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 4 (Verses 29:31–29:44): Opposition to Truth ever a Failure


وَ لَمَّا جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَاۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ بِالۡبُشۡرٰی ۙ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا مُہۡلِکُوۡۤا اَہۡلِ ہٰذِہِ الۡقَرۡیَۃِ ۚ اِنَّ اَہۡلَہَا کَانُوۡا ظٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۳۱﴾

29:31 And when Our messengers came to Abraham with good news, they said: We are going to destroy the people of this town, for its people are wrongdoers.

قَالَ اِنَّ فِیۡہَا لُوۡطًا ؕ قَالُوۡا نَحۡنُ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَنۡ فِیۡہَا ٝ۫ لَنُنَجِّیَنَّہٗ وَ اَہۡلَہٗۤ اِلَّا امۡرَاَتَہٗ ٭۫ کَانَتۡ مِنَ الۡغٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۳۲﴾

29:32 He said: Surely in it is Lot. They said: We know well who is in it; we shall certainly deliver him and his followers, except his wife; she is of those who remain behind.

وَ لَمَّاۤ اَنۡ جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَا لُوۡطًا سِیۡٓءَ بِہِمۡ وَ ضَاقَ بِہِمۡ ذَرۡعًا وَّ قَالُوۡا لَا تَخَفۡ وَ لَا تَحۡزَنۡ ۟ اِنَّا مُنَجُّوۡکَ وَ اَہۡلَکَ اِلَّا امۡرَاَتَکَ کَانَتۡ مِنَ الۡغٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾

29:33 And when Our messengers came to Lot, he was grieved on account of them, and he lacked strength to protect them. And they said: Do not fear, nor grieve; surely we will deliver you and your followers, except your wife — she is of those who remain behind.

اِنَّا مُنۡزِلُوۡنَ عَلٰۤی اَہۡلِ ہٰذِہِ الۡقَرۡیَۃِ رِجۡزًا مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡسُقُوۡنَ ﴿۳۴﴾

29:34 Surely We are going to bring down upon the people of this town a punishment from heaven, because they transgressed.

وَ لَقَدۡ تَّرَکۡنَا مِنۡہَاۤ اٰیَۃًۢ بَیِّنَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۳۵﴾

29:35 And certainly We have left a clear sign of it for a people who understand.1

وَ اِلٰی مَدۡیَنَ اَخَاہُمۡ شُعَیۡبًا ۙ فَقَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اعۡبُدُوا اللّٰہَ وَ ارۡجُوا الۡیَوۡمَ الۡاٰخِرَ وَ لَا تَعۡثَوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مُفۡسِدِیۡنَ ﴿۳۶﴾

29:36 And to Midian (We sent) their brother Shuaib, so he said: My people, serve Allah and fear the Last Day, and do not act corruptly, making mischief, in the land.

فَکَذَّبُوۡہُ فَاَخَذَتۡہُمُ الرَّجۡفَۃُ فَاَصۡبَحُوۡا فِیۡ دَارِہِمۡ جٰثِمِیۡنَ ﴿۫۳۷﴾

29:37 But they rejected him, so a severe earthquake overtook them and they lay prostrate in their abodes.

وَ عَادًا وَّ ثَمُوۡدَا۠ وَ قَدۡ تَّبَیَّنَ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ مَّسٰکِنِہِمۡ ۟ وَ زَیَّنَ لَہُمُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ فَصَدَّہُمۡ عَنِ السَّبِیۡلِ وَ کَانُوۡا مُسۡتَبۡصِرِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۸﴾

29:38 And Ād and Thamūd! And some of their dwellings are indeed apparent to you. And the devil made their deeds seem good to them, so he kept them back from the path, and they could see clearly.

وَ قَارُوۡنَ وَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ ہَامٰنَ ۟ وَ لَقَدۡ جَآءَہُمۡ مُّوۡسٰی بِالۡبَیِّنٰتِ فَاسۡتَکۡبَرُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ مَا کَانُوۡا سٰبِقِیۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۳۹﴾

29:39 And Korah and Pharaoh and Hāmān! And certainly Moses came to them with clear arguments, but they behaved haughtily in the land; and they could not outstrip (Us).

فَکُلًّا اَخَذۡنَا بِذَنۡۢبِہٖ ۚ فَمِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ حَاصِبًا ۚ وَ مِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ اَخَذَتۡہُ الصَّیۡحَۃُ ۚ وَ مِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ خَسَفۡنَا بِہِ الۡاَرۡضَ ۚ وَ مِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ اَغۡرَقۡنَا ۚ وَ مَا کَانَ اللّٰہُ لِیَظۡلِمَہُمۡ وَ لٰکِنۡ کَانُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ یَظۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۰﴾

29:40 So each one We punished for his sin. On some of them We sent a violent storm, and some of them the rumbling overtook, and some of them We caused the earth to swallow, and some of them We drowned.2 And it was not Allah, Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves.

مَثَلُ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ اَوۡلِیَآءَ کَمَثَلِ الۡعَنۡکَبُوۡتِ ۖۚ اِتَّخَذَتۡ بَیۡتًا ؕ وَ اِنَّ اَوۡہَنَ الۡبُیُوۡتِ لَبَیۡتُ الۡعَنۡکَبُوۡتِ ۘ لَوۡ کَانُوۡا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۱﴾

29:41 The parable of those who take guardians besides Allah is as the parable of the spider that makes for itself a house; and surely the frailest of houses is the spider’s house — if only they knew!3

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَعۡلَمُ مَا یَدۡعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ ؕ وَ ہُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۴۲﴾

29:42 Surely Allah knows whatever they call upon besides Him. And He is the Mighty, the Wise.

وَ تِلۡکَ الۡاَمۡثَالُ نَضۡرِبُہَا لِلنَّاسِ ۚ وَ مَا یَعۡقِلُہَاۤ اِلَّا الۡعٰلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۳﴾

29:43 And these parables, We set them forth for people, and none understand them but the learned.

خَلَقَ اللّٰہُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ بِالۡحَقِّ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿٪۴۴﴾

29:44 Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth. Surely there is a sign in this for the believers.


  1. Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities destroyed, are in the neighbourhood of the Dead Sea, on the road from Arabia: “And it is on a road that still abides” (15:76).
  2. For these punishments, in order, see 7:72, 78, 84; 28:81; 2:50; 7:64.
  3. A trust in false deities, which stands for all false beliefs, is here com­pared with a spider’s web to express the nature of its extreme frailty. It may pros­per for a time, but no sooner is the light of criticism and research brought to bear upon it than it vanishes and leaves no trace behind. This also refers to the plans of the Holy Prophet’s opponents, which were destined to be brought to naught by reason of their inability to withstand the overwhelming advance of Truth.