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
He from whom it is averted that Day – [Allah] has granted him mercy. And that is the clear attainment.

Yusuf Ali
“On that day, if the penalty is averted from any, it is due to Allah’s mercy; And that would be (Salvation), the obvious fulfilment of all desire.

Abul Ala Maududi
Whosoever has been spared chastisement on that Day, Allah has bestowed His mercy upon him. That is the manifest triumph.

Muhsin Khan
Who is averted from (such a torment) on that Day, (Allah) has surely been Merciful to him. And that would be the obvious success.

Pickthall
He from whom (such retribution) is averted on that day, (Allah) hath in truth had mercy on him. That will be the signal triumph.

Dr. Ghali
From whomever it is turned about (i.e., it “torment” is turned away) upon that Day, then He will have mercy on him; and that is the evident triumph.

Abdel Haleem
God will have been truly merciful to whoever is spared on that Day: that is the clearest triumph.’

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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