Surah Al-Ma’idah >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Ma’idah Ayat 42 (5:42)

Surah Al-Ma’idah Ayat 42 in Arabic Text

سَمَّـٰعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ أَكَّـٰلُونَ لِلسُّحْتِ ۚ فَإِن جَآءُوكَ فَٱحْكُم بَيْنَهُمْ أَوْ أَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ ۖ وَإِن تُعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ فَلَن يَضُرُّوكَ شَيْـًۭٔا ۖ وَإِنْ حَكَمْتَ فَٱحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِٱلْقِسْطِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُقْسِطِينَ
Sammaa’oona lilkazibi akkaaloona lissuht; fa in jaaa’ooka fahkum bainahum aw a’rid anhum wa in tu’rid ‘anhum falany-yadurrooka shai’anw wa in hakamta fahkum bainahum bilqist; innal laaha yuhibbul muqsiteen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 42

Sahih International
[They are] avid listeners to falsehood, devourers of [what is] unlawful. So if they come to you, [O Muhammad], judge between them or turn away from them. And if you turn away from them – never will they harm you at all. And if you judge, judge between them with justice. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.

Yusuf Ali
(They are fond of) listening to falsehood, of devouring anything forbidden. If they do come to thee, either judge between them, or decline to interfere. If thou decline, they cannot hurt thee in the least. If thou judge, judge in equity between them. For Allah loveth those who judge in equity.

Abul Ala Maududi
They are listeners of falsehood and greedy devourers of unlawful earnings. If they come to you you may either judge between them or turn away from them. And were you to turn away from them they shall not be able to harm you; and were you to judge between them judge with justice. Surely Allah loves the just.

Muhsin Khan
(They like to) listen to falsehood, to devour anything forbidden. So if they come to you (O Muhammad SAW), either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt you in the least. And if you judge, judge with justice between them. Verily, Allah loves those who act justly.

Pickthall
Listeners for the sake of falsehood! Greedy for illicit gain! If then they have recourse unto thee (Muhammad) judge between them or disclaim jurisdiction. If thou disclaimest jurisdiction, then they cannot harm thee at all. But if thou judgest, judge between them with equity. Lo! Allah loveth the equitable.

Dr. Ghali
Constant listeners to lies, constant eaters of illicit gain, so in case they come to you, then judge between them or veer away from them; and in case you veer away from them, then they will never harm you anything; and in case you judge, then judge with equity between them. Surely Allah loves the equitable.

Abdel Haleem
they listen eagerly to lies and consume what is unlawful. If they come to you [Prophet] for judgement, you can either judge between them, or decline- if you decline, they will not harm you in any way, but if you do judge between them, judge justly: God loves the just-

Quran 5 Verse 42 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Ma’idah ayat 42, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(5:42) They are listeners of falsehood and greedy devourers of unlawful earnings.[69] If they come to you you may either judge between them or turn away from them. And were you to turn away from them they shall not be able to harm you; and were you to judge between them judge with justice. Surely Allah loves the just.[70]


69. Here pointed reference is made to judges and jurisconsults who accept false evidence and invent reports in order to issue verdicts contrary to justice and in favour of either those who bribe them or with whom their illegitimate interests lie.

70. Until then the Jews had not become full-fledged subjects of the Islamic state. Their relations with that state were based on agreements according to which the Jews were to enjoy internal autonomy, and their disputes were to be decided by their own judges and in accordance with their own laws. They were not legally bound to place their disputes either before the Prophet (peace be on him) for adjudication or before the judges appointed by him. But in cases where it appeared against their interests to have their disputes judged according to their own religious law they approached the Prophet (peace be on him) in the hope that the Prophet might have a different ruling.

The particular case referred to here was that of a woman belonging to a respectable family, who was found to be involved in an unlawful sexual relationship with a man. The punishment for this in the Torah was that both be stoned to death (see Deuteronomy 22: 23-4). But the Jews did not want to enforce this punishment. Hence they deliberated among themselves and decided to put the case before the Prophet (peace be on him), with the reservation that his judgement be accepted only if it was other than stoning. The Prophet (peace be on him) decided that the punishment should, in fact, be stoning. When the Jews declined to accept the judgement, the Prophet (peace be on him) asked their rabbis what punishment had been prescribed for such a case in their religion. They replied that it was to strike the culprit with lashes, to blacken the face and to make the person concerned ride on a donkey. The Prophet (peace be on him) asked them under oath if the Torah had indeed prescribed that as punishment for adultery committed by married men and women. They repeated the same false reply. However, one of them called Ibn Sawriya who, according to the Jews themselves, was the greatest living scholar of the Torah at that time, kept silent. The Prophet (peace be on him) asked him to state on oath in the name of God, Who had emancipated them from Pharaoh and had given them the Law, whether the punishment for adultery provided for in the Torah was what they had mentioned. He replied: ‘Had you not put me under such a heavy oath, I would not have volunteered the correct information. The fact is that the prescribed punishment for adultery is indeed stoning, but when adultery became common among us our rulers adopted the rule that when respectable people committed adultery they were left unpunished, whereas when ordinary people were convicted they were punished by stoning. Later on when this caused resentment among the common people we altered the law of the Torah and adopted the rule that adulterers and adulteresses would be lashed, their faces would be blackened, and they would be made to ride on donkeys, seated in a backward-looking position.’ This left the Jews with nothing to say and the adulterer and adulteress were, in accordance with the order of the Prophet (peace be on him), stoned to death. (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, vol. 3, pp. 574-5 – Ed.)

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah Maidah verse 42 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Maidah ayat 41 which provides the complete commentary from verse 41 through 44.

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