Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 128
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
16: An-Nahl - النحل

16:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ أَتَىٰ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ ۚ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(Inevitable) cometh (to pass) the Command of Allah. seek ye not then to hasten it: Glory to Him, and far is He above having the partners they ascribe unto Him!
[ Saheeh International ]
The command of Allah is coming, so be not impatient for it. Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.
Tafseer Commentary

2019 This is an answer to the taunt of the Pagans, who said: "If there is a god, the One True God, as you say, with unified control, why does He not punish the wrongdoers at once?" The answer is: "The decree of Allah will inevitably come to pass; it will come soon enough; when it comes, you will wish it were delayed; how foolish of you to wish even to cut off your last hope of forgiveness?"


16:2
[ Original ]
يُنَزِّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةَ بِالرُّوحِ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَىٰ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ أَنْ أَنْذِرُوا أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاتَّقُونِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He doth send down His angels with inspiration of His Command, to such of His servants as He pleaseth, (saying): "Warn (Man) that there is no god but I: so do your duty unto Me."
[ Saheeh International ]
He sends down the angels, with the inspiration of His command, upon whom He wills of His servants, [telling them], "Warn that there is no deity except Me; so fear Me."
Tafseer Commentary

2020 The Pagans, with their multiplicity of gods and goddesses, good and evil, could play one off against another. That is mere mockery of religion. With such conceptions, man cannot understand the Unity of Design in the Universe nor realise the Power and Glory of the One True God, to Whom alone worship and service are due.


16:3
[ Original ]
خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بِالْحَقِّ ۚ تَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He has created the heavens and the earth for just ends: Far is He above having the partners they ascribe to Him!
[ Saheeh International ]
He created the heavens and earth in truth. High is He above what they associate with Him.
Tafseer Commentary

2021 Not for sport, or fortuitously and without Design. Cf. 15:85. Surely the Unity of Design in Creation also proves the Unity of Allah their Creator.


16:4
[ Original ]
خَلَقَ الْإِنْسَانَ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُبِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer!
[ Saheeh International ]
He created man from a sperm-drop; then at once, he is a clear adversary.
Tafseer Commentary

2022 Man's physical origin is lowly. Yet do men go back to material things, and neglect or dispute about the highest things in Life.


16:5
[ Original ]
وَالْأَنْعَامَ خَلَقَهَا ۗ لَكُمْ فِيهَا دِفْءٌ وَمَنَافِعُ وَمِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And cattle He has created for you (men): from them ye derive warmth, and numerous benefits, and of their (meat) ye eat.
[ Saheeh International ]
And the grazing livestock He has created for you; in them is warmth and [numerous] benefits, and from them you eat.
Tafseer Commentary

2023 Why will you go back to material things, considering that material things are made subservient to your use and enjoyment in various ways as suggested in the clauses that follow? (Cf. 40:79-80).

2024 From wool, and hair, and skins, and milk. Camel's hair makes warm robes and blankets; and certain kinds of goats yield hair which makes similar fabrics. Sheep yield wool, and llamas alpaca for similar uses. The skins and furs of many animals yield warm raiment or make warm rugs or bedding. The females of many of these animals yield good warm milk, a nourishing and wholesome diet. Then the flesh of many of these animals is good to eat. There are other uses, which the animals serve, and which are referred to later.


16:6
[ Original ]
وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا جَمَالٌ حِينَ تُرِيحُونَ وَحِينَ تَسْرَحُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And ye have a sense of pride and beauty in them as ye drive them home in the evening, and as ye lead them forth to pasture in the morning.
[ Saheeh International ]
And for you in them is [the enjoyment of] beauty when you bring them in [for the evening] and when you send them out [to pasture].
Tafseer Commentary

2025 The good man is proud of his cattle and is good to them. As they go to, and return from, pasture, morning and evening, he has a sense of his power and wealth and their beauty and docility. Will not man turn from these material facts to the great spiritual truths and purpose behind them?


16:7
[ Original ]
وَتَحْمِلُ أَثْقَالَكُمْ إِلَىٰ بَلَدٍ لَمْ تَكُونُوا بَالِغِيهِ إِلَّا بِشِقِّ الْأَنْفُسِ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they carry your heavy loads to lands that ye could not (otherwise) reach except with souls distressed: for your Lord is indeed Most Kind, Most Merciful,
[ Saheeh International ]
And they carry your loads to a land you could not have reached except with difficulty to yourselves. Indeed, your Lord is Kind and Merciful.
Tafseer Commentary

2026 The cattle and animals also carry loads, and thus make intercommunication between different lands easy. But for them there would have been many difficulties, not only physical, but psychological. Weary men carrying loads are in no mood for social and spiritual intercourse. This intercourse is made possible by the kindness and mercy of Allah.


16:8
[ Original ]
وَالْخَيْلَ وَالْبِغَالَ وَالْحَمِيرَ لِتَرْكَبُوهَا وَزِينَةً ۚ وَيَخْلُقُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride and use for show; and He has created (other) things of which ye have no knowledge.
[ Saheeh International ]
And [He created] the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and [as] adornment. And He creates that which you do not know.
Tafseer Commentary

2027 Horses, mules, and donkeys as well as other animals may be beasts of burden, but they may also be pedigree animals bred for beauty and for all those more refined uses, such as processions, in which grace and elegance is the predominant feature.

2028 If we examine the history of transport, there have been vast changes through the ages, from rude pack animals to fine equipages, and then through mechanical contrivances, such means of transport as elegant coaches, tramways, and railways, useful motor lorries and Rolls-Royce cars, and airships and aeroplanes of all descriptions. At any given point of time, many of those were yet unknown to man. Nor can we suppose the limits to have been reached now or that it will ever be reached at any future time. Through the mind and ingenuity of man it is Allah that creates new things hitherto unknown to man.


16:9
[ Original ]
وَعَلَى اللَّهِ قَصْدُ السَّبِيلِ وَمِنْهَا جَائِرٌ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ لَهَدَاكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And unto Allah leads straight the Way, but there are ways that turn aside: if Allah had willed, He could have guided all of you.
[ Saheeh International ]
And upon Allah is the direction of the [right] way, and among the various paths are those deviating. And if He willed, He could have guided you all.
Tafseer Commentary

2029 Through material things "the Way" does always lead to Allah. But some minds are so obsessed with material things that they miss the pointers to the spiritual. Allah could have forced all to the true Way, but in His Will and Plan is the training of man's will, and that is done by the Signs in nature and Revelation.


16:10
[ Original ]
هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً ۖ لَكُمْ مِنْهُ شَرَابٌ وَمِنْهُ شَجَرٌ فِيهِ تُسِيمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is He who sends down rain from the sky: from it ye drink, and out of it (grows) the vegetation on which ye feed your cattle.
[ Saheeh International ]
It is He who sends down rain from the sky; from it is drink and from it is foliage in which you pasture [animals].

16:11
[ Original ]
يُنْبِتُ لَكُمْ بِهِ الزَّرْعَ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالنَّخِيلَ وَالْأَعْنَابَ وَمِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
With it He produces for you corn, olives, date-palms, grapes and every kind of fruit: verily in this is a sign for those who give thought.
[ Saheeh International ]
He causes to grow for you thereby the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.
Tafseer Commentary

2030 The least thought and study of nature will show you Allah's wise and benign providence in making the processes of nature subserve man's use and refined life. A higher degree of intelligence and study is required ("men who are wise") to understand Allah's Signs to man in the process connected with the heavenly bodies (verse 12). And a still higher spiritual understanding ("men who celebrate His praises" with gratitude) to realise the marvellous gradation, colours, and nuances in the creatures on this little globe of ours (verse 13). Reason this out very carefully.


16:12
[ Original ]
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ ۖ وَالنُّجُومُ مُسَخَّرَاتٌ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for men who are wise.
[ Saheeh International ]
And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason.
Tafseer Commentary

2031 The Night and Day are caused by astronomical rotations. What is important for man to note is how Allah has given intelligence to man to make use of this alternation for work and rest; how man can, as soon as he rises from the primitive stage, get over their inequalities by artificial illuminants, such as vegetable or mineral oils, coal, gas, or electricity, which ultimately are derived from the storedup energy of the sun; how the sun's heat can be tempered by various artificial means and can be stored up for use by man as required; how man can be independent of the tides caused by the moon and the sun, which formerly controlled navigation, but which no longer stand in man's way, with his artificial harbours and great sea-going ships; how navigation was formerly subject to direct observation of the Polar Star and other stars but how the magnetic needle and charts have now completely altered the position, and man can calculate and to a certain extent control magnetic variations, etc. In such ways the sun, the moon, and the stars themselves become useful servants to him, all by Allah's gift and His Command, without which there would have been no laws governing them and no intelligence to make use of them.


16:13
[ Original ]
وَمَا ذَرَأَ لَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُخْتَلِفًا أَلْوَانُهُ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَذَّكَّرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And the things on this earth which He has multiplied in varying colours (and qualities): verily in this is a sign for men who celebrate the praises of Allah (in gratitude).
[ Saheeh International ]
And [He has subjected] whatever He multiplied for you on the earth of varying colors. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who remember.
Tafseer Commentary

2032 Whose heart has not been moved by the glorious gradation of colours in the sunset clouds? The gradations are infinite, and it is only the eye of an artist that can express their collective beauty. They are but a type of the infinite variety and gradation of qualities in the spiritual sphere even in the little space of our own globe. The big things that can be measured and defined have been spoken of before. Here we have mention of the subtle nuances in the spiritual world which can only be perceived by men who are so high in spiritual insight that their only reaction is to "celebrate the praises of Allah" in gratitude for His infinite Mercies.

2033 Read again n. 2030 above, and see how subtly we are led up from the perception of the big to the perception of the subtle and delicate colours and qualities in the spiritual world.


16:14
[ Original ]
وَهُوَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ الْبَحْرَ لِتَأْكُلُوا مِنْهُ لَحْمًا طَرِيًّا وَتَسْتَخْرِجُوا مِنْهُ حِلْيَةً تَلْبَسُونَهَا وَتَرَى الْفُلْكَ مَوَاخِرَ فِيهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is He Who has made the sea subject, that ye may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender, and that ye may extract therefrom ornaments to wear; and thou seest the ships therein that plough the waves, that ye may seek (thus) of the bounty of Allah and that ye may be grateful.
[ Saheeh International ]
And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and [He subjected it] that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful.
Tafseer Commentary

2034 We have gone up in a climax of material things from the big to the subtle in the sky and the earth. Here we have another climax as regards the things of the sea. We get the delicate flesh of fishes and marine creatures of all kinds; we get the treasures of the deep: pearls, coral, amber, and things of that kind; and we have the stately ships ploughing the waves, for maritime commerce and intercourse, for unifying mankind, and for reaching the spiritual bounty of Allah which can best be expressed by the boundless ocean.

2035 Connoisseurs know the delicate flavours of sea fish, such as the pomfret of the Indian Ocean, the herring of the North Atlantic, the mullet of Marseilles , and many other kinds. Tari, translated "fresh and tender," also refers to the soft moist nature of fresh fish. It is another wonder of Allah that salt water should produce flesh of such fresh, tender, and delicate flavour.

2036 Diving for pearls-in both the primitive and the more advanced form-is another instance of man's power over apparently inaccessible depths of the sea.

2037 After the material benefits which we get from the sea, we are asked to consider things of higher import to the spirit of man. There is the beautiful ship which stands as the symbol of international commerce and intercourse, things that may be of material benefit, but which have a higher aspect in unifying man and making his civilisation more universal. These are first steps in seeking of the "bounty of Allah" through the sea. But there are higher aspects. Navigation and international intercourse increase knowledge, which in its higher aspects should clean the mind and make it fitter to approach Allah. The salt water, which covers nearly 72 percent of the surface of the globe, is itself a purifying and sanitary agent, and is a good symbol of the higher bounties of Allah, which are as boundless as the ocean (Cf. 45:12).


16:15
[ Original ]
وَأَلْقَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَنْ تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَأَنْهَارًا وَسُبُلًا لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And He has set up on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and rivers and roads; that ye may guide yourselves;
[ Saheeh International ]
And He has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it shift with you, and [made] rivers and roads, that you may be guided,
Tafseer Commentary

2038 Cf. 13:3 and 15:19. Here and elsewhere the earth is spoken of as a spacious carpet beneath our feet and the hills as a steadying agent to keep the carpet from rolling or shaking about. In 78:7 they are spoken of as pegs or stakes (see also 21:31 and 27:61). (R).

2039 In this passage (16:15-16) we have the metaphor of the fixed mountains further allegorised. In these verses the keywords are indicated by the symbols for man's guidance (tahtadun). First, the physical symbols are indicated: the mountains that stand firm and do not change from day to day in the landscape, unlike shifting sand dunes, or the coastline of the sea, or river and streams, which frequently change their courses; then we have rivers and roads, which are more precise and therefore more useful, though less permanent; then we have 'alamat (signposts), any kinds of signs erected by man, like direction posts, lighthouses or beacons, or provided in nature, as tall trees, etc.; and finally, we have the polestar, and now the magnetic needle, with its variations marked on navigation charts. All these are symbols for the higher Guidance which Allah provides for the spirit of man. See next note.


16:16
[ Original ]
وَعَلَامَاتٍ ۚ وَبِالنَّجْمِ هُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And marks and sign-posts; and by the stars (men) guide themselves.
[ Saheeh International ]
And landmarks. And by the stars they are [also] guided.
Tafseer Commentary

2040 See last note. Let us examine the completed allegory. As there are beacons, landmarks and signs to show the way to men on the earth, so in the spiritual world. And it is ultimately Allah Who provides them, and this is His crowning Mercy. Like the mountains, there are spiritual landmarks in the missions of the Great Teachers: they should guide us, or teach us to guide ourselves, and not shake hither and thither like a ship without a rudder or people without Faith. As rivers and streams mark out their channels, smoothing out levels, so we have wholesome laws and customs established, to help us in our lives. Then we have the example of Great Men as further signposts: "Lives of great men all remind us. We can make our lives sublime." In long distance travel, the polestar and the magnetic needle are our guides: so in our long distance journey to the other world, we have ultimately to look to heavenly guidance or its reflections in Allah's Revelations.


16:17
[ Original ]
أَفَمَنْ يَخْلُقُ كَمَنْ لَا يَخْلُقُ ۗ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Is then He Who creates like one that creates not? Will ye not receive admonition?
[ Saheeh International ]
Then is He who creates like one who does not create? So will you not be reminded?
Tafseer Commentary

2041 The Supreme Majesty of Allah having been set out in His favors of all kinds, it will be seen at once that the worship of any other than Allah is meaningless and ridiculous. Shall we not take the hint and understand?


16:18
[ Original ]
وَإِنْ تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If ye would count up the favours of Allah, never would ye be able to number them: for Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[ Saheeh International ]
And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Tafseer Commentary

2042 Of all Allah's favours innumerable, His Mercy and Forgiveness in the spiritual plane are the greatest, and of eternal value to us in our future Lives.


16:19
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And Allah doth know what ye conceal, and what ye reveal.
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah knows what you conceal and what you declare.

16:20
[ Original ]
وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ لَا يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْئًا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those whom they invoke besides Allah create nothing and are themselves created.
[ Saheeh International ]
And those they invoke other than Allah create nothing, and they [themselves] are created.
Tafseer Commentary

2043 Allah is the only Creator and the Ultimate Reality. Everything else is created by Him, and reflects His glory. How foolish then to worship any other Allah!


16:21
[ Original ]
أَمْوَاتٌ غَيْرُ أَحْيَاءٍ ۖ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(They are things) dead, lifeless: nor do they know when they will be raised up.
[ Saheeh International ]
They are, [in fact], dead, not alive, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected.
Tafseer Commentary

2044 Idols are dead wood or stone. If men worship stars, or heroes, or prophets, or great men, they too have no life except that which was given by Allah. In themselves, they are lifeless. If they worship figments of the imagination, they are reflections in a double degree, and have no life in themselves. All these things will be raised up on the Last Day, in order that false worshippers may be confronted with them. But they themselves cannot tell when that Day will be.


16:22
[ Original ]
إِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۚ فَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ مُنْكِرَةٌ وَهُمْ مُسْتَكْبِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Your Allah is one Allah. as to those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts refuse to know, and they are arrogant.
[ Saheeh International ]
Your god is one God. But those who do not believe in the Hereafter - their hearts are disapproving, and they are arrogant.
Tafseer Commentary

2045 Everything points to Allah, the One True Eternal God. If so, there is a Hereafter, for He has declared it. Insofar as people do not believe this, the fault is in their Will: they do not wish to believe, and the motive behind is arrogance, the sin which brought about the fall of Iblis: 2:34. (R).


16:23
[ Original ]
لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْتَكْبِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Undoubtedly Allah doth know what they conceal, and what they reveal: verily He loveth not the arrogant.
[ Saheeh International ]
Assuredly, Allah knows what they conceal and what they declare. Indeed, He does not like the arrogant.
Tafseer Commentary

2046 Cf. 16:19, where the same words refer to man generally. Whether he conceals or reveals what is in his heart, Allah knows it, and as Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful, His grace is available as His highest favour if man will take it. Here the reference is to those who "refuse to know", who reject Allah's guidance out of arrogance. Allah "loveth not the arrogant". Such men deprive themselves of Allah's grace.


16:24
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ مَاذَا أَنْزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ ۙ قَالُوا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When it is said to them, "What is it that your Lord has revealed?" they say, "Tales of the ancients!"
[ Saheeh International ]
And when it is said to them, "What has your Lord sent down?" They say, "Legends of the former peoples,"
Tafseer Commentary

2047 When the arrogant Unbelievers are referred to some definite argument or illustration from Scripture, they dismiss it contemptuously with the remark, "Tales of the ancients!" In this, they are not only playing with their own conscience, but misleading others, with perhaps less knowledge than themselves. (Cf. 16:30).


16:25
[ Original ]
لِيَحْمِلُوا أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۙ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ أَلَا سَاءَ مَا يَزِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Let them bear, on the Day of Judgment, their own burdens in full, and also (something) of the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled. Alas, how grievous the burdens they will bear!
[ Saheeh International ]
That they may bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection and some of the burdens of those whom they misguide without knowledge. Unquestionably, evil is that which they bear.
Tafseer Commentary

2048 Their responsibility or crime is twofold: (1) that they rejected Allah's Message, and (2) that they misled others. Their Penalty will also be double. In 6:164, we are told that "no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another". This is against the doctrine of vicarious atonement. Every man is responsible for his own sins: but the sin of misleading others is a sin of the misleader himself, and he must suffer the penalty for that also, without relieving those misled, of their responsibility.


16:26
[ Original ]
قَدْ مَكَرَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ فَأَتَى اللَّهُ بُنْيَانَهُمْ مِنَ الْقَوَاعِدِ فَخَرَّ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّقْفُ مِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ وَأَتَاهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those before them did also plot (against Allah.s Way): but Allah took their structures from their foundations, and the roof fell down on them from above; and the Wrath seized them from directions they did not perceive.
[ Saheeh International ]
Those before them had already plotted, but Allah came at their building from the foundations, so the roof fell upon them from above them, and the punishment came to them from where they did not perceive.
Tafseer Commentary

2049 Evil will always devise plots against the Prophets of Allah. So was it with al Mustafa, and so wait with the Prophets before him. But the imposing structures which the ungodly build up (metaphorically) collapse at the Command of Allah, and they are often punished from quarters from which they least expected punishment, ( Cf. 16:45 and, 59:25). For example, the Quraysh were confident in their number's, their organisation. and their superior equipment. But on the field of Badr they collapsed where they expected victory.


16:27
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُخْزِيهِمْ وَيَقُولُ أَيْنَ شُرَكَائِيَ الَّذِينَ كُنْتُمْ تُشَاقُّونَ فِيهِمْ ۚ قَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ إِنَّ الْخِزْيَ الْيَوْمَ وَالسُّوءَ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then, on the Day of Judgment, He will cover them with shame, and say: "Where are My 'partners' concerning whom ye used to dispute (with the godly)?" Those endued with knowledge will say: "This Day, indeed, are the Unbelievers covered with shame and misery,-
[ Saheeh International ]
Then on the Day of Resurrection He will disgrace them and say, "Where are My 'partners' for whom you used to oppose [the believers]?" Those who were given knowledge will say, "Indeed disgrace, this Day, and evil are upon the disbelievers" -
Tafseer Commentary

2050 The worshippers of false gods (the ungodly, the Unbelievers) will be unable to reply when brought before the Judgement Seat. The comment of those "endued with knowledge"-the Prophets and Teachers whom they had rejected-will be by way of indictment and explanation of the position of those before the Judgement Seat.


16:28
[ Original ]
الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ ۖ فَأَلْقَوُا السَّلَمَ مَا كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ مِنْ سُوءٍ ۚ بَلَىٰ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"(Namely) those whose lives the angels take in a state of wrong-doing to their own souls." Then would they offer submission (with the pretence), "We did no evil (knowingly)." (The angels will reply), "Nay, but verily Allah knoweth all that ye did;
[ Saheeh International ]
The ones whom the angels take in death [while] wronging themselves, and [who] then offer submission, [saying], "We were not doing any evil." But, yes! Indeed, Allah is Knowing of what you used to do.
Tafseer Commentary

2051 That is, those who died in a state of kufr, or rebellion against Allah, which was really wrongdoing against their own souls.

2052 The excuse is a mere pretence. At first they were too dazed to reply. When they reply, they cannot deny the facts, but resort to the sinner's excuse of saying that they sinned through ignorance, and that their motives were not wrong. Such a plea raises a question of hidden thoughts which are difficult to appraise before a human tribunal. But here they are before their Divine Author, Who knows every secret of their souls, and before Whom no false plea can be of any value. So they are concerned.


16:29
[ Original ]
فَادْخُلُوا أَبْوَابَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۖ فَلَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى الْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"So enter the gates of Hell, to dwell therein. Thus evil indeed is the abode of the arrogant."
[ Saheeh International ]
So enter the gates of Hell to abide eternally therein, and how wretched is the residence of the arrogant.

16:30
[ Original ]
وَقِيلَ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا مَاذَا أَنْزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ ۚ قَالُوا خَيْرًا ۗ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ ۚ وَلَدَارُ الْآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ ۚ وَلَنِعْمَ دَارُ الْمُتَّقِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To the righteous (when) it is said, "What is it that your Lord has revealed?" they say, "All that is good." To those who do good, there is good in this world, and the Home of the Hereafter is even better and excellent indeed is the Home of the righteous,-
[ Saheeh International ]
And it will be said to those who feared Allah, "What did your Lord send down?" They will say, "[That which is] good." For those who do good in this world is good; and the home of the Hereafter is better. And how excellent is the home of the righteous -
Tafseer Commentary

2053 The contrast and parallelism is with 16:24, where the ungodly in their levity and their deliberate rejection of guidance find no profit from Allah's revelation.

2054 Unlike the ungodly, the good find good everywhere-in this world and in the Hereafter; because they understand and are in accord with the truths around them.


16:31
[ Original ]
جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۖ لَهُمْ فِيهَا مَا يَشَاءُونَ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَجْزِي اللَّهُ الْمُتَّقِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Gardens of Eternity which they will enter: beneath them flow (pleasant) rivers: they will have therein all that they wish: thus doth Allah reward the righteous,-
[ Saheeh International ]
Gardens of perpetual residence, which they will enter, beneath which rivers flow. They will have therein whatever they wish. Thus does Allah reward the righteous -

16:32
[ Original ]
الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ ۙ يَقُولُونَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(Namely) those whose lives the angels take in a state of purity, saying (to them), "Peace be on you; enter ye the Garden, because of (the good) which ye did (in the world)."
[ Saheeh International ]
The ones whom the angels take in death, [being] good and pure; [the angels] will say, "Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise for what you used to do."
Tafseer Commentary

2055 In a state of purity: from the evils of this world, from want of faith and want of grace. Purity from such evil is the mark of true Islam, and those who die in such purity will be received into Felicity with a salutation of Peace.


16:33
[ Original ]
هَلْ يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَّا أَنْ تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَوْ يَأْتِيَ أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ فَعَلَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَلَٰكِنْ كَانُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Do the (ungodly) wait until the angels come to them, or there comes the Command of thy Lord (for their doom)? So did those who went before them. But Allah wronged them not: nay, they wronged their own souls.
[ Saheeh International ]
Do the disbelievers await [anything] except that the angels should come to them or there comes the command of your Lord? Thus did those do before them. And Allah wronged them not, but they had been wronging themselves.
Tafseer Commentary

2056 That is, until death comes to them, or some Punishment in this life, itself, which precludes them from repentance and the Mercy of Allah.


16:34
[ Original ]
فَأَصَابَهُمْ سَيِّئَاتُ مَا عَمِلُوا وَحَاقَ بِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِئُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But the evil results of their deeds overtook them, and that very (Wrath) at which they had scoffed hemmed them in.
[ Saheeh International ]
So they were struck by the evil consequences of what they did and were enveloped by what they used to ridicule.

16:35
[ Original ]
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا لَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا عَبَدْنَا مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ نَحْنُ وَلَا آبَاؤُنَا وَلَا حَرَّمْنَا مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ فَعَلَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ فَهَلْ عَلَى الرُّسُلِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The worshippers of false gods say: "If Allah had so willed, we should not have worshipped aught but Him - neither we nor our fathers,- nor should we have prescribed prohibitions other than His." So did those who went before them. But what is the mission of messengers but to preach the Clear Message?
[ Saheeh International ]
And those who associate others with Allah say, "If Allah had willed, we would not have worshipped anything other than Him, neither we nor our fathers, nor would we have forbidden anything through other than Him." Thus did those do before them. So is there upon the messengers except [the duty of] clear notification?
Tafseer Commentary

2057 The age-old argument: if Allah is Ail-Powerful, why did He not force all persons to His Will? This ignores the limited free will granted to man, which is the whole basis of Ethics. Allah gives man every opportunity of knowing and understanding things, hut He does nor force him, for that would be against the whole Plan on which our present Life is constituted.

2058 The Pagan Arabs prescribed various arbitrary prohibitions in the matter of meat: see 6:143-145, These, of course, are not recognised by Islam, which also removed some of the restrictions of the Jewish Law: 6:146. The general meaning, however, is far wider. Men erect their own taboos and prohibitions, barriers and restrictions, and ascribe them to Religion. This is worng, and more consonant with Pagan practice than with Islam.

2059 Clear Message: Mubin: in three senses: (1) a Message clear and unambiguous; (2) one that makes all things clear to those who try understand, because it accords with their own nature as created by Allah; (3) one preached openly and to everone.


16:36
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ ۖ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلَالَةُ ۚ فَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messengers, (with the Command), "Serve Allah, and eschew Evil": of the People were some whom Allah guided, and some on whom error became inevitably (established). So travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied (the Truth).
[ Saheeh International ]
And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], "Worship Allah and avoid Taghut." And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed. So proceed through the earth and observe how was the end of the deniers.
Tafseer Commentary

2060 Even though Allah's Signs are everywhere in Nature and in men's own conscience, yet in addition Allah has sent human Messengers to every People to call their attention to the Good and turn them from Evil. So they cannot pretend that Allah has abandoned them or that He does not care what they do. His divine Grace always invites their will to choose the right (Cf. 10:47 and 35:24).

2061 While some people accept the guidance of the divine Grace, others so surrender themselves to Evil that it must necessarily follow that evil obtains a grip over them. They have only to travel through time or space to see the end of those who abandoned their lights and surrendered to Evil and error. For haqqah and the meaning of haqq in this connection C f. 15:64.


16:37
[ Original ]
إِنْ تَحْرِصْ عَلَىٰ هُدَاهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ يُضِلُّ ۖ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِنْ نَاصِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If thou art anxious for their guidance, yet Allah guideth not such as He leaves to stray.And there is none to help them.
[ Saheeh International ]
[Even] if you should strive for their guidance, [O Muhammad], indeed, Allah does not guide those He sends astray, and they will have no helpers.
Tafseer Commentary

2062 When once Allah's Grace is rejected by anyone, such a person loses all help and guidance. Such persons are then outside Allah's Grace, and therefore they are outside guidance.


16:38
[ Original ]
وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ ۙ لَا يَبْعَثُ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَمُوتُ ۚ بَلَىٰ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They swear their strongest oaths by Allah, that Allah will not raise up those who die: Nay, but it is a promise (binding) on Him in truth: but most among mankind realise it not.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths [that] Allah will not resurrect one who dies. But yes - [it is] a true promise [binding] upon Him, but most of the people do not know.
Tafseer Commentary

2063 The strongest oath of the Pagan Arabs would be by the Supreme Allah: less strong oaths would be by their subordinate deities, or their ancestors, or other things they valued or held sacred.

2064 The usual Pagan creed is: "If there is a God, it does not follow that He will raise us up: why should He?" The answer is twofold: (1) Allah has promised it, and Allah's promise is true, (2) He must finally manifest the Truth to them, convict them of their falsehood, and enforce their personal responsibility (16:39).


16:39
[ Original ]
لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي يَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا كَاذِبِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(They must be raised up), in order that He may manifest to them the truth of that wherein they differ, and that the rejecters of Truth may realise that they had indeed (surrendered to) Falsehood.
[ Saheeh International ]
[It is] so He will make clear to them [the truth of] that wherein they differ and so those who have disbelieved may know that they were liars.
Tafseer Commentary

2065 See the last note.


16:40
[ Original ]
إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَيْءٍ إِذَا أَرَدْنَاهُ أَنْ نَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For to anything which We have willed, We but say the word, "Be", and it is.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, Our word to a thing when We intend it is but that We say to it, "Be," and it is.
Tafseer Commentary

2066 Allah's "Word" is in itself the Deed. Allah's Promise is in itself the Truth. There is no interposition of Time or Condition between His Will and its consequences, for He is the Ultimate Reality. He is independent of the proximate or material causes, for He Himself creates diem and establishes their Laws as He pleases (Cf. 36:82 and 40:68).


16:41
[ Original ]
وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا فِي اللَّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُوا لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً ۖ وَلَأَجْرُ الْآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah, after suffering oppression- We will assuredly give a goodly home in this world; but truly the reward of the Hereafter will be greater. If they only realised (this)!
[ Saheeh International ]
And those who emigrated for [the cause of] Allah after they had been wronged - We will surely settle them in this world in a good place; but the reward of the Hereafter is greater, if only they could know.
Tafseer Commentary

2067 There is no merit in suffering exile (hijrah) in itself. To have any merit, it must be: (1) in the cause of Allah, and (2) after such an oppression as forces the sufferer to choose between Allah and man. When these conditions are fulfilled, the exiles are entitled to the highest honour, as having made a great sacrifice in the cause of Allah. Such were the early Muslim exiles to Abyssinia ; such were the later exiles to Madinah, before the Prophet himself left his home in Makkah and went to Madinah; and such were the exiles who went with the Prophet or followed him. At all these stages, his approval or advice was always obtained, either specifically or generally (Cf. 29:58).


16:42
[ Original ]
الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(They are) those who persevere in patience, and put their trust on their Lord.
[ Saheeh International ]
[They are] those who endured patiently and upon their Lord relied.

16:43
[ Original ]
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ فَاسْأَلُوا أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And before thee also the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We sent not before you except men to whom We revealed [Our message]. So ask the people of the message if you do not know.
Tafseer Commentary

2068 Allah's prophets were always men, not angels; and their distinction was the inspiration they received.

2069 If the Pagan Arabs, who were ignorant of religious and other history, wondered how a man from among themselves could receive inspiration and bring a Message from Allah, let them ask the Jews, who had also received Allah's Message earlier through Moses, whether Moses was a man, or an angel, or a god. They would learn that Moses was a man like themselves, but inspired by Allah. "Those who possess the Message" may also mean any men of Wisdom, who were qualified to have an opinion in such matters (Cf. 21:7 and 38:1).


16:44
[ Original ]
بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالزُّبُرِ ۗ وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(We sent them) with Clear Signs and Scriptures; and We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought.
[ Saheeh International ]
[We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.
Tafseer Commentary

2070 As the People of the Book had received "Clear Signs" and inspired Books before, so also Allah's Message came to the Prophet Muhammad through the Qur'an, which superseded the earlier revelations, already corrupted in the hands of their followers. (R).


16:45
[ Original ]
أَفَأَمِنَ الَّذِينَ مَكَرُوا السَّيِّئَاتِ أَنْ يَخْسِفَ اللَّهُ بِهِمُ الْأَرْضَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Do then those who devise evil (plots) feel secure that Allah will not cause the earth to swallow them up, or that the Wrath will not seize them from directions they little perceive?-
[ Saheeh International ]
Then, do those who have planned evil deeds feel secure that Allah will not cause the earth to swallow them or that the punishment will not come upon them from where they do not perceive?
Tafseer Commentary

2071 Cf. 16:26. The wicked plot against Prophets of Allah in secret, forgetting that every hidden thought of theirs is known to Allah, and that for every thought and action of theirs they will have to account to Allah. And Allah's punishment can seize them in various ways. Four are enumerated here. (1) They may be swallowed up in the earth like Qarun, whose story is told in 28:76-82. He was swallowed up in the earth while he was arrogantly exulting on the score of his wealth. (2) It may be that, like Haman, the prime minister of Pharaoh, they are plotting against Allah, when they are themselves overwhelmed by some dreadful calamity: 40:36- 38; 29:39-40. The case of Pharaoh is also in point. He was drowned while he was arrogantly hoping to frustrate Allah's plans for Israel : 10:90-92- For (3) and (4) see the next two notes. (R).


16:46
[ Original ]
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ فِي تَقَلُّبِهِمْ فَمَا هُمْ بِمُعْجِزِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or that He may not call them to account in the midst of their goings to and fro, without a chance of their frustrating Him?-
[ Saheeh International ]
Or that He would not seize them during their [usual] activity, and they could not cause failure?
Tafseer Commentary

2072 (3) Or the punishment may come to people away from their homes and humble them in their pride. It so happened to Abu J ahl, who came exulting in his pride to the Battle of Badr (A.H.2). His army was three times the size of the Muslim army from Madinah. But it suffered a crushing defeat, and he himself was ignominiously slain.


16:47
[ Original ]
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَىٰ تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Or that He may not call them to account by a process of slow wastage - for thy Lord is indeed full of kindness and mercy.
[ Saheeh International ]
Or that He would not seize them gradually [in a state of dread]? But indeed, your Lord is Kind and Merciful.
Tafseer Commentary

2073 (4) Or, as often happens, the punishment comes slowly and imperceptibly, the power of the enemies of Allah being wasted gradually, until it is extinguished. This happened to the Makkans during the eight years of the Prophet's exile. The conquest of Makkah was bloodless, because the power of the enemy had gradually vanished. The Prophet was thus able to show the unexampled generosity and clemency which he showed on that occasion, for two of Allah's attributes are expressed in the titles "Full of kindness" (Ra'uf) and "Full of mercy" (Rahim).


16:48
[ Original ]
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَىٰ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ يَتَفَيَّأُ ظِلَالُهُ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَالشَّمَائِلِ سُجَّدًا لِلَّهِ وَهُمْ دَاخِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Do they not look at Allah.s creation, (even) among (inanimate) things- How their (very) shadows turn round, from the right and the left, prostrating themselves to Allah, and that in the humblest manner?
[ Saheeh International ]
Have they not considered what things Allah has created? Their shadows incline to the right and to the left, prostrating to Allah, while they are humble.
Tafseer Commentary

2074 I take "things" here to be inanimate things, for the next verse speaks of living "moving creatures" and angels. By a metaphor even such inanimate things are spoken of as recognising Allah and humbly worshipping Him. Even their shadows turn around from right and left according to the light from above, and, they humbly prostrate themselves on the ground to celebrate the praises of Allah. The "shadows" suggest how all things in this life are mere shadows of the true Reality in heaven; and they should turn and move in accordance with the divine light, as the shadows of trees and buildings move in one direction or another, and lengthen or shorten according to the light from heaven.


16:49
[ Original ]
وَلِلَّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مِنْ دَابَّةٍ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَهُمْ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And to Allah doth obeisance all that is in the heavens and on earth, whether moving (living) creatures or the angels: for none are arrogant (before their Lord).
[ Saheeh International ]
And to Allah prostrates whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth of creatures, and the angels [as well], and they are not arrogant.
Tafseer Commentary

2075 Moving creatures, i.e., living creatures. "All that is in the heaven or earth," includes every created thing. And created things are mentioned in three classes: inanimate things, ordinary living things, and angels. Even the highest angels are not arrogant: they bow down and serve their Lord, and so does all Creation.


16:50
[ Original ]
يَخَافُونَ رَبَّهُمْ مِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ ۩
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They all revere their Lord, high above them, and they do all that they are commanded.
[ Saheeh International ]
They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.
Tafseer Commentary

2076 Allah is so high above the highest of His creatures, that they all look up to him in awe and reverence. And they joyfully do their duty in serving him. This is the meaning of the "fear of the Lord."


16:51
[ Original ]
وَقَالَ اللَّهُ لَا تَتَّخِذُوا إِلَٰهَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ ۖ إِنَّمَا هُوَ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ فَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Allah has said: "Take not (for worship) two gods: for He is just One Allah. then fear Me (and Me alone)."
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah has said, "Do not take for yourselves two deities. He is but one God, so fear only Me."
Tafseer Commentary

2077 The ancient Persians believed in two powers in the Universe, one good and the other evil. The Pagan Arabs also had pairs of deities: e.g., Jibt (Sorcery) and Taghut (Evil), referred to in 4:51, n. 573, or the idols on Safa and Marwah referred to in n. 160 to 2:158: their names were Isaf and Nayla.


16:52
[ Original ]
وَلَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَهُ الدِّينُ وَاصِبًا ۚ أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ تَتَّقُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and on earth, and to Him is duty due always: then will ye fear other than Allah.
[ Saheeh International ]
And to Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth, and to Him is [due] worship constantly. Then is it other than Allah that you fear?
Tafseer Commentary

2078 The Pagans might have a glimmering of the One True God, but they had also a haunting fear of malevolent Powers of Evil. They are told that such fears are groundless. Evil has no power over those who trust in Allah: 15:42. The only fear they should have is that of the Wrath of Allah. To the righteous all good things come from Allah, and they have no fear in their hearts.


16:53
[ Original ]
وَمَا بِكُمْ مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ۖ ثُمَّ إِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الضُّرُّ فَإِلَيْهِ تَجْأَرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And ye have no good thing but is from Allah. and moreover, when ye are touched by distress, unto Him ye cry with groans;
[ Saheeh International ]
And whatever you have of favor - it is from Allah. Then when adversity touches you, to Him you cry for help.
Tafseer Commentary

2079 Which shows that the natural tendency of man is to seek Allah, the only Power which can truly relieve distress.


16:54
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ إِذَا كَشَفَ الضُّرَّ عَنْكُمْ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِنْكُمْ بِرَبِّهِمْ يُشْرِكُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Yet, when He removes the distress from you, behold! some of you turn to other gods to join with their Lord-
[ Saheeh International ]
Then when He removes the adversity from you, at once a party of you associates others with their Lord

16:55
[ Original ]
لِيَكْفُرُوا بِمَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ ۚ فَتَمَتَّعُوا ۖ فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(As if) to show their ingratitude for the favours we have bestowed on them! then enjoy (your brief day): but soon will ye know (your folly)!
[ Saheeh International ]
So they will deny what We have given them. Then enjoy yourselves, for you are going to know.

16:56
[ Original ]
وَيَجْعَلُونَ لِمَا لَا يَعْلَمُونَ نَصِيبًا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ ۗ تَاللَّهِ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ عَمَّا كُنْتُمْ تَفْتَرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they (even) assign, to things they do not know, a portion out of that which We have bestowed for their sustenance! By Allah, ye shall certainly be called to account for your false inventions.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they assign to what they do not know a portion of that which We have provided them. By Allah, you will surely be questioned about what you used to invent.
Tafseer Commentary

2080 Idols and fictitious gods are certainly things of which they have no knowledge, idols being lifeless things of whose life or doings no knowledge is possible, and fictitious gods being but figments of their imagination.

2081 Cf. 6:136-140, 6:142-144, and 5:103. The Pagans, in assigning and dedicating some of their children, or some of their cattle, or some of the produce of their fields, to their false gods as shares with the true Supreme Allah, made themselves doubly ridiculous; first, because every good thing that they valued was given to them by Allah, and how could they patronisingly assign to Him a share of His own gifts?-and secondly, because they brought in other gods as shares, who had no existence whatever! Besides, the cattle and produce were given for their physical sustenance and the children for their social and spiritual sustenance, and how can they, poor creatures, give sustenance to Allah?


16:57
[ Original ]
وَيَجْعَلُونَ لِلَّهِ الْبَنَاتِ سُبْحَانَهُ ۙ وَلَهُمْ مَا يَشْتَهُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And they assign daughters for Allah. - Glory be to Him! - and for themselves (sons,- the issue) they desire!
[ Saheeh International ]
And they attribute to Allah daughters - exalted is He - and for them is what they desire.
Tafseer Commentary

2082 Some of the Pagan Arabs called angels 'the daughters of Allah'. In their own life they hated to have daughters, as explained in the next two verses. They practised female infanticide. In their state of perpetual war, sons were a source of strength to them; daughters only made them subject to humiliating raids!


16:58
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُمْ بِالْأُنْثَىٰ ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief!
[ Saheeh International ]
And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] a female, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.

16:59
[ Original ]
يَتَوَارَىٰ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِنْ سُوءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ ۚ أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَىٰ هُونٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ ۗ أَلَا سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! what an evil (choice) they decide on?
[ Saheeh International ]
He hides himself from the people because of the ill of which he has been informed. Should he keep it in humiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably, evil is what they decide.
Tafseer Commentary

2083 "It," in this and the following clause, refers grammatically to the "news" (ma bushshira bihi). In meaning it refers to the "female child"-by the figure of speech known as metonymy.

2084 Cf. 81:8-9. The practice of female infanticide is condemned in scathing terms. Female children used to be buried alive by the Pagan Arabs.

2085 It was an evil choice to decide on. Either alternative-to keep the poor girl as a thing of sufferance and contempt, bringing disgrace on the family, or to get rid of it by burying it alive-was cruel and indefensible. (Cf. 17:40 and 43:16-17).


16:60
[ Original ]
لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ مَثَلُ السَّوْءِ ۖ وَلِلَّهِ الْمَثَلُ الْأَعْلَىٰ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To those who believe not in the Hereafter, applies the similitude of evil: to Allah applies the highest similitude: for He is the Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom.
[ Saheeh International ]
For those who do not believe in the Hereafter is the description of evil; and for Allah is the highest attribute. And He is Exalted in Might, the Wise.
Tafseer Commentary

2086 The word mathal ordinarily denotes a similitude, but in the context of the present verse, especially with reference to Allah, it signifies His sublime attributes rather than a similitude. Cf. 30:27. (Eds.).


16:61
[ Original ]
وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِظُلْمِهِمْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَيْهَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ وَلَٰكِنْ يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى ۖ فَإِذَا جَاءَ أَجَلُهُمْ لَا يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً ۖ وَلَا يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If Allah were to punish men for their wrong-doing, He would not leave, on the (earth), a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: When their Term expires, they would not be able to delay (the punishment) for a single hour, just as they would not be able to anticipate it (for a single hour).
[ Saheeh International ]
And if Allah were to impose blame on the people for their wrongdoing, He would not have left upon the earth any creature, but He defers them for a specified term. And when their term has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it].
Tafseer Commentary

2087 Allah's decree works without fail. If He were to punish for every wrong or shortcoming, not a single living creature on earth would escape punishment. But in His infinite mercy and forgiveness, He gives respite: He provides time for repentance. If the repentance is forthcoming, Allah's Mercy is forthcoming without fail. If not, the punishment comes inevitably on the expiration of the Term. The sinner cannot anticipate it by an insolent challenge, nor can he delay it when the time arrives. Let him not think that the respite given him may mean that he can do what he likes, and that he can escape scot-free from the consequences ( Cf. 35:45).


16:62
[ Original ]
وَيَجْعَلُونَ لِلَّهِ مَا يَكْرَهُونَ وَتَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُهُمُ الْكَذِبَ أَنَّ لَهُمُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۖ لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّ لَهُمُ النَّارَ وَأَنَّهُمْ مُفْرَطُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They attribute to Allah what they hate (for themselves), and their tongues assert the falsehood that all good things are for themselves: without doubt for them is the Fire, and they will be the first to be hastened on into it!
[ Saheeh International ]
And they attribute to Allah that which they dislike, and their tongues assert the lie that they will have the best [from Him]. Assuredly, they will have the Fire, and they will be [therein] neglected.
Tafseer Commentary

2088 See above, 16:57-58 and notes.

2089 The philosophy of Pleasure (Hedonism) assumes that worldly enjoyment is good in itself and that there is nothing beyond. But it can be shown, even on its own ground, that every act has its inevitable consequences. No good can spring out of evil. For falsehood and wrong the agony of the Fire is waiting, and the boastful votaries of falsehood will be the first to fall into it (Cf. 37:149 and 52:39).


16:63
[ Original ]
تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمَمٍ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ فَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
By Allah, We (also) sent (Our messengers) to Peoples before thee; but Satan made, (to the wicked), their own acts seem alluring: He is also their patron today, but they shall have a most grievous penalty.
[ Saheeh International ]
By Allah, We did certainly send [messengers] to nations before you, but Satan made their deeds attractive to them. And he is the disbelievers' ally today [as well], and they will have a painful punishment.
Tafseer Commentary

2090 In all ages and among all Peoples Allah sent His Messengers to teach the Truth and point the way to righteousness. But the allurements of Evil seemed always attractive, and many men preferred their own ways and the ways of their ancestors to the more difficult path of rectitude. This happened again in the time of Al Mustafa, and will always happen as long as men succumb to Evil.


16:64
[ Original ]
وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۙ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We sent down the Book to thee for the express purpose, that thou shouldst make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We have not revealed to you the Book, [O Muhammad], except for you to make clear to them that wherein they have differed and as guidance and mercy for a people who believe.
Tafseer Commentary

2091 But the path of duty before Allah's Messenger is clear. He is sent with the Revelation (the Qur'an) for three express purposes: (1) that he should bring about unity among the jarring sects, for the Gospel of Unit)', while preaching the One True God, leads also to the unity of mankind; (2) that the revelation should be a guide to right conduct; and (3) that it should show the path of repentance and salvation, and thus be the highest mercy to erring sinners.


16:65
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ أَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And Allah sends down rain from the skies, and gives therewith life to the earth after its death: verily in this is a Sign for those who listen.
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who listen.
Tafseer Commentary

2092 When the earth with all its vegetation is well-nigh dead, parched and shrivelled up, a vivifying shower of rain from above gives it new life. This natural phenomenon is a sign of Allah's infinite power, especially of His power to resurrect the dead, and thereafter muster them for Judgment. (Eds.).


16:66
[ Original ]
وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ فِي الْأَنْعَامِ لَعِبْرَةً ۖ نُسْقِيكُمْ مِمَّا فِي بُطُونِهِ مِنْ بَيْنِ فَرْثٍ وَدَمٍ لَبَنًا خَالِصًا سَائِغًا لِلشَّارِبِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And verily in cattle (too) will ye find an instructive sign. From what is within their bodies, between excretions and blood, We produce, for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it.
[ Saheeh International ]
And indeed, for you in grazing livestock is a lesson. We give you drink from what is in their bellies - between excretion and blood - pure milk, palatable to drinkers.
Tafseer Commentary

2093 The spiritual sustenance which Allah gives is typified by the wonderful ways of sustenance in the physical world, which figure forth Allah's providence and loving care for His creation. And the wonderful transformation in the physical world, which all tend to the benefit of man, are also signs of His supreme wisdom. In the previous verse rain was mentioned, which gives new life to dead nature. In this and the following two verses our attention is drawn to milk, the products of the date and the vine, and honey (Cf. 36:11-73).

2094 Their, in the Arabic, it is "its", in the singular number, for two reasons: (1) catde is the generic plural, and may be treated as a singular noun; (2) the instructive sign is in cattle collectively, but the milk is the product of each single individual.

2095 Milk is a secretion in the female body, like other secretions, but more specialised. Is it not wonderful that the same food, eaten by males and females, produces in the latter, when they have young, the wholesome and complete food, known as milk? Then, when cattle are tamed and specially bred for milk, the supply of milk is vastly greater than is necessary for their young and lasts for a longer time than during the period they give suck to their young. And it is a wholesome and agreeable diet for man. It is pure, as typified by its whiteness. Yet it is a secretion like other secretions, between the excretions which the body rejects as worthless and the precious blood-stream which circulates within the body and is the symbol of life itself to the animal which produces it.


16:67
[ Original ]
وَمِنْ ثَمَرَاتِ النَّخِيلِ وَالْأَعْنَابِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنْهُ سَكَرًا وَرِزْقًا حَسَنًا ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And from the fruit of the date-palm and the vine, ye get out drink and wholesome food: behold, in this also is a sign for those who are wise.
[ Saheeh International ]
And from the fruits of the palm trees and grapevines you take intoxicant and good provision. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who reason.
Tafseer Commentary

2096 There are drinks and wholesome foods that can be got out of the date palm and the vine: e.g., non-alcoholic drinks from the date and the grape, vinegar, date sugar, grape sugar, and dates and grapes themselves for eating. If sakar is taken in the sense of fermented wine, it would refer to the time before intoxicants were prohibited, for this is a Makkan Surah and the prohibition came in MadTnah. In such a case it would imply a subtle disapproval of the use of intoxicants and mark the first of a series of steps that in time culminated in total prohibition. (R).


16:68
[ Original ]
وَأَوْحَىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذِي مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعْرِشُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And thy Lord taught the Bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men's) habitations;
[ Saheeh International ]
And your Lord inspired to the bee, "Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct.
Tafseer Commentary

2097 Awha: wahy ordinarily means inspiration, the Message put into the mind or heart by Allah. Here the Bee's instinct is referred to Allah's teaching, which it undoubtedly is. In 99:5, it is applied to the earth: We shall discuss the precise meaning when we come to that passage. The honeycomb, itself, with its hexagonal cells, geometrically perfect, is a wonderful structure, and is well called buyut, homes. And the way the bee finds out inaccessible places, in the hills, in the trees, and even among the habitations of men, is one of the marvels of nature, i.e., of Allah's working in His Creation.


16:69
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ كُلِي مِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلًا ۚ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِلنَّاسِ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you]." There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.
Tafseer Commentary

2098 The bee assimilates the juice of various kinds of flowers and fruit, and forms within its body the honey which it stores in its cells of wax. The different kinds of food from which it makes its honey give different colours to the honey, e.g., it is dark-brown, light-brown, yellow, white, and so on. The taste and flavour also varies, as in the case of heather honey, the honey formed from scented flowers, and so on. As food it is sweet and wholesome, and it is used in medicine. Note that while the instinctive individual acts are described in the singular number, the produce of "their bodies" is described in the plural, as the result of their collective effort.

2099 Dhululan: two meanings are possible: (1) ways easy and spacious, referring to the unerring way in which bees find their way from long distances to their combs; and (2) the idea of humility and obedience in them. From both we can derive a metaphorical and spiritual meaning.


16:70
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ ثُمَّ يَتَوَفَّاكُمْ ۚ وَمِنْكُمْ مَنْ يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰ أَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ لِكَيْ لَا يَعْلَمَ بَعْدَ عِلْمٍ شَيْئًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ قَدِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is Allah who creates you and takes your souls at death; and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known (much): for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Powerful.
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah created you; then He will take you in death. And among you is he who is reversed to the most decrepit [old] age so that he will not know, after [having had] knowledge, a thing. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Competent.
Tafseer Commentary

2100 Besides the mystery and beauty of the many processes going on in the working of Allah's Creation, there is the wonderful life of man himself on this earth: how he is created as a child; how he grows in intelligence and knowledge; and how his soul is taken back and his body suffers dissolution. In some cases he lives so long that he falls into a feeble old age like a second childhood: he forgets what he learnt and seems almost to go back in Time. Is not all this wonderful, and evidence of the Knowledge and Power of Allah?

2101 (Cf. 22:5). Our attention having been called to the remarkable transformations in life and nature, by which the Knowledge and Power of Allah work out His beneficent Plan for His creatures, we are reminded that man at best is but a feeble creature, but for the grace of Allah. We then pass on in the next Section to the differences in the gifts which men themselves enjoy, distinguishing them into so many categories. How much greater is the difference between the created things and their Creator?


16:71
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ فَضَّلَ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ فِي الرِّزْقِ ۚ فَمَا الَّذِينَ فُضِّلُوا بِرَادِّي رِزْقِهِمْ عَلَىٰ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَهُمْ فِيهِ سَوَاءٌ ۚ أَفَبِنِعْمَةِ اللَّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Allah has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others: those more favoured are not going to throw back their gifts to those whom their right hands possess, so as to be equal in that respect. Will they then deny the favours of Allah?
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah has favored some of you over others in provision. But those who were favored would not hand over their provision to those whom their right hands possess so they would be equal to them therein. Then is it the favor of Allah they reject?
Tafseer Commentary

2102 Even in the little differences in gifts, which men enjoy from Allah, men with superior gifts are not going to abandon them so as to be equal with men of inferior gifts, whom, perhaps, they hold in subjection. They will never deny their own superiority. How then (as the argument is pursued in the two following verses), can they ignore the immense difference between the Creator and created things, and make the latter, in their thoughts, partners with Allah?


16:72
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ بَنِينَ وَحَفَدَةً وَرَزَقَكُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ ۚ أَفَبِالْبَاطِلِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَبِنِعْمَتِ اللَّهِ هُمْ يَكْفُرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best: will they then believe in vain things, and be ungrateful for Allah.s favours?-
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah has made for you from yourselves mates and has made for you from your mates sons and grandchildren and has provided for you from the good things. Then in falsehood do they believe and in the favor of Allah they disbelieve?
Tafseer Commentary

2103 Of your nature: or of yourselves. Cf. 4:1 and n. 504. Self, or Personality, or Soul, all imply a bundle of attributes, capacities, predilections, and dispositions, which we may sum up in the word Nafs, or nature. Roman was made to be (I) a mate or companion for man; (2) except for sex, of the same nature as man, and therefore with the same moral and religious rights and duties; and (3) she is not to be considered a source of all evil or sin, as the Christian monks characterised her but rather as a blessing, one of the favours, (Ni'mah) of Allah,

2104 Hajadah: collective plural, daughters, grandchildren, and descendants. The root hafada also implies obedient service and ministration. Just as the sons (first mentioned) should be a source of strength, so daughters and grandchildren should serve and contribute to the happiness of fathers and grandparents, and are to be looked upon as further blessings.


16:73
[ Original ]
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَمْلِكُ لَهُمْ رِزْقًا مِنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And worship others than Allah,- such as have no power of providing them, for sustenance, with anything in heavens or earth, and cannot possibly have such power?
[ Saheeh International ]
And they worship besides Allah that which does not possess for them [the power of] provision from the heavens and the earth at all, and [in fact], they are unable.
Tafseer Commentary

2105 "Sustenance" (rizq) in all this passage (16:65-74), as elsewhere, implies all that is necessary for man's life and growth, physical, mental and spiritual. Milk, fruit, and honey are examples of physical gifts, with a metaphorical reference to mental and moral health; family life is an example of moral and social and (ultimately) spiritual opportunities in the life of man; and in 16:65 is an example of rain in the physical world as a type of Allah's revelation in the spiritual world.


16:74
[ Original ]
فَلَا تَضْرِبُوا لِلَّهِ الْأَمْثَالَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Invent not similitudes for Allah. for Allah knoweth, and ye know not.
[ Saheeh International ]
So do not assert similarities to Allah. Indeed, Allah knows and you do not know.
Tafseer Commentary

2106 Cf. 16:60 above, and n. 2086. One instance of false similitudes is where Pagans say their gods are mere types or symbols, or where men pray to men as intercessors.


16:75
[ Original ]
ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا عَبْدًا مَمْلُوكًا لَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ وَمَنْ رَزَقْنَاهُ مِنَّا رِزْقًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ يُنْفِقُ مِنْهُ سِرًّا وَجَهْرًا ۖ هَلْ يَسْتَوُونَ ۚ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another; He has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to Allah. But most of them understand not.
[ Saheeh International ]
Allah presents an example: a slave [who is] owned and unable to do a thing and he to whom We have provided from Us good provision, so he spends from it secretly and publicly. Can they be equal? Praise to Allah! But most of them do not know.
Tafseer Commentary

2107 The first parable is of two men, one of whom is a slave completely under the dominion of another, with no powers of any sort, and another a free man, who is gifted in every way, and is most generous in bestowing out of his opulent wealth (material as well as intangible), privately and publicly, without let or hindrance; for he is his own master and owes no account to anyone. The first is like the imaginary gods which men set up-whether powers of nature, which have no independent existence but are manifestations of Allah, or deified heroes or men, who can do nothing of their own authority but are subject to the Will and Power of Allah; the second describes in a faint way the position of Allah, the Self- Subsistent, to Whom belongs the dominion of all that is in heaven and earth, and Who bestows freely of His gifts on all His creatures.


16:76
[ Original ]
وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا رَجُلَيْنِ أَحَدُهُمَا أَبْكَمُ لَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ كَلٌّ عَلَىٰ مَوْلَاهُ أَيْنَمَا يُوَجِّهْهُ لَا يَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ ۖ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي هُوَ وَمَنْ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ ۙ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Allah sets forth (another) Parable of two men: one of them dumb, with no power of any sort; a wearisome burden is he to his master; whichever way be directs him, he brings no good: is such a man equal with one who commands Justice, and is on a Straight Way?
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah presents an example of two men, one of them dumb and unable to do a thing, while he is a burden to his guardian. Wherever he directs him, he brings no good. Is he equal to one who commands justice, while he is on a straight path?
Tafseer Commentary

2108 In the second Parable, one man is dumb; he can explain nothing, and he can certainly do nothing; he is only a wearisome burden to his master, no matter what his master asks him to do; or perhaps he is really harmful instead of bringing any good: such are idols (literal and metaphorical) when taken as false gods. The other man is in a position to command, and he commands what is just and righteous; not only his commands but his doings also are on the path of righteousness. Such are the qualities of Allah.

2109 The gist of the argument is that those who deviate from the worship of Allah commit twofold treason: (l) They do not recognise the immense difference between the Creator and created things, although, in their own little selfish lives, they are tenacious of any little differences there may be between themselves and other fellow-creatures not so gifted. (2) They are guilty of gross ingratitude in forgetting that the source of goodness and power is Allah, to Whom alone they owe all the gifts they enjoy in life.


16:77
[ Original ]
وَلِلَّهِ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَمَا أَمْرُ السَّاعَةِ إِلَّا كَلَمْحِ الْبَصَرِ أَوْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To Allah belongeth the Mystery of the heavens and the earth. And the Decision of the Hour (of Judgment) is as the twingkling of an eye, or even quicker: for Allah hath power over all things.
[ Saheeh International ]
And to Allah belongs the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth. And the command for the Hour is not but as a glance of the eye or even nearer. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.
Tafseer Commentary

2110 The key to all things-not only those which we see and understand, but those which we do not see or of which have no idea-is with Allah, Whose knowledge and power are supreme.

2111 Lures of this world and its fleeting pleasures often make man forget that the life of the hereafter is an imminent reality. Many of those who claim to believe in the life to come act and behave as if it belonged to a distant future, and had no relevance to their present activities and mode of living. The Qur'an repeatedly reminds man that the Hour of Reckoning is not a distant possibility, but very close to man, and could come to pass any moment. The wisest course for man, therefore, is to be always alert and watchful and steer clear of all forms of sin and impiety, for when the Promised Hour comes it will come all of a sudden and without any prior notice. See also 10:45; 30:55, 45:32. (Eds.)


16:78
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنْ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۙ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when ye knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affections: that ye may give thanks (to Allah..
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful.
Tafseer Commentary

2112 Literally, 'hearts,' are considered the centres of the affections, and in Arabic idiom, of intelligence also. We should therefore give thanks to Allah, not to imaginary deities or powers or forces.


16:79
[ Original ]
أَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الطَّيْرِ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ فِي جَوِّ السَّمَاءِ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Do they not look at the birds, held poised in the midst of (the air and) the sky? Nothing holds them up but (the power of) Allah. Verily in this are signs for those who believe.
[ Saheeh International ]
Do they not see the birds controlled in the atmosphere of the sky? None holds them up except Allah. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.
Tafseer Commentary

2113 All the wonderful things in creation are due to the artistry, power, and wisdom of Allah. Such as the flight of birds in midair. So also are the inventions and discoveries, due to man's intelligence, in the next verse; for man's intelligence is a gift direct from Allah.


16:80
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِنْ بُيُوتِكُمْ سَكَنًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِنْ جُلُودِ الْأَنْعَامِ بُيُوتًا تَسْتَخِفُّونَهَا يَوْمَ ظَعْنِكُمْ وَيَوْمَ إِقَامَتِكُمْ ۙ وَمِنْ أَصْوَافِهَا وَأَوْبَارِهَا وَأَشْعَارِهَا أَثَاثًا وَمَتَاعًا إِلَىٰ حِينٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is Allah Who made your habitations homes of rest and quiet for you; and made for you, out of the skins of animals, (tents for) dwellings, which ye find so light (and handy) when ye travel and when ye stop (in your travels); and out of their wool, and their soft fibres (between wool and hair), and their hair, rich stuff and articles of convenience (to serve you) for a time.
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah has made for you from your homes a place of rest and made for you from the hides of the animals tents which you find light on your day of travel and your day of encampment; and from their wool, fur and hair is furnishing and enjoyment for a time.
Tafseer Commentary

2114 Man's social, intellectual, and spiritual gifts make, of his permanent dwellings, homes of rest and quiet, of refinement and the purer affections, which are the types, in this earthly life, of the highest spiritual Good, the Love of Allah. The pure home thus becomes the type of the highest spiritual destiny of man. And these capacities in man are the gifts of Allah.

2115 When man travels, he wants temporary dwellings, tents, which he can make of the skins of animals, or of the fabrics of vegetable fibres, similar to the skins of animals. These tents are easy to carry when moving, and easy to pitch during halts.

2116 Suf, wool, is what we get from sheep. Sha'r, hair, is what we get from goats or similar animals, for weaving into fabrics. Wabar is the soft camel's hair of which, also, fabrics are woven: they may be considered intermediate between the other two: by extension and analogy the term may be applied to furs and such things, by way of illustration.

2117 All such articles of refined luxury, and useful articles of comfort and convenience only last for awhile, but they must be considered Allah's gifts (Cf. n. 3991).


16:81
[ Original ]
وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِمَّا خَلَقَ ظِلَالًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِنَ الْجِبَالِ أَكْنَانًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ سَرَابِيلَ تَقِيكُمُ الْحَرَّ وَسَرَابِيلَ تَقِيكُمْ بَأْسَكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُسْلِمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is Allah Who made out of the things He created, some things to give you shade; of the hills He made some for your shelter; He made you garments to protect you from heat, and coats of mail to protect you from your (mutual) violence. Thus does He complete His favours on you, that ye may bow to His Will (in Islam).
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah has made for you, from that which He has created, shadows and has made for you from the mountains, shelters and has made for you garments which protect you from the heat and garments which protect you from your [enemy in] battle. Thus does He complete His favor upon you that you might submit [to Him].
Tafseer Commentary

2118 For example, trees, gardens, the roofs of houses; also from another point of view, the fact that the sun's rays at various times and in various parts of the earth, come obliquely, thus causing shadows along with sunshine. In the hills there are caves and grottoes.

2119 Our clothes protect us from heat and cold, just as our armour protects us from the hurt which we might otherwise receive in battle.

2120 All these blessings, which have both a physical and (by promoting the good of man) a spiritual purpose, should teach us to rally to Allah and tune our will with His Universal Will, which is another name for Islam.


16:82
[ Original ]
فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But if they turn away, thy duty is only to preach the clear Message.
[ Saheeh International ]
But if they turn away, [O Muhammad] - then only upon you is [responsibility for] clear notification.

16:83
[ Original ]
يَعْرِفُونَ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنْكِرُونَهَا وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They recognise the favours of Allah. then they deny them; and most of them are (creatures) ungrateful.
[ Saheeh International ]
They recognize the favor of Allah; then they deny it. And most of them are disbelievers.
Tafseer Commentary

2121 'Arafa distinguished from 'alima'm implying a specific discernment (or recognition) of various qualities and uses. All mankind recognises the value of the blessings they enjoy, but in forgetting or disobeying their Author, the wicked show gross ingratitude: for in practice they deny their obligation to Him for those blessing.


16:84
[ Original ]
وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا ثُمَّ لَا يُؤْذَنُ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَلَا هُمْ يُسْتَعْتَبُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
One Day We shall raise from all Peoples a Witness: then will no excuse be accepted from Unbelievers, nor will they receive any favours.(2122- A)
[ Saheeh International ]
And [mention] the Day when We will resurrect from every nation a witness. Then it will not be permitted to the disbelievers [to apologize or make excuses], nor will they be asked to appease [Allah].
Tafseer Commentary

2122 To each People is sent Allah's Messenger or Teacher, to point out the right way. There may be one, or there may be many. Such a Messenger (Rasu1) will be a witness that Allah's Truth was preached to all peoples in express terms, in addition to the Signs of Allah everywhere in nature. There will then be no room for excuses of any kind. Those who rejected Allah after repeated warnings cannot reasonably ask for more respite, as they had every kind of respite during their life of probation; nor can they now take refuge behind Allah's Grace, which they had repeatedly rejected. 2122-A That is, they will not be allowed to seek grace by repentance. Cf. 30:57, 45:35.(Eds.).


16:85
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا رَأَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا الْعَذَابَ فَلَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْظَرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When the wrong-doers (actually) see the Penalty, then will it in no way be mitigated, nor will they then receive respite.
[ Saheeh International ]
And when those who wronged see the punishment, it will not be lightened for them, nor will they be reprieved.
Tafseer Commentary

2123 When the terrible Penalty is actually on them, it is too late for repentance and for asking for Mercy. Justice must take its course.


16:86
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا رَأَى الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا شُرَكَاءَهُمْ قَالُوا رَبَّنَا هَٰؤُلَاءِ شُرَكَاؤُنَا الَّذِينَ كُنَّا نَدْعُو مِنْ دُونِكَ ۖ فَأَلْقَوْا إِلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلَ إِنَّكُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When those who gave partners to Allah will see their "partners", they will say: "Our Lord! these are our 'partners,' those whom we used to invoke besides Thee." But they will throw back their word at them (and say): "Indeed ye are liars!"
[ Saheeh International ]
And when those who associated others with Allah see their "partners," they will say," Our Lord, these are our partners [to You] whom we used to invoke besides You." But they will throw at them the statement, "Indeed, you are liars."
Tafseer Commentary

2124 The worshippers of false gods will try to shift the responsibility from their own shoulders to that of the false gods. They will suggest (though they will not have the courage for such a bare-faced lie) that they were misled by the false gods. But their lying suggestions will be contradicted and thrown back at them as explained in the next note.


16:87
[ Original ]
وَأَلْقَوْا إِلَى اللَّهِ يَوْمَئِذٍ السَّلَمَ ۖ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُمْ مَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
That Day shall they (openly) show (their) submission to Allah. and all their inventions shall leave them in the lurch.
[ Saheeh International ]
And they will impart to Allah that Day [their] submission, and lost from them is what they used to invent.
Tafseer Commentary

2125 Insofar as the false gods were real things, such as deified men or forces of nature, they will openly disclaim them and then (as always) show their submission to Allah. Insofar as the false gods were the inventions of the fancy of the idolaters, they will leave worshippers in the lurch, for they will be shown as non-existent


16:88
[ Original ]
الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَصَدُّوا عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ زِدْنَاهُمْ عَذَابًا فَوْقَ الْعَذَابِ بِمَا كَانُوا يُفْسِدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those who reject Allah and hinder (men) from the Path of Allah - for them will We add Penalty to Penalty; for that they used to spread mischief.
[ Saheeh International ]
Those who disbelieved and averted [others] from the way of Allah - We will increase them in punishment over [their] punishment for what corruption they were causing.

16:89
[ Original ]
وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ ۖ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَىٰ هَٰؤُلَاءِ ۚ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
One day We shall raise from all Peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims.
[ Saheeh International ]
And [mention] the Day when We will resurrect among every nation a witness over them from themselves. And We will bring you, [O Muhammad], as a witness over your nation. And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.
Tafseer Commentary

2126 To the thought expressed in 16:84 above, is added another detail here. Not only will there be witnesses from Peoples, but the witnesses will be men from amongst the Peoples themselves, men of their own kith and kin, who understood them and explained Allah's Message in their own language. The Prophet Muhammad will be witness against all those who rejected the Message he brought. For those who believe in him (of all races and peoples), the Book which he brought will be an explanation, a guide, a mercy and a Gospel. (R).


16:90
[ Original ]
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
Tafseer Commentary

2127 Justice is a comprehensive term, and may include all the virtues of cold philosophy. But religion asks for something warmer and more human, the doing of good deeds even where perhaps they are not strictly demanded by justice, such as returning good for ill, or obliging those who in worldly language "have no claim" on you; and of course a fortiori the fulfilling of the claims of those whose claims are recognised in social life. Similarly the opposites are to be avoided: everything that is recognised as shameful, and everything that is really unjust, and any inward rebellion against Allah's Law or our own conscience in its most sensitive form.


16:91
[ Original ]
وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ إِذَا عَاهَدْتُمْ وَلَا تَنْقُضُوا الْأَيْمَانَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا وَقَدْ جَعَلْتُمُ اللَّهَ عَلَيْكُمْ كَفِيلًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Fulfil the Covenant of Allah when ye have entered into it, and break not your oaths after ye have confirmed them; indeed ye have made Allah your surety; for Allah knoweth all that ye do.
[ Saheeh International ]
And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah, over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do.
Tafseer Commentary

2128 The immediate reference may or may not be to the oath of fidelity to the Prophet taken at 'Aqabah fourteen months before the Hijrah and repeated a little later; see 5:7 and n. 705. But the general meaning is much wider. And this may be viewed in two aspects: (1) Every oath taken, or covenant made, is a Covenant before Allah, and should be faithfully observed. In this it approaches in meaning to 5:1. (2) In particular, every Muslim makes, by the profession of his Faith, a Covenant with Allah, and he confirms that Covenant every time he repeats that profession. He should therefore faithfully observe the duties taught to him by Islam.


16:92
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّتِي نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا مِنْ بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنْكَاثًا تَتَّخِذُونَ أَيْمَانَكُمْ دَخَلًا بَيْنَكُمْ أَنْ تَكُونَ أُمَّةٌ هِيَ أَرْبَىٰ مِنْ أُمَّةٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا يَبْلُوكُمُ اللَّهُ بِهِ ۚ وَلَيُبَيِّنَنَّ لَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And be not like a woman who breaks into untwisted strands the yarn which she has spun, after it has become strong. Nor take your oaths to practise deception between yourselves, lest one party should be more numerous than another: for Allah will test you by this; and on the Day of Judgment He will certainly make clear to you (the truth of) that wherein ye disagree.
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not be like she who untwisted her spun thread after it was strong [by] taking your oaths as [means of] deceit between you because one community is more plentiful [in number or wealth] than another community. Allah only tries you thereby. And He will surely make clear to you on the Day of Resurrection that over which you used to differ.
Tafseer Commentary

2129 The Covenant which binds us in the spiritual world makes us strong, like strands of fluffy cotton spun into a strong thread. It also gives us a sense of security against much evil in this world. It costs a woman much labour and skill to spin good strong yarn. She would be foolish indeed, after she has spun such yarn, to untwist its constituent strands and break them into flimsy pieces.

2130 Nor. I construe tattakhidhuna with la takunu in the previous clause.

2131 Do not make your religion merely a game of making your own party numerically strong by alliance cemented by oaths, which you readily break when a more numerous party offers you its alliance. Quraysh were addicted to this vice, and in international politics at the present day, this seems to be almost a standard of national self-respect and international skill. Islam teaches nobler ethics for individuals and nations. A Covenant should be looked upon as a solemn thing, not to be entered into except with the sincerest intention of carrying it out; and it is binding even if large numbers are ranged against it.

2132 Disagreements need not necessarily cause conflict where the parties are sincere and honest and do not wish to take advantage of one another. In such cases they do not go by numbers, groupings, and alliances, but by just conduct as in the sight of Allah. Honest differences will be removed when all things are made clear in the Hereafter.


16:93
[ Original ]
وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِنْ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَلَتُسْأَلُنَّ عَمَّا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
If Allah so willed, He could make you all one people: But He leaves straying whom He pleases, and He guides whom He pleases: but ye shall certainly be called to account for all your actions.
[ Saheeh International ]
And if Allah had willed, He could have made you [of] one religion, but He causes to stray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And you will surely be questioned about what you used to do.
Tafseer Commentary

2133 Cf. 14:4 and n. 1875. Allah's Will and Plan, in allowing limited free will to man, is, not to force man's will, but to give all guidance, and leave alone those who reject that guidance, in case they should repent and come back into Grace. But in all cases, insofar as we are given the choice, we shall be called to account for all our actions. "Leaving to stray" does not mean that we can do what we please. Our personal responsibility remains.


16:94
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ دَخَلًا بَيْنَكُمْ فَتَزِلَّ قَدَمٌ بَعْدَ ثُبُوتِهَا وَتَذُوقُوا السُّوءَ بِمَا صَدَدْتُمْ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And take not your oaths, to practise deception between yourselves, with the result that someone's foot may slip after it was firmly planted, and ye may have to taste the evil (consequences) of having hindered (men) from the Path of Allah, and a Mighty Wrath descend on you.
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not take your oaths as [means of] deceit between you, lest a foot slip after it was [once] firm, and you would taste evil [in this world] for what [people] you diverted from the way of Allah, and you would have [in the Hereafter] a great punishment.
Tafseer Commentary

2134 In 16:92, above, the motive for false and fraudulent covenants was pointed out with reprobation. Now are pointed out the consequences, viz., (1) to others; if they had not been deceived, they might have walked firmly on the Path, but now they lose faith and perhaps commit like frauds for which you will be responsible; (2) to yourselves; you have not only gone wrong yourselves; but have set others on the wrong path; and deserve a double Penalty. Perhaps the "evil consequences" refer to this world, and the "wrath" to the Hereafter.


16:95
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۚ إِنَّمَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nor sell the covenant of Allah for a miserable price: for with Allah is (a prize) far better for you, if ye only knew.
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not exchange the covenant of Allah for a small price. Indeed, what is with Allah is best for you, if only you could know.
Tafseer Commentary

2135 Any possible gain that you can make by breaking your Covenant and thus breaking Allah's Law must necessarily be miserable; while your own benefit is far greater in obeying Allah's Will and doing right.


16:96
[ Original ]
مَا عِنْدَكُمْ يَنْفَدُ ۖ وَمَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ بَاقٍ ۗ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا أَجْرَهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
What is with you must vanish: what is with Allah will endure. And We will certainly bestow, on those who patiently persevere, their reward according to the best of their actions.
[ Saheeh International ]
Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. And We will surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do.
Tafseer Commentary

2136 What comparison can there possibly be between spiritual Good, which will endure forever, and any temporal advantage which you may snatch in this world, which will fade and vanish in no time? And then, Allah's generosity is unbounded. He rewards you, not according to your merits, but according to the very best of your actions.


16:97
[ Original ]
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.
[ Saheeh International ]
Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.
Tafseer Commentary

2137 Faith, if sincere, means right conduct. When these two confirm each other, Allah's grace transforms our life. Instead of being troubled and worried, we have peace and contentment: instead of being assailed at every turn by false alarms and the assaults of evil, we enjoy calm and attain purity. The transformation is \isible in this life itself, but the "reward" in terms of the Hereafter will be far beyond our deserts.

2138 The same ending as in the previous verses deepens the overall effect of bringing home the message forcefully and beautifully. The argument is completed and rounded off. (R).


16:98
[ Original ]
فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When thou dost read the Qur'an, seek Allah's protection from Satan the rejected one.
[ Saheeh International ]
So when you recite the Qur'an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].
Tafseer Commentary

2139 Evil has no authority or influence on those who put their trust in Allah. It is good to express that trust in outward actions, and a formal expression of it-as in the formula, "I seek Allah's protection from Evil'-helps us. Reading or reciting the Qur'an should be understood both literally and figuratively as the symbol of the earnest desire of the soul to know and understand Allah's Will and act in accordance therewith. Man is weak at best, and he should seek strength for his will in Allah's help and protection.


16:99
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
No authority has he over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, there is for him no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord.

16:100
[ Original ]
إِنَّمَا سُلْطَانُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَوَلَّوْنَهُ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ بِهِ مُشْرِكُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
His authority is over those only, who take him as patron and who join partners with Allah.
[ Saheeh International ]
His authority is only over those who take him as an ally and those who through him associate others with Allah.

16:101
[ Original ]
وَإِذَا بَدَّلْنَا آيَةً مَكَانَ آيَةٍ ۙ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يُنَزِّلُ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ مُفْتَرٍ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When We substitute one revelation for another,- and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages),- they say, "Thou art but a forger": but most of them understand not.
[ Saheeh International ]
And when We substitute a verse in place of a verse - and Allah is most knowing of what He sends down - they say, "You, [O Muhammad], are but an inventor [of lies]." But most of them do not know.
Tafseer Commentary

2140 See 2:106, and n. 107. The doctrine of progressive revelation from age to age and time to time does not mean that Allah's fundamental Law changes. It is not fair to charge a Prophet of Allah with forgery because the Message, as revealed to him, is in a different form from that revealed before, when the core of the Truth is the same, for it comes from Allah.


16:102
[ Original ]
قُلْ نَزَّلَهُ رُوحُ الْقُدُسِ مِنْ رَبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيُثَبِّتَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say, the Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from thy Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as a Guide and Glad Tidings to Muslims.
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, [O Muhammad], "The Pure Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth to make firm those who believe and as guidance and good tidings to the Muslims."
Tafseer Commentary

2141 The title of the Angel Gabriel, through whom the revelation came down.

2142 The People of the Book, if they had true faith, were themselves strengthened in their faith and cleared of their doubts and difficulties by the revelations brought by Al Mustafa: and all whether People of the Book or not-who came within the fold of Islam, found the Qur'an a Guide and a Gospel, i.e., a substitute for the Mosaic Law and for the Christian Gospel, which had both been corrupted.


16:103
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُمْ يَقُولُونَ إِنَّمَا يُعَلِّمُهُ بَشَرٌ ۗ لِسَانُ الَّذِي يُلْحِدُونَ إِلَيْهِ أَعْجَمِيٌّ وَهَٰذَا لِسَانٌ عَرَبِيٌّ مُبِينٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
We know indeed that they say, "It is a man that teaches him." The tongue of him they wickedly point to is notably foreign, while this is Arabic, pure and clear.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We certainly know that they say, "It is only a human being who teaches the Prophet." The tongue of the one they refer to is foreign, and this Qur'an is [in] a clear Arabic language.
Tafseer Commentary

2143 The wicked attribute to Prophets of Allah just such motives and springs of action as they themselves would be guilty of in such circumstances. The Pagans and those who were hostile to the revelation of Allah in Islam could not and cannot understand how such wonderful words could flow from the tongue of the Prophet. They must postulate some human teacher. Unfortunately for their postulate, any possible human teacher they could think of would be poor in Arabic speech if he had all the knowledge that the Qur'an reveals of previous revelations. Apart from that, even the most eloquent Arab could not, and cannot, produce anything of the eloquence, width, and depth of Quranic teaching, as is evident from every verse of the Book (Cf. 41:44). (R).


16:104
[ Original ]
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ لَا يَهْدِيهِمُ اللَّهُ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those who believe not in the Signs of Allah,- Allah will not guide them, and theirs will be a grievous Penalty.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, those who do not believe in the verses of Allah - Allah will not guide them, and for them is a painful punishment.

16:105
[ Original ]
إِنَّمَا يَفْتَرِي الْكَذِبَ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَاذِبُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
It is those who believe not in the Signs of Allah, that forge falsehood: it is they who lie!
[ Saheeh International ]
They only invent falsehood who do not believe in the verses of Allah, and it is those who are the liars.
Tafseer Commentary

2144 It is clearly those who raise the cry of forgery that are guilty of falsehood, as there is not the least basis or even plausibility in their suggestion.


16:106
[ Original ]
مَنْ كَفَرَ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ إِيمَانِهِ إِلَّا مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَٰكِنْ مَنْ شَرَحَ بِالْكُفْرِ صَدْرًا فَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief,- except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.
[ Saheeh International ]
Whoever disbelieves in Allah after his belief... except for one who is forced [to renounce his religion] while his heart is secure in faith. But those who [willingly] open their breasts to disbelief, upon them is wrath from Allah, and for them is a great punishment;
Tafseer Commentary

2145 The exception refers to a case like that of 'Ammar, whose father Yassir and mother Sumayya, were subjected to unspeakable tortures for their belief in Islam, but never recanted. 'Ammar, suffering under tortures himself and his mind acted on by the sufferings of his parents, uttered a word construed as recantation, though his heart never wavered and he came back at once to the Prophet, who consoled him for his pain and confirmed his faith.(R).


16:107
[ Original ]
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمُ اسْتَحَبُّوا الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا عَلَى الْآخِرَةِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
This because they love the life of this world better than the Hereafter: and Allah will not guide those who reject Faith.
[ Saheeh International ]
That is because they preferred the worldly life over the Hereafter and that Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.

16:108
[ Original ]
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ طَبَعَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَارِهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Those are they whose hearts, ears, and eyes Allah has sealed up, and they take no heed.
[ Saheeh International ]
Those are the ones over whose hearts and hearing and vision Allah has sealed, and it is those who are the heedless.
Tafseer Commentary

2146 Cf. 2:7. On account of their iniquities and their want of Faith their hearts and their senses became impervious to Allah's grace, and they run headlong to perdition, (see also 6:46 and 30:59).


16:109
[ Original ]
لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Without doubt, in the Hereafter they will perish.
[ Saheeh International ]
Assuredly, it is they, in the Hereafter, who will be the losers.

16:110
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا فُتِنُوا ثُمَّ جَاهَدُوا وَصَبَرُوا إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِنْ بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But verily thy Lord,- to those who leave their homes after trials and persecutions,- and who thereafter strive and fight for the faith and patiently persevere,- Thy Lord, after all this is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then, indeed your Lord, to those who emigrated after they had been compelled [to renounce their religion] and thereafter fought [for the cause of Allah] and were patient - indeed, your Lord, after that, is Forgiving and Merciful
Tafseer Commentary

2147 I take this verse to refer to such men as were originally with the Pagans but afterwards joined Islam, suffered hardships and exile, and fought and struggled in the Cause, with patience and constancy. Their past would be blotted out and forgiven. Men like Khalid ibn al walld were numbered with the foremost heroes of Islam. In that case this verse would be a Madinah verse, though the Surah as a whole is Makkan. Perhaps it would be better to read, with some Commentators, fatanu in the active voice rather than futinu in the passive voice, and translate "after inflicting trials and persecutions (on Muslims)-" Notice the parallelism in construction between this verse and verse 119 below.


16:111
[ Original ]
يَوْمَ تَأْتِي كُلُّ نَفْسٍ تُجَادِلُ عَنْ نَفْسِهَا وَتُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا عَمِلَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
One Day every soul will come up struggling for itself, and every soul will be recompensed (fully) for all its actions, and none will be unjustly dealt with.
[ Saheeh International ]
On the Day when every soul will come disputing for itself, and every soul will be fully compensated for what it did, and they will not be wronged.
Tafseer Commentary

2148 When the Reckoning comes, each soul will stand on its own personal responsibility. No one else can help it. Full justice will be done, and all the seeming inequalities of this world will he redressed.


16:112
[ Original ]
وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا قَرْيَةً كَانَتْ آمِنَةً مُطْمَئِنَّةً يَأْتِيهَا رِزْقُهَا رَغَدًا مِنْ كُلِّ مَكَانٍ فَكَفَرَتْ بِأَنْعُمِ اللَّهِ فَأَذَاقَهَا اللَّهُ لِبَاسَ الْجُوعِ وَالْخَوْفِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Allah sets forth a Parable: a city enjoying security and quiet, abundantly supplied with sustenance from every place: Yet was it ungrateful for the favours of Allah. so Allah made it taste of hunger and terror (in extremes) (closing in on it) like a garment (from every side), because of the (evil) which (its people) wrought.
[ Saheeh International ]
And Allah presents an example: a city which was safe and secure, its provision coming to it in abundance from every location, but it denied the favors of Allah. So Allah made it taste the envelopment of hunger and fear for what they had been doing.
Tafseer Commentary

2149 The reference may be to any of the cities or populations in ancient or modern times, which were favoured with security and other blessings from Allah, but which rebelled from Allah's Law and tasted the inevitable penalty, even in the midst of their iniquities. Some commentators see here a reference to the city of Makkah under Pagan control. See next note.

2150 There is a double metaphor: (1) the tasting of hunger and terror after the abundant supplies and the full security which it had enjoyed; and (2) the complete enfolding of the city as with a garment, by these two scourges, hunger and a state of subjective alarm. If the reference is to Makkah shortly before its fall to the Muslims, the "hunger" was the seven years' severe famine which afflicted it, and the alarm was the constant fear in the minds of the Pagans that their day was done. Peace and prosperity were restored after the re-entry of the Prophet.


16:113
[ Original ]
وَلَقَدْ جَاءَهُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْهُمْ فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَخَذَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَهُمْ ظَالِمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And there came to them a Messenger from among themselves, but they falsely rejected him; so the Wrath seized them even in the midst of their iniquities.
[ Saheeh International ]
And there had certainly come to them a Messenger from among themselves, but they denied him; so punishment overtook them while they were wrongdoers.

16:114
[ Original ]
فَكُلُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَاشْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So eat of the sustenance which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good; and be grateful for the favours of Allah, if it is He Whom ye serve.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And be grateful for the favor of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.
Tafseer Commentary

2151 Ingratitude for Allah's sustenance (in the literal and figurative senses) may be shown in various ways: e.g., (1) by forgetting or refusing to acknowledge the true source of the bounty, viz., Allah, (2) by misusing or misapplying the bounty, as by committing excesses in things lawful, or refusing to share them with others of Allah's creatures when the need arises, or (3) by falsely ascribing to Allah any prohibition we may set up for ourselves for special reasons or because of our special idiosyncrasies.


16:115
[ Original ]
إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ ۖ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He has only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and any (food) over which the name of other than Allah has been invoked. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[ Saheeh International ]
He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit] - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Tafseer Commentary

2152 Cf. 2:173 and notes, 5:3-5 and 6:121 and 6:138-146.


16:116
[ Original ]
وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَٰذَا حَلَالٌ وَهَٰذَا حَرَامٌ لِتَفْتَرُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ لَا يُفْلِحُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But say not - for any false thing that your tongues may put forth,- "This is lawful, and this is forbidden," so as to ascribe false things to Allah. For those who ascribe false things to Allah, will never prosper.
[ Saheeh International ]
And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, "This is lawful and this is unlawful," to invent falsehood about Allah. Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed.
Tafseer Commentary

2153 Men are apt to create taboos for themselves, out of superstition, and often for selfish ends, and enforce them in the name of religion. Nothing can be more reprehensible.


16:117
[ Original ]
مَتَاعٌ قَلِيلٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(In such falsehood) is but a paltry profit; but they will have a most grievous Penalty.
[ Saheeh International ]
[It is but] a brief enjoyment, and they will have a painful punishment.

16:118
[ Original ]
وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ هَادُوا حَرَّمْنَا مَا قَصَصْنَا عَلَيْكَ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۖ وَمَا ظَلَمْنَاهُمْ وَلَٰكِنْ كَانُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
To the Jews We prohibited such things as We have mentioned to thee before: We did them no wrong, but they were used to doing wrong to themselves.
[ Saheeh International ]
And to those who are Jews We have prohibited that which We related to you before. And We did not wrong them [thereby], but they were wronging themselves.
Tafseer Commentary

2154 See 6:146 and n. 970-971. The further prohibitions to them were a punishment for their hardness of hearts, and not a favour.


16:119
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ عَمِلُوا السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُوا إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِنْ بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But verily thy Lord,- to those who do wrong in ignorance, but who thereafter repent and make amends,- thy Lord, after all this, is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
[ Saheeh International ]
Then, indeed your Lord, to those who have done wrong out of ignorance and then repent after that and correct themselves - indeed, your Lord, thereafter, is Forgiving and Merciful.
Tafseer Commentary

2155 See above, 16:110 and n. 2147. The parallelism in construction confirms the suggestion of the alternative reading which is made in that note. The similarity of expression also rounds off the argument, as by a refrain in poetry. What follows now in this Surah is an exhortation to right conduct.


16:120
[ Original ]
إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Abraham was indeed a model, devoutly obedient to Allah, (and) true in Faith, and he joined not gods with Allah.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, Abraham was a [comprehensive] leader, devoutly obedient to Allah, inclining toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with Allah.
Tafseer Commentary

2156 Ummah: a model, pattern, example for imitation: but the idea that he was an Ummah in himself, standing alone against his world, should not be lost sight of. See next note.

2157 The Gospel of Unity has been the cornerstone of spiritual Truth for all time. In this respect Abraham is the model and fountainhead for the world of western Asia and its spiritual descendants all over the world. Abraham was among a people (the Chaldeans) who worshipped stars and had forsaken the Gospel of Unity. He was among them but not of them. He suffered persecution, and left his home and his people, and settled in the land of Canaan .


16:121
[ Original ]
شَاكِرًا لِأَنْعُمِهِ ۚ اجْتَبَاهُ وَهَدَاهُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
He showed his gratitude for the favours of Allah, who chose him, and guided him to a Straight Way.
[ Saheeh International ]
[He was] grateful for His favors. Allah chose him and guided him to a straight path.

16:122
[ Original ]
وَآتَيْنَاهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً ۖ وَإِنَّهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And We gave him Good in this world, and he will be, in the Hereafter, in the ranks of the Righteous.
[ Saheeh International ]
And We gave him good in this world, and indeed, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous.
Tafseer Commentary

2158 Cf. 2:130.


16:123
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
So We have taught thee the inspired (Message), "Follow the ways of Abraham the True in Faith, and he joined not gods with Allah."
[ Saheeh International ]
Then We revealed to you, [O Muhammad], to follow the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of those who associate with Allah.

16:124
[ Original ]
إِنَّمَا جُعِلَ السَّبْتُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَيَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِيمَا كَانُوا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The Sabbath was only made (Strict) for those who disagreed (as to its observance); But Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment, as to their differences.
[ Saheeh International ]
The sabbath was only appointed for those who differed over it. And indeed, your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ.
Tafseer Commentary

2159 If Abraham's Way was the right way, the Jews were ready with the taunt, "Why don't you then observe the Sabbath?" The answer is twofold. (1) The Sabbath has nothing to do with Abraham. It was instituted with the Law of Moses because of Israel 's hardness of heart (2:74); for they constantly disputed with their Prophet Moses (2:108), and there were constantly among diem afterwards men who broke the Sabbath ( 2:65, and n. 79 ). (2) Which was the true Sabbath Day? The Jews observe Saturday. The Christians, who include the Old Testament in their inspired Scripture, observe Sunday, and a sect among them (the Seventh Day Adventists) disagree, and observe Saturday. So there is disagreement among the People of the Book. Let them dispute among themselves. Their dispute will not be settled till the Day of Judgment. Meanwhile, Muslims are emancipated from such stringent restriction. For them there is certainly the Day of United Prayer on Friday, but it is in no sense like the Jewish or the Scotch Sabbath!

2160 Cf. 2:113.


16:125
[ Original ]
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُمْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.
[ Saheeh International ]
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.
Tafseer Commentary

2161 In this wonderful passage are laid down principles of religious teaching, which are good for all time. But where are the Teachers with such qualifications? We must invite all to the Way of Allah, and expound His Universal Will; we must do it with wisdom and discretion, meeting people on their own ground and convincing them with illustrations from their own knowledge and experience, which may be very narrow, or very wide. Our preaching must be, not dogmatic, not self-regarding, not offensive, but gentle, considerate, and such as would attract their attention. Our manner and our arguments should not be acrimonious, but modelled on the most courteous and the most gracious example, so that the hearer may say to himself, "This man is not dealing merely with dialectics; he is not trying to get a rise out of me; he is sincerely expounding the faith that is in him, and his motive is the love of man and the love of Allah."

2162 It may be that the Preacher sometimes says to himself, "What is the use of teaching these people? They have made up their minds, or they are obstinate, or they are only trying to catch me out." Let him not yield to such a thought. Who knows how the seed of the Word of Allah may germinate in people's minds? It is not for man to look for results. Man's inner thoughts are known best to Allah.


16:126
[ Original ]
وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُمْ بِهِ ۖ وَلَئِنْ صَبَرْتُمْ لَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لِلصَّابِرِينَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And if ye do catch them out, catch them out no worse than they catch you out: But if ye show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient.
[ Saheeh International ]
And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed. But if you are patient - it is better for those who are patient.
Tafseer Commentary

2163 In the context this passage refers to controversies and discussions, but the words are wide enough to cover all human struggles, disputes, and fights. In strictest equity you are not entitled to give a worse blow than is given to you. But those who have reached a higher spiritual standard do not even do that. They restrain themselves, and are patient. Lest you should think that such patience only gives an advantage to the adversary, you are told that the contrary is the case: the advantage is with the patient, the self-possessed, those who do not lose their temper or forget their own principles of conduct.


16:127
[ Original ]
وَاصْبِرْ وَمَا صَبْرُكَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ ۚ وَلَا تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا تَكُ فِي ضَيْقٍ مِمَّا يَمْكُرُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And do thou be patient, for thy patience is but from Allah. nor grieve over them: and distress not thyself because of their plots.
[ Saheeh International ]
And be patient, [O Muhammad], and your patience is not but through Allah. And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they conspire.
Tafseer Commentary

2164 In the previous verse are laid down the principles of conduct in controversy for all Muslims: 'if you catch them out, you are not entitled to strike a heavier blow than you received, but it is better to restrain yourself and be patient.' There patience was recommended. In this verse a command is directly addressed to the Prophet, 'Do thou be patient.' It is a command: his standard as the Great Teacher is much higher: and he carried it out in his life. His patience and self-restraint were under circumstances of extraordinary provocation. In his human wisdom it may sometimes have seemed questionable whether forbearance and self-restraint might not be human weakness: he had to defend his people as well as himself against the enemy's persecutions. He is told here that he need not entertain any such fears. Patience (with constancy) in those circumstances was in accordance with Allah's own command. Nor was he to grieve if they rejected Allah's Message: the Prophet had done his duty when he boldly and openly proclaimed it. Nor was his heart to be troubled if they hatched secret plots against himself and his people. Allah would protect them.


16:128
[ Original ]
إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ مُحْسِنُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good.
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good.
Tafseer Commentary

2165 And the Surah ends with the highest consolation which the righteous can receive: the assurance that Allah is with them. A double qualification is indicated for so high an honor-(l) that they should not yield to human passion or anger or impatience, and (2) that they should go on with constancy doing good all around them. To attain the Presence of Allah in the sense of "I am with you" is the culmination of the righteous man's aspiration, (Cf. 27:70).


Quran Sura/Chapters: