Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 43 (16:43)

Surah Nahl Ayat 43 in Arabic Text

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًۭا نُّوحِىٓ إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ فَسْـَٔلُوٓا۟ أَهْلَ ٱلذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
Wa maaa arsalnaa min qablika illaa rijaalan nooheee ilaihim; fas’alooo ahlaz zikri in kuntum laa ta’lamoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 43

Sahih International
And We sent not before you except men to whom We revealed [Our message]. So ask the people of the message if you do not know.

Yusuf Ali
And before thee also the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message.

Abul Ala Maududi
(O Muhammad), whenever We raised any Messengers before you, they were no other than human beings; (except that) to them We sent revelation. So ask those who possess knowledge if you do not know.

Muhsin Khan
And We sent not (as Our Messengers) before you (O Muhammad SAW) any but men, whom We inspired, (to preach and invite mankind to believe in the Oneness of Allah). So ask of those who know the Scripture [learned men of the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], if you know not.

Pickthall
And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men whom We inspired – Ask the followers of the Remembrance if ye know not! –

Dr. Ghali
And in no way did We send (even) before you, except men to whom We revealed. “So ask the population of the Remembrance, in case you (i.e. the pagan Arabs) do not know.”

Abdel Haleem
[Prophet], all the messengers We sent before you were simply men to whom We had given the Revelation: you [people] can ask those who have knowledge if you do not know.

Quran 16 Verse 43 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 43, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:43) (O Muhammad), whenever We raised any Messengers before you, they were no other than human beings;[38] (except that) to them We sent revelation. So ask those who possess knowledge[39] if you do not know.


38. This is the answer to the objection of the mushriks of Makkah (which has not been cited here) that they could not believe that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a Prophet of God because he was a human being like them. They have been told that the same objection had been raised against all the Prophets who came before him.

39. “Those who possess knowledge” are the scholars of the people of the Books and others, who, though not scholars in the strict sense had sufficient knowledge of the teachings of the revealed Books and were acquainted with the stories of the former Prophets.

Ibn-Kathir

43. And We sent not (as Our Messengers) before you (O Muhammad) any but men, whom We sent revelation. So ask Ahl Adh-Dhikr, if you know not. 44. With clear signs and Books (We sent the Messengers). And We have also revealed the Dhikr to you so that you may clearly explain to men what was revealed to them, and that perhaps they may reflect.


Only Human Messengers have been Sent

Ad-Dahhak said, reporting from Ibn `Abbas: “When Allah sent Muhammad as a Messenger, the Arabs, or some of them, denied him and said, `Allah is too great to send a human being as a Messenger.’ Then Allah revealed:

﴿أَكَانَ لِلنَّاسِ عَجَبًا أَنْ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنْهُمْ أَنْ أَنذِرِ النَّاسَ﴾

(Is it a wonder to people that We have sent Our Inspiration to a man from among themselves (saying): “Warn mankind…”) and He said,

﴿وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنْتُم لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴾

(And We sent not (as Our Messengers) before you (O Muhammad) any but men, whom We sent Revelation. So ask Ahl Adh-Dhikr, if you know not.). meaning, (ask) the people of the previous Books, were the Messengers that were sent to them humans or angels If they were angels, then you have the right to find this strange, but if they were human, then you have no grounds to deny that Muhammad is a Messenger. Allah says:

﴿وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى﴾

(And We sent not before you (as Messengers) any but men to whom We revealed, from among the people of townships. ) ﴿12:109﴾ and not from among the people of heaven as you say.” It was reported by Mujahid from Ibn `Abbas that what is meant by Ahl Adh-Dhikr is the People of the Book. This is as Allah says:

﴿أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَى فِى السَّمَآءِ وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّى تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَّقْرَءُهُ قُلْ سُبْحَـنَ رَبِّى هَلْ كُنتُ إَلاَّ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً – وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ إِذْ جَآءَهُمُ الْهُدَى إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ أَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً ﴾

(Say: “Glorified be my Lord! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger” And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: “Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger”) (17:93-94)

﴿وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلاَّ إِنَّهُمْ لَيَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِى الاٌّسْوَاقِ﴾

(And We never sent before you (O Muhammad) any of the Messengers but verily, they ate food and walked in the markets.) (25:20)

﴿وَمَا جَعَلْنَـهُمْ جَسَداً لاَّ يَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَمَا كَانُواْ خَـلِدِينَ ﴾

(And We did not create them (the Messengers, with) bodies that did not eat food, nor were they immortals.)(21:8)

﴿قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعاً مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ﴾

(Say (O Muhammad ): “I am not a new thing among the Messengers. ”) ﴿46:9﴾,

﴿قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَىَّ﴾

(Say (O Muhammad): “I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me.”) ﴿18:110﴾ Then Allah informs those who doubt that a Messenger can be a human to ask those who have knowledge of the previous Scriptures about the Prophets who came before: were their Prophets humans or angels Then Allah mentions that He has sent them,

﴿بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ﴾

(with clear signs), meaning proof and evidence, and

﴿وَالزُّبُرِ﴾

(and Books ﴿Zubur﴾), meaning Scriptures. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and others said: Zubur is the plural of Zabur, and the Arabs say, Zaburtul-Kitab meaning, “I wrote the book.” Allah says:

﴿وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ فَعَلُوهُ فِى الزُّبُرِ ﴾

(And everything they have done is noted in (their) Records (of deeds) ﴿Zubur﴾) (54:52)

﴿وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِى الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الاٌّرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِىَ الصَّـلِحُونَ ﴾

(And indeed We have written in Az-Zabur after the Dhikr that My righteous servant shall inherit the land (i.e. the land of Paradise).) (21:105) Then Allah says:

﴿وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ﴾

(And We have also revealed the Dhikr to you), meaning the Qur’an,

﴿لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ﴾

(so that you may clearly explain to men what was revealed to them,) meaning, sent down from their Lord, because you know the meaning of what Allah has revealed to you, and because of your understanding and adherence to it, and because We know that you are the best of creation and the leader of the Children of Adam. So that you may explain in detail what has been mentioned in brief, and explain what is not clear.

﴿وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ﴾

(so that perhaps they may reflect.) meaning, they should examine themselves and be guided by it, so that they may attain the victory of salvation in this world and the next.

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