Surah An-Naml Ayat 59 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 59
Say, [O Muhammad], “Praise be to Allah, and peace upon His servants whom He has chosen. Is Allah better or what they associate with Him?”
Say: Praise be to Allah, and Peace on his servants whom He has chosen (for his Message). (Who) is better?- Allah or the false gods they associate (with Him)?
Say, (O Muhammad): “All praise be to Allah, and peace be on those of His servants whom He has chosen.” (Ask them): “Who is better: Allah or the false gods that they associate with Him as His partners?
Say (O Muhammad SAW): “Praise and thanks be to Allah, and peace be on His slaves whom He has chosen (for His Message)! Is Allah better, or (all) that you ascribe as partners (to Him)?” (Of course, Allah is Better).
Say (O Muhammad): Praise be to Allah, and peace be on His slaves whom He hath chosen! Is Allah best, or (all) that ye ascribe as partners (unto Him)?
Say, “Praise be to Allah, and peace be on His bondmen whom He has elected.” Is Allah Most Charitable, or whatever they associate (with Him)?
Say [Prophet], ‘Praise be to God and peace on the servants He has chosen. Who is better: God, or those they set up as partners with Him?
Quran 27 Verse 59 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Naml ayat 59, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(27:59) Say, (O Muhammad): “All praise be to Allah, and peace be on those of His servants whom He has chosen.” (Ask them): “Who is better: Allah or the false gods that they associate with Him as His partners?
71. From here starts the second discourse, and this is its introductory sentence. This introduction teaches how the Muslims should begin a speech. That is why the truly Islamic-minded people have always been starting their speeches and discourses with the praise of Allah and salutation on His righteous servants. But now this is looked upon as characteristic of bigotry, and the present-day Muslim speakers have no idea of starting their speech with these words, or feel shy of doing so.
72. Superficially the question whether Allah is better or the false deities appears to be odd. As a matter of fact, there can be no question of goodness in the false gods and, therefore, they cannot be compared to Allah. As for the polytheists, even they had no misconception that Allah could be compared to their gods. But they were asked this question in order to be warned against their error. For obviously none in the world would do anything unless he saw some good in it. Now if the polytheists served their deities and implored them for their needs instead of Allah, and presented their offerings before them, this would be meaningless unless they perceived some good in them. That is why they have been explicitly asked to consider whether Allah is better or their deities, for they could not face and answer this forth-right question. Even the most hardened polytheist among them could not venture to say that their deities were better. But if they acknowledged that Allah is better it would demolish their whole creed, for then it would be unreasonable to adopt the inferior against the superior creed. The Quran at the very outset made the opponents helpless. After this, pointed questions have been asked, one after the other, about the manifestations of the power and creation of Allah to the effect: “Whose works are these? Is there besides Allah any other god also associated with these works? If not, why have you then set up these others as your deities?”
According to traditions, whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited this verse, he would immediately respond to it, saying: “Nay, but Allah is better, and He alone is the Everlasting and Exalted and High.”
59. Say : “Praise and thanks be to Allah, and peace be on His servants whom He has chosen! Is Allah better, or what they ascribe as partners” 60. Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth, and sends down for you water from the sky, whereby We cause to grow wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight It is not in your ability to cause the growth of their trees. Is there any god with Allah Nay, but they are a people who ascribe equals!
Allah commands His Messenger to say:
(Praise and thanks be to Allah,) meaning, for His innumerable blessings upon His servants and for His exalted Attributes and most beautiful Names. And He commands him to send peace upon the servants of Allah whom He chose and selected, i.e., His noble Messengers and Prophets, may the best of peace and blessings from Allah be upon them. This was the view of `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and others; the meaning of the servants He has chose is the Prophets. He said, “This like He said in the Ayah;
(Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of honor and power! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him! And peace be on the Messengers! And all the praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of all that exists.) (37:180-182).” Ath-Thawri and As-Suddi said, “This refers to the Companions of Muhammad , may Allah be pleased with them all.” Something similar was also narrated from Ibn `Abbas, and there is no contradiction between the two views, because they were also among the servants of Allah whom He had chosen, although the description is more befitting of the Prophets.
(Is Allah better, or what they ascribe as partners (to Him)) This is a question aimed at denouncing the idolators for their worship of other gods besides Allah. Some more Proofs of Tawhid Then Allah begins to explain that He is the Only One Who creates, provides and controls, as He says:
(Is not He Who created the heavens) meaning, He created those heavens which are so high and serene, with their shining stars and revolving planets. And He created the earth, with its varying heights and densities, and He created everything in it, mountains, hills, plains, rugged terrain, wildernesses, crops, trees, fruits, seas and animals of all different kinds and colors and shapes, etc.
(and sends down for you water from the sky,) means, He sends it as a provision for His servants,
(whereby We cause to grow wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight) means, beautiful and delightful to behold.
(It is not in your ability to cause the growth of their trees.) meaning, `you are not able to cause their trees to grow. The One Who is able to do that is the Creator and Provider, Who is doing all this Alone and Independent of any idol and other rival.’ The idolators themselves admitted this, as Allah says in another Ayah:
(And if you ask them: “Who has created them” they will certainly say: “Allah.”) (31:25)
(And if you were to ask them: “Who sends down water from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death” they will surely reply: “Allah.”) (29:63) Meaning they will admit that He is the One Who does all these things, Alone, with no partner or associate, but then they worship others alongside Him, others who they admit cannot create or provide anything. But the Only One Who deserves to be worshipped is the Only One Who can create and provide, Allah says:
(Is there any god with Allah) meaning, `is there any god that can be worshipped alongside Allah, when it is clear to you and anyone who with reason that He is the Creator and Provider, as you yourselves admit’ Then Allah says:
(Nay, but they are a people who ascribe equals (to Him)!) meaning, they describe others as being equal and comparable to Allah.
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