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 2 (Verses 39:10–39:21): Believers and Disbelievers


قُلۡ یٰعِبَادِ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوۡا رَبَّکُمۡ ؕ لِلَّذِیۡنَ اَحۡسَنُوۡا فِیۡ ہٰذِہِ الدُّنۡیَا حَسَنَۃٌ ؕ وَ اَرۡضُ اللّٰہِ وَاسِعَۃٌ ؕ اِنَّمَا یُوَفَّی الصّٰبِرُوۡنَ اَجۡرَہُمۡ بِغَیۡرِ حِسَابٍ ﴿۱۰﴾

39:10 Say: O My servants who believe, keep your duty to your Lord. For those who do good in this world is good, and Allah’s earth is spacious.1 Truly the steadfast will be paid their reward without measure.

قُلۡ اِنِّیۡۤ اُمِرۡتُ اَنۡ اَعۡبُدَ اللّٰہَ مُخۡلِصًا لَّہُ الدِّیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾

39:11 Say: I am commanded to serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience,

وَ اُمِرۡتُ لِاَنۡ اَکُوۡنَ اَوَّلَ الۡمُسۡلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾

39:12 and I am commanded to be the first of those who submit.

قُلۡ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ اِنۡ عَصَیۡتُ رَبِّیۡ عَذَابَ یَوۡمٍ عَظِیۡمٍ ﴿۱۳﴾

39:13 Say: I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the punishment of a grievous day.

قُلِ اللّٰہَ اَعۡبُدُ مُخۡلِصًا لَّہٗ دِیۡنِیۡ ﴿ۙ۱۴﴾

39:14 Say: Allah I serve, being sincere to Him in my obedience.

فَاعۡبُدُوۡا مَا شِئۡتُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِہٖ ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ الۡخٰسِرِیۡنَ الَّذِیۡنَ خَسِرُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ اَہۡلِیۡہِمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ؕ اَلَا ذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الۡخُسۡرَانُ الۡمُبِیۡنُ ﴿۱۵﴾

39:15 Serve then what you will besides Him. Say: The losers surely are those who lose themselves and their people on the day of Resurrection. Now surely that is the manifest loss!

لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ فَوۡقِہِمۡ ظُلَلٌ مِّنَ النَّارِ وَ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہِمۡ ظُلَلٌ ؕ ذٰلِکَ یُخَوِّفُ اللّٰہُ بِہٖ عِبَادَہٗ ؕ یٰعِبَادِ فَاتَّقُوۡنِ ﴿۱۶﴾

39:16 They shall have coverings of fire above them and coverings beneath them. With that Allah makes His servants to fear; so keep your duty to Me, O My servants.

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اجۡتَنَبُوا الطَّاغُوۡتَ اَنۡ یَّعۡبُدُوۡہَا وَ اَنَابُوۡۤا اِلَی اللّٰہِ لَہُمُ الۡبُشۡرٰی ۚ فَبَشِّرۡ عِبَادِ ﴿ۙ۱۷﴾

39:17 And those who shun the worship of the idols and turn to Allah, for them is good news. So give good news to My servants,

الَّذِیۡنَ یَسۡتَمِعُوۡنَ الۡقَوۡلَ فَیَتَّبِعُوۡنَ اَحۡسَنَہٗ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہَدٰىہُمُ اللّٰہُ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمۡ اُولُوا الۡاَلۡبَابِ ﴿۱۸﴾

39:18 who listen to the Word, then follow the best of it. Such are they whom Allah has guided, and such are they who have understanding.

اَفَمَنۡ حَقَّ عَلَیۡہِ کَلِمَۃُ الۡعَذَابِ ؕ اَفَاَنۡتَ تُنۡقِذُ مَنۡ فِی النَّارِ ﴿ۚ۱۹﴾

39:19 He against whom the sentence of punishment is due — can you save him who is in the Fire?

لٰکِنِ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّقَوۡا رَبَّہُمۡ لَہُمۡ غُرَفٌ مِّنۡ فَوۡقِہَا غُرَفٌ مَّبۡنِیَّۃٌ ۙ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ ۬ؕ وَعۡدَ اللّٰہِ ؕ لَا یُخۡلِفُ اللّٰہُ الۡمِیۡعَادَ ﴿۲۰﴾

39:20 But those who keep their duty to their Lord, for them are high places, above which are yet higher places,2 built (for them), in which rivers flow. (It is) the promise of Allah. Allah does not fail in (His) promise.

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ اَنۡزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَسَلَکَہٗ یَنَابِیۡعَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ثُمَّ یُخۡرِجُ بِہٖ زَرۡعًا مُّخۡتَلِفًا اَلۡوَانُہٗ ثُمَّ یَہِیۡجُ فَتَرٰىہُ مُصۡفَرًّا ثُمَّ یَجۡعَلُہٗ حُطَامًا ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَذِکۡرٰی لِاُولِی الۡاَلۡبَابِ ﴿٪۲۱﴾

39:21 Do you not see that Allah sends down water from the clouds, then makes it go down into the earth in springs, then brings forth with it vegetation of various colours; then it withers so that you see it turn yellow, then He makes it chaff?3 Surely there is a reminder in this for those who have understanding.


  1. The words are a comfort to the Muslims, who were subjected to sufferings in their own land, and give them the assurance that, if suppressed in one land, Islam will prosper in other lands.
  2. This shows that in the Hereafter, and in this life as well, there is an unceasing progress, for the high places to which the righteous attain have places still higher above them.
  3. The allusion is to the fate of nations; they are brought into existence, made to rise, then decay and are swept out of existence. Even Muslim nations are subject to the same law, but Islam itself, being a law of life, is not subject to decay. The place of one nation that decays is taken by another. Moreover, nations that decay because of their transgressions may again be raised to life by turning to righteousness.