Skip to main content
illā
إِلَّا
Except
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
those who
tābū
تَابُوا۟
repent
min
مِن
from
qabli
قَبْلِ
before
an
أَن
that
taqdirū
تَقْدِرُوا۟
you overpower
ʿalayhim
عَلَيْهِمْۖ
[over] them,
fa-iʿ'lamū
فَٱعْلَمُوٓا۟
then know
anna
أَنَّ
that
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
ghafūrun
غَفُورٌ
(is) Oft-Forgiving,
raḥīmun
رَّحِيمٌ
Most Merciful.

Illal lazeena taaboo min qabli an taqdiroo 'alaihim fa'lamooo annnal laaha Ghafoorur Raheem

Sahih International:

Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

1 A. J. Arberry

except for such as repent, before you have power over them. So know you that God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.

2 Abdul Haleem

unless they repent before you overpower them- in that case bear in mind that God is forgiving and merciful.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Save those who repent ere ye have them in your power; for know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Except for those who repent before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

except for those who repent before you have overpowered them. Know well that Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.

6 Ahmed Ali

But those who repent before they are subdued should know that God is forgiving and kind.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Except those who repent before you apprehend them; so know well that Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

excepting those who repent before you capture them, and know that Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful.

9 Ali Ünal

Except for those who repent (and desist from their crimes against order) before you have overpowered them, (although the judgment as to specific crimes against individuals is left to those individuals or to their heirs). Know that God surely is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate (especially toward His servants who turn to Him in repentance).

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Different, however, is the case of those (criminals) who turn with repentance before you overpower them. And know that, surely, Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

11 English Literal

Except those who repented from before that you become overpowering on them, so know that God (is) a forgiver, merciful.

12 Faridul Haque

Except those who repent before you apprehend them; so know well that Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

O you who believe! Fear (be dutiful to) Allah and crave the means to approach Him, and strive in His way in order that you may succeed (or prosper).

14 Hilali & Khan

Except for those who (having fled away and then) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

The only punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is that they should be murdered, or crucified, or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides, or they should be imprisoned. This shall be a disgrace for them in this world, and in the Hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Except those who repent before you have them in your power; so know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Save those who repent before ye overpower them. For know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

As for those who repent before you (the legal authorities) have control over them (by proving their guilts). They should know that God is All-forgiving and All-merciful.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

except those who repent before you have power over them. For you must know that Allah is Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Except for those who (having fled away and then) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

except for those who repent before you gain power over them: for you must know that God is forgiving and merciful.

22 Talal Itani

Except for those who repent before you apprehend them. So know that God is Forgiving and Merciful.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Except for such, warmongers and waylayers, as repent before you overpower them; for know that God is Forgiving, to them of what they have done, Merciful, to them. This [proviso] is expressed without any statement to the effect `do not submit them to prescribed legal punishment', to point out that when such a person repents only God's prescribed punishments (hudd) -- and not those deriving from the rights of human beings -- are waived. This is how I see it. I do not know of any that have tackled this [topic], and God knows best. If, then, a person has killed and stolen property, he should be killed and have his limbs cut off [on opposite sides], but not crucified -- this is the more sound of two opinions held by al-Shfi`. However, his repentance is of no avail, once he has been overpowered [by the authorities] -- this is also the more sound of two opinions held by him.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Except for those who (having fled away and then) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

This Ayah is clear in its indication that it applies to the idolators.

As for the Muslims who commit this crime and repent before they are apprehended, the punishment of killing, crucifixion and cutting the limbs will be waved. The practice of the Companions in this regard is that all of the punishments prescribed in this case will be waved, as is apparent from the wording of the Ayah.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ash-Sha`bi said,

"Harithah bin Badr At-Tamimi was living in Al-Basra, and he committed the crime of mischief in the land. So he talked to some men from Quraysh, such as Al-Hasan bin Ali, Ibn Abbas and Abdullah bin Jafar, and they talked to Ali about him so that he would grant him safety, but Ali refused.

So Harithah went to Sa`id bin Qays Al-Hamadani who kept him in his house and went to Ali, saying, `O Leader of the Faithful! What about those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and cause mischief in the land?' So he recited the Ayah until he reached,
إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَقْدِرُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ
(Except for those who (having fled away and them) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power).

So Ali wrote a document that granted safety, and Sa`id bin Qays said, `This is for Harithah bin Badr."'

Ibn Jarir recorded this Hadith.

Ibn Jarir recorded that `Amir Ash-Sha`bi said,

"A man from Murad came to Abu Musa, while he was the governor of Al-Kufah during the reign of Uthman, and said to him after he offered the obligatory prayer, `O Abu Musa! I seek your help. I am so-and-so from Murad and I waged war against Allah and His Messenger and caused mischief in the land. I repented before you had any authority over me.'

Abu Musa proclaimed, `This is so-and-so, who had waged war against Allah and His Messenger and caused mischief in the land, and he repented before we had authority over him. Therefore, anyone who meets him, should deal with him in a better way. If he is saying the truth, then this is the path of those who say the truth. If he is saying a lie, his sins will destroy him. So the man remained idle for as long as Allah willed, but he later rose against the leaders, and Allah punished him for his sins and he was killed."

Ibn Jarir recorded that Musa bin Ishaq Al-Madani said that;

Ali Al-Asadi waged war, blocked the roads, shed blood and plundered wealth. The leaders and the people alike, sought to capture him, but they could not do that until he came after he repented, after he heard a man reciting the Ayah,

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًاِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ


O My servants who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (39;53)

So he said to that man, "O servant of Allah! Recite it again."

So he recited it again, and Ali put down his sword and went to Al-Madinah in repentance, arriving during the night. He washed up and went to the Masjid of the Messenger of Allah and prayed the dawn prayer. He sat next to Abu Hurayrah amidst his companions. In the morning, the people recognized him and went after him. He said, "You have no way against me. I came in repentance before you had any authority over me."

Abu Hurayrah said, "He has said the truth," and he held his hand and went to Marwan bin Al-Hakam, who was the governor of Al-Madinah during the reign of Muawiyah.

Abu Hurayrah said, "This is Ali and he came in repentance and you do not have a way against him, nor can you have him killed."

So Ali was absolved of punishment and remained on his repentance and went to the sea to perform Jihad in Allah's cause.

The Muslims met the Romans in battle, and the Muslims brought the ship Ali was in to one of the Roman ships, and Ali crossed to that ship and the Romans escaped from him to the other side of the ship, and the ship capsized and they all drowned.