Surah Ta-Ha >> Currently viewing Surah Ta-Ha Ayat 87 (20:87)

Surah Ta-Ha Ayat 87 in Arabic Text

قَالُوا۟ مَآ أَخْلَفْنَا مَوْعِدَكَ بِمَلْكِنَا وَلَـٰكِنَّا حُمِّلْنَآ أَوْزَارًۭا مِّن زِينَةِ ٱلْقَوْمِ فَقَذَفْنَـٰهَا فَكَذَٰلِكَ أَلْقَى ٱلسَّامِرِىُّ
Qaaloo maaa akhlafnaa maw’idaka bimalkinna wa laakinna hummilnaaa awzaaram min zeenatil qawmi faqazafnaahaa fakazaalika alqas Saamiriyy

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 87

Sahih International
They said, “We did not break our promise to you by our will, but we were made to carry burdens from the ornaments of the people [of Pharaoh], so we threw them [into the fire], and thus did the Samiri throw.”

Yusuf Ali
They said: “We broke not the promise to thee, as far as lay in our power: but we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the (whole) people, and we threw them (into the fire), and that was what the Samiri suggested.

Abul Ala Maududi
They answered: “We did not break our promise with you out of our own volition; but we were laden with the load of people’s ornaments, and we simply threw them down(into the fire), and the Samiri also threw down something,

Muhsin Khan
They said: “We broke not the promise to you, of our own will, but we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the [Fir’aun’s (Pharaoh)] people, then we cast them (into the fire), and that was what As-Samiri suggested.”

Pickthall
They said: We broke not tryst with thee of our own will, but we were laden with burdens of ornaments of the folk, then cast them (in the fire), for thus As-Samiri proposed.

Dr. Ghali
They said, “In no way did we fail your promise of our volition; but we were burdened with encumbrances of adornment of the people; so we hurled them (into the fire). So, (even) thus did AsSamiriyy (The Samaritan) also cast.”

Abdel Haleem
They said, ‘We did not break our word to you deliberately. We were burdened with the weight of people’s jewellery, so we threw it [into the fire], and the Samiri did the same,’

Quran 20 Verse 87 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ta-Ha ayat 87, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(20:87) They answered: “We did not break our promise with you out of our own volition; but we were laden with the load of people’s ornaments, and we simply threw them down[67](into the fire), and[68] the Samiri also threw down something,


67. This excuse was put forward by those people who were involved in the shirk fabricated by the Samiri. They meant to say: We did not throw down the ornaments with the intention of setting up a calf nor did we know what was going to be made of these, but when the calf was brought before us, we involuntarily got involved in shirk. The Arabic text which we have translated into: “We were laden with burdens of ornaments of the people”, simply means this: The heavy ornaments which our men and women were wearing like the Egyptians proved very burdensome to us in our wanderings in the desert and we did not know how to get rid of them for it appeared very difficult for us to travel in the desert with them. But according to the Bible these ornaments had been borrowed by every family of the Israelites from their Egyptian neighbors with this intention, “….and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters and ye shall spoil the Egyptians….and let every man borrow of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold….And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians….so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.” And that, too, on the advice of Prophet Moses, whom God Himself had instructed to do this noble deed. (Exodus, 3: 14-22, 11: 2-3, and I 2: 35-36).

It is a pity that some of our commentators have interpreted this verse in the light of the above traditions of the Bible. They say that the Israelites felt burdened with the weight of those ornaments which they had borrowed from their Egyptian neighbors, with the intention of carrying them away as a spoil bestowed by God.

We are of the opinion that the clause of the verse under discussion means this: When the people were tired of carrying their ornaments on their bodies, they decided by mutual consultation that all the ornaments should be gathered at one place and it should be noted down how much gold and silver belonged to each of the owners. Then it should be melted into bars and rods and placed on the backs of the beasts of burden. Accordingly, they might have brought their ornaments and thrown them in the common heap.

68. It is obvious from the context that the answer of the people ended with “threw them”, and Allah Himself has added the remaining story up to the end of the paragraph. It appears from this that the people including the Samiri went on bringing their ornaments and throwing them down into the heap while they were absolutely unaware of what was going to be done by the Samiri. After this the Samiri offered his services to melt it. Then he shaped it into a calf which lowed like a cow. Thus the Samiri deluded the people, saying: This god of yours has come into being by itself for I had simply thrown the gold in the fire.

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah Ta-Ha verse 87 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Taha ayat 83 which provides the complete commentary from verse 83 through 89.

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