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AYAH al-Ahzab 33:5 

Arabic Source and Roman Transliteration
Arabic ادْعُوهُمْ لِآبَائِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللَّهِ فَإِن لَّمْ تَعْلَمُوا آبَاءَهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَمَوَالِيكُمْ وَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ فِيمَا أَخْطَأْتُم بِهِ وَلَٰكِن مَّا تَعَمَّدَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا zoom
Transliteration OdAAoohum li-aba-ihim huwa aqsatu AAinda Allahi fa-in lam taAAlamoo abaahum fa-ikhwanukum fee alddeeni wamawaleekum walaysa AAalaykum junahun feema akhta/tum bihi walakin ma taAAammadat quloobukum wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman zoom
Transliteration-2 id'ʿūhum liābāihim huwa aqsaṭu ʿinda l-lahi fa-in lam taʿlamū ābāahum fa-ikh'wānukum fī l-dīni wamawālīkum walaysa ʿalaykum junāḥun fīmā akhṭatum bihi walākin mā taʿammadat qulūbukum wakāna l-lahu ghafūran raḥīman zoom
Literal
(Word by Word)
 Call them by their fathers; it (is) more just near Allah. But if not you know their fathers - then (they are) your brothers in [the] religion and your friends. But not is upon you any blame in what you made a mistake in it, but what intended your hearts. And Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom


Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad [As for your adopted children,] call them by their [real] fathers’ names: this is more equitable in the sight of God; and if you know not who their fathers were, [call them] your brethren in faith and your friends. However, you will incur no sin if you err in this respect: [what really matters is] but what your hearts intend - for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace! zoom
M. M. Pickthall Proclaim their real parentage. That will be more equitable in the sight of Allah. And if ye know not their fathers, then (they are) your brethren in the faith, and your clients. And there is no sin for you in the mistakes that ye make unintentionally, but what your hearts purpose (that will be a sin for you). Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985) Call them by (the names of) their fathers: that is juster in the sight of Allah. But if ye know not their father's (names, call them) your Brothers in faith, or your maulas. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein: (what counts is) the intention of your hearts: and Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938) Call them by (the names of) their fathers: that is juster in the sight of God. But if ye know not their father's (names, call them) your Brothers in faith, or your maulas. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein: (what counts is) the intention of your hearts: and God is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. zoom
Shakir Assert their relationship to their fathers; this is more equitable with Allah; but if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your friends; and there is no blame on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, but (concerning) that which your hearts do purposely (blame may rest on you), and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Wahiduddin Khan Call them after their own fathers; that is closer to justice in the sight of God. If you do not know their fathers, regard them as your brothers in faith and your protégés. You will not be blamed if you make a mistake, you will be held accountable only for what in your hearts you have done intentionally. God is forgiving and merciful. zoom
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar Call to them by the names of their fathers. That is more equitable with God. But if you know not their fathers, they are your brothers in the way of life and your defenders. And there is no blame on you in what mistake you made in it, but what your hearts premeditated. And God had been Forgiving, Compassionate. zoom
T.B.Irving Call them after their own fathers; it is fairer so far as God is concerned. If you do not know who their fathers were, then [call them] your brothers in religion and your wards. What you may have slipped up on already will not be held against you, but only something your hearts have done intentionally. Yet God is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab Let your adopted children keep their family names. That is more just in the sight of Allah. But if you do not know their fathers, then they are ˹simply˺ your fellow believers and close associates. There is no blame on you for what you do by mistake, but ˹only˺ for what you do intentionally. And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom
Safi Kaskas Call [your adopted sons] after their fathers, this is right in the sight of God, but, if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in faith and entrusted to you. You will not be blamed if you make mistakes [in such matters], but [only for] what your hearts intend. God is most Forgiving and the Mercy giver. zoom
Abdul Hye  Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allah. But if you don’t know their fathers, (call them) your brothers in the religion and your friends. There is no sin on you if you make a mistake in it, except what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
The Study Quran Call them after their fathers. That is more equitable before God. And if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brethren in religion and your clients. There is no blame upon you for being mistaken therein, but only for that which your hearts intend. And God is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition) Name them by retaining their father's name. That is more just with God. But if you do not know their fathers, then, as your brothers in the system and members of your family. There is no sin upon you if you make a mistake in this respect; but you will be responsible for what your hearts deliberately intend. God is Forgiver, Merciful. zoom
Abdel Haleem Name your adopted sons after their real fathers: this is more equitable in God’s eyes––if you do not know who their fathers are [they are your] ‘brothers-in-religion’ and proteges. You will not be blamed if you make a mistake, only for what your hearts deliberately intend; God is most forgiving and merciful. zoom
Abdul Majid Daryabadi Call them by their fathers: that will be most equitable in the sight of Allah. And if ye know not their fathers then they are your brethren in religion and your friends. And there is no fault upon you in regard to the mistake ye have made therein, but in regard to that which your hearts intend purposely. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Ahmed Ali Call them by the names of their fathers. This is the right course in the sight of God. If you do not know their fathers, they are then your brothers in religion and your friends. It will not be a sin if you make a mistake, unless you do so intentionally; for God is forgiving and kind. zoom
Aisha Bewley Call them after their fathers. That is closer to justice in Allah´s sight. And if you do not know who their fathers were then they are your brothers in the deen and people under your patronage. You are not to blame for any honest mistake you make but only for what your hearts premeditate. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom
Ali Ünal Call them (the children you have adopted) after their (real) fathers: doing so is more equitable in the sight of God. If you do not know who their fathers are, then (they are) your brothers in religion and your proteges (so observe the duties of brotherhood between you and them). However, there is no blame on you because of the mistakes you may make unintentionally (in naming them), but what your hearts have premeditated (matters greatly). God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate. zoom
Ali Quli Qara'i Call them after their fathers. That is more just with Allah. And if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brethren in the faith and your kinsmen. There will be no sin upon you for any mistake that you may make therein, barring what your hearts may premeditate. And Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful. zoom
Hamid S. Aziz Proclaim their real relationship to their fathers; this is more equitable with Allah; but if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your friends; and there is no blame on you concerning that in which you make mistakes, but zoom
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali Call them after their (true) fathers; (that) is more equitable in the Reckoning with Allah. Yet, in case you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in the religion, and your patronized (ones); and it is no fault in you in whatever mistakes you make, but (only) what your hearts premeditate. And Allah has been Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful. zoom
Muhammad Sarwar Call them sons of their own fathers. It is more just in the eyes of God. If you do not know their fathers, they are your brothers and friends in religion. You will not be responsible for your mistakes, but you will be responsible for what you do intentionally. God is All-forgiving and All-merciful. zoom
Muhammad Taqi Usmani Call them by (the name of) their (real) fathers; It is more equitable in the sight of Allah. And if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in faith and your friends. There is no sin on you in the mistake you make, but in that which you do with intention of your heart; and Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful. zoom
Shabbir Ahmed Name your adopted children after their fathers; that is more just in the Sight of Allah. And if you do not know who their fathers were, then they are your brothers, sisters and friends in Faith. (You shall treat them as family members). There is no blame on you for an unintentional mistake. What counts is the intention of your hearts, for Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Syed Vickar Ahamed Call them by (the names of) their fathers: That is more correct in the Sight of Allah. But if you do not know their fathers (names, then call them) your brothers in faith, or your freed helpers. And there is no sin on you if you made a mistake. Except unless your hearts willfully intended: And Allah is Often-Returning (Ghafoor), Most Merciful (Raheem). zoom
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allah . But if you do not know their fathers - then they are [still] your brothers in religion and those entrusted to you. And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but [only for] what your hearts intended. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. zoom
Farook Malik Name your adopted sons after their fathers; that is more just in the sight of Allah, and if you don’t know who their fathers are, then call them as your brothers in faith and your friends. There is no blame on you for an unintentional mistake, but you will be held responsible for what you do with the intention of your hearts; Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Dr. Munir Munshey Call your adopted sons by their (real) fathers´ names. That is more upright according to Allah. Should you not know their fathers, then of course, they are your brothers in faith and your companions. What you utter by mistake will not be held against you, unless you assert it consciously from the bottom of your heart. Allah is the oft Forgiving and the most Merciful! zoom
Dr. Kamal Omar Call those (adopted sons) relating them to their (actual) fathers, that is more just in the Sight of Allah. But in case you do not know their fathers (or their names), then (call them) your brothers in Faith and Mawaleekum (those under your custodianship and protection). And there is (counted) no sin against you in what you made a mistake therein, but (it would be a sin) what your hearts deliberately attempted. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, continuously Merciful (and Forgives what is past and is not repeated) . zoom
Talal A. Itani (new translation) Call them after their fathers; that is more equitable with God. But if you do not know their fathers, then your brethren in faith and your friends. There is no blame on you if you err therein, barring what your hearts premeditates. God is Forgiving and Merciful. zoom
Maududi Call your adopted sons after their true fathers; that is more equitable in the sight of Allah. But if you do not know their true fathers, then regard them as your brethren in faith and as allies. You will not be taken to task for your mistaken utterances, but you will be taken to task for what you say deliberately. Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate. zoom
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad Call them by their father’s (name), it is more just before God. And if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in the religion and your friends. And there is no blame on you about what you made a mistake in it, but (you are responsible) for what your hearts intended (and you did intentionally). God is forgiving and kind. zoom
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018) Call them by the names of their fathers. That is more just in the sight of God, but if you do not know their father’s names, call them your brothers in faith, or your friends, but there is no blame on you if you make a mistake concerning this. What counts is the intention of your hearts, and God is Oft-Returning, Mercifully Redeeming. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition) Name them by their fathers. That is more just with God. But if you do not know their fathers, then, name them as your brothers in the system and your patrons. There is no sin upon you for what mistake you make in this respect; but you will be responsible for what your hearts deliberately intend. God is Forgiver, Merciful. zoom
Mohammad Shafi Call them by names linking them to their fathers; this is the equitable thing to do by Allah's standards. And if you know not their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your wards. And there is no blame on you in that you make a mistake therein without any bad intention. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. zoom

Controversial, deprecated, or status undetermined works
Bijan Moeinian Call your adopted sons by their genetic father’s (family) name. If you do not know their last name, cal them as “My brothers in Islam”. If you are careless in this domain you will not be considered as a sinner; God is indeed forgiving [of these little sins] and the Most Merciful. zoom
Faridul Haque Call them with their fathers’ names – this is more suitable in the sight of Allah; and if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in the faith, (and your cousins as humans) and your friends; and there is no sin upon you for what you did unknowingly in the past – however it is a sin what you do with your heart’s intention; and Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah Name them after their fathers, that is more just with Allah. If you do not know their fathers, regard them as your brothers in the religion, or those under your sponsorship. There is no fault in you if you make mistakes, but only in what your hearts intended. Allah is Forgiving and the Most Merciful, zoom
Maulana Muhammad Ali Call them by (the names of) their fathers; this is more equitable with Allah; but if you know not their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your friends. And there is no blame on you in that wherein you make a mistake, but (you are answerable for) that which your hearts purpose. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira Call them to their fathers, it is more just/equitable at God, so if you did not/do not know their fathers so (they are) your brothers in the religion, and your allies/friends , and an offense/guilt/sin is not on you in what you mistook/erred with it, and but what your hearts/minds made intentionally/purposely, and God was/is a forgiver , merciful. zoom
Sher Ali Call them after their fathers. That is more equitable in the sight of ALLAH. But if you know not their fathers, then they are your brothers in Faith and your friends. And there is no blame on you in respect of any mistake you may unintentionally make in this matter; but you will be called to account for that which your hearts purpose. And ALLAH is Most Forgiving. Ever Merciful. zoom
Rashad Khalifa You shall give your adopted children names that preserve their relationship to their genetic parents. This is more equitable in the sight of GOD. If you do not know their parents, then, as your brethren in religion, you shall treat them as members of your family. You do not commit a sin if you make a mistake in this respect; you are responsible for your purposeful intentions. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful. zoom
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi) Call them after their fathers, this is more justified in the sight of Allah, but if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in faith and as human being your cousin. And there is no blame on you regarding what has been committed by you unintentionally, yes that is a sin, which you may commit with the intention of your heart. And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Amatul Rahman Omar Call them (- the adopted ones) after (the names of) their (real) fathers. This is more just and equitable in the sight of Allah. But if you do not know (the names of) their fathers then (they are) your brothers-in-faith and your friends or wards. And no blame shall lie on you with regard to any mistake you may have unintentionally made (before) in such a case. But (you are accountable for) that which you wilfully and premeditatingly do. And Allah is Great Protector, Ever Merciful. zoom
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri Call them (the adopted sons) after their fathers’ (names). That is most just in the sight of Allah. So if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in the Din (Religion) and your friends. And there is no sin on you for what you said by mistake, but (that will be a sure sin) which your hearts intend. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful. zoom
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allah. But if you know not their fathers (names, call them) your brothers in faith and Mawaleekum (your freed slaves). And there is no sin on you if you make a mistake therein, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allah is Ever OftForgiving, Most Merciful. zoom

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry Call them after their true fathers; that is more equitable in the sight of God. If you know not who their fathers were, then they are your brothers in religion, and your clients. There is no fault in you if you make mistakes, but only in what your hearts premeditate. God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. zoom
Edward Henry Palmer Call them by their fathers' names; that is more just in God's sight; but if ye know not their fathers, then they are your brothers in religion and your clients. There is no crime against you for what mistakes ye make therein; but what your hearts do purposely - but God is ever forgiving and merciful. zoom
George Sale Call such as are adopted, the sons of their natural fathers: This will be more just in the sight of God. And if ye know not their fathers, let them be as your brethren in religion, and your companions: And it shall be no crime in you, that ye err in this matter; but that shall be criminal which your hearts purposely design; for God is gracious and merciful. zoom
John Medows Rodwell Name them after their fathers: this will be more right before God. But if ye know not who their fathers are, then let them be your brethren in the faith, and your comrades. And unless made with intent of heart, mistakes in this matter shall be no crime in you: for God is Lenient, Merciful. zoom
N J Dawood (2014) Name your adopted sons after their fathers; that is more just in the sight of God. If you do not know their fathers, regard them as your brothers in the Faith and as your cousins. Your unintentional errors shall be overlooked, but not the errors your hearts intended. God is forgiving and compassionate. zoom

New and/or Partial Translations, and works in progress
Sayyid Qutb Call them by their fathers' names; that is more just in God's sight. If you do not know who their fathers are, then treat them as your brethren in faith and your protégés. You shall not be blamed if you make a mistake, but for what your hearts intend. God is indeed Much-Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Ahmed Hulusi Address them (your adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers... This is more just in the sight of Allah. If you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers and friends in religion... And there is no blame upon you for that in which you erred... Except for the things you did with deliberate intention... Allah is the Ghafur, the Rahim. zoom
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli Call them after their (true) fathers, that is more equitable with Allah; but if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your friends, and there is no blame on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, but what you do with intent of heart (you are responsible), and Allah is forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim Relate them to their fathers. This is a recourse sanctioned by Allah and if you do not know their fathers nor can you trace them, then they are members of your brotherhood and your co-religionists. You are absolved of what you erroneously did in the past but not of what you resolved where the guilt resided in the intention, but Allah has always been Ghafurun (Forgiving) and Rahimun (Merciful). zoom
Mir Aneesuddin Call them by their father’s (name), that will be more just with Allah, but if you do not know their father, then they are your brothers in religion and your friends. And there is no sin on you in that which you did by mistake in that (affair), but that which your hearts do intentionally (is accountable), and Allah is Protectively Forgiving, Merciful. zoom

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