Surah Yunus >> Currently viewing Surah Yunus Ayat 17 (10:17)

Surah Yunus Ayat 17 in Arabic Text

وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ شُفَعَـٰٓؤُنَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ۚ قُلْ أَتُنَبِّـُٔونَ ٱللَّهَ بِمَا لَا يَعْلَمُ فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَلَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ سُبْحَـٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَـٰلَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
Faman azlamu mimmanif taraa ‘alal laahi kaziban aw kazzaba bi Aayaatih; innahoo laa yuflihul mujrimoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 17

Sahih International
So who is more unjust than he who invents a lie about Allah or denies His signs? Indeed, the criminals will not succeed

Yusuf Ali
Who doth more wrong than such as forge a lie against Allah, or deny His Signs? But never will prosper those who sin.

Abul Ala Maududi
Who, then, is a greater wrong-doer than he who forges a lie against Allah or rejects His signs as false? Surely the guilty shall not prosper.

Muhsin Khan
So who does more wrong than he who forges a lie against Allah or denies His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)? Surely, the Mujrimun (criminals, sinners, disbelievers and polytheists) will never be successful!

Who doeth greater wrong than he who inventeth a lie concerning Allah and denieth His revelations? Lo! the guilty never are successful.

Dr. Ghali
So, who is more unjust than he who fabricates against Allah had a lie or cries lies to His signs? Sure it is that the criminals do not prosper.

Abdel Haleem
Who could be more wicked than someone who invents lies against God or denies His revelations? The guilty will never prosper.

Quran 10 Verse 17 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Yunus ayat 17, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(10:17) Who, then, is a greater wrong-doer than he who forges a lie against Allah or rejects His signs as false?[22] Surely the guilty shall not prosper.[23]

22. That is, if these revelations are not from Allah and I myself compose them and present them as revelations from Him, there can be no greater sinner than I am. On the other hand, if these revelations are truly from Allah and you are falsifying these, then there can be no greater sinner than you.

23. Some foolish people draw wrong and misleading conclusions from this verse, by a fallacious reasoning. They confine the meanings of falah to long life or worldly prosperity or worldly success and argue like this: This verse declares categorically that criminals can never attain success. The converse of this proposition, that is, anyone who is successful cannot be a criminal must also be true. Hence, if a claimant should live a long life after his claim to Prophethood or prosper in the world or his claim receives a good response in the world from the people, he should be acknowledged as a true prophet. For they argue, if he had been a false prophet he could not have prospered, but would have been killed or starved to death or rendered unsuccessful in his mission, as soon as he had claimed to be a prophet. But even a little thinking will show that this argument is fallacious on the face of it. Firstly, the converse of every proposition is not always true. Secondly, the Quran does not use the word falah in this limited sense. Thirdly, Allah deals with the criminals according to His divine law of respite.

Now let us consider the matter in detail. The words “Indeed, the criminals will not be successful”, have not been used, in the context they occur, to prescribe a criterion for judging a true Prophet from a false one, so that if a claimant is successful, he should be accepted, and if he is not, he should be rejected. As a matter of fact, these words have been put in the mouth of the Messenger to make a declaration like this: I know it for certain that the criminals cannot attain (true) success: therefore I cannot commit the crime of making a false claim to Prophethood. But as regards you, I am absolutely sure that you cannot attain true success because you are guilty of falsifying me who is a true Prophet of Allah.

The other thing is that the word falah is not used in the limited sense of worldly success, but it has been used to denote the permanent success which never suffers any loss whatsoever irrespective of the fact whether the claimant gains or does not gain any worldly success in the initial stage. Nay, it is just possible that a false claimant who invites people to misguidance should attain great worldly success and his misguidance might also prosper. This is, however, not success in the terminology of the Quran, but this would be an utter failure. On the other hand, it is also possible that the inviter to the truth should suffer untold afflictions or fall a prey to the persecutions of the transgressors, and leave this world without winning over anyone to the side of the truth, but this will be, in the terminology of the Quran, true success and not a failure.

The other thing that refutes the fallacy of these foolish people is that they do not take into consideration the divine law of respite, according to which the mere fact that a false prophet enjoyed a long prosperous life is not a proof that he was a true prophet. The Quran has made it clear at many places that Allah does not expedite the matter of the punishment of the criminals, but gives them respite to mend their ways; nay, He also lets them loose in their deviation if they abuse that respite and become more corrupt. Sometimes He makes them even more prosperous so that they should fully manifest all the evils they had hidden in their hearts and incur full punishment which they really deserve for their evil deeds. The divine law of respite takes its due course in the case of false prophets as it does in the case of other criminals. And there is no reason why they should be an exception to this. Satan, the greatest of all criminals, has been allowed to practice every kind of deception up to the Day of Judgment, and there is no mention of any exception to this effect that he will not be allowed to set up a false prophet.

As a last resort, such perverse interpreters of the Quran turn to (Ayats 44-47 of Surah Al-Haqqah): If Muhammad had fabricated something himself and ascribed that to Us, We would have seized his hand and cut off his heart’s vein. But these cannot serve their purpose, for what they imply is only this: If the true Prophet appointed by Allah were to ascribe any false thing to Allah, he would be seized forthwith. Therefore it is no more than a fallacy to argue from this to the erroneous conclusion that the impostor who is not seized is a true prophet, for this divine principle applies only to a true Prophet and not to an impostor. In order to grasp this point, let us take the instance of the government servants. It is obvious that the rules and regulations which are prescribed for government servants apply only to those who are actually government servants and not to impostors. Those who pretend to be government servants are dealt with according to the criminal code like other criminals and villains and not according to the code of employment. Besides this, the context in which these verses occur clearly shows that these are not laying down any criterion of judging whether a claimant is a true Prophet or an impostor. Moreover, a true Prophet can easily be distinguished from an impostor by his high character, his noble mission and the unique Message he presents. Hence there was no need of setting up such an irrational and unnatural standard of distinguishing a true Prophet from an impostor.


17. So who does more wrong than he who forges a lie against Allah or denies His Ayat Surely, the criminals will never be successful!

Allah says that no one is more wrong, unjust and arrogant than hewho invented a lie against Allah, forged claims about Allah, orclaimed that Allah has sent a message to him but his claim was nottrue.

No one is more of a criminal or has commit ted greater wrong than such a person. Liars cannotbe confused with Prophets. Anyone who claims such a thing, whether lying or telling the t ruth,will necessarily be supported by Allah with proofs and signs of his falsehood or t ruthfulness.The dif ference between Muhammad and Musaylamah the liar, was clearer to those who metboth of them than the dif ference between forenoon and midnight when it is ext remely dark.Those who are clear-sighted can dist inguish via signs and proofs between the t ruthfulness ofMuhammad and the falsehood of Musaylamah the liar, Saj ah and Al-Aswad Al-` Ansi. Abdullahbin Salam said: “When Allah’s Messenger arrived at Al-Madinah, people were scared away and Iwas one of them. But when I saw him, I realized that his face could never be the face of a liar.The first thing I heard f rom him was his statement :

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَفْشُوا السَّلَامَ، وَأَطْعِمُوا الطَّعَامَ، وَصِلُوا الْأَرْحَامَ، وَصَلُّوا بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَامُ،تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِسَلَام

(O people, spread the greet ings of peace, feed others, be dut iful to your relat ives and of ferprayers in the night when others are asleep so that you will enter Paradise in peace. )” WhenDimam bin Tha` labah came to Allah’s Messenger and asked him in the presence of his people –Banu Sa` d bin Bakr: “Who raised this heaven” He replied,. (Allah). He asked: “And who erectedthese mountains” He replied, (Allah). He asked: “Who spread out this earth” He replied,.(Allah). Then he asked: “I ask you in the name of the One, Who raised the heavens, erected themountains, and spread out this earth, has Allah sent you as a Messenger to all mankind” Hesaid, i

اَللَّهُمَّ نَعَم

(By Allah, Yes! ) Then Dimam asked him about Salah, Zakah, Haj j and fast ing. With everyquest ion he swore by Allah and with every response the Prophet swore also. Dimam then said:”You indeed are telling the t ruth. By the One Who sent you with the t ruth I will not increase ordecrease f rom what you have told me. ” This man was content with the few responses of theProphet . He was convinced of the Prophet ‘s t ruthfulness by the signs that he saw andwitnessed. It was narrated that ` Amr bin Al-` As went to Musaylamah. ` Amr was not a Muslim atthat t ime and he was a f riend of Musaylamah. Musaylamah said: “Woe unto you ` Amr. What wasrevealed unto your f riend — meaning Allah’s Messenger — during this period” ` Amr replied: “Iheard his companions reading a short but great Surah. ” He asked, “And what was that ” Herecited:

وَالْعَصْرِإِنَّ الإِنسَـنَ لَفِى خُسْرٍ

(By Al-` Asr (the t ime). Verily, man is in loss. ) until the end of the Surah. Musaylamahthought for a while and then said: “Something similar to that was also revealed to me. ” ` Amrasked: “And what is it ” He then recited: “O Wabr, O Wabr! You are only two ears and a breast .The rest of you is hollow. ‘ What do you think, ` Amr” ` Amr then said: “By Allah, you know that Iknow that you are a liar. ” This was a statement made by an idolator in j udgment ofMusaylamah. He knew Muhammad and his t ruthfulness. He also knew Musaylamah and histendency toward falsehood and lying. People who think and have insight know even bet ter.Allah said:

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِباً أَوْ قَالَ أُوْحِى إِلَىَّ وَلَمْ يُوحَ إِلَيْهِ شَىْءٌ وَمَن قَالَ سَأُنزِلُ مِثْلَ مَآ أَنَزلَ اللَّهُ

(And who does more aggression and wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah or rej ects HisAyat . )

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ

(So who does more wrong than he who forges a lie against Allah or denies His Ayat Surely, thecriminals will never be successful! )No one is more .unj ust than he who belies the t ruthwhich the Messengers have brought supported with evidence and proof .

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