English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 43: Az-Zukhruf — Gold (Revealed at Makkah: 7 sections, 89 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 43:16–43:25): Polytheism Condemned


اَمِ اتَّخَذَ مِمَّا یَخۡلُقُ بَنٰتٍ وَّ اَصۡفٰکُمۡ بِالۡبَنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶﴾

43:16 Or has He taken daughters to Himself of what He creates and chosen you to have sons?1

وَ اِذَا بُشِّرَ اَحَدُہُمۡ بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحۡمٰنِ مَثَلًا ظَلَّ وَجۡہُہٗ مُسۡوَدًّا وَّ ہُوَ کَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۷﴾

43:17 And when one of them is given news (of the birth) of that the like of which he ascribes to the Beneficent, his face becomes black and he is full of rage.

اَوَ مَنۡ یُّنَشَّؤُا فِی الۡحِلۡیَۃِ وَ ہُوَ فِی الۡخِصَامِ غَیۡرُ مُبِیۡنٍ ﴿۱۸﴾

43:18 Is one decked with ornaments and unable to make plain speech in disputes (a partner with God)?2

وَ جَعَلُوا الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ عِبٰدُ الرَّحۡمٰنِ اِنَاثًا ؕ اَشَہِدُوۡا خَلۡقَہُمۡ ؕ سَتُکۡتَبُ شَہَادَتُہُمۡ وَ یُسۡـَٔلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۹﴾

43:19 And they consider the angels, who are the servants of the Beneficent, to be females. Did they witness their creation? Their evidence will be recorded and they will be questioned.

وَ قَالُوۡا لَوۡ شَآءَ الرَّحۡمٰنُ مَا عَبَدۡنٰہُمۡ ؕ مَا لَہُمۡ بِذٰلِکَ مِنۡ عِلۡمٍ ٭ اِنۡ ہُمۡ اِلَّا یَخۡرُصُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۲۰﴾

43:20 And they say: If the Beneficent had pleased, we would not have worshipped them. They have no knowledge of this; they only lie.

اَمۡ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمۡ کِتٰبًا مِّنۡ قَبۡلِہٖ فَہُمۡ بِہٖ مُسۡتَمۡسِکُوۡنَ ﴿۲۱﴾

43:21 Or have We given them a Book before it so that they hold fast to it?

بَلۡ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا وَجَدۡنَاۤ اٰبَآءَنَا عَلٰۤی اُمَّۃٍ وَّ اِنَّا عَلٰۤی اٰثٰرِہِمۡ مُّہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۲۲﴾

43:22 Rather, they say: We found our fathers on a course, and surely we are guided by their footsteps.

وَ کَذٰلِکَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلِکَ فِیۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ مِّنۡ نَّذِیۡرٍ اِلَّا قَالَ مُتۡرَفُوۡہَاۤ ۙ اِنَّا وَجَدۡنَاۤ اٰبَآءَنَا عَلٰۤی اُمَّۃٍ وَّ اِنَّا عَلٰۤی اٰثٰرِہِمۡ مُّقۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۲۳﴾

43:23 And thus, We did not send before you a warner in a town, but its wealthy ones said: Surely we found our fathers following a religion, and we follow their footsteps.

قٰلَ اَوَ لَوۡ جِئۡتُکُمۡ بِاَہۡدٰی مِمَّا وَجَدۡتُّمۡ عَلَیۡہِ اٰبَآءَکُمۡ ؕ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا بِمَاۤ اُرۡسِلۡتُمۡ بِہٖ کٰفِرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾

43:24 (The warner) said: And even if I bring to you a better guide than that which you found your fathers following? They said: We surely disbelieve in what you are sent with.

فَانۡتَقَمۡنَا مِنۡہُمۡ فَانۡظُرۡ کَیۡفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَۃُ الۡمُکَذِّبِیۡنَ ﴿٪۲۵﴾

43:25 So We exacted retribution from them, then see what was the end of the rejectors!


  1. This subject is also dealt with in 16:57–58 and 37:149–153. In the latter place there is clear mention of their calling the angels daughters of God. Similar words occur in v. 19. The next verse shows how untrue they were to themselves, as they ascribed daughters to God but disliked daughters for them­selves.
  2. The reference in this verse is to the idols which were bedecked with ornaments. The inability of the idols to speak is adduced by Abraham as an argument against their divinity (21:63), and the same inability of the idols to answer the prayers of their devotees is advanced as an argument against the divinity of the golden calf (20:89). It should be borne in mind that the two doc­trines, taking the angels as daughters of God and worship of female divinities, were connected with each other in the Arab mind.