Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 118 (16:118)

Surah Nahl Ayat 118 in Arabic Text

وَعَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ حَرَّمۡنَا مَا قَصَصۡنَا عَلَيۡكَ مِن قَبۡلُۖ وَمَا ظَلَمۡنَٰهُمۡ وَلَٰكِن كَانُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُمۡ يَظۡلِمُونَ
Wa ‘alal lazeena haadoo harramnaa ma qasasnaa ‘alaika min qablu wa maa zalamanaahum wa laakin kaanoo anfusahum yazlimoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 118

Sahih International
And to those who are Jews We have prohibited that which We related to you before. And We did not wrong them [thereby], but they were wronging themselves.

Yusuf Ali
To the Jews We prohibited such things as We have mentioned to thee before: We did them no wrong, but they were used to doing wrong to themselves.

Abul Ala Maududi
We have already recounted to you what We prohibited to the Jews. In so doing We did not wrong them; it is they who wronged themselves.

Muhsin Khan
And unto those who are Jews, We have forbidden such things as We have mentioned to you (O Muhammad SAW) before [in Surat-Al-An’am, (The Cattle), see Verse 6:146]. And We wronged them not, but they used to wrong themselves.

And unto those who are Jews We have forbidden that which We have already related unto thee. And We wronged them not, but they were wont to wrong themselves.

Dr. Ghali
And for the ones who Judaized, (i.e., adopt Judaism) We have prohibited for them what we narrated to you earlier and in no way did We do them an injustice, but to themselves they were doing injustice.

Abdel Haleem
[Prophet], We forbade the Jews what We told you about. We did not wrong them; they wronged themselves.

Muhammad Junagarhi
اور یہودیوں پر جو کچھ ہم نے حرام کیا تھا اسے ہم پہلے ہی سے آپ کو سنا چکے ہیں، ہم نے ان پر ﻇلم نہیں کیا بلکہ وه خود اپنی جانوں پر ﻇلم کرتے رہے

Quran 16 Verse 118 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 118, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(16:118) We have already recounted to you[117] what We prohibited[118] to the Jews. In so doing We did not wrong them; it is they who wronged themselves.

117. In this paragraph (vv. 118-124), answers to the objections raised by the disbelievers of Makkah concerning the Commandments contained in (Surah An-Nahl, ayat 114-117) have been given. Their first objection was: “Besides the above-mentioned unlawful things, there are other unlawful things in the Jewish Law which have been made lawful by you. If that law was from Allah and yours is also from Allah why do they then contradict each other?” Their second objection was: “You have abrogated the sanctity of the Sabbath of the Israelites. Have you done this of your own accord or by Allah’s Command? In the latter case then will be an obvious contradiction in the two laws. Or has Allah Himself given two contradictory Commandments?”

118. This refers to: “And We prohibited all animals with claws to those people who had adopted Judaism.” (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 146). In this (Surah An-Nahl, ayat 118) Allah has stated that certain things were made unlawful because of the disobedience of the Jews.

Here a question arises. Which of the two Surahs, Al-Anaam or An-Nahl, was first revealed? This is because in (Surah An-Nahl, ayat 118), a reference has been made to (Surah Al-Anaam, ayat 146). Also in (Surah Al-Anaam, ayat 119): “And why should you not eat that thing over which Allah’s name has been mentioned, when He has already given you a detail of those things that have been declared to be unlawful for you except in case of extremity?” a reference has been made to (Surah An-Nahl, ayat 115).

This is because these are the only two Makki Surahs in which details of unlawful things have been given. As regards to the question, we are of the opinion that An-NahI was revealed earlier than Al-Anaam, for (Surah Al-Anaam, ayat 119) of the latter contains a reference to (Surah An-Nahl, ayat 115) of the former. It appears that after the revelation of Surah Al-Anaam, the disbelievers raised objections in regard to these verses of An-Nahl. So they were referred to (Surah Al-Anaam, ayat 146) in which a few things were made unlawful, especially for the Jews. As this answer concerned An-Nahl, so (Surah An-Nahl, ayat 118), though it was revealed after the revelation of Al-Anaam, was inserted as a parenthetical clause in An-Nahl.

119. “Abraham was a whole community by himself” for at that time he was the only Muslim in the whole world who was upholding the banner of Islam, while the rest of the world was upholding the banner of unbelief. As that servant of Allah performed the mission which is ordinarily carried out by a whole community, he was not one person but an institution in himself.


118. And for those who are Jews, We have forbidden such things as We have mentioned to you before. And We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves. 119. Then, your Lord for those who did evil out of ignorance and afterward repent and do righteous deeds – verily, after that, your Lord is Pardoning, Most Merciful.

Some Good Things were Forbidden for the Jews

After mentioning that He has forbidden us to eat dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and any animal which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, and after making allowances for cases of necessity – which is part of making things easy for this Ummah, because Allah desires ease for us, not hardship – Allah then mentions what He forbade for the Jews in their laws before they were abrogated, and the restrictions, limitations and difficulties involved therein. He tells us:

﴿وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ هَادُواْ حَرَّمْنَا مَا قَصَصْنَا عَلَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ﴾

(And for those who are Jews, We have forbidden such things as We have mentioned to you before.) meaning in Surat Al-An`am, where Allah says:

﴿وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ هَادُواْ حَرَّمْنَا كُلَّ ذِى ظُفُرٍ وَمِنَ الْبَقَرِ وَالْغَنَمِ حَرَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ شُحُومَهُمَآ إِلاَّ مَا حَمَلَتْ ظُهُورُهُمَآ﴾

(And unto those who are Jews, We forbade every (animal) with undivided hoof, and We forbade them the fat of the ox and the sheep except what adheres to their backs) Until,


(We are indeed truthful) ﴿6:146﴾ Hence Allah says here:

﴿وَمَا ظَلَمْنَـهُمْ﴾

(And We did not wrong them,) meaning, in the restrictions that We imposed upon them.

﴿وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ﴾

(but they wronged themselves. ) meaning, they deserved that. This is like the Ayah:

﴿فَبِظُلْمٍ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ هَادُواْ حَرَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ طَيِّبَـتٍ أُحِلَّتْ لَهُمْ وَبِصَدِّهِمْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ كَثِيراً ﴾

(Because of the wrong committed of those who were Jews, We prohibited certain good foods which had been lawful for them – and (also) for their hindering many from Allah’s way.) (4:160) Then Allah tells us, honoring and remin- ding believers who have sinned of His blessings, that who- ever among them repents, He will accept his repentance, as He says:

﴿ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ عَمِلُواْ السُّوءَ بِجَهَـلَةٍ﴾

(Then, your Lord for those who did evil out of ignorance) Some of the Salaf said that this means that everyone who disobeys Allah is ignorant.

﴿ثُمَّ تَابُواْ مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُواْ﴾

(and afterward repent and do righteous deeds) meaning, they give up the sins they used to commit and turn to doing acts of obedience to Allah.

﴿إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِن بَعْدِهَا﴾

(verily, after that, your Lord is…) means, after that mistake

﴿لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾

(…Pardoning, Most Merciful.)

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