Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 61 (16:61)

Surah Nahl Ayat 61 in Arabic Text

وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّاسَ بِظُلْمِهِم مَّا تَرَكَ عَلَيْهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍۢ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍۢ مُّسَمًّۭى ۖ فَإِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمْ لَا يَسْتَـْٔخِرُونَ سَاعَةًۭ ۖ وَلَا يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ
Wa law yu’aakhizul laahun naasa bizulminhim maa taraka ‘alaihaa min daaabbatinw wa laakiny yu’akhkhiruhum ilaaa ajalim musamman fa izaa jaaa’a ajaluhum laa yastaakhiroona saa’atanw wa laa yastaqdimoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 61

Sahih International
And if Allah were to impose blame on the people for their wrongdoing, He would not have left upon the earth any creature, but He defers them for a specified term. And when their term has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it].

Yusuf Ali
If Allah were to punish men for their wrong-doing, He would not leave, on the (earth), a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: When their Term expires, they would not be able to delay (the punishment) for a single hour, just as they would not be able to anticipate it (for a single hour).

Abul Ala Maududi
Were Allah to take people to task for their wrong-doing, He would not have spared even a single living creature on the face of the earth. But He grants them respite until an appointed term. And when that term arrives, they have no power to delay it by a single moment, nor to hasten it.

Muhsin Khan
And if Allah were to seize mankind for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving (living) creature, but He postpones them for an appointed term and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment).

Pickthall
If Allah were to take mankind to task for their wrong-doing, he would not leave hereon a living creature, but He reprieveth them to an appointed term, and when their term cometh they cannot put (it) off an hour nor (yet) advance (it).

Dr. Ghali
And if Allah should take mankind to task for their injustice, in no way would He leave hereon any beast; but He defers them to a stated term. So when their term comes, they will not be able to postpone it by an hour, nor put it forward.

Abdel Haleem
If God took people to task for the evil they do, He would not leave one living creature on earth, but He reprieves them until an appointed time: when their time comes they cannot delay it for a moment nor can they bring it forward.

Quran 16 Verse 61 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 61, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:61) Were Allah to take people to task for their wrong-doing, He would not have spared even a single living creature on the face of the earth. But He grants them respite until an appointed term. And when that term arrives, they have no power to delay it by a single moment, nor to hasten it.


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

Ibn-Kathir

61. And if Allah were to punish (all) mankind for their wrongdoing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving creature, but He defers them to an appointed term; and when their term comes, they can neither delay nor advance it an hour (or a moment). 62. They assign to Allah that which they dislike (for themselves), and their tongues assert the lie that the better things will be theirs. No doubt the Fire is for them, and they will be forsaken.


Allah does not immediately punish for Disobedience

Allah tells us about His patience with His creatures, even though they do wrong. If He were to punish them for what they have done, there would be no living creature left on the face of the earth, i.e., He would have destroyed every animal on earth after destroying the sons of Adam. But the Lord – magnificent is His glory – is forbearing and He covers people’s faults. He waits until the appointed time, i.e., He does not rush to punish them. If He did, then there would be no one left. Ibn Jarir reported that Abu Salamah said: “Abu Hurayrah heard a man saying, `The wrongdoer harms no one but himself.’ He turned to him and said, `That is not true, by Allah! Even the buzzard dies in its nest because of the sins of the wrongdoer.”’

They attribute to Allah what They Themselves dislike

﴿وَيَجْعَلُونَ لِلَّهِ مَا يَكْرَهُونَ﴾

(They assign to Allah that which they dislike (for themselves),) meaning, daughters, and partners, who are merely His servants, yet none of them would like to have someone sharing in his wealth.

﴿وَتَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُهُمُ الْكَذِبَ أَنَّ لَهُمُ الْحُسْنَى﴾

(and their tongues assert the lie that the better things will be theirs.) This is a denunciation of their claims that better things will be theirs in this world, and in the Hereafter. Allah tells us about what some of them said, as in the Ayat:

﴿وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً ثُمَّ نَزَعْنَاهَا مِنْهُ إِنَّهُ لَيَئُوسٌ كَفُورٌ – وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَاهُ نَعْمَآءَ بَعْدَ ضَرَّآءَ مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ ذَهَبَ السَّيِّئَاتُ عَنِّي إِنَّهُ لَفَرِحٌ فَخُورٌ ﴾

(And if We give man a taste of mercy from Us, and then take it from him, verily! He is hopelessly, ungrateful. But if We let him taste of goodness after harm has touched him, he is sure to say: “Ills have departed from me.” Surely, he is cheerful, and boastful (ungrateful to Allah).) (11:9-10)

﴿وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَـهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا مِن بَعْدِ ضَرَّآءَ مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ هَـذَا لِى وَمَآ أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَآئِمَةً وَلَئِن رُّجِّعْتُ إِلَى رَبِّى إِنَّ لِى عِندَهُ لَلْحُسْنَى فَلَنُنَبِّئَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِمَا عَمِلُواْ وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُمْ مِّنْ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ ﴾

(And if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity has touched him, he is sure to say: “This is due to me; I do not think that the Hour will occur. But if I am brought back to my Lord, then , with Him, there will surely be the best for me.” Then, We will certainly show the disbelievers what they have done, and We shall make them taste severe torment.) (41:50)

﴿أَفَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِى كَفَرَ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَقَالَ لأوتَيَنَّ مَالاً وَوَلَداً ﴾

(Have you seen the one who disbelieved in Our Ayat and said: “I shall certainly be given wealth and children (if I came back to life).”) (19:77) Allah tells us about one of the two men:

﴿دَخَلَجَنَّتَهُ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ قَالَ مَآ أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَـذِهِ أَبَداًوَمَآ أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً وَلَئِن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَى رَبِّى لأَجِدَنَّ خَيْراً مِّنْهَا مُنْقَلَباً ﴾

(He went into his garden while wronging himself. He said: “I do not think that this will ever perish. And I do not think that the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), then surely, I shall find better than this when I return to Him.”) (18:35-36) These people combined bad deeds with the false hopes of being rewarded with good for those bad deeds, which is impossible. Thus Allah refuted their false hopes, when He said:

﴿لاَ جَرَمَ﴾

(No doubt), meaning, truly it is inevitable that

﴿أَنَّ لَهُمُ الْنَّارَ﴾

(for them is the Fire), meaning, on the Day of Resurrection.

﴿وَأَنَّهُمْ مُّفْرَطُونَ﴾

(and they will be forsaken). Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah and others said: “This means they will be forgotten and neglected there.” This is like the Ayah:

﴿فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَـهُمْ كَمَا نَسُواْ لِقَآءَ يَوْمِهِمْ هَـذَا﴾

(So today We forget them just as they forgot meeting on this day of theirs.) (7:51). It was also reported from Qatadah that,

﴿مُّفْرَطُونَ﴾

(they will be forsaken) means `they are hastened into the Fire.’ There is no contradiction between the two, because they will be hastened into the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, then they will be forgotten there, i.e., left to dwell there for eternity.

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