Surah Maryam Ayat 12 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 12
[Allah] said, “O John, take the Scripture with determination.” And We gave him judgement [while yet] a boy
(To his son came the command): “O Yahya! take hold of the Book with might”: and We gave him Wisdom even as a youth,
“O John! Hold the Book with all your strength.” We had bestowed wisdom upon him while he was still a child;
(It was said to his son): “O Yahya (John)! Hold fast the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah)].” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child.
(And it was said unto his son): O John! Hold fast the Scripture. And we gave him wisdom when a child,
“O Yahya, (John) take the Book powerfully.” And We brought him judgment (when) a young boy,
[We said], ‘John, hold on to the Scripture firmly.’ While he was still a boy, We granted him wisdom,
Quran 19 Verse 12 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Maryam ayat 12, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(19:12) “O John! Hold the Book with all your strength.” We had bestowed wisdom upon him while he was still a child;
9. The details regarding the birth of Prophet John (peace be upon him), according to the divine will, and his coming of age, have been left out. Here, in one sentence, the mission of Prophethood entrusted to him on attaining maturity has been stated, which was to observe and follow the Torah in letter and spirit, and to exhort the Israelites as well to do the same.
10. The Arabic word hukm implies ability (1) to make decisions, (2) to form right opinions, (3) to interpret the divine law, (4) to solve problems, and (5) it also means authority from Allah to decide affairs.
12. (It was said to his son): “O Yahya! Hold fast to the Scripture.” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child. 13. And Hananan from Us, and Zakatan, and he was pious, 14. And dutiful to his parents, and he was not arrogant or disobedient. 15. And Salam (peace) be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life (again)!
This also implies what is not mentioned, that this promised boy was born and he was Yahya. There is also the implication that Allah taught him the Book, the Tawrah which they used to study among themselves. The Prophets who were sent to the Jews used to rule according to the Tawrah, as did the scholars and rabbis among them. He was still young in age when Allah gave him this knowledge. This is the reason that Allah mentioned it. Because of how Allah favored him and his parents, He says,
(O Yahya! Hold fast to the Scripture ﴿the Tawrah﴾.) Means, “Learn the Book with strength.” In other words, learn it well, with zeal and studious effort.
(And We gave him wisdom while yet a child.) This means he was given understanding, knowledge, fortitude, diligence and zeal for good and the pursuit of good. He was blessed with these characteristics even though he was young. Allah said,
(And (made him) Hananan from Us,) ﴿19:13﴾ Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said,
(And Hananan from Us, ) “This means mercy from Us.” `Ikrimah, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak all said the same. Ad-Dahhak added, “Mercy that no one would be able to give except Us.” Qatadah added, “With it, Allah had mercy upon Zakariyya.” Mujahid said,
(And Hananan from Us,) “This was gentleness from His Lord upon him.” The apparent meaning is that Allah’s statement Hananan (affection, compassion) is directly related to His statement,
(and We gave him wisdom while yet a child.) meaning, “We gave him wisdom, compassion and purity.” This means that he was a compassionate man, who was righteous. Hanan means the love for affection and tenderness (towards others). Concerning Allah’s statement,
(and Zakatan,) This is related to His statement,
(And Hananan) The word Zakah means purity from filth, wickedness and sins. Qatadah said, “The word Zakah means the righteous deed.” Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Jurayj both said, “The righteous deed is the pure (Zakah) deed.” Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said,
(and Zakatan,) “This means that he was a blessing.”
(and he was pious.)﴿19:13﴾ meaning that he was pure and had no inclination to do sins. Allah said;
(And dutiful to his parents, and he was not arrogant or disobedient.) After Allah mentioned Yahya’s obedience to his Lord and that Allah created him full of mercy, purity and piety, He attached to it his obedience to his parents and his good treatment of them. Allah mentioned that he refrained from disobeying them in speech, actions, commands and prohibitions. Due to this Allah says,
(and he was not arrogant or disobedient.) Then, after mentioning these beautiful characteristics, Allah mentions his reward for this,
(And Salam (peace) be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life (again)!) This means that he had security and safety in these three circumstances. Sufyan bin `Uyaynah said, “The loneliest that a man will ever feel is in three situations. The first situation is on the day that he is born, when he sees himself coming out of what he was in. The second situation is on the day that he dies, when he sees people that he will not see anymore. The third situation is on the day when he is resurrected, when he sees himself in the great gathering. Allah has exclusively honored Yahya, the son of Zakariyya, by granting him peace in these situations. Allah says,
(And Salam (peace) be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life (again)!) This narration was reported by Ibn Jarir, from Ahmad bin Mansur Al-Marwazi, from Sadaqah bin Al-Fadl, from Sufyan bin `Uyaynah.
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