Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 24 (16:24)

Surah Nahl Ayat 24 in Arabic Text

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُم مَّاذَآ أَنزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ ۙ قَالُوٓا۟ أَسَـٰطِيرُ ٱلْأَوَّلِينَ
Wa izaa qeela lahum maazaaa anzala Rabbukum qaaloo asaateerul awwaleen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 24

Sahih International
And when it is said to them, “What has your Lord sent down?” They say, “Legends of the former peoples,”

Yusuf Ali
When it is said to them, “What is it that your Lord has revealed?” they say, “Tales of the ancients!”

Abul Ala Maududi
When they are asked: “What is it that your Lord has revealed?” They answer: “They are merely tales of olden times!”

Muhsin Khan
And when it is said to them: “What is it that your Lord has sent down (unto Muhammad SAW)?” They say: “Tales of the men of old!”

Pickthall
And when it is said unto them: What hath your Lord revealed? they say: (Mere) fables of the men of old,

Dr. Ghali
And when it is said to them, “What has your Lord sent down?” they say, “Myths of the earliest (people).”

Abdel Haleem
When they are asked, ‘What has your Lord sent down?’ they say, ‘Ancient fables.’

Quran 16 Verse 24 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 24, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:24) When[21] they are asked: “What is it that your Lord has revealed?” They answer: “They are merely tales of olden times!”[22]


21. In the preceding (Ayat 23) those arrogant people who were rejecting the message were warned that Allah has full knowledge of all their deeds. Now from (Ayat 24) the Quran takes up those deeds one by one and deals with the arguments they presented against the Messenger (peace be upon him), the objections they raised and the lame excuses they invented for their rejection, and reproaches and admonishes them.

22. One of their cunning devices was to create doubts about the Quran. Whenever outsiders came to visit Makkah, they would naturally make inquiries about the Quran, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared, was being sent down to him by Allah. The disbelievers would answer that it contained merely fairy tales of the ancients. They would say such things in order to create doubts in the minds of the inquirers so that they should not take any interest in the message of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Ibn-Kathir

24. And when it is said to them: “What is it that your Lord has revealed” They say: “Tales of the men of old!” 25. They will bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection, and also the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge. Evil indeed is that which they shall bear!


The Destruction of the Disbelievers and Intensification of their Punishment for rejecting the Revelation

Allah informs us that when it is said to those liars,

﴿مَّاذَآ أَنزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُواْ﴾

(“What is it that your Lord has revealed” They say,) not wanting to answer,

﴿أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ﴾

(“Tales of the men of old!”) meaning nothing is revealed to him, what he is reciting to us is just tales of the men of old, taken from the previous Books. As Allah says,

﴿وَقَالُواْ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ اكْتَتَبَهَا فَهِىَ تُمْلَى عَلَيْهِ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلاً ﴾

(And they say: “Tales of the ancients, which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.”) (25:5) i.e., they tell lies against the Messenger and say things contradicting one another, but all of it is false, as Allah says,

﴿انْظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُواْ لَكَ الاٌّمْثَالَ فَضَلُّواْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعْونَ سَبِيلاً ﴾

(Look at the parables they make of you, so they have gone astray, and they are not able to find the right way.)(17:48) Once they have gone beyond the bounds of the truth, whatever they say will be in error. They used to say that he (the Prophet ) was a sorcerer, a poet, a soothsayer, or a madman, then they settled on an idea proposed by their leader, an individual known as Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah Al-Makhzumi, when:

﴿إِنَّهُ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ – فَقُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ – ثُمَّ قُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ – ثُمَّ نَظَرَ – ثُمَّ عَبَسَ وَبَسَرَ – ثُمَّ أَدْبَرَ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ – فَقَالَ إِنْ هَـذَآ إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ يُؤْثَرُ ﴾

(He thought, and plotted. So let him be cursed, how he plotted! And once more let him be cursed, how he plotted! Then he thought. Then he frowned and he looked in a bad tempered way; then he turned back, and was proud. Then he said: “This is nothing but the magic of old.”) (74:18-24) meaning something that had been transmitted and passed down. So they dispersed having agreed on this opinion, may Allah punish them.

﴿لِيَحْمِلُواْ أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ﴾

(They will bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection, and also of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge.) meaning, `We decreed that they would say that, so they will carry the burden of their own sins and some of the burden of those who followed them and agreed with them,’ i.e., they will be held guilty not only for going astray themselves, but also for tempting others and having them follow them. As it says in a Hadith:

«مَنْ دَعَا إِلَى هُدًى كَانَ لَهُ مِنَ الْأَجْرِ مِثْلُ أُجُورِ مَنِ اتَّبَعَهُ، لَا يَنْقُصُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ أُجُورِهِمْ شَيْئًا، وَمَنْ دَعَا إِلَى ضَلَالَةٍ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْإِثْمِ مِثْلُ آثَامِ مَنِ اتَّبَعَهُ، لَا يَنْقُصُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آثَامِهِمْ شَيْئًا»

(Whoever invites people to guidance, he will receive a reward like that of those who follow him, without diminishing their reward in the least. And whoever invites people to misguidance, he will bear a burden of sin like that of those who follow him, without diminishing their burden in the least.) Allah says;

﴿وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ وَأَثْقَالاً مَّعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ وَلَيُسْـَلُنَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ عَمَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ ﴾

(They shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own; and they shall be questioned about their false allegations on the Day of Resurrection.) (29:13) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that it is like the Ayah:

﴿لِيَحْمِلُواْ أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ﴾

(That they may bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection, and also of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge.) (16:25) Allah says,

﴿وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ وَأَثْقَالاً مَّعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ﴾

(They shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own) (29:13). Mujahid said: “They will bear the burden of their own sins, and they will bear the sins of those who obeyed them, but that will not lessen the punishment of those who obeyed them at all.”

Quick navigation links

Surah Nahl
1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 . 11 . 12 . 13 . 14 . 15 . 16 . 17 . 18 . 19 . 20 . 21 . 22 . 23 . 24 . 25 . 26 . 27 . 28 . 29 . 30 . 31 . 32 . 33 . 34 . 35 . 36 . 37 . 38 . 39 . 40 . 41 . 42 . 43 . 44 . 45 . 46 . 47 . 48 . 49 . 50 . 51 . 52 . 53 . 54 . 55 . 56 . 57 . 58 . 59 . 60 . 61 . 62 . 63 . 64 . 65 . 66 . 67 . 68 . 69 . 70 . 71 . 72 . 73 . 74 . 75 . 76 . 77 . 78 . 79 . 80 . 81 . 82 . 83 . 84 . 85 . 86 . 87 . 88 . 89 . 90 . 91 . 92 . 93 . 94 . 95 . 96 . 97 . 98 . 99 . 100 . 101 . 102 . 103 . 104 . 105 . 106 . 107 . 108 . 109 . 110 . 111 . 112 . 113 . 114 . 115 . 116 . 117 . 118 . 119 . 120 . 121 . 122 . 123 . 124 . 125 . 126 . 127 . 128