English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)
by Maulana Muhammad Ali
Chapter 21: Al-Anbiya — The Prophets (Revealed at Makkah: 7 sections, 112 verses)
Section 7 (Verses 21:94–21:112): The Righteous will Inherit the Land
فَمَنۡ یَّعۡمَلۡ مِنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ ہُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ فَلَا کُفۡرَانَ لِسَعۡیِہٖ ۚ وَ اِنَّا لَہٗ کٰتِبُوۡنَ ﴿۹۴﴾
وَ حَرٰمٌ عَلٰی قَرۡیَۃٍ اَہۡلَکۡنٰہَاۤ اَنَّہُمۡ لَا یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۹۵﴾
21:95 And it is forbidden to a town which We destroy: they shall not return.1
حَتّٰۤی اِذَا فُتِحَتۡ یَاۡجُوۡجُ وَ مَاۡجُوۡجُ وَ ہُمۡ مِّنۡ کُلِّ حَدَبٍ یَّنۡسِلُوۡنَ ﴿۹۶﴾
وَ اقۡتَرَبَ الۡوَعۡدُ الۡحَقُّ فَاِذَا ہِیَ شَاخِصَۃٌ اَبۡصَارُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا ؕ یٰوَیۡلَنَا قَدۡ کُنَّا فِیۡ غَفۡلَۃٍ مِّنۡ ہٰذَا بَلۡ کُنَّا ظٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۹۷﴾
21:97 And the True Promise draws near, then the eyes of those who disbelieve will be fixedly open: O woe to us! Surely we were heedless of this; indeed, we were unjust.4
اِنَّکُمۡ وَ مَا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ حَصَبُ جَہَنَّمَ ؕ اَنۡتُمۡ لَہَا وٰرِدُوۡنَ ﴿۹۸﴾
21:98 Surely you and what you worship besides Allah are fuel of hell; to it you will come.5
لَوۡ کَانَ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ اٰلِہَۃً مَّا وَرَدُوۡہَا ؕ وَ کُلٌّ فِیۡہَا خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۹۹﴾
21:99 If these had been gods, they would not have come to it. And all will abide in it.
لَہُمۡ فِیۡہَا زَفِیۡرٌ وَّ ہُمۡ فِیۡہَا لَا یَسۡمَعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۰﴾
21:100 For them therein is groaning and in it they do not hear.6
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ سَبَقَتۡ لَہُمۡ مِّنَّا الۡحُسۡنٰۤی ۙ اُولٰٓئِکَ عَنۡہَا مُبۡعَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۱﴾ۙ
21:101 Those for whom the good (end) has already gone forth from Us, they will be kept far off from it7 —
لَا یَسۡمَعُوۡنَ حَسِیۡسَہَا ۚ وَ ہُمۡ فِیۡ مَا اشۡتَہَتۡ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۲﴾ۚ
21:102 They will not hear the faintest sound of it and they will abide in that which their souls desire.8
لَا یَحۡزُنُہُمُ الۡفَزَعُ الۡاَکۡبَرُ وَ تَتَلَقّٰہُمُ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ ؕ ہٰذَا یَوۡمُکُمُ الَّذِیۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۳﴾
21:103 The great Terror will not grieve them, and the angels will meet them: This is your day which you were promised.
یَوۡمَ نَطۡوِی السَّمَآءَ کَطَیِّ السِّجِلِّ لِلۡکُتُبِ ؕ کَمَا بَدَاۡنَاۤ اَوَّلَ خَلۡقٍ نُّعِیۡدُہٗ ؕ وَعۡدًا عَلَیۡنَا ؕ اِنَّا کُنَّا فٰعِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۴﴾
21:104 The day when We roll up heaven like the rolling up of the scroll of writings. As We began the first creation, We shall reproduce it. A promise (binding) on Us. We shall bring it about.9
وَ لَقَدۡ کَتَبۡنَا فِی الزَّبُوۡرِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ الذِّکۡرِ اَنَّ الۡاَرۡضَ یَرِثُہَا عِبَادِیَ الصّٰلِحُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۵﴾
21:105 And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that My righteous servants will inherit the land.10
اِنَّ فِیۡ ہٰذَا لَبَلٰغًا لِّقَوۡمٍ عٰبِدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۶﴾ؕ
21:106 Surely in this is a message for a people who serve (Us).
وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ اِلَّا رَحۡمَۃً لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۷﴾
21:107 And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the nations.11
قُلۡ اِنَّمَا یُوۡحٰۤی اِلَیَّ اَنَّمَاۤ اِلٰـہُکُمۡ اِلٰہٌ وَّاحِدٌ ۚ فَہَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۸﴾
21:108 Say: It is only revealed to me that your God is one God: will you then submit?
فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَقُلۡ اٰذَنۡتُکُمۡ عَلٰی سَوَآءٍ ؕ وَ اِنۡ اَدۡرِیۡۤ اَقَرِیۡبٌ اَمۡ بَعِیۡدٌ مَّا تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۹﴾
21:109 But if they turn back, say: I have warned you in fairness, and I do not know whether what you are promised is near or far.
اِنَّہٗ یَعۡلَمُ الۡجَہۡرَ مِنَ الۡقَوۡلِ وَ یَعۡلَمُ مَا تَکۡتُمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۰﴾
21:110 Surely He knows what is spoken openly and He knows what you hide.
وَ اِنۡ اَدۡرِیۡ لَعَلَّہٗ فِتۡنَۃٌ لَّکُمۡ وَ مَتَاعٌ اِلٰی حِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۱۱﴾
21:111 And I do not know if this may be a trial for you and a provision till a time.
قٰلَ رَبِّ احۡکُمۡ بِالۡحَقِّ ؕ وَ رَبُّنَا الرَّحۡمٰنُ الۡمُسۡتَعَانُ عَلٰی مَا تَصِفُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱۲﴾٪
21:112 He said: My Lord, judge with truth. And our Lord is the Beneficent, Whose help is sought against what you ascribe (to Him).
- The verse reveals the great truth that those who are made to taste of death are not sent back into this world. ↩
- The previous verse contains a prohibition against the return to life of those who are dead, or the rise of nations that are once destroyed. This one points out that even Gog and Magog, despite their predominance in the whole world, will follow the same law. The word ḥattā can mean even as well as until. ↩
- For Gog and Magog, see 18:94 and footnote. The words they sally forth from every elevated place mean that they will take possession of every point of vantage and convenience, so as to dominate the whole world. See further 18:98 and footnote. ↩
- The True Promise that draws near with the domination of Gog and Magog is the promise of the ultimate triumph of Truth: “He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth that He may make it prevail over all religions” (9:33). This is also referred to in 18:99, after speaking of the great conflict of Gog and Magog, in the words then We shall gather them all together. Thus the time when Gog and Magog overcome the whole world is also the time when Truth will gain ground and prevail over the whole earth. Materialism would first spread over the whole world, but would prove a failure. Then would spiritual Truth shine and people would feel that they had not only been heedless to it, but even unjust in trying to suppress it. ↩
- Compare 18:100: “And We shall bring forth hell, exposed to view, on that day before the disbelievers”. ↩
- Those who turn a deaf ear to the Truth here shall be raised deaf in the life after death, and therefore they do not hear. ↩
- This verse totally refutes the false idea that even the righteous will first go to hell. They will not even hear its faintest sound, as the next verse states. ↩
- It is the bliss of communion with God which the souls of the righteous long for, so it is that bliss in which they shall live in the Hereafter. ↩
- The rolling up of the heaven like a written scroll means that the old order will be swept away altogether, just as when a writing is finished, it is rolled up. This no doubt happened in Arabia at the appearance of the Holy Prophet. But then follows the statement: As We began the first creation, We shall reproduce it. The sweeping away of the old order no doubt meant that a new order would be created. This is the first creation referred to here — the bringing about of a new order at the Prophet’s appearance. And then we are told that the new order will be reproduced again. This reproduction is in reference to what has been earlier stated — that Gog and Magog will dominate the whole world. The spiritual resuscitation to which Islam gave rise would thus receive a set-back by the predominance of a material outlook of the world through the prevalence of Gog and Magog, but this set-back, we are here told, would be only temporary, and a spiritual awakening like the first spiritual awakening would then be brought about in the whole world. This statement is followed by the words: A Promise binding on Us. The promise of the ultimate triumph of Truth in the whole world is of frequent occurrence in the Quran in earlier as well as in later revelation, and the temporary set-back indicated here is also frequently mentioned, and on one occasion at least it is made fully clear that it will be a set-back extending over a thousand years (32:5). ↩
- The Quran had repeatedly warned the disbelievers that Islam would be made triumphant in the land, and the righteous servants who were made to suffer persecution would one day be masters of the land. But as already noted, it is of the whole world that the Quran is speaking and we are here told that Truth will ultimately triumph in the whole world, which would thus be inherited by the righteous. This is made clear in v. 107. ↩
- While the words no doubt contain a reference to the merciful dealing with the Prophet’s opponents, the real significance is that the Prophet’s advent will prove a mercy not only to the Arabs by making them a foremost nation in the world, but to the whole of humanity. The Prophet’s being a mercy to the nations of the world, is to show that ultimately all nations will be received into the Divine mercy which was manifested through him. Already the teachings of the Quran have not only benefited its followers, but even those who still reject its message, for, despite their rejection of it, they have accepted many of its principles. ↩