Surah Al-An’am Ayat 74 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 74
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham said to his father Azar, “Do you take idols as deities? Indeed, I see you and your people to be in manifest error.”
Lo! Abraham said to his father Azar: “Takest thou idols for gods? For I see thee and thy people in manifest error.”
And recall when Abraham said to his father, Azar: ‘Do you take idols for gods? I see you and your people in obvious error.’
And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said to his father Azar: “Do you take idols as aliha (gods)? Verily, I see you and your people in manifest error.
(Remember) when Abraham said unto his father Azar: Takest thou idols for gods? Lo! I see thee and thy folk in error manifest.
And as Ibrahîm (Abraham) said to his father Éazar, “Do you take to yourself idols for gods? Surely I see you and your people in evident error.”
Remember when Abraham said to his father, Azar, ‘How can you take idols as gods? I see that you and your people have clearly gone astray.’
Quran 6 Verse 74 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-An’am ayat 74, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(6:74) And recall when Abraham said to his father, Azar: ‘Do you take idols for gods? I see you and your people in obvious error.’
50. The incident relating to Abraham (peace be on him) is adduced in order to confirm and reinforce the view that just as Muhammad (peace he on him) and his Companions – thanks to the guidance vouchsafed by God – had denounced polytheism and had turned away from all false gods, bowing their heads in obedience to the One True Lord of the universe, so had been done by Abraham in his time. In the same way as ignorant people were then opposing the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and those who believed in him, Abraham, too, had been opposed in his day by the people among whom he lived. Furthermore, the answer Abraham gave to his people in the past can also be given by Muhammad (peace be on him) and his followers, for he was on the same path as Noah, Abraham and the other Prophets who had descended from Abraham. Those who had refused to follow the Prophet (peace be on him) should therefore take note that they had deviated from the way of the Prophets and were lost in error.
At this point it should also be noted that Abraham was generally acknowledged by the Arabs to be their patriarch and their original religious leader. The Quraysh, in particular, were proud of their devotion to Abraham, of being his progeny and of being servants to the shrine built by him. Hence, the mention of Abraham’s doctrine of monotheism, of his denunciation of polytheism and his remonstration with his polytheistic people, amounted to demolishing the very basis on which the Quraysh had prided themselves. It also amounted to destroying the confidence of the people of Arabia in their polytheistic religion. This also proved to them that the Muslims stood in the shoes of Abraham himself, whereas their own position was that of an ignorant nation which had remonstrated with Abraham out of ignorance and folly.
74. And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father Azar: “Do you take idols as gods Verily, I see you and your people in manifest error.” 75. Thus did we show Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have faith with certainty. 76. When the night overcame him he saw a Kawkab. He said: “This is my lord.” But when it Afala, he said: “I like not those that set.” 77. When he saw the moon rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the misguided people.” 78. When he saw the sun rising up, he said: “This is my lord. This is greater.” But when it Afalat, he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah. 79. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth, Hanifan, and I am not of the idolators.”
Ibrahim advised, discouraged and forbade his father from worshipping idols, just as Allah stated,
(And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father Azar: “Do you take idols as gods”) meaning, do you worship an idol instead of Allah
(Verily, I see you and your people…) who follow your path,
(in manifest error) wandering in confusion unaware of where to go. Therefore, you are in disarray and ignorance, and this fact is clear to all those who have sound reason. Allah also said,
(And mention in the Book (the Qur’an, the story of) Ibrahim. Verily! He was a man of truth, a Prophet. When he said to his father: “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything O my father! Verily! There has come to me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me. I will guide you to a straight path. O my father! Worship not Shaytan. Verily! Shaytan has been a rebel against the Most Beneficent (Allah). O my father! Verily! I fear lest a torment from the Most Beneficent (Allah) overtakes you, so that you become a companion of Shaytan (in the Hell-fire).” He (the father) said: “Do you reject my gods, O Ibrahim If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.” Ibrahim said: “Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily! He is unto me, Ever Most Gracious. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call on my Lord; and I hope that I shall not be unanswered in my invocation to my Lord.”) ﴿19:41-48﴾ Ibrahim continued asking for forgiveness for his father for the rest of his father’s life. When his father died an idolator and Ibrahim realized this fact, he stopped asking Allah for forgiveness for him and disassociated himself from him. Allah said,
(And invoking for his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy to Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily Ibrahim was patient in supplication and forbearing.) ﴿9:114﴾. It was recorded in the Sahih that Ibrahim will meet his father Azar on the Day of Resurrection and Azar will say to him, “My son! This Day, I will not disobey you.” Ibrahim will say, “O Lord! You promised me not to disgrace me on the Day they are resurrected; and what will be more disgraceful to me than cursing and dishonoring my father” Then Allah will say, “O Ibrahim! Look behind you!” He will look and there he will see (that his father was changed into) a male hyena covered in dung, which will be caught by the legs and thrown in the (Hell) Fire.”
(Thus did We show Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth…) ﴿6:75﴾, means, when he contemplated about the creation of the heaven and earth, We showed Ibrahim the proofs of Allah’s Oneness over His dominion and His creation, which indicate that there is no god or Lord except Allah. Allah said in other Ayat;
(Say: “Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth.”) ﴿10:101﴾, and,
(See they not what is before them and what is behind them, of the heaven and the earth If We will, We sink the earth with them, or cause a piece of the sky to fall upon them. Verily, in this is a sign for every servant who turns to Allah.) ﴿34:9﴾ Allah said next,
(When the night overcame him) covered him with darkness,
(He saw a Kawkab) a star.
(He said: “This is my lord.” But when it Afala,) meaning, set, he said,
(I like not those that set.) Qatadah commented, “Ibrahim knew that his Lord is Eternal and never ceases.”
(When he saw the moon rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the misguided people.” When he saw the sun rising up, he said: “This is my lord.”) this radiating, rising star is my lord,
(This is greater) bigger than the star and the moon, and more radiant.
(But when it Afalat) set,
(he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah. Verily, I have turned my face…”), meaning, I have purified my religion and made my worship sincere,
(“towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth,”) Who originated them and shaped them without precedence,
(Hanifan) avoiding Shirk and embracing Tawhid. This is why he said next,
(“and I am not of the idolators.”)
We should note here that, in these Ayat, Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was debating with his people, explaining to them the error of their way in worshipping idols and images. In the first case with his father, Ibrahim explained to his people their error in worshipping the idols of earth, which they made in the shape of heavenly angels, so that they intercede on their behalf with the Glorious Creator. His people thought that they are too insignificant to worship Allah directly, and this is why they turned to the worship of angels as intercessors with Allah for their provisions, gaining victory and attaining their various needs. He then explained to them the error and deviation of worshipping the seven planets, which they said were the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The brightest of these objects and the most honored to them was the Sun, the Moon then Venus. Ibrahim, may Allah’s peace and blessings be on him, first proved that Venus is not worthy of being worshipped, for it is subservient to a term and course appointed that it does not defy, nor swerving right or left. Venus does not have any say in its affairs, for it is only a heavenly object that Allah created and made bright out of His wisdom. Venus rises from the east and sets in the west where it disappears from sight. This rotation is repeated the next night, and so forth. Such an object is not worthy of being a god. Ibrahim then went on to mention the Moon in the same manner in which he mentioned Venus, and then the Sun. When he proved that these three objects were not gods, although they are the brightest objects the eyes can see,
(he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah.”) meaning, I am free from worshipping these objects and from taking them as protectors. Therefore, if they are indeed gods as you claim, then all of you bring your plot against me and do not give me respite.
(Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth, Hanifan, and I am not one of the idolators.) meaning, I worship the Creator of these things, Who originated and decreed them, and Who governs their affairs and made them subservient. It is He in Whose Hand is the dominion of all things, and He is the Creator, Lord, King and God of all things in existence. In another Ayah, Allah said؛
(Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, and then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne. He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars, subjecting them to His command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all that exists!) ﴿7:54﴾. Allah described Prophet Ibrahim,
(And indeed We bestowed aforetime on Ibrahim his (portion of) guidance, and We were well-acquainted with him. When he said to his father and his people: “What are these images, to which you are devoted”) ﴿21:51-52﴾. These Ayat indicate that Ibrahim was debating with his people about the Shirk they practiced.
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