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 5 (Verses 42:44–42:53): Revelation Guides Aright


وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلِ اللّٰہُ فَمَا لَہٗ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِہٖ ؕ وَ تَرَی الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ لَمَّا رَاَوُا الۡعَذَابَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ ہَلۡ اِلٰی مَرَدٍّ مِّنۡ سَبِیۡلٍ ﴿ۚ۴۴﴾

42:44 And he whom Allah leaves in error, has no friend after Him. And you will see the wrongdoers, when they see the punishment, saying: Is there any way of return?

وَ تَرٰىہُمۡ یُعۡرَضُوۡنَ عَلَیۡہَا خٰشِعِیۡنَ مِنَ الذُّلِّ یَنۡظُرُوۡنَ مِنۡ طَرۡفٍ خَفِیٍّ ؕ وَ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنَّ الۡخٰسِرِیۡنَ الَّذِیۡنَ خَسِرُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ اَہۡلِیۡہِمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ فِیۡ عَذَابٍ مُّقِیۡمٍ ﴿۴۵﴾

42:45 And you will see them brought before it, humbling themselves because of disgrace, looking with a faint glance. And those who believe will say: Surely the losers are they who lose themselves and their followers on the day of Resurrection. Now surely the wrongdoers are in lasting punishment.

وَ مَا کَانَ لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ اَوۡلِیَآءَ یَنۡصُرُوۡنَہُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلِ اللّٰہُ فَمَا لَہٗ مِنۡ سَبِیۡلٍ ﴿ؕ۴۶﴾

42:46 And they will have no friends to help them besides Allah. And he whom Allah leaves in error cannot find a way.

اِسۡتَجِیۡبُوۡا لِرَبِّکُمۡ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ یَّاۡتِیَ یَوۡمٌ لَّا مَرَدَّ لَہٗ مِنَ اللّٰہِ ؕ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ مَّلۡجَاٍ یَّوۡمَئِذٍ وَّ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ نَّکِیۡرٍ ﴿۴۷﴾

42:47 Respond to your Lord before the day comes from Allah which cannot be averted. You will have no refuge on that day, nor will it be yours to make a denial.

فَاِنۡ اَعۡرَضُوۡا فَمَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ حَفِیۡظًا ؕ اِنۡ عَلَیۡکَ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ ؕ وَ اِنَّاۤ اِذَاۤ اَذَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنَّا رَحۡمَۃً فَرِحَ بِہَا ۚ وَ اِنۡ تُصِبۡہُمۡ سَیِّئَۃٌۢ بِمَا قَدَّمَتۡ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ فَاِنَّ الۡاِنۡسَانَ کَفُوۡرٌ ﴿۴۸﴾

42:48 But if they turn away, We have not sent you as a watcher over them. Your duty is only to deliver the message. And surely when We make man taste mercy from Us, he rejoices at it; and if an evil afflicts them on account of what their hands have already done, then surely man is ungrateful.

لِلّٰہِ مُلۡکُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ یَخۡلُقُ مَا یَشَآءُ ؕیَہَبُ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ اِنَاثًا وَّ یَہَبُ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ الذُّکُوۡرَ ﴿ۙ۴۹﴾

42:49 Allah’s is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He pleases. He grants females to whom He pleases and grants males to whom He pleases,

اَوۡ یُزَوِّجُہُمۡ ذُکۡرَانًا وَّ اِنَاثًا ۚ وَ یَجۡعَلُ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ عَقِیۡمًا ؕ اِنَّہٗ عَلِیۡمٌ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۵۰﴾

42:50 or He grants them both males and females, and He makes whom He pleases barren. Surely He is Knower, Powerful.1

وَ مَا کَانَ لِبَشَرٍ اَنۡ یُّکَلِّمَہُ اللّٰہُ اِلَّا وَحۡیًا اَوۡ مِنۡ وَّرَآیِٔ حِجَابٍ اَوۡ یُرۡسِلَ رَسُوۡلًا فَیُوۡحِیَ بِاِذۡنِہٖ مَا یَشَآءُ ؕ اِنَّہٗ عَلِیٌّ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۵۱﴾

42:51 And it is not granted to a mortal that Allah should speak to him, except by revelation or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger and revealing by His permission what He pleases.2 Surely He is High, Wise.

وَ کَذٰلِکَ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ رُوۡحًا مِّنۡ اَمۡرِنَا ؕ مَا کُنۡتَ تَدۡرِیۡ مَا الۡکِتٰبُ وَ لَا الۡاِیۡمَانُ وَ لٰکِنۡ جَعَلۡنٰہُ نُوۡرًا نَّہۡدِیۡ بِہٖ مَنۡ نَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا ؕ وَ اِنَّکَ لَتَہۡدِیۡۤ اِلٰی صِرَاطٍ مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٍ ﴿ۙ۵۲﴾

42:52 And thus did We reveal to you an inspired Book by Our command.3 You did not know what the Book was, nor (what) Faith (was), but We made it a light, guiding with it whom We please of Our servants. And surely you guide to the right path —

صِرَاطِ اللّٰہِ الَّذِیۡ لَہٗ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِلَی اللّٰہِ تَصِیۡرُ الۡاُمُوۡرُ ﴿٪۵۳﴾

42:53 the path of Allah, to Whom belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Now surely to Allah do all affairs eventually come.


  1. The birth of a daughter was looked upon by the Arabs as a calamity (see 16:58–59), this being due to the low position which women held in society. The wonderful change brought about by Islam in the status of woman is clearly foreshadowed in this early revelation, where the daughter has the precedence over the son.
  2. According to this verse Allah speaks to a person in three ways: (1) by waḥy, meaning the inspired word which enters the hearts of the prophets and of the righteous. It is in this sense that a revelation is spoken of as being granted to the mother of Moses (28:7), and to the disciples of Jesus who were not prophets (5:111). (2) “from behind a veil” — a scene is shown as in a vision carrying a deeper significance, or words are heard by the person spoken to as from behind a veil. (3) The third form of revelation is that in which a messenger — an angel — is chosen by the Almighty to deliver His message to the person to whom He wishes to speak. This is the highest form of revelation, and such is the revelation of the Quran as granted to the Holy Prophet, being recited by the angel Gabriel. This revelation is granted only to prophets, while the other two may also be gran­ted to the righteous who are not prophets. It should, however, be borne in mind that in all these cases the recipient of the revelation is granted certain other senses. He sees what others do not see and he hears words which others do not hear. It is, therefore, with what may be called the spiritual senses that he hears and sees and feels things which others do not hear, see, or feel.
  3. The words “and thus” refer to the last mode of granting revelation, because the Quran is spoken of as having been brought by the Angel Gabriel (2:97) or the Faithful Spirit (26:193). The word translated as “inspired Book” here is rūḥ, usually meaning spirit. Its use as meaning inspiration, and not the soul, is conclusive here. The Quran may be called the rūḥ or the spirit because it gave life to a dead world. It is dead again, and again will life be breathed into it by the Quran.