English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 15: Al-Hijr — The Rock (Revealed at Madinah: 6 sections, 99 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 15:1–15:15): The Quran is Guarded

Translation:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

15:1 I, Allah, am the Seer. These are the verses of the Book and (of) a Quran that makes clear.
Part 1415:2 Often will those who disbelieve wish that they were Muslims.1
15:3 Leave them to eat and enjoy themselves, and let (false) hope beguile them, for they will soon know.
15:4 And never did We destroy a town but it had a decree made known.
15:5 No people can hasten on their doom, nor postpone it.
15:6 And they say: You, to whom the Reminder is revealed, you are indeed mad.
15:7 Why do you not bring the angels to us, if you are truthful?2
15:8 We do not send angels but with truth, and then they would not be given respite.
15:9 Surely We have revealed the Reminder, and surely We are its Guardian.3
15:10 And certainly We sent (messengers) before you among the sects of old.
15:11 And never did a messenger come to them but they mocked him.
15:12 Thus do We make it enter the hearts of the guilty4
15:13 they do not believe in it; and the example of the ancients has gone before.
15:14 And even if We open to them a gate of heaven, and they keep on ascending into it,
15:15 they would say: Only our eyes have been covered over, rather we are a people under enchantment.5

Commentary:

  1. The passage does not refer only to life after death. The opponents, who thought Islam would soon be annihilated, must no doubt have felt after in life, when the truth of Islam became manifest, that it would have been much better for them if they had accepted Islam at the first call of the Prophet.
  2. The words if you are truthful clearly show that the coming of angels is demanded in relation to the fulfilment of prophecies. In the next verse they are told that the angels will be sent, in accordance with the requirements of truth and justice, when they are required to execute the judgment of the doom of the opponents.
  3. This is one of the most wonderful prophecies, whose fulfilment is, and will ever remain, a standing testimony to the truth of the Holy Quran, that the Quran will for all time be preserved safe against all attempts to destroy it and from every kind of corruption. The fulfilment of this prophecy is so evident a fact that a hostile writer like Sir William Muir admitted that “there is probably in the world no other work which has remained twelve centuries with so pure a text” (The Life of Mahomet, 1861, ch. 1). In the whole length and breadth of the Islamic world there does not exist a single copy with any variation from the recognized text, and thus not only was the Quran preserved from destruction against a power­ful enemy, but it has also been pre­served from corruption.
  4. Thus refers to the mockery mentioned in the previous verse. Due to their mockery, it enters their hearts not to believe in the Divine message.
  5. Verses 14–15 speak of the hardness of their hearts. They were deter­mined to reject the truth and did not pay any attention to the clearest evidence.

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