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dhālika
ذَٰلِكَ
That
adnā
أَدْنَىٰٓ
(is) closer
an
أَن
that
yatū
يَأْتُوا۟
they will give
bil-shahādati
بِٱلشَّهَٰدَةِ
the testimony
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
in
wajhihā
وَجْهِهَآ
its (true) form
aw
أَوْ
or
yakhāfū
يَخَافُوٓا۟
they would fear
an
أَن
that
turadda
تُرَدَّ
will be refuted
aymānun
أَيْمَٰنٌۢ
their oaths
baʿda
بَعْدَ
after
aymānihim
أَيْمَٰنِهِمْۗ
their (others) oaths.
wa-ittaqū
وَٱتَّقُوا۟
And fear
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
wa-is'maʿū
وَٱسْمَعُوا۟ۗ
and listen;
wal-lahu
وَٱللَّهُ
and Allah
لَا
(does) not
yahdī
يَهْدِى
guide
l-qawma
ٱلْقَوْمَ
the people.
l-fāsiqīna
ٱلْفَٰسِقِينَ
the defiantly disobedient.

Zaalika adnaaa ai yaatoo bishshahaadati 'alaa wajhihaaa aw yakhaafooo an turadda aimaanum ba'da aimaanihim; wattaqul laaha wasma'oo; wallaahu laa yahdil qawmal faasiqeen

Sahih International:

That is more likely that they will give testimony according to its [true] objective, or [at least] they would fear that [other] oaths might be taken after their oaths. And fear Allah and listen; and Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.

1 A. J. Arberry

So it is likelier that they will bear testimony in proper form, or else they will be afraid that after their oaths, oaths may be rebutted. Fear God, and hearken; God guides not the people of the ungodly.

2 Abdul Haleem

that will make it more likely they will give true and proper testimony, or fear that their oaths might be refuted by others afterwards. Be mindful of God and listen; God does not guide those who break His laws.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

That shall make it more likely that they shall produce the testimony according to the fact thereof or they shall fear that other oaths would be admitted after their oaths. And fear Allah and hearken; and Allah guideth not a transgressing people.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

That is most suitable; that they may give the evidence in its true nature and shape, or else they would fear that other oaths would be taken after their oaths. But fear Allah, and listen (to His counsel); for Allah guideth not a rebellious people;

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Thus it is more likely that they will either bear the right testimony or else they will at least fear that their oaths may be rebutted by other oaths. Have fear of Allah and pay heed. Allah does not direct the disobedient to the right way.

6 Ahmed Ali

It is thus likely that men will bear witness rightly, or else fear that their oaths may be disproved by oaths given after them. So fear God, and do not forget that God does not guide the iniquitous.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

This is more suitable than their bearing testimony as they wish or fear that some oaths may be made void, after their taking oath; so fear Allah and heed the commands; and Allah does not guide the disobedient.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

That makes it likelier that they give the testimony in its genuine form, or fear that other oaths will be taken after their oaths. Be wary of Allah and listen, and Allah does not guide the transgressing lot.

9 Ali Ünal

That (way) it is more likely that people will offer correct testimony or else they will (at least) fear that their oaths will be rebutted by other oaths. Keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety and pay heed (to His commandments). God does not guide people of transgression.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

This way is more likely to ensure that they (-the witnesses) will give the testimony in its true form and nature or atleast they will be afraid that other oaths will be taken after their oaths (to counter them). Therefore take Allâh as a shield and listen (to Him) for Allâh guides not the disobedient people to the way of success.

11 English Literal

That (is) nearer that they come with the testimony/certification on its face/direction , or they fear that oaths be returned after their oaths, and fear and obey God and hear/listen, and God does not guide the nation the debauchers .

12 Faridul Haque

This is more suitable than their bearing testimony as they wish or fear that some oaths may be made void, after their taking oath; so fear Allah and heed the commands; and Allah does not guide the disobedient.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

On the day when Allah will assemble the Messengers and say, "What was your response from mankind.” they will say, "We have no knowledge; verily, Thou art He who knows in full the hidden."

14 Hilali & Khan

That should make it closer (to the fact) that their testimony would be in its true nature and shape (and thus accepted), or else they would fear that (other) oaths would be admitted after their oaths. And fear Allah and listen (with obedience to Him). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious and disobedient).

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

If it be discovered that they are guilty of a sin, two others shall stand up in their place from among those against whom the first two have been guilty of a sin; so they shall swear by Allah: Certainly our testimony is truer than the testimony of those two, and We have not exceeded the limit, for then surely We should be unjust.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

This is more proper in order that they should give testimony truly or fear that other oaths be given after their oaths; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, and hear; and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Thus it is more likely that they will bear true witness or fear that after their oaths the oaths (of others) will be taken. So be mindful of your duty (to Allah) and hearken. Allah guideth not the froward folk.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

This will help preserve a proper testimony because the witness will be afraid of the denial of their own testimony by a second pair of witness. Have fear of God and listen (properly). God does not guide the evil doing people.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

So it is likelier that they will bear testimony in proper form, or else they will be afraid that oaths may be rejected after their oaths. Fear Allah, and listen; Allah does not guide the people of the evildoers.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

That should make it closer (to the fact) that their testimony would be in its true nature and shape, or else they would fear that (other) oaths would be admitted after their oaths. And have Taqwa of Allah and listen (with obedience to Him). And Allah guides not the rebellious people.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

That makes it more likely that people will bear true witness, or else they will fear that their oaths will be contradicted by the oaths of others. Heed God and listen; God does not guide a rebellious, disobedient people.

22 Talal Itani

That makes it more likely that they will give true testimony, fearing that their oaths might be contradicted by subsequent oaths. So fear God, and listen. God does not guide the disobedient people.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

That, ruling mentioned, where the oath devolves to the inheritors, [makes it] likelier, brings closer [the eventuality], that they, the witnesses or the trustees, will bear the testimony in its true form, [the form] in which they have been charged to bear it, without distortion or breach of faith, or, it is likelier, that they will be afraid that after their oaths other oaths may be taken, from the inheritors, the plaintiffs, who would swear to the two men's breach of faith or perjury, in which case they would be disgraced and would incur penalties, and so [because of this] they will not lie. Fear God, by refraining from betrayal and perjury, and listen, to what you have been commanded, listening in acceptance. God does not guide the wicked people, those rebelling against obedience to Him; [He does not guide the wicked] to the way of goodness.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يَأْتُواْ بِالشَّهَادَةِ عَلَى وَجْهِهَا

That should make it closer (to the fact) that their testimony would be in its true nature and shape (and thus accepted),

means, the ruling requiring the two Dhimmi witnesses to swear, if there is a doubt that they were not truthful, might compel them to admit to the testimony in its true form.

Allah's statement,

أَوْ يَخَافُواْ أَن تُرَدَّ أَيْمَانٌ بَعْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ

or else they would fear that (other) oaths would be admitted after their oaths.

means, requiring them to swear by Allah might encourage them to admit to the true testimony because they respect swearing by Allah and they glorify and revere Him. They also fear exposure if the heirs of the deceased are required to swear instead of them. In this case, the heirs would swear and earn the rightful inheritance that the two witnesses failed to declare. This is why Allah said,
أَوْ يَخَافُواْ أَن تُرَدَّ أَيْمَانٌ بَعْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ
(or else they would fear that (other) oaths would be admitted after their oaths).

then,

وَاتَّقُوا اللّهَ

And have Taqwa of Allah,

in all of your affairs,

وَاسْمَعُواْ

and listen,

and obey,

وَاللّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ



And Allah guides not the rebellious people.

who do not obey Him or follow His Law