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AYAH an-Nisa` 4:129 

Arabic Source and Roman Transliteration
Arabic وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَن تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِن تُصْلِحُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا zoom
Transliteration Walan tastateeAAoo an taAAdiloo bayna alnnisa-i walaw harastum fala tameeloo kulla almayli fatatharooha kaalmuAAallaqati wa-in tuslihoo watattaqoo fa-inna Allaha kana ghafooran raheeman zoom
Transliteration-2 walan tastaṭīʿū an taʿdilū bayna l-nisāi walaw ḥaraṣtum falā tamīlū kulla l-mayli fatadharūhā kal-muʿalaqati wa-in tuṣ'liḥū watattaqū fa-inna l-laha kāna ghafūran raḥīman zoom
Literal
(Word by Word)
 And never will you be able to deal justly between [the] women even if you desired, but (do) not incline (with) all the inclination and leave her (the other) like the suspended one. And if you reconcile and consciously revere (Allah) then indeed, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom


Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad And it will not be within your power to treat your wives with equal fairness, however much you may desire it; and so, do not allow yourselves to incline towards one to the exclusion of the other, leaving her in a state, as it were, of having and not having a husband. But if you put things to rights and are conscious of Him - behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace. zoom
M. M. Pickthall Ye will not be able to deal equally between (your) wives, however much ye wish (to do so). But turn not altogether away (from one), leaving her as in suspense. If ye do good and keep from evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985) Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practise self-restraint, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938) Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practise se lf- restraint, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom
Shakir And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, even though you may wish (it), but be not disinclined (from one) with total disinclination, so that you leave her as it were in suspense; and if you effect a reconciliation and guard (against evil), then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Wahiduddin Khan You will never be able to treat your wives with equal fairness, however much you may desire to do so, but do not ignore one wife altogether, leaving her suspended [between marriage and divorce]. And if you make amends and act righteously, surely God is most forgiving and merciful. zoom
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar You will never be able to be just between wives, even if you were eager so incline not with total inclination away from her, forsaking her as if she be one who is in suspense. And if you make things right and are Godfearing, then, truly, God had been Forgiving, Compassionate. zoom
T.B.Irving You will never manage to deal equitably with women no matter how eager you may be [to do so]; yet do not turn completely aside [from one] so you ,leave another in suspense. If you (all) come to terms and do your duty, God will be Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab You will never be able to maintain ˹emotional˺ justice between your wives—no matter how keen you are. So do not totally incline towards one leaving the other in suspense. And if you do what is right and are mindful ˹of Allah˺, surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom
Safi Kaskas You will never be able to treat your wives with equal fairness, regardless of how much you desire to do so. Do not allow yourself to incline more towards one and exclude the other, potentially leaving her dangling [between marriage and divorce) If you make amends and remain mindful of God, He's most forgiving and Merciful-to-all. zoom
Abdul Hye  You will never be able to do justice between wives even if you passionately desire, so don’t incline the whole inclination (to one of them with more time and provision), and leave others as hanging. But if you act rightly and fear Allah, then indeed Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
The Study Quran You will not be able to deal fairly between women, even if it is your ardent desire, but do not turn away from one altogether, so that you leave her as if suspended. If you come to an accord and are reverent, truly God is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition) And you will not be able to be fair regarding the women even if you make every effort; so do not sway too greatly and leave her as one hanging in a void. And if you reconcile and do right, then God is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Abdel Haleem You will never be able to treat your wives with equal fairness, however much you may desire to do so, but do not ignore one wife altogether, leaving her suspended [between marriage and divorce]. If you make amends and remain conscious of God, He is most forgiving and merciful, zoom
Abdul Majid Daryabadi And ye are not able to deal evenly between the wives, even though ye long to do so, but incline not an extreme inclining so that ye may leave her as one ahanging. And if ye effect a reconciliation and fear Allah, then Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Ahmed Ali Howsoever you may try you will never be able to treat your wives equally. But do not incline (to one) exclusively and leave (the other) suspended (as it were). Yet if you do the right thing and are just, God is verily forgiving and kind. zoom
Aisha Bewley You will not be able to be completely fair between your wives, however hard you try. But do not be completely partial so as to leave a wife, as it were, suspended in mid-air. And if you make amends and have taqwa, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom
Ali Ünal You will never be able to deal between your wives with absolute equality (in respect of love and emotional attachment), however much you may desire to do so. But do not turn away altogether (from any one of them), so as to leave her in a dangling state (uncertain if she has or does not have a husband). If you act righteously (between them) and act in piety (fearful of doing any deliberate wrong to any of them), then surely God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate. zoom
Ali Quli Qara'i You will not be able to be fair between wives, even if you are eager to do so. Yet do not turn away from one altogether, leaving her as if in a suspense. But if you are conciliatory and Godwary, Allah is indeed all-forgiving, all-merciful. zoom
Hamid S. Aziz It may be that you will not be able to act equitably to your wives, even though you ardently desire to. But do not turn away from her, leaving her in suspense. If you come to a friendly understanding and avoid evil, then Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. zoom
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali And you will never be able to do justice between (your) wives, (Literally: women) even if you are (so) eager; yet do not incline away completely (Literally: incline away all inclining) (from one), so that you leave her (behind) as if she were suspended. And in case you (do) righteousness and are pious (to Allah), then surely Allah has been Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful. zoom
Muhammad Sarwar You will never be able to maintain justice among your wives and love them all equally, no matter how hard you try. Do not give total preference to one of them, leaving the other as if in suspense. If you do bring about reconciliation and maintain piety, God is All-forgiving and All-merciful. zoom
Muhammad Taqi Usmani You shall never be able to maintain real equality between wives, even though you are eager to. So, do not lean totally (towards one) and leave the other as suspended. If you act righteously and fear Allah, then, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful. zoom
Shabbir Ahmed Men who have been permitted a second wife for post-war exigencies (4:3) must understand that: You will not be able to deal equally between your wives however much you wish. But turn not altogether away from one, leaving her as if in suspense between having and not having a husband. Fulfill the rights of each one of them and be mindful of Allah. Verily, Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. (Your effort is seen 53:40, and He is the Absolver of your imperfections). zoom
Syed Vickar Ahamed You are never able to be (totally) fair and just between women, even if it is your true (and sincere) wish: So do not turn away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her hanging (without support). If you come to a friendly understanding, and practice self-restraint, then Allah is Often Forgiving (Ghafoor), Most Merciful (Raheem). zoom
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah - then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful. zoom
Farook Malik It is not possible for you to do justice between your wives even if you wish to do so; therefore, in order to comply with Divine Law, do not lean towards one wife to the extent that you leave the other hanging in air. If you work out a friendly understanding and fear Allah, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Dr. Munir Munshey Even if you (sincerely) desire (and try), you will not be able to maintain equality among (all) your wives. So do not lean towards one to an extent that you leave others (apprehensive and) in abeyance. If you mend your ways and fear (Allah), then indeed Allah is the most Forgiving and the most Merciful. zoom
Dr. Kamal Omar And it is certain you will not be capable that you may establish perfect equality amongst women (in your wedlock) even if you ardently desired. So do not incline (with) full inclination (to one of them, and) as a result, you leave her (i.e. the other) as a discarded one. And if you reform and correct (your behaviour with your wives) and pay obedience (to The Book), then surely Allah is Oft-Forgiving, continuously Merciful. zoom
Talal A. Itani (new translation) You will not be able to treat women with equal fairness, no matter how much you desire it. But do not be so biased as to leave another suspended. If you make amends, and act righteously—God is Forgiving and Merciful. zoom
Maududi You will not be able to treat your wives with absolute justice not even when you keenly desire to do so. (It suffices in order to follow the Law of Allah that) you incline not wholly to one, leaving the other in suspense. If you act rightly and remain God-fearing, surely Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate. zoom
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad You can never be fair between the women even if you are eager, therefore do not turn all the likeness (to one) so as to leave the other hanging. And if you make peace and control yourselves, God is forgiving and merciful. zoom
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018) You are never able to be fair and just between women, even if it is your ardent desire. But do not turn away from a woman altogether, as to leave her hanging in the air. If you come to a friendly understanding and practice self-restraint, God is Oft-Forgiving, Mercifully Redeeming. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition) And you will not be able to be fair regarding the women even if you make every effort; so do not sway too greatly and leave her as one hanging in a void. And if you reconcile and do right, then God is Forgiver, Merciful. zoom
Mohammad Shafi And you are unable to be fairly just between wives, even though you may ardently wish to, but turn you not altogether away so as to keep her, as it were, in suspense. And if you make amends and fear Allah, then Allah is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. zoom

Controversial, deprecated, or status undetermined works
Bijan Moeinian You can never treat your wives in an equal manner, even if you do your best. But this does not mean that you can leave a wife of yours in limbo (not having a real marital relationship with her nor divorcing her so that she may find a better relationship.) It will be ideal to establish a peaceful marital relationship in order to please the Lord as God [will take it into consideration and you will find that the Lord] is Merciful and Forgiving. zoom
Faridul Haque And you will never be able to deal equally between women however much you may desire - therefore do not be totally inclined towards one leaving the other in uncertainty; and if you do good and practice piety, then (know that) Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful. zoom
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah You will not be able to be just between your women, even though you are eager. Do not be altogether partial so that you leave her as if she were suspended. If you reform and are cautious, Allah is the Forgiver, the Merciful. zoom
Maulana Muhammad Ali And you cannot do justice between wives, even though you wish (it), but be not disinclined (from one) with total disinclination, so that you leave her in suspense. And if you are reconciled and keep your duty, surely Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira And you will never be able that you be just/equitable between the women, and (even) if you held onto stingily and desired strongly (were very careful), so do not bend/sway all the bend/inclination, so you leave her as/like the suspended neither properly married nor divorced and free to remarry (abused, abandoned and neglected), and if you reconciliate, and you fear and obey (God), so then God was/is a forgiving, merciful. zoom
Sher Ali And you cannot keep perfect balance between wives, however much you may desire it. But incline not wholly to one so that you leave the other like a thing suspended. And if you are reconciled and act righteously, surely ALLAH is Most Forgiving, and Merciful. zoom
Rashad Khalifa You can never be equitable in dealing with more than one wife, no matter how hard you try. Therefore, do not be so biased as to leave one of them hanging (neither enjoying marriage, nor left to marry someone else). If you correct this situation and maintain righteousness, GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful. zoom
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi) And it would never be possible for you that you keep women on equal footing, how ever much you may desire it then this should not be the case that you should incline wholly towards one side so that you leave other candling in the midst. And if you do good and be god fearing then undoubtedly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Amatul Rahman Omar It is not within your power (as far as natural feelings of love and devotion are concerned,) to maintain perfect balance between wives (and to treat them with equal justice) even though you be ever so eager; but do not incline with a total inclination (towards one so that you completely sever your relations with the other) so as to leave her like some thing suspended (as virtually deserted). And if you keep things right and guard against evil, then surely Allah is Great Protector, Ever Merciful. zoom
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri And you simply do not have the ability to do (ideal) justice amongst your (more than one) wives, however ardently you may desire to do it. Do not, therefore, incline with absolute fondness (towards one, thus) leaving the other like something suspended (in the midst). But if you mend your ways and refrain (from injustice and maltreatment), Allah is Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful. zoom
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them (by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e. neither divorced nor married). And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear Allah by keeping away from all that is wrong, then Allah is Ever OftForgiving, Most Merciful. zoom

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry You will not be able to be equitable between your wives, be you ever so eager; yet do not be altogether partial so that you leave her as it were suspended. If you set things right, and are godfearing, God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. zoom
Edward Henry Palmer Ye are not able, it may be, to act equitably to your wives, even though ye covet it; do not however be quite partial, and leave one as it were in suspense; but if ye be reconciled and fear, then God is forgiving and merciful; zoom
George Sale Ye can by no means carry your selves equally between women in all respects, although ye study to do it; Therefore turn not from a wife with all manner of aversion, nor leave her like one in suspense: If ye agree, and fear to abuse your wives, God is gracious and merciful; zoom
John Medows Rodwell And ye will not have it at all in your power to treat your wives alike, even though you fain would do so; but yield not wholly to disinclination, so that ye leave one of them as it were in suspense; if ye come to an understanding, and fear God, then, verily, God is Forgiving, Merciful; zoom
N J Dawood (2014) Try as you may, you cannot treat all your wives impartially. Do not set yourself altogether against any of them, leaving her, as it were, in suspense. If you do what is right and fear God, God is forgiving and compassionate. zoom

New and/or Partial Translations, and works in progress
Sayyid Qutb In no way can you maintain equity between your wives, even though you may be keen to do so. Do not, then, be totally partial towards one to the exclusion of the other, leaving her, as it were, in a state of suspense. If you put things to rights and are God-fearing, God is indeed Much-Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Musharraf Hussain You will never be able to be strictly just when dealing with your wives, however hard you try, but do not lean so much towards one that you leave the other as though suspended between marriage and divorce. If you can reconcile and be mindful, Allah is Forgiving, Most Kind. zoom
Ahmed Hulusi No matter how hard you try you will never be able to treat your wives with equal fairness! (At least) try not to neglect the others altogether while showing extra attention to one! If you be fair and protect yourselves, indeed Allah is the Ghafur, the Rahim. zoom
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli You will never be able to deal equitably between (your) wives, however much you be eager (to do so) ; then do not incline with a total inclination (to one) so that you leave her as it were in suspense; and if you effect reconciliation and keep from evil, then verily Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. zoom
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim You shall never be able to do equity and justice to women in case of plurality of wives however much you wish, in good conscience, to do so. Therefore, do not disincline yourselves altogether from any of them acting upon your volition or upon a stronger volition than your own to keep her in suspense and mental anguish. And if you set estranged persons at one again and bring them back into concord and entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Allah, you shall find that Allah has always been ever Ghafurun and Rahimun. zoom
Mir Aneesuddin And you will never be able to deal with equality between women (your wives) even if you excessively desire it, but do not be disinclined (from anyone of them) with total disinclination so as to leave her as if suspended; and if you act righteously and guard (against evil) then Allah is certainly Protectively Forgiving, Merciful. zoom

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