Surah Sajdah Ayat 3 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 3
Or do they say, “He invented it”? Rather, it is the truth from your Lord, [O Muhammad], that you may warn a people to whom no warner has come before you [so] perhaps they will be guided.
Or do they say, “He has forged it”? Nay, it is the Truth from thy Lord, that thou mayest admonish a people to whom no warner has come before thee: in order that they may receive guidance.
Or do they say: “He has fabricated it?” Nay, it is the Truth from your Lord so that you may warn a people to whom no warner came before you; perhaps they will be guided to the Right Way.
Or say they: “He (Muhammad SAW) has fabricated it?” Nay, it is the truth from your Lord, that you may warn a people to whom no warner has come before you (O Muhammad SAW), in order that they may be guided.
Or say they: He hath invented it? Nay, but it is the Truth from thy Lord, that thou mayst warn a folk to whom no warner came before thee, that haply they may walk aright.
Or even do they say, “He has fabricated it?” No indeed, (but) it is the Truth from your Lord, that you may warn a people; in no way did (any) warner come up to them even before you, that possibly they would be guided.
Yet they say, ‘Muhammad has made it up.’ No indeed! It is the Truth from your Lord for you [Prophet], to warn a people who have had no one to warn them before, so that they may be guided.
Quran 32 Verse 3 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Sajdah ayat 3, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(32:3) Or do they say: “He has fabricated it?” Nay, it is the Truth from your Lord so that you may warn a people to whom no warner came before you; perhaps they will be guided to the Right Way.
2. After the above introductory sentence, the first objection of the polytheists of Makkah, which they raised concerning the Prophethood of the Prophet (peace be upon him), is being dealt with.
3. This is not merely a question but also an expression of great surprise and astonishment. It means to imply this: In spite of all those things on account of which this Book is, without any doubt, a revelation from Allah, do those people yet say stubbornly that Muhammad (peace be upon him) has himself forged it and is falsely attributing it to Allah? Don’t they feel any shame in uttering such a senseless and baseless accusation? Don’t they at all realize what opinion will those people form who are aware of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his work and his discourses and also understand the Book, when they hear their absurd accusation?
4. Just as in the first verse it was considered sufficient to say, “It is without any doubt the Book of God,” and no further argument was needed to be advanced to prove the Quran to be divine word, so in this verse also the only thing being said to refine the disbelievers’ charge that the Quran was being forged is: “It is the truth from your Lord.” The reason for it is the same as we have given in( E.N. 1) above. The listeners were well aware of the person who was presenting the Quran, of the environment in which he was presenting it and the confidence and grace with which he was presenting it; they also knew the Book, its diction and literary excellence and its themes; they were also feeling the influence and impact it was having on contemporary society of Makkah. Under those conditions the Book’s being the truth sent down by the Lord of the Worlds, was such an evident factual reality that the mere mention of it in clear and definite terms was enough to refute the accusation of the disbelievers. Any attempt to strengthen this assertion by resort to reasoning would have caused it to be weakened instead. The case would be like this. Supposing it is day and the sun is shining bright, and a stubborn person calls it a dark night. To refute him it would be enough to say: “Do you call it a night when the bright day is clearly visible all around.” If after this, one tried to bring logical arguments to prove the day to be day. it would not in any way strengthen the reply but would rather weaken it instead.
5. That is; “Just, as its being the truth and a revelation from Allah is absolutely certain, so is its being based on wisdom and Allah’s mercy for you also evident. You yourselves know that for the past many centuries no prophet has been raised among you, and you also know that your entire nation has been involved in ignorance and moral degeneration and sheer backwardness. In a state like this if a Prophet (peace be upon him) has been raised among you to awaken you and show you the right way, you should not be surprised. This was a great need which Allah has fulfilled for the sake of your own welfare and wellbeing.”
One should note that in Arabia the light of the true faith was first of all spread by the Prophets Hud and Salih (peace be upon them), who lived in the pre-historic age. They were followed by the Prophets Abraham and Ishmael, who lived 2,500 years before the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). After them the last Prophet to be raised in Arabia before the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the Prophet Shuaib (peace be upon him), who had passed about 2,000 years earlier. This is a very long period. That is why it has been said, and rightly so, that no warner had come to those people. This did not mean that no warner had ever come to them, but it meant that the people had long stood in need of a warner.
Here, another question may arise in the minds, which should be answered straightaway. One may ask: When no Prophet had come to the Arabs for hundreds of years before the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), what would be the basis of accountability of the people who had lived in that age of ignorance? They could not tell guidance from deviation and error. Then, if they had gone astray, how could they be held responsible for their deviation? The answer is this: The detailed knowledge of the true faith might have been lost to those people, but even in that age of ignorance the people were not unaware that the true faith was based on Tauhid, and the Prophets had never taught idol-worship to their followers. This truth was also contained in those traditions which the Arabs had received from the Prophets born in their own land, and they were also aware of this through the teachings of the Prophets Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus (peace be upon them) who had been born in the land adjoining their own. In the traditions of Arabia, it was also well known that in the earliest times the Arabs’ real religion was the religion of Abraham and that idol-worship had been introduced among them by a person named Amr bin Luhay. In spite of the prevalence of shirk and idol-worship, there were living in different parts of Arabia many such people, who rejected shirk, professed Tauhid and openly condemned offering of sacrifices at the shrines of idols. In the age close to the Prophet’s own, there had passed people who were known as Hunafa. These people publicly professed Tauhid as the basis of the faith and declared their dissociation from the religion of the mushriks. Obviously they had received this concept from whatever had remained behind from the influence of the teaching of the Prophets. Moreover, the inscriptions belonging to the 4th and 5th centuries A.D. which have been discovered in Yaman as a result of modern archaeological research and investigation, reveal that a monotheistic religion existed there in that age, whose followers acknowledged ar-Rahman (the All-Merciful) and Rabb-us-sama walard (Lord of the heavens and earth) alone as the One and only deity. An inscription. dated 378 A.D. has been found from the ruins of a house of worship, which says that this house of worship has been built for the worship of “God of heavens” or “Lord of heavens”. In an inscription of 465 A.D. there are words which clearly point to the doctrine of Tauhid. Similarly, an inscription of 512 A.D. has been discovered at Zabad, a place between the river Euphrates and Qinnasrin, in northern Arabia, bearing the words: Bismilahu, laizza illa lahu, la shukra, illa lahv. All this shows that before the advent of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the teachings of the former Prophets had not altogether been forgotten, and there still existed many means which at least reminded man of the truth: “Your God is only One God.” (For further explanation, see (E.N. 84 of Surah Al-Furqan).
The tafsir of Surah Sajdah verse 3 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Sajdah ayat 1 which provides the complete commentary from verse 1 through 3.
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