Surah Fussilat Ayat 33 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 33
And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.”
Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says, “I am of those who bow in Islam”?
And who is fairer in speech than he who calls to Allah and acts righteously and says: “I am a Muslim”?
And who is better in speech than he who [says: “My Lord is Allah (believes in His Oneness),” and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allah’s (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: “I am one of the Muslims.”
And who is better in speech than him who prayeth unto his Lord and doeth right, and saith: Lo! I am of those who are muslims (surrender unto Him).
And who is fairer in speech than he who calls to Allah, and does righteousness, and says, “Surely I (myself ) am one of the Muslims”? (i.e., those who surrender (to Allah)
Who speaks better than someone who calls people to God, does what is right, and says, ‘I am one of those devoted to God’?
Quran 41 Verse 33 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Fussilat ayat 33, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(41:33) And who is fairer in speech than he who calls to Allah and acts righteously and says: “I am a Muslim”?
36. After consoling and encouraging the believers, now they are being exhorted towards their real duty. In the preceding verse they were told: Being firm in the service to Allah and standing steadfast on this way after adopting it is by itself the basic good, which makes man a friend of the angels and worthy of Paradise. Now they are being told: The next thing which wins man the highest place of honor is that he should do good deeds himself and should invite others to the service of Allah, and even in the environment of severe antagonism where to proclaim Islam is tantamount to inviting hardships for oneself, one should firmly say that one is a Muslim. To understand the full significance of these words, one should keep in view the conditions in which they were said. The conditions were that anyone who proclaimed to be a Muslim would feel as if he had stepped into a jungle of beasts, where everyone was rushing at him to tear him into pieces. More than that, if anyone opened his mouth to preach Islam he would feel as if he had called on the beasts to come and devour him. Such were the conditions when it was said: A person’s believing in Allah as his Lord and adopting the right way and standing steadfast on it is indeed a great and fundamental good, but the greatest good is that man should boldly say that he is a Muslim and should invite others towards Allah’s service, fearless of the consequences, and while performing this duty should remain so pure and pious in conduct and character that no one should have a cause to find fault with Islam and with those who uphold it.
33. And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds, and says: “I am one of the Muslims.” 34. The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. 35. But none is granted it except those who are patient — and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion in this world. 36. And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
(And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah,) means, he calls the servants of Allah to Him.
(and does righteous deeds, and says: “I am one of the Muslims.”) means, he himself follows that which he says, so it benefits him as well as others. He is not one of those who enjoin good but do not do it themselves, or who forbid evil yet they do it themselves. He does good and avoids doing evil, and he calls people to their Creator, may He be blessed and exalted. This is general in meaning and applies to everyone who calls people to what is good and is himself guided by what he says. The Messenger of Allah is the foremost among people in this regard, as Muhammad bin Sirin, As-Suddi and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said. It was also said that what was meant here is the righteous Mu’adhdhin, as it was mentioned in Sahih Muslim:
(The Mu’adhdhins will be the ones with the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection.)” In As-Sunan it is reported that the Prophet said:
(The Imam is a guarantor and the Mu’adhdhin is in a position of trust. May Allah guide the Imams and forgive the Mu’adhdhin.)” The correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, and includes the Mu’adhdhin and others. When this Ayah was revealed, the Adhan had not been prescribed at all. The Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and the Adhan was prescribed in Al-Madinah after the Hijrah, when it was shown to `Abdullah bin `Abd Rabbihi Al-Ansari in a dream. He told the Messenger of Allah about it, and he told him to teach it to Bilal, may Allah be pleased with him, who had a more beautiful voice, as we have discussed elsewhere. So the correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, as `Abdur-Razzaq said, narrating from Ma`mar, from Al-Hasan Al-Basri, who recited this Ayah:
(And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds, and says: “I am one of the Muslims.”) and said, “This is the beloved of Allah, this is the close friend of Allah, this is the chosen one of Allah, this is the most beloved of the all the people of earth to Allah. He responded to the call of Allah and called mankind to that to which he had responded. He did righteous deeds in response and said, `I am one of the Muslims.’ This is Allah’s Khalifah.”
(The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal.) means, there is a huge difference between them.
(Repel (the evil) with one which is better,) means, `when someone does you wrong, repel him by treating him well,’ as `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “There is no better punishment for one who has disobeyed Allah with regard to you, than your obeying Allah with regard to him.”
(then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.) means, `if you treat well those who treat you badly, this good deed will lead to reconciliation, love and empathy, and it will be as if he is a close friend to you and he will feel pity for you and be kind to you.’ Then Allah says:
(But none is granted it except those who are patient) meaning, no one accepts this advice and works according to it, except for those who can be patient in doing so, for it is difficult for people to do.
(and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion) means, the one who has a great portion of happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas explained this Ayah: “Allah commands the believers to be patient when they feel angry, to be forbearing when confronted with ignorance, and to forgive when they are mistreated. If they do this, Allah will save them from the Shaytan and subdue their enemies to them until they become like close friends.”
(And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allah.) means, the devils among men may be deceived by your kind treatment of him, but the devils among the Jinn, when they insinuate their evil whispers, cannot be dealt with except by seeking refuge with the Creator Who gave him power over you. If you seek refuge with Allah and turn to Him, He will stop him from harming you and bring his efforts to naught. When the Messenger of Allah stood up to pray, he would say:
(I seek refuge in Allah the All-Hearing, All-Knowing, from the accursed Shaytan and his evil insinuations, breath and impurity.)” We have already stated that there is nothing like this in the Qur’an, apart from the passage in Surat Al-A`raf, where Allah says:
(Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish. And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.) (7:199-200) and the passage in Surat Al-Mu’minun where Allah says:
(Repel evil with that which is better. We are Best-Acquainted with the things they utter. And say: “My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the Shayatin. And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.”) (23:96-98)
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