Surah Al-Anbiyaa (21): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Anbiyaa in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Hafiz Ibn Kathir). In the first part you can read surah الأنبياء ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Al-Anbiyaa

Surah Al-Anbiyaa
سُورَةُ الأَنبِيَاءِ
Page 322 (Verses from 1 to 10)

ٱقْتَرَبَ لِلنَّاسِ حِسَابُهُمْ وَهُمْ فِى غَفْلَةٍ مُّعْرِضُونَ مَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّن ذِكْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِم مُّحْدَثٍ إِلَّا ٱسْتَمَعُوهُ وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ لَاهِيَةً قُلُوبُهُمْ ۗ وَأَسَرُّوا۟ ٱلنَّجْوَى ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا۟ هَلْ هَٰذَآ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ ۖ أَفَتَأْتُونَ ٱلسِّحْرَ وَأَنتُمْ تُبْصِرُونَ قَالَ رَبِّى يَعْلَمُ ٱلْقَوْلَ فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْعَلِيمُ بَلْ قَالُوٓا۟ أَضْغَٰثُ أَحْلَٰمٍۭ بَلِ ٱفْتَرَىٰهُ بَلْ هُوَ شَاعِرٌ فَلْيَأْتِنَا بِـَٔايَةٍ كَمَآ أُرْسِلَ ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ مَآ ءَامَنَتْ قَبْلَهُم مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَٰهَآ ۖ أَفَهُمْ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوحِىٓ إِلَيْهِمْ ۖ فَسْـَٔلُوٓا۟ أَهْلَ ٱلذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ وَمَا جَعَلْنَٰهُمْ جَسَدًا لَّا يَأْكُلُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ وَمَا كَانُوا۟ خَٰلِدِينَ ثُمَّ صَدَقْنَٰهُمُ ٱلْوَعْدَ فَأَنجَيْنَٰهُمْ وَمَن نَّشَآءُ وَأَهْلَكْنَا ٱلْمُسْرِفِينَ لَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكُمْ كِتَٰبًا فِيهِ ذِكْرُكُمْ ۖ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ

Listen to Surah Al-Anbiyaa (Arabic and English translation)

Tafsir of Surah Al-Anbiyaa (Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Hafiz Ibn Kathir)

English Translation

[The time of] their account has approached for the people, while they are in heedlessness turning away.

English Transliteration

Iqtaraba lilnnasi hisabuhum wahum fee ghaflatin muAAridoona

Which was revealed in Makkah

The Virtues of Surat Al-Anbiya'

Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin Yazid said that `Abdullah said, "Banu Isra'il, Al-Kahf, Maryam, Ta Ha and Al-Anbiya' - they are among the earliest and most beautiful Surahs and they are my treasure."

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

The Hour is at hand but People are heedless

This is a warning from Allah of the approach of the Hour, and that people are heedless of it, i.e., they are not working for it or preparing for it. An-Nasa'i recorded that Abu Sa`id reported from the Prophet :

فِى غَفْلَةٍ مُّعْرِضُونَ

(while they turn away in heedlessness), he said,

«فِي الدُّنْيَا»

(in this world.) Allah says:

أَتَى أَمْرُ اللَّهِ فَلاَ تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ

(The Event ordained by Allah will come to pass, so seek not to hasten it)

اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ وَإِن يَرَوْاْ ءَايَةً يُعْرِضُواْ

(The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder. And if they see a sign, they turn away.) 54:1,2. Then Allah states that they do not listen to the revelation (Wahy) that He sends down to His Messenger , which is addressed to the Quraysh and all disbelievers like them.

مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِّن ذِكْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ مُّحْدَثٍ

(Comes not unto them an admonition from their Lord as a recent revelation) meaning, newly-revealed,

إِلاَّ اسْتَمَعُوهُ وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

(but they listen to it while they play. ) This is like what Ibn `Abbas said, "Why do you ask the People of the Book about what they have, which has been altered and distorted, and they have added things and taken things away, when your Book is the most recently revealed from Allah, and you read it pure and unadulterated" Al-Bukhari recorded something similar to this.

وَأَسَرُّواْ النَّجْوَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ

(Those who do wrong, conceal their private counsels) meaning, what they say to one another in secret.

هَلْ هَـذَآ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ

(Is this more than a human being like you) meaning, the Messenger of Allah . They did not believe that he could be a Prophet because he was a human being like them, so how could he have been singled out to receive revelation, and not them They said:

أَفَتَأْتُونَ السِّحْرَ وَأَنتُمْ تُبْصِرُونَ

(Will you submit to magic while you see it) meaning, will you follow him and be like one who submits to magic when he knows that it is magic Allah said in response to their fabrications and lies:

قَالَ رَبِّى يَعْلَمُ الْقَوْلَ فِى السَّمَآءِ وَالاٌّرْضِ

(He said: "My Lord knows what is said in the heavens and on earth...") Nothing at all is hidden from the One Who knows that, and He is the One Who reveals this Qur'an which contains news of the earliest and last generations. No one can produce the like of this except the One Who knows all the secrets of the heavens and the earth.

وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

(And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.) means, He hears all that they say and He knows all their circumstances. This is a warning and a threat to them.

The Disbelievers' Ideas about the Qur'an and the Messenger ; their demand for a Sign and the Refutation of that

بَلْ قَالُواْ أَضْغَـثُ أَحْلاَمٍ بَلِ افْتَرَاهُ

(Nay, they say: "These are mixed up false dreams! Nay, he has invented it!...") Here Allah tells us of the stubbornness and heresy of the disblievers, and the various things they said about the Qur'an, and how they were confused and misguided about it. Sometimes they described it as magic, and sometimes they described it as poetry, or mixed up false dreams, or a fabrication. As Allah says:

انْظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُواْ لَكَ الاٌّمْثَالَ فَضَلُّواْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعْونَ سَبِيلاً

(See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way) 17:48

فَلْيَأْتِنَا بِـَايَةٍ كَمَآ أُرْسِلَ الاٌّوَّلُونَ

(Let him then bring us an Ayah like the ones that were sent before!) They were referring to the she-camel of Salih, and the signs of Musa and `Isa. And Allah says,

وَمَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا الاٌّوَّلُونَ

(And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them.) 17:59. So Allah said here:

مَآ ءَامَنَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَآ أَفَهُمْ يُؤْمِنُونَ

(Not one of the towns of those which We destroyed, believed before them; will they then believe) None of the peoples to whom Messengers were sent were given a sign at the hands of their Prophet and believed. On the contrary, they disbelieved and We destroyed them as a result. Would these people believe in a sign if they saw it Not at all! In fact,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ - وَلَوْ جَآءَتْهُمْ كُلُّ ءايَةٍ حَتَّى يَرَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ الاٌّلِيمَ

(Truly, those, against whom the Word of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful torment.) 10:96-97. Indeed, they witnes- sed clear signs and definitive proof at the hands of the Messen- ger of Allah , signs which were far clearer and more overwhel- ming than any that had been witnessed in the case of any other Prophet, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them all.

English Translation

No mention comes to them anew from their Lord except that they listen to it while they are at play

English Transliteration

Ma yateehim min thikrin min rabbihim muhdathin illa istamaAAoohu wahum yalAAaboona

English Translation

With their hearts distracted. And those who do wrong conceal their private conversation, [saying], "Is this [Prophet] except a human being like you? So would you approach magic while you are aware [of it]?"

English Transliteration

Lahiyatan quloobuhum waasarroo alnnajwa allatheena thalamoo hal hatha illa basharun mithlukum afatatoona alssihra waantum tubsiroona

English Translation

The Prophet said, "My Lord knows whatever is said throughout the heaven and earth, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing."

English Transliteration

Qala rabbee yaAAlamu alqawla fee alssamai waalardi wahuwa alssameeAAu alAAaleemu

English Translation

But they say, "[The revelation is but] a mixture of false dreams; rather, he has invented it; rather, he is a poet. So let him bring us a sign just as the previous [messengers] were sent [with miracles]."

English Transliteration

Bal qaloo adghathu ahlamin bali iftarahu bal huwa shaAAirun falyatina biayatin kama orsila alawwaloona

English Translation

Not a [single] city which We destroyed believed before them, so will they believe?

English Transliteration

Ma amanat qablahum min qaryatin ahlaknaha afahum yuminoona

English Translation

And We sent not before you, [O Muhammad], except men to whom We revealed [the message], so ask the people of the message if you do not know.

English Transliteration

Wama arsalna qablaka illa rijalan noohee ilayhim faisaloo ahla alththikri in kuntum la taAAlamoona

The Messengers are no more than Human Beings

Here Allah refutes those who denied that human Messengers could be sent:

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ

(And We sent not before you but men to whom We revealed.) meaning, all the Messengers who came before you were men, human beings. There were no angels among them. This is like the Ayat:

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى

(And We sent not before you any but men unto whom We revealed, from among the people of townships) 12:109

قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعاً مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ

(Say: "I am not a new thing among the Messengers...) 46:9 Allah tells us that the previous nations denied that and said:

أَبَشَرٌ يَهْدُونَنَا

("Shall mere men guide us") 64:6. So Allah says here:

فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنْتُم لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

(So ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know.) meaning, ask the people of knowledge among the nations such as the Jews and Christians and other groups: `were the Messengers who came to you human beings or angels' Indeed they were human beings. This is a part of the perfect blessing of Allah towards His creation: He sent to them Messengers from among themselves so that they could receive the Message from them and learn from them.

وَمَا جَعَلْنَـهُمْ جَسَداً لاَّ يَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ

(And We did not place them in bodies that did not eat food...) meaning, rather they had bodies that ate food, as Allah says:

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلاَّ إِنَّهُمْ لَيَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِى الاٌّسْوَاقِ

(And We never sent before you any of the Messengers but verily, they ate food and walked in the markets) 25:20 meaning, they were human beings who ate and drank like all other people, and they went to the marketplaces to earn a living and engage in business; that did not affect them adversely or reduce their status in any way, as the idolators imagined.

مَا لِهَـذَا الرَّسُولِ يَأْكُلُ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشِى فِى الاٌّسْوَاقِ لَوْلا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَلَكٌ فَيَكُونَ مَعَهُ نَذِيراًأَوْ يُلْقَى إِلَيْهِ كَنْزٌ أَوْ تَكُونُ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ يَأْكُلُ مِنْهَا

(And they say: "Why does this Messenger eat food, and walk about in the markets. Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him, or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat") 25:7-8

وَمَا كَانُواْ خَـلِدِينَ

(nor were they immortals) meaning, in this world; on the contrary, they lived, then they died.

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا لِبَشَرٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ الْخُلْدَ

(And We granted not to any human being immortality before you) 21:34 But what distinguished them from others was that they received revelation from Allah, and the angels brought down to them from Allah His rulings concerning His creation, what He commanded and what He prohibited.

ثُمَّ صَدَقْنَـهُمُ الْوَعْدَ

Then We fulfilled to them the promise. the promise that their Lord made to destroy the evildoers. Allah fulfilled His promise and did that. He says:

فَأَنجَيْنَـهُمْ وَمَن نَّشَآءُ

(So We saved them and those whom We willed,) meaning, their followers among the believers,

وَأَهْلَكْنَا الْمُسْرفِينَ

(but We destroyed Al-Musrifin.) meaning, those who disbelieved the Message brought by the Messengers.

English Translation

And We did not make the prophets forms not eating food, nor were they immortal [on earth].

English Transliteration

Wama jaAAalnahum jasadan la yakuloona alttaAAama wama kanoo khalideena

English Translation

Then We fulfilled for them the promise, and We saved them and whom We willed and destroyed the transgressors.

English Transliteration

Thumma sadaqnahumu alwaAAda faanjaynahum waman nashao waahlakna almusrifeena

English Translation

We have certainly sent down to you a Book in which is your mention. Then will you not reason?

English Transliteration

Laqad anzalna ilaykum kitaban feehi thikrukum afala taAAqiloona

The Virtue of the Qur'an Here

Allah points out the noble status of the Qur'an and urges them to recognize its worth:

لَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكُمْ كِتَـباً فِيهِ ذِكْرُكُمْ

(Indeed, We have sent down for you a Book in which there is Dhikrukum). Ibn `Abbas said: "Honor for you."

أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ

(Will you not then understand) means, will you not understand this blessing, and accept it This is like the Ayah:

وَإِنَّهُ لَذِكْرٌ لَّكَ وَلِقَوْمِكَ وَسَوْفَ تُسْـَلُونَ

(And verily, this is indeed a Reminder for you and your people, and you will be questioned.) 43:44

How the Evildoers were destroyed

وَكَمْ قَصَمْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ كَانَتْ ظَـلِمَةً

(How many a town given to wrongdoing, have We destroyed,) meaning, they were very many. This is like the Ayah:

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن بَعْدِ نُوحٍ

(And how many generations have We destroyed after Nuh!) 17:17

فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ فَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا

(And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins) 22:45.

وَأَنشَأْنَا بَعْدَهَا قَوْماً ءَاخَرِينَ

(and raised up after them another people!) means, another nation which came after them.

فَلَمَّآ أَحَسُّواْ بَأْسَنَآ

(Then, when they sensed Our torment,) when they realized that the torment would undoubtedly come upon them, just as their Prophet had warned them,

إِذَا هُمْ مِّنْهَا يَرْكُضُونَ

(behold, they (tried to) flee from it.) they tried to run away.

لاَ تَرْكُضُواْ وَارْجِعُواْ إِلَى مَآ أُتْرِفْتُمْ فِيهِ وَمَسَـكِنِكُمْ

(Flee not, but return to that wherein you lived a luxurious life, and to your homes,) This is a way of ridiculing them. It will be said to them by way of ridicule: "Do not run away from the coming torment; go back to the delights and luxuries and fine homes in which you were living." Qatadah said, "Mocking them."

لَعَلَّكُمْ تُسْأَلُونَ

(in order that you may be questioned) about whether you gave thanks for what you had.

قَالُواْ يوَيْلَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـلِمِينَ

(They cried: "Woe to us! Certainly we have been wrong- doers.") They will confess their sins when it will be of no benefit to them.

فَمَا زَالَت تِلْكَ دَعْوَاهُمْ حَتَّى جَعَلْنَـهُمْ حَصِيداً خَـمِدِينَ

(And that cry of theirs ceased not, till We made them as a field that is reaped, extinct.) meaning, "they will keep on saying that, admitting their wrong- doing, until We harvest them as it were, and their movements and voices come to a stop."