Ayah

Word by Word
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا
O you who believe
ٱلَّذِينَ
O you who believe
ءَامَنُوٓاْ
O you who believe
إِن
If
جَآءَكُمۡ
comes to you
فَاسِقُۢ
a wicked person
بِنَبَإٖ
with information
فَتَبَيَّنُوٓاْ
investigate
أَن
lest
تُصِيبُواْ
you harm
قَوۡمَۢا
a people
بِجَهَٰلَةٖ
in ignorance
فَتُصۡبِحُواْ
then you become
عَلَىٰ
over
مَا
what
فَعَلۡتُمۡ
you have done
نَٰدِمِينَ
regretful
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا
O you who believe
ٱلَّذِينَ
O you who believe
ءَامَنُوٓاْ
O you who believe
إِن
If
جَآءَكُمۡ
comes to you
فَاسِقُۢ
a wicked person
بِنَبَإٖ
with information
فَتَبَيَّنُوٓاْ
investigate
أَن
lest
تُصِيبُواْ
you harm
قَوۡمَۢا
a people
بِجَهَٰلَةٖ
in ignorance
فَتُصۡبِحُواْ
then you become
عَلَىٰ
over
مَا
what
فَعَلۡتُمۡ
you have done
نَٰدِمِينَ
regretful

Translation

O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done.

Tafsir

The following was revealed regarding al-Waleed ibn 'Uqba whom the Prophet had sent to the Banoo al-Mustaliq in order to ascertain [their loyalty to Islam]. He already feared them on account of an old feud between him and them from the time of pagandom [before Islam], and so [upon seeing them come out to him] he returned and claimed that they had refused to give the voluntary alms and intended to kill him. And just as the Prophet may peace and salutation be upon him was making plans to raid them, they came to him to disavow what he [al-Waleed] had said about them: O you who believe, if a reprobate should come to you with some tiding, some piece of information, verify [it], [ascertain] his truthfulness from his mendacity (fa-tabayyanoo: a variant reading has fa-tathabbatoo, from al-thabaat, 'to ascertain'), lest you injure a folk (an tuseeboo qawman, an object denoting reason), that is to say, for fear of this [happening], out of ignorance (bi-jahaalatin is a circumstantial qualifier referring to the subject [of the verb]), that is to say while you are ignorant; and then become remorseful of what you have perpetrated, erroneously against that folk. After they had returned to their homelands, the Prophet may peace and salutation be upon him sent Khaalid [ibn al-Waleed] to them, who observed only obedience and goodness in them and [later] informed the Prophet of this.

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