Surah Saffat >> Currently viewing Surah Saffat Ayat 123 (37:123)

Surah Saffat Ayat 123 in Arabic Text

وَإِنَّ إِلْيَاسَ لَمِنَ ٱلْمُرْسَلِينَ
Wa inna Ilyaasa laminal mursaleen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 123

Sahih International
And indeed, Elias was from among the messengers,

Yusuf Ali
So also was Elias among those sent (by Us).

Abul Ala Maududi
Surely, Elias too was among the Messengers.

Muhsin Khan
And verily, Iliyas (Elias) was one of the Messengers.

Pickthall
And lo! Elias was of those sent (to warn),

Dr. Ghali
And surely Ilyas (Alias=Elijah) is indeed one of the Emissaries;

Abdel Haleem
Elijah too was one of the messengers.

Quran 37 Verse 123 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Saffat ayat 123, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(37:123) Surely, Elias too was among the Messengers.[70]


70. The Prophet Elias (peace be upon him) was from among the Israelite Prophets. He has been mentioned only twice in the Quran, here and in Surah Al-Anaam, Ayat 85. The present-day scholars have determined his period between 875 and 850 B.C. He was an inhabitant of Gilead, which in ancient days was the territory now under the northern districts of the modern state of Jordan, to the south of the River Yarmuk. In the Bible he has been mentioned as Elijah the Tishbite. Here is briefly his life story.

After the death of the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) the Israelite kingdom was broken up into two parts mainly due to the unworthiness of his son, Rehoboam. One part which consisted of Jerusalem and southern Palestine remained with the descendants of the Prophet David (peace be upon him), while in the second, which comprised northern Palestine, an independent state by the name of Israel was established with Samaria as its capital. Although conditions in both the states were very bad, the state of Israel, from the very beginning, followed the path of depravity due to which the evils of polytheism and idolworship and tyranny and wickedness went on increasing and multiplying in it endlessly; so much so that when Ahab, the king of Israel, married Jezebel, the daughter of the king of Sidon (Lebanon), the mischief reached its extremity. Under the influence of this polytheistic princess Ahab himself became a polytheist. He built a temple and altar to Baal in Samaria, tried his very best to introduce and popularize Baal-worship instead of the worship of One God, and consequently, offerings began to be made publicly in the name of Baal in the Israelite towns and cities.

This was the time when the Prophet Elijah (peace be upon him) appeared on the scene. He came from Gilead and gave Ahab a notice that in consequence of his sins, the land of Israel would go without rain, even without the dew. This word of the Prophet of Allah proved to be literally true and there fell no rain in Israel for thee and a half years. At last, Ahab came to his senses and he sought the Prophet Elijah‘s help. But Elijah, before praying for the rain, thought it necessary to make the distinction between Allah, Lord of the worlds, and Baal plain before the people of Israel. For this purpose, he commanded that the priests of Baal would make an offering in the name of their deity, and he also would make an offering in the name of Allah, Lord of the worlds, in front of the assembled people. Then the one whose offering would be consumed by a fire from heaven, without the agency of the human hand, the truth of his deity would be established beyond doubt. Ahab accepted this proposal. Thus, 850 of the priests of Baal assembled on Mt. Carmel to answer the challenge given by the Prophet Elijah. In this encounter the Baal worshipers were defeated, and the Prophet Elijah proved that Baal was a false god, and the real God is the One God alone who had appointed him as His Prophet. After this, Elijah got the priests of Baal slaughtered in front of the same assembly of the people; then he prayed for the rain, and his prayer was immediately answered and the whole land of Israel was saturated with water.

But, despite these miracles, Ahab could not shake off the influence of his polytheistic wife. Jezebel turned hostile to the Prophet Elijah and she hoped that he would be put to death just as the Baal worshipers had been put to death. Under the circumstances the Prophet Elijah was compelled to leave the country and he remained lodged in a cave at the foot of Mt. Sinai for several years. The lamentation that he made to Allah, on this occasion, has been related in the Bible, in these words:

The children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. (I Kings, 19: 10).

About the same time Jehoram, the ruler of the Jewish state of Jerusalem, married the daughter of Ahab, the king of Israel, and under her polytheistic influence the same evils that had spread in Israel also began to spread in Judah. The Prophet Elijah carried out his prophetic duty again and wrote a letter to Jehoram, the following words of which have been reported in the Bible:

Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah. But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself: Behold, with a great plague will the Lord smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day. (2 Chronicles, 21: 12-15).

Whatever the Prophet Elijah had prophesied in this letter proved true. First, the kingdom of Jehoram was destroyed by the external invaders, and the enemies even carried away his wives, then he himself died of the disease of the bowels.

A few years later the Prophet Elijah again went to Israel and constantly tried hard to bring Ahab, and after him his son, Ahaziah, to the right path, but the evil that had taken root in the house of the royal family of Samaria could not be eradicated. At last, due to the curse of the Prophet the family of Ahab met its doom, and then Allah recalled his Prophet from the world. For details, see the following books of the Bible: I Kings, chs. 17, 18, 19, 21; 2 Kings, chs. 1, 2; 2 Chronicles, ch. 21.

Ibn-Kathir

123. And verily, Ilyas was one of the Messengers. 124. When he said to his people: “Will you not have Taqwa” 125. “Will you call upon `Ba`l and forsake the Best of creators, 126. Allah, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers” 127. But they denied him, so they will certainly be brought forth, 128. Save the chosen servants of Allah. 129. And We left for him among the later generations. 130. “Salam (peace!) be upon Ilyasin!” 131. Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good. 132. Verily, he was one of Our believing servants.) Ilyas Qatadah and Muhammad bin Ishaq said, “Ilyas is another name for Idris.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Ilyas is Idris.” This was also the view of Ad-Dahhak . Wahb bin Munabbih said, “He is Ilyas bin Yasin bin Finhas bin Al-`Izar bin Harun bin `Imran. Allah sent him to the Children of Israel after Hizqil (Ezekiel), may peace be upon them both. They had started to worship an idol called Ba`l, and he called them to Allah, may He be exalted, and forbade them to worship anyone besides Him. Their king believed in him, then he apostatized, and they persisted in their misguided ways, and not one person among them believed in him. So he prayed to Allah against them, and Allah withheld the rain from them for three years. Then they asked him to relieve them from that, and promised that they would believe in him if rain came to them. So he prayed to Allah for them, and the rains came, but they persisted in their evil ways of disbelief. So he asked Allah to take him to Him. Al-Yasa` bin Akhtub had grown up under his care, may peace be upon them both. So Ilyas was commanded to go to such and such a place, and whatever mount came to him, he was to ride on it and not to give it away. A horse of fire was brought to him, so he rode it, and Allah clothed him with light and covered him with feathers, and he used to fly with the angels as a human angel, heavenly yet also earthly. This is what was narrated by Wahb bin Munabbih from the People of the Book; Allah knows best how true it is.


﴿إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَلاَ تَتَّقُونَ ﴾

(When he said to his people: “Will you not have Taqwa”) means, `do you not fear Allah when you worship others instead of Him’

﴿أَتَدْعُونَ بَعْلاً وَتَذَرُونَ أَحْسَنَ الْخَـلِقِينَ ﴾

(Will you call upon Ba`l and forsake the Best of creators,) Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Qatadah and As-Suddi said that the word Ba`l means lord. `Ikrimah and Qatadah said, “This is the language of the people of Yemen.” According to another report from Qatadah, it is the language of Azd Shanu’ah. `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam narrated from his father that it is the name of an idol which was worshipped by the people of a city called Ba`labak (Baalbek) which is to the west of Damascus. Ad-Dahhak said, “It is an idol which they used to worship.”

﴿أَتَدْعُونَ بَعْلاً﴾

(Will you call upon Ba`l) means, `will you worship an idol,’

﴿أَتَدْعُونَ بَعْلاً وَتَذَرُونَ أَحْسَنَ الْخَـلِقِينَ – اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ وَرَبَّ ءَابَآئِكُمُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ ﴾

(and forsake the Best of creators, Allah, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers) means, `He is the One Who is deserving of your worship alone, with no partners or associates.’

﴿فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَإِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ ﴾

(But they denied him, so they will certainly be brought forth,) means, for the punishment on the Day of Reckoning.

﴿إِلاَّ عِبَادَ اللَّهِ الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴾

(Save the chosen servants of Allah.) means, those who believe in Him alone.

﴿وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِى الاٌّخِرِينَ ﴾

(And We left for him among the later generations.) means, he is praised and spoken of highly.

﴿سَلَـمٌ عَلَى إِلْ يَاسِينَ ﴾

(Salam (peace!) be upon Ilyasin!) Similarly, one might say for Isma`il, Isma`in. This is the language (dialect) of Bani Asad; they say Mikal, Mika’il, and Mika’in. They say Ibrahim and Ibraham; Isra’il, Isra’in; Tur Sina’, Tur Sinin. All of that is fine.

﴿إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِينَ – إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴾

(Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good. Verily, he was one of Our believing servants.) We have already discussed the meaning of this above. And Allah knows best.

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