Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 38 (16:38)

Surah Nahl Ayat 38 in Arabic Text

وَأَقْسَمُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَـٰنِهِمْ ۙ لَا يَبْعَثُ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَمُوتُ ۚ بَلَىٰ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّۭا وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
Wa aqsamoo billaahi jahda aimaanihim laa yab’asul laahu mai yamoot; balaa wa’dan ‘alaihi haqqanw wa laakinna aksaran naasi laa ya’lamoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 38

Sahih International
And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths [that] Allah will not resurrect one who dies. But yes – [it is] a true promise [binding] upon Him, but most of the people do not know.

Yusuf Ali
They swear their strongest oaths by Allah, that Allah will not raise up those who die: Nay, but it is a promise (binding) on Him in truth: but most among mankind realise it not.

Abul Ala Maududi
They swear most solemnly in the name of Allah and say: “Allah shall not raise to life any who dies.” (Yes, He will do so); that is a promise by which He is bound, even though most people do not know that.

Muhsin Khan
And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths, that Allah will not raise up him who dies. Yes, (He will raise them up), a promise (binding) upon Him in truth, but most of mankind know not.

Pickthall
And they swear by Allah their most binding oaths (that) Allah will not raise up him who dieth. Nay, but it is a promise (binding) upon Him in truth, but most of mankind know not,

Dr. Ghali
And they have sworn by Allah the most earnest oaths (that) Allah will not make him who dies to rise again. Yes indeed, it is a promise truly (binding) upon Him; but most of mankind do not know.

Abdel Haleem
They have sworn by God with their strongest oaths that He will not raise the dead to life. But He will- it is His binding promise, though most people do not realize it-

Quran 16 Verse 38 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 38, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:38) They swear most solemnly in the name of Allah and say: “Allah shall not raise to life any who dies.” (Yes, He will do so); that is a promise by which He is bound, even though most people do not know that.


There is no commentary by Abul Maududi available for this verse.

Ibn-Kathir

38. And they swear by Allah with their strongest oaths, that Allah will not raise up one who dies. Yes, (He will raise them up), a promise (binding) upon Him in truth, but most of mankind know not. 39. In order that He may make clear to them what they differed over, and so that those who disbelieved may know that they were liars. 40. Verily, Our Word to a thing when We intend it, is only that We say unto it: “Be!” – and it is.


The Resurrection after Death is true, there is Wisdom behind it, and it is easy for Allah

Allah tells us that the idolators swore by Allah their strongest oaths, meaning that they made oaths swore fervently that Allah would not resurrect the one who died. They considered that to be improbable, and did not believe the Messengers when they told them about that, swearing that it could not happen. Allah said, refuting them:

﴿بَلَى﴾

(Yes), meaning it will indeed happen,

﴿وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا﴾

(a promise (binding) upon Him in truth,) – meaning it is inevitable,

﴿وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ﴾

(but most of mankind know not.) means, because of their ignorance they oppose the Messengers and fall into disbelief. Then Allah mentions His wisdom and the reason why He will resurrect mankind physically on the Day of Calling (between the people of Fire and of Paradise). He says,

﴿لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ﴾

(In order that He may make clear to them) means, to mankind,

﴿الَّذِى يَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ﴾

(what they differed over,) means, every dispute.

﴿لِيَجْزِىَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُواْ بِمَا عَمِلُواْ وَيِجْزِى الَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُواْ بِالْحُسْنَى﴾

(that He may requite those who do evil with that which they have done (i. e. punish them in Hell), and reward those who do good, with what is best (i.e. Paradise).) (53:31)

﴿وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ كَـذِبِينَ﴾

(and so that those who disbelieved may know that they were liars.) meaning that they lied in their oaths and their swearing that Allah would not resurrect those who die. Thus they will be pushed down by force to the Fire with horrible force on the Day of Resurrection, and the guards of Hell will say to them:

﴿هَـذِهِ النَّارُ الَّتِى كُنتُم بِهَا تُكَذِّبُونَ – أَفَسِحْرٌ هَـذَا أَمْ أَنتُمْ لاَ تُبْصِرُونَ – اصْلَوْهَا فَاصْبِرُواْ أَوْ لاَ تَصْبِرُواْ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِنَّمَا تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴾

(This is the Fire which you used to belie. Is this magic or do you not see Taste its heat, and whether you are tolerant of it or intolerant of it – it is all the same. You are only being requited for what you have done.) (52:14-16). Then Allah tells us about His ability to do whatever He wills, and that nothing is impossible for Him on earth or in heaven. When He wants a thing, all He has to do is say to it “Be!” and it is. The Resurrection is one such thing, when He wants it to happen, all He will have to do is issue the command once, and it will happen as He wills, as He says:

﴿وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلاَّ وَحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ ﴾

(And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye) (54:50) and,

﴿مَّا خَلْقُكُمْ وَلاَ بَعْثُكُمْ إِلاَّ كَنَفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ﴾

(The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all are only as (the creation and resurrection of) a single person. ) ﴿31:28﴾ And in this Ayah, Allah says:

﴿إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَىْءٍ إِذَآ أَرَدْنَاهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ ﴾

(Verily, Our Word to a thing when We intend it, is only that We say to it: “Be!” – and it is.) meaning, We issue the command once, and then it happens. Allah does not need to repeat or confirm whatever He commands, because there is nothing that can stop Him or oppose Him. He is the One, the Compelling, the Almighty, whose power, might and dominion have subjected all things. None has the right to be worshipped except Him, and there is no Lord other than Him.

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