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Verses 39:53 and 39:10 say:

Why is there the word "Say" in these verses? It was possible to use direct appeal without it.

Say: “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful."39:53

Say: “O My servants who believe! Be mindful of your Lord. Those who do good in this world will have a good reward. And Allah’s earth is spacious. Only those who endure patiently will be given their reward without limit.”39:10

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  • I don't understand. There are over 200 verses verses which have "Say:" ... i.e. where Allah tells the Prophet to say something. So what is extraordinary about these two?
    – UmH
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 13:15
  • "Say, O My servants..." Do you understand now?
    – user51278
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 13:42
  • Whose slaves? It says "tell" the Prophet. That is, the Prophet should say, "O my slaves."
    – user51278
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 13:44
  • Allah's servants. It means: Say O Muhammad to my servants that Allah says: "O My servants who..."
    – UmH
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 14:56
  • Very good explanation (no). But thanks anyway.
    – user51278
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 15:46

1 Answer 1

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Ikhtisar (also called hazf) which is dropping or abbreviating words from a sentence because they are understood is not uncommon in the Quran.

Among the examples of this is:

But the one who was freed and remembered after a time said (to the King): I will inform you of its interpretation, so send me forth.

[He went to the jail and said:] Joseph, O man of truth, explain to us about [...] (12:45-46)

In the second verse, the entire sentence of him going to the jail and the word "said" is dropped. The dropping of the "say" verb is particularly common because it is so often clear from the context.

Other examples:

And [when] the true promise has approached; then suddenly the eyes of those who disbelieved will be staring [in horror, while they say], "O woe to us; we had been unmindful of this; rather, we were wrongdoers." (21:97)

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me, [tell them I said:] Indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. (2:186)

Those are just the examples I have in mind.

So, the verses should be understood as:

Say: [Allah said:] “O My servants who believe! Be mindful of your Lord. Those who do good in this world will have a good reward. And Allah’s earth is spacious. Only those who endure patiently will be given their reward without limit.” 39:10

Say: [Allah said:] “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful." 39:53

In general terms, the command "say" comes before verses to emphasize the following statement or to indicate that it is a statement that needs to be announced and stated clearly. But, we can also look specifically to each verse.

The first verse starts with "say" to complete the pattern of the passage which is a lot of things Allah commands Muhammad (SAW) to say. See the verses around it. And it drops the mention of "Allah said" because that is obvious and assumed.

The second verse starts with "say" because this is a statement that particularly needs to be announced. The person this verse is speaking to is someone embarrassed and about to lose hope in Allah's mercy because he thinks he won't be forgiven. So, this message needs to be announced rather than just recited in the Quran for this person to find.

It drops the mention of "Allah said" for the same reason. An additional reason could be added: It makes the speech more personal and closer. So, it emphasizes that Allah is saying this to you directly.

And Allah knows best.

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