Surah Al-Anbiya Ayat 21 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 21
Or have men taken for themselves gods from the earth who resurrect [the dead]?
Or have they taken (for worship) gods from the earth who can raise (the dead)?
Have they taken earthly gods who are such that they raise up the dead to life?
Or have they taken (for worship) aliha (gods) from the earth who raise the dead?
Or have they chosen gods from the earth who raise the dead?
Or even have they taken to themselves gods from the earth who make (the dead) rise up again?
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.
(21:21) Have they taken earthly gods who are such that they raise up the dead to life?
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?
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.
Allah denounces those who take other gods instead of Him:
(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:
(Had there been therein gods) means, in the heavens and the earth,
(then verily, both would have been ruined.) This is like the Ayah:
(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:
(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.
(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.
(while they will be questioned.) means, He is the One Who will ask His creation about what they did. This is like the Ayah:
(So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do.) ﴿15:92-93﴾
(And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector) ﴿23:88﴾
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