English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 40: Al-Mumin — The Believer (Revealed at Makkah: 9 sections, 85 verses)

Section 3 (Verses 40:21–40:27): A Warning in Moses’ History


اَوَ لَمۡ یَسِیۡرُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَیَنۡظُرُوۡا کَیۡفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَۃُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَانُوۡا مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ ؕ کَانُوۡا ہُمۡ اَشَدَّ مِنۡہُمۡ قُوَّۃً وَّ اٰثَارًا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَاَخَذَہُمُ اللّٰہُ بِذُنُوۡبِہِمۡ ؕ وَ مَا کَانَ لَہُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ وَّاقٍ ﴿۲۱﴾

40:21 Have they not travelled in the land and seen what was the end of those who were before them? Mightier than these were they in strength and in fortifications in the land, but Allah destroyed them for their sins. And they had none to protect them from Allah.

ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَانَتۡ تَّاۡتِیۡہِمۡ رُسُلُہُمۡ بِالۡبَیِّنٰتِ فَکَفَرُوۡا فَاَخَذَہُمُ اللّٰہُ ؕ اِنَّہٗ قَوِیٌّ شَدِیۡدُ الۡعِقَابِ ﴿۲۲﴾

40:22 That was because their messengers had come to them with clear arguments, but they disbelieved, so Allah destroyed them. Surely He is Strong, Severe in retribution.

وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مُوۡسٰی بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَ سُلۡطٰنٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿ۙ۲۳﴾

40:23 And certainly We sent Moses with Our messages and clear authority,

اِلٰی فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ ہَامٰنَ وَ قَارُوۡنَ فَقَالُوۡا سٰحِرٌ کَذَّابٌ ﴿۲۴﴾

40:24 to Pharaoh and Hāmān and Korah,1 but they said: A lying enchanter!

فَلَمَّا جَآءَہُمۡ بِالۡحَقِّ مِنۡ عِنۡدِنَا قَالُوا اقۡتُلُوۡۤا اَبۡنَآءَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَہٗ وَ اسۡتَحۡیُوۡا نِسَآءَہُمۡ ؕ وَ مَا کَیۡدُ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ اِلَّا فِیۡ ضَلٰلٍ ﴿۲۵﴾

40:25 So when he brought to them the Truth from Us, they said:2 Kill the sons of those who believe with him and keep their women alive. And the plot of the disbelievers is bound to fail.

وَ قَالَ فِرۡعَوۡنُ ذَرُوۡنِیۡۤ اَقۡتُلۡ مُوۡسٰی وَ لۡیَدۡعُ رَبَّہٗ ۚ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ اَنۡ یُّبَدِّلَ دِیۡنَکُمۡ اَوۡ اَنۡ یُّظۡہِرَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ الۡفَسَادَ ﴿۲۶﴾

40:26 And Pharaoh said: Leave me to kill Moses and let him call upon his Lord. Surely I fear that he will change your religion or that he will make mischief to appear in the land.

وَ قَالَ مُوۡسٰۤی اِنِّیۡ عُذۡتُ بِرَبِّیۡ وَ رَبِّکُمۡ مِّنۡ کُلِّ مُتَکَبِّرٍ لَّا یُؤۡمِنُ بِیَوۡمِ الۡحِسَابِ ﴿٪۲۷﴾

40:27 And Moses said: Truly I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every proud one who does not believe in the day of Reckoning.


  1. The words do not indicate that the message to Pharaoh and Hāmān and Korah was given at one and the same time. All that is meant is that these three were the chief men who did not accept his message and they were destroyed.
  2. A perusal of the verses that follow will show that the speaker here is only Pharaoh, as advised by his chiefs, both he and Hāmān being mentioned by name, the latter in v. 36, while no mention is made of Korah.