43 - Az Zukhruf (Gold)

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 43.19

Al-Jalalayn

And they have made the angels, who are themselves servants of the Compassionate One, females. Did they witness, were they present at, their creation? Their testimony, to the effect that they are females, will be written down and they will be questioned, about it in the Hereafter, wherefore punishment will ensue for them.

Ibn Al Kathir

Condemnation of the Idolators' attribution of Offspring to Allah

Here Allah speaks of the lies and fabrications of the idolators, when they devoted some of their cattle to their false gods and some to Allah, as He described in Surat Al-An`am where He said:

وَجَعَلُواْ لِلَّهِ مِمَّا ذَرَأَ مِنَ الْحَرْثِ وَالاٌّنْعَامِ نَصِيباً فَقَالُواْ هَـذَا لِلَّهِ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَهَـذَا لِشُرَكَآئِنَا فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَآئِهِمْ فَلاَ يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ فَهُوَ يَصِلُ إِلَى شُرَكَآئِهِمْ سَآءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ

(And they assign to Allah share of the tilth and cattle which He has created, and they say: "This is for Allah'' according to their claim, "and this is for our partners.'' But the share of their partners reaches not Allah, while the share of Allah reaches their partners! Evil is the way they judge!) (6:136). Similarly, out of the two kinds of offspring, sons and daughters, they assigned to Him the worst and least valuable (in their eyes), i.e., daughters, as Allah says:

أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الاٍّنثَى - تِلْكَ إِذاً قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى

(Is it for you the males and for Him the females That indeed is a division most unfair!) (53:21-22) And Allah says here:

وَجَعَلُواْ لَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ جُزْءًا إِنَّ الإنسَـنَ لَكَفُورٌ مُّبِينٌ

(Yet, they assign to some of His servants a share with Him. Verily, man is indeed a manifest ingrate!) Then He says:

أَمِ اتَّخَذَ مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ بَنَاتٍ وَأَصْفَـكُم بِالْبَنِينَ

(Or has He taken daughters out of what He has created, and He has selected for you sons) This is a denunciation of them in the strongest terms, as He goes on to say:

وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ مَثَلاً ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدّاً وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ

(And if one of them is informed of the news of that which he sets forth as a parable to the Most Gracious, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with grief!) means, if one of these people is given the news that there has been born to him one of those which he attributes to Allah, i.e., a daughter, he hates this news and it depresses and overwhelms him so much that he keeps away from people because he feels so ashamed. Allah says, so how can they dislike that so much and yet they attribute it to Allah

أَوَمَن يُنَشَّأُ فِى الْحِلْيَةِ وَهُوَ فِى الْخِصَامِ غَيْرُ مُبِينٍ

(A creature who is brought up in adornments, and who in dispute cannot make itself clear) means, women are regarded as lacking something, which they make up for with jewelry and adornments from the time of childhood onwards, and when there is a dispute, they cannot speak up and defend themselves clearly, so how can this be attributed to Allah

وَجَعَلُواْ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـنِ إِنَـثاً

(And they make females the angels who themselves are servants of the Most Gracious.) means, that is what they believe about them, but Allah denounces them for that and says:

أَشَهِدُواْ خَلْقَهُمْ

(Did they witness their creation) meaning, did they see Allah creating them as females

سَتُكْتَبُ شَهَـدَتُهُمْ

(Their testimony will be recorded,) means, concerning that,

وَيُسْـَلُونَ

(and they will be questioned!) means, about that, on the Day of Resurrection. This is a stern warning and a serious threat.

وَقَالُواْ لَوْ شَآءَ الرَّحْمَـنُ مَا عَبَدْنَـهُمْ

(And they said: "If it had been the will of the Most Gracious, we should not have worshipped them.'') means, (they said:) `if Allah had willed, He would have prevented us from worshipping these idols which are images of the angels who are the daughters of Allah; He knows about this and He approves of it.' By saying this, they combined several types of error: First: They attributed offspring to Allah -- exalted and sanctified be He far above that. Second: They claimed that He chose daughters rather than sons, and they made the angels, who are the servants of the Most Gracious, female. Third: They worshipped them with no proof, evidence or permission from Allah. This was based on mere opinion, whims and desires, imitation of their elders and forefathers, and pure ignorance. They used Allah's decree as an excuse, and this reasoning betrayed their ignorance. Fourth: Allah denounced them for this in the strongest terms, for from the time He first sent Messengers and revealed Books, the command was to worship Him Alone with no partner or associate, and it was forbidden to worship anything other than Him. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلَـلَةُ فَسِيرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ

(And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah, and avoid all false deities.'' Then of them were some whom Allah guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied.) (16:36)

وَاسْئلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ أَجَعَلْنَا مِن دُونِ الرَّحْمَـنِ ءَالِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ

(And ask those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: "Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious'') (43:45) And Allah says in this Ayah, after mentioning this argument of theirs:

مَّا لَهُم بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ

(They have no knowledge whatsoever of that.) meaning, of the truth of what they say and the arguments they put forward.

وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَخْرُصُونَ

(They do nothing but lie!) means, they tell lies and fabricate untruths.

مَّا لَهُم بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَخْرُصُونَ

(They have no knowledge whatsoever of that. They do nothing but lie!) Mujahid said, "They do not appreciate the power of Allah.''

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

That is, who are fret from this that they should be males or females.

Another translation can be: "were they present at the time of their creation?"

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(And they make the angels, who are the slaves of the Beneficent, females) the daughters of Allah. (Did they witness their creation) when they were created for them to know that they are females? They said: "no, O Muhammad, we did not witness their creation but we heard our fathers saying so". Allah will say: "O Muhammad!" (Their testimony will be recorded) that they lie against Allah when they claim that the angels are Allah's daughters (and they will be questioned) about this claim on the Day of Judgement. In other words, when they claimed that the angels are Allah's daughters, they were asked: "did you witness their creation?" They said: "No!" "How did you then come to the conclusion that the angels are females and Allah's daughters?" They said: "We heard this from our fathers". Allah said that their claim about the angels will be recorded and they will be questioned about it on the Day of Judgement.