Ayah

Word by Word
إِذۡ
When
عُرِضَ
were displayed
عَلَيۡهِ
to him
بِٱلۡعَشِيِّ
in the afternoon
ٱلصَّـٰفِنَٰتُ
excellent bred steeds
ٱلۡجِيَادُ
excellent bred steeds
إِذۡ
When
عُرِضَ
were displayed
عَلَيۡهِ
to him
بِٱلۡعَشِيِّ
in the afternoon
ٱلصَّـٰفِنَٰتُ
excellent bred steeds
ٱلۡجِيَادُ
excellent bred steeds

Translation

Behold, there were brought before him, at eventide coursers of the highest breeding, and swift of foot;

Tafsir

When one evening - which is the period after midday - there were displayed before him the prancing steeds (al-saafinaat, 'horses', is the plural of saafina, which denotes [a horse] standing on three legs with the fourth supported on the edge of the hoof, and derives from [the verb] safana, yasfinu sufoonan; al-jiyaad is the plural of jawaad, which is a 'racer'; the meaning is that these [horses] are such that when they are halted they stand still and when they run they surpass [others] in speed). One thousand horses were displayed before him after he had performed the midday prayer, for he had wanted to use them in a holy struggle (jihaad) against an enemy. But when the display reached the nine-hundredth [horse], the sun set and he had not performed the afternoon prayer. So he was greatly distressed.

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