English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 34: Al-Saba — The Saba (Revealed at Makkah: 6 sections, 54 verses)


The title of this chapter is the name of a city (v.15), Saba, in Yaman which was destroyed by a flood. The chapter begins by asserting the truth of the judgment, which takes place not only in the life after death but is witnessed in this life as well. Prosperous nations are destroyed when they fall into evil ways, and this judgment will overtake the Quraish as well. It then prophesies a victory for the Muslims in an encounter with their enemies, whose leaders and followers will blame each other and their deities will be unable to help them. In the end it tells us that truth will prosper and falsehood will vanish before it. Chapters 34 to 39 form one group, belonging most probably to the middle period at Makkah.

List of Sections (Rukus):

  1. Judgment is Certain (Verses 34:1–34:9)
  2. Favours followed by Retribution (Verses 34:10–34:21)
  3. A Victory for the Muslims (Verses 34:22–34:30)
  4. The Leaders of Evil (Verses 34:31–34:36)
  5. Wealth does not Stand for Greatness (Verses 34:37–34:45)
  6. Truth will Prosper (Verses 34:46–34:54)