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 3 (Verses 37:75–37:113): Noah and Abraham


وَ لَقَدۡ نَادٰىنَا نُوۡحٌ فَلَنِعۡمَ الۡمُجِیۡبُوۡنَ ﴿۫ۖ۷۵﴾

37:75 And Noah certainly called upon Us, and excellent Answerer of prayers are We!

وَ نَجَّیۡنٰہُ وَ اَہۡلَہٗ مِنَ الۡکَرۡبِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ ﴿۫ۖ۷۶﴾

37:76 And We delivered him and his people from the great distress;

وَ جَعَلۡنَا ذُرِّیَّتَہٗ ہُمُ الۡبٰقِیۡنَ ﴿۫ۖ۷۷﴾

37:77 and made his offspring the survivors,

وَ تَرَکۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ فِی الۡاٰخِرِیۡنَ ﴿۫ۖ۷۸﴾

37:78 and granted him among the later generations (the salutation)

سَلٰمٌ عَلٰی نُوۡحٍ فِی الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۷۹﴾

37:79 peace be on Noah among the nations!

اِنَّا کَذٰلِکَ نَجۡزِی الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۸۰﴾

37:80 Thus do We reward the doers of good.

اِنَّہٗ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۸۱﴾

37:81 Surely he was one of Our believing servants.

ثُمَّ اَغۡرَقۡنَا الۡاٰخَرِیۡنَ ﴿۸۲﴾

37:82 Then We drowned the others.

وَ اِنَّ مِنۡ شِیۡعَتِہٖ لَاِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ ﴿ۘ۸۳﴾

37:83 And surely of his party was Abraham.

اِذۡ جَآءَ رَبَّہٗ بِقَلۡبٍ سَلِیۡمٍ ﴿۸۴﴾

37:84 When he came to his Lord with a secure heart.

اِذۡ قَالَ لِاَبِیۡہِ وَ قَوۡمِہٖ مَاذَا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۸۵﴾

37:85 When he said to his sire and his people: What is it that you worship?

اَئِفۡکًا اٰلِہَۃً دُوۡنَ اللّٰہِ تُرِیۡدُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۸۶﴾

37:86 A lie — gods besides Allah do you desire?

فَمَا ظَنُّکُمۡ بِرَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۸۷﴾

37:87 What is then your idea about the Lord of the worlds?

فَنَظَرَ نَظۡرَۃً فِی النُّجُوۡمِ ﴿ۙ۸۸﴾

37:88 Then he glanced a glance at the stars,

فَقَالَ اِنِّیۡ سَقِیۡمٌ ﴿۸۹﴾

37:89 and said: Surely I am sick (of your deities).1

فَتَوَلَّوۡا عَنۡہُ مُدۡبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۹۰﴾

37:90 So they turned their backs on him, going away.

فَرَاغَ اِلٰۤی اٰلِہَتِہِمۡ فَقَالَ اَلَا تَاۡکُلُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۹۱﴾

37:91 Then he turned to their gods and said: Do you not eat?

مَا لَکُمۡ لَا تَنۡطِقُوۡنَ ﴿۹۲﴾

37:92 What is the matter with you that you do not speak?

فَرَاغَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ضَرۡبًۢا بِالۡیَمِیۡنِ ﴿۹۳﴾

37:93 So he turned upon them, striking with the right hand.

فَاَقۡبَلُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِ یَزِفُّوۡنَ ﴿۹۴﴾

37:94 Then they came to him, hurrying.

قَالَ اَتَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مَا تَنۡحِتُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۹۵﴾

37:95 He said: Do you worship that which you carve out?

وَ اللّٰہُ خَلَقَکُمۡ وَ مَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۹۶﴾

37:96 And Allah has created you and what you make.

قَالُوا ابۡنُوۡا لَہٗ بُنۡیَانًا فَاَلۡقُوۡہُ فِی الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿۹۷﴾

37:97 They said: Build for him a building, then cast him into the flaming fire.

فَاَرَادُوۡا بِہٖ کَیۡدًا فَجَعَلۡنٰہُمُ الۡاَسۡفَلِیۡنَ ﴿۹۸﴾

37:98 And they designed a plan against him, but We brought them low.

وَ قَالَ اِنِّیۡ ذَاہِبٌ اِلٰی رَبِّیۡ سَیَہۡدِیۡنِ ﴿۹۹﴾

37:99 And he said: Surely I flee to my Lord — He will guide me.

رَبِّ ہَبۡ لِیۡ مِنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۰﴾

37:100 My Lord, grant me a doer of good deeds.

فَبَشَّرۡنٰہُ بِغُلٰمٍ حَلِیۡمٍ ﴿۱۰۱﴾

37:101 So We gave him the good news of a forbearing son.

فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَہُ السَّعۡیَ قَالَ یٰبُنَیَّ اِنِّیۡۤ اَرٰی فِی الۡمَنَامِ اَنِّیۡۤ اَذۡبَحُکَ فَانۡظُرۡ مَاذَا تَرٰی ؕ قَالَ یٰۤاَبَتِ افۡعَلۡ مَا تُؤۡمَرُ ۫ سَتَجِدُنِیۡۤ اِنۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ مِنَ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۲﴾

37:102 But when he became of age to work with him, he said: My son, I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you:2 so consider what you think. He said: My father, do as you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me patient.

فَلَمَّاۤ اَسۡلَمَا وَ تَلَّہٗ لِلۡجَبِیۡنِ ﴿۱۰۳﴾ۚ

37:103 So when they both submitted and he had thrown him down upon his forehead,

وَ نَادَیۡنٰہُ اَنۡ یّٰۤاِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ ﴿۱۰۴﴾ۙ

37:104 and We called out to him saying, O Abraham,

قَدۡ صَدَّقۡتَ الرُّءۡیَا ۚ اِنَّا کَذٰلِکَ نَجۡزِی الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۵﴾

37:105 you have indeed fulfilled the vision.3 Thus do We reward the doers of good.

اِنَّ ہٰذَا لَہُوَ الۡبَلٰٓـؤُا الۡمُبِیۡنُ ﴿۱۰۶﴾

37:106 Surely this is a manifest trial.

وَ فَدَیۡنٰہُ بِذِبۡحٍ عَظِیۡمٍ ﴿۱۰۷﴾

37:107 And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.4

وَ تَرَکۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ فِی الۡاٰخِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۸﴾ۖ

37:108 And We granted him among the later generations (the salutation):

سَلٰمٌ عَلٰۤی اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ ﴿۱۰۹﴾

37:109 Peace be on Abraham!

کَذٰلِکَ نَجۡزِی الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۰﴾

37:110 Thus do We reward the doers of good.

اِنَّہٗ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۱﴾

37:111 Surely he was one of Our believing servants.

وَ بَشَّرۡنٰہُ بِاِسۡحٰقَ نَبِیًّا مِّنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۲﴾

37:112 And We gave him the good news of Isaac, a prophet, a righteous one.

وَ بٰرَکۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ وَ عَلٰۤی اِسۡحٰقَ ؕ وَ مِنۡ ذُرِّیَّتِہِمَا مُحۡسِنٌ وَّ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفۡسِہٖ مُبِیۡنٌ ﴿۱۱۳﴾٪

37:113 And We blessed him and Isaac.5 And among their offspring some are doers of good, but some are clearly unjust to themselves.


  1. The people with whom Abraham contended were not only wor­shippers of idols, but also worshippers of stars. Hence Abraham cast a glance at the stars and declared that he could not bear their worshipping others than God. The words here may also be translated as I bear spite to your false gods.
  2. That the child spoken of here was Ishmael and not Isaac is made clear by v. 112, which states that it was after this incident that Abraham received the news of the birth of Isaac. This, no doubt, contradicts the Bible statement, but the fact that Ishmael’s descendants kept a memorial of this sacrifice in the annual pilgrimage to Makkah shows clearly that Ishmael, and not Isaac, was the son whom Abraham was commanded to sacrifice. Moreover, the Bible contradicts itself when it speaks of Isaac as “your only son” (Genesis, 22:2). Only Ishmael could be spoken of as “only son” before the birth of Isaac.
  3. The words, you have indeed fulfilled the vision, show that the act of slaughtering was not needed for the fulfilment of the vision; the preparedness to do it amounted to its fulfilment. According to the Bible, Abraham cast out his son Ishmael and his mother Hagar in some wilderness when Ishmael was fourteen years of age (Genesis, 21:9–21). The Quran is silent on this point, but, according to Bukhari, the incident occurred when Ishmael was yet a suckling, and it was not in accordance with the wishes of Sarah but according to a Divine commandment that Abraham left Hagar and Ishmael in the wilderness near the Sacred House, and it was here, when Ishmael was in distress, that the water at Zamzam was dis­covered (Bukhari, 60:9). The reference in the words you have indeed fulfilled the vision may be to this incident, Abraham being told that the dream had already been fulfilled by casting out Ishmael and leaving him at Makkah.
  4. To commemorate Ishmael’s sacrifice, a great sacrifice was ordered. This was not only the sacrifice of a ram on this particular occasion, but the great institution of sacrifice now connected with the pilgrimage to Makkah. Perhaps there is also a reference here to the abolition of human sacrifice, which was pre­valent among most ancient nations, and the significance is that the place of human sacrifice was now forever being taken by the sacrifice of a ram.
  5. Abraham and Isaac are spoken of distinctly to show that by blessing Abraham is here meant blessing his descendants through Ishmael.