32. Majid comments: “The word ‘Al-Fahishah’ in this context does not signify the act of lewdness but the dissemination of scandals and gossip, the wide-spread social vice – the word of scandal repeated and reiterated at hundreds of (places).”
Mawdudi however sees that the implication can be expanded. He writes: “The words used in the verse embrace all the various forms that might be used to spread moral corruption and lewd behavior including those means employed to awaken sexual passion, be they poetry, song, fiction, picture, plays and drama.”
33.That is, if they continued living and died unrepentant (Qurtubi).
Asad adds: “The Qur’anic warning against slander and, by obvious implication, against any attempt at seeking out other people’s faults finds a clear echo in several well-authenticated sayings of the Prophet: ‘Beware of all guesswork [about one another], for, behold, all [such] guesswork is most deceptive (akdhab al-hadith); and do not spy upon one another, and do not try to bare [other people’s] failings’ (Muwatta’).”