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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 Why did the faithful men and women not think well of their people when they heard this, and said: "This is a clear lie?" 12 Wherefore did they not bring four witnesses thereof! Then when they brought not the witnesses, those! with Allah they are the liars. 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 When ye welcomed it with your tongues, and uttered with your mouths that whereof ye had no knowledge, ye counted it a trifle. In the sight of Allah it is very great. 15 And why, when you heard it, did you not say, "It is not for us to speak of this. Exalted are You, [O Allah]; this is a great slander"? 16 God advises you never to do such things again if you have any faith. 17 And Allah clearly explains the verses for you; and Allah is All Knowing, Wise. 18 Verily those who love that indecency should be propagated regarding those who believe, for them shall be a torment afflictive in the world and the Hereafter. And Allah knoweth, and ye know not. 19 Had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy unto you, and that Allah is Clement, Merciful, (ye had been undone). 20
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