Surah Al-Qasas >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Qasas Ayat 56 (28:56)

Surah Al-Qasas Ayat 56 in Arabic Text

إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِى مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِٱلْمُهْتَدِينَ
Innaka laa tahdee man ahbabta wa laakinn Allaha yahdee mai yashaaa’; wa huwa a’lamu bil muhtadeen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 56

Sahih International
Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided.

Yusuf Ali
It is true thou wilt not be able to guide every one, whom thou lovest; but Allah guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance.

Abul Ala Maududi
(O Prophet), you cannot grant guidance to whom you please. It is Allah Who guides those whom He will. He knows best who are amenable to guidance.

Muhsin Khan
Verily! You (O Muhammad SAW) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.

Pickthall
Lo! thou (O Muhammad) guidest not whom thou lovest, but Allah guideth whom He will. And He is Best Aware of those who walk aright.

Dr. Ghali
Surely you do not guide whomever you love, but Allah guides whomever He decides, and He knows best the ones (who are) rightly-guided.

Abdel Haleem
You [Prophet] cannot guide everyone you love to the truth; it is God who guides whoever He will: He knows best those who will follow guidance.

Quran 28 Verse 56 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Qasas ayat 56, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(28:56) (O Prophet), you cannot grant guidance to whom you please. It is Allah Who guides those whom He will.[79] He knows best who are amenable to guidance.


79. The context shows that the object of addressing this sentence to the Prophet (peace be upon him), after mentioning the affirmation of the faith by this Christians from Habash, was to put the disbelievers of Makkah to shame, as if to say. “O unfortunate people, what wretches you are! People from far off places are coming to benefit from the fountainhead of blessings that has been made available in your own city, but you are willfully depriving yourselves of it.” But the same thing has been said like this: “O Muhammad, you wish that your clansmen and your kinsfolk; and your near and dear ones should benefit from this life-giving nectar, but your willing alone cannot avail. To give guidance is in the power of Allah: He favors with it only those whom He finds inclined to accept guidance. If your kinsfolk lack this inclination, how can they be favored with this blessing?”

According to Bukhari and Muslim, this verse was sent down with regard to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) uncle, Abu Talib. When he was about to breathe his last, the Prophet (peace be upon him) tried his utmost that he should affirm faith in La ilaha illallah, so that he might die as a Muslim, but he preferred to die on the creed of Abdul Muttalib; that is why Allah said: “You cannot give guidance to whom you please.” But this is a well known method of the traditionalists and commentators that when they find that a particular verse applies to an event of the Prophet’s time, they regard it as the occasion of the verse’s revelation. Therefore, it cannot be necessarily concluded from this and the other similar traditions that have been related in Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, etc. on the authority of Abu Hurairah, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, etc. that this verse of Surah Al-Qasas was revealed on the occasion of Abu Talib’s death. This only shows that the truth of its meaning became most evident only on that occasion. Though the Prophet (peace be upon him) sincerely wished that every man should be blessed with guidance, the person whose dying on disbelief could cause him the greatest anguish and of whose guidance he was most desirous on account of personal bonds of love and affection, was Abu Talib. But when he was helpless in affording guidance even to him, it became evident that it did not lie in the power of the Prophet to give guidance to one or withhold it from another, but it lay wholly in the power of Allah. And Allah bestows this favor on whomever He wills not on account of a family or tribal relationship, but on the basis of one’s sincerity, capability and inclination of the heart.

Ibn-Kathir

56. Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided. 57. And they say: “If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.” Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary, to which are brought fruits of all kinds, a provision from Ourselves, but most of them know not.


Allah guides Whom He wills

Allah says to His Messenger : `O Muhammad:

﴿لاَ تَهْدِى مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ﴾

(Verily, you guide not whom you like)’ meaning, `the matter does not rest with you; all that you have to do is convey the Message, and Allah will guide whom He wills, and His is the ultimate wisdom,’ as He says:

﴿لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ﴾

(Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills.) (2:272)

﴿وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴾

(And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly.) (12:103) This Ayah is even more specific than the following:

﴿إِنَّكَ لاَ تَهْدِى مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ ﴾

(Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.) meaning: Allah knows best who deserves to be guided and who deserves to be misguided. It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that this Ayah was revealed concerning Abu Talib, the paternal uncle of the Messenger of Allah . He used to protect the Prophet, support him and stand by him. He loved the Prophet dearly, but this love was a natural love, i.e., born of kinship, not a love that was born of the fact that he was the Messenger of Allah . When he was on his deathbed, the Messenger of Allah called him to Faith and to enter Islam, but the decree overtook him and he remained a follower of disbelief, and Allah’s is the complete wisdom. Az-Zuhri said: “Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib narrated to me that his father, Al-Musayyib bin Hazan Al-Makhzumi, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “When Abu Talib was dying, the Messenger of Allah came to him and found Abu Jahl bin Hisham and `Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah bin Al-Mughirah with him. The Messenger of Allah said:

«يَا عَمِّ قُلْ: لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، كَلِمَةً أُحَاجُّ لَكَ بِهَا عِنْدَ الله»

(O my uncle, say La ilaha illallah, a word which I may use as evidence in your favor before Allah ﴿in the Hereafter﴾.) Abu Jahl bin Hisham and `Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah said: `O Abu Talib, will you leave the religion of `Abdul-Muttalib’ The Messenger of Allah kept urging him to say La ilaha illallah, and they kept saying, `Will you leave the religion of `Abdul-Muttalib’ — until, at the very end, he said that he was on the religion of `Abdul-Muttalib, and he refused to say La ilaha illallah. The Messenger of Allah said:

«وَاللهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ مَا لَمْ أُنْهَ عَنْك»

(By Allah, I shall certainly seek forgiveness for you unless I am told not to.) Then Allah revealed:

﴿مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُواْ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُواْ أُوْلِى قُرْبَى﴾

(It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah’s forgiveness for the idolators, even though they be of kin) (9:113). And there was revealed concerning Abu Talib the Ayah,

﴿إِنَّكَ لاَ تَهْدِى مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ﴾

(Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills.)” This was recorded (by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) from the Hadith of Az-Zuhri.

The Excuses made by the People of Makkah for not believing, and the Refutation of Their Excuses

﴿وَقَالُواْ إِن نَّتَّبِعِ الْهُدَى مَعَكَ نُتَخَطَّفْ مِنْ أَرْضِنَآ﴾

(And they say: “If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.”) Allah tells us that this is the excuse which was given by some of the disbelievers for not following true guidance. They said to the Messenger of Allah :

﴿إِن نَّتَّبِعِ الْهُدَى مَعَكَ نُتَخَطَّفْ مِنْ أَرْضِنَآ﴾

(If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.), meaning, `we are afraid that if we follow the message of guidance that you have brought, and go against the pagan Arab tribes around us, they will seek to do us harm and wage war against us, and they may snatch us away from wherever we may be.’ Allah said in response to them:

﴿أَوَلَمْ نُمَكِّن لّهُمْ حَرَماً ءَامِناً﴾

(Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary,) meaning, the excuse they give is a lie and is false, because Allah has put them in a secure city and a venerated sanctuary which has been safe from the time it was built — how could this sanctuary be safe for them when they believed in disbelief and Shirk, and how could it not be safe for them when they become Muslims and follow the truth

﴿يُجْبَى إِلَيْهِ ثَمَرَاتُ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ﴾

(to which are brought fruits of all kinds, ) means, all kinds of fruits from the surrounding regions, from At-Ta’if and elsewhere. Similarly, the people of Makkah engaged in trade and other goods also came to their city.

﴿رِّزْقاً مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ﴾

(a provision from Ourselves, but most of them know not.) – this is why they said what they said.

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