Skip to main content
it was
a shout
then behold!
(were) extinguished.

In kaanat illaa saihatanw waahidatan fa-izaa hum khaamidoon

Sahih International:

It was not but one shout, and immediately they were extinguished.

1 A. J. Arberry

It was only one Cry and lo, they were silent and still.

2 Abdul Haleem

there was just one blast, and they fell down lifeless.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

It was but one shout, and lo! they were extinct.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

It was no more than a single mighty Blast, and behold! they were (like ashes) quenched and silent.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

There was but a single Blast and suddenly they became silent and still.

6 Ahmed Ali

There was just one blast, and they were extinguished.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

It was just one scream, and with it they were extinguished.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

It was but a single Cry, and, behold, they were stilled [like burnt ashes]!

9 Ali Ünal

It was but a single blast only, and see! they were extinguished.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

It was just a single blast and behold! they were all (extinct) like a (spark of) fire extinguished.

11 English Literal

That (E) (it) was except one loud strong cry/torture raid so then they are still/silent/dead.

12 Faridul Haque

It was just one scream, and with it they were extinguished.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And We sent not down upon his people after him any hosts from heaven, nor do We need to send.

14 Hilali & Khan

It was but one Saihah (shout, etc.) and lo! They (all) were silent (dead-destroyed).

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And We sent not down upon his people after him any host from heaven, nor do We ever send.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

It was naught but a single cry, and lo! they were still.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

It was but one Shout, and lo! they were extinct.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

It was only a single blast which made them extinct.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

It was only one Shout and they were silent, still.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

It was but one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

it was but one great blast and they fell down lifeless.

22 Talal Itani

It was just one Cry, and they were stilled.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

It, their punishment, was but one Cry -- Gabriel gave a cry to them -- and lo! they were extinguished, silent, dead.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

It was but one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still.

He said,

"So Allah destroyed that tyrant king, and destroyed the people of Antioch, and they disappeared from the face of the earth, leaving no trace behind.

It was said that the words
وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ
(nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing)), mean,

`We did not send the angels against the nations when We destroyed them; all We did was to send the punishment to destroy them.'

It was said that the words;
وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِنْ جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاء
(And We sent not against his people after him an army from the heaven),

mean, another Message to them.

This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah.

Qatadah said,

"Allah did not rebuke his people after they killed him,

إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَامِدُونَ

It was but one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still."

Ibn Jarir said,

"The former view is more correct, because the Message does not need to be brought by an army."

The scholars of Tafsir said,

"Allah sent Jibril, peace be upon him, to them, and he seized the pillars at the gate of their city, then he hurled one Sayhah upon them and lo! they (all) were still, to the last man among them, and no soul was left in any body."

We have already referred to the reports from many of the Salaf that this city was Antioch, and that these three Messengers were messengers sent from the Messiah `Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon him, as Qatadah and others stated.

This is not mentioned by any of the later scholars of Tafsir besides him, and this issue must be examined from a number of angles.

- The first is that if we take this story at face value, it indicates that these men were Messengers from Allah, may He be glorified, not from the Messiah, peace be upon him, as Allah says;

إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُوا إِنَّا إِلَيْكُم مُّرْسَلُونَ

قَالُوا مَا أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا وَمَا أَنزَلَ الرَّحْمن مِن شَيْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ تَكْذِبُونَ

قَالُوا رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّا إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ

وَمَا عَلَيْنَا إِلاَّ الْبَلَغُ الْمُبِينُ

When We sent to them two Messengers, they denied them both; so We reinforced them with a third, and they said;"Verily, we have been sent to you as Messengers."

They said;"You are only human beings like ourselves, and the Most Gracious has revealed nothing. You are only telling lies."

The Messengers said;"Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you, And our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message)."

If they had been from among the Disciples, they would have said something to indicate that they had come from the Messiah, peace be upon him. And Allah knows best. Moreover, if they had been messengers sent by the Messiah, why would the people have said to them,

أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَ
("You are only human beings like ourselves")

- The second is that the people of Antioch did believe in the messengers sent by the Messiah to them. Antioch was the first city to believe in the Messiah, and it is one of the four cities in which there are Christian patriarchs. These cities are;

Jerusalem, because it is the city of the Messiah;

Antioch, because it was the first city where all of the people believed in the Messiah;

Alexandria, because it was in that city that they agreed to reform the hierarchy of patriarchs, metropolitans (archbishops), bishops, priests, deacons and monks; and

Rome, because it is the city of the Emperor Constantine who supported and helped to establish their religion.

When he adopted Constantinople as his city, the Patriarch of Rome moved there, as has been mentioned by several historian, such as Sa`id bin Batriq and others, both People of the Book and Muslims.

If we accept that, then the people of Antioch were the first to believe, but Allah tells us that the people of this town rejected His Messengers and that He destroyed them with one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still. And Allah knows best.

- The third is that the story of Antioch and the Disciples of the Messiah happened after the Tawrah had been revealed. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, and others among the Salaf stated that after revealing the Tawrah, Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, did not destroy an entire nation by sending a punishment upon them. Rather, He commanded the believers to fight the idolators. They mentioned this when discussing the Ayah;
وَلَقَدْ اتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ الاُْولَى
(And indeed We gave Musa -- after We had destroyed the generations of old -- the Scripture) (28;43). This implies that the city mentioned in the Qur'an is a city other than Antioch, as also stated by more than one of the Salaf. Or, if we wish to keep the same name, it is possible that it is another Antioch, not the one which is well-known, for it is not known that it (the famous Antioch) was destroyed, either during Christian times or before. And Allah knows best