Surah Insan Ayat 3 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 3
Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful.
We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).
Surely We showed him the Right Path, regardless of whether he chooses to be thankful or unthankful (to his Lord).
Verily, We showed him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful.
Lo! We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving.
Surely We have guided him upon the way, whether he be thankful or most disbelieving.
We guided him to the right path, whether he was grateful or not.
Quran 76 Verse 3 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Insan ayat 3, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(76:3) Surely We showed him the Right Path, regardless of whether he chooses to be thankful or unthankful (to his Lord).
5. That is, We did not just leave him to himself after givinghim the powers of knowledge and reason, but We alsoguided him so that he knows which is the path ofgratefulness and which of ungratefulness, so that whicheverpath he chooses in his later life, he himself is responsible forit. In Surah Al-Balad, the same subject has been expressed,thus “And We showed him both the conspicuous ways (ofgood and evil).” And in Surah Ash-Shams, thus: “By thehuman self, and by Him Who balanced it (with all theexternal and internal powers), then inspired it with itswickedness and its piety.” When all these explanations arekept in view, and also those detailed statements of theQuran in which it has been stated what arrangements Allahhas made for man’s guidance in the world, it becomesevident that in this verse “We guided him to the way” doesnot imply any one form of guidance but many forms of itwhich are limitless and countless. For example:
(1) Along with the faculties of knowledge and reason, manhas also been endowed with a moral sense by which hediscerns between good and evil, regards some acts andqualities as evil even if he himself is involved in them, andregards some other acts and qualities as good even if hehimself is avoiding them. So much so that even those peoplewho for the satisfaction of their selfish motives and desireshave invented philosophies by which they have justifiedmany evils for themselves, protest loudly when they arethemselves treated with the same evils by others, and thenit becomes known that in spite of their false philosophiesthey actually regard them as evil. Likewise, when a manhimself is benefited by a good treatment from anotherperson, he is from within forced to commend andappreciate it even though he might be looking upon goodacts and qualities as ignorance folly and antiquated things,
(2) In every man Allah has placed the faculty of conscience(the lawwamah), which checks and pricks him every time heis about to commit an evil, or is in the process ofcommitting it, or has already committed it. However hardman may try to silence his conscience or make it insensitive,he does not have the power to destroy it completely. Hemay become shameless and prove himself to be absolutelydevoid of the conscience, he may also try to deceive theworld by argumentation, he may even invent a thousandexcuses to justify his acts in order to deceive himself, butdespite all this the censor, that Allah has placed in hisnature, is so active and powerful that it does not let remainhidden from an evil person what he actually is. This samething has been stated in Surah Al-Qiyamah, thus: “Manknows his own self best even though he may offer manyexcuses.” (Ayat 15).
(3) In man’s own self and outside of him, from the earth tothe heavens, there lie scattered in the universe countlesssuch signs which clearly show that all this could not happenwithout a God, nor could there be many gods to create thislife and control and administer it. Likewise, these verysigns, inside man and outside him, clearly point also to theResurrection and Hereafter. If man shuts down his eyes onthem, or refuses to ponder over them intelligently, oravoids to admit the truths which they point out, he himselfwould be to blame. For Allah has shown no negligence inlaying out every possible sign of the truth for the guidanceof man.
(4) Man does come across in his own life, and in thecontemporary world and in the experiences of past history,countless such incidents which prove that a supreme poweris ruling over him and the entire universe, before Whom heis absolutely powerless, whose Will is dominant overeverything and whose help he needs at every moment.These experiences and observations which point to thetruth do not exist only outside him but in man’s own natureas well there exists the evidence of the existence of thesupreme power on the basis of which even the mostconfirmed atheist spreads out his hands in prayer beforeGod when in distress, and the most hardened polytheistabandons all false gods and starts invoking One God onlyfor help.
(5) Man’s intellect and his nature assert positively thatcrime ought to be punished and good deeds ought to berewarded. On this very basis in every society of the world asystem of the courts is established in one form or another.The services and works, which are regarded ascommendable are also rewarded in one way or another.This is a clear proof of the fact that there is a necessaryrelationship between morality and the law of retribution,which man cannot possibly deny. Now, if it is admitted thatin this world there are countless such crimes which cannotbe punished at all to say nothing of punishing them fullyand adequately, and there are also countless such virtues,which cannot be rewarded at all, to say nothing ofrewarding them fully and adequately, there is noalternative but to acknowledge the Hereafter. Unless, ofcourse, a foolish person may assume, or a stubborn personmay insist on having the opinion, that man who has beenendowed with the concept of justice, has taken birth in aworld which in itself is devoid of the concept of justice; andthen it remains for him to answer the question as to howand wherefrom this man, who was born in such a world,obtained this concept of justice.
To reinforce these means ofguidance Allah sent Messengers and revealed Books in theworld for the purpose of giving clear and definite guidanceto man. In these Books it was clearly explained what is theway of gratefulness and what is the way of ungratefulnessand unbelief and what will be the consequences of followingeither way. The teaching brought by the Prophets and theBooks has spread throughout the world in countlessperceptible, and imperceptible ways, on such a large scalethat no section of human population has remained unawareof the concept of God and the Hereafter, of the distinctionbetween good and evil, and of the moral principles andlegal rulings presented by them, whether it knows or doesnot know that it has obtained this knowledge only throughthe teachings of the Prophets and the Books they brought.Even those who disbelieve in the Prophets and the Bookstoday, or are unaware of them, also are following many ofthose things which have reached to them actually throughtheir teachings while they do not know what is the realsource of these teachings.4
The tafsir of Surah Al-Insan verse 3 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Insan ayat 1 which provides the complete commentary from verse 1 through 3.
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