Surah Ghafir >> Currently viewing Surah Ghafir Ayat 82 (40:82)

Surah Ghafir Ayat 82 in Arabic Text

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُوا۟ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ كَانُوٓا۟ أَكْثَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَأَشَدَّ قُوَّةًۭ وَءَاثَارًۭا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَمَآ أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا۟ يَكْسِبُونَ
Afalam yaseeroo fil ardi fa yanzuroo kaifa kaana ‘aaqibatul lazeena min qablihim; kaanoo aksara minhum wa ashadda quwwatanw wa aasaaran fil ardi famaaa aghnaa ‘anhum maa kaanoo yaksiboon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 82

Sahih International
Have they not traveled through the land and observed how was the end of those before them? They were more numerous than themselves and greater in strength and in impression on the land, but they were not availed by what they used to earn.

Yusuf Ali
Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the End of those before them? They were more numerous than these and superior in strength and in the traces (they have left) in the land: Yet all that they accomplished was of no profit to them.

Abul Ala Maududi
Did they not journey in the land that they may behold the end of those who had gone before them? They were more numerous and greater in strength and left behind more splendid traces in the land. Yet their attainments did not avail them.

Muhsin Khan
Have they not travelled through the earth and seen what was the end of those before them? They were more numerous than them and mightier in strength, and in the traces (they have left behind them) in the land, yet all that they used to earn availed them not.

Pickthall
Have they not travelled in the land to see the nature of the consequence for those before them? They were more numerous than these, and mightier in power and (in the) traces (which they left behind them) in the earth. But all that they used to earn availed them not.

Dr. Ghali
Have they then not traveled in the earth so they (could) look into how was the end of the ones before them? They were more numerous than themselves, and more valiant in power, and (left) more tracks in the earth; yet in no way did whatever they used to earn avail them.

Abdel Haleem
Have they not travelled through the land and seen how those who lived before them met their end? They were more numerous than them, stronger than them, and made a more impressive mark on the land, yet what they achieved was of no use to them at all.

Quran 40 Verse 82 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ghafir ayat 82, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(40:82) Did[111] they not journey in the land that they may behold the end of those who had gone before them? They were more numerous and greater in strength and left behind more splendid traces in the land. Yet their attainments did not avail them.


111. This is the conclusion to the discourse. While studying this please also keep in view( verses 4-5) and( verse 21) of this Surah.

Ibn-Kathir

82. Have they not traveled through the earth and seen what was the end of those before them They were more in number than them and mightier in strength, and in the traces in the land; yet all that they used to earn availed them not. 83. Then when their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were glad (and proud) with that which they had of the knowledge (of worldly things). And that at which they used to mock, surrounded them. 84. So when they saw Our punishment, they said: “We believe in Allah Alone and reject (all) that we used to associate with Him as (His) partners.” 85. Then their Faith could not avail them when they saw Our punishment. (Like) this has been the way of Allah in dealing with His servants. And there the disbelievers lost utterly.


The Lesson to be learned from what happened to Those Who Came before

Allah tells us about the nations who rejected their Messengers in ancient times. He mentioned the severe punishment they suffered despite their great strength, He mentioned the traces which they left behind in the earth and the great wealth they amassed. None of that availed them anything and could not prevent the punishment of Allah at all. That is because when the Messengers came to them with clear signs and decisive evidence, they did not pay any attention to them. Instead, they were content with the knowledge with them, or so they claimed, and they said that they did not need what the Messengers brought them. Mujahid said, “They said, we know better than them, we will not be resurrected and we will not be punished.” As-Suddi said, “In their ignorance, they rejoiced in what they had of (worldly) knowledge. So Allah sent upon them a punishment which they could not escape or resist.”

﴿وَحَاقَ بِهِم﴾

(and surrounded them.) means, encompassed them.

﴿مَا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ﴾

(that at which they used to mock,) means, that which they used to disbelieve in and said would never happen,

﴿فَلَمَّا رَأَوْاْ بَأْسَنَا﴾

(So when they saw Our punishment,) means, when they saw with their own eyes the punishment which came upon them, they said,

﴿قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ وَكَـفَرْنَا بِمَا كُنَّا بِهِ مُشْرِكِينَ﴾

(We believe in Allah Alone and reject (all) that we used to associate with Him as (His) partners. ) means, they affirmed that Allah is One and denied the false gods, but this was at the time when excuses were to no avail. This is like what Fir`awn said as he was drowning:

﴿ءَامَنتُ أَنَّهُ لا إِلِـهَ إِلاَّ الَّذِى ءَامَنَتْ بِهِ بَنواْ إِسْرَءِيلَ وَأَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ﴾

(I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims.) (10:90) But Allah said:

﴿ءَالَنَ وَقَدْ عَصَيْتَ قَبْلُ وَكُنتَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ ﴾

(Now (you believe) while you refused to believe before and you were one of the the corrupters.) (10:91) meaning, Allah did not accept this from him, because He had answered the prayer of His Prophet Musa, when he said,

﴿وَاشْدُدْ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ فَلاَ يُؤْمِنُواْ حَتَّى يَرَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ الاٌّلِيمَ﴾

(And harden their hearts, so that they will not believe until they see the painful torment) (10:88). Allah says here:

﴿فَلَمْ يَكُ يَنفَعُهُمْ إِيمَـنُهُمْ لَمَّا رَأَوْاْ بَأْسَنَا سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى قَدْ خَلَتْ فِى عِبَادِهِ﴾

(Then their Faith could not avail them when they saw Our punishment. (Like) this has been the way of Allah in dealing with His servants.) means, this is the ruling of Allah concerning all those who repent only when they actually see the punishment: He does not accept that from them. It says in the Hadith:

«إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يَقْبَلُ تَوْبَةَ الْعَبْدِ مَالَمْ يُغَرْغِر»

(Allah will accept the repentance of His servant so long as the death rattle is not sounding in his throat.) Once the death rattle is sounding and the soul has reached the throat, and the dying person actually sees the angel (of death), then he can no longer repent. Allah says:

﴿وَخَسِرَ هُنَالِكَ الْكَـفِرُونَ﴾

(And there the disbelievers lost utterly.) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Ghafir. Praise and thanks be to Allah.

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