Surah An-Nisa >> Currently viewing Surah An-Nisa Ayat 22 (4:22)

Surah An-Nisa Ayat 22 in Arabic Text

وَلَا تَنكِحُوا۟ مَا نَكَحَ ءَابَآؤُكُم مِّنَ ٱلنِّسَآءِ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ فَـٰحِشَةًۭ وَمَقْتًۭا وَسَآءَ سَبِيلًا
Wa laa tankihoo maa nakaha aabaaa’ukum minan nisaaa’i illaa maa qad salaf; innahoo kaana faahishatanw wa maqtanw wa saaa’a sabeelaa (section 3)

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 22

Sahih International
And do not marry those [women] whom your fathers married, except what has already occurred. Indeed, it was an immorality and hateful [to Allah] and was evil as a way.

Yusuf Ali
And marry not women whom your fathers married,- except what is past: It was shameful and odious,- an abominable custom indeed.

Abul Ala Maududi
Do not marry the women whom your fathers married, although what is past is past. This indeed was a shameful deed, a hateful thing, and an evil way.

Muhsin Khan
And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already passed; indeed it was shameful and most hateful, and an evil way.

Pickthall
And marry not those women whom your fathers married, except what hath already happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! it was ever lewdness and abomination, and an evil way.

Dr. Ghali
And do not marry women that your fathers married, except what has already gone by; surely that is an obscenity and detestation, and an odious way.

Abdul Haleem
Do not marry women that your fathers married- with the exception of what is past- this is indeed a shameful thing to do, loathsome and leading to evil.

Quran 4 Verse 22 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 22, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(4:22) Do not marry the women whom your fathers married, although what is past is past.[32] This indeed was a shameful deed, a hateful thing, and an evil way.[33]


32. The Qur’an rounds off all statements prohibiting the objectionable features of the social life of the Jahiliyah period by condoning violations of those prohibitions prior to their revelation: ‘What is past is past.’ This has two meanings. First, that those concerned would not be punished for mistakes committed in their state of Ignorance, providing they rectified their conduct after the prohibitory injunction had been revealed. Second, that the prohibition of any ancient custom, usage and law did not mean that all acts which took place in the past would be nullified, and that all the consequences of those acts would be deemed void, and people absolved of all the obligations which ensued from them. If marriage with the step-mother, for instance, was prohibited it did not necessarily follow that the children of all such marriages which had been contracted in the past were to be reckoned illegitimate, and that the offspring from such marriages would be disinherited. Similarly, if a certain transaction was declared unlawful it did not mean that all such transactions which had taken place prior to the prohibition should be deemed void and that all the earnings of people accumulated through those transactions would be either seized or declared illegitimate property.

33. In Islamic law marrying women who fall in the prohibited degrees of marriage is a recognized criminal offence. According to traditions in the Hadith collections of Abu Da’ud, Nasa’i and Ahmad b. Hanbal, people guilty of this offence were punished by the Prophet (peace be on him) with death and confiscation of property. It appears from the tradition related by Ibn ‘Abbas (found in the collection of Ibn Majah), that the Prophet (peace be on him) had devised the following general rule: ‘Kill whosoever commits sexual intercourse with a woman forbidden to him’ (Ibn Majah; ‘Hudud’, 13, 35; also Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 300 – Ed.) There is some disagreement, however, among jurists on this question. Ahmad b. Hanbal is of the opinion that the convicted person should be put to death and his property confiscated. Abu Hanifah, Malik and Shafi’i are of the opinion that if a person commits sexual intercourse with a woman within the prohibited degrees he should be punished for adultery; and if he merely marries (but has not actually had sexual intercourse – Ed.) he should be subjected to severe punishment.

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah Nisa verse 22 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Nisa ayat 19 which provides the complete commentary from verse 19 through 22.

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