Surah An-Nisa >> Currently viewing Surah An-Nisa Ayat 156 (4:156)

Surah An-Nisa Ayat 156 in Arabic Text

وَبِكُفْرِهِمْ وَقَوْلِهِمْ عَلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ بُهْتَـٰنًا عَظِيمًۭا
Wa bikufrihim wa qawlihim ‘alaa Maryama buh taanan ‘azeema

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 156

Sahih International
[We revealed it] lest you say, “The Scripture was only sent down to two groups before us, but we were of their study unaware,”

Yusuf Ali
Lest ye should say: “The Book was sent down to two Peoples before us, and for our part, we remained unacquainted with all that they learned by assiduous study:”

Abul Ala Maududi
(You may no longer) say now that the Book was revealed only to two groups of people before Us and that we had indeed been unaware of what they read.

Muhsin Khan
Lest you (pagan Arabs) should say: “The Book was only sent down to two sects before us (the Jews and the Christians), and for our part, we were in fact unaware of what they studied.”

Pickthall
Lest ye should say: The Scripture was revealed only to two sects before us, and we in sooth were unaware of what they read;

Dr. Ghali
So that you may not say, “Surely the Book was sent down only upon two sections even before us, and decidedly we have indeed been heedless of their study.”

Abdel Haleem
lest you say, ‘Scriptures were only sent down to two communities before us: we were not aware of what they studied,’

Quran 4 Verse 156 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 156, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(4:156) and for their going so far in unbelief[189] as uttering against Mary a mighty calumny,[190]


189. This marks the resumption of the main theme of the discourse.

190. The Jews had ho grounds for suspicion regarding the miraculous birth of Jesus. The day he was born God made the entire Jewish people witness that it was the birth of an extraordinary person, and that his birth had taken place miraculously rather than as the result of an act of moral corruption. When this unmarried girl, of a highly esteemed and pious Israelite family, produced a new-born infant, thousands of people of all age groups thronged to her house out of curiosity. Instead of replying to their queries verbally, Mary pointed to the baby, indicating that he would himself reply. The wonder-struck crowd inquired if they were expected to direct their questions to the infant child who lay in the cradle. To their amazement the child addressed the crowd in a clear and eloquent style: ‘I am indeed a servant of God, and to me has He vouchsafed Revelation, me has He made a Prophet’. (Surah Maryam 19: 30.)

Thus God demolished every basis for casting doubt on the birth of Jesus. When Jesus was young no one accused Mary of either unchastity or Jesus of being born illegitimately. When Jesus reached the age of thirty he launched his prophetic mission, censuring the Jews for their misdeeds and reproaching the rabbis and the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. He also called attention to the moral degeneration to which they had sunk, urging people to rise up and engage in the perilous struggle to establish the hegemony of God’s religion. Such a struggle called for all kinds of sacrifices and involved confrontation with Satanic forces on all fronts. Once Jesus launched this mission these criminals decided to spare no weapon, however base, in their bid to silence this fearless voice of truth. It was at this point that they flung at Mary the accusation of unchastity and at Jesus that of illegitimate birth. They made these accusations despite full knowledge that both mother and child were absolutely chaste and innocent. That is why this accusation is not characterized as either a wrong or a falsehood. It is rather branded as disbelief (kufr) since the calumny was motivated chiefly by the desire to obstruct the path of true faith and not just to bring an innocent woman into disrepute.

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah Nisa verse 156 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Nisa ayat 155 which provides the complete commentary from verse 155 through 159.

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