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wamā
وَمَا
And not
muḥammadun
مُحَمَّدٌ
(is) Muhammad -
illā
إِلَّا
except
rasūlun
رَسُولٌ
a Messenger,
qad
قَدْ
certainly
khalat
خَلَتْ
passed away
min
مِن
from
qablihi
قَبْلِهِ
before him
l-rusulu
ٱلرُّسُلُۚ
[the] (other) Messengers.
afa-in
أَفَإِي۟ن
So if
māta
مَّاتَ
he died
aw
أَوْ
or
qutila
قُتِلَ
is slain
inqalabtum
ٱنقَلَبْتُمْ
will you turn back
ʿalā
عَلَىٰٓ
on
aʿqābikum
أَعْقَٰبِكُمْۚ
your heels?
waman
وَمَن
And whoever
yanqalib
يَنقَلِبْ
turns back
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
on
ʿaqibayhi
عَقِبَيْهِ
his heels
falan
فَلَن
then never
yaḍurra
يَضُرَّ
will he harm
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
shayan
شَيْـًٔاۗ
(in) anything.
wasayajzī
وَسَيَجْزِى
And will reward
l-lahu
ٱللَّهُ
Allah
l-shākirīna
ٱلشَّٰكِرِينَ
the grateful ones.

Wa maa Muhammadun illaa Rasoolun qad khalat min qablihir Rusul; afa'im maata aw qutilan qalabtum 'alaaa a'qaabikum; wa mai yanqalib 'alaa aqibihi falai yadurral laaha shai'aa; wa sayajzil laahush shaakireen

Sahih International:

Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.

1 A. J. Arberry

Muhammad is naught but a Messenger; Messengers have passed away before him. Why, if he should die or is slain, will you turn about on your heels? If any man should turn about on his heels, he will not harm God in any way; and God will recompense the thankful.

2 Abdul Haleem

Muhammad is only a messenger before whom many messengers have been and gone. If he died or was killed, would you revert to your old ways? If anyone did so, he would not harm God in the least. God will reward the grateful.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And Muhammad is naught but an apostle; apostles have surely passed away before him. Will ye then, if he dieth or be slain, turn round on your heels! And whosoever turnoth round on his heels, hurteth not Allah at all. And anon shall Allah recompense the grateful.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Muhammad is no more than a messenger; many Were the messenger that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then Turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and Messengers have passed away before him. If, then, he were to die or be slain will you turn about on your heels? Whoever turns about on his heels can in no way harm Allah. As for the grateful ones, Allah will soon reward them.

6 Ahmed Ali

Muhammad is only a messenger; and many a messenger has gone before him. So what if he dies or is killed! Will you turn back and go away in haste? But he who turns back and goes away in haste will do no harm to God. But God will reward those who give thanks (and are grateful).

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) is purely* a Noble Messenger; there have been Noble Messengers before him; so if he departs or is martyred, will you turn back on your heels? So whoever turns back on his heels does not cause any harm to Allah; and Allah will soon reward the thankful. (* Neither God nor an angel, but a human being with the highest spiritual status.)

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Muhammad is but an apostle; [other] apostles have passed before him. If he dies or is slain, will you turn back on your heels? Anyone who turns back on his heels, will not harm Allah in the least, and soon Allah will reward the grateful.

9 Ali Ünal

(Did you think that this cause of Islam subsisted not by God but while Muhammad was alive among you? If so, know that this cause depends on God and as for his part in it, know that) Muhammad is but a Messenger, and Messengers passed away before him. If, then, he dies or is killed, will you turn back on your heels? Whoever turns back on his heels can in no way harm God. But God will (abundantly) reward the thankful ones (those who are steadfast in God’s cause).

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And Muhammad is but a Messenger. Surely, all Messengers have passed away before him. Would you recant if he dies or be killed. And he who recants shall do no harm at all to Allâh, and Allâh will certainly reward the grateful.

11 English Literal

And Mohammad is not except a messenger, had passed/expired from before him the messengers, so if he died, or (he was) killed, you turned/returned on your heels , and whom turns/returns, on his two heels, so he will never/not harm God, a thing, and God will reward the thankful/grateful.

12 Faridul Haque

And Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) is purely * a Noble Messenger; there have been Noble Messengers before him; so if he departs or is martyred, will you turn back on your heels? So whoever turns back on his heels does not cause any harm to Allah; and Allah will soon reward the thankful. (* Neither God nor an angel, but a human being with the highest spiritual status.)

13 Hamid S. Aziz

It is not for any soul to die, save by Allah´s permission, written down for an appointed time; but he who wishes for the reward of this world We will give him of it, and he who wishes for the reward of the Hereafter We will give him of it, and We will recompense the grateful.

14 Hilali & Khan

Muhammad (SAW) is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And certainly you desired death before you met it. So indeed you have seen it now while you look (at it).

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And Muhammad is no more than an apostle; the apostles have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dieth or is slain, ye will turn back on your heels? He who turneth back on his heels doth no hurt to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Muhammad is only a Messenger. There lived other Messengers before him. Should (Muhammad) die or be slain, would you then turn back to your pre-Islamic behavior? Whoever does so can cause no harm to God. God will reward those who give thanks.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Muhammad is not except a Messenger; Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you turn about on your heels? And he who turns on his heels will not harm Allah a thing. Allah will recompense the thankful.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will reward the grateful.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Muhammad is only a messenger. Messengers have passed away before him. If he should die, or be killed, will you turn back on your heels? Those who turn on their heels do not harm the Lord in the least. God will reward the grateful.

22 Talal Itani

Muhammad is no more than a messenger. Messengers have passed on before him. If he dies or gets killed, will you turn on your heels? He who turns on his heels will not harm God in any way. And God will reward the appreciative.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

With regard to their being routed, when it was rumoured that the Prophet had been killed and the hypocrites had said to the believers, `If he has been killed, go back to your [previous] religion', the following was revealed; Muhammad is only a messenger; messengers have passed away before him. Why, if he should die or is slain, like others, will you turn back on your heels, will you return to unbelief (the last statement is the locus of the interrogative of denial, in other words, `he was not a worshipped being, so that [if he were to die] you should turn back [to your previous religion]'). If any man should turn back on his heels, he will not harm God in any way, but will be harming himself, and God will requite those that are thankful, for His graces by staying firm.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Rumor that the Prophet was Killed at Uhud

When Muslims suffered defeat in battle at Uhud and some of them were killed, Shaytan shouted, "Muhammad has been killed."

Ibn Qami'ah went back to the idolators and claimed, "I have killed Muhammad."

Some Muslims believed this rumor and thought that the Messenger of Allah had been killed, claiming that this could happen, for Allah narrated that this occurred to many Prophets before. Therefore, the Muslims' resolve was weakened and they did not actively participate in battle.

This is why Allah sent down to His Messenger His statement,

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ

Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed Messengers have passed away before him.

he is to deliver Allah's Message and may be killed in the process, just as what happened to many Prophets before.

Ibn Abi Najih said that his father said that;

a man from the Muhajirin passed by an Ansari man who was bleeding (during Uhud) and said to him, "O fellow! Did you know that Muhammad was killed?"

The Ansari man said, "Even if Muhammad was killed, he has indeed conveyed the Message. Therefore, defend your religion."

The Ayah,
وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ
(Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him), was revealed.

This story was collected by Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi in Dala'il An-Nubuwwah.

Allah said next, while chastising those who became weak,

أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ

If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels,

become disbelievers.

وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللّهَ شَيْيًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ



And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful.

those who obeyed Allah, defended His religion and followed His Messenger whether he was alive or dead.

The Sahih, Musnad and Sunan collections gathered various chains of narration stating that Abu Bakr recited this Ayah when the Messenger of Allah died.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Aishah said that;

Abu Bakr came riding his horse from his dwelling in As-Sunh. He dismounted, entered the Masjid and did not speak to anyone until he came to her (in her room) and went directly to the Prophet, who was covered with a marked blanket. Abu Bakr uncovered his face, knelt down and kissed him, then started weeping and proclaimed,

"My father and my mother be sacrificed for you! Allah will not combine two deaths on you. You have died the death, which was written for you."

Ibn Abbas narrated that;

Abu Bakr then came out, while Umar was addressing the people, and Abu Bakr told him to sit down but Umar refused, and the people attended to Abu Bakr and left Umar.

Abu Bakr said, "To proceed; whoever among you worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, Allah is alive and will never die. Allah said,

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللّهَ شَيْيًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ



Muhammad is no more than a Messenger and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will reward the grateful."

The narrator added,

"By Allah, it was as if the people never knew that Allah had revealed this verse before until Abu Bakr recited it, and then whoever heard it, started reciting it."

Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said that Umar said,

"By Allah! When I heard Abu Bakr recite this Ayah, my feet could not hold me, and I fell to the ground."

Allah said