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al-zāniyatu
ٱلزَّانِيَةُ
The fornicatress
wal-zānī
وَٱلزَّانِى
and the fornicator,
fa-ij'lidū
فَٱجْلِدُوا۟
[then] flog
kulla
كُلَّ
each
wāḥidin
وَٰحِدٍ
one
min'humā
مِّنْهُمَا
of them
mi-ata
مِا۟ئَةَ
(with) hundred
jaldatin
جَلْدَةٍۖ
lash(es).
walā
وَلَا
And (let) not
takhudh'kum
تَأْخُذْكُم
withhold you
bihimā
بِهِمَا
pity for them
rafatun
رَأْفَةٌ
pity for them
فِى
concerning
dīni
دِينِ
(the) religion of Allah,
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
(the) religion of Allah,
in
إِن
if
kuntum
كُنتُمْ
you
tu'minūna
تُؤْمِنُونَ
believe
bil-lahi
بِٱللَّهِ
in Allah
wal-yawmi
وَٱلْيَوْمِ
and the Day
l-ākhiri
ٱلْءَاخِرِۖ
the Last.
walyashhad
وَلْيَشْهَدْ
And let witness
ʿadhābahumā
عَذَابَهُمَا
their punishment
ṭāifatun
طَآئِفَةٌ
a group
mina
مِّنَ
of
l-mu'minīna
ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
the believers.

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

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.

1 A. J. Arberry

The fornicatress and the fornicator -- scourge each one of them a hundred stripes, and in the matter of God's religion let no tenderness for them seize you if you believe in God and the Last Day; and let a party of the believers witness their chastisement.

2 Abdul 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.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

The adulteress and the adulterer: scourge each one of the twain with a hundred stripes. And let not tenderness rake hold of you in regarad to the twain in the law of Allah, if ye have come to believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let witness this torment a band of the believers.

4 Abdullah 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.

5 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.

6 Ahmed Ali

The adulteress and adulterer should be flogged a hundred lashes each, and no pity for them should deter you from the law of God, if you believe in God and the Last Day; and the punishment should be witnessed by a body of believers.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

The adulteress and the adulterer – punish each one of them with a hundred lashes; and may you not have pity on them in the religion to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day; and a group of believers must witness their punishment.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

As for the fornicatress and the fornicator, strike each of them a hundred lashes, and let not pity for them overcome you in Allah’s law, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day, and let their punishment be witnessed by a group of the faithful.

9 Ali Ünal

The fornicatress and the fornicator – flog each of them with a hundred stripes; and do not let pity for them hold you back from carrying out God’s law, if you truly believe in God and the Last Day; and let a group of believers witness their punishment.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Strike the fornicatress and adulteress and the fornicator and adulterer on the body of each one of them a hundred times. (This is the extreme limit,) and let no feelings of pity for the two hold you from obedience to Allâh (in executing His judgment), if you believe in Allâh and the Last Day. And let a section of the believers be present (there at the time of the execution of) their punishment.

11 English Literal

The adulteress/fornicatress (F) and the adulterer/fornicator (M) , so whip/lash each one from them (B) one hundred whip(s)/lash(es), and mercy/compassion does not take you with them (B) in God`s religion/judgment , if you were believing by God and the day the last/Resurrection Day, and a group of people from the believers should witnessed their (B)`s torture.

12 Faridul Haque

The adulteress and the adulterer - punish each one of them with a hundred lashes; and may you not have pity on them in the religion to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day; and a group of believers must witness their punishment.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

This is a chapter which We have revealed and ordained. In it We have revealed manifest signs in order that you may take heed.

14 Hilali & 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).

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

(This is) a chapter which We have revealed and made obligatory and wherein We have revealed clear messages that you may be mindful.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

(As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William 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.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Flog the fornicatress and the fornicator with a hundred lashes each. Let there be no reluctance in enforcing the laws of God, if you have faith in God and the Day of Judgment. Let it take place in the presence of a group of believers.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

You shall lash the fornicatress and the fornicator each with a hundred lashes. In the religion of Allah, let no tenderness for them seize you if you believe in Allah and the Last Day; and let their punishment be witnessed by a party of believers.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

The Zaniyah and the Zani, 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.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Flog the adulteress and the adulterer, each one of them, with a hundred lashes. Let no pity for them cause you to disobey God, if you truly believe in God and the Last Day; and let their punishment be witnessed by a number of believers.

22 Talal Itani

The adulteress and the adulterer—whip each one of them a hundred lashes, and let no pity towards them overcome you regarding God’s Law, if you believe in God and the Last Day. And let a group of believers witness their punishment.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

As for the fornicatress and the fornicator, that is, of those not in wedlock -- because those [in wedlock] are stoned according to the Sunna (the al [in al-zniya, `the fornicatress', and al-zn, `the fornicator'] according to some mentioned [opinions] is a relative [particle]; the clause [al-zniyatu wa'l-zn] is a subject, and because of its similarity to a conditional, the f' has been inserted into the predicate, which is [the following, fa'jlid]); strike each of them a hundred lashes, [a hundred] strikes (one says jaladahu to mean daraba jildahu, `he struck him on the skin'). According to the Sunna, in addition to this [punishment] there is also banishment for a whole year. The slave, however, receives half of the mentioned [punishment]. And do not let any pity for them overcome you in God's religion, that is to say, in [the fulfilment of] His rulings, by disregarding any part of their prescribed punishment, if you believe in God and the Last Day, namely, the Day of Resurrection; in this [statement] there is an incitement to [abide by] what was [mentioned] before the conditional [above] and it also constitutes the response to the latter, or [at least is] an indication of the response to it. And let their punishment, the flogging, be witnessed by a group of the believers -- some say [that this should be a group of] three; some say four, as in the number of witnesses testifying to an act of fornication.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِيَةَ جَلْدَةٍ


The Zaniyah and the Zani, flog each of them with a hundred stripes.

This honorable Ayah contains the ruling on the law of retaliation for the person who commits illegal sex, and details of the punishment.

Such a person will either be unmarried, meaning that he has never been married, or he will be married, meaning that he has had intercourse within the bounds of a lawful marriage, and he is free, adult and of sound mind.

As for the virgin who is unwedded, the prescribed punishment is one hundred stripes, as stated in this Ayah.

In addition to this he is to be banished from his homeland for one year, as was recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah and Zayd bin Khalid Al-Juhani in the Hadith about the two Bedouins who came to the Messenger of Allah.

One of them said, "O Messenger of Allah, this son of mine was employed by this man, and committed Zina with his wife. I paid a ransom with him on behalf of my son one hundred sheep and a slave-girl, but when I asked the people of knowledge, they said that my son should be given one hundred stripes and banished for a year, and that this man's wife should be stoned to death."

The Messenger of Allah said;

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَااَقْضِيَنَّ بَيْنَكُمَا بِكِتَابِ اللهِ تَعَالى

الْوَلِيدَةُ وَالْغَنَمُ رَدٌّ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلى ابْنِكَ جَلْدُ مِايَةٍ وَتَغْرِيبُ عَامٍ

وَاغْدُ يَا أُنَيْسُ لِرَجُلٍ مِنْ أَسْلَمَ إِلَى امْرَأَةِ هذَا فَإِنِ اعْتَرَفَتْ فَارْجُمْهَا

By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, I will judge between you both according to the Book of Allah.

Take back the slave-girl and sheep, and your son is to be given one hundred stripes and banished for one year.

O Unays -- he said to a man from the tribe of Aslam -- go to this man's wife, and if she confesses, then stone her to death.

Unays went to her and she confessed, so he stoned her to death.

This indicates that if the person who is guilty of illegal sex is a virgin and unmarried, he should be banished in addition to being given one hundred stripes.

But if married, meaning he has had intercourse within the bounds of lawful marriage, and he is free, adult and of sound mind, then he should be stoned to death.

Imam Malik recorded that Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, stood up and praised and glorified Allah, then he said;

"O people! Allah sent Muhammad with the truth, and revealed to him the Book. One of the things that was revealed to him was the Ayah of stoning to death, which we have recited and understood. The Messenger of Allah carried out the punishment of stoning and after him we did so, but I am afraid that as time goes by, some will say that they did not find the Ayah of stoning in the Book of Allah, and they will go astray because they abandoned one of the obligations revealed by Allah. Stoning is something that is prescribed in the Book of Allah for the person -- man or woman -- who commits illegal sex, if he or she is married, if decisive evidence is produced, or if pregnancy results from that, or if they confess to it."

It was also recorded in the Two Sahihs in the lengthy Hadith of Malik, from which we have quoted briefly only the portion that is relevant to the current discussion.
Do not feel pity for Them when carrying out the Prescribed Punishment

Then Allah says;

وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ

Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah,

Meaning, with a ruling prescribed by Allah.

So the meaning of the Ayah is;

"Do not feel too sorry for them where the laws of Allah are established."

This does not mean that we should not naturally feel pity when carrying out the punishment. What is prohibited here is the kind of pity that may make the judge ignore the punishment altogether. This is what is not permitted for the judge.

Mujahid said,
وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ
(Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah),

"If the matter is taken to the ruling authority, the punishment has to be carried out and cannot be stopped."

This was also narrated from Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ata' bin Abi Rabah.

It was recorded in a Hadith;

تَعَافَوُا الْحُدُودَ فِيمَا بَيْنَكُمْ فَمَا بَلَغَنِي مِنْ حَدَ فَقَدْ وَجَبَ

Compromise with the matter of prescribed punishment mutually sorting it out among yourselves, for once a matter where the prescribed punishment is required reaches me, I am obliged to carry it out.

Allah's saying;

إِن كُنتُمْ تُوْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاْخِرِ

if you believe in Allah and the Last Day.

means, then do that, carry out the punishments on those who commit illegal sex, and strike them hard without causing any wound, so that he and others like him will be deterred by the terror of that.

In Al-Musnad, it was recorded that one of the Companions said,

"O Messenger of Allah, when I slaughter a sheep I feel pity for it."

He said,

وَلَكَ فِي ذلِكَ أَجْرٌ


You be rewarded for that.
Carry out the Prescribed Punishment in Public

Then Allah says;

وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَايِفَةٌ مِّنَ الْمُوْمِنِينَ



And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.

This is more humiliating for the people who are guilty of illegal sex, if they are flogged in front of the people. This is because it is more effective as a deterrent and it conveys the sense of scandal and rebuke.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said,
وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَايِفَةٌ مِّنَ الْمُوْمِنِينَ
(And let a party of the believers witness their punishment).

"Publicly."