Ayah

Word by Word
فَإِنۡ
Then if
عُثِرَ
it is discovered
عَلَىٰٓ
(on)
أَنَّهُمَا
that the two
ٱسۡتَحَقَّآ
(were) guilty
إِثۡمٗا
(of) sin
فَـَٔاخَرَانِ
then (let) two others
يَقُومَانِ
stand
مَقَامَهُمَا
(in) their place
مِنَ
from
ٱلَّذِينَ
those who
ٱسۡتَحَقَّ
have a lawful right
عَلَيۡهِمُ
over them
ٱلۡأَوۡلَيَٰنِ
the former two
فَيُقۡسِمَانِ
and let them both swear
بِٱللَّهِ
by Allah
لَشَهَٰدَتُنَآ
Surely our testimony
أَحَقُّ
(is) truer
مِن
than
شَهَٰدَتِهِمَا
testimony of the other two
وَمَا
and not
ٱعۡتَدَيۡنَآ
we have transgressed
إِنَّآ
Indeed, we
إِذٗا
then
لَّمِنَ
(will be) of
ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
the wrongdoers
فَإِنۡ
Then if
عُثِرَ
it is discovered
عَلَىٰٓ
(on)
أَنَّهُمَا
that the two
ٱسۡتَحَقَّآ
(were) guilty
إِثۡمٗا
(of) sin
فَـَٔاخَرَانِ
then (let) two others
يَقُومَانِ
stand
مَقَامَهُمَا
(in) their place
مِنَ
from
ٱلَّذِينَ
those who
ٱسۡتَحَقَّ
have a lawful right
عَلَيۡهِمُ
over them
ٱلۡأَوۡلَيَٰنِ
the former two
فَيُقۡسِمَانِ
and let them both swear
بِٱللَّهِ
by Allah
لَشَهَٰدَتُنَآ
Surely our testimony
أَحَقُّ
(is) truer
مِن
than
شَهَٰدَتِهِمَا
testimony of the other two
وَمَا
and not
ٱعۡتَدَيۡنَآ
we have transgressed
إِنَّآ
Indeed, we
إِذٗا
then
لَّمِنَ
(will be) of
ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
the wrongdoers

Translation

But if it gets known that these two were guilty of the sin (of perjury), let two others stand forth in their places,- nearest in kin from among those who claim a lawful right: let them swear by Allah: "We affirm that our witness is truer than that of those two, and that we have not trespassed (beyond the truth): if we did, behold! the wrong be upon us!"

Tafsir

But if it be discovered, [if] it be ascertained after they have sworn their oaths, that both of them have merited [the suspicion of] sin, that is, that they have done something to incur it, in the way of a breach of faith or perjury in the testimony; for example, if what they are accused of is found with them and then they claim that they had bought it from the deceased or that he had bequeathed it to them, then two others shall take their place, so that the oaths are to be taken from them, being the nearest (al-awlayaan is a substitution for aakharaan, 'two others'; a variant reading has al-awwaleen, plural of awwal, as an adjectival qualification of, or a substitution for, alladheena, 'of those'), in kinship to the deceased, of those most concerned, with the bequest, namely, the inheritors, and they shall swear by God, to the breach of faith of the two witnesses, and they shall both say, 'Verily, our testimony, our oath, is truer, is more faithful, than their testimony, their oath, and we have not transgressed, we have [not] overstepped the [bounds of] truth in our oaths, for then we would assuredly be among the evildoers': meaning, let the one about to die call two men as witnesses to his bequest, or let him instruct in his bequest that the two be from among his co-religionists or from among others, if he cannot find any [from among the former] because he is travelling or for some similar reason. If the inheritors have doubts about the two men and claim a breach of faith on the part of the two for having taken something or given it to some other person - alleging that the deceased bequeathed it to him - then let the two men swear in full [in the way mentioned above]. If then some indication surfaces that the two men have been lying and these two then claim some motivation for this action [of theirs], the nearest of the inheritors in kinship [to the deceased] shall swear to the perjury of the two men and to the truth of what they [the inheritors] suspected. This stipulation holds for the two trustees, but is abrogated in the case of the two witnesses. Likewise, the testimony of non co-religionists is abrogated. The reason for [stipulating] the mid-afternoon prayer is to consecrate the oaths. The specification in this verse that the oath be from the two inheritors nearest in kinship concerns the incident regarding which it was revealed. This [incident], as reported by al-Bukhaaree, involved a man from the Banoo Sahm who had set out on a journey with Tameem al-Daaree and Adiyy ibn Baddaa', when they were both [still] Christians. The man from the Banoo Sahm died in a place where there were no Muslims. When the two came back with his bequest, they [his relatives] found that a silver bowl plated with gold was missing and so the two were brought before the Prophet may peace and salutation be upon him; thereupon this verse was revealed. The Prophet may peace and salutation be upon him made the two swear oaths. The bowl was later discovered in Mecca, where the owners said that they had bought it from Tameem and 'Udayy. The next verse was then revealed, after which two of the Sahmee man's close kin came to swear their oaths; in al-Tirmidhee's version, 'Amr ibn al-'aas, who was closer to the deceased man, stood up with one other from among the kin, and they swore an oath; in yet another version, the [Sahmee] man fell ill and instructed them as to hisbequest and asked them to deliver what he had left to his family, but when he died, they took the bowl [and sold it] and then gave what remained [of that money] to his family.

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