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yāayyuhā
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا
O mankind!
l-nāsu
ٱلنَّاسُ
O mankind!
ḍuriba
ضُرِبَ
Is set forth
mathalun
مَثَلٌ
an example,
fa-is'tamiʿū
فَٱسْتَمِعُوا۟
so listen
lahu
لَهُۥٓۚ
to it.
inna
إِنَّ
Indeed,
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
those whom
tadʿūna
تَدْعُونَ
you invoke
min
مِن
besides Allah
dūni
دُونِ
besides Allah
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
besides Allah
lan
لَن
will never
yakhluqū
يَخْلُقُوا۟
create
dhubāban
ذُبَابًا
a fly
walawi
وَلَوِ
even if
ij'tamaʿū
ٱجْتَمَعُوا۟
they gathered together
lahu
لَهُۥۖ
to it.
wa-in
وَإِن
And if
yaslub'humu
يَسْلُبْهُمُ
snatched away from them
l-dhubābu
ٱلذُّبَابُ
the fly
shayan
شَيْـًٔا
a thing
لَّا
not
yastanqidhūhu
يَسْتَنقِذُوهُ
they (could) take it back
min'hu
مِنْهُۚ
from it.
ḍaʿufa
ضَعُفَ
So weak
l-ṭālibu
ٱلطَّالِبُ
(are) the seeker
wal-maṭlūbu
وَٱلْمَطْلُوبُ
and the one who is sought.

Yaaa ayyuhan naasu duriba masalun fastami'oo lah; innal lazeena tad'oona min doonil laahi lai yakhluqoo zubaabanw wa lawijtama'oo lahoo wa iny yaslub humuz zubbabu shai'al laa yastan qizoohu minh; da'ufat taalibu walmatloob

Sahih International:

O people, an example is presented, so listen to it. Indeed, those you invoke besides Allah will never create [as much as] a fly, even if they gathered together for that purpose. And if the fly should steal away from them a [tiny] thing, they could not recover it from him. Weak are the pursuer and pursued.

1 A. J. Arberry

O men, a similitude is struck; so give you ear to it. Surely those upon whom you call, apart from God, shall never create a fly, though they banded together to do it; and if a fly should rob them of aught, they would never rescue it from him. Feeble indeed alike are the seeker and the sought!

2 Abdul Haleem

People, here is an illustration, so listen carefully: those you call on beside God could not, even if they combined all their forces, create a fly, and if a fly took something away from them, they would not be able to retrieve it. How feeble are the petitioners and how feeble are those they petition!

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

O Mankind! a similitude is propounded; so hearken thereto. Verily those whom ye call upon beside Allah will by no means create a fly, even though they assembled for that; and if the fly were to snatch away aught from them, they cannot recover it from him: weak the seeker and the sought!

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

O men! Here is a parable set forth! listen to it! Those on whom, besides Allah, ye call, cannot create (even) a fly, if they all met together for the purpose! and if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition!

5 Abul Ala Maududi

O people, a parable is set forth: pay heed to it. Those who call upon aught other than Allah shall never be able to create even a fly, even if all of them were to come together to do that. And if the fly were to snatch away anything from them, they would not be able to recover that from it. Powerless is the supplicant; and powerless is he to whom he supplicates.

6 Ahmed Ali

O men, give ear to this parable: Those you worship other than God can never create as much as a fly, even if they get together to do so; and if the fly were to rob them of a thing they would not be able to snatch it away from it. How weak the seeker and how weak the sought!

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

O people, an example is being illustrated therefore listen to it attentively; “Those whom you worship besides Allah can never create a fly even if they all come together for it; and if a fly took away something from them, they cannot retrieve that from it; how weak are the seeker and the sought!”

8 Ali Quli Qarai

O people! Listen to a parable that is being drawn: Indeed those whom you invoke besides Allah will never create [even] a fly even if they all rallied to do so! And if a fly should take away something from them, they can not recover that from it. Feeble is the seeker and the sought!

9 Ali Ünal

O humankind! A parable is struck, so pay heed to it: Those whom, apart from God, you deify and invoke will never be able to create even a fly, even if all of them were to come together to do so. And if a fly snatches away anything from them, they cannot recover that from it. Powerless indeed is the seeker, and (so is) the sought!

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

O people! here is a parable, so listen to it. Those whom you call upon apart from Allâh cannot create even a fly, though they may all join hands for it. And if the fly should snatch away something from them, they cannot recover it from it. Feeble indeed is the seeker (- the worshippers) and (feeble) the sought after (- the worshipped one).

11 English Literal

You, you the people, (an) example/proverb was given , so listen to it, that those whom you call from other than God they will never/not create a fly/insanity and even if they gathered/unified/combined for it, and if the fly/insanity ravishes/robs them forcefully (of) a thing, they will not rescue/save it from it, the seeker/wanter and the sought after/wanted were weakened.

12 Faridul Haque

O people, an example is being illustrated therefore listen to it attentively; "Those whom you worship besides Allah can never create a fly even if they all come together for it; and if a fly took away something from them, they cannot retrieve that from it; how weak are the seeker and the sought!"

13 Hamid S. Aziz

When Our clear revelations are read to them, you may recognize disdain in the faces of those who disbelieve; they well-nigh attack those who recite Our revelations to them. Say, "Shall I inform you of something worse than that for you? The Fire which Allah has promised to those who disbelieve; an evil journey end!"

14 Hilali & Khan

O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily! Those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatched away a thing from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And when Our clear messages are recited to them, thou wilt notice a denial on the faces of those who disbelieve -- they almost attack those who recite to them Our messages. Say: Shall I inform you of what is worse than this? The Fire. Allah has promised it to those who disbelieve. And evil is the resort.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

O people! a parable is set forth, therefore listen to it: surely those whom you call upon besides Allah cannot create fly, though they should all gather for it, and should the fly snatch away anything from them, they could not take it back from it; weak are the invoker and the invoked.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

O mankind! A similitude is coined, so pay ye heed to it: Lo! those on whom ye call beside Allah will never create a fly though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly took something from them, they could not rescue it from it. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought!

18 Muhammad Sarwar

People, listen to this parable: Those whom you worship instead of God do not have the power to create even a fly, even though all of them would come together for the task. If the fly was to snatch something from them they would not be able to rescue it from the fly. How feeble are such worshippers and that which they worship.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

People, this is a parable, listen to it. Those whom you call upon, other than Allah, could never create a fly, though they banded together to do this. And if a fly robs them of anything, they could never rescue it from it. The seeker and the sought are alike in their weakness.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

O mankind! A parable has been made, so listen to it: Verily, those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are the seeker and the sought.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

People, here is an illustration. So listen carefully. Surely, those whom you invoke other than God cannot create even a fly, even if they were all to combine together to do it, and if a fly should snatch anything away from them, they cannot recover it from it. Both are indeed weak, the seeker and the sought.

22 Talal Itani

O people! A parable is presented, so listen to it: Those you invoke besides God will never create a fly, even if they banded together for that purpose. And if the fly steals anything from them, they cannot recover it from it. Weak are the pursuer and the pursued.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

O mankind, that is to say, [O] people of Mecca, a similitude is being struck, so listen to it, and it is that; truly those on whom you call, [whom] you worship, besides God, that is, other than Him, and these are the idols, will never create a fly (dhubb is a generic noun, the singular of which is dhubba, for both the masculine and the feminine) even if they rallied together to do so, to create it. And if a fly should take away something from them, [such as a drop] of the scents or the saffron in which they drench themselves, they would not be able to recover that from it, because of their [complete] incapacity; so how can they worship those [whom they suppose to be] partners of God, exalted be He? An odd thing -- which He has expressed by striking a similitude. Feeble is the seeker, the worshipper, and the [thing] sought, the [thing] worshipped!

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The insignificance of the Idols and the foolishness of their Worshippers

Here Allah points out the insignificance of the idols and the foolishness of those who worship them.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ضُرِبَ مَثَلٌ

O mankind! A parable has been made,

meaning, a parable of that which is worshipped by those who are ignorant of Allah and who join others as partners with Him.

فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ

so listen to it,

pay attention and understand.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ لَن يَخْلُقُوا ذُبَابًا وَلَوِ اجْتَمَعُوا لَهُ

Verily, those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose.

Even if all the idols and false gods whom you worship were to come together to create a single fly, they would not be able to do that.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah recorded the Marfu` report;

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ خَلْقًا كَخَلْقِي فَلْيَخْلُقُوا مِثْلَ خَلْقِي ذَرَّةً أَوْ ذُبَابَةً أَوْ حَبَّة

"Who does more wrong than one who tries to create something like My creation! Let them create an ant or a fly or a seed like My creation!"

This was also recorded by the authors of the Two Sahihs via `Umarah from Abu Zur`ah from Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Prophet said;

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ ذَهَبَ يَخْلُقُ كَخَلْقِي فَلْيَخْلُقُوا ذَرَّةً فَلْيَخْلُقُوا شَعِيرَة

Allah says;"Who does more wrong than one who tries to create (something) like My creation! Let them create an ant, let them create a grain of barley."

Then Allah says;

وَإِن يَسْلُبْهُمُ الذُّبَابُ شَيْيًا لاَّ يَسْتَنقِذُوهُ مِنْهُ

And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly.

They are unable to create a single fly and, moreover, they are unable to resist it or take revenge against it if it were to take anything from the good and perfumed thing on which it lands. If they wanted to recover that, they would not be able to, even though the fly is the weakest and most insignificant of Allah's creatures.

Allah says;

ضَعُفَ الطَّالِبُ وَالْمَطْلُوبُ



So weak are the seeker and the sought.

Ibn Abbas said,

"The seeker is the idol and the sought is the fly."

This was the view favored by Ibn Jarir, and it is what is apparent from the context.

As-Suddi and others said,

"The seeker is the worshipper, and the sought is the idol."

Then Allah says