Surah Ahzab >> Currently viewing Surah Ahzab Ayat 72 (33:72)

Surah Ahzab Ayat 72 in Arabic Text

إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا ٱلْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱلْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنُ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ ظَلُومًۭا جَهُولًۭا
Innaa ‘aradnal amaanata ‘alas samaawaati walardi wal jibaali fa abaina ai yahmil nahaa wa ashfaqna minhaa wa hamalahal insaanu innahoo kaana zalooman jahoolaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 72

Sahih International
Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.

Yusuf Ali
We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;- He was indeed unjust and foolish;-

Abul Ala Maududi
We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to carry it and were afraid of doing so; but man carried it. Surely he is wrong-doing, ignorant.

Muhsin Khan
Truly, We did offer AlAmanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).

Pickthall
Lo! We offered the trust unto the heavens and the earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man assumed it. Lo! he hath proved a tyrant and a fool.

Dr. Ghali
Surely We presented (Literally: set before) the Trust (i.e., Trust of devotion) to the heavens and the earth and mountains. Yet they refused to carry it and felt timorous about it, and man carried it. Surely he has been constantly unjust, constantly ignorant.

Abdel Haleem
We offered the Trust to the heavens, the earth, and the mountains, yet they refused to undertake it and were afraid of it; mankind undertook it- they have always been inept and foolish.

Quran 33 Verse 72 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ahzab ayat 72, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(33:72) We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to carry it and were afraid of doing so; but man carried it. Surely he is wrong-doing, ignorant.[120]


120. In the end, Allah wants man to realize his real position in the world; if in that position he regarded the life of the world as mere fun and sport and adopted a wrong attitude carelessly, he would only be working for his own doom.

Here, the word “amanat” (trust) implies khilafat (caliphate) which, according to the Quran, man has been granted in the earth. The inevitable result of the freedom given to man to choose between obedience and disobedience, and the powers and authority granted him over countless creations for using that freedom, is that he himself be held responsible for his voluntary acts and should deserve rewards for his righteous conduct and suffer punishment for his evil conduct. Since man has not attained these powers by his own efforts but has been granted these by Allah, and he is answerable before Allah for their right or wrong use, these have been described by the word khilafat at other places in the Quran, and by amanat here.

In order to give an idea of how important and heavy this “trust” (amanat) is, Allah says that the heavens and the earth, in spite of their glory and greatness, and the mountains, in spite of their size and firmness, could not have the power and courage to bear it. But man, the weak and frail man, has borne this heavy burden on his tiny self.

The presentation of the trust before the earth and the heavens and their refusal to bear it and their being afraid of it may be true literally, or it may have been said so metaphorically. We can neither know nor can comprehend Allah’s relationship with His creations. The earth and the sun and the moon and the mountains are dumb, deaf and lifeless for us but they may not be so for Allah. Allah can speak to each of His creations and it can respond to Him, though its nature is incomprehensible for us. Therefore, it is just possible that Allah, in fact, might have presented this heavy trust before them, and they might have shuddered to see it, and they might have made this submission before their Master and Creator.

“Lord, we find our good and our convenience only in remaining as Your powerless servants: we do not find courage to ask for the freedom to disobey and do justice to it, and then suffer Your punishment in case we cannot do justice to it.” Likewise, it is also quite possible that before this present life Allah might have given another kind of existence to mankind and summoned it before Himself, and it might have willingly undertaken to accept the delegated powers and authority. We have no rational argument to regard this as impossible. Only such a person, who might have made a wrong estimate of his mental and intellectual powers and capabilities, can think of regarding it as impossible.

However, this is also equally possible that Allah may have said so allegorically. In order to give an idea of the extraordinary importance of the matter, He may have depicted the scene as if the earth and the heavens and the mountains like the Himalayas were present before Him on one side and a 5 to 6 foot man, on the other. Then Allah might have asked:

“I want to invest someone of My creation with the power that being a subject of My Kingdom, it may acknowledge My Supremacy and obey My commands of its own free will; otherwise it will also have the power to deny Me, even rebel against Me. After giving him this freedom I shall so conceal Myself from him as if I did not exist at all. And to exercise this freedom I shall invest him with vast powers, great capabilities, and shall give him dominion over countless of My creations so that he may raise any storm that he may in the universe. Then I shall call him to account at an appointed time. The one who will have misused the freedom granted by Me, will be made to suffer a most terrible punishment; and the one who will have adopted My obedience in spite of all chances and opportunities for disobedience, will be raised to such high ranks as no creation of Mine has ever been able to attain. Now tell, which of you is ready to undergo this test?”

Hearing this discourse a hush might have prevailed for a while all through the universe. Then one huge creation after the other might have bowed down and submitted that it should be excused from the severe test. Then, at last, this frail creation might have risen and submitted: “O my Lord, I am ready to undergo this test. I shall brave all the dangers inherent in the freedom and independence only in the hope that I shall be blessed with the highest office in Your Kingdom if I pass the test.”

By imagining this scene through his heart’s eye only can man judge exactly what delicate position he holds in the universe. Allah in this verse has called the person unjust and ignorant, who lives a carefree life in the place of test, and has no feeling at all of how great a responsibility he is shouldering, and what consequences he will encounter of the right or wrong decisions that he makes in choosing and adopting an attitude for himself in the life of the world. He is ignorant because the fool holds himself as responsible to no one; he is unjust because he is himself preparing for his doom and is also preparing the doom of many others along with him.

Ibn-Kathir

72. Truly, We did offer the Amanah to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it. But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust and ignorant. 73. So that Allah will punish the hypocrites, men and women, and the men and women who are idolators. And Allah will pardon the believers, men and women. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.


How Man bore the Amanah

Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “Al-Amanah means obedience. This was offered to them before it was offered to Adam, and they could not bear it. Then Allah said to Adam: `I have offered the Amanah to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they could not bear it. Will you take it on’ He said, `O Lord, what does it involve’ He said, `If you do good, you will be rewarded, and if you do evil, you will be punished.’ So Adam took the Amanah and bore it, and this is what is referred to in the Ayah:

﴿وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنْسَـنُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُوماً جَهُولاً﴾

(But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust and ignorant.)” `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “Al-Amanah means Al-Fara’id (the obligatory duties). Allah offered them to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, (on the grounds that) if they fulfilled them, He would reward them; and if they failed, He would punish them. But they did not want to do that, and they were afraid of it, not because their intention was sinful, but because of their respect for the religion of Allah, in case they could not fulfill the obligations involved. Then Allah offered it to Adam, and he accepted it with all that it entailed. This is what is referred to in the Ayah:

﴿وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنْسَـنُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُوماً جَهُولاً﴾

(But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust and ignorant. ) meaning, he underestimated the command of Allah.” This was also the view of Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others that Al-Amanah means Al-Fara’id. Others said that it meant obedience. Al-A`mash narrated from Abu Ad-Duha from Masruq that Ubayy bin Ka`b said: “Part of Al-Amanah means that woman was entrusted with her own chastity.” Qatadah said: “Al-Amanah means religion, obligatory duties and prescribed punishments.” Malik narrated that Zayd bin Aslam said: “Al-Amanah means three things: prayer, fasting and performing Ghusl to cleanse oneself from sexual impurity.” There is no contradiction between all of these views; they are all in agreement and all refer to responsibility and the acceptance of commands and prohibitions with their attendant conditions, which is that the one who fulfills this responsibility, will be rewarded; while the one who neglects it, will be punished. Man accepted this despite the fact that he is weak, ignorant and unjust — except for those whom Allah helps, and Allah is the One Whose help we seek. One of the reports which deal with Al-Amanah is the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad from Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: “The Messenger of Allah told us two Hadiths, one of which I have seen and the other I am still waiting to see. He told us that Al-Amanah is deeply rooted in the heart of man, then the Qur’an was revealed and they know it from the Qur’an and from the Sunnah. Then he told us that Al-Amanah will be taken away. He said,

«يَنَامُ الرَّجُلُ النَّوْمَةَ فَتُقْبَضُ الْأَمَانَةُ مِنْ قَلْبِهِ، فَيَظَلُّ أَثَرُهَا مِثْلَ أَثَرِ الْمَجْلِ كَجَمْرٍ دَحْرَجْتَهُ عَلَى رِجْلِكِ، تَرَاهُ مُنْتَبِرًا وَلَيْسَ فِيهِ شَيْء»

. (A man may sleep and Al-Amanah will be taken from his heart, leaving nothing but a trace like a blister left by a coal if you were to roll it over your leg — you will see it protruding but there is nothing inside.) Then he took a pebble and rolled it over his leg, then he said:

«فَيُصْبِحُ النَّاسُ يَتَبَايَعُونَ لَا يَكَادُ أَحَدٌ يُؤَدِّي الْأَمَانَةَ حَتَّى يُقَالَ: إِنَّ فِي بَنِي فُلَانٍ رَجُلًا أَمِينًا، حَتَّى يُقَالَ لِلرَّجُلِ مَا أَجْلَدَهُ وَأَظْرَفَهُ وَأَعْقَلَهُ وَمَا فِي قَلْبِهِ حَبَّةُ خَرْدَلٍ مِنْ إِيمَان»

(Then the people will start buying and selling, and hardly anyone will be paying attention to Al-Amanah, until it will be said that among the tribe of so-and-so there is a trustworthy man, and it will said of a man, `how strong he is, how nice and how wise,’ and there is not even a mustard seed of faith in his heart.) No doubt, there came upon me a time when I did not mind dealing (bargaining) with anyone of you, for if he was a Muslim, his Islam would compel him to pay me what is due to me, and if he was a Christian, or Jew, the Muslim official would compel him to pay me what is due to me, but today, I do not deal except with such and such person among you.” It was also recorded in the Two Sahihs from the Hadith of Al-A`mash. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

«أَرْبَعٌ إِذَا كُنَّ فِيكَ فَلَا عَلَيْكَ مَا فَاتَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا: حِفْظُ أَمَانَةٍ، وَصِدْقُ حَدِيثٍ، وَحُسْنُ خَلِيقَةٍ، وَعِفَّةُ طُعْمَة»

(There are four things, if you attain them, then whatever you miss in this world will not matter: preserving trust, speaking the truth, being of good character and moderation in eating.)

The Result of taking on the Amanah

﴿لِّيُعَذِّبَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ وَالْمُنَـفِقَـتِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَـتِ﴾

(So that Allah will punish the hypocrites, men and women, and the men and women who are idolators.) means, because the sons of Adam have undertaken to fulfill the Amanah, which means duties, Allah will punish the men and women among them who are hypocrites, who are those who make an outward display of faith because they fear the believers, but in their hearts they conceal disbelief and in fact are followers of the disbelievers.

﴿وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَـتِ﴾

(and the men and women who are idolators.) these are the ones who both outwardly and inwardly associate others in worship with Allah and go against His Messengers.

﴿وَيَتُوبَ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَـتِ﴾

(And Allah will pardon the believers, men and women.) means, He will show mercy to the believers among mankind, who believe in Allah and in His angels, Books and Messengers, and who obey Him.

﴿وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً﴾

(And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) This is end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Ahzab. Allah’s is the praise and thanks.

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