قَالُوۡا مَنۡ فَعَلَ ہٰذَا بِاٰلِہَتِنَاۤ اِنَّہٗ لَمِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۶۰﴾
قَالُواْ مَن فَعَلَ هَٰذَا بِـَٔالِهَتِنَآ إِنَّهُۥ لَمِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
The clause من فعل ھذا may mean:
(a) Who has done this?
(b) Whosoever has done this. (close)
قَالُوۡا سَمِعۡنَا فَتًی یَّذۡکُرُہُمۡ یُقَالُ لَہٗۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ ﴿ؕ۶۱﴾
قَالُواْ سَمِعۡنَا فَتٗى يَذۡكُرُهُمۡ يُقَالُ لَهُۥٓ إِبۡرَٰهِيمُ
1898. Dhakara-hu means, he spoke well or ill of him; mentioned his faults (Lane). (close)
2397A. Important Words:
یذکرھم (speak ill of them). ذکرہ means, (1) he mentioned it, told it, related it; (2) he spoke well of him or he spoke ill of him and mentioned his faults. They say لئن ذکرتنی لتندمن i.e. if thou speak ill of me, thou wilt assuredly repent. An Arab poet says:
لا تذکری فرسی وما أطعمته
فیکون جلدك مثل جلد الا جرب
i.e. do not thou speak ill of my horse and of what I have given him for food or thy skin will be like the skin of the scabby (Lane & Aqrab). (close)
قَالُوۡا فَاۡتُوۡا بِہٖ عَلٰۤی اَعۡیُنِ النَّاسِ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَشۡہَدُوۡنَ ﴿۶۲﴾
قَالُواْ فَأۡتُواْ بِهِۦ عَلَىٰٓ أَعۡيُنِ ٱلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَشۡهَدُونَ
1899. The reason why Abraham was summoned before the public was either that those, who had heard him speak ill of the idols, should bear witness against him, or that having listened to the evidence against him might decide what punishment should be meted out to him and that they should witness the punishment that was to be inflicted on him. (close)
The reason why Abraham was summoned to appear in public was either that those who had heard him speak ill of the idols should bear witness against him that he had broken the idols, or that after listening to the evidence against Abraham they might decide what punishment should be meted out to him. Or the reason might be that all people should witness the punishment that was to be inflicted on him. This is the significance of the words "that they may bear witness." (close)
قَالُوۡۤا ءَاَنۡتَ فَعَلۡتَ ہٰذَا بِاٰلِہَتِنَا یٰۤـاِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ ﴿ؕ۶۳﴾
قَالُوٓاْ ءَأَنتَ فَعَلۡتَ هَٰذَا بِـَٔالِهَتِنَا يَـٰٓإِبۡرَٰهِيمُ
قَالَ بَلۡ فَعَلَہٗ ٭ۖ کَبِیۡرُہُمۡ ہٰذَا فَسۡـَٔلُوۡہُمۡ اِنۡ کَانُوۡا یَنۡطِقُوۡنَ ﴿۶۴﴾
قَالَ بَلۡ فَعَلَهُۥ كَبِيرُهُمۡ هَٰذَا فَسۡـَٔلُوهُمۡ إِن كَانُواْ يَنطِقُونَ
1900. Besides the meaning given in the text, the Arabic expression may have been spoken ironically by Abraham as was his wont while talking to his idolatrous people. In this case the sense of the words would be something like this: 'Why should I have done this, their chief may have done this,' meaning thereby that the fact is too evident to warrant any questioning or need any explanation that I have done this. If I had not done this, could this lifeless block of stone have done this? Abraham seems to have rebuked his people and to have brought home to them the futility of their idolatrous practices, first by breaking the idols and then by challenging their votaries to ask those idols, if they could speak, to tell them who had broken them. (close)
2399. Important Words:
بل is a particle of digression. Sometimes its meaning is either the cancellation of what precedes as in بل عباد مکرمون i.e. nay (or nay rather or nay but), they are honoured servants (21:27); or transition from one object of discourse to another as in بل تؤثرون الحیاة الدنیا i.e. but you prefer the present life (87:17). Sometimes it is also used to denote the passing from one subject to another without cancelling what precedes it and is syn. with و(and), as in بل ھو قرآن مجید i.e. And it is a glorious Quran. Thus بل means, but; and; surely or verily (Lane). Here it is used in the sense of إن (surely).
If the expression بل فعله کبیرھم ھذا is rendered as "somebody has surely done this," a stop will have to be placed after فعله and the words کبیرھم ھذا will be treated as an independent sentence meaning, "here is the chief" of them. This is the meaning we have adopted in the text and this seems to be the more correct meaning. Or the words بل فعله کبیرھم ھذا may have been spoken ironically or by way of mockery by Abraham as was his wont while talking to his idolatrous people. In that case the sense of the words would be something like this: "Why should have I done this, their chief here may have done it," meaning thereby that "the fact is too evident to warrant any questioning or to need any explanation that I have done this, i.e. I have broken the idols. If I had not done this, could this lifeless block of stone have done this?" In this verse Abraham seems to have rebuked his people for their idolatrous practices and brought home to them the futility of those practices, first by breaking the idols and then by challenging their votaries to ask those idols to tell them who had broken them.
The verse by implication points to one of the most important Divine attributes. Abraham confounded his idolatrous people by first breaking the idols and then by inferring therefrom that an idol which could not save itself from harm and which could not even answer the call of its worshippers was but a lifeless thing, fit to be thrown on the scrap-heap, and that his Lord was the Ever-living God Who answered and accepted the prayers of His servants. See also 20:90. (close)
فَرَجَعُوۡۤا اِلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ فَقَالُوۡۤا اِنَّکُمۡ اَنۡتُمُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۶۵﴾
فَرَجَعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ فَقَالُوٓاْ إِنَّكُمۡ أَنتُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ
ثُمَّ نُکِسُوۡا عَلٰی رُءُوۡسِہِمۡ ۚ لَقَدۡ عَلِمۡتَ مَا ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ یَنۡطِقُوۡنَ ﴿۶۶﴾
ثُمَّ نُكِسُواْ عَلَىٰ رُءُوسِهِمۡ لَقَدۡ عَلِمۡتَ مَا هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ يَنطِقُونَ
1901. The Arabic expression may mean: (a) They returned to their former state of disbelief, or wicked behaviour; (b) they reverted to disputation after they had taken the right course; (c) they hung down their heads for shame and were completely dumbfounded (Lane & Ma‘ani). (close)
2400. Important Words:
نکسوا علی رؤوسھم (their heads were made to hang low for shame). نکسوا is derived from نکس . They say نکسه or نکسه (nakkasahu) i.e. he turned it over or upside down; changed its manner of being or state; he turned it over upon its head. نکس رأسه means, he bent or lowered or hung down his head towards the ground for shame or by reason of abasement. نکس المریض means, illness returned or reverted to the sick man. نکس الرجل means, the man became weak and powerless (Lane, Aqrab & Ma‘ani). Thus the Quranic expression نکسوا علی رؤوسھم would mean, (a) they returned to their former state of disbelief, or wicked behaviour; (b) they reverted to disputation after they had taken the right course; (c) they hung down their heads in shame and were completely dumbfounded, or their heads were made to hang low for shame. (close)
قَالَ اَفَتَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا یَنۡفَعُکُمۡ شَیۡئًا وَّ لَا یَضُرُّکُمۡ ﴿ؕ۶۷﴾
قَالَ أَفَتَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنفَعُكُمۡ شَيۡـٔٗا وَلَا يَضُرُّكُمۡ
a. 29:18; 37:96. (close)
a. 29:18; 37:96. (close)
اُفٍّ لَّکُمۡ وَ لِمَا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۶۸﴾
أُفّٖ لَّكُمۡ وَلِمَا تَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِۚ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ
2401. Important Words:
For أف (fie) see 17:24.
Abraham denounced the false beliefs of his idolatrous people with a courage and boldness which is the special characteristic of God’s Prophets.
'Abraham', says Dr. F. M. T. Bohl, D.D., Ph.D. in Enc. Brit. 'is no leader of a Bedouin tribe seeking plunder and conquest; his significance lies rather in the field of religion. He is not, in the first instance, the progenitor of a people but the founder and leader of a religious movement. Like Muhammad many centuries later, he stood at the head of a great movement among the Semitic peoples and tribes...While Abraham’s forefathers served other gods (Josh. 24:2), 'the God who redeemed Abraham was the same as the God of Moses and Elijah'. See also 6:75. (close)
قَالُوۡا حَرِّقُوۡہُ وَ انۡصُرُوۡۤا اٰلِہَتَکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ فٰعِلِیۡنَ ﴿۶۹﴾
قَالُواْ حَرِّقُوهُ وَٱنصُرُوٓاْ ءَالِهَتَكُمۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ فَٰعِلِينَ
b. 29:25; 37:98. (close)
Being unable to refute Abraham’s argument, no course was left open to his idolatrous people but to have recourse to persecuting and tormenting him and if possible to killing or burning him to death—indeed a very clear but mean confession of their discomfiture and defeat at Abraham’s hands. Similarly did the opponents of the Holy Prophet plot against him. The Quran says: And remember the time when the disbelievers plotted against thee that they might imprison thee or kill thee or expel thee (8:31).
Besides the verse under comment, at two other places in the Quran the plot against Abraham has been mentioned. In 29:25 we have: And the answer of his people was only that they said, 'slay him or burn him' and in 37:98 it is stated: they said, 'Build for him a structure and cast him into the fire.' (close)