Verses of Ifk

From wikishia
Verses of Ifk
Verse's Information
NameVerses of Ifk
SuraSura al-Nur
Content Information
Cause of
Event of Ifk
Place of
AboutA group of people falsely accused a Muslim woman of adultery.

Verses of Ifk (Arabic: آيات الإفك) (Qur'an 24:11-26) recount an incident from early Islam where a group of people falsely accused a Muslim woman of adultery. Through these verses, God rebukes people for slandering and spreading rumors.

There are two main reports regarding the accused person that are mentioned in various sources. According to Sunni sources and some Shi'a sources, the verses of Ifk were revealed due to the hypocrites' slander against Aisha. However, according to the second report cited in Tafsir al-Qummi, it was Aisha's accusation against Mariya al-Qibtiyya that led to the revelation of these verses.

There are some issues with both reports, which is why some scholars like Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadl Allah, Nasir Makarim Shirazi, and Ja'far Subhani have dismissed both of them.

Sayyid Ali Khamenei believes that the focus on identifying the accused individual is a diversion from the central issue in the Verses of Ifk. He argues that the main issue is a highly significant social and ethical directive, and it should not be reduced to a mere personal matter.

Text and Translation

Verses of Ifk (Qur'an 24:11-26)

Translation Text
Indeed those who initiated the calumny are a group from among yourselves. Do not suppose it is bad thing for you. No, it is for your good. Each man among them bears [the onus for] his share in the sin, and as for him who assumed its major burden from among them, there is a great punishment for him.

When you [first] heard about it, why did not the faithful, men and women, think well of their folks, and say, ‘This is an obvious calumny’?

Why did they not bring four witnesses to it? So when they could not bring the witnesses, they are liars in Allah’s sight.

Were it not for Allah’s grace and His mercy upon you in this world and the Hereafter, there would have befallen you a great punishment for what you ventured into,

when you were receiving it on your tongues, and were mouthing something of which you had no knowledge, supposing it to be a light matter, while it was a grave [matter] with Allah.

And why did you not, when you heard it, say, ‘It is not for us to say such a thing. [O Allah!] You are immaculate! This is a monstrous calumny!’

Allah advises you lest you should ever repeat the like of it, should you be faithful. Allah clarifies the signs for you, and Allah is all-knowing, all-wise.

Indeed those who want indecency to spread among the faithful—there is a painful punishment for them in the world and the Hereafter, and Allah knows and you do not know.

Were it not for Allah’s grace and His mercy upon you, and that Allah is all-kind, all-merciful…

O you who have faith! Do not follow in Satan’s steps. Whoever follows in Satan’s steps [should know that] he indeed prompts [you to commit] indecent and wrongful acts. Were it not for Allah’s grace and His mercy upon you, not one of you would ever become pure. But Allah purifies whomever He wishes, and Allah is all-hearing, all-knowing.

The well-off and the opulent among you should not vow that they will not give [any longer] to the relatives and the needy, and to those who have migrated in the way of Allah, and let them excuse and forbear. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful.

Indeed those who accuse chaste and unwary faithful women shall be cursed in this world and the Hereafter, and there shall be a great punishment for them

on the day when witness shall be given against them by their tongues, their hands, and their feet concerning what they used to do.

On that day, Allah will pay them in full their due recompense, and they shall know that Allah is the Manifest Reality.

Vicious women are for vicious men, and vicious men for vicious women. Good women are for good men, and good men for good women. These are absolved of what they say [about them]. For them is forgiveness and a noble provision.

إِنَّ الَّذِینَ جَاءُوا بِالْإِفْک عُصْبَةٌ مِّنکمْ ۚ لَا تَحْسَبُوهُ شَرًّ‌ا لَّکم ۖ بَلْ هُوَ خَیرٌ لَّکمْ ۚ لِکلِّ امْرِ‌ئٍ مِّنْهُم مَّا اکتَسَبَ مِنَ الْإِثْمِ ۚ وَالَّذِی تَوَلَّىٰ كِبْرَ‌هُ مِنْهُمْ لَهُ عَذَابٌ عَظِیمٌ ۱۱

لَّوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ ظَنَّ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بِأَنفُسِهِمْ خَیرً‌ا وَقَالُوا هَٰذَا إِفْک مُّبِینٌ ۱۲

لَّوْلَا جَاءُوا عَلَیهِ بِأَرْ‌بَعَةِ شُهَدَاءَ ۚ فَإِذْ لَمْ یأْتُوا بِالشُّهَدَاءِ فَأُولَٰئِک عِندَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْکاذِبُونَ ۱۳

وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَیکمْ وَرَ‌حْمَتُهُ فِی الدُّنْیا وَالْآخِرَ‌ةِ لَمَسَّکمْ فِی مَا أَفَضْتُمْ فِیهِ عَذَابٌ عَظِیمٌ ۱۴

إِذْ تَلَقَّوْنَهُ بِأَلْسِنَتِکمْ وَتَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِکم مَّا لَیسَ لَکم بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَتَحْسَبُونَهُ هَینًا وَهُوَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِیمٌ ۱۵

وَلَوْلَا إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ قُلْتُم مَّا یکونُ لَنَا أَن نَّتَکلَّمَ بِهَٰذَا سُبْحَانَک هَٰذَا بُهْتَانٌ عَظِیمٌ ۱۶

یعِظُکمُ اللَّهُ أَن تَعُودُوا لِمِثْلِهِ أَبَدًا إِن کنتُم مُّؤْمِنِینَ ۱۷

وَیبَینُ اللَّهُ لَکمُ الْآیاتِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلِیمٌ حَکیمٌ ۱۸

إِنَّ الَّذِینَ یحِبُّونَ أَن تَشِیعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِی الَّذِینَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِیمٌ فِی الدُّنْیا وَالْآخِرَ‌ةِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ یعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ۱۹

وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَیکمْ وَرَ‌حْمَتُهُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ رَ‌ءُوفٌ رَّ‌حِیمٌ ۲۰

یا أَیهَا الَّذِینَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّیطَانِ ۚ وَمَن یتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّیطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ یأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنکرِ ۚ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَیکمْ وَرَ‌حْمَتُهُ مَا زَکیٰ مِنکم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا وَلَٰکنَّ اللَّهَ یزَکی مَن یشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِیعٌ عَلِیمٌ ۲۱

وَلَا یأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنکمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن یؤْتُوا أُولِی الْقُرْ‌بَیٰ وَالْمَسَاکینَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِ‌ینَ فِی سَبِیلِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَلْیعْفُوا وَلْیصْفَحُوا ۗ أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن یغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَکمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّ‌حِیمٌ ۲۲

إِنَّ الَّذِینَ یرْ‌مُونَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْغَافِلَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ لُعِنُوا فِی الدُّنْیا وَالْآخِرَ‌ةِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِیمٌ ۲۳

یوْمَ تَشْهَدُ عَلَیهِمْ أَلْسِنَتُهُمْ وَأَیدِیهِمْ وَأَرْ‌جُلُهُم بِمَا کانُوا یعْمَلُونَ ۲۴

یوْمَئِذٍ یوَفِّیهِمُ اللَّهُ دِینَهُمُ الْحَقَّ وَیعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ الْمُبِینُ ۲۵

الْخَبِیثَاتُ لِلْخَبِیثِینَ وَالْخَبِیثُونَ لِلْخَبِیثَاتِ ۖ وَالطَّیبَاتُ لِلطَّیبِینَ وَالطَّیبُونَ لِلطَّیبَاتِ ۚ أُولَٰئِک مُبَرَّ‌ءُونَ مِمَّا یقُولُونَ ۖ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَ‌ةٌ وَرِ‌زْقٌ کرِ‌یمٌ ۲۶


In verses 11 to 26 of Sura al-Nur, the Quran recounts the story of accusing a Muslim, and God rebukes the accusers for their baseless allegations.[1] Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i, the author of Tafsir al-Mizan, infers from the Quranic verses that the accused person was a well-known member of the Prophet's family, while the accusers were a group of people.[2] In these verses, God threatens the slanderers with severe punishment and rebukes the believers for accepting rumors without evidence.[3]

Some scholars argue that the event of Ifk was the most fundamental internal conspiracy against the Prophet's government carried out by the hypocrites. They believe that God upheld the Prophet's mission by revealing the verses of Ifk.[4]

Occasion of the Revelation

Two occasions for the revelation of the verses of Ifk have been mentioned:

Criticisms on the Two Causes of Revelation

Some problems have been stated for the two causes of revelation. For instance, in the story of Aisha, it is asserted that the Prophet (s) avoided bringing his wives to battles.[19] Additionally, according to Sunni reports, there are claims that the Prophet (s) harbored suspicions about Aisha. This notion contradicts his status of infallibility.[20] Sayyid Ja'far Murtada regards this story as fabricated, attributing it to its creators' deliberate efforts to glorify Aisha.[21]

There are also objections concerning the story related to Mariya, as the Verses of Ifk mention a group of accusers, while only Aisha is identified as the accuser in this narration.[22] Furthermore, it has been argued that the narration suggesting the Prophet (s) ordered the killing of a person named Jarir is unlikely to be true. The Prophet (s) would not have commanded someone's execution without thoroughly examining the matter. Additionally, the punishment for such a sin is not death.[23]

Some exegetes, including Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i,[24] Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadl Allah,[25] Nasir Makarim Shirazi,[26] and Ja'far Subhani,[27] have rejected both causes of revelation in light of these criticisms. Some have even proposed that the verse may have been revealed about a third person.[28]

Sayyid Ali Khamenei believes that focusing on identifying the accused individual in the Verses of Ifk is a distraction from the main issue. He argues that the central matter is a significant social and ethical directive, and it should not be reduced to a personal matter.[29]


  1. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 15, p. 89.
  2. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 15, p. 89.
  3. Makārim Shīrāzī, al-Amthal fī tafsīr kitāb Allāh al-munzal, vol. 11, p. 46.
  4. Ḥusaynīyān Muqaddam, Barrasī-yi tārīkhī tafsīrī-yi ḥāditha-yi Ifk, p. 160.
  5. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 297-302; Wāqidī, al-Maghāzī, vol. 2, p. 426-435.
  6. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 2, p. 48-50; Masʿūdī, al-Tanbīh wa al-ishrāf, p. 215.
  7. Ibn al-Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 1, p. 29.
  8. Mughnīya, Tafsīr al-Kāshif, vol. 5, p. 403.
  9. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 2, p. 99.
  10. Khishin, Abḥāth ḥawl al-Sayyida Āisha ruʾyat shīʿiyyat muʿāṣirat, p. 258.
  11. Khoeī, Ṣirāṭ al-najāt, vol. 1, p. 463.
  12. ʿĀmilī, Ḥadīth al-Ifk, p. 381-382.
  13. ʿAskarī, Aḥadīth Umm al-Muʾminīn Āisha, vol. 2, p. 186-187.
  14. Sayyid Murtaḍā, Amālī al-Murtaḍā, vol. 1, p. 77.
  15. Khuṣaybī, al-Hidāya al-kubrā, p. 297-298.
  16. Muslim Nayshābūrī, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, vol. 4, p. 2139.
  17. Ḥākim al-Nayshābūrī, al-Mustadrak ʿala l-ṣaḥīḥayn, vol. 4, p. 41.
  18. Khishin, Abḥāth ḥawl al-Sayyida Āisha ruʾyat shīʿiyyat muʿāṣirat, p. 254.
  19. Ṭāʾī, Sirat al-Sayyida al-Āisha, vol. 1, p. 205-206.
  20. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 15, p. 101; Makārim Shīrāzī, al-Amthal, vol. 11, p. 40.
  21. ʿĀmilī, al-Ṣaḥīḥ min sīrat al-nabīyy al-aʿẓam, vol. 12, p. 77-78, 81, 97.
  22. Makārim Shīrāzī, al-Amthal, vol. 11, p. 41.
  23. Faḍl Allāh, Tafsīr min waḥy al-Qur'ān, vol. 16, p. 256.
  24. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 15, p. 89.
  25. Faḍl Allāh, Tafsīr min waḥy al-Qur'ān, vol. 16, p. 252-257.
  26. Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 14, p. 391-393.
  27. Subḥānī, Manshūr-i jāwid, vol. 9, p. 118.
  28. Jaʿfarniā, Barrasī wa naqd-i guzārish-hā-yi ḥāditha-yi Ifk, p. 47.
  29. Khāmeneʾī, Sayyid ʿAlī. Khuṭbahā-yi namāz-i Jumʿa Tehran dar 28 Mihr 1368.


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