Tafsir Tidbit – Grammatical Error in Quran?

Ok guys, calm down. I only put that subject there to make you come here. Now read.

O you who believe! obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn away from Him while you hear. (8:20)

Let’s look at that verse again:

O you who believe! obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn away from Him while you hear. (8:20)

What is gramatically “incorrect” (astaghfirullah) about this ayah? Let us compare it to the following sentence:

“Abdul Sattar and Sharif were sitting, and he stood up.”

The clear question that would come into the mind of the reader/listener…is who is “he” referring to? Sharif or Abdul? There is no way we could know!

So when we look at this ayah where it says “obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn away from him” – who is the “him” referring to? How could the Quran leave this him to be so vague – where two entities are mentioned, Allah and His Messenger, but the “he” is not specified? Should it not be: “do not turn away from “them two”?

For those who would like to see the arabic:

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo atheeo Allaha warasoolahu wala tawallaw anhu waantum tasmaAAoona.

Should it not be anhumaa? Do not turn away from them both?

As I was listening to the tafsir of this, one of the ‘ulema explained:

“[the reason this ayah says do not turn away from ‘him’ without specifying who the him is between Allah and His Messenger] because Allah wants to tell you that obedience to Allah, and obedience to His Messenger are equivelent. Because in order to obey Allah you HAVE to obey His Messenger”.

And thus, Allah (swt) is letting us know that there is no distinction between obeying Allah and obeying the Messenger of Allah (swt), to such an extent, that in the context of obedience, he uses the singular to show us that obedience to The Messenger IS obedience to Allah (swt).

And this is confirmed:

And whoever obeys the Messenger, thereby obeys Allâh. (4:80)

The Quran rocks.

(for the talk I got this from and more talks from Imam Suhaib, please vist http://www.masbayarea.org and go to multimedia)


5 thoughts on “Tafsir Tidbit – Grammatical Error in Quran?

  1. Muhammad

    Subhanallah. Sometimes the Qur’an is so profound it makes me want to read each and every letter in detail. I pray that we all get the time to do so InshaAllah.


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