Surah Al-Anfal >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Anfal Ayat 20 (8:20)

Surah Al-Anfal Ayat 20 in Arabic Text

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَطِيعُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ وَلَا تَوَلَّوْا۟ عَنْهُ وَأَنتُمْ تَسْمَعُونَ
Yaaa aiyuhal lazeena aamanoo atee’ul laaha wa Rasoolahoo wa laa tawallaw ‘anhu wa antum tasma’oon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 20

Sahih International
O you who have believed, obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn from him while you hear [his order].

Yusuf Ali
O ye who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak).

Abul Ala Maududi
Believers! Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn away from him after you hear his command.

Muhsin Khan
O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him (i.e. Messenger Muhammad SAW) while you are hearing.

Pickthall
O ye who believe! Obey Allah and His messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak).

Dr. Ghali
O you who have believed, obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn away from him, (even) as you hear (him speak).

Abdel Haleem
Believers, obey God and His Messenger: do not turn away when you are listening to him;

Quran 8 Verse 20 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Anfal ayat 20, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(8:20) Believers! Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn away from him after you hear his command.


There is no commentary by Abul Maududi available for this verse.

Ibn-Kathir

20. O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him while you are hearing. 21. And be not like those who say: “We have heard,” but they hear not. 22. Verily, the worst of living creatures with Allah are the deaf and the dumb (the disbelievers), who understand not. 23. Had Allah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen; and even if He had made them listen, they would but have turned away with aversion.


The Command to obey Allah and His Messenger

Allah commands His believing servants to obey Him and His Messenger and warns them against defying him and imitating the disbelievers who reject him. Allah said,

﴿وَلاَ تَوَلَّوْاْ عَنْهُ﴾

(and turn not away from him…), neither refrain from obeying him or following his commands nor indulge in what he forbade,

﴿وَأَنتُمْ تَسْمَعُونَ﴾

(while you are hearing.) after you gained knowledge of his Message,

﴿وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ قَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ ﴾

(And be not like those who say: “We have heard,” but they hear not.)

Ibn Ishaq said that this Ayah refers to the hypocrites, who pretend to hear and obey, while in fact they do neither. Allah declares that these are the most wicked creatures among the Children of Adam,

﴿إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ﴾

(Verily, the worst of living creatures with Allah are the deaf) who do not hear the truth,

﴿الْبُكْمُ﴾

(and the dumb) who cannot comprehend it,

﴿الَّذِينَ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ﴾

(who understand not. ) These indeed are the most wicked creatures, for every creature except them abide by the way that Allah created in them. These people were created to worship Allah, but instead disbelieved. This is why Allah equated them to animals, when He said,

﴿وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِى يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ إِلاَّ دُعَآءً وَنِدَآءً﴾

(And the example of those who disbelieve is as that of him who shouts to those that hear nothing but calls and cries.) ﴿2:171﴾, and,

﴿أُوْلَـئِكَ كَالأَنْعَـمِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْغَـفِلُونَ﴾

(They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones.) ﴿7:179﴾

It was also said that the Ayah (8:22) refers to some of the pagans of Quraysh from the tribe of Bani `Abd Ad-Dar, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Ibn Jarir. Muhammad bin Ishaq said that this Ayah refers to hypocrites, as we stated. There is no contradiction here, because both disbelievers and hypocrites are devoid of sound comprehension, in addition to having lost the intention to do good. Allah states here that such are those who neither have sound understanding nor good intentions, even if they have some type of reason,

﴿وَلَوْ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا لأَسْمَعَهُمْ﴾

(Had Allah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen.)

He would have helped them understand. However, this did not happen because there is no goodness in such people, for Allah knows that,

﴿وَلَوْ أَسْمَعَهُمْ﴾

(even if He had made them listen…) and allowed them to understand,

﴿لَتَوَلَّواْ﴾

(they would but have turned…), intentionally and out of stubbornness, even after they comprehend,

﴿وَهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ﴾

(with aversion.), to the truth.

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