Surah Ash-Shura >> Currently viewing Surah Ash-Shura Ayat 51 (42:51)

Surah Ash-Shura Ayat 51 in Arabic Text

وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِن وَرَآئِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًۭا فَيُوحِىَ بِإِذْنِهِۦ مَا يَشَآءُ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ عَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌۭ
Wa maa kaana libasharin any yukallimahul laahu illaa wahyan aw minw waraaa’i hijaabin aw yursila Rasoolan fa yoohiya bi iznihee maa yashaaa’; innahoo ‘Aliyyun Hakeem

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 51

Sahih International
And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a partition or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills. Indeed, He is Most High and Wise.

Yusuf Ali
It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah’s permission, what Allah wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise.

Abul Ala Maududi
It is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him except through revelation, or from behind a veil, or that a messenger (an angel) be sent to him who reveals to him by Allah’s leave whatever He wishes. He is All-High, Most Wise.

Muhsin Khan
It is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him unless (it be) by Inspiration, or from behind a veil, or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His Leave. Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise.

Pickthall
And it was not (vouchsafed) to any mortal that Allah should speak to him unless (it be) by revelation or from behind a veil, or (that) He sendeth a messenger to reveal what He will by His leave. Lo! He is Exalted, Wise.

Dr. Ghali
And in no way is it feasible for a mortal that Allah should speak to Him, except by revelation or from beyond a curtain, or that He should send a Messenger; then He reveals whatever He decides, by His permission. Surely He is Ever-Exalted, Ever-Wise.

Abdel Haleem
It is not granted to any mortal that God should speak to him except through revelation or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger to reveal by His command what He will: He is exalted and wise.

Quran 42 Verse 51 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ash-Shura ayat 51, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(42:51) It[78] is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him except through revelation,[79] or from behind a veil,[80] or that a messenger (an angel) be sent to him who reveals to him by Allah’s leave whatever He wishes.[81] He is All-High, Most Wise.[82]


78. In conclusion, the same theme with which the discourse began has been reiterated. To understand it fully, please see the( first verse of this Surah and the E.N). on it.

79. Here, wahi means to inspire somebody with something, or to show something to somebody in a vision as were the Prophets Abraham and Joseph shown (peace be upon them). See (Surah Yousuf, Ayats 4, 100); (Surah As-Saaffat, Ayat 102).

80. That is, one may hear a voice without seeing the speaker, just as it happened in the case of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) when he suddenly began to hear a voice from a tree on Mount Toor, while the speaker was hidden from him. See (Surah TaHa, Ayats 11-48), (Surah An- Naml, Ayats 8-12); (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayats 30 35).

81. This is the form of wahi by which all divine Scriptures have actually reached the Prophets of Allah. Some people have misinterpreted this sentence and given it this meaning Allah sends a messenger who by His command conveys His message to the common people. But the words of the Quran fa-yuhiya bi-idni-hi ma yasha (then He reveals by His command whatever He wills) show that this interpretation is absolutely wrong. The Prophets’s preaching before the common people has neither been called wahi anywhere in the Quran nor is there any room in Arabic for describing a man’s speaking to another man openly by the word wahi. Lexically, wahi means secret and swift instruction. Only an ignorant person will apply this word to the common preaching by the Prophets.

82. That is, He is far above that He should speak to a man face to face, and His wisdom is not helpless that He may adopt another method of conveying His instructions to a servant of His than of speaking to him face to face.

Ibn-Kathir

51. It is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him unless (it be) by revelation, or from behind a veil, or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave. Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise. 52. And thus We have sent to you Ruh of Our command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith. But We have made it a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our servants We will. And verily, you are indeed guiding to a straight path. 53. The path of Allah to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. Verily, all matters at the end go to Allah.


How the Revelation comes down

This refers to how Allah sends revelation. Sometimes He casts something into the heart of the Prophet , and he has no doubt that it is from Allah, as it was reported in Sahih Ibn Hibban that the Messenger of Allah said:

«إِنَّ رُوْحَ الْقُدُسِ نَفَثَ فِي رُوعِي أَنَّ نَفْسًا لَنْ تَمُوتَ حَتْى تَسْتَكْمِلَ رِزْقَهَا وَأَجَلَهَا، فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَب»

(Ar-Ruh Al-Qudus ﴿i.e., Jibril﴾ breathed into my heart that no soul will die until its allotted provision and time have expired, so have Taqwa of Allah and keep seeking in a good (and lawful) way.)

﴿أَوْ مِن وَرَآءِ حِجَابٍ﴾

(or from behind a veil) — as He spoke to Musa, peace be upon him. He asked to see Him after He had spoken to him, but this was not granted to him. In the Sahih, it recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Jabir bin `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him:

«مَا كَلَّمَ اللهُ أَحَدًا إِلَّا مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ، وَإِنَّهُ كَلَّمَ أَبَاكَ كِفَاحًا»

(Allah never speaks to anyone except from behind a veil, but He spoke to your father directly.) This is how it was stated in the Hadith. He ﴿Jabir’s father﴾ was killed on the day of Uhud, but this refers to the realm of Al-Barzakh, whereas the Ayah speaks of this earthly realm.

﴿أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولاً فَيُوحِىَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَآءُ﴾

(or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave.) as Jibril, peace be upon him, and other angels came down to the Prophets, peace be upon them.

﴿إِنَّهُ عَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌ﴾

(Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise.) He is Most High, All-Knowing, Most Wise.

﴿وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ رُوحاً مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا﴾

(And thus We have sent to you Ruh of Our command.) means, the Qur’an.

﴿مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِى مَا الْكِتَـبُ وَلاَ الإِيمَـنُ﴾

(You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith.) means, `in the details which were given to you in the Qur’an.’

﴿وَلَـكِن جَعَلْنَـهُ﴾

(But We have made it) means, the Qur’an,

﴿نُوراً نَّهْدِى بِهِ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا﴾

(a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our servants We will. ) This is like the Ayah:

﴿قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدًى وَشِفَآءٌ وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ فِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى﴾

(Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur’an) is blindness for them.”) (41:44).

﴿وَأَنَّكَ﴾

(And verily, you) means, `O Muhammad,’

﴿لَتَهْدِى إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ﴾

(are indeed guiding to a straight path.) means, the correct behavior. Then Allah explains this further by saying:

﴿صِرَطِ اللَّهِ﴾

(The path of Allah) meaning, His Laws which He enjoins.

﴿الَّذِى لَهُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ﴾

(to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth.) means, their Lord and Sovereign, the One Who is controlling and ruling them, Whose decree cannot be overturned.

﴿أَلاَ إِلَى اللَّهِ تَصِيرُ الاٍّمُورُ﴾

(Verily, all matters at the end go to Allah.) means, all matters come back to Him and He issues judgement concerning them. Glorified and exalted be He far above all that the evildoers and deniers say. ﴿This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Ash-Shura﴾

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