English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 41: Ha Mim — Ha Mim (Revealed at Makkah: 6 sections, 54 verses)

Section 6 (Verses 41:45–41:54): Gradual Spread of Truth

Translation:

41:45 And indeed We gave Moses the Book, but differences arose concerning it. And if a word had not already gone forth from your Lord, judgment would have been given between them. And surely they are in a disquieting doubt about it.
41:46 Whoever does good, it is for the good of his own soul; and whoever does evil, it is to its detriment. And your Lord is not in the least unjust to the servants.
Part 2541:47 To Him is referred the knowledge of the Hour. And no fruit comes forth from its coverings, nor does a female bear or give birth but with His knowledge. And on the day when He calls out to them: Where are My partners, they will say: We declare to You, not one of us can bear witness.
41:48 And those whom they called upon before will fail them, and they will know that they cannot escape.
41:49 Man does not tire of praying for good, but, if evil touches him, he is despairing, hopeless.
41:50 And if We make him taste mercy from Us after distress has touched him, he says: This is due to me,1 and I do not think that the Hour will ever come; and if I am sent back to my Lord, I shall have sure good with Him. So We shall certainly inform those who disbelieve of what they do, and We shall make them taste of hard punishment.
41:51 And when We show favour to man, he turns away and withdraws himself; but when evil touches him, he is full of lengthy supplications.
41:52 Say: Do you see, if it is from Allah, then you disbelieve in it, who is in greater error than he who is in opposition far away?
41:53 We will soon show them Our signs in farthest regions and among their own people,2 until it is quite clear to them that it is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord is a Witness over all things?
41:54 Now surely they are in doubt as to the meeting with their Lord. Now surely He encompasses all things.

Commentary:

  1. The words indicate man’s ungratefulness for Divine blessings. He does not recognize Divine goodness in those gifts, but says “this is due to me”, i.e., I have obtained it by my own exertion and I deserve it. And then he denies the Judgment.
  2. The word āfāq means borders or extremeties of the earth, or its remote sides, and the great message conveyed here is that Islam will spread to the most distant regions of the earth, the words their own people denoting the Arabs. What is stated here is that Islam will quickly spread, not only in Arabia but in the remote regions of the earth, and this prophecy is contained in a chapter revealed early at Makkah, when Muslims were being severely persecuted and the message of Islam had apparently little hope of finding acceptance anywhere. If the pro­phecy is so clear, its fulfilment is clearer still. Within twenty years of its birth, Islam spread through the whole of Arabia, and within a hundred years, it reached the farthest regions of the earth, both in the East and the West. Both the prophecy and its fulfilment are thus two of the most amazing facts of history.

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