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 5 (Verses 37:139–37:182): Jonah and Holy Prophet’s Triumph


وَ اِنَّ یُوۡنُسَ لَمِنَ الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳۹﴾ؕ

37:139 And Jonah was surely one of the messengers.

اِذۡ اَبَقَ اِلَی الۡفُلۡکِ الۡمَشۡحُوۡنِ ﴿۱۴۰﴾ۙ

37:140 When he fled to the laden ship,1

فَسَاہَمَ فَکَانَ مِنَ الۡمُدۡحَضِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۱﴾ۚ

37:141 so he drew lots and was of those cast away.

فَالۡتَقَمَہُ الۡحُوۡتُ وَ ہُوَ مُلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۴۲﴾

37:142 So the fish took him into its mouth2 while he was blameable.

فَلَوۡ لَاۤ اَنَّہٗ کَانَ مِنَ الۡمُسَبِّحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۳﴾ۙ

37:143 But if he had not been of those who glorify (Us),

لَلَبِثَ فِیۡ بَطۡنِہٖۤ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ یُبۡعَثُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴۴﴾ۚؒ

37:144 he would have remained in its belly till the day when they are raised.3

فَنَبَذۡنٰہُ بِالۡعَرَآءِ وَ ہُوَ سَقِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۴۵﴾ۚ

37:145 Then We cast him on the naked shore, while he was sick.

وَ اَنۡۢبَتۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ شَجَرَۃً مِّنۡ یَّقۡطِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۴۶﴾ۚ

37:146 And We caused a gourd plant to grow up for him.

وَ اَرۡسَلۡنٰہُ اِلٰی مِائَۃِ اَلۡفٍ اَوۡ یَزِیۡدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴۷﴾ۚ

37:147 And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or more.4

فَاٰمَنُوۡا فَمَتَّعۡنٰہُمۡ اِلٰی حِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۴۸﴾ؕ

37:148 And they believed, so We gave them provision till a time.

فَاسۡتَفۡتِہِمۡ اَلِرَبِّکَ الۡبَنَاتُ وَ لَہُمُ الۡبَنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴۹﴾ۙ

37:149 Now ask them whether your Lord has daughters and they have sons?

اَمۡ خَلَقۡنَا الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃَ اِنَاثًا وَّ ہُمۡ شٰہِدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۰﴾

37:150 Or did We create the angels females, while they witnessed?

اَلَاۤ اِنَّہُمۡ مِّنۡ اِفۡکِہِمۡ لَیَقُوۡلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۱﴾ۙ

37:151 Now surely it is of their own lie that they say:

وَلَدَ اللّٰہُ ۙ وَ اِنَّہُمۡ لَکٰذِبُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۲﴾

37:152 Allah has offspring. And truly they are liars.

اَصۡطَفَی الۡبَنَاتِ عَلَی الۡبَنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۳﴾ؕ

37:153 Has He preferred daughters to sons?

مَا لَکُمۡ ۟ کَیۡفَ تَحۡکُمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۴﴾

37:154 What is the matter with you? How do you judge!

اَفَلَا تَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۵﴾ۚ

37:155 Will you not then be mindful?

اَمۡ لَکُمۡ سُلۡطٰنٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۱۵۶﴾ۙ

37:156 Or do you have a clear authority?

فَاۡتُوۡا بِکِتٰبِکُمۡ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۷﴾

37:157 Then bring your Book, if you are truthful.

وَ جَعَلُوۡا بَیۡنَہٗ وَ بَیۡنَ الۡجِنَّۃِ نَسَبًا ؕ وَ لَقَدۡ عَلِمَتِ الۡجِنَّۃُ اِنَّہُمۡ لَمُحۡضَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۸﴾ۙ

37:158 And they assert a relationship between Him and the jinn.5 And certainly the jinn know that they will be brought up (for judgment) —

سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰہِ عَمَّا یَصِفُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۹﴾ۙ

37:159 Glory be to Allah from what they describe!—

اِلَّا عِبَادَ اللّٰہِ الۡمُخۡلَصِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۰﴾

37:160 But not so the servants of Allah, the purified ones.6

فَاِنَّکُمۡ وَ مَا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۱﴾ۙ

37:161 So surely you and what you serve,

مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ بِفٰتِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۲﴾ۙ

37:162 you cannot mislead (anyone) about Him,

اِلَّا مَنۡ ہُوَ صَالِ الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿۱۶۳﴾

37:163 except him who will burn in the flaming Fire.

وَ مَا مِنَّاۤ اِلَّا لَہٗ مَقَامٌ مَّعۡلُوۡمٌ ﴿۱۶۴﴾ۙ

37:164 And there is none of us but has an assigned place,7

وَّ اِنَّا لَنَحۡنُ الصَّآفُّوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۵﴾ۚ

37:165 and most surely we are ranged in ranks,

وَ اِنَّا لَنَحۡنُ الۡمُسَبِّحُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۶﴾

37:166 and we truly glorify (Him).

وَ اِنۡ کَانُوۡا لَیَقُوۡلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۷﴾ۙ

37:167 And surely they used to say:

لَوۡ اَنَّ عِنۡدَنَا ذِکۡرًا مِّنَ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۸﴾ۙ

37:168 If we had a reminder from the ancients,

لَکُنَّا عِبَادَ اللّٰہِ الۡمُخۡلَصِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۹﴾

37:169 we would have been sincere servants of Allah.

فَکَفَرُوۡا بِہٖ فَسَوۡفَ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۰﴾

37:170 But (now) they disbelieve in it, so they will come to know.

وَ لَقَدۡ سَبَقَتۡ کَلِمَتُنَا لِعِبَادِنَا الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۱﴾ۚۖ

37:171 And certainly Our word has already gone forth to Our servants, the messengers,

اِنَّہُمۡ لَہُمُ الۡمَنۡصُوۡرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۲﴾۪

37:172 that they, surely they, will be helped,

وَ اِنَّ جُنۡدَنَا لَہُمُ الۡغٰلِبُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۳﴾

37:173 and Our forces, surely they, will be triumphant.

فَتَوَلَّ عَنۡہُمۡ حَتّٰی حِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۷۴﴾ۙ

37:174 So turn away from them till a time,8

وَّ اَبۡصِرۡہُمۡ فَسَوۡفَ یُبۡصِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۵﴾

37:175 and watch them, they too will see.

اَفَبِعَذَابِنَا یَسۡتَعۡجِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۶﴾

37:176 Would they hasten on Our punishment?

فَاِذَا نَزَلَ بِسَاحَتِہِمۡ فَسَآءَ صَبَاحُ الۡمُنۡذَرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷۷﴾

37:177 So when it descends in their court, evil will be the morning of those who were warned.

وَ تَوَلَّ عَنۡہُمۡ حَتّٰی حِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۷۸﴾ۙ

37:178 And turn away from them till a time,

وَّ اَبۡصِرۡ فَسَوۡفَ یُبۡصِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۹﴾

37:179 and watch, for they too will see.

سُبۡحٰنَ رَبِّکَ رَبِّ الۡعِزَّۃِ عَمَّا یَصِفُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸۰﴾ۚ

37:180 Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Might, above what they describe!

وَ سَلٰمٌ عَلَی الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۸۱﴾ۚ

37:181 And peace be on the messengers!

وَ الۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۸۲﴾٪

37:182 And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!


  1. It is meaningless to say that Jonah fled from God. He was a prophet and knew that no one could flee from God, for God’s kingdom is unlimited. Nor does the Quran say that he fled from God. It would appear that he fled from his people or from the king; see also 21:87 and footnotes.
  2. According to Jonah 1:17, Jonah was devoured by a fish. The word used in the Quran is iltaqama, which does not necessarily signify the act of devouring and means he took into his mouth. According to one explanation, his heel only was drawn by the fish into its mouth.
  3. The meaning is that the fish would have eaten him, and he would have died. By the day when they are raised is not meant the actual day of Resurrec­tion, because the fish could not live to the day of Resurrection. A person’s death is generally called the day of his resurrection in a certain sense.
  4. According to the Bible, the gourd gave shelter to Jonah, but the next day a worm damaged the plant so that it withered, and Jonah grieved for it. The lesson drawn from this incident is stated thus: “But the Lord said, You have had pity on the plant for which you have not laboured, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left” (Jonah 4:10–11). These were the hundred thousand or more persons to which Jonah was sent.
  5. They said that they considered the angels to be daughters of God and worshipped them. In the Quran, however, it is stated that it was really the jinntheir own leaders in evilthat they worshipped, not the angels; see 34:40–41.
  6. It is the evildoers that will be brought up for judgment (v. 158), not the servants of Allah.
  7. These words are put into the mouth of the believers.
  8. That is, the time of victory.