Surah Al-Hijr Ayat 4 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 4
And We did not destroy any city but that for it was a known decree.
Never did We destroy a population that had not a term decreed and assigned beforehand.
Whenever We destroyed a town, a definite term had previously been decreed for it.
And never did We destroy a township but there was a known decree for it.
And We destroyed no township but there was a known decree for it.
And in no way did We cause any town to perish except that it had a known (prescribed) Book.
Never have We destroyed a community that did not have a set time;
Quran 15 Verse 4 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Hijr ayat 4, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(15:4) Whenever We destroyed a town, a definite term had previously been decreed for it.
2. This is to refute the fallacious argument of the disbelievers that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not a true Prophet because they had received no prompt punishment for their disbelief. It is like this: We have never seized a community at the first committal of kufr.
We prescribe a limit for every community to hear and understand the message and reform its ways. Then We tolerate its mischief and evil deeds up to that limit and allow it full freedom to do as it likes, and give it respite till the term expires. That is why We are tolerating their attitude of ridicule and denial. (For the full meaning of respite, please refer to ( E.N. 18 of Surah Ibrahim).
4. And never did We destroy a township but there was a known decree for it. 5. No nation can advance its term, nor delay it.
Allah is informing us that He never destroys a township until He has established evidences for it and its allotted time has ended. When the time for a nation’s destruction has come, He never delays it, and He never moves its appointed time forward. This was a message and a warning to the people of Makkah, telling them to give up their Shirk, their stubbornness and disbelief for which they deserved to be destroyed.
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