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 2 (Verses 42:10–42:19): Judgment is Given


وَ مَا اخۡتَلَفۡتُمۡ فِیۡہِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ فَحُکۡمُہٗۤ اِلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ ذٰلِکُمُ اللّٰہُ رَبِّیۡ عَلَیۡہِ تَوَکَّلۡتُ ٭ۖ وَ اِلَیۡہِ اُنِیۡبُ ﴿۱۰﴾

42:10 And in whatever you differ, its judgment is with Allah. That is Allah, my Lord; on Him I rely, and to Him I turn.

فَاطِرُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ جَعَلَ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ اَزۡوَاجًا وَّ مِنَ الۡاَنۡعَامِ اَزۡوَاجًا ۚ یَذۡرَؤُکُمۡ فِیۡہِ ؕ لَیۡسَ کَمِثۡلِہٖ شَیۡءٌ ۚ وَ ہُوَ السَّمِیۡعُ الۡبَصِیۡرُ ﴿۱۱﴾

42:11 The Originator of the heavens and the earth, He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs of the cattle, too, multiplying you thereby. Nothing is like Him;1 and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

لَہٗ مَقَالِیۡدُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ۚ یَبۡسُطُ الرِّزۡقَ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ وَ یَقۡدِرُ ؕ اِنَّہٗ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۲﴾

42:12 His are the treasures of the heavens and the earth — He amplifies provision for whom He pleases, and restricts (it also). Surely He is Knower of all things.

شَرَعَ لَکُمۡ مِّنَ الدِّیۡنِ مَا وَصّٰی بِہٖ نُوۡحًا وَّ الَّذِیۡۤ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ وَ مَا وَصَّیۡنَا بِہٖۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ وَ مُوۡسٰی وَ عِیۡسٰۤی اَنۡ اَقِیۡمُوا الدِّیۡنَ وَ لَا تَتَفَرَّقُوۡا فِیۡہِ ؕ کَبُرَ عَلَی الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ مَا تَدۡعُوۡہُمۡ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ اَللّٰہُ یَجۡتَبِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ وَ یَہۡدِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِ مَنۡ یُّنِیۡبُ ﴿۱۳﴾

42:13 He has made plain to you the religion which He enjoined upon Noah and which We have revealed to you, and which We enjoined on Abraham and Moses and Jesus — to establish religion and not to be divided in (regard to) it.2 Hard it is for those who set up partners (with Allah), what you invite them to. Allah chooses for Himself whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).

وَ مَا تَفَرَّقُوۡۤا اِلَّا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَہُمُ الۡعِلۡمُ بَغۡیًۢا بَیۡنَہُمۡ ؕ وَ لَوۡ لَا کَلِمَۃٌ سَبَقَتۡ مِنۡ رَّبِّکَ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّی لَّقُضِیَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ ؕ وَ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اُوۡرِثُوا الۡکِتٰبَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِہِمۡ لَفِیۡ شَکٍّ مِّنۡہُ مُرِیۡبٍ ﴿۱۴﴾

42:14 And they were not divided until after knowledge had come to them, out of envy among themselves. And if a word had not gone forth from your Lord for an appointed term, judgment would surely have been given between them. And those who were made to inherit the Book after them are surely in disquieting doubt about it.3

فَلِذٰلِکَ فَادۡعُ ۚ وَ اسۡتَقِمۡ کَمَاۤ اُمِرۡتَ ۚ وَ لَا تَتَّبِعۡ اَہۡوَآءَہُمۡ ۚ وَ قُلۡ اٰمَنۡتُ بِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ مِنۡ کِتٰبٍ ۚ وَ اُمِرۡتُ لِاَعۡدِلَ بَیۡنَکُمۡ ؕ اَللّٰہُ رَبُّنَا وَ رَبُّکُمۡ ؕ لَنَاۤ اَعۡمَالُنَا وَ لَکُمۡ اَعۡمَالُکُمۡ ؕ لَا حُجَّۃَ بَیۡنَنَا وَ بَیۡنَکُمۡ ؕ اَللّٰہُ یَجۡمَعُ بَیۡنَنَا ۚ وَ اِلَیۡہِ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿ؕ۱۵﴾

42:15 To this then go on inviting, and be steadfast as you are commanded, and do not follow their low desires, and say: I believe in what Allah has revealed of the Book, and I am commanded to do justice between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds, and for you your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. Allah will gather us together, and to Him is the eventual coming.4

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یُحَآجُّوۡنَ فِی اللّٰہِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا اسۡتُجِیۡبَ لَہٗ حُجَّتُہُمۡ دَاحِضَۃٌ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہِمۡ وَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ غَضَبٌ وَّ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ شَدِیۡدٌ ﴿۱۶﴾

42:16 And those who dispute about Allah after obedience has been rendered to Him, their plea is null with their Lord, and upon them is wrath, and for them is severe punishment.5

اَللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡۤ اَنۡزَلَ الۡکِتٰبَ بِالۡحَقِّ وَ الۡمِیۡزَانَ ؕ وَ مَا یُدۡرِیۡکَ لَعَلَّ السَّاعَۃَ قَرِیۡبٌ ﴿۱۷﴾

42:17 Allah is He Who revealed the Book with truth, and (He revealed) the measure;6 and what will make you know that perhaps the Hour is near.

یَسۡتَعۡجِلُ بِہَا الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِہَا ۚ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مُشۡفِقُوۡنَ مِنۡہَا ۙ وَ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ اَنَّہَا الۡحَقُّ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ یُمَارُوۡنَ فِی السَّاعَۃِ لَفِیۡ ضَلٰلٍۭ بَعِیۡدٍ ﴿۱۸﴾

42:18 Those who do not believe in it would hasten it on, and those who believe are in fear from it, and they know that it is the Truth. Now surely those who dispute concerning the Hour are far astray.

اَللّٰہُ لَطِیۡفٌۢ بِعِبَادِہٖ یَرۡزُقُ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ۚ وَ ہُوَ الۡقَوِیُّ الۡعَزِیۡزُ ﴿٪۱۹﴾

42:19 Allah is Benignant to His servants, He gives sustenance to whom He pleases, and He is the Strong, the Mighty.


  1. So transcendent is the Divine Being, and so far above all material conceptions, that a likeness of Him cannot be conceived, even metaphorically. The words translated like Him literally mean like a likeness of Him. He is not only above all material limitations, but even above the limitation of metaphor.
  2. Even so early did the Quran announce that the religion preached by the Prophet was not a new religion, but, so far as its basic principles were con­cerned, it was the same religion as was preached by Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus. The basic principle of Islam — entire submission to One God only — is, in fact, the basic principle of the common religion of humanity.
  3. The pronoun them in those who were made to inherit the Book after them refers to the prophets. The people who were made to inherit the Book after the prophets, rejected the very message with which these prophets came. But they are told that their punishment is postponed till an appointed term. Such was the Divine law — a word gone forth from your Lord — that the struggle against Truth gathers strength at first and seems to have the upper hand for a time, but it ultimately comes to naught, thus showing that an unseen hand works in support of the Truth.
  4. The argument was so simple and sound. The Prophet told the follow­ers of earlier revelation that he was a believer in what Allah had revealed of the Book, in all revelation that came before him, and the basic principles of his reve­la­tion were the same as those of the earlier revelation. The whole thing was so clear that there could not be any dispute. There is a clear ray of hope in the concluding verses — Allah will gather us — that they will ultimately accept the Truth. (Editor’s Note: Muslims are here commanded to do justice and follow principles instead of prejudices in judging others. It is added that Allah will judge every­one, Muslim or otherwise, by their deeds, and not claims and labels.)
  5. The reference in those who dispute about Allah after obedience has been rendered to Him may be to the followers of earlier revelation, because their books required obedience to a Prophet who should appear after them. Or, the meaning may be, after people have begun to enter Islam, and Islam has been estab­lished in the land despite the severest opposition.
  6. For the meaning of mīzān (‘measure’ or ‘balance’) in the Quran, see 55:7 footnote. Elsewhere it is said: “Certainly We sent Our messengers with clear arguments, and sent down with them the Book and the measure (mīzān), that people may conduct themselves with equity” (57:25). Thus, the purpose of reveal­ing the balance or measure is that people may conduct themselves with equity; in other words that they may be able to carry out the ordinances contained in the Book justly. This is what the Prophet shows by his example. The ordinances of the Book are given in words, and the Prophet translates them into deeds, so that it is by following his example that people are led aright. The Prophet’s example is thus a balance or measure which is as essential for the right guidance of people as the Book. According to some, the mīzān here means the Law by which the rights and obligations of people are weighed.