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 4 (Verses 42:30–42:43): Believers should be Patient


وَ مَاۤ اَصَابَکُمۡ مِّنۡ مُّصِیۡبَۃٍ فَبِمَا کَسَبَتۡ اَیۡدِیۡکُمۡ وَ یَعۡفُوۡا عَنۡ کَثِیۡرٍ ﴿ؕ۳۰﴾

42:30 And whatever misfortune befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have earned and He pardons much.

وَ مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ بِمُعۡجِزِیۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ۚۖ وَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرٍ ﴿۳۱﴾

42:31 And you cannot escape in the earth, and besides Allah you have no protector nor helper.

وَ مِنۡ اٰیٰتِہِ الۡجَوَارِ فِی الۡبَحۡرِ کَالۡاَعۡلَامِ ﴿ؕ۳۲﴾

42:32 And of His signs are the ships, like mountains on the sea.

اِنۡ یَّشَاۡ یُسۡکِنِ الرِّیۡحَ فَیَظۡلَلۡنَ رَوَاکِدَ عَلٰی ظَہۡرِہٖ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیٰتٍ لِّکُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَکُوۡرٍ ﴿ۙ۳۳﴾

42:33 If He will, He stills the wind so that they lie motionless on its back. Surely there are signs in this for every patient, grateful one,

اَوۡ یُوۡبِقۡہُنَّ بِمَا کَسَبُوۡا وَ یَعۡفُ عَنۡ کَثِیۡرٍ ﴿۫۳۴﴾

42:34 or He causes them to perish for what they have earned, and He pardons much;1

وَّ یَعۡلَمَ الَّذِیۡنَ یُجَادِلُوۡنَ فِیۡۤ اٰیٰتِنَا ؕ مَا لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ مَّحِیۡصٍ ﴿۳۵﴾

42:35 and (that) those who dispute about Our messages may know. There is no refuge for them.

فَمَاۤ اُوۡتِیۡتُمۡ مِّنۡ شَیۡءٍ فَمَتَاعُ الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا ۚ وَ مَا عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ خَیۡرٌ وَّ اَبۡقٰی لِلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَلٰی رَبِّہِمۡ یَتَوَکَّلُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۳۶﴾

42:36 So whatever you are given is but a provision of this world’s life, and what Allah has is better and more lasting for those who believe and rely on their Lord;

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَجۡتَنِبُوۡنَ کَبٰٓئِرَ الۡاِثۡمِ وَ الۡفَوَاحِشَ وَ اِذَا مَا غَضِبُوۡا ہُمۡ یَغۡفِرُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۳۷﴾

42:37 and those who shun the great sins and indecencies, and whenever they are angry they forgive;

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اسۡتَجَابُوۡا لِرَبِّہِمۡ وَ اَقَامُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ ۪ وَ اَمۡرُہُمۡ شُوۡرٰی بَیۡنَہُمۡ ۪ وَ مِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰہُمۡ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۳۸﴾

42:38 and those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and whose affairs are (decided) by counsel among themselves, and who spend (on good works) out of what We have given them;2

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اِذَاۤ اَصَابَہُمُ الۡبَغۡیُ ہُمۡ یَنۡتَصِرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۹﴾

42:39 and those who, when great wrong afflicts them, defend themselves.

وَ جَزٰٓؤُا سَیِّئَۃٍ سَیِّئَۃٌ مِّثۡلُہَا ۚ فَمَنۡ عَفَا وَ اَصۡلَحَ فَاَجۡرُہٗ عَلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَا یُحِبُّ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۴۰﴾

42:40 And the recompense of evil is punishment like it; but whoever forgives and brings about reform, his reward is with Allah. Surely He does not love the wrongdoers.3

وَ لَمَنِ انۡتَصَرَ بَعۡدَ ظُلۡمِہٖ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ مَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ مِّنۡ سَبِیۡلٍ ﴿ؕ۴۱﴾

42:41 And whoever defends himself after his being oppressed, these it is against whom there is no way (of blame).

اِنَّمَا السَّبِیۡلُ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ یَظۡلِمُوۡنَ النَّاسَ وَ یَبۡغُوۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ بِغَیۡرِ الۡحَقِّ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۲﴾

42:42 The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress people and revolt in the earth unjustly. For such there is a painful punishment.

وَ لَمَنۡ صَبَرَ وَ غَفَرَ اِنَّ ذٰلِکَ لَمِنۡ عَزۡمِ الۡاُمُوۡرِ ﴿٪۴۳﴾

42:43 And whoever is patient and forgives — that surely is an affair of great resolution.


  1. The ship in these two verses is the ship of the affairs of the disbelie­vers, which was ultimately to be wrecked, yet Allah dealt with them merci­fully by pardoning most of the wicked things they did. The next verse makes the signi­fi­cance clear by drawing attention to the fact that the statement is a warning to those who dispute about the messages of Allah, that they will find no refuge when their ship is wrecked.
  2. Muslims are here enjoined as usual to observe prayer and to spend out of what Allah has given them, yet between these two injunctions, which always go together in the Quran, is placed a third: whose affairs are decided by counsel among themselves. At the early period when this verse was revealed, the Muslims had no important matters to decide for which they might have stood in need of counsel. The injunction is clearly meant to prepare them for transacting the momentous affairs of State and all matters connected with national weal or woe. All affairs of the Islamic state must be transacted by counsel. In this Islam has laid the basis of Government by parliaments, and the idea found a clear practical expression in the early days of the Caliphate, when the Khalifa had to refer every important affair to counsel.
  3. Punishment must be proportionate to the evil committed, a very just and necessary restriction. Forgiveness here is not neglected, nor preached in such a manner as to make it impracticable. There is in Islam neither the one extreme of an eye for an eye nor the opposite one of turning the other cheek. It teaches the golden and beautiful mean that forgiveness may be exercised, if forgiveness will mend the matter and do good to the wrongdoer himself. The object to be kept in view is to bring about reform, whether it is attained by giving proportionate punishment or by exercising forgiveness.