Surah Rahman >> Currently viewing Surah Rahman Ayat 14 (55:14)

Surah Rahman Ayat 14 in Arabic Text

وَقَلِيلٌۭ مِّنَ ٱلْـَٔاخِرِينَ
Khalaqal insaana min salsaalin kalfakhkhaar

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 14

Sahih International
He created man from clay like [that of] pottery.

Yusuf Ali
He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery,

Abul Ala Maududi
He has created man from dry, rotten clay like the potter’s,

Muhsin Khan
He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery.

Pickthall
He created man of clay like the potter’s,

Dr. Ghali
He created man of dry clay like earthenware,

Abdel Haleem
He created mankind out of dried clay, like pottery,

Quran 55 Verse 14 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Rahman ayat 14, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(55:14) He has created man from dry, rotten clay like the potter’s,[14]


14. The order of the initial stages of the creation of man, as given at different places in the Quran seems to be as follows:

(1) Turab, i.e. earth or dust.

(2) Teen, i.e. clay made by mixing water with earth.

(3) Teen-i-lazib: sticky clay, i.e. a clay which becomes sticky when left alone for a long time.

(4) Hama in musnun, i.e. clay with a stink in it.

(5) Salsal-im-min hema in masnun kalfakhkhar, i.e. the rotten clay which when dried becomes like baked pottery.

(6) Bashar, i.e. the one who was made from this last form of the earth, in whom Allah breathed of His Spirit, to whom the angels were commanded to bow down, and from whose species his mate was created.

(7) Thumma jaala naslahu min sulalatin-min-main mahin: Then spread his progeny by means of an extract of the nature of a despicable water, for which the word nutfah has been used at other places.

For these stages one may look up the following verses of the Quran in sequence: kamasali Adam khalaqa-hu min turab (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 59); badaa khalqal-insani min tin (Surah As-Sajdah, Ayat 7); Inna khalaqna hum min tinillazib (Surah As-Saaffat, Ayat 11): the fourth and fifth stages have been described in the verse being explained, and the later stages in the following verses: Inni khaliq-un basharan min teen. Faidha sawwaitu-hu wa nafakhtu-fihi min-ruhi faqau-lahu sajidin. (Surah Suad, Ayats 71-72); khalaqa-kum min-nafsin wahidatin wa khalaqa min-ha zaujaha wabaththa minhuma rijalan kathiran wa nisaan. (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 1); thumma Jaala naslahu min sulalatin-min mmaa-in-mahin. (Surah As-Sajdah, Ayat 8); fa-inna khalaq-na-kum min turabin thumma min nutfa-tin. (Surah Al-Hajj, Ayat 5).

Ibn-Kathir

14. He created man from sounding clay like the clay of pot tery. 15. And the Jinn He created from a smokeless f lame of f ire. 16. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny 17. The Lord of the two easts and the Lord of the two wests. 18. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny 19. He has Maraj a the two seas meet ing together. 20. Between them is a barrier which none of them can t ransgress. 21. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny 22. Out of them both come out pearls and Al-Marj an. 23. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny 24. And His are Al-Jawar Al-Munsha’at , in the seas like A` lam. 25. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny


The Creation of Humans and Jinns

Allah mentions that He created mankind from clay, like that used in pottery, and created the Jinns from the tip of the flame of a smokeless fire. This was said by Ad-Dahhak from Ibn `Abbas. It was also said by `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Ibn Zayd. Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, “From the best part of the fire, from its smokeless flame.” Imam Ahmad recorded that `A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger said,

«خُلِقَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ نُورٍ، وَخُلِقَ الْجَانُّ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ، وَخُلِقَ آدَمُ مِمَّا وُصِفَ لَكُم»

(The angels were created from light, the Jinns from a smokeless flame of fire, and `Adam from what was described to you.) Muslim also collected this Hadith. Allah’s statement:

﴿فَبِأَىِّ ءَالاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ ﴾

(Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny) was explained above.

Allah is the Lord of the Two Easts and the Two Wests

Allah said,

﴿رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ وَرَبُّ الْمَغْرِبَيْنِ ﴾

((He is) the Lord of the two easts and the Lord of the two wests.) meaning the sunrise of summer and winter and the sunset of summer and winter. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿فَلاَ أُقْسِمُ بِرَبِّ الْمَشَـرِقِ وَالْمَغَـرِبِ﴾

(So, I swear by the Lord of all the points of sunrise and sunset in the east and the west.)(70:40), referring to the different places from which the sun rises and then sets on people every day. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿رَّبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلاً ﴾

(The Lord of the east and the west; none has the right to be worshipped but He. So take Him alone as a trustee.)(73:9), referring to the different places of sunrise and sunset and the benefits that this variation brings to the created, mankind and Jinns,

﴿فَبِأَىِّ ءَالاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ ﴾

(Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny)

Allah created Different Types of Water

Allah said,

﴿مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ ﴾

(He has Maraja the two seas), or let them loose, according to Ibn `Abbas. Allah’s statement,

﴿يَلْتَقِيَانِ﴾

(meeting together.) Ibn Zayd said, “He prevents them from meeting by the dividing barrier He placed between them to separate them.” The two seas are the fresh and salty waters, the former coming from running rivers. We discussed this topic in Surat Al-Furqan when explaining Allah’s statement;

﴿وَهُوَ الَّذِى مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ هَـذَا عَذْبٌ فُرَاتٌ وَهَـذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخاً وَحِجْراً مَّحْجُوراً ﴾

(And it is He Who has let free the two seas: one palatable and sweet, and the other salty and bitter; and He has set a barrier and a complete partition between them.)(25:53) Allah said,

﴿بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لاَّ يَبْغِيَانِ ﴾

(Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress.) meaning, He has placed a barrier of land between these two types of waters, so that they do not transgress upon each other, which would spoil the characteristics they were created with. Allah said,

﴿يَخْرُجُ مِنْهُمَا الُّلؤْلُؤُ وَالمَرْجَانُ ﴾

(Out of them both come out pearls and Al-Marjan. ) pearls are well-known. As for Marjan they say it means small pearls. Mujahid, Qatadah, Abu Ruzayn, Ad-Dahhak said it, and it has also been reported from `Ali. It was also said that it means large, precious pearls, this was mentioned by Ibn Jarir from some of the Salaf. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Ibn `Abbas who said, “When it rains, the oysters in the sea open their mouths. What falls in them, the drops, turns into pearls.” Its chain of narrators is Sahih. Since this type of adornment is a favor from Allah to the people of earth, He reminded them of it,

﴿فَبِأَىِّ ءَالاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ ﴾

(Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny) Allah said,

﴿وَلَهُ الْجَوَارِ الْمُنشَئَاتُ﴾

(And His are Al-Jawar Al-Munsha’at), meaning the ships that float,

﴿فِى الْبَحْرِ﴾

(in the seas), Mujahid said, “Whatever ship hoists a sail, it is from Munsha’at, if it does not hoist a sail, it is not from the Munsha’at.” Qatadah said, “Al-Munsha’at means created.” Others said that it is Al-Munshi’at meaning, “launched.”

﴿كَالاٌّعْلَـمِ﴾

(like A`lam.) This means, they are like mountains with their great size, and it also refers to the trade and commercial services they make possible, transporting cargo from one area to another and from one province to another. Ships provide various benefits for people, including transporting different types of goods they need. Therefore,

﴿فَبِأَىِّ ءَالاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ ﴾

(Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny)

﴿كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ – وَيَبْقَى وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلْـلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ فَبِأَىِّ ءَالاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ ﴾

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