English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 19: Maryam — Mary (Revealed at Makkah: 6 sections, 98 verses)

Section 4 (Verses 19:51–19:65): Other Prophets are Raised

Translation:

19:51 And mention Moses in the Book. Surely he was one purified, and was a messenger, a prophet.1
19:52 And We called to him from the blessed side of the mountain, and We made him draw near to Us in communion.
19:53 And We gave him out of Our mercy his brother Aaron, a prophet.
19:54 And mention Ishmael in the Book. Surely he was truthful in promise, and he was a messenger, a prophet.2
19:55 And he enjoined on his people prayer and charity, and was one in whom his Lord was well pleased.
19:56 And mention Idrīs in the Book. Surely he was a truthful man, a prophet,
19:57 and We raised him to an elevated state.3
19:58 These are they on whom Allah bestowed favours, from among the prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried with Noah, and of the offspring of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the messages of the Beneficent were recited to them, they fell down in submission, weeping.Prostration
19:59 But after them came an evil generation, who wasted prayers and followed lusts, so they will meet with ruin,
19:60 except those who repent and believe and do good — such will enter the Garden, and they will not be wronged in the least:
19:61 Gardens of perpetuity which the Beneficent has promised to His servants, in the Unseen. Surely His promise ever comes to pass.
19:62 They will hear therein no vain discourse, but only, Peace!4 And they have their sustenance therein, morning and evening.
19:63 This is the Garden which We cause those of Our servants to inherit who keep their duty.
19:64 And we do not descend but by the command of your Lord. To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us and what is between these, and your Lord is never forgetful.5
19:65 Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, so serve Him and be patient in His service. Do you know anyone equal to Him?

Commentary:

  1. Rasūl, or messenger, means one who is sent with a message for the re­generation of people, while nabī, or prophet, is one who has the gift of pro­phecy, i.e., who receives a naba’ or information from on high. The elect who are chosen for the regeneration of man are called prophets as receiving knowledge from Allah, and messengers as delivering to humanity the messages they receive.
  2. When Abraham prayed to the Lord “that Ishmael might live before You”, the reply was: “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you” (Genesis, 17:18, 20), which shows that Ishmael was made a prophet. See also 2:124­–125, footnotes.
  3. Idrīs is the same as Enoch of the Bible. The word raf‘, which is used of Jesus, is also used of Enoch, and some commentators therefore misinterpret it as indicating that Enoch was taken up to heaven alive. But the same mistake is made in both cases, for raf‘ signifies raising to high dignity; see 3:55 footnote 2. The mistake seems to have arisen from what is said of Enoch in the Bible: “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis, 5:24).
  4. This description of the Hereafter shows that the Muslim in this world talks of nothing but peace. Islam is really peace, and it is by making peace here with the Creator and His creatures that one can find peace hereafter. This is the great truth underlying the Islamic idea of paradise. The state of perfect peace spoken of here is called the Garden in v. 63 which the righteous will inherit.
  5. As the angels brought revelation to previous prophets (indicated in the words we do not descend), so they now bring revelation, by the command of the Lord, to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The words, your Lord is never forgetful, signify that the promises and prophecies made by God through His prophets could not be forgotten. Thus, after an account of the previous prophets, the subject moves to the revelation of the Holy Prophet for the remainder of the chapter.

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