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waman
وَمَنْ
And who
aḥsanu
أَحْسَنُ
(is) better
qawlan
قَوْلًا
(in) speech
mimman
مِّمَّن
than (one) who
daʿā
دَعَآ
invites
ilā
إِلَى
to
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
Allah
waʿamila
وَعَمِلَ
and does
ṣāliḥan
صَٰلِحًا
righteous (deeds)
waqāla
وَقَالَ
and says,
innanī
إِنَّنِى
"Indeed, I am
mina
مِنَ
of
l-mus'limīna
ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ
those who submit?"

Wa man ahsanu qawlam mimman da'aaa ilal laahi wa 'amila saalihanw wa qaala innanee minal muslimeen

Sahih International:

And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, "Indeed, I am of the Muslims."

1 A. J. Arberry

And who speaks fairer than he who calls unto God and does righteousness and says, 'Surely I am of them that surrender'?

2 Abdul Haleem

Who speaks better than someone who calls people to God, does what is right, and says, ‘I am one of those devoted to God’?

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

And who is better in speech than he who summoneth Unto Allah, and worketh righteously, and saith: verily I am one of the Muslims.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says, "I am of those who bow in Islam"?

5 Abul Ala Maududi

And who is fairer in speech than he who calls to Allah and acts righteously and says: “I am a Muslim”?

6 Ahmed Ali

Whose word is better than his who calls to God and does the right, and says: "I am of the obedient?"

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And whose speech is better than one who calls towards his Lord and does righteous deeds, and says, “I am a Muslim.”?

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Who has a better call than him who summons to Allah and acts righteously and says, ‘Indeed I am one of the Muslims’?

9 Ali Ünal

Who is better in speech than one who calls to God and does good, righteous deeds, and says: "Surely I am of the Muslims (wholly submitted to Him)?"

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

And who speaks more fair than the person who calls people towards Allâh and (accordingly) does what is right and says, `I am invariably of those who submit (before God).´

11 English Literal

And who (is) better (in) a word/opinion and belief than who called to God and made/did correct/righteous deeds, and he said: "That I am (E) from the Moslems/submitters/surrenderers."

12 Faridul Haque

And whose speech is better than one who calls towards his Lord and does righteous deeds, and says, “I am a Muslim.”?

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And who speaks better than he who calls to Allah while he himself does good, and says, "I am of those who Surrender (in Islam)"?

14 Hilali & Khan

And who is better in speech than he who [says: "My Lord is Allah (believes in His Oneness)," and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allah's (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims."

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

A welcome gift from the Forgiving, the Merciful.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

And who speaks better than he who calls to Allah while he himself does good, and says: I am surely of those who submit?

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

And who is better in speech than him who prayeth unto his Lord and doeth right, and saith: Lo! I am of those who are muslims (surrender unto Him).

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Who speaks better than one who invites human beings to God, acts righteously and says, "I am a Muslim".

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

And, who is better in saying than he who invites to Allah, does what is right, and says: 'Surely, I am of those who surrender'

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims."

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Who speaks better than one who calls to God and does good works and says, "I am surely of those who submit"?

22 Talal Itani

And who is better in speech than someone who calls to God, and acts with integrity, and says, “I am of those who submit”?

23 Tafsir jalalayn

And who speaks better [words] -- in other words, no one speaks better [words] -- than him who summons [others] to God, by affirming His Oneness, and acts righteously and says, `Indeed I am one of those who submit [to God]'?

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Virtue of calling Others to Allah

Allah says,

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلاً مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ

And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah,

means, he calls the servants of Allah to Him.

وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ



and does righteous deeds, and says;"I am one of the Muslims."

means, he himself follows that which he says, so it benefits him as well as others. He is not one of those who enjoin good but do not do it themselves, or who forbid evil yet they do it themselves. He does good and avoids doing evil, and he calls people to their Creator, may He be blessed and exalted.

This is general in meaning and applies to everyone who calls people to what is good and is himself guided by what he says. The Messenger of Allah is the foremost among people in this regard, as Muhammad bin Sirin, As-Suddi and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said.

It was also said that what was meant here is the righteous Mu'adhdhin, as it was mentioned in Sahih Muslim;

الْمُوَذِّنُونَ أَطْوَلُ النَّاسِ أَعْنَاقًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

The Mu'adhdhins will be the ones with the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection."

In As-Sunan it is reported that the Prophet said;

الاِْمَامُ ضَامِنٌ وَالْمُوَذِّنُ مُوْتَمَنٌ فَأَرْشَدَ اللهُ الاَْيِمَّةَ وَغَفَرَ لِلْمُوَذِّنِين

The Imam is a guarantor and the Mu'adhdhin is in a position of trust. May Allah guide the Imams and forgive the Mu'adhdhin."

The correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, and includes the Mu'adhdhin and others. When this Ayah was revealed, the Adhan had not been prescribed at all. The Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and the Adhan was prescribed in Al-Madinah after the Hijrah, when it was shown to Abdullah bin Abd Rabbihi Al-Ansari in a dream. He told the Messenger of Allah about it, and he told him to teach it to Bilal, may Allah be pleased with him, who had a more beautiful voice, as we have discussed elsewhere.

So the correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, as Abdur-Razzaq said, narrating from Ma`mar, from Al-Hasan Al-Basri, who recited this Ayah;

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلاً مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds, and says;"I am one of the Muslims." and said,

"This is the beloved of Allah, this is the close friend of Allah, this is the chosen one of Allah, this is the most beloved of the all the people of earth to Allah. He responded to the call of Allah and called mankind to that to which he had responded. He did righteous deeds in response and said, `I am one of the Muslims.'

This is Allah's Khalifah."
Wisdom in Da`wah etc.

Allah says,