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Lo! they who spread the slander are a gang among you. Deem it not a bad thing for you; nay, it is good for you. Unto every man of them (will be paid) that which he hath earned of the sin; and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be an awful doom. 11 Why, when you heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, "This is an obvious falsehood"? 12 Why did they not bring four witnesses upon it? Since they did not bring witnesses, they themselves are liars before Allah. 13 But for God's bounty to you and His mercy in the present world and the world to come there would have visited you for your mutterings a mighty chastisement. 14 Your tongues moved and your mouths spoke of something of which you had no knowledge. You thought it to be a trivial matter, while in the eyes of God it is blasphemy. 15 And why did you not, when you heard it, say: It does not beseem us that we should talk of it; glory be to Thee! this is a great calumny? 16 God warns you never to repeat the like of it again, if you are true believers. 17 Allah makes His Revelations clear to you, and He is All-Knowing, All-Wise. 18 Indeed those who wish that slander should spread among the Muslims for them is a painful punishment in this world and in the Hereafter; and Allah knows, and you do not know. 19 Were it not for the favor and mercy of God upon you (you would have faced painful punishment in this world and the life to come). God is Compassionate and Merciful. 20
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