سورة الشعراء   

Surah Name: Ash-Shu'ara Meaning: The Poets

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 11
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 227
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 26
  • Rukū / Section 5 contains Āyāt / Parts 35
  • Siparah/ Volume 19


وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ

Wa(o)tlu AAalayhim nabaa ibraheem(a)

And recite to them the story of Ibrahim-AS.


إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ

Ith qala liabeehi waqawmihi ma taAAbudoon(a)

When he-AS said to his-AS father and his-AS people: What do you worship?


قَالُوا نَعْبُدُ أَصْنَامًا فَنَظَلُّ لَهَا عَاكِفِينَ

Qaloo naAAbudu asnaman fanathallu laha AAakifeen(a)

They said: We worship idols, and to them we are ever devoted.


قَالَ هَلْ يَسْمَعُونَكُمْ إِذْ تَدْعُونَ

Qala hal yasmaAAoonakum ith tadAAoon(a)

He-AS said: Do they hear you when you cry?


أَوْ يَنفَعُونَكُمْ أَوْ يَضُرُّونَ

Aw yanfaAAoonakum aw yadurroon(a)

Or do they benefit you, or do they hurt you?


قَالُوا بَلْ وَجَدْنَا آبَاءنَا كَذَلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ

Qaloo bal wajadna abaana kathalika yafAAaloon(a)

They said Nay; but we found our fathers doing in this way.


قَالَ أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا كُنتُمْ تَعْبُدُونَ

Qala afaraaytum ma kuntum taAAbudoon(a)

He-AS said: Have you observed what you have been worshipping.


أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمُ الْأَقْدَمُونَ

Antum waabaokumu alaqdamoon(a)

You and your forefathers?


فَإِنَّهُمْ عَدُوٌّ لِّي إِلَّا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Fainnahum AAaduwwun lee illa rabba alAAalameen(a)

Verily they are an enemy to me, save the Rabb-SWT of the worlds.


الَّذِي خَلَقَنِي فَهُوَ يَهْدِينِ

Allathee khalaqanee fahuwa yahdeen(i)

Who has created me, and He-SWT guides me.


وَالَّذِي هُوَ يُطْعِمُنِي وَيَسْقِينِ

Wa(a)llathee huwa yutAAimunee wayasqeen(i)

He-SWT Who feeds me and gives me to drink.


وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ

Waitha maridtu fahuwa yashfeen(i)

And when I sicken, then He-SWT gives me health.


وَالَّذِي يُمِيتُنِي ثُمَّ يُحْيِينِ

Wa(a)llathee yumeetunee thumma yuhyeen(i)

And He-SWT Who will cause me to die, and then will quicken me.


وَالَّذِي أَطْمَعُ أَن يَغْفِرَ لِي خَطِيئَتِي يَوْمَ الدِّينِ

Wa(a)llathee atmaAAu an yaghfira lee khateeatee yawma a(l)ddeen(i)

And He-SWT Who, I long, will forgive me my faults on the Day of Requital.


رَبِّ هَبْ لِي حُكْمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ

Rabbi hab lee hukman waalhiqnee bi(al)ssaliheen(a)

Rabb-SWT ! Bestow on me wisdom, and join me with the righteous.


وَاجْعَل لِّي لِسَانَ صِدْقٍ فِي الْآخِرِينَ

Wa(i)jAAal lee lisana sidqin fee alakhireen(a)

And assign to me an honourable mention among the posterity.


وَاجْعَلْنِي مِن وَرَثَةِ جَنَّةِ النَّعِيمِ

Wa(i)jAAalnee min warathati jannati a(l)nnaAAeem(i)

And make me of the inheritors of the Garden of Delight.


وَاغْفِرْ لِأَبِي إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الضَّالِّينَ

Wa(i)ghfir liabee innahu kana mina a(l)ddalleen(a)

And forgive my father; verily he is of the erring.


وَلَا تُخْزِنِي يَوْمَ يُبْعَثُونَ

Wala tukhzinee yawma yubAAathoon(a)

And do not humiliate me on the Day when mankind will be raised.


يَوْمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ

Yawma la yanfaAAu malun wala banoon(a)

The Day whereon neither riches nor sons will be of any avail.


إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ

Illa man ata Allaha biqalbin saleem(in)

Unless it be he. who shall bring to Allah-SWT a whole heart.


وَأُزْلِفَتِ الْجَنَّةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

Waozlifati aljannatu lilmuttaqeen(a)

And the Garden will be brought nigh of the God-fearing.


وَبُرِّزَتِ الْجَحِيمُ لِلْغَاوِينَ

Waburrizati aljaheemu lilghaween(a)

And the Fierce Fire will be made apparent to the seduced ones.


وَقِيلَ لَهُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْبُدُونَ

Waqeela lahum ayna ma kuntum taAAbudoon(a)

And it will be said to them: Where is that which you used to worship.


مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ هَلْ يَنصُرُونَكُمْ أَوْ يَنتَصِرُونَ

Min dooni Allahi hal yansuroonakum aw yantasiroon(a)

Besides Allah-SWT ? Can they succour you or succour even themselves?


فَكُبْكِبُوا فِيهَا هُمْ وَالْغَاوُونَ

Fakubkiboo feeha hum wa(a)lghawoon(a)

Then they will be hurled therein, they and those seduced


وَجُنُودُ إِبْلِيسَ أَجْمَعُونَ

Wajunoodu ibleesa ajmaAAoon(a)

And the hosts of Iblis together.


قَالُوا وَهُمْ فِيهَا يَخْتَصِمُونَ

Qaloo wahum feeha yakhtasimoon(a)

And they while contending therein will say.


تَاللَّهِ إِن كُنَّا لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

Ta(A)llahi in kunna lafee dalalin mubeen(in)

By Allah-SWT , we have indeed been in error manifest.


إِذْ نُسَوِّيكُم بِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Ith nusawweekum birabbi alAAalameen(a)

When we equalled you with the Rabb-SWT of the worlds.


وَمَا أَضَلَّنَا إِلَّا الْمُجْرِمُونَ

Wama adallana illa almujrimoon(a)

And none led us astray except the culprits.


فَمَا لَنَا مِن شَافِعِينَ

Fama lana min shafiAAeen(a)

So none we have as intercessors


وَلَا صَدِيقٍ حَمِيمٍ

Wala sadeeqin hameem(in)

Nor any loving friend.


فَلَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Falaw anna lana karratan fanakoona mina almumineen(a)

Were there for us a return we would be of the believers,


إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً وَمَا كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

Inna fee thalika laayatan wama kana aktharuhum mumineen(a)

Verily in this story is a Sign, yet most of them are not believers


وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ

Wainna rabbaka lahuwa alAAazeezu a(l)rraheem(u)

And truly your Rabb-SWT ! He-SWT is the Mighty, the Merciful.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

The polytheists of Makkah and Arabia as a whole professed to be the followers of Prophet Ibrahim-AS's religion. Allah-SWT directed the Holy Prophet-SW to recount to them the story of Prophet Ibrahim-AS, (1) who he-AS was and (2) what he-AS preached as compared to what they were doing. It may be recalled that Prophet Ibrahim-AS had questioned his-AS father and his-AS people who did they worship and what beliefs they held with regard to the idols? They said that they worshipped the idols and had dedicated their entire lives to them.


The Worshipped Must Have Absolute Knowledge And Power

Prophet Ibrahim-AS asked them whether the idols were aware of their situation, could hear their invocations and help them. Or if they were not worshipped, could their annoyance do any harm? They obviously had no answer and confessed that they were just following their forefathers without any rationale. So he-AS called upon them to realize that the practices of their ancestors were leading them to destruction, and if he-AS did the same he-AS too would be doomed. The Only One-SWT worthy of worship is the Rabb-SWT , the Creator of all the worlds and Who-SWT meets everyone's needs. It is He-SWT Who had created him-AS and taught him-AS the ways of life. In other words, the birth of a child and the subsequent development into a grownup intellectual, a scientist, a politician or an administrator, and the making of Prophets-AS and Messengers-AS into revolutionary personalities, are all manifestations of His-SWT Absolute Powers. While a human being needs food all the time, it is He-SWT Who arranges it. Health and sickness are also part of human life and when the latter takes hold, it is He-SWT again Who restores the health. He-SWT gives death and shall ultimately requicken all to face accountability, and Prophet Ibrahim-AS was no exception though "hopeful" that He-SWT would overlook his-AS mistakes and forgive him-AS.


It is a fact that Prophets-AS are innocent, free of errors. But here it is a confession of Allah-SWT's Magnificence and a display of extreme respect, that Prophet Ibrahim-AS has used the word 'hopeful'. Besides, it highlights a general rule of relationship or dealing with Allah-SWT , that everyone should only worship Him-SWT Who created them with inborn capacity to seek knowledge and practise it. And it is His-SWT Forgiveness for which one can hope for in the Akhirah.


From Absence To Presence

As Prophet Ibrahim-AS praised Allah-SWT , he-AS experienced a state of presence before Him-SWT , so he-AS prayed directly. “O’ Allah-SWT ! Grant me Hakm, which according to Commentators means wisdom and knowledge.


To Seek Power To Enforce Truth

However, according to Behr-e-Muhit with reference to Imam Razi-RUA wisdom and knowledge are the traits of Prophethood, which Prophet Ibrahim-AS already possessed. Here it means the power of enforcement whereby he-AS could arbitrate between people, uproot falsehood and enforce the Truth. People are liable to go astray when they have powers to rule. The Prophets-AS are, however, an exception. For the sake of educating people, Prophet Ibrahim-AS added to his-AS prayer: ‘Bless me with power and authority and keep me amongst the righteous’. He-AS sought power to enforce piety and virtue in a manner whereby his-AS traditions would be practised by those who succeed him-AS in time and also rule as a means of proclaiming Allah-SWT's Magnificence and not of deluding people. It was accepted in the form of raising of the Holy Prophet-SW and the Muslim rule, especially the rule of the first four Caliphs. Besides, this invocation encompasses all those who will establish and implement piety until the Day of Judgment. He-AS further begged Allah-SWT to accept his-AS own actions to deserve Jannah and its bounties.


To Pray For An Infidel's Guidance Is Legitimate

He-AS also prayed for his-AS father’s guidance and forgiveness so that he may not be a source of embarrassment for the Prophet-AS on the Day of Reckoning. Though he-AS did pray, yet guidance has to be sought by a person personally from the core of the heart, which was totally lacking in case of his-AS father and as such he remained deprived. Prophet Ibrahim-AS also described the scenario of the Day of Judgment when affluence, power, pomp and show or children will be of no avail for they merely serve the purpose of mundane gains and render the heart heedless of Allah-SWT . Sure destruction awaits them while those blessed with Qalb-e-Saleem, will be emancipated.



In other words, their Qulub remained alive with His-SWT Love and illuminated with His-SWT Lights. They used all their resources including children as means of enforcing Allah-SWT's Commands. Their affluence and progeny indeed served them well. And the source of attaining Qalb-e-Saleem is Allah-SWT's Zikr. The Quran declares that it is through Allah-SWT's Zikr that the Qalb finds peace. And its fountainhead is the sacred Qalb of the Holy Prophet-SW while a Shaikh is the custodian of his-SW blessings, whose Tawajjuh engages a Qalb in Zikr and illuminates it.


On that Day, the Jannah shall be brought nigh duly festooned, the eternal abode of those who were conscious of and had obeyed Allah-SWT . And the Hell too shall be drawn closer so that the rebels could see their final destination. The infidels will be asked to look for their gods they had chosen to worship and see if they could rescue them or themselves. The idols and the infidels will together be hurled into Hell upside down as well as the entire legions of Iblis. They will quarrel between themselves and the infidels swearing upon Allah-SWT will confess that it were they who erred by giving such disgraceful stones and devils the status of God. They will acknowledge that their wayward and heretic leaders had led them to destruction while being wrongdoers themselves. Today, there was no one even to intercede for them, nor was there a well wisher!


They shall desperately wish to return to the world once again, promising that they would become true Muslims. Despite the fact that these accounts offer much admonition, a majority of people remain deprived of faith. Similar was the state of the Makkans contemporary to the Holy Prophet-SW. He-SW must, therefore, know that his-SW Rabb-SWT is Mighty and can destroy everyone of them if He-SWT so chooses. But He-SWT is Merciful and relents until the given respite is over.