Surah Mu’minun >> Currently viewing Surah Mu’minun Ayat 51 (23:51)

Surah Mu’minun Ayat 51 in Arabic Text

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلرُّسُلُ كُلُوا۟ مِنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ وَٱعْمَلُوا۟ صَـٰلِحًا ۖ إِنِّى بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌۭ
Yaaa aiyuhar Rusulu kuloo minat taiyibaati wa’maloo saalihan innee bimaa ta’maloona ‘Aleem

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 51

Sahih International
[Allah said], “O messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing.

Yusuf Ali
O ye messengers! enjoy (all) things good and pure, and work righteousness: for I am well-acquainted with (all) that ye do.

Abul Ala Maududi
Messengers! Partake of the things that are clean, and act righteously. I know well all that you do.

Muhsin Khan
O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Taiyibat [all kinds of Halal (legal) foods which Allah has made legal (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables, fruits, etc.], and do righteous deeds. Verily! I am Well-Acquainted with what you do.

Pickthall
O ye messengers! Eat of the good things, and do right. Lo! I am Aware of what ye do.

Dr. Ghali
“O you the Messengers, eat of the good things, and do righteousness; surely I am Ever-Knowing of whatever you do.

Abdel Haleem
Messengers, eat good things and do good deeds: I am well aware of what you do.

Quran 23 Verse 51 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Mu’minun 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

(23:51) Messengers![45] Partake of the things that are clean, and act righteously.[46] I know well all that you do.


45. In the preceding passage (verses 23-50), the stories of some Prophets have been related as individuals, but in this verse all of them have been addressed together. However, it does not mean that they were present at one and the same place at the time of address. As a matter of fact, this way of address has been adopted to show that the message of all the Messengers, who came to different countries in different ages, was the same and they all belonged to one and the same community, (verse 52). Therefore the message to one Messenger was meant to be the message for each one of them. In this verse, they have been addressed together as if they were present at one and the same place in order to emphasize this same aspect of the matter. But it is an irony that some people of this age have concluded that this verse has been addressed to those messengers who were to come after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is obvious that this interpretation cannot fit in the context in which the verse occurs.

46. “Pure things” implies that they should be wholesome and must have been earned in lawful ways. Here the instruction, “eat of the pure things”, is meant to refute the theory and practice of asceticism. The Quran teaches the middle way between the life of asceticism and that of licence. The fact that the instruction, “eat of the pure things”, precedes “do righteous deeds”, is meant to impress that righteous deeds are meaningless without eating lawful provisions. The Prophet (peace be upon him) impressed this very thing by saying: O people, Allah is pure and loves pure things. Then he recited this (verse 51) and said: A person makes a long pilgrimage in a disheveled condition and prays with raised hands, O my Lord, O my Lord, whereas he eats unlawful food, wears unlawful clothes and has been brought up on unlawful provisions. How can such a one expect that Allah will grant his prayer? (Related by Abu Hurairah).

Ibn-Kathir

51. O Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibat and do righteous deeds. Verily, I am Well-Acquainted with what you do. 52. And verily, this your religion is one religion, and I am your Lord, so have Taqwa.” 53. But they have broken their religion among them into sects, each group rejoicing in what is with it. 54. So, leave them in their error for a time. 55. Do they think that in wealth and children with which We prolong them 56. We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, but they perceive not.


The Command to eat Lawful Food and to do Righteous Deeds

Allah commands His servants and Messengers, peace be upon them all, to eat lawful food and do righteous deeds, which indicates that eating what is lawful helps one to do righteous deeds. The Prophets, peace be upon them, did this in the most perfect manner, and did all kinds of good deeds in words, actions, guidance and advice. May Allah reward them with good on behalf of the people.

﴿كُلُواْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَـتِ﴾

(Eat of the Tayyibat) Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ad-Dahhak said, “This means lawful. In the Sahih it says:

«وَمَا مِنْ نَبِيَ إِلَّا رَعَى الْغَنَم»

(There is no Prophet who was not a shepherd.) They asked, “And you, O Messenger of Allah” He said,

«نَعَمْ، كُنْتُ أَرْعَاهَا عَلَى قَرَارِيَط لِأَهْلِ مَكَّة»

(Yes, I used to tend the sheep of the people of Makkah for a few Qirats.) In the Sahih, it says:

«إِنَّ دَاوُدَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ كَانَ يَأْكُلُ مِنْ كَسْبِ يَدِه»

(Dawud, upon him be peace, used to eat from the earnings of his own hand.) It was recorded in Sahih Muslim, Jami` At-Tirmidhi and Musnad Al-Imam Ahmad — from whom this version comes — that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

«يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللهَ طَيِّبٌ لَا يَقْبَلُ إِلَّا طَيِّبًا، وَإِنَّ اللهَ أَمَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِمَا أَمَرَ بِهِ الْمُرْسَلِين»

(O people, Allah is Tayyib and only accepts that which is Tayyib, and Allah commands the believers as He had commanded the Messengers by saying:

﴿يأَيُّهَا الرُّسُلُ كُلُواْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَـتِ وَاعْمَلُواْ صَـلِحاً إِنِّى بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ ﴾

(O Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibat and do righteous deeds. Verily, I am Well-Acquainted with what you do.) ﴿23:51﴾ and

﴿يـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ﴾

(O you who believe! Eat of the Tayyibat that We have provided you with)﴿2:172﴾.) Then he mentioned how a man may travel on a long journey, dusty and unkempt,

«وَمَطْعَمُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَمَشْرَبُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَمَلْبَسُهُ حَرَامٌ، وَغُذِّيَ بِالْحَرَامِ يَمُدُّ يَدَيْهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ: يَا رَبِّ يَا رَبِّ فَأَنَّى يُسْتَجَابُ لِذَلِك»

(and his food, drink and clothing are unlawful, and he has nourished himself with what is unlawful, and he extends his hands towards the sky, saying, `O Lord, O Lord!’ — how can his prayer be answered.) At-Tirmidhi said that it is “Hasan Gharib.”

The Religion of all the Prophets is Tawhid; and the Warning against splitting into different Groups

﴿وَإِنَّ هَـذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَحِدَةً﴾

(And verily, this your religion is one religion,) means, `your religion, O Prophets, is one religion and one group, which is the call to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate.’ Allah said:

﴿وَأَنَاْ رَبُّكُمْ فَاتَّقُونِ﴾

(and I am your Lord, so have Taqwa.) We have already discussed this in Surat Al-Anbiya’. The phrase

﴿أُمَّةً وَحِدَةً﴾

(one nation) is descriptive.

﴿فَتَقَطَّعُواْ أَمْرَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ زُبُراً﴾

(But they have broken their religion among them into sects,) the nations to whom Prophets were sent.

﴿كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ﴾

(each group rejoicing in what is with it.) means, they rejoice in their misguidance because they think that they are rightly-guided. Allah says, threatening and warning:

﴿فَذَرْهُمْ فِى غَمْرَتِهِمْ﴾

(So, leave them in their error) meaning their misguidance,

﴿حَتَّى حِينٍ﴾

(for a time.) means, until the appointed time of their destruction comes. This is like the Ayah:

﴿فَمَهِّلِ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَمْهِلْهُمْ رُوَيْداً ﴾

(So give a respite to the disbelievers; deal gently with them for a while.) ﴿86:17﴾ And Allah says:

﴿ذَرْهُمْ يَأْكُلُواْ وَيَتَمَتَّعُواْ وَيُلْهِهِمُ الاٌّمَلُ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴾

(Leave them to eat and enjoy, and let them be preoccupied with (false) hope. They will come to know!) ﴿15:3﴾

﴿أَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّمَا نُمِدُّهُمْ بِهِ مِن مَّالٍ وَبَنِينَ – نُسَارِعُ لَهُمْ فِى الْخَيْرَتِ بَل لاَّ يَشْعُرُونَ ﴾

(Do they think that in wealth and children with which We prolong them, We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, but they perceive not.) means, `do these deceived people think that what We give them of wealth and children is because they are honored and precious in Our sight No, the matter is not as they claim when they say,

﴿نَحْنُ أَكْثَـرُ أَمْوَلاً وَأَوْلَـداً وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ﴾

(We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be punished.) ﴿34:35﴾ But this thinking is wrong, and their hopes will be dashed. We only give those things to them in order to make them go further (in sin) and to give them more time.’ Allah says:

﴿بَل لاَّ يَشْعُرُونَ﴾

(but they perceive not.) as He says elsewhere:

﴿فَلاَ تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَلُهُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلَـدُهُمْ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ بِهَا فِي الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا﴾

(So, let not their wealth nor their children amaze you; in reality Allah’s plan is to punish them with these things in the life of this world…) ﴿9:55﴾

﴿إِنَّمَا نُمْلِى لَهُمْ لِيَزْدَادُواْ إِثْمَاً﴾

(We postpone the punishment only so that they may increase in sinfulness) ﴿3:178﴾.

﴿فَذَرْنِى وَمَن يُكَذِّبُ بِهَـذَا الْحَدِيثِ سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُمْ مِّنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَأَمْلَى لَهُمْ﴾

(Then leave Me Alone with such as belie this Qur’an. We shall punish them gradually from directions they perceive not. And I will grant them a respite.) ﴿68:44-45﴾

﴿ذَرْنِى وَمَنْ خَلَقْتُ وَحِيداً ﴾

(Leave Me Alone (to deal) with whom I created lonely.) until His saying:

﴿عَنِيداً﴾

(opposing) ﴿74: 11-16﴾

﴿وَمَآ أَمْوَلُكُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلَـدُكُمْ بِالَّتِى تُقَرِّبُكُمْ عِندَنَا زُلْفَى إِلاَّ مَنْ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً﴾

(And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us, but only he who believes, and does righteous deeds…) ﴿34:37﴾ And there are many other Ayat which say similar things. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

«إِنَّ اللهَ قَسَمَ بَيْنَكُمْ أَخْلَاقَكُمْ كَمَا قَسَمَ بَيْنَكُمْ أَرْزَاقَكُمْ، وَإِنَّ اللهَ يُعْطِي الدُّنْيَا مَنْ يُحِبُّ وَمَنْ لَا يُحِبُّ، وَلَا يُعْطِي الدِّينَ إِلَّا لِمَنْ أَحَبَّ، فَمَنْ أَعْطَاهُ اللهُ الدِّينَ فَقَدْ أَحَبَّهُ، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَا يُسْلِمُ عَبْدٌ حَتَّى يَسْلَمَ قَلْبُهُ وَلِسَانُهُ، وَلَا يُؤْمِنُ حَتَّى يَأْمَنَ جَارُهُ بَوَائِقَه»

(Allah has distributed your behavior to you just as He has distritbuted your provision. Allah gives the things of this world to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He only gives religious commitment to those whom He loves. Whoever is given religious commitment by Allah is loved by Him. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, no servant truly submits until his heart and his tongue submit, and he does not truly believe until his neighbor is safe from his harm.) They said, `What is his harm, O Messenger of Allah’ He said,

«غَشْمُهُ وَظُلْمُهُ، وَلَا يَكْسِبُ عَبْدٌ مَالًا مِنْ حَرَامٍ فَيُنْفِقَ مِنْهُ فَيُبَارَكَ لَهُ فِيهِ، وَلَا يَتَصَدَّقَ بِهِ فَيُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ، وَلَا يَتْرُكَهُ خَلْفَ ظَهْرِهِ إِلَّا كَانَ زَادَهُ إِلَى النَّارِ، إِنَّ اللهَ لَا يَمْحُو السَّيِّءَ بِالسَّيِّءِ وَلَكِنْ يَمْحُو السَّيِّءَ بِالْحَسَنِ، إِنَّ الْخَبِيثَ لَا يَمْحُو الْخَبِيث»

(His wrongdoing and misbehavior. No person who earns unlawful wealth and spends it will be blessed in that; if he gives it in charity, it will not be accepted from him and if he leaves it behind (when he dies), it will be his provision in the Fire. Allah does not wash away an evil deed with another, but he washes away evil deeds with good deeds, for impurity cannot wash away with another impurity.))

﴿إِنَّ الَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ خَشْيةِ رَبِّهِمْ مُّشْفِقُونَ – وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِـَايَـتِ رَبَّهِمْ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴾

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