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warabbuka
وَرَبُّكَ
And your Lord
aʿlamu
أَعْلَمُ
(is) most knowing
biman
بِمَن
of whoever
فِى
(is) in
l-samāwāti
ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ
the heavens
wal-arḍi
وَٱلْأَرْضِۗ
and the earth.
walaqad
وَلَقَدْ
And verily
faḍḍalnā
فَضَّلْنَا
We have preferred
baʿḍa
بَعْضَ
some
l-nabiyīna
ٱلنَّبِيِّۦنَ
(of) the Prophets
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
to
baʿḍin
بَعْضٍۖ
others.
waātaynā
وَءَاتَيْنَا
And We gave
dāwūda
دَاوُۥدَ
Dawood
zabūran
زَبُورًا
Zaboor.

Wa Rabbuka a'lamu biman fis samaawaati wal lard; wa laqad faddalnaa ba'dan Nabiyyeena 'alaa ba'dinw wa aatainaaa Daawooda Zabooraa

Sahih International:

And your Lord is most knowing of whoever is in the heavens and the earth. And We have made some of the prophets exceed others [in various ways], and to David We gave the book [of Psalms].

1 A. J. Arberry

And thy Lord knows very well all who are in the heavens and the earth; and We have preferred some Prophets over others; and We gave to David Psalms.

2 Abdul Haleem

Your Lord knows best about everyone in the heavens and the earth. We gave some prophets more than others: We gave David a book [of Psalms].

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And thine Lord is the Best Knower of those who are in the heavens and the earth. And assuredly We have preferred some prophets over some others: and We vouchsafed unto Daud a Scripture.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

And it is your Lord that knoweth best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth; We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts than on others; and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Your Lord knows all who dwell in the heavens and the earth. We have exalted some Prophets over others, and We gave the Psalms to David.

6 Ahmed Ali

Your Lord knows whoever is in the heavens and the earth. We exalted some of the prophets over the others; and to David We gave the Book of Psalms.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And your Lord knows well all those who are in the heavens and the earth; and indeed among the Prophets We gave excellence to some above others, and We gave the Zaboor to Dawud.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Your Lord knows best whoever is in the heavens and the earth. Certainly, We gave some prophets an advantage over the others, and We gave David the Psalms.

9 Ali Ünal

And your Lord knows best all that are in the heavens and on the earth. Assuredly, We have exalted some of the Prophets above others (some in an absolute sense, and others in some respects); and to David We granted the Psalms.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And your Lord knows best those that are in the heavens and on the earth. And most surely We have exalted some of the Prophets above others, and it is We Who gave David the Zabûr (- the Psalms).

11 English Literal

And your Lord (is) more knowledgeable with (of) who (is) in the skies/space and the earth/Planet Earth, and We had preferred/favoured some (of) the prophets over some, and We gave/brought David a Book.

12 Faridul Haque

And your Lord knows well all those who are in the heavens and the earth; and indeed among the Prophets We gave excellence to some above others, and We gave the Zaboor to Dawud.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And your Lord is best aware of all who are in the heavens and the earth. We preferred (or bestowed on) some of the prophets more (and different gifts) than on others, and to David did We give the Psalms.

14 Hilali & Khan

And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth. And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others, and to Dawud (David) We gave the Zabur (Psalms).

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Your Lord knows you best. He will have mercy on you, if He please, or He will chastise you, if He please. And we have not sent thee as being in charge of them.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And your Lord best knows those who are in the heavens and the earth; and certainly We have made some of the prophets to excel others, and to Dawood We gave a scripture.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And thy Lord is Best Aware of all who are in the heavens and the earth. And we preferred some of the prophets above others, and unto David We gave the Psalms.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

We have given preference to some Prophets over others and We gave the psalms to David.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Your Lord knows very well all who are in the heavens and the earth. We have preferred some Prophets above others, and to David We gave the Psalms.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth. And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others, and to Dawud We gave the Zabur.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Your Lord knows best about everyone in the heavens and on the earth. We gave some prophets more than others: We gave David the Psalms.

22 Talal Itani

Your Lord knows well everyone in the heavens and the earth. We have given some prophets advantage over others; and to David We gave the Psalms.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth, thus endowing them [each one] with what He will, according to the measure of their states. And verily We have preferred some of the prophets above others, endowing each of them with a particular merit; Moses, with being spoken to; Abraham, with Friendship; and Muhammad (s), with the Night Journey; and We gave David the Psalms.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

وَرَبُّكَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالَارْضِ

And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth.

meaning, their status or level of obedience or disobedience.
The Preference of some Prophets above Others

Allah says;

وَلَقَدْ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَ النَّبِيِّينَ عَلَى بَعْضٍ

And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others.

As Allah says;

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ مِّنْهُمْ مَّن كَلَّمَ اللَّهُ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَـتٍ

Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honor). (2;253)

This does not contradict the report in the Two Sahihs which says that the Messenger of Allah said;

لَاا تُفَضِّلُوا بَيْنَ الاْاَنْبِيَاء

Don't give superiority to any Prophet among (Allah's) Prophets.

What is meant in this Hadith is giving a superiority based on whims and fanaticism or sectarian feelings, not on the basis of evidence. If there is solid evidence, we have to follow it. There is no dispute that the Messengers are better than the rest of the Prophets, and that the mighty Messengers of Great Resolve are the best of all. They are the five mentioned in two Ayat of the Qur'an, in Surah Al-Ahzab;

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنْكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ وَإِبْرَهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ

And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you and from Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa son of Maryam. (33;7)

and in Surah Ash-Shura;

شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الِدِينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحاً وَالَّذِى أَوْحَيْنَأ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى أَنْ أَقِيمُواْ الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُواْ فِيهِ

He has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you, and that which We ordained for Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it. (42;13)

There is no dispute that Muhammad is the best of them, then Ibrahim, then Musa, then `Isa (peace be upon them all), according to the best-known view.

We have discussed the evidence for this in detail elsewhere, and Allah is the source of help.

Allah's saying,

وَاتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا



and to Dawud We gave the Zabur.

is an indication of his virtue and honor.

Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said;

خُفِّفَ عَلَى دَاوُدَ الْقُرْانُ فَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ بِدَوَابِّهِ فَتُسْرَجُ فَكَانَ يَقْرَوُهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَفْرُغ

The Qur'an (i.e. revealed Scripture of Zabur) was made easy for Dawud, so he would call for his mounts to be saddled, and he would finish reciting it (i.e., the Zabur) before the job was done