This is a Surah which We have revealed and made obligatory; its revelations contain clear verses, so that you may take heed.
As for the fornicatoress and the fornicator (a female and a male guilty of rape), flog each female and a male guilty of rape one hundred lashes and do not take pity in enforcing the law ordained by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day, and let a party of the believers witness their punishment.
The fornicator shall not marry any but a fornicatoress or a mushrik, and likewise to a fornicatoress, none shall marry her but a fornicator or a mushrik: such marriages are forbidden to the believers.
Those who accuse a chaste woman of fornication and do not produce four witnesses to support their allegation, shall be flogged with eighty lashes and their testimony shall not be accepted ever after, for they are the ones who are wicked transgressors
- except those who repent thereafter and mend their conduct; for Allah is surely Forgiving, Merciful.
Those men who accuse their own wives but have no witness except themselves, each one of them shall be made to swear four times by Allah that his charge is true,
and the fifth time calling down upon himself the curse of Allah if he is lying.
As for the wife, the punishment shall be averted from her if she swears four times by Allah that his (her husband's) charge is false
and the fifth time calls down the wrath of Allah on herself if his charge is true.
If it were not for Allah's grace and mercy upon you, you would have no method of handling these situations. Allah is the Acceptor of Repentance, All-Wise.
Those who concocted the slander are from a clique among you. Do not regard this incident as only an evil, for it also contains a good lesson for you. Whoever took any part in this sin, has earned his share accordingly, and the one who took on himself the leading part, shall have a terrible punishment.
Why did not the believing men and believing women, when they heard of this slander, think well of their own people, and say: "This is clearly a false accusation?"
Why did they not produce four witnesses? If they cannot produce the required witnesses, they are the liars in the sight of Allah.
Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah towards you in this world and the Hereafter, you would have been severely punished for your involvement in this scandal;
when you passed on with your tongues and uttered with your mouths that about which you had no knowledge. You took it lightly while it was a very serious offence in the sight of Allah.
Why did you not, when you heard about it, say: "It is not befitting for us to talk about it, God forbid! This is a monstrous slander?"
Allah admonishes you never to repeat a mistake like this, if you are true believers.
Allah has made His revelations clear to you, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Those who love to broadcast such slanders among the believers will have a painful punishment in this life and in the Hereafter. Allah knows and you do not know.
Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah towards you, this scandal would have produced very bad results for you. Allah is indeed very Kind, most Merciful.
O believers! Do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan: because anyone who follows the footsteps of Shaitan is seduced by him to commit acts of indecency and wickedness. If there had not been the grace and mercy of Allah upon you, none of you would have ever been purified from that sin, for it is Allah Alone Who purifies whom He pleases, and Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
Let not those among you who are endowed with grace and amplitude of means swear to withhold their help from their relatives, the indigent and those who left their homes for the cause of Allah - rather let them forgive and overlook - do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Those who accuse chaste but careless believing women are cursed in this life, and in the Hereafter they shall have a grievous punishment.
Such people should not forget that Day when their own tongues, their own hands and their own feet will testify against their misdeeds.
On that Day, Allah will give them the full reward they deserve, then they will realize that Allah is the One Who manifests the Truth.
Unclean women are for unclean men, and unclean men are for unclean women; and pure women are for pure men, and pure men are for pure women. They are free from the slanderer's accusations; for them there shall be forgiveness and honorable provision from Allah.
O believers! Do not enter houses other than your own until you have sought permission and said greetings of peace to the occupants; this is better for you, so that you may be mindful.
If you do not find the person you wanted to see, then do not enter until permission is given to you; and if you are asked to go back, then go back; this is more fitting for you; and Allah is cognizant of what you do.
There is no blame on you if you enter houses which are not used for dwelling and in which you have something belonging to you; and Allah knows what you reveal and what you conceal.
Enjoin the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that is chaster for them. Surely Allah is well aware of their actions.
Likewise enjoin the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty; not to display their beauty and ornaments except what normally appears thereof; let them draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their charms except to their husbands, their fathers, their fathers-in-law, their own sons, their stepsons, their own brothers, their nephews on either brothers' or sisters' sides, their own womenfolk, their own slaves, male attendants who lack sexual desires or small children who have no carnal knowledge of women. Also enjoin them not to strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden trinkets. And O believers! Turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, about your past mistakes, so that you may attain salvation.
Get the singles among you married as well as those who are fit for marriage among your male slaves and female slaves. If they are poor, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace: for Allah has boundless resources and is All-Knowing.
And let those who do not find means to marry keep themselves chaste until Allah enriches them out of His bounty. As for those of your slaves who wish to buy out their liberty, execute the deed of liberty with them if you find them deserving, and give them some of the wealth which Allah has given you. Do not force your slave-girls into prostitution for your own worldly gains, if they wish to preserve their chastity; and if anyone forces them into it, then surely after such a compulsion Allah will be forgiving and merciful to them.
We have already sent down to you revelations giving you clear guidance and cited examples of those people who passed away before you to serve as a warning and an admonition for the righteous people.
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche, in which there is a lamp, the lamp is enclosed in crystal, the crystal is of a starlike brilliance, it is lit with the olive oil from a blessed olive tree which is neither eastern nor western, its very oil would almost be luminous though no fire touched it - as though all the means of increasing Light upon Light are provided - Allah guides to His Light whom He pleases. Allah cites such parables to make His message clear to the people; and Allah has knowledge of everything.
His Light is found in those houses which Allah has sanctioned to be built for the remembrance of His name; where His praise is sung, in the mornings and in the evenings again and again,
by such people whom neither business nor business profit can divert from the remembrance of Allah, nor from establishing Salah and nor from paying Zakah, for they fear the Day of Judgement when hearts will be overturned and eyes will be petrified,
who hope that Allah will reward them according to the best of their deeds and add for them even more out of His grace: for Allah gives without measure to whom He pleases.
As for the unbelievers, their deeds will disappear like a mirage in a sandy desert, which the thirsty traveller thinks to be water, but when he comes near, he finds it to be nothing, instead he finds Allah to settle his account - Allah is swift in settling accounts.
Or another parable of unbelievers' efforts is that of person trying to swim in a bottomless ocean overwhelmed with billows, one over the other, overcast with dark clouds - layers of utter darkness one above another - so much so that if he stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it. The one to whom Allah does not give light, will have no light!
Do you not see that Allah is the One Who is praised by all those who are in the heavens and in the earth? The very birds praise Him as they wing their flight. Each one knows its prayers and how to praise Him, and Allah has full knowledge of all their actions.
To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth; and towards Allah lies the final goal.
Do you not see that Allah makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then piles them up in masses, then you see the rain coming from inside them? He also sends down hail from the clouds that look like mountains in the sky, afflicting therewith whom He wills and turning it away from whom He pleases; the flash of His lightning almost takes away sight.
Allah alternates the night and the day; there is indeed a lesson in it for those who possess insight.
Allah has created from water every living creature: of them there are some that creep upon their bellies, some that walk on two legs, and yet some that walk on four; Allah creates what He pleases; surely Allah has power over everything.
We have indeed sent down revelations demonstrating the Truth, and Allah guides to the Straight Way whom He pleases.
They say: "We believe in Allah and the Rasool and we obey," but no sooner do they utter these words than some of them turn their backs; these are no believers.
When such people are called to Allah and His Rasool that He may judge between them, behold! A party of them decline to come.
However, if they have the truth on their side, they come to him voluntarily.
Is there a disease in their hearts? Either they are skeptical, or else they fear that Allah and His Rasool will deny them justice. Nay! In fact they are the ones who are the wrongdoers.
The response of the true believers, when they are called to Allah and His Rasool that he may judge between them, is only to say: "We hear and we obey." Such are the ones who will attain felicity.
Only those who obey Allah and His Rasool, have fear of Allah and do good deeds, are the ones who will be the winners.
They solemnly swear by Allah that if you command them, they will go forth leaving their homes. O Muhammad tell them: "Do not swear; your obedience not your oaths will count; surely Allah is fully aware of what you do."
Say: "Obey Allah and obey the Rasool. If you do not, the Rasool is still under obligation to fulfill his duty, as you are under obligation to fulfill yours; and if you obey him, you shall be rightly guided. Note it well that the responsibility of the Rasool is only to deliver Allah's message clearly."
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do good deeds that He will most surely make them vicegerent in the earth as He made their ancestors before them, and that He will establish for them their religion, the one which He has chosen for them, and that He will change their present state of fear into peace and security. Let them worship Me Alone and not to commit shirk with Me; and if anyone rejects faith after this, it is they who are the transgressors.
Therefore establish Salah, pay Zakah and obey the Rasool, so that you may be shown mercy.
Never think that the unbelievers can frustrate anything in the land. As for them, the fire shall be their home, and that is an evil abode.
O believers! Let your servants and those children who have not yet attained puberty ask your permission before coming in to see you on three occasions: before Fajr Salah (dawn prayer), at noon when you put off your clothes, and after the Isha Salah (night prayer). These are your three times of privacy. At other times, there is no blame on you if you, or they, go around visiting one another. Thus Allah makes His revelations clear to you, for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
And when your children reach the age of puberty, let them still ask your permission as their elders do. Thus Allah makes His revelations clear to you, for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
There is no blame on such elderly women who have no interest in getting married, if they lay aside their cloaks without displaying their adornment, but it is better for them if they do not discard. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
There is no blame on the blind, nor there is blame on the lame, nor there is blame on the sick, to eat at your table. Nor shall it be an offence for you to eat in the houses of your own children, or your fathers, or your mothers, or your brothers, or your sisters, or your paternal uncles, or your paternal aunts, or your maternal uncles, or your maternal aunts, or your sincere friends, or in houses with the keys of which you are entrusted. There is no blame on you whether you eat together or apart; however, when you enter the houses, you should greet one another with the greeting of peace prescribed by Allah blessed and pure. Thus Allah makes His revelations clear to you, so that you may grow in understanding.
The true believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Rasool, and who, when gathered with him on a matter requiring collective action, do not depart until they have obtained his permission - only those who ask your permission are the ones who truly believe in Allah and His Rasool - so when they ask your permission to leave and attend to theirs private business, you may give permission to those of them whom you deem appropriate and implore Allah to forgive them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Do not consider the summoning of the Rasool in the same manner, as you consider the summoning of one another among yourselves. Allah knows those of you who slip away, concealing themselves behind others. Let those who disobey his orders beware, lest some trial befall them or a painful punishment be inflicted on them.
Beware! Whatever is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Allah. He knows what you are up to. The Day on which they will be brought back to Him, He will tell them all that they have done. Allah has the knowledge of everything.