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naḥnu
نَحْنُ
We
naquṣṣu
نَقُصُّ
relate
ʿalayka
عَلَيْكَ
to you
aḥsana
أَحْسَنَ
the best
l-qaṣaṣi
ٱلْقَصَصِ
of the narrations
bimā
بِمَآ
in what
awḥaynā
أَوْحَيْنَآ
We have revealed
ilayka
إِلَيْكَ
to you
hādhā
هَٰذَا
(of) this
l-qur'āna
ٱلْقُرْءَانَ
the Quran,
wa-in
وَإِن
although
kunta
كُنتَ
you were,
min
مِن
before it,
qablihi
قَبْلِهِۦ
before it,
lamina
لَمِنَ
surely among
l-ghāfilīna
ٱلْغَٰفِلِينَ
the unaware.

Nahnu naqussu 'alaika ahsanal qasasi bimaaa awhainaaa ilaika haazal quraana wa in kunta min qablihee laminal ghaafileen

Sahih International:

We relate to you, [O Muhammad], the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur'an although you were, before it, among the unaware.

1 A. J. Arberry

We will relate to thee the fairest of stories in that We have revealed to thee this Koran, though before it thou wast one of the heedless.

2 Abdul Haleem

We tell you [Prophet] the best of stories in revealing this Quran to you. Before this you were one of those who knew nothing about them.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

We! We recount unto thee the best of stories, by Revealing unto thee this Our'an, although thou wast before that of the unaware ones.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to thee this (portion of the) Qur'an; before this, thou too was among those who knew it not.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

(O Muhammad), by revealing the Qur'an to you We narrate to you in the best manner the stories of the past although before this narration you were utterly unaware of them.

6 Ahmed Ali

Through the revelation of this Qur'an We narrate the best of histories of which you were unaware before.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

We relate to you the best narrative because We have sent the divine revelation of this Qur’an, to you; although surely you were unaware before this.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

We will recount to you the best of narratives in what We have revealed to you of this Quran, and indeed prior to it you were among those who are unaware [of it].

9 Ali Ünal

We are about to relate to you (O Messenger) the best of narratives (of the past) by Our revealing to you this Qur’an. Before this, indeed you were unaware of it.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

We narrate (rightly) to you with the best explanation because We revealed to you this Qur´ân; otherwise you were of those not possessed of the (requisite) knowledge before this.

11 English Literal

We narrate/inform on (to) you the narration`s/information`s (true stories`) best, with what We inspired/transmitted to you, this the Koran , and if you were from before it from (E) the ignoring/neglecting

12 Faridul Haque

We relate to you the best narrative because We have sent the divine revelation of this Qur’an, to you; although surely you were unaware before this.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Verily, We have revealed it as a Lecture (a Quran) in Arabic; per chance (or possibly) you may understand.

14 Hilali & Khan

We relate unto you (Muhammad SAW) the best of stories through Our Revelations unto you, of this Quran. And before this (i.e. before the coming of Divine Inspiration to you), you were among those who knew nothing about it (the Quran).

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Surely We have revealed it -- an Arabic Qur’an -- that you may understand.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

We narrate to you the best of narratives, by Our revealing to you this Quran, though before this you were certainly one of those who did not know.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

We narrate unto thee (Muhammad) the best of narratives in that We have inspired in thee this Qur'an, though aforetime thou wast of the heedless.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

In revealing this Quran to you, We tell you the best of the stories of which you were unaware.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

In the sending down of this Koran, We will narrate to you (Prophet Muhammad) the best of narratives, of which you were previously unaware.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

We relate unto you the best of stories through Our revelations unto you, of this Qur'an. And before this, you were among those who knew nothing about it.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

We recount to you the best of narratives in revealing this Quran to you, even though you were unaware of it before it came.

22 Talal Itani

We narrate to you the most accurate history, by revealing to you this Quran. Although, prior to it, you were of the unaware.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

We will relate to you the best of narratives in what We have revealed, in Our revealing, to you this Qur'n, though (wa-in; in is softened, in other words [understand it as] wa-innahu) prior to it you were of the heedless.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

We relate unto you the best of stories through Our revelations unto you, of this Qur'an.And before this, you were among those who knew nothing about it.
Reason behind revealing Ayah

On the reason behind revealing Ayah (12;3), Ibn Jarir At-Tabari recorded that Abdullah bin Abbas said,

"They said, `O, Allah's Messenger! Why not narrate to us stories?'

Later on, this Ayah was revealed,
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ
(We relate unto you the best of stories...)."

There is a Hadith that is relevant upon mentioning this honorable Ayah, which praises the Qur'an and demonstrates that it is sufficient from needing all books besides it.

Imam Ahmad recorded a narration from Jabir bin Abdullah that;

Umar bin Al-Khattab came to the Prophet with a book that he took from some of the People of the Book. Umar began reading it to the Prophet who became angry. He said,

أَمُتَهَوِّكُونَ فِيهَا يَا ابْنَ الْخَطَّابِ

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَقَدْ جِيْتُكُمْ بِهَا بَيْضَاءَ نَقِيَّةً لَاا تَسْأَلُوهُمْ عَنْ شَيْءٍ فَيُخْبِرُوكُمْ بِحَقَ فَتُكَذِّبُونَهُ أَوْ بِبَاطِلٍ فَتُصَدِّقُونَهُ

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ أَنَّ مُوسَى كَانَ حَيًّا مَا وَسِعَهُ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَتَّبِعَنِي

Are you uncertain about it Ibn Al-Khattab?

By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! I have come to you with it white and pure. Do not ask them about anything, for they might tell you something true and you reject it, or they might tell you something false and you believe it.

By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! If Musa were living, he would have no choice but to follow me.

Imam Ahmad also recorded a narration from Abdullah bin Thabit who said,

"Umar came to Allah's Messenger and said; `O Messenger of Allah! I passed by a brother of mine from (the tribe of) Qurayzah, so he wrote some comprehensive statements from the Tawrah for me, should I read them to you?'

The face of Allah's Messenger changed (with anger). So I said to him, `Don't you see the face of Allah's Messenger?"

Umar said, `We are pleased with Allah as our Lord, Islam as our religion, and Muhammad as our Messenger.'

So the anger of the Prophet subsided, and he said,

وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَوْ أَصْبَحَ فِيكُمْ مُوسَى ثُمَّ اتَّبَعْتُمُوهُ وَتَرَكْتُمُونِي لَضَلَلْتُمْ إِنَّكُمْ حَظِّي مِنَ الاْاُمَمِ وَأَنَا حَظُّكُمْ مِنَ النَّبِيِّين

By the One in Whose Hand is Muhammad's soul, if Musa appeared among you and you were to follow him, abandoning me, then you would have strayed. Indeed you are my share of the nations, and I am your share of the Prophets.