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 8 (Verses 16:61–16:65): Wrongdoing of Deniers


وَ لَوۡ یُؤَاخِذُ اللّٰہُ النَّاسَ بِظُلۡمِہِمۡ مَّا تَرَکَ عَلَیۡہَا مِنۡ دَآبَّۃٍ وَّ لٰکِنۡ یُّؤَخِّرُہُمۡ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی ۚ فَاِذَا جَآءَ اَجَلُہُمۡ لَا یَسۡتَاۡخِرُوۡنَ سَاعَۃً وَّ لَا یَسۡتَقۡدِمُوۡنَ ﴿۶۱﴾

16:61 And if Allah were to destroy people for their wrongdoing, He would not leave on it a single creature, but He gives them respite till an appointed time. So when their doom comes they cannot postpone it an hour, nor (can they) bring it forward.

وَ یَجۡعَلُوۡنَ لِلّٰہِ مَا یَکۡرَہُوۡنَ وَ تَصِفُ اَلۡسِنَتُہُمُ الۡکَذِبَ اَنَّ لَہُمُ الۡحُسۡنٰی ؕ لَا جَرَمَ اَنَّ لَہُمُ النَّارَ وَ اَنَّہُمۡ مُّفۡرَطُوۡنَ ﴿۶۲﴾

16:62 And they ascribe to Allah what they (themselves) hate,1 and their tongues relate the lie that for them is good. Assuredly for them is the Fire, and they will be abandoned (in it).

تَاللّٰہِ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَاۤ اِلٰۤی اُمَمٍ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِکَ فَزَیَّنَ لَہُمُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ فَہُوَ وَلِیُّہُمُ الۡیَوۡمَ وَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۶۳﴾

16:63 By Allah! We certainly sent (messengers) to nations before you, but the devil made their deeds seem good to them. So he is their patron today, and for them is a painful punishment.

وَ مَاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَا عَلَیۡکَ الۡکِتٰبَ اِلَّا لِتُبَیِّنَ لَہُمُ الَّذِی اخۡتَلَفُوۡا فِیۡہِ ۙ وَ ہُدًی وَّ رَحۡمَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یُّؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۶۴﴾

16:64 And We have not revealed to you the Book except that you may make clear to them what they differ about, and (as) a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe.2

وَ اللّٰہُ اَنۡزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَاَحۡیَا بِہِ الۡاَرۡضَ بَعۡدَ مَوۡتِہَا ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّسۡمَعُوۡنَ ﴿٪۶۵﴾

16:65 And Allah sends down water from above, and with it gives life to the earth after its death.3 Surely there is a sign in this for a people who listen.


  1. The reference is to their ascribing daughters to Allah, while they them­selves did not like to have a daughter, thus showing how obviously inconsis­tent with their inward convictions was their professed belief in the Divine Being.
  2. The previous verse shows that the whole world was in the grip of the devil at the advent of the Prophet. Messengers were sent to all nations before the coming of the Prophet, but as time passed, the followers of the messengers, ins­tead of following their teachings, followed evil ways, which gradually appear­ed to them so beautiful that the good of this world was all in all for them. This verse shows that the teachings of the previous prophets had been distorted to such an extent that a new Prophet was now needed to lead them aright. Truth could not now be discovered without light from heaven. It also establishes that the new Prophet’s message was for the followers of all religions; in other words, for the whole world.
  3. The water from heaven is the Divine revelation, the death of the earth is its corruption, and the giving of life signifies its spiritual awakening, marvel­lous signs of which had already appeared in Arabia.