I have gone through this verse and have read numerous exegesis but still I'm not able to comprehend this verse fully. What's the context of this verse and how does the verse saying "If Allah had willed to take a son, He may had chosen among his creation whoever He willed" negate the fact that Allah can't have a son?

4 Answers 4


لَوْ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا لَاصْطَفَيٰ مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ سُبْحَانَهُ هُوَ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ [الزّمر، ۴]

If Allah had intended to take a son, He could have chosen from what He creates whatever He willed. Exalted is He; He is Allah, the One, the Prevailing.

The following interpretation is from "Tafseer Noor" by Mohsen Qara'ati (cf. here for the source in Persian):

The messages from this verse:

  1. He neither has real child, as mentioned in "لَمْ يَلِدْ وَ لَمْ يُولَدْ" (He neither begets nor is born [112:3]), nor an adopted child as mentioned in the present verse "أَنْ يَتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا" (take (or adopt) a child)

  2. If He will to adopt a child He will choose among the best of them, as mentioned by "لَاصْطَفَيٰ مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ" (chosen from what He creates whatever He willed)

  3. requiring a child is a sign of being in need, but He is Exalted to be in any need, as mentioned by "سُبْحانَهُ" (Exalted is He)

  4. if the child is a real one, that would mean another Identity exist beside Allah, sharing some similarities with Him, so Allah makes bold that He is the One: "وَ هُوَ الْواحِدُ"

  5. and if the child is adopted, adopting a child is a manifestation of either a spiritual or psychological or physical need, while He is the Prevailing, "هُوَ اللَّهُ الْواحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ"


This verse is not about Christianity but about the polytheists who said Allah has daughters.

The verse makes a similar argument against them as made in other places of the Quran:

Then, has your Lord chosen you for [having] sons and taken from among the angels daughters? Indeed, you say a grave saying. (17:40)

He also says:

And when one of them is given good tidings of that which he attributes to the Most Merciful in comparison, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.


And they have made the angels, who are servants of the Most Merciful, females. Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be recorded, and they will be questioned. (43:17-19)

The basic argument is: You yourself hate to have daughters instead of sons, so what is the logic of attributing to Allah something which you yourself consider inferior?

The verse means: ⟪If⟫ i.e. Even if we granted for a moment that ⟪Allah had intended to take a walad⟫ a child, ⟪He could have chosen from what He creates whatever He willed⟫ i.e. He could've chosen the best possible child, but you attribute to him daughters which you think are inferior. Why would he choose daughters for Himself?? ⟪Exalted is He; He is Allah, the One, the Prevailing.⟫ (39:4)

Some things important to note:

  • The argument does not necessarily indicate daughters are inferior in essence. Rather, Allah uses their own perception against them.

  • The word walad in the verse can just mean "child," but many translations mistakenly translate it as "son" which obscures the point of the verse.

Other interpretations have been made of this verse which I do not believe are as strong as the one I explained above:

  • ⟪If Allah had intended to take a son⟫ like the Christians say about Jesus (AS), ⟪He could have chosen from what He creates whatever He willed⟫ i.e. He could have chosen greater creations like angels instead of just a human. ⟪Exalted is He; He is Allah, the One, the Prevailing.⟫

  • ⟪If Allah had intended to take a son⟫ like people say about Him, ⟪He would have chosen from what He creates whatever He willed⟫ i.e. the only way he would get a son is by choosing someone He Himself created, since everything in existence other than Him is created by Him. So, this "son" would just be a creation and servant anyway. ⟪Exalted is He; He is Allah, the One, the Prevailing.⟫ See a similar argument in 19:92-93.

And Allah knows best.


This verse states that Allah has never chosen anyone as His son. And if he wanted, he could do so, and he would declare it through his prophets and in the various authentic versions of sacred books, specifically the Quran. Allah does not need humans to choose someone as His son.

This verse primarily discusses the belief held by Christians that Jesus is the Son of God. In authentic and undistorted Christianity, there is no son for Allah.



Allah is basically saying if he was to have a son it wouldn’t be Jesus or from the children of Israel.

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