Skip to main content
waliyaʿlama
وَلِيَعْلَمَ
And that He (might) make evident
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
those who
nāfaqū
نَافَقُوا۟ۚ
(are) hypocrites.
waqīla
وَقِيلَ
And it was said
lahum
لَهُمْ
to them,
taʿālaw
تَعَالَوْا۟
"Come,
qātilū
قَٰتِلُوا۟
fight
فِى
in
sabīli
سَبِيلِ
(the) way
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
(of) Allah
awi
أَوِ
or
id'faʿū
ٱدْفَعُوا۟ۖ
defend."
qālū
قَالُوا۟
They said,
law
لَوْ
"If
naʿlamu
نَعْلَمُ
we knew
qitālan
قِتَالًا
fighting
la-ittabaʿnākum
لَّٱتَّبَعْنَٰكُمْۗ
certainly we (would have) followed you."
hum
هُمْ
They -
lil'kuf'ri
لِلْكُفْرِ
to disbelief
yawma-idhin
يَوْمَئِذٍ
that day
aqrabu
أَقْرَبُ
(were) nearer
min'hum
مِنْهُمْ
than [them]
lil'īmāni
لِلْإِيمَٰنِۚ
to the faith,
yaqūlūna
يَقُولُونَ
saying
bi-afwāhihim
بِأَفْوَٰهِهِم
with their mouths
مَّا
what
laysa
لَيْسَ
was not
فِى
in
qulūbihim
قُلُوبِهِمْۗ
their hearts.
wal-lahu
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
aʿlamu
أَعْلَمُ
(is) Most Knowing
bimā
بِمَا
of what
yaktumūna
يَكْتُمُونَ
they conceal.

Wa liya'lamal lazeena naafaqoo; wa qeela lahum ta'aalaw qaatiloo fee sabeelil laahi awid fa'oo qaaloo law na'lamu qitaalallat taba'naakum; hum lilkufri yawma'izin aqrabu minhum lil eemaan; yaqooloona bi afwaahihim maa laisa fee quloobihim; wallaahu a'lamu bimaa yaktumoon

Sahih International:

And that He might make evident those who are hypocrites. For it was said to them, "Come, fight in the way of Allah or [at least] defend." They said, "If we had known [there would be] fighting, we would have followed you." They were nearer to disbelief that day than to faith, saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And Allah is most Knowing of what they conceal -

1 A. J. Arberry

and that He might also know the hypocrites when it was said of them, 'Come now, fight in the way of God, or repel!' They said, 'If only we knew how to fight, we would follow you.' They that day were nearer to unbelief than to belief, saying with their mouths that which never was in their hearts; and God knows very well the things they hide;

2 Abdul Haleem

when it was said to them, ‘Come, fight for God’s cause, or at least defend yourselves,’ answered, ‘We would follow you if we knew there was going to be fighting.’ On that day they were closer to disbelief than belief. They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts: God knows exactly what they conceal.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And that he might know those who played the hypocrite. And it was said unto them: come ye, fight in the way of Allah or defend. They said: if we knew it was to be a fair fight We would surely have followed you. Nearer were they on that day to infidelity than to belief. They say with their mouths that which is not in their hearts and Allah knoweth best that which they conceal.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

And the Hypocrites also. These were told; "Come, fight in the way of Allah, or (at least) drive (The foe from your city)." They said; "Had we known how to fight, we should certainly have followed you." They were that day nearer to Unbelief than to Faith, saying with their lips what was not in their hearts but Allah hath full knowledge of all they conceal.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

and those who are hypocrites. And when these hypocrites were asked: 'Come and fight in the wayof Allah', or (at least) 'defend yourselves', they answered: 'If we but knew that there would be fighting, we would certainly have followed. They were nearer then to infidelity than to faith. They utter from their mouths what is not in their hearts. Allah knows well what they conceal.

6 Ahmed Ali

And may distinguish the hypocrites who were told: "Fight in the way of God, or defend yourselves," and who had replied: "If we knew of the fight we would have followed you." They were nearer unbelief than faith on that day, and they said with their tongues what was not in their hearts; but God is aware of what they hide.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And in order to expose them who turned hypocrites; and it was said to them, “Come, fight in Allah's cause, or repel the enemy”; they answered, “If we knew how to fight, we would certainly have been with you”; and on that day they were nearer to open disbelief than to professed faith; they utter with their mouths what is not in their hearts; and Allah knows well what they hide. –

8 Ali Quli Qarai

and ascertain the hypocrites. [When] they were told: ‘Come, fight in the way of Allah, or defend [yourselves], they said, ‘If we knew any fighting, we would have surely followed you.’ That day they were nearer to unfaith than to faith. They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts, and Allah knows well whatever they conceal.

9 Ali Ünal

And that He might mark out those who acted in hypocrisy: when they were told, "Come and fight in God’s cause, or defend yourselves (actively, in order to keep the enemy outside the city)," they said: "If we but knew there would be fighting, we would indeed follow you." They that day were nearer to unbelief than to faith, uttering with their mouths what was not in their hearts. God knows very well what they were concealing.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And that He might distinguish those who practise hypocrisy. Indeed, it was said to them (- the hypocrites), `Come forward, fight in the cause of Allâh, or at least help the defences.´ They said, `If we but knew that it would be a fight we would surely follow you, (but the Muslims were going to a sure destruction).´ On that day, they were nearer to disbelief than to belief. They say with their mouths that which is not in their minds. And Allâh knows best all that they conceal.

11 English Literal

And to know those who exercised hypocrisy, and was said to them: "Come, fight in God`s sake or pay/push/repel." They said: "If we know a fight we would have followed you." They are to the disbelief that day nearer/closer, from them to the belief. They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts/minds ,and God (is) more knowing with what they hide/conceal .

12 Faridul Haque

And in order to expose them who turned hypocrites; and it was said to them, “Come, fight in Allah´s cause, or repel the enemy”; they answered, “If we knew how to fight, we would certainly have been with you”; and on that day they were nearer to open disbelief than to professed faith; they utter with their mouths what is not in their hearts; and Allah knows well what they hide. -

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Those who said of their brethren, whilst they themselves stayed at home, "Had they been guided by us they would not have been killed." Say (unto them), "Then repel from yourselves death, if you are truthful."

14 Hilali & Khan

And that He might test the hypocrites, it was said to them: "Come, fight in the Way of Allah or (at least) defend yourselves." They said: "Had we known that fighting will take place, we would certainly have followed you." They were that day, nearer to disbelief than to Faith, saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And Allah has full knowledge of what they conceal.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And that which befell you on the day when the two armies met was by Allah’s permission, that He might know the believers,

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And that He might know the hypocrites; and it was said to them: Come, fight in Allah's way, or defend yourselves. They said: If we knew fighting, we would certainly have followed you. They were on that day much nearer to unbelief than to belief. They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts, and Allah best knows what they conceal.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And that He might know the hypocrites, unto whom it was said: Come, fight in the way of Allah, or defend yourselves. They answered: If we knew aught of fighting we would follow you. On that day they were nearer disbelief than faith. They utter with their mouths a thing which is not in their hearts. Allah is Best Aware of what they hide.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

and who were the hypocrites. When the hypocrites were asked to fight for the cause of God or to defend the city, they replied, "Had we known before that you would fight, we would certainly not have followed you." At that time they were closer to disbelief than to faith. They speak words that do not come from their hearts. God knows well whatever they try to hide.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

and that He might know the hypocrites' When it was said to them: 'Come, fight or repel in the way of Allah' They replied: 'If only we knew how to fight, we would follow you' On that day, they were nearer to disbelief than belief. They said with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And Allah knows what they hide.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And that He might test the hypocrites, it was said to them: "Come, fight in the way of Allah or defend yourselves." They said: "Had we known that fighting will take place, we would certainly have followed you." They were that day, nearer to disbelief than to faith, saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And Allah has full knowledge of what they conceal.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

and know those who acted hypocritically." When they were told, "Come, fight in God's cause and defend yourselves," they replied, "If we knew that fighting would take place, we would surely follow you." They were that day nearer to unbelief than to belief. The words they utter bear no relation to what is in their hearts. God knows well what they conceal.

22 Talal Itani

And that He may know the hypocrites. And it was said to them, “Come, fight in the cause of God, or contribute.” They said, “If we knew how to fight, we would have followed you.” On that day they were closer to infidelity than they were to faith. They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts; but God knows what they hide.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And that He might also know the hypocrites, and those who, when it was said to them, after they had fled the fighting, namely, `Abd Allh b. Ubayy and his companions; `Come now, fight in the way of God, His enemies, or defend', us against the enemy by increasing the multitude [of our fighters], if you are not going to fight; they said, `If we knew how, [if] we were skilled enough, to fight we would follow you'. God then said, showing them to be liars; They that day were nearer to unbelief than to belief, for what they manifested of their forsaking the believers, whereas before they had been outwardly nearer to belief; saying with their mouths that which was not in their hearts, for even if they had known how to fight they would not have followed you. And God knows best what they hide, of hypocrisy.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

وَلْيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ نَافَقُواْ وَقِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ قَاتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَوِ ادْفَعُواْ قَالُواْ لَوْ نَعْلَمُ قِتَالاً لاَّتَّبَعْنَاكُمْ


And that He might test the hypocrites, it was said to them;"Come, fight in the way of Allah or defend yourselves." They said;"Had we known that fighting will take place, we would certainly have followed you."

Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Salih, Al-Hasan and As-Suddi stated,

This refers to the Companions of Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul who went back (to Al-Madinah) with him before the battle. Some believers followed them and encouraged them to come back and fight, saying,
أَوِ ادْفَعُواْ
(or defend), so that the number of Muslims increases.

Al-Hasan bin Salih said that this part of the Ayah means,

help by supplicating for us,

while others said it means,

man the posts.

However, they refused, saying,
لَوْ نَعْلَمُ قِتَالاً لاَّتَّبَعْنَاكُمْ
("Had we known that fighting will take place, we would certainly have followed you."),

According to Mujahid meaning,

if we knew that you would fight today, we would join you, but we think you will not fight.

Allah said,

هُمْ لِلْكُفْرِ يَوْمَيِذٍ أَقْرَبُ مِنْهُمْ لِلِيمَانِ

They were that day, nearer to disbelief than to faith,

This Ayah indicates that a person passes through various stages, sometimes being closer to Kufr and sometimes closer to faith, as evident by,
هُمْ لِلْكُفْرِ يَوْمَيِذٍ أَقْرَبُ مِنْهُمْ لِلِيمَانِ
(They were that day, nearer to disbelief than to faith).

Allah then said,

يَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِهِم مَّا لَيْسَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ

saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts.

for they utter what they do not truly believe in, such as,
لَوْ نَعْلَمُ قِتَالاً لاَّتَّبَعْنَاكُمْ
"(Had we known that fighting will take place, we would certainly have followed you)."

They knew that there was an army of idolators that came from a far land raging against the Muslims, to avenge their noble men whom the Muslims killed in Badr. These idolators came in larger numbers than the Muslims, so it was clear that a battle will certainly occur.

Allah said;

وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَكْتُمُونَ



And Allah has full knowledge of what they conceal