Surah Ash-Shu’ara Ayat 149 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 149
And you carve out of the mountains, homes, with skill.
“And ye carve houses out of (rocky) mountains with great skill.
You hew dwellings in mountains and exult in that.
“And you carve houses out of mountains with great skill.
Though ye hew out dwellings in the mountain, being skilful?
And you (skillfully) hew houses out of the mountains?
carving your fine houses from the mountains?
Quran 26 Verse 149 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ash-Shu’ara ayat 149, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(26:149) You hew dwellings in mountains and exult in that.
99. Just as the most prominent feature of the Aad civilization was that they built large edifices with high pillars, so the most prominent feature of the Thamud civilization for which they were known among the ancient peoples was that they carved out dwellings in the hills. That is why in Surah Al-Fajr, the Aad have been referred to as (people) of the pillars, and the Thamud as those who hewed rocks in the valley. These people also built castles on the plains, the purpose and object of which was nothing but display of wealth and power and architectural skill as there was no real necessity for them. These are, in fact, the ways of the perverted people: the poor among them do not have proper shelters, and the wealthy members not only have sufficient fine dwellings but over and above those they raise monuments for ostentation and display.
Some of these Thamudic works exist even today, which I have seen in December, 1959. This place is situated between Al-Madinah and Tabuk, a few miles to the north of Al-Ula (Wad-il-Qura of the Prophet’s time) in Hejaz. The local inhabitants call it Al-Hijr and Madain Salih even today. Al- Ula is still a green and fertile valley abounding in water springs and gardens, but Al-Hijr appears to be an abandoned place. It has thin population, little greenery and a few wells, one of which is said to be the one at which Prophet Salih’s (peace be upon him) she camel used to drink water. This well is now dry and located within a deserted military post of the time of the Turks. When we entered this territory and approached Al-Ula, we found hills which seemed to have been shattered to pieces from top to bottom as if by a violent earthquake. We saw the same kind of hills while travelling to the east, from Al-Ula to Khaibar, for about 50 miles, and towards the north inside Jordan, for about 30 to 40 miles. This indicated that an area, stretching well over 300 to 400 miles in length and 100 miles in width, had been devastated by the terrible earthquake.
A few of the Thamudic type monuments that we saw at Al- Hijr were also found at Madyan along the Gulf of Aqabah and at Petra in Jordan. At Petra, specially, the Thamudic and Nabataean works stand side by side, and their styles and architectural designs are so different that anyone who examines them will find that they were neither built in the same age nor by the same nation. Doughty, the British orientalist, in his attempt to prove the Quran as false, has claimed that the works found at Al-Hijr were not carved out by Thamud but by the Nabataeans. I am of the view that the art of carving houses out of the rocks started with the Thamud, and thousands of years later, in the second and first centuries B.C., it was considerably developed by the Nabataeans and it reached perfection in the works of the caves of Ellora, which were carved out about 700 years after Petra.
The tafsir of Surah Ash-Shura verse 149 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Shura ayat 146 which provides the complete commentary from verse 146 through 152.
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