Surah Al-An’am Ayat 123 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 123
And thus We have placed within every city the greatest of its criminals to conspire therein. But they conspire not except against themselves, and they perceive [it] not.
Thus have We placed leaders in every town, its wicked men, to plot (and burrow) therein: but they only plot against their own souls, and they perceive it not.
Thus We have appointed the leaders of the wicked ones in every land to weave their plots; but in truth they plot only to their own harm, without even realizing it.
And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people to plot therein. But they plot not except against their ownselves, and they perceive (it) not.
And thus have We made in every city great ones of its wicked ones, that they should plot therein. They do but plot against themselves, though they perceive not.
And thus We made in every town great ones among its criminals to scheme therein; and in no way do they scheme against anyone except themselves, and in no way are they aware.
And so We have put chief evildoers in every city to perpetrate their schemes there- but they scheme only against themselves, without realizing it.
Quran 6 Verse 123 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-An’am ayat 123, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(6:123) Thus We have appointed the leaders of the wicked ones in every land to weave their plots; but in truth they plot only to their own harm, without even realizing it.
There is no commentary by Abul Maududi available for this verse.
123. And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people to plot therein. But they plot not except against themselves, and they perceive (it) not. 124. And when there comes to them a sign they say: “We shall not believe until we receive the like of that which the Messengers of Allah received.” Allah knows best with whom to entrust His Message. Humiliation and disgrace from Allah and a severe torment will overtake the criminals for that which they used to plot.
Allah says: Just as We appointed chiefs and leaders for the criminals who call to disbelief, hinder from the path of Allah, and oppose and defy you in your town, O Muhammad. Such was also the case with the Messengers before you, who were tested with the same. But the good end was always theirs.’ Allah said in other Ayat,
(Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.) ﴿25:31﴾ Allah said,
(And when We decide to destroy a town, We send a definite order to those among them who lead a life of luxury, and they transgress therein.) ﴿17:16﴾ meaning, We command them to obey Us, but they defy the command and as a consequence, We destroy them. It was also said that, “We send a definite order”, in the last Ayah means, “We decree for them,” as Allah stated here
(to plot therein.) Ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas explained the Ayah
(. ..great ones of its wicked people to plot therein.) “We give the leadership to these wicked ones and they commit evil in it. When they do this, We destroy them with Our torment.” Mujahid and Qatadah said that in the Ayah,
(great ones) refers to leaders. I say that this is also the meaning of Allah’s statements,
(And We did not send a warner to a township, but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them, said: “We believe not in what you have been sent with.” And they say: “We have too much wealth and too many children and we are not going to suffer punishment.”) ﴿34:34-35﴾ And,
(And similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town but the luxurious ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.”) ﴿43:23﴾ `Plot’ in the Ayah ﴿6:123﴾ refers to beautified speech and various actions with which the evil ones call to misguidance. Allah said about the people of Prophet Nuh, peace be upon him,
(And they have plotted a mighty plot. ) ﴿71:22 ﴾ Allah said,
(But if you could see when the wrongdoers will be made to stand before their Lord, how they will cast the (blaming) word one to another! Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers.” And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: “Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you Nay, but you were criminals.” Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals for Him!”) ﴿34:31-33﴾. Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Ibn Abi `Umar said that Sufyan said, “Every `plot’ mentioned in the Qur’an refers to actions.” Allah’s statement,
(But they plot not except against themselves, and they perceive (it) not.) means, the harm of their wicked plots, as well as misguiding those whom they lead astray, will only strike them. Allah said in other Ayat,
(And verily, they shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own.) ﴿29:13﴾ and,
(And also of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge. Evil indeed is that which they shall bear!) ﴿16:25﴾. Allah said;
(And when there comes to them a sign they say: “We shall not believe until we receive the like of that which the Messengers of Allah received.”) When there comes to them a sign they say,
(“We shall not believe until we receive the like of that which the Messengers of Allah received.”) until the angels bring us the Message from Allah, just as they brought it to the Messengers. In another Ayah, Allah said,
(And those who expect not a meeting with Us said: “Why are not the angels sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord”) ﴿25:21﴾. Allah’s statement,
(Allah knows best with whom to entrust His Message.) means, He knows best with whom His Message should be given and which of His creatures are suitable for it. Allah said in other Ayat,
(And they say: “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some great man of the two towns” Is it they who would portion out the mercy of your Lord) ﴿43:31-32﴾. They said, why was not this Qur’an revealed to a mighty, respectable leader, honored by us,
(…from one of the two towns) Of Makkah and At-Ta’if. This is because they, may Allah curse them, belittled the Messenger out of envy, transgression, rebellion and defiance. Allah described them,
(And when they see you, they only mock: “Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger”) ﴿25:41﴾ and
(And when those who disbelieved see you, they only mock at you: “Is this the one who talks about your gods” While they disbelieve at the mention of the Most Gracious (Allah).) ﴿21:36﴾, and,
(Indeed Messengers were mocked before, but the scoffers were surrounded by that, whereat they used to mock.) ﴿21:41﴾
The disbelievers did all of this although they admitted to the Prophet’s virtue, honorable lineage, respectable ancestry and purity of household and upbringing, may Allah, His angels, and the believers send blessings upon him. The disbelievers used to call the Prophet , before he received revelation, `Al-Amin’ — the Truthful. The leader of the Quraysh disbelievers, Abu Sufyan, had to admit to this fact when Heraclius, emperor of Rome, asked him, “How honorable is his (the Prophet’s) ancestral lineage among you” Abu Sufyan answered, “His ancestry is highly regarded among us.” Heraclius asked, “Do you find that he lied, before he started his mission” Abu Sufyan replied, “No.” The emperor of Rome relied on the honor and purity of the Prophet to recognize the truth of his prophethood and what he came with. Imam Ahmad recorded that Wathilah bin Al-Asqa` said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Verily, Allah has chosen Isma`il from the offspring of Ibrahim, Bani Kinanah from the offspring of Isma`il, Quraysh from Bani Kinanah, Bani Hashim from Quraysh and, He has chosen me from Bani Hashim.) Muslim recorded this Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(I was chosen from a succession of the best generations of the Children of Adam, until the generation I was sent in.) Allah’s said,
(Humiliation and disgrace from Allah and a severe torment will overtake the criminals…) This is a stern threat and sure promise from Allah for those who arrogantly refrain from obeying His Messengers and adhering to what they came with. On the Day of Resurrection, they will suffer humiliation and eternal disgrace before Allah, because they were arrogant in the worldly life. This is why it is befitting that they earn disgrace on the Day of Resurrection. Allah said in another Ayah,
(Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!) ﴿40:60﴾ disgrace and dishonor. Allah said next,
(and a severe torment for that which they used to plot.) Since plotting usually takes place in secret and involves treachery and deceit, the disbelievers were recompensed with severe torment from Allah on the Day of Resurrection, as a just reckoning,
(And your Lord treats no one with injustice) ﴿18:49﴾ Allah said in another Ayah,
(The Day when all the secrets will be examined. ) ﴿86:9﴾ Meaning, the secrets, hidden thoughts and intentions will be exposed. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,
(A banner will be raised for every deceitful person from his anus on the Day of Resurrection, and it will say; `This is the treacherous plot of so-and-so, son of so-and-so, son of so-and-so.,) The wisdom in this is that since a plot occurs in secret, and people are usually unaware of it, then on the Day of Resurrection the plot itself will become public news testifying to the actions of those who committed it.
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