Surah Qaf >> Currently viewing Surah Qaf Ayat 36 (50:36)

Surah Qaf Ayat 36 in Arabic Text

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِّن قَرْنٍ هُمْ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُم بَطْشًۭا فَنَقَّبُوا۟ فِى ٱلْبِلَـٰدِ هَلْ مِن مَّحِيصٍ
Wa kam ahlaknaa qablahum min qarnin hum ashaddu minhum batshan fanaqqaboo fil bilaad, hal mim mahees

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 36

Sahih International
And how many a generation before them did We destroy who were greater than them in [striking] power and had explored throughout the lands. Is there any place of escape?

Yusuf Ali
But how many generations before them did We destroy (for their sins),- stronger in power than they? Then did they wander through the land: was there any place of escape (for them)?

Abul Ala Maududi
How many a nation did We destroy before them that were stronger in prowess than these. They searched about the lands of the world. But could they find a refuge?

Muhsin Khan
And how many a generation We have destroyed before them, who were stronger in power than them, and (when Our Torment came) they ran for a refuge in the land! Could they find any place of refuge (for them to save themselves from destruction)?

Pickthall
And how many a generation We destroyed before them, who were mightier than these in prowess so that they overran the lands! Had they any place of refuge (when the judgment came)?

Dr. Ghali
And how many a generation We caused to perish before them (who) were more valiant in assault than they, so that they overran the lands; (yet) had they any evasion (from Us)?

Abdel Haleem
We have destroyed even mightier generations before these disbelievers, who travelled through [many] lands- was there any escape?

Quran 50 Verse 36 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Qaf ayat 36, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(50:36) How many a nation did We destroy before them that were stronger in prowess than these. They searched about the lands of the world.[46] But could they find a refuge?[47]


46. That is, they were not only powerful and strong in their own land but had also made incursions into other lands and brought under their sway far off lands as well.

47. That is, could their power and might save them when the time appointed by Allah came for their seizure? And could they find shelter and refuge anywhere? Now, on what trust do you hope that you will get refuge somewhere in the world when you have rebelled against Allah?

Ibn-Kathir

36. And how many a generation We have destroyed before them who were stronger in power than they. And they went about the land! Could they find any place of refuge 37. Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful. 38. And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six Days and nothing of fatigue touched Us. 39. So bear with patience all that they say, and glorify the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting. 40. And during a part of the night (also) glorify His praises and (so likewise) after the prostrations.


Warning the Disbelievers of the imminent Torment; commanding the Prophet to pray and have Patience

Allah the Exalted asks, `how many We have destroyed before these denying disbelievers’

﴿مِّن قَرْنٍ هُمْ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُم بَطْشاً﴾

(a generation who were stronger in power than they.) they were more numerous, mightier than they and who constructed on the earth and built on it more than they. The statement of Allah the Exalted,

﴿فَنَقَّبُواْ فِى الْبِلَـدِ هَلْ مِن مَّحِيصٍ﴾

(And they went about the land! Could they find any place of refuge) Ibn `Abbas commented, “They left the traces throughout the land,” Qatadah said, “They traveled throughout the land seeking provisions through trade and business, more than you have.” Allah’s statement,

﴿هَلْ مِن مَّحِيصٍ﴾

(Could they find any place of refuge) means, `could they find a shelter from Allah’s decision and appointed destiny Have what they collected benefited them or averted Allah’s torment when it came to them on account of their denial of the Messengers Likewise, you will never be able to avert, avoid, or find refuge or shelter (from His torment).’ Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,

﴿إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لَذِكْرَى﴾

(Verily, therein is indeed a reminder) and a lesson,

﴿لِمَن كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ﴾

(for him who has a heart) meaning, a sound understanding with which he comprehends, or, a good mind, according to Mujahid,

﴿أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ﴾

(or gives ear while he is heedful.) meaning, he hears the speech, comprehends and understands it in his mind and grasps its indications with his intellect. Mujahid said that,

﴿أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ﴾

(or gives ear), means, he does not talk to himself but listens with an attentive heart. Ad-Dahhak commented, “The Arabs would say that someone has given ear when he hears with his ears, while his heart is present and not absent.” Ath-Thawri and several others said similarly. The statement of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored;

﴿وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِى سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍ ﴾

(And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and all that between them in six Days and nothing of fatigue touched Us.) is emphasis on the Resurrection because He Who is able to create the heavens and earth without fatigue, then surely He is able to resurrect the dead. Qatadah said, “The Jews, may Allah’s curses descend on them, said that Allah created the heavens and earth in six days and then rested on the seventh day, which was the Sabbath. This is why they call it a holiday. Allah the Exalted then sent down denial of their statement and false opinion.” Allah said, m

﴿وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍ﴾

(and nothing of fatigue touched Us.) indicating that no sleep, exhaustion or weariness affects Him. Allah the Exalted the Blessed said in other Ayat,

﴿أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِى خَلَقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَلَمْ يَعْىَ بِخَلْقِهِنَّ بِقَادِرٍ عَلَى أَن يُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى بَلَى إِنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ﴾

(Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead Yes, He surely is Able to do all things.)(46:33),

﴿لَخَلْقُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ أَكْـبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ﴾

(The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind.)(40:57) and,

﴿أَءَنتُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقاً أَمِ السَّمَآءُ بَنَـهَا ﴾

(Are you more difficult to create or is the heaven that He constructed)(79:27) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,

﴿فَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ﴾

(So bear with patience all that they say, ) in reference to those who deny the Prophet , ordering him to be patient with them and turn away from them in a good way,

﴿وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ﴾

(and glorify the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.) There were two ordained prayers prior to the Isra’ journey. One before the rising of the sun at dawn and the other before sunset in the evening. Qiyam Al-Layl, prayer at night, was a command for the Prophet and his followers for sometime but it was later abrogated for the Ummah. Later, during the Isra’ journey, Allah abrogated all of the previous orders for prayer by ordaining five daily prayers, including the prayers of Fajr before sunrise, and `Asr in the late afternoon. Imam Ahmad recorded that Jarir bin `Abdullah said, “When we were sitting with the Prophet , he looked at the full moon and said,

«أَمَا إِنَّكُمْ سَتُعْرَضُونَ عَلَى رَبِّكُمْ فَتَرَوْنَهُ كَمَا تَرَوْنَ هذَا الْقَمَرَ لَا تُضَامُّونَ فِيهِ، فَإِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَنْ لَا تُغْلَبُوا عَلَى صَلَاةٍ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا فَافْعَلُوا»

(Certainly you will be brought before your Lord and will see Him as you see this moon, and you will have no trouble in seeing Him. So, if you can avoid missing the prayer before the sunrise and the prayer before sunset, you must do so.) He then recited Allah’s statement,

﴿وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ﴾

(and glorify the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.)”’ The Two Sahihs and the rest of the Group collected this Hadith through the chain of Isma`il. Allah the Exalted said,

﴿وَمِنَ الَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ﴾

(And during a part of the night glorify His praises), meaning pray to Him. Allah said Ayah,

﴿وَمِنَ الَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَاماً مَّحْمُودًا ﴾

(And in some parts of the night offer the Salah with it, as an additional prayer for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.) (17:79) Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid said that Ibn `Abbas said that,

﴿وَأَدْبَـرَ السُّجُودِ﴾

(and after the prostrations.) refers to Tasbih, i.e. glorifying Allah’s praises, after the prayers. There is a Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs that supports this meaning. Abu Hurayrah said, “Some poor migrants came and said, `O Allah’s Messenger! The wealthy people will get higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment. ‘ The Prophet said,

«وَمَا ذَاكَ؟»

(Why is that) They said, `They pray as we do, fast as we do, yet they give charity, but we can not. They free slaves, but we can not.’ The Prophet said,

«أَفَلَا أُعَلِّمُكُمْ شَيْئًا إِذَا فَعَلْتُمُوهُ سَبَقْتُمْ مَنْ بَعْدَكُمْ وَلَا يَكُونُ أَحَدٌ أَفْضَلَ مِنْكُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ فَعَلَ مِثْلَ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ؟ تُسَبِّحُونَ وَتَحْمَدُونَ وَتُكَبِّرُونَ دُبُرَ كُلِّ صَلَاةٍ ثَلَاثًا وَثَلَاثِين»

(Shall I tell you about something that, if you did it, you would catch up with those who have surpassed you and nobody would be better than you except those who would do the same Say, `Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah and Allahu Akbar,’ thirty-three times each after every prayer.) Later, they came back and said, `O Allah’s Messenger! Our brethren, the wealthy Muslims, heard of what we did and they also did the same.’ The Prophet said,

«ذلِكَ فَضْلُ اللهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاء»

(This is a favor and grace of Allah, and He grants it to whom He wills.)” There is another way of explaining the Ayah. It is that Allah’s statement,

﴿وَأَدْبَـرَ السُّجُودِ﴾

(and after the prostrations.) refers to the two Rak`ahs after the Maghrib prayer. This was reported from `Umar bin Al-Khattab, `Ali bin Abi Talib and his son Al-Hasan, `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Abu Hurayrah and Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with them. This is also the saying of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ash-Sha`bi, An-Nakha`i, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, and others.

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