Some translations of Qur'an 6:26 say:

Others they keep away from it, and themselves they keep away; but they only destroy their own souls, and they perceive it not. -- Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)

and words to that effect. This suggests two things:

  1. That people can be kept away from Islam by others.
  2. The others are the only ones punished.

This seems to imply that people kept away from Islam are blameless. I'm wondering if this is a correct interpretation.

Question: Does Qur'an 6:26 imply that someone kept away from Islam is blameless?

This tafsir gives some more context and history:

(And they) Abu Jahl and his folk (forbid (men) from it) from Muhammad and the Qur'an (and avoid it) prevent people from it and steer away from it; it is also said that this relates to Abu Talib [the Prophet's uncle] who used to warn against harming the Prophet (pbuh) even though he did not accept his message, (and they ruin none save themselves, though they perceive not) they do not realise that they carry the same sins of the men they are warning. -- Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

... Said Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, al-Suddi and al-Dahhak: “This was revealed about the unbelievers of Mecca. They used to forbid people from following Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, and they themselves stayed away from him”. ... -- Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

This may mean the context is limited to the time of the Prophet. However, it's not clear as to what happens to those kept away from Islam.

  • Not sure if your question is somehow related to 6:131
    – Kilise
    Jun 5, 2017 at 22:49

1 Answer 1


From Tafsir Ibn Kathir:

وَمِنْهُمْ مَّن يَسْتَمِعُ إِلَيْكَ وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْراً وَإِن يَرَوْاْ كُلَّ ءَايَةٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهَا

(And of them there are some who listen to you; but We have set veils on their hearts, so they understand it not, and deafness in their ears; if they see every one of the Ayat they will not believe therein;)

means, they come to you, (O Muhammad ), so that they hear you recite the Qur'an, but its recitation does not benefit them, because Allah has set veils on their hearts, and so they do not understand the Qur'an,

وَفِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا

(and (set) deafness in their ears;)

that prevents them from hearing what benefits them. In another Ayah, Allah said;

يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِنْ هَـذَآ إِلاَّ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ

(Those who disbelieve say: "These are nothing but tales of the men of old.'')

The disbelievers say, what you (O Muhammad ) brought us was taken from the books of those who were before us, meaning plagiarized.

وَهُمْ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ وَيَنْأَوْنَ عَنْهُ Quran 6:26

(And they prevent others from him and they themselves keep away from him,)

They discourage people from following the truth, believing in Muhammad and obeying the Qur'an.

Based on the above, the verse is saying that the mushrikeen have been blinded and deafened so that they will never accept the truth and will tell people that the Muhammad just took verses from the Torah and Gospel and put it in the Qu'ran.

It is not talking about keeping away from Islam so therefore no, it doesn't imply that somone who kept away from Islam is blameless as what it implies is stated above.

Also, from EnglishTafsir a translation of this verse into modern English:

They forbid other people to believe in this Truth, and themselves turn away from it. (They imagine that in this way they are doing you some harm), whereas they are preparing their own perdition, though they do riot perceive it.

(This may help understand the verse more)

And Allah knows best.

  • 2
    I don't see you answering the question: "Does Qur'an 6:26 imply that someone kept away from Islam is blameless?" Could you add an conclusion?
    – Kilise
    Jun 5, 2017 at 22:51

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