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 3 (Verses 42:20–42:29): Allah’s Dealing is Just


مَنۡ کَانَ یُرِیۡدُ حَرۡثَ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ نَزِدۡ لَہٗ فِیۡ حَرۡثِہٖ ۚ وَ مَنۡ کَانَ یُرِیۡدُ حَرۡثَ الدُّنۡیَا نُؤۡتِہٖ مِنۡہَا وَ مَا لَہٗ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ مِنۡ نَّصِیۡبٍ ﴿۲۰﴾

42:20 Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his harvest; and whoever desires the harvest of this world, We give him of it, and he has no portion in the Hereafter.

اَمۡ لَہُمۡ شُرَکٰٓؤُا شَرَعُوۡا لَہُمۡ مِّنَ الدِّیۡنِ مَا لَمۡ یَاۡذَنۡۢ بِہِ اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ لَوۡ لَا کَلِمَۃُ الۡفَصۡلِ لَقُضِیَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ ؕ وَ اِنَّ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۱﴾

42:21 Or do they have partners (of Allah) who have prescribed for them any religion that Allah does not sanction? And if it were not for the word of judgment (of respite), the matter would certainly have been decided between them. And surely for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.1

تَرَی الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ مُشۡفِقِیۡنَ مِمَّا کَسَبُوۡا وَ ہُوَ وَاقِعٌۢ بِہِمۡ ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ فِیۡ رَوۡضٰتِ الۡجَنّٰتِ ۚ لَہُمۡ مَّا یَشَآءُوۡنَ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہِمۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الۡفَضۡلُ الۡکَبِیۡرُ ﴿۲۲﴾

42:22 You see the wrongdoers fearing on account of what they have earned, and it must befall them. And those who believe and do good are in the meadows of the Gardens — they have what they please with their Lord. That is the great grace.

ذٰلِکَ الَّذِیۡ یُبَشِّرُ اللّٰہُ عِبَادَہُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ ؕ قُلۡ لَّاۤ اَسۡـَٔلُکُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ اَجۡرًا اِلَّا الۡمَوَدَّۃَ فِی الۡقُرۡبٰی ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّقۡتَرِفۡ حَسَنَۃً نَّزِدۡ لَہٗ فِیۡہَا حُسۡنًا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ شَکُوۡرٌ ﴿۲۳﴾

42:23 This is what Allah gives the good news of, to His servants who believe and do good. Say: I ask of you nothing in return for it but love for relatives.2 And whoever earns good, We give him more of good in it. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Grateful.

اَمۡ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ افۡتَرٰی عَلَی اللّٰہِ کَذِبًا ۚ فَاِنۡ یَّشَاِ اللّٰہُ یَخۡتِمۡ عَلٰی قَلۡبِکَ ؕ وَ یَمۡحُ اللّٰہُ الۡبَاطِلَ وَ یُحِقُّ الۡحَقَّ بِکَلِمٰتِہٖ ؕ اِنَّہٗ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ ﴿۲۴﴾

42:24 Or do they say: He has forged a lie against Allah? So, if Allah please, He would seal your heart (against them). And Allah blots out the falsehood and confirms the Truth with His words.3 Surely He is Knower of what is in the hearts.

وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ یَقۡبَلُ التَّوۡبَۃَ عَنۡ عِبَادِہٖ وَ یَعۡفُوۡا عَنِ السَّیِّاٰتِ وَ یَعۡلَمُ مَا تَفۡعَلُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۵﴾

42:25 And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons evil deeds, and He knows what you do;

وَ یَسۡتَجِیۡبُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ یَزِیۡدُہُمۡ مِّنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ ؕ وَ الۡکٰفِرُوۡنَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ شَدِیۡدٌ ﴿۲۶﴾

42:26 and He answers those who believe and do good deeds, and gives them more out of His grace. And for the disbelievers is a severe punishment.

وَ لَوۡ بَسَطَ اللّٰہُ الرِّزۡقَ لِعِبَادِہٖ لَبَغَوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لٰکِنۡ یُّنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَّا یَشَآءُ ؕ اِنَّہٗ بِعِبَادِہٖ خَبِیۡرٌۢ بَصِیۡرٌ ﴿۲۷﴾

42:27 And if Allah were to amplify the provision for His servants, they would rebel in the earth; but He sends (it) down by measure, as He pleases. Surely He is Aware, Seer of His servants.

وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ یُنَزِّلُ الۡغَیۡثَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا قَنَطُوۡا وَ یَنۡشُرُ رَحۡمَتَہٗ ؕ وَ ہُوَ الۡوَلِیُّ الۡحَمِیۡدُ ﴿۲۸﴾

42:28 And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and He unfolds His mercy. And He is the Friend, the Praised One.

وَ مِنۡ اٰیٰتِہٖ خَلۡقُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ مَا بَثَّ فِیۡہِمَا مِنۡ دَآبَّۃٍ ؕ وَ ہُوَ عَلٰی جَمۡعِہِمۡ اِذَا یَشَآءُ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿٪۲۹﴾

42:29 And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and all the living beings He has spread forth in both of them. And He is All-powerful to gather them together, when He will.


  1. The word of judgment indicates a judgment already pronounced, that a respite will be given to the wrongdoers so that they may have an opportunity to reform themselves.
  2. The statement that the Prophet did not ask for any reward at all is made very often in the Quran. The Arabs, closely related as they were to each other, were in a state of constant warfare. They are told to give up mutual warfare and to love one another. A similar statement is made elsewhere: “I ask of you no reward for it except that whoever wishes may take a way to his Lord” (25:57). In both cases what the Prophet wanted was not a reward for himself, but it was a good for the people themselves, being, in the second case, that they walk in the ways of God or lead godly lives and, in the first, that they love one another.
  3. The sealing of the Prophet’s heart signifies making it secure against the abuse of his opponents, who called him an impostor. By blotting out the false­hood and confirming the Truth, the abuses would be stopped, and thus his heart would be made secure against them. The “words” here imply the prophecies whose fulfilment would firmly establish the Truth.