Surah Ahqaf Ayat 4 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 4
Say, [O Muhammad], “Have you considered that which you invoke besides Allah? Show me what they have created of the earth; or did they have partnership in [creation of] the heavens? Bring me a scripture [revealed] before this or a [remaining] trace of knowledge, if you should be truthful.”
Say: “Do ye see what it is ye invoke besides Allah? Show me what it is they have created on earth, or have they a share in the heavens bring me a book (revealed) before this, or any remnant of knowledge (ye may have), if ye are telling the truth!
Tell them, (O Prophet): “Did you consider those whom you call upon beside Allah? Show me, which part of the earth they created? Or do they have any share in creating the heavens? Bring to me any Scripture earlier than this one, or any vestige of knowledge (in support of your belief) if you are truthful.
Say (O Muhammad SAW to these pagans): “Think! All that you invoke besides Allah show me! What have they created of the earth? Or have they a share in (the creation of) the heavens? Bring me a Book (revealed before this), or some trace of knowledge (in support of your claims), if you are truthful!”
Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Have ye thought on all that ye invoke beside Allah? Show me what they have created of the earth. Or have they any portion in the heavens? Bring me a scripture before this (Scripture), or some vestige of knowledge (in support of what ye say), if ye are truthful.
Say, “Have you seen what you invoke apart from Allah? Show me what they created of the earth; or do they have an associating in the heavens? Come up to me (i.e., bring me) with a Book before this, or some relic of a knowledge, in case you are sincere.”
Say [Prophet], ‘Consider those you pray to other than God: show me which part of the earth they created or which share of the heavens they own; bring me a previous scripture or some vestige of divine knowledge––if what you say is true.’
Quran 46 Verse 4 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ahqaf ayat 4, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(46:4) Tell them, (O Prophet): “Did you consider those whom you call upon beside Allah? Show me, which part of the earth they created? Or do they have any share in creating the heavens? Bring to me any Scripture earlier than this one, or any vestige of knowledge (in support of your belief) if you are truthful.
4. As the addresses are a polytheistic people, they are being told the reality of the irrational creed in which they persisted carelessly due to lack of the sense of responsibility. Along with acknowledging Allah as the Creator of the universe they had made many other beings their deities. They invoked them, regarded them as fulfillers of their needs and removers of hardships, prostrated themselves and made offerings before them, and thought they had the powers of making and unmaking of their destinies. About the same beings, they are being asked: On what basis have you made them your deities? Obviously, there can be only two bases for regarding someone as an associate in worship along with Allah: Either man himself should know through some means of knowledge that his deity too has a share in making the earth and heavens, or Allah Himself may have stated that so and so also is His associate in the functions of Godhead. Now, if a polytheist can neither make the claim that he possesses direct knowledge of his deity’s being an associate of God, nor he can show in a Book sent by God that God Himself has appointed somebody as His associate, his creed would inevitably be baseless.
In this verse, “a Book revealed before this” implies a Book sent by Allah before the Quran, and some remnant of knowledge, implies some part of the teachings of the Prophets and righteous men of the ancient times, which may have reached the later generations reliably. There is no tinge of shirk in whatever man has received through these two means. All the heavenly Books unanimously present the same Tauhid to which the Quran invites the people, and no existing remnant of the ancient lore bears evidence to this that some Prophet or saint or righteous man might have taught the people to serve and worship any other than God. Even if we do not take a Book to mean a divine Book and remnant of knowledge the knowledge bequeathed by the Prophets and righteous men, no authentic book or the research made by a scholar of religious or secular lore has pointed out that such and such a thing in the earth or the heavens has been created by such and such a saint or god, or a certain blessing of the blessings of life which man is benefiting from in the universe has been created by such and such a deity instead of God.
The tafsir of Surah Ahqaf verse 4 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Ahqaf ayat 1 which provides the complete commentary from verse 1 through 6.
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