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Surah Zukhruf
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of God, the Most-Gracious, the Ever-Merciful.


حم. وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ. إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ. وَإِنَّهُ فِي أُمِّ الْكِتَابِ لَدَيْنَا لَعَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ.

This is Surah Ha Mim.1 This clear Book is a witness2 [to its own self]. We have revealed it as an Arabic Qur’an so that you may understand.3 And indeed it is with Us4 in the real Book, very exalted and replete with wisdom.5 (1-4)


أَفَنَضْرِبُ عَنكُمُ الذِّكْرَ صَفْحًا أَن كُنتُمْ قَوْمًا مُّسْرِفِينَ.وَكَمْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن نَّبِيٍّ فِي الْأَوَّلِينَ.وَمَا يَأْتِيهِم مِّن نَّبِيٍّ إِلَّا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِؤُون.فَأَهْلَكْنَا أَشَدَّ مِنْهُم بَطْشًا وَمَضَى مَثَلُ الْأَوَّلِينَ.


So, should We become indifferent to reminding you6 merely because you are a people who exceed limits? [Certainly not! We will conclusively deliver the truth.] Many a prophet We sent as a messenger among the earlier generations also. However, whichever prophet came to them, they would only make fun of him. Then We destroyed them who were much more powerful than your disbelievers and examples of those earlier have passed.7 (5-8)


وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ خَلَقَهُنَّ الْعَزِيزُ الْعَلِيمُ.

And if you ask them: “Who has made the heavens and the earth?” they will surely say: “God, the powerful, the knowledgeable has made them.” (9)


الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ مَهْدًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ.وَالَّذِي نَزَّلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء بِقَدَرٍ فَأَنشَرْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا كَذَلِكَ تُخْرَجُونَ.وَالَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَزْوَاجَ كُلَّهَا وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ الْفُلْكِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ مَا تَرْكَبُونَ.لِتَسْتَوُوا عَلَى ظُهُورِهِ ثُمَّ تَذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ رَبِّكُمْ إِذَا اسْتَوَيْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَتَقُولُوا سُبْحانَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ.وَإِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنقَلِبُونَ.


 [He8] Who made the earth a cradle for you and traced out paths9 in it for you so that you find the way.10 And He Who sent down water from the heavens in a certain measure;11 then through it We gave a new life to a dead city.12 Precisely in this manner, you too will be brought out of the graves [one day]. And He Who has created all these things of various sort13 and made ships and beasts for you on which you embark14 so that you may mount on their backs15 with ease; then when you sit on them with ease, remember the favour of your Lord16 and say: “Exalted is the being who has put them to our service. We were not capable of bringing them into our control.17 Certainly, we have to return to our Lord.”18 (10-14)


وَجَعَلُوا لَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ جُزْءًا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَكَفُورٌ مُّبِينٌ.أَمِ اتَّخَذَ مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ بَنَاتٍ وَأَصْفَاكُم بِالْبَنِينَ.وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحْمَنِ مَثَلًا ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ.أَوَمَن يُنَشَّأُ فِي الْحِلْيَةِ وَهُوَ فِي الْخِصَامِ غَيْرُ مُبِينٍ .

 [In spite of knowing and acknowledging all this, 19] they have made some servants of God as His part.20 In reality, a human being is blatantly ungrateful. Has He chosen daughters for Himself from among His creation and has blessed you with sons? And such are they that when any of them is given glad tidings of the thing which he blames the merciful God of, his face becomes black and is inflicted by anxiety, and [thinks]: “Has she been born who is raised up among trinkets and at the times of disputation21 becomes speechless.”22 (15-18)


وَجَعَلُوا الْمَلَائِكَةَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ إِنَاثًا أَشَهِدُوا خَلْقَهُمْ سَتُكْتَبُ شَهَادَتُهُمْ وَيُسْأَلُونَ.


[Alas!] They have made angels, who are servants of God, daughters! Were they present at their birth? This testimony of theirs shall now be written and they shall be held accountable for it. (19)


وَقَالُوا لَوْ شَاء الرَّحْمَنُ مَا عَبَدْنَاهُم مَّا لَهُم بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ. أَمْ آتَيْنَاهُمْ كِتَابًا مِّن قَبْلِهِ فَهُم بِهِ مُسْتَمْسِكُونَ. بَلْ قَالُوا إِنَّا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى آثَارِهِم مُّهْتَدُونَ. وَكَذَلِكَ مَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا إِنَّا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى آثَارِهِم مُّقْتَدُونَ. قَالَ أَوَلَوْ جِئْتُكُم بِأَهْدَى مِمَّا وَجَدتُّمْ عَلَيْهِ آبَاءكُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُم بِهِ كَافِرُونَ. فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ.

They say: “Had the merciful God wanted, we would not have worshipped them.”23 They have no knowledge of this matter. It is mere conjecture that they do. Did We give them a Book before this so that they are using it as an argument in their favour [for this foolishness?] Certainly not! In fact, they say: “We have found our forefathers on a superior path24 and we are only following in their footsteps on the right path.”25 In a similar way [O Prophet!] to whichever city We have sent a warner before you, its affluent people only said: “We have found our forefathers on a superior way and we will continue to follow in their footsteps.” Their warner said: “Will you do so even if I bring to you the guidance of a much more straight path than on which you found your forefathers? They replied: “We are not ones who will believe in whatever you have been sent with.”26 Thus [when matters reached this extent,] We took revenge from them [for this rebelliousness]. Then see the fate of those who denied. (20-25)


وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّنِي بَرَاء مِّمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ. إِلَّا الَّذِي فَطَرَنِي فَإِنَّهُ سَيَهْدِينِ. وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةً بَاقِيَةً فِي عَقِبِهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ.

They [give reference of their forefathers; so they] should remember when their [progenitor] Abraham had said to his father and to the people of his nation: “I totally acquit myself of what you worship.27 I only worship Him Who has brought me into existence. So, undoubtedly [after my acquittal from you] now He alone will guide me.” Abraham left this thing as a tradition among his later generations28 so that they may turn to it. (26-28)


بَلْ مَتَّعْتُ هَؤُلَاء وَآبَاءهُمْ حَتَّى جَاءهُمُ الْحَقُّ وَرَسُولٌ مُّبِينٌ. وَلَمَّا جَاءهُمُ الْحَقُّ قَالُوا هَذَا سِحْرٌ وَإِنَّا بِهِ كَافِرُونَ.

No, [they were not unaware of it.29] In fact, what happened was that I gave them and their forefathers the provisions of this life; [then a long period passed and their hearts hardened30] until the truth31 came to them and a prophet too who clarifies everything regarding religion. When this truth came to them, they said: “This is magic32 and we shall never ever believe in it.” (29-30)


وَقَالُوا لَوْلَا نُزِّلَ هَذَا الْقُرْآنُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الْقَرْيَتَيْنِ عَظِيمٍ. أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّكَ نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّعِيشَتَهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِيَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُهُم بَعْضًا سُخْرِيًّا وَرَحْمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ.

They say: “Why was not the Qur’an revealed to some prominent person of both cities [Makkah and Ta’if]?”33 Do they allocate the mercy of your Lord? It is We Who have allocated among them the means of their livelihood in the life of this world34 and have allocated them in such a way that We have raised some in status above others so that they can mutually serve each other.35 And  better is your Lord’s mercy36 than what they are amassing. (31-32)


وَلَوْلَا أَن يَكُونَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً لَجَعَلْنَا لِمَن يَكْفُرُ بِالرَّحْمَنِ لِبُيُوتِهِمْ سُقُفًا مِّن فَضَّةٍ وَمَعَارِجَ عَلَيْهَا يَظْهَرُونَ. وَلِبُيُوتِهِمْ أَبْوَابًا وَسُرُرًا عَلَيْهَا يَتَّكِؤُونَ. وَزُخْرُفًا وَإِن كُلُّ ذَلِكَ لَمَّا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةُ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ.

[They should not show conceit on this.] Had it not been for the fear that all people will adopt the same way [and none will profess faith,] We would have made of silver the roof of the houses of those who are disbelieving in God and the staircases too which they climb and the doors of their houses and their thrones on which they sit reclining on pillows;37 in fact [not only of silver,] but of gold also.38  In reality, all these things are merely provisions of worldly life,39 and the Hereafter [O Prophet] before your Lord is only for those who fear God. (33-35)


وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَانًا فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ. وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ. حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءنَا قَالَ يَا لَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِينُ. وَلَن يَنفَعَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ إِذ ظَّلَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ.

 [Alas! They are indifferent to the Most Merciful] and he who turns away from the remembrance of the Most Merciful, We depute a devil on him; then he becomes his companion.40 There is no doubt that these devils stop such people from the path of God and they think on their part that they are going in the right direction. Until finally when each person of this type comes to Us, he will say to his devil: “Would that the distance of both borders of the East was between you and me!41 So, what an evil companion would he be! It will be said: “[People!] When you have been unjust to yourselves [in the previous world,] today this is of not the slightest benefit to you because now you people42 share the punishment.” (36-39)


 أَفَأَنتَ تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ أَوْ تَهْدِي الْعُمْيَ وَمَن كَانَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ. فَإِمَّا نَذْهَبَنَّ بِكَ فَإِنَّا مِنْهُم مُّنتَقِمُونَ. أَوْ نُرِيَنَّكَ الَّذِي وَعَدْنَاهُمْ فَإِنَّا عَلَيْهِم مُّقْتَدِرُونَ. فَاسْتَمْسِكْ بِالَّذِي أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ. وَإِنَّهُ لَذِكْرٌ لَّكَ وَلِقَوْمِكَ وَسَوْفَ تُسْأَلُونَ. وَاسْأَلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَا أَجَعَلْنَا مِن دُونِ الرَّحْمَنِ آلِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ.

 [They have become blind and deaf, O Prophet!] So, will you make the deaf listen or guide the blind and those who are in open error?43 Now even if We take you away, they will not go free because We have decided that We shall definitely take revenge from them or if the torment We have promised them with, We show it to you [while you are in this world,] then this too is not difficult at all because We have full power over them. So, [leave them aside and] hold fast to the Book that has been revealed to you. Surely, you are on a straight path.44 Undoubtedly, this is a reminder for you and your nation and all of you will be held answerable for it in future.45 Ask the messengers which We sent before you:46 “Have We set up other deities also besides the most merciful God that they be worshipped?” (40-45)


وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَى بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ فَقَالَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ. فَلَمَّا جَاءهُم بِآيَاتِنَا إِذَا هُم مِّنْهَا يَضْحَكُونَ. وَمَا نُرِيهِم مِّنْ آيَةٍ إِلَّا هِيَ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ أُخْتِهَا وَأَخَذْنَاهُم بِالْعَذَابِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ.

In a similar way, We had sent Moses also with Our signs to the Pharaoh and his chiefs; so he invited them: “I am a messenger of  the Lord of the universe.”47 Then when he came to them with Our signs, they started to make fun of him. And each sign that We showed them would be greater than the other and We also seized them in torment48 so that they pay heed. (46-48)


وَقَالُوا يَا أَيُّهَا السَّاحِرُ ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ إِنَّنَا لَمُهْتَدُونَ. فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابَ إِذَا هُمْ يَنكُثُونَ.

At every instance of torment, they would say: “O Sorcerer! On the basis of the covenant that your Lord has made with you,49 pray for us; now we shall definitely adopt the right path.” Then when We would ward away that torment from them, they would immediately break the promise.50 (49-50)


وَنَادَى فِرْعَوْنُ فِي قَوْمِهِ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَلَيْسَ لِي مُلْكُ مِصْرَ وَهَذِهِ الْأَنْهَارُ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِي أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ. أَمْ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْ هَذَا الَّذِي هُوَ مَهِينٌ وَلَا يَكَادُ يُبِينُ. فَلَوْلَا أُلْقِيَ عَلَيْهِ أَسْوِرَةٌ مِّن ذَهَبٍ أَوْ جَاء مَعَهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ مُقْتَرِنِينَ. فَاسْتَخَفَّ قَوْمَهُ فَأَطَاعُوهُ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَوْمًا فَاسِقِينَ. فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ. فَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ سَلَفًا وَمَثَلًا لِلْآخِرِينَ.

 [When this created anxiety among people,] the Pharaoh had a proclamation made among his nation. He said: “O People of My Nation! Does not the sovereignty of Egypt belong to me? And these streams also that our flowing beneath me? Then, do you not see? Is he better or am I better than that person who is of lowly stature51 and can scarcely articulate his words.52 [If he is a messenger,] then why did this not happen that bracelets of gold would have been sent down for him from above or that angels would have come with him rows after rows?” So, he fooled his nation and they were lured by him. Indeed, they were a disobedient people.53 Thus [because of their disobedience,] when they angered Us; so, We took revenge from them and drowned54 all of them and made them a tale of the past and an exemplary lesson for the later ones. (51-56)


وَلَمَّا ضُرِبَ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ مَثَلًا إِذَا قَوْمُكَ مِنْهُ يَصِدُّونَ. وَقَالُوا أَآلِهَتُنَا خَيْرٌ أَمْ هُوَ مَا ضَرَبُوهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلًا بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ خَصِمُونَ. إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا عَبْدٌ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَجَعَلْنَاهُ مَثَلًا لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ. وَلَوْ نَشَاء لَجَعَلْنَا مِنكُم مَّلَائِكَةً فِي الْأَرْضِ يَخْلُفُونَ.

And when the example of Mary’s son is given [as a reminder of these facts,] the people of your nation shout at it and say: “[His followers also regard him to be a deity; then] are our deities better or he?”55 They say this before you merely to indulge in frivolous arguments; in fact, they are but a quarrelsome people.56 He was only a mortal on which We bestowed Our favour57 and made him an example [of Our power] for the Israelites and [what do you know how limitless Our power is?] Had We wanted, We could have created angels from among you who would have come to the earth in your place.58 (57-60)


وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ فَلَا تَمْتَرُنَّ بِهَا وَاتَّبِعُونِ هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ. وَلَا يَصُدَّنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ.

 [Tell them O Prophet:] “Certainly, he is a great proof of the Day of Judgement;59 so, do not doubt its coming and follow me. This only is the straight path and let not Satan stop you [from this path.] In reality, he is an open enemy of yours.” (61-62)


وَلَمَّا جَاء عِيسَى بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالَ قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَلِأُبَيِّنَ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي تَخْتَلِفُونَ فِيهِ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ. إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ. فَاخْتَلَفَ الْأَحْزَابُ مِن بَيْنِهِمْ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمٍ أَلِيمٍ.

And [remember that] when Jesus had come with veritable signs, he had extended this invitation: “[People!] I have come to you with wisdom60 in order to make you understand the essence of religion and in order to explain to you some things in which you are differing. So, fear God and follow me. Undoubtedly, God alone is my Lord and only He is your Lord as well;61 so worship Him only. This only is the straight path. However, [in spite of this clear guidance,] many groups among his followers created sects. So devastation is for them of the torment of a painful day who have been unjust to their souls [by associating partners with God.] (63-65)


هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَّا السَّاعَةَ أَن تَأْتِيَهُم بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ. الْأَخِلَّاء يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ.

[Leave them now to themselves, O Prophet!] They only await the Day of Judgement that it should come upon them suddenly and they do not even know. [Tell them that they should not trust their deities;] on that day, except those who fear God all friends shall become foes of one another.62 (66-67)


يَا عِبَادِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَا أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ. الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُوا مُسْلِمِينَ. ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ أَنتُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ تُحْبَرُونَ. يُطَافُ عَلَيْهِم بِصِحَافٍ مِّن ذَهَبٍ وَأَكْوَابٍ وَفِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِيهِ الْأَنفُسُ وَتَلَذُّ الْأَعْيُنُ وَأَنتُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ. وَتِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ. لَكُمْ فِيهَا فَاكِهَةٌ كَثِيرَةٌ مِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ.

Servants of Mine! Today, you neither have any fear nor will you be aggrieved63 – these who professed faith in My revelations and remained obedient.64 Enter Paradise all of you and your companions;65 you shall be made happy. Before them dishes of gold and cups of gold shall be circulating and in them there shall be all those things that gratify the heart and please the eye66 and[they shall be given glad tidings:] “You shall remain in it forever.67 This is the Paradise you have been made inheritors as reward of your deeds.68 And for you, there shall abundant fruit in it from which you shall eat.”69 (68-73)


إِنَّ الْمُجْرِمِينَ فِي عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدُونَ. لَا يُفَتَّرُ عَنْهُمْ وَهُمْ فِيهِ مُبْلِسُونَ. وَمَا ظَلَمْنَاهُمْ وَلَكِن كَانُوا هُمُ الظَّالِمِينَ. وَنَادَوْا يَا مَالِكُ لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنَا رَبُّكَ قَالَ إِنَّكُم مَّاكِثُونَ.

These wrongdoers, however, shall remain forever in the torment of Hell. It shall not be eased for them and they shall remain in it having lost all hope.70 We did not oppress them;  in fact, they are ones who continued to oppress themselves. And they will call out [to the keeper of Hell:] “Malik!71 Is it possible that your Lord may finish us off.” He will reply: “[Certainly not!] Now you have to remain in this very state.”72 (74-77)


لَقَدْ جِئْنَاكُم بِالْحَقِّ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَكُمْ لِلْحَقِّ كَارِهُونَ. أَمْ أَبْرَمُوا أَمْرًا فَإِنَّا مُبْرِمُونَ. أَمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّا لَا نَسْمَعُ سِرَّهُمْ وَنَجْوَاهُم بَلَى وَرُسُلُنَا لَدَيْهِمْ يَكْتُبُونَ.

 [People of the Quraysh!] We have brought to you the truth, but most of you are averse to the truth. Have they decided something,73 then We too shall definitely take a decision.74 Do they think that We are not listening to their secrets and whispers [against the Prophet]?75 Why not! And Our messengers are also with them writing. (78-80)


قُلْ إِن كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَنِ وَلَدٌ فَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْعَابِدِينَ. سُبْحَانَ رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ. فَذَرْهُمْ يَخُوضُوا وَيَلْعَبُوا حَتَّى يُلَاقُوا يَوْمَهُمُ الَّذِي يُوعَدُونَ.

Tell them [O Prophet!:] “If the Most Merciful had any children, I would have been the first to worship them.76 Lord of the heavens and the earth, master of the sublime throne, is above all those things they state. So, leave them to indulge in frivolous talk and mocking banter until they face that day of theirs they are being warned of. (81-83)


وَهُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّمَاء إِلَهٌ وَفِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَهٌ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَلِيمُ. وَتَبَارَكَ الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَعِندَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ. وَلَا يَمْلِكُ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ الشَّفَاعَةَ إِلَّا مَن شَهِدَ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ. وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ. وَقِيلِهِ يَارَبِّ إِنَّ هَؤُلَاء قَوْمٌ لَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ. فَاصْفَحْ عَنْهُمْ وَقُلْ سَلَامٌ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ.

He alone is God in the heavens and He only is God on the earth and He alone is Wise and Knowledgeable.77 Very blessed is the being in whose control is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and of everything they contain.78 Only He has knowledge of the Hereafter and to Him shall you be returned. Those whom they call besides Him have no power to intercede. Yes! those who bear witness to the truth and they will also be aware of it79 – if you ask them: “Who has created them?” they will definitely say: “God did.” Then where do they go astray? And through this statement of theirs they will bear witness:80 “Lord! These are the people who did not accept faith.” So, ignore them and say: My salam!81 Then they shall soon know.82 (84-89)


(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)






1. Like the previous ones, the name of this surah is also حٰمٓ. Commonality in name indicates commonality in topics which every student of the Qur’an can observe in these surahs. What is the meaning of this name? I have explained in detail my view about it while discussing verse 2 of Surah al-Baqarah.

2. The actual words are: وَ الۡکِتٰبِ  الۡمُبِیۡنِ. The  signifies an oath. The complement of oath (muqsam ‘alayh) is suppressed and the word مُبِیۡن is pointing towards it. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, what is obvious does not require any proof.

3. These words express both God’s favour and also conclusive communication of the truth from Him. Obviously, after this they cannot present the excuse that the addressees are Arabs and the book sent to them is not in Arabic.

4. Ie., in the guarded tablet which is the source of all knowledge. Hence no one should regard it to be the inspiration of the devils or the soothsaying of soothsayers or mere poetry or oratory and then make fun of it.

5. This is because the author of this Book is also exalted and replete with wisdom and every Book is the reflection of its author’s attributes.

6. The word صَفۡحًا in the verse in my opinion connotes an accusative of cause (maf‘ul lahu), and means “to ignore something.” The implication is that when God has decided to implement His worldly retribution among them, this established practice of God is then bound to manifest itself. It will not be left unfinished merely because its addressees are showing rebelliousness. The law of God is that when He takes such a decision about a nation, then He necessarily makes it reach its fate.

7. This reference is to the ‘Ad, the Thamud and other nations the details of whose punishment have been referred to earlier.

8. From here onwards, the words are from God and they are not part of the reply of the Idolaters. The purpose is to tell the addressees that the reality they are acknowledging also has these further implications, if they reflect.

9. It is these paths because of which a person never gets stranded among towering mountains and desolate deserts.

10. Ie., find the way and reach where needed. Moreover, they should reflect on these immense favours of God and also access the path towards which this Qur’an is calling them.

11. Ie., as much as the earth can bear and what is necessary for life to be sustained on earth. It is evident from this that water comes down according to the planning of a powerful and knowledgeable being and it is He alone who sends it down otherwise the harmony between this planning of His and the creation of life on earth and its sustained existence cannot be achieved.

12. The change in the speaker here is meant for emphasis. The reason is to unfold a great reality of this universe which is mentioned ahead.

13. Only a few things were sufficient to sustain human life on earth; yet all this variety and assortment in things is obviously meant to remind people of their creator’s power, wisdom, mercy and providence.

14. This is a mention of the specific after the general. In those times, these were the two means of transport that were common for sea and land travel. Amazing additions that now have been made in these means should also be subsumed under them.

15. Though the word “backs” is not appropriate for ships, here it is used on the principle of addressing the dominant element (‘ala sabil taghlib) and this usage is common in Arabic.

16. Ie., instead of showing arrogance after sitting on them, they should be thankful to God that He has blessed them these favours without any entitlement.

17. Ie., after sitting on their backs, they should acknowledge the fact that the being of God is free of any defect and does not have any partners and it is His blessing and favour that these things are serving human beings. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

… This confession and acknowledgement is the acknowledgment of a reality. All things of this world which have been put to our service are under God’s authority – without which a person’s own plan or strategy cannot make the smallest of things submit to him. Man can harness a camel and a horse through bridles but can he subdue wild beasts and put them to his service? For example, he cannot dare use the lion as a means of transport. It is only God’s graciousness that He has created so many animals to serve us and has given us the ability to bring them under our control and use them for various purposes. In recent times, man has been able to bring into his control steam, electricity and the atom because God has given him the ability to do so. These conquests have made man very arrogant and he now regards himself to be the owner of every object of this world. The fact is that whenever God wants, He can liberate these things from man’s control and turn them into a means of torment for him instead of mercy. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 213)  

18. This is a very elegant example of transfer of a discourse from one reality to another. The implication is that after sitting on these means of transport while departing for a journey, they should also remember that one day they will also have to depart for a journey that will take them to their Lord. There it will be He alone before Whom they will be held answerable for the favours they were blessed with: they will be asked how they used them and how much they remembered the Being Who bestowed these favours upon them.

19. In order to highlight the contradiction of their thought, from here the insertion statements from God end and the discourse connects back to the subject stated in verse 9.

20. This is said because the idolaters of Arabia regarded the angels to be daughters of God and children are part of their parents. The same mistake was committed by those who regard Jesus (sws) to be God’s son and also by those who regard this universe to be a physical manifestation of God, as per the belief of wahdat al-wujud.

21. Ie., at instances of mubarazat (challenging a soldier for a solo fight before a battle) and mufakharat (expressing superiority over others). Both these things occupied extra-ordinary significance among the Arabs.

22. This comment on women is not from God; it is from those Arabs whose foolish beliefs are under discussion here. The implication is that they suggest such children for God which they regard a shame for themselves and useless in the challenges of life. They should reflect themselves whether anything can be greater foolishness than this.

23. They meant that God could have stopped this if He willed; however, when He did not choose to do so and if their forefathers were worshipping those deities for centuries, then this proves that God approves this. It is replied in response to the claim that these people have no knowledge about the practices and knowledge of God and are indulging in mere conjecture. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... It is not right to gauge the liking of God by seeing how much respite a person or a group has been given to do some evil. If this is an argument, then it can be presented in as justification by every thief, adulterer and ruffian for his theft and hooliganism, and he can say that had this been against the will of God, He would have forcibly stopped them; since He has not stopped them from it, then it only means that whatever they are doing is liked by Him. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 217)  

24. The actual word is اُمَّة. It occurs as an indefinite noun to connote its majesty and grandeur. The translation keeps this aspect in consideration.

25. Such is this argument that by inciting the masses all premises of knowledge and intellect and all consequences of research and reasoning can be rendered ineffective. So the ignorant of every era have tried to stall the efforts of reformers and researchers through this weapon. The Qur’an has pointed out this fact ahead and assured the Prophet (sws).

26. It is evident from this answer how frustrated and angry the addressees had become after seeing the weakness of their arguments and how obdurately they said that it is not a question of right and wrong; they were not willing to listen to anything he said.

27. The actual word بَرَآءٌ is a verbal noun used as an adjective. When a verbal noun is used as an adjective, an element of exaggeration is incorporated in it. Found in this is a warning for the Quraysh: such was the tradition of their forefathers that when Abraham’s father insisted on idolatory, he renounced his relationship with him; then which ignorant ones do the Quraysh regard to be their forefathers and blindly follow them?

28. Ie., he made this declaration of acquittal so strong and deeply rooted through his teaching and instruction among his people that it became a firm tradition which the righteous among them strengthened in the same way generation after generation.

29. Ie., in the beginning when their forefathers set up a centre of tawhid in this land and they were made its custodians.

30. Stated here is the reason for their denial: the affluence God had blessed them eversince long, hardened their hearts to such an extent that they were not prepared to accept any truth against their beliefs and benefits.

31. Ie., the Qur’an.

32. Ie., it is magic of words; there is no need to give it more importance beyond it and just because its eloquence and grandeur have a great impact on the heart and mind, it should not be regarded as divine.

33. In the times of the Prophet (sws), these were the two cities in which Arab chiefs and nobles lived.

34. This is an answer to the arrogance which was apparent from the objection of the addressees. It is stated that when their resources of livelihood have not been distributed according to their desire; in fact, it is God Who as per His discretion and wisdom has given more to some or less to some, why would He be bound by their advice regarding the person He should choose to deliver His message?

35. Why has God created a difference both in the spiritual and material realm in the position and status of human beings? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

It should remain evident here that the Almighty has made this world for trial and test. For this reason, He has created its system in such a manner that every person is dependent on another in some way. The greatest of kings is dependent on others and the humblest of people are needed by others. No one is self-sufficient and can live in absolute independence. Similarly, there is no one who does not have some utility in the society. A little deliberation shows that the Creator of the heavens and earth has not created everyone with the same abilities, equal intelligence, similar tastes and same status viz a viz their means and resources; on the contrary, there exists a great difference between people in these matters. This difference develops the society in such a way that on the one hand there exist in a society brilliant scholars, famous writers, exceptional researchers, renowned thinkers and powerful rulers and on the other hand, we find workers who till the soil and labour in factories, porters who transport goods on their backs, vigilant servants and janitors who clean streets and canals. All these elements are essential, in fact, indispensable for the development of a society. All provide different types of services; none of them is less in importance than the other and none can be ignored either. In fact, in order that the machine of this society function properly, it is essential to look after the smallest of its spare parts in proportion to the benefit it provides. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 226) 

Also found in this verse is a warning for the leaders and reformers who at times become infatuated by the notion that they should eliminate classes among human beings and create a classless society. The Almighty has made it apparent that this is the law prescribed by Him for this world and those who try to change the laws of God found in this universe will never succeed. Destruction is their only fate.

36. Ie., the Qur’an and guidance. If these people recognize their status, they are far greater favours than the wealth and riches they are trying to gather day and night.

37. Ie., had it been the case that a disbeliever would be rewarded greatly like this with the riches and luxuries of life, then the trial of people would have become very severe and very few of them would have continued to adhere to faith after seeing all these pleasures. However, even to the extent they have been given the riches of the world has misled them. They are overcome with the notion that when in this world they have been blessed with so much, how is it possible that God choose someone else as their messenger.

38. The actual word is word زُخۡرُفًا. Grammatically, it is coordinated to the syntactical status of مِّن فَضَّةٍ and hence is in the accusative.

39. The word لَمَّا is actually ل which comes to distinguish the shortened (mukhaffafah) أنْ from the negative (nafiyah) أنْ. ل is transformed into لَمَّا for the purpose of filling the sonic vacuum. Thus in order to keep the rhythm intact the letter ل is transformed into لَمَّا, as per the accepted practice of native Arabs. There are several examples of such additions of letters in the Arabic language.

40. This is the punishment for showing indifference to God’s remembrance, which every self-accountable person can feel. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... It is a trait of the heart of a human being that as long as the remembrance of God inhabits it, Satan cannot find any way into it; but when a person becomes indifferent to God, Satan slowly vanquishes it, and when he does so, it is not easy to escape from his grasp. Satan is able to raise doubts and objections against the best of advice and reminders that come before a person thereby disillusioning him from it. However, Satan is not able to find a way into people who are able to fill their hearts with the remembrance of God, and if ever because of some negligence on their part, Satan is able to find his way into them, he is not able to abide there for long; as soon as a person realizes what has happened, Satan has to run away from there. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 229) 

41. The actual words are: بُعۡدَ الۡمَشۡرِقَیۡنِ. At times, in Arabic the dual connotes the vastness of both sides of a thing. This is the case here.

42. Ie., they and their devils. This is stated because when both are going to share the punishment, what is the use of quarrelling with one another.

43. Ie., in such error that its errancy is evident to them. After this, obviously there is no possibility for anyone to guide them.

44. This refers to the path of tawhid, to which the addressees of this surah are being invited.

45.. I.e., the prophets will be held answerable as to whether they faithfully delivered divine revelations to people or not and people will also be held responsible regarding the attitude they adopted when they were given this great blessing from God. Found in this obviously is an assurance for the prophet and his companions and a stern warning for their opponents.

46. Ie., from their scriptures and from those who know their teachings. This is a very eloquent style and has often been used in previous scriptures.

47. Thus Moses (sws) also warned them as God’s messenger and demanded from them to let the Israelites go with him. This demand was made because it had been decided about the Israelites that then as God’s faction they would set up for the whole world a centre of tawhid in Palestine. However, Moses (sws) did not clarify this intent; he only asked that they be given the opportunity to go to the desert which was located at a distance of three days travel and the purpose of this journey was to worship God.

48. Ie., a torment that would warn them which comes before the decisive torment as its sign. The details of such torments which were encountered by the people of the Pharaoh are mentioned in Surah A‘raf.

49. Ie., the covenant that He will accept their supplications at all cost. It is evident from this that though they did not regard Moses (sws) to be God’s messenger, yet they did regard him someone close to God who had the power to convince God to accept the supplications of people. It may be kept in mind that in those societies sorcerers occupied the same status which any adept professional has in a society.

50. The word لَمَّا in this verse means كُلَّمَا. For this reason, the mention of اِذَا which connotes suddenness (mufajah) is very appropriate here.

51. The Pharaoh said these words because he had enslaved the nation of Moses (sws), and masters regarded their slaves to be lowly and loathsome.

52. Ie., he is not even an eloquent orator that it may be regarded that he has been made a messenger by God on this basis.

53. Thus for this reason, they ended up hollow and insignificant. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

... Satan easily gets hold of such people and Satan leads them to any place he wants. A person becomes weighty by his relationship with God. If this weight is not in the scale of his balance, then his status is no more than of rubbish. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 238) 

54. Ie., He had the Pharaoh as well as all his nobles drowned who had gone with him in pursuit of Moses (sws).

55. They meant that if the example of any deity is to be given, then what is wrong with their own deities, which they decry day and night; this would mean that there is a conspiracy that has been hatched against their deities; the purpose of this conspiracy is to eliminate the reverence they have for their deities and make the deities of other nations their deities.

56. The implication is that making mischief has become a part of their temperament. So, they raise such points only to indulge in frivolous talk to make raw minds think that it is a matter of racial superiority and hence get incited. The fact is that they very well know that the Qur’an does not mention Jesus (sws) as a deity; on the contrary, it states the belief of the Christians about him and with full clarity refutes it.

57. This is a reference to the features which the Qur’an has mentioned at other instances in detail. Examples include his creation without a biological father, bearing witness to his prophethood in his cradle and with God’s directive and with the support of the Holy Spirit working amazing miracles etc.

58. The implication is that the creation of Jesus (sws) without a father and the coming into existence of such a great creation as the angels is just an ordinary consequence of God’s power. If anyone argues because of this that they have a share in divinity, this is mere foolishness. Thus only He is worthy of worship who is also the God of Jesus (sws) and of the angels. None else is God.

59. Jesus (sws) was born without a father and he was given this amazing miracle that with God’s directive he would raise the dead to life and after making a bird from clay he would make it come to life. Then it is he through whom the worldly retribution of the Jews has manifested itself till the Day of Judgement. It is for this reason that the Qur’an has called him to be a great proof.

60. Ie., the tenets of faith and morality from which they have deprived themselves by indulging in juristic hair-splitting. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: 

It should remain evident that Jesus (sws) did not bring a new shari‘ah. He only corroborated the Torah and wanted to make aware the Israelites of the spirit and essence of religion; however, the Israelites did not duly value this and remained enslaved to the exterior form of religion. The result of this attitude was that the real religion was lost to them and only some rituals remained observing which satisfied them – thinking that they had fulfilled all the obligations of religion imposed on them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 7, 245) 

61. Here the Qur’an has corrected the often repeated expression: “My father and your father …” that occurs in the New Testament. These were the words (Ie., my Lord and your Lord ...) which Jesus (sws) had actually stated. However, since in Hebrew  the word أب is used both to refer to father and to God and the word إبن is used both to refer to son and servant, when the Christians invented the belief of divinity of Christ, they used these diverse meanings of both words to their advantage and gave the whole statement of Jesus (sws) a new shape.

62. How will this enmity manifest itself? Earlier in verses 36-39, the Qur’an has stated it in a very befitting manner.

63. This is a very comprehensive picture of Paradise. Ie., it is a place where there will neither be any regrets of the past nor any fears for the future. The life of this world is full of these regrets and fears and in Paradise these will be no more.

64. Here the Qur’an has brought the discourse in accordance with the situation of its times: these are the people who God will address in such a way.

65. The actual word used is: أَزْوَاج. It can signify wives but if the parallel of the friendship and enmity mentioned earlier is kept in consideration, then its meaning will be the one adopted in the translation.

66. Ie., liked by the heart and a treat to the eye.

67. Earlier the address was indirect. Here it becomes direct in order to show special affection. Glad tidings are also given that this is not something temporary. They will abide in Paradise forever and they will never be deprived of its favours.

68. Here an aspect of human nature is kept in consideration: a person receives true happiness when he is is given something as a reward for his deeds and as his right.

69. Ie., in such quantity and will be of so many varieties that they would be able to eat as much as they want from whichever sort they want.

70. Ie., they will remain in Hell in such despair and sorrow that even a far-fetched hope that they may be relieved of this torment will not be there to give them strength.

71. This is the title of the keeper of Hell.

72. Death is the last resort that can provide relief to such agony; yet they will be deprived of it as well.

73. Ie., they have decided not to believe in the messenger; in fact, will even take a big step against him. A sudden change from direct to indirect in this sentence is meant to emphasize the threat. It is as if they are not worthy of address and attention.

74. Ie., God will also decide that He should now go on to conclude His established practice regarding those who disbelieve His messengers. This established practice has been explained at many instances earlier that when a messenger’s nation decides to take the final step against him, its respite ends with it and it is destroyed by the Almighty.

75. God is fully aware of every secret and every whisper of people; however, the context here shows that the allusion is here to the secret conversations of the Quraysh in the dar al-nadwah regarding the killing or expulsion of the Prophet (sws).

76. Here at the end, this is a decisive word on the refutation of the divinity of the angels. Thus the surah ends on the same topic of the affirmation of tawhid with which it began and which is its central theme.

77. The implication is that the heavens and the earth are being governed by the same wise and knowledgeable being; He will neither leave this world without making it reach its culmination nor will He need anyone to increase His knowledge by being dependent on them to punish criminals and reward the righteous.

78. Hence every sensible person should fear Him.

79. The exception in إِلَّا مَن شَهِدَ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ is severed (munqata‘). The translation takes this aspect into account. The testimony referred to in the verse has been mentioned in the Qur’an both with reference to the prophets and the angels.

80. The actual word is: قِیۡلِهٖ.It is co-ordinated to the word بِالْحَقِّ of the verse before the previous one ie. They will only say that truth and that will be what is said ahead.

81. The word سَلٰمٌ connotes “good-bye.” Ie., the matter has ended and no further exchange of views is now possible.

82. Ie., their fate which they are asking to hasten.

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