Surah Saba >> Currently viewing Surah Saba Ayat 9 (34:9)

Surah Saba Ayat 9 in Arabic Text

أَفَلَمْ يَرَوْا۟ إِلَىٰ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُم مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ إِن نَّشَأْ نَخْسِفْ بِهِمُ ٱلْأَرْضَ أَوْ نُسْقِطْ عَلَيْهِمْ كِسَفًۭا مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَةًۭ لِّكُلِّ عَبْدٍۢ مُّنِيبٍۢ
Afalam yaraw ilaa maa baina aydeehim wa maa khalfahum minas samaaa’i wal ard; in nashad nakhsif bihimul arda aw nusqit ‘alaihim kisafam minas samaaa’; inna fee zaalika la Aayatal likulli ‘abdim muneeb (section 1)

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 9

Sahih International
Then, do they not look at what is before them and what is behind them of the heaven and earth? If We should will, We could cause the earth to swallow them or [could] let fall upon them fragments from the sky. Indeed in that is a sign for every servant turning back [to Allah].

Yusuf Ali
See they not what is before them and behind them, of the sky and the earth? If We wished, We could cause the earth to swallow them up, or cause a piece of the sky to fall upon them. Verily in this is a Sign for every devotee that turns to Allah (in repentance).

Abul Ala Maududi
Do they not see how the heavens and the earth encompass them from the front and the rear? We could, if We so wished, cause the earth to swallow them or let fragments of the sky fall upon them. Verily there is a Sign in this for every servant (of Allah) who penitently turns to Him.

Muhsin Khan
See they not what is before them and what is behind them, of the heaven and the earth? If We will, We shall sink the earth with them, or cause a piece of the heaven to fall upon them. Verily, in this is a sign for every faithful believer that [believes in the Oneness of Allah], and turns to Allah (in all affairs with humility and in repentance).

Pickthall
Have they not observed what is before them and what is behind them of the sky and the earth? If We will, We can make the earth swallow them, or cause obliteration from the sky to fall on them. Lo! herein surely is a portent for every slave who turneth (to Allah) repentant.

Dr. Ghali
So, have they not regarded whatever is before them (Literally: between their hands) and whatever is behind them of the heaven and the earth? In case We (so) decide, We would make the earth to cave in with them, or We would let fall down on them lumps from the heaven. Surely in that is indeed a sign to every penitent bondman.

Abdel Haleem
Do they not think about what is in front of them and behind them in the heavens and earth? If We wished, We could make the earth swallow them, or make fragments from the heavens fall down upon them. There truly is a sign in this for every servant who turns back to God in repentance.

Quran 34 Verse 9 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Saba ayat 9, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(34:9) Do they not see how the heavens and the earth encompass them from the front and the rear? We could, if We so wished, cause the earth to swallow them or let fragments of the sky fall upon them.[12] Verily there is a Sign in this for every servant (of Allah) who penitently turns to Him.[13]


12. This is the second answer to their charge. To understand it well one should bear in mind the fact that three things were most prominent among the reasons for which the disbelieving Quraish denied the life-after-death: (1) They did not want to believe in any kind of accountability before God, for after believing in such a thing they would be left with no freedom whatsoever to behave and act as they pleased in the world. (2) They thought it was inconceivable that Resurrection would take place and the present material order of the universe would be destroyed and replaced by a new order. (3) They thought it was impossible that the people who had died hundreds of thousands of years in the past and whose bones even had decayed and disintegrated, would be raised back to life. With the same body and soul. The answer given above covers all these three aspects, and contains a severe warning as well. The details of the theme contained in these brief sentences are given below:

(1) If you ever had observed this earth and the heavens with clear sightedness, you would have seen that it is not a plaything nor has its creation come into being by accident. Everything in this universe points to the fact that it has been created by an All-Powerful Being with great wisdom. In such a wise system it would be highly absurd to think that somebody could be left to live an irresponsible and unaccountable life after he had been given the faculties of intellect and discrimination and authority.

(2) Anyone who sees the natural order with discerning eyes will realize that the occurrence of Resurrection is not at all difficult. It can take place suddenly as soon as the system in which the earth and the heavens are bound together is disturbed. And the same system testifies that the One who has made and is running this world today can create another world again. If it were difficult for Him to do so, this world would not have existed as it does today.

(3) Your opinion and judgment about the Creator of the universe that it will be impossible for Him to resurrect the dead, is strange. The bodies of the men who die may utterly decay and disintegrate and be scattered but nevertheless remain within the bounds of this very universe and do not go anywhere outside its bounds. Then it is not at all difficult for the God Who has created this earth and the heavens to gather together everything from the earth and water and air wherever it happens to be. Whatever makes up your body today was collected and combined by Him, and brought out from this very earth, water and air. When the collecting and assembling of these elements together is possible today, how will it be impossible tomorrow?

Besides these three arguments, the discourse also contains a subtle warning to the effect: You arc surrounded by God’s Kingdom on all sides. Wherever you may go, you would be covered and surrounded by the same universe. You cannot find any place of refuge against God, and God’s power is such that He can afflict you whenever He likes with a calamity from under your feet or from above your heads. You do not know what forces might be working under the very surface of the earth which you find as an abode of perfect peace and safety for yourselves, and when they would cause an earthquake to take place and turn the same earth into your grave. You do not know when a disaster might befall you, a lightning or a devastating rain, or some other calamity from the same sky under which you walk about with full peace and satisfaction of the heart as if it were the ceiling of your own house. In a state like this, your fearlessness of God, your heedlessness of any thought of the Hereafter and your vain and nonsensical talk against the admonition of a well-wisher has no other meaning than that you are only inviting your own doom.

13. That is, the person who is neither prejudiced nor obstinate and stubborn, but is a sincere seeker of guidance from his God, can learn many lessons from the observation of the earth and heavens; but the one whose heart is turned away from God, will see everything in the universe, but will never perceive any sign pointing to the truth.”

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah Saba verse 9 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Saba ayat 7 which provides the complete commentary from verse 7 through 9.

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