English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 38: Sad — Sad (Revealed at Makkah: 5 sections, 88 verses)


The title of this chapter is taken from its initial letter Ṣād which stands for Ṣādiq, meaning here Truthful God. It describes the sufferings of prophets at the hands of their enemies but the Truthful God foretold the discomfiture of the enemy and the final triumph of truth. It relates the accounts of David and Solomon, who faced enmity despite being mighty kings, and then describes the tribulations of Job and his deliverance from them. The chapter ends with a mention of the typical opposition of the devil to the prophet-man. Chapters 34 to 39 form one group, belonging most probably to the middle period at Makkah.

List of Sections (Rukus):

  1. The Enemy’s Discomfiture (Verses 38:1–38:14)
  2. David’s Enemies (Verses 38:15–38:26)
  3. Solomon and his Enemies (Verses 38:27–38:40)
  4. Job — Triumph of the Righteous (Verses 38:41–38:64)
  5. Opposition to Prophets (Verses 38:65–38:88)