Surah Nur Ayat 11 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 11
Indeed, those who came with falsehood are a group among you. Do not think it bad for you; rather it is good for you. For every person among them is what [punishment] he has earned from the sin, and he who took upon himself the greater portion thereof – for him is a great punishment.
Those who brought forward the lie are a body among yourselves: think it not to be an evil to you; On the contrary it is good for you: to every man among them (will come the punishment) of the sin that he earned, and to him who took on himself the lead among them, will be a penalty grievous.
Those who have invented the slander, are some of your own people. You should not, however, regard this matter as evil for it has good in it for you. Whoso took any part in this, he earned his share of the sin accordingly, and the one, who had the greatest share of responsibility in it, shall have a terrible punishment.
Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against ‘Aishah, the wife of the Prophet SAW) are a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment.
Lo! they who spread the slander are a gang among you. Deem it not a bad thing for you; nay, it is good for you. Unto every man of them (will be paid) that which he hath earned of the sin; and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be an awful doom.
Surely the ones who came with the falsehood are a band of you; do not reckon it evil for you; no indeed, it is charitable for you. Every person of them will have whatever vice he earned (charged) to him; and whoever of them took upon himself the greater part of it, he will have a tremendous torment.
It was a group from among you that concocted the lie––do not consider it a bad thing for you [people]; it was a good thing––and every one of them will be charged with the sin he has earned. He who took the greatest part in it will have a painful punishment.
Quran 24 Verse 11 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nur ayat 11, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(24:11) Surely those who invented this calumny are a band from among you. Do not deem this incident an evil for you; nay, it is good for you. Every one of them has accumulated sin in proportion to his share in this guilt; and he who has the greater part of it shall suffer a mighty chastisement.
8. This is an allusion to the slander against Aishah. Allah has Himself described it as ifk (false accusation, calumny) which implies its total refutation. From here begins the mention of the incident which provided the occasion of this Surah’s revelation. We have reproduced the initial part of it in the introduction as related by Aishah herself; the rest of it is reproduced below. She says:
Rumours about this slander went on spreading in the city for about a month, which caused great distress and anguish to the Prophet (peace be upon him). I cried due to helplessness and my parents were sick with mental agony. At last one day the Prophet (peace be upon him) visited us and he sat near me, which he had not done since the slander had started. Feeling that something decisive was going to happen that day, Abu Bakr and Umm Ruman (Aishah’s mother) also sat near us. The Prophet (peace be upon him) started the conversation, saying: Aishah, I have heard this and this about you: if you are innocent, I expect that Allah will declare your innocence. But it you you have committed a sin, you should offer repentance and ask for Allah’s forgiveness; when a servant (of Allah) confesses his guilt and repents, Allah forgives him. Hearing these words, tears dried in my eyes. I looked up to my father expecting that he would reply to the Prophet (peace be upon him), but he said: Daughter, I do not know what I should say. Then I turned to my mother, but she also did not know what to say. At last I said: You have all heard something about me and believed it. Now if I say that I am innocent and Allah is my witness that I am innocent, you will not believe me; and if I confess something which I never did and Allah knows that I never did it, you will believe me. At that time I tried to call to memory the name of Prophet Jacob but could not recall it. Therefore in view of the predicament that I was placed in, I said: I cannot but repeat the words which the father of Prophet Joseph had spoken: fasabrun jamil: I will bear this patiently with good grace. (Surah Yousuf, Ayat 83). Saying this I lay down and turned to the other side. I was thinking that Allah was aware of my innocence, and He would certainly reveal the truth, but I could never imagine that divine revelation would come down in my defense, which the people will read and recite till the Last Day. What I thought probable was that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would see a dream in which Allah would indicate my innocence. But in the meantime suddenly, the state of receiving revelation appeared on the Prophet (peace be upon him), when pearl-like drops of perspiration used to gather on his face even in severe winter. We all held our breath and sat silent. As for me I was fearless, but my parents seemed to be struck with fear; they did not know what the divine revelation would be. When the revelation was over, the Prophet (peace be upon him) seemed to be very pleased. Over-joyed with happiness the first words he spoke were: Congratulations, Aishah, Allah has sent down proof of your innocence and then he recited these ten (verses 11-21). At this my mother said to me: Get up and thank the Prophet (peace be upon him). I said: I shall neither thank him nor you two, but thank Allah Who has sent down my absolution. You did not even so much as contradict the charge against me. (This is not the translation of any one tradition, but the substance of many traditions which are found in the books of Hadith in connection with the incident of the slander against Hadrat Aishah).
One subtle point to be understood here is that before mentioning the absolution of Aishah, a full section of verses has been devoted to the commandments pertaining to zina, qazf and lian by which Allah means to admonish that zina is not a slight matter which may be used as a means of entertaining the people in a gathering. It is very serious. If the accuser is right in his accusation he should produce witnesses, and get a most horrible punishment inflicted upon the adulterer and the adulteress. If the accuser is false, he deserves to be given 80 stripes, so that nobody may dare to bring a false charge against the other person. And if the accuser is a husband, he will have to exercise lian in a court of law to settle the matter. So, none who utters such an accusation will have peace. The Islamic society which has been brought about for the purpose of establishing goodness and piety in the world can neither tolerate zina as a means of entertainment nor endure loose talk about it as a diversion and amusement.
9. Only a few persons have been mentioned in traditions, who were spreading the rumours. They were: Abdullah bin Ubayy, Zaid bin Rifaah (who was probably the son of Rifaah bin Zaid, the Jewish hypocrite), Mistah bin Uthathah, Hassan bin Thabit, and Hamnah bint Jahsh. The first two of these were hypocrites, and the other three Muslims, who had been involved in the mischief due to misunderstanding and weakness. Names of the other people who were more or less involved in the mischief have not been mentioned in the books of Hadith and life of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
10. That is, you should not lose heart. Though the hypocrites, according to their own presumptions, have made the worst attack on you, it will eventually bring misfortune on them, and will prove to be a blessing in disguise for you.
As mentioned in the introduction above, the hypocrites had planned to inflict a defeat on the Muslims on the moral front, which was their real field of superiority and responsible for their victory on every other front against the opponents. But Allah turned this mischief into a means of strength for the Muslims. On this occasion, the conduct and attitude adopted by the Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr and his family, and the Muslims at large proved beyond any doubt that they were the purest people morally, tolerant and just in nature, noble and forbearing in character. If the Prophet (peace be upon him) had wished he could have gotten the people responsible for the attack on his honor beheaded immediately. But he bore everything with patience for a whole month. And when divine injunction came down from Allah, he enforced the punishment for qazf only on those three Muslims whose guilt was established, and even spared the hypocrites. Abu Bakr’s own relative, whose whole family he had been supporting all along, continued heaping disgrace on him publicly, but that noble man neither severed his family relations with him nor stopped monetary help to him and his family. None of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) took the least part in the slander nor even expressed the slightest approval of it. So much so that Zainab (a wife of the Prophet), for whose sake her real sister, Hamnah bint Jahsh, was taking part in the slander, did not utter anything about her rival (Aishah) except good words. According to Aishah herself: Zainab, among the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him), was my strongest rival, but when in connection with the incident of the slander, the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked her opinion of me, she said: O Messenger of Allah, I swear by God that I have perceived nothing in her except piety. Aishah’s own nobility of character can be judged by this that though Hassan bin Thabit had played a prominent role in the campaign of slander against her, she continued to treat him with due honour and esteem. When the people reminded her that he was the man who had slandered her, she retorted: No, he it was who used to rebut the anti-Islamic poets on behalf of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Islam. Such was the conduct and attitude of those people who were directly affected by the slander. As for the other Muslims, their attitude can be judged from one instance. When Abu Ayyub Ansari’s wife mentioned before him the rumours of the slander, he said: Mother of Ayyub, if you had been there in place of Aishah, would you have done that? She replied: By God, I would never have done it. Ayyub then said: Well, Aishah is a much better woman than you. As for myself, if I had been in place of Safwan, I coul
11. Verily, those who brought forth the slander are a group among you. Consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment.
The next ten Ayat were all revealed concerning `A’ishah, the mother of the believers, may Allah be pleased with her, when the people of slander and falsehood among the hypocrites made their accusations against her and spread lies about her. Allah became jealous on her behalf and on behalf of His Prophet , and revealed her innocence to protect the honor of the Messenger of Allah . He said:
(Verily, those who brought forth the slander are a group among you.) meaning they were not one or two, but a group. Foremost among this group was `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, the leader of the hypocrites, who fabricated the lie and whispered it to others, until some of the Muslims started to believe it, and others thought it might be possible and began to talk about it. This is how matters remained for almost a month, until Qur’an was revealed. This is reported in Sahih Hadiths. Imam Ahmad recorded that Az-Zuhri said: Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, `Alqamah bin Waqqas and `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Utbah bin Mas`ud told me about the story of `A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet , when the people of the slander said what they said about her, and Allah declared her innocence. Each of them told something about the story, and some of them knew more details than others or had memorized more than others. I learned the story from each of them, who had heard it from `A’ishah herself, and what one told me confirmed what the others said. They mentioned that `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, the wife of the Prophet , said: “When the Messenger of Allah wanted to go on a journey, he would cast lots among his wives, and the one whose lot was drawn would go with him.” `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “So he drew lots among us with regard to a campaign he was going out on, and mine was drawn, so I went out with the Messenger of Allah . This was after the commandment of Hijab had been revealed, so I traveled in my howdah and stayed in it when we camped. We traveled until the Messenger of Allah completed his campaign, then we returned. As we were approaching Al-Madinah, we paused for a while, then they announced that the journey was to be resumed. When I heard this, I walked quickly away from the army to answer the call of nature, then I came back to my howdah. Then I put my hand to my chest and noticed that a necklace of mine that was made of onyx and cornelian had broken, so I went back and looked for it, and was delayed because of that. In the meantime, the people who used to lift my howdah onto my camel came along and put it on the camel, thinking that I was inside. In those times women were more slender and not so heavy, they only ate mouthfuls of food. So the people did not think anything of the howdah being so light when they lifted it up, as I was a young woman. They set off, and I found my necklace after the army had moved on. Then I came back to the place where we had stopped, and I saw no one to call or answer. So I went to the place where I had been, thinking that the people would miss me and come back for me. While I was sitting there, I fell asleep. tSafwan bin Al-Mu`attal As-Sulami Adh-Dhakwani had rested during the night behind the army. Then he set out just before daybreak and reached the place where I was in the morning, where he saw the outline of a person sleeping. He came to me and recognized me when he saw me, as he had seen me before Hijab was made obligatory for me. When he saw me and said `Truly, to Allah we belong, and truly, to Him we shall return,’ I woke up, and covered my face with my Jilbab (outer garment). By Allah, he did not speak a word to me and I did not hear him say anything except `Truly, to Allah we belong, and truly, to Him we shall return,’ until he brought his camel and made it kneel so that I could ride upon it, then he set out leading the camel until we caught up with the army at Zuhr time.
There are people who are doomed because of what happened to me, and the one who had the greater share therein was `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul. When we came back to Al-Madinah, I was ill for a month, and the people were talking about what the people of the slander were saying, and I knew nothing about it. What upset me when I was ill was that I did not see the kindness I used to see on the part of the Messenger of Allah . When I was ill; he would just come in and say,
(How is that (lady)) That is what upset me. I did not feel that there was anything wrong until I went out after I felt better, and Umm Mistah went out with me, walking towards Al-Manasi`, which is where we used to go to relieve ourselves, and we would not go out for that purpose except at night. This was before we had lavatories close to our houses; our habit was similar to that of the early Arabs in that we went out into the deserts to relieve ourselves, because we considered it troublesome and harmful to have lavatories in our houses. So I went out with Umm Mistah, who was the daughter of Abu Ruhm bin Al-Muttalib bin `Abd Manaf, and her mother was the daughter of Sakhr bin `Amir, the paternal aunt of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq. Her son was Mistah bin Uthathah bin `Abbad bin Al-Muttalib. When we finished what we had to do, the daughter of Abu Ruhm Umm Mistah and I came back towards my house. Umm Mistah stumbled over her apron and said, `May Mistah be ruined!’ I said to her, `What a bad thing you have said! Are you abusing a man who was present at Badr’ She said, `Good grief, have you not heard what he said’ I said, `What did he say’ So she told me what the people of the slander were saying, which made me even more ill. When I returned home, the Messenger of Allah came in to me and greeted me, then he said,
(How is that (lady)) I said to him, `Will you give me permission to go to my parents’ At that time I wanted to confirm the news by hearing it from them. The Messenger of Allah gave me permission, so I went to my parents and asked my mother, `O my mother, what are the people talking about’ My mother said, `Calm down, for by Allah, there is no beautiful woman who is loved by her husband and has co-wives but those co-wives would find fault with her.’ I said, `Subhan Allah! Are the people really talking about that’ I wept throughout the whole night until morning. My tears never ceased and I did not sleep at all, and morning came while I was still weeping. Because the revelation had ceased, the Messenger of Allah called `Ali bin Abi Talib and Usamah bin Zayd, and consulted with them about divorcing his wife. As for Usamah bin Zayd, he told the Messenger of Allah about what he knew of his wife’s innocence and his fondness for her. He said, `O Messenger of Allah, she is your wife, and we do not know anything about her but good.’ But `Ali bin Abi Talib said, `O Messenger of Allah, Allah has not imposed restrictions on you, and there are plenty of other women besides her. If you ask her servant girl, she will tell you the truth.’ So the Messenger of Allah called Barirah and said,
(O Barirah, have you ever seen anything that might make you suspicious about `A’ishah) Barirah said to him, `By the One Who sent you with the truth, I have never seen anything for which I could blame her, apart from the fact that she is a young girl who sometimes falls asleep and leaves her family’s dough unprotected so that the domestic goats come and eat it.’ So then the Messenger of Allah got up and (addressed the people) and asked who could sort out `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul for him. While he was standing on the Minbar, the Messenger of Allah said,
(O Muslims, who will help me against a man who has hurt me by slandering my family By Allah, I know nothing about my family but good, and the people are blaming a man of whom I know nothing except good, and he has never entered upon my family except with me.) Sa`d bin Mu`adh Al-Ansari stood up and said, `O Messenger of Allah, by Allah I will deal with him for you. If he is from (the tribe of) Al-Aws, then I will cut off his head, and if he is from our brothers of (the tribe of) Al-Khazraj, tell us what to do and we will do it.’ Then Sa`d bin `Ubadah stood up. He was the leader of Al-Khazraj, and he was a righteous man, but he was overwhelmed with tribal chauvinism. He said to Sa`d bin Mu`adh, `By Allah, you will not kill him and you will never be able to kill him.’ Then Usayd bin Hudayr, who was the cousin of Sa`d bin Mu`adh, stood up and said to Sa`d bin `Ubadah, `You are lying! By Allah, we will kill him, and you are a hypocrite arguing on behalf of the hypocrites!’ Then the two groups, Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, started to get angry and were about to come to blows, with the Messenger of Allah standing there on the Minbar, trying to calm them down until they became quiet, then the Messenger of Allah also fell silent. On that day I kept on weeping so much, my tears never ceased and I did not sleep at all. My parents thought that my liver would burst from all that weeping. While they were sitting with me and I was weeping, a woman of the Ansar asked for permission to see me. I let her in, and she sat and wept with me. While we were in that state, the Messenger of Allah came in, greeted us and sat down. He had never sat with me since the rumors began, and a month had passed by without any revelation coming to him concerning my case. The Messenger of Allah recited the Tashahhud when he sat down, then he said,
(Thereafter, O `A’ishah, I have been told such and such a thing about you, and if you are innocent, then Allah will reveal your innocence, but if you have committed a sin, then seek Allah’s forgiveness and turn in repentance to Him, for when a servant confesses his sin and repents to Allah, He accepts his repentance.) When the Messenger of Allah finished what he had to say, my tears stopped completely and I not longer felt even one drop. Then I said to my father, `Answer the Messenger of Allah on my behalf.’ He said, `I do not know what I should say to the Messenger of Allah.’ So I said to my mother, `Answer the Messenger of Allah on my behalf.’ She said, `I do not know what I should say to the Messenger of Allah.’ So even though I was just a young girl who had not memorized much of the Qur’an, I said: `By Allah, I know that you have heard so much of this story that it has become planted in your minds and you believe it. So now if I tell you that I am innocent — and Allah knows that I am innocent — you will not believe me; but if I admit something to you — and Allah knows that I am innocent — you will believe me. By Allah, I cannot find any example to give you except for that which the Prophet Yusuf’s father said,
(So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allah Whose help can be sought against that (lie) which you describe) ﴿12:18﴾. Then I turned my face away and lay down on my bed. By Allah, at that point I knew I was innocent and that Allah would prove my innocence because I was innocent, but by Allah, I did not think that Allah would reveal Qur’an that would be forever recited concerning my situation, because I thought of myself as too insignificant for Allah to reveal anything concerning me. But I hoped that the Messenger of Allah would see a dream in which Allah would prove my innocence. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah did not move from where he was sitting and no one left the house before Allah sent down revelation to His Prophet , and he was overtaken by the state that always overtook him when the revelation came upon him, until drops of sweat like pearls would run down him, even on a winter’s day; this was because of the heaviness of the words which were being revealed to him. When that state passed — and the Messenger of Allah was smiling — the first thing he said was,
(Be glad O `A’ishah, Allah has declared your innocence.) My mother said to me, `Get up and go to him.’ I said, `By Allah, I will not go to him and I will not give praise to anyone except Allah, may He be glorified, for He is the One Who has proven my innocence.’ So Allah revealed:
(Verily, those who brought forth the slander are a group among you.), until the ten Ayat. Allah revealed these Ayat concerning my innocence. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, who used to spend on Mistah bin Uthathah because he was a close relative and because he was poor, said, `By Allah, I will never spend anything on him again after what he has said about `A’ishah. ‘ Then Allah revealed,
(And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give to their kinsmen.) until His saying:
(Do you not love that Allah should forgive you And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful) ﴿24:22﴾. So Abu Bakr said, `By Allah, certainly I love that Allah should forgive me.’ So he resumed spending on Mistah as he had spent on him before, and he said, `By Allah, I shall never stop spending on him.’ The Messenger of Allah asked Zaynab bint Jahsh about my situation, and said,
(O Zaynab, what do you know and what have you seen) She said, `O Messenger of Allah, may Allah protect my hearing and my sight. By Allah, I know nothing but good.’ She is the one who used to compete with me among the wives of the Prophet , but Allah protected her (from telling lies) because of her piety. But her sister Hamnah bint Jahsh kept on fighting on her behalf, so she was doomed along with those who were doomed.” Ibn Shihab said, “This is as much as we know about this group of people.” It was also by Al-Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihs from the Hadith of Az-Zuhri, and by Ibn Ishaq also from Az-Zuhri. He also said: “Yahya bin `Abbad bin `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr told me from his father, from `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, and `Abdullah bin Abi Bakr bin Muhammad bin `Amr bin Hazm Al-Ansari told me from `Amrah, from `A’ishah, (a report) similar to that quoted above. And Allah knows best. Allah’s saying:
(Verily, those who brought forth the slander) means, the lies, falsehood and fabrications.
(are a group) means, a gang among you.
(Consider it not a bad thing for you.) O family of Abu Bakr,
(Nay, it is good for you.) means, in this world and the Hereafter, honorable mention in this world and raised status in the Hereafter. Allah demonstrated the esteem with which He regarded the family of Abu Bakr when He defended `A’ishah the Mother of the believers, may Allah be pleased with her, by revealing her innocence in the Qur’an,
(Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it. ..) ﴿41:42﴾. Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, entered upon her when she was dying, he said to her, “Rejoice, for you are the wife of the Messenger of Allah and he used to love you; he did not marry any virgin other than you, and your innocence was revealed from heaven.”
(Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin,) means, each of those who spoke about this matter and accused the Mother of the believers `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, of any immoral action, will have a great share of punishment.
(and as for him among them who had the greater share therein,) It was said that this referred to the one who initiated the rumors, or that it was the one who collected rumors and spread them among the people.
(his will be a great torment.) means, for that. He was `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, may Allah disfigure him and curse him.
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