Surah az-Zukhruf (Ornaments) 43 : 40

أَفَأَنتَ تُسْمِعُ ٱلصُّمَّ أَوْ تَهْدِى ٱلْعُمْىَ وَمَن كَانَ فِى ضَلَٰلٍ مُّبِينٍ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Then will you make the deaf hear, [O Muhammad], or guide the blind or he who is in clear error?

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note 

Can you [Prophet] make the deaf hear? Or guide the blind or those who are in manifest error? If We take you away, We shall inflict retribution on them; and if We show you the fulfilment of what We have promised them... We have full power over them. Therefore, hold fast to what has been revealed to you: you certainly are on a straight path; and it is an honour for you and your people. In time, you will all be called to account. Ask any of the messengers We sent before you: Did We ever appoint deities to be worshipped other than the Lord of Grace?' (Verses 40-45)

This point is repeated several times in the Qur'an to comfort the Prophet and to explain the nature of guidance and error, attributing them both to God's will. They are part of the task assigned to God's messengers, (peace be upon them all). Here the surah puts clear lines between man's limited power, even at its strongest level given to prophets, and God's free and unrestricted power. It emphasises God's oneness in one of the most inspiring images in the Qur'an.

"Can you [Prophet] make the deaf hear? Or guide the blind or those who are in manifest error?' (Verse 40) They are neither deaf nor blind, but akin to both in so far as they have chosen to turn away from Divine guidance and follow error. The task assigned to the Prophet is to put the facts before the ones who hear and to guide those who see. When people shut down their receptive faculties and refuse to listen to the discourse addressing their hearts and souls, the Prophet can do nothing for them. There is no way, then, that he can guide them to the truth. He should not grieve over their error, after having fulfilled his task to the best of his ability.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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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

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9. Relevant Hadith

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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

 

12. External Links

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