Surah Saba >> Currently viewing Surah Saba Ayat 16 (34:16)

Surah Saba Ayat 16 in Arabic Text

فَأَعْرَضُوا۟ فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَيْلَ ٱلْعَرِمِ وَبَدَّلْنَـٰهُم بِجَنَّتَيْهِمْ جَنَّتَيْنِ ذَوَاتَىْ أُكُلٍ خَمْطٍۢ وَأَثْلٍۢ وَشَىْءٍۢ مِّن سِدْرٍۢ قَلِيلٍۢ
Fa a’radoo fa-arsalnaa ‘alaihim Sailal ‘Arimi wa baddalnaahum bijannataihim jannataini zawaatai ukulin khamtinw wa aslinw wa shai’im min sidrin qaleel

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 16

Sahih International
But they turned away [refusing], so We sent upon them the flood of the dam, and We replaced their two [fields of] gardens with gardens of bitter fruit, tamarisks and something of sparse lote trees.

Yusuf Ali
But they turned away (from Allah), and We sent against them the Flood (released) from the dams, and We converted their two garden (rows) into “gardens” producing bitter fruit, and tamarisks, and some few (stunted) Lote-trees.

Abul Ala Maududi
But they turned away and so We let loose upon them a devastating flood that swept away the dams and replaced their gardens by two others bearing bitter fruits, tamarisks, and a few lote trees.

Muhsin Khan
But they turned away (from the obedience of Allah), so We sent against them Sail Al’Arim (flood released from the dam), and We converted their two gardens into gardens producing bitter bad fruit, and tamarisks, and some few lotetrees.

But they were froward, so We sent on them the flood of ‘Iram, and in exchange for their two gardens gave them two gardens bearing bitter fruit, the tamarisk and here and there a lote-tree.

Dr. Ghali
Yet, they veered away; so We sent on them the Flood of Arim, and We gave them in exchange for their two gardens, two gardens (comprising) meager crops and tamarisk-bushes, and (some) little (fruit) of the lote- trees.

Abdel Haleem
But they paid no heed, so We let loose on them a flood from the dam and replaced their two gardens with others that yielded bitter fruit, tamarisk bushes, and a few lote trees.

Quran 34 Verse 16 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Saba ayat 16, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(34:16) But they turned away[28] and so We let loose upon them a devastating flood[29] that swept away the dams and replaced their gardens by two others bearing bitter fruits, tamarisks, and a few lote trees.[30]

28. That is, they adopted the way of disobedience and ingratitude instead of obedience and gratefulness.

29. The word arim as used in sayl al-arim in the text is derived from the South Arabic word ariman, which stands for a dam. In the ancient inscriptions that have been unearthed in the ruins of the Yaman, this word has been commonly used in this meaning. For example, in an inscription dated 542 or 543 A.D. which Abraha, the Abyssinian governor of the Yaman, had gotten installed after the repairs to the great dam of Maarib, this word has been used repeatedly in the meaning of a dam. Therefore, sayl al- arim implies a flood that comes when a dam breaks.

30. That is, as a result of the flood that came after the dam burst, the whole land was laid waste. The canals which the Sabaeans had dug out by building dams between the mountains were ruined and the irrigation system destroyed. Then the same land which had been like a garden before became a jungle of wild growth and no eatable plants were left in it except the small plume like fruit of the lote bushes.


The tafsir of Surah Saba verse 16 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Saba ayat 15 which provides the complete commentary from verse 15 through 17.

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