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 8 contains Āyāt / Parts 19
  • Siparah/ Volume 19


كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

Kaththabat thamoodu almursaleen(a)

The Thamud belied Our-SWT envoys.


إِذْ قَالَ لَهُمْ أَخُوهُمْ صَالِحٌ أَلَا تَتَّقُونَ

Ith qala lahum akhoohum salihun ala tattaqoon(a)

When their brother Salih-AS told them, fear you not?


إِنِّي لَكُمْ رَسُولٌ أَمِينٌ

Innee lakum rasoolun amen(un)

Verily I am unto you a trusted Messenger-AS.


فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ

Fa(i)ttaqoo Allaha waateeAAoon(i)

So fear Allah-SWT and obey me.


وَمَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ إِنْ أَجْرِيَ إِلَّا عَلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Wama asalukum AAalayhi min ajrin in ajriya illa AAala rabbi alAAalameen(a)

And I ask you no wage for it, my wage is but with the Rabb-SWT of the worlds.


أَتُتْرَكُونَ فِي مَا هَاهُنَا آمِنِينَ

Atutrakoona fee ma hahuna amineen(a)

Will you be left secure in what is before us?


فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ

Fee jannatin waAAuyoon(in)

In gardens and springs.


وَزُرُوعٍ وَنَخْلٍ طَلْعُهَا هَضِيمٌ

WazurooAAin wanakhlin talAAuha hadeem(un)

And cornfields and palm-trees of which the spathes are fine?


وَتَنْحِتُونَ مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا فَارِهِينَ

Watanhitoona mina aljibali buyootan fariheen(a)

And do you hew out in the rocks houses skilfully?


فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ

Fa(i)ttaqoo Allaha waateeAAoon(i)

So fear Allah-SWT and obey me.


وَلَا تُطِيعُوا أَمْرَ الْمُسْرِفِينَ

Wala tuteeAAoo amra almusrifeen(a)

And do not follow the bidding of the extravagant.


الَّذِينَ يُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا يُصْلِحُونَ

Allatheena yufsidoona fee alardi wala yuslihoon(a)

Who act corruptly in the land and do not rectify.'


قَالُوا إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مِنَ الْمُسَحَّرِينَ

Qaloo innama anta mina almusahhareen(a)

They said: You-AS are but one of the bewitched.


مَا أَنتَ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا فَأْتِ بِآيَةٍ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ

Ma anta illa basharun mithluna fati biayatin in kunta mina a(l)ssadiqeena

You-AS are but a human being like us. So bring you-AS a Sign if you-AS are of the truthful.


قَالَ هَذِهِ نَاقَةٌ لَّهَا شِرْبٌ وَلَكُمْ شِرْبُ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ

Qala hathihi naqatun laha shirbun walakum shirbu yawmin maAAloom(in)

He-AS said: Yonder is a she-camel, to her is a drink, and to you is a drink, each on a day known.


وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ

Wala tamassooha bisooin fayakhuthakum AAathabu yawmin AAatheem(in)

And do not touch her with an evil, lest there takes hold of you the torment of a mighty Day


فَعَقَرُوهَا فَأَصْبَحُوا نَادِمِينَ

FaAAaqarooha faasbahoo nadimeen(a)

Then they hamstrung her, then they became regretful


فَأَخَذَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً وَمَا كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

Faakhathahumu alAAathabu inna fee thalika laayatan wama kana aktharuhum mumineen(a)

So the chastisement overtook them. 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 verily your-SW Rabb-SWT ! He-SWT is the Mighty, the Merciful.


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

The People of Thamud-AS also refused to listen to Allah-SWT's Messenger, when Prophet Salih-AS, a fellow brother, was raised amongst them. He-AS told his-AS people to fear Allah-SWT , and that he-AS, as a Messenger, was conveying His-SWT Message with utmost sincerity. The people must, therefore, concede to Allah-SWT's obedience. Besides, he-AS did not seek any wages from them or aspire to become a ruler. Rather his-AS reward was with Allah-SWT , the Provider of the entire universe. He-AS reminded them that they would not be able to live forever and would have to, one day, leave behind their beautiful abodes, springs and date palms laden with fruit. They must acknowledge Allah-SWT's favour how He-SWT had given them the expertise whereby they hewed out of the mountains luxuriant homes.



Expertise in any of the skills is a Divine favour and every epoch is marked by some particular art. History reveals the existence of certain arts and skills through time, which even today seem very challenging. For instance, the construction of the Pyramids involved incredible expertise in the geometrised angles and judging the direction of rays from the sun. Similarly the lavish dwellings of Thamud were hewed out of the mountains in multi-storeys, a task seemingly impossible even in modern times.


So to attain perfection in any skill which serves humanity is a Divine favour. However, if it is used for destruction, or it becomes a source of neglect towards Allah-SWT , it will invoke His-SWT punishment. In other words, the real issue is not the attainment of expertise but how it is put to use. So the people must fear Allah-SWT and obey him-AS, said the Prophet-AS. They must not listen to those who disobey Allah-SWT , that is, the rulers and chieftains, who cause mischief on His-SWT land and were devoid of any aspect of virtue.


The people thought that being under strong influence of a magical spell, he-AS was saying such weird things. And as a human being like them his-AS claim to be Allah-SWT's Prophet-AS could not possibly be entertained. So they asked him-AS to prove his credibility by manifesting a miracle. The Prophet-AS prayed to Allah-SWT and a she-camel miraculously emerged from a large rock.


He-AS told them that this she-camel was the proof of his-AS Prophethood. So now she will drink water from all the springs one day while their animals will take their turn on the following day. He-AS also warned them against harming the camel lest they are seized by Divine punishment. Despite the miracle they were not to believe, save a few, and impudently hamstrung and killed the camel. So one morning the signs of an imminent devastation appeared. They repented in vain on what they had done but the respite was over and they were destroyed. Though it is an admonishing chapter of history, yet many refuse to become believers. Allah-SWT is Potent over everything and can punish the deniers but it is by His-SWT Mercy that they are given the respite.