Surah Saffat Ayat 88 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 88
And he cast a look at the stars
Then did he cast a glance at the Stars.
Then he looked carefully at the stars
Then he cast a glance at the stars (to deceive them),
And he glanced a glance at the stars
So he looked a look (i.e., gazed at the stars) at the stars,
then he looked up to the stars.
Quran 37 Verse 88 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Saffat ayat 88, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(37:88) Then he looked carefully at the stars
47. The reference is to a particular incident the details of which have been given in (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats 71-73 )and (Surah Al-Ankabut, AYats 16-27).
48. Ibn Abi Hatim has cited a saying of the famous commentator Qatadah, an immediate follower of the companions, to the effect that the Arabic idiomatic expression, “glanced a glance at the stars,” means that he pondered deeply, or that he started thinking seriously. Allama Ibn Kathir has preferred this same view, and this is also supported by the common observation: when a person is confronted by a problem that needs serious consideration, he looks upward or to the sky for a while, and then makes a reply, after due consideration.
88. Then he cast a glance at the stars, 89. And he said: “Verily, I am sick.” 90. So they turned away from him and departed. 91. Then he turned to their gods and said: “Will you not eat” 92. “What is the matter with you that you speak not” 93. Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his) right hand. 94. Then they came hastily towards him. 95. He said: “Worship you that which you (yourselves) carve” 96. “While Allah has created you and what you make!” 97. They said: “Build for him a building and throw him into the blazing fire!” 98. So, they plotted a plot against him, but We made them the lowest.) Ibrahim, peace be upon him, said this to his people so that he could stay behind in the city when they went out for their festival. The time was approaching for them to go out to celebrate a festival of theirs, and he wanted to be alone with their gods so that he could break them, so he told them something that was true, for he was indeed sick of the implications of what they believed in.
(So they turned away from him and departed.) Qatadah said, “The Arabs say of one who thinks deeply that he is looking at the stars.” What Qatadah meant is that he looked at the heavens thinking of a way to distract his people. So he said,
(Verily, I am sick.) meaning, weak. Ibn Jarir narrated here a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, stating that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) did not lie except in three cases. Two were for the sake of Allah: (one is) when he said, (Verily, I am sick); and (the second) when he said, (Nay, this one, the biggest (his wife) of them (idols) did it.) and (the third) when he said concerning (his wife) Sarah, “She is my sister.”) This Hadith is recorded in the books of the Sahih and Sunan with various chain of narrations. But this is not the kind of real lie for which a person is to be condemned — Allah forbid! One calls it a lie for lack of a better word, because it is abstruse speech used for a legitimate religious purpose, and it was said that what was meant by the words,
(Verily, I am sick) was, `I am sick at heart of your worshipping idols instead of Allah.’ Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “The people of Ibrahim went out to their festival and they wanted to make him go out too. So he lay down on his back and said,
(Verily, I am sick.) and he started looking at the sky. When they had gone out, he turned to their gods and broke them.” This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. Allah said:
(So they turned away from him and departed.) meaning, he went to them after they had left, quickly and secretly.
(and said: “Will you not eat”) They had placed food before them as a sacrifice, so that the food might be blessed. When Ibrahim, peace be upon him, looked at the food that was before them, he said:
(Will you not eat What is the matter with you that you speak not)
(Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his) right hand.) Al-Farra’ said, “This means, he started to hit them with his right hand.” Qatadah and Al-Jawhari said, “He turned to them, hitting them with his right hand.” He struck them with his right hand because the right hand is stronger and more powerful. Then he left them broken to pieces, (all) except the biggest of them, that they might turn to it, as we have already seen in the Tafsir of Surat Al-Anbiya’.
(Then they came hastily towards him.) Mujahid and others said, “This means, they came rushing. The story is told in brief here; in Surat Al-Anbiya’, it is told in more detail. When they returned, they did not know at first who had done this, until they investigated and found out that Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was the one who had done it. When they came to rebuke him, he started rebuking and criticizing them and said:
(Worship you that which you carve) meaning, `do you worship instead of Allah idols which you yourselves carve and fashion with your own hands’
(While Allah has created you and what you make!) This may mean, `Allah has created you and what you do;’ or it may mean, `Allah has created you and what you make.’ Both views are synonymous. The former is more apparent because of the report recorded by Al-Bukhari in the Book Af`al Al-`Ibad from Hudhayfah, attributed to the Prophet :
(Allah has created every doer of deeds and what he does.) Thereupon he recited:
(While Allah has created you and what you make!) When the proof had been established against them, they resolved to seize him by force and they said:
(Build for him a building (i.e., furnace) and throw him into the blazing fire!) There happened what we have already discussed in our Tafsir of Surat Al-Anbiya’, (21:68-70) and Allah saved him from the fire and caused him to prevail over them, making his proof supreme and supporting it. Allah says:
(So, they plotted a plot against him, but We made them the lowest.)
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