In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
A SURA which we have sent down and sanctioned! Clear signs have we sent down therein, that ye may take warning.
The whore and the whoremongerscourge each of them with an hundred stripes; and let not compassion keep you from carrying out the sentence of God, if ye believe in God and the last day: And let some of the faithful witness their chastisement.1
The whoremonger shall not marry other than a whore or an idolatress; and the whore shall not marry other than a whoremonger or an idolater. Such alliances are forbidden to the faithful.
They who defame virtuous women,2 and bring not four witnesses, scourge them with fourscore stripes, and receive ye not their testimony for ever, for these are perverse persons
Save those who afterwards repent and live virtuously; for truly God is Lenient, Merciful!
And they who shall accuse their wives, and have no witnesses but themselves, the testimony of each of them shall be a testimony by God four times repeated, that he is indeed of them that speak the truth.3
And the fifth time that the malison of God be upon him, if he be of them that lie.
But it shall avert the chastisement from her if she testify a testimony four times repeated, by God, that he is of them that lie;
And a fifth time to call down the wrath of God on her, if he have spoken the truth.
Of a truth, they who advanced that lie4 were a large number of you; but regard it not as an evil to you. No, it is an advantage to you.5 To every man among them shall it be done according to the offence he hath committed; and as to that person6 among them who took on himself to aggravate it, a sore punishment doth await him.
Did not the faithful of both sexes, when ye heard of this, form a favourable judgment in their own minds, and say,
This is a manifest lie?
Have they brought four witnesses of the fact? If they cannot produce the witnesses, they are the liars in the sight of God.
And but for the goodness of God towards you, and His mercy in this world and in the next, a severe punishment had come upon you for that which ye spread abroad, when ye uttered with your tongues, and spake with your mouths that of which ye had no knowledge. Ye deemed it to be a light matter, but with God it was a grave one.
And did ye say when ye heard it, It is not for us to talk of this affair! O God! By thy Glory, this is a gross calumny?
God hath warned you that ye go not back to the like of this for ever, if ye be believers: