English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 37: Al-Saffat — Those Ranging in Ranks (Revealed at Makkah: 5 sections, 182 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 37:22–37:74): The Judgment


اُحۡشُرُوا الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا وَ اَزۡوَاجَہُمۡ وَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡبُدُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۲﴾

37:22 Gather together those who did wrong and their associates, and what they worshipped1

مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ فَاہۡدُوۡہُمۡ اِلٰی صِرَاطِ الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿ٙ۲۳﴾

37:23 besides Allah, then lead them to the way to hell.

وَ قِفُوۡہُمۡ اِنَّہُمۡ مَّسۡئُوۡلُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۴﴾

37:24 And stop them, for they shall be questioned:

مَا لَکُمۡ لَا تَنَاصَرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۵﴾

37:25 What is the matter with you that you do not help one another?

بَلۡ ہُمُ الۡیَوۡمَ مُسۡتَسۡلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۲۶﴾

37:26 But on that day they will be submissive.

وَ اَقۡبَلَ بَعۡضُہُمۡ عَلٰی بَعۡضٍ یَّتَسَآءَلُوۡنَ ﴿۲۷﴾

37:27 And they will turn to one another, mutually questioning —

قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّکُمۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تَاۡتُوۡنَنَا عَنِ الۡیَمِیۡنِ ﴿۲۸﴾

37:28 saying: Surely you used to come to us from the right side.

قَالُوۡا بَلۡ لَّمۡ تَکُوۡنُوۡا مُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۲۹﴾

37:29 They will say: No, you (yourselves) were not believers.

وَ مَا کَانَ لَنَا عَلَیۡکُمۡ مِّنۡ سُلۡطٰنٍ ۚ بَلۡ کُنۡتُمۡ قَوۡمًا طٰغِیۡنَ ﴿۳۰﴾

37:30 And we had no authority over you, but you were an inordinate people.

فَحَقَّ عَلَیۡنَا قَوۡلُ رَبِّنَاۤ ٭ۖ اِنَّا لَذَآئِقُوۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾

37:31 So the word of our Lord has proved true against us: we shall surely taste.

فَاَغۡوَیۡنٰکُمۡ اِنَّا کُنَّا غٰوِیۡنَ ﴿۳۲﴾

37:32 We led you astray, for we ourselves were in error.

فَاِنَّہُمۡ یَوۡمَئِذٍ فِی الۡعَذَابِ مُشۡتَرِکُوۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾

37:33 So, that day they will be sharers in the punishment.

اِنَّا کَذٰلِکَ نَفۡعَلُ بِالۡمُجۡرِمِیۡنَ ﴿۳۴﴾

37:34 Thus do We deal with the guilty.

اِنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡۤا اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَہُمۡ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ ۙ یَسۡتَکۡبِرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۵﴾

37:35 They indeed were arrogant, when it was said to them: There is no god but Allah;

وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ اَئِنَّا لَتَارِکُوۡۤا اٰلِہَتِنَا لِشَاعِرٍ مَّجۡنُوۡنٍ ﴿ؕ۳۶﴾

37:36 and said: Shall we give up our gods for a mad poet?

بَلۡ جَآءَ بِالۡحَقِّ وَ صَدَّقَ الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ ﴿۳۷﴾

37:37 No, he has brought the Truth and verifies the messengers.

اِنَّکُمۡ لَذَآئِقُوا الۡعَذَابِ الۡاَلِیۡمِ ﴿ۚ۳۸﴾

37:38 Surely you will taste the painful punishment.

وَ مَا تُجۡزَوۡنَ اِلَّا مَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۹﴾

37:39 And you are recompensed only for what you did —

اِلَّا عِبَادَ اللّٰہِ الۡمُخۡلَصِیۡنَ ﴿۴۰﴾

37:40 except the servants of Allah, the purified ones.

اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ رِزۡقٌ مَّعۡلُوۡمٌ ﴿ۙ۴۱﴾

37:41 For them is a known sustenance:2

فَوَاکِہُ ۚ وَ ہُمۡ مُّکۡرَمُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۲﴾

37:42 fruits. And they are honoured,

فِیۡ جَنّٰتِ النَّعِیۡمِ ﴿ۙ۴۳﴾

37:43 in Gardens of delight,

عَلٰی سُرُرٍ مُّتَقٰبِلِیۡنَ ﴿۴۴﴾

37:44 on thrones, facing each other.

یُطَافُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ بِکَاۡسٍ مِّنۡ مَّعِیۡنٍۭ ﴿ۙ۴۵﴾

37:45 Round about them is made to go a bowl of running water,

بَیۡضَآءَ لَذَّۃٍ لِّلشّٰرِبِیۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۴۶﴾

37:46 white, delicious to those who drink.

لَا فِیۡہَا غَوۡلٌ وَّ لَا ہُمۡ عَنۡہَا یُنۡزَفُوۡنَ ﴿۴۷﴾

37:47 It does not deprive of reason, nor are they exhausted by it.3

وَ عِنۡدَہُمۡ قٰصِرٰتُ الطَّرۡفِ عِیۡنٌ ﴿ۙ۴۸﴾

37:48 And with them are those modest in gaze, having beautiful eyes,

کَاَنَّہُنَّ بَیۡضٌ مَّکۡنُوۡنٌ ﴿۴۹﴾

37:49 as if they were eggs, carefully protected.4

فَاَقۡبَلَ بَعۡضُہُمۡ عَلٰی بَعۡضٍ یَّتَسَآءَلُوۡنَ ﴿۵۰﴾

37:50 Then they will turn to one another, mutually questioning.

قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مِّنۡہُمۡ اِنِّیۡ کَانَ لِیۡ قَرِیۡنٌ ﴿ۙ۵۱﴾

37:51 A speaker from among them will say: Surely I had a comrade,

یَّقُوۡلُ اَئِنَّکَ لَمِنَ الۡمُصَدِّقِیۡنَ ﴿۵۲﴾

37:52 who said: Are you indeed one of those who accept?

ءَ اِذَا مِتۡنَا وَ کُنَّا تُرَابًا وَّ عِظَامًا ءَ اِنَّا لَمَدِیۡنُوۡنَ ﴿۵۳﴾

37:53 When we are dead and have become dust and bones, shall we then be brought to judgment?

قَالَ ہَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ مُّطَّلِعُوۡنَ ﴿۵۴﴾

37:54 He will say: Will you look?

فَاطَّلَعَ فَرَاٰہُ فِیۡ سَوَآءِ الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿۵۵﴾

37:55 Then he looked down and saw him in the midst of hell.

قَالَ تَاللّٰہِ اِنۡ کِدۡتَّ لَتُرۡدِیۡنِ ﴿ۙ۵۶﴾

37:56 He will say: By Allah! you had almost caused me to perish;

وَ لَوۡ لَا نِعۡمَۃُ رَبِّیۡ لَکُنۡتُ مِنَ الۡمُحۡضَرِیۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾

37:57 and if it were not for the favour of my Lord, I should have been among those brought up (for punishment).

اَفَمَا نَحۡنُ بِمَیِّتِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۵۸﴾

37:58 Are we not to die,

اِلَّا مَوۡتَتَنَا الۡاُوۡلٰی وَ مَا نَحۡنُ بِمُعَذَّبِیۡنَ ﴿۵۹﴾

37:59 except our previous death? And are we not to be punished?

اِنَّ ہٰذَا لَہُوَ الۡفَوۡزُ الۡعَظِیۡمُ ﴿۶۰﴾

37:60 Surely this is the mighty achievement.

لِمِثۡلِ ہٰذَا فَلۡیَعۡمَلِ الۡعٰمِلُوۡنَ ﴿۶۱﴾

37:61 For the like of this, then, let the workers work.

اَذٰلِکَ خَیۡرٌ نُّزُلًا اَمۡ شَجَرَۃُ الزَّقُّوۡمِ ﴿۶۲﴾

37:62 Is this the better entertainment or the tree of Zaqqūm?5

اِنَّا جَعَلۡنٰہَا فِتۡنَۃً لِّلظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۶۳﴾

37:63 Surely We have made it a trial for the wrongdoers.

اِنَّہَا شَجَرَۃٌ تَخۡرُجُ فِیۡۤ اَصۡلِ الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿ۙ۶۴﴾

37:64 It is a tree that grows in the bottom of hell —

طَلۡعُہَا کَاَنَّہٗ رُءُوۡسُ الشَّیٰطِیۡنِ ﴿۶۵﴾

37:65 its produce is as it were the heads of serpents.

فَاِنَّہُمۡ لَاٰکِلُوۡنَ مِنۡہَا فَمَالِـُٔوۡنَ مِنۡہَا الۡبُطُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۶۶﴾

37:66 Then truly they will eat of it and fill (their) bellies with it.

ثُمَّ اِنَّ لَہُمۡ عَلَیۡہَا لَشَوۡبًا مِّنۡ حَمِیۡمٍ ﴿ۚ۶۷﴾

37:67 Then surely they shall have after it a drink of boiling water.

ثُمَّ اِنَّ مَرۡجِعَہُمۡ لَا۠ اِلَی الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿۶۸﴾

37:68 Then their return is surely to the flaming Fire.6

اِنَّہُمۡ اَلۡفَوۡا اٰبَآءَہُمۡ ضَآلِّیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۶۹﴾

37:69 They indeed found their fathers astray,

فَہُمۡ عَلٰۤی اٰثٰرِہِمۡ یُہۡرَعُوۡنَ ﴿۷۰﴾

37:70 so in their footsteps they are hastening on.

وَ لَقَدۡ ضَلَّ قَبۡلَہُمۡ اَکۡثَرُ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۷۱﴾

37:71 And most of the ancients surely went astray before them,

وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا فِیۡہِمۡ مُّنۡذِرِیۡنَ ﴿۷۲﴾

37:72 and indeed We sent among them warners.

فَانۡظُرۡ کَیۡفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَۃُ الۡمُنۡذَرِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۷۳﴾

37:73 Then see what was the end of those warned —

اِلَّا عِبَادَ اللّٰہِ الۡمُخۡلَصِیۡنَ ﴿٪۷۴﴾

37:74 except the servants of Allah, the purified ones.


  1. Though the description of the helplessness of the wrongdoers given in this and the following verses applies to life after death, it equally describes their condition in this life.
  2. The word ma‘lūm (“known”) shows that the sustenance mentioned in the verses that follow is one that is already known to those servants of Allah who are purified from every pollution. This description of the blessings of paradise shows that all those blessings were spiritually tasted by the righteous in this life. In fact, their brief but important description as fruits in the next verse clearly shows those blessings to be the fruits of their good deeds.
  3. The drinks of this life, though a source of pleasure, bring evil in their train. The drinks of the next life cause neither loss of reason, nor exhaustion. The name is common, but the nature of the two is different.
  4. The description of women given here calls attention to the prominent feature of the character of a good woman. Attention is first called to the fact that the most valuable virtue of woman is that rare chastity which is described here as modest in gaze or freedom of the eye from lust. Then the beauty of their eyes is praised, the suggestion clearly being that the real beauty of the eye consists in its purity. Secondly, they are described as being eggs carefully protected, which alludes to their pure and unsoiled character. It should, however, be noted that what is apparently a description of women is really a description of the fruits of deeds done in this life, the words adopted being applicable to both (see the word ḥūr in 52:20), and these are in fact spiritual blessings manifested physically. The blessings which it promises, whatever they may be, are as much meant for men as for women; the only thing certain about them is that their nature is different from the nature of the physical blessings of this life. See also 38:52.
  5. Zaqqūm is “a dust-coloured tree, having small round leaves without thorns. It has a pungent odour and is bitter, and has knots in its stems … the heads of its leaves are very foul” and it also means any deadly food (Lane’s Lexicon). See also 17:60 and 44:43.
  6. The words, then their return is surely to the flaming Fire, are very significant, as if the food and drink described above were to be given to them before they went to hell. This is the reason that it is called an entertainment (v. 62). It is in fact a description of their evil plight in this life as well as in the Hereafter.