Surah Mursalat >> Currently viewing Surah Mursalat Ayat 16 (77:16)

Surah Mursalat Ayat 16 in Arabic Text

أَلَمْ نُهْلِكِ ٱلْأَوَّلِينَ
Alam nuhlikil awwaleen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 16

Sahih International
Did We not destroy the former peoples?

Yusuf Ali
Did We not destroy the men of old (for their evil)?

Abul Ala Maududi
Did We not destroy many a nation of the earlier times?

Muhsin Khan
Did We not destroy the ancients?

Pickthall
Destroyed We not the former folk,

Dr. Ghali
Did We not cause the earliest people to perish;

Abdel Haleem
Did We not destroy the first [of them]?

Quran verse 16 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Mursalat ayat 16, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(77:16) Did We not destroy many a nation of the earlier times?[8]


8. This is an argument from history for the Hereafter, It means: Consider your own history in the world. Whichever nations denied the Hereafter and took this worldly life to be real life and based their moral attitude on the results appearing here regarding them as the criterion of good and evil, ultimately went to their doom without exception. This is a proof of the fact that the Hereafter is a reality overlooking and ignoring which causes the same kind of harm to a person which is caused when he chooses to close his eyes to the hard facts of life.” (For further explanation, see (E.N. 12 of Yunus),(E.N. 86 of An-Naml), (E.N. 8 of Ar- Rum), (E.N. 25 of Saba).

Ibn-Kathir

16. Did We not destroy the ancients 17. So shall We make later generations to follow them. 18. Thus do We deal with the criminals. 19. Woe that Day to the deniers! 20. Did We not create you from a despised water 21. Then We placed it in a place of safety, 22. For a known period 23. So We did measure; and We are the best to measure. 24. Woe that Day to the deniers! 25. Have We not made the earth Kifat (a receptacle) 26. For the living and the dead 27. And have placed therein fixed towers, and have given you Furat water 28. Woe that Day to the deniers!


The Call to contemplate the various Manifestations of Allah’s Power

Allah says,

﴿أَلَمْ نُهْلِكِ الاٌّوَّلِينَ ﴾

(Did We not destroy the ancients) meaning, those who rejected the Messengers and opposed what they came to them with.

﴿ثُمَّ نُتْبِعُهُمُ الاٌّخِرِينَ ﴾

(So shall We make later generations to follow them.) meaning, from those who are similar to them. Thus, Allah says,

﴿كَذَلِكَ نَفْعَلُ بِالْمُجْرِمِينَ وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ ﴾

(Thus do We deal with the criminals. Woe that Day to the deniers!) Ibn Jarir said this. Then Allah reminding His creatures of His favor, and using the beginning of creation to support the idea of repeating it, He says:

﴿أَلَمْ نَخْلُقكُّم مِّن مَّآءٍ مَّهِينٍ ﴾

(Did We not create you from a despised water) meaning, weak and despised in comparison to the power of the Creator. This is similar to what has been reported in the Hadith of Busr bin Jahhash (that Allah says),

«ابْنَ آدَمَ أَنْى تُعْجِزُنِي وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُكَ مِنْ مِثْلِ هَذِهِ؟»

(“(O) Son of Adam ! How can you think that I am unable, and yet I created you from something like this (i.e., semen)”)

﴿فَجَعَلْنَـهُ فِى قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ ﴾

(Then We placed it in a place of safety,) meaning, `We gathered him in the womb, where the fluid of the man and the woman settles. The womb has been prepared for this, as a protector of the fluid deposited in it. Allah said:

﴿إِلَى قَدَرٍ مَّعْلُومٍ ﴾

(For a known period) meaning, for a fixed period of time, which is from six months to nine months. Thus, Allah says,

﴿فَقَدَرْنَا فَنِعْمَ الْقَـدِرُونَ وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ ﴾

(So We did measure; and We are the best to measure. Woe that Day to the deniers!) Then Allah says,

﴿أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الاٌّرْضَ كِفَاتاً – أَحْيَآءً وَأَمْوتاً ﴾

(Have We not made the earth Kifat for the living and the dead) Ibn `Abbas said, “Kifat means a place of shelter.” Mujahid said, “It holds the dead so that nothing is seen of it.” Ash-Sha`bi said, “Its interior is for your dead and its surface is for your living.” Mujahid and Qatadah also said this.

﴿وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِىَ شَـمِخَـتٍ﴾

(And have placed therein fixed towers,) meaning, the mountains. The earth is held in place with them so that it does not shake and sway.

﴿وَأَسْقَيْنَـكُم مَّآءً فُرَاتاً﴾

(and have given you Furat water) meaning, cold and delicious water from the clouds or from what He causes to gush forth from the springs of the earth.

﴿وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ ﴾

(Woe that Day to the deniers!) meaning, woe to whoever reflects upon these created things which demonstrate the greatness of their Creator, then after that continues to reject Him and disbelieve in Him.

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