Surah Al-Anbiya >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Anbiya Ayat 21 (21:21)

Surah Al-Anbiya Ayat 21 in Arabic Text

أَمِ ٱتَّخَذُوٓاْ ءَالِهَةٗ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ هُمۡ يُنشِرُونَ
Amit takhazooo aalihatam minal ardi hum yunshiroon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 21

Sahih International
Or have men taken for themselves gods from the earth who resurrect [the dead]?

Yusuf Ali
Or have they taken (for worship) gods from the earth who can raise (the dead)?

Abul Ala Maududi
Have they taken earthly gods who are such that they raise up the dead to life?

Muhsin Khan
Or have they taken (for worship) aliha (gods) from the earth who raise the dead?

Pickthall
Or have they chosen gods from the earth who raise the dead?

Dr. Ghali
Or even have they taken to themselves gods from the earth who make (the dead) rise up again?

Abdel Haleem
Have they chosen any gods from the earth who can give life to the dead?

Quran 21 Verse 21 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Anbiya ayat 21, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(21:21) Have they taken earthly gods who are such that they raise up the dead to life?[21]


21. This question has been posed to bring home to the disbelievers that when they themselves believed that there is no being other than Allah who can give life to inanimate matter, why do they then acknowledge other deities besides Allah?

Ibn-Kathir

21. Or have they taken (for worship) gods from the earth who raise the dead 22. Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) gods besides Allah, then verily, both would have been ruined. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above all that (evil) they associate with Him! 23. He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned.


Refutation of false gods

Allah denounces those who take other gods instead of Him:

﴿أَمِ اتَّخَذُواْ آلِهَةً مِّنَ الاٌّرْضِ هُمْ يُنشِرُونَ ﴾

(Or have they taken gods from the earth who raise the dead) meaning, can they bring the dead back to life and bring them forth from the earth They cannot do any of that, so how can they make them rivals to Allah and worship them alongside Him Then Allah tells us that if there were another god besides Him, the heavens and the earth would be ruined:

﴿لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَآ آلِهَةٌ﴾

(Had there been therein gods) means, in the heavens and the earth,

﴿لَفَسَدَتَا﴾

(then verily, both would have been ruined.) This is like the Ayah:

﴿مَا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ مِن وَلَدٍ وَمَا كَانَ مَعَهُ مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِذاً لَّذَهَبَ كُلُّ إِلَـهٍ بِمَا خَلَقَ وَلَعَلاَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ سُبْحَـنَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ ﴾

(No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him. Then each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others! Glorified be Allah above all that they attribute to Him!) ﴿23:91﴾. And Allah says here:

﴿فَسُبْحَـنَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ﴾

(Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, above all that they associate with Him!) meaning, glorified be He above what they say about Him having offspring or partners; glorified and exalted and sanctified be He far above all the lies that they fabricate.

﴿لاَ يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْـَلُونَ ﴾

(He cannot be questioned about what He does, while they will be questioned.) He is the Ruler Whose rule cannot be overturned and none can object to it, because of His might, majesty, pride, knowledge, wisdom, justice and subtlety.

﴿وَهُمْ يُسْـَلُونَ﴾

(while they will be questioned.) means, He is the One Who will ask His creation about what they did. This is like the Ayah:

﴿فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَسْـَلَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ – عَمَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴾

(So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do.) ﴿15:92-93﴾

﴿وَهُوَ يُجْيِرُ وَلاَ يُجَارُ عَلَيْهِ﴾

(And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector) ﴿23:88﴾

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