Surah as-Saffat (Those Lined Up) 37 : 11

فَٱسْتَفْتِهِمْ أَهُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقًا أَم مَّنْ خَلَقْنَآ ۚ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَٰهُم مِّن طِينٍ لَّازِبٍۭ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Then inquire of them, [O Muhammad], "Are they a stronger [or more difficult] creation or those [others] We have created?" Indeed, We created them [i.e., men] from sticky clay.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Receiving the Message with Ridicule

The Prophet is then instructed to question them about whether they considered their own creation to be more difficult or the creation of the heavens, earth and all creation in the universe? If they agree that man’s creation is less difficult, why should they then disbelieve in resurrection, meeting it with derision and considering it impossible, when it is nothing compared to creating the universe?

The other created beings in this respect include the angels, heavens, the earth and all between them, the jinn, stars, planets and piercing flames. They acknowledge that these are created by God. No answer, however, is expected to the question. This is simply a rhetorical device inviting amazement at their lack of understanding of what is around them. It derides the way they look at things. Leaving the question unanswered, the sūrah shows them the substance from which they were created in the first place: it is soft, sticky clay made of material from this earth, which is itself one of God’s creatures: “Them have We created out of a sticky clay.” (Verse 11) It is abundantly clear then that they are not the more difficult to create. Hence, their making fun of God’s signs and His promise to bring them back to life is nothing less than absurd.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


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4. Miscellaneous Information

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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The subject matter shows that this Surah was probably sent down in the middle or last stage of the middle Makkan period. The style highlights the raging antagonism and the difficult and discouraging circumstances faced by the Prophet and his companions.

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