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Those who spread lies were a clique among you. Do not think that it was bad for you: In fact it has been good for you. Each of them will pay for the sin he has committed, and he who had greater share (of guilt) will suffer grievous punishment. 11 Wherefore, when ye heard it, did not the believing men and believing women imagine best of their own people and say: this is a calumny manifest! 12 Why did they not bring four witnesses to prove it? When they have not brought the witnesses, such men, in the sight of Allah, (stand forth) themselves as liars! 13 Had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy unto you in this world and in the Hereafter, a great torment would have touched you for that whereof you had spoken. 14 When ye were publishing it with your tongues and saying that with your mouths of which ye had no knowledge. Ye deemed it light, and it was with Allah mighty! 15 And wherefore, when ye heard it, did ye not say: it is not for us to speak thereof, hallowed be Thou! that is a slander mighty! 16 God admonishes you, that you shall never repeat the like of it again; if you are believers. 17 Allah makes plain to you His verses, and Allah is the Knower, the 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 But for the grace of God and His mercy upon you, and were not God compassionate and merciful, [you would have come to grief]. 20
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