Surah Al-A’raf >> Currently viewing Surah Al-A’raf Ayat 12 (7:12)

Surah Al-A’raf Ayat 12 in Arabic Text

قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلَّا تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ ۖ قَالَ أَنَا۠ خَيْرٌۭ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِى مِن نَّارٍۢ وَخَلَقْتَهُۥ مِن طِينٍۢ
Qaala maa mana’aka allaa tasjuda iz amartuka qaala ana khairum minhu khalaqtanee min naarinw wa khalaqtahoo min teen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 12

Sahih International
[Allah] said, “What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?” [Satan] said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”

Yusuf Ali
(Allah) said: “What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?” He said: “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.”

Abul Ala Maududi
Allah said: ‘What prevented you from prostrating, when I commanded you to do so?’ He said: ‘I am better than he. You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.’

Muhsin Khan
(Allah) said: “What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?” Iblis said: “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.”

Pickthall
He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud.

Dr. Ghali
Said He, “What prevented you from prostrating as I commanded you?” Said he, “I am more charitable (i.e. better) than he. You created me of fire, and You created him of clay.”

Abdel Haleem
God said, ‘What prevented you from bowing down as I commanded you?’ and he said, ‘I am better than him: You created me from fire and him from clay.’

Quran 7 Verse 12 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-A’raf ayat 12, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(7:12) Allah said: ‘What prevented you from prostrating, when I commanded you to do so?’ He said: ‘I am better than he. You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.’


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

Ibn-Kathir

12. (Allah) said: “What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you” Iblis said: “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.”) Allah said,


﴿مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ﴾

(What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate) ﴿7: 12﴾ meaning, what stopped and hindered you from prostrating after I ordered you to do so, according to Ibn Jarir. This meaning is sound, and Allah knows best. Iblis, may Allah curse him, said,

﴿أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ﴾

(I am better than him (Adam)), and this excuse is worse than the crime itself! Shaytan said that he did not obey Allah because he who is better cannot prostrate to he who is less. Shaytan, may Allah curse him, meant that he is better than Adam, “So how can You order me to prostrate before him” Shaytan said that he is better than Adam because he was created from fire while, “You created him from clay, and fire is better.” The cursed one looked at the origin of creation not at the honor bestowed, that is, Allah creating Adam with His Hand and blowing life into him. Shaytan made a false comparison when confronted by Allah’s command,

﴿فَقَعُواْ لَهُ سَـجِدِينَ﴾

(“Then you fall down prostrate to him”)﴿38:72﴾. Therefore, Shaytan alone contradicted the angels, because he refused to prostrate. He, thus, became `Ablasa’ from the mercy, meaning, lost hope in acquiring Allah’s mercy. He committed this error, may Allah curse him, due to his false comparison. His claim that the fire is more honored than mud was also false, because mud has the qualities of wisdom, for – bearance, patience and assurance, mud is where plants grow, flourish, increase, and provide good. To the contrary, fire has the qualities of burning, recklessness and hastiness. Therefore, the origin of creation directed Shaytan to failure, while the origin of Adam led him to return to Allah with repentance, humbleness, obedience and submission to His command, admitting his error and seeking Allah’s forgiveness and pardon for it. Muslim recorded that `Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«خُلِقَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ نُورٍ وَخُلِقَ إِبْلِيسُ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ وَخُلِقَ آدَمُ مِمَّا وُصِفَ لَكُم»

(The angels were created from light, Shaytan from a smokeless flame of fire, while Adam was created from what was described to you).

Iblis was the First to use Qiyas (Analogical Comparison)

Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Hasan commented on Shaytan’s statement,

﴿خَلَقْتَنِى مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ﴾

(“You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.”) “Iblis used Qiyas ﴿analogy﴾, and he was the first one to do so.” This statement has an authentic chain of narration. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Sirin said, “The first to use Qiyas was Iblis, and would the sun and moon be worshipped if it was not for Qiyas” This statement also has an authentic chain of narration.

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