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walā
وَلَا
And (do) not
tujādilū
تُجَٰدِلُوٓا۟
argue
ahla
أَهْلَ
(with the) People of the Book
l-kitābi
ٱلْكِتَٰبِ
(with the) People of the Book
illā
إِلَّا
except
bi-allatī
بِٱلَّتِى
by which
hiya
هِىَ
[it]
aḥsanu
أَحْسَنُ
(is) best,
illā
إِلَّا
except
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
those who
ẓalamū
ظَلَمُوا۟
(do) wrong
min'hum
مِنْهُمْۖ
among them,
waqūlū
وَقُولُوٓا۟
and say,
āmannā
ءَامَنَّا
"We believe
bi-alladhī
بِٱلَّذِىٓ
in that (which)
unzila
أُنزِلَ
has been revealed
ilaynā
إِلَيْنَا
to us
wa-unzila
وَأُنزِلَ
and was revealed
ilaykum
إِلَيْكُمْ
to you.
wa-ilāhunā
وَإِلَٰهُنَا
And our God
wa-ilāhukum
وَإِلَٰهُكُمْ
and your God
wāḥidun
وَٰحِدٌ
(is) One,
wanaḥnu
وَنَحْنُ
and we
lahu
لَهُۥ
to Him
mus'limūna
مُسْلِمُونَ
submit."

Wa laa tujaadilooo Ahlal Kitaabi illaa billatee hiya ahsanu illal lazeena zalamoo minhum wa qoolooo aamannaa billazeee unzila ilainaa wa unzila ilaikum wa illaahunna wa illahukum waahidunw-wa nahnu lahoo muslimoon

Sahih International:

And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."

1 A. J. Arberry

Dispute not with the People of the Book save in the fairer manner, except for those of them that do wrong; and say, 'We believe in what has been sent down to us, and what has been sent down to you; our God and your God is One, and to Him we have surrendered.'

2 Abdul Haleem

[Believers], argue only in the best way with the People of the Book, except with those of them who act unjustly. Say, ‘We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you; our God and your God are one [and the same]; we are devoted to Him.’

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And dispute not with the people of the Book unless in the best manner, save with those of them who do wrong; and say: we believe in that which hath been sent down unto us and that which hath been sent down unto you: our God and your God is One; and unto Him we are submissive.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury); but say, "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)."

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Argue not with the People of the Book except in the fairest manner, unless it be those of them that are utterly unjust. Say to them: “We believe in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to you. One is our God and your God; and we are those who submit ourselves to Him.”

6 Ahmed Ali

Do not argue with the people of the Book unless in a fair way, apart from those who act wrongly, and say to them: "We believe what has been sent down to us, and we believe what has been sent down to you. Our God and your God is one, and to Him we submit."

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And O Muslims, do not argue with the People given the Book(s) except in the best manner – except (with) those among them who oppress, and say, “We believe in what has been sent down towards us and what has been sent towards you – and ours and your God is One, and we have submitted ourselves to Him.”

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Do not argue with the People of the Book except in a manner which is best, except such of them as are wrongdoers, and say, ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us and in what has been sent down to you; our God and your God is one [and the same], and to Him do we submit.’

9 Ali Ünal

Do not argue with those who were given the Book save in the best way, unless it be those of them who are given to wrongdoing (and therefore not accessible to courteous argument). Say (to them): "We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you, and your God and our God is one and the same. We are Muslims wholly submitted to Him."

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

(Believers!) observe all the propriety when you argue with the people of the Scripture; but those who are bent upon behaving unjustly among them do not agree to these principles (so deal with them accordingly). And say (to them), `We believe in all that is revealed to us and in that which has been revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him we stand resigned.´

11 English Literal

And do not argue/dispute with The Book`s people except with which it is best , except those who were unjust/oppressive from them, and say: "We believed with what was descended on (to) us, and was descended to you, and our God, and your God (is) one, and we are to Him Moslems/submitters ."

12 Faridul Haque

And O Muslims, do not argue with the People given the Book(s) except in the best manner – except (with) those among them who oppress, and say, “We believe in what has been sent down towards us and what has been sent towards you – and ours and your God is One, and we have submitted ourselves to Him.”

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Recite what has been inspired in you of the Book; and establish worship. Verily, worship preserves from shameful deeds and iniquity, but surely the remembrance (or mention) of Allah is more important; and Allah knows what you do.

14 Hilali & Khan

And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to Islamic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong, and say (to them): "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our Ilah (God) and your Ilah (God) is One (i.e. Allah), and to Him we have submitted (as Muslims)."

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth. Surely there is a sign in this for the believers.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And do not dispute with the followers of the Book except by what is best, except those of them who act unjustly, and say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our Allah and your Allah is One, and to Him do we submit.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our Allah and your Allah is One, and unto Him we surrender.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Do not argue with the People of the Book except only by the best manner, except the unjust among them. Tell them, "We believe in what is revealed to us and to you. Our Lord and your Lord is one. We have submitted ourselves to His will".

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

And do not dispute with the People of the Book (Nazarenes) except in the best manner, except for those among them who do wrong and say (to them): 'We believe in that which was sent down to us and that which was sent down to you. Our God and your God is One, and to Him we have surrendered'

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And argue not with the People of the Scripture, except with that which is better -- except with such of them as do wrong; and say (to them): "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted."

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Believers, argue only in the best way with the People of the Book, [but contend not at all] with such of them as are unjust. Say, "We believe in what has been revealed to us, and what has been revealed to you; our God and your God are one; and to Him we submit."

22 Talal Itani

And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in the best manner possible, except those who do wrong among them. And say, “We believe in what was revealed to us, and in what was revealed to you; and our God and your God is One; and to Him we are submissive.”

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And do not dispute with the People of the Scripture unless it be with that -- in that manner of disputation, bettering the most virtuous way, such as calling [them] to God by [reference to] His signs and pointing out His arguments; except [in the case of] those of them who have done wrong, by waging war and refusing to accept [to pay] the jizya-tax; dispute with these using the sword, until such time as they submit or pay the jizya-tax; and say, to those who have accepted [the imposition upon them of] the jizya-tax, should they inform you of something stated in their Scriptures; `We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you -- and neither believe nor disbelieve them in that [which they tell you] -- our God and your God is one [and the same], and to Him we submit', [to Him] we are obedient.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Arguing with the People of the Book

Allah says;

وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ



And argue not with the People of the Scripture, except with that which is better --

What is meant here is that anyone who wants to find out about religion from them should argue with them in a manner that is better, as this will be more effective.

Allah says;

ادْعُ إِلِى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching... (16;125)

And Allah said to Musa and Harun when he sent them to Fir`awn;

فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلاً لَّيِّناً لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَى

And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear. (20;44)

Allah says here;

إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ

except with such of them as do wrong;

meaning, those who turn away from the truth, turning a blind eye to clear evidence, being stubborn and arrogant. In this case you should progress from debate to combat, fighting them in such a way as to deter them from committing aggression against you.

Allah says;

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ وَأَنزْلْنَا الْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌ شَدِيدٌ

Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance that mankind may keep up justice. And We brought forth iron wherein is mighty power... until;

إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ
Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty. (57;25)

Jabir said;

"We were commanded to strike with the sword whoever opposes the Book of Allah."

And His saying;

وَقُولُوا امَنَّا بِالَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَأُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ

and say (to them);"We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you;

means, `if they tell you something which you do not know to be true or false, say to them;We do not hasten to say it is a lie, because it may be true, and we do not hasten to say it is true because it may be false. We believe in it in general, under the condition that it has been revealed and has not been altered or deliberately misinterpreted.'

وَإِلَهُنَا وَإِلَهُكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ



our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted."

Imam Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said,

"The People of the Book used to read the Tawrah in Hebrew and explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. The Messenger of Allah said;

لَاا تُصَدِّقُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ وَلَاا تُكَذِّبُوهُمْ وَقُولُوا

امَنَّا بِاللهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَإِلَهُنَا وَإِلَهُكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُون

Do not believe the People of the Book and do not deny them. Say;

"We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to you. Our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted.""

This Hadith was narrated only by Al-Bukhari.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said;

"How can you ask the People of the Book about anything, when your Book that was revealed to the Messenger of Allah is more recent, you read it pure and uncontaminated, it tells you that the People of the Book altered and changed the Book, that they write the Book with their own hands and then say, `This is from Allah,' to purchase with it a small price.

Should not the knowledge that you have, prevent you from asking them?

No, by Allah, we have never seen any of them asking you about what was sent down to you."

Al-Bukhari recorded that Humayd bin Abdur-Rahman heard Mu`awiyah talking to a group of Quraysh in Al-Madinah. He mentioned Ka`b Al-Ahbar, and said;

"He was one of the most truthful of those who narrated from the People of the Book, even though we found that some of what he said might be lies."

I say, this means that some of what he said could be classified linguistically as lies, but he did not intend to lie, because he was narrating from manuscripts which he thought were good, but they contained fabricated material, because they did not have people who were so conscientious in memorizing the Scriptures by heart as the people of this great Ummah