English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 33: Al-Ahzab — The Allies (Revealed at Makkah: 9 sections, 73 verses)

Section 3 (Verses 33:21–33:27): Allies’ Flight


لَقَدۡ کَانَ لَکُمۡ فِیۡ رَسُوۡلِ اللّٰہِ اُسۡوَۃٌ حَسَنَۃٌ لِّمَنۡ کَانَ یَرۡجُوا اللّٰہَ وَ الۡیَوۡمَ الۡاٰخِرَ وَ ذَکَرَ اللّٰہَ کَثِیۡرًا ﴿ؕ۲۱﴾

33:21 Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.1

وَ لَمَّا رَاَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ الۡاَحۡزَابَ ۙ قَالُوۡا ہٰذَا مَا وَعَدَنَا اللّٰہُ وَ رَسُوۡلُہٗ وَ صَدَقَ اللّٰہُ وَ رَسُوۡلُہٗ ۫ وَ مَا زَادَہُمۡ اِلَّاۤ اِیۡمَانًا وَّ تَسۡلِیۡمًا ﴿ؕ۲۲﴾

33:22 And when the believers saw the allies, they said: This is what Allah and His Messenger promised us, and Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth. And it only added to their faith and submission.2

مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ رِجَالٌ صَدَقُوۡا مَا عَاہَدُوا اللّٰہَ عَلَیۡہِ ۚ فَمِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ قَضٰی نَحۡبَہٗ وَ مِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ یَّنۡتَظِرُ ۫ۖ وَ مَا بَدَّلُوۡا تَبۡدِیۡلًا ﴿ۙ۲۳﴾

33:23 Among the believers are men who are true to the covenant they made with Allah; so some of them have accomplished their vow, and some of them yet wait, and they have not changed in the least —

لِّیَجۡزِیَ اللّٰہُ الصّٰدِقِیۡنَ بِصِدۡقِہِمۡ وَ یُعَذِّبَ الۡمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ اِنۡ شَآءَ اَوۡ یَتُوۡبَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِیۡمًا ﴿ۚ۲۴﴾

33:24 that Allah may reward the truthful for their truth, and punish the hypocrites, if He please, or turn to them (mercifully).3 Surely Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

وَ رَدَّ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بِغَیۡظِہِمۡ لَمۡ یَنَالُوۡا خَیۡرًا ؕ وَ کَفَی اللّٰہُ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ الۡقِتَالَ ؕ وَ کَانَ اللّٰہُ قَوِیًّا عَزِیۡزًا ﴿ۚ۲۵﴾

33:25 And Allah turned back the disbelievers in their rage — they gained no advantage. And Allah was sufficient for the believers in fighting. And Allah is ever Strong, Mighty.

وَ اَنۡزَلَ الَّذِیۡنَ ظَاہَرُوۡہُمۡ مِّنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡکِتٰبِ مِنۡ صَیَاصِیۡہِمۡ وَ قَذَفَ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمُ الرُّعۡبَ فَرِیۡقًا تَقۡتُلُوۡنَ وَ تَاۡسِرُوۡنَ فَرِیۡقًا ﴿ۚ۲۶﴾

33:26 And He drove down those of the People of the Book who backed them from their fortresses and He cast awe into their hearts; some you killed and you took captive some.4

وَ اَوۡرَثَکُمۡ اَرۡضَہُمۡ وَ دِیَارَہُمۡ وَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ وَ اَرۡضًا لَّمۡ تَطَـُٔوۡہَا ؕ وَ کَانَ اللّٰہُ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرًا ﴿٪۲۷﴾

33:27 And He made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property, and (to) a land which you have not yet trodden. And Allah is ever Powerful over all things.5


  1. This verse states that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the best exemp­lar and the highest model of virtue for the faithful under all circumstances. He was a general, soldier, lawmaker, judge, husband and father. He punished tyrants for wrongs they had inflicted on innocent persons, forgave his persecuting ene­mies after overcoming them, and overlooked the faults of his followers. Hence he was an excellent exemplar and a perfect model in all walks of life, and he not only gave practical rules of guidance, but gave by his life a practical illustration of all those rules. The occasion on which his being an exemplar for the faithful is pointed out is one on which he showed the greatest firmness in utmost danger, confidence in Divine assistance, and steadfastness in the hardest trials, and the believers are told that they must not lose heart, but follow the example of the Holy Prophet.
  2. The reference here is to the Divine promise that a time would come when the combined forces of Arabia would be put to flight. This promise was given long before, at a time when the Holy Prophet and his few followers were being severely persecuted at Makkah. So when the combined forces attacked Madinah, the words of the prophecy were in the heart of every true Muslim. They rejoiced because they were certain that the combined forces of the enemy would be put to flight. It was only the hypocrites who had misgivings.
  3. It is clearly stated here, as also in v. 17, that all the hypocrites would not be punished, but that Allah would be merciful to them, punishing only such as deserved to be punished. Thus it happened that most of them became afterwards sincere converts to Islam.
  4. The Jewish tribe of Bani Quraizah were in alliance with the Holy Prophet, and when the enemy laid siege to Madinah they should have repelled the attack. Instead of this they sided with the invading army. When the enemy army took to flight and the Quraizah returned to their fortress, it was besieged by the Holy Prophet. They surrendered by stipulating the condition that they would sub­mit to the judgment of Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh, formerly their ally. The reference here is to the punishment awarded by him, in accordance with the Jewish law in Deutero­nomy, 20:12–14.
  5. The land which you have not yet trodden refers to the foreign lands which are here promised to the Muslims and which they conquered later.