7.166. So when they took pride in that which they had been forbidden, We said unto them: Be ye apes despised and loathed! (Pickthall)
7.166. Und als sie anmaßend waren gegen das, was ihnen untersagt worden war, sprachen Wir zu ihnen: Seid verscheuchte Affen! (Ahmad v. Denffer)
7.166. Als sie dann das mißachteten, was ihnen verboten war, sagten Wir zu ihnen: "Werdet verstoßene Affen!" (Bubenheim)
7.166. Weil sie die ihnen vorgeschriebenen Verbote unentwegt mißachteten, erklärten Wir ihnen: "Ihr sollt, weil ihr euch so verhaltet, verächtlichen Affen gleichen!" (Azhar)
7.166. Und nachdem sie sich über das erhoben hatten, was ihnen untersagt wurde, sagten WIR ihnen: „Seid erniedrigte Affen!“ (Zaidan)
7.166. Und als sie sich über das, was ihnen verboten worden war, hinwegsetzten (? `atau), sagten wir zu ihnen: "Werdet zu menschenscheuen Affen!" (Paret)
7.166. Und als sie trotzig bei dem verharrten, was ihnen verboten worden war, da sprachen Wir zu ihnen: "Werdet denn verächtliche Affen!" (Rasul)
Tafsir von Maududi für die Ayaat 163 bis 166
And ask them about the township which was situated on the sea shore. ( 122 ) Remind them of what befell its people who used to break the Sabbath (Saturday). Each Sabbath-day the fish appeared in abundance before them on the surface of the water ( 123 ) but did not appear at all on other days than Sabbath. This was because We were putting them to test on account of the acts of disobedience they did. ( 124 ) Also remind them that when some people from among them asked the others the answer that was given by some of them, "Why do you admonish those people whom Allah is about to destroy or punish severely?" they replied, "We admonish them in order to be able to offer an excuse before your Lord and we also hope that they might refrain from disobedience to Him." However, when they totally forgot the teachings they were reminded of, We saved those who used to forbid evil, and seized with a severe scourge all others who were transgressors, because of the acts of disobedience they did. ( 125 ) But when even after this they disdainfully persisted in that from which they were forbidden, We said to them, "Become apes-- despised and disgraced!" ( 126 )
Desc No: 122 The research scholars are of the opinion that the place refers to AiIah or Elat or Elote where the modern Jewish state of Israel has constructed a seaport of the same name and near which is situated Jordan's famous seaport of Aqabah. It is at the end of that long inlet of the Red Sea which is between the eastern pan of the Sinai Peninsula and the western side of Arabia. It was a very important trade center in the heyday of the Israelites. Prophet Solomon had made this city the chief port of his fleet in the Red Sea. The incident referred to here has neither been mentioned in the religious books of the Jews nor in their history books but the way in which the Qur'an has related it here and in Al-Baqarah clearly shows that at the time of its Revelation, it was well known among the Israelites. That is why the Jews of AI-Madinah did not challenge its validity; although they never missed a chance of raising an objection against the Holy Prophet.
Desc No: 123 Sabbath (Saturday) is the Holy day of the week. The Lord made Saturday the Sabbath day for the Jews, saying, "Verily my Sabbaths ye will keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations .... every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever death any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. . . wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant." (Exodus 31: 12-16). But, in spite of this Commandment that held out the punishment of death for any worldly work-from burning fire in the houses to taking any service from animals or slaves, the Israelites had begun to practise open violation of this law. So much so that during the time of Prophet Jeremiah (628-586 B.C.), they used to carry in loads through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day. Therefore the Prophet had to hold out the threat that he would 'light a fire in the city-gates that would burn up the buildings of Jerusalem and never be put out.' (Jeremiah 17: 21-27). Likewise Prophet Ezekiel (595-536 B.C.) also complains bitterly of the desecration of Lord's Sabbath by the Jews on a national scale (Ezekiel 20: 12-24). From these quotations it appears that the desecration of Sabbath mentioned here in the Qur'an probably took place during this period.
Desc No: 124 Allah puts His servants to trial in many ways. When He sees that some of them are turning away from obedience to His Law, and are growing more and more prone to disobedience, He opens the doors of disobedience before them by holding out such temptations as are very alluring to those people. Thus their evil intentions openly come to the surface and they commit such crimes from which they had refrained only for the lack of necessary opportunities for them.
Desc No: 125 This shows that there were three kinds of people in that town. First, there were those who were openly and boldly violating the Divine rules and regulations. Then there were some who did not violate the laws themselves but silently saw others violating them: they told admonishers that it was no good to give any piece of advice to those hardened law-breakers. Lastly, there were others who were so much imbued with the sense of honour and courage that they could not tolerate such open violations of the Divine Law. They enjoined the lawbreakers to practise virtue and refrain from evil in the hope that they would return to the Right Way, or at least, they themselves would be in a position to present the proof before their Lord that they, on their part, did their duty to admonish those law-breakers. Accordingly, when the scourge of Allah befell that township, the only people who were delivered from it were those who belonged to the third group. According to the Qur'an, they were delivered because they had shown their concern for the eradication of evil. The other two groups were counted among the workers of iniquity and punished in proportion to the nature and extent of their crime. Some commentators are of the view that it cannot be said with certainty whether the second group was among those who were delivered or among those who were punished, for the Qur'an is not explicit about this. According to a tradition from Ibn `Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), he was at first of the opinion that the second group was among those who were punished, but afterwards his disciple 'Ikrimah convinced him that it was among those who were delivered. But when we consider deeply the words of the Qur'an, we feel that his tirst opinion was correct for it is obvious that on the occasion of a scourge, the concerned township was divided into two groups only. One group consisted of those who were visited by the scourge, and the other of those who were delivered from it. Now when the Qur'an is explicit that the group that was delivered consisted of those who were forbidding evil, the other two groups must have been among those who were not delivered. This conclusion is supported by "in order to offer an excuse before your Lord", and also by the succeeding verse, It is quite clear from this that the whole township, wherein the law of Allah is openly violated, is seized by His wrath, with the only exception of those who forbid evil. One will not be delivered simply because one did not violate the Law but shall (rave to show practically that one did exert one's utmost to establish virtue and eradicate vice. This view is further supported by other passages from the Qur'an and Hadith that this is the Law of Allah concerning collective crimes. The Qur'an says, "Fear that trial which will not involve in scourge only those who will be guilty of transgression from among you ......." (VIII: 25). Explaining this verse, the Holy Prophet says, "Allah dces not punish the common people for the sins of sinful people unless the common people connive at those glaring sins that are committed before their very eyes and show no displeasure at them, in spite of the fact that they are in a position to do so. When they degenerate to such a degree, then Allah seizes the criminals as well as the connivers". Besides this, it appears from the verses under discussion that the scourge of Allah was sent to that township in two instalments. The first has been called ;severe scourge.") The second was "Be apes". We are of the opinion that the scourge in the first case was inflicted on both the first and the second groups, but in the second case it was inflicted on the first group only. (And Allah knows best. If I am right, this is from Allah and if I am wrong, it is from me. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. ) known" .
Desc No: 126 Please refer to E.N. 83, Al-Baqarah. "