Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 33 (16:33)

Surah Nahl Ayat 33 in Arabic Text

هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَّآ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمُ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ أَوْ يَأْتِىَ أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ فَعَلَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَلَـٰكِن كَانُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
Hal yanzuroona illaaa an taatiyahumul malaaa’ikatu aw yaatiya amru Rabbik; kazaalika fa’alal lazeena min qablihim; wa maa zalamahumul laahu wa laakin kaanoo anfusahum yazlimoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 33

Sahih International
Do the disbelievers await [anything] except that the angels should come to them or there comes the command of your Lord? Thus did those do before them. And Allah wronged them not, but they had been wronging themselves.

Yusuf Ali
Do the (ungodly) wait until the angels come to them, or there comes the Command of thy Lord (for their doom)? So did those who went before them. But Allah wronged them not: nay, they wronged their own souls.

Abul Ala Maududi
(O Muhammad), are they waiting for anything else than that the angels should appear before them, or that your Lord’s judgement should come? Many before them acted with similar temerity. And then what happened with them was not Allah’s wrong-doing; they rather wronged themselves.

Muhsin Khan
Do they (the disbelievers and polytheists) await but that the angels should come to them [to take away their souls (at death)], or there should come the command (i.e. the torment or the Day of Resurrection) of your Lord? Thus did those before them. And Allah wronged them not, but they used to wrong themselves.

Pickthall
Await they aught say that the angels should come unto them or thy Lord’s command should come to pass? Even so did those before them. Allah wronged them not, but they did wrong themselves,

Dr. Ghali
Do they look for anything except that the Angels should come up to them or your Lord’s Command should come up? Thus did the ones before them perform; and in no way did Allah do them an injustice, but to themselves they were doing an injustice.

Abdel Haleem
Are the disbelievers waiting for the angels to come to them, or your Lord’s Judgement? Those who went before them did the same. God did not wrong them; they wronged themselves.

Quran 16 Verse 33 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 33, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:33) (O Muhammad), are they waiting for anything else than that the angels should appear before them, or that your Lord’s judgement should come?[29] Many before them acted with similar temerity. And then what happened with them was not Allah’s wrong-doing; they rather wronged themselves.


29. This is to admonish the unbelievers to this effect: Why are they still hesitating to accept the message which is very simple and clear? We have tried every method to present each aspect of the truth clearly with arguments and brought witnesses thereof from the whole system of the universe, and have left no room for any man of understanding to stick to shirk. Now what are they waiting for is nothing more than this that the angel of death should come before them and then they will accept the message at the last moment of their lives. Or, do they wait for the scourge of God to overtake them and make them accept the Message?

Ibn-Kathir

33. Are they but waiting for the angels to come to them, or there comes the command of your Lord Thus did those before them. And Allah did not wrong them, but they were wronging themselves. 34. Then, they were afflicted by their evil deeds, and they were surrounded by that which they used to mock.


The Disbelievers’ Refrain from Faith means that They were simply awaiting Punishment

Threatening the idolators for their persistence in falsehood and their conceited delusions about this world, Allah says: Are these people waiting only for the angels to come and take their souls Qatadah said:

﴿أَوْ يَأْتِىَ أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ﴾

(Or there comes the command of your Lord) means the Day of Resurrection and the terror that they will go through.”

﴿كَذَلِكَ فَعَلَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ﴾

(Thus did those before them.) means, thus did their predecessors and those who were like them among the idolators persist in their Shirk, until they tasted the wrath of Allah and experienced the punishment and torment that they suffered.

﴿وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ اللَّهُ﴾

(And Allah did not wrong them.) because by sending His Messengers and revealing His Books He gave them enough warning and clearly demonstrated His proofs to them.

﴿وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ﴾

(but they were wronging themselves.) meaning, by opposing the Messengers and denying what they brought. For this reason Allah’s punishment tormented them.

﴿وَحَاقَ بِهِم﴾

(they were surrounded) meaning, they were overwhelmed by the painful torment.

﴿مَا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ﴾

(by that which they used to mock.) meaning, they used to make fun of the Messengers when they warned them Allah’s punishment, and for this it will be said to them on the Day of Resurrection:

﴿هَـذِهِ النَّارُ الَّتِى كُنتُم بِهَا تُكَذِّبُونَ ﴾

(This is the Fire which you used to belie.) (52:14).

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