Skip to main content
yāayyuhā
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا
O you
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
who
āmanū
ءَامَنُوا۟
believe[d]!
kūnū
كُونُوا۟
Be
qawwāmīna
قَوَّٰمِينَ
custodians
bil-qis'ṭi
بِٱلْقِسْطِ
of justice
shuhadāa
شُهَدَآءَ
(as) witnesses
lillahi
لِلَّهِ
to Allah,
walaw
وَلَوْ
even if
ʿalā
عَلَىٰٓ
(it is) against
anfusikum
أَنفُسِكُمْ
yourselves
awi
أَوِ
or
l-wālidayni
ٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ
the parents
wal-aqrabīna
وَٱلْأَقْرَبِينَۚ
and the relatives.
in
إِن
if
yakun
يَكُنْ
he be
ghaniyyan
غَنِيًّا
rich
aw
أَوْ
or
faqīran
فَقِيرًا
poor,
fal-lahu
فَٱللَّهُ
for Allah
awlā
أَوْلَىٰ
(is) nearer
bihimā
بِهِمَاۖ
to both of them.
falā
فَلَا
So (do) not
tattabiʿū
تَتَّبِعُوا۟
follow
l-hawā
ٱلْهَوَىٰٓ
the desire
an
أَن
lest
taʿdilū
تَعْدِلُوا۟ۚ
you deviate.
wa-in
وَإِن
And if
talwū
تَلْوُۥٓا۟
you distort
aw
أَوْ
or
tuʿ'riḍū
تُعْرِضُوا۟
refrain,
fa-inna
فَإِنَّ
then indeed,
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
kāna
كَانَ
is
bimā
بِمَا
of what
taʿmalūna
تَعْمَلُونَ
you do
khabīran
خَبِيرًا
All-Aware.

Yaa aiyuhal lazeena aamanoo koonoo qawwa ameena bilqisti shuhadaaa'a lillaahi wa law 'alaa anfusikum awil waalidaini wal aqrabeen iny yakun ghaniyyan aw faqeeran fallaahu awlaa bihimaa falaaa tattabi'ul hawaaa an ta'diloo; wa in talwooo aw tu'ridoo fa innal laaha kaana bimaa ta'maloona Khabeera

Sahih International:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.

1 A. J. Arberry

O believers, be you securers of justice, witnesses for God, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents and kinsmen, whether the man be rich or poor; God stands closest to either. Then follow not caprice, so as to swerve; for if you twist or turn, God is aware of the things you do.

2 Abdul Haleem

You who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly- if you distort or neglect justice, God is fully aware of what you do.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

O Ye who believe! be ye maintainers of justice, bearers of testimony for Allah's sake, though it be against yourselves or your parents or kindred. Be he rich or poor, Allah is nigher unto either wherefore follow not the passion, lest ye deviate. If ye incline or turn away, then verily of that which ye work Allah is ever Aware.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor; for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Believers! Be upholders of justice, and bearers of witness to truth for the sake of Allah, even though it may either be against yourselves or against your parents and kinsmen, or the rich or the poor: for Allah is more concerned with their well-being than you are. Do not, then, follow your own desires lest you keep away from justice. If you twist or turn away from (the truth), know that Allah is well aware of all that you do.

6 Ahmed Ali

O you who believe, be custodians of justice (and) witnesses for God, even though against yourselves or your parents or your relatives. Whether a man be rich or poor, God is his greater well-wisher than you. So follow not the behests of lust lest you swerve from justice; and if you prevaricate or avoid (giving evidence), God is cognisant of all that you do.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

O People who Believe! Be firm in establishing justice, giving witness for Allah, even if it is harmful to yourselves or parents or relatives; whether the one you testify against is wealthy or poor, for in any case Allah has the greater right over it; then do not follow your wishes for you may stray from the truth; and if you distort testimony or turn away, then Allah is Well Aware of your deeds.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

O you who have faith! Be maintainers of justice and witnesses for the sake of Allah, even if it should be against yourselves or [your] parents and near relatives, and whether it be [someone] rich or poor, for Allah has a greater right over them. So do not follow [your] desires, lest you should be unfair, and if you distort [the testimony] or disregard [it], Allah is indeed well aware of what you do.

9 Ali Ünal

O you who believe! Be upholders and standard-bearers of justice, bearing witness to the truth for God’s sake, even though it be against your own selves, or parents or kindred. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, (bear in mind that) God is nearer to them (than you are and more concerned with their well-being). So do not (in expectation of some gain from the rich or out of misplaced compassion for the poor) follow your own desires lest you swerve from justice. If you distort (the truth) or decline (to bear truthful witness), then know that God is fully aware of all that you do.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

O you who believe! be strict observers of justice, bearers of true evidence for the sake of Allâh, even though it be against yourselves or (against your) parents or near of kin; (let neither of the parties) whether (the one against whom or the one in favour of whom you bear evidence) be rich or poor (weigh with yourself). (Bear in mind) Allâh is more regardful of them both (than you are), therefore, do not follow your low desires in order to be able to do justice. And if you distort or evade (true evidence) remember Allâh is Well-Aware of what you do.

11 English Literal

You, you those who believed, be/become (P) standing with the just/equitable, testifying/witnessing to God, and even if on (against) your selves, or the parents, and the nearest/closest, if (he) was/is rich or poor, so God (is) more worthy/deserving with them (B), so do not follow the self attraction for desire, love and lust/deviation from propriety that you be just/equitable, and if you twist/turn , or you oppose, so then God was/is with what you make/do an expert/experienced.

12 Faridul Haque

O People who Believe! Be firm in establishing justice, giving witness for Allah, even if it is harmful to yourselves or parents or relatives; whether the one you testify against is wealthy or poor, for in any case Allah has the greater right over it; then do not follow your wishes for you may stray from the truth; and if you distort testimony or turn away, then Allah is Well Aware of your deeds.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Verily, those who believe and then disbelieve, and then again believe and then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them in the Way.

14 Hilali & Khan

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Whoever desires the reward of this world -- then with Allah is the reward of this world and the Hereafter. And Allah is ever Hearing, Seeing.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

O you who believe! be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness of Allah's sake, though it may be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives; if he be rich or poor, Allah is nearer to them both in compassion; therefore do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate; and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely Allah is aware of what you do.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (them ye are). So follow not passion lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Believers, be the supporters of justice and the testify to what you may have witnessed, for the sake of God, even against yourselves, parents, and relatives; whether it be against the rich or the poor. God must be given preference over them. Let not your desires cause you to commit injustice. If you deviate from the truth in your testimony, or decline to give your testimony at all, know that God is Well Aware of what you do.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Believers, be maintainers of justice and witnesses for Allah, even though it is against yourselves, your parents, or your kinsmen, whether he is rich or poor, Allah has more rights over both of them. So do not follow desires, so that you are (not) just. If you twist or turn, Allah is Aware of what you do.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a better Protector to both. So follow not the lusts, lest you may avoid justice; and if you Talwu or Tu`ridu, it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Believers, be strict in upholding justice and bear witness for the sake of God, even though it be against yourselves, your parents, or your kindred. Be they rich or poor, God knows better about them both. Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice. If you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that God is well aware of all that you do.

22 Talal Itani

O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God takes care of both. So do not follow your desires, lest you swerve. If you deviate, or turn away—then God is Aware of what you do.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

O you who believe, be upright in justice; witnesses, of the truth, for God, even though it, the witnessing, be against yourselves, so be witness against them [your selves] by affirming the truth and not concealing it; or, against, parents and kinsmen, whether the person, witnessed against, be rich or poor; God is closer to the two, than you and He has better knowledge of what is good for them. So do not follow any whim, in your testimonies by being partial to the rich one, seeking his pleasure, or [by being partial] to the poor one out of compassion for him, lest you swerve, so that you do not incline away from the truth, for if you twist (a variant reading [for talww] has tal) [if] you distort your testimony, or refrain, from giving it, surely God is ever aware of what you do, and will requite you accordingly.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Commanding Justice and Conveying the Witness for Allah

Allah commands;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ امَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاء لِلّهِ

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah,

Allah commands His believing servants to stand up for justice and fairness and not to deviate from it, right or left. They should not fear the blame of anyone or allow anyone to prevent them from doing something for the sake of Allah. They are also required to help, support and aid each other for Allah's sake.

Allah's statement,
شُهَدَاء لِلّهِ
(as witnesses to Allah) is similar to His statement,

وَأَقِيمُواْ الشَّهَـدَةَ لِلَّهِ

And establish the testimony for Allah. (65;2)

Testimony should be delivered precisely, for the sake of Allah, thus making the testimony correct, truly just, and free of alterations, changes or deletions.

This is why Allah said,

وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ

even though it be against yourselves,

meaning, give correct testimony, and say the truth when you are asked about it, even if harm will effect you as a consequence. Indeed, Allah shall make a way out and give relief for those who obey Him in every matter.

Allah's statement,

أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالَاقْرَبِينَ

or your parents, or your kin,

means, even if you have to testify against your parents and kin, do not compromise for their sake. Rather, give the correct and just witness even if they are harmed in the process, for the truth presides above everyone and is preferred to everyone.

Allah's statement,

إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقَيرًا فَاللّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا

be he rich or poor, Allah is a better Protector to both.

means, do not favor someone (in your testimony) because he is rich, or feel pity for him because he is poor, for Allah is their caretaker, a better Protector of them than you, and has better knowledge of what is good for them.

Allah's statement,

فَلَ تَتَّبِعُواْ الْهَوَى أَن تَعْدِلُواْ

So follow not the lusts, lest you may avoid justice;

means, let not desire, lust or the hatred you have against others, lure you into injustice in your affairs. Rather, stand for justice in all situations.

Allah said;

وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَأنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى

And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just;that is nearer to piety. (5;8)

when the Prophet sent Abdullah bin Rawahah to collect the tax on the fruits and produce of the Jews of Khyber, they offered him a bribe so that he would go easy on them. He said; "By Allah! I have come to you from the dearest of the creation to me (Muhammad), and you are more hated by me than an equivalent number of apes and swine. However, my love for him (the Prophet) and hatred for you shall not prevent me from being just with you." On that, they said, "This (justice) is the basis which the heavens and earth were created."

We will mention this Hadith later in Surah Al-Ma'idah (Surah 5) Allah willing.

Allah's statement afterwards,

وَإِن تَلْوُواْ أَوْ تُعْرِضُواْ

and if you Talwu or Tu`ridu.

According to Mujahid and several others among the Salaf,

means, "Distort your testimony and change it."
Talwu, includes distortion and intentional lying.

For instance, Allah said,

وَإِنَّ مِنْهُمْ لَفَرِيقًا يَلْوُونَ أَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالْكِتَـبِ

And verily, among them is a party who Yalwuna (distort) the Book with their tongues (as they read). (3;78)
Tu`ridu, includes hiding and withholding the testimony.

Allah said,

وَمَن يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ ءَاثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ

Who hides it, surely, his heart is sinful. (2;283)

The Prophet said,

خَيْرُ الشُّهَدَاءِ الَّذِي يَأْتِي بِشَهَادَتِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُسْأَلَهَا

The best witness is he who discloses his testimony before being asked to do so.

Allah then warned,

فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا



Verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.

and will reward or punish you accordingly