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 2 (Verses 22:11–22:22): Certainty of Divine Help

Translation:

22:11 And some people serve Allah, (standing) on the verge,1 so if good befalls such a one he is satisfied with it, but if a trial afflicts him he turns back headlong. He loses this world and the Hereafter. That is a manifest loss.
22:12 He calls besides Allah on something which cannot harm him, nor benefit him; that is straying far.
22:13 He calls on him whose harm is nearer than his benefit. Certainly an evil guardian and an evil associate!
22:14 Surely Allah will make those who believe and do good deeds enter Gardens in which rivers flow. Allah indeed does what He pleases.
22:15 Whoever thinks that Allah will not assist him in this life and the Hereafter, let him raise (himself) by some means to the heaven, then let him cut (it) off, then let him see if his plan will take away what he is enraged at.2
22:16 And thus have We revealed it, clear arguments, and Allah guides whom He will.
22:17 Those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians and the Magians and those who set up partners (with Allah) — surely Allah will decide between them on the day of Resurrection. Surely Allah is Witness over all things.3
22:18 Do you not see that to Allah makes submission whoever is in the heavens and whoever is in the earth, and the sun and the moon and the stars, and the mountains and the trees, and the animals and many of the people? And many there are to whom punishment is due. And he whom Allah disgraces, none can give him honour. Surely Allah does what He pleases.Prostration
22:19 These are two adversaries who dispute about their Lord. So those who disbelieve, for them are cut out garments of fire. Boiling water will be poured out over their heads.
22:20 With it will be melted what is in their bellies and (their) skins as well.
22:21 And for them are whips of iron.
22:22 Whenever they desire to go out from it, from grief,4 they are turned back into it, and (it is said): Taste the punishment of burning.

Commentary:

  1. This expression indicates the attitude of a man who wavers, being ready to quit the faith on any pretence.
  2. The prophecies of the final triumph of the Truth and of the coming of Divine assistance to the Holy Prophet were repeatedly declared in the Quran, and the disbelievers were enraged at this. They are told that the Divine assistance must come, and that they should leave no stone unturned in their struggle against it, insomuch that, if they could, they should rise to heaven and cut off all heavenly or Divine assistance from the Prophet. Or, the meaning may be that they may carry their anger to the greatest possible extreme and be driven to the utmost despera­tion, yet they will be unable to stop the coming of Divine help to the Prophet.
  3. It is implied that differences in religious beliefs do not call for punish­ment in this life; these will be decided on the day of Judgment. Punishment in this life is brought upon those who work mischief and transgress all limits in doing evil.
  4. Min ghamm-in (“from grief”) explains min-hā (“from it”), and thus explains the nature of the punishment in this and the previous verse. It is a grief which will constantly burn their souls so as to melt them.

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