Surah An-Nisa >> Currently viewing Surah An-Nisa Ayat 153 (4:153)

Surah An-Nisa Ayat 153 in Arabic Text

يَسْـَٔلُكَ أَهْلُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ أَن تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ كِتَـٰبًۭا مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ ۚ فَقَدْ سَأَلُوا۟ مُوسَىٰٓ أَكْبَرَ مِن ذَٰلِكَ فَقَالُوٓا۟ أَرِنَا ٱللَّهَ جَهْرَةًۭ فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ ٱلصَّـٰعِقَةُ بِظُلْمِهِمْ ۚ ثُمَّ ٱتَّخَذُوا۟ ٱلْعِجْلَ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَتْهُمُ ٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتُ فَعَفَوْنَا عَن ذَٰلِكَ ۚ وَءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَىٰ سُلْطَـٰنًۭا مُّبِينًۭا
yas’aluka Ahlul Kitaabi an tunazzila ‘alaihim Kitaabam minas samaaa’i faqad sa aloo Moosaa akbara min zaalika faqaaloo arinal laaha jahratan fa akhazat humus saa’iqatu bizulmihim; summat takhazul ‘ijla mim ba’di maa jaa’at humul baiyinaatu fa’afawnaa ‘ann zaalik; wa aatainaa Moosaa sultaanam mubeenaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 153

Sahih International
And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.

Yusuf Ali
Verily, this is My way, leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His (great) path: thus doth He command you. that ye may be righteous.

Abul Ala Maududi
(x) This is My way -that which is straight: follow it, then, and do not follow other paths lest they scatter you from His path. This is what He has enjoined upon you, so that you may beware.’

Muhsin Khan
“And verily, this (i.e. Allah’s Commandments mentioned in the above two Verses 151 and 152) is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V. 2:2).”

And (He commandeth you, saying): This is My straight path, so follow it. Follow not other ways, lest ye be parted from His way. This hath He ordained for you, that ye may ward off (evil).

Dr. Ghali
And that this is My Path, a straight (one); so follow it closely and do not follow the (other) ways, or then they would make you part away from His way. That (Literally: those “rules”) is what He has enjoined you with, that possibly you would be pious.”

Abdel Haleem
this is My path, leading straight, so follow it, and do not follow other ways: they will lead you away from it- ‘ This is what He commands you to do, so that you may refrain from wrongdoing.’

Quran 4 Verse 153 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 153, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(4:153) The People of the Book now ask of you to have a Book come down on them from heaven;[181] indeed they asked of Moses even greater things than this, for they said: ‘Make us see Allah with our own eyes’ – whereupon the thunderbolt suddenly smote them for their wickedness.[182] Then they took to worshipping the calf after clear signs had come to them.[183] Still, We forgave them, and conferred a manifest commandment upon Moses,

181. One of the odd demands which the Jews of Madina made to the Prophet (peace be on him) was that if he wanted them to accept his claim to prophethood he should have them either witness a book descending from the heavens or that each one of them should receive a writ from on high, confirming Muhammad’s prophethood and the absolute necessity of believing in him.

182. The purpose here is not to describe the details of any particular event, but merely to mention, in brief, the crimes of the Jews. Hence passing references are made to the main incidents in the national history of the Jews. The particular event referred to has been mentioned earlier in Surah al-Baqarah. (See Towards Understanding the Qur’an, vol. I, (Surah 2: 55; also n. 71.)

183. ‘Clear signs’ refer here to the signs which people had constantly witnessed from the time of Moses’ appointment to his prophetic office, to the drowning of Pharaoh and the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt. It is clear that He Who had secured the deliverance of the Israelites from the clutches of the powerful Egyptian empire was not the calf, but God, the Lord of the Universe. One is simply staggered at the overpowering predisposition of the Jews to error, as evidenced by the fact that at that very juncture in their history when they had experienced the most illustrious signs of God’s power and grace they bowed down before the image of the calf, rather than before God, their Benefactor.


153. The People of the Scripture (Jews) ask you to cause a book to descend upon them from heaven. Indeed, they asked Musa for even greater than that, when they said: “Show us Allah in public,” but they were struck with a bolt of lightning for their wickedness. Then they worshipped the calf even after Al-Bayyinat had come to them. (Even) so We forgave them. And We gave Musa a clear proof of authority. 154. And for their covenant, We raised over them the mount and (on the other occasion) We said: “Enter the gate prostrating (or bowing) with humility;” and We commanded them: “Transgress not on the Sabbath (Saturday).” And We took from them a firm covenant.

The Stubbornness of the Jews

Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, As-Suddi and Qatadah said that the Jews asked the Messenger of Allah to cause a book to come down to them from heaven, just as the Tawrah was sent down to Musa. Ibn Jurayj said that the Jews asked the Messenger to cause books to come down to them addressed to so-and-so among them, testifying to the truth of what he was sent with. The Jews only asked for this because of their stubbornness, defiance, rejection and disbelief. The disbelievers of Quraysh also asked for similar things from the Prophet, as is mentioned in Surat Al-Isra’,

﴿وَقَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ يَنْبُوعًا ﴾

(And they say: “We shall not believe in you, until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us;) (17:90) Allah said,

﴿فَقَدْ سَأَلُواْ مُوسَى أَكْبَرَ مِن ذلِكَ فَقَالُواْ أَرِنَا اللَّهِ جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّـعِقَةُ بِظُلْمِهِمْ﴾

(Indeed, they asked Musa for even greater than that, when they said, “Show us Allah in public,” but they were struck with a bolt of lightning for their wickedness.) injustice, transgression, defiance and rebellion. This part was explained in Surat Al-Baqarah,

﴿وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَـمُوسَى لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى نَرَى اللَّهَ جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْكُمُ الصَّـعِقَةُ وَأَنتُمْ تَنظُرُونَ – ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَـكُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَوْتِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴾

(And (remember) when you said: “O Musa! We shall never believe in you until we see Allah plainly.” But you were struck by a bolt of lightning while you were looking. Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful.) (2:55,56) Allah’s statement,

﴿ثُمَّ اتَّخَذُواْ الْعِجْلَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَـتُ﴾

(Then they worshipped the calf even after Al-Bayyinat had come to them.) meaning, after they witnessed the tremendous miracles and unequivocal proofs at the hand of Musa in Egypt. They also witnessed the demise of their enemy, Fir`awn and his soldiers, when they all drowned in the sea. Yet soon after, when they passed by a people who were worshipping idols, they said to Musa,

﴿اجْعَلْ لَّنَآ إِلَـهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ ءَالِهَةٌ﴾

(Make for us a god as they have gods.) Allah explains the story of the Jews worshipping the calf in Surat Al-A`raf (7) and Surah Ta Ha (20) after Musa went to meet with his Lord. When Musa returned, Allah decreed that in order for the Jews to earn accepted repentance, then those who did not worship the calf would have to kill those who worshipped it. They complied with this command, and Allah resurrected them afterwards. Allah said here,

﴿فَعَفَوْنَا عَن ذلِكَ وَءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى سُلْطَـناً مُّبِيناً﴾

((Even) so We forgave them. And We gave Musa a clear proof of authority. ) Allah then said,

﴿وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَهُمُ الطُّورَ بِمِيثَـقِهِمْ﴾

(And for their covenant, We raised over them the mount,) This was when they refrained from implementing the rulings of the Tawrah and refused what Musa brought them from Allah. So Allah raised the mountain above their heads and they were ordered to prostrate, which they did. Even so, they were looking above when they were prostrating for fear that the mountain might fall on them,

﴿وَإِذ نَتَقْنَا الْجَبَلَ فَوْقَهُمْ كَأَنَّهُ ظُلَّةٌ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُ وَاقِعٌ بِهِمْ خُذُواْ مَآ ءَاتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ﴾

(And (remember) when We raised the mountain over them as if it had been a canopy, and they thought that it was going to fall on them. (We said): “Hold firmly to what We have given you.”) Allah then said,

﴿وَقُلْنَا لَهُمُ ادْخُلُواْ الْبَابَ سُجَّداً﴾

(and We said, “Enter the gate prostrating (or bowing) with humility;”) meaning that they also defied this command in word and action. They were commanded to enter Bayt Al-Quds (in Jerusalem) while bowing and saying “Hittah”, meaning: `O Allah! take from us our sin of abandoning Jihad.’ This was the cause of their wandering in the desert of Tih for forty years. Yet, they entered the House while crawling on their rear ends and saying `Hintah (a wheat grain) in Sha`rah (the hair)’.

﴿وَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ لاَ تَعْدُواْ فِى السَّبْتِ﴾

(and We commanded them, “Transgress not the Sabbath (Saturday).”) meaning, We commanded them to honor the Sabbath and honor what Allah prohibited them on that day.

﴿وَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُمْ مِّيثَـقاً غَلِيظاً﴾

t(And We took from them a firm covenant.) meaning, strong covenant. They rebelled, transgressed and committed what Allah prohibited by using deceit and trickery, as is mentioned in Surat Al-A`raf (7),

﴿وَسْئَلْهُمْ عَنِ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِى كَانَتْ حَاضِرَةَ الْبَحْرِ﴾

(And ask them about the town that was by the sea.)

﴿فَبِمَا نَقْضِهِمْ مَّيثَـقَهُمْ وَكُفْرِهِم بَـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ وَقَتْلِهِمُ الاٌّنْبِيَآءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ وَقَوْلِهِمْ قُلُوبُنَا غُلْفٌ بَلْ طَبَعَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهَا بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً – وَبِكُفْرِهِمْ وَقَوْلِهِمْ عَلَى مَرْيَمَ بُهْتَـناً عَظِيماً – وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَـكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مَا لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلاَّ اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِيناً – بَل رَّفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزاً حَكِيماً ﴾

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