Surah Saba >> Currently viewing Surah Saba Ayat 20 (34:20)

Surah Saba Ayat 20 in Arabic Text

وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُۥ فَٱتَّبَعُوهُ إِلَّا فَرِيقًۭا مِّنَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Wa laqad saddaq ‘alaihim Ibleesu zannabhoo fattaba’oohu illaa fareeqam minal mu’mineen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 20

Sahih International
And Iblees had already confirmed through them his assumption, so they followed him, except for a party of believers.

Yusuf Ali
And on them did Satan prove true his idea, and they followed him, all but a party that believed.

Abul Ala Maududi
Iblis found his estimate of them to be true, and they followed him, except a party of the believers.

Muhsin Khan
And indeed Iblis (Satan) did prove true his thought about them, and they followed him, all except a group of true believers (in the Oneness of Allah).

Pickthall
And Satan indeed found his calculation true concerning them, for they follow him, all save a group of true believers.

Dr. Ghali
And indeed Iblîs already verified his expectation of them, so they closely followed him, except a group of the believers.

Abdel Haleem
Satan was proved right in his opinion of them, for they all followed him- except for a group of believers-

Quran 34 Verse 20 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Saba ayat 20, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(34:20) Iblis found his estimate of them to be true, and they followed him, except a party of the believers.[35]


35. History shows that in ancient times there lived among the Sabaeans a small group of the people, who believed in one God, apart from all other gods. The inscriptions that have been discovered in the ruins of Yaman as a result of modern archaeological research point to the existence of this small element. Some inscriptions of the period about 650 B.C. indicate that at several places in the kingdom of Saba there existed such houses of worship as were exclusively meant for the worship of dhu-samavi or dhusamaavi (i.e. Rabb as-samaa: Lord of the heavens). In some places this Deity has been mentioned as Malikan dhusamavi (the King who is the Owner of the heavens). This remnant of the Sabaeans continued to live in Yaman for centuries afterwards. Thus, in an inscription of 378 A.D. there is also mention of a house of worship built in the name of Ilah dhu-semevi. Then, in an inscription dated 465 A.D. the words are; Bi-nasr wa rida ilah-in baal samin wa ardin (i.e. with the help and support of that God who is the Owner of the heavens and the earth). In another inscription of the period dated 458 A.D., the word Rahman has been used for the same God, the actual words being bi-rida Rahmanan (i. e. with the help of Rahman.

Ibn-Kathir

20. And indeed Iblis did prove true his thought about them, and they followed him, all except a group of true believers. 21. And he had no authority over them, — except that We might test him who believes in the Hereafter, from him who is in doubt about it. And your Lord is Watchful over everything.


How Iblis’ thought about the Disbeliever proved True

Having mentioned Saba’ and how they followed their desires, and the Shaytan, Allah tells us about their counterparts among those who follow Iblis and their own desires, and who go against wisdom and true guidance. Allah says:

﴿وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُ﴾

(And indeed Iblis did prove true his thought about them,) Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and others said that this Ayah is like the Ayah where Allah tells us about how Iblis refused to prostrate to Adam, peace be upon him, then said:

﴿أَرَءَيْتَكَ هَـذَا الَّذِى كَرَّمْتَ عَلَىَّ لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ لأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إَلاَّ قَلِيلاً﴾

(See this one whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring all but a few!) (17:62)

﴿ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَـنِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَـكِرِينَ ﴾

(Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones.) (7:17) And there are many Ayat which refer to this matter.

﴿وَمَا كَانَ لَهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن سُلْطَـنٍ﴾

(And he (Iblis) had no authority over them, ) Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him said, “This means, he had no proof.”

﴿إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ مِمَّنْ هُوَ مِنْهَا فِى شَكٍّ﴾

(except that We might test him who believes in the Hereafter, from him who is in doubt about it.) means, `We gave him power over them only to show who believes in the Hereafter and that it will come to pass.’ The people will be brought to account and rewarded or punished accordingly, so that he will worship his Lord properly in this world — and to distinguish these believers from those who are in doubt about the Hereafter.

﴿وَرَبُّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ حَفُيظٌ﴾

(And your Lord is a Watchful over everything.) means, despite His watching, those who follow Iblis go astray, but by His watching and care, the believers who follow the Messengers are saved.

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