English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 16: Al-Nahl — The Bee (Revealed at Makkah: 16 sections, 128 verses)

Section 15 (Verses 16:111–16:119): Fate of the Opponents


یَوۡمَ تَاۡتِیۡ کُلُّ نَفۡسٍ تُجَادِلُ عَنۡ نَّفۡسِہَا وَ تُوَفّٰی کُلُّ نَفۡسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتۡ وَ ہُمۡ لَا یُظۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۱﴾

16:111 On the day when every soul will come pleading for itself, and every soul will be paid in full what it has done, and they will not be dealt with unjustly.

وَ ضَرَبَ اللّٰہُ مَثَلًا قَرۡیَۃً کَانَتۡ اٰمِنَۃً مُّطۡمَئِنَّۃً یَّاۡتِیۡہَا رِزۡقُہَا رَغَدًا مِّنۡ کُلِّ مَکَانٍ فَکَفَرَتۡ بِاَنۡعُمِ اللّٰہِ فَاَذَاقَہَا اللّٰہُ لِبَاسَ الۡجُوۡعِ وَ الۡخَوۡفِ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَصۡنَعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۲﴾

16:112 And Allah sets forth a parable: A town safe and secure, to which its means of subsistence came in abundance from every quarter; but it disbelieved in Allah’s favours, so Allah made it taste a pall of hunger and fear because of what they did.1

وَ لَقَدۡ جَآءَہُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ مِّنۡہُمۡ فَکَذَّبُوۡہُ فَاَخَذَہُمُ الۡعَذَابُ وَ ہُمۡ ظٰلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۳﴾

16:113 And certainly a Messenger came to them from among them, but they rejected him, so the punishment caught them while they were wrongdoers.

فَکُلُوۡا مِمَّا رَزَقَکُمُ اللّٰہُ حَلٰلًا طَیِّبًا ۪ وَّ اشۡکُرُوۡا نِعۡمَتَ اللّٰہِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ اِیَّاہُ تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۴﴾

16:114 So eat of what Allah has given you, lawful and good (things), and give thanks for Allah’s favour, if He it is you serve.

اِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَیۡکُمُ الۡمَیۡتَۃَ وَ الدَّمَ وَ لَحۡمَ الۡخِنۡزِیۡرِ وَ مَاۤ اُہِلَّ لِغَیۡرِ اللّٰہِ بِہٖ ۚ فَمَنِ اضۡطُرَّ غَیۡرَ بَاغٍ وَّ لَا عَادٍ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۵﴾

16:115 He has forbidden you only what dies of itself and blood and the flesh of swine and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to (it), not desiring nor exceeding the limit, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.2

وَ لَا تَقُوۡلُوۡا لِمَا تَصِفُ اَلۡسِنَتُکُمُ الۡکَذِبَ ہٰذَا حَلٰلٌ وَّ ہٰذَا حَرَامٌ لِّتَفۡتَرُوۡا عَلَی اللّٰہِ الۡکَذِبَ ؕ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ الۡکَذِبَ لَا یُفۡلِحُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۶﴾ؕ

16:116 And do not utter the lie which your tongues describe: This is lawful and this unlawful; so that you forge a lie against Allah. Surely those who forge a lie against Allah will not prosper.

مَتَاعٌ قَلِیۡلٌ ۪ وَّ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۷﴾

16:117 A little enjoyment — and for them is a painful punishment.

وَ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ ہَادُوۡا حَرَّمۡنَا مَا قَصَصۡنَا عَلَیۡکَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ۚ وَ مَا ظَلَمۡنٰہُمۡ وَ لٰکِنۡ کَانُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ یَظۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۸﴾

16:118 And to those who are Jews We prohibited what We have related to you already, and We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves.

ثُمَّ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ لِلَّذِیۡنَ عَمِلُوا السُّوۡٓءَ بِجَہَالَۃٍ ثُمَّ تَابُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ ذٰلِکَ وَ اَصۡلَحُوۡۤا ۙ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہَا لَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۹﴾٪

16:119 And surely your Lord, for those who do evil in ignorance, then turn after that and make amends, surely your Lord after that is Forgiving, Merciful.


  1. The parable is set forth to depict the state of Makkah as it was before the time of the Holy Prophet and, prophetically, its fate after he was rejected, after it disbelieved in Allah’s favours. Its first condition was one of great prosperity and affluence, as referred to in 106:3–4. When the Prophet and his followers were persecuted and tortured, a famine overtook them, which destroyed everything, till they ate skins and dead animals. This was the pall of hunger, spoken of here. But, even then, they did not stop persecution and tried to exterminate Islam by the sword. The result was that all their attacks on Madinah failed, and ultimately Makkah itself lay powerless when attacked by the Prophet. This was the pall of fear, being so called because no blood was shed.
  2. See 2:173, 6:145 and 5:3, and the footnotes there.