VERSES
128
PAGES
267-281

Name

The name, An-Nahl, of this Surah has been taken from v. 68. This is merely to distinguish it from other Surahs.

Period of Revelation

The following internal evidence shows that this Surah was revealed during the last Makkan stage of Prophethood:

  1. v. 41 clearly shows that persecution had forced some Muslims to emigrate to Habash before the revelation of this Surah.

  2. It is evident from v. 106 that at that time the persecution of the Muslims was at its height. Therefore a problem had arisen in regard to the utterance of a blasphemous word, without actual disbelief, under unbearable conditions. The problem was that if one did so how he should be treated.

  3. vv. 112-114 clearly refer to the end of seven year famine that had struck Makkah some years after the appointment of the Holy Prophet as Allah's Messenger.

  4. There is a reference to v. 116 of this Surah in VI: 145, and v. 118 of this Surah contains a reference to VI: 146. This is a proof that both these Surahs (VI and XVI) were sent down in the same period.

The general style of the Surah also supports the view that this was revealed during the last stage at Makkah.

Central Theme

All the topics of the Surah revolve round different aspects of the Message, ie., refutation of shirk, proof of Tauhid, and warning of the consequences of the rejection of and opposition and antagonism to the Message.

Topics of Discussion

The very first verse gives direct and strict warning to those who were rejecting the Message outright, as if to say, "Allah's decision has already been made concerning your rejection of the Message. Why are you then clamoring for hastening it? Why don't you make use of the respite that is being given to you!" And this was exactly what the disbelievers of Makkah needed at the time of the revelation of this Surah. For they challenged the Holy Prophet over and over again: "Why don't you bring that scourge with which you have been threatening us! For we have not only rejected your Message but have been openly opposing it for a long time." Such a challenge had become a by-word with them, which they frequently repeated as a clear proof that Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) was not a true Prophet.

Immediately after this warning they have been admonished to give up shirk, for this false creed was the main obstacle in the way of the Message. Then the following topics come over and over again, one after the other:

  1. Very convincing proofs of Tauhid and refutation of shirk have been based on the plain signs in the universe and in man's own self.

  2. The objections of the disbelievers have been answered, their arguments refuted, their doubts removed and their false pretexts exposed.

  3. Warnings have given of the consequences of persistence in false ways and antagonism to the Message.

  4. The moral changes which the Message of the Holy Prophet aims to bring practically in human life have been presented briefly in an appealing manner. The mushriks have been told that belief in Allah, which they also professed, demanded that it should not be confined merely to lip service, but this creed should take a definite shape in moral and practical life.

  5. The Holy Prophet and his companions have been comforted and told about the attitude they should adopt in the face of antagonism and persecution by the disbelievers.

;

Source: Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Quran

ﭑﭒﭓ

وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ إِذَا عَاهَدتُّمْ وَلَا تَنقُضُوا الْأَيْمَانَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا وَقَدْ جَعَلْتُمُ اللَّهَ عَلَيْكُمْ كَفِيلًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ

Shakir

And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have made a covenant, and do not break the oaths after making them fast, and you have indeed made Allah a surety for you; surely Allah knows what you do.

Muhsin Khan

And fulfill the Covenant of Allah (Bai'a: pledge for Islam) when you have covenanted, and break not the oaths after you have confirmed them, and indeed you have appointed Allah your surety. Verily! Allah knows what you do.

Sahih 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.

Transliteration

Waawfoo biAAahdi Allahi ithaAAahadtum wala tanqudoo al-aymanabaAAda tawkeediha waqad jaAAaltumu Allaha AAalaykumkafeelan inna Allaha yaAAlamu ma tafAAaloon

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.

Dr. Ghali

And fulfil the covenant of Allah when you have covenanted, and do not break the oaths after they have been affirmed. And you have already made Allah Sponsor over you; surely Allah knows whatever (things) you perform.

Pickthall

Fulfil the covenant of Allah when ye have covenanted, and break not your oaths after the asseveration of them, and after ye have made Allah surety over you. Lo! Allah knoweth what ye do.

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّتِي نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنكَاثًا تَتَّخِذُونَ أَيْمَانَكُمْ دَخَلًا بَيْنَكُمْ أَن تَكُونَ أُمَّةٌ هِيَ أَرْبَىٰ مِنْ أُمَّةٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا يَبْلُوكُمُ اللَّهُ بِهِ ۚ وَلَيُبَيِّنَنَّ لَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

Shakir

And be not like her who unravels her yarn, disintegrating it into pieces after she has spun it strongly. You make your oaths to be means of deceit between you because (one) nation is more numerous than (another) nation. Allah only tries you by this; and He will most certainly make clear to you on the resurrection day that about which you differed.

Dr. Ghali

And do not be as she who breaks her yarn, even after it is strongly spun, (Literally: powerfully spun) into strands, by taking to yourselves your oaths fraudulently among yourselves, one nation being more numerous than another nation. Surely, Allah only tries you thereby; and indeed He will definitely make evident to you upon the Day of the Resurrection that wherein you used to differ.

Pickthall

And be not like unto her who unravelleth the thread, after she hath made it strong, to thin filaments, making your oaths a deceit between you because of a nation being more numerous than (another) nation. Allah only trieth you thereby, and He verily will explain to you on the Day of Resurrection that wherein ye differed.

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.

Sahih 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.

Muhsin Khan

And be not like her who undoes the thread which she has spun after it has become strong, by taking your oaths a means of deception among yourselves, lest a nation may be more numerous than another nation. Allah only tests you by this [i.e who obeys Allah and fulfills Allah's Covenant and who disobeys Allah and breaks Allah's Covenant]. And on the Day of Resurrection, He will certainly make clear to you that wherein you used to differ [i.e. a believer confesses and believes in the Oneness of Allah and in the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad SAW which the disbeliever denies it and that was their difference amongst them in the life of this world].

Transliteration

Wala takoonoo kallatee naqadatghazlaha min baAAdi quwwatin ankathan tattakhithoonaaymanakum dakhalan baynakum an takoona ommatun hiya arbamin ommatin innama yablookumu Allahu bihiwalayubayyinanna lakum yawma alqiyamati ma kuntumfeehi takhtalifoon

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِن يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَلَتُسْأَلُنَّ عَمَّا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Pickthall

Had Allah willed He could have made you (all) one nation, but He sendeth whom He will astray and guideth whom He will, and ye will indeed be asked of what ye used to do.

Muhsin Khan

And had Allah willed, He could have made you (all) one nation, but He sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. But you shall certainly be called to account for what you used to do.

Dr. Ghali

And if Allah had (so) decided, indeed He would have made you one nation; but He leads into error whomever He decides to, and He guides whomever He decides to; and indeed you will definitely be questioned about whatever you were doing.

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.

Shakir

And if Allah please He would certainly make you a single nation, but He causes to err whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases; and most certainly you will be questioned as to what you did.

Sahih 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.

Transliteration

Walaw shaa Allahu lajaAAalakumommatan wahidatan walakin yudillu man yashaowayahdee man yashao walatus-alunna AAamma kuntumtaAAmaloon

وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ دَخَلًا بَيْنَكُمْ فَتَزِلَّ قَدَمٌ بَعْدَ ثُبُوتِهَا وَتَذُوقُوا السُّوءَ بِمَا صَدَدتُّمْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

Sahih 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.

Dr. Ghali

And do not take to yourselves your oaths fraudulently among yourselves for that a foot should slide back after firm (steadiness) and you should taste the odious (reward) for that you barred from the way of Allah; and you will have a tremendous torment.

Transliteration

Wala tattakhithoo aymanakumdakhalan baynakum fatazilla qadamun baAAda thubootiha watathooqooassoo-a bima sadadtum AAan sabeeli Allahiwalakum AAathabun AAatheem

Muhsin Khan

And make not your oaths, a means of deception among yourselves, lest a foot may slip after being firmly planted, and you may have to taste the evil (punishment in this world) of having hindered (men) from the Path of Allah (i.e. Belief in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger, Muhammad SAW), and yours will be a great torment (i.e. the Fire of Hell in the Hereafter).

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.

Pickthall

Make not your oaths a deceit between you, lest a foot should slip after being firmly planted and ye should taste evil forasmuch as ye debarred (men) from the way of Allah, and yours should be an awful doom.

Shakir

And do not make your oaths a means of deceit between you, lest a foot should slip after its stability and you should taste evil because you turned away from Allah's way and grievous punishment be your (lot).

وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۚ إِنَّمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

Sahih 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.

Dr. Ghali

And do not trade the covenant of Allah for a little price; surely whatever is in the Providence of Allah, that is more charitable (i.e., better) for you, in case you knew.

Muhsin Khan

And purchase not a small gain at the cost of Allah's Covenant. Verily! What is with Allah is better for you if you did but know.

Pickthall

And purchase not a small gain at the price of Allah's covenant. Lo! that which Allah hath is better for you, if ye did but know.

Shakir

And do not take a small price in exchange for Allah's covenant; surely what is with Allah is better for you, did you but know.

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.

Transliteration

Wala tashtaroo biAAahdi Allahithamanan qaleelan innama AAinda Allahi huwa khayrunlakum in kuntum taAAlamoon

ﭿ

مَا عِندَكُمْ يَنفَدُ ۖ وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ بَاقٍ ۗ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Sahih 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.

Shakir

What is with you passes away and what is with Allah is enduring; and We will most certainly give to those who are patient their reward for the best of what they did.

Pickthall

That which ye have wasteth away, and that which Allah hath remaineth. And verily We shall pay those who are steadfast a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do.

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.

Muhsin Khan

Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever with Allah (of good deeds) will remain. And those who are patient, We will certainly pay them a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.

Dr. Ghali

Whatever is in your presence is depleted, and whatever is in the Providence of Allah is enduring, and indeed We will definitely recompense the ones who patiently endured their reward, according to the fairest of whatever they were doing.

Transliteration

Ma AAindakum yanfadu wamaAAinda Allahi baqin walanajziyanna allatheenasabaroo ajrahum bi-ahsani ma kanooyaAAmaloon

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Dr. Ghali

Whoever does righteousness, be it male or female, and he is a believer, then indeed We will definitely (give him to) live a goodly life; and indeed We will definitely recompense them their reward, according to the fairest of whatever they were doing.

Transliteration

Man AAamila salihan min thakarinaw ontha wahuwa mu/minun falanuhyiyannahu hayatantayyibatan walanajziyannahum ajrahum bi-ahsani makanoo yaAAmaloon

Shakir

Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life, and We will most certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did.

Sahih 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.

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.

Pickthall

Whosoever doeth right, whether male or female, and is a believer, him verily we shall quicken with good life, and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do.

Muhsin Khan

Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).

فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

Dr. Ghali

So when you read the Qur'an, then seek refuge in Allah from the outcast Shaytan (The all-vicious, i.e., the Devil).

Transliteration

Fa-itha qara/ta alqur-ana fastaAAithbillahi mina ashshaytani arrajeem

Pickthall

And when thou recitest the Qur'an, seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast.

Muhsin Khan

So when you want to recite the Quran, seek refuge with Allah from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).

Sahih International

So when you recite the Qur'an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].

Yusuf Ali

When thou dost read the Qur'an, seek Allah's protection from Satan the rejected one.

Shakir

So when you recite the Quran, seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaitan,

إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Yusuf Ali

No authority has he over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.

Transliteration

Innahu laysa lahu sultanun AAalaallatheena amanoo waAAala rabbihimyatawakkaloon

Muhsin Khan

Verily! He has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allah).

Shakir

Surely he has no authority over those who believe and rely on their Lord.

Sahih International

Indeed, there is for him no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord.

Dr. Ghali

Surely he has no all-binding authority over the ones who believe and trust in their Lord.

Pickthall

Lo! he hath no power over those who believe and put trust in their Lord.

إِنَّمَا سُلْطَانُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَوَلَّوْنَهُ وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِهِ مُشْرِكُونَ

Yusuf Ali

His authority is over those only, who take him as patron and who join partners with Allah.

Sahih International

His authority is only over those who take him as an ally and those who through him associate others with Allah .

Dr. Ghali

Surely his all-binding authority is only over the ones who take him for patron and the ones who take him as associate (with Allah).

Muhsin Khan

His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Satan), and those who join partners with Him (Allah) [i.e. those who are Mushrikun - polytheists - see Verse 6:121].

Shakir

His authority is only over those who befriend him and those who associate others with Him.

Transliteration

Innama sultanuhu AAalaallatheena yatawallawnahu wallatheena humbihi mushrikoon

Pickthall

His power is only over those who make a friend of him, and those who ascribe partners unto Him (Allah).

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