Skip to main content
yasaluka
يَسْـَٔلُكَ
Ask you
ahlu
أَهْلُ
(the) People
l-kitābi
ٱلْكِتَٰبِ
(of) the Book
an
أَن
that
tunazzila
تُنَزِّلَ
you bring down
ʿalayhim
عَلَيْهِمْ
to them
kitāban
كِتَٰبًا
a book
mina
مِّنَ
from
l-samāi
ٱلسَّمَآءِۚ
the heaven.
faqad
فَقَدْ
Then indeed,
sa-alū
سَأَلُوا۟
they (had) asked
mūsā
مُوسَىٰٓ
Musa
akbara
أَكْبَرَ
greater
min
مِن
than
dhālika
ذَٰلِكَ
that
faqālū
فَقَالُوٓا۟
for they said,
arinā
أَرِنَا
"Show us
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
jahratan
جَهْرَةً
manifestly,"
fa-akhadhathumu
فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ
so struck them
l-ṣāʿiqatu
ٱلصَّٰعِقَةُ
the thunderbolt
biẓul'mihim
بِظُلْمِهِمْۚ
for their wrongdoing.
thumma
ثُمَّ
Then
ittakhadhū
ٱتَّخَذُوا۟
they took
l-ʿij'la
ٱلْعِجْلَ
the calf (for worship)
min
مِنۢ
than
baʿdi
بَعْدِ
after
مَا
[what]
jāathumu
جَآءَتْهُمُ
came to them
l-bayinātu
ٱلْبَيِّنَٰتُ
the clear proofs,
faʿafawnā
فَعَفَوْنَا
then We forgave them
ʿan
عَن
for
dhālika
ذَٰلِكَۚ
that.
waātaynā
وَءَاتَيْنَا
And We gave
mūsā
مُوسَىٰ
Musa
sul'ṭānan
سُلْطَٰنًا
an authority
mubīnan
مُّبِينًا
clear.

yas'aluka Ahlul Kitaabi an tunazzila 'alaihim Kitaabam minas samaaa'i faqad sa aloo Moosaa akbara min zaalika faqaaloo arinal laaha jahratan fa akhazat humus saa'iqatu bizulmihim; summat takhazul 'ijla mim ba'di maa jaa'at humul baiyinaatu fa'afawnaa 'ann zaalik; wa aatainaa Moosaa sultaanam mubeenaa

Sahih International:

The People of the Scripture ask you to bring down to them a book from the heaven. But they had asked of Moses [even] greater than that and said, "Show us Allah outright," so the thunderbolt struck them for their wrongdoing. Then they took the calf [for worship] after clear evidences had come to them, and We pardoned that. And We gave Moses a clear authority.

1 A. J. Arberry

The People of the Book will ask thee to bring down upon them a Book from heaven; and they asked Moses for greater than that, for they said, 'Show us God openly.' And the thunderbolt took them for their evildoing. Then they took to themselves the Calf, after the clear signs had come to them; yet We pardoned them that, and We bestowed upon Moses a clear authority.

2 Abdul Haleem

The People of the Book demand that you [Prophet] make a book physically come down to them from heaven, but they demanded even more than that of Moses when they said, ‘Show us God face to face,’ and were struck by the thunderbolt for their presumption. Even after clear revelations had come down to them, they took the calf as an object of worship, yet We pardoned this, and gave Moses clear authority;

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

The people of the Book ask thee to bring down a Book to them from the heaven. But surely they asked Musa a thing greater than that; they said: shew us God manifestly; whencefore the thunderbolt overtook them for their wrong-doing. Then they took a calf after there had come unto them the evidences. Even so We pardoned that, and We gave Musa a manifest authority.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

The people of the Book ask thee to cause a book to descend to them from heaven; Indeed they asked Moses for an even greater (miracle), for they said; "Show us Allah in public," but they were dazed for their presumption, with thunder and lightning. Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

The People of the Book now ask of you to have a Book come down on them from heaven; indeed they asked of Moses even greater things than this, for they said: 'Make us see Allah with our own eyes' - whereupon the thunderbolt suddenly smote them for their wickedness. Then they took to worshipping the calf after clear signs had come to them. Still, We forgave them, and conferred a manifest commandment upon Moses,

6 Ahmed Ali

The people of the Book demand of you to bring for them a book from heaven. But of Moses they had asked a bigger thing, and demanded: "Show us God face to face." They were struck by lightning then as punishment for their wickedness. Even then they made the calf, when clear signs had reached them. Still We forgave them and gave Moses clear authority.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

O dear Prophet (Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) the People given the Book(s) ask you, to cause a Book to be sent down on them from heaven – so they had asked something even greater from Moosa, for they said, “Show Allah to us, clearly” – so the thunder seized them on account of their sins; then they chose the calf (for worship) after clear signs had come to them, then We forgave this; and We bestowed Moosa with a clear dominance.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

The People of the Book ask you to bring down for them a Book from the sky. Certainly they asked Moses for [something] greater than that, for they said, ‘Show us Allah visibly,’ whereat a thunderbolt seized them for their wrongdoing. Then they took up the Calf [for worship], after all the manifest proofs that had come to them. Yet We excused that, and We gave Moses a manifest authority.

9 Ali Ünal

The People of the Book ask you to cause a Book to be sent down on them from heaven. (O Messenger, let this not shock you, for) they asked an even greater thing than this of Moses, when they said, "Show God to us openly," and the thunderbolt seized them for their wrong-doing. Then they adopted the (golden) calf as deity – and this after the (miracles and other) clear proofs of the truth had come to them. Yet We (accepted their atonement and) pardoned them that; and We granted Moses (the Book and the Criterion, and thereby) a clear proof and authority.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

The people of the Scripture ask you to bring down upon them a Book from the heaven. They made a (more wicked and) greater demand than that from Moses, when they said, `Show us Allâh openly (face to face);´ then a destructive punishment overtook them for their wrongdoing. Then they took the calf (for worship) after clear commandments had come to them, but We pardoned (them) even that. And We gave Moses an undisputed authority.

11 English Literal

The Book`s people ask/question you, that to descend on them a book from the sky/space, so they had asked Moses greater than that, so they said: "Show us God publicly/openly." So the fire falling from the sky accompanied by thunderous noise punished/took them with their injustice/oppression, then they took the calf from after what came to them (from) the evidences, so We forgave/pardoned on that, and We gave Moses evident proof .

12 Faridul Haque

O dear Prophet (Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him) the People given the Book(s) ask you, to cause a Book to be sent down on them from heaven - so they had asked something even greater from Moosa, for they said, "Show Allah to us, clearly" - so the thunder seized them on account of their sins; then they chose the calf (for worship) after clear signs had come to them, then We forgave this; and We bestowed Moosa with a clear dominance.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

But then because they broke their covenant, and for their disbelief in Allah´s revelations, and for their killing the prophets undeservedly, and for their saying in defiance, "Our heart are uncircumcised, (Our heart are sufficient wrappings or forskins for Allah´s Words)" - nay, Allah hath stamped on them their disbelief, so that only a few believe -

14 Hilali & Khan

The people of the Scripture (Jews) ask you to cause a book to descend upon them from heaven. Indeed they asked Musa (Moses) for even greater than that, when they said: "Show us Allah in public," but they were struck with thunder clap and lightning for their wickedness. Then they worshipped the calf even after clear proofs, evidences, and signs had come to them. (Even) so We forgave them. And We gave Musa (Moses) a clear proof of authority.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them, to them He will grant their rewards. And Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

The followers of the Book ask you to bring down to them a book from heaven; so indeed they demanded of Musa a greater thing than that, for they said: Show us Allah manifestly; so the lightning overtook them on account of their injustice. Then they took the calf (for a god), after clear signs had come to them, but We pardoned this; and We gave to Musa clear authority.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

The people of the Scripture ask of thee that thou shouldst cause an (actual) Book to descend upon them from heaven. They asked a greater thing of Moses aforetime, for they said: Show us Allah plainly. The storm of lightning seized them for their wickedness. Then (even) after that) they chose the calf (for worship) after clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty) had come unto them. And We forgave them that! And We bestowed on Moses evident authority.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

(Muhammad), the People of the Book ask you to make a Book descend to them from the heavens. However, they had asked Moses for things much harder to do than this, by saying, "Show us God in person." Thunder and lightning struck them because of their unjust demands. Despite all the evidence that had come to them, they started to worship the calf, but We forgave them for their sins and gave Moses clear authority.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

The People of the Book ask you to bring down upon them a Book from heaven. Of Moses they asked greater than that, they said to him: 'Show us Allah openly' And a thunderbolt took them for their evil doing. Then they took to themselves the calf, after the clear proofs had come to them, yet We forgave that and We gave Moses clear authority.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

The People of the Scripture (Jews) ask you to cause a book to descend upon them from heaven. Indeed, they asked Musa for even greater than that, when they said: "Show us Allah in public," but they were struck with a bolt of lightning for their wickedness. Then they worshipped the calf even after Al-Bayyinat had come to them. (Even) so We forgave them. And We gave Musa a clear proof of authority.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

The People of the Book ask you to bring down for them a book from heaven. Of Moses they demanded a greater thing than that. They said to him: "Show us God face to face." A thunderbolt struck them for their wickedness. After that, they took to worshipping the [golden] calf, after all evidence of the truth had come to them! Yet We pardoned even that and bestowed on Moses clear authority.

22 Talal Itani

The People of the Scripture challenge you to bring down to them a book from the sky. They had asked Moses for something even greater. They said, “Show us God plainly.” The thunderbolt struck them for their wickedness. Then they took the calf for worship, even after the clear proofs had come to them. Yet We pardoned that, and We gave Moses a clear authority.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

The People of the Scripture, the Jews, will ask of you, O Muhammad (s), to cause a Book to be revealed to them from the heaven, all at once, as was revealed to Moses, merely to harass [you]. If you consider this shocking, then [know that], they, their forefathers, asked Moses for something greater than that, for they said, `Show us God openly', before our eyes; so the thunderbolt, death, seized them, as punishment for them, for their evildoing, when they harassed him [Moses] with this demand. They then took to themselves the [golden] calf, for a god, after clear proofs, the miracles testifying to God's Oneness, had come to them; yet We pardoned that, and did not annihilate them; and We bestowed upon Moses clear authority, evident and manifest sway over them, for when he commanded them to slay themselves in repentance, they obeyed him.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Stubbornness of the Jews

Allah says;

يَسْأَلُكَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ أَن تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ كِتَابًا مِّنَ السَّمَاء

The People of the Scripture (Jews) ask you to cause a book to descend upon them from heaven.

Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, As-Suddi and Qatadah said that;

the Jews asked the Messenger of Allah to cause a book to come down to them from heaven, just as the Tawrah was sent down to Musa.

Ibn Jurayj said that;

the Jews asked the Messenger to cause books to come down to them addressed to so-and-so among them, testifying to the truth of what he was sent with. The Jews only asked for this because of their stubbornness, defiance, rejection and disbelief.

The disbelievers of Quraysh also asked for similar things from the Prophet, as is mentioned in Surah Al-Isra',

وَقَالُواْ لَن نُّوْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ يَنْبُوعًا

And they say;"We shall not believe in you, until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us; (17;90)

Allah said,

فَقَدْ سَأَلُواْ مُوسَى أَكْبَرَ مِن ذَلِكَ فَقَالُواْ أَرِنَا اللّهِ جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ بِظُلْمِهِمْ

Indeed, they asked Musa for even greater than that, when they said, "Show us Allah in public," but they were struck with a bolt of lightning for their wickedness.

injustice, transgression, defiance and rebellion. This part was explained in Surah Al-Baqarah.

وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَـمُوسَى لَن نُّوْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى نَرَى اللَّهَ جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْكُمُ الصَّـعِقَةُ وَأَنتُمْ تَنظُرُونَ

ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَـكُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَوْتِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

And (remember) when you said;"O Musa! We shall never believe in you until we see Allah plainly." But you were struck by a bolt of lightning while you were looking. Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful. (2;55,56)

Allah's statement,

ثُمَّ اتَّخَذُواْ الْعِجْلَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ

Then they worshipped the calf even after Al-Bayyinat had come to them.

meaning, after they witnessed the tremendous miracles and unequivocal proofs at the hand of Musa in Egypt. They also witnessed the demise of their enemy, Fir`awn and his soldiers, when they all drowned in the sea. Yet soon after, when they passed by a people who were worshipping idols, they said to Musa,
اجْعَل لَّنَا إِلَـهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ الِهَةٌ
(Make for us a god as they have gods). (7;138)

Allah explains the story of the Jews worshipping the calf in Surah Al-A`raf (7) and Surah Ta Ha (20) after Musa went to meet with his Lord. When Musa returned, Allah decreed that in order for the Jews to earn accepted repentance, then those who did not worship the calf would have to kill those who worshipped it. They complied with this command, and Allah resurrected them afterwards.

Allah said here,

فَعَفَوْنَا عَن ذَلِكَ وَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى سُلْطَانًا مُّبِينًا



(Even) so We forgave them. And We gave Musa a clear proof of authority.

Allah then said