Surah Al-Isra >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Isra Ayat 59 (17:59)

Surah Al-Isra Ayat 59 in Arabic Text

وَمَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِٱلْـَٔايَـٰتِ إِلَّآ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ ۚ وَءَاتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ ٱلنَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةًۭ فَظَلَمُوا۟ بِهَا ۚ وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِٱلْـَٔايَـٰتِ إِلَّا تَخْوِيفًۭا
Wa maa mana’anaaa an nursila bil aayaati illaaa an kazzaba bihal awwaloon; wa aatainaa Samoodan naaqata mubsiratan fazalamoo bihaa; wa maa nursilu bil aayaati illaa takhweefaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 59

Sahih International
And nothing has prevented Us from sending signs except that the former peoples denied them. And We gave Thamud the she-camel as a visible sign, but they wronged her. And We send not the signs except as a warning.

Yusuf Ali
And We refrain from sending the signs, only because the men of former generations treated them as false: We sent the she-camel to the Thamud to open their eyes, but they treated her wrongfully: We only send the Signs by way of terror (and warning from evil).

Abul Ala Maududi
Nothing hindered Us from sending Our Signs except that the people of olden times rejected them as lies. We publicly sent the she-camel to the Thamud to open their eyes but they wronged her. We never send Our Signs except to cause people to fear.

Muhsin Khan
And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs) but that the people of old denied them. And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong. And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction).

Pickthall
Naught hindereth Us from sending portents save that the folk of old denied them. And We gave Thamud the she-camel – a clear portent save to warn.

Dr. Ghali
And nothing prevented Us from sending the signs except that the earliest (people) cried lies to them; and We brought Thamû‍d the she-camel (as) (a thing) beheld, (i.e., for them to behold) yet they did an injustice regarding her. And in no way do We send the signs except for frightening.

Abdel Haleem
Nothing prevents Us from sending miraculous signs, except the fact that previous peoples denied them. We gave the people of Thamud the she-camel as a clear sign, yet they maltreated it. We send signs only to give warning.

Quran 17 Verse 59 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 59, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(17:59) Nothing hindered Us from sending Our Signs[67] except that the people of olden times rejected them as lies. We publicly sent the she-camel to the Thamud to open their eyes but they wronged her.[68] We never send Our Signs except to cause people to fear.[69]


67. Here signs mean those visible miracles which are presented as a proof of Prophethood. The disbelievers from among the Quraish were demanding such signs over and over again.

68. This is to warn the disbelievers, as if to say: It is the mercy of Allah that He is not showing such a sign so that you might mend your ways but in your folly you presume that such a sign cannot be presented. You should know that a sign is not being sent because its denial inevitably brings chastisement and the community is annihilated. You can learn from the past history that those communities which disbelieved in the open signs were utterly destroyed, such as the people of Thamud.

69. That is, miracles are not shown for fun. These are meant to warn the people that the Prophet is being helped by the Almighty and that they should realize the terrible consequences of disobedience.

Ibn-Kathir

59. And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them. And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong. And We sent not the signs except to make them afraid (of destruction).


The Reason why Allah did not send Signs or Miracles

Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “The idolators said: `O Muhammad, you claim that before you there were Prophets, among whom was one to whom the wind was subjugated, and another who could bring the dead back to life. If you want us to believe in you, ask your Lord to turn As-Safa’ into gold for us.’ Allah conveyed to him by inspiration (Wahy): `I have heard what they have said. If you wish, I will do what they say, but if they do not believe after that, the punishment will come down upon them, because after the sign has been sent, there is no room for speculation. Or if you wish, I will be patient with your people and give them more time.’ He said:

«يَارَبِّ اسْتَأْنِ بِهِم»

(O Lord, give them more time.)” This was also narrated by Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and others. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “The people of Makkah asked the Prophet to turn As-Safa’ into gold for them, and to remove the mountains (from around Makkah) so that they could cultivate the land. It was said to him (by Allah): `If you wish, I will be patient and give them more time, or if you wish, I will do what they are asking, but if they then disbelieve, they will be destroyed as the nations before them were destroyed.’ He said,

«لَا، بَلِ اسْتَأْنِ بِهِم»

(No, be patient and give them more time.) Then Allah revealed:

﴿وَمَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا الاٌّوَّلُونَ﴾

(And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them. ) An-Nasa’i also reported this from the Hadith of Jarir. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said: The Quraysh said to the Prophet , “Ask your Lord to turn As-Safa’ into gold and we will believe in you.” He said,

«وَتَفْعَلُونَ؟»

(Will you really do that) They said, “Yes.” So he asked his Lord, and Jibril came to him and said: “Your Lord conveys His Salam to you and says, `If you wish, I will turn As-Safa’ into gold for them, then whoever of them disbelieves after that, will be punished with a torment the like of which has never be seen in creation; or if you wish, I will open the gates of repentance and mercy for them.”’ He said,

«بَلْ بَابُ التَّوْبَةِ وَالرَّحْمَة»

(Rather the gates of repentance and mercy.)

﴿وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ تَخْوِيفًا﴾

(And We sent not the signs except to make them afraid (of destruction).) Qatadah said, “Allah makes people afraid with whatever signs He wills, so that they may learn a lesson and remember and return to Him. We were told that Al-Kufah was shaken at the time of Ibn Mas`ud, who said: `O people, your Lord is rebuking you, so pay heed!”’ Similarly, it was reported that Al-Madinah was struck by several earthquakes at the time of `Umar bin Al-Khattab. `Umar said: “You have changed, by Allah, and if such a quake were to strike again, I will subject you to such and such.” The Prophet said, in a Hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon:

«إِنَّ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ آيَتَانِ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللهِ وَإِنَّهُمَا لَا يَنْكَسِفَانِ لِمَوْتِ أَحَدٍ وَلَا لِحَيَاتِهِ، وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُخَوِّفُ بِهِمَا عِبَادَهُ، فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ ذَلِكَ فَافْزَعُوا إِلَى ذِكْرِهِ وَدُعَائِهِ وَاسْتِغْفَارِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ: يَا أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَاللهِ مَا أَحَدٌ أَغْيَرَ مِنَ اللهِ أَنْ يَزْنِيَ عَبْدُهُ أَوْ تَزْنِيَ أَمَتُهُ، يَا أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَاللهِ لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ مَا أَعْلَمُ لَضَحِكْتُمْ قَلِيلًا وَلَبَكَيْتُمْ كَثِيرًا»

(The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah, and they are not eclipsed for the death or life of anyone. Allah uses them to make His servants afraid, so if you see them, hasten to remember Him, call on Him and seek His forgiveness.) Then he said: (O Ummah of Muhammad, by Allah, no one has a greater sense of jealousy than Allah if He sees His servant, or female servant, committing Zina (illegal sexual intercourse). O Ummah of Muhammad, if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much.)

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