Skip to main content
walā
وَلَا
And (do) not
tankiḥū
تَنكِحُوا۟
marry
مَا
whom
nakaḥa
نَكَحَ
married
ābāukum
ءَابَآؤُكُم
your fathers
mina
مِّنَ
of
l-nisāi
ٱلنِّسَآءِ
the women
illā
إِلَّا
except
مَا
whom
qad
قَدْ
has,
salafa
سَلَفَۚ
passed before,
innahu
إِنَّهُۥ
indeed it
kāna
كَانَ
was
fāḥishatan
فَٰحِشَةً
an immorality
wamaqtan
وَمَقْتًا
and hateful,
wasāa
وَسَآءَ
and (an) evil
sabīlan
سَبِيلًا
way.

Wa laa tankihoo maa nakaha aabaaa'ukum minan nisaaa'i illaa maa qad salaf; inahoo kaana faahishatanw wa maqtanw wa saaa'a sabeelaa

Sahih International:

And do not marry those [women] whom your fathers married, except what has already occurred. Indeed, it was an immorality and hateful [to Allah] and was evil as a way.

1 A. J. Arberry

And do not marry women that your fathers married, unless it be a thing of the past; surely that is indecent and hateful; an evil way.

2 Abdul Haleem

Do not marry women that your fathers married- with the exception of what is past- this is indeed a shameful thing to do, loathsome and leading to evil.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And wed not of women those whom your fathers had wedded, except that which hath already passed. Verily it hath been an indecency and an abomination and an evil way:

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

And marry not women whom your fathers married,- except what is past; It was shameful and odious,- an abominable custom indeed.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Do not marry the women whom your fathers married, although what is past is past. This indeed was a shameful deed, a hateful thing, and an evil way.

6 Ahmed Ali

And do not wed the women your fathers had wed. What happened in the past is now past: It was lewd and abhorrent, and only the way of evil.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And do not marry the women who were wedded to your fathers (and grand fathers), except what has already passed; that is indeed an act of shame and great wrong; and an evil way.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Do not marry any of the women whom your fathers had married, excluding what is already past. That is indeed an indecency, an outrage and an evil course.

9 Ali Ünal

And do not marry the women whom your fathers married – except what has happened (of that sort) in the past (before your conversion: such occurrences are forgivable provided you rectify your conduct and terminate any such contract of marriage). This was indeed a shameful deed and hateful thing, and how evil a way!

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And marry not those women whom your fathers had married, except what had already passed (- you shall not be called to account for what you did in the past, only you have to divorce them now); for it is a thing highly indecent and repugnant and an evil practice.

11 English Literal

And do not marry what your fathers married from the women, except what had preceded/passed, that it was an enormous/atrocious deed , and abhorrence/hateful , and (it is an) evil way/path.

12 Faridul Haque

And do not marry the women who were wedded to your fathers (and grand fathers), except what has already passed; that is indeed an act of shame and great wrong; and an evil way.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And all married women (are forbidden unto you), save such as your right hands possess (captives of war) - It is a decree of Allah for you. But lawful for you are all beyond these. So seek them with your wealth in honest marriage and not lust. But such of them from whom you seek comfort, give them their portions as a duty; and there is no crime in what you do by mutual agreement after the duty has been done. Verily, Allah is ever Knower and Wise.

14 Hilali & Khan

And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already passed; indeed it was shameful and most hateful, and an evil way.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And how can you take it when one of you has already gone in to the other and they have taken from you a strong covenant?

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And marry not woman whom your fathers married, except what has already passed; this surely is indecent and hateful, and it is an evil way.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And marry not those women whom your fathers married, except what hath already happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! it was ever lewdness and abomination, and an evil way.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Do not marry, from now on, the ex-wives of your fathers for that custom was sinful, loathsome, and abominable.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

And do not marry women your fathers married unless it is a thing of the past surely that was an indecency, hated, and a way of evil.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already passed; indeed it was shameful and Maqtan, and an evil way.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Do not marry women whom your fathers married, except for what has already taken place in the past. This is indeed a shameful deed, a loathsome thing and an evil practice.

22 Talal Itani

Do not marry women whom your fathers married, except what is already past. That is improper, indecent, and a bad custom.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And do not marry women whom (m means man) your fathers married, unless it be a thing of the past, which is forgiven you; surely that, marrying them, is obscene, vile, and abominable (maqtan, means it results in maqt, `severe hate', from God), an evil way, [an evil] path is this.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

وَلَا تَنكِحُواْ مَا نَكَحَ ابَاوُكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاء

And marry not women whom your fathers married,

Allah prohibits marrying the women whom the father married, in honor and respect to the fathers, not allowing their children to have sexual relations with their wives after they die.

A woman becomes ineligible for the son of her husband as soon as the marriage contract is conducted, and there is a consensus on this ruling.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to prohibit what Allah prohibits (concerning marriage), except marrying the stepmother and taking two sisters as rival wives. Allah sent down,
وَلَا تَنكِحُواْ مَا نَكَحَ ابَاوُكُم مِّنَ النِّسَاء
(And marry not women whom your fathers married), and,
وَأَن تَجْمَعُواْ بَيْنَ الاُخْتَيْنِ
(and two sisters in wedlock at the same time)." (4;23)

Similar was reported from Ata and Qatadah.

Therefore, the practice that the Ayah mentions is prohibited for this Ummah, being disgraced as an awful sin.

إِلاَّ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ

except what has already passed;

إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَمَقْتًا وَسَاء سَبِيلً



Indeed it was shameful and Maqtan, and an evil way.)

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَلَا تَقْرَبُواْ الْفَوَحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ

Come not near to Al-Fawahish (shameful acts) whether committed openly or secretly. (6;151)

and,

وَلَا تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَأءَ سَبِيلً

And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Fahishah and an evil way. (17;32)

In this Ayah (4;22), Allah added,
وَمَقْتًا
(and Maqtan),

meaning, offensive.

It is a sin itself and causes the son to hate his father after he marries his wife.

It is usual that whoever marries a woman dislikes those who married her before him.

This is one reason why the Mothers of the Faithful were not allowed for anyone in marriage after the Messenger. They are indeed the Mothers of the Faithful since they married the Messenger, who is like the father to the believers. Rather, the Prophet's right is far greater than the right of a father, and his love comes before each person loving himself, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him.

Ata' bin Abi Rabah said that the Ayah,
وَمَقْتًا
(and Maqtan),

means, Allah will hate him,

وَسَاء سَبِيلً

and an evil way,

for those who take this way.

Therefore, those who commit this practice will have committed an act of reversion from the religion and deserve capital punishment and confiscation of their property, which will be given to the Muslim Treasury.

Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan recorded that Al-Bara' bin Azib said that;

his uncle Abu Burdah was sent by the Messenger of Allah to a man who married his stepmother to execute him and confiscate his money