Surah An-Nisa >> Currently viewing Surah An-Nisa Ayat 46 (4:46)

Surah An-Nisa Ayat 46 in Arabic Text

مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَادُوا۟ يُحَرِّفُونَ ٱلْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِۦ وَيَقُولُونَ سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا وَٱسْمَعْ غَيْرَ مُسْمَعٍۢ وَرَٰعِنَا لَيًّۢا بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْنًۭا فِى ٱلدِّينِ ۚ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا۟ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَٱسْمَعْ وَٱنظُرْنَا لَكَانَ خَيْرًۭا لَّهُمْ وَأَقْوَمَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّعَنَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًۭا
Minal lazeena haadoo yuharrifoonal Kalima ‘am mawaadi’ihee wa yaqooloona sami’naa wa ‘asainaa wasma’ ghaira musma’inw wa raa’inaa laiyam bi alsinatihim wa ta’nan fiddeen; wa law annahum qaaloo sami’naa wa ata’naa wasma’ wanzurnaa lakaana khairal lahum wa aqwama wa laakil la’ a’nahumul laahu bikufrihim falaa yu’minoona illaa qaleela

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 46

Sahih International
Among the Jews are those who distort words from their [proper] usages and say, “We hear and disobey” and “Hear but be not heard” and “Ra’ina,” twisting their tongues and defaming the religion. And if they had said [instead], “We hear and obey” and “Wait for us [to understand],” it would have been better for them and more suitable. But Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, except for a few.

Yusuf Ali
Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: “We hear and we disobey”; and “Hear what is not Heard”; and “Ra’ina”; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: “What hear and we obey”; and “Do hear”; and “Do look at us”; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.

Abul Ala Maududi
Among those who have become Jews there are some who alter the words from their context, and make a malicious play with their tongues and seek to revile the true faith. They say: ‘We have heard and we disobey’ (sami’na wa ‘asayna), ‘Do hear us, may you turn dumb’ (isma’ ghayr musma’) and ‘Hearken to us’ (ra’ina). It would indeed have been better for them and more upright if they had said: ‘We have heard and we obey’ (sami’na wa ata’na) and: ‘Do listen to us, and look at us (with kindness)’ (wa isma’ wa unzurna). But Allah has cursed them because of their disbelief. Scarcely do they believe.

Muhsin Khan
Among those who are Jews, there are some who displace words from (their) right places and say: “We hear your word (O Muhammad SAW) and disobey,” and “Hear and let you (O Muhammad SAW) hear nothing.” And Ra’ina with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion (Islam). And if only they had said: “We hear and obey”, and “Do make us understand,” it would have been better for them, and more proper, but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.

Pickthall
Some of those who are Jews change words from their context and say: “We hear and disobey; hear thou as one who heareth not” and “Listen to us!” distorting with their tongues and slandering religion. If they had said: “We hear and we obey: hear thou, and look at us” it had been better for them, and more upright. But Allah hath cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, save a few.

Dr. Ghali
(Some) of (the ones) who have Judaized pervert the Wordings from their (original) meanings (Literally: positions) and say, “We have heard and we disobey, ” and, “Give ear without being made to hear, ” and “Racina, ” (This from of the Arabic word was used by the Jews, and in Hebrew it had a derisive connotation Here it means “Heed us.”) twisting with their tongues and discrediting the religion. And if they had said, “We have heard and we obey, ” and, “Give ear, ” and, “Look at us, ” it would have been more charitable for them and more upright; but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they do not believe except a few.

Abdul Haleem
Some Jews distort the meaning of [revealed] words: they say, ‘We hear and disobey,’ and ‘Listen,’ [adding the insult] ‘May you not hear,’ and ‘Raina [Look at us],’ twisting it abusively with their tongues so as to disparage religion. If they had said, ‘We hear and obey,’ ‘Listen,’ and ‘Unzurna [Look at us],’ that would have been better and more proper for them. But God has spurned them for their defiance; they believe very little.

Quran 4 Verse 46 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 46, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(4:46) Among those who have become Jews[72] there are some who alter the words from their context,[73] and make a malicious play with their tongues and seek to revile the true faith. They say: ‘We have heard and we disobey’ (sami’na wa ‘asayna),[74] ‘Do hear us, may you turn dumb’ (isma’ ghayr musma’)[75] and ‘Hearken to us’ (ra’ina). It would indeed have been better for them and more upright if they had said: ‘We have heard and we obey’ (sami’na wa ata’na)[76] and: ‘Do listen to us, and look at us (with kindness)’ (wa isma’ wa unzurna). But Allah has cursed them because of their disbelief. Scarcely do they believe.


72. It is to be noted that this expression means ‘they became Jews’, rather than ‘they were Jews’. For, originally, they were nothing but Muslims, just as the followers of every Prophet are Muslims. Only later on did they become merely ‘Jews’.

73. This signifies three things. First, that they tampered with the text of the Scripture. Second, that they misinterpreted the Scripture and thereby distorted the meanings of the verses of the Book. Third, that they came and stayed in the company of the Prophet (peace be on him) and his Companions and listened to the conversations which took place there, then went among other people and misreported what they had heard. They did this with the malicious intent of bringing the Muslims into disrepute and thereby preventing people from embracing Islam.

74. When the ordinances of God are announced to them, they loudly proclaim: Yes, we have heard’, (sami’na), but then they whisper: ‘And we disobeyed’ (‘asayna). Or else they pronounce ata’na (‘we obey’) with such a twist of the tongue that it becomes indistinguishable from ‘asayna.

75. Whenever they wanted to say something to the Prophet (peace be on him) they would say, ‘isma” (listen), but added to this the expression, ‘ghayr musma” which had several meanings. It could either be a polite expression, meaning that he was worthy of such deep respect that one should say nothing to his dislike or it could have a malicious implication, meaning that he did not deserve to be addressed by anybody. It also meant the imprecation: ‘May God turn you deaf.’

76. For an explanation of this see Towards Understanding the Qur’an, vol. I, (Surah 2, n. 108).

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah Nisa verse 46 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Nisa ayat 44 which provides the complete commentary from verse 44 through 46.

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