The following verses have been receiving some criticism

And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them one better than him in purity and nearer to mercy. (18:80-81; from Sahih International)

What do they mean by "we"? It can't be referring to the Royal "We" for Allah since 18:80 has "فَخَشِينَآ" which is translated as "so we feared". The question is how could fear be attributed to Allah SWT? I need help.

  • Wasn't that asked before?
    – Medi1Saif
    Nov 30, 2020 at 20:22
  • I don't think I've asked about this before. Has anyone else brought it up?
    – Afiq
    Dec 1, 2020 at 0:47

4 Answers 4


I've just had an argument with someone on the very same topic. Brother get this in your mind straight that Arabic language is very vast with the same word having multiple meanings and stop thinking that the same word means the same thing when Allah SWT uses it for himself.

Every word in Arabic is made up of a base word which consists of 3 or 4 letters. The word you wrote "فَخَشِيۡنَاۤ" has the base word "خشي".

Now go to any online or offline dictionary and search for the base word. You'll find it means more than just "fear". It can also mean "apprehend" which means to know in advance which is pretty self explanatory.

If you still don't wanna believe that this can mean something other than "fear" then just believe that it doesn't mean the same fear we think for ourselves as obviously Allah SWT is free from such flaws. You can't and you don't need to know what actually it means. Just keep your faith away from such fitnas unless you are a dedicated student.

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  • The statement could have been of either Allah or of Khidr.

    قيل : هو من كلام الخضر ... وقيل : هو من كلام الله

    Tafsir al-Qurtubi

    The use of a plural is not definitive proof that it is Allah's statement, see e.g. here.

  • The expression فخشينا (we feared) can mean that "we knew", or that "we disliked".

    قال الفراء: معنى فخشينا أي فعلمنا، وقال الزجاج: فخشينا من كلام الخضر، ومعناه كرهنا

    Lisan al-Arab

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    —Definition B3 and B4 in Lane's Lexicon


Who is the Speaker in this verse?? It's the one who was travelling with Moses and he feared about the Child.... Read with context...

  • This is a different question in the answer section. If you want to ask a question use the ask question link.
    – Jamila
    Feb 7, 2021 at 20:59

Salaam, The way I view it is that Allah (swt) uses several different pronouns in the Quran (ie. He, Allah, WE), and the reasoning for this is so that we don't associate HIM as a human being. He is like no other, so by using different pronouns, this just shows that Allah (swt) is like no other.


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