Surah Qaf Ayat 16 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 16
And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein
It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.
Surely We have created man, and We know the promptings of his heart, and We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein.
And indeed We have created man, and We know what his ownself whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge).
We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.
And indeed We already created man, and We know whatever his self whispers within him, and We are nearer to him than the jugular vein.
We created man––We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his jugular vein––
Quran 50 Verse 16 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Qaf ayat 16, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(50:16) Surely We have created man, and We know the promptings of his heart, and We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein.
19. After presenting the arguments for the Hereafter, it is being stated: Whether you believe in the Hereafter, or deny it, it has to come in any case, and it is such a reality which will certainly come about in spite of your denial. If you heed the warning given by the Prophets in advance and prepare for it, you will be doing good to yourselves. If you do not believe in it, you will be inviting your own doom. Your denial will not prevent the Hereafter from taking place and God’s law of justice will not became suspended.
20. That is, Our power and Our knowledge has so encompassed man from within and without that Our power and knowledge is closer to him than his own jugular-vein. We do not have to travel from a distance to hear what he says, but We directly know every thought that arises in his heart. Likewise, when We shall want to seize him, We will not have to seize him after covering a distance, for wherever he is, he is in Our grasp; and whenever We will, We will seize him.
16. And indeed We have created man, and We know what his self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. 17. (Remember) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being), one sitting on the right and one on the left. 18. Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it). 19. And the stupor of death will come in truth: “This is what you have been avoiding!” 20. And the Trumpet will be blown — that will be the Day of the threat. 21. And every person will come forth along with a Sa’iq and a Shahid. 22. (It will be said to the sinners): “Indeed you were heedless of this. Now We have removed from you, your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!”
Allah the Exalted affirms His absolute dominance over mankind, being their Creator and the Knower of everything about them. Allah the Exalted has complete knowledge of all thoughts that cross the mind of man, be they good or evil. In the Sahih, the Messenger of Allah said,
(Verily, Allah the Exalted has forgiven my Ummah (Muslims) for what they talk (think) to themselves about, as long as they do not utter or implement it.) The statement of Allah the Exalted,
(And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.) means, His angels are nearer to man than his jugular vein. Those who explained `We’ in the Ayah to mean `Our knowledge,’ have done so to avoid falling into the idea of incarnation or indwelling; but these two creeds are false according to the consensus of Muslims. Allah is praised and glorified, He is far hallowed beyond what they ascribe to Him. The words of this Ayah do not need this explanation (that `We’ refers to `Allah’s knowledge’), for Allah did not say, `and I am closer to him than his jugular vein.’ Rather, He said,
(And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. ) just as He said in the case of dying persons,
(But We are nearer to him than you, but you see not.) (56:85), in reference to His angels (who take the souls). Allah the Exalted the Blessed said,
(Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely, We will guard it.) (15:9) Therefore, the angels brought down the revelation, the Qur’an, by the leave of Allah, the Exalted, the Most Honored. Thus, the angels are closer to man than his own jugular vein, by the power and leave of Allah. Consequently, the angel touches mankind, just as the devil touches them, for the devil is as close to them as the blood that runs in their veins; just as Allah’s Prophet , who is truthful and was told the truth, told us. Allah’s statement here,
((Remember) that the two receivers receive,) in reference to the two angels who receive and record the deeds of mankind.
(one sitting on the right and one on the left.) means ready to note,
(whatever he utters), in reference to the human,
(of a word), means any word that he or she speaks,
(but there is a watcher by him ready.) means, but there is a scribe whose job is to record it, leaving no word or movement unrecorded. Allah the Exalted said,
(But verily, over you (are appointed angels) to watch you, Kiraman (honorable) Katibin writing down (your deeds), they know all that you do.) (82:10-12) Therefore, the scribe records every word that is spoken, according to the explanation of Al-Hasan and Qatadah. This is also the apparent meaning of this Ayah. Imam Ahmad recorded that Bilal bin Al-Harith Al-Muzani said, “The Messenger of Allah said,
(Verily, a man might utter a word that pleases Allah the Exalted, unaware of how highly it will be regarded, and on its account Allah the Exalted and Most Honored decrees His pleasure of him until the Day he meets Him. A man might indeed utter a word that angers Allah the Exalted, unaware of how dreadful it will be and on its account Allah the Exalted decrees for him His anger until the Day he meets Him.)” `Alqamah used to say, “How many words did I not utter because of the Hadith that Bilal bin Al-Harith narrated.” At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.” There is a Hadith similar to this in the Sahih.
Allah the Exalted and Most High said,
(And the stupor of death will come in truth: “This is what you have been avoiding!”) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored says, `O mankind! This is the stupor of death that has come in truth; now, I have brought forth to you the certainty that you were disputing,’
(This is what you have been avoiding!), means, `this is the end that you were trying to escape; it has come to you! Therefore, you will have neither a shelter nor a refuge nor a sanctuary nor an asylum from it.’ In the Sahih, the Prophet said, while wiping sweat from his face when the stupor of death overcame him,
(Glory be to Allah! Verily, death has its stupor.) The Ayah,
(This is what you have been avoiding!) has two possible meanings. One of them is this: `what you have been trying to avert, escape and flee from has come to you and resided in your home!’ The second meaning is, `you had no way of escaping or averting this end. ‘ At-Tabarani collected a Hadith in Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabir from Samurah who said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The parable of whoever tries to avoid death is that of a fox that had a debt to pay to the earth. The fox went away and when he became tired and the time to sleep overtook him, he entered his den. The earth said to him, `O fox! Pay my debt!’ The fox went out howling and continued until his neck was cutoff, (i.e.,) he died.) This parable indicates that just as the fox had no way of escaping or avoiding the earth, likewise, man has no way of avoiding death. Allah the Exalted the Blessed said,
(And the Trumpet will be blown — that will be the Day of the threat.) Earlier we discussed the information about the blowing of the Trumpet, the fear that follows it, the death of everything and then resurrection, all this will occur on the Day of Resurrection. We also mentioned that the Messenger of Allah said in a Hadith,
(How can I feel comfort while the angel responsible for the Trumpet has placed the Trumpet to his mouth and lowered his forehead awaiting when he will be commanded (by Allah to blow in it)) They said, “O Allah’s Messenger, what should we say” He said,
(Say, “Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs.)” The Companions repeated this invocation, saying, “Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs (for us).” Allah said,
(And every person will come forth along with a Sa’iq and a Shahid.) meaning, an angel to drive him to the gathering place and an angel to bear witness against him with regards to his deeds. This is the apparent meaning of this honorable Ayah and it is the meaning that Ibn Jarir preferred. It was narrated from Yahya bin Rafi`, the freed servant of Thaqif, that he heard `Uthman bin `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, giving a speech in which he recited this Ayah,
(And every person will come forth along with a Sa’iq and a Shahid.) and then said, “A Sa’iq to drive every person to Allah the Exalted, and a Shahid to witness against him what he has done.” The statement of Allah the Exalted,
(Indeed you were heedless of this. Now We have removed from you, your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!) is directed at humanity. Allah said,
(Indeed you were heedless of this.), of this Day,
(Now We have removed from you, your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day!) `your sight is now clear and strong.’ Everyone, including the disbelievers, will have clear sight on the Day of Resurrec- tion. However, having sight will not be helpful to the dis- believers on that Day, for Allah the Exalted said,
(How clearly will they (disbelievers) see and hear, the Day when they will appear before Us!) (19:38), and,
(And if you only could see when the criminals hang their heads before their Lord (saying): “Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back (to the world), that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty.)(32:12)
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