English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 26: Al-Shuara — The Poets (Revealed at Makkah: 11 sections, 227 verses)

Section 11 (Verses 26:192–26:227): Prophet’s Opponents Warned

Translation:

وَ اِنَّہٗ لَتَنۡزِیۡلُ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹۲﴾ؕ

26:192 And surely this is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.

نَزَلَ بِہِ الرُّوۡحُ الۡاَمِیۡنُ ﴿۱۹۳﴾ۙ

26:193 The Faithful Spirit has brought it,1

عَلٰی قَلۡبِکَ لِتَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُنۡذِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹۴﴾

26:194 on your heart that you may be a warner,2

بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِیٍّ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۹۵﴾ؕ

26:195 in plain Arabic language.

وَ اِنَّہٗ لَفِیۡ زُبُرِ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹۶﴾

26:196 And surely the same is in the Scriptures of the ancients.3

اَوَ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ لَّہُمۡ اٰیَۃً اَنۡ یَّعۡلَمَہٗ عُلَمٰٓؤُا بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ ﴿۱۹۷﴾ؕ

26:197 Is it not a sign to them that the learned ones of the Children of Israel know it?

وَ لَوۡ نَزَّلۡنٰہُ عَلٰی بَعۡضِ الۡاَعۡجَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹۸﴾ۙ

26:198 And if We had revealed it to any of the foreigners,

فَقَرَاَہٗ عَلَیۡہِمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا بِہٖ مُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹۹﴾ؕ

26:199 and he had read it to them, they would not have believed in it.4

کَذٰلِکَ سَلَکۡنٰہُ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِ الۡمُجۡرِمِیۡنَ ﴿۲۰۰﴾ؕ

26:200 Thus do We make it enter into the hearts of the guilty.5

لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِہٖ حَتّٰی یَرَوُا الۡعَذَابَ الۡاَلِیۡمَ ﴿۲۰۱﴾ۙ

26:201 They will not believe in it till they see the painful punishment:

فَیَاۡتِیَہُمۡ بَغۡتَۃً وَّ ہُمۡ لَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰۲﴾ۙ

26:202 So it will come to them suddenly, while they do not perceive;

فَیَقُوۡلُوۡا ہَلۡ نَحۡنُ مُنۡظَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰۳﴾ؕ

26:203 then they will say: Shall we be given respite?

اَفَبِعَذَابِنَا یَسۡتَعۡجِلُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰۴﴾

26:204 Do they still seek to hasten on Our punishment?

اَفَرَءَیۡتَ اِنۡ مَّتَّعۡنٰہُمۡ سِنِیۡنَ ﴿۲۰۵﴾ۙ

26:205 Have you then considered, if We let them enjoy themselves for years,

ثُمَّ جَآءَہُمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا یُوۡعَدُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰۶﴾ۙ

26:206 then what they are promised comes to them —

مَاۤ اَغۡنٰی عَنۡہُمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا یُمَتَّعُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰۷﴾ؕ

26:207 what they were made to enjoy will not avail them?

وَ مَاۤ اَہۡلَکۡنَا مِنۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ اِلَّا لَہَا مُنۡذِرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰۸﴾٭ۖۛ

26:208 And We destroyed no town but it had (its) warners —

ذِکۡرٰی ۟ۛ وَ مَا کُنَّا ظٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۲۰۹﴾

26:209 to remind. And We are never unjust.

وَ مَا تَنَزَّلَتۡ بِہِ الشَّیٰطِیۡنُ ﴿۲۱۰﴾

26:210 And the devils have not brought it.

وَ مَا یَنۡۢبَغِیۡ لَہُمۡ وَ مَا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ ﴿۲۱۱﴾ؕ

26:211 And it is not befitting for them, nor have they the power to do (it).

اِنَّہُمۡ عَنِ السَّمۡعِ لَمَعۡزُوۡلُوۡنَ ﴿۲۱۲﴾ؕ

26:212 Surely they are far removed from hearing it.6

فَلَا تَدۡعُ مَعَ اللّٰہِ اِلٰـہًا اٰخَرَ فَتَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُعَذَّبِیۡنَ ﴿۲۱۳﴾ۚ

26:213 So do not call upon another god with Allah or you would be among those punished.

وَ اَنۡذِرۡ عَشِیۡرَتَکَ الۡاَقۡرَبِیۡنَ ﴿۲۱۴﴾ۙ

26:214 And warn your nearest relations,7

وَ اخۡفِضۡ جَنَاحَکَ لِمَنِ اتَّبَعَکَ مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۲۱۵﴾ۚ

26:215 and be gentle to the believers who follow you.

فَاِنۡ عَصَوۡکَ فَقُلۡ اِنِّیۡ بَرِیۡٓءٌ مِّمَّا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۲۱۶﴾ۚ

26:216 But if they disobey you, say: I am clear of what you do.

وَ تَوَکَّلۡ عَلَی الۡعَزِیۡزِ الرَّحِیۡمِ ﴿۲۱۷﴾ۙ

26:217 And rely on the Mighty, the Merciful,8

الَّذِیۡ یَرٰىکَ حِیۡنَ تَقُوۡمُ ﴿۲۱۸﴾ۙ

26:218 Who sees you when you stand up,

وَ تَقَلُّبَکَ فِی السّٰجِدِیۡنَ ﴿۲۱۹﴾

26:219 and your movements among those who prostrate themselves.

اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ السَّمِیۡعُ الۡعَلِیۡمُ ﴿۲۲۰﴾

26:220 Surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

ہَلۡ اُنَبِّئُکُمۡ عَلٰی مَنۡ تَنَزَّلُ الشَّیٰطِیۡنُ ﴿۲۲۱﴾ؕ

26:221 Shall I inform you upon whom the devils descend?

تَنَزَّلُ عَلٰی کُلِّ اَفَّاکٍ اَثِیۡمٍ ﴿۲۲۲﴾ۙ

26:222 They descend upon every lying, sinful one —

یُّلۡقُوۡنَ السَّمۡعَ وَ اَکۡثَرُہُمۡ کٰذِبُوۡنَ ﴿۲۲۳﴾ؕ

26:223 they give ear, and most of them are liars.9

وَ الشُّعَرَآءُ یَتَّبِعُہُمُ الۡغَاوٗنَ ﴿۲۲۴﴾ؕ

26:224 And (as to) the poets — the deviators follow them.

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اَنَّہُمۡ فِیۡ کُلِّ وَادٍ یَّہِیۡمُوۡنَ ﴿۲۲۵﴾ۙ

26:225 Do you not see that they wander in every valley,10

وَ اَنَّہُمۡ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ مَا لَا یَفۡعَلُوۡنَ ﴿۲۲۶﴾ۙ

26:226 and that they say that which they do not do?11

اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ ذَکَرُوا اللّٰہَ کَثِیۡرًا وَّ انۡتَصَرُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا ظُلِمُوۡا ؕ وَ سَیَعۡلَمُ الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡۤا اَیَّ مُنۡقَلَبٍ یَّنۡقَلِبُوۡنَ ﴿۲۲۷﴾٪

26:227 Except those who believe and do good and remember Allah much, and defend themselves after they are oppressed.12 And they who do wrong, will know to what final place of turning they will turn back.

Commentary:

  1. The Faithful Spirit (al-rūḥ al-amīn) is the angel Gabriel, who brought the Divine revelation to the Holy Prophet. The Prophet himself was known in Makkah as al-Amīn or the Faithful one before revelation came to him.
  2. The words on your heart indicate that the Prophet’s heart, being the receptacle of the mighty revelation, was truly responsive to the great truths con­tained in it. The high morals and the broad humani­tarian truths which the Quran contains give us a true picture of the great mind. This is referred to in one of the earliest revelations: “And surely you have sublime morals” (68:4). The pithy but most beautiful statement of Aishah, the Prophet’s wife, remains unsur­passed in depicting the character of the Holy Prophet. When asked about it she replied: His character is the Quran, meaning that all those wonderful pictures of moral subli­mity drawn in the Quran were pictures of the noble mind to which the Quran was revealed.
  3. The prophecies relating to the advent of the Prophet Muhammad, as met with in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, are referred to very often in the Quran. The statement made here is, however, more comprehensive: They are met with in all ancient scriptures. See 3:81, where a covenant is spoken of as being made through all the prophets of the world with regard to the Prophet’s advent. There is a reference in the next verse to the learned men of the Children of Israel in particular because the Jews and the Christians had long been in contact with the Arabs.
  4. Because prophecy plainly showed that the Arabs were to be the recipients of the revelation; see Isaiah 42:11: “Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits.”. In the Old Testament, Kedar, the son of Ishmael, stands for the Arab nation. Hence earlier prophecy required that the final revelation should be granted to an Arab.
  5. The meaning is that the Quran was made to enter into their hearts by reason of the convincing proof of its truth; but they rejected it, as the next verse shows.
  6. The argument here is similar to that advanced by Jesus when he said: “And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself” (Matthew, 12:26). The evil one cannot be the source of the Quran, for the Quran calls to righteous­ness. See also verses 221–223.
  7. When this verse was revealed, the Holy Prophet, standing on Mount Safa, invited every tribe by name, and when the representatives of all the tribes had gathered together — among them being also the Quraish and that inveterate enemy of the Holy Prophet, Abu Lahab — the Holy Prophet thus addressed them: “Tell me, if I were to inform you that a great army in the valley lies in wait to make a raid upon you, would you believe me?” “Yes!” was the reply in one voice, “for we have never found anything but truth emanating from your lips.” “Then,” said the Prophet, “know that I am a warner to you of an approaching punishment.” “May you perish,” cried out the ill-tempered Abu Lahab, “was it for this that you called us together?” (Bukhari, 65.26:2).
  8. The Prophet is here told to rely on the Mighty, the Merciful, the very words that are repeated at the end of almost every section of this chapter, thus showing that the fate of the opponents of former prophets was spoken of simply to warn his own opponents. The attribute of mightiness is used to indicate the power to punish the wicked, while mercy indicates the deliverance and triumph of the righteous, or a merciful dealing even with the opponents.
  9. The subject of v. 212 is reverted to here. The opponents of the Quran would not listen to what is said in the Quran — they are far removed from hearing it, as stated in v. 212 — but they listen to what their leaders in evil say.
  10. That is, they pursue an aimless course, while the Prophet has a set purpose before him, and it is to make people walk in the ways of righteousness.
  11. The first suggestion of the disbelievers was that the Quran was the work of the devil. That being shown to be inconsistent with its very nature and with the righteousness it preached, they said that it was the work of a poet. As against this they are told that none of the characteristics of a poet’s work are to be met with in the Quran. The poet never leads his followers to a life of righteous­ness, while the Quran was bringing about a pure transformation in the lives of those who followed it. Again, the poets say things which they do not practise, whereas the Prophet was not only a preacher of righteousness, but also an exemplar who translated into practice what he taught in words. And the weightiest consideration of all is that the poets cannot utter prophecies like those which are met with in the Quran. It is to this that attention is called in the next verse.
  12. The passage gives a description of the true believers in general, a new statement being introduced with illā (except); or it may refer particularly to the poets from among the believers.

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