Surah Al-Isra >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Isra Ayat 31 (17:31)

Surah Al-Isra Ayat 31 in Arabic Text

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوٓا۟ أَوْلَـٰدَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَـٰقٍۢ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْـًۭٔا كَبِيرًۭا
Wa laa taqtulooo awlaadakum khashyata imlaaqin nahnu narzuquhum wa iyyaakum; inna qatlahum kaana khit ‘an kabeeraa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 31

Sahih International
And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.

Yusuf Ali
Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.

Abul Ala Maududi
(vii) Do not kill your children for fear of want. We will provide for them and for you. Surely killing them is a great sin.

Muhsin Khan
And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.

Pickthall
Slay not your children, fearing a fall to poverty, We shall provide for them and for you. Lo! the slaying of them is great sin.

Dr. Ghali
And do not kill your children in apprehension of want; We provide for them and for you (too); surely the killing of them has been a great sinning.

Abdel Haleem
Do not kill your children for fear of poverty––We shall provide for them and for you––killing them is a great sin.

Quran 17 Verse 31 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 31, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(17:31) (vii) Do not kill your children for fear of want. We will provide for them and for you. Surely killing them is a great sin.[31]


31. This verse cuts at the very root of the movement of birth control, which has been going on from ancient times to our present age. It was the fear of want that induced people to kill their children or resort to abortion. In our age another plan has been added to these, i.e. contraception. This article of the Islamic manifesto prohibits the people from reducing the number of mouths by artificial means but exhorts them to increase the means of production according to the natural methods enjoined by Allah. According to this article, it is one of the biggest mistakes of man to check birth rate as a solution to the want and scarcity of provisions. Therefore, it warns him, as if to say: O man, it is not you who make arrangement for food, but Allah, Who settled you in the land and has been providing for you and will provide for those who will come after you. History tells us that the food resources have always expanded in proportion to the number of inhabitants of a country. Nay, often they have exceeded far more than the needs of the inhabitants. Thus it is a folly on the part of man to interfere with the arrangements of Allah.

It is very significant that as a result of this teaching, no movement has ever been started to control birth nor has there been any inclination to infanticide among the Muslims ever since the revelation of the Quran.

Ibn-Kathir

31. And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.


Prohibition of killing Children

This Ayah indicates that Allah is more compassionate towards His servants than a father to his child, because He forbids killing children just as He enjoins parents to take care of their children in matters of inheritance. The people of Jahiliyyah would not allow their daughters to inherit from them, and some would even kill their daughters lest they make them more poor. Allah forbade that and said:

﴿وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَـقٍ﴾

(And kill not your children for fear of poverty.) meaning, lest they may make you poor in the future. This is why Allah mentions the children’s provision first:

﴿نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ﴾

(We shall provide for them as well as for you.) In Surat Al-An`am, Allah says:

﴿وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلَـدَكُمْ مِّنْ إمْلَـقٍ﴾

(kill not your children because of poverty.) ﴿6:151﴾

﴿نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُم﴾

(We provide sustenance for you and for them) ﴿6:151﴾ and,

﴿إنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا﴾

(Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.) means, a major sin. In Two Sahihs it is recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said: “I said, `O Messenger of Allah, which sin is the worst’ He said,

«أَنْ تَجْعَلَ لِلّهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَكَ . قُلْتُ: ثُمَّ أَيٌّ؟ قَالَ: أَنْ تَقْتُلَ وَلَدَكَ خَشْيَةَ أَنْ يَطْعَمَ مَعَكَ . قُلْتُ: ثُمَّ أَيٌّ؟ قَالَ: أَنْ تُزَانِيَ بِحَلِيلَةِ جَارِك»

(To appoint rivals of Allah when He has created you.) I asked, `Then what’ He said, (To kill your child lest he should eat with you.) I asked, `Then what’ He said, (To commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife.)”

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