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ARBNDEENIDTRUR
أَلَمْ
Did not
تَرَ
you see
إِلَى
[towards]
ٱلْمَلَإِ
the chiefs
مِنۢ
of
بَنِىٓ
(the) Children
إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ
(of) Israel
مِنۢ
of
بَعْدِ
after
مُوسَىٰٓ
Musa,
إِذْ
when
قَالُوا۟
they said
لِنَبِىٍّ
to a Prophet
لَّهُمُ
of theirs,
ٱبْعَثْ
"Appoint
لَنَا
for us
مَلِكًا
a king,
نُّقَٰتِلْ
we may fight
فِى
in
سَبِيلِ
(the) way
ٱللَّهِۖ
(of) Allah?"
قَالَ
He said,
هَلْ
"Would
عَسَيْتُمْ
you perhaps -
إِن
if
كُتِبَ
prescribed
عَلَيْكُمُ
upon you
ٱلْقِتَالُ
[the] fighting,
أَلَّا
that not
تُقَٰتِلُوا۟ۖ
you fight?"
قَالُوا۟
they said,
وَمَا
"And what
لَنَآ
for us
أَلَّا
that not
نُقَٰتِلَ
we fight
فِى
in
سَبِيلِ
(the) way
ٱللَّهِ
(of) Allah
وَقَدْ
while surely
أُخْرِجْنَا
we have been driven
مِن
of
دِيَٰرِنَا
our homes
وَأَبْنَآئِنَاۖ
and our children?"
فَلَمَّا
Yet, when
كُتِبَ
prescribed
عَلَيْهِمُ
upon them
ٱلْقِتَالُ
[the] fighting
تَوَلَّوْا۟
they turned away,
إِلَّا
except
قَلِيلًا
a few
مِّنْهُمْۗ
among them.
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
عَلِيمٌۢ
(is) All-Knowing
بِٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ
of the wrongdoers.

Alam tara ilal malai mim Baneee Israaa'eela mim ba'di Moosaaa iz qaaloo li Nabiyyil lahumub 'as lanaa malikan nuqaatil fee sabeelillaahi qaala hal 'asaitum in kutiba 'alaikumul qitaalu allaa tuqaatiloo qaaloo wa maa lanaaa allaa nuqaatila fee sabeelil laahi wa qad ukhrijnaa min diyaarinaa wa abnaaa'inaa falammaa kutiba 'alaihimul qitaalu tawallaw illaa qaleelam minhum; wallaahu 'aleemum bizzaalimeen

Sahih International:

Have you not considered the assembly of the Children of Israel after [the time of] Moses when they said to a prophet of theirs, "Send to us a king, and we will fight in the way of Allah "? He said, "Would you perhaps refrain from fighting if fighting was prescribed for you?" They said, "And why should we not fight in the cause of Allah when we have been driven out from our homes and from our children?" But when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned away, except for a few of them. And Allah is Knowing of the wrongdoers.

Ahmed Ali

Have you thought of the elders of Israel after Moses, and how they said to their apostle: "Set up a king for us, then we shall fight in the way of God?" He replied: "This too is possible that when commanded to fight you may not fight at all." They said: "How is it we should not fight in the way of God when we have been driven from our homes and deprived of our Sons?" But when they were ordered to fight they turned away, except for a few; yet God knows the sinners.

Ahmed Raza Khan

Did you (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) not see a group of the Descendants of Israel, after Moosa? When they said to one of their Prophets (Shamueel – Samuel), “Appoint a king for us so that we may fight in Allah’s way”? He said, “Do you think you would refrain from fighting if it is made obligatory for you?” They said, “What is the matter with us that we should not fight in Allah’s cause, whereas we have been driven away from our homeland and our children?” So when fighting was ordained for them, they all turned away, except a few; and Allah is Well Aware of the unjust.

Ali Ünal

Do you not consider what happened with the elders of the Children of Israel after Moses: once they appealed to a Prophet chosen for them, saying: "Set up for us a king and we will fight in God’s cause." He said: "Is it possible you would hold back from fighting, if fighting were prescribed for you?" They said: "Why should we not fight in God’s cause when we have been driven from our habitations and our children?" But when fighting was prescribed for them, they did turn away, except a few of them. God has full knowledge of (such) wrongdoers.

Amatul Rahman Omar

Have you not considered (the case of) the Chiefs of the Children of Israel (who lived) after (the time of) Moses? When they said to a Prophet of theirs, (- Samuel), `Appoint for us a controlling authority that we may fight in the cause of Allâh.´ He said, `Is it not likely, that if fighting is prescribed for you, you will not fight?´ They said, `And what reason have we that we should not fight in the cause of Allâh, and we have been indeed driven forth from our homes and (parted from) our children?´ Yet, when fighting was prescribed for them, they backed out except a few of them. And Allâh knows the unjust well.

A. J. Arberry

Hast thou not regarded the Council of the Children of Israel, after Moses, when they said to a Prophet of theirs, 'Raise up for us a king, and we will fight in God's way.' He said, 'Might it be that, if fighting is prescribed for you, you will not fight?' They said, 'Why should we not fight in God's way, who have been expelled from our habitations and our children?' Yet when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned their backs except a few of them; and God has knowledge of the evildoers.

Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Bethinkest thou not of the chiefs of the Children of Isra'il, after Musa? They said unto a Prophet of theirs: raise for us a king that we may fight in the way of God. He said: may it not be that if fighting were prescribed unto you, ye would not fight! They said: and wherefore shall we not fight in the way of God, whereas we have been driven forth from our habitations and children. Then when fighting was prescribed unto them, they turned away, save a few of them: and Allah is the Knower of the wrong-doers.

Faridul Haque

Did you (O dear Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him) not see a group of the Descendants of Israel, after Moosa? When they said to one of their Prophets (Shamueel - Samuel), "Appoint a king for us so that we may fight in Allah’s way"? He said, "Do you think you would refrain from fighting if it is made obligatory for you?" They said, "What is the matter with us that we should not fight in Allah’s cause, whereas we have been driven away from our homeland and our children?" So when fighting was ordained for them, they all turned away, except a few; and Allah is Well Aware of the unjust.

Hamid S. Aziz

Do you not look at the chiefs of the children of Israel after Moses´ time, when they said to a prophet of theirs (Samuel), "Raise up for us a king, and we will fight in Allah´s way?" He said, "Will you perhaps, if it be prescribed for you to fight, refuse to fight?" They said, "Why should we not fight in Allah´s way, now that we are dispossessed of our homes and children?" But when it was prescribed for them to fight they turned back, save a few of them. Allah is Aware of evildoers.

Hilali & Khan

Have you not thought about the group of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Musa (Moses)? When they said to a Prophet of theirs, "Appoint for us a king and we will fight in Allah's Way." He said, "Would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you?" They said, "Why should we not fight in Allah's Way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children (families have been taken as captives)?" But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).

Talal Itani

Have you not considered the notables of the Children of Israel after Moses? When they said to a prophet of theirs, “Appoint a king for us, and we will fight in the cause of God.” He said, “Is it possible that, if fighting was ordained for you, you would not fight?” They said, “Why would we not fight in the cause of God, when we were driven out of our homes, along with our children?” But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned away, except for a few of them. But God is aware of the wrongdoers.

English Literal

Do you not see/understand to the nobles/assembly from Israel`s sons and daughters from after Moses, when they said to a prophet to them: "Send to us a king , we will fight/kill in God`s way/road/sake." He said: "Did you maybe hope if the fighting/killing (is) written/dictated/ordered on you, that you do not fight/kill?"They said: "And why not for us (that) we not fight/kill in God`s way/road/sake, and we had been brought out/forced from our homes/countries/tribes and our sons." So when the fighting/killing was written/dictated/ordered on them they turned away, except little/few from them, and God (is) knowledgeable with the unjust.

Abul Ala Maududi

Have you also reflected upon the matter concerning the chiefs of the Israelites after (the death of) Moses? They said to their Prophet, "Appoint a king for us so that we may fight in the way of Allah." The Prophet asked them, "Might it be that you will not fight, if fighting is prescribed for you?" They replied, "How can it be that we would refuse to fight in the way of Allah when we have been turned out of our homes and separated from our children?" But (in spite of this assurance) when they were enjoined to fight, they all, except a few of them, turned their backs. And Allah knows each and everyone of these transgressors.

Maulana Mohammad Ali

Hast thou not thought of the leaders of the Children of Israel after Moses? When they said to a prophet of theirs: Raise up for us a king, that we may fight in the way of Allah. He said: May it not be that you will not fight if fighting is ordained for you? They said: And what reason have we that we should not fight in Allah´s way and we have indeed been deprived of our homes and our children? But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned back, except a few of them. And Allah is Knower of the wrongdoers.

Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Have you not thought about the group of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Musa When they said to a Prophet of theirs, "Appoint for us a king and we will fight in Allah's way." He said, "Would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you" They said, "Why should we not fight in Allah's way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children (families have been taken as captives)" But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the wrongdoers.

Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Bethink thee of the leaders of the Children of Israel after Moses, how they said unto a prophet whom they had: Set up for us a king and we will fight in Allah's way. He said: Would ye then refrain from fighting if fighting were prescribed for you? They said: Why should we not fight in Allah's way when we have been driven from our dwellings with our children? Yet, when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned away, all save a few of them. Allah is aware of evil-doers.

Ali Quli Qarai

Have you not regarded the elite of the Israelites after Moses, when they said to their prophet, ‘Appoint for us a king that we may fight in the way of Allah.’ He said, ‘May it not be that you will not fight if fighting were prescribed for you?’ They said, ‘Why should we not fight in the way of Allah, when we have been expelled from our homes and [separated from] our children?’ So when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned back except a few of them, and Allah knows well the wrongdoers.

Qaribullah & Darwish

Have you not seen the congregation of the Children of Israel who demanded of one of their Prophets after (the death of) Moses? 'Raise up for us a king' they said, 'and we will fight in the way of Allah' He replied: 'Might it be that if fighting is written for you, you will not fight' 'Why shouldn't we fight in the way of Allah' they replied, 'when we and all our children have been driven from our dwellings' Yet, when fighting was written for them all except for a few, turned away. And Allah has knowledge of the harmdoers.

Muhammad Sarwar

(Muhammad), remember that group of the Israelites after Moses who demanded a Prophet of their own to appoint a king for them who would lead them in the fight for the cause of God. Their Prophet then said, "What if you are ordered to fight and you disobey?" They said, "Why should we not fight for the cause of God when we and our sons have been expelled from our homes?" However, when they were ordered to fight, all refused except a few among them. God knows well the unjust.

Mohammad Habib Shakir

Have you not considered the chiefs of the children of Israel after Musa, when they said to a prophet of theirs: Raise up for us a king, (that) we may fight in the way of Allah. He said: May it not be that you would not fight if fighting is ordained for you? They said: And what reason have we that we should not fight in the way of Allah, and we have indeed been compelled to abandon our homes and our children. But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned back, except a few of them, and Allah knows the unjust.

Wahiduddin Khan

Have you not heard of what the chiefs of the Children of Israel demanded of one of their prophets after Moses? They said, "Appoint for us a king, and we will fight for the cause of God." He replied, "What if you refuse to fight, when ordered to do so?" "Why should we not fight for the cause of God," they replied, "when we have been driven forth from our homes and our children?" But when at last they were commanded to fight, they all refused, except a few of them. God knows the wrongdoers.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Hast thou not Turned thy vision to the Chiefs of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Moses? they said to a prophet (That was) among them; "Appoint for us a king, that we May fight in the cause of Allah." He said; "Is it not possible, if ye were commanded to fight, that that ye will not fight?" They said; "How could we refuse to fight in the cause of Allah, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?" but when they were commanded to fight, they turned back, except a small band among them. But Allah Has full knowledge of those who do wrong.

Tafsir jalalayn

Have you not seen, the story and the tale of, the council, an assembly, of the Children of Israel, after, the death of, Moses, when they said to a prophet of theirs, namely, Samuel, `Send, establish, for us a king, to unite us and to whom we can refer [matters], and we will fight, with him, in God's way'. He, the prophet, said, to them; `Might it be that (`asaytum, or `astum) if fighting is prescribed for you, you will not fight? (all tuqtil is the predicate of `as, `might it be'; the interrogative is intended to confirm the expectation that follows [sc. that they will not fight]). They said, `Why should we not fight in God's way, when we have been expelled from our habitations and our children?', as a result of these latter being taken captive or killed, that which they suffered at the hands of Goliath and his men. The meaning is, `There is nothing to stop us fighting, provided the requirement [we demanded] is forthcoming'. God, exalted be He, says, Yet when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned their backs, from fighting in cowardice, except a few of them, the ones that crossed the river with Saul (Tlt), as will be mentioned; and God has knowledge of the evildoers, and will requite them accordingly. The prophet then asked his Lord to send forth a king, and God responded by sending forth Saul.

Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Story of the Jews Who sought a King to be appointed over Them

Allah tells;

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الْمَلِ مِن بَنِي إِسْرَايِيلَ مِن بَعْدِ مُوسَى إِذْ قَالُواْ لِنَبِيٍّ لَّهُمُ ابْعَثْ لَنَا مَلِكًا نُّقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ قَالَ هَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِتَالُ أَلاَّ تُقَاتِلُواْ

Have you not thought about the group of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Musa! When they said to a Prophet of theirs, "Appoint for us a king and we will fight in Allah's way."

He said, "Would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you!"

Mujahid said that;

the Prophet (mentioned in the Ayah) is Shamwil (Samuel).

Wahb bin Munabbih said;

The Children of Israel remained on the straight path for a period of time after Moses. They then innovated in the religion and some of them even worshipped the idols. Yet, there were always Prophets sent among them who would command them to work righteous deeds, refrain from doing evil and who would rule them according to the commands of the Torah.

When they (Israelites) committed the evil that they committed, Allah caused their enemies to overwhelm them, and many fatalities fell among them as a consequence. Their enemies also captured a great number of them, and took over large areas of their land.

Earlier, anyone who would fight the Israelites would lose, because they had the Torah and the Tabut, which they inherited generation after generation ever since the time of Moses, who spoke to Allah directly. Yet, the Israelites kept indulging in misguidance until some king took the Tabut from them during a battle. That king also took possession of the Torah, and only a few of the Israelites who memorized it remained.

The Prophethood halted among their various tribes and only a pregnant woman remained of the offspring of Lavi (Levi), in whom the Prophethood still appeared. Her husband had been killed, so the Israelites kept her in a house so that Allah may give her a boy, who would be their Prophet. The woman also kept invoking Allah to grant her a boy. Allah heard her pleas and gave her a boy whom she called `Shamwil' meaning `Allah has heard my pleas.'

Some people said that the boy's name was Shamun (Simeon), which also has a similar meaning.

As that boy grew, Allah raised him to be a righteous person. When he reached the age of Prophethood, Allah revealed to him and commanded him to call (his people) to Him and to His Tawhid (Oneness). Shamwil called the Children of Israel (to Allah) and they asked him to appoint a king over them so that they could fight their enemies under his command. The kingship had also ended among them.

Their Prophet said to them, "What if Allah appoints a king over you, would you fulfill your vow to fight under his command!"

قَالُواْ وَمَا لَنَا أَلاَّ نُقَاتِلَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَقَدْ أُخْرِجْنَا مِن دِيَارِنَا وَأَبْنَأيِنَا

They said, "Why should we not fight in Allah's way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children!"

meaning, `After our land had been confiscated and our children had been taken from us.'

Allah said;

فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِتَالُ تَوَلَّوْاْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلً مِّنْهُمْ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالظَّالِمِينَ



But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the wrongdoers.

meaning, only a few of them kept their promise, but the majority abandoned Jihad and Allah has full knowledge of them