سورة الصافات   

Surah Name: As-Saffaat Meaning: The Ranks

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 5
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 182
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 37
  • Rukū / Section 3 contains Āyāt / Parts 39
  • Siparah / Volume 23


وَلَقَدْ نَادَانَا نُوحٌ فَلَنِعْمَ الْمُجِيبُونَ 

Walaqad nadana noohun falaniAAma almujeeboon(a)

And assuredly Nuh-AS cried unto Us-SWT and We-SWT are the Best of the answerers.


وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ مِنَ الْكَرْبِ الْعَظِيمِ /

Wanajjaynahu waahlahu mina alkarbi alAAatheem(i)

And We-SWT rescued him and his people from the great affliction.


وَجَعَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُ هُمْ الْبَاقِينَ 

WajaAAalna thurriyyatahu humu albaqeen(a)

And his offspring!  Them We-SWT made the survivors.


وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ 

Watarakna AAalayhi fee alakhireen(a)

And for him We-SWT left among the posterity.


سَلَامٌ عَلَى نُوحٍ فِي الْعَالَمِينَ 

Salamun AAala noohin fee alAAalameen(a)

Peace be on Nuh-AS among the worlds.


إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ 

Inna kathalika najzee almuhsineen(a)

Verily We-SWT ! We-SWT thus recompense the well-doers.


إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ 

Innahu min AAibadina almumineen(a)

Verily he was of Our-SWT believing bondmen.


ثُمَّ أَغْرَقْنَا الْآخَرِينَ 

Thumma aghraqna alakhareen(a)

Then We-SWT drowned the others.


وَإِنَّ مِن شِيعَتِهِ لَإِبْرَاهِيمَ 

Wainna min sheeAAatihi laibraheem(a)

And of his sect was Ibrahim-AS.


إِذْ جَاء رَبَّهُ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ 

Ith jaa rabbahu biqalbin saleem(in)

Recall when he came to his Rabb-SWT with a whole heart.


إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَاذَا تَعْبُدُونَ 

Ith qala liabeehi waqawmihi matha taAAbudoon(a)

Recall when he said to his father and his people: What is it that you worship?


أَئِفْكًا آلِهَةً دُونَ اللَّهِ تُرِيدُونَ 

Aifkan alihatan doona Allahi tureedoon(a)

Is it a falsehood-gods besides Allah-SWT -that you seek?


فَمَا ظَنُّكُم بِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ 

Fama thannukum birabbi alAAalameen(a)

What then, is your opinion of the Rabb-SWT of the worlds?


فَنَظَرَ نَظْرَةً فِي النُّجُومِ 

Fanathara nathratan fee a(l)nnujoom(i)

Then he cast a glance on the stars.


فَقَالَ إِنِّي سَقِيمٌ 

Faqala innee saqeem(un)

And he said: I am about to be sick.


فَتَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ مُدْبِرِينَ 

Fatawallaw AAanhu mudbireen(a)

Then they departed from him turning their backs.


فَرَاغَ إِلَى آلِهَتِهِمْ فَقَالَ أَلَا تَأْكُلُونَ 

Faragha ila alihatihim faqala ala takuloon(a)

Then he slipped to their gods and said: Do you not eat?


مَا لَكُمْ لَا تَنطِقُونَ 

Ma lakum la tantiqoon(a)

What is the matter that you do not speak?


فَرَاغَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضَرْبًا بِالْيَمِينِ 

Faragha AAalayhim darban bi(a)lyameen(i)

Then he slipped to them striking them with his right hand.


فَأَقْبَلُوا إِلَيْهِ يَزِفُّونَ 

Faaqbaloo ilayhi yaziffoon(a)

Then they advanced toward him, hastening.


قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ 

Qala ataAAbudoona ma tanhitoon(a)

He said: Do you worship what you carve.


وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ 

Wa(A)llahu khalaqakum wama taAAmaloon(a)

Whereas Allah-SWT has created you and what you make.


قَالُوا ابْنُوا لَهُ بُنْيَانًا فَأَلْقُوهُ فِي الْجَحِيمِ 

Qaloo ibnoo lahu bunyanan faalqoohu fee aljaheem(i)

They said: Build for him a building and cast him into the flaming fire.


فَأَرَادُوا بِهِ كَيْدًا فَجَعَلْنَاهُمُ الْأَسْفَلِينَ 

Faaradoo bihi kaydan fajaAAalnahumu alasfaleen(a)

And they devised a plot for him, but We-SWT made them the humble.


وَقَالَ إِنِّي ذَاهِبٌ إِلَى رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ 

Waqala innee thahibun ila rabbee sayahdeen(i)

And he said: Verily I am going to my Rabb-SWT Who-SWT will guide me.


رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ 

Rabbi hab lee mina a(l)ssaliheen(a)

Rabb-SWT ! Bestow on me a son who will be of the righteous.


فَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ 

Fabashsharnahu bighulamin haleem(in)

Wherefore We-SWT gave him the glad tidings of a gentle boy.


فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَى فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَى قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاء اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ 

Falamma balagha maAAahu a(l)ssaAAya qala ya bunayya innee ara fee almanami annee athbahuka fa(o)nthur matha tara qala ya abati ifAAal ma tumaru satajidunee in shaa Allahu mina a(l)ssabireen(a)

And when the boy attained the age of running with him, he said: Son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you; so look, what consider you? He said: Father! Do what you are commanded: You will find me, Allah-SWT willing, of the patient.


فَلَمَّا أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ 

Falamma aslama watallahu liljabeen(i)

Then when the twain submitted themselves, and he had flung him down on his face.


وَنَادَيْنَاهُ أَنْ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ 

Wanadaynahu an ya ibraheem(u)

We-SWT cried to him: Ibrahim-AS!


قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا إِنَّا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ 

Qad saddaqta a(l)rruya inna kathalika najzee almuhsineen(a)

Of a surety you have fulfilled the vision. Verily We-SWT ! Thus do We-SWT recompense the well-doers.


إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلَاء الْمُبِينُ 

Inna hatha lahuwa albalao almubeen(u)

Verily that! That was a manifest trial.


وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ 

Wafadaynahu bithibhin AAatheem(in)

And We-SWT ransomed him with a mighty victim.


وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ 

Watarakna AAalayhi fee alakhireen(a)

And for him We-SWT left among the posterity:


سَلَامٌ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ 

Salamun AAala ibraheem(a)

Peace be upon Ibrahim-AS.


كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ 

Kathalika najzee almuhsineen(a)

Verily    We-SWT !   Thus do We-SWT recompense the well-doers.


إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ 

Innahu min AAibadina almumineen(a)

Verily he was of Our-SWT believing bondmen.


وَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِإِسْحَقَ نَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ 

Wabashsharnahu biishaqa nabiyyan mina a(l)ssaliheen(a)

And We-SWT gave him the glad tidings of Ishaq-AS, a Prophet-AS, and of the righteous.


وَبَارَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى إِسْحَقَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا مُحْسِنٌ وَظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ مُبِينٌ 

Wabarakna AAalayhi waAAala ishaqa wamin thurriyyatihima muhsinun wathalimun linafsihi mubeen(un)

And We-SWT blessed him and Ishaq-AS; and of their offspring some are well-doers, and some who wrong themselves manifestly.


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

It should not be mistaken that the righteous will only succeed in the Akhirah, while the infidels will enjoy in the world. Certainly not! If infidelity gains a momentary sway, it eventually meets a tragic end to become symbol of admonition, while Allah-SWT always upholds the Truth and makes it prevail. The infidels made fun of Prophet Nuh-AS and teased him for centuries. Finally he called out for Allah-SWT ’s succour against them. Allah-SWT indeed listens to and answers supplications. He-SWT delivered him from the distress along with his followers but did not spare any infidel then inhabiting the earth. All of them perished in the Deluge while the progeny of Prophet Nuh-AS survived to inhabit the globe. His-SWT greatness is acknowledged by the creations in all   realms, including humans, who send greetings to him and will continue to do so till the end of time. This is how Allah-SWT rewards those who practise piety and obey Him-SWT with utmost sincerity. Nuh-AS was an extremely devoted Prophet and those who denied and impeded him were inundated and destroyed.


A similar situation was faced by Prophet Ibrahim-AS when he, from the core of his heart, resolved to worship only Allah-SWT and made his intention public. He also warned others against polytheism. Here the words min shi 'atihi, , according to many Commentators this term has been used here for Prophet Ibrahim-AS with reference to his conformity to Prophet Nuh-AS in principles of faith, in piety and righteousness. This is an opinion. The point under discussion here is that Truth emerges triumphant not only in the Akhirah but also in this world, though infidelity may get respite for some time. This has been illustrated from the examples of Prophets Nuh-AS and Ibrahim-AS. The latter suffered like the former at the hands of contemporary infidels. The similarity of this state of being teased and tortured by the infidels has been termed as shiyat, as shi 'a is derived from mishayeet which means to follow, or a trend.


Prophet Ibrahim-AS started his campaign against polytheism from home. A father is the primary refuge for a son, yet he had to face opposition in the cause of Truth from his very own parent. He questioned his father as well as the entire nation as to what in their right minds were they worshipping! These idols are neither a person nor a being so how could the Divine powers be attributed to these carvings? Were they in doubt about Allah-SWT ’s Being or His-SWT Magnificence and Divinity, and what prevented them from believing in Him? These polemics continued until a festival when they, besides other rituals, used to cook food and place it before the idols, only to sanctify it. They especially invited Prophet Ibrahim-AS to attend this festival to glorify their religion to him. He regretted on the grounds of ill health after glancing at the stars thereby assuring his nation who strongly believed in astrology.



as explained earlier, astrology is a science like palmistry based on the study of palm lines. Just as certain lines indicate certain things, similarly the movements and positions of stars indicate certain phenomena. Like the pulse helping a physician to determine the ailment, astrology is also permissible if taken as a type of knowledge. However, Allah-SWT forbid, if one begins to rely on it and considers it effective in essence, such an opinion is polytheistic.


After the infidels had left upon his apology Prophet Ibrahim-AS proceeded to the temple where they had made the offerings to their idols. He asked the idols why were they neither eating anything nor answering him, in order to highlight their helplessness. He then crushed them to bring home to the infidels that these helpless pieces of stone could not even defend themselves. The infidels were terrified and rushed to Prophet Ibrahim-AS to know if he was behind the episode. He reproached that an idol which in the process of chiseling cannot register a protest is ascribed powers and worshipped once it is carved out and confessed having shattered them to make his nation realize that these were after all stones helpless as ever, who could do nothing. They ought to know that Allah-SWT is their Creator, as well as of all things and it is He Who has given man the powers to press these into his service.


They were outraged and suggested that a tall building be erected wherefrom he be pushed into a mighty inferno ignited below. This is how they wanted to punish Prophet Ibrahim-AS but instead Allah-SWT abased them and they could not harm him the least.


A Prophet-AS’s Migration

So Prophet Ibrahim-AS migrated. And the migration of the Prophet-AS from a settlement indeed deprives the inhabitants of a great Divine blessing. The Holy Prophet-SW also migrated from Makkah for this very reason, otherwise a city which fell later to him could have been given under his control by Allah-SWT from the very beginning. His-SW migration ruined the polytheists of Makkah. Prophet Ibrahim-AS migrated to where he could remember and worship Allah-SWT without any hindrance so as to be guided to the right path, and after a long time he prayed for a noble son.


His wife Hadhrat Sarah-AS and his nephew Prophet Lut-AS had accompanied him. Enroute, he encountered the Pharaoh of Egypt, who later gifted a lady named Hajrah-AS to serve his wife. On the former's marriage to Prophet Ibrahim-AS Allah-SWT blessed him with a son named Isma’il-AS. He was instructed to leave the infant and his mother at the site of the K'abah in Makkah, where the sacred spring Zamzam gushed out. When the boy grew up to run around with his father, Prophet Ibrahim-AS dreamt that he was slaughtering him in the Cause of Allah-SWT . So he returned took his son for a stroll and confided to him his vision. The son replied that it was not a dream, but a Divine Command which had to be executed.


A Prophet-AS's Dream is also Revelation

He further told his father that if his recounting the dream was to seek his opinion, he would, Allah-SWT willing, find him to be patient. It is worth noticing that Prophet Ibrahim-AS did not disclose his dream to his wife Hadhrat Hajrah-AS, the lady who was an embodiment of determination and courage, and whose footsteps are eversince being trailed by the believers during Hajj and 'Umra. This is because it was the dream of a Prophet-AS and only a Prophet-AS could rightly interpret it. So the young son did not refer to it as a dream but as a Divine Command, which ought to be executed by his father. He too was a Prophet-AS, and while his father was being ordered to slaughter, he was being commanded to obey. Here Wahi Ghair Matlo (revelation not formally brought by Angel Jibril-AS to form part of a Divine Book) is also proved. So Prophet Ibrahim-AS in execution of Allah-SWT ’s Command made his son lie down and slaughtered him. When he opened his eyes, to his utter amazement, he found a slaughtered lamb in front of him, while his son stood aside smiling.


Prophet-AS and Knowledge of the Unseen

Without doubt, only Allah-SWT has the Knowledge of the Unseen. Others only know what is revealed to them by Him-SWT , and it is termed as Information on the Unseen as distinct from Knowledge of the Unseen. Here both the Prophets-AS became aware of the situation only after the animal was slaughtered. If it is assumed that they knew before hand, there remains nothing special about this great act of sacrifice and submission. It could be done by anyone if assured that a lamb would be slaughtered instead. This is not the case with the Prophet-AS here. He had indeed slaughtered his son, a fact supported by the Divine revelation: "of a surety, you have fulfilled the vision" and indeed sacrificed his only dear son. It was indeed a great trial but Allah-SWT preserved him by sending a special animal from Jannah to be slaughtered instead, and kept memories of this act through time.


The Makkans offered sacrifice until the advent of Islam, which was upheld and the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim-AS is cherished and remembered every year by the Muslims. Peace be upon Prophet Ibrahim-AS. This is how We-SWT recompense those who practise piety with devotion. He was indeed an upright bondman of Ours-SWT . We-SWT also blessed him with another son named Ishaq-AS, whom We-SWT also made a Prophet-AS. It was yet another favour that the Prophethood remained in his progeny for many generations, wherein were born many noble and pious servants of Allah-SWT , save some grave sinners who grossly wronged themselves.