Surah Ankabut >> Currently viewing Surah Ankabut Ayat 24 (29:24)

Surah Ankabut Ayat 24 in Arabic Text

فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِۦٓ إِلَّآ أَن قَالُوا۟ ٱقْتُلُوهُ أَوْ حَرِّقُوهُ فَأَنجَىٰهُ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلنَّارِ ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّقَوْمٍۢ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Famaa kaana jawaaba qawmiheee illaaa an qaaluqtuloohu aw harriqoohu fa anjaahul laahu minan naar; inna fee zaalika la Aayaatil li qawminy yu’minoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 24

Sahih International
And the answer of Abraham’s people was not but that they said, “Kill him or burn him,” but Allah saved him from the fire. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.

Yusuf Ali
So naught was the answer of (Abraham’s) people except that they said: “Slay him or burn him.” But Allah did save him from the Fire. Verily in this are Signs for people who believe.

Abul Ala Maududi
The people (of Abraham) had no other answer than to say: “Kill him or burn him.” But Allah delivered him from the fire. There are many Signs in this for those who believe.

Muhsin Khan
So nothing was the answer of [Ibrahim’s (Abraham)] people except that they said: “Kill him or burn him.” Then Allah saved him from the fire. Verily, in this are indeed signs for a people who believe.

Pickthall
But the answer of his folk was only that they said: “Kill him” or “Burn him.” Then Allah saved him from the Fire. Lo! herein verily are portents for folk who believe.

Dr. Ghali
Yet in no way was the answer of his people (anything) except that they said, “Kill him or burn him away!” Then Allah delivered him from the fire. Surely in that are indeed signs for a people who believe.

Abdel Haleem
The only answer Abraham’s people gave was, ‘Kill him or burn him!’ but God saved him from the Fire: there truly are signs in this for people who believe.

Quran 29 Verse 24 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ankabut ayat 24, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(29:24) The people[37] (of Abraham) had no other answer than to say: “Kill him or burn him.”[38] But Allah delivered him from the fire.[39] There are many Signs in this for those who believe.[40]


37. From here the discourse again turns to the story of the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him).

38. That is, they had no answer to the Prophet Abraham’s (peace be upon him) rational arguments. The only answer they gave was: “Cut off the tongue that talks the truth and let not the person live who points out our error and tells us to give it up.” The words, “Kill him or burn him”, indicate that the whole crowd was unanimous that the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) should be put to death. However, they differed about the method. Some said that he should be killed, and others said that he should be burnt alive, so that no one in future should dare say the sort of the thing he said.

39. This sentence by itself shows that they had at last decided to burn the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) and he was cast into the fire. Here it has only been said that Allah saved him from the fire; but in Surah Al-Anbiyaa it has been elucidated that Allah commanded: “O fire! Be cool and become safe for Abraham!” (Ayat 69). Evidently, if he was not at all cast into the fire, the command to the fire to become cool and safe would be meaningless. This proves that properties of all things are dependent on Allah’s command and whenever He pleases He can change the property of anything He likes. Normally fire burns and every combustible thing catches fire. But this property of the fire is not of its own acquisition but given by God. And this property has in no way tied up God that He may give no command against it. He is the Master of this fire. He can command it at any time to give up the property of burning. At any time, He can turn a furnace into a bed of roses. But events contrary to the course of nature occur only rarely to serve some great purpose or cause. However, the usual phenomena to which we are accustomed in our daily lives cannot be made an argument to say that Allah’s power has been tied up with these, and nothing unusual can take place even by Allah’s command.

40. “Indeed, in that are sure signs for a people who believe”. Signs for the believers in this that the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) did not follow the religion of his family, community and country but followed the true knowledge through which he came to know that shirk is falsehood and Tauhid is the reality. And that he went on exhorting his people to accept the truth and to desist from falsehood in spite of their stubbornness and prejudices. And that he was even prepared to suffer the horrible punishment by the fire, but was not prepared to give up the truth. And that Allah did not even spare the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), His friend, from the trials and tests. And that when the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) got successfully through the tests set by Allah, then did come Allah’s succor, and in such a miraculous way that the bonfire was turned cool for him.

Ibn-Kathir

24. So nothing was the answer of people except that they said: “Kill him or burn him.” Then Allah saved him from the fire. Verily, in this are indeed signs for a people who believe. 25. And (Ibrahim) said: “You have taken idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world, but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall deny each other, and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helper.”


The Response of Ibrahim’s People — and how Allah controlled the Fire

Allah tells us how Ibrahim’s people stubbornly and arrogantly disbelieved, and how they resisted the truth with falsehood. After Ibrahim addressed them with his words of clear guidance,

﴿إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ اقْتُلُوهُ أَوْ حَرِّقُوهُ﴾

(except that they said: “Kill him or burn him.”) This was because proof had clearly been established against them, so they resorted to using their power and strength.

﴿قَالُواْ ابْنُواْ لَهُ بُنْيَـناً فَأَلْقُوهُ فِى الْجَحِيمِ – فَأَرَادُواْ بِهِ كَيْداً فَجَعَلْنَـهُمُ الاٌّسْفَلِينَ ﴾

(They said: “Build for him a building and throw him into the blazing fire!” So they plotted a plot against him, but We made them the lowest.) (37:97-98). They spent a long time gathering a huge amount of firewood, they built a fence around it, then they set it ablaze until its flames reached up to the sky. No greater fire had ever been lit. Then they went to Ibrahim, seized him and put him into a catapult, then they threw him into the fire. But Allah made it cool and safe for him, and after spending several days in it, he emerged unscathed. For this reason and others, Allah made him an Imam for mankind, for he offered himself to the Most Merciful, he offered his body to the flames, he offered his son as a sacrifice, and he gave his wealth to care for his guests. For all of these reasons he is beloved by the followers of all religions.

﴿فَأَنْجَاهُ اللَّهُ مِنَ النَّارِ﴾

(Then Allah saved him from the fire. ) means, He rescued him from it by making it cool and safe for him.

﴿إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ﴾

(Verily, in this are indeed signs for a people who believe.) Ibrahim, peace be upon him, explains to his people that idols are incapable of doing anything,

﴿وَقَالَ إِنَّمَا اتَّخَذْتُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَـناً مَّوَدَّةَ بَيْنِكُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا﴾

(And (Ibrahim) said: “You have taken idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world,) Here Ibrahim was rebuking his people for their evil deed of worshipping idols, and telling them: `You have taken these as gods and you come together to worship them so that there is friendship and love among you in this world,’

﴿ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ﴾

(but on the Day of Resurrection,) the situation will be the opposite, and this love and friendship will turn into hatred and enmity. Then

﴿يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ﴾

(you shall deny each other,) meaning, `you will denounce one another and deny whatever was between you,’

﴿وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضاً﴾

(and curse each other, ) means, the followers will curse their leaders and the leaders will curse their followers.

﴿كُلَّمَا دَخَلَتْ أُمَّةٌ لَّعَنَتْ أُخْتَهَا﴾

a(Every time a new nation enters (the Fire), it curses its sister nation (that went before)) (7:37).

﴿الاٌّخِلاَءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلاَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴾

(Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except those who have Taqwa.) (43:67) And Allah says here:

﴿ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضاً وَمَأْوَاكُمُ النَّارُ﴾

(but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall deny each other, and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire,) meaning, `your ultimate destiny after all accounts have been settled, will be the fire of Hell, and you will have no one to help you or save you from the punishment of Allah.’ This will be the state of the disbelievers. As for the believers, it will be an entirely different matter.

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