Surah Al-Mumtahana (60): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Mumtahana in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah الممتحنة ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Al-Mumtahana

Surah Al-Mumtahana
سُورَةُ المُمۡتَحنَةِ
Page 549 (Verses from 1 to 5)

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَتَّخِذُوا۟ عَدُوِّى وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِم بِٱلْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا۟ بِمَا جَآءَكُم مِّنَ ٱلْحَقِّ يُخْرِجُونَ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۙ أَن تُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَٰدًا فِى سَبِيلِى وَٱبْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِى ۚ تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِم بِٱلْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَا۠ أَعْلَمُ بِمَآ أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَآ أَعْلَنتُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْهُ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ إِن يَثْقَفُوكُمْ يَكُونُوا۟ لَكُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَيَبْسُطُوٓا۟ إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ وَأَلْسِنَتَهُم بِٱلسُّوٓءِ وَوَدُّوا۟ لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ لَن تَنفَعَكُمْ أَرْحَامُكُمْ وَلَآ أَوْلَٰدُكُمْ ۚ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَكُمْ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِىٓ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُۥٓ إِذْ قَالُوا۟ لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَءَٰٓؤُا۟ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ ٱلْعَدَٰوَةُ وَٱلْبَغْضَآءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَحْدَهُۥٓ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَآ أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مِن شَىْءٍ ۖ رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ ٱلْمَصِيرُ رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا رَبَّنَآ ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ

Listen to Surah Al-Mumtahana (Arabic and English translation)

Tafsir of Surah Al-Mumtahana (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah, your Lord. If you have come out for jihad in My cause and seeking means to My approval, [take them not as friends]. You confide to them affection, but I am most knowing of what you have concealed and what you have declared. And whoever does it among you has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.

English Transliteration

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la tattakhithoo AAaduwwee waAAaduwwakum awliyaa tulqoona ilayhim bialmawaddati waqad kafaroo bima jaakum mina alhaqqi yukhrijoona alrrasoola waiyyakum an tuminoo biAllahi rabbikum in kuntum kharajtum jihadan fee sabeelee waibtighaa mardatee tusirroona ilayhim bialmawaddati waana aAAlamu bima akhfaytum wama aAAlantum waman yafAAalhu minkum faqad dalla sawaa alssabeeli


The Surah opens with a prohibitory injunction to Muslims against having close and intimate friendship with disbelievers and those who associate partners with Allah. This injunction was revealed in the context of a particular incident which is mentioned below:

Background of Revelation

The tafsir of Qurtubi, with reference to Qushairi and Tha'labi, records that after the battle of Badr, before the Conquest of Makkah, a Makkan female vocalist whose name was Sarah, first arrived in Madinah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ asked her whether she had migrated to Madinah. She replied in the negative. Then he asked her whether she had embraced Islam. Again her reply was in the negative. Then he asked her to explain the reason why she arrived in Madinah. She explained, 'You belong to the high society of Makkah and I used to do my living amongst you. The great leaders of Makkah were killed in the battle of Badr, and you have moved here. My living has become impossible. I am down-and-out and hard-pressed. I have come to you for help.' The Holy Prophet ﷺ said to her, 'You are a professional female singer of Makkah and where are the Makkan youngsters who used to shower money on you?' She said that after the battle of Badr all her functions and singing sessions had come to an end. "Since that time", she said, "nobody has invited me." The Holy Prophet ﷺ encouraged Banu ` Abd-ul-Muttalib to assist her. They helped her with money, clothing and other things and sent her off.

This happened at a time when the pagans of Makkah had failed to honour the treaty of Hudaibiyah, and the Holy Prophet ﷺ was making secret preparations to march on Makkah. He had also prayed to Allah that his secret plan must not be prematurely divulged to the people of Makkah. However, from amongst the foremost Muhajirin (Refugees) there was a Companion Sayyidna Hatib Ibn Abi Balta` ah ؓ . He was originally from Yemen, who had settled in Makkah where he had no relatives and had embraced Islam. After migration, he settled in Madinah, but his family was still in Makkah. The pagans of Makkah used to persecute the Muslims tortuously who had remained in Makkah after the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، and his blessed Companions migrated to Madinah. The Refugees who had relatives in Makkah had some degree of protection. But Sayyidna Hatib Ibn Abi Balta'ah ؓ was worried that he had no relatives to protect his family from the persecution. He seized this opportunity to have his family protected from Makkan persecution. So, he thought if he did a favor to the Makkans, they would feel obliged to him, and in return they will take care of his family and protect them.

Sayyidna Hatib Ibn Abi Balta'ah ؓ was sure that Allah would grant victory to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، and leaking the secret information would not harm the Holy Prophet ﷺ or Islam. He thought if he were to write a letter and inform the Makkans that the Holy Prophet ﷺ intends to attack them, his children would be safe. He thus committed the mistake of writing a letter to the people of Makkah telling them the intention of the Holy Prophet ﷺ to invade upon Makkah. He dispatched the letter with the singing woman, Sarah, who was on her way to Makkah. [ Qurtubi and Mazhari ].

Allah Ta` ala informed the Holy Prophet ﷺ about it through revelation, and he was also informed that the bearer of the letter, a woman, has reached the place known as Raudah Khakh. According to a narration in the two Sahibs on the authority of Sayyidna Ali ؓ ، the Holy Prophet ﷺ called for him, Abu Marthad and Zubair Ibn ` Awwam ؓ and commanded them to ride their horses and pursue the woman who would be found in Raudah Khakh. He said: "There you will find a pagan woman bearing a letter from Sayyidna Hatib Ibn Abi Balta'ah addressed to the pagans of Makkah. Overtake her and bring back the letter." The Companions, in pursuance of the command, galloped on their horses and went after the woman and found her in the place where the Holy Prophet ﷺ had named. She was seen there riding a camel. They made the camel sit and searched for the letter, but to no avail. They said to themselves that she must have the letter with her because the information of the Holy Prophet ﷺ could never be wrong. She must have hidden it somewhere. They asked her to produce the letter, but she denied any knowledge of it. They then had to adopt a sterner attitude and threatened to remove all her clothes, if she did not surrender the letter. When she saw their determination, she produced it from her loincloth. The letter was brought back to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ . When Sayyidna ` Umar Al-Faruq ؓ heard the story, he exclaimed seeking the Holy Prophet's ﷺ permission to behead the one who betrayed Allah, His Messenger ﷺ and all the Muslims.

The Holy Prophet ﷺ asked Sayyidna Hatib Ibn Abi Balta'ah ؓ : '0 Hatib! What has prompted you to do this?' Sayyidna Hatib Ibn Abi Balta'ah ؓ replied that his faith was not shaken in the least. He explained that he intended to do a favor to the residents of Makkah, so that they might not harm his family. He pleaded that all other muhajirin (Emigrants) had their clans in Makkah, while his family had no one to take care of them.

The Holy Prophet ﷺ said to his Companions: "He has told you the truth." Sayyidna ` Umar Al-Faruq رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ was not convinced on account of his zeal of faith, and repeated his request to kill him. The Holy Prophet ﷺ put forward more compelling arguments. He said:

'He attended Badr. What can I tell you, perhaps Allah looked at those who attended Badr and said, "0 People of Badr, do what you like, for I have forgiven you.'

Having heard this, tears rolled down from Sayyidna ` Umar's ؓ eyes and he said: "Allah and His Messenger ﷺ alone has the knowledge of reality." [ This narration of Bukhari is recorded in the Book of Mghazi: The Battle of Badr, as quoted by Ibn Kathir ]. Some of the versions also have the additional statement of Sayyidna Hatib Ibn Abi Balta` ah ضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ : "I never did this to harm Islam or the Muslims because I knew for sure that Allah will grant victory to the Holy Prophet ﷺ irrespective of whether or not the Makkans came to know about the impending attack."

It was with reference to this incident that Allah revealed the opening verses of Surah Al-Mumtahinah forbidding the Muslims vehemently to have friendly relations with the infidels.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ (0 you who believe, do not take My enemies and your enemies for friends, expressing love with them...60:1). The immediate occasion of the revelation of the verse under comment was the incident stated earlier. Such a letter written to the disbelievers amounted to having friendly intimacy with them. This verse uses the expression عَدُوِّی وَ عَدُوَّکُم "My enemy and your enemy" instead of kuffar [ infidels ] presumably to indicate the underlying cause of the injunction, in that hopes of friendship from your enemy and Allah's enemy are illusory. It needs to be avoided. Furthermore, this expression is an indication that an infidel, as long as he is an infidel, can never be a friend of a Muslim as long as he is a Muslim. An infidel is the enemy of Allah, whereas a Muslim loves Allah. How can there be an intimate friendship between the two?

وَقَدْ كَفَرُ‌وا بِمَا جَاءَكُم مِّنَ الْحَقِّ يُخْرِ‌جُونَ الرَّ‌سُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۙ أَن تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّـهِ رَ‌بِّكُمْ (...while they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, expelling the Messenger and your selves [ from Makkah ], merely because you have faith in Allah, your Lord...60:1). The word haqq [ truth ] refers either to the Qur'an or to Islam. This part of the verse refers to their kufr (rejection of Truth) as the real reason of their enmity. Then it points out even to their hostile attitude, proved on the ground, that they drove the Holy Prophet ﷺ and his followers out of their dear homes, not for any worldly grudge, but for one and only one reason, that is, their faith. Thus it becomes clear that believers as long as they are believers, the non-believers cannot be their intimate friends. This also clarifies that the position Hatib ؓ had taken was inappropriate. He was wrong in his thinking that if he did them a favor, they would be obliged to him and take care of his family, because they were enemies of the faith. Unless [ God forbid!] one loses one's faith, the hope of friendly intimacy with the enemies of Allah is illusory and virtually impossible.

إِن كُنتُمْ خَرَ‌جْتُمْ جِهَادًا فِي سَبِيلِي وَابْتِغَاءَ مَرْ‌ضَاتِي (...if you have set out to do jihad (struggle) in My way, and to seek My pleasure...60:1). This statement also points out that if the migration was indeed for the sake of Allah and His good pleasure, it is impossible for an infidel, the enemy of Allah, to take care of Allah's friend.

تُسِرُّ‌ونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَا أَعْلَمُ بِمَا أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَا أَعْلَنتُمْ (...You express love with them secretly, while I know what you have concealed and what you have revealed ....60:1). This statement makes it clear that anyone who secretly maintains a friendly intimacy with the unbelievers should not think that it will remain secret. Allah is fully aware of what people do secretly and openly, as it happened in the story recounted above. Allah informed the Holy Prophet ﷺ by revelation and had the secret plot thwarted.

English Translation

If they gain dominance over you, they would be to you as enemies and extend against you their hands and their tongues with evil, and they wish you would disbelieve.

English Transliteration

In yathqafookum yakoonoo lakam aAAdaan wayabsutoo ilaykum aydiyahum waalsinatahum bialssooi wawaddoo law takfuroona

إِن يَثْقَفُوكُمْ يَكُونُوا لَكُمْ أَعْدَاءً وَيَبْسُطُوا إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ وَأَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالسُّوءِ (Should they have access to you, they will become your enemies, and will stretch their hands and tongues towards you with evil;...60:2). The verse indicates how bitter are the feelings of disbelievers towards Muslims. They would use all means, their hands and their tongues, and would spare no effort to harm the Muslims. Therefore, it is impossible that when they find an opportunity in their favor and overpower Muslims, they will ever exercise tolerance towards them.

وَوَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُ‌ونَ (...and they desire that you should reject the (true) faith...60:2). The greatest desire of the non-believers' hearts is to see the Muslims revert to disbelief. Thus when the Muslims stretch their hand of friendship towards them, it will be at the cost of their belief. They will never be happy with the Muslims unless they give up their faith.

English Translation

Never will your relatives or your children benefit you; the Day of Resurrection He will judge between you. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.

English Transliteration

Lan tanfaAAakum arhamukum wala awladukum yawma alqiyamati yafsilu baynakum waAllahu bima taAAmaloona baseerun

لَن تَنفَعَكُمْ أَرْ‌حَامُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ ۚ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ‌ (Neither your womb-relations nor your children will avail you on the Day of Judgment. He will decide between you, and Allah is watchful of what you do...60:3). The verse refutes the plea of Sayyidna Hatib ؓ . He did what he did for the love of his children, but they will be of no help on the Day of Resurrection. All relations on that day will come to an end. Parents will flee from their children, and children from their parents, and no secret will ever remain hidden from Allah.

English Translation

There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, "Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone" except for the saying of Abraham to his father, "I will surely ask forgiveness for you, but I have not [power to do] for you anything against Allah. Our Lord, upon You we have relied, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination.

English Transliteration

Qad kanat lakum oswatun hasanatun fee ibraheema waallatheena maAAahu ith qaloo liqawmihim inna buraao minkum wamimma taAAbudoona min dooni Allahi kafarna bikum wabada baynana wabaynakumu alAAadawatu waalbaghdao abadan hatta tuminoo biAllahi wahdahu illa qawla ibraheema liabeehi laastaghfiranna laka wama amliku laka mina Allahi min shayin rabbana AAalayka tawakkalna wailayka anabna wailayka almaseeru

قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَ‌اهِيمَ ۔ ۔ ۔ حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّـهِ وَحْدَهُ (Indeed, there is an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people, "We disown you and what you worship instead of Allah. We disbelieve in you. Enmity and hatred has arisen between us and you forever, unless you believe in Allah alone",....60:4). This verse supports and emphasizes the abstaining from maintaining close friendly relations with non-believers. This rule of law is illustrated by the excellent example of Holy Prophet Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) whose entire family worshipped idols, but he not only washed his hands of them and disowned them, but also announced, and erected a wall of, enmity and hatred with them forever, unless and until they give up idol-worship and have belief in Allah alone.

Allaying a Doubt

The current verse emphasizes that Muslims should follow the excellent model of Holy Prophet Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) and, it is established in Surah Taubah and in other places in the Qur'an that, he prayed for the forgiveness of his father who was an idol-worshipper. This could create doubt that, in pursuance of the command of Allah to follow the example of Prophet Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) is permitted to pray for the forgiveness of one's parents or other relatives who are idol-worshippers. But the later part of Verse [ 4] makes an exception to the command of following Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) .

إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَ‌اهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَ‌نَّ لَكَ (...but [ his example is ] not [ to be followed ] in what Ibrahim said to his father, "I will pray to my Lord for your forgiveness... 60:4). This implies that it is imperative to follow the model of Holy Prophet Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) in all respects, except in the case of prayer for his father's forgiveness. It is not permitted to emulate his sunnah in this respect. His reason for praying for his father's forgiveness has been explained in Surah Taubah. He prayed for his father's forgiveness before the prohibitory injunction was ordained, or probably when he felt that faith has entered into his father's heart, but when it became plain to him that he was Allah's enemy he washed his hands of him and disowned him, thus فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ أَنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ لِّلَّـهِ تَبَرَّ‌أَ مِنْهُ (...and when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he renounced him....9:114)

Some of the scholars analyze the phrase اِلَّا قَولَ اِبرٰھِیمَ (but not in what Ibrahim said ...) grammatically as istithna' munqati`, that is, exceptive sentence in which the exception is severed from, or wholly different in kind from, the general term. In terms of this grammatical analysis, praying for his father's forgiveness is not contrary to Abrahamic model. Holy Prophet Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) was under the impression that his father had become a Muslim, so he prayed for the forgiveness of his Muslim father. Later when he learnt the truth, he gave up praying for him and renounced him. If anyone believes, even today, that a particular unbeliever has most probably embraced Islam, there is no harm in praying for his pardon. [ Qurtubi ]. Allah knows best!

English Translation

Our Lord, make us not [objects of] torment for the disbelievers and forgive us, our Lord. Indeed, it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise."

English Transliteration

Rabbana la tajAAalna fitnatan lillatheena kafaroo waighfir lana rabbana innaka anta alAAazeezu alhakeemu