English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 22: Al-Hajj — The Pilgrimage (Revealed at Makkah: 10 sections, 78 verses)

Section 10 (Verses 22:73–22:78): Polytheism will be Uprooted

Translation:

22:73 O people, a parable is set forth, so listen to it. Surely those whom you call upon besides Allah cannot create a fly, though they should all gather for it. And if the fly carry off anything from them, they cannot take it back from it. Weak are (both) the invoker and the invoked.1
22:74 They do not estimate Allah with His due estimation. Surely Allah is Strong, Mighty.
22:75 Allah chooses messengers from angels and from mankind. Surely Allah is Hearing, Seeing.
22:76 He knows what is before them and what is behind them. And to Allah are all affairs returned.
22:77 O you who believe, bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord, and do good that you may succeed.Prostration
22:78 And strive hard for Allah with due striving. He has chosen you and has not laid upon you any hardship in religion — the faith of your father Abraham. He named you Muslims before and in this,2 that the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people;3 so keep up prayer and give the due charity and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protector; excellent the Protector and excellent the Helper!

Commentary:

  1. The verse, while truly describing the inability of false gods to create the lowest form of life or to exercise the least control over creation, contains a clear prophecy that the false deities will be removed from the Sacred House, and that both the worshippers and the worshipped will be helpless.
  2. The reference in before is to the revelation of Abraham, who prayed that from among his descendants there should arise a nation of Muslims (2:128), and in this to the Quran. The root-word of Islām and Muslim is salm or silm, both signifying peace, and a Muslim is therefore one who leads a life of peace, peace with God, which means complete submission to His will, and peace with man, which means that he causes no injury to any person, as a saying of the Holy Prophet has it (Bukhari, 2:3).
  3. Compare 2:143, where similar words are used. The significance is that the Muslim community is destined to play the role of leader to the whole of humanity.

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