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waman
وَمَن
And whoever
yuwallihim
يُوَلِّهِمْ
turns to them
yawma-idhin
يَوْمَئِذٍ
that day
duburahu
دُبُرَهُۥٓ
his back
illā
إِلَّا
except
mutaḥarrifan
مُتَحَرِّفًا
(as) a strategy
liqitālin
لِّقِتَالٍ
of war
aw
أَوْ
or
mutaḥayyizan
مُتَحَيِّزًا
(to) join
ilā
إِلَىٰ
to
fi-atin
فِئَةٍ
a group,
faqad
فَقَدْ
certainly
bāa
بَآءَ
(he has) incurred
bighaḍabin
بِغَضَبٍ
wrath
mina
مِّنَ
of
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
Allah
wamawāhu
وَمَأْوَىٰهُ
and his abode
jahannamu
جَهَنَّمُۖ
(is) Hell,
wabi'sa
وَبِئْسَ
a wretched
l-maṣīru
ٱلْمَصِيرُ
destination.

Wa mai yuwallihim yawma'izin duburahooo illaa mutaharrifal liqitaalin aw mutahaiyizan ilaa fi'atin faqad baaa'a bighadabim minal laahi wa maawaahu Jahannamu wa bi'sal maseer

Sahih International:

And whoever turns his back to them on such a day, unless swerving [as a strategy] for war or joining [another] company, has certainly returned with anger [upon him] from Allah, and his refuge is Hell - and wretched is the destination.

1 A. J. Arberry

Whoso turns his back that day to them, unless withdrawing to fight again or removing to join another host, he is laden with the burden of God's anger, and his refuge is Gehenna -- an evil homecoming!

2 Abdul Haleem

if anyone does so on such a day- unless maneuvring to fight or to join a fighting group- he incurs the wrath of God, and Hell will be his home, a wretched destination!

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And whosoever turneth his back to them on such a day, unless it be swerving to a fight or wriggling round to anot her company, hath surely drawn upon himself indignation from Allah, and his resort is Hell--an evil destination!

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

If any do turn his back to them on such a day - unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)!

5 Abul Ala Maududi

For he who turns his back on them on such ar occasion - except that it be for tactical reasons, or turning to join another company - he shall incur the wrath of Allah and Hell shall be his abode. It is an evil destination.

6 Ahmed Ali

For any one who turns his back on that day, except to manoeuvre or rally to his side, will bring the wrath of God on himself, and have Hell as abode; and what an evil destination!

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And on that day whoever turns his back to them, except for a battle strategy or to join one’s own company, has then turned towards Allah’s wrath, and his destination is hell; and what an evil place of return!

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Whoever turns his back [to flee] from them that day—unless [he is] diverting to fight or retiring towards another troop—shall certainly earn Allah’s wrath, and his refuge shall be hell, an evil destination.

9 Ali Ünal

For whoever turns his back on them on the day of such an engagement – except that it be tactical maneuvering to fight again or joining another troop of believers (or taking up a position against another enemy host) – has indeed incurred God’s condemnation, and his final refuge is the Fire; how evil a destination to arrive at!

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And he that shows his back to them at such a time, unless he is maneuvering in warfare or as a measure to rally to another company, has truly incurred the displeasure of Allâh, and his refuge is Gehenna. What an evil destined end it is!

11 English Literal

And who turns his back/end away (from) them that day except swerving/inclining to fighting/killing or leaning/enjoining to a group, so he had returned/settled with anger from God, and his shelter/refuge (is) Hell , and how bad (is) the end/destination?

12 Faridul Haque

And on that day whoever turns his back to them, except for a battle strategy or to join one’s own company, has then turned towards Allah’s wrath, and his destination is hell; and what an evil place of return!

13 Hamid S. Aziz

For he who turns his back that day, save as a stratagem of war, or to retreat to his own troop, brings down upon himself the wrath of Allah, and his resort is Hell, an evil refuge.

14 Hilali & Khan

And whoever turns his back to them on such a day - unless it be a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own), - he indeed has drawn upon himself wrath from Allah. And his abode is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination!

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

O you who believe, when you meet those who disbelieve marching for war, turn not your backs to them.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And whoever shall turn his back to them on that day-- unless he turn aside for the sake of fighting or withdraws to a company-- then he, indeed, becomes deserving of Allah's wrath, and his abode is hell; and an evil destination shall it be.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless manoeuvring for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey's end.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

(Whoever deserts the believers) will incur the wrath of God and will dwell in hell, a terrible dwelling.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

If anyone on that day turns his back to them in flight, except when maneuvering to fight, or to join another party, he shall be laden with the Anger of Allah and Gehenna shall be his refuge an evil arrival.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And whoever turns his back to them on such a day -- unless it be a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own) -- he indeed has drawn upon himself wrath from Allah. And his abode is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination!

21 Wahiduddin Khan

whoever turns his back on such an occasion, unless it be as a stratagem of war, or in an endeavour to join another group [of the believers] will indeed draw down upon himself the wrath of God, and Hell shall be his abode and the worst indeed is that destination.

22 Talal Itani

Anyone who turns his back on them on that Day, except while maneuvering for battle, or to join another group, has incurred wrath from God, and his abode is Hell—what a miserable destination!

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Whoever turns his back to them on that day, the day of the encounter with them, unless manoeuvring, turning around, for battle -- by pretending to be in flight, as a trick, while actually intending to relaunch an attack -- or joining another detachment, a company of Muslims, calling on it for assistance, he has truly incurred the wrath of God, and his abode will be Hell -- an evil journey's end!, [an evil] return it is. This [threat] applies so long as the [numbers of] disbelievers do not surpass twice [that of the believers].

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

وَمَن يُوَلِّهِمْ يَوْمَيِذٍ دُبُرَهُ إِلاَّ مُتَحَرِّفاً لِّقِتَالٍ

And whoever turns his back to them on such a day -- unless it be a stratagem of war...

The Ayah says, whoever flees from the enemy by way of planning to pretend that he is afraid of the enemy, so that they follow him and he takes the chance and returns to kill the enemy, then there is no sin on him.

This is the explanation of Sa`id bin Jubayr and As-Suddi.

Ad-Dahhak also commented,

"Whoever went ahead of his fellow Muslims to investigate the strength of the enemy and make use of it,
أَوْ مُتَحَيِّزاً إِلَى فِيَةٍ
(or to retreat to a troop (of his own)),

meaning he leaves from here to another troop of Muslims to assist them or be assisted by them. So that is allowed for him, or even during the battle if he flees from his brigade to the commander. Or going to the grand Imam, would also fall under this permission."

Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said about Abu Ubayd when he was fighting on the bridge in the land of the Persians, because of the many Zoroastrian soldiers,

"If he retreated to me then I would be as a troop for him."

This is how it was reported by Muhammad bin Sirin from Umar.

In the report of Abu Uthman An-Nahdi from Umar, he said;

When Abu Ubayd was fighting, Umar said, "O people! We are your troop."

Mujahid said that Umar said,

"We are the troop of every Muslim."

Abdul-Malik bin Umayr reported from Umar,

"O people! Don't be confused over this Ayah, it was only about the day of Badr, and we are a troop for every Muslim."

Ibn Abi Hatim (recorded) that Nafi` questioned Ibn Umar,

"We are people who are not stationary when fighting our enemy, and we may not know where our troop is, be it that of our Imam or our army."

So he replied, "The troop is Allah's Messenger."

I said but Allah said,
إِذَا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ زَحْفاً
(when you meet those who disbelieve in the battlefield) to the end of the Ayah. So he said;

"This Ayah was about Badr, not before it nor after it."

Ad-Dahhak commented that Allah's statement,

أَوْ مُتَحَيِّزاً إِلَى فِيَةٍ

or to retreat to a troop,

refers to "Those who retreat to the Messenger of Allah and his Companions (when the Messenger was alive), and those who retreat in the present time to his commander or companions."

However, if one flees for any other reason than those mentioned here, then it is prohibited and considered a major sin.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

اِجْتَنِبُوا السَّبْعَ الْمُوبِقَات

"Shun the seven great destructive sins."

The people inquired, "O Allah's Messenger! What are they?"

He said,

الشِّرْكُ بِاللهِ

وَالسِّحْرُ

وَقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ

وَأَكْلُ الرِّبَا

وَأَكْلُ مَالِ الْيَتِيمِ

وَالتَّوَلِّي يَوْمَ الزَّحْفِ

وَقَذْفُ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَتِ الْمُوْمِنَات

They are;

Joining others in worship with Allah,

magic,

taking life which Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law),

consuming Riba,

consuming an orphan's wealth,

fleeing the battlefield at the time of fighting,

and false accusation to chaste women, who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.

This is why Allah said here,

فَقَدْ بَاء

he indeed has drawn upon himself...,

and returned with,

بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَمَأْوَاهُ

wrath from Allah. And his abode...,

destination, and dwelling place on the Day of Return,

جَهَنَّمُ وَبِيْسَ الْمَصِيرُ



is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination