Surah Al-Anbiya >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Anbiya Ayat 51 (21:51)

Surah Al-Anbiya Ayat 51 in Arabic Text

وَلَقَدۡ ءَاتَيۡنَآ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ رُشۡدَهُۥ مِن قَبۡلُ وَكُنَّا بِهِۦ عَٰلِمِينَ
Wa laqad aatainaaa Ibraaheema rushdahoo min qablu wa kunnaa bihee ‘aalimeen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 51

Sahih International
And We had certainly given Abraham his sound judgement before, and We were of him well-Knowing

Yusuf Ali
We bestowed aforetime on Abraham his rectitude of conduct, and well were We acquainted with him.

Abul Ala Maududi
Surely We had bestowed wisdom upon Abraham even earlier, and We knew him well.

Muhsin Khan
And indeed We bestowed aforetime on Ibrahim (Abraham) his (portion of) guidance, and We were Well-Acquainted with him (as to his Belief in the Oneness of Allah, etc.).

Pickthall
And We verily gave Abraham of old his proper course, and We were Aware of him,

Dr. Ghali
And indeed We already brought Ibrahîm (Abrahem) earlier his right-mindedness and We were Knowledgeable of him.

Abdel Haleem
Long ago We bestowed right judgement on Abraham and We knew him well.

Quran 21 Verse 51 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Anbiya ayat 51, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(21:51) Surely We had bestowed wisdom upon Abraham even earlier, and We knew him well.[53]


53. The Arabic word rushd is very comprehensive and means righteousness as well.

We had blessed Abraham with discretion: The discretion he showed in discriminating between the right and the wrong etc. was not of his own acquirement but had been bestowed on him by Us.

We knew him well: We knew that he was worthy of Prophethood, therefore We appointed him as such. According to (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 124): Allah knows best whom to entrust with His Mission. It contains a subtle answer to the objection raised by the chiefs of the Quraish: Why has Allah appointed this man, the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the office of Prophethood, when he is in no way superior to us. This objection has been answered, as if to say: The same objection might even have been raised against Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) by his people, but We knew his capabilities. Therefore We selected him for Prophethood.

In this connection, please also see (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 124-141, 258-260): (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 74-84): (Surah At- Tauba, Ayat 114): (Surah Houd, Ayats 69-76): (Surah Ibrahim, Ayats 35-41): (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayats 51-58 )and (Surah An-Nahal, Ayats 120-122) and the E.Ns thereof.

Ibn-Kathir

51. And indeed We bestowed aforetime on Ibrahim his guidance, and We were Well-Acquainted with him. 52. When he said to his father and his people: “What are these images to which you are devoted” 53. They said: “We found our fathers worshipping them.” 54. He said: “Indeed you and your fathers have been in manifest error.” 55. They said: “Have you brought us the Truth, or are you one of those who play about” 56. He said: “Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them and to that I am one of the witnesses.”


The Story of Ibrahim and his People

Allah tells us about His close Friend Ibrahim, peace be upon him, and how He bestowed upon him guidance aforetime, i.e., from an early age He inspired him with truth and evidence against his people, as Allah says elsewhere:

﴿وَتِلْكَ حُجَّتُنَآ ءَاتَيْنَـهَآ إِبْرَهِيمَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ﴾

(And that was Our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people) ﴿6:83﴾. The point here is that Allah is telling us that He gave guidance to Ibrahim aforetime, i.e., He had already guided him at an early age.

﴿وَكُنَّا بِهِ عَـلِمِينَ﴾

(and We were Well-Acquainted with him.) means, and he was worthy of that. Then Allah says:

﴿إِذْ قَالَ لاًّبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا هَـذِهِ التَّمَـثِيلُ الَّتِى أَنتُمْ لَهَا عَـكِفُونَ ﴾

(When he said to his father and his people: “What are these images, to which you are devoted”) This is the guidance which he had been given during his youth: his denunciation of his people’s worship of idols instead of Allah. Ibrahim said:

﴿مَا هَـذِهِ التَّمَـثِيلُ الَّتِى أَنتُمْ لَهَا عَـكِفُونَ﴾

(“What are these images, to which you are devoted”) meaning, which you worship with such devotion.

﴿قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَآ ءَابَآءَنَا لَهَا عَـبِدِينَ ﴾

(They said: “We found our fathers worshipping them.”) means, they had no other evidence apart from the misguided actions of their forefathers. Ibrahim said:

﴿لَقَدْ كُنتُمْ أَنتُمْ وَءَابَآؤُكُمْ فِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾

(Indeed you and your fathers have been in manifest error.) meaning, Speaking to your fathers whose actions you cite as evidence would be the same as speaking to you. Both you and they are misguided and are not following any straight path.’ When he called their intelligence into question, and said that their fathers were misguided and belittled their gods,

﴿قَالُواْ أَجِئْتَنَا بِالْحَقِّ أَمْ أَنتَ مِنَ اللَّـعِبِينَ ﴾

(They said: “Have you brought us the Truth, or are you one of those who play about”) They said: `These words that you are saying, are you speaking in jest or are you telling the truth For we have never heard such a thing before.’

﴿قَالَ بَل رَّبُّكُمْ رَبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ الَّذِى فطَرَهُنَّ﴾

(He said: “Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them…”) meaning, your Lord, beside Whom there is no other god, is the One Who created the heavens and the earth and all that they contain; He is the One Who initiated their creation; He is the Creator of all things.

﴿وَأَنَاْ عَلَى ذلِكُمْ مِّنَ الشَّـهِدِينَ﴾

(and to that I am one of the witnesses. ) means, and I bear witness that there is no God other than Him and no Lord except Him.

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