Surah Saffat >> Currently viewing Surah Saffat Ayat 112 (37:112)

Surah Saffat Ayat 112 in Arabic Text

وَبَشَّرْنَـٰهُ بِإِسْحَـٰقَ نَبِيًّۭا مِّنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ
Wa bashsharnaahu bi Ishaaqa Nabiyam minas saaliheen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 112

Sahih International
And We gave him good tidings of Isaac, a prophet from among the righteous.

Yusuf Ali
And We gave him the good news of Isaac – a prophet,- one of the Righteous.

Abul Ala Maududi
And We gave him the good news of Isaac, a Prophet and among the righteous ones.

Muhsin Khan
And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaque (Isaac) a Prophet from the righteous.

And we gave him tidings of the birth of Isaac, a prophet of the righteous.

Dr. Ghali
And We gave him the good tidings of Ishaq, (Isaac) a Prophet, one of the righteous.

Abdel Haleem
We gave Abraham the good news of Isaac- a prophet and a righteous man-

Quran 37 Verse 112 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Saffat ayat 112, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(37:112) And We gave him the good news of Isaac,[67] a Prophet and among the righteous ones.[68]

67. Here, the question arises: Who was the son whom the Prophet Abraham had gotten ready to offer as a sacrifice, and who had willingly offered himself to be slaughtered as a sacrifice? The first answer to this question is given by the Bible; and it is this:

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: . . . Take now thy son thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (Gen. 22: 1-2).

In this statement, on the one hand, it is being said that Allah had asked for the offering of the Prophet Isaac, and on the other, that he was Abraham’s only son, whereas the Bible itself, at other places, conclusively states that the Prophet Isaac was not the only son of the Prophet Abraham. Consider the following statements of the Bible:

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife bore him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abraham, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abraham hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abraham’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abraham had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived. (Gen .16: 1-4).

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael. (16: 11).

And Abraham was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abraham. (16: 16).

And God said unto Abraham: As for Sarai thy wife, I will bless her and give thee a son also of her, and thou shalt call his name Isaac, which Sarai shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And Abraham took Ishmael his son and every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. (Gen. 17: 15- 25).

And Abraham was one hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. (Gen. 21: 5).

This brings out the contradictions of the Bible. It is evident that for 14 years the Prophet Ishmael was the only son of the Prophet Abraham. Now if the offering had been asked of the only son, it was not of Isaac but of Ishmael, for he alone was the only son; and if the offering of Isaac had been asked, it would be wrong to say that the offering of the only son had been asked.

Now let us consider the Islamic traditions, and they contain great differences. According to traditions cited by the commentators from the companions and their immediate followers, one group of them is of the opinion that the son was the Prophet Isaac, and this group contains the following names:

Umar, Ali, Abdullah bin Masud, Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abu Hurairah, Qatadah, Ikrimah, Hasan Basri, Said bin Jubair, Mujahid, Shabi, Masruq, Makhul, Zuhri, Ata, Muqatil, Suddi, Kaab Ahbar, Zaid bin Aslam, and others.

The other group says that it was the Prophet Ishmael, and this group contains the names of the following authorities:

Abu Bakr, Ali, Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abu Hurairah, Muawiyah, Ikrimah, Mujahid, Yusuf bin Mahran, Hasan Basri, Muhammad bin Kaab al-Qurzi, Shabi, Said bin al-Musayyab, Dahhak, Muhammad bin Ali bin Husain (Muhammad alBaqir), Rabi bin Anas, Ahmed bin Hanbal, and others.

When compared, the two lists will be seen to contain several common names. This is due to the reason that from the same person two different views have been reported. For example, from Abdullah bin Abbas, Ikrimiah has related the saying that the son was the Prophet Isaac, but from him again Ata bin Abi Rabah relates: The Jews claim that it was Isaac, but the Jews tell a tie. Likewise. from Hasan Basri, one tradition is to the effect that the Prophet Isaac was the son meant to be made the offering, but Umar bin Ubaid says that Hasan Basri had no doubt regarding that the son whom the Prophet Abraham had been commanded to offer as a sacrifice was the Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him).

This diversity of tradition has resulted in the diversity of opinion among the scholars of Islam. Some of them e.g. Ibn Jarir and Qadi Iyad, have expressed the firm opinion that the son was the Prophet Isaac. Others, like Ibn Kathir have given the verdict that it was the Prophet Ishmael. There were others who are uncertain and wavering, e.g. Jalaluddin Suyuti. However, a deep inquiry into the question establishes the fact that the son intended to be offered as a sacrifice was the Prophet Ishmael. The following are the arguments:

(1) As stated by the Quran above, at the time of his emigration from the country, the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) had prayed for a righteous son and in answer to it, Allah had given him the good news of a clement boy. The context shows that this prayer was made at a time when he was childless, and the boy whose good news was given was his first-born child. Then, this also becomes obvious from the Quranic story that when the child grew up to boyhood, he was inspired to offer him as an offering. Now, it is established beyond any doubt that the Prophet Abraham’s first-born son was the Prophet Ishmael and not the Prophet Isaac. The Quran itself has stated the order between the two sons, thus: All praise be to Allah who has given me sons like Ishmael and Isaac in my old age. (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 39).

(2) The words used in the Quran with regard to the Prophet Isaac while giving the good news of his birth are: And they gave him the good news of the birth of a son, possessing knowledge, (alim). (Surah Az-Zariyat, Ayat 28) Do not be afraid: We give you the good news of a son, possessing knowledge. (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayat 53). But the son, the good news of whose birth has been given here; has been called a clement (haleem) son. This shows that the two sons had distinctive qualities, and the offering had been asked of the clement son and not of the son possessing knowledge.

(3) Along with giving the good news of the birth of the Prophet Isaac in the Quran, the good news of the birth of a grandson like Jacob was also given: Then We gave her the good news of Isaac, and after Isaac of Jacob. (Surah Hud, Ayat 71). Now obviously, if about the son along with the news of whose birth the news of a worthy son to be born to him had also been given, the Prophet Abraham was shown a vision that he was sacrificing him, he would never have understood that he was being inspired to offer that very son as an offering. Allama Ibn Jarir contends that the Prophet Abraham might have been shown this vision at a time when Jacob had already been born to the Prophet Isaac. But this is, in fact, a very weak reply to the argument. The Quran says: When the boy became able to work with his father, then he was shown the vision. Anyone who reads these words with an unbiased mind will have the image of an 8 to 10 years lad before him. No one can imagine that these words had been used about a young man having children.

(4) Allah, at the end of the story, says: We gave him the good news of Isaac, a Prophet among the righteous. This clearly shows that it was not the same son, whom he had been inspired to offer as a sacrifice; but before this the good news of some other son had been given; then when he grew up and became able to work with his father, it was commanded to sacrifice him. Afterwards, when the Prophet Abraham came through this test successfully, he was given the good news of the birth of another son, the Prophet Isaac (peace be upon them all). This order of the events conclusively proves that the son whom the Prophet Abraham had been commanded to sacrifice was not Isaac but another son who had been born several years bef


The tafsir of Surah As-Saffat verse 112 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Saffat ayat 99 which provides the complete commentary from verse 99 through 113.

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