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qāla
قَالَ
He said,
bal
بَلْ
"Nay,
faʿalahu
فَعَلَهُۥ
(some doer) did it.
kabīruhum
كَبِيرُهُمْ
Their chief
hādhā
هَٰذَا
(is) this.
fasalūhum
فَسْـَٔلُوهُمْ
So ask them
in
إِن
if
kānū
كَانُوا۟
they (can)
yanṭiqūna
يَنطِقُونَ
speak."

Qaala bal fa'alahoo kabeeruhum haazaa fas'aloohum in kaanoo yantiqoon

Sahih International:

He said, "Rather, this - the largest of them - did it, so ask them, if they should [be able to] speak."

1 A. J. Arberry

He said, 'No; it was this great one of them that did it. Question them; if they are able to speak!'

2 Abdul Haleem

He said, ‘No, it was done by the biggest of them- this one. Ask them, if they can talk.’

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

He said: rather he hath wrought it: this big one of them: so question them, if they ever speak.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

He said; "Nay, this was done by - this is their biggest one! ask them, if they can speak intelligently!"

5 Abul Ala Maududi

He answered: "Rather it was this supreme one who has done it. So ask them, if they can speak."

6 Ahmed Ali

"No," he said. "It was done by that chief of theirs. Ask him in case they can speak."

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Said he, “Rather, their chief may have done it; so question them, if they can speak.”

8 Ali Quli Qarai

He said, ‘No, it was this biggest one of them who did it! Ask them, if they can speak.’

9 Ali Ünal

He answered: "Rather, (some doer) must have done it – this is the biggest of them. Ask them, if they are able to speak!"

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

(Abraham) said, `Well, of course, someone has done it. Here is their chief (idol which witnessed all this). So better ask (him and) them, if they can speak.´

11 English Literal

He said: "But/rather their oldest/biggest , that, made/did it, so ask/question them, if they were speaking."

12 Faridul Haque

Said he, "Rather, their chief may have done it; so question them, if they can speak."

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Said they, "Was it you who did this to our gods, O Abraham?"

14 Hilali & Khan

[Ibrahim (Abraham)] said: "Nay, this one, the biggest of them (idols) did it. Ask them, if they can speak!"

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

They said: Hast thou done this to our gods, O Abraham?

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

He said: Surely (some doer) has done it; the chief of them is this, therefore ask them, if they can speak.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

He said: But this, their chief hath done it. So question them, if they can speak.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

He replied, "I think the biggest among them has broken the smaller ones. Ask them if they are able to speak".

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

'No' he replied. 'It was their great one amongst them that did it. Ask them, if they are able to speak'

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

He said: "Nay, this one, the biggest of them did it. Ask them, if they can speak!"

21 Wahiduddin Khan

He answered, "Rather this biggest one of them did it. Ask them, if they can speak."

22 Talal Itani

He said, “But it was this biggest of them that did it. Ask them, if they can speak.”

23 Tafsir jalalayn

He said, concealing his deed; `Rather it was this principal one among them did it. So question them, about the perpetrator of this, if they can speak!' (here the response to the conditional statement precedes [the conditional clause]; in the preceding clause there is an intimation for them that an idol, acknowledged as being incapable of action, cannot be a god).

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

قَالَ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَذَا



They said;"Are you the one who has done this to our gods, O Ibrahim!"

He said;"Nay, this one, the biggest of them did it..."

referring to the one he had left alone and had not broken.

فَاسْأَلُوهُمْ إِن كَانُوا يَنطِقُونَ



Ask them, if they can speak!

He was hoping that they would admit of their own volition that these idols could not speak and that this idol would not say anything because it was inanimate.

In the Two Sahihs it was recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said;

إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَمُ لَمْ يَكْذِبْ غَيْرَ ثَلَثٍ ثِنْتَيْنِ فِي ذَاتِ اللهِ قَوْلُهُ

Ibrahim, upon him be peace, did not tell lies except on three occasions, two for the sake of Allah -- when he said;

بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَذَا

Nay, this one, the biggest of them did it.

and when he said;

إِنِّى سَقِيمٌ

Verily, I am sick. (37;89)

قَالَ وَبَيْنَا هُوَ يَسِيرُ فِي أَرْضِ جَبَّارٍ مِنَ الْجَبَابِرَةِ وَمَعَهُ سَارَّةُ إِذْ نَزَلَ مَنْزِلاًا فَأَتَى الْجَبَّارَ رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ إِنَّهُ قَدْ نَزَل هَهُنَا رَجُلٌ بِأَرْضِكَ مَعَهُ امْرَأَةٌ أَحْسَنُ النَّاسِ

فَأَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهِ فَجَاءَ فَقَالَ مَا هَذِهِ الْمَرْأَةُ مِنْكَ

قَالَ هِيَ أُخْتِي

قَالَ فَاذْهَبْ فَأَرْسِلْ بِهَا إِلَيَّ

فَانْطَلَقَ إِلَى سَارَّةَ فَقَالَ إِنَّ هَذَا الْجَبَّارَ قَدْ سَأَلَنِي عَنْكِ فَأَخْبَرْتُهُ أَنَّكِ أُخْتِي فَلَا تُكَذِّبِينِي عِنْدَهُ فَإِنَّكِ أُخْتِي فِي كِتَابِ اللهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ فِي الاْاَرْضِ مُسْلِمٌ غَيْرِي وَغَيْرُكِ

فَانْطَلَقَ بِهَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ ثُمَّ قَامَ يُصَلِّي

فَلَمَّا أَنْ دَخَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ فَرَاهَا أَهْوَى إِلَيْهَا فَتَنَاوَلَهَا فَأُخِذَ أَخْذًا شَدِيدًا فَقَالَ ادْعِي اللهَ لِي وَلَا أَضُرُّكِ فَدَعَتْ لَهُ

فَأُرْسِلَ فَأَهْوَى إِلَيْهَا فَتَنَاوَلَهَا فَأُخِذَ بِمِثْلِهَا أَوْ أَشَدَّ فَفَعَلَ ذَلِكَ الثَّالِثَةَ فَأُخِذَ فَذَكَرَ مِثْلَ الْمَرَّتَيْنِ الاْأُولَيَيْنِ

فَقَالَ ادْعِي اللهَ فَلَ أُضُرَّكِ فَدَعَتْ لَهُ فَأُرْسِلَ ثُمَّ دَعَا أَدْنَى حُجَّابِهِ فَقَالَ إِنَّكَ لَمْ تَأْتِنِي بِإِنْسَانٍ وَلَكِنَّكَ أَتَيْتَنِي بِشَيْطَانٍ أَخْرِجْهَا وَأَعْطِهَا هَاجَرَ فَأُخْرِجَتْ وَأُعْطِيَتْ هَاجَرَ فَأَقْبَلَتْ

فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ إِبْرَاهِيمُ بِمَجِييِهَا انْفَتَلَ مِنْ صَلَتِهِ وَقَالَ مَهْيَمْ

قَالَتْ كَفَى اللهُ كَيْدَ الْكَافِرِ الْفَاجِرِ وَأَخْدَمَنِي هَاجَر

and when he was traveling in the land of one of the tyrants, and Sarah was with him; when he made camp, a man came to the tyrant and said, "A man has made camp in your land and with him is a woman who is the most beautiful of people."

The tyrant sent for Ibrahim, and asked him, "What is the relationship of this woman to you?"

He said, "She is my sister."

The tyrant said, "Go and send her to me."

So Ibrahim went to Sarah and said, "This tyrant asked me about you, and I told him that you are my sister, so do not let him think that I am lying. For you are indeed my sister according to the Book of Allah, and there are no Muslims on the earth apart from you and I."

So Ibrahim brought her to him, then he stood and prayed.

When she entered upon the tyrant, he reached for her desirously once he saw her. But he suffered a severe seizure. So he said, "Pray to Allah for me and I will not harm you." So she prayed for him and it released him.

Then he reached for her desirously, but he was stricken similarly before or worse. This continued three times, and each time he said the same as he had said the first time.

Then he called the closest of his guards and said, "You have not brought me a human being, you have brought me a devil! Take her out and give her Hajar. So she was taken out and given Hajar, and she went back.

When Ibrahim realized that she had come back, he finished his prayer and turned around. He said, "What happened?"

She said, "Allah took care of the evil disbeliever's plot, and he gave me Hajar as a servant."

Muhammad bin Sirin said,

"When Abu Hurayrah narrated this Hadith, he said, `This is your mother, O sons of the water of the heaven.' "