English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)
by Maulana Muhammad Ali
Chapter 38: Sad — Sad (Revealed at Makkah: 5 sections, 88 verses)
Section 4 (Verses 38:41–38:64): Job — Triumph of the Righteous
وَ اذۡکُرۡ عَبۡدَنَاۤ اَیُّوۡبَ ۘ اِذۡ نَادٰی رَبَّہٗۤ اَنِّیۡ مَسَّنِیَ الشَّیۡطٰنُ بِنُصۡبٍ وَّ عَذَابٍ ﴿ؕ۴۱﴾
38:41 And remember Our servant Job. When he cried to his Lord: The devil has afflicted me with toil and torment.1
اُرۡکُضۡ بِرِجۡلِکَ ۚ ہٰذَا مُغۡتَسَلٌۢ بَارِدٌ وَّ شَرَابٌ ﴿۴۲﴾
38:42 Urge with your foot; here is a cool washing-place and a drink.2
وَ وَہَبۡنَا لَہٗۤ اَہۡلَہٗ وَ مِثۡلَہُمۡ مَّعَہُمۡ رَحۡمَۃً مِّنَّا وَ ذِکۡرٰی لِاُولِی الۡاَلۡبَابِ ﴿۴۳﴾
38:43 And We gave him (back) his people and more like them with them,3 a mercy from Us, and a reminder for those who have understanding.
وَ خُذۡ بِیَدِکَ ضِغۡثًا فَاضۡرِبۡ بِّہٖ وَ لَا تَحۡنَثۡ ؕ اِنَّا وَجَدۡنٰہُ صَابِرًا ؕ نِعۡمَ الۡعَبۡدُ ؕ اِنَّہٗۤ اَوَّابٌ ﴿۴۴﴾
38:44 And take in your hand few worldly goods and earn goodness therewith and do not incline to falsehood.4 Surely We found him patient; most excellent the servant! Surely he (ever) turned (to Us).
وَ اذۡکُرۡ عِبٰدَنَاۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ وَ اِسۡحٰقَ وَ یَعۡقُوۡبَ اُولِی الۡاَیۡدِیۡ وَ الۡاَبۡصَارِ ﴿۴۵﴾
38:45 And remember Our servants Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, possessors of power and insight.
اِنَّاۤ اَخۡلَصۡنٰہُمۡ بِخَالِصَۃٍ ذِکۡرَی الدَّارِ ﴿ۚ۴۶﴾
38:46 We indeed purified them by a pure quality, the keeping in mind of the (final) abode.
وَ اِنَّہُمۡ عِنۡدَنَا لَمِنَ الۡمُصۡطَفَیۡنَ الۡاَخۡیَارِ ﴿ؕ۴۷﴾
38:47 And surely they were with Us, among the elect, the best.
وَ اذۡکُرۡ اِسۡمٰعِیۡلَ وَ الۡیَسَعَ وَ ذَاالۡکِفۡلِ ؕ وَ کُلٌّ مِّنَ الۡاَخۡیَارِ ﴿ؕ۴۸﴾
38:48 And remember Ishmael and Elisha and Dhu-l-Kifl; and they were all of the best.
ہٰذَا ذِکۡرٌ ؕ وَ اِنَّ لِلۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ لَحُسۡنَ مَاٰبٍ ﴿ۙ۴۹﴾
38:49 This is a reminder. And surely there is an excellent destination for the dutiful:
جَنّٰتِ عَدۡنٍ مُّفَتَّحَۃً لَّہُمُ الۡاَبۡوَابُ ﴿ۚ۵۰﴾
38:50 Gardens of perpetuity — the doors are opened for them.5
مُتَّکِـِٕیۡنَ فِیۡہَا یَدۡعُوۡنَ فِیۡہَا بِفَاکِہَۃٍ کَثِیۡرَۃٍ وَّ شَرَابٍ ﴿۵۱﴾
38:51 Reclining therein, calling therein for many fruits and drink.
وَ عِنۡدَہُمۡ قٰصِرٰتُ الطَّرۡفِ اَتۡرَابٌ ﴿۵۲﴾
38:52 And with them are those modest in gaze, equals in age.6
ہٰذَا مَا تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ لِیَوۡمِ الۡحِسَابِ ﴿ؓ۵۳﴾
38:53 This is what you are promised for the day of Reckoning.
اِنَّ ہٰذَا لَرِزۡقُنَا مَا لَہٗ مِنۡ نَّفَادٍ ﴿ۚۖ۵۴﴾
38:54 Surely this is Our sustenance; it will never come to an end —
ہٰذَا ؕ وَ اِنَّ لِلطّٰغِیۡنَ لَشَرَّ مَاٰبٍ ﴿ۙ۵۵﴾
38:55 This (is for the good)! And surely there is an evil destination for the inordinate —
جَہَنَّمَ ۚ یَصۡلَوۡنَہَا ۚ فَبِئۡسَ الۡمِہَادُ ﴿۵۶﴾
38:56 hell. They will enter it. And evil is the resting-place.
ہٰذَا ۙ فَلۡیَذُوۡقُوۡہُ حَمِیۡمٌ وَّ غَسَّاقٌ ﴿ۙ۵۷﴾
38:57 This — so let them taste it, boiling and intensely cold (drink),7
وَّ اٰخَرُ مِنۡ شَکۡلِہٖۤ اَزۡوَاجٌ ﴿ؕ۵۸﴾
38:58 and other similar (punishment), of various sorts.
ہٰذَا فَوۡجٌ مُّقۡتَحِمٌ مَّعَکُمۡ ۚ لَا مَرۡحَبًۢا بِہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ صَالُوا النَّارِ ﴿۵۹﴾
38:59 This is an army rushing headlong with you8 — no welcome for them! Surely they will burn in fire.
قَالُوۡا بَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ ۟ لَا مَرۡحَبًۢا بِکُمۡ ؕ اَنۡتُمۡ قَدَّمۡتُمُوۡہُ لَنَا ۚ فَبِئۡسَ الۡقَرَارُ ﴿۶۰﴾
38:60 They say:9 Rather (it is) you — no welcome to you! You prepared it for us. And evil is the resting-place.
قَالُوۡا رَبَّنَا مَنۡ قَدَّمَ لَنَا ہٰذَا فَزِدۡہُ عَذَابًا ضِعۡفًا فِی النَّارِ ﴿۶۱﴾
38:61 They say: Our Lord, whoever prepared it for us, give him more, a double, punishment in the Fire.
وَ قَالُوۡا مَا لَنَا لَا نَرٰی رِجَالًا کُنَّا نَعُدُّہُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَشۡرَارِ ﴿ؕ۶۲﴾
38:62 And they say: What is the matter with us? — we do not see men whom we used to count among the wicked.
اَتَّخَذۡنٰہُمۡ سِخۡرِیًّا اَمۡ زَاغَتۡ عَنۡہُمُ الۡاَبۡصَارُ ﴿۶۳﴾
38:63 Did we (only) take them in scorn, or do our eyes miss them?
اِنَّ ذٰلِکَ لَحَقٌّ تَخَاصُمُ اَہۡلِ النَّارِ ﴿٪۶۴﴾
38:64 That surely is the truth — the contending among themselves of the inmates of the Fire.
- The story of Job is given here as well as in the 21st chapter, being more brief there than here. All that the Quran states about him is that he was a righteous person who suffered some kind of distress, remained patient under trials, and was ultimately delivered from affliction. The toil and torment of which Job complains seem to relate to some journey of his in a desert, where he finds himself in an evil plight, on account of the fatigue of the journey and the thirst which afflicts him. There are many circumstances which point to this conclusion: the use of the word nuṣb, signifying toil or fatigue; his being led to a place where he finds a cool washing-place and a drink; and the mention of the devil (shaiṭān) in connection with his trouble, for shaiṭān al-falā, lit., the devil of the desert, signifies thirst. The mention of this distressing journey of Job contains, no doubt, a hint to the Prophet’s long journey from Makkah to Madinah, which was to be undertaken under particularly distressing circumstances. This journey of Job was undoubtedly undertaken in connection with the delivery of the message with which he was entrusted, just as in the case of the Holy Prophet’s emigration. ↩
- The meaning is urge your horse to go further, and the result is that there he finds a place where he is able to refresh himself both with drink and washing. He thought that he was in a waterless desert, and in reply to his prayer he is told to urge his horse or the beast he rode upon to trot further on, where he will find rest. It is a lesson not to despair under difficulties. ↩
- The giving of his people or his family to him means that he met them again. The more like them with them are his followers. As I have already stated, there is a prophetical reference to the Prophet’s Flight in Job’s journey, and the Prophet again met not only his followers who fled from Makkah, but found also more like them at Madinah, i.e., the Anṣār (‘helpers’) of Madinah. ↩
- Usually these words are translated thus: “Take in your hand a branch and strike with it and do not break the oath”. To explain these words, a story is added about his wife’s impatience and Job’s oath in that connection, but this story has no basis. The word ḍighth means not only a handful of twigs or shrubs but also a handful of worldly goods. The word ḍarb (strike) carries a number of significances. Job was a rich man and hence he is here told not to be inclined too much to the attainment of worldly riches. They are only needed to the extent of enabling a man to earn goodness thereby. ↩
- That is, the doors of these gardens are opened for them in this very life; or, they are always open to them. ↩
- For the modest in gaze, see 37:49 footnote. Here, in addition, they are called equals in age, as showing that their growth begins with the growth of spiritual life in a human being, thus showing that they are the fruits of good deeds, whether done by males or females, who would all have these fruits equally. ↩
- They will be made to consume intensely hot and intensely cold drink, because they went to the two extremes and did not follow the mean. ↩
- This is the army of blind followers of falsehood. ↩
- The speakers here are the blind followers, those addressed being the ringleaders. ↩