Surah Al-Ma’idah >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Ma’idah Ayat 45 (5:45)

Surah Al-Ma’idah Ayat 45 in Arabic Text

وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَآ أَنَّ ٱلنَّفْسَ بِٱلنَّفْسِ وَٱلْعَيْنَ بِٱلْعَيْنِ وَٱلْأَنفَ بِٱلْأَنفِ وَٱلْأُذُنَ بِٱلْأُذُنِ وَٱلسِّنَّ بِٱلسِّنِّ وَٱلْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌۭ ۚ فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِۦ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌۭ لَّهُۥ ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ
Wa katabnaa ‘alaihim feehaaa annan nafsa binnafsi wal’aina bil’aini wal anfa bilanfi wal uzuna bil uzuni wassinna bissinni waljurooha qisaas; faman tasaddaqa bihee fahuwa kaffaaratul lah; wa mal lam yahkum bimaaa anzalal laahu fa ulaaa’ika humuz zalimoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 45

Sahih International
And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

Yusuf Ali
We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers.

Abul Ala Maududi
And therein We had ordained for them: ‘A life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for all wounds, like for like. But whosoever forgoes it by way of charity, it will be for him an expiation. Those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed are indeed the wrong-doers.

Muhsin Khan
And We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers – of a lesser degree).

Pickthall
And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and the tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliation. But whoso forgoeth it (in the way of charity) it shall be expiation for him. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are wrong-doers.

Dr. Ghali
And therein We prescribed for them, “The self for the self, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and the tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliation. So, whoever donates it, (i.e., remits the penalty or the retaliation as alms “a free-will offering”) then it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge according to what Allah has sent down, then those are they (who are) the unjust.”

Abdel Haleem
In the Torah We prescribed for them a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, an equal wound for a wound: if anyone forgoes this out of charity, it will serve as atonement for his bad deeds. Those who do not judge according to what God has revealed are doing grave wrong.

Quran 5 Verse 45 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Ma’idah ayat 45, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(5:45) And therein We had ordained for them: ‘A life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for all wounds, like for like.[74] But whosoever forgoes it by way of charity, it will be for him an expiation.[75] Those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed are indeed the wrong-doers.


74. Cf. Exodus 21: 23-5.

75. Whoever forgoes his right of retaliation does a good deed which will atone for many of his sins. The same is confirmed by a tradition of the Prophet (peace be on him) in which he said: ‘Whoever receives an injury on his body, then pardons (the inflictor of the injury), his sins are atoned for to the measure of his pardoning.’ (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 5, pp. 316, 329 – Ed.)

Ibn-Kathir

45. And We ordained therein for them “Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal. ” But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the unjust.) This Ayah also chastises and criticizes the Jews because in the Tawrah, they have the law of a life for a life. Yet, they defied this ruling by transgression and rebellion. They used to apply this ruling when a person from Bani An-Nadir was killed by a Qurayzah person, but this was not the case when the opposite occurred. Rather, they would revert to Diyah in this case. They also defied the ruling in the Tawrah to stone the adulterer and instead came up with their own form of punishment, flogging, humiliation and parading them in public. This is why Allah said in the previous Ayah,


﴿وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ﴾

(And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers.) because they rejected Allah’s command with full intention and with transgression and rebellion. In this Ayah, Allah said,

﴿فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّـلِمُونَ﴾

(such are the unjust.) because they did not exact the oppressed his due rights from the oppressor in a matter which Allah ordered that all be treated equally and fairly. Instead, they defied that command, committed injustice and transgressed against each other.

A Man is Killed for a Woman Whom He Kills

Imam Abu Nasr bin As-Sabbagh stated in his book, Ash-Shamil, that the scholars agree that this Ayah ﴿5:45﴾ should be implemented, and the Imams agree that the man is killed for a woman whom he kills, according to the general indications of this Ayah. A Hadith that An-Nasa’i recorded states that the Messenger of Allah had this statement written in the book that he gave `Amr bin Hazm,

«أَنَّ الرَّجُلَ يُقْتَلُ بِالْمَرْأَة»

(The man is killed for the woman (whom he kills).) In another Hadith, the Messenger said,

«الْمُسْلِمُونَ تَتَكَافَأُ دِمَاؤُهُم»

(Muslims are equal regarding the sanctity of their blood.) This is also the opinion of the majority of the scholars. What further supports what Ibn As-Sabbagh said is the Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “Ar-Rabi` (his aunt) broke the tooth of a girl, and the relatives of Ar-Rabi` requested the girl’s relatives to forgive (the offender), but they refused. So, they went to the Prophet who ordered them to bring about retaliation. Anas bin An-Nadr, her brother, asked, `O Allah’s Messenger! Will the tooth of Ar-Rabi` be broken’ The Messenger of Allah said, `O Anas! The Book of Allah prescribes retaliation.’ Anas said, `No, by Him Who has sent you with the Truth, her tooth will not be broken. ‘ Later the relatives of the girl agreed to forgive Ar-Rabi` and forfeit their right to retaliation. The Messenger of Allah said,

«إن من عباد الله من لو أقسم على الله لأبره»

(There are some of Allah’s servants who, if they take an oath by Allah, Allah fullfils them.)” It was recorded in the Two Sahihs.

Retaliation for Wounds

Allah said,

﴿وَالْجُرُوحَ قِصَاصٌ﴾

(and wounds equal for equal.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “Life for life, an eye for an eye, a nose, if cut off, for a nose, a tooth broken for a tooth and wounds equal for wound.” The free Muslims, men and women, are equal in this matter. And their slaves, male and female, are equal in this matter. And this ruling is the same regarding intentional murder and lesser offenses, as Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded.

An Important Ruling

The retaliation for wounds should not be implemented until the wounds of the victim heal. If retaliation occurs before the wound heals, and then the wound becomes aggravated, the victim will have no additional rights in this case. The proof for this ruling is what Imam Ahmad narrated from `Amr bin Shu`ayb, from his father, from his grandfather that a man once stabbed another man in his leg using a horn. The victim came to the Prophet asking for retaliation, and the Prophet said,

«حَتَّى تَبْرَأ»

(Not until you heal.) The man again came to the Prophet and asked for equality in retaliation and the Prophet allowed him that. Later on, that man said, “O Messenger of Allah! I limp now.” The Messenger said,

«قَدْ نَهَيْتُكَ فَعَصَيْتَنِي، فَأَبْعَدكَ اللهُ وَبَطَلَ عَرَجُك»

(I had asked you to wait, but you disobeyed me. Therefore, Allah cast you away and your limp has no compensation.) Afterwards, the Messenger of Allah forbade that the wound be retaliated for until the wound of the victim heals. If the victim is allowed to retaliate for his wound caused by the aggressor and the aggressor dies as a result, there is no compensation in this case, according to the majority of the Companions and their followers.

The Pardon is Expiation for Such Offenses

Allah said,

﴿فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ﴾

(But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented that

﴿فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ﴾

(But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity) means; “If one pardons by way of charity, it will result in expiation for the aggressor and reward for the victim.” Sufyan Ath-Thawri said that `Ata’ bin As-Sa’ib said that Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn `Abbas said, `He who pardons the retaliation by way of charity, it will be an expiation for the aggressor and a reward for the victim with Allah.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement. Jabir bin `Abdullah said that Allah’s statement,

﴿فَمَن تَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَّهُ﴾

(But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation,) “For the victim.” This is also the opinion of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Abu Ishaq Al-Hamdani. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

«مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يُجْرَحُ مِنْ جَسَدِهِ جَرَاحَةً فَيَتَصَدَّقُ بِهَا، إِلَّا كَفَّرَ اللهُ عَنْهُ مِثْلَ مَا تَصَدَّقَ بِه»

(Any man who suffers a wound on his body and forfeits his right of retaliation as way of charity, then Allah will pardon him that which is similar to what he forfeited.) An-Nasa’i and Ibn Jarir recorded this Hadith. Allah’s statement,

﴿وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّـلِمُونَ﴾

(And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the unjust.) Earlier we mentioned the statements of `Ata’ and Tawus that there is Kufr and lesser Kufr, injustice and lesser injustice and Fisq and lesser Fisq.

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