English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 39: Az-Zumar — The Companies (Revealed at Makkah: 8 sections, 75 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 39:1–39:9): Obedience to Allah

Translation:

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

تَنۡزِیۡلُ الۡکِتٰبِ مِنَ اللّٰہِ الۡعَزِیۡزِ الۡحَکِیۡمِ ﴿۱﴾

39:1 The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.

اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ الۡکِتٰبَ بِالۡحَقِّ فَاعۡبُدِ اللّٰہَ مُخۡلِصًا لَّہُ الدِّیۡنَ ؕ﴿۲﴾

39:2 Surely We have revealed to you the Book with truth, so serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience.

اَلَا لِلّٰہِ الدِّیۡنُ الۡخَالِصُ ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اَوۡلِیَآءَ ۘ مَا نَعۡبُدُہُمۡ اِلَّا لِیُقَرِّبُوۡنَاۤ اِلَی اللّٰہِ زُلۡفٰی ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَحۡکُمُ بَیۡنَہُمۡ فِیۡ مَا ہُمۡ فِیۡہِ یَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ ۬ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَہۡدِیۡ مَنۡ ہُوَ کٰذِبٌ کَفَّارٌ ﴿۳﴾

39:3 Now surely sincere obedience is due to Allah (alone). And those who choose protectors besides Him (say): We serve them only that they may bring us nearer to Allah.1 Surely Allah will judge between them in that in which they differ. Surely Allah does not guide him who is a liar, ungrateful.

لَوۡ اَرَادَ اللّٰہُ اَنۡ یَّتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا لَّاصۡطَفٰی مِمَّا یَخۡلُقُ مَا یَشَآءُ ۙ سُبۡحٰنَہٗ ؕ ہُوَ اللّٰہُ الۡوَاحِدُ الۡقَہَّارُ ﴿۴﴾

39:4 If Allah desired to take a son to Himself, He could have chosen those He pleased out of those whom He has created — Glory be to Him! He is Allah, the One, the Subduer (of all).2

خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ بِالۡحَقِّ ۚ یُکَوِّرُ الَّیۡلَ عَلَی النَّہَارِ وَ یُکَوِّرُ النَّہَارَ عَلَی الَّیۡلِ وَ سَخَّرَ الشَّمۡسَ وَ الۡقَمَرَ ؕ کُلٌّ یَّجۡرِیۡ لِاَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی ؕ اَلَا ہُوَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡغَفَّارُ ﴿۵﴾

39:5 He has created the heavens and the earth with truth; He makes the night cover the day and makes the day overtake the night, and He has made the sun and the moon subservient; each one moves on to an assigned term. Now surely He is the Mighty, the Forgiver.

خَلَقَکُمۡ مِّنۡ نَّفۡسٍ وَّاحِدَۃٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنۡہَا زَوۡجَہَا وَ اَنۡزَلَ لَکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَنۡعَامِ ثَمٰنِیَۃَ اَزۡوَاجٍ ؕ یَخۡلُقُکُمۡ فِیۡ بُطُوۡنِ اُمَّہٰتِکُمۡ خَلۡقًا مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ خَلۡقٍ فِیۡ ظُلُمٰتٍ ثَلٰثٍ ؕ ذٰلِکُمُ اللّٰہُ رَبُّکُمۡ لَہُ الۡمُلۡکُ ؕ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ۚ فَاَنّٰی تُصۡرَفُوۡنَ ﴿۶﴾

39:6 He created you from a single being, then made its mate of the same (kind). And He sent down for you eight of the cattle in pairs.3 He creates you in the wombs of your mothers — creation after creation — in triple darkness. That is Allah, your Lord; His is the kingdom. There is no God but He. How are you then turned away (from truth)?

اِنۡ تَکۡفُرُوۡا فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَنِیٌّ عَنۡکُمۡ ۟ وَ لَا یَرۡضٰی لِعِبَادِہِ الۡکُفۡرَ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تَشۡکُرُوۡا یَرۡضَہُ لَکُمۡ ؕ وَ لَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَۃٌ وِّزۡرَ اُخۡرٰی ؕ ثُمَّ اِلٰی رَبِّکُمۡ مَّرۡجِعُکُمۡ فَیُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ؕ اِنَّہٗ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ ﴿۷﴾

39:7 If you are ungrateful, then surely Allah is above need of you. And He does not like ungratefulness in His servants. And if you are grateful, He likes it for you. And no bearer of a burden will bear another’s burden. Then to your Lord is your return, then will He inform you of what you did. Surely He is Knower of what is in the hearts.

وَ اِذَا مَسَّ الۡاِنۡسَانَ ضُرٌّ دَعَا رَبَّہٗ مُنِیۡبًا اِلَیۡہِ ثُمَّ اِذَا خَوَّلَہٗ نِعۡمَۃً مِّنۡہُ نَسِیَ مَا کَانَ یَدۡعُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ وَ جَعَلَ لِلّٰہِ اَنۡدَادًا لِّیُضِلَّ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖ ؕ قُلۡ تَمَتَّعۡ بِکُفۡرِکَ قَلِیۡلًا ٭ۖ اِنَّکَ مِنۡ اَصۡحٰبِ النَّارِ ﴿۸﴾

39:8 And when distress afflicts a man he calls upon his Lord, turning to Him; then when He grants him a favour from Him, he forgets that for which he called upon Him before, and sets up rivals to Allah that he may cause (others) to stray from His path. Say: Enjoy your ungratefulness for a little, surely you are among the companions of the Fire.

اَمَّنۡ ہُوَ قَانِتٌ اٰنَآءَ الَّیۡلِ سَاجِدًا وَّ قَآئِمًا یَّحۡذَرُ الۡاٰخِرَۃَ وَ یَرۡجُوۡا رَحۡمَۃَ رَبِّہٖ ؕ قُلۡ ہَلۡ یَسۡتَوِی الَّذِیۡنَ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ؕ اِنَّمَا یَتَذَکَّرُ اُولُوا الۡاَلۡبَابِ ٪﴿۹﴾

39:9 Is he who is obedient during hours of the night, prostrating himself and standing, taking care of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord (like one who is ungrateful) —? Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only those who have understanding are mindful.

Commentary:

  1. All worshippers of false deities claim that such deities are worshipped only to get nearer to God, as if God Himself were unapproachable. The idol-worshippers say that the idols are only symbols for concentration on God, while the Christians, plainly spoken of in the next verse, hold that without the Son they can have no access to God. But undue reverence of created things is a step leading to degradation of human nature. Hence it is that Islam requires sincere obedience to, or worship of, God alone.
  2. We find the Christian doctrine referred to and refuted in very early Makkan revelations, such as the 19th chapter. The Quran refers to the error of attributing a son to the Divine Being almost as frequently as to the setting up of idols. It is pointed out here that no one holds a relation of sonship to Allah, but that it is His chosen servants that are metaphorically called His sons, because in being manifestations of the Divine attributes they stand to Allah in the same rela­tion as a son stands to a father, being images of His attributes as a son is the image of a father.
  3. The word anzala is not only applied to the actual sending down of a thing, but also to making it accessible to people, just as iron (57:25) and clothing (7:26) are spoken of as having been “sent down”. It is in this sense that the cattle are spoken of here as being sent down for people. The eight of the cattle are the four pairs spoken of in 6:143–144. The four animals are mentioned particularly as being most useful for man.

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