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illā
إِلَّا
Except
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
those who
āmanū
ءَامَنُوا۟
believe
waʿamilū
وَعَمِلُوا۟
and do
l-ṣāliḥāti
ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ
righteous deeds
wadhakarū
وَذَكَرُوا۟
and remember
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
kathīran
كَثِيرًا
much,
wa-intaṣarū
وَٱنتَصَرُوا۟
and defend themselves
min
مِنۢ
after
baʿdi
بَعْدِ
after
مَا
after
ẓulimū
ظُلِمُوا۟ۗ
they were wronged.
wasayaʿlamu
وَسَيَعْلَمُ
And will come to know
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
those who
ẓalamū
ظَلَمُوٓا۟
have wronged
ayya
أَىَّ
(to) what
munqalabin
مُنقَلَبٍ
return
yanqalibūna
يَنقَلِبُونَ
they will return.

Illal lazeena aamanoo w a'amilus saalihaati wa zakarul laaha kaseeranw wantasaroo mim ba'di maa zulimoo; wa saya'lamul lazeena zalamooo aiya munqalbiny yanqaliboon

Sahih International:

Except those [poets] who believe and do righteous deeds and remember Allah often and defend [the Muslims] after they were wronged. And those who have wronged are going to know to what [kind of] return they will be returned.

1 A. J. Arberry

Save those that believe, and do righteous deeds, and remember God oft, and help themselves after being wronged; and those who do wrong shall surely know by what overturning they will he overturned.

2 Abdul Haleem

Not so those [poets] who believe, do good deeds, remember God often, and defend themselves after they have been wronged. The evildoers will find out what they will return to.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Save those who believed and worked righteous works and remembered Allah much, and vindicated themselves after they had been wronged. And anon those who do wrong shall come to know with what a translating they shall be translated.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Except those who believe, work righteousness, engage much in the remembrance of Allah, and defend themselves only after they are unjustly attacked. And soon will the unjust assailants know what vicissitudes their affairs will take!

5 Abul Ala Maududi

except those who believed and acted righteously and remembered Allah much, and when they themselves were subjected to wrong, they exacted retribution no more than to the extent of the wrong? Soon will the wrong-doers know the end that they shall reach.

6 Ahmed Ali

Except those who believe and do the right, and remember God a great deal, who retaliate only when they have been wronged. Yet the oppressors will now come to know through what reversals they will be overthrown!

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Except those who believed and did good deeds, and profusely remembered Allah, and took revenge after they had been wronged*; and soon the unjust will come to know upon which side they will be overturned**. (* The Muslim poets who praise Allah and the Prophet. ** The disbelievers will be punished.)

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Barring those who have faith, do righteous deeds, and remember Allah much often, and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. And the wrongdoers will soon know at what goal they will end up.

9 Ali Ünal

Except those who believe and do good, righteous deeds, and remember God much, and vindicate themselves when they have been wronged. The wrongdoers will come to know by what a (great) reverse they will be overturned.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Except those (poets) who believe and do deeds of righteousness and who mention the greatness of Allâh over and over again and who retaliate (and defend themselves) only after they are done injustice to. Behold! those who acted unjustly will soon know to what (a wretched) end they are heading for.

11 English Literal

Except those who believed and made/did the correct/righteous deeds and they remembered/mentioned God much, and they became victorious from after what they were caused injustice to/oppressed ; and those who caused injustice/oppressed will know which place of return , they return to.265

12 Faridul Haque

Except those who believed and did good deeds, and profusely remembered Allah, and took revenge after they had been wronged *; and soon the unjust will come to know upon which side they will be overturned **. (* The Muslim poets who praise Allah and the Prophet. ** The disbelievers will be punished.)

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And that they say that which they do not do?

14 Hilali & Khan

Except those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, and remember Allah much, and reply back (in poetry) to the unjust poetry (which the pagan poets utter against the Muslims). And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Seest thou not that they wander in every valley,

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Except those who believe and do good and remember Allah much, and defend themselves after they are oppressed; and they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Save those who believe and do good works, and remember Allah much, and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. Those who do wrong will come to know by what a (great) reverse they will be overturned!

18 Muhammad Sarwar

The righteously striving believers among them who remember God very often and use their talent to seek help after they have been wronged are the exceptional. The unjust will soon know how terrible their end will be.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Except those who believe, and do good works and remember Allah in abundance and became victorious after they had been wronged. The wrongdoers will surely know which turn they will be returning to (Hell).

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and remember Allah much and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Not so the true believers who do good works and remember God with fervour and defend themselves only after they are wronged. The wrongdoers will soon know how evil a turn their affairs will take.

22 Talal Itani

Except for those who believe, and do good deeds, and remember God frequently, and defend themselves after they are wronged. As for those who do wrong, they will know by what overturning they will be overturned.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Save those, poets, who believe and perform righteous deeds and remember God frequently, in other words, [those whom] poetry does not distract from the remembrance [of God], and vindicate themselves, by lampooning the disbelievers, after they have been wronged, by the disbelievers' reviling of them [as belonging] together with all believers -- such [individuals] are not reprehensible. God, exalted be He, says; God does not like the utterance of evil words out loud, unless a person has been wronged [Q. 4;148]; He, exalted be He, also says; so whoever commits aggression against you, commit aggression against him in the manner that he committed against you [Q. 2;194]; and those, poets and others, who are wrongdoers will soon know the reversal, the return, with which they will meet, [by which] they will return, after death. Meccan; it consists of 93, 94, or 95 verses revealed after srat al-Shu`ar'.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ امَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ

Except those who believe and do righteous deeds,

Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated from Yazid bin Abdullah bin Qusayt, that Abu Al-Hasan Salim Al-Barrad, the freed servant of Tamim Ad-Dari said;

"When the Ayah --
وَالشُّعَرَاء يَتَّبِعُهُمُ الْغَاوُونَ
(As for the poets, the erring ones follow them) was revealed, Hasan bin Thabit, Abdullah bin Rawahah and Ka`b bin Malik came to the Messenger of Allah, weeping, and said;

"Allah knew when He revealed this Ayah that we are poets."

The Prophet recited to them the Ayah,
إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ امَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ
(Except those who believe and do righteous deeds), and said;
أَنْتُم
(This means) you.

وَذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

and remember Allah much.

He said;
أَنْتُم
(This means) you.

وَانتَصَرُوا مِن بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُوا

and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged.

He said;
أَنْتُم
(This means) you.

This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir from the narration of Ibn Ishaq.

But this Surah was revealed in Makkah, so how could the reason for its revelation be the poets of the Ansar? This is something worth thinking about.

The reports that have been narrated about this are all Mursal and cannot be relied on. And Allah knows best.

But this exception could include the poets of the Ansar and others. It even includes those poets of the Jahiliyyah who indulged in condemning Islam and its followers, then repented and turned to Allah, and gave up what they used to do and started to do righteous deeds and remember Allah much, to make up for the bad things that they had previously said, for good deeds wipe out bad deeds. So they praised Islam and its followers in order to make up for their insults, as (the poet) Abdullah bin Az-Zab`ari said when he became Muslim;

"O Messenger of Allah, indeed my tongue will try to make up for things it said when I was bad -- When I went along with the Shaytan during the years of misguidance, and whoever inclines towards his way is in a state of loss."

Similarly, Abu Sufyan bin Al-Harith bin Abd Al-Muttalib was one of the most hostile people towards the Prophet, even though he was his cousin, and he was the one who used to mock him the most. But when he became Muslim, there was no one more beloved to him than the Messenger of Allah. He began to praise the Messenger of Allah where he had mocked him, and take him as a close friend where he had regarded him as an enemy.

وَانتَصَرُوا مِن بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُوا

and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged.

Ibn Abbas said,

"They responded in kind to the disbelievers who used to ridicule the believers in verse."

This was also the view of Mujahid, Qatadah and several others.

It was also recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said to Hasan;

اهْجُهُم

Ridicule them in verse.

Or he said;

هاجِهِمْ وَجِبْرِيلُ مَعَك

Ridicule them in verse, and Jibril is with you.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ka`b bin Malik said to the Prophet,

"Allah has revealed what He revealed about the poets. The Messenger of Allah said;

إِنَّ الْمُوْمِنَ يُجَاهِدُ بِسَيْفِهِ وَلِسَانِهِ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَكَأَنَّ مَا تَرْمُونَهُمْ بِهِ نَضْحُ النَّـبْل

The believer wages Jihad with his sword and with his tongue, By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, it is as if you are attacking them with arrows.

وَسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنقَلَبٍ يَنقَلِبُونَ



And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.

This is like the Ayah,

يَوْمَ لَا يَنفَعُ الظَّـلِمِينَ مَعْذِرَتُهُمْ

The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers. (40;52)

According to the Sahih, the Messenger of Allah said;

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالظُّلْمَ فَإِنَّ الظُّلْمَ ظُلُمَاتٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة


Beware of wrongdoing, for wrongdoing will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection.

Qatadah bin Di`amah said concerning the Ayah --
وَسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنقَلَبٍ يَنقَلِبُونَ
(And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned),

this refers to the poets and others.

This is the end of the Tafsir Surah Ash-Shu`ara'. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds