Surah Nahl Ayat 75 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 75
Allah presents an example: a slave [who is] owned and unable to do a thing and he to whom We have provided from Us good provision, so he spends from it secretly and publicly. Can they be equal? Praise to Allah! But most of them do not know.
Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another; He has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to Allah. But most of them understand not.
Allah sets forth a parable: There is one who is a slave and is owned by another and has no power over anything; and there is one whom We have granted good provision Ourselves, of which he spends both secretly and openly. Can they be equal? All praise be to Allah. But most of them do not even know (this simple fact).
Allah puts forward the example (of two men a believer and a disbeliever); a slave (disbeliever) under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and (the other), a man (believer) on whom We have bestowed a good provision from Us, and He spends thereof secretly and openly. Can they be equal? (By no means, not). All the praises and thanks be to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.
Allah coineth a similitude: (on the one hand) a (mere) chattel slave, who hath control of nothing, and (on the other hand) one on whom we have bestowed a fair provision from Us, and he spendeth thereof secretly and openly. Are they equal? Praise be to Allah! But most of them know not.
Allah has struck a similitude: a slave possessed (by his patron), unable to determine anything, and one whom We have provided of Ourselves with a fair provision, (and) so he expends of it secretly and openly. Are they equal? Praise be to Allah! No indeed, most of them do not know.
God presents this illustration: a slave controlled by his master, with no power over anything, and another man We have supplied with good provision, from which he gives alms privately and openly. Can they be considered equal? All praise belongs to God, but most of them do not recognize this.
Quran 16 Verse 75 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 75, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(16:75) Allah sets forth a parable: There is one who is a slave and is owned by another and has no power over anything; and there is one whom We have granted good provision Ourselves, of which he spends both secretly and openly. Can they be equal? All praise be to Allah. But most of them do not even know (this simple fact).
66. In the preceding verse, the mushriks were told not to make comparisons between Allah and His creatures, for there is nothing like Him. As the bases of their comparison were wrong, their conclusions were also misleading. In this verse appropriate similitude have been cited and right comparisons have been made to lead them to reality.
67. Between the last question and “Praise be to Allah” there is a gap which is to be filled with the help of the latter. When the question was posed, obviously the mushriks could not say that the two men were equal. So some of them would have admitted that they were not equal, while the others would have kept quiet for fear that in case of admission, they would have to abide by its logical conclusion, that is, the admission of refutation of the doctrine of shirk. Therefore, the words, “Praise be to Allah” have been put in the mouth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in answer to both kinds of the response to the question. In the first case, it would mean: “Praise be to Allah” you have admitted at least so much. In the second case, it would mean: “Praise be to Allah” you have kept quiet in spite of all your obduracy and have not had the audacity to say that both were equal.
68. “But most of them do not know” this simple thing that while they feel and carefully observe the distinction between those who have powers and those who are powerless, they neither feel nor observe the clear distinction between the Creator and His creation. That is why they associate the creatures with the Creator in His Attributes and Powers and show the kind of allegiance to them as is the exclusive right of the Creator. The pity is that in their everyday life, they would beg for some thing from the master of the house and not from the servants but in contrast to this, they would beg for their needs from the servants of Allah and not from Him.
75. Allah gives the example of a servant under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and a man on whom We have bestowed good provisions from Us, and he spends from that secretly and openly. Can they be equal (By no means). All the praises and thanks are to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.
Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said: “This is the example which Allah gives of the disbeliever and the believer.” This was also the view of Qatadah and Ibn Jarir. The servant who has no power over anything is like the disbeliever, and the one who is given good provisions and spends of them secretly and openly is like the believer. Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid said: “This is an example given of the idol and the True God – can they be the same” Once the difference between them is so clear and so obvious, no one can be unaware of it except the one who is foolish. Allah says:
(All the praises and thanks are to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.)
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