English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 20: Ta Ha — Ta Ha (Revealed at Makkah: 8 sections, 135 verses)

Section 7 (Verses 20:116–20:128): The Devil’s Misleading


وَ اِذۡ قُلۡنَا لِلۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اسۡجُدُوۡا لِاٰدَمَ فَسَجَدُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اِبۡلِیۡسَ ؕ اَبٰی ﴿۱۱۶﴾

20:116 And when We said to the angels: Be submissive to Adam, they submitted, but not Iblīs; he refused.

فَقُلۡنَا یٰۤـاٰدَمُ اِنَّ ہٰذَا عَدُوٌّ لَّکَ وَ لِزَوۡجِکَ فَلَا یُخۡرِجَنَّکُمَا مِنَ الۡجَنَّۃِ فَتَشۡقٰی ﴿۱۱۷﴾

20:117 We said: O Adam, this is an enemy to you and to your wife; so do not let him drive you both out of the garden so that you are unhappy.

اِنَّ لَکَ اَلَّا تَجُوۡعَ فِیۡہَا وَ لَا تَعۡرٰی ﴿۱۱۸﴾ۙ

20:118 Surely it is granted to you that you are not hungry therein, nor naked,

وَ اَنَّکَ لَا تَظۡمَؤُا فِیۡہَا وَ لَا تَضۡحٰی ﴿۱۱۹﴾

20:119 and that you are not thirsty therein, nor exposed to the sun’s heat.1

فَوَسۡوَسَ اِلَیۡہِ الشَّیۡطٰنُ قَالَ یٰۤـاٰدَمُ ہَلۡ اَدُلُّکَ عَلٰی شَجَرَۃِ الۡخُلۡدِ وَ مُلۡکٍ لَّا یَبۡلٰی ﴿۱۲۰﴾

20:120 But the devil made an evil suggestion to him; he said: O Adam, shall I lead you to the tree of immortality and a kingdom which does not decay?

فَاَکَلَا مِنۡہَا فَبَدَتۡ لَہُمَا سَوۡاٰتُہُمَا وَ طَفِقَا یَخۡصِفٰنِ عَلَیۡہِمَا مِنۡ وَّرَقِ الۡجَنَّۃِ ۫ وَ عَصٰۤی اٰدَمُ رَبَّہٗ فَغَوٰی ﴿۱۲۱﴾۪ۖ

20:121 So they both ate of it, then their evil inclinations became manifest to them, and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden. And Adam disobeyed his Lord, and was disappointed.2

ثُمَّ اجۡتَبٰہُ رَبُّہٗ فَتَابَ عَلَیۡہِ وَ ہَدٰی ﴿۱۲۲﴾

20:122 Then his Lord chose him, so He turned to him and guided (him).

قَالَ اہۡبِطَا مِنۡہَا جَمِیۡعًۢا بَعۡضُکُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ عَدُوٌّ ۚ فَاِمَّا یَاۡتِیَنَّکُمۡ مِّنِّیۡ ہُدًی ۬ۙ فَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ ہُدَایَ فَلَا یَضِلُّ وَ لَا یَشۡقٰی ﴿۱۲۳﴾

20:123 He said: Go forth from this (state) both — all (of you) — some of you are enemies of others. Surely a guidance from Me will come to you; then whoever follows My guidance, he will not go astray nor be unhappy.

وَ مَنۡ اَعۡرَضَ عَنۡ ذِکۡرِیۡ فَاِنَّ لَہٗ مَعِیۡشَۃً ضَنۡکًا وَّ نَحۡشُرُہٗ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ اَعۡمٰی ﴿۱۲۴﴾

20:124 And whoever turns away from My Reminder, for him is surely a (spiritually) deprived life, and We shall raise him up blind on the day of Resurrection.3

قَالَ رَبِّ لِمَ حَشَرۡتَنِیۡۤ اَعۡمٰی وَ قَدۡ کُنۡتُ بَصِیۡرًا ﴿۱۲۵﴾

20:125 He will say: My Lord, why have You raised me up blind, while I used to see?

قَالَ کَذٰلِکَ اَتَتۡکَ اٰیٰتُنَا فَنَسِیۡتَہَا ۚ وَکَذٰلِکَ الۡیَوۡمَ تُنۡسٰی ﴿۱۲۶﴾

20:126 He will say: Thus did Our messages come to you, but you neglected them. And thus are you forsaken this day.

وَ کَذٰلِکَ نَجۡزِیۡ مَنۡ اَسۡرَفَ وَ لَمۡ یُؤۡمِنۡۢ بِاٰیٰتِ رَبِّہٖ ؕ وَ لَعَذَابُ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ اَشَدُّ وَ اَبۡقٰی ﴿۱۲۷﴾

20:127 And thus do We recompense him who is extravagant and does not believe in the messages of his Lord. And certainly the punishment of the Hereafter is severer and more lasting.

اَفَلَمۡ یَہۡدِ لَہُمۡ کَمۡ اَہۡلَکۡنَا قَبۡلَہُمۡ مِّنَ الۡقُرُوۡنِ یَمۡشُوۡنَ فِیۡ مَسٰکِنِہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیٰتٍ لِّاُولِی النُّہٰی ﴿۱۲۸﴾٪

20:128 Is it not clear to them how many of the generations, in whose dwellings they go about, We destroyed before them? Surely there are signs in this for those who have understanding.


  1. The garden of which a picture is given here is an earthly garden in which all the comforts necessary for man are made available. Allegori­cally it sig­nifies a state of contentment or rest in which there is no yearning either to good or to evil, being as it were a state of inertia, devoid of exertion or ambition.
  2. While in the picture of the garden drawn above in v. 118–119 mention is made of four things, the consequence of getting out of that state is only one: their evil inclinations or their shame becoming manifest to them. An expla­nation of this is found in 7:26, where it is said: “O children of Adam, We have indeed sent down to you clothing to cover your shame and (clothing) for beauty; and clothing that guards against evil — that is the best”. Thus it is the clothing that guards against evil that is really spoken of here, and by the manifestation of the shame is meant the consciousness of having done something evil. The allegorical nature of what is so often related as the story of Adam is thus evident. It will be further seen that the remedy pointed out is of a spiritual nature, as here in v. 123–124 and in 2:38. This shows that the spiritual aspect of man’s life and not the physical one is the real theme of Adam’s story.
  3. The person who shuts his eyes to the Reminder leads a spiritually deprived life because he does not receive spiritual blessings. It is only a contented mind that brings ease and comfort to man, and contentment comes only through faith in God.