(This is) a surah which We have sent down and made obligatory (the observance of the rules therein); and in it We have sent down clear explanations (of the truth about belief and unbelief) and instructions (concerning human life), so that you may reflect and be mindful.
The fornicatress and the fornicator – flog each of them with a hundred stripes; and do not let pity for them hold you back from carrying out God’s law, if you truly believe in God and the Last Day; and let a group of believers witness their punishment.
A fornicator (one notorious for indulgence in illicit sexual relations) is not to marry other than a fornicatress (a woman notorious for indulgence in illicit sexual relations) or an idolatress, and fornicatress – only a fornicator or an idolater is to take her in wedlock. Acting the other way is forbidden to the believers.
Those who accuse chaste, honorable women (of illicit sexual relations) but do not produce four male witnesses (who will witness that they personally saw the act being committed): flog them with eighty stripes, and do not accept from them any testimony ever after. They are indeed transgressors,
Except those of them who repent thereafter and mend their ways. For surely God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.
As for those who accuse their own wives of adultery but have no witnesses except themselves, such a person must testify four times swearing by God in each oath that he is indeed speaking the truth.
And the fifth time, that God’s curse be upon him if he is lying.
But the punishment will be averted from the wife if she testifies four times by swearing by God in each oath that the man is surely telling a lie,
And the fifth time, that the wrath of God be upon her if the man is speaking the truth.
Were it not for God’s bounty grace and favor upon you, and His mercy, and that God is One Who opens a way to repentance and truly returns repentance it with liberal forgiveness and additional reward, and All-Wise, (you could not resolve your problems justly and wisely).
Surely those who invented and spread the slander (against ‘A’ishah, the Messenger’s wife) are a band from among you. However, do not deem this incident an evil for you; rather, it is good for you. (As for the slanderers:) every one of them has accumulated sin in proportion to his share in this guilt, and he who has the greater part of it will suffer a tremendous punishment.
When you heard of it, why did the believing men and women not think well of one another and declare: "This is obviously a slander"?
Why did they not produce four witnesses (in support of the accusation)? Now that they have not produced witnesses, it is indeed they who are the liars in God’s sight.
Were it not for God’s grace to and favor upon you, and His mercy in the world and the Hereafter, a mighty punishment would certainly have afflicted you (who got involved in circulating rumors) on account of what you indulged in.
Just think how you welcomed it with your tongues from one another and uttered with your mouths something about which you had no knowledge. You deemed it a trifle whereas in God’s sight it was most grave.
Why did you not say, when you heard of it, "It is not for us to speak of this. All-Glorified are You (O God)! This is an awesome slander."
God admonishes you lest you ever repeat anything like this, if you are (truly)] believers.
He clearly expounds to you His instructions and the signposts of His way. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Those who love that indecency should spread among those who believe, surely for them is a painful punishment in the world and the Hereafter. God knows (the exact truth and nature of all matters), but you do not know.
Were it not for God’s grace and favor to upon you, and His mercy, and that God is All-Pitying, All-Compassionate (especially towards His believing servants, what terrible consequences would such evils have caused in your community)!
O you who believe! Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. Whoever follows in the footsteps of Satan, (let him know well that) Satan insistently calls to all that is indecent and shameful, and all that is evil. Were it not for God’s bounty on you, and His mercy, not one of you would have ever attained purity; but God purifies whomever He wills. God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
Let not those among you who are favored with resources swear that they will no longer give to the kindred, the needy, and those who have emigrated in God’s cause, (even though those wealthy ones suffer harm at the hands of the latter). Rather let them pardon and forbear. Do you not wish that God should forgive you? God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.
Those who falsely accuse chaste women, who are unaware of devious ways of corruption and are believers, are cursed in the world and the Hereafter, and for them is a mighty punishment.
On the Day when their own tongues and hands and feet will all bear witness against them in regard to what they were doing.
On that Day God will pay them in full their just due, and they will come to know that God is the Absolute Truth (from Whom nothing is hidden and Who makes all truth manifest).
(In principle,) corrupt women are for corrupt men, and corrupt men for corrupt women, just as good, pure women are for good, pure men, and good, pure men for good, pure women. (On account of their purity and chastity coming from faith) the latter are innocent of all that evil tongues may impute to them. For them there is a forgiveness and an honorable, generous provision.
O you who believe! Do not enter dwellings other than your own until you have ascertained the permission of their residents and have greeted them with peace. Your doing so is what is good and appropriate for you, so that you may be mindful (of good manners and proper courtesy).
Then if you find no one in them, do not enter them until you have permission to enter. If you are asked to go back, then go back (without feeling offended). It is a purer way for you. God has full knowledge of all that you do.
There is no blame on you if you enter dwellings that are uninhabited which are of use to you. (But always bear in mind that) God knows whatever you reveal (of acts or intentions) and whatever you keep concealed.
Tell the believing men that they should restrain their gaze (from looking at the women whom it is lawful for them to marry, and from others’ private parts), and guard their private parts and chastity. This is what is purer for them. God is fully aware of all that they do.
And tell the believing women that they (also) should restrain their gaze (from looking at the men whom it is lawful for them to marry, and from others’ private parts), and guard their private parts, and that they should not display their charms except that which is revealed of itself; and let them draw their veils over their bosoms, and (tell them) not to display their charms to any save their husbands, or their fathers (and grandfathers and both paternal and maternal uncles), or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands (both their own and step-sons and grandsons), or their brothers (and foster- and step-brothers), or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or the Muslim women and the women of good conduct with whom they associate, or those (slave-girls) their right hands possess, or the male attendants in their service free of sexual desire, or children that are as yet unaware of femininity. Nor should they stamp their feet (i.e. act in such a manner as to) draw attention to their charms (and arouse the passion of men). And O believers, turn to God all together in repentance that you may attain true prosperity.
Marry those among you who are single (whether men or women) and those of your male and female slaves that are righteous (and fit for marriage). If they are poor, God will grant them sufficiency out of His bounty. God is All-Embracing in His mercy, All-Knowing.
Let those who cannot afford to marry keep themselves chaste until God grants them sufficiency out of His bounty. And if any of those whom your right hands possess desire to enter into a contract with you to purchase their freedom, make this contract with them if you know that they are honest (and able to earn without begging and be good, free citizens). Help them out of God’s wealth which He has granted you. And do not compel your slave-girls to prostitution in order to seek the (fleeting) benefits of the life of this world while they desire to remain chaste. If anyone compels them to prostitution, then God will be All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate to them after they are subjected to such compulsion.
Indeed, We have sent down to you Revelations which show the truth clearly and illuminate your way, and examples (from the histories) of those who have passed away before you, and an instruction for the God-revering, pious.
God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His Light is like a niche wherein is a lamp; the lamp is in a crystal, and the crystal shining as if a pearl-like radiant star, lit from the oil of a blessed olive tree that is neither of the east nor of the west. The oil would almost give light of itself though no fire touches it: light upon light. God guides to His Light whom He wills. God strikes parables for people. God has full knowledge of all things.
(This light can best be obtained and those guided to it are found) in some houses (that are usually concealed from people’s eyes and) for which God has provided a way for them to be built and appreciated, and for His Name to be mentioned and invoked therein; in them glorify Him in the morning and evening,
Men (of great distinction) whom neither commerce nor exchange (nor any other worldly preoccupations) can divert from the remembrance of God, and establishing the Prayer in conformity with all its conditions, and paying the Prescribed Purifying Alms; they are in fear of a Day on which all hearts and eyes will be overturned.
God will reward them in accordance with the best of what they have ever done, and give them yet more out of His bounty (i.e. more than they deserve). God provides beyond all measure for whom He wills.
As for the unbelievers, all their deeds are like a mirage in the desert, which the thirsty one supposes to be water until he comes up to it, only to find that it was nothing; instead he finds God near it, and He settles his account in full. God is swift at settling the account.
Or their deeds are like veils of darkness covering up an abysmal sea down into its depths, covered up by a billow, above which is a billow, above which is a cloud: veils of darkness piled one upon another, so that when he stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it. For whomever God has appointed no light, no light has he.
Do you not see that all that is in the heavens and the earth, and the birds flying in patterned ranks with wings spread out glorify God. Each knows the way of its prayer and glorification. God has full knowledge of all that they do.
To God belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; and to God is the homecoming.
Do you not see that God gently drives the clouds, then joins them together, (completing the formation of a circuit between them,) and then turns them into a thick mass, and consequently you see rain-drops issue out of their midst. He sends down hail out of snow-laden mountains (of clouds) from the sky, and smites with it whom He wills and averts it from whom He wills. The flash of the lightning almost takes away the sight.
God turns about the night and the day. Surely in that is a lesson for those who have the power of seeing.
God has created every living creature from water. Among them are such as move on their bellies, and such as move on two legs, and such as move on four. God creates whatever He wills. Surely, God has full power over everything.
Assuredly We have sent down Revelations which show the truth clearly and illuminate your way. God guides whom He wills to a straight path.
They say, "We have believed in God and in the Messenger, and We have promised obedience (to both)," but then, after that a party among them turn away (contradicting their declaration by their attitudes and actions). Such are not believers.
When they are called to God and His Messenger so that the Messenger may judge between them, see how a party among them turn away in aversion.
If the right be on their side, they come willingly in acceptance of it.
Is there a sickness in their hearts (that corrupts their will and character)? Or have they fallen prey to doubts? Or do they fear that God and His Messenger will deal unjustly with them? No, the truth is that they themselves are wrongdoers.
The only utterance of the (true) believers, when they are called to God and His Messenger so that the Messenger may judge between them, is: "We have heard and we obey." Such are those who are the prosperous.
Whoever obeys God and His Messenger, and is overwhelmed by awe of God and keeps from disobedience to Him in reverence for Him and piety, such indeed are those who are the triumphant.
They (the hypocritical ones) swear by God most solemnly that if you should ever order them, they would most certainly go forth (to fight in God’s cause). Tell them: "Do not swear. What is expected of you is obedience of the proper kind, well-known. (So you should do what other believers do and therefore will go forth when commanded to do so without gestures indicating exaggeration and affectation)." God is fully aware of all that you do.
Say: "Obey God and obey the Messenger." But, (O people), if you turn away from the Messenger, (then be aware that) what rests with him is only what he has been charged with and what rests with you is only what you have been charged with. However, if you obey, you will be guided (to the truth). What rests with the Messenger is but to convey the Message fully and clearly.
God has promised those of you who believe and do good, righteous deeds that He will most certainly empower them as vicegerents on the earth (in the place of those who are in power at present), even as He empowered those (of the same qualities) that preceded them, and that, assuredly, He will firmly establish for them their Religion, which He has (chosen and) approved of for them, and He will replace their present state of fear with security (so that they can practice their Religion freely and fully and in peace). They worship Me alone, associating none with Me as partners (in belief, worship, and the authority to order their life). Whoever turns ungrateful after that, such indeed are the transgressors.
Establish the Prayer in conformity with its conditions and pay the Prescribed Purifying Alms, and obey the Messenger so that you may be shown mercy (to be granted a good, virtuous life in the world and eternal happiness in the Hereafter.)
Do not suppose that those who disbelieve can frustrate (Our will) on the earth. Their final refuge is the Fire: how evil a destination to arrive at!
O you who believe! Let (even) those whom your right hands possess (as slaves), as well as those of you (your children) who have not yet reached puberty, ask for your permission (before they come into your private room) at three times (of the day) – before the Morning Prayer, and when you lay aside your garments in the middle of the day for rest, and after the Night Prayer. These are your three times of privacy. Beyond these occasions, there is no blame on you nor on them if they come in without permission – they are bound to move about you, some of you attending on others. Thus God makes clear for you (the instructions in) the Revelations. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
And when your children reach puberty, let them ask you for permission (whenever they want to enter your private room), even as those (who have already reached the same age) before them ask for it. Thus God makes clear for you (the instructions in) His revelations. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
The women advanced in years, having passed the age of child-bearing and no longer feel any sexual desire, incur no sin if they cast off their outer garments without making display of their charms. But even so, it is better for them to abstain from this. God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
There is no blame on the blind nor any blame on the lame nor any blame on the sick (for eating only to satisfy their need without causing any harm and waste, in the house of any healthy, well-off person), and neither on yourselves that (in case of need and without prior invitation), you eat in your spouse’s and children’s 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 in the houses for which you are responsible, or the house of any of your close friends (who should be happy to see you feeling free to eat at their home). There is no blame on you if you eat together or separately. But when you enter any of these houses, greet one another with a blessed, pure and good salutation appointed by God. Thus God makes clear for you (the instructions in) His Revelations, that you may use your reason and understand.
Only those are true believers who believe in God and His Messenger, and who, when they are with him for a collective cause, do not leave unless they have obtained his permission. Surely those who ask for your permission, it is they who truly believe in God and His Messenger. So, if they ask you for permission for some affair of their own, give permission to whomever of them you will, and ask God for forgiveness on their behalf. Surely, God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.
Do not treat the Messenger’s summoning and praying for you as your summoning and praying for one another. Indeed, God knows well those of you who surreptitiously sneak away, taking cover behind one another. So, let those who go against the Messenger’s order beware lest a bitter trial befall them or a painful punishment afflict them.
Beware: to God belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. He knows well where you stand (and what you are about). And (to Him belongs) the Day when you are brought back to Him, then He will make them understand all that they did (in the world). God has full knowledge of everything.