Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 48 (16:48)

Surah Nahl Ayat 48 in Arabic Text

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا۟ إِلَىٰ مَا خَلَقَ ٱللَّهُ مِن شَىْءٍۢ يَتَفَيَّؤُا۟ ظِلَـٰلُهُۥ عَنِ ٱلْيَمِينِ وَٱلشَّمَآئِلِ سُجَّدًۭا لِّلَّهِ وَهُمْ دَٰخِرُونَ
Awa lam yaraw ilaa maa khalaqal laahu min shai’iny-yatafaiya’u zilaaluhoo ‘anil yameeni washshamaaa’ ili sujjadal lillaahi wa hum daakhiroon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 48

Sahih International
Have they not considered what things Allah has created? Their shadows incline to the right and to the left, prostrating to Allah, while they are humble.

Yusuf Ali
Do they not look at Allah’s creation, (even) among (inanimate) things,- How their (very) shadows turn round, from the right and the left, prostrating themselves to Allah, and that in the humblest manner?

Abul Ala Maududi
Do the people not see how the objects Allah has created cast their shadows right and left, prostrating themselves in utter submission to Allah?

Muhsin Khan
Have they not observed things that Allah has created, (how) their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly?

Pickthall
Have they not observed all things that Allah hath created, how their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly?

Dr. Ghali
And have they not regarded whatever thing (s) Allah created always conceding their shades to the right and left (sides), constantly prostrating themselves to Allah, (while) they are (utterly) abject.

Abdel Haleem
Do the [disbelievers] not observe the things that God has created, casting their shadows right and left, submitting themselves to God obediently?

Quran 16 Verse 48 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 48, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:48) Do the people not see how the objects Allah has created cast their shadows right and left, prostrating themselves in utter submission to Allah?[41]


41. The argument is this: The fact that everything a man, an animal, a tree or a mountain casts its shadow, is a clear proof of its material nature, and everything which is made of matter, is a creation of Allah and is subject to a universal law. In this case the law is that every material thing casts its shadow, which is symbolical of its servitude, and it cannot have any share whatsoever in Godhead.

Ibn-Kathir

48. Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows shift from right to left, prostrating to Allah while they are humble 49. And to Allah prostrate all that are in the heavens and all that are in the earth, the moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud ﴿i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility. 50. They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.


Everything prostrates to Allah

Allah informs us about His might, majesty and pride, meaning that all things submit themselves to Him and every created being – animate and inanimate, as well as the responsible – humans and Jinns, and the angels – all humble themselves before Him. He tells us that everything that has a shadow leaning to the right and the left, i.e., in the morning and the evening, is by its shadow, prostrating to Allah. Mujahid said, “When the sun passes its zenith, everything prostrates to Allah, may He be glorified.” This was also said by Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others.

﴿لِلَّهِ وَهُمْ﴾

(while they are humble) means, they are in a state of humility. Mujahid also said: “The prostration of every thing is its shadow”, and he mentioned the mountains and said that their prostrations are their shadows. Abu Ghalib Ash-Shaybani said: “The waves of the sea are its prayers”. It is as if reason is attributed to these inanimate objects when they are described as prostrating, so Allah says:

﴿وَلِلَّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ مِن دَآبَّةٍ﴾

(And to Allah prostrate all that are in the heavens and all that are in the earth, of the moving creatures) As Allah says:

﴿وَللَّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَظِلَـلُهُم بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالاٌّصَالِ ﴾

(And to Allah (alone) all who are in the heavens and the earth fall in prostration, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the afternoons.) (13:15)

﴿وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ﴾

(and the angels, and they are not proud.) means, they prostrate to Allah and are not too proud to worship Him.

﴿يَخَـفُونَ رَبَّهُمْ مِّن فَوْقِهِمْ﴾

(They fear their Lord above them) means, they prostrate out of fear of their Lord, may He be glorified.

﴿وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ﴾

(and they do what they are commanded.) meaning they continually obey Allah, doing what He tells them to do and avoiding that which He forbids.

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