Surah Taubah >> Currently viewing Surah Taubah Ayat 109 (9:109)

Surah Taubah Ayat 109 in Arabic Text

أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَـٰنَهُۥ عَلَىٰ تَقْوَىٰ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضْوَٰنٍ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَـٰنَهُۥ عَلَىٰ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍۢ فَٱنْهَارَ بِهِۦ فِى نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
Afaman assasa bunyaanahoo ‘alaa taqwaa minal laahi wa ridwaanin khairun am man assasa bunyaanahoo ‘alaa shafaa jurufin haarin fanhaara bihee fee Naari Jahannam; wallaahu laa yahdil qawmaz zaalimeen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 109

Sahih International
Then is one who laid the foundation of his building on righteousness [with fear] from Allah and [seeking] His approval better or one who laid the foundation of his building on the edge of a bank about to collapse, so it collapsed with him into the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.

Yusuf Ali
Which then is best? – he that layeth his foundation on piety to Allah and His good pleasure? – or he that layeth his foundation on an undermined sand-cliff ready to crumble to pieces? and it doth crumble to pieces with him, into the fire of Hell. And Allah guideth not people that do wrong.

Abul Ala Maududi
Is he, then, who has erected his structure on the fear of Allah and His good pleasure better, or he who erects his structure on the brink of a crumbling bank, so that it crumbles down with him into the Hell-Fire? Allah does not bestow His Guidance on the wrong-doing folk.

Muhsin Khan
Is it then he, who laid the foundation of his building on piety to Allah and His Good Pleasure, better, or he who laid the foundation of his building on an undetermined brink of a precipice ready to crumble down, so that it crumbled to pieces with him into the Fire of Hell. And Allah guides not the people who are the Zalimun (cruel, violent, proud, polytheist and wrong-doer).

Pickthall
Is he who founded his building upon duty to Allah and His good pleasure better; or he who founded his building on the brink of a crumbling, overhanging precipice so that it toppled with him into the fire of hell? Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.

Dr. Ghali
So, is he who founded his structure upon piety to Allah and all-blessed Satisfaction more charitable, or he who founded his structure upon the brink of a toppling precipice, (and) so it has toppled down with him in the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the unjust people.

Abdel Haleem
Which is better, the person who founds his building on consciousness of God and desire for His good pleasure, or the person who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling precipice that will tumble down into the Fire of Hell, taking him with it? God does not guide the evildoers:

Quran 9 Verse 109 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Taubah ayat 109, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(9:109) Is he, then, who has erected his structure on the fear of Allah and His good pleasure better, or he who erects his structure on the brink of a crumbling bank,[103] so that it crumbles down with him into the Hell-Fire? Allah does not bestow His Guidance on the wrong-doing folk.[104]


103. In order to comprehend fully the implications of this simile, let us first consider the significance of the Arabic word Juruf. This applies to the brink of that piece of land which has been undermined by a river or a stream, leaving its surface without any support. In this meaningful simile the construction of the structure of life on the Godless foundations has been compared to that building which is built on the river brink, which has been undermined by its water. It is obvious that the ignorant man who builds a structure on the surface of such a piece of land, merely because it is a piece of land, will not only lose the building but will also lose his own life, for it will inevitably fall down into the river along with him because it has nothing to support it. Likewise, the one who lays the foundation of the structure of the system of his life on the surface of worldly things, without any regard to God’s fear or His favor which are the only permanent supports of human life, is like the man who builds his structure on the surface undermined by the river. For such a man, he himself undermines the structure of his life by his wrong deeds which inevitably follow if there is no bedrock of God’s fear and His favor. Therefore the surface on which he had built his life would one day inevitably tumble down into the abyss of Hell along with the earnings of his whole life.

104. “Guide”, that leads to man’s real success.

Ibn-Kathir

109. Is it then he who laid the foundation of his building on Taqwa to Allah and His good pleasure better, or he who laid the foundation of his building on the brink of an undetermined precipice ready to crumble down, so that it crumbled to pieces with him into the fire of Hell. And Allah guides not the people who are the wrongdoers. 110. The building which they built will never cease to be a cause of hypocrisy and doubt in their hearts unless their hearts are cut to pieces. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.


The Difference between Masjid At-Taqwa and Masjid Ad-Dirar

Allah the Exalted says that the Masjid that has been built on the basis of Taqwa of Allah and His pleasure is not the same as a Masjid that was been built based on causing harm, disbelief and causing division among the believers, and as an outpost for those who warred against Allah and His Messenger . The latter built their Masjid on the edge of a steep hole,

﴿فِى نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ﴾

(into the fire of Hell. And Allah guides not the people who are the wrongdoers.), Allah does not bring aright the works of those who commit mischief. Jabir bin `Abdullah said, “I saw the Masjid that was built to cause harm with smoke rising up from it, during the time of the Messenger of Allah .” Allah’s statement,

﴿لاَ يَزَالُ بُنْيَانُهُمُ الَّذِى بَنَوْاْ رِيبَةً فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ﴾

(The building which they built will never cease to be a cause of doubt in their hearts) and hypocrisy. Because of this awful action that they committed, they inherited hypocrisy in their hearts, just as those who worshipped the calf were inclined to adoring it. Allah said next,

﴿إِلاَّ أَن تَقَطَّعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ﴾

(unless their hearts are cut to pieces.) until they die, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Zayd bin Aslam, As-Suddi, Habib bin Abi Thabit, Ad-Dahhak, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and several other scholars of the Salaf.

﴿وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ﴾

(And Allah is All-Knowing,) of the actions of His creation,

﴿حَكِيمٌ﴾

(All-Wise.) in compensating them for their good or evil actions.

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