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Verily those who brought forward the calumny were a small band among you. Deem it not an evil for you; nay, it was good for you. Unto every one of them shall be that which he hath earned of the sin, and he among them who undertook the bulk of it - for him shall be a torment mighty. 11 Why did not the believing men and the believing women, when you heard it, think well of their own people, and say: This is an evident falsehood? 12 Why did they not bring four witnesses (in support of their charge)? And since they did not bring the four witnesses they are themselves liars in the sight of God. 13 And were it not for Allah's grace upon you and His mercy in this world and the hereafter, a grievous chastisement would certainly have touched you on account of the discourse which you entered into. 14 When you received it with your tongues and spoke with your mouths what you had no knowledge of, and you deemed it an easy matter while with Allah it was grievous. 15 And [once again]: Why do you not say, whenever you hear such [a rumour,] "It does not behove us to speak of this, O Thou who art limitless in Thy glory: this is an awesome calumny"? 16 Allah admonishes you that in future you should never repeat a thing like this, if you are true Believers. 17 for God makes [His] messages clear unto you - and God is all-knowing, Wise! 18 There is painful punishment in this world and the next for those who like that immorality should spread among the believers, for God 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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