Surah Jathiya Ayat 23 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 23
Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? So who will guide him after Allah? Then will you not be reminded?
Then seest thou such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire? Allah has, knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart (and understanding), and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah (has withdrawn Guidance)? Will ye not then receive admonition?
Did you ever consider the case of him who took his desire as his god, and then Allah caused him to go astray despite knowledge, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and cast a veil over his sight? Who, after Allah, can direct him to the Right Way? Will you not take heed?
Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god), and Allah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?
Hast thou seen him who maketh his desire his god, and Allah sendeth him astray purposely, and sealeth up his hearing and his heart, and setteth on his sight a covering? Then who will lead him after Allah (hath condemned him)? Will ye not then heed?
So have you seen him who has taken to him his prejudice to be his god, and Allah has led him into error in spite of a knowledge, (i.e., although he had (some) knowledge) and has sealed his hearing and his heart, and made an envelopment on his beholding? (i.e., eyesight) Who will then guide him ever after Allah? Will you then not be mindful?
[Prophet], consider the one who has taken his own desire as a god, whom God allows to stray in the face of knowledge, sealing his ears and heart and covering his eyes- who can guide such a person after God [has done this]? Will you [people] not take heed?
Quran 45 Verse 23 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Jathiya ayat 23, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(45:23) Did you ever consider the case of him who took his desire as his god, and then Allah caused him to go astray despite knowledge, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and cast a veil over his sight? Who, after Allah, can direct him to the Right Way? Will you not take heed?
30. “Desire his god” implies that one should become a slave of his lusts and desires. He should do whatever he likes whether God has forbidden it, and should not do what he dislikes, whether God has made it obligatory. When a man starts obeying somebody like this, it means that his deity is not God but the one whom he is obeying without question, no matter whether he calls him his lord (with the tongue) or not, and carves out an image of him and worship him or not. For when he has worshiped him directly without question, it is enough to make him a deity and after this practical shirk one cannot be absolved from the guilt of shirk only because he did not call the object of his worship as his deity with the tongue, nor prostrated himself before it. The major commentators also have given the same commentary of this verse. Ibn Jarir says: The forbidden things by Allah are forbidden. He does not regard the things made lawful by Him as lawful. Abu Bakr al-Jassas gives this meaning: He obeys his desires as one should obey his God. Zamakhshari explains it, thus: He is obedient to the desires of his self. He follows his self wherever it beckons him, as if he serves him as one should serve his God. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 56 of Surah Al- Furqan); (E.N. 63 of Surah Saba); (E.N. 53 of Surah YaSeen), and (E.N. 38 of Surah Ash-Shura).
31. The words adalla hulla-huala ilm-in may either mean: The person in spite of being knowledgeable was driven astray by Allah, for he had become a slave of his desires; or Allah, by virtue of His knowledge that he had made his desires as his god, drove him astray.
32. For the commentary of letting a person go astray and setting a seal upon his heart and ears and a covering on his eyes, see (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 7, 18); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 25 and E.N. 28); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 100); (Surah At- Taubah, Ayats 87, 93); (Surah Younus, Ayat 74 and E.N. 73); (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 27); (Surah Ibrahim, Ayats 4, 27); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayat 108); (Surah Bani-Israil, Ayat 46); (Surah Ar-Room, Ayat 59); (Surah Fatir, Ayat 8 and E.Ns 16, 17), and (E.N. 54 of Surah Al-Muminun).
33. From the context in which this verse occurs, it becomes obvious that only those people deny the Hereafter, who want to serve their desires and who regard belief in the Hereafter as an obstacle to their freedom. Then, once they have denied the Hereafter, their servitude of the self goes on increasing and they go on wandering further into deviation. They commit every kind of evil without feeling any qualms. They do not hesitate to usurp the rights of others. They cannot be expected to restrain themselves when there is an opportunity for them to commit an excess or injustice only because of a regard for justice and truth in their hearts. The events and incidents that can serve as a warning for a man are witnessed by them too, but they draw the wrong conclusion that whatever they are doing is right and they should do the same. No word of advice moves them. No argument, which can stop a man from evil, appeals to them; but they go on devising and furnishing more and more arguments to justify their unbridled freedom, and their minds remain day and night engaged only in devising ways and means of fulfilling their own interests and desires in every possible way instead of engaging in a good thought. This is an express proof of the fact that the denial of the Hereafter is destructive for human morals. The only thing that can restrain man within the bounds of humanity is the feeling that man is not irresponsible but has to render an account of his deeds before God. Being devoid of this feeling, even if a person is highly learned, he cannot help adopting an attitude and behavior worse than that of the animals.
The tafsir of Surah Jathiya verse 23 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Jathiya ayat 21 which provides the complete commentary from verse 21 through 23.
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