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id'ʿūhum
ٱدْعُوهُمْ
Call them
liābāihim
لِءَابَآئِهِمْ
by their fathers;
huwa
هُوَ
it
aqsaṭu
أَقْسَطُ
(is) more just
ʿinda
عِندَ
near
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِۚ
Allah.
fa-in
فَإِن
But if
lam
لَّمْ
not
taʿlamū
تَعْلَمُوٓا۟
you know
ābāahum
ءَابَآءَهُمْ
their fathers -
fa-ikh'wānukum
فَإِخْوَٰنُكُمْ
then (they are) your brothers
فِى
in
l-dīni
ٱلدِّينِ
[the] religion
wamawālīkum
وَمَوَٰلِيكُمْۚ
and your friends.
walaysa
وَلَيْسَ
But not is
ʿalaykum
عَلَيْكُمْ
upon you
junāḥun
جُنَاحٌ
any blame
fīmā
فِيمَآ
in what
akhṭatum
أَخْطَأْتُم
you made a mistake
bihi
بِهِۦ
in it,
walākin
وَلَٰكِن
but
مَّا
what
taʿammadat
تَعَمَّدَتْ
intended
qulūbukum
قُلُوبُكُمْۚ
your hearts.
wakāna
وَكَانَ
And Allah
l-lahu
ٱللَّهُ
And Allah
ghafūran
غَفُورًا
(is) Oft-Forgiving,
raḥīman
رَّحِيمًا
Most Merciful.

Ud'oohum li aabaaa'ihim huwa aqsatu 'indal laah; fa illam ta'lamooo aabaaa'ahum fa ikhwaanukum fid deeni wa mawaaleekum; wa laisa 'alaikum junaahun feemaaa akhtaatum bihee wa laakim maa ta'ammadat quloobukum; wa kaanal laahu Ghafoorar Raheemaa

Sahih International:

Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allah. But if you do not know their fathers - then they are [still] your brothers in religion and those entrusted to you. And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but [only for] what your hearts intended. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.

1 A. J. Arberry

Call them after their true fathers; that is more equitable in the sight of God. If you know not who their fathers were, then they are your brothers in religion, and your clients. There is no fault in you if you make mistakes, but only in what your hearts premeditate. God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.

2 Abdul Haleem

Name your adopted sons after their real fathers: this is more equitable in God’s eyes––if you do not know who their fathers are [they are your] ‘brothers-in-religion’ and proteges. You will not be blamed if you make a mistake, only for what your hearts deliberately intend; God is most forgiving and merciful.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Call them by their fathers: that will be most equitable in the sight of Allah. And if ye know not their fathers then they are your brethren in religion and your friends. And there is no fault upon you in regard to the mistake ye have made therein, but in regard to that which your hearts intend purposely. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Call them by (the names of) their fathers; that is juster in the sight of Allah. But if ye know not their father's (names, call them) your Brothers in faith, or your maulas. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein; (what counts is) the intention of your hearts; and Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Call your adopted sons after their true fathers; that is more equitable in the sight of Allah. But if you do not know their true fathers, then regard them as your brethren in faith and as allies. You will not be taken to task for your mistaken utterances, but you will be taken to task for what you say deliberately. Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate.

6 Ahmed Ali

Call them by the names of their fathers. This is the right course in the sight of God. If you do not know their fathers, they are then your brothers in religion and your friends. It will not be a sin if you make a mistake, unless you do so intentionally; for God is forgiving and kind.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Call them with their fathers’ names – this is more suitable in the sight of Allah; and if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in the faith, (and your cousins as humans) and your friends; and there is no sin upon you for what you did unknowingly in the past – however it is a sin what you do with your heart’s intention; and Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Call them after their fathers. That is more just with Allah. If you do not know their fathers, then they are your brethren in the faith and your kinsmen. Excepting what your hearts may intend deliberately, there will be no sin upon you for any mistake that you may make therein. And Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful.

9 Ali Ünal

Call them (the children you have adopted) after their (real) fathers: doing so is more equitable in the sight of God. If you do not know who their fathers are, then (they are) your brothers in religion and your protégés (so observe the duties of brotherhood between you and them). However, there is no blame on you because of the mistakes you may make unintentionally (in naming them), but what your hearts have premeditated (matters greatly). God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Call them (- the adopted ones) after (the names of) their (real) fathers. This is more just and equitable in the sight of Allâh. But if you do not know (the names of) their fathers then (they are) your brothers-in-faith and your friends or wards. And no blame shall lie on you with regard to any mistake you may have unintentionally made (before) in such a case. But (you are accountable for) that which you wilfully and premeditatingly do. And Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

11 English Literal

Call them to their fathers, it is more just/equitable at God, so if you did not/do not know their fathers so (they are) your brothers in the religion, and your allies/friends , and an offense/guilt/sin is not on you in what you mistook/erred with it, and but what your hearts/minds made intentionally/purposely, and God was/is a forgiver , merciful.

12 Faridul Haque

Call them with their fathers’ names – this is more suitable in the sight of Allah; and if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in the faith, (and your cousins as humans) and your friends; and there is no sin upon you for what you did unknowingly in the past – however it is a sin what you do with your heart’s intention; and Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Allah has not made for any man two heart within him; nor has He made your wives, whose backs you liken to the backs of your mothers (whom you have divorced) as your mothers, nor has He made those whom you assert to be your sons your real sons; these are the words of your mouths; and Allah speaks the truth and He guides to the (straight) way.

14 Hilali & Khan

Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allah. But if you know not their father's (names, call them) your brothers in faith and Mawalikum (your freed slaves). And there is no sin on you if you make a mistake therein, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allah is Ever OftForgiving, Most Merciful.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Allah has not made for any man two hearts within him; nor has He made your wives whom you desert by Zihar, your mothers, nor has He made those whom you assert (to be your sons) your sons. These are the words of your mouths. And Allah speaks the truth and He shows the way.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Assert their relationship to their fathers; this is more equitable with Allah; but if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your friends; and there is no blame on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, but (concerning) that which your hearts do purposely (blame may rest on you), and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Proclaim their real parentage. That will be more equitable in the sight of Allah. And if ye know not their fathers, then (they are) your brethren in the faith, and your clients. And there is no sin for you in the mistakes that ye make unintentionally, but what your hearts purpose (that will be a sin for you). Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Call them sons of their own fathers. It is more just in the eyes of God. If you do not know their fathers, they are your brothers and friends in religion. You will not be responsible for your mistakes, but you will be responsible for what you do intentionally. God is All-forgiving and All-merciful.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Name them after their fathers, that is more just with Allah. If you do not know their fathers, regard them as your brothers in the religion, or those under your sponsorship. There is no fault in you if you make mistakes, but only in what your hearts intended. Allah is Forgiving and the Most Merciful,

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Call them by their fathers, that is more just with Allah. But if you know not their father's, your brothers in faith and Mawalikum (your freed servants). And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Call them after their own fathers; that is closer to justice in the sight of God. If you do not know their fathers, regard them as your brothers in faith and your proteges. You will not be blamed if you make a mistake, you will be held accountable only for what in your hearts you have done intentionally. God is forgiving and merciful.

22 Talal Itani

Call them after their fathers; that is more equitable with God. But if you do not know their fathers, then your brethren in faith and your friends. There is no blame on you if you err therein, barring what your hearts premeditates. God is Forgiving and Merciful.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Instead, attribute them to their [true] fathers. That is more equitable, [that is] more just, in the sight of God. If you do not know their [true] fathers, then they are your brethren in religion and [as] your associates. And you would not be at fault for any mistake you make, in this respect, except, in, what your hearts may premeditate, after the prohibition [has been issued]. And God is Forgiving, of whatever you said before the prohibition [was issued], Merciful, to you in this respect.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

ادْعُوهُمْ لاِبَايِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللَّهِ



Call them (adopted sons) by their fathers, that is more just with Allah.

This is a command which abrogates the state of affairs that existed at the beginning of Islam, when it was permitted to call adopted sons after the man who adopted them. Then Allah commanded that they should be given back the names of their real fathers, and states that this was more fair and just.

Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated that Abdullah bin Umar said;

"Zayd bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him, the freed servant of the Messenger of Allah, was always called Zayd bin Muhammad, until (the words of the) Qur'an were revealed;
ادْعُوهُمْ لاِبَايِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللَّه
(Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allah)."

This was also narrated by Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i.

They used to deal with them as sons in every respect, including being alone with them as Mahrams and so on. Hence Sahlah bint Suhayl, the wife of Abu Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with them both, said;"O Messenger of Allah! We used to call Salim our son, but Allah has revealed what He has revealed. He used to enter upon me, but I feel that Abu Hudhayfah does not like that.

The Prophet said;

أَرْضِعِيهِ تَحْرُمِي عَلَيْه

Breastfeed him and he will become your Mahram."

Hence when this ruling was abrogated, Allah made it permissible for a man to marry the ex-wife of his adopted son, and the Messenger of Allah married Zaynab bint Jahsh, the divorced wife of Zayd bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him,

Allah said;

لِكَىْ لَا يَكُونَ عَلَى الْمُوْمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ فِى أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَأيِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْاْ مِنْهُنَّ وَطَراً

So that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them. (33;37)

And Allah says in Ayat At-Tahrim;

وَحَلَـيِلُ أَبْنَأيِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَـبِكُمْ

The wives of your sons from your own loins. (4;23)

The wife of an adopted son is not included because he was not born from the man's loins.

A "foster" son through breastfeeding is the same as a son born from one's own loins, from the point of view of Shariah, because the Prophet said in the Two Sahihs;

حَرَّمُوا مِنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ مَا يُحَرَّمُ مِنَ النَّسَب

Suckling makes unlawful as lineage does.

As for calling a person "son" as an expression of honor and endearment, this is not what is forbidden in this Ayah, as is indicated by the report recorded by Imam Ahmad and the Sunan compilers -- apart from At-Tirmidhi -- from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said;

"We young boys of Banu Abd Al-Muttalib came to the Messenger of Allah at the Jamarat; he slapped us on the thigh and said,

أُبَيْنِيَّ لَاأ تَرْمُوا الْجَمْرَةَ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْس


O my sons, do not stone the Jamarah until the sun has risen.

This was during the Farewell Pilgrimage in 10 AH.

ادْعُوهُمْ لاِبَايِهِمْ
(Call them by their fathers). This is concerning Zayd bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him. He was killed in 8 AH at the battle of Mu'tah.

In Sahih Muslim it is reported that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said;

"The Messenger of Allah said;

يَابَنِي

O my son."

It was also reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi.

فَإِن لَّمْ تَعْلَمُوا ابَاءهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَمَوَالِيكُمْ

But if you know not their father's then they are your brothers in the religion and Mawalikum (your freed servants).

Here Allah commands that adopted sons should be given back their fathers' names, if they are known; if they are not known, then they should be called brothers in faith or freed servants, to compensate for not knowing what their real lineage is.

When the Messenger of Allah left Makkah after performing his Umrat Al-Qada', the daughter of Hamzah, may Allah be pleased with her, started following him, calling, "O uncle, O uncle!"

Ali took her and said to Fatima, may Allah be pleased with her, "Take care of your uncle's daughter," so she picked her up.

Ali, Zayd and Jafar -- may Allah be pleased with them -- disputed over of which of them was going to take care of her, and each of them gave his reasons.

Ali said, "I have more right, because she is the daughter of my paternal uncle."

Zayd said, "She is the daughter of my brother."

Jafar bin Abi Talib said;"She is the daughter of my paternal uncle and I am married to her maternal aunt -- meaning Asma' bint `Umays."

The Prophet ruled that she should stay with her maternal aunt, and said;

الْخَالَةُ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الاُْم


The maternal aunt has the same status as the mother.

He said to Ali, may Allah be pleased with him,

أَنْتَ مِنِّي وَأَنَا مِنْك

You belong to me and I belong to you.

He said to Jafar, may Allah be pleased with him,

أَشْبَهْتَ خَلْقِي وَخُلُقِي

You resemble me both in your looks and in your attitude.

And he said to Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him,

أَنْتَ أَخُونَا وَمَوْلَانَا

You are our brother and our freed servant.

This Hadith contains a number of rulings, the most important of which is that the Prophet ruled according to the truth, and that he sought to appease all the disputing parties. His saying to Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him,
أَنْتَ أَخُونَا وَمَوْلَانَا
(You are our brother and our freed servant), is as Allah says in this Ayah;
فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَمَوَالِيكُمْ
(your brothers in faith and your freed servants).

Then Allah says;

وَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا أَخْطَأْتُم بِهِ

And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake,

meaning, if you call one of them after someone who is not in fact his father, by mistake, after trying your best to find out his parentage, then Allah will not attach any sin to this mistake.

This is like the Ayah in which Allah commands His servants to say;

رَبَّنَا لَا تُوَاخِذْنَأ إِن نَّسِينَأ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا

Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error. (2;286)

It was reported in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah said;

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَدْ فَعَلْت

Allah says, "Certainly I did (so)."

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it was recorded that Amr bin Al-`As, may Allah be pleased with him, said;

"The Messenger of Allah said;

إِذَا اجْتَهَدَ الْحَاكِمُ فَأَصَابَ فَلَهُ أَجْرَانِ

وَإِنِ اجْتَهَدَ فَأَخْطَأَ فَلَهُ أَجْر

If the judge makes Ijtihad and reaches the right decision, he will have two rewards;

if he makes Ijtihad and reaches the wrong decision, he will have one reward.

In another Hadith;

إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالى رَفَعَ عَنْ أُمَّتِي الْخَطَأَ وَالنِّسْيَانَ وَمَا يُكْرَهُونَ عَلَيْه

Allah will forgive my Ummah for mistakes, forgetfulness and what they are forced to do.

And Allah says here;

وَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا أَخْطَأْتُم بِهِ وَلَكِن مَّا تَعَمَّدَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ

وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا



And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

meaning, the sin is on the person who deliberately does something wrong, as Allah says elsewhere;

لااَّ يُوَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّهُ بِالَّلغْوِ فِى أَيْمَـنِكُمْ

Allah will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths. (2;225)

Imam Ahmad narrated from Ibn Abbas that Umar said;

"Allah sent Muhammad with the Truth and revealed to him the Book. One of the things that was revealed in it was the Ayah of stoning, so the Messenger of Allah stoned (adulterers) and we stoned (them) after he died."

Then he said,

"We also used to recite, `Do not attribute yourselves to anyone other than your fathers, for this is disbelief, to attribute yourselves to anyone other than your fathers."'

The Messenger of Allah said;

لَاا تُطْرُونِي كَمَا أُطْرِيَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ فَإِنَّمَا أَنَا عَبْدُاللهِ فَقُولُوا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُه

Do not exaggerate in praising me as `Isa bin Maryam was praised upon him be peace and blessings. I am just a servant of Allah. Say, "He is His servant and Messenger."

Or Ma`mar may have said;

كَمَا أَطْرَتِ النَّصَارَى ابْنَ مَرْيَم

As the Christians praised the son of Maryam.

This was also narrated in another Hadith;

ثَلَثٌ فِي النَّاسِ كُفْرٌ

الطَّعْنُ فِي النَّسَبِ

وَالنِّيَاحَةُ عَلَى الْمَيِّتِ

وَالاْاسْتِسْقَاءُ بِالنُّجُوم

Three things that people do are parts of disbelief;

slandering a person's lineage,

wailing over the dead and

seeking rain by the stars.