English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)
by Maulana Muhammad Ali
Chapter 25: Al-Furqan — The Criterion (Revealed at Makkah: 6 sections, 77 verses)
Section 1 (Verses 25:1–25:9): A Warner for all Nations
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
تَبٰرَکَ الَّذِیۡ نَزَّلَ الۡفُرۡقَانَ عَلٰی عَبۡدِہٖ لِیَکُوۡنَ لِلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ نَذِیۡرَا ۙ﴿۱﴾
25:1 Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion upon His servant that he might be a warner to the nations1 —
ۣالَّذِیۡ لَہٗ مُلۡکُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لَمۡ یَتَّخِذۡ وَلَدًا وَّ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ لَّہٗ شَرِیۡکٌ فِی الۡمُلۡکِ وَ خَلَقَ کُلَّ شَیۡءٍ فَقَدَّرَہٗ تَقۡدِیۡرًا ﴿۲﴾
25:2 He, Whose is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and Who did not take to Himself a son, and Who has no partner in the kingdom, and Who created everything, then ordained for it a measure.2
وَ اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اٰلِہَۃً لَّا یَخۡلُقُوۡنَ شَیۡئًا وَّ ہُمۡ یُخۡلَقُوۡنَ وَ لَا یَمۡلِکُوۡنَ لِاَنۡفُسِہِمۡ ضَرًّا وَّ لَا نَفۡعًا وَّ لَا یَمۡلِکُوۡنَ مَوۡتًا وَّ لَا حَیٰوۃً وَّ لَا نُشُوۡرًا ﴿۳﴾
25:3 And they take besides Him gods who create nothing, while they are themselves created, and they control for themselves no harm nor benefit, and they do not control death, nor life, nor raising to life.
وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اِنۡ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّاۤ اِفۡکُۨ افۡتَرٰىہُ وَ اَعَانَہٗ عَلَیۡہِ قَوۡمٌ اٰخَرُوۡنَ ۚۛ فَقَدۡ جَآءُوۡ ظُلۡمًا وَّ زُوۡرًا ۚ﴿ۛ۴﴾
25:4 And those who disbelieve say: This is nothing but a lie, which he has forged, and other people have helped him at it. So indeed they have brought an injustice and a falsehood.
وَ قَالُوۡۤا اَسَاطِیۡرُ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ اکۡتَتَبَہَا فَہِیَ تُمۡلٰی عَلَیۡہِ بُکۡرَۃً وَّ اَصِیۡلًا ﴿۵﴾
25:5 And they say: Stories of the ancients, which he has got written, so they are read out to him morning and evening!3
قُلۡ اَنۡزَلَہُ الَّذِیۡ یَعۡلَمُ السِّرَّ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ کَانَ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِیۡمًا ﴿۶﴾
25:6 Say: He has revealed it, Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth.4 Surely He is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
وَ قَالُوۡا مَالِ ہٰذَا الرَّسُوۡلِ یَاۡکُلُ الطَّعَامَ وَ یَمۡشِیۡ فِی الۡاَسۡوَاقِ ؕ لَوۡ لَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَیۡہِ مَلَکٌ فَیَکُوۡنَ مَعَہٗ نَذِیۡرًا ۙ﴿۷﴾
25:7 And they say: What a Messenger is this? He eats food and goes about in the markets. Why has not an angel been sent down to him to be a warner with him?5
اَوۡ یُلۡقٰۤی اِلَیۡہِ کَنۡزٌ اَوۡ تَکُوۡنُ لَہٗ جَنَّۃٌ یَّاۡکُلُ مِنۡہَا ؕ وَ قَالَ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ اِنۡ تَتَّبِعُوۡنَ اِلَّا رَجُلًا مَّسۡحُوۡرًا ﴿۸﴾
25:8 Or a treasure given to him, or a garden from which to eat?6 And the evildoers say: You follow only a man bewitched!
اُنۡظُرۡ کَیۡفَ ضَرَبُوۡا لَکَ الۡاَمۡثَالَ فَضَلُّوۡا فَلَا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ سَبِیۡلًا ﴿٪۹﴾
25:9 See what parables they set forth for you — they have gone astray, so they cannot find a way.7
- As this chapter deals with the mighty transformation which the Quran had brought about in the lives of the people, it is mentioned here by the name Furqān (criterion for distinguishing or discriminating between truth and falsehood). The words “he might be a warner to the nations” show that the transformation which was being brought about in Arabia would ultimately extend over the whole world and all nations would benefit. ↩
- Verses 2 and 3 speak of the different kinds of polytheistic beliefs prevailing in the world, which were all destined to be swept away by the doctrine of Divine Unity as preached by Islam. ↩
- In the previous verse, their allegation is that the Quran is a forgery; here they allege that the Prophet had caused some stories of the ancients to be written down by some people who helped him and it was these stories which were recited to him and which he gave out as a revelation from on High. How could mere stories bring about the transformation which the Quran was working in the hearts of people? Attention to this is drawn in the next verse. ↩
- The secrets of the heavens and the earth which are known to God alone include the secrets of human nature. Transformation in people’s lives has always been brought about by means of Divine revelation, and mortal efforts have ever failed in changing the hearts of people. ↩
- The Holy Prophet’s life was one of the utmost simplicity. He did all his work himself. He aided his wives in their household duties, mended his clothes, tied up the goats, and even cobbled his sandals. In fact, his kind and genial nature often led him to do others’ work. Once a woman, unable to work for herself, asked him to lead her into a certain street; he accompanied her there, only taking leave when her work was accomplished. He was a mortal, and partook of the ordinary food of a simple Arab. Hence they speak of him as eating food. The answer to this is given in v. 20, viz., that all prophets were mortal and subject to human laws, as was the Holy Prophet. ↩
- Their idea of a messenger of God was that he should be rolling in wealth. In fact, wealth was all in all to them and they paid no consideration to the moral, the higher, values of life for which the Prophet came. They were at the same time told that, though the Muslims had to suffer privations, they would be rewarded for their sacrifices in this very life. Treasures were placed at the feet of the companions of the Holy Prophet, and they were given gardens. But all this happened in accordance with Divine law, which requires the fulfilment of prophecy to be brought about gradually, even as it requires all growth to be gradual in the physical world. ↩
- Elsewhere, the disbelievers are quoted as saying: “Why was not this Quran revealed to a man of importance in the two towns?” (43:31). Nothing except rank or wealth had any importance in their eyes. Their very conception of the real values of life was wrong, so they could not find a way. ↩