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wa-idhā
وَإِذَا
And when
faʿalū
فَعَلُوا۟
they do
fāḥishatan
فَٰحِشَةً
immorality
qālū
قَالُوا۟
they say,
wajadnā
وَجَدْنَا
"We found
ʿalayhā
عَلَيْهَآ
on it
ābāanā
ءَابَآءَنَا
our forefathers
wal-lahu
وَٱللَّهُ
and Allah
amaranā
أَمَرَنَا
(has) ordered us
bihā
بِهَاۗ
of it."
qul
قُلْ
Say,
inna
إِنَّ
"Indeed,
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
لَا
(does) not
yamuru
يَأْمُرُ
order
bil-faḥshāi
بِٱلْفَحْشَآءِۖ
immorality.
ataqūlūna
أَتَقُولُونَ
Do you say
ʿalā
عَلَى
about
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
Allah
مَا
what
لَا
(does) not?"
taʿlamūna
تَعْلَمُونَ
you know?"

Wa izaa fa'aloo faahishatan qaaloo wajadnaa 'alaihaaa aabaaa'ana wallaahu amaranaa bihaa; qul innal laaha laa yaamuru bilfahshaaa'i a-taqooloona 'alal laahi mmaa laa ta'lamoon

Sahih International:

And when they commit an immorality, they say, "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has ordered us to do it." Say, "Indeed, Allah does not order immorality. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know?"

1 A. J. Arberry

And whenever they commit an indecency they say, 'We found our fathers practising it, and God has commanded us to do it.' Say: 'God does not command indecency; what, do you say concerning God such things as you know not?'

2 Abdul Haleem

Yet when [these people] do something disgraceful, they say, ‘We found our forefathers doing this,’ and, ‘God has commanded us to do this.’ Say [Prophet], ‘God does not command disgraceful deeds. How can you say about God things that you do not know [to be true]?’

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And when they commit an indecency, they say: we found our fathers thereon, and God hath enjoined it on us. Say thou. verily Allah enjoineth not an indecency; say ye falsely of Allah that which ye know not?

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

When they do aught that is shameful, they say; "We found our fathers doing so"; and "Allah commanded us thus"; Say; "Nay, Allah never commands what is shameful; do ye say of Allah what ye know not?"

5 Abul Ala Maududi

And when such people commit an indecent act they say: 'We found our fathers doing that, and Allah has enjoined it on us. Say: 'Surely Allah never enjoins any indecency. Do you say things regarding Allah that you do not know?'

6 Ahmed Ali

Who say when they commit shameful acts: "Our ancestors used to do so, and God has enjoined us to do the same." Say to them: "God never enjoins a conduct that is shameful. You impute such lies to God as you do not know."

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And when they commit any shameful act they say, “We found our forefathers on it and Allah has commanded it to us”; say, “Indeed Allah does not ordain shamelessness; what! You attribute things to Allah, which you do not know?”

8 Ali Quli Qarai

When they commit an indecency, they say, ‘We found our fathers practising it, and Allah has enjoined it upon us.’ Say, ‘Indeed Allah does not enjoin indecencies. Do you attribute to Allah what you do not know?’

9 Ali Ünal

And whenever they commit an indecency, they say (attempting to excuse themselves): "We found our fathers doing that (and follow in their footsteps), and this is what God has enjoined upon us." Say: "Indeed, God does not enjoin indecency. Or is it that you speak about God things you have no knowledge of?"

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And when they (- the disbelievers) commit an act of indecency, they say, `We found our forefathers (practising) on it, and it is Allâh Who has enjoined it upon us.´ Say, `Surely, Allâh never enjoins indecencies. Do you attribute to Allâh what you do not know (that it is from Him).´

11 English Literal

And if they made/did an enormous/atrocious deed , they said: "We found our fathers on it, and God ordered/commanded us with it." Say: "That God does not order/command with the enormous/atrocious deeds , do you say on (about) God what you do not know?"

12 Faridul Haque

And when they commit any shameful act they say, "We found our forefathers on it and Allah has commanded it to us"; say, "Indeed Allah does not ordain shamelessness; what! You attribute things to Allah, which you do not know?"

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And when they commit an abomination (shameful things) they say, "We found our fathers at this, and Allah bade us do it." Say, " Nay, Allah bids you not to do abominations (shameful things); do you say against Allah that which you know not?"

14 Hilali & Khan

And when they commit a Fahisha (evil deed, going round the Ka'bah in naked state, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.), they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded us of it." Say: "Nay, Allah never commands of Fahisha. Do you say of Allah what you know not?

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

O children of Adam, let not the devil seduce you, as he expelled your parents from the garden, pulling off from their clothing that he might show them their shame. He surely sees you, he as well as his host, from whence you see them not. Surely We have made the devils to be the friends of those who believe not.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And when they commit an indecency they say: We found our fathers doing this, and Allah has enjoined it on us. Say: Surely Allah does not enjoin indecency; do you say against Allah what you do not know?

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And when they do some lewdness they say: We found our fathers doing it and Allah hath enjoined it on us. Say: Allah, verily, enjoineth not lewdness. Tell ye concerning Allah that which ye know not?

18 Muhammad Sarwar

When (The faithless) commit indecent acts they say, "We found our fathers doing this and God has commanded us to do the same." (Muhammad) tell them that God does not command anyone to commit indecency. Do you speak for God, saying things of which you have no knowledge?

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

When they commit an indecency, they say: 'This is what we found our fathers practicing, and with it Allah has ordered us' Say: 'Allah does not order indecency. Would you tell of Allah what you do not know'

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And when they commit a Fahishah, they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us." Say: "Nay, Allah never commands Fahishah. Do you say about Allah what you know not"

21 Wahiduddin Khan

And when they commit an indecency, they say, "This is what our fathers used to do and God has enjoined it on us." Say, "God does not enjoin what is indecent. Would you attribute to God something of which you have no knowledge?"

22 Talal Itani

And when they commit an indecency, they say, “We found our parents doing this, and God has commanded us to do it.” Say, “God does not command indecencies. Are you attributing to God what you do not know?”

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And when they commit any indecency, such as idolatry, or circumambulating the [Sacred] House naked, saying, `We cannot perform the circumambulations wearing clothes in which we were disobedient to God' -- and so they forbade this [wearing of clothes] -- they say, `We found our fathers practising it, and so we followed their example, and God has, also, enjoined it on us'. Say, to them; `God does not enjoin indecency. Do you say concerning God that which you do not know?', that He has said? (the interrogative is meant as a repudiation).

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Disbelievers commit Sins and claim that Allah commanded Them to do so!

Mujahid said,

"The idolators used to go around the House (Ka`bah) in Tawaf while naked, saying, `We perform Tawaf as our mothers gave birth to us.'

The woman would cover her sexual organ with something saying, `Today, some or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it, I do not allow it (it is not for adultery or for men to enjoy looking at!)."'

Allah sent down the Ayah,

وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَا ابَاءنَا وَاللّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا

And when they commit a Fahishah (sin), they say;"We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us."

I say, the Arabs, with the exception of the Quraysh, used to perform Tawaf naked. They claimed they would not make Tawaf while wearing the clothes that they disobeyed Allah in. As for the Quraysh, known as Al-Hums, they used to perform Tawaf in their regular clothes. Whoever among the Arabs borrowed a garment from one of Al-Hums, he would wear it while in Tawaf. And whoever wore a new garment, would discard it and none would wear it after him on completion of Tawaf. Those who did not have a new garment, or were not given one by Al-Hums, then they would perform Tawaf while naked.

Even women would go around in Tawaf while naked, and one of them would cover her sexual organ with something and proclaim, "Today, a part or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it I do not allow it."

Women used to perform Tawaf while naked usually at night. This was a practice that the idolators invented on their own, following only their forefathers in this regard. They falsely claimed that what their forefathers did was in fact following the order and legislation of Allah. Allah then refuted them, Allah said,
وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَا ابَاءنَا وَاللّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا
(And when they commit a Fahishah, they say;"We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us").
Allah does not order Fahsha', but orders Justice and Sincerity

Allah replied to this false claim,

قُلْ

Say, (O Muhammad, to those who claimed this),

إِنَّ اللّهَ لَا يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاء

"Nay, Allah never commands Fahsha'...,"

meaning, the practice you indulge in is a despicable sin, and Allah does not command such a thing.

أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ



"Do you say about Allah what you know not!"

that is, do you attribute to Allah statements that you are not certain are true.

Allah said next