English Translations

Laleh Bakhtiar, The Sublime Quran, first published 2007

2:231: When you divorce wives, and they (f) are about to reach their (f) term, then hold them (f) back honorably or set them (f) free honorably; and hold them (f) not back by injuring them so that you commit aggression, and whoever commits that, then indeed he does wrong to himself; and take not the Signs of God to yourselves in mockery; remember the divine blessing of God on you and what He sent forth to you of the Book and wisdom; He admonishes you with it; and be Godfearing of God and know that God is knowing of everything.

4:34: Men are supporters of wives because God has given some of them an advantage over others and because they spend of their wealth. So the ones (f) who are in accord with morality are the ones (f) who are morally obligated, the ones (f) who guard the unseen of what God has kept safe. But those (f) whose resistance you fear, then admonish them (f) and abandon them (f) in their sleeping place, then go away from them (f); and if they (f) obey you, surely look not for any way against them (f); truly God is Lofty, Great.

Marmaduke Pickthall: The Glorious Koran, first published 1910.

2:231: When ye have divorced women, and they have reached their term, then retain them in kindness or release them in kindness. Retain them not to their hurt so that ye transgress (the limits). He who doeth that hath wronged his soul. Make not the revelations of Allah a laughing-stock (by your behaviour), but remember Allah’s grace upon you and that which He hath revealed unto you of the Scripture and of wisdom, whereby He doth exhort you. Observe your duty to Allah and know that Allah is Aware of all things.

4:34: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali: An English Interpretation of the Holy Quran, first published 1934.

2:231: When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their (‘iddah), either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms; but do not take them back to injure them, (or) to take undue advantage; if any one does that, he wrongs his own soul. Do not treat Allah’s Signs as a jest, but solemnly rehearse Allah’s favours on you, and the fact that He sent down to you the Book and Wisdom, for your instruction. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is well-acquainted with all things.

4:34:Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For God is Most High, Great (above you all).

Arthur J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, first published 1955

2:231: When you divorce women, and they have reached their term, then retain them honourably or set them free honourably; do not retain them by force, to transgress; whoever does that has wronged himself. Take not God’s signs in mockery, and remember God’s blessing upon you, and the Book and the Wisdom He has sent down on you, to admonish you. And fear God, and know that God has knowledge of everything.

4:34: Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God’s guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against them; God is All-high, All-great.

S. V. Mir Ahmed Ali, The Holy Qur’an, first published 1964

2:231: And when ye have divorced women and they reach their prescribed period then (either) retain them in fairness or set them free with fairness, and do not retain them to hurt them that ye may transgress, for whosoever shall do this, he indeed is unjust to his (own) self; and take not the signs (commandments) of God a joke and remember the bounty of God upon you and what He hath sent down unto you of the Book and Wisdom, admonish you thereby; and take shelter in God and know ye that God is the Knower of all things.

4:34: Men have authority over women on account of the qualities with which God hath caused the one of them to excel the other and for what they spend of their property; therefore the righteous women are obedient, guarding the unseen that which God hath guarded; and as to those whose perverseness ye fear, admonish them and avoid them in beds and beat them; and if they obey you, then seek not a way against them; verily, God is Ever-High, Ever-Great.

Muhammad Mohsin Khan: The Noble Quran, first published 1977.

2:231: And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, either take them back on reasonable basis or set them free on reasonable basis. But do not take them back to hurt them, and whoever does that, then he has wronged himself. And treat not the Verses (Laws) of Allah as a jest, but remember Allah’s Favours on you (i.e. Islam), and that which He has sent down to you of the Book (i.e. the Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah (the Prophet’s Sunna – legal ways – Islamic jurisprudence, etc.) whereby He instructs you. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything.

4:34: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc). As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next, refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.

Muhammad Asad: The Message of the Quran, first published 1980.

2:231: And so, when you divorce women and they are about to reach the end of their waiting-term, then either retain them in a fair manner or let them go in a fair manner. But do not retain them against their will in order to hurt [them]: for he who does so sins indeed against himself. And do not take [these] messages of God in a frivolous spirit; and remember the blessings with which God has graced you, and all the revelation and the wisdom which He has bestowed on you from on high in order to admonish you thereby; and remain conscious of God, and know that God has full knowledge of everything.

4:34: Men shall take full care of women with the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the latter, and with what they may spend out of their possessions. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which God has [ordained to be] guarded. And as for those women whose ill-will you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great.

M. H. Shakir, Holy Qur’an, first published 1982.

2:231: And when you divorce women and they reach their prescribed time, then either retain them in good fellowship or set them free with liberality, and do not retain them for injury, so that you exceed the limits, and whoever does this, he indeed is unjust to his own soul; and do not take Allah’s communications for a mockery, and remember the favor of Allah upon you, and that which He has revealed to you of the Book and the Wisdom, admonishing you thereby; and be careful (of your duty to) Allah and know that Allah is the Knower of all things.

4:34: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Translation Committee, The Holy Qur’an with English Translation, first published 1992

2:231: hen you have divorced your wives, and they have reached the end of their waiting periods, then either retain them in kindness or let them go with kindness. But do not retain them in order to harm them or wrong them, lest you transgress. Whoever does this wrongs his own soul. Do not make the revelations of Allah a mockery. Remember the favours He has bestowed on you and the Book and the wisdom which He has revealed, wherewith He does exhort you. Fear Allah, and know that He has knowledge of all things.

4:34: Men are the protectors of women, because Allah has given the one more than the other (strength), and because they spend of their property (to maintain them). So righteous women are the devoutly obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah had guarded. As for those from whom you fear disloyalty, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and beat them (lightly, without visible injury). Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. For Allah is High, Sublime.

Ahmad Zidan and Mrs. Dina Zidan, The Glorious Qur’an: Text and Translation, first published 1993

2:231: And if you divorce women, and they complete the term prescribed, then either retain them in kindness or release them in kindness, but do not take them back merely to harass them, and whoever does that harms his own soul. Do not take GOD’s commands in mockery, but remember GOD’s blessings on you, and what He has revealed to you of the Book and the Wisdom. He admonishes you by it, and fear GOD and know that GOD is All-Knowing of all things.

4:34: Men are supporters of women because of what GOD has bestowed on the one more than the other, and for what they have to provide (for them) from their resources. So the righteous women are obedient and protect in the absence of their husbands that which GOD ordains to be protected. But those women in whom you fear recalcitrance, admonish them, then if they persist, forsake their beds, and if they still persist, hit them in gentle manner (in no way physically harming). But if they return to obedience do not take punitive measures against them. And surely GOD is the Most High, the Supreme.

Saheeh International, The Qur’an: Arabic Text with Corresponding English Meanings, first published 1997

2:231: And when you divorce women and they have fulfilled their term, either keep them according to reasonable terms or release them according to reasonable terms, and do not keep them, intending harm, to transgress [against them]. And whoever does that has certainly wronged himself. And do not take the verses of Allah in jest. And remember the favor of Allah upon you and what has been revealed to you of the Book [i.e., the Qur’an] and wisdom [i.e., the Prophet’s sunnah] by which He instructs you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is Knowing of all things.

4:34: Men are in charge of women by [right of] what [qualities] Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [in support] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [women] from whom you fear defiance – [first] admonish them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.

Muhammad Farooq-i-Azam Malik, English Translation of the Meaning of al-Qur’an, first published 1997

2:231: When you divorce women and they have reached the end of their waiting period (‘iddat) either allow them to stay with honor or let them go with kindness; but you should not retain them to harm them or to take undue advantage; if anyone does that, he wrongs his own soul. Do not take Allah’s revelations as a joke. Remember the favors of Allah upon you and the fact that He sent down the Book and Wisdom for your guidance. Fear Allah and know that Allah has knowledge of everything.

4:34: Men are overseers over women because Allah has given the one more strength than the other and because men are required to spend their wealth for the maintenance of women. Honorable women are, therefore, devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah requires them to guard (their husband’s property and their own honor). As to those women from whom you fear disobedience, first admonish them, then refuse to share your bed with them, and then, if necessary, beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further actions against them and do not make excuses to punish them. Allah is Supremely Great and is aware of your actions.

Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley, The Noble Qur’an: A New Rendering of its Meaning in English, first published 1999 (using a different numbering system of the verses).

2:229: When you divorce women and they reach the end of their ‘idda, then either retain them with correctness and courtesy or release them with correctness and courtesy. Do not retain them by force, thus overstepping the limits. Anyone who does that has wronged himself. Do not make a mockery of Allah’s Signs. Remember Allah’s blessing to you and the Book and Wisdom He has sent down to you to admonish you. Have taqwa of Allah and know that Allah has knowledge of all things.

4:34: Men have charge of women because Allah has preferred the one above the other and because they spend their wealth on them. Right-acting women are obedient, safeguarding their husband’s interests in his absence as Allah has guarded them. If there are women whose disobedience you fear, you may admonish them, refuse to sleep with them, and then beat them. But if they obey you, do not look for a way to punish them. Allah is All-High, Most Great.

M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, first published 2004.

2:231: When you divorce women and they have reached their set time, then either keep or release them in a fair manner. Do not hold on to them with intent to harm them and commit aggression; anyone who does this wrongs himself. Do not make a mockery of God’s revelations; remember the favour He blessed you with, and the Scripture and wisdom He sent to teach you. Be mindful of God and know that He has full knowledge of everything.

4:34: Husbands should take full care of their wives, with [the bounties] God has given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money. Righteous wives are devout and guard what God would have them guard in their husbands’ absence. If you fear high-handedness from your wives, remind them [of the teachings of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them: God is most high and great.

Thomas Cleary, The Qur’an: A New Translation, first published 2004.

2:231: When you have divorced women and they have reached their term, then either keep them amicably or let them go amicably. And do not keep them by violence, to brutalize them; whoever does that has wronged his own soul. And do not take the signs of God for a joke: remember God’s favor to you, and the fact that God has revealed scripture and wisdom to you to instruct you. Be conscious of God, and know that God is perfectly aware of everything.

4:34: The men are supporters of the women, by what God has given one more than the other, and by what they provide from their property. So women of integrity are humble, guardians in absentia by God’s protection. As for those of whom you fear perversity, admonish them; then leave them alone in bed; then spank them. And if they obey you, then seek no means against them, for God is knowing, aware.

Zakir Naik, English Translation of the Meaning of the Quran, 2005

2:231: And when you divorce women, and they fulfill the term of their waiting period (of three monthly courses), either take them back on just and fair terms or set them free on just and fair terms; but do not take them back to hurt them (or) to take undue advantage (of them); if anyone does that, he wrongs his own soul. Do not treat Allah’s Signs lightly but sincerely recite Allah’s favors on you, and the fact that He sent down to you the Book and Wisdom, for your instruction. And fear Allah and know that Allah is All Knowing (Aleem) of all things.

4:34: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, becuase Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husbands) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, caution (and warn) them (against the specific faults at first), refuse to share their beds (next), beat them (lightly, at the very last); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of angering them): Truly, Allah is Most High (Ali’i), Most Great (Kabir).