Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 91 (16:91)

Surah Nahl Ayat 91 in Arabic Text

وَأَوْفُوا۟ بِعَهْدِ ٱللَّهِ إِذَا عَـٰهَدتُّمْ وَلَا تَنقُضُوا۟ ٱلْأَيْمَـٰنَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا وَقَدْ جَعَلْتُمُ ٱللَّهَ عَلَيْكُمْ كَفِيلًا ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ
Wa awfoo bi Ahdil laahi izaa ‘aahattum wa laa tanqudul aimaana ba’da tawkeedihaa wa qad ja’altumul laaha ‘alaikum kafeelaa; innal laaha ya’lamu maa taf’aloon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 91

Sahih International
And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah, over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do.

Yusuf Ali
Fulfil the Covenant of Allah when ye have entered into it, and break not your oaths after ye have confirmed them; indeed ye have made Allah your surety; for Allah knoweth all that ye do.

Abul Ala Maududi
And fulfil the covenant which you have made with Allah and do not break your oaths after having firmly made them, and after having made Allah your witness. Surely Allah knows all that you do.

Muhsin Khan
And fulfill the Covenant of Allah (Bai’a: pledge for Islam) when you have covenanted, and break not the oaths after you have confirmed them, and indeed you have appointed Allah your surety. Verily! Allah knows what you do.

Pickthall
Fulfil the covenant of Allah when ye have covenanted, and break not your oaths after the asseveration of them, and after ye have made Allah surety over you. Lo! Allah knoweth what ye do.

Dr. Ghali
And fulfil the covenant of Allah when you have covenanted, and do not break the oaths after they have been affirmed. And you have already made Allah Sponsor over you; surely Allah knows whatever (things) you perform.

Abdel Haleem
Fulfil any pledge you make in God’s name and do not break oaths after you have sworn them, for you have made God your surety: God knows everything you do.

Quran 16 Verse 91 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 91, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:91) And fulfil the covenant which you have made with Allah and do not break your oaths after having firmly made them, and after having made Allah your witness. Surely Allah knows all that you do.


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

Ibn-Kathir

91. And fulfill the covenants (taken in the Name of) Allah when you have taken them, and do not break the oaths after you have confirmed them – and indeed you have appointed Allah as your guarantor. Verily, Allah knows what you do. 92. And do not be like the one who undoes the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong, by taking your oaths as a means of deception among yourselves when one group is more numerous than another group. Allah only tests you by this, and on the Day of Resurrection, He will certainly clarify that which used to differ over.


The Command to fulfill the Covenant

This is one of the commands of Allah, to fulfill covenants, keep promises and to fulfill oaths after confirming them. Thus Allah says:

﴿وَلاَ تَنقُضُواْ الاٌّيْمَـنَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا﴾

(and do not break the oaths after you have confirmed them) There is no conflict between this and the Ayat:

﴿وَلاَ تَجْعَلُواْ اللَّهَ عُرْضَةً لاًّيْمَـنِكُمْ﴾

(And do not use Allah as an excuse in your oaths) ﴿2:224﴾

﴿ذلِكَ كَفَّارَةُ أَيْمَـنِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ وَاحْفَظُواْ أَيْمَـنَكُمْ﴾

(That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths.) ﴿5:89﴾ meaning, do not forgo your oaths without offering the penance. There is also no conflict between this Ayah (16:91) and the Hadith reported in the Two Sahihs according to which the Prophet said:

«إِنِّي وَاللهِ إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ لَا أَحْلِفُ عَلَى يَمِينٍ فَأَرَى غَيْرَهَا خَيْرًا مِنْهَا إِلَّا أَتَيْتُ الَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ وَتَحَلَّلْتُهَا وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ وَكَفَّرْتُ عَنْ يَمِينِي»

(By Allah, if Allah wills, I will not swear an oath and then realize that something else is better, but I do that which is better and find a way to free myself from the oath. According to another report he said: “and I offer penance for my oath. ”) There is no contradiction at all between all of these texts and the Ayah under discussion here, which is:

﴿وَلاَ تَنقُضُواْ الاٌّيْمَـنَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا﴾

(and do not break the oaths after you have confirmed them) because these are the kinds of oaths that have to do with covenants and promises, not the kind that have to do with urging oneself to do something or preventing him from doing something. Therefore Mujahid said concerning this Ayah:

﴿وَلاَ تَنقُضُواْ الاٌّيْمَـنَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا﴾

(and do not break the oaths after you have confirmed them) “The oath here refers to oaths made during Jahiliyyah.” This supports the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad from Jubayr bin Mut`im, who said that the Messenger of Allah said:

«لَا حِلْفَ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ، وَأَيُّمَا حِلْفٍ كَانَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَزِيدُهُ الْإِسْلَامُ إِلَّا شِدَّة»

(There is no oath in Islam, and any oath made during the Jahiliyyah is only reinforced by Islam.) This was also reported by Muslim. The meaning is that Islam does not need oaths as they were used by the people of the Jahiliyyah; adherence to Islam is sufficient to do away with any need for what they used to customarily give oaths for. In the Two Sahihs it was reported that Anas said: “The Messenger of Allah () swore the treaty of allegiance between the Muhajirin (emigrants) and the Ansar (helpers) in our house. ” This means that he established brotherhood between them, and they used to inherit from one another, until Allah abrogated that. And Allah knows best.

﴿إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ﴾

(Verily, Allah knows what you do.) This is a warning and a threat to those who break their oaths after confirming them.

﴿وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّتِى نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا مِن بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنكَـثًا﴾

(And do not be like the one who undoes the thread which she has spun, after it has become strong,) `Abdullah bin Kathir and As-Suddi said: “This was a foolish woman in Makkah. Everytime she spun thread and made it strong, she would undo it again.” Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said: “This is like the one who breaks a covenant after confirming it.” This view is more correct and more apparent, whether or not there was a woman in Makkah who undid her thread after spinning it. The word Ankathan could be referring back to the word translated as “undoes”, reinforcing the meaning, or it could be the predicate of the verb “to be”, meaning, do not be Ankathan, the plural of Nakth (breach, violation), from the word Nakith (perfidious). Hence after this, Allah says:

﴿تَتَّخِذُونَ أَيْمَـنَكُمْ دَخَلاً بَيْنَكُمْ﴾

(by taking your oaths as a means of deception among yourselves) meaning for the purposes of cheating and tricking one another.

﴿أَن تَكُونَ أُمَّةٌ هِىَ أَرْبَى مِنْ أُمَّةٍ﴾

(when one group is more numerous than another group. ) meaning, you swear an oath with some people if they are more in number than you, so that they can trust you, but when you are able to betray them you do so. Allah forbids that, by showing a case where treachery might be expected or excused, but He forbids it. If treachery is forbidden in such a case, then in cases where one is in a position of strength it is forbidden more emphatically. Mujahid said: “They used to enter into alliances and covenants, then find other parties who were more powerful and more numerous, so they would cancel the alliance with the first group and make an alliance with the second who were more powerful and more numerous. This is what they were forbidden to do.” Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said something similar.

﴿إِنَّمَا يَبْلُوكُمُ اللَّهُ بِهِ﴾

(Allah only tests you by this) Sa`id bin Jubayr said: “This means (you are tested) by the large numbers.” This was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim. Ibn Jarir said: “It means (you are being tested) by His command to you to adhere to your covenants.”

﴿وَلَيُبَيِّنَنَّ لَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ﴾

(And on the Day of Resurrection, He will certainly clarify that which you differed over.) Everyone will be rewarded or punished in accordance with his deeds, good or evil.

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