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 3 (Verses 43:26–43:35): Allah’s Choice of a Prophet


وَ اِذۡ قَالَ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ لِاَبِیۡہِ وَ قَوۡمِہٖۤ اِنَّنِیۡ بَرَآءٌ مِّمَّا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۶﴾

43:26 And when Abraham said to his sire and his people: I am clear of what you worship,

اِلَّا الَّذِیۡ فَطَرَنِیۡ فَاِنَّہٗ سَیَہۡدِیۡنِ ﴿۲۷﴾

43:27 except Him Who created me, for surely He will guide me.

وَ جَعَلَہَا کَلِمَۃًۢ بَاقِیَۃً فِیۡ عَقِبِہٖ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾

43:28 And he made it a word to continue in his posterity that they might return (to it).1

بَلۡ مَتَّعۡتُ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ وَ اٰبَآءَہُمۡ حَتّٰی جَآءَہُمُ الۡحَقُّ وَ رَسُوۡلٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۲۹﴾

43:29 But I let these and their fathers enjoy till the Truth came to them and a Messenger making manifest.

وَ لَمَّا جَآءَہُمُ الۡحَقُّ قَالُوۡا ہٰذَا سِحۡرٌ وَّ اِنَّا بِہٖ کٰفِرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۰﴾

43:30 And when the Truth came to them they said: This is enchantment, and surely we are disbelievers in it.

وَ قَالُوۡا لَوۡ لَا نُزِّلَ ہٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنُ عَلٰی رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الۡقَرۡیَتَیۡنِ عَظِیۡمٍ ﴿۳۱﴾

43:31 And they say: Why was not this Quran revealed to a man of importance in the two towns?2

اَہُمۡ یَقۡسِمُوۡنَ رَحۡمَتَ رَبِّکَ ؕ نَحۡنُ قَسَمۡنَا بَیۡنَہُمۡ مَّعِیۡشَتَہُمۡ فِی الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا وَ رَفَعۡنَا بَعۡضَہُمۡ فَوۡقَ بَعۡضٍ دَرَجٰتٍ لِّیَتَّخِذَ بَعۡضُہُمۡ بَعۡضًا سُخۡرِیًّا ؕ وَ رَحۡمَتُ رَبِّکَ خَیۡرٌ مِّمَّا یَجۡمَعُوۡنَ ﴿۳۲﴾

43:32 Do they apportion the mercy of your Lord? We portion out among them their livelihood in the life of this world, and We exalt some of them above others in rank, that some of them may take others in service. And the mercy of your Lord is better than what they amass.3

وَ لَوۡ لَاۤ اَنۡ یَّکُوۡنَ النَّاسُ اُمَّۃً وَّاحِدَۃً لَّجَعَلۡنَا لِمَنۡ یَّکۡفُرُ بِالرَّحۡمٰنِ لِبُیُوۡتِہِمۡ سُقُفًا مِّنۡ فِضَّۃٍ وَّ مَعَارِجَ عَلَیۡہَا یَظۡہَرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۳﴾

43:33 And if it were not that all people would become one (disbelieving) community, We would provide for those who disbelieve in the Beneficent, roofs of silver for their houses and stairs (of silver) by which they ascend,

وَ لِبُیُوۡتِہِمۡ اَبۡوَابًا وَّ سُرُرًا عَلَیۡہَا یَتَّکِـُٔوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۴﴾

43:34 and (of silver) the doors of their houses and the couches on which they recline,

وَ زُخۡرُفًا ؕ وَ اِنۡ کُلُّ ذٰلِکَ لَمَّا مَتَاعُ الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا ؕ وَ الۡاٰخِرَۃُ عِنۡدَ رَبِّکَ لِلۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿٪۳۵﴾

43:35 and of gold.4 And all this is only a provision of this world’s life; and the Hereafter is, with your Lord, only for the dutiful.


  1. This shows that the Arabs possessed enduring traditions that their great ancestor Abraham was a preacher of Unity.
  2. The two towns referred to are Makkah and Ta’if. They would not follow any but an important man of the world, a man possessing much wealth or high rank. Moral greatness possessed no value in their eyes.
  3. Human society is based on differences in rank. It is only through this difference that society can be organized and developed into a State, whether it be under modern socialism or capitalism. From these differences in the external conditions of people, the conclusion is drawn that differences must exist in the spiritual sphere too, and some people are chosen to guide others. Allah’s choice for prophethood does not, however, depend on wealth, but on internal worth.
  4. Gold and silver have no value in the sight of Allah, and He would grant these things to disbelievers to any extent they desire, if it were not that most people would be misled by these worldly temptations. The verse undoubtedly draws a picture of the modern condition of the world, where man’s whole energy is devoted to the acquisition of material gains and more material gains, and people are shutting their eyes altogether to the moral values of life, with the result that the world today stands on the brink of an abyss of utter destruction.