Al-Anaam · Juz 7 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Anaam Ayah 19

Allah Testifies to the Prophethood of Muhammad [PBUH]

About the revelation of this ayah it has been said that once a deputation of the people of Makkah came to the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam. They said: “You claim to be a Messenger of Allah. Who is your witness on this? We have yet to see a man who attests to its truth, although we have tried our best to confirm it from the Jews and Christians.”

Thereupon, this ayah was revealed. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala didn’t leave His Messenger quizzical, He said,

قُلْ أَىُّ شَىْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَـدةً قُلِ اللَّهِ شَهِيدٌ بِيْنِى وَبَيْنَكُمْ

Say: “What thing is the most great in witness?” Say: “Allah is Witness between you and I…”

Meaning, you want testimony? Whose testimony is the greatest? It is Allah’s. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows what the Messenger has brought and how people are going to respond to him. When Allah is being the Witness for Prophet’s Prophethood, isn’t that sufficient? Then why do you need an angel or some other witness to testify?

He then said,

وَأُوحِىَ إِلَىَّ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانُ لاٌّنذِرَكُمْ بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ

“…this Qur’an has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach.”

In this part of the ayah we learn about the purpose of the Qur’an. The Qur’an is a warner for all those who hear of it. Why has hearing been emphasized? For example, we can read newspaper but when we watch the news it has a different impact on us. Similarly, the recitation of the Qur’an. We can recite it ourselves but when we hear someone else reciting the Qur’an it captivates our hearts.

The word balagha [بَلَغَ] is from the root letters ba-laam-ghayn and it means “to reach, attain, arrive, come to the utmost point to which one directs one’s course”.

Meaning that to whoever the message or warning Qur’an reached should be warned. This indicates that the Qur’an is not exclusively meant for the Muslims but the entire mankind. This also means that whoever receives the message of Qur’an should convey it to others.

In Surah Hud Ayah 17, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الاٌّحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ

“But those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place.”

Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said, “Those who follow the Messenger of Allah ought to call to what the Messenger of Allah called to and warn against what he warned against.”

Saeed ibn Jubayr radhiAllahi anhu said, “To whomever the Qur’an has reached, he has become like one who has visited Muhammad.” And it appears in another hadeeth: To whomever the Qur’an has reached, I am his warner. [Nadhir]

Therefore, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam asked his Companions radhiAllahu anhum emphatically to convey his instructions and teachings to people, even if it be one ayah.

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’oud reports that the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “May Allah keep that person hale and hearty who heard a saying of mine, committed it to his memory and then conveyed it to my Ummah.”

This is important because it generally happens that a person may not himself appreciate the sense of what is said but which would be understood much better by a person of later times to whom the first person has conveyed it.

Addressing the people of Makkah, He said next,

أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللَّهِ ءَالِهَةً أُخْرَى قُل لاَّ أَشْهَدُ قُلْ إِنَّمَا هُوَ إِلَـهٌ وَحِدٌ وَإِنَّنِى بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ

Can you verily bear witness that besides Allah there are other gods?” Say: “I bear no (such) witness!” Say: “Only He is God, alone, and truly I am innocent of what you join in worship with Him.”

Meaning, do you, even after the witness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Himself, stand to witness against Him by saying that there are other gods too along with Allah? If that is so, you are responsible for your fate. As for me, I bear no such witness. Then, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam tells them that Allah is one God, the only one worthy of worship who has no partners, sharers or associates in His pristine Divinity.


– It is our responsibility to accept the truth when we see it; to not disobey Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala when He has commanded us to do something.

– We should live by Qur’an and also convey it to others.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Al Anaam Ayah 19


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