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)

Section 5 (Verses 34:37–34:45): Wealth does not Stand for Greatness


وَ مَاۤ اَمۡوَالُکُمۡ وَ لَاۤ اَوۡلَادُکُمۡ بِالَّتِیۡ تُقَرِّبُکُمۡ عِنۡدَنَا زُلۡفٰۤی اِلَّا مَنۡ اٰمَنَ وَ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا ۫ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ جَزَآءُ الضِّعۡفِ بِمَا عَمِلُوۡا وَ ہُمۡ فِی الۡغُرُفٰتِ اٰمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۳۷﴾

34:37 And it is not your wealth, nor your children, that bring you near to Us in rank; but whoever believes and does good, for such is a double reward for what they do, and they are secure in the highest places.1

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَسۡعَوۡنَ فِیۡۤ اٰیٰتِنَا مُعٰجِزِیۡنَ اُولٰٓئِکَ فِی الۡعَذَابِ مُحۡضَرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۸﴾

34:38 And those who strive in opposing Our messages, they will be brought to the punishment.

قُلۡ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ یَبۡسُطُ الرِّزۡقَ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِہٖ وَ یَقۡدِرُ لَہٗ ؕ وَ مَاۤ اَنۡفَقۡتُمۡ مِّنۡ شَیۡءٍ فَہُوَ یُخۡلِفُہٗ ۚ وَ ہُوَ خَیۡرُ الرّٰزِقِیۡنَ ﴿۳۹﴾

34:39 Say: Surely my Lord amplifies provision for whom He pleases of His servants, and restricts (it) for him (also). And whatsoever you spend, He increases it in reward,2 and He is the Best of providers.

وَ یَوۡمَ یَحۡشُرُہُمۡ جَمِیۡعًا ثُمَّ یَقُوۡلُ لِلۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اَہٰۤؤُلَآءِ اِیَّاکُمۡ کَانُوۡا یَعۡبُدُوۡنَ ﴿۴۰﴾

34:40 And on the day when He will gather them all together, then will He say to the angels: Did these worship you?

قَالُوۡا سُبۡحٰنَکَ اَنۡتَ وَلِیُّنَا مِنۡ دُوۡنِہِمۡ ۚ بَلۡ کَانُوۡا یَعۡبُدُوۡنَ الۡجِنَّ ۚ اَکۡثَرُہُمۡ بِہِمۡ مُّؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۴۱﴾

34:41 They will say: Glory be to You! You are our Protecting Friend, not they; rather, they worshipped the jinn; most of them were believers in them.3

فَالۡیَوۡمَ لَا یَمۡلِکُ بَعۡضُکُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ نَّفۡعًا وَّ لَا ضَرًّا ؕ وَ نَقُوۡلُ لِلَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا ذُوۡقُوۡا عَذَابَ النَّارِ الَّتِیۡ کُنۡتُمۡ بِہَا تُکَذِّبُوۡنَ ﴿۴۲﴾

34:42 So on that day you will not control benefit nor harm for one another. And We will say to those who were wrongdoers: Taste the punishment of the Fire, which you called a lie.

وَ اِذَا تُتۡلٰی عَلَیۡہِمۡ اٰیٰتُنَا بَیِّنٰتٍ قَالُوۡا مَا ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّا رَجُلٌ یُّرِیۡدُ اَنۡ یَّصُدَّکُمۡ عَمَّا کَانَ یَعۡبُدُ اٰبَآؤُکُمۡ ۚ وَ قَالُوۡا مَا ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّاۤ اِفۡکٌ مُّفۡتَرًی ؕ وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لِلۡحَقِّ لَمَّا جَآءَہُمۡ ۙ اِنۡ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّا سِحۡرٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۴۳﴾

34:43 And when Our clear messages are recited to them, they say: This is only a man who desires to turn you away from what your fathers worshipped. And they say: This is nothing but a forged lie! And those who disbelieve say of the Truth when it comes to them: This is only clear enchantment!

وَ مَاۤ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمۡ مِّنۡ کُتُبٍ یَّدۡرُسُوۡنَہَا وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡہِمۡ قَبۡلَکَ مِنۡ نَّذِیۡرٍ ﴿ؕ۴۴﴾

34:44 And We have not given them any Books which they read, nor did We send to them before you a warner.4

وَ کَذَّبَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ ۙ وَ مَا بَلَغُوۡا مِعۡشَارَ مَاۤ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمۡ فَکَذَّبُوۡا رُسُلِیۡ ۟ فَکَیۡفَ کَانَ نَکِیۡرِ ﴿٪۴۵﴾

34:45 And those before them rejected (the truth), and these have not yet attained a tenth of what We gave them,5 but they rejected My messengers. How (terrible) was then My disapproval!


  1. Not only in the highest places in paradise, but also in the highest places in this life — a truth which finds abundant illustration in the lives of the early Muslims.
  2. The words “increases it” (yukhlifu-hu) signify that Allah gives him such a great reward as to leave behind what he had spent in His way.
  3. Compare this with the last section, and it will be clear that the very persons mentioned there as the proud ones are spoken of here as the jinn.
  4. That is, no Book was ever given nor any warner ever raised that taught the worship of others besides the One God; or the meaning may be that, whereas warners appeared all about Arabia, Makkah had not yet seen one.
  5. That is, in power or in material prosperity the Quraish could not stand comparison with many of the early nations.