English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 29: Al-Ankabut — The Spider (Revealed at Makkah: 7 sections, 69 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 29:1–29:13): Trials Purify


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

الٓـمّٓ ۚ﴿۱﴾

29:1 I, Allah, am the Best Knower.1

اَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ اَنۡ یُّتۡرَکُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّقُوۡلُوۡۤا اٰمَنَّا وَ ہُمۡ لَا یُفۡتَنُوۡنَ ﴿۲﴾

29:2 Do people think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and will not be tried?2

وَ لَقَدۡ فَتَنَّا الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ فَلَیَعۡلَمَنَّ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ صَدَقُوۡا وَ لَیَعۡلَمَنَّ الۡکٰذِبِیۡنَ ﴿۳﴾

29:3 And indeed We tried those before them, so Allah will certainly know those who are true and He will know the liars.3

اَمۡ حَسِبَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ السَّیِّاٰتِ اَنۡ یَّسۡبِقُوۡنَا ؕ سَآءَ مَا یَحۡکُمُوۡنَ ﴿۴﴾

29:4 Or do they who work evil think that they will escape Us? Evil is it what they judge!

مَنۡ کَانَ یَرۡجُوۡا لِقَآءَ اللّٰہِ فَاِنَّ اَجَلَ اللّٰہِ لَاٰتٍ ؕ وَ ہُوَ السَّمِیۡعُ الۡعَلِیۡمُ ﴿۵﴾

29:5 Whoever hopes to meet with Allah, the term of Allah is then surely coming. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

وَ مَنۡ جَاہَدَ فَاِنَّمَا یُجَاہِدُ لِنَفۡسِہٖ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَغَنِیٌّ عَنِ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۶﴾

29:6 And whoever strives hard, strives for himself. Surely Allah is above need of (His) creatures.4

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَنُکَفِّرَنَّ عَنۡہُمۡ سَیِّاٰتِہِمۡ وَ لَنَجۡزِیَنَّہُمۡ اَحۡسَنَ الَّذِیۡ کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۷﴾

29:7 And those who believe and do good, We shall certainly do away with their afflictions5 and reward them for the best of what they did.

وَ وَصَّیۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ بِوَالِدَیۡہِ حُسۡنًا ؕ وَ اِنۡ جَاہَدٰکَ لِتُشۡرِکَ بِیۡ مَا لَیۡسَ لَکَ بِہٖ عِلۡمٌ فَلَا تُطِعۡہُمَا ؕ اِلَیَّ مَرۡجِعُکُمۡ فَاُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۸﴾

29:8 And We have enjoined on man goodness to his parents. But if they strive to make you set up partners with Me, of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them.6 To Me is your return, so I will inform you of what you did.

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَنُدۡخِلَنَّہُمۡ فِی الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۹﴾

29:9 And those who believe and do good, We shall surely make them enter among the righteous.

وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یَّقُوۡلُ اٰمَنَّا بِاللّٰہِ فَاِذَاۤ اُوۡذِیَ فِی اللّٰہِ جَعَلَ فِتۡنَۃَ النَّاسِ کَعَذَابِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ لَئِنۡ جَآءَ نَصۡرٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکَ لَیَقُوۡلُنَّ اِنَّا کُنَّا مَعَکُمۡ ؕ اَوَ لَیۡسَ اللّٰہُ بِاَعۡلَمَ بِمَا فِیۡ صُدُوۡرِ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰﴾

29:10 And among people is he who says: We believe in Allah; but when he is persecuted for the sake of Allah, he thinks the persecution of people to be as the punishment of Allah.7 And if help comes from your Lord, they will say: Surely we were with you. Is not Allah the Best Knower of what is in the hearts of mankind?

وَ لَیَعۡلَمَنَّ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ لَیَعۡلَمَنَّ الۡمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱﴾

29:11 And certainly Allah will know those who believe, and He will know the hypocrites.

وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لِلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّبِعُوۡا سَبِیۡلَنَا وَ لۡنَحۡمِلۡ خَطٰیٰکُمۡ ؕ وَ مَا ہُمۡ بِحٰمِلِیۡنَ مِنۡ خَطٰیٰہُمۡ مِّنۡ شَیۡءٍ ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ لَکٰذِبُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾

29:12 And those who disbelieve say to those who believe: Follow our path and we will bear your wrongs. And they can never bear any of their wrongs at all. Surely they are liars.

وَ لَیَحۡمِلُنَّ اَثۡقَالَہُمۡ وَ اَثۡقَالًا مَّعَ اَثۡقَالِہِمۡ ۫ وَ لَیُسۡـَٔلُنَّ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ عَمَّا کَانُوۡا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿٪۱۳﴾

29:13 And they will certainly bear their own burdens, and other burdens besides their own burdens; and they will certainly be questioned on the day of Resurrection as to what they forged.8


  1. See 2:1 footnote, for explanation.
  2. By the trials spoken of in these verses are meant the persecutions of the believers by the disbelievers. This is made clear in v. 10.
  3. The knowing in this case relates to a knowledge of the event when it takes place, when reward or punishment is meted out to a person for what he does.
  4. As shown under 25:52, the word jihād occurs in Makkan revelation frequently, and carries its proper significance of striving hard in Allah’s way. The suffering of persecutions and tortures at the hands of their enemies for the sake of their faith was no less a jihād for the Muslims at Makkah than their fighting in defence of Islam at Madinah.
  5. These words may signify either doing away with their afflictions or trials, or doing away with their evil deeds. I prefer the first because it is of the trials and afflictions of the believers that these verses speak. If the second signifi­cance is adopted, it would mean that the evil deeds which the believers did before they accepted the Truth would be effaced, because the course of their lives was now changed.
  6. This verse, while signifying the importance of obedience to parents, warns against attaching over-importance even to filial duty. It shows that when an important duty clashes with a still higher one, the former is to be sacrificed for the latter.
  7. The meaning is that those who are weak in faith consider the perse­cution by the disbelievers, which was necessary to strengthen and purify their faith, as if it were a punishment from Allah for their change of faith. The latter part of the verse is a prophecy as to what the weak in faith will say when they see the help of Allah coming to the Muslims.
  8. The Quran does not anywhere say that the burden of one shall be taken away by another. Each one is responsible for what he does. The “other burdens” are really their own burdens in misleading others, and thus the two burdens spoken of here are the burden of one’s own wrongdoing and the burden of misleading others.