English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 12: Yusuf — Joseph (Revealed at Makkah: 12 sections, 111 verses)

Section 12 (Verses 12:105–12:111): A Lesson for the Prophet’s Opponents


وَ کَاَیِّنۡ مِّنۡ اٰیَۃٍ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ یَمُرُّوۡنَ عَلَیۡہَا وَ ہُمۡ عَنۡہَا مُعۡرِضُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۵﴾

12:105 And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth do they pass by, yet they turn away from it!

وَ مَا یُؤۡمِنُ اَکۡثَرُہُمۡ بِاللّٰہِ اِلَّا وَ ہُمۡ مُّشۡرِکُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۶﴾

12:106 And most of them do not believe in Allah without setting up partners (with Him).

اَفَاَمِنُوۡۤا اَنۡ تَاۡتِیَہُمۡ غَاشِیَۃٌ مِّنۡ عَذَابِ اللّٰہِ اَوۡ تَاۡتِیَہُمُ السَّاعَۃُ بَغۡتَۃً وَّ ہُمۡ لَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۷﴾

12:107 Do they then feel secure from the coming to them of an all-encompassing punishment from Allah or from the coming to them of the hour suddenly, while they do not perceive?

قُلۡ ہٰذِہٖ سَبِیۡلِیۡۤ اَدۡعُوۡۤا اِلَی اللّٰہِ ۟ؔ عَلٰی بَصِیۡرَۃٍ اَنَا وَ مَنِ اتَّبَعَنِیۡ ؕ وَ سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰہِ وَ مَاۤ اَنَا مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۸﴾

12:108 Say: This is my way; I call to Allah, with certain knowledge — I and those who follow me. And glory be to Allah! and I am not of those who set up partners (with Allah).

وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلِکَ اِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوۡحِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِمۡ مِّنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡقُرٰی ؕ اَفَلَمۡ یَسِیۡرُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَیَنۡظُرُوۡا کَیۡفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَۃُ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ ؕ وَ لَدَارُ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ خَیۡرٌ لِّلَّذِیۡنَ اتَّقَوۡا ؕ اَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۹﴾

12:109 And We did not send before you any but men, from the people of the towns, to whom We sent revelation. Have they not then travelled in the land and seen what was the end of those before them? And certainly the abode of the Hereafter is best for those who keep their duty. Do you not then understand?

حَتّٰۤی اِذَا اسۡتَیۡـَٔسَ الرُّسُلُ وَ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنَّہُمۡ قَدۡ کُذِبُوۡا جَآءَہُمۡ نَصۡرُنَا ۙ فَنُجِّیَ مَنۡ نَّشَآءُ ؕ وَلَا یُرَدُّ بَاۡسُنَا عَنِ الۡقَوۡمِ الۡمُجۡرِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۰﴾

12:110 Until, when the messengers despaired and (the people) thought that they were told a lie,1 Our help came to them, and whom We pleased was delivered. And Our punishment is not averted from the guilty people.

لَقَدۡ کَانَ فِیۡ قَصَصِہِمۡ عِبۡرَۃٌ لِّاُولِی الۡاَلۡبَابِ ؕ مَا کَانَ حَدِیۡثًا یُّفۡتَرٰی وَ لٰکِنۡ تَصۡدِیۡقَ الَّذِیۡ بَیۡنَ یَدَیۡہِ وَ تَفۡصِیۡلَ کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ وَّ ہُدًی وَّ رَحۡمَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یُّؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۱﴾٪

12:111 In their histories there is certainly a lesson for those who have understanding. It is not a narrative which could be forged, but a verification of what is before it, and a distinct explanation of all things, and a guide and a mercy to a people who believe.


  1. “They” refers to the people, not messengers. The messengers warn their people, but the latter are so stubborn that the messengers at length despair of their people. The people, on the other hand, think that what the prophets had told them about the coming of the punishment was a lie. Then it is that the promised help for the prophets comes and the punishment with which the evildoers are threatened overtakes them. That the prophets never despair of Divine assistance coming to them, in accordance with Divine promise, is clear from what has already been said in v. 87 (see also 15:56 and 29:23).