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 7 (Verses 16:51–16:60): Human Nature Revolts against Polytheism


وَ قَالَ اللّٰہُ لَا تَتَّخِذُوۡۤا اِلٰـہَیۡنِ اثۡنَیۡنِ ۚ اِنَّمَا ہُوَ اِلٰہٌ وَّاحِدٌ ۚ فَاِیَّایَ فَارۡہَبُوۡنِ ﴿۵۱﴾

16:51 And Allah has said: Do not take two gods. He is only one God: So Me alone should you fear.

وَ لَہٗ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لَہُ الدِّیۡنُ وَاصِبًا ؕ اَفَغَیۡرَ اللّٰہِ تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۵۲﴾

16:52 And whatever is in the heavens and the earth is His, and to Him is obedience due always. Will you then fear other than Allah?

وَ مَا بِکُمۡ مِّنۡ نِّعۡمَۃٍ فَمِنَ اللّٰہِ ثُمَّ اِذَا مَسَّکُمُ الضُّرُّ فَاِلَیۡہِ تَجۡـَٔرُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۵۳﴾

16:53 And whatever good you have, it is from Allah; then, when evil afflicts you, to Him do you cry for aid.

ثُمَّ اِذَا کَشَفَ الضُّرَّ عَنۡکُمۡ اِذَا فَرِیۡقٌ مِّنۡکُمۡ بِرَبِّہِمۡ یُشۡرِکُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۵۴﴾

16:54 Then when He removes the evil from you, lo! some of you set up partners with their Lord,

لِیَکۡفُرُوۡا بِمَاۤ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمۡ ؕ فَتَمَتَّعُوۡا ۟ فَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۵۵﴾

16:55 so as to deny what We have given them. Then enjoy yourselves, for soon will you know.

وَ یَجۡعَلُوۡنَ لِمَا لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ نَصِیۡبًا مِّمَّا رَزَقۡنٰہُمۡ ؕ تَاللّٰہِ لَتُسۡـَٔلُنَّ عَمَّا کُنۡتُمۡ تَفۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۵۶﴾

16:56 And they set apart for what they do not know,1 a portion of what We have given them. By Allah! you shall certainly be questioned about what you forged.

وَ یَجۡعَلُوۡنَ لِلّٰہِ الۡبَنٰتِ سُبۡحٰنَہٗ ۙ وَ لَہُمۡ مَّا یَشۡتَہُوۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾

16:57 And they ascribe daughters to Allah. Glory be to Him! And for themselves is what they desire!

وَ اِذَا بُشِّرَ اَحَدُہُمۡ بِالۡاُنۡثٰی ظَلَّ وَجۡہُہٗ مُسۡوَدًّا وَّ ہُوَ کَظِیۡمٌ ﴿ۚ۵۸﴾

16:58 And when the birth of a daughter is announced to one of them, his face becomes dark and he is full of wrath.

یَتَوَارٰی مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ مِنۡ سُوۡٓءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِہٖ ؕ اَیُمۡسِکُہٗ عَلٰی ہُوۡنٍ اَمۡ یَدُسُّہٗ فِی التُّرَابِ ؕ اَلَا سَآءَ مَا یَحۡکُمُوۡنَ ﴿۵۹﴾

16:59 He hides himself from the people because of the evil of what is announced to him. Shall he keep it with dis-grace or bury it (alive) in the dust? Now surely evil is what they judge!2

لِلَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ مَثَلُ السَّوۡءِ ۚ وَ لِلّٰہِ الۡمَثَلُ الۡاَعۡلٰی ؕ وَ ہُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿٪۶۰﴾

16:60 For those who do not believe in the Hereafter are evil attributes and Allah’s are the sublime attributes. And He is the Mighty, the Wise.


  1. That is, for the idols or their gods, whom they ignorantly take for intercessors.
  2. The allusion is to the barbarous custom of burying daughters alive, which was prevalent among the Arabs, especially among their chiefs. Its abolition was one of the numerous blessings of Islam. With no physical or administrative power behind it to ensure its enforcement, the word of Allah swept away this deep-rooted custom as if by a magician’s wand, so that not a single case of the burial of a living girl ever occurred after the mandate came. Attention is drawn to the inconsistency of their avowed beliefs with their inward convictions in v. 62.