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 3 (Verses 15:26–15:44): The Devil’s Opposition to the Righteous


وَ لَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنۡ صَلۡصَالٍ مِّنۡ حَمَاٍ مَّسۡنُوۡنٍ ﴿ۚ۲۶﴾

15:26 And surely We created man of sounding clay, of black mud fashioned into shape.

وَ الۡجَآنَّ خَلَقۡنٰہُ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ مِنۡ نَّارِ السَّمُوۡمِ ﴿۲۷﴾

15:27 And the jinn, We created before of intensely hot fire.1

وَ اِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّکَ لِلۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اِنِّیۡ خَالِقٌۢ بَشَرًا مِّنۡ صَلۡصَالٍ مِّنۡ حَمَاٍ مَّسۡنُوۡنٍ ﴿۲۸﴾

15:28 And when your Lord said to the angels: I am going to create a mortal of sounding clay, of black mud fashioned into shape.

فَاِذَا سَوَّیۡتُہٗ وَ نَفَخۡتُ فِیۡہِ مِنۡ رُّوۡحِیۡ فَقَعُوۡا لَہٗ سٰجِدِیۡنَ ﴿۲۹﴾

15:29 So when I have made him complete and breathed into him of My spirit,2 fall down making submission to him.

فَسَجَدَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ کُلُّہُمۡ اَجۡمَعُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۰﴾

15:30 So the angels submitted, all of them together —

اِلَّاۤ اِبۡلِیۡسَ ؕ اَبٰۤی اَنۡ یَّکُوۡنَ مَعَ السّٰجِدِیۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾

15:31 but not Iblīs. He refused to be with those who submitted.

قَالَ یٰۤـاِبۡلِیۡسُ مَا لَکَ اَلَّا تَکُوۡنَ مَعَ السّٰجِدِیۡنَ ﴿۳۲﴾

15:32 He said: O Iblīs, what is the reason that you are not with those who submit?

قَالَ لَمۡ اَکُنۡ لِّاَسۡجُدَ لِبَشَرٍ خَلَقۡتَہٗ مِنۡ صَلۡصَالٍ مِّنۡ حَمَاٍ مَّسۡنُوۡنٍ ﴿۳۳﴾

15:33 He said: I am not going to submit to a mortal, whom You have created of sounding clay, of black mud fashioned into shape.

قَالَ فَاخۡرُجۡ مِنۡہَا فَاِنَّکَ رَجِیۡمٌ ﴿ۙ۳۴﴾

15:34 He said: Then go forth, for surely you are driven away,

وَّ اِنَّ عَلَیۡکَ اللَّعۡنَۃَ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الدِّیۡنِ ﴿۳۵﴾

15:35 and surely on you is a curse till the day of Judgment.

قَالَ رَبِّ فَاَنۡظِرۡنِیۡۤ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ یُبۡعَثُوۡنَ ﴿۳۶﴾

15:36 He said: My Lord, grant me respite till the day when they are raised.3

قَالَ فَاِنَّکَ مِنَ الۡمُنۡظَرِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۷﴾

15:37 He said: Surely you are granted respite,

اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الۡوَقۡتِ الۡمَعۡلُوۡمِ ﴿۳۸﴾

15:38 till the day of the time made known.

قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَاۤ اَغۡوَیۡتَنِیۡ لَاُزَیِّنَنَّ لَہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لَاُغۡوِیَنَّہُمۡ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۹﴾

15:39 He said: My Lord, as You have judged me to be in error,4 I shall certainly make (evil) seem good to them on earth, and I shall cause them all to deviate,

اِلَّا عِبَادَکَ مِنۡہُمُ الۡمُخۡلَصِیۡنَ ﴿۴۰﴾

15:40 except Your servants from among them, the purified ones.

قَالَ ہٰذَا صِرَاطٌ عَلَیَّ مُسۡتَقِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۱﴾

15:41 He said: This is a right way with Me.

اِنَّ عِبَادِیۡ لَیۡسَ لَکَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ سُلۡطٰنٌ اِلَّا مَنِ اتَّبَعَکَ مِنَ الۡغٰوِیۡنَ ﴿۴۲﴾

15:42 As regards My servants, you have no authority over them except such of the deviators as follow you.5

وَ اِنَّ جَہَنَّمَ لَمَوۡعِدُہُمۡ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿۟ۙ۴۳﴾

15:43 And surely hell is the promised place for them all —

لَہَا سَبۡعَۃُ اَبۡوَابٍ ؕ لِکُلِّ بَابٍ مِّنۡہُمۡ جُزۡءٌ مَّقۡسُوۡمٌ ﴿٪۴۴﴾

15:44 it has seven gates. For each gate is an appointed portion of them.6


  1. See also 7:12 footnote. Man’s creation from dust also refers to his low and humble origin and his temperate nature, as opposed to another kind of crea­tion of a fiery nature, which is called the jinn or the devil. The two words, jinn and devil, are frequently applied to men of a fiery temperament or rebellious nature who lead others to evil. These descriptions of the creation of men and jinn are allegorical, referring respectively to the nature of those who are submissive to Divine laws and those who rebel against them, and the allegory is carried on further in what is stated of the rebellion of the devil against Adam. The two des­criptions of the origin of man, his being made from clay that gives sound and of mud that is fashioned into shape, refer to the two great characteristics which give man a superiority over other animals, namely, his use of language and the perfec­tion of his make.
  2. This shows that man is made complete when the Divine spirit is breath­ed into him. The Divine spirit (Arabic: rūḥ) does not mean here the animal soul in man, but the spirit of Allah that gives him perfection.
  3. When a man is raised to life spiritually, the suggestions and the promptings of the devil cease to affect him. But until he finds spiritual life, evil suggestions mislead him now and then. This is the “time made known” in v. 38.
  4. The meaning is clearly “as You have judged me to be in error” and not caused me to be in error.
  5. In a broad sense all people are servants of Allah. That the devil has no authority over them is clear from 14:22, where the devil says to his followers: “I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you obeyed me.”
  6. The seven gates mean the seven ways which lead into it, according to which there are seven different names of hell in the Quran. However, the numeral seven in Arabic often stands for a large number, so that the meaning may be that there are many gates or many ways leading to it.