Surah Yaseen >> Currently viewing Surah Yaseen Ayat 13 (36:13)

Surah Yaseen Ayat 13 in Arabic Text

وَٱضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلًا أَصْحَـٰبَ ٱلْقَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَآءَهَا ٱلْمُرْسَلُونَ
Wadrib lahum masalan Ashaabal Qaryatih; iz jaaa’ahal mursaloon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 13

Sahih International
And present to them an example: the people of the city, when the messengers came to it –

Yusuf Ali
Set forth to them, by way of a parable, the (story of) the Companions of the City. Behold!, there came messengers to it.

Abul Ala Maududi
Recite to them, as a case in point, the story of the people of the town when the Messengers came to them.

Muhsin Khan
And put forward to them a similitude; the (story of the) dwellers of the town, [It is said that the town was Antioch (Antakiya)], when there came Messengers to them.

Pickthall
Coin for them a similitude: The people of the city when those sent (from Allah) came unto them;

Dr. Ghali
And strike for them a similitude: the companions (i.e., the inhabitants) of the town, as the Emissaries came to it,

Abdel Haleem
Give them the example of the people to whose town messengers came.

Quran 36 Verse 13 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Yaseen ayat 13, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(36:13) Recite to them, as a case in point, the story of the people of the town when the Messengers came to them.[10]


10. The early commentators, generally, have expressed the opinion that the habitation implies the Syrian city of Antioch, and the messengers mentioned here were the ones sent by the Prophet Jesus for the preaching of his message there. Another thing that has been mentioned in this connection is that Antiochus was the king of this land at that time. But historically this story which Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, Ikrimah, Kaab Ahbar and Wahb bin Munabbih, and others have related on the basis of unauthentic Christian traditions is baseless. There have been 13 kings of the Seleucid dynasty named Antiochus who reigned in Antioch, and the rule of the last king of this name, rather the rule of this dynasty itself, came to an end in 65 B.C. At the time of the Prophet Jesus, the whole land of Syria and Palestine, including Antioch, was under the Romans. Then, no proof is forthcoming from any authentic tradition of the Christians that the Prophet Jesus might himself have sent any of his disciples to Antioch for preaching his message. On the contrary, the Acts of the Apostles (N.T.) shows that the Christian preachers had reached Antioch for the first time a few years after the event of the crucifixion. Now, evidently, the people who were neither appointed messengers by Allah nor sent by His Messenger cannot be regarded as messengers of Allah by any interpretation even if they might have travelled for the purpose of preaching of their own accord. Moreover, according to the Bible, Antioch was the first city where the non-Israelites embraced Christianity in large numbers and where the Christian faith met with great success; whereas the habitation mentioned by the Quran was some such habitation which rejected the invitation of the messengers, and was consequently punished with a divine torment. History also does not bear any evidence that Antioch was ever afflicted with a destruction, which might be regarded, as the result of denying the Prophethood.

On account of these reasons it cannot be accepted that the habitation implies Antioch. The habitation has neither been clearly determined in the Quran nor in any authentic Hadith. The identity of the messengers also is not known through any authentic means nor the time when they were appointed. To understand the purpose for which the Quran is narrating this story here, it is not necessary to know the names of the habitation and the messengers. The object is to warn the Quraish, as if to say: You are following the same path of stubbornness, prejudice and denial of the truth as had been followed by the people of that habitation, and are preparing yourselves to meet the same doom as was met by them.

Ibn-Kathir

13. And put forward to them a similitude; the Dwellers of the Town, when there came Messengers to them. 14. When We sent to them two Messengers, they denied them both; so We reinforced them with a third, and they said: “Verily, we have been sent to you as Messengers.” 15. They said: “You are only human beings like ourselves, and the Most Gracious has revealed nothing. You are only telling lies.” 16. The Messengers said: “Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you,” 17. “And our duty is only to convey plainly.”


The Story of the Dwellers of the Town and Their Messengers, a Lesson that Those Who belied Their Messengers were Destroyed

Allah says, `O Muhammad, tell your people who disbelieve in you,’

﴿مَّثَلاً أَصْحَـبَ القَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَآءَهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ﴾

(a similitude; the Dwellers of the Town, when there came Messengers to them.) In the reports that he transmitted from Ibn `Abbas, Ka`b Al-Ahbar and Wahb bin Munabbih – Ibn Ishaq reported that it was the city of Antioch, in which there was a king called Antiochus the son of Antiochus the son of Antiochus, who used to worship idols. Allah sent to him three Messengers, whose names were Sadiq, Saduq and Shalum, and he disbelieved in them. It was also narrated from Buraydah bin Al-Husayb, `Ikrimah, Qatadah and Az-Zuhri that it was Antioch. Some of the Imams were not sure that it was Antioch, as we shall see below after telling the rest of the story, if Allah wills.

﴿إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا﴾

(When We sent to them two Messengers, they denied them both;) means, they hastened to disbelieve in them.

﴿فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ﴾

(so We reinforced them with a third,) means, `We supported and strengthened them with a third Messenger. ‘ Ibn Jurayj narrated from Wahb bin Sulayman, from Shu`ayb Al-Jaba’i, “The names of the first two Messengers were Sham`un and Yuhanna, and the name of the third was Bulus, and the city was Antioch (Antakiyah).

﴿فَقَالُواْ﴾

(and they said) means, to the people of that city,

﴿إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ مُّرْسَلُونَ﴾

(Verily, we have been sent to you as Messengers.) meaning, `from your Lord Who created you and Who commands you to worship Him Alone with no partners or associates.’ This was the view of Abu Al-`Aliyah. Qatadah bin Di`amah claimed that they were messengers of the Messiah, peace be upon him, sent to the people of Antioch.

﴿قَالُواْ مَآ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا﴾

(They said: “You are only human beings like ourselves…”) means, `so how could you receive revelation when you are human beings and we are human beings, so why do we not receive revelation like you If you are Messengers, you should be angels.’ This is like what many of the nations said who disbelieved, as Allah has told us in the Ayah: c

﴿ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُ كَانَت تَّأْتِيهِمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ فَقَالُواْ أَبَشَرٌ يَهْدُونَنَا﴾

(That was because there came to them their Messengers with clear proofs, but they said: “Shall mere men guide us”) (64: 6) meaning that they were amazed by that and they denied it. And Allah says:

﴿قَالُواْ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَصُدُّونَا عَمَّا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَا فَأْتُونَا بِسُلْطَـنٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾

(They said: “You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority.”) (14:10). And Allah tells us that they said:

﴿وَلَئِنْ أَطَعْتُمْ بَشَراً مِّثْلَكُمْ إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً لَّخَـسِرُونَ ﴾

(“If you were to obey a human being like yourselves, then verily, you indeed would be losers.”) (23:34). And Allah says:

﴿وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ إِذْ جَآءَهُمُ الْهُدَى إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ أَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً ﴾

(And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: “Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger”) (17:94). These people said:

﴿قَالُواْ مَآ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا وَمَآ أَنَزلَ الرَّحْمَـنُ مِن شَىْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ تَكْذِبُونَ – قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ ﴾

(You are only human beings like ourselves, and the Most Gracious has revealed nothing. You are only telling lies.” The Messengers said: “Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you.”) This means that the three Messengers answered them saying: “Allah knows that we are His Messengers to you. If we were lying, He would have taken the utmost vengeance against us, but He will cause us to prevail and will make us victorious against you, and you will come to know whose will be the happy end in the Hereafter.” This is like the Ayah:

﴿قُلْ كَفَى بِاللَّهِ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنَكُمْ شَهِيداً يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَالَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ بِالْبَـطِلِ وَكَفَرُواْ بِاللَّهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْخَـسِرُونَ ﴾

(Say: “Sufficient is Allah for a witness between me and you. He knows what is in the heavens and on earth.” And those who believe in falsehood, and disbelieve in Allah, it is they who are the losers.) (29:52)

﴿وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ الْمُبِينُ ﴾

(And our duty is only to convey plainly.) means, `all we have to do is to convey to you the Message with which we have been sent; if you obey, then happiness will be yours in this world and the Hereafter, and if you do not respond, you will soon know the consequences of that.’ And Allah knows best.

﴿قَالُواْ إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُواْ لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُمْ مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴾

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