayatikum AAala albigha-i in aradna tahassunan litabtaghoo AAarada alhayati alddunya waman yukrihhunna fa-inna Allaha min baAAdi ikrahihinna ghafoorun raheemun

And let those among you without the means to marry remain chaste until such time as Allah gives them the means by His Grace. And if the slaves you possess urge you to give them a letter of manumission, give it to them if you think they deserve it, and help them with some of that which Allah has given you. And do not compel your slave girls into fornication if they wish to safeguard their virtue for making a small gain in the life of this world. But if they are forced, verily Allah will forgive them for that which they did under duress, for Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful!
 

(The above verse has a dual application, one of them being aimed at those who do not happen to have the financial means of tying the marriage knot, especially in the case of men, as Islamic marriages involve the payment of a dowry to the wife by the husband, even if it be a cluster of dates. In the event of financial constraints resulting in inability to contract a lawful marriage, it does not give anyone the right to satisfy their natural cravings by resorting to sex outside marriage.

The second aspect of the verse deals with marriages of slaves, men and women, which is now legally irrelevant as slavery is outlawed by most countries of the world, but at the time it was prevalent, Islam was always foremost in making the lot of the slaves as easy as possible. Accordingly, in this verse, Muslims are admonished to help their slaves in every way they can towards leading a normal married life as good Muslims, even if it means giving them financial help, in addition to setting them free for a token sum, so that they can earn their living as free citizens and bring up their families.

Muslims were also stopped from forcing their slave girls into prostitution or fornication against their will in order to make a financial gain; but if they were, then they would be forgiven by the Gracious Lord).
 
 

* * *

24 : 34

34. Walaqad anzalna ilaykum ayatin mubayyinatin wamathalan mina allatheena khalaw min qablikum wamawAAithatan lilmuttaqeena

And verily We have sent down for you Our clear revelations, and an account of others who were here before you, and an admonition to those who spurn evil! (R)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

MUHSIN:

 27. O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them, that is better for you, in order that you may remember.

28. And if you find no one therein, still, enter not until permission has been given. And if you are asked to go back, go back, for it is purer for you, and Allh is All-Knower of what you do.

29. There is no sin on you that you enter (without taking permission) houses uninhabited (i.e. not possessed by anybody), (when) you have any interest in them. And Allh has knowledge of what you reveal and what you conceal.

30. Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allh is All-Aware of what they do.

31. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful[].

32. And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Slihn (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allh will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allh is All-Sufficent for His creatures' needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people).

33. And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allh enriches them of His Bounty. And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), give them such writing, if you know that they are good and trustworthy. And give them something yourselves out of the wealth of Allh which He has bestowed upon you. And force not your maids to prostitution, if they desire chastity, in order that you may make a gain in the (perishable) goods of this worldly life. But if anyone compels them (to prostitution), then after such compulsion, Allh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to those women, i.e. He will forgive them because they have been forced to do this evil action unwillingly).

34. And indeed We have sent down for you Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that make things plain, and the example of those who passed away before you, and an admonition for those who are Al-Muttaqn (the pious - see V.2:2).


024.027
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! enter not houses other than your own, until ye have asked permission and saluted those in them: that is best for you, in order that ye may heed (what is seemly).
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Enter not houses other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking peace upon the folk thereof. That is better for you, that ye may be heedful.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! Do not enter houses other than your own houses until you have asked permission and saluted their inmates; this is better for you, that you may be mindful.

024.028
YUSUFALI: If ye find no one in the house, enter not until permission is given to you: if ye are asked to go back, go back: that makes for greater purity for yourselves: and Allah knows well all that ye do.
PICKTHAL: And if ye find no-one therein, still enter not until permission hath been given. And if it be said unto you: Go away again, then go away, for it is purer for you. Allah knoweth what ye do.
SHAKIR: But if you do not find any one therein, then do not enter them until permission is given to you; and if it is said to you: Go back, then go back; this is purer for you; and Allah is Cognizant of what you do.

024.029
YUSUFALI: It is no fault on your part to enter houses not used for living in, which serve some (other) use for you: And Allah has knowledge of what ye reveal and what ye conceal.
PICKTHAL: (It is) no sin for you to enter uninhabited houses wherein is comfort for you. Allah knoweth what ye proclaim and what ye hide.
SHAKIR: It is no sin in you that you enter uninhabited houses wherein you have your necessaries; and Allah knows what you do openly and what you hide.

024.030
YUSUFALI: Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.
PICKTHAL: Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is aware of what they do.
SHAKIR: Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do.

024.031
YUSUFALI: And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.
PICKTHAL: And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.
SHAKIR: And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known; and turn to Allah all of you, O believers! so that you may be successful.

024.032
YUSUFALI: Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasseth all, and he knoweth all things.
PICKTHAL: And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maid-servants. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means, Aware.
SHAKIR: And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.

024.033
YUSUFALI: Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is Allah, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them),
PICKTHAL: And let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till Allah give them independence by His grace. And such of your slaves as seek a writing (of emancipation), write it for them if ye are aware of aught of good in them, and bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He hath bestowed upon you. Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And let those who do not find the means to marry keep chaste until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace. And (as for) those who ask for a writing from among those whom your right hands possess, give them the writing if you know any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah which He has given you; and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world's life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

024.034
YUSUFALI: We have already sent down to you verses making things clear, an illustration from (the story of) people who passed away before you, and an admonition for those who fear (Allah).
PICKTHAL: And verily We have sent down for you revelations that make plain, and the example of those who passed away before you. An admonition unto those who ward off (evil).
SHAKIR: And certainly We have sent to you clear communications and a description of those who have passed away before you, and an admonition to those who guard (against evil).

 

Section 5.

24 : 35

35. Allahu nooru alssamawati waal-ardi mathalu noorihi kamishkatin feeha misbahun almisbahu fee zujajatin alzzujajatu kaannaha kawkabun durriyyun yooqadu min shajaratin mubarakatin zaytoonatin la sharqiyyatin wala gharbiyyatin yakadu zaytuha yudee-o walaw lam tamsas-hu narun noorun AAala noorin yahdee Allahu linoorihi man yashao wayadribu Allahu al-amthala lilnnasi waAllahu bikulli shay-in AAaleemun

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The semblance of His Light is like a niche in which there is a lamp; the lamp is enshrined in a lampshade and its glass is glimmering like a star set aglow by the blessed tree, - an olive neither of the East nor of the West, - its oil almost alight though no flame touched it - Light upon Light! Allah guides whom He will to His Light; and Allah illustrates His contentions to men for Allah is in the know of all things!
 

(The above verse in which Allah refers to Himself as the Light of the heavens and of the earth is of the utmost significance to those who believe in Him; His Light is reflected in the shimmer of stars; His Light lends resplendence to the golden moon; His Light sets ablaze the sun and floods the universe with splendour; His Light banishes darkness, removes the shroud from our cherished goals and brings them into focus; His Light gives vision to the blinded eyes and shows the way forward; His Light brings knowledge to the ignorant; wisdom to the confounded and resurgence to the recanted; His Light cleanses the soul, purifies the heart, enlightens the mind and gilds our thoughts!

Many commentators have taken this Light to mean the Qur'aan as it too performs all these functions and glows in the darkness of ignorance like a brilliant torch set alight by Him to provide guidance for all mankind; while others have taken it as a reference to the blessed Prophet through whom its resplendence was made available to all, - the niche his bosom; the glass his soul and the lamp his Prophethood which shines forever and is never meant to be put out until the very Day of Resurrection).
 

24 : 36

36. Fee buyootin athina Allahu an turfaAAa wayuthkara feeha ismuhu yusabbihu lahu feeha bialghuduwwi waal-asali

(His Splendour shines) in every edifice which Allah has exalted by His command so that His name is invoked in them and praises are offered to Him during the day and at night -

24 : 37

 

37. Rijalun la tulheehim tijaratun wala bayAAun AAan thikri Allahi wa-iqami alssalati wa-eeta-i alzzakati yakhafoona yawman tataqallabu feehi alquloobu waal-absaru

By men whom neither chattel nor profits deflect from the remembrance of Allah and who are consistent in their worship and who give to the deserving their dues and who fear the Day when every heart and every eyeball would be overturned -

24 : 38

38. Liyajziyahumu Allahu ahsana ma AAamiloo wayazeedahum min fadlihi waAllahu yarzuqu man yashao bighayri hisabin

So that Allah may reward them with the best for what they did and bestow on them an increased measure of recompense from His Grace! And Allah provides for whom He will without limitations!
 

(The edifices which Allah has exalted by His command is a reference to the sanctuaries of Allah, or Mosques, and the minute description given of those who invoke His name in them and offer Him praises night and day applies to the believers whom neither the love of wealth nor the temptation of comfort could deflect from thronging them whenever the Call reverberates reminding them that the time has come when they must put aside all their earthly concerns and preoccupations and present themselves before their Maker Who takes precedence over everything else. They are the ones who offer worship on time, with consistency and dedication; who share their wealth with those that deserve a share in it and who, despite all their righteous deeds, remain fearful of the Judgement Day)
 

24 : 39

39. Waallatheena kafaroo aAAmaluhum kasarabin biqeeAAatin yahsabuhu alththam-anu maan hatta itha jaahu lam yajidhu shay-an wawajada Allaha AAindahu fawaffahu hisabahu waAllahu sareeAAu alhisabi

As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in the desert which the thirsty traveller mistakes for water until he comes closer and then realizes that there is nothing in it for him except confronting Allah, ready to settle his score! And Allah is quick at settling scores.

24 : 40

40. Aw kathulumatin fee bahrin lujjiyyin yaghshahu mawjun min fawqihi mawjun min fawqihi sahabun thulumatun baAAduha fawqa baAAdin itha akhraja yadahu lam yakad yaraha waman lam yajAAali Allahu lahu nooran fama lahu min noorin

Or like darkness prevailing over the vastness of an obscure ocean! Above him rises a tide, and above the tide yet another tide, and above it a dark cloud - darkness upon darkness - so much so that when he holds up his hand he can barely see it! So, he for whom Allah has not provided a light, there is no light! (R)
 

(The above two verses contain the indispensable contrast between the believers and the disbelievers, between the righteous and the sinful and between Light and darkness.

After dwelling upon the propitious outcome for the believers on the Day of Resurrection in return for the good they have done in every aspect of their lives, the focus shifts upon the disbelievers whose outcome for the deeds they perpetrated in the life of this world is compared to a mirage, or an optical delusion which seems to be something but turns out to be something else, regardless of what those deeds were, evil as well as righteous, for in the absence of faith, there is no reward on offer for them at all.

And after dwelling upon the theme of Allah's Light in verse 35, the focus shifts upon the darkness of apostasy in verse 40 which is exemplified with equal flair by comparing it to the multiple layers of darkness which the hapless traveller adrift in the sea encounters, - the darkness of the unfathomable sea, the darkness of the insurmountable tide and then the darkness of the interminable clouds, obscurity multiplied by obscurity, so dense that he cannot even see his own hand, let alone his vicinity and his surroundings, winding up the issue by saying that he who has been deprived of light by Allah, no one can enlighten him!

Some commentators opine that the darkness of the ocean is comparable to the voids of the disbelievers heart; the tides to his ignorance and confusion, and the shroud of clouds to the seal of silence clamped upon his lips).


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

MUHSIN:

35. Allh is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allh guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allh sets forth parables for mankind, and Allh is All-Knower of everything.

36. In houses (mosques), which Allh has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honoured), in them His Name is glorified in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings,[]

37. Men whom neither trade nor sale diverts them from the Remembrance of Allh (with heart and tongue), nor from performing AsSalt (Iqmat-as-Salt), nor from giving the Zakt. They fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (from the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection).

38. That Allh may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allh provides without measure to whom He wills[].

39. As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing, but he finds Allh with him, Who will pay him his due (Hell). And Allh is Swift in taking account.[]

40. Or [the state of a disbeliever] is like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with a great wave topped by a great wave, topped by dark clouds, darkness, one above another, if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! And he for whom Allh has not appointed light, for him there is no light.


024.035
YUSUFALI: Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth Parables for men: and Allah doth know all things.
PICKTHAL: Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things.
SHAKIR: Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth; a likeness of His light is as a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, (and) the glass is as it were a brightly shining star, lit from a blessed olive-tree, neither eastern nor western, the oil whereof almost gives light though fire touch it not-- light upon light-- Allah guides to His light whom He pleases, and Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah is Cognizant of all things.

024.036
YUSUFALI: (Lit is such a Light) in houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised to honour; for the celebration, in them, of His name: In them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings, (again and again),-
PICKTHAL: (This lamp is found) in houses which Allah hath allowed to be exalted and that His name shall be remembered therein. Therein do offer praise to Him at morn and evening.
SHAKIR: In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them; there glorify Him therein in the mornings and the evenings,

024.037
YUSUFALI: By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah, nor from regular Prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: Their (only) fear is for the Day when hearts and eyes will be transformed (in a world wholly new),-
PICKTHAL: Men whom neither merchandise nor sale beguileth from remembrance of Allah and constancy in prayer and paying to the poor their due; who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned;
SHAKIR: Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of poor-rate; they fear a day in which the hearts and eyes shall turn about;

024.038
YUSUFALI: That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace: for Allah doth provide for those whom He will, without measure.
PICKTHAL: That Allah may reward them with the best of what they did, and increase reward for them of His bounty. Allah giveth blessings without stint to whom He will.
SHAKIR: That Allah may give them the best reward of what they have done, and give them more out of His grace; and Allah gives sustenance to whom He pleases without measure.

024.039
YUSUFALI: But the Unbelievers,- their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts, which the man parched with thirst mistakes for water; until when he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing: But he finds Allah (ever) with him, and Allah will pay him his account: and Allah is swift in taking account.
PICKTHAL: As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are as a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one supposeth it to be water till he cometh unto it and findeth it naught, and findeth, in the place thereof, Allah Who payeth him his due; and Allah is swift at reckoning.
SHAKIR: And (as for) those who disbelieve, their deeds are like the mirage in a desert, which the thirsty man deems to be water; until when he comes to it he finds it to be naught, and there he finds Allah, so He pays back to him his reckoning in full; and Allah is quick in reckoning;

024.040
YUSUFALI: Or (the Unbelievers' state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hands, he can hardly see it! for any to whom Allah giveth not light, there is no light!
PICKTHAL: Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness. When he holdeth out his hand he scarce can see it. And he for whom Allah hath not appointed light, for him there is no light.
SHAKIR: Or like utter darkness in the deep sea: there covers it a wave above which is another wave, above which is a cloud, (layers of) utter darkness one above another; when he holds out his hand, he is almost unable to see it; and to whomsoever Allah does not give light, he has no light.

 

Section 6.

 24 : 41

41. Alam tara anna Allaha yusabbihu lahu man fee alssamawati waal-ardi waalttayru saffatin kullun qad AAalima salatahu watasbeehahu waAllahu AAaleemun bima yafAAaloona

Glean you not that to Allah pay tribute whoever is in the heavens and upon the earth, as do the birds in mid-flight? They each know how to offer Him worship and how to offer Him praises! And Allah knows what they do.

24 : 42

42. Walillahi mulku alssamawati waal-ardi wa-ila Allahi almaseeru

And to Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth and to Allah must return all things!

24 : 43

43. Alam tara anna Allaha yuzjee sahaban thumma yu-allifu baynahu thumma yajAAaluhu rukaman fatara alwadqa yakhruju min khilalihi wayunazzilu mina alssama-i min jibalin feeha min baradin fayuseebu bihi man yashao wayasrifuhu AAan man yashao yakadu sana barqihi yathhabu bial-absari

Seen you not how Allah causes the smooth flux of clouds, then gathers them together and then arranges them into layers? And then you see rain pour forth from between them! And He sends down hail from the mountainous heaps of snow in heavens and smites with it whom He will and spares whom He will! So dazzling are the flares of His lightning that they all but take away your sight!

24 : 44

44. Yuqallibu Allahu allayla waalnnahara inna fee thalika laAAibratan li-olee al-absari

Allah causes the revolving of days and nights. Verily herein is something to glean from for those who can envision!

24 : 45

45. WaAllahu khalaqa kulla dabbatin min ma-in faminhum man yamshee AAala batnihi waminhum man yamshee AAala rijlayni waminhum man yamshee AAala arbaAAin yakhluqu Allahu ma yashao inna Allaha AAala kulli shay-in qadeerun

And Allah has created every living organism from water. Among them are those that crawl on their bellies and among them are those that walk on two legs and among them are those that walk on four legs. Allah creates what He will! Allah is able to do all things.

24 : 46

46. Laqad anzalna ayatin mubayyinatin waAllahu yahdee man yashao ila siratin mustaqeemin

Verily We have sent down Our signs and made them clear. Allah guides on to the right course those whom He will!

24 : 47

47. Wayaqooloona amanna biAllahi wabialrrasooli waataAAna thumma yatawalla fareequn minhum min baAAdi thalika wama ola-ika bialmu/mineena

And they say : 'We believe in Allah and the messenger and we obey. Subsequently, a group among them retract! Such are not believers in earnest.

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed with reference to a dispute between a Jew and a hypocrite over a transaction; whilst the Jew, knowing well that he was in the right and that the Prophet was always fair in judgement, wanted the matter to be referred to him for arbitration; but the hypocrite rejected the suggestion because he knew he was wrong and the Prophet would never rule in his favour

24 : 48

48. Wa-itha duAAoo ila Allahi warasoolihi liyahkuma baynahum itha fareequn minhum muAAridoona

When the (litigants) are invited to bring their disputes before Allah and His messenger for adjudication, verily a party of them object to it.

24 : 49

 

49. Wa-in yakun lahumu alhaqqu ya/too ilayhi muthAAineena

But if they knew that the facts were in their favour, then they would have brought it to him willingly.

24 : 50

50. Afee quloobihim maradun ami irtaboo am yakhafoona an yaheefa Allahu AAalayhim warasooluhu bal ola-ika humu alththalimoona

Is there a disease in their hearts, or have they doubts, or do they fear that Allah and His messenger will be unfair to them? Nay! They are themselves an unfair lot! (R)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

MUHSIN:

41. See you not (O Muhammad SAW) that Allh, He it is Whom glorify whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, and the birds with wings out-spread (in their flight). Of each one He (Allh) knows indeed his Salt (prayer) and his glorification, [or everyone knows his Salt (prayer) and his glorification], and Allh is All-Aware of what they do.

42. And to Allh belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and to Allh is the return (of all).

43. See you not that Allh drives the clouds gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap of layers, and you see the rain comes forth from between them. And He sends down from the sky hail (like) mountains, (or there are in the heaven mountains of hail from where He sends down hail), and strike therewith whom He will, and averts it from whom He wills. The vivid flash of its (clouds) lightning nearly blinds the sight. [Tafsir At-Tabar].

44. Allh causes the night and the day to succeed each other (i.e. if the day is gone, the night comes, and if the night is gone, the day comes, and so on). Truly, in these things is indeed a lesson for those who have insight.

45. Allh has created every moving (living) creature from water. Of them there are some that creep on their bellies, some that walk on two legs, and some that walk on four. Allh creates what He wills. Verily! Allh is Able to do all things.

46. We have indeed sent down (in this Qur'n) manifest Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, lawful and unlawful things, and the set boundries of Islmic religion, etc. that make things clear showing the Right Path of Allh). And Allh guides whom He wills to a Straight Path (i.e. to Allh's religion of Islmic Monotheism).

47. They (hypocrites) say: "We have believed in Allh and in the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and we obey," then a party of them turn away thereafter, such are not believers.

48. And when they are called to Allh (i.e. His Words, the Qur'n) and His Messenger (SAW), to judge between them, lo! a party of them refuse (to come) and turn away.

49. But if the right is with them, they come to him willingly with submission.

50. Is there a disease in their hearts? Or do they doubt or fear lest Allh and His Messenger (SAW) should wrong them in judgement. Nay, it is they themselves who are the Zlimn (polytheists, hypocrites and wrong-doers, etc.).


024.041
YUSUFALI: Seest thou not that it is Allah Whose praises all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds (of the air) with wings outspread? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And Allah knows well all that they do.
PICKTHAL: Hast thou not seen that Allah, He it is Whom all who are in the heavens and the earth praise, and the birds in their flight? Of each He knoweth verily the worship and the praise; and Allah is Aware of what they do.
SHAKIR: Do you not see that Allah is He Whom do glorify all those who are in the heavens and the earth, and the (very) birds with expanded wings? He knows the prayer of each one and its glorification, and Allah is Cognizant of what they do.

024.042
YUSUFALI: Yea, to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; and to Allah is the final goal (of all).
PICKTHAL: And unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and unto Allah is the journeying.
SHAKIR: And Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and to Allah is the eventual coming.

024.043
YUSUFALI: Seest thou not that Allah makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap? - then wilt thou see rain issue forth from their midst. And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds) wherein is hail: He strikes therewith whom He pleases and He turns it away from whom He pleases, the vivid flash of His lightning well-nigh blinds the sight.
PICKTHAL: Hast thou not seen how Allah wafteth the clouds, then gathereth them, then maketh them layers, and thou seest the rain come forth from between them; He sendeth down from the heaven mountains wherein is hail, and smiteth therewith whom He will, and averteth it from whom He will. The flashing of His lightning all but snatcheth away the sight.
SHAKIR: Do you not see that Allah drives along the clouds, then gathers them together, then piles them up, so that you see the rain coming forth from their midst? And He sends down of the clouds that are (like) mountains wherein is hail, afflicting therewith whom He pleases and turning it away from whom He pleases; the flash of His lightning almost takes away the sight.

024.044
YUSUFALI: It is Allah Who alternates the Night and the Day: verily in these things is an instructive example for those who have vision!
PICKTHAL: Allah causeth the revolution of the day and the night. Lo! herein is indeed a lesson for those who see.
SHAKIR: Allah turns over the night and the day; most surely there is a lesson in this for those who have sight.

024.045
YUSUFALI: And Allah has created every animal from water: of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills for verily Allah has power over all things.
PICKTHAL: Allah hath created every animal of water. Of them is (a kind) that goeth upon its belly and (a kind) that goeth upon two legs and (a kind) that goeth upon four. Allah createth what He will. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.
SHAKIR: And Allah has created from water every living creature: so of them is that which walks upon its belly, and of them is that which walks upon two feet, and of them is that which walks upon four; Allah creates what He pleases; surely Allah has power over all things.

024.046
YUSUFALI: We have indeed sent down signs that make things manifest: and Allah guides whom He wills to a way that is straight.
PICKTHAL: Verily We have sent down revelations and explained them. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path.
SHAKIR: Certainly We have revealed clear communications, and Allah guides whom He pleases to the right way.

024.047
YUSUFALI: They say, "We believe in Allah and in the messenger, and we obey": but even after that, some of them turn away: they are not (really) Believers.
PICKTHAL: And they say: We believe in Allah and the messenger, and we obey; then after that a faction of them turn away. Such are not believers.
SHAKIR: And they say: We believe in Allah and in the messenger and we obey; then a party of them turn back after this, and these are not believers.

024.048
YUSUFALI: When they are summoned to Allah and His messenger, in order that He may judge between them, behold some of them decline (to come).
PICKTHAL: And when they appeal unto Allah and His messenger to judge between them, lo! a faction of them are averse;
SHAKIR: And when they are called to Allah and His Messenger that he may judge between them, lo! a party of them turn aside.

024.049
YUSUFALI: But if the right is on their side, they come to him with all submission.
PICKTHAL: But if right had been with them they would have come unto him willingly.
SHAKIR: And if the truth be on their side, they come to him quickly, obedient.

024.050
YUSUFALI: Is it that there is a disease in their hearts? or do they doubt, or are they in fear, that Allah and His Messenger will deal unjustly with them? Nay, it is they themselves who do wrong.
PICKTHAL: Is there in their hearts a disease, or have they doubts, or fear they lest Allah and His messenger should wrong them in judgment? Nay, but such are evil-doers.
SHAKIR: Is there in their hearts a disease, or are they in doubt, or do they fear that Allah and His Messenger will act wrongfully towards them? Nay! they themselves are the unjust.
 

 

 

Section 7

24 : 51

51. Innama kana qawla almu/mineena itha duAAoo ila Allahi warasoolihi liyahkuma baynahum an yaqooloo samiAAna waataAAna waola-ika humu almuflihoona

The reaction of the believers when they bring their disputes before Allah and His messenger to adjudicate between them is simply that they say : 'We have heard and we will abide by it!' These are the people who will reach their cherished goals.

24 : 52

52. Waman yutiAAi Allaha warasoolahu wayakhsha Allaha wayattaqhi faola-ika humu alfa-izoona

Whoever abide by the commands of Allah and His Messenger and are fearful of Allah and are abstemious in disposition, these are the ones who will be triumphant.

24 : 53

53. Waaqsamoo biAllahi jahda aymanihim la-in amartahum layakhrujunna qul la tuqsimoo taAAatun maAAroofatun inna Allaha khabeerun bima taAAmaloona

They swear by Allah with total conviction that, if you ordered them, they would set out for battle. Say : 'Do not swear! Tacit obedience will suffice, for Allah is aware of what you do.'

24 : 54

54. Qul ateeAAoo Allaha waateeAAoo alrrasoola fa-in tawallaw fa-innama AAalayhi ma hummila waAAalaykum ma hummiltum wa-in tuteeAAoohu tahtadoo wama AAala alrrasooli illa albalaghu almubeena

Say : 'Obey Allah and obey the messenger. But if you turn away, then the burden of his duty is on him and the burden of your duty is on you! If you obey him, you shall be on the right path. The messenger has no other duty than conveying the message with precision.
 
 

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the associates of the Prophet, constantly under threat of warfare from the Meccan idolaters even after giving up their homes and emigrating to Madina, asked the Prophet if a day would ever come in the future when they would be able to walk around fearlessly in their mother town without carrying their swords and their shields all the time

24 : 55

55. WaAAada Allahu allatheena amanoo minkum waAAamiloo alssalihati layastakhlifannahum fee al-ardi kama istakhlafa allatheena min qablihim walayumakkinanna lahum deenahumu allathee irtada lahum walayubaddilannahum min baAAdi khawfihim amnan yaAAbudoonanee la yushrikoona bee shay-an waman kafara baAAda thalika faola-ika humu alfasiqoona

Verily Allah has promised those of you who believe and perform righteous deeds that He would give them dominion in the land in the same way as He had given it to others before them and He would surely consolidate the religion which He has chosen for them and He will give them contentment in exchange for their concerns, provided they serve Me and ascribe not partners to Me. So, those who vituperate after this, they will indeed be transgressors!
 

(A promise which has been fulfilled to the letter : the idolaters have been wiped out of existence from the Arabian Peninsula; Islam was not only established as one of the most enduring and triumphant religion in the world but is also practised by countless millions beyond the frontiers of Arabia, and the Arabs blessed with one of the richest natural resources in the form of oil which has ranked them amongst the wealthiest nations in the world!

There is a Hadith according to which the Prophet is quoted to have said that anything or anyone on earth whom the brightness of the day and the darkness of the night touched would one day become a Muslim!)

* * *






 

24 : 56

56. Waaqeemoo alssalata waatoo alzzakata waateeAAoo alrrasoola laAAallakum turhamoona

Establish worship and give to the deserving their dues and obey the messenger so that you find mercy!

24 : 57

57. La tahsabanna allatheena kafaroo muAAjizeena fee al-ardi wama/wahumu alnnaru walabi/sa almaseeru

Fear not that the disbelievers might slip away from Our dominion in the land! Fire will be their abode - a pitiful destination to wind up in! (R)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

MUHSIN:

 51. The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allh (His Words, the Qur'n) and His Messenger (SAW), to judge between them, is that they say: "We hear and we obey." And such are the prosperous ones (who will live forever in Paradise).

52. And whosoever obeys Allh and His Messenger (SAW), fears Allh, and keeps his duty (to Him), such are the successful ones.

53. They swear by Allh their strongest oaths, that if only you would order them, they would leave (their homes for fighting in Allh's Cause). Say: "Swear you not; (this) obedience (of yours) is known (to be false). Verily, Allh knows well what you do."

54. Say: "Obey Allh and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad SAW) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allh's Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way)."

55. Allh has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islm). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Fsiqn (rebellious, disobedient to Allh).

56. And perform AsSalt (IqmatasSalt), and give Zakt and obey the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) that you may receive mercy (from Allh).

57. Consider not that the disbelievers can escape in the land. Their abode shall be the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination.


024.051
YUSUFALI: The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey": it is such as these that will attain felicity.
PICKTHAL: The saying of (all true) believers when they appeal unto Allah and His messenger to judge between them is only that they say: We hear and we obey. And such are the successful.
SHAKIR: The response of the believers, when they are invited to Allah and His Messenger that he may judge between them, is only to say: We hear and we obey; and these it is that are the successful.

024.052
YUSUFALI: It is such as obey Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah and do right, that will win (in the end),
PICKTHAL: He who obeyeth Allah and His messenger, and feareth Allah, and keepeth duty (unto Him): such indeed are the victorious.
SHAKIR: And he who obeys Allah and His Messenger, and fears Allah, and is careful of (his duty to) Him, these it is that are the achievers.

024.053
YUSUFALI: They swear their strongest oaths by Allah that, if only thou wouldst command them, they would leave (their homes). Say: "Swear ye not; Obedience is (more) reasonable; verily, Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do."
PICKTHAL: They swear by Allah solemnly that, if thou order them, they will go forth. Say: Swear not; known obedience (is better). Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do.
SHAKIR: And they swear by Allah with the most energetic of their oaths that if you command them they would certainly go forth. Say: Swear not; reasonable obedience (is desired); surely Allah is aware of what you do.

024.054
YUSUFALI: Say: "Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger: but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to preach the clear (Message).
PICKTHAL: Say: Obey Allah and obey the messenger. But if ye turn away, then (it is) for him (to do) only that wherewith he hath been charged, and for you (to do) only that wherewith ye have been charged. If ye obey him, ye will go aright. But the messenger hath no other charge than to convey (the message) plainly.
SHAKIR: Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn back, then on him rests that which is imposed on him and on you rests that which is imposed on you; and if you obey him, you are on the right way; and nothing rests on the Messenger but clear delivering (of the message).

024.055
YUSUFALI: Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion - the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: 'They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. 'If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.
PICKTHAL: Allah hath promised such of you as believe and do good work that He will surely make them to succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even as He caused those who were before them to succeed (others); and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He hath approved for them, and will give them in exchange safety after their fear. They serve Me. They ascribe no thing as partner unto Me. Those who disbelieve henceforth, they are the miscreants.
SHAKIR: Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me; and whoever is ungrateful after this, these it is who are the. transgressors.

024.056
YUSUFALI: So establish regular Prayer and give regular Charity; and obey the Messenger; that ye may receive mercy.
PICKTHAL: Establish worship and pay the poor-due and obey the messenger, that haply ye may find mercy.
SHAKIR: And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and obey the Messenger, so that mercy may be shown to you.

024.057
YUSUFALI: Never think thou that the Unbelievers are going to frustrate (Allah's Plan) on earth: their abode is the Fire,- and it is indeed an evil refuge!
PICKTHAL: Think not that the disbelievers can escape in the land. Fire will be their home - a hapless journey's end!
SHAKIR: Think not that those who disbelieve shall escape in the earth, and their abode is the fire; and certainly evil is the resort!

 

Section 8  

Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Prophet sent one of his slaves with a message to his friend, but instead of knocking on the door and waiting to be admitted, he rushed in whilst his host was scantily dressed in the afternoon and caused him a great deal of embarrassment.

24 : 58

58. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo liyasta/thinkumu allatheena malakat aymanukum waallatheena lam yablughoo alhuluma minkum thalatha marratin min qabli salati alfajri waheena tadaAAoona thiyabakum mina alththaheerati wamin baAAdi salati alAAisha-i thalathu AAawratin lakum laysa AAalaykum wala AAalayhim junahun baAAdahunna tawwafoona AAalaykum baAAdukum AAala baAAdin kathalika yubayyinu Allahu lakumu al-ayati waAllahu AAaleemun hakeemun

O those of you who believe! Let your slaves and your young who have not reached puberty take your prior permission before entering your presence at three crucial times : before the prayers at dawn and at noon when you are likely to have removed your clothes due to heat and then after prayers at night; these are the three times of seclusion for you. Other than these, there is no sin for them or you to enter without leave if you visit one another's households. Thus Allah explicates His revelations for you! Allah is Erudite and Wise

* * *

24 : 59

59. Wa-itha balagha al-atfalu minkumu alhuluma falyasta/thinoo kama ista/thana allatheena min qablihim kathalika yubayyinu Allahu lakum ayatihi waAllahu AAaleemun hakeemun

And when children among you have crossed the age of puberty, let them take your permission in the same way as their elders had done before. Thus Allah explicates His revelations for you! Allah is Erudite and Wise.

24 : 60

60. WaalqawaAAidu mina alnnisa-i allatee la yarjoona nikahan falaysa AAalayhinna junahun an yadaAAna thiyabahunna ghayra mutabarrijatin bizeenatin waan yastaAAfifna khayrun lahunna waAllahu sameeAAun AAaleemun

As for older women who are past child-bearing age and without the hope of getting married, it is no sin for them to discard their outer garments in such a way as not to display their adornment, though it is better for them if they kept them on regardless. Allah hears and knows everything!
 

(A far cry from the crowded beaches of the Western world, thronged by men and women in bikinis and swimming trunks, regardless of who is watching their immodest displays, - now-a-days of the Eastern world too - where people somehow seem to think that emulating the West brings them that much closer to emancipation!).
 

24 : 61

61. Laysa AAala al-aAAma harajun wala AAala al-aAAraji harajun wala AAala almareedi harajun wala AAala anfusikum an ta/kuloo min buyootikum aw buyooti aba-ikum aw buyooti ommahatikum aw buyooti ikhwanikum aw buyooti akhawatikum aw buyooti aAAmamikum aw buyooti AAammatikum aw buyooti akhwalikum aw buyooti khalatikum aw ma malaktum mafatihahu aw sadeeqikum laysa AAalaykum junahun an ta/kuloo jameeAAan aw ashtatan fa-itha dakhaltum buyootan fasallimoo AAala anfusikum tahiyyatan min AAindi Allahi mubarakatan tayyibatan kathalika yubayyinu Allahu lakumu al-ayati laAAallakum taAAqiloona

There is no restraint on the blind, nor is there any restraint on the lame, nor on the sick, nor on yourselves from eating in the houses of your children, or in the house of your fathers, or in the house of your mothers, or in the houses of your brothers, or in the houses of your sisters, or in the houses of your paternal uncles, or in the houses of your paternal aunts, or in the houses of your maternal uncles, or in the houses of your maternal aunts, or in the houses of which you hold the keys or in the houses of your friends. There is no restriction upon whether you eat together or you eat apart. But when you enter houses, greet one another in Allah's name. A seemly blessing is one that Allah prefers and purifies. Thus Allah elucidates His revelations for you so that you may understand! (R)
 

(In verses 58 to 60 attention shifts once again to the Code of Conduct preached by Islam to Muslims, fine-tuning the protocol of behaviour within the family circles : not to let our servants acting on our instructions barge into peoples houses without taking permission or waiting until they are admitted so that their privacy is not invaded nor are they caused any inconvenience or embarrassment, especially before the prayers at dawn and at noon and after the night prayers when most people are likely to be scantily dressed; to instruct children who have crossed the age of puberty never to breeze into other people's houses or private chambers without the courtesy of announcing themselves.

In the case of older women past child-bearing age and unlikely to get married, the rules are relaxed regarding their outer garments, though the admonishment to them continues to be that the less they expose themselves, the better for them and those in whose company they spend most of their time

Verse 61, still conforming to the same theme of etiquette, decorum and deportment, lays down guidelines on amazingly simple matters of day to day lifestyle as to who we can or cannot share the table or break the bread with!)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

MUHSIN:

58. O you who believe! Let your legal slaves and slave-girls, and those among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions; before Fajr (morning) prayer, and while you put off your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the 'Ish' (late-night) prayer. (These) three times are of privacy for you, other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending (helping) you each other. Thus Allh makes clear the Ayt (the Verses of this Qur'n, showing proofs for the legal aspects of permission for visits, etc.) to you. And Allh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

59. And when the children among you come to puberty, then let them (also) ask for permission, as those senior to them (in age). Thus Allh makes clear His Ayt (Commandments and legal obligations) for you. And Allh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

60. And as for women past child-bearing who do not expect wed-lock, it is no sin on them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show their adornment. But to refrain (i.e. not to discard their outer clothing) is better for them. And Allh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

61. There is no restriction on the blind, nor any restriction on the lame, nor any restriction on the sick, nor on yourselves, if you eat from your houses, or the houses of your fathers, or the houses of your mothers, or the houses of your brothers, or the houses of your sisters, or the houses of your father's brothers, or the houses of your father's sisters, or the houses of your mother's brothers, or the houses of your mother's sisters, or (from that) whereof you hold keys, or (from the house) of a friend. No sin on you whether you eat together or apart. But when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allh (i.e. say: <> As-Salmu 'Alaikum - peace be on you) blessed and good. Thus Allh makes clear the Ayt (these Verses or your religious symbols and signs, etc.) to you that you may understand.


024.058
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! let those whom your right hands possess, and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer; the while ye doff your clothes for the noonday heat; and after the late-night prayer: these are your three times of undress: outside those times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other: Thus does Allah make clear the Signs to you: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Let your slaves, and those of you who have not come to puberty, ask leave of you at three times (before they come into your presence): Before the prayer of dawn, and when ye lay aside your raiment for the heat of noon, and after the prayer of night. Three times of privacy for you. It is no sin for them or for you at other times, when some of you go round attendant upon others (if they come into your presence without leave). Thus Allah maketh clear the revelations for you. Allah is Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained to puberty ask permission of you three times; before the morning prayer, and when you put off your clothes at midday in summer, and after the prayer of the nightfall; these are three times of privacy for you; neither is it a sin for you nor for them besides these, some of you must go round about (waiting) upon others; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.

024.059
YUSUFALI: But when the children among you come of age, let them (also) ask for permission, as do those senior to them (in age): Thus does Allah make clear His Signs to you: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.
PICKTHAL: And when the children among you come to puberty then let them ask leave even as those before them used to ask it. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations for you. Allah is Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: And when the children among you have attained to puberty, let them seek permission as those before them sought permission; thus does Allah make clear to you His communications, and Allah is knowing, Wise.

024.060
YUSUFALI: Such elderly women as are past the prospect of marriage,- there is no blame on them if they lay aside their (outer) garments, provided they make not a wanton display of their beauty: but it is best for them to be modest: and Allah is One Who sees and knows all things.
PICKTHAL: As for women past child-bearing, who have no hope of marriage, it is no sin for them if they discard their (outer) clothing in such a way as not to show adornment. But to refrain is better for them. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
SHAKIR: And (as for) women advanced in years who do not hope for a marriage, it is no sin for them if they put off their clothes without displaying their ornaments; and if they restrain themselves it is better for them; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

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YUSUFALI: It is no fault in the blind nor in one born lame, nor in one afflicted with illness, nor in yourselves, that ye should eat in your own houses, or those of your fathers, or your mothers, or your brothers, or your sisters, or your father's brothers or your father's sisters, or your mohter's brothers, or your mother's sisters, or in houses of which the keys are in your possession, or in the house of a sincere friend of yours: there is no blame on you, whether ye eat in company or separately. But if ye enter houses, salute each other - a greeting of blessing and purity as from Allah. Thus does Allah make clear the signs to you: that ye may understand.
PICKTHAL: No blame is there upon the blind nor any blame upon the lame nor any blame upon the sick nor on yourselves if ye eat from your houses, or the houses of your fathers, or the houses of your mothers, or the houses of your brothers, or the houses of your sisters, or the houses of your fathers' brothers, or the houses of your fathers' sisters, or the houses of your mothers' brothers, or the houses of your mothers' sisters, or (from that) whereof ye hold the keys, or (from the house) of a friend. No sin shall it be for you whether ye eat together or apart. But when ye enter houses, salute one another with a greeting from Allah, blessed and sweet. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations for you, that haply ye may understand.
SHAKIR: There is no blame on the blind man, nor is there blame on the lame, nor is there blame on the sick, nor on yourselves that you eat from your houses, or your fathers' houses or your mothers' houses, or your brothers' houses, or your sisters' houses, or your paternal uncles' houses, or your paternal aunts' houses, or your maternal uncles' houses, or your maternal aunts' houses, or what you possess the keys of, or your friends' (houses). It is no sin in you that you eat together or separately. So when you enter houses, greet your people with a salutation from Allah, blessed (and) goodly; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications that you may understand.
 

 

Section 9

24 : 62

62. Innama almu/minoona allatheena amanoo biAllahi warasoolihi wa-itha kanoo maAAahu AAala amrin jamiAAin lam yathhaboo hatta yasta/thinoohu inna allatheena yasta/thinoonaka ola-ika allatheena yu/minoona biAllahi warasoolihi fa-itha ista/thanooka libaAAdi sha/nihim fa/than liman shi/ta minhum waistaghfir lahumu Allaha inna Allaha ghafoorun raheemun

They alone are true believers who believe in Allah and in His messenger and, when they have come to the messenger on a matter requiring collective action, do not go away until they have sought his leave. Verily those who seek leave of you, they are the ones who believe in Allah and in His messenger. So, if they seek leave of you for reasons of their own, allow those whom you wish to allow and then beseech Allah's forgiveness for them. Verily Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful!

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Hypocrites, having joined the Friday congregation, slipped away as soon as the Prophet commenced his sermon, sheltering behind one another, in order to avoid being detained for community service.

24 : 63

63. La tajAAaloo duAAaa alrrasooli baynakum kaduAAa-i baAAdikum baAAdan qad yaAAlamu Allahu allatheena yatasallaloona minkum liwathan falyahthari allatheena yukhalifoona AAan amrihi an tuseebahum fitnatun aw yuseebahum AAathabun aleemun

Treat not a call from the messenger in the same (casual) vein in which you treat one another's call. Allah knows well those of you who try to slip away sheltering behind each other, so let those who evade the messenger's call beware lest they come to grief or receive a harsh punishment.

* * *

24 : 64

64. Ala inna lillahi ma fee alssamawati waal-ardi qad yaAAlamu ma antum AAalayhi wayawma yurjaAAoona ilayhi fayunabbi-ohum bima AAamiloo waAllahu bikulli shay-in AAaleemun

Verily to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and upon the earth! He knows the state of your affairs and He knows the Day when they will be brought back to Him so that He may inform them of what they used to do. Allah is aware of all things! (R)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

MUHSIN:

62. The true believers are only those, who believe in (the Oneness of) Allh and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and when they are with him on some common matter, they go not away until they have asked his permission. Verily! Those who ask your permission, those are they who (really) believe in Allh and His Messenger. So if they ask your permission for some affairs of theirs, give permission to whom you will of them, and ask Allh for their forgiveness. Truly, Allh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

63. Make not the calling of the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) among you as your calling of one another. Allh knows those of you who slip away under shelter (of some excuse without taking the permission to leave, from the Messenger SAW). And let those who oppose the Messenger's (Muhammad SAW) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.

64. Certainly, to Allh belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Surely, He knows your condition and (He knows) the Day when they will be brought back to Him, then He will inform them of what they did. And Allh is All-Knower of everything.


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YUSUFALI: Only those are believers, who believe in Allah and His Messenger: when they are with him on a matter requiring collective action, they do not depart until they have asked for his leave; those who ask for thy leave are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger; so when they ask for thy leave, for some business of theirs, give leave to those of them whom thou wilt, and ask Allah for their forgiveness: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: They only are the true believers who believe in Allah and His messenger and, when they are with him on some common errand, go not away until they have asked leave of him. Lo! those who ask leave of thee, those are they who believe in Allah and His messenger. So, if they ask thy leave for some affair of theirs, give leave to whom thou wilt of them, and ask for them forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: Only those are believers who believe in Allah and His Messenger, and when they are with him on a momentous affair they go not away until they have asked his permission; surely they who ask your permission are they who believe in Allah and His Messenger; so when they ask your permission for some affair of theirs, give permission to whom you please of them and ask forgiveness for them from Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

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YUSUFALI: Deem not the summons of the Messenger among yourselves like the summons of one of you to another: Allah doth know those of you who slip away under shelter of some excuse: then let those beware who withstand the Messenger's order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous penalty be inflicted on them.
PICKTHAL: Make not the calling of the messenger among you as your calling one of another. Allah knoweth those of you who steal away, hiding themselves. And let those who conspire to evade orders beware lest grief or painful punishment befall them.
SHAKIR: Do not hold the Messenger's calling (you) among you to be like your calling one to the other; Allah indeed knows those who steal away from among you, concealing themselves; therefore let those beware who go against his order lest a trial afflict them or there befall them a painful chastisement.

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YUSUFALI: Be quite sure that to Allah doth belong whatever is in the heavens and on earth. Well doth He know what ye are intent upon: and one day they will be brought back to Him, and He will tell them the truth of what they did: for Allah doth know all things.
PICKTHAL: Lo! verily unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth. He knoweth your condition. And (He knoweth) the Day when they are returned unto Him so that He may inform them of what they did. Allah is Knower of all things.
SHAKIR: Now surely Allah's is whatever is in the heavens and the earth; He knows indeed that to which you are conforming yourselves; and on the day on which they are returned to Him He will inform them of what they did; and Allah is Cognizant of all things.
 

 Index

 SURAH 25