Surah Zukhruf Ayat 51 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 51
And Pharaoh called out among his people; he said, “O my people, does not the kingdom of Egypt belong to me, and these rivers flowing beneath me; then do you not see?
And Pharaoh proclaimed among his people, saying: “O my people! Does not the dominion of Egypt belong to me, (witness) these streams flowing underneath my (palace)? What! see ye not then?
And Pharaoh proclaimed among his people: “My people, do I not have dominion over Egypt, and are these streams not flowing beneath me? Can’t you see?
And Fir’aun (Pharaoh) proclaimed among his people, saying: “O my people! Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me. See you not then?
And Pharaoh caused a proclamation to be made among his people saying: O my people! Is not mine the sovereignty of Egypt and these rivers flowing under me? Can ye not then discern?
And Firaawn (Pharaoh) called out upon his people (and) said, “O my people, is not the kingdom of Misr (i.e., Egypt) mine, and are not these rivers running from beneath me? Do you not then behold?
Pharaoh proclaimed to his people, ‘My people, is the Kingdom of Egypt not mine? And these rivers that flow at my feet, are they not mine? Do you not see?
Quran 43 Verse 51 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Zukhruf ayat 51, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(43:51) And Pharaoh proclaimed among his people: “My people, do I not have dominion over Egypt, and are these streams not flowing beneath me? Can’t you see?
45. Pharaoh probably sent heralds to the cities and towns throughout the country to proclaim what he said in his address to his ministers and courtiers in the capital. Pharaoh could not have availed of the services of a sycophantic press, controlled news agencies and official radio.
46. The words of the proclamation clearly show that ground was slipping from under the Pharaoh’s feet. The miracles performed one after the other by the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had caused the common people’s beliefs in their gods to waver and the Pharaoh’s spell under which their dynasty was ruling over Egypt as representatives of the gods, was shattered. Thereupon, Pharaoh cried out: O wretched people, can’t you see who is ruling over this land and under whose control are the canals which have been dug out from the Nile, upon which depends your whole economy? All these developments in this country have been brought about by me and my predecessors, but you are being devoted, charmed and fascinated by this pauper!
51. And Fir`awn proclaimed among his people (saying): “O my people! Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me. See you not then” 52. “Am I not better than this one (Musa) who is despicable and can scarcely express himself clearly” 53. Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him” 54. Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him. Verily, they were ever a people who were rebellious. 55. So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all. 56. And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations.
Allah tells us how Fir`awn stubbornly persisted in his rebellion and disbelief. He assembled his people and addressed them in a vainglorious fashion, boasting of his dominion over Egypt.
(Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me) Qatadah said, “They had gardens and rivers of flowing water.”
(See you not then) means, `do you not see my position of might and power’ — implying that Musa and his followers were poor and weak. This is like the Ayah:
(Then he gathered (his people) and cried aloud, saying: “I am your lord, most high.” So Allah seized him with punishment for his last and first transgression.) (79:23-25)
(Am I not better than this one who is despicable) As-Suddi said, “He was saying, `indeed I am better than this one, who is despicable’.” Some of the grammarians of Basrah said that Fir`awn — may the curse of Allah be upon him — was saying that he was better than Musa, peace be upon him. But this is an obvious lie, may continued curses be upon him until the Day of Resurrection. By describing Musa as despicable he meant — as Sufyan said — insignificant. Qatadah and As-Suddi said, “He meant, weak.” Ibn Jarir said, “He meant, he had no power, authority or wealth.”
(and can scarcely express himself clearly) means, he cannot speak clearly, he stammers and cannot speak well. Fir`awn’s description of Musa as “despicable” is a lie; rather it is he who was despicable and insignificant, lacking in physical, moral and religious terms, and it is Musa who was noble, truthful, righteous and upright.
(and can scarcely express himself clearly). This was also a lie. Although something happened to Musa’s tongue when he was a child, when it was burnt by a coal. He asked Allah to loosen the knot from his tongue (i.e., to correct his speech defect) so that they could understand what he said, and Allah had answered his prayer and said:
(You are granted your request, O Musa) (20:36). It may be the case that some problem remained which he had not asked to be relieved of, as Al-Hasan Al-Basri suggested, and that he had asked only to be relieved of that which stood in the way of his conveying the Message. A person cannot be blamed for physical matters over which he has no control. Even though Fir`awn had the intelligence to understand that, he wanted to confuse and mislead his people, who were ignorant and stupid. So he said:
(Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him…) meaning, adornments which are placed on the arms. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Qatadah and others.
(or angels sent along with him) meaning, to serve him and to testify that he is telling the truth. He looked only at outward appearances and did not understand the true inner matters that are clearer than what he focused on, if only he had understood that. Allah says:
(Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him.) meaning, he confused them and invited them to misguidance, and they responded to him.
(Verily, they were ever a people who were rebellious.) Then Allah says:
(So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said it means: “When they angered Us means, they provoked Our wrath.” Ad-Dahhak said, it means “They made Us angry.” This was also the view of Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Qatadah, As-Suddi and other scholars of Tafsir. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Uqbah bin `Amir, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(When you see that Allah gives a person what he wants even though he is persisting in sin, that means that Allah is enticing him into destruction.) Then he recited:
(So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all.) It was reported that Tariq bin Shihab said, “I was with `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, and the issue of sudden death was mentioned. He said, `It is a relief for the believer and a source of regret for the disbeliever.’ Then he recited the Ayah:
(So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all). ” `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I found that punishment comes with negligence, meaning the Ayah:
(So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all).”
(And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations.) Abu Mijlaz said, “Precedent for others who do the same as they did.” He and Mujahid said, “An example, i.e., a lesson to those who come after them.” Allah is the One Who guides to the straight path, and unto Him is the final return.
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