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 4 (Verses 39:32–39:41): Rejectors will be Disgraced

Translation:

Part 2439:32 Who is, then, more unjust than he who utters a lie against Allah and denies the truth when it comes to him? Is there not in hell an abode for the disbelievers?
39:33 And he who brings the truth and accepts the truth — such are the dutiful.
39:34 They shall have with their Lord what they please. Such is the reward of the doers of good —
39:35 that Allah may ward off from them the worst of what they did, and give them their reward for the best of what they did.1
39:36 Is not Allah sufficient for His servant? And they seek to frighten you with those (whom they worship) besides Him.2 And whomsoever Allah leaves in error, there is no guide for him.
39:37 And whom Allah guides, there is none that can lead him astray. Is not Allah Mighty, the Lord of retribution?
39:38 And if you ask them, Who created the heavens and the earth, they will say: Allah. Say: Do you then see that those you call upon besides Allah, would they, if Allah desire to afflict me with harm, remove His harm? Or if He desire to show me mercy, could they withhold His mercy? Say: Allah is sufficient for me. On Him do the reliant rely.
39:39 Say: My people, work in your place. Surely I am a worker, so you will soon come to know,
39:40 who it is to whom a punishment comes, disgracing him, and on whom falls a lasting punishment.3
39:41 Surely We have revealed to you the Book with truth for (the good of) people. So whoever goes aright, it is for his own soul, and whoever goes astray, goes astray only to its detriment. And you are not in charge of them.

Commentary:

  1. The Quran brought about an unprecedented revolution in the world. People who took pride in doing evil deeds now aspired to deeds of righteousness. They were thus turned away from the worst deeds to the best. This verse propheti­cally refers to this great change.
  2. The superstitious Arabs no doubt believed that their idols could do harm to people who did not admit their authority.
  3. Two kinds of punishment are plainly spoken of, viz., the punishment that will bring disgrace, which is clearly the punishment of this life, and the last­ing punishment that the wicked receive in the life after death. The first of these demonstrates the truth of the other.

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