Qulid'ul laaha awid'ur Rahmaana ayyam maa tad'oo falahul asmaaa'ul Husnaa; wa laa tajhar bi Salaatika wa laa tukhaafit bihaa wabtaghi baina zaalika sabeela
Say, "Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call - to Him belong the best names." And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way.
1 A. J. Arberry
Say: 'Call upon God, or call upon the Merciful; whichsoever you call upon, to Him belong the Names Most Beautiful.' And be thou not loud in thy prayer, nor hushed therein, but seek thou for a way between that.
2 Abdul Haleem
Say [to them], ‘Call on God, or on the Lord of Mercy- whatever names you call Him, the best names belong to Him.’ [Prophet], do not be too loud in your prayer, or too quiet, but seek a middle way
3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi
Say thou: call upon Allah or call upon Rahman, by whichsoever ye call, His are the excellent names. And shout not thy prayer, nor speak it low, but Seek between these a way.
4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali
Say; "Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman; by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well); for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speak thy Prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between."
5 Abul Ala Maududi
Say to them (O Prophet!): "Call upon Him as Allah or call upon Him as al-Rahman; call Him by whichever name you will, all His names are beautiful. Neither offer your Prayer in too loud a voice, nor in a voice too low; but follow a middle course."
6 Ahmed Ali
Say: "Call Him Allah or call Him Ar-Rahman; whatever the name you call Him by, all His names are beautiful." Do not say your prayers too loudly or in too low a voice, but follow a middle coarse.
7 Ahmed Raza Khan
Proclaim, “Pray calling (Him) Allah or calling (Him) the Most Gracious; whichever name you call with – they are all His magnificent names; and do not offer your prayers very loudly or very softly, and seek a way between them.”
8 Ali Quli Qarai
Say, ‘Invoke ‘‘Allah’’ or invoke ‘‘the All-beneficent.’’ Whichever [of His Names] you may invoke, to Him belong the Best Names.’ Be neither loud in your prayer, nor murmur it, but follow a middle course between these,
9 Ali Ünal
Say: "Call upon Him as Allah (God) or call upon Him as ar-Rahman (the All-Merciful). By whichever Name you call upon Him, to Him belong the All-Beautiful Names. And offer your Prayer neither in too loud a voice nor in a voice too low, but follow a middle course.
10 Amatul Rahman Omar
Say, `Call upon (Him by the name of) Allâh or call upon (Him by the name of) Al-Rahmân (the Most Gracious). (In short) call upon Him by whichsoever name you like, all beautiful names belong to Him (- the One God). And utter not your prayer in a loud voice nor utter it in too low tones (completely concealing it) but seek a middle course.´
11 English Literal
Say: "Call God, or call the merciful, whichever you call, so for Him (are) the names the best/most beautiful (the good names), and do not publicize/declare/raise (voice) with your prayers, and do not silence/lower and hide with it, and wish/desire between that a way/method."
12 Faridul Haque
Proclaim, "Pray calling (Him) Allah or calling (Him) the Most Gracious; whichever name you call with - they are all His magnificent names; and do not offer your prayers very loudly or very softly, and seek a way between them."
13 Hamid S. Aziz
Say, "Call unto Allah, or call on Rahman (the Beneficent), unto whichever you call it is the same; for His are the most beautiful names." And do not say your prayers loud-voiced, nor yet silently, but seek a way between these.
14 Hilali & Khan
Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Invoke Allah or invoke the Most Beneficent (Allah), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names. And offer your Salat (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between.
15 Maulana Mohammad Ali
And they fall down on their faces, weeping, and it adds to their humility.
16 Mohammad Habib Shakir
Say: Call upon Allah or call upon, the Beneficent Allah; whichever you call upon, He has the best names; and do not utter your prayer with a very raised voice nor be silent with regard to it, and seek a way between these.
17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall
Say (unto mankind): Cry unto Allah, or cry unto the Beneficent, unto whichsoever ye cry (it is the same). His are the most beautiful names. And thou (Muhammad), be not loud-voiced in thy worship nor yet silent therein, but follow a way between.
18 Muhammad Sarwar
(Muhammad), tell them, "It is all the same whether you call Him God or the Beneficent. All the good names belong to Him." (Muhammad), do not be too loud or slow in your prayer. Choose a moderate way of praying.
19 Qaribullah & Darwish
Say: 'Call upon Allah, or call upon the Merciful; whichever (Name) you call upon, to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names' Pray neither loudly nor to quietly, rather, seek a middle course between them.
20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri
Say: "Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names. And offer your Salah (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between.
21 Wahiduddin Khan
Say, "Whether you call on God or on the Merciful One: His are the finest names." Pray neither in too loud a voice nor in silence, but between these two extremes. Seek a middle way
22 Talal Itani
Say, “Call Him God, or call Him the Most Merciful. Whichever name you use, to Him belong the Best Names.” And be neither loud in your prayer, nor silent in it, but follow a course in between.
23 Tafsir jalalayn
The Prophet (s) would often say, `O God, O Compassionate One'. So they said, `He [Muhammad, s] forbids us to worship more than one god, and yet he calls upon another [god] together with Him [God]'. The following was then revealed; Say, to them; `Invoke God or invoke the Compassionate One, that is to say, invoke Him by either of these [Names] or call upon Him by saying, `O God! O Compassionate One!', whichever (ayyan is conditional; m is extra), in other words, whichever of these two [Names], you invoke, is beautiful -- this [predicate, `beautiful'] is indicated by the following [statement]), to Him, to the One called by these two [Names], belong the Most Beautiful Names', these two [Names] being from among them; and they [the other Names] are [the following] as [mentioned] in hadth; God, there is no god except Him, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the King, the Holy, the Peace, the Securer, the Controller, the Mighty, the Compeller, the Sublime, the Creator, the Maker [out of nothing], the Fashioner, the [ever] Forgiving, the Almighty, the Bestower, the Provider, the Deliverer, the Knower, the Seizer, the Extender, the Lowerer, the Raiser, the Glorifier, the Abaser, the Hearer, the Seer, the Arbiter, the Just, the Subtle, the Aware, the Forbearing, the Tremendous, the Forgiver, the Thankful, the High, the Great, the Preserver, the Conserver, the Reckoner, the Majestic, the Generous, the Watcher, the Responsive, the Embracing, the Wise, the Loving, the Glorious, the Resurrector, the Witnessing, the Truth, the Guardian, the Strong, the Firm, the Patron, the Praiseworthy, the Numberer, the Initiator, the Restorer, the Life-giver, the Death-maker, the Living, the Eternal Sustainer, the Originator, the Magnificent, the One, the Single, the Everlasting Refuge, the Powerful, the Omnipotent, the Advancer, the Deferrer, the First, the Last, the Outward, the Inward, the Ruler, Exalted, the Benign, the Relenting, the Avenger, the Pardoning, the Gentle, Master of the Kingdom, One of Majesty and Munificence, the Equitable, the Gatherer, the Independent, the Availing, the Restrainer, the Harming, the Benefactor, the Light, the Guiding, the Innovator, the Enduring, the Inheritor, the Reasonable, the Patient, as reported by al-Tirmidh. God, exalted be He, says; And do not be loud in your prayer, when you recite [the Qur'n] therein, lest the idolaters hear you and curse you, as well as the Qur'n and the One Who has revealed it; nor be silent, do [not] murmur, therein, so that your companions might [be able to hear it and] benefit [therefrom]; but seek between that, loudness and silence, a, middle, way.
24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir
To Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names
O Muhammad, to these idolators who deny that Allah possesses the attribute of mercy and refuse to call Him Ar-Rahman,
ادْعُواْ اللّهَ أَوِ ادْعُواْ الرَّحْمَـنَ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُواْ فَلَهُ الَاسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى
"Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names.
meaning, there is no difference between calling on Him as Allah or calling on Him as Ar-Rahman, because He has the Most Beautiful Names, as He says;
هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِى لَا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَـدَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـنُ الرَّحِيمُ
He is Allah, beside Whom none has the right to be worshipped but He the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. (59;22) Until His saying;
لَهُ الاٌّسْمَأءُ الْحُسْنَى يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ
To Him belong the Best Names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. (59;24)
Makhul reported that;
one of the idolators heard the Prophet saying when he was prostrating;"O Most Gracious, O Most Merciful."
The idolator said, he claims to pray to One, but he is praying to two!
Then Allah revealed this Ayah.
This was also narrated from Ibn Abbas, and by Ibn Jarir.
The Command to recite neither loudly nor softly
وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَتِكَ
And offer your Salah neither aloud,
Imam Ahmad reported that Ibn Abbas said;
"This Ayah was revealed when the Messenger of Allah was preaching underground in Makkah."
وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَتِكَ وَلَا تُخَافِتْ بِهَا
And offer your Salah neither aloud nor in a low voice,
Ibn Abbas said;
"When he prayed with his Companions, he would recite Qur'an loudly, and when the idolators heard that, they insulted the Qur'an, and the One Who had revealed it and the one who had brought it. So Allah said to His Prophet;
وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَتِكَ
(And offer your Salah (prayer) neither aloud), means, do not recite it aloud, lest the idolators hear you and insult the Qur'an,
وَلَا تُخَافِتْ بِهَا
(nor in a low voice), means, nor recite it so quietly that your companions cannot hear the Qur'an and learn it from you.
وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلً
but follow a way between."
This was also reported in the Two Sahihs.
Ad-Dahhak also narrated something similar from Ibn Abbas, and added;
"When he migrated to Al-Madinah, this no longer applied, and he recited as he wished."
Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Ibn Abbas said,
"When the Messenger of Allah recited Qur'an quietly while he was praying, the (idolators) would disperse and refuse to listen to him; if one of them wanted to hear some of what he was reciting in his prayer, he would try to listen without anyone seeing him, because he was afraid of them. If he realized that anybody knew he was listening, he would go away lest they harm him, so he would stop listening. If the Prophet lowered his voice, those who wanted to listen to his recitation could not hear anything, so Allah revealed,
وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَتِكَ
(And offer your Salah neither aloud) meaning, do not recite aloud, lest those who want to listen disperse for fear of attracting unwelcome attention,
وَلَا تُخَافِتْ بِهَا
(nor in a low voice), but do not make your voice so soft that the one who is trying to listen without being seen cannot hear anything at all. Perhaps he will pay attention to some of what he hears and benefit from it.
وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلً
(but follow a way between)."
This was the view of Ikrimah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah that;
this Ayah was revealed concerning recitation in prayer.
It was narrated from Ibn Mas`ud;
"Do not make it so soft that no one can hear it except yourself."
Declaration of Tawhid