English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 42: Ash-Shura — Counsel (Revealed at Makkah: 5 sections, 53 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 42:1–42:9): Divine Mercy in Giving Warning


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

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

حٰمٓ ۚ﴿۱﴾

42:1 Beneficent God!

عٓسٓقٓ ﴿۲﴾

42:2 Knowing, Hearing, Powerful God!1

کَذٰلِکَ یُوۡحِیۡۤ اِلَیۡکَ وَ اِلَی الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِکَ ۙ اللّٰہُ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۳﴾

42:3 Thus does Allah, the Mighty, the Wise, reveal to you, and (He revealed) to those before you.

لَہٗ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ ہُوَ الۡعَلِیُّ الۡعَظِیۡمُ ﴿۴﴾

42:4 To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth; and He is the High, the Great.

تَکَادُ السَّمٰوٰتُ یَتَفَطَّرۡنَ مِنۡ فَوۡقِہِنَّ وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ یُسَبِّحُوۡنَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّہِمۡ وَ یَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ لِمَنۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ الۡغَفُوۡرُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿۵﴾

42:5 The heavens may almost be torn apart above them, while the angels celebrate the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth.2 Now surely Allah is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اَوۡلِیَآءَ اللّٰہُ حَفِیۡظٌ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ۫ۖ وَ مَاۤ اَنۡتَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ بِوَکِیۡلٍ ﴿۶﴾

42:6 And those who take protectors besides Him — Allah watches over them; and you are not in charge of them.

وَ کَذٰلِکَ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ قُرۡاٰنًا عَرَبِیًّا لِّتُنۡذِرَ اُمَّ الۡقُرٰی وَ مَنۡ حَوۡلَہَا وَ تُنۡذِرَ یَوۡمَ الۡجَمۡعِ لَا رَیۡبَ فِیۡہِ ؕ فَرِیۡقٌ فِی الۡجَنَّۃِ وَ فَرِیۡقٌ فِی السَّعِیۡرِ ﴿۷﴾

42:7 And thus have We revealed to you an Arabic Quran, that you may warn the mother-town and those around it,3 and give warning of the day of Gathering, in which there is no doubt. A group will be in the Garden and (another) group in the burning Fire.

وَ لَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ لَجَعَلَہُمۡ اُمَّۃً وَّاحِدَۃً وَّ لٰکِنۡ یُّدۡخِلُ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ فِیۡ رَحۡمَتِہٖ ؕ وَ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ مَا لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ وَّلِیٍّ وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرٍ ﴿۸﴾

42:8 And if Allah had pleased, He would surely have made them a single nation, but He admits whom He pleases to His mercy. And the wrongdoers have no protector nor helper.

اَمِ اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اَوۡلِیَآءَ ۚ فَاللّٰہُ ہُوَ الۡوَلِیُّ وَ ہُوَ یُحۡیِ الۡمَوۡتٰی ۫ وَ ہُوَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ٪﴿۹﴾

42:9 Or have they taken protectors besides Him? But Allah is the Protector, and He gives life to the dead, and He is Powerful over all things.


  1. Verse 1 is the same as 40:1; see the footnote there. Verse 2 consists of three letters: ‘Ain, standing for ‘Alīm or Knowing, Sīn for Samī‘ or Hearing, and Qāf for Qādir or Powerful.
  2. The significance is that the wickedness of man calls for immediate punishment, but the mercy of Allah withholds it. The splitting apart of the heaven is elsewhere used to signify Divine displeasure at the Christian doctrine of the divinity of Jesus (19:90–91). The Divine displeasure at the wickedness of man is very great, but His mercy supercedes all. The angels’ prayer for forgiveness for man shows that Allah Himself desires to forgive man. People’s deeds do not merit forgiveness, but forgiveness is the attribute of the Divine Being, and that Divine attribute is exercised through the solicitude of the angels.
  3. Umm al-Qurā or the mother of the towns is Makkah, which is so called because it was destined to be the spiritual centre of the whole world; see 6:92.