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يَعْمَلُونَ لَهُ مَا يَشَآءُ مِن مَّحَارِيبَ وَتَمَاثِيلَ وَجِفَانٍ كَٱلْجَوَابِ وَقُدُورٍ رَّاسِيَاتٍ ٱعْمَلُوۤاْ آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْراً وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِيَ ٱلشَّكُورُ
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-Saba’ ( سبأ )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

They fashioned for him whatever he wished: lofty shrines (mahārīb are high edifices which are ascended by stairs) and statues (tamāthīl is the plural of timthāl, which is any thing which you fashion as a likeness [of another]), in other words, brass, crystal or marble figures — the use of figures was not prohibited according to his Law; and basins (jifān is the plural of jafna) like cisterns (jawābin is the plural of jābiya, which is a large basin) — around each ‘basin’ a thousand men would gather to eat — and cauldrons built into the ground, fixed with foundations, and cannot be moved from their places: these were made from the [rocks of the] mountains of Yemen, and to which one ascended by climbing up a ladder. And We said: ‘Work, O, House of David, in obedience to God, in thankfulness, to Him for what He has given you. And few indeed of My servants are thankful’, labouring in obedience to Me in thanks for My favours.


Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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