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walaw
وَلَوْ
And if
annā
أَنَّا
[that] We
katabnā
كَتَبْنَا
(had) decreed
ʿalayhim
عَلَيْهِمْ
on them
ani
أَنِ
that,
uq'tulū
ٱقْتُلُوٓا۟
"Kill
anfusakum
أَنفُسَكُمْ
yourselves
awi
أَوِ
or
ukh'rujū
ٱخْرُجُوا۟
"Go forth
min
مِن
from
diyārikum
دِيَٰرِكُم
your homes,"
مَّا
not
faʿalūhu
فَعَلُوهُ
they would have done it
illā
إِلَّا
except
qalīlun
قَلِيلٌ
a few
min'hum
مِّنْهُمْۖ
of them.
walaw
وَلَوْ
And if
annahum
أَنَّهُمْ
[that] they
faʿalū
فَعَلُوا۟
had done
مَا
not
yūʿaẓūna
يُوعَظُونَ
they were advised
bihi
بِهِۦ
with [it],
lakāna
لَكَانَ
surely (it) would have been
khayran
خَيْرًا
better
lahum
لَّهُمْ
for them
wa-ashadda
وَأَشَدَّ
and stronger
tathbītan
تَثْبِيتًا
strengthen(ing).

Wa law annaa katabnaa 'alaihim aniq tulooo anfusakum awikh rujoo min diyaarikum maa fa'aloohu illaa qaleelum minhum wa law annahum fa'aloo maa yoo'azoona bihee lakaana khairal lahum wa ashadda tasbeetaa

Sahih International:

And if We had decreed upon them, "Kill yourselves" or "Leave your homes," they would not have done it, except for a few of them. But if they had done what they were instructed, it would have been better for them and a firmer position [for them in faith].

1 A. J. Arberry

But had We prescribed for them, saying, 'Slay yourselves' or 'Leave your habitations,' they would not have done it, save a few of them; yet if they had done as they were admonished it would have been better for them, and stronger confirming them,

2 Abdul Haleem

if We had ordered, ‘Lay down your lives’ or ‘Leave your homes,’ they would not have done so, except for a few- it would have been far better for them and stronger confirmation of their faith, if they had done as they were told,

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And had We prescribed unto them: slay yourselves or go forth from your dwellings, they had not done it, save a few of them. And did they do that which they are exhorted to do, it would be for them better and more strengthening.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

If We had ordered them to sacrifice their lives or to leave their homes, very few of them would have done it; But if they had done what they were (actually) told, it would have been best for them, and would have gone farthest to strengthen their (faith);

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Had We enjoined upon them: 'Slay yourselves', or 'Leave your habitations', very few of them would have done it; yet if they had done as they were admonished, it would have been better for them and would have strengthened them;

6 Ahmed Ali

If We had commanded them to lay down their lives and to go forth from their homes, only a few would have obeyed; though had they followed what they had been commanded it would surely have been good for them and the strengthening of their faith.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And had We decreed for them to slay themselves or to leave their homes and families, only a few of them would have done it; and if they did what they are advised to, it would be good for them, and would have strengthened faith.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Had We prescribed for them, [commanding]: ‘Slay [the guilty among] your folks or leave your habitations,’ they would not have done it except a few of them. And if they had done as they were advised, it would have been better for them and stronger in confirming [their faith].

9 Ali Ünal

If We were to ordain for them, "Lay down your lives (in God’s cause so that you may be purified of your sins)" or "Leave your habitations (that you have contaminated with your sins and emigrate to another land in God’s cause)," they would not do that save a few of them. But if they had done what was urged upon them (before things had come to this point) – if only they would do it from now on – it would indeed have been (and would be) for their own good and (more apt for them) to be more securely established (in the land).

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

If We had made it binding on them, `Lay down your lives or go out of your homes,´ they would not have done it, excepting a few of them. And if they had done what they are exhorted to do, it would surely have been better for them and conducive to a greater strength (in their faith);

11 English Literal

And if that We wrote/ordered/decreed on them, that kill yourselves or get out from your homes, they would not have done it, except (a) few from them, and if that they did what they are being advised/warned with it (it) would have been best for them, and strongest affirmation .56

12 Faridul Haque

And had We decreed for them to slay themselves or to leave their homes and families, only a few of them would have done it; and if they did what they are advised to, it would be good for them, and would have strengthened faith.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And We would have guided them into the Straight Way.

14 Hilali & Khan

And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innnocent ones kill the guilty ones) or leave your homes," very few of them would have done it; but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their (Faith);

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

But no, by thy Lord! They believe not until they make thee a judge of what is in dispute between them, then find not any straitness in their hearts as to that which thou decidest and submit with full submission.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And if We had prescribed for them: Lay down your lives or go forth from your homes, they would not have done it except a few of them; and if they had done what they were admonished, it would have certainly been better for them and best in strengthening (them);

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And if We had decreed for them: Lay down your lives or go forth from your dwellings, but few of them would have done it; though if they did what they are exhorted to do it would be better for them, and more strengthening;

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Had We commanded them to kill themselves or abandon their homes, only a few of them would have done it. If they had done what they had been advised to do, it would have strengthened their faith,

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Had We written for them, saying, 'Slay yourselves' or 'Emerge from your houses' they would not have done so, except a few of them. Yet, if they had done as they were exhorted, it would have been better for them, and stronger in firmness,

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innnocent ones kill the guilty ones) or leave your homes," very few of them would have done it; but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their conviction;

21 Wahiduddin Khan

If We had commanded them, "Lay down your lives or leave your dwellings," they would have not done it, save a few of them. If they had done what they were instructed to do, it would have been better for them, as well as more strengthening [for their faith],

22 Talal Itani

Had We decreed for them: “Kill yourselves,” or “Leave your homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them. But had they done what they were instructed to do, it would have been better for them, and a firmer confirmation.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And had We prescribed for them; (the particle an, `that', is explicative) `Slay yourselves' or `Leave your habitations', as We did for the Children of Israel, they would not have done it, that is, what has been prescribed for them, save a few (read nominative qallun, as a substitution; or read accusative qallan, as an exceptive clause) of them; yet if they had done what they were admonished to do, of obedience to the Messenger (s), it would have been better for them, and stronger in establishing, [a stronger] confirmation of their faith.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Most People Disobey What They Are Ordered

Allah says

وَلَوْ أَنَّا كَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنِ اقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ أَوِ اخْرُجُواْ مِن دِيَارِكُم مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ مِّنْهُمْ


And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innocent ones kill the guilty ones) or leave your homes," very few of them would have done it;

Allah states that even if the people were commanded to commit what they were prohibited from doing, most of them would not submit to this command, for their wicked nature is such that they dispute orders. Allah has complete knowledge of what has not occurred, and how it would be if and when it did occur. This is why Allah said,
وَلَوْ أَنَّا كَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنِ اقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ
(And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innocent ones kill the guilty ones)) until the end of the Ayah.

This is why Allah said,

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِ

but if they had done what they were told,

meaning, if they do what they were commanded and refrain from what they were prohibited.

لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُمْ

it would have been better for them,

than disobeying the command and committing the prohibition,

وَأَشَدَّ تَثْبِيتًا



and would have strengthened their conviction,

According to As-Suddi,

stronger Tasdiq (conviction of faith)