Tafseer Surah Yaseen 13-17



  • first passage of surah lays foundation and talks about profound concepts
  • primary function of Quran
  • validity of prophet saw
  • validity of fact that there are messengers, individual who have been sent by Allah to deliver message to people
  • two groups of people have split up, based on Quran and carrier of this divine message
  • 1. reject, disbelieve, wants no part of it – Allah talks about what happens to such people
  • 2. benefit from it, – what Allah has set aside for them and what they have to look forward to
  • historical context of revelation f this surah esp this 5 ayahs
  • revealed to prophet saw during makkan period at height of opposition from people of Makkah
  • a lot of time within Makkah had passed, this was closer towards prophet saw time within Makkah
  • so far, message has come, prophet saw has delivered message not just in one way but in many ways
  • Nuh a.s. explained as conveying the message in many ways –
  • 71:2
    Sahih International

    He said, “O my people, indeed I am to you a clear warner,

    Sahih International

    [Saying], ‘Worship Allah , fear Him and obey me.

    Sahih International

    Allah will forgive you of your sins and delay you for a specified term. Indeed, the time [set by] Allah , when it comes, will not be delayed, if you only knew.’ “

    Sahih International

    He said, “My Lord, indeed I invited my people [to truth] night and day.

    Sahih International

    But my invitation increased them not except in flight.

    Sahih International

    And indeed, every time I invited them that You may forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their garments, persisted, and were arrogant with [great] arrogance.

    Sahih International

    Then I invited them publicly.

    Sahih International

    Then I announced to them and [also] confided to them secretly

    Sahih International

    And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.

    Sahih International

    He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers

    Sahih International

    And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.

    Sahih International

    What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur

    Sahih International

    While He has created you in stages?

    Sahih International

    Do you not consider how Allah has created seven heavens in layers

    Sahih International

    And made the moon therein a [reflected] light and made the sun a burning lamp?

    Sahih International

    And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth.

    Sahih International

    Then He will return you into it and extract you [another] extraction.

    Sahih International

    And Allah has made for you the earth an expanse

    Sahih International

    That you may follow therein roads of passage.’ “

  • summary : “I invited these people privately, publicly, and openly, collectively, went to them individually and spoke to them, I gave them incentives: ‘He’ll send rain to you etc,” I make them realize they’re being ungrateful to Allah, I invited them during night and day, in any way possible. I exhausted all resources and avenues – it only made them run further away from Nuh a.s. they put their fingers in their ears, cover up their faces when he would come to talk to them, they were insistent and arrogant, rude to Nuh a.s.
  • prophet saw towards the end was dealing with similar situation
  • gotten to point where they say “We don’t care what you have to say, offer, we’re not going to believe you, move along. We want nothing to do with you or your message.”
  • complete apathy, not even listening anymore
  • not only that but they became active, offensive in refuting prophet saw, threatening, violent, persecuting anyone who followed prophet saw
  • they were engaging in anti dawah
  • Surah Fussilat – they made lots of noise when Quran was recited
  • 41:26
    Sahih International

    And those who disbelieve say, “Do not listen to this Qur’an and speak noisily during [the recitation of] it that perhaps you will overcome.”

  • they made it personal now “we have to defeat Muhammad saw”
  • now at this point Allah gives prophet saw a powerful reminder
  • when people go to driving school or defensive driving classes, they show them horrible car wrecks pictures
  • this technique, you’re telling the person “You’re doing something dangerous, you’ve become numb to the dangers of speeding, look what happen to people who do as you do.”
  • These people brush you off when you warn them about speeding, so you bring them to hospital to show them how a person from a car wreck suffer
  • why you do this? – maybe this would snap them out of their delusions and make them realize what they are doing to themselves
  • in here, Allah telling prophet saw to give the quraysh example of the people of the towns before, if they don’t change their ways they will end up the same way

Ayat 13

  • 36:13
Sahih International

And present to them an example: the people of the city, when the messengers came to it –

  • lahum  لَهُم – for them = it means, make this story relevant to these people
  • Quran is making things relevant to the people
  • implicit evidence that when Allah talking about disbeliever, we emotionally, mentally check out of them, we feel like it’s not talking about us
  • ibn abbas says, “huge mistake” bec in ayat that talk about disbelievers it’s also addressing believers because believers can take note of these traits in themselves, and if they see these tendencies in themselves they can start to realize they’re starting to lean towards kufr or shirk
  • so it reminds them “don’t be close to this path these people were walking on”
  • there is a lot of discussion in books of tafseer : which town is this talking about?
  • they say a town by name of Intaaqeer (Intakia), an old historic town, an ancient city
  • when  messengers had arrived – in their opinions they say that these were the disciples of Isa a.s., some of them went to carry message of Isa a.s. and spread it to these people
  • however ibn kathir has detailed discussion on whether these discussions are authentic or not and the validity of them is not that clear
  • we don’t need to get into that discussion
  • the more important thing is to see what lessons we can extract from these ayah


Ayat 14

Sahih International

When We sent to them two but they denied them, so We strengthened them with a third, and they said, “Indeed, we are messengers to you.”

  • Allah had sent 2 messengers
  • izh اِذ remember back when we had sent 2 to them
  • takzheeb  تَكذِيب they called these messengers liars
  • “This is bogus we don’t believe what you say.”
  • ta’zeez  تَعزِيز- literally means to strengthen, reaffirm
  • with a 3rd – a third messenger was sent to reaffirm and strengthen their confidence and message
  • not 2 but 3 messengers side by side delivering that same message
  • if we can get 3 good speakers for a program, mashaallah
  • message primarily of what – most definitely we have been sent specifically to you
  • there is a sentence structure here that implies exclusivity

Ayat 15

Sahih International
They said, “You are not but human beings like us, and the Most Merciful has not revealed a thing. You are only telling lies.”
  • this has always been primary objection or criticism to messengers by the people
  • they even said to prophet saw “What kind of rasul is this?? what’s wrong with this ‘messenger’? (mocking)
  • in Surah Fussilat they object by saying “if our lord wanted he could have sent an angel as well.” who are you to tell me what to do??”
  • natural ego of human being, aversion to authority
  • if you come from Allah, rabb, rahman and you have this divine message and I’m supposed to listen to what you say why didn’t some supernatural being come down?
  • ridiculous objection
  • Allah tells us even if Allah sent an angel down they wouldn’t have believed
  • they’d use this argument then : “you don’t know what we got through, you don’t have to feed a family, pay bills, etc.”
  • either way it’s an objection
  • this rahmaan that you speak about, He hasn’t sent down anything
  • you are nothing but liars (all 3 of you) a bunch of liars

Ayat 16

Sahih International
They said, “Our Lord knows that we are messengers to you,
  • our master, our rabb He knows that we have been sent exclusively to you people
  • their statement here is profound
  • messengers receive miracles, Quran speaks about them, but these messengers are not responding with miracles
  • prophet saw didn’t always respond to people’s accusations with miracles
  • incident of Utbah ibn Waleed, he came to prophet saw and started lambasting and cursing, degrading him in front of people
  • the people put him up to it
  • he wanted to be famous, he did this, he took the ‘dare’
  • when he finished the prophet said, “Are you finished?”
  • “Yes, I’m done.”
  • prophet saw said, “My turn now” and he started reciting surah fussilat
  • he kept reciting past half the surah till he reached point of sajdah and he performed sajdah and walked away from utbah
  • utbah was speechless, jaw dropped to the ground
  • the people saw him coming back, they said he didn’t come back with the face he went with, something’s changed
  • he said, “What he came with, is going to be a big deal, get out o his way, I’m not to tell you believe if you don’t want to but step away, get out of his way.”
  • so sometimes response is just the Quran
  • we shouldn’t rely on supernatural, miraculous thing to prove our point
  • our message is out point, this is the greatest miracle right here
Ayat 17
Sahih International

And we are not responsible except for clear notification.”

  • now they’re in situation where people are not interested in message and being rude offensive
  • the messengers saying why they’re still talking to them though
  • balaagh  بَلاَغ- to reach from one place to another
  • Quran is described as balaagh as well
  • at same time, prophet saw commanded in Quran, “balligh” بَلِّغ  (convey, make it reach)
  • Quran is that which needs to reach people
  • and it is a thing which reaches people
  • it affects people like nothing else does
  • nothing affects people the way Quran does
  • nothing touches people’s heart the way the Quran does
  • Quran needs to be main vehicle of our dawah
  • mubeen مُبِين  – very very clear that it’s self clarifying
  • deliver clear, precise, pristine message
  • that’s our obligation
  • important lesson – our task is not just to deliver message to them but the way we deliver is very clear, precise and to the point, not muddled up, not messy dawah
  • for that purpose we don’t have to rack our brains
  • we have it ready – this is about as clear as it is
  • deliver the word of Allah
  • that is the best form of dawah


2 things

  • look at end of ayah 14 اِنَّا اِلَيكُم مُرسَلُون
  • 1st time these messengers introduced themselves to these ppl they say “most definitely we have been sent exclusively to you people”
  • at end of ayah 16, they again respond to the people’s accusation of them being liars, “lamursaloon” لَمُرسَلُون
  • there is an extra lam here bec when they were introducing themselves there were no refutations, accusations
  • when the people objected, and accused them, they respond back “lamursalun ” there is emphasis here
  • when people accuse you, you have to respond to their accusation


  • purpose or biggest lesson of this ayah:
  • this was consolation to prophet saw and the believers
  • “Listen, these people of quraysh were resisting, refuting, becoming more aggressive against your mission and message, you’re not the first to go through this., 3 messengers standing side by side had to go through this as well.”
  • fact that “what is your task, job?” what you are accountable for is to deliver the message very clearly and leave the rest to us
  • we can’t use this as an out , we have along way to go in making message clear to people
  • a lot of times khateeb and speakers give short message and say at end, “we have conveyed the clear message.”
  • if anyone can claim he conveyed message clearly, it was Muhammad saw
  • he went above and beyond what was required of him
  • “you’re going to kill yourselves over their disbelief”
  • so Allah consoling him (saw) “just deliver the clear message, you are the continuation of that pure clear system.”

2 thoughts on “Tafseer Surah Yaseen 13-17

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