An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

The La’nah (Curse) of Allah

The Curse of Allah Cause Disgrace Here and in the Hereafter

The Qur’anic word, la’nah means being far removed from the mercy of Allah, extremely debased and disgraced. Anyone under la’nah from Allah cannot be close to Him. For such accursed ones admonitions are very stern. This is their disgrace in the present life – the disgrace in the akhirah will be far too grim to contemplate.

Who Deserves the La’nah of Allah?

Ayah 52 states that anyone under the curse of Allah has no helper to help him in that predicament. The point to ponder is: Who are these people who become deserving of this la’nah from Allah?

According to a hadith, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam has cursed the giver of interest, the receiver and the consumer of interest, and its writer and the one who bears witness to it, the whole lot of them, all of them equally involved in the sin. [Narrated by Muslim as in Mishkat]

There is another hadith in which he said,

“Cursed is he who does what the people of Lut aalyhi sallam used to do.”

Narrated by Razin and appearing in Mishkat, the reference is to the male homosexual.

Then, he said, Allah sends his curse on the thief who would not stop from stealing even very small things like eggs and in another hadith, he said,

“Allah curses the eater of interest, and its feeder, and the woman who tattoes another woman and the woman who tattooes herself, and the picture-maker.” [Bukhari, from Mishkat]

In yet another hadith, he has said,

“Allah sends His curse on liquor, its consumer and its server, its seller and purchaser, its squeezers, its handlers, transporters and orderers, on all of them.”[Abu Dawood, ibn Majah, from Mishkat]  

In still another hadith, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam has said, “There are six types of people I have cursed and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has also cursed them – and every Prophet is blessed with the acceptance of his prayers – those six are:

1. One who commits excess in the matter of Allah’s Book;

2. and one who rises to power by force and terror, then honors a person disgraced by Allah and brings disgrace on a person honored by Allah;

3. the denier of destiny determined by Allah;

4. one who takes as lawful what has been made unlawful by Allah;

5. the person in my progency who rules what has been forbidden as lawful;

6. and the one who gives up way (sunnah).’ [Baihaqi in al-Mudkhal from Mishkat]

In another hadith he said, “Allah curses the ogler and the ogled at”. It means that the curse of Allah falls on anyone who looks at someone in an evil way, someone who is a non-Mahram, that is, someone outside the count of those in the family he is permitted to see because marriage with them is forbidden forever. This is why such a nazir, the onlooker of the other, comes under the curse of Allah. As for the manzur ilaihi, the one who is looked at lustfully, the same curse will apply subject to his or her having deliberately and invitingly caused such a look to be cast.

Abu Hurairah radhiAllahu anhu narrates:

“Rasoolullah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam has cursed the man who dresses like a woman and the woman who dresses like a man.” [Mishkat]

The following report from Abu Dawood appears in Mishkat: “Someone told Aishah radhiAllahu anha about a woman who wore (men’s shoes). Aishah said,

“The Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam has cursed the woman who takes to masculine ways.”

A narration from Ibn Abbas radhiAllahu anhu reports: The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam has cursed the effeminate from among men (who, in dress and looks, emulated women like transvestites) and he has cursed the masculinized from among women (who, in dress Looks and ways, act man-like). And he said, “Expel them out of your homes.” [Bukhari from Mishkat]

Also from al-Bukhari comes the report that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radhiAllahu anhu said,

“The curse of Allah be on the tattooers and the tattooed, on the pickers of eyebrows and the cleavers of teeth as aids to beauty – they are the makers of alteration in the creation of Allah.”

Rules about La’nah

La’nah is the denouncing of something or the calling down of evil on someone. Curse is the most widely used equivalent for it. Two formal substitutes for ‘curse’ in this sense are ‘execration’ and ‘imprecation’. Execration is the face-to-face denunciation or the ill-wished, while imprecation is somewhat privately expressed. Call it by whatever name, the act of invoking la’nah is a terrible thing to do. Because of the amount of evil it releases, corresponding heavy restrictions have been placed against its use. Invoking la’nah against a Muslim is haram and the sole condition when this can be done against a kafir is that the imprecator must be sure that the disbeliever will die clinging to his disbelief. Given below are some authentic sayings of the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam on this subject:

According to Ibn Mas’ud radhiAllahu anhu, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,

“A true Muslim is no taunter or imprecator, nor is he foul-mouthed.” [Tirmidhi, from Mishkat]

Abu al-Darda radhiAllahu anhu says that he heard the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam say,

“When a servant of Allah curses something, the curse goes up towards the sky whereupon the doors of the sky are closed on it. After that, it comes down towards the earth whereupon the doors of the earth are closed on it (that is, the earth does not accept this curse). After that, it takes a right, and then a left, but as it finds no access anywhere, it returns to the one who was cursed. So, if he is really deserving of it, on him it falls; otherwise, it returns back to its pronouncer and falls on him.” [Abu Dawood, cited by Mishkat]

It has been reported by Ibn Abbas radhiAllahu anhu that the wind swooped away the sheet-cloak of a man and he cursed the wind, whereupon the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “Do not curse it for it is under orders (from Allah) and (remember) whosoever curses something which does not deserve the curse, then, the curse returns to none but him.” [Tirmidhi, cited by Mishkar, p.413]


Unless it is known about a particular person that he died in a state of kufr invoking la’nah on him is not permissible – even though he may be a sinful person. Based on this principle, ibn Abideen has advised against cursing Yazeed. But, should it be on a particular kafir whose death in a state of disbelief is certain for instance, Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab, then, it is permissible. [Shami, v.2, p.836]

Cursing without naming anyone is permissible, for example, saying, “God’s curse upon liar (or tyrants)!’

Literally, la’nah means being far removed from the mercy of Allah. In the terminology of the Shariah, when applied to disbelievers, it refers to their being far off from the mercy of Allah; and when it is applied to Muslims, it refers to their having fallen down the level of the righteous [reported by Shami from al-Quhistani, v.2, p.836]. therefore, praying that the good deeds of a Muslim may decrease is also not permissible.

[Taken from Maaruf-ul-Qur’an by Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani]

4 thoughts on “The La’nah (Curse) of Allah

  1. How can you plainly say that you study the Quran verse by verse and when I read the link below all you reference is Hadith which is dubious as a main source of Islam. First, let the reader know that you’re talking about Hadith rather than Quran when you’re rendering a verdict so that Allah may support your efforts.

    If Hadith was the main source of Islam, Allah would’ve protected it from any alterations similar to the Quran but that’s not the case. I still respect the traditions of the prophet but it’s not a source of clear cut religion and sometimes even contradict Allah.

    1. Asalaam o Alaykum wa rahmatullah,

      If you have read our About page, we have clearly stated our sources for the compilation of these posts. Anyone who has ever been a student of Qur’an knows that Ibn Katheer explains the ayaat through the opinions of the Sahabah radhiAllahu ‘anhum. We haven’t concealed anything. It’s up to the reader whether they wish to read or not.

      The title Verse by Verse means we pick a few ayaat at a time and then study them. It does not mean we are only explaining the Qur’an through the Qur’an, we value the work of compilers of hadeeth. As for whether it is protected or not, we ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to show us truth as truth and allow us to follow it, and to show as falsehood as falsehood and allow us to abstain from it, ameen.

    2. Miqdam bin Ma’dikarib Al-Kindi narrated that:
      The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Soon there will come a time that a man will be reclining on his pillow, and when one of my Ahadith is narrated he will say: ‘The Book of Allah is (sufficient) between us and you. Whatever it states is permissible, we will take as permissible, and whatever it states is forbidden, we will take as forbidden.’ Verily, whatever the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has forbidden is like that which Allah has forbidden.”

      Arabic/English book reference : Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 12

      It was narrated from Ubaidullah bin Abu Rafi from his father, that:
      The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “I do not want to find anyone of you reclining on his pillow, and when bad news comes to him of something that I have commanded or forbidden, he says, ‘I do not know, whatever we find in the Book of Allah, we will follow.”

      Arabic/English book reference : Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 13

      May Allah increase you in knowledge and understanding.

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