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 6 (Verses 22:39–22:48): Believers Permitted to Fight


اُذِنَ لِلَّذِیۡنَ یُقٰتَلُوۡنَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ ظُلِمُوۡا ؕ وَ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی نَصۡرِہِمۡ لَقَدِیۡرُۨ ﴿ۙ۳۹﴾

22:39 Permission (to fight) is given to those on whom war is made, because they are oppressed. And surely Allah is Able to assist them1

الَّذِیۡنَ اُخۡرِجُوۡا مِنۡ دِیَارِہِمۡ بِغَیۡرِ حَقٍّ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یَّقُوۡلُوۡا رَبُّنَا اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ لَوۡ لَا دَفۡعُ اللّٰہِ النَّاسَ بَعۡضَہُمۡ بِبَعۡضٍ لَّہُدِّمَتۡ صَوَامِعُ وَ بِیَعٌ وَّ صَلَوٰتٌ وَّ مَسٰجِدُ یُذۡکَرُ فِیۡہَا اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ کَثِیۡرًا ؕ وَ لَیَنۡصُرَنَّ اللّٰہُ مَنۡ یَّنۡصُرُہٗ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَقَوِیٌّ عَزِیۡزٌ ﴿۴۰﴾

22:40 Those who are driven from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. And if Allah did not repel some people by others, surely cloisters and churches and syna-gogues, and mosques in which Allah’s name is much remembered, would have been pulled down. And surely Allah will help him who helps Him. Surely Allah is Strong, Mighty.2

اَلَّذِیۡنَ اِنۡ مَّکَّنّٰہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اَقَامُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اٰتَوُا الزَّکٰوۃَ وَ اَمَرُوۡا بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ نَہَوۡا عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ ؕ وَ لِلّٰہِ عَاقِبَۃُ الۡاُمُوۡرِ ﴿۴۱﴾

22:41 Those who, if We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and give the due charity and enjoin good and forbid evil. And Allah’s is the end of (all) affairs.

وَ اِنۡ یُّکَذِّبُوۡکَ فَقَدۡ کَذَّبَتۡ قَبۡلَہُمۡ قَوۡمُ نُوۡحٍ وَّ عَادٌ وَّ ثَمُوۡدُ ﴿ۙ۴۲﴾

22:42 And if they reject you, already before them did the people of Noah and Ād and Thamūd reject (prophets),

وَ قَوۡمُ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ وَ قَوۡمُ لُوۡطٍ ﴿ۙ۴۳﴾

22:43 and the people of Abraham and the people of Lot,

وَّ اَصۡحٰبُ مَدۡیَنَ ۚ وَ کُذِّبَ مُوۡسٰی فَاَمۡلَیۡتُ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ثُمَّ اَخَذۡتُہُمۡ ۚ فَکَیۡفَ کَانَ نَکِیۡرِ ﴿۴۴﴾

22:44 and the dwellers of Midian. And Moses (too) was rejected. But I gave respite to the disbelievers, then I seized them; so how (severe) was My disapproval!

فَکَاَیِّنۡ مِّنۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ اَہۡلَکۡنٰہَا وَ ہِیَ ظَالِمَۃٌ فَہِیَ خَاوِیَۃٌ عَلٰی عُرُوۡشِہَا وَ بِئۡرٍ مُّعَطَّلَۃٍ وَّ قَصۡرٍ مَّشِیۡدٍ ﴿۴۵﴾

22:45 How many a town We destroyed while it was unjust, so it is fallen down upon its roofs; and (how many) a deserted well and palace raised high!

اَفَلَمۡ یَسِیۡرُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَتَکُوۡنَ لَہُمۡ قُلُوۡبٌ یَّعۡقِلُوۡنَ بِہَاۤ اَوۡ اٰذَانٌ یَّسۡمَعُوۡنَ بِہَا ۚ فَاِنَّہَا لَا تَعۡمَی الۡاَبۡصَارُ وَ لٰکِنۡ تَعۡمَی الۡقُلُوۡبُ الَّتِیۡ فِی الصُّدُوۡرِ ﴿۴۶﴾

22:46 Have they not travelled in the land so that they should have hearts with which to understand, or ears with which to hear? For surely it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts which are in the breasts.3

وَ یَسۡتَعۡجِلُوۡنَکَ بِالۡعَذَابِ وَ لَنۡ یُّخۡلِفَ اللّٰہُ وَعۡدَہٗ ؕ وَ اِنَّ یَوۡمًا عِنۡدَ رَبِّکَ کَاَلۡفِ سَنَۃٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّوۡنَ ﴿۴۷﴾

22:47 And they ask you to hasten on the punishment, and Allah by no means fails in His promise. And surely a day with your Lord is like a thousand years as you count.4

وَ کَاَیِّنۡ مِّنۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ اَمۡلَیۡتُ لَہَا وَ ہِیَ ظَالِمَۃٌ ثُمَّ اَخَذۡتُہَا ۚ وَ اِلَیَّ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿٪۴۸﴾

22:48 And how many a town to which I gave respite while it was unjust, then I seized it! And to Me is the return.


  1. This is the earliest permission given to the Muslims to fight. The words in which the permission is granted show clearly that war was first made on the Muslims by their opponents; and secondly, that the Muslims had already suffered great oppression at the hands of their persecutors. The words of the next verse, those who are driven from their homes, may refer to the emigration to Abyssinia, or to the exodus to Madinah, which commenced soon afterwards.
  2. The religious freedom established by Islam has not yet been surpassed by the most civilized and tolerant of nations. It deserves to be noted that the lives of Muslims are to be sacrificed not only to stop their own persecution by their opponents and to save their own mosques, but to save churches, synagogues and cloisters as well — in fact, to establish perfect religious freedom. Mosques, though they are the places where the name of Allah is remembered most of all, are mentioned after churches and synagogues. Early Muslims closely followed these directions, and every commander of an army had express orders to respect all houses of worship, and even the cloisters of monks, along with their inmates.
  3. The Quran very often speaks of the blind, the deaf and the dead, mean­­ing thereby the spiritually blind, deaf and dead, as it has plainly stated here.
  4. Those spoken of here are undoubtedly the opponents of Truth who were to come later, and who have been allowed to oppose the advance of Islam for a thousand years. The set-back which Islam was to receive for a thousand years is again spoken of in 32:5.