Surah Ankabut Ayat 45 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 45
Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.
Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do.
(O Prophet), recite the Book that has been revealed to you and establish Prayer. Surely Prayer forbids indecency and evil. And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit. Allah knows all that you do.
Recite (O Muhammad SAW) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Quran), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allah (in front of the angels) is greater indeed [than your remembering (praising, etc.) Allah in prayers, etc.]. And Allah knows what you do.
Recite that which hath been inspired in thee of the Scripture, and establish worship. Lo! worship preserveth from lewdness and iniquity, but verily remembrance of Allah is more important. And Allah knoweth what ye do.
Recite what has been revealed to you (i.e., the Prophet) of the Book, and keep up the prayer. Surely prayer forbids obscenity and malfeasance; and indeed the Remembrance of Allah is greater, and Allah knows whatever you (The pronoun is plural) work.
[Prophet], recite what has been revealed to you of the Scripture; keep up the prayer: prayer restrains outrageous and unacceptable behaviour. Remembering God is greater: God knows everything you are doing.
جو کتاب آپ کی طرف وحی کی گئی ہے اسے پڑھئے اور نماز قائم کریں، یقیناً نماز بے حیائی اور برائی سے روکتی ہے، بیشک اللہ کا ذکر بہت بڑی چیز ہے، تم جو کچھ کر رہے ہو اس سے اللہ خبردار ہے
Quran 29 Verse 45 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ankabut ayat 45, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(29:45) (O Prophet), recite the Book that has been revealed to you and establish Prayer. Surely Prayer forbids indecency and evil. And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit. Allah knows all that you do.
77. The address apparently is directed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) but, in fact, it is meant for all the believers. Until now they were being counseled patience and reliance on Allah to brave the extreme trying conditions in which they found themselves, and the persecutions they were being subjected to on account of their faith. Now they are being told to recite the Quran and establish the Salat as a practical device, for these are the two things which endow a believer with a strong character and a wonderful capacity by which he can not only brave successfully the most violent storms of evil and falsehood but can even subdue them. But man can acquire this power from the recitation of the Quran and the prayer only when he does not remain content with the mere recital of the words but also understands well the Quranic teachings and absorbs them in his soul. And his prayer does not remain confined to physical movements but becomes the very function of his heart and the motive force for his morals and character. The desired quality of the prayer is being mentioned by the Quran itself in the next sentence. As for its recitation, one should know that the recitation which does not reach the heart beyond the throat, cannot even give man enough power to remain steadfast to his faith, not to speak of enabling him to withstand the furies of unbelief. About such people, a Hadith says: “They will recite the Quran, but the Quran will not go beyond their throats; they will leave the faith just as the arrow leaves the bow.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Muatta). As a matter of fact, the recitation which does not effect any change in a man’s way of thinking, and his morals and character, and he goes on doing what the Quran forbids, is not the recitation of a believer at all. About such a one the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: “He who makes lawful what the Quran has declared unlawful, has not believed in the Quran at all.” (Tirmidhi). Such a recitation does not reform and strengthen a man’s self and spirit, but makes him even more stubborn against Allah and impudent before his own conscience, and destroys his character altogether. For the case of the person who believes in the Quran as a divine Book, reads it and comes to know what his God has enjoined, and then goes on violating His injunctions, is of the culprit, who commits a crime not due to ignorance but after full knowledge of the law. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has elucidated this point in a brief sentence, thus: “The Quran is a testimony in your favor as well as against you,” (Muslim). That is, “If you follow the Quran rightly, it is a testimony in your favor. Whenever you are called to account for your deeds, here or in the Hereafter, you can produce the Quran as a testimony in your defense, saying that whatever you did was in accordance with this Book. If what you did was precisely according to it, no jurist in the world will be able to punish you, nor will God in the Hereafter hold you accountable for it. But if this Book has reached you, and you have read it and found out what your Lord demands from you, what He enjoins and what He forbids, and then you adopt an attitude opposed to it, then this Book will be a testimony against you. It will further strengthen the criminal case against you in the court of God. Then it will in no way be possible for you to escape the punishment, or receive a light punishment, by making the excuse of ignorance.
78. This is an important characteristic out of the many characteristics of the prayer, which has been presented here prominently in view of its relevance to the context. To counter the severe storm of opposition and resistance that the Muslims were experiencing in Makkah, they stood in need of a moral force rather than any material power. To bring about the moral force and develop it suitably two practical devices were pointed out in the first instance, the recitation of the Quran and the establishment of the Salat. Now they are being told that the establishment of the Salat is the means through which they can get rid of those evils in which they themselves had been involved before they embraced Islam and in which the non-Muslim Arabs and the non Arab world around them were involved at that time.
With a little thinking one can easily understand why this special advantage of the prayer has been particularly mentioned here. Evidently, getting rid of the moral evils is not only useful insofar as it is beneficial for those who attain the moral purity, both here and in the Hereafter, but its inevitable advantage is that it gives them unique superiority over those who might be involved in diverse moral evils, and who might be exerting their utmost to sustain the impure system of ignorance, which nourishes those evils, against the efforts of the morally pure people. Indecent and evil acts are those which man by nature abhors, and which have always been held as evil in principle by the people of every community and society, however depraved and perverted practically. The Arab society in the days of the revelation of the Quran was no exception to this. Those people also were aware of the moral virtues and the evils: they valued the good above the evil and there might be none among them, who regarded the evil as identical with the good, or depreciated goodness. Under such conditions, in a perverted society like that, the emergence of a movement which revolutionized morally members of the same society itself as soon as they came into contact with it, and raised them in character high above their contemporaries, inevitably had widespread effects. The common Arabs could not possibly fail to feel the moral impact of the movement, which eradicated evils and promoted goodness. And could not go on following those who were morally corrupt and were fighting to sustain a system of ignorance which had been nourishing those evils since centuries. That is why the Quran at that time exhorted the Muslims to establish Salat instead of urging them to collect material resources and force and strength that could win over the people’s hearts and defeat the enemy without any material force.
The virtue of the prayer that has been mentioned here has two aspects: Its essential and inseparable quality that it restrains from evil and indecent acts, and its desired quality that the one who performs it should, in fact, refrain from evil and indecent acts. As for the first quality the prayer does restrain people from the evils. Anyone who ponders a little over the nature of the prayer will admit that of all the checks and brakes that can be put on man to restrain him from the evils, the prayer can be the most effective. After all, what check could be more effective than this that man should be called upon five times a day for the remembrance of Allah and made to remind himself again and again that he is not wholly free and independent in this world but is the servant of One God, and his God is He Who is aware of his open as well as hidden acts, even of the most secret aims and intentions of his heart, and a time will surely come when he will have to account for all his deeds before his God. Then he is not only reminded of this but is given practical training at every prayer time that he should not disobey any of his God’s commands even secretly. From the time that he stands up for the prayer till its completion man has to perform continuously certain acts in which there is no third person, besides him and his God, who can know whether he has obeyed God’s law or, disobeyed it. For instance, if the man’s wudu (state of ablutions) has become void and he stands up for the prayer, there can be no one, besides him and God, who will know that he is no longer in the state of wudu. If the man has expressed no intention of the prayer but just goes on performing all the required movements and recites poetry, for instance, instead of the prescribed texts quietly, there is none, besides him and his God who can be aware of the secret that he has not, in fact, performed his prayer at all. Not with standing this, if a person offers the prayer five times a day, fulfilling faithfully all the conditions of the divine law in respect of the cleanliness of the body and dress, and the essentials of the prayer and its recitation, etc. it means that through this prayer his conscience is being awakened to life several times a day, he is being helped to become a responsible and dutiful person, and he is being practically trained that he should, under his own urge of obedience, abide by the law which he has believed in openly as well as secretly, regardless whether there is any external force to make him abide by it or not, and whether the people of the world have any knowledge of his intentions and deeds or not.
Thus considered, one cannot help admitting that the prayer not only restrains man from the evils and indecencies but, in fact, there is no other method of training in the world which may be so effective as the prayer is in restraining man from the evils. As for the question whether or not man in actual fact refrains from the evils even after attendance at the prayer, this depends upon the man himself, who is undergoing training for self reform. If he has the intention to benefit from it, and endeavors for it, the reformatory effects of the prayer will certainly have their impact on him. Otherwise, evidently, no reformatory device in the world can be effective with a person, who is not prepared to receive any impact of it, or tries to avoid its impact intentionally. This can be explained by an example. The essential quality of food is to nourish the body and develop it. But this advantage can be had only when food is allowed to be assimilated. If a person vomits what he eats after every meal, his food cannot profit him in any way. Just as, keeping such a person in view, one cannot say that food is not nutritious for the body, because so and so is becoming a skeleton in spite of eating food. So, one cannot present the example of an unrighteous performer of the prayer and say that the prayer does not restrain from the evils, because so and so is unrighteous in spite of his prayer. Just as about such a person it will be apt to say that he does not offer the prayer at all, so about the person who vomits everything he eats, it will be apt to say that he does not eat his food at all.
Precisely the same thing has been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and some great companions and their followers. Imran bin Husain reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “He whose prayer did not restrain him from the evil and indecent acts, offered no prayer at all,” (Ibn Abi Hatim). Ibn Abbas has reported the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying: “The prayer which did not restrain a person from the evil and indecent acts, led him further away from Allah.” (Ibn Abi Hatim, Tabarani). A Hadith containing the same theme has been reported by Hasan Basri directly from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Another Hadith reported on the authority of Ibn Masud is to the effect: “He who did not obey the prayer, offered no prayer at all, and obedience to the prayer is that one should refrain from the evil and indecent acts.” (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim). Several sayings to the same effect have been reported on the authority of Abdullah bin Masud, Abdullah bin Abbas, Hasan Basri, Qatadah and Aamash, etc. Imam Jafar Sadiq has said: He who wants to know whether his prayer has been accepted or not, should see how far his prayer has restrained him from the evil and indecent acts. If he has been restrained from the evils, his prayer has been accepted, (Ruh-al Maani).
79. This can have several meanings: (1) That the remembrance of Allah (i.e. prayer) is a thing of much higher value: it not only restrains from the evils but, over and above that, it induces people to act righteously and urges them to excel one another in good acts. (2) That Allah’s remembrance in itself is a great thing: it is the best of acts: no act of man is greater in value than this. (3) That Allah’s remembrance of you is a greater thing than your remembrance of Him. Allah has said in the Quran: “So remember Me: I will remember you.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 156). Thus, when the servant remembers Allah in the prayer, inevitably Allah also will remember him, and the merit of Allah’s remembering his servant is certainly greater than the servant’s remembering Allah. Besides these three meanings, there is another subtle meaning also, which the wife of Abud Darda has explained. She says, “Allah’s remembrance is not restricted to the prayer, but, its sphere is much vaster. When a man observes a fast, or pays the Zakat or performs a righteous act, he inevitably remembers Allah. That is why the righteous act emanates from him. Likewise, when a man refrains from an evil act when an opportunity exists for it, even this also is the result of Allah’s remembrance. Thus, the remembrance of Allah pervades the entire life of a believer.
The tafsir of Surah Ankabut verse 45 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Ankabut ayat 44 which provides the complete commentary from verse 44 through 45.
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