Surah Ar-Ra’d Ayat 33 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 33
Then is He who is a maintainer of every soul, [knowing] what it has earned, [like any other]? But to Allah they have attributed partners. Say, “Name them. Or do you inform Him of that which He knows not upon the earth or of what is apparent of speech?” Rather, their [own] plan has been made attractive to those who disbelieve, and they have been averted from the way. And whomever Allah leaves astray – there will be for him no guide.
Is then He who standeth over every soul (and knoweth) all that it doth, (like any others)? And yet they ascribe partners to Allah. Say: “But name them! is it that ye will inform Him of something he knoweth not on earth, or is it (just) a show of words?” Nay! to those who believe not, their pretence seems pleasing, but they are kept back (thereby) from the path. And those whom Allah leaves to stray, no one can guide.
Is it, then, in regard to Him Who watches over the deeds of every person that they are acting blasphemously by setting up His associates? Tell them: “Name those associates (if Allah Himself has made them His associates)! Or are you informing Allah of something the existence of which He does not even know?” Or do people arbitrarily utter empty words? Indeed, their foul contriving has been made to seem fair to the unbelievers and they have been barred from finding the Right Way. Whomsoever Allah lets go astray will have none to guide him.
Is then He (Allah) Who takes charge (guards, maintains, provides, etc.) of every person and knows all that he has earned (like any other deities who know nothing)? Yet they ascribe partners to Allah. Say: “Name them! Is it that you will inform Him of something He knows not in the earth or is it (just) a show of false words.” Nay! To those who disbelieve, their plotting is made fairseeming, and they have been hindered from the Right Path, and whom Allah sends astray, for him, there is no guide.
Is He Who is aware of the deserts of every soul (as he who is aware of nothing)? Yet they ascribe unto Allah partners. Say: Name them. Is it that ye would inform Him of something which He knoweth not in the earth? Or is it but a way of speaking? Nay but their contrivance is made seeming fair for those who disbelieve and they are kept from the right road. He whom Allah sendeth astray, for him there is no guide.
So, is He Who is Ever Upright over every self for what it has earned (as any other)? And they have made up for Allah associates. Say, “Name them! Or even will you (really) inform Him of what He does not know in the earth? Or even in outward speech? No indeed, but adorned (i.e., made attractive) for the ones who have disbelieved is their scheming, (and) they are barred from the way; and whomever Allah leads into error, then in no way has he any guide.”
Is He who stands over every soul marking its action [in need of any partner]? Yet they ascribe partners to God. Say, ‘Name them,’ or, ‘Can you tell Him about something on the earth He does not know to exist, or is this just a display of words?’ But the things they devise are made alluring to the disbelievers and they are barred from the [right] path: no one can guide those God leaves to stray.
Quran 13 Verse 33 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ar-Ra’d ayat 33, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(13:33) Is it, then, in regard to Him Who watches over the deeds of every person50,51 that they are acting blasphemously by setting up His associates? Tell them: “Name those associates (if Allah Himself has made them His associates)! Or are you informing Allah of something the existence of which He does not even know?” Or do people arbitrarily utter empty words? Indeed, their foul contriving has been made to seem fair to the unbelievers and they have been barred from finding the Right Way. Whomsoever Allah lets go astray will have none to guide him.
50. That is, they are so audacious that they set up partners with Allah Whose knowledge is All-Comprehensive and Who is aware of even the minutest details of the good and bad actions of each individual.
51. These are the audacious things they do. They ascribe partners and equals to Him. They believe that some of His creatures are a part and parcel of His Being, and have attributes and rights like Him. They presume that they shall not be called to account for whatever they do, even though they live in His kingdom.
52. That is, you give empty names to the partners you ascribe to Him for you have no real knowledge about them. For you could get this knowledge only in one of the three following ways.
First, you might have received some authentic information that Allah had made such and such people as His partners in His attributes, powers and rights. If it is so, let us also know their names and the source of your information.
Second, the possibility that Allah might have remained ignorant that some beings have become His partners. Therefore you are going to inform Him about this. If it is so, say it clearly in so many words so that it may be decided whether there are some foolish people who can believe in such a nonsensical claim.
Third, obviously the above two suppositions are absurd. Therefore the only alternative is that, you are ascribing partners to Him without any rhyme or reason, and you, without any knowledge, make one the relative of God, another the hearer of supplications, and still another the helper and fulfiller of certain needs and the ruler of a certain region etc.
53. Shirk has been called fraud because none of the angels, spirits, saints, heavenly bodies, to whom they ascribe divine attributes and powers or render divine rights, ever claimed to possess these attributes or powers. Neither did they ever demand these rights from the people nor told the people that they would fulfill their desires and wants if they would perform some rituals of worship before them. As a matter of fact, some clever people invented these gods in order to practice willful deception and dishonesty so that they might wield powerful influence over the common people and exploit them and deprive them of a part of their hard earned possessions. Accordingly, they made the common people credulous followers of the gods of their inventions and set themselves up as their representatives to get money, etc. from them by this fraud.
The second reason why shirk has been called fraud is that a worldly man pretends to believe in it not because he wants to believe in it but in order to free himself from all moral restraints to enable him to lead an irresponsible life of greed and lust.
The third reason is given below in( E. N. 54).
33. Is then He (Allah) Who takes charge of every person and knows all that he has earned (like any other deity who knows nothing) Yet, they ascribe partners to Allah. Say: “Name them! Is it that you will inform Him of something He knows not in the earth or is it (just) a show of false words.” Nay! To those who disbelieved, their plotting is made fair-seeming, and they have been hindered from the right path; and whom Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide.
(Is then He (Allah) Who takes charge of every person and knows all that he has earned) Allah is the guard and watcher over every living soul and knows what everyone does, whether good or evil, and nothing ever escapes His perfect observation. Allah said in other Ayat,
(Neither you do any deed nor recite any portion of the Qur’an, nor you do any deed, but we are witness thereof, when you are doing it.) ﴿10:61﴾ and Allah said,
(Not a leaf falls, but He knows it.) ﴿6:59﴾
(And no moving creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposits. All is in a Clear Book.)﴿11:6﴾,
(It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceals his speech or declares it openly, whether he be hid by night or goes forth freely by day.) ﴿13:10﴾
(He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.) ﴿20:7﴾ and,
(And He is with you wherever you may be. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.) ﴿57:4﴾ Is He Who is like this similar to the idols, that the polytheists worship, which can neither hear nor see nor do they have a mind nor able to bring good to themselves or to their worshippers nor prevent harm from themselves or their worshippers The answer to the question in the Ayah was omitted, because it is implied, for Allah said next,
(Yet, they ascribe partners to Allah.) which they worshipped besides Him, such as idols, rivals and false deities,
(Say: “Name them!”) make them known to us and uncover them so that they are known, for surely, they do not exist at all! So Allah said,
(Is it that you will inform Him of something He knows not in the earth) for had that thing existed in or on the earth, Allah would have known about it because nothing ever escapes His knowledge,
(or is it (just) a show of words) or doubts expressed in words, according to Mujahid, while Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said, false words. Allah says, you (polytheists) worshipped the idols because you thought that they had power to bring benefit or harm, and this is why you called them gods,
(They are but names which you have named – you and your fathers – for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire, whereas there has surely come to them the guidance from their Lord!)﴿53:23﴾ Allah said next,
(Nay! To those who disbelieved, their plotting is made fair seeming,) or their words, according to Mujahid. This Ayah refers to the misguidance of the polytheists and their propagation night and day. Allah said in another Ayah,
(And We have assigned for them (devils) intimate companions, who have made fair-seeming to them.) Allah said next,
(and they have been hindered from the right path;) Some read with Fatha over the Sad (i.e. wa Saddu), which would mean, `and they hindered from the right path, feeling fond of the misguidance they are in, thinking that it is correct, they called to it and thus hindered the people from following the path of the Messengers.’ Others read it with Damma over the Sad (i.e. wa Suddu), which would mean, `and they have been hindered from the right path,’ explained it this way: because they thought that their way looked fair or correct, they were hindered by it from the right path, so Allah said,
(and whom Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide.) Allah said in similar instances,
(And whomsoever Allah wants to suffer a trial, you can do nothing for him against Allah.) ﴿5:41﴾, and,
(If you covet for their guidance, then verily, Allah guides not those whom He makes to go astray. And they will have no helpers.)﴿16:37﴾
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