English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 36: Ya Sin — Ya Sin (Revealed at Makkah: 5 sections, 83 verses)

Section 3 (Verses 36:33–36:50): Signs of the Truth


وَ اٰیَۃٌ لَّہُمُ الۡاَرۡضُ الۡمَیۡتَۃُ ۚۖ اَحۡیَیۡنٰہَا وَ اَخۡرَجۡنَا مِنۡہَا حَبًّا فَمِنۡہُ یَاۡکُلُوۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾

36:33 And a sign to them is the dead earth: We give life to it and bring forth from it grain so they eat of it.1

وَ جَعَلۡنَا فِیۡہَا جَنّٰتٍ مِّنۡ نَّخِیۡلٍ وَّ اَعۡنَابٍ وَّ فَجَّرۡنَا فِیۡہَا مِنَ الۡعُیُوۡنِ ﴿ۙ۳۴﴾

36:34 And We make in it gardens of date-palms and grapes and We make springs to flow forth in it,

لِیَاۡکُلُوۡا مِنۡ ثَمَرِہٖ ۙ وَ مَا عَمِلَتۡہُ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ ؕ اَفَلَا یَشۡکُرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۵﴾

36:35 that they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands did not make it. Will they not then give thanks?

سُبۡحٰنَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ الۡاَزۡوَاجَ کُلَّہَا مِمَّا تُنۡۢبِتُ الۡاَرۡضُ وَ مِنۡ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ وَ مِمَّا لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۳۶﴾

36:36 Glory be to Him Who created pairs of all things, of what the earth grows, and of their own kind and of what they do not know!2

وَ اٰیَۃٌ لَّہُمُ الَّیۡلُ ۚۖ نَسۡلَخُ مِنۡہُ النَّہَارَ فَاِذَا ہُمۡ مُّظۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۷﴾

36:37 And a sign to them is the night: We draw forth from it the (light of) day, then lo! they are in darkness;3

وَ الشَّمۡسُ تَجۡرِیۡ لِمُسۡتَقَرٍّ لَّہَا ؕ ذٰلِکَ تَقۡدِیۡرُ الۡعَزِیۡزِ الۡعَلِیۡمِ ﴿ؕ۳۸﴾

36:38 and the sun moves on to its destination. That is the ordinance of the Mighty, the Knower.

وَ الۡقَمَرَ قَدَّرۡنٰہُ مَنَازِلَ حَتّٰی عَادَ کَالۡعُرۡجُوۡنِ الۡقَدِیۡمِ ﴿۳۹﴾

36:39 And the moon, We have ordained for it stages till it becomes again as an old dry palm-branch.4

لَا الشَّمۡسُ یَنۡۢبَغِیۡ لَہَاۤ اَنۡ تُدۡرِکَ الۡقَمَرَ وَ لَا الَّیۡلُ سَابِقُ النَّہَارِ ؕ وَ کُلٌّ فِیۡ فَلَکٍ یَّسۡبَحُوۡنَ ﴿۴۰﴾

36:40 Neither is it for the sun to overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day. And all float on in an orbit.5

وَ اٰیَۃٌ لَّہُمۡ اَنَّا حَمَلۡنَا ذُرِّیَّتَہُمۡ فِی الۡفُلۡکِ الۡمَشۡحُوۡنِ ﴿ۙ۴۱﴾

36:41 And a sign to them is that We carry their offspring in the laden ship,

وَ خَلَقۡنَا لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ مِّثۡلِہٖ مَا یَرۡکَبُوۡنَ ﴿۴۲﴾

36:42 and We have created for them (other things) the like of it, on which they ride.6

وَ اِنۡ نَّشَاۡ نُغۡرِقۡہُمۡ فَلَا صَرِیۡخَ لَہُمۡ وَ لَا ہُمۡ یُنۡقَذُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۳﴾

36:43 And if We please, We may drown them, then there is no help for them, nor can they be rescued7

اِلَّا رَحۡمَۃً مِّنَّا وَ مَتَاعًا اِلٰی حِیۡنٍ ﴿۴۴﴾

36:44 but by mercy from Us and for enjoyment till a time.

وَ اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَہُمُ اتَّقُوۡا مَا بَیۡنَ اَیۡدِیۡکُمۡ وَ مَا خَلۡفَکُمۡ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تُرۡحَمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۵﴾

36:45 And when it is said to them: Guard against what is before you and what is behind you, that mercy may be shown to you.8

وَ مَا تَاۡتِیۡہِمۡ مِّنۡ اٰیَۃٍ مِّنۡ اٰیٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ اِلَّا کَانُوۡا عَنۡہَا مُعۡرِضِیۡنَ ﴿۴۶﴾

36:46 And no message comes to them of the messages of their Lord but they turn away from it.

وَ اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَہُمۡ اَنۡفِقُوۡا مِمَّا رَزَقَکُمُ اللّٰہُ ۙ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لِلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنُطۡعِمُ مَنۡ لَّوۡ یَشَآءُ اللّٰہُ اَطۡعَمَہٗۤ ٭ۖ اِنۡ اَنۡتُمۡ اِلَّا فِیۡ ضَلٰلٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۴۷﴾

36:47 And when it is said to them: Spend (on good works) out of what Allah has given you, those who disbelieve say to those who believe: Shall we feed him whom, if Allah please, He could feed? You are in nothing but clear error.9

وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ مَتٰی ہٰذَا الۡوَعۡدُ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۴۸﴾

36:48 And they say: When will this promise come to pass, if you are truthful?

مَا یَنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَّا صَیۡحَۃً وَّاحِدَۃً تَاۡخُذُہُمۡ وَ ہُمۡ یَخِصِّمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۹﴾

36:49 They await but a single cry, which will overtake them while they argue.

فَلَا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ تَوۡصِیَۃً وَّ لَاۤ اِلٰۤی اَہۡلِہِمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿٪۵۰﴾

36:50 So they will not be able to make a bequest, nor will they return to their families.10


  1. How dead the earth, and particularly Arabia, was at the advent of the Holy Prophet, it is impossible to describe within a footnote. As the physical world shows the working of the Divine law that life is restored to the earth after its death, the same law would work in the spiritual world.
  2. This verse establishes a great scientific truth, that pairs exist in all creation, even in the vegetable kingdom and in things which had not yet come to the knowledge of man. The Arabs certainly did not know this, but modern research corroborates this truth.
  3. The night of ignorance must now pass away; for as in the physical world night follows day and day follows night, so in the spiritual world light is followed by the darkness of ignorance and the latter again gives place to light.
  4. Even such is the case of truth, which seems at first to be insignificant, but soon shines forth like a full moon.
  5. Even truth and falsehood have their courses. As night must disappear with the rise of the day, so falsehood must vanish before the light of Truth. The flotation of the heavenly bodies in their orbits is a statement beyond the ken of an Arabian of the 7th century C.E. The Quran is a book for the spiritual guidance of man, but it discloses a large number of scientific truths which were not known to man at the time of the revelation of the Book.
  6. The ships that bear man on the seas are spoken of in v. 41. These were known to man at the time of the revelation of the Quran. But this verse speaks of other ships, like them. These are the aeroplanes of today. They are spoken of as being created by God, because it is through the knowledge and means that God has given man that he is able to acquire mastery of the air and make these ships.
  7. This is a warning of the impending punishment. Drowning in the sea signifies their destruction, wherever it may take place. The word chosen to des­cribe the punishment is one which shows the utter helplessness of the sufferers.
  8. What is before you signifies the punishment which must overtake them in this life, and what is behind you means the consequences of evil which they would witness in the Hereafter.
  9. So they turned neither to submission to Allah, nor to sympathy for their fellow-beings.
  10. This is a prophetical description of the battle of Badr. The Quraish attacked Madinah to annihilate Islam but the leaders of evil were themselves fini­shed there, and could neither make a bequest, nor did they return to their families.