Surah Ahqaf Ayat 15 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 15
And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.”
We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, “O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam.”
We have enjoined man to be kind to his parents. In pain did his mother bear him and in pain did she give birth to him. The carrying of the child to his weaning is a period of thirty months. And when he is grown to full maturity and reaches the age of forty, he prays: “My Lord, dispose me that I may give thanks for the bounty that You have bestowed upon me and my parents, and dispose me that I may do righteous deeds that would please You, and also make my descendants righteous. I repent to You, and I am one of those who surrender themselves to You.”
And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty (30) months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: “My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my off-spring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will).”
And We have commended unto man kindness toward parents. His mother beareth him with reluctance, and bringeth him forth with reluctance, and the bearing of him and the weaning of him is thirty months, till, when he attaineth full strength and reacheth forty years, he saith: My Lord! Arouse me that I may give thanks for the favour wherewith Thou hast favoured me and my parents, and that I may do right acceptable unto Thee. And be gracious unto me in the matter of my seed. Lo! I have turned unto Thee repentant, and lo! I am of those who surrender (unto Thee).
And We have enjoined on man to show fairest (companionship) to his parents. His mother conceived him under compulsion, and she brought him forth under compulsion, and his pregnancy (i.e., the time he is in the womb) and his weaning are thirty months. Until, when he reaches full age, and reaches forty years, he says, “Lord! Dispense (to) me that I may thank (You) for Your favor wherewith You have favored me and my parents (both), and that I may do righteousness satisfying You, and make me righteous in my offspring. Surely I repent to You, and surely I am one of the Muslims.” (i.e., one who surrenders to Allah)
We have commanded man to be good to his parents: his mother struggled to carry him and struggled to give birth to him- his bearing and weaning took a full thirty months. When he has grown to manhood and reached the age of forty he [may] say, ‘Lord, help me to be truly grateful for Your favours to me and to my parents; help me to do good work that pleases You; make my offspring good. I turn to You; I am one of those who devote themselves to You.’
Quran 46 Verse 15 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ahqaf ayat 15, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(46:15) We have enjoined man to be kind to his parents. In pain did his mother bear him and in pain did she give birth to him. The carrying of the child to his weaning is a period of thirty months. And when he is grown to full maturity and reaches the age of forty, he prays: “My Lord, dispose me that I may give thanks for the bounty that You have bestowed upon me and my parents, and dispose me that I may do righteous deeds that would please You, and also make my descendants righteous. I repent to You, and I am one of those who surrender themselves to You.”
19. This verse tells that although the children should serve both the mother and the father, the mother’s right is greater in importance on the ground that she undergoes greater hardships for the sake of the children. The same is borne out by a Hadith, which has been related with a little variation in wording in Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmad, and in Adab al- Mufrad of Imam Bukhari, to the effect that a person asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): Who has got a greater right to my service? The Prophet replied (peace be upon him): Your mother. He asked: Who after her? He replied: Your mother. He asked: Who after her? He replied: Your mother. He asked: Who after her? He replied: Your father. This Hadith precisely explains this verse, for in it also allusion has been made to the triple right of the mother: (1) His mother bore him with hardship. (2) She gave him birth with hardship. (3) His bearing and his weaning took thirty months.
Another legal point also is derived from this verse and ( verse 14 of Surah Luqman) and( verse 233 of Surah Al- Baqarah), which was pointed out by Ali and Ibn Abbas in a law case and made Uthman change his decision. The story goes that during the caliphate of Uthman, a person married a woman from the Juhainah tribe, and just six months after the marriage she gave birth to a healthy and sound child. The man took the case before Uthman, who declared the woman to be an adulteress and ordered that she be stoned to death. On hearing this Ali immediately came to Uthman and asked: What sort of a decision have you given? He replied: She has given birth to a sound child six months after marriage. Is it not a clear proof of her being an adulteress? Ali did not agree, and recited the three above mentioned verses in their sequence. In Surah Al-Baqarah Allah says: The mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years, if the fathers desire the suckling to be completed. In Surah Luqman it is said: And his weaning took two years, and in Surah Al-Ahqaf: And his bearing and his weaning took thirty months. Now, if two years of suckling are taken away from 30 months, six months of bearing remain. This shows that the minimum period of pregnancy in which a sound child can be born is six months. Therefore, the woman who has given birth to a child six months after the marriage cannot be declared an adulteress. On hearing this reasoning of Ali, Uthman admitted that he had not considered that thing at all. Then he recalled the woman and changed his decision. According to another tradition, Ibn Abbas also supported the reasoning of Ali and then Uthman changed his decision. (Ibn Jarir, Ahkam al-Qur an by al-Jassas Ibn Kathir).
The following legal injunctions are derived from the three verses when they are read together: The woman who gives birth to a sound and complete child in less than six months after marriage (i.e. in a proper delivery and not abortion) will be declared an adulteress and her child’s lineage from her husband will not be established.
(2) The woman who delivers a sound and complete child six months or more after marriage, cannot be accused of adultery only on the basis of the child birth, nor can her husband have the right to slander her, nor can he refuse to acknowledge fatherhood of the child. The child will certainly be recognized as his, and the woman will not be punished.
(3) The maximum period for fosterage is two years. If a woman has suckled a child after this age, she will not be regarded as his foster mother, nor will the injunctions pertaining to fosterage ( Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 23) be applicable to her. In this regard, Imam Abu Hanifah has out of caution proposed the period of two and a half years instead of two years so that there remains no chance of error in a delicate matter like the prohibition of the foster relations. (For explanation, see ( E. N. 23 of Surah Luqman).
Here, it would be useful to know that according to the latest medical research a child needs at least 28 weeks to remain in the mother’s womb to be developed and delivered as a living baby. This period amounts to a little more than 6 months. The Islamic law has allowed a concession of about half a month, because a woman’s being declared an adulteress and a child’s being deprived of lineage is a grave matter, and its gravity demands that maximum period be allowed to save both the mother and the child from its legal consequences. Furthermore, no physician and no judge, not even the pregnant woman herself and the man impregnating her, can know as to when exactly did the conception take place. This thing also demands that a few more days be allowed in determining the minimum legal period of pregnancy.
20. That is, O Lord, grant me the grace of such righteous deeds as may conform to Your law in the apparent form as well as be acceptable to You in their actual worth. If an action, however good in the sight of the people, does not conform to obedience to Allah’s law, it cannot have any value in the sight of Allah, no matter how highly it is praised by the people. On the contrary, another action which conforms to the Shariah exactly and has no flaw or deficiency in its apparent form, becomes hollow from within, on account of an evil intention, conceit, arrogance and greed of the world, is worthless in the sight of Allah.
15. And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship. And she delivers him with hardship. And (the period of) his gestation and the weaning of him is thirty months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: “My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my offspring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims.” 16. They are those from whom We shall accept the best of their deeds and overlook their evil deeds. (They shall be) among the dwellers of Paradise. That is a promise of truth that they had been promised.
After mentioning that one must confess His Oneness, worship Him with sincerity, and remain upright in obeying Him, Allah follows that by giving instructions regarding the parents. These appear together in many places of the Qur’an, such as Allah’s saying,
(Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents.) (17:23) Allah says,
(Be grateful to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.) (31:14) There are many other Ayat like this as well. Here Allah says,
(And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents.) (46:15) meaning, `We have commanded him to treat them well and show compassion towards them. Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded from Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas, may Allah be pleased with him, that his mother said to him: “Hasn’t Allah commanded that you obey your parents Then I will not eat any food or drink any drink until you disbelieve in Allah.” Thus she stubbornly abstained from eating and drinking, until they had to open her mouth with a stick. Then this Ayah was revealed,
(And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. ) This was also recorded by Muslim and the Sunan compilers, except for Ibn Majah. Allah continues,
(His mother bears him with hardship.) which means that the mother suffers hardship because of her child, such as fatigue, sickness, vomiting, heaviness, distress, and other forms of hardship that the pregnant women suffer.
(And she delivers him with hardship.) meaning, she also delivers him with hardship, suffering the pains of labor and their severity.
(And (the period of) his gestation and weaning is thirty months,) `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, used this Ayah along with the following two Ayat to prove that the minimum period of pregnancy (gestation) is six months:
(And his weaning is in two years.) (31:14) and
(The mothers suckle their children two complete years — for those who desire to complete the term of suckling. ) (2:233) This is a strong and valid conclusion, and it was approved by `Uthman and a number of the Companions. Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar narrated from Ba`jah bin `Abdullah Al-Juhani that a man from his tribe (Juhaynah) married a woman from Juhaynah. She delivered a baby after six months. So her husband went to `Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, and told him about that. Thus, `Uthman summoned her. When she was getting dressed, her sister started crying. She asked her: “Why do you cry By Allah, no one has ever approached me (for sexual relations) of Allah’s creation except him (my husband). So let Allah decree (for me) as He wills.” When she was brought before `Uthman, he commanded that she be stoned to death (for adultery). `Ali heard of this, came to `Uthman, and said: “What are you doing” He (`Uthman) said: “She delivered after six months! Can this ever happen” `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Don’t you read the Qur’an” He said: “Yes, of course!” He (`Ali) then said: `Haven’t you heard Allah’s saying,
(and his gestation and weaning is thirty months), and;
( two complete years) (2:233) (Subtracting the two numbers) we are only left with six months.” `Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “By Allah, I did not see that! Bring the woman back.” But they found that she had already been killed. Ba`jah continued: “By Allah, no two crows and no two eggs are more similar than that child turned out to be to his father! When his father saw that he said, `By Allah! This is my son without any doubt.’ Later on, Allah afflicted him with a skin abscess in his face (because of his false accusation to his wife). It kept eating him up until he died.” Ibn Abi Hatim related from his father that Farwah bin Abi Al-Maghra’ told them that `Ali bin Mushir narrated to them from Dawud bin Abi Hind, who narrated from `Ikrimah that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “When a woman delivers after nine months, the baby will only need twenty-one months of suckling. When she delivers after seven months, the baby will need twenty-three months of suckling. When she delivers after six months, the baby will need two full years of suckling, because Allah says,
(and his gestation and weaning is thirty months, till when he attains full strength).” meaning, he becomes strong, youthful, and attains full ability.
(and reaches forty years,) meaning, his complete intellect, understanding, and patience reach the level of maturity. It has also been said that usually one will not change his ways once he reaches the age of forty.
(he says: “My Lord! Grant me the power and ability) meaning, `inspire me.’
(that I may be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You,) meaning, in the future.
(and make my offspring good.) meaning, my offspring and descendants.
(Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims.) This contains an instruction for anyone who reaches forty years of age to renew his repentance and turn to Allah with strong resolution. Allah then says,
(Those are the ones from whom We shall accept the best of what they did and overlook their evil deeds. (They shall be) among the dwellers of Paradise.) meaning, those to whom applies the above description — those who repent to Allah, turn back to Him, and rectify their shortcomings through repentance and seeking forgiveness – those are the ones from whom We will accept the best of what they did and overlook their evil deeds. Many of their errors will be forgiven and Allah will accept from them a modest amount of deeds.
(among the dwellers of Paradise.) which means that they will be among the dwellers of Paradise. That is Allah’s ruling concerning them, as He has promised for those who repent and turn to Him. Thus, He says,
(That is the promise of truth that they had been promised.)
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