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innamā
إِنَّمَا
Indeed,
l-nasīu
ٱلنَّسِىٓءُ
the postponing
ziyādatun
زِيَادَةٌ
(is) an increase
فِى
in
l-kuf'ri
ٱلْكُفْرِۖ
the disbelief,
yuḍallu
يُضَلُّ
are led astray
bihi
بِهِ
by it
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
those who
kafarū
كَفَرُوا۟
disbelieve.
yuḥillūnahu
يُحِلُّونَهُۥ
They make it lawful
ʿāman
عَامًا
one year
wayuḥarrimūnahu
وَيُحَرِّمُونَهُۥ
and make it unlawful
ʿāman
عَامًا
one year,
liyuwāṭiū
لِّيُوَاطِـُٔوا۟
to adjust
ʿiddata
عِدَّةَ
the number
مَا
which
ḥarrama
حَرَّمَ
Allah has made unlawful
l-lahu
ٱللَّهُ
Allah has made unlawful
fayuḥillū
فَيُحِلُّوا۟
and making lawful
مَا
which
ḥarrama
حَرَّمَ
Allah has made unlawful.
l-lahu
ٱللَّهُۚ
Allah has made unlawful.
zuyyina
زُيِّنَ
Is made fair-seeming
lahum
لَهُمْ
to them
sūu
سُوٓءُ
(the) evil
aʿmālihim
أَعْمَٰلِهِمْۗ
(of) their deeds.
wal-lahu
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
لَا
(does) not
yahdī
يَهْدِى
guide
l-qawma
ٱلْقَوْمَ
the people -
l-kāfirīna
ٱلْكَٰفِرِينَ
the disbelievers.

Innamma naseee'u ziyaadatun filkufri yudallu bihillazeena kafaroo yuhil loonahoo 'aamanw wa yuhar rimoonahoo 'aamalliyu watti'oo 'iddata maa harramal laah; zuyyina lahum sooo'u a'maalihim; wallaahu laa yahdil qawmal kaafireen

Sahih International:

Indeed, the postponing [of restriction within sacred months] is an increase in disbelief by which those who have disbelieved are led [further] astray. They make it lawful one year and unlawful another year to correspond to the number made unlawful by Allah and [thus] make lawful what Allah has made unlawful. Made pleasing to them is the evil of their deeds; and Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.

1 A. J. Arberry

The month postponed is an increase of unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another, to agree with the number that God has hallowed, and so profane what God has hallowed. Decked out fair to them are their evil deeds; and God guides not the people of the unbelievers.

2 Abdul Haleem

Postponing sacred months is another act of disobedience by which those who disregard [God] are led astray: they will allow it one year and forbid it in another in order outwardly to conform with the number of God’s sacred months, but in doing so they permit what God has forbidden. Their evil deeds are made alluring to them: God does not guide those who disregard [Him].

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

The postponement is but an addition unto infidelity, whereby the infidels are led astray, allowing it one year and forbidding it anot her year, that they may make up the number which Allah hath sanctified; and then they allow that which Allah hath forbidden. Made fair-seeming unto them is the vileness of their works; and Allah guideth not an infidel people.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Verily the transposing (of a prohibited month) is an addition to Unbelief; the Unbelievers are led to wrong thereby; for they make it lawful one year, and forbidden another year, in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their course seems pleasing to them. But Allah guideth not those who reject Faith.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

The intercalation (of sacred months) is an act of gross infidelity which causes the unbelievers to be led further astray. They declare a month to be lawful in one year and forbidden in another year in order that they may conform to the number of months that Allah has declared as sacred, and at the same time make lawful what Allah has forbidden. Their foul acts seem fair to them. Allah does not direct those who deny the Truth to the Right Way.

6 Ahmed Ali

Intercalating a month is adding to unbelief. The unbelievers are misguided by this, for they take the same month to be sacred one year and sacrilegious the next, thus making the number of months sanctified by God accord with theirs in order to make what God has forbidden, lawful. Attractive seem to them their evil deeds; but God does not show the unbelievers the way.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Their postponing of the months is nothing but furtherance in disbelief – the disbelievers are misled by it – they decree it lawful in one year and regard it forbidden in another year, in order to equate to the number of the months which Allah has made sacred, and to make lawful what Allah has forbidden; their evil deeds seem good in their sight; and Allah does not guide the disbelievers.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Indeed nasee is an increase in unfaith, whereby the faithless are led [further] astray. They allow it in one year and forbid it another year, so as to fit in with the number, which Allah has made inviolable, thus permitting what Allah has forbidden. Their evil deeds appear to them as decorous, and Allah does not guide the faithless lot.

9 Ali Ünal

The postponement of a sacred month, and therefore making changes (for such aims as to make fighting in the Sacred Months lawful and cause the season of the Pilgrimage to fall in the period of the year they wish) is but an increase in unbelief (for it means making the unlawful lawful and changing the nature of many lawful and unlawful acts done in those months and therefore recognizing no law). By doing so, those who disbelieve are (further) misled, declaring it (the month they postpone) permitted in one year and forbidden in another, in order that they may conform to the number of the months that God has declared as sacred, (without caring) that they thereby make lawful what God has made unlawful. The evil of their deeds is decked out to be appealing to them. God does not guide the disbelieving people (to truth and to the attainment of their aims).

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

The postponement (of a sacred month to some other month) is an excess (committed in the days of) disbelief; the disbelievers are led astray by this (practice). They hold it lawful (for waging a war) one year and forbid it another year, thus adjusting the term of the ban prescribed by Allâh and making lawful what Allâh has made unlawful. The evil of their deeds has been made (by satan) fair-seeming to them. And Allâh guides not the disbelieving people in the ways of success.

11 English Literal

But the delayment/postponement (is) an increase in the disbelief, those who disbelieved become misguided with it, they permit/allow it (for) a year and they forbid/prohibit it (for) a year, to agree to (the) term (that) God forbid/prohibited, so they permit/allow what God forbade/prohibited, and (the) bad/evil (of) their deeds was decorated/beautified for them, and God does not guide the nation the disbelieving.

12 Faridul Haque

Their postponing of the months is nothing but furtherance in disbelief - the disbelievers are misled by it - they decree it lawful in one year and regard it forbidden in another year, in order to equate to the number of the months which Allah has made sacred, and to make lawful what Allah has forbidden; their evil deeds seem good in their sight; and Allah does not guide the disbelievers.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Verily, postponement (of the sacred months) is but an addition of disbelief to lead astray therewith those who disbelieve. They make it lawful one year, but they make it unlawful in another, that they may make up the number of months which Allah has made sacred, to allow that which Allah has prohibited. Seemly to them are their evil works, but Allah guides not a misbelieving people.

14 Hilali & Khan

The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief: thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their deeds seems pleasing to them. And Allah guides not the people, who disbelieve.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months by Allah’s ordinance, since the day when He created the heavens and the earth -- of these four are sacred. That is the right religion; so wrong not yourselves therein. And fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together. And know that Allah is with those who keep their duty.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Postponing (of the sacred month) is only an addition in unbelief, wherewith those who disbelieve are led astray, violating it one year and keeping it sacred another, that they may agree in the number (of months) that Allah has made sacred, and thus violate what Allah has made sacred; the evil of their doings is made fairseeming to them; and Allah does not guide the unbelieving people.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Postponement (of a sacred month) is only an excess of disbelief whereby those who disbelieve are misled; they allow it one year and forbid it (another) year, that they may make up the number of the months which Allah hath hallowed, so that they allow that which Allah hath forbidden. The evil of their deeds is made fairseeming unto them. Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

To disregard the observation of the sacred months and to observe it during the non-sacred months is to add more to one's disbelief. This causes the unbelievers to go further astray. One year they (the pagans) consider a sacred month not sacred, (and observe it during a non-sacred month) but the next year they consider it sacred at the right time. By dealing with the sacred months in such a manner, they think that they have observed the laws of God, but, in fact, they have changed them. Their evil deeds seem attractive to them but God does not guide the unbelieving people.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

The postponement of sacred months is an increase in disbelief in which the unbelievers are misguided. They allow it one year and forbid it another year, so that they can make up for the months that Allah has sanctified so making lawful what Allah has forbidden. Their foul acts seem fair to them Allah does not guide the unbelievers.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief: thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their deeds is made fair-seeming to them. And Allah guides not the people who disbelieve.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

The postponing of [sacred months] is but one more instance of [their] refusal to acknowledge the truth -- by which those who are bent on denying the truth are led astray. They declare this to be permissible in one year and forbidden in another year, so that they may adjust the months which God has sanctified, thus making lawful what God has forbidden. Their evil deed seems fair to them: God does not guide those who deny the truth.

22 Talal Itani

Postponement is an increase in disbelief—by which those who disbelieve are led astray. They allow it one year, and forbid it another year, in order to conform to the number made sacred by God, thus permitting what God has forbidden. The evil of their deeds seems good to them. God does not guide the disbelieving people.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Postponement [of the sacred month] -- that is, the deferment of the sacredness of a given month to another, as they used to do during paganism, such as postponing the sacredness of Muharram, if it arrives while they are at war, to Safar -- is only an excess of unbelief, because of their rejection of God's ruling thereof, whereby those who disbelieve are led astray (yudallu may also be read yadillu, `[they] go astray'), one year they make it, the month postponed, profane, and hallow it another, that they may make up, by profaning one month and hallowing another in its place, the number, of months, which God has hallowed, such that they do not hallow more, or less, than the four months, but without observing the individual months themselves; and so they profane what God has hallowed. Their evil deeds have been adorned for them, such that they deem them to be good [deeds]; and God does not guide the disbelieving folk.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Admonishing the Preference of Opinion in a Religious Matter

Allah says;

إِنَّمَا النَّسِيءُ زِيَادَةٌ فِي الْكُفْرِ يُضَلُّ بِهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُحِلِّونَهُ عَامًا وَيُحَرِّمُونَهُ عَامًا لِّيُوَاطِوُواْ عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ فَيُحِلُّواْ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ زُيِّنَ لَهُمْ سُوءُ أَعْمَالِهِمْ وَاللّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ



The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief;thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their deeds is made fair-seeming to them. And Allah guides not the people who disbelieve.

Allah admonishes the idolators for choosing their wicked opinions over Allah's Law. They changed Allah's legislation based upon their vain desires, allowing what Allah prohibited and prohibiting what Allah allowed. They thought that three consecutive sacred months were rather long for them to remain without fighting, for they were full of anger and rage. This is why before Islam they innovated a change in the Sacred Month of Muharram, delaying it to the month of Safar! Therefore, they allowed fighting in the Sacred Month and made the non-sacred month sacred, to make the Sacred Months in a year four, as Allah decided!

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement,
إِنَّمَا النَّسِيءُ زِيَادَةٌ فِي الْكُفْرِ
(The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief),

"Junadah bin Awf bin Umayyah Al-Kinani, known as Abu Thumamah, used to attend the Hajj season every year and declare, `Abu Thumamah is never rejected nor refuted!,' and he used to treat Safar as sacred for people one year (and un-sanctify Muharram) and treat Muharram as sacred another year (and un-sanctify Safar in that year). This is why Allah said,
إِنَّمَا النَّسِيءُ زِيَادَةٌ فِي الْكُفْرِ
(The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief). Allah says, `They allow Muharram one year and make it sacred another year."'

Al-Awfi narrated a similar statement from Ibn Abbas.

Layth bin Abi Sulaym narrated that Mujahid said,

"There was a man from Bani Kinanah who would attend the Hajj season every year riding his donkey. He would proclaim, `O people! I am never rejected, denied or refuted in what I say. We made this coming Muharram sacred, and Safar not!' The following year he would come again and declare the same words then say, `We made this coming Safar sacred and delayed Muharram (revoked its sanctity).' This is the meaning of Allah's statement,
لِّيُوَاطِوُواْ عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ
(in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah), to four months. Allah says, `They allow what Allah disallowed by delaying the Sacred Month."'

The idolators used to allow Muharram one year and sanctify Safar in its place. They would continue the months of the year according to their normal count and names. The next year they would sanctify Muharram and continue the year, Safar, Rabi`, until the end of the year.

يُحِلِّونَهُ عَامًا وَيُحَرِّمُونَهُ عَامًا لِّيُوَاطِوُواْ عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ فَيُحِلُّواْ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ

They make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful.

Therefore, they would still sanctify four months every year, but would one year sanctify the third from the three consecutive Sacred Months, Muharram, and postpone and delay it another year to Safar.

In his book of Sirah, Imam Muhammad bin Ishaq presented a very useful beneficial discussion on this matter. He said;

"The first to start the practice of overlooking the sanctity of months for the Arabs, thus allowing what Allah sanctified of them and sanctifying what Allah allowed of them, was "Al-Qalammas". He was Hudhayfah bin Abd Fuqaym bin Adi bin Amr bin Thalabah bin Al-Harith bin Malik bin Kinanah bin Khuzaymah bin Mudrikah bin Ilyas bin Mudar bin Nizar bin Madd bin Adnan.

His son Abbad maintained this practice, then after him his son Qala bin Abbad did the same, Then his son Umayyah bin Qala, then his son Awf bin Umayyah, then his son Abu Thumamah Junadah bin Awf. He was the last one of his sons (to continue this practice) before Islam.

The Arabs used to gather around him when Hajj finished, and he would stand and give them a speech in which he sanctifies Rajab, Dhul-Qadah and Dhul-Hijjah. He would defer the sanctity of Muharram to Safar one year and uphold its sanctity another year, so as to appear upholding the number (of Sacred Months) Allah made sacred. Therefore, he would allow what Allah prohibited and prohibit what Allah allowed."

Allah knows best