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Surah Nur Ayat 2 in Arabic Text

ٱلزَّانِيَةُ وَٱلزَّانِى فَٱجْلِدُوا۟ كُلَّ وَٰحِدٍۢ مِّنْهُمَا مِا۟ئَةَ جَلْدَةٍۢ ۖ وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌۭ فِى دِينِ ٱللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْـَٔاخِرِ ۖ وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَآئِفَةٌۭ مِّنَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Azzaaniyatu wazzaanee fajlidoo kulla waahidim minhumaa mi’ata jaldatinw wa laa taakhuzkum bihimaa raafatun fee deenil laahi in kuntum tu’minoona billaahi wal Yawmil Aakhiri wal yashhad ‘azaabahumaa taaa’ifatum minal mu’mineen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 2

Sahih International
The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.

Yusuf Ali
The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.

Abul Ala Maududi
The woman and the man guilty of fornication, flog each one of them with a hundred stripes – and let not any pity for them restrain you in regard to a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day, and let, some of the believers witness the punishment inflicted on them.

Muhsin Khan
The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. (This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime but if married persons commit it, the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah’s Law).

Pickthall
The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.

Dr. Ghali
The female fornicater and the male fornicator, (The Arabic Zaniyah and Zan refer to those who commit either fornication or adultery. By a comparison of this verse to other and to Hadîths., it is it is understood that this verse refers to fornicators, i.e., unmarried people committing illegal sexual intercourse) then lash each one of them a hundred lashes, and let not compassion for them (both) take (hold of) you in the religion of Allah, in case you believe in Allah and the Last Day; and let a section of the believers witness their (The torment of the two of them) torment.

Abdel Haleem
Strike the adulteress and the adulterer one hundred times. Do not let compassion for them keep you from carrying out God’s law––if you believe in God and the Last Day––and ensure that a group of believers witnesses the punishment.

Quran 24 Verse 2 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nur ayat 2, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(24:2) Those who fornicate – whether female or male – flog each one of them with a hundred lashes.[2] And let not tenderness for them deter you from what pertains to Allah’s religion, if you do truly believe in Allah and the Last Day[3]; and let a party of believers witness their punishment.[4]


2. There are various legal, moral and historical aspects of this problem which need explanation, for if these are not clarified in detail, the modern man will find it difficult to understand the divine law concerning it. Accordingly, we shall discuss the various aspects of the problem below.

(1) The common meaning of zina which everyone knows is sexual intercourse between a man and a woman without the legal relationship of husband and wife existing between them. There has been complete unanimity of view among all the social systems from the earliest times to this day that this act is morally wicked, religiously sinful and socially evil and objectionable, and there has been no dissenting voice except from those stray individuals who have subordinated their moral sense to their lust, or who in their misguided notions try to be original and philosophical in their approach. The universal unanimity of view in this respect is due to the fact that man by nature abhors zina. In fact, the future of human race and civilization depends on this that the relationship between the husband and wife should be built upon the basis of an enduring and everlasting bond of fidelity, which should not only be fully recognized in the social life but should also be guaranteed by the existing social structure. Without this the human race cannot survive. This is because the human child requires years of tender care and training for survival and development and a woman alone cannot bear the burden without the cooperation of the man who became the cause of the birth of the child. Similarly human civilization itself is the product of the corporate life of a man and a woman, their setting up a home, bringing up a family, and establishing mutual relationships and inter-connections between families. If men and women were to lose sight of this essential fact, that is, the establishment of a home and raising a family, and were to meet freely just for pleasure and lust, the entire structure of human society would crumble. In fact, the very foundations on which the structure of human civilization and culture has been built will topple down and the whole basis of the concept of a social life will disappear. It is for these reasons that free mixing of men and women, without any recognized and stable bonds of fidelity, is abhorrent to human nature, and it is for this reason that in every age zina has been considered as a moral evil and, in religious terminology, a grave sin. Accordingly, the social systems in every age recognized and adopted the institution of marriage and also adopted preventive measures against adultery or fornication. The forms of the measures adopted in this direction have, however, differed under different social, cultural and religious systems. This difference has been the result of the realization of the disastrous effects of adultery (or fornication) in varying degrees: some societies have considered it to be more heinous than others, and some have conceived it clearly and some others not so clearly and confused it with other problems.

(2) Though adultery (or fornication) has always been accepted as an evil, opinion has differed as to whether it is legally a punishable offense or not, and this is where Islam differs from other religions and systems of law. Social systems which have been akin to human nature have always considered illicit intercourse between man and woman a serious crime and prescribed severe punishments for it. But with the deterioration in moral standards, this morality grew weaker and weaker and the attitude towards this crime became more and more tolerant.

The first common lapse in this connection was caused by the invidious distinction between fornication and adultery. The former as such was taken as an ordinary offense while the latter only was held as a punishable crime.

Zina, as defined under various laws, means a sexual intercourse between a man (whether married or bachelor) and a woman, who is not the wife of anybody. This definition takes into account the position of the woman rather than of the man. If a woman is without a husband, the illicit intercourse with her amounts to fornication irrespective of the fact whether the man is married or not. The ancient laws of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria and India provided very light punishments for it, and the same were adopted by the Greeks and the Romans, which finally influenced the Jewish attitude. According to the Bible, only monetary compensation is payable for such an offense. The commandment on the subject is as follows:

And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. (Exod. 22: 16,17).

The same commandment is repeated in different words in Deuteronorny, which is as below.

If a man finds a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with, and they be found. Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver (about fifty-five rupees), and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her. (Deut. 22: 28, 29).

Under the Jewish law, if a priest’s daughter acts immorally, she is to be sentenced to burning and the man with whom she was alleged to have acted immorally was to suffer strangulation. (Everyman’s Talmud, pp. 319, 320).

To judge the extent to which this conception resembles that of the Hindus, it will be worthwhile to compare it with the laws of Manu. According to him: Anybody who commits illicit intercourse with an unmarried girl of his own caste with her consent does not deserve any punishment. If the father of the girl is willing, the man should compensate him and marry the girl. But if the girl happens to belong to a higher caste and the man belongs to a lower caste, the girl should be turned out from her parents’ house and the limbs of the man should be cut off. (Adhiai 8. Ashlok 365, 366). This punishment may be changed into burning him alive, if the girl happens to be a Brahman. (Ashlok 377).

Under all these laws, illicit intercourse with a married woman only was the real and major crime. The deciding factor for treating it as a crime was not the illicit relationship between the man and the woman but the likelihood of an awkward situation under which a child might have to be reared up by a man (the real husband of the woman), who was not its father. It was therefore not the act of zina itself but the danger of the mixing up of progenies and the problem of rearing up somebody else’s child at the expense of another and a possibility of its inheriting his property, that was the real basis of treating it as a crime and holding both the man and the woman as criminals. Under the Egyptian law, the man was to receive a severe beating with sticks and the nose of the woman was to be cut off. Similar punishments existed in Babylon, Assyria and Iran. According to the Hindus, the woman was to be thrown to the dogs to be torn apart and the man was to be put on a hot iron bed with fire all around him to burn him alive. At first the Greek and the Roman laws gave a man the right to kill his wife if he found her involved in adultery. He had also the option to demand monetary compensation. In the first century B.C. Augustus Caesar enacted that half the property of the man should be confiscated and he should be exiled. In case of the woman, half her dowry should be written off and one-third of her assets confiscated, and she should also be sent out to a distant part of the country. Constantine changed this law and imposed death penalty both for the man and for the woman. In the times of Leo and Marcian, this punishment was changed to imprisonment for life. Justinian further reduced the punishment and ordered that the woman should be flogged with stripes and sent to a monastery and the husband should be given the right to take her out within two years if he liked, otherwise she was to remain there for ever. Under the Jewish law, the orders for illicit intercourse with a m

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah An-Nur verse 2 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Nur ayat 1 which provides the complete commentary from verse 1 through 2.

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