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ARBNDEENIDTRUR
وَإِذَا
And when
قِيلَ
it is said
لَهُمْ
to them,
لَا
"(Do) not
تُفْسِدُوا۟
spread corruption
فِى
in
ٱلْأَرْضِ
the earth,"
قَالُوٓا۟
they say,
إِنَّمَا
"Only
نَحْنُ
we
مُصْلِحُونَ
(are) reformers."

Wa izaa qeela lahum laa tufsidoo fil ardi qaalo innamaa nahnu muslihoon

Sahih International:

And when it is said to them, "Do not cause corruption on the earth," they say, "We are but reformers."

Ahmed Ali

When asked to desist from spreading corruption in the land they say: "Why, we are reformers."

Ahmed Raza Khan

And when it is said to them, “Do not cause turmoil in the earth”, they say, “We are only peacemakers!”

Ali Ünal

(Because of the disorder they intend to provoke with their lies), whenever they are told (as part of the duty enjoined upon the believers to promote good and forbid evil), "Do not cause disorder and corruption on earth," they say: "Why! We indeed are the ones who set things right."

Amatul Rahman Omar

When it is said to them, `Do not disturb the peace of the land (by hypocritical tactics),´ they say, `We are simply setting things right (and so helping the cause of peace).´

A. J. Arberry

When it is said to them, 'Do not corruption in the land', they say, 'We are only ones that put things right.'

Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And when it said unto them: act not corruptly on the earth, they say: we are but reconcilers.

Faridul Haque

And when it is said to them, “Do not cause turmoil in the earth”, they say, “We are only peacemakers!”

Hamid S. Aziz

And when it is said to them, "Do not evil in the earth," they say, "We do only what is right"

Hilali & Khan

And when it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "We are only peacemakers."

Talal Itani

And when it is said to them, “Do not make trouble on earth,” they say, “We are only reformers.”

English Literal

And if (it was) said to them: "Do not corrupt in the earth/Planet Earth." They said: "But we are correcting/repairing ."

Abul Ala Maududi

Whenever it is said to them, "Spread not disorder on the earth", their reply is, "We only seek to put things aright".

Maulana Mohammad Ali

And when it is said to them, Make not mischief in the land, they say: We are but peacemakers.

Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And when it is said to them: "Do not make mischief on the earth," they say: "We are only peacemakers."

Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only.

Ali Quli Qarai

When they are told, ‘Do not cause corruption on the earth,’ they say, ‘We are only reformers!’

Qaribullah & Darwish

When it is said to them, 'Do not corrupt in the land,' they reply, 'We are only reformers.'

Muhammad Sarwar

When they are told not to commit corruption in the land, they reply, "We are only reformers".

Mohammad Habib Shakir

And when it is said to them, Do not make mischief in the land, they say: We are but peace-makers.

Wahiduddin Khan

When they are told, "Do not cause corruption in the land," they say, "We are only promoters of peace,"

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

When it is said to them; "Make not mischief on the earth," they say; "Why, we only Want to make peace!"

Tafsir jalalayn

When it is said to them, that is, these latter, `Do not spread corruption in the land', through unbelief and hindering [people from] faith, They say, `We are only putting things right', that is, `we are not engaging in corruption'. God, exalted be He, refutes them, saying;

Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Meaning of Mischief

Allah said,

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُواْ فِي الَارْضِ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ



And when it is said to them;"Do not make mischief on the earth," they say;"We are only peacemakers."

In his Tafsir, As-Suddi said that Ibn Abbas and Ibn Mas`ud commented,

"They are the hypocrites.

As for,
لَا تُفْسِدُواْ فِي الَارْضِ
("Do not make mischief on the earth"), that is disbelief and acts of disobedience."

Abu Jafar said that Ar-Rabi bin Anas said that Abu Al-Aliyah said that Allah's statement,
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُواْ فِي الَارْضِ
(And when it is said to them;"Do not make mischief on the earth"),

means, "Do not commit acts of disobedience on the earth. Their mischief is disobeying Allah, because whoever disobeys Allah on the earth, or commands that Allah be disobeyed, he has committed mischief on the earth. Peace on both the earth and in the heavens is ensured (and earned) through obedience (to Allah)."

Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Qatadah said similarly.
Types of Mischief that the Hypocrites commit

Ibn Jarir said,

"The hypocrites commit mischief on earth;

by disobeying their Lord on it and continuing in the prohibited acts.

They also abandon what Allah made obligatory and doubt His religion, even though He does not accept a deed from anyone except with faith in His religion and certainty of its truth.

The hypocrites also lie to the believers by saying contrary to the doubt and hesitation their hearts harbor.

They give as much aid as they can, against Allah's loyal friends, and support those who deny Allah, His Books and His Messengers.

This is how the hypocrites commit mischief on earth, while thinking that they are doing righteous work on earth."

The statement by Ibn Jarir is true; taking the disbelievers as friends is one of the categories of mischief on the earth.

Allah said,

وَالَّذينَ كَفَرُواْ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَأءُ بَعْضٍ إِلاَّ تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ

And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, if you do not do this (help each other), there will be turmoil and oppression on the earth, and great mischief. (8;73),

In this way Allah severed the loyalty between the believers and the disbelievers.

Similarly, Allah said,

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَتَّخِذُواْ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَأءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُوْمِنِينَ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُواْ للَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَاناً مُّبِيناً

O you who believe! Do not take disbelievers as Awliya (protectors or helpers or friends) instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves. (4;144)

Allah then said,

إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِى الدَّرْكِ الاٌّسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيراً


Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth of the Fire; no helper will you find for them. (4;145)

Since the outward appearance of the hypocrite displays belief, he confuses the true believers. Hence, the deceitful behavior of the hypocrites is an act of mischief, because they deceive the believers by claiming what they do not believe in, and because they give support and loyalty to the disbelievers against the believers.

If the hypocrite remains a disbeliever (rather than pretending to be Muslim), the evil that results from him would be less. Even better, if the hypocrite becomes sincere with Allah and makes the statements that he utters conform to his deeds, he will gain success.

Allah said,

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُواْ فِي الَارْضِ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ


And when it is said to them;"Do not make mischief on the earth," they say;"We are only peacemakers."

meaning, "We seek to be friends with both parties, the believers and the disbelievers, and to have peace with both parties."

Similarly, Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement,

means, "We seek to make amends between the believers and the People of the Book."

Allah said,

أَلا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـكِن لاَّ يَشْعُرُونَ