Surah Hud >> Currently viewing Surah Hud Ayat 17 (11:17)

Surah Hud Ayat 17 in Arabic Text

أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍۢ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦ وَيَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌۭ مِّنْهُ وَمِن قَبْلِهِۦ كِتَـٰبُ مُوسَىٰٓ إِمَامًۭا وَرَحْمَةً ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِۦ ۚ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِۦ مِنَ ٱلْأَحْزَابِ فَٱلنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُۥ ۚ فَلَا تَكُ فِى مِرْيَةٍۢ مِّنْهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ ٱلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
Afaman kaana ‘ala baiyinatim mir Rabbihee wa yatloohu shaahidum minhu wa min qablihee Kitaabu Moosaaa imaamanw wa rahmah; ulaaa ‘ika yu’minoona bih; wa mai yakfur bihee minal Ahzaabi fan Naaru maw’iduh; falaa taku fee miryatim minh; innahul haqqu mir Rabbika wa laakinna aksaran naasi laa yu’minoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 17

Sahih International
So is one who [stands] upon a clear evidence from his Lord [like the aforementioned]? And a witness from Him follows it, and before it was the Scripture of Moses to lead and as mercy. Those [believers in the former revelations] believe in the Qur’an. But whoever disbelieves in it from the [various] factions – the Fire is his promised destination. So be not in doubt about it. Indeed, it is the truth from your Lord, but most of the people do not believe.

Yusuf Ali
Can they be (like) those who accept a Clear (Sign) from their Lord, and whom a witness from Himself doth teach, as did the Book of Moses before it,- a guide and a mercy? They believe therein; but those of the Sects that reject it,- the Fire will be their promised meeting-place. Be not then in doubt thereon: for it is the truth from thy Lord: yet many among men do not believe!

Abul Ala Maududi
Can it happen that he who takes his stand on a clear evidence from his Lord, subsequently followed by a witness from Him (in his support), and prior to that the Book of Moses was revealed as a guide and a mercy, (would even he deny the truth in the manner of those who adore the life of this world)? Rather, such men are bound to believe in it. The Fire shall be the promised resort of the groups that disbelieve. So be in no doubt about it for this indeed is the truth from your Lord although most people do not believe.

Muhsin Khan
Can they (Muslims) who rely on a clear proof (the Quran) from their Lord, and whom a witness [Prophet Muhammad SAW through Jibrael (Gabriel)] from Him follows it (can they be equal with the disbelievers); and before it, came the Book of Musa (Moses), a guidance and a mercy, they believe therein, but those of the sects (Jews, Christians and all the other non-Muslim nations) that reject it (the Quran), the Fire will be their promised meeting-place. So be not in doubt about it (i.e. those who denied Prophet Muhammad SAW and also denied all that which he brought from Allah, surely, they will enter Hell). Verily, it is the truth from your Lord, but most of the mankind believe not.

Pickthall
Is he (to be counted equal with them) who relieth on a clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him reciteth it, and before it was the Book of Moses, an example and a mercy? Such believe therein, and whoso disbelieveth therein of the clans, the Fire is his appointed place. So be not thou in doubt concerning it. Lo! it is the Truth from thy Lord; but most of mankind believe not.

Dr. Ghali
So, is he who (depends) upon a Supreme evidence from his Lord, and a witness from Him recites it 108 (equal to a disbeliever)? And even before him is the Book of Mû‍sa (Moses) for a leader (i.e., Literally:Iman = guide) and a mercy? Those believe in it; and whoever disbelieves in it from (among) the parties, then the Fire is his promised (reward). So do not be (engaged in) wrangling about it; surely it is the Truth from your Lord, but most of mankind do not believe.

Abdel Haleem
Can they be compared to those who have clear proof from their Lord, recited by a witness from Him, and before it the Book of Moses, as a guide and mercy? These people believe in it, whereas those groups that deny its truth are promised the Fire. So have no doubt about it [Prophet]: it is the Truth from your Lord, though most people do not believe so.

Quran 11 Verse 17 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Hud ayat 17, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(11:17) Can it happen that he who takes his stand on a clear evidence from his Lord,[17] subsequently followed by a witness from Him (in his support),[18] and prior to that the Book of Moses was revealed as a guide and a mercy, (would even he deny the truth in the manner of those who adore the life of this world)? Rather, such men are bound to believe in it.[19] The Fire shall be the promised resort of the groups that disbelieve. So be in no doubt about it for this indeed is the truth from your Lord although most people do not believe.


17. This shows that even apart from revelation, there is ample evidence in man’s own self, in the structure of the heavens and the earth, and in the order that prevails in the universe to prove that God is the only creator, master, lord and sovereign of the universe. The evidence referred to above also inclines man to believe that the present life will be followed by another one in which man will be required to render an account of his deeds and wherein he might be requited.

18. The “witness from Him” is the Quran. The testimony of the natural phenomena combined with that provided by man’s own self had already created in man the disposition to affirm the truths mentioned earlier. All that was further reinforced by the Quran which came as reassurance that what he was predisposed to believe in was indeed true.

19. In the present context the verse means that those who are overly infatuated with the allurements of a worldly life will be inclined to reject the message of the Quran. Distinguishable from these are those who take full note of the testimony furnished by their own beings and by the structure and order prevailing in the universe in support of God’s unity. This testimony was further reinforced by the heavenly books revealed before the Quran. How could such persons close their eyes to such overwhelming testimony as this and join their voice with those of the unbelievers?

This verse clearly indicates that even before the Quran was revealed, the Prophet (peace be on him) had reached the stage of belief in the Unseen. We have seen, in (Surah Al- Anam Ayat 75), the case of Abraham. Before being appointed as a Prophet, Abraham (peace be on him) was led by a careful observation of the natural phenomena to knowledge of God’s unity. Likewise, the present verse makes it clear that by his reflection, the Prophet (peace be on him), had been led to believe in the Unseen even before the Quran was revealed. Subsequently, when the Quran was revealed it not only confirmed what he had already become inclined to accept, but also provided definite knowledge about it.

Ibn-Kathir

17. Can they who rely on a clear proof from their Lord, and whom a witness from Him recites (follows) it; and before it, came the Book of Musa, a guidance and a mercy, they believe therein, but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place. So be not in doubt about it. Verily, it is the truth from your Lord, but most of mankind believe not.


The One Who believes in the Qur’an is upon Clear Proof from His Lord

Allah, the Exalted, informs of the condition of the believers who are upon the natural religion of Allah, which He made inherent in His creatures. This is based upon their confession to Him that there is none worthy of worship except He. This is similar to Allah’s statement,

﴿فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفاً فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا﴾

(So set you your face towards the religion, Hanifan. Allah’s Fitrah with which He has created mankind.) ﴿30:30﴾, In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَجِّسَانِهِ كَمَا تُولَدُ الْبَهِيمَةُ بَهِيمَةً جَمْعَاءَ هَلْ تُحِسُّونَ فِيهَا مِنْ جَدْعَاءَ؟»

(Every child is born upon the Fitrah, but his parents make him a Jew, Christian, or Magian. This is just as the calf that is born whole. Have you noticed any calves that are born mutilated) In Sahih Muslim it is recorded that `Iyad bin Himar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى: إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ فَجَاءَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينهِمْ وَحَرَّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ مَا أَحْلَلْتُ لَهُمْ،وَأَمَرَتْهُمْ أَنْ يُشْرِكُوا بِي مَا لَمْ أُنْزِلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا»

(Allah, the Exalted, says, `Verily, I created my servants Hunafa’, but the devils came to them and distracted them from their religion. They made unlawful for them what I had made lawful for them and they commanded them to associate partners with Me, concerning which no authority has been revealed.) Therefore, the believer is one who remains upon this Fitrah. Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَيَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْهُ﴾

(and whom a witness from Him recites (follows) it;) This means that a witness comes to him from Allah. That witness is the pure, perfect and magnificent legislation that Allah revealed to the Prophets. These legislations were finalized with the legislation (Shari`ah) of Muhammad . The believer has the natural disposition that bears witness to (the truth of) the general legislation, and accepts that specific laws are taken from the general legislation. The Fitrah accepts the Shari`ah and believes in it. For this reason Allah, the Exalted, says,

﴿أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ وَيَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْهُ﴾

(Can they who rely on a clear proof from their Lord, and whom a witness from Him recites (follows) it;) This clear proof which is recited is the Qur’an, which Jibril conveyed to the Prophet and the Prophet Muhammad conveyed it to his Ummah. Then Allah says,

﴿وَمِن قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسَى﴾

(and before it, came the Book of Musa,) This means that before the Qur’an, there was the Book of Musa, the Tawrah.

﴿إَمَامًا وَرَحْمَةً﴾

(a guidance and a mercy) This means that Allah, the Exalted, revealed it to that Ummah as a leader for them and a guide for them to follow, as a mercy from Allah upon them. Therefore, whoever believed in it with true faith, then it would lead him to believe in the Qur’an as well. For this reason Allah said,

﴿أُوْلَـئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ﴾

(they believe therein) Then Allah, the Exalted, threatens those who reject the Qur’an, or any part of it, by saying,

﴿وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الاٌّحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ﴾

(but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place.) This is directed towards everyone on the face of the earth who disbelieves in the Qur’an, whether they are idolators, disbelievers, People of the Scripture, or other sects from the descendants of Adam. This applies to all whom the Qur’an reaches, regardless of their differences in color, appearance, or nationality. As Allah says,

﴿لاٌّنذِرَكُمْ بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ﴾

(that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach. ) ﴿6:19﴾ Allah, the Exalted, said,

﴿قُلْ يَأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا﴾

(Say: “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah.”) Allah says,

﴿وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الاٌّحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ﴾

(but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place.) In Sahih Muslim it is recorded that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ (أَوْ) نَصْرَانِيٌّ ثُمَّ لَا يُؤْمِنُ بِي إِلَّا دَخَلَ النَّار»

(By He in Whose Hand is my soul! there is no one of this Ummah, whether he be a Jew or Christian, who hears of me and does not believe in me, except that he will enter the Hell- fire.)

Every Hadith is confirmed by the Qur’an

Ayyub As-Sakhtiyani reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr that he said, “I did not hear any Hadith of the Prophet , substantiated as he stated it, except that I found its confirmation in the Qur’an. (The narrator said, “Or he said, `I found its verification in the Qur’an.”’) Thus, it reached me that the Prophet said,

«لَا يَسْمَعُ بِي أَحَدٌ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ يَهُودِيٌّ وَلَا نَصْرَانِيٌّ ثُمَّ لَا يُؤْمِنُ بِي إِلَّا دَخَلَ النَّار»

(There is no one of this Ummah, whether he be a Jew or Christian, who hears of me and does not believe in me, except that he will enter the Hellfire.) Therefore, I said, `Where is its verification in the Book of Allah Most of what I have heard reported from the Messenger of Allah , I have found its verification in the Qur’an.’ Then I found this verse,

﴿وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الاٌّحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ﴾

(but those of the sects that reject it (the Qur`an), the Fire will be their promised meeting place.) And this means from all religions.” Then Allah says,

﴿فَلاَ تَكُ فِى مِرْيَةٍ مِّنْهُ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ﴾

(So be not in doubt about it. Verily, it is the truth from your Lord,) This means that the Qur’an is the truth from Allah and there is no doubt or suspicion concerning it. This is as Allah says,

﴿الم – ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴾

(Alif Lam Mim. The revelations of the Book in which there is no doubt, is from the Lord of all that exists!)﴿32:1-2﴾ Allah, the Exalted, says,

﴿الم ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ﴾

(Alif Lam Mim. This is the Book in which there is no doubt.) ﴿2:1-2﴾ The Ayah;

﴿وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ﴾

(but most of mankind believe not.) is similar to Allah’s statement,

﴿وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴾

(And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly.)﴿12:103﴾ Likewise, Allah says,

﴿وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ﴾

(And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path.) Allah also says,

﴿وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُ فَاتَّبَعُوهُ إِلاَّ فَرِيقاً مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴾

(And indeed Iblis did prove true his thought about them: and they followed him, all except a group of true believers.)﴿34:20﴾

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