Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 1 (16:1)

Surah Nahl Ayat 1 in Arabic Text

أَتَىٰٓ أَمْرُ ٱللَّهِ فَلَا تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ ۚ سُبْحَـٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَـٰلَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
Ataaa amrullaahi falaa tasta’jilooh; Subhaanahoo wa Ta’aalaa ‘ammaa yushrikoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 1

Sahih International
The command of Allah is coming, so be not impatient for it. Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.

Yusuf Ali
(Inevitable) cometh (to pass) the Command of Allah: seek ye not then to hasten it: Glory to Him, and far is He above having the partners they ascribe unto Him!

Abul Ala Maududi
Allah’s judgement has (all but) come; do not, then, call for its speedy advent. Holy is He, and far above their associating others with Him in His Divinity.

Muhsin Khan
The Event (the Hour or the punishment of disbelievers and polytheists or the Islamic laws or commandments), ordained by Allah will come to pass, so seek not to hasten it. Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate as partners with Him.

Pickthall
The commandment of Allah will come to pass, so seek not ye to hasten it. Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate (with Him).

Dr. Ghali
The Command of Allah has come up; so do not seek to hasten it. All Extolment be to Him and Supremely Exalted be He above whatever they associate (with Him).

Abdel Haleem
God’s Judgement is coming, so do not ask to bring it on sooner. Glory be to Him! He is far above anything they join with Him!

Quran 16 Verse 1 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 1, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:1) Allah’s judgement has (all but) come;[1] do not, then, call for its speedy advent. Holy is He, and far above their associating others with Him in His Divinity.[2]


1. That is, the time for final judgment has come near. As regards to the use of the past tense in the original, this may be to show certainty of its occurrence in the near future or to emphasize the fact that the rebellion and the wrong deeds of the Quraish had become so unbearable that they warranted that the time for decisive action had come.

Here question arises as to what that judgment was and how it came. We are of the opinion (and true knowledge is with Allah alone) that that judgment was hijra (the migration) of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from Makkah. For a short time after this revelation, he was bidden to emigrate from there. And according to the Quran, a Prophet (peace be upon him) is bidden to leave his place only at that time when the rebellion and antagonism of his people reaches the extreme limit. Then their doom is sealed, for after this Allah’s punishment comes on them either as a direct scourge from Him, or they are destroyed by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers. And this did actually take place. At the occasion of the migration, the people of Makkah regarded it as a victory for themselves, but in fact it turned out to be a defeat for shirk and disbelief which were totally uprooted within a decade or so after the migration, not only from Makkah but from the rest of Arabia as well.

2. In order to understand the interconnection between the first and the second sentences, one should keep in view the background. The challenge of the disbelievers to the Prophet (peace be upon him), to hasten divine judgment, was really based on their assumption that their own religion of shirk was true and the religion of Tauhid presented by Muhammad (peace be upon him) was false. Otherwise, they argued, the divine scourge with which he threatened them would have come upon them long before because of their disbelief and rebellion, if there had been the authority of Allah behind it. That is why after the declaration of the judgment, their misunderstanding about the cause of delay in the punishment was removed, as if to say: You are absolutely wrong to assume that punishment has not been inflicted on you because your creed of shirk is true, for Allah is free from and far above shirk and has no partner.

Ibn-Kathir

1. The Event ordained by Allah has indeed come, so do not seek to hasten it. Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate as partners with Him.


Warning about the approach of the Hour

Allah is informing about the approach of the Hour in the past tense ﴿in Arabic﴾ in order to confirm that it will undoubtedly come to pass. This is like the following Ayat, in which the verbs appear in the past tense in Arabic:

﴿اقْتَرَبَ لِلنَّاسِ حِسَـبُهُمْ وَهُمْ فِى غَفْلَةٍ مُّعْرِضُونَ ﴾

(Mankind’s reckoning has drawn near them, while they turn away in heedlessness.)﴿21:1﴾

﴿اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ ﴾

(The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft.) ﴿54:1﴾

﴿فَلاَ تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ﴾

(so do not seek to hasten it.) means, what was far is now near, so do not try to rush it. As Allah said,

﴿وَيَسْتَعْجِلُونَكَ بِالْعَذَابِ وَلَوْلاَ أَجَلٌ مُّسَمًّى لَّجَآءَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلَيَأْتِيَنَّهُمْ بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ – يَسْتَعْجِلُونَكَ بِالْعَذَابِ وَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمُحِيطَةٌ بِالْكَـفِرِينَ ﴾

(And they ask you to hasten the torment (for them), and had it not been for a term appointed, the torment would certainly have come to them. And surely, it will come upon them suddenly while they are unaware! They ask you to hasten on the torment. And verily! Hell, of a surety, will encompass the disbelievers) (29:53-54). Ibn Abi Hatim reported from `Uqbah bin `Amir that the Messenger of Allah said:

«تَطْلُعُ عَلَيْكُمْ عِنْدَ السَّاعَةِ سَحَابَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ مِثْلَ التُّرْسِ، فَمَا تَزَالُ تَرْتَفِعُ فِي السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ يُنَادِي مُنَادٍ فِيهَا: يَا أَيُّهَاالنَّاسُ فَيُقْبِلُ النَّاسُ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ: هَلْ سَمِعْتُمْ، فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ: نَعَمْ، وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَشُكُّ، ثُمَّ يُنَادِي الثَّانِيَةَ: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فَيَقُولُ النَّاسُ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ: هَلْ سَمِعْتُمْ، فَيَقُولُونَ: نَعَمْ، ثُمَّ يُنَادِي الثَّالِثَةَ: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَتَى أَمْرُ اللهِ فَلَا تَسْتَعْجِلُوه»

(When the Hour approaches, a black cloud resembling a shield will emerge upon from the west. It will continue rising in the sky, then a voice will call out, `O mankind!’ The people will say to one another, `Did you hear that’ Some will say, `yes’, but others will doubt it. Then a second call will come, `O mankind!’ The people will say to one another, `Did you hear that’ And they will say, `Yes.’ Then a third call will come, `O mankind!’ The Event ordained by Allah has indeed come, so do not seek to hasten it.’) The Messenger of Allah said:

«فَوَ الَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، إِنّ الرَّجُلَيْنِ لَيَنْشُرَانِ الثَّوبَ فَمَا يَطْوِيَانِهِ أَبَدًا، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَمُدَّنَّ حَوْضَهُ فَمَا يَسْقِي فِيهِ شَيْئًا أَبَدًا، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَحْلُبُ نَاقَتَهُ فَمَا يَشْرِبُهُ أَبَدًا قَالَ وَيَشْتَغِلُ النَّاس»

(By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, two men will spread out a cloth, but will never refold it; a man will prepare his trough, but will never water his animals from it; and a man will milk his camel, but will never drink the milk.” Then he said, “The people will be distracted.”) Then Allah tells us that He is free from their allegations of partners to their worship of idols, and making equals for Him. Glorified and exalted be He far above that. These are the people who deny the Hour, so He says:

﴿سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ﴾

(Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate as partners with Him. )

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