Surah Al-An’am Ayat 156 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 156
[We revealed it] lest you say, “The Scripture was only sent down to two groups before us, but we were of their study unaware,”
Lest ye should say: “The Book was sent down to two Peoples before us, and for our part, we remained unacquainted with all that they learned by assiduous study:”
(You may no longer) say now that the Book was revealed only to two groups of people before Us and that we had indeed been unaware of what they read.
Lest you (pagan Arabs) should say: “The Book was only sent down to two sects before us (the Jews and the Christians), and for our part, we were in fact unaware of what they studied.”
Lest ye should say: The Scripture was revealed only to two sects before us, and we in sooth were unaware of what they read;
So that you may not say, “Surely the Book was sent down only upon two sections even before us, and decidedly we have indeed been heedless of their study.”
lest you say, ‘Scriptures were only sent down to two communities before us: we were not aware of what they studied,’
Quran 6 Verse 156 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-An’am ayat 156, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(6:156) (You may no longer) say now that the Book was revealed only to two groups of people before Us  and that we had indeed been unaware of what they read.
137. The allusion is to the Jews and the Christians.
156. Lest you should say: “The Book was sent down only to two sects before us, and for our part, we were in fact unaware of what they studied.” 157. Or lest you should say: “If only the Book had been sent down to us, we would surely have been better guided than they.” So now has come unto you a clear proof from your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy. Who then does more wrong than one who rejects the Ayat of Allah and Sadafa away therefrom We shall requite those who turn away from Our Ayat with an evil torment, because of their turning away.
Ibn Jarir commented on the Ayah, “The Ayah means, this is a Book that We sent down, so that you do not say,
(“The Book was sent down only to two sects before us.”) This way, you will have no excuse. Allah said in another Ayah,
(Otherwise, they would have suffered a calamity because of what their hands sent forth, and said: “Our Lord! Why did You not send us a Messenger We would then have followed Your Ayat.”)﴿28:47﴾.” The Ayah,
(to two sects before us) refers to the Jews and Christians, according to `Ali bin Abi Talhah who narrated it from Ibn `Abbas. Similar was reported from Mujahid, As-Suddi, Qatadah and several others. Allah’s statement,
(“…and for our part, we were in fact unaware of what they studied.”) meaning: `we did not understand what they said because the revelation was not in our tongue. We, indeed, were busy and unaware of their message,’ so they said. Allah said next,
(Or lest you should say: “If only the Book had been sent down to us, we would surely, have been better guided than they.”) meaning: We also refuted this excuse, had you used it, lest you say, “If a Book was revealed to us, just as they received a Book, we would have been better guided than they are.” Allah also said.
(And they swore by Allah their most binding oath that if a warner came to them, they would be more guided than any of the nations (before them).) ﴿35:42﴾ Allah replied here,
(So now has come unto you a clear proof from your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy.) Allah says, there has come to you from Allah a Glorious Qur’an revealed to Muhammad , the Arab Prophet. In it is the explanation of the lawful and unlawful matters, guidance for the hearts and mercy from Allah to His servants who follow and implement it. Allah said;
(Who then does more wrong than one who rejects the Ayat of Allah and Sadafa away therefrom) This refers to the one who neither benefited from what the Messenger brought, nor followed what he was sent with by abandoning all other ways. Rather, he Sadafa from following the Ayat of Allah, meaning, he discouraged and hindered people from following it. This is the explanation of As-Suddi for Sadafa, while Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said that Sadafa means, he turned away from it.
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