Surah az-Zukhruf (Ornaments) 43 : 15

وَجَعَلُوا۟ لَهُۥ مِنْ عِبَادِهِۦ جُزْءًا ۚ إِنَّ ٱلْإِنسَٰنَ لَكَفُورٌ مُّبِينٌ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
But they have attributed to Him from His servants a portion. Indeed, the human being is clearly ungrateful.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

[ edit ]

Explanatory Note

Yet they assign to Him some of His own servants as offspring. Surely man is dearly bereft of all gratitude. Would He, out of all His creation, choose for Himself daughters and favour you with sons? If any of them i. given the good news of the birth of what he so readily attributes to the Lord of Grace, his face darkens and he is filled with gloom. [Would they ascribe to God] someone who is brought up among trinkets and cannot put together a clear argument? They claim that the angels, who are themselves but servants of the Lord of Grace, are females! Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be put on record and they will be questioned about it. They say: 'Had it been the will of the Lord of Grace, we should never have worshipped them.' Of that they have no knowledge: they are blatantly lying. Or have We given them a book before this one to which they are still holding fast? No indeed! They say, 'We found our forefathers following this tradition and we find our guidance by following in their footsteps.' And thus it is: whenever, before your time, We sent a messenger to any community, the wealthy among them said: 'We found our forefathers following this tradition and we are only following in their footsteps.' He said: 'Even though I bring you a guidance better than what you saw your forefathers following?' They replied: 'We reject the message you have been sent with.' Therefore, We inflicted Our retribution on them. Reflect on how those who rejected the truth met their end. (Verses 15-25)

The surah addresses every aspect of this superstition, leaving no loophole unclosed. Throughout, the surah uses the unbelievers' own logic and draws on their own life situations. It places before them the fate of earlier communities that adopted a similar stand to theirs, making almost identical allegations. It begins by highlighting the absurdity of this superstition and what it means of blatant rejection of the truth: "Yet they assign to Him some of His own servants as offspring. Surely man is clearly bereft of all gratitude." (Verse 15) The angels are God's servants. To allege that they are God's offspring means that they are not His servants, but instead have a special relationship with Him. Since they are God's servants, to give them any special relation to their Creator is meaningless. All God's creatures are His servants. Such a claim, thus, brands man as a clear unbeliever: "Surely man is clearly bereft of all gratitude." (Verse 15)
 

2. Linguistic Analysis

[ edit ]
The data for this section is awaiting to be be uploaded. Be the first to contribute.


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


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

[ edit ]
The data for this section is awaiting to be be uploaded. Be the first to contribute.

5. Connected/Related Ayat

[ edit ]
The data for this section is awaiting to be be uploaded. Be the first to contribute.

6. Frequency of the word

[ edit ]
The data for this section is awaiting to be be uploaded. Be the first to contribute.

7. Period of Revelation

[ edit ]

Its period of revelation also could not be determined from any authentic tradition, but the internal evidence of the subject matter shows that this Surah too was sent down in the same period in which Surah 43: az-Zukhruf (Ornaments) and a few other earlier Surahs had been revealed. However, this Surah was sent down somewhat later. Its historical background is this: When the disbelievers of Makkah became more and more antagonistic in their attitude and conduct, the Prophet prayed: O God, help me with a famine like the famine of Joseph. He thought that when the people would be afflicted with a calamity, they would remember God, their hearts would soften and they would accept the admonition. God granted his prayer, and the whole land was overtaken by such a terrible famine that the people were sorely distressed. At last, some of the Quraysh chiefs among whom Abdullah bin Masud has particularly mentioned the name of Abu Sufyan came to the Prophet and requested him to pray to God to deliver his people from the calamity. On this occasion God sent down this Surah.

8. Reasons for Revelation

[ edit ]
The data for this section is awaiting to be be uploaded. Be the first to contribute.

9. Relevant Hadith

[ edit ]
The data for this section is awaiting to be be uploaded. Be the first to contribute.

10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

Overview (Verses 15 - 25)

An Absurd Superstition

The surah then refers to the absurd legend that makes deities of angels, alleging that they are God's daughters when they are no more than a different type of creature:

Yet they assign to Him some of His own servants as offspring. Surely man is dearly bereft of all gratitude. Would He, out of all His creation, choose for Himself daughters and favour you with sons? If any of them i. given the good news of the birth of what he so readily attributes to the Lord of Grace, his face darkens and he is filled with gloom. [Would they ascribe to God] someone who is brought up among trinkets and cannot put together a clear argument? They claim that the angels, who are themselves but servants of the Lord of Grace, are females! Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be put on record and they will be questioned about it. They say: 'Had it been the will of the Lord of Grace, we should never have worshipped them.' Of that they have no knowledge: they are blatantly lying. Or have We given them a book before this one to which they are still holding fast? No indeed! They say, 'We found our forefathers following this tradition and we find our guidance by following in their footsteps.' And thus it is: whenever, before your time, We sent a messenger to any community, the wealthy among them said: 'We found our forefathers following this tradition and we are only following in their footsteps.' He said: 'Even though I bring you a guidance better than what you saw your forefathers following?' They replied: 'We reject the message you have been sent with.' Therefore, We inflicted Our retribution on them. Reflect on how those who rejected the truth met their end. (Verses 15-25)

The surah addresses every aspect of this superstition, leaving no loophole unclosed. Throughout, the surah uses the unbelievers' own logic and draws on their own life situations. It places before them the fate of earlier communities that adopted a similar stand to theirs, making almost identical allegations. It begins by highlighting the absurdity of this superstition and what it means of blatant rejection of the truth: "Yet they assign to Him some of His own servants as offspring. Surely man is clearly bereft of all gratitude." (Verse 15) The angels are God's servants. To allege that they are God's offspring means that they are not His servants, but instead have a special relationship with Him. Since they are God's servants, to give them any special relation to their Creator is meaningless. All God's creatures are His servants. Such a claim, thus, brands man as a clear unbeliever: "Surely man is clearly bereft of all gratitude." (Verse 15)

Using their own logic and standards, the Sarah ridicules their allegation that the angels are female and then their claim that they are God's offspring: "Would He, out of all His creation, choose for Himself daughters and favour you with sons?" (Verse 16) If God were to take offspring for Himself, why would He choose females and give the males to them? This is nothing less than absurd and especially when they are so distressed when a daughter is born to them. "If any of them is given the good news of the birth of what he so readily attributes to the Lord of Grace, his face darkens and he is filled with gloom." (Verse 17)

What sort of manners are these that make them attribute to God what would fill them with gloom? Indeed, they would be so distressed about parenting a daughter that they could not even face speaking about it. In their environment, it was only brave men who could fight hard in battle that were looked upon with esteem. How come, then, that they assign to God offspring of the type which only cares about jewellery and fine things, unable to refute an argument or fight a case? "[Would they ascribe to God] someone who is brought up among trinkets and cannot put together a clear argument?" (Verse 18) Here we see how the surah uses their own logic, making them ashamed of attributing to God what they themselves hate to father. Should they not, if at all, have attributed to Him what scores highly in their own estimation?

The surah then refutes another of their absurd superstitions. They alleged that the angels were female. On what basis do they make such a claim? "They claim that the angels, who are themselves but servants of the Lord of Grace, are females! Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be put on record and they will be questioned about it." (Verse 19) Were they present when the angels were created so as to know that they were female? Had they seen their creation, they would have had reliable evidence. They certainly cannot claim to have been present at the time, yet still they make this ridiculous assertion. Therefore, they will be made responsible for claiming what they have no evidence to prove: "Their testimony will be put on record and they will be questioned about it." (Verse 19)

The unbelievers provide further argument to justify their absurdities, but once again the surah exposes how flawed their statements are: "They say: 'Had it been the will of the Lord of Grace, we should never have worshipped them: Of that they have no knowledge: they are blatantly lying." (Verse 20) When they are faced with irrefutable argument based on solid evidence, they justify their action by claiming that it is God's will. They allege that God accepts their worship of angels. Had He not been pleased with this, He would have prevented them from such worship! How devious! It is true that everything in the universe occurs by God's will. Yet it is also God's will that man has been given the ability to choose for himself which way to follow: true guidance or error. God has also required man to choose His guidance and follow it, telling man that this is the choice He will be pleased with. He is not pleased when man chooses error and disbelief, even though He has enabled him to do so.

When they attribute their own choice to God's will, this is nothing less than wild conjecture. They cannot be certain that God wants them to worship the angels. How can they achieve such certainty? "Of that they have no knowledge: they are blatantly lying." (Verse 20) They simply indulge in guesswork and delusion. "Or have We given them a book before this one to which they are still holding fast?' (Verse 21) Do they have such a book as a basis for their claims, giving them clear evidence in support of their worship?

Thus we see how the surah closes in on them, refuting every argument they make, and clearly indicating that faith cannot be based on guesswork or unsupported claims. Faith can only be based on a revealed book to which people should adhere.

At this point, the surah exposes the reality on which they rely when holding to their absurd superstition that makes them offer false worship: "No indeed! They say, 'We found our forefathers following this tradition and we find our guidance by following in their footsteps."' (Verse 22) This is a ludicrous and baseless argument. It shows them to be content to follow their ancestors without thinking about or looking into the basis of their actions. Thus, they are no more than a herd of cattle driven to where it does not know. They are totally unaware of their destination or whether they are following the road leading to it.

Being a message that seeks to free the human mind of all shackles, Islam rejects such abject following in the footsteps of ancestors. Every action should be determined on the basis of deliberate thinking and conscious choice.

At the end of this passage, the unbelievers are shown the fates of earlier communities that argued in the same vein and blindly followed their forefathers' footsteps, rejecting the truth clearly presented to them by God's messengers: "And thus it is: whenever, before your time, We sent a messenger to any community the wealthy among them said: 'We found our forefathers following this tradition and we are only following in their footsteps.' He said: Even though I bring you a guidance better than what you saw your forefathers following?' They replied: 'We reject the message you have been sent with.' Therefore, We inflicted Our retribution on them. Reflect on how those who rejected the truth met their end." (Verses 23-25)

Thus we see that those who turn away from Divine guidance are of a similar nature and use the same arguments. They are blind to everything other than following in their forefathers' footsteps. They close their minds to any new evidence, rejecting any new way even though it may be better, rely on solid argument and bring better results. Such a persistently deviant nature, which will not open its eyes or mind to the truth, deserves nothing but destruction. Such is the fate put before the unbelievers so that, perchance, they will take heed.
 


12. External Links

[ edit ]
The data for this section is awaiting to be be uploaded. Be the first to contribute.