English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 13: Al-Rad — The Thunder (Revealed at Makkah: 6 sections, 43 verses)

Section 4 (Verses 13:27–13:31): Revolution to be Brought About by the Quran


وَ یَقُوۡلُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لَوۡ لَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَیۡہِ اٰیَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّہٖ ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُضِلُّ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ وَ یَہۡدِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِ مَنۡ اَنَابَ ﴿ۖۚ۲۷﴾

13:27 And those who disbelieve say: Why is not a sign sent down to him by his Lord?1 Say: Allah leaves in error whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him)2

اَلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ تَطۡمَئِنُّ قُلُوۡبُہُمۡ بِذِکۡرِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اَلَا بِذِکۡرِ اللّٰہِ تَطۡمَئِنُّ الۡقُلُوۡبُ ﴿ؕ۲۸﴾

13:28 those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Now surely in Allah’s remembrance do hearts find rest.

اَلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ طُوۡبٰی لَہُمۡ وَ حُسۡنُ مَاٰبٍ ﴿۲۹﴾

13:29 Those who believe and do good, a good final state is theirs and a goodly return.

کَذٰلِکَ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ فِیۡۤ اُمَّۃٍ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہَاۤ اُمَمٌ لِّتَتۡلُوَا۠ عَلَیۡہِمُ الَّذِیۡۤ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ وَ ہُمۡ یَکۡفُرُوۡنَ بِالرَّحۡمٰنِ ؕ قُلۡ ہُوَ رَبِّیۡ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ۚ عَلَیۡہِ تَوَکَّلۡتُ وَ اِلَیۡہِ مَتَابِ ﴿۳۰﴾

13:30 Thus We have sent you among a nation before which other nations have passed away, that you might recite to them what We have revealed to you, and (still) they deny the Beneficent. Say: He is my Lord, there is no god but He; in Him do I trust and to Him is my return.

وَ لَوۡ اَنَّ قُرۡاٰنًا سُیِّرَتۡ بِہِ الۡجِبَالُ اَوۡ قُطِّعَتۡ بِہِ الۡاَرۡضُ اَوۡ کُلِّمَ بِہِ الۡمَوۡتٰی ؕ بَلۡ لِّلّٰہِ الۡاَمۡرُ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ اَفَلَمۡ یَایۡـَٔسِ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡ لَّوۡ یَشَآءُ اللّٰہُ لَہَدَی النَّاسَ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ وَ لَا یَزَالُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا تُصِیۡبُہُمۡ بِمَا صَنَعُوۡا قَارِعَۃٌ اَوۡ تَحُلُّ قَرِیۡبًا مِّنۡ دَارِہِمۡ حَتّٰی یَاۡتِیَ وَعۡدُ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُخۡلِفُ الۡمِیۡعَادَ ﴿٪۳۱﴾

13:31 And if there could be a Quran with which the mountains were made to pass away, or the earth were split apart, or the dead were made to speak — indeed, the commandment is wholly Allah’s.3 Do not those who believe know that, if Allah please, He would certainly guide all the people? And as for those who disbelieve, disaster will not cease to afflict them because of what they do, or it will reach close to their homes, until the promise of Allah come to pass. Surely Allah will not fail in (His) promise.


  1. The answer to this question is given at the end of this section: “disas­ter will not cease to afflict them because of what they do, or it will reach close to their homes, until the promise of Allah come to pass” (v. 31). This promise related to the utter annihilation of the power of the disbelievers. The question, why is not a sign sent down to him, here as elsewhere in the Quran, is a demand for the promised annihilation of their power and their defeat, and the answer is always conveyed in somewhat similar terms, stating first that they should ask for mercy; that the Quran has healing power, the condition of the faithful being a witness to it; that the fate of the former generations affords a lesson; that smaller calamities continue to afflict them, and in these they can see the signs of their ultimate vanquishment; and that finally, if all those tokens are rejected, the great calamity will not fail to overtake them.
  2. The contrast with those who turn to God makes it clear that Allah’s pleasure to leave some in error is exercised only in the case of those who, though invited to God, do not turn to Him but choose to remain in error. The first part may also be translated thus: Allah leaves in error who will (remain in error).
  3. That the Quran should work such great wonders is not an impossi­bility but a fact, for we are immediately told that it will be brought about soon by Allah’s commandment. At the time when these verses were revealed, difficulties in the spread of Islam appeared like mountains. It is a matter of history that they were made to pass away. The earth splitting apart means that the Quran would go deep down into the hearts of people, which are compared here to the earth. These words may also mean that the earth will be travelled over. There were no facilities at that time for going to distant corners of Arabia, to say nothing of the whole world. Yet not only was the whole of Arabia travelled over by the message-bearers of Islam within ten years after this, but within a hundred years of the Prophet’s death Islam had traversed the whole of the known world, from the farthest East in China to the farthest West in Spain. It is again a matter of history that the dead were made to speak. People who were dead spiritually now spoke with such power that the whole earth from end to end responded to their call.