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Popular and/or Featured Works
Muhammad Asad   
and [so,] whenever they commit a shameful deed, they are wont to say, "We found our forefathers doing it," and, "God has enjoined it upon us." Say: "Behold, never does God enjoin deeds of abomination. Would you attribute unto God something of which you have no knowledge?"
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab   
Whenever they commit a shameful deed, they say, “We found our forefathers doing it and Allah has commanded us to do it.” Say, “No! Allah never commands what is shameful. How can you attribute to Allah what you do not know?”
Safi Kaskas   
Whenever they commit a shameful deed, they say, "We found our forefathers doing it," and, "God has commanded us to do this." Say, "God does not command disgraceful deeds. How could you attribute something to God about which you have no knowledge?"

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Source Arabic and Literal tools
Arabic   
‏وَإِذَا فَعَلُوا۟ فَحِشَةًۭ قَالُوا۟ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَآ ءَابَآءَنَا وَٱللَّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَأْمُرُ بِٱلْفَحْشَآءِ ۖ أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ‎
Transliteration (2021)   
wa-idhā faʿalū fāḥishatan qālū wajadnā ʿalayhā ābāanā wal-lahu amaranā bihā qul inna l-laha lā yamuru bil-faḥshāi ataqūlūna ʿalā l-lahi mā lā taʿlamūn
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
  
And when they do immorality they say, "We found on it our forefathers and Allah (has) ordered us of it." Say, "Indeed, Allah (does) not order immorality. Do you say about Allah what not (do) you know?"

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad   
and [so,] whenever they commit a shameful deed, they are wont to say, "We found our forefathers doing it," and, "God has enjoined it upon us." Say: "Behold, never does God enjoin deeds of abomination. Would you attribute unto God something of which you have no knowledge?"
M. M. Pickthall   
And when they do some lewdness they say: We found our fathers doing it and Allah hath enjoined it on us. Say: Allah, verily, enjoineth not lewdness. Tell ye concerning Allah that which ye know not
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)   
When they do aught that is shameful, they say: "We found our fathers doing so"; and "Allah commanded us thus": Say: "Nay, Allah never commands what is shameful: do ye say of Allah what ye know not?"
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab   
Whenever they commit a shameful deed, they say, “We found our forefathers doing it and Allah has commanded us to do it.” Say, “No! Allah never commands what is shameful. How can you attribute to Allah what you do not know?”
Safi Kaskas   
Whenever they commit a shameful deed, they say, "We found our forefathers doing it," and, "God has commanded us to do this." Say, "God does not command disgraceful deeds. How could you attribute something to God about which you have no knowledge?"
Wahiduddin Khan   
And when they commit an indecency, they say, This is what our fathers used to do and God has enjoined it on us. Say, God does not enjoin what is indecent. Would you attribute to God something of which you have no knowledge
Shakir   
And when they commit an indecency they say: We found our fathers doing this, and Allah has enjoined it on us. Say: Surely Allah does not enjoin indecency; do you say against Allah what you do not know
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar   
And when they committed an indecency, they said: We found our fathers on it and God commanded us in it. Say: Truly, God commands not depravities. Say you about God what you know not?
T.B.Irving   
Whenever they perform any obscene act they say: "We found out our forefathers were performing it, and God has ordered us to do so." SAY: "God does not order any sexual misconduct. Do you say something you do not know about God?"
Abdul Hye   
And when they do some lewdness, they say: “We found our fathers on it, and Allah has commanded us of it.” Say: “Nay, Allah does not command of lewdness. Do you say on Allah what you don’t know?”
The Study Quran   
When they commit an indecency, they say, “We found our fathers practicing it, and God has commanded us thus.” Say, “Truly God commands not indecency. Do you say of God that which you know not?
Dr. Kamal Omar   
and when they committed a Fahisha they said: “We found, indulging in it our fathers (i.e., ancestors) and Allah has commanded us for it.” Say: “Definitely, Allah does not command of Fahshai. Do you say about Allah which you know not?”
M. Farook Malik   
Whenever they commit a shameful deed, they say: "We found our forefathers doing this and Allah Himself has commanded us to do so." Tell them: "Nay! Allah never commands what is shameful. Do you attribute to Allah something about which you have no knowledge?"
Talal A. Itani (new translation)   
And when they commit an indecency, they say, 'We found our parents doing this, and God has commanded us to do it.' Say, 'God does not command indecencies. Are you attributing to God what you do not know?'
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali   
And when they perform an obscenity, they say, "We found our fathers (performing) it, and Allah has commanded us to (perform) it." Say, "Surely Allah does not command obscenity; do you say against Allah that which you do not know?"
Muhammad Sarwar   
When (The faithless) commit indecent acts they say, "We found our fathers doing this and God has commanded us to do the same." (Muhammad) tell them that God does not command anyone to commit indecency. Do you speak for God, saying things of which you have no knowledge
Muhammad Taqi Usmani   
When they do a shameful act, they say, .We have found our fathers doing it, and Allah has ordered us to do so. Say, .Allah never orders anything shameful. Do you say about Allah what you do not know?
Shabbir Ahmed   
(As an example) when people commit an indecency they say, "We found our forefathers doing it and Allah has enjoined it upon us." (Made it natural for us). Say (O Prophet), "Allah never enjoins indecency. Do you attribute to Allah of which you have no knowledge?"
Dr. Munir Munshey   
And when they commit an obscene and lewd act, they say, "We found our ancestors doing that, and Allah has enjoined that upon us." Say, "Absolutely not! Allah never (ever) commands anything lewd and obscene. Do you attribute such lies to Allah, about which you know (absolutely) nothing?"
Syed Vickar Ahamed   
And when they do a little that is shameful, they say: "We found our fathers doing the same;" And, "Allah commands us like this (or that):" Say: "No! Allah never commands what is shameful: Do you speak about Allah what you do not know?"
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)   
And when they commit an immorality, they say, "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has ordered us to do it." Say, "Indeed, Allah does not order immorality. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know?"
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)   
And if they commit evil acts, they Say: "We found our fathers doing such, and God ordered us to it." Say: "God does not order evil! Do you say about God what you do not know"
Abdel Haleem   
Yet when [these people] do something disgraceful, they say, ‘We found our forefathers doing this,’ and, ‘God has commanded us to do this.’ Say [Prophet], ‘God does not command disgraceful deeds. How can you say about God things that you do not know [to be true]?&rsquo
Abdul Majid Daryabadi   
And when they commit an indecency, they say: we found our fathers thereon, and God hath enjoined it on us. Say thou. verily Allah enjoineth not an indecency; say ye falsely of Allah that which ye know not
Ahmed Ali   
Who say when they commit shameful acts: "Our ancestors used to do so, and God has enjoined us to do the same." Say to them: "God never enjoins a conduct that is shameful. You impute such lies to God as you do not know."
Aisha Bewley   
Whenever they commit an indecent act, they say, ´We found our fathers doing it and Allah commanded us to do it too.´ Say: ´Allah does not command indecency. Do you say things about Allah you do not know?´
Ali Ünal   
And whenever they commit an indecency, they say (attempting to excuse themselves): "We found our fathers doing that (and follow in their footsteps), and this is what God has enjoined upon us." Say: "Indeed, God does not enjoin indecency. Or is it that you speak about God things you have no knowledge of?"
Ali Quli Qara'i   
When they commit an indecency, they say, ‘We found our fathers practising it, and Allah has enjoined it upon us.’ Say, ‘Indeed Allah does not enjoin indecencies. Do you attribute to Allah what you do not know?’
Hamid S. Aziz   
And when they commit an abomination (shameful things) they say, "We found our fathers at this, and Allah bade us do it."  Say, " Nay, Allah bids you not to do abominations (shameful things); do you say against Allah that which you know not
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad   
And when they commit an indecency, they say: we found our fathers doing it and God ordered us to it. Say: God does not order to indecency, do you say about God what you do not know
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)   
When they do anything that is shameful they say, “We found our fathers doing so, and God asked us to do this.” Say, “No, God never asks what is shameful. Do you say things about God that you do not know?
Musharraf Hussain   
Whenever they perform an act of indecency, they say, “We found our forefathers doing it; Allah has ordered us to do it.” Say: “Allah does not order acts of indecency. You are saying things about Allah that you don’t know?
Maududi   
And when such people commit an indecent act they say: ´We found our fathers doing that, and Allah has enjoined it on us. Say: ´Surely Allah never enjoins any indecency. Do you say things regarding Allah that you do not know?´
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)   
And if they commit immorality, they say: "We found our fathers doing such, and God ordered us to it." Say: "God does not order immorality! Do you say about God what you do not know?"
Mohammad Shafi   
And when they commit an indecency they say, "We found our fathers doing this, and Allah has enjoined it on us." Say, "Allah does indeed not enjoin indecency. Do you say what you know not about Allah?"

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)   
And when they commit any indecency, they say, 'we found our forefathers on it and Allah commanded us so. Then say, 'undoubtedly Allah commands not acts of indecency.' Do you allege against Allah what you know not?
Rashad Khalifa   
They commit a gross sin, then say, "We found our parents doing this, and GOD has commanded us to do it." Say, "GOD never advocates sin. Are you saying about GOD what you do not know?"
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah   
When they commit an indecency, they say: 'This is what we found our fathers practicing, and with it Allah has ordered us. ' Say: 'Allah does not order indecency. Would you tell of Allah what you do not know?
Maulana Muhammad Ali   
And when they commit an indecency they say: We found our fathers doing this, and Allah has enjoined it on us. Say: Surely Allah enjoins not indecency. Do you say of Allah what you know not
Muhammad Ahmed & Samira   
And if they made/did an enormous/atrocious deed , they said: "We found our fathers on it, and God ordered/commanded us with it." Say: "That God does not order/command with the enormous/atrocious deeds , do you say on (about) God what you do not know?"
Bijan Moeinian   
When the latter commit an indecency, they say: "We found our forefathers doing the same thing; therefore, what we do is the will of God!" Say to them: "God never commands indecencies." You do not know what you are talking about and [worse than that] you attribute [these nonsense] to the Lord
Faridul Haque   
And when they commit any shameful act they say, "We found our forefathers on it and Allah has commanded it to us"; say, "Indeed Allah does not ordain shamelessness; what! You attribute things to Allah, which you do not know?"
Sher Ali   
And when they commit an indecency, they say, `We found our fathers doing it and ALLAH has enjoined it upon us.' Say, `ALLAH never enjoins indecencies. Do you say of ALLAH that which you know not?
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri   
And when they commit some indecency, they say: ‘We found our ancestors on the same (way) and Allah has enjoined the same upon us.’ Say: ‘Allah does not enjoin acts of indecency. Do you say about (the Essence of) Allah such things as you do not know (even) yourselves?
Amatul Rahman Omar   
And when they (- the disbelievers) commit an act of indecency, they say, `We found our forefathers (practising) on it, and it is Allah Who has enjoined it upon us.' Say, `Surely, Allah never enjoins indecencies. Do you attribute to Allah what you do not know (that it is from Him).
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali   
And when they commit a Fahisha (evil deed, going round the Kabah in naked state, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.), they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded us of it." Say: "Nay, Allah never commands of Fahisha. Do you say of Allah what you know not

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry   
And whenever they commit an indecency they say, 'We found our fathers practising it, and God has commanded us to do it.' Say: 'God does not command indecency; what, do you say concerning God such things as you know not?
George Sale   
And when they commit a filthy action, they say, we found our fathers practising the same; and God hath commanded us to do it. Say, verily God commandeth not filthy actions. Do ye speak concerning God that which ye know not
Edward Henry Palmer   
and when they commit an abomination they say, 'We found our fathers at this, and God bade us do it.' Say, 'God bids you not to do abomination; do ye say against God that which ye do not know?
John Medows Rodwell   
And when the wicked commit some filthy deed, they say, "We found our fathers practising it, and to us hath God commanded it" - SAY: God enjoineth not filthy deeds. Will ye speak of God ye know not what
N J Dawood (2014)   
When they commit a lewd act, they say: ‘This is what our fathers used to do. God enjoined it.‘ Say: ‘God does not enjoin lewdness. Would you tell of God what you know not?‘

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto   
When (the unbelievers) commit immorality, they say “We saw our elders doing so,” and, “Allah commanded us thus.” Say, “Allah most certainly does not order immorality! Do you say of Allah what you do not know?”
Irving & Mohamed Hegab   
Whenever they perform any obscene act (circumambulating the Kaaba naked) they say: "We found out our forefathers were performing it, and Allah (God) has ordered us to do so." SAY: "Allah (God) does not order any misconduct. Do you say something you do not know about Allah (God)?"
Sayyid Qutb   
When they commit a shameful deed, they say, “We found our fathers doing it,” and, “God has enjoined it upon us.” Say: “Never does God enjoin what is indecent. Would you attribute to God something of which you have no knowledge?”
Ahmed Hulusi   
Whenever they commit an indecency (an action or thought leading to duality or to the denial of the reality) they say, “We found our fathers doing it, and this is what Allah ordered us to do”... Say, “Allah certainly does not order indecency! Are you attributing to Allah things about which you have no knowledge?”
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli   
And whenever they commit an indecency, they say: ' We found our fathers (acting) upon it, and Allah has enjoined it on us.' Say : ' Verily Allah does not enjoin indecencies. Do you say against Allah what you do not know ? '
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur‘an al-Karim   
And when the Pagans commit themselves to an evil line of conduct* they claim this has been the system on which their fathers were bent, and they insolently allege that Allah has enjoined this set of correlated principles belonging to their belief. Say to them O Muhammad: "Allah does not enjoin immorality nor ordain what is evil or impure, viscious or dissolute; do you people relate to Allah a world you see in a grain of sand or a heaven in a wild flower and from ignorance your comfort flows! "
Mir Aneesuddin   
And when they do anything indecent they say, "We found our fathers doing this and Allah has commanded us to do it." Say, "Allah certainly does not command anything that is indecent. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know?"

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)   
When they do aught that is shameful, they say: "We found our fathers doing so"; and "God commanded us thus": Say: "Nay, God never commands what is shameful: do ye say of God what ye know not?"
OLD Literal Word for Word   
And when they do immorality they say, "We found on it our forefathers and Allah (has) ordered us of it." Say, "Indeed, Allah (does) not order immorality. Do you say about Allah what you (do) not know?
OLD Transliteration   
Wa-itha faAAaloo fahishatan qaloo wajadna AAalayha abaana waAllahu amarana biha qul inna Allaha la ya/muru bialfahsha-i ataqooloona AAala Allahi ma la taAAlamoona