Surah An-Nisa >> Currently viewing Surah An-Nisa Ayat 16 (4:16)

Surah An-Nisa Ayat 16 in Arabic Text

وَٱلَّذَانِ يَأْتِيَـٰنِهَا مِنكُمْ فَـَٔاذُوهُمَا ۖ فَإِن تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا فَأَعْرِضُوا۟ عَنْهُمَآ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ تَوَّابًۭا رَّحِيمًا
Wallazaani ya’tiyaanihaa minkum fa aazoohumaa fa in taabaa wa aslahaa fa a’ridoo ‘anhumaaa; innal laaha kaana Tawwaabar Raheema

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 16

Sahih International
And the two who commit it among you, dishonor them both. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone. Indeed, Allah is ever Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

Yusuf Ali
If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.

Abul Ala Maududi
Punish both of those among you who are guilty of this sin, then if they repent and mend their ways, leave them alone. For Allah is always ready to accept repentance. He is All-Compassionate.

Muhsin Khan
And the two persons (man and woman) among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both. And if they repent (promise Allah that they will never repeat, i.e. commit illegal sexual intercourse and other similar sins) and do righteous good deeds, leave them alone. Surely, Allah is Ever the One Who accepts repentance, (and He is) Most Merciful.

Pickthall
And as for the two of you who are guilty thereof, punish them both. And if they repent and improve, then let them be. Lo! Allah is ever relenting, Merciful.

Dr. Ghali
And (as for) the two of you who come up with (an obscenity), then hurt them both. Yet, in case they (both) repent and act righteously, then veer away from them (both); surely Allah has been Superbly Relenting, Ever-Merciful.

Abdul Haleem
If two men commit a lewd act, punish them both; if they repent and mend their ways, leave them alone- God is always ready to accept repentance, He is full of mercy.

Quran 4 Verse 16 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 16, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(4:16) Punish both of those among you who are guilty of this sin, then if they repent and mend their ways, leave them alone. For Allah is always ready to accept repentance. He is All-Compassionate.[26]


26. In these two (verses 15-16)the first, preliminary directives for the punishment for unlawful sexual intercourse are stated. The first verse deals with women. The punishment laid down was to confine them until further directives were revealed. The second verse (i.e. 16) relates to both sexes. The injunction lays down that they should be punished – that is, they should be beaten and publicly reproached. Later, another injunction was revealed see (Surah al-Nur 24: 2) which laid down that both the male and female should be given a hundred lashes. These injunctions are necessarily of a preliminary nature since the people of Arabia were neither used to obeying the orders of any established government, the verdicts of any courts of law nor to following any legal code; it would therefore have been unwise to try to force acceptance of a penal code upon them so soon after the establishment of the Islamic state. In due course, the punishments for unlawful sexual intercourse, for slanderous accusations of unchastity against women, and for theft were laid down in their definitive form and served as the basis of that detailed penal code which was enforced by the Prophet (peace be on him) and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs.

The apparent difference between the contents of the two verses led al-Suddi to the misconceived belief that the first verse lays down the punishment for married women, and the second that for unmarried men and women. This is a tenuous explanation unsupported by any serious evidence and argument. Even less convincing is the opinion expressed by Abu Muslim al-Isfahani that the first verse relates to lesbian relations between females, and the second to homosexual relations between males. It is strange that al-Isfahani ignored the basic fact that the Qur’an seeks merely to chart a broad code of law and morality and hence deals only with fundamental questions. It is inconsistent with the majestic style of the Qur’an to discuss secondary details which have been left to people to decide through the exercise of their legal judgement. It is for this reason that when the problem of fixing a punishment for sodomy came up for consideration after the time of the Prophet (peace be on him), none of the Companions thought that the above-mentioned verse contained any relevant injunction.

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah Nisa verse 16 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Nisa ayat 15 which provides the complete commentary from verse 15 through 16.

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