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awaman
أَوَمَن
Is (one) who
kāna
كَانَ
was
maytan
مَيْتًا
dead
fa-aḥyaynāhu
فَأَحْيَيْنَٰهُ
and We gave him life
wajaʿalnā
وَجَعَلْنَا
and We made
lahu
لَهُۥ
for him
nūran
نُورًا
light,
yamshī
يَمْشِى
he walks
bihi
بِهِۦ
whereby
فِى
among
l-nāsi
ٱلنَّاسِ
the people,
kaman
كَمَن
like (one) who
mathaluhu
مَّثَلُهُۥ
[similar to him]
فِى
among
l-ẓulumāti
ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ
the darknesses,
laysa
لَيْسَ
not
bikhārijin
بِخَارِجٍ
he comes out
min'hā
مِّنْهَاۚ
of it?
kadhālika
كَذَٰلِكَ
Thus
zuyyina
زُيِّنَ
is made fair-seeming
lil'kāfirīna
لِلْكَٰفِرِينَ
to the disbelievers
مَا
what
kānū
كَانُوا۟
they were
yaʿmalūna
يَعْمَلُونَ
doing.

Awa man kaana maitan fa ahyainaahu wa ja'alnaa lahoo noorany yamshee bihee fin naasi kamamm masaluhoo fiz zulumaati laisa bikhaarijim minhaa; kazaalika zuyyina lilkaafireena maa kaanoo ya'maloon

Sahih International:

And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom? Thus it has been made pleasing to the disbelievers that which they were doing.

1 A. J. Arberry

Why, is he who was dead, and We gave him life, and appointed for him a light to walk by among the people as one whose likeness is in the shadows, and comes not forth from them? So it is decked out fair to the unbelievers the things they have done.

2 Abdul Haleem

Is a dead person brought back to life by Us, and given light with which to walk among people, comparable to someone trapped in deep darkness who cannot escape? In this way the evil deeds of the disbelievers are made to seem alluring to them.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Is he who was dead, and We quickened him and appointed for him a light whereby he walketh among mankind, like unto him whose similitude is that he is in darknesses forth from which he cannot come? Even so is made fair-seeming to the infidels that which they are wont to do.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Can he who was dead, to whom We gave life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men, be like him who is in the depths of darkness, from which he can never come out? Thus to those without faith their own deeds seem pleasing.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

He who was dead and whom We raised to life, and We set a light for him to walk among men - is he like the one steeped in darkness out of which he does not come out?. Thus have their own doings been made to seem fair to the unbelievers.

6 Ahmed Ali

Can he who was lifeless, to whom We gave life, and gave him a light in whose glow he walks among men, be like him who is used to darkness from which he can never emerge? Thus have been their doings made attractive to unbelievers.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

And will the one who was dead and so We raised him to life and set for him a light with which he walks among the people, ever be like the one who is in realms of darkness never to emerge from them? Similarly, the deeds of disbelievers are made to appear good to them.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Is he who was lifeless, then We gave him life and provided him with a light by which he walks among the people, like one who dwells in a manifold darkness which he cannot leave? To the faithless is thus presented as decorous what they have been doing.

9 Ali Ünal

Is he who was dead (in spirit), and We raised him to life, and set for him a light by which he moves (without any deviancy) among people, is he like the one who is as one lost in depths of darkness, from which he cannot get out? (But) thus it is: to the unbelievers are the things they have been doing decked out as appealing.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Can he, who was lifeless (before) and to whom We gave life and We provided for him a light whereby he moves about among the people, be like the person whose condition is (as one) consigned to thick darkness from whence he cannot emerge? Thus the deeds of the disbelievers are made fair-seeming to them (by satan);

11 English Literal

Is who was/is dead/lifeless, so We revived him and We made/put for him a light he walks with it in (between) the people, as who his example (is) in the darknesses (and he) is not with getting out from it? Like that (it) was decorated/beautified to the disbelievers what they were making/doing .

12 Faridul Haque

And will the one who was dead and so We raised him to life and set for him a light with which he walks among the people, ever be like the one who is in realms of darkness never to emerge from them? Similarly, the deeds of disbelievers are made to appear good to them.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Is he who was dead and We have quickened (given him life) him, and made for him a light, wherein walks amongst men, like him whose likeness is one walking in utter darkness whence he cannot emerge? Thus is their conduct made seemly to the disbelievers.

14 Hilali & Khan

Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and Faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out? Thus it is made fair-seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And eat not of that on which Allah’s name has not been mentioned, and that is surely a transgression. And certainly the devils inspire their friends to contend with you; and if you obey them, you will surely be polytheists.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth? Thus what they did was made fair seeming to the unbelievers.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Is he who was dead and We have raised him unto life, and set for him a light wherein he walketh among men, as him whose similitude is in utter darkness whence he cannot emerge? Thus is their conduct made fairseeming for the disbelievers.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Can the dead to whom We have given life and light so that they may walk among the people, be considered equal to those who can never come out of darkness? The deeds of the unbelievers are made to seem attractive to them.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Is he who was dead whom We have revived and given a light with which he walks among people to be compared to him who blunders about in darkness from which he will never emerge? As such what the unbelievers have done appear decorated to them.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Is he who was dead, and We gave him life, and set for him a light, whereby he can walk among men -- like him who is in the darkness from which he can never come out Thus it is made fair seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Can he who was dead, to whom We gave life, and a light whereby he could walk among people be like him who is in utter darkness from which he can never emerge? Thus the deeds of those who deny the truth have been made fair-seeming to them.

22 Talal Itani

Is he who was dead, then We gave him life, and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like he who is in total darkness, and cannot get out of it? Thus the doings of disbelievers are made to appear good to them.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

The following was revealed regarding Ab Jahl and others; Why, is he who was dead, through unbelief, and We gave him life, through guidance, and appointed for him a light by which to walk among people, distinguishing thereby the truth from falsehood -- this [light] being faith -- as him whose likeness (ka-man mathaluhu; mathal, `likeness', is extra; in other words, [read] ka-man huwa, `as him who') is in darkness whence he cannot emerge? -- and this is the disbeliever -- No! So, in the same way that faith has been adorned for believers, what the disbelievers have been doing, in the way of disbelief and acts of disobedience, has been adorned for them.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Parable of the Disbeliever and the Believer

Allah says;

أَوَ مَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن

Is he who was dead, and We gave him life, and set for him a light, whereby he can walk among men --

This is an example that Allah has given of the believer who was dead, meaning, wandering in confusion and misguidance. Then, Allah brought life to him, by bringing life to his heart with faith, guiding him to it and guiding him to obeying His Messengers,
لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن
(And set for him a light whereby he can walk amongst men) for he became guided to where he should go and how to remain on the correct path.

The light mentioned here is the Qur'an, according to Ibn Abbas, as Al-Awfi and Ibn Abi Talhah reported from him.

As-Suddi said that the light mentioned here is Islam.

Both meanings are correct.

مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ

Like him who is in the darkness,

of ignorance, desires and various types of deviation,

بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا

From which he can never come out,

for he is unable to find a way out from what he is in.

In Musnad Ahmad, it is recorded that the Prophet said;

إِنَّ اللهَ خَلَقَ خَلْقَهُ فِي ظُلْمَةٍ ثُمَّ رَشَّ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ نُورِهِ فَمَنْ أَصَابَهُ ذَلِكَ النُّورُ اهْتَدَى وَمَنَ أَخْطَأَهُ ضَل

Allah created creation in darkness, then He showered His Light upon them. Whoever was struck by that light is guided, whoever it missed is astray.

Allah said in other Ayat,

اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَوْلِيَأوُهُمُ الطَّـغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُم مِّنَ النُّورِ إِلَى الظُّلُمَـتِ أُوْلَـيِكَ أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ

Allah is the Guardian of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their friends are Taghut, they bring them out from light into darkness. Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever. (2;257)

and,

أَفَمَن يَمْشِى مُكِبّاً عَلَى وَجْهِهِ أَهْدَى أَمَّن يَمْشِى سَوِيّاً عَلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on the straight way! (67;22)

and,

مَثَلُ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ كَالاٌّعْمَى وَالاٌّصَمِّ وَالْبَصِيرِ وَالسَّمِيعِ هَلْ يَسْتَوِيَانِ مَثَلً أَفَلَ تَذَكَّرُونَ

The parable of the two parties is as the blind and the deaf and the seer and the hearer. Are they equal when compared! Will you not then take heed! (11;24)

and,

وَمَا يَسْتَوِى الاٌّعْمَى وَالْبَصِيرُ

وَلَا الظُّلُمَاتُ وَلَا النُّورُ

وَلَا الظِّلُّ وَلَا الْحَرُورُ

وَمَا يَسْتَوِى الاٌّحْيَأءُ وَلَا الاٌّمْوَاتُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُسْمِعُ مَن يَشَأءُ وَمَأ أَنتَ بِمُسْمِعٍ مَّن فِى الْقُبُورِ

إِنْ أَنتَ إِلاَّ نَذِيرٌ


Not alike are the blind and the seeing. Nor are darkness and light. Nor are the shade and the sun's heat. Nor are the living and the dead. Verily, Allah makes whom He wills to hear, but you cannot make hear those who are in the graves. You are only a warner. (35;19-23)

There are many other Ayat on this subject.

We explained before why Allah mentioned the light in the singular sense and the darkness in the plural sense when we explained the Ayah at the beginning of the Surah,
وَجَعَلَ الظُّلُمَاتِ وَالنُّورَ
(And originated the darknesses and the light). (6;1)

Allah's statement,

كَذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ



Thus it is made fair seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do.

means, We made their ignorance and misguidance appear fair to them, as Allah decreed out of His wisdom, there is no deity worthy of worship except Him alone without partners