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 6 (Verses 43:57–43:67): Jesus as Prophet
وَ لَمَّا ضُرِبَ ابۡنُ مَرۡیَمَ مَثَلًا اِذَا قَوۡمُکَ مِنۡہُ یَصِدُّوۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾
وَ قَالُوۡۤاءَ اٰلِہَتُنَا خَیۡرٌ اَمۡ ہُوَ ؕ مَا ضَرَبُوۡہُ لَکَ اِلَّا جَدَلًا ؕ بَلۡ ہُمۡ قَوۡمٌ خَصِمُوۡنَ ﴿۵۸﴾
43:58 And they say: Are our gods better, or is he? They set it forth to you only by way of disputation. Indeed, they are a contentious people.1
اِنۡ ہُوَ اِلَّا عَبۡدٌ اَنۡعَمۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ وَ جَعَلۡنٰہُ مَثَلًا لِّبَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ ﴿ؕ۵۹﴾
43:59 He was only a servant on whom We bestowed favour and We made him an example for the Children of Israel;2
وَ لَوۡ نَشَآءُ لَجَعَلۡنَا مِنۡکُمۡ مَّلٰٓئِکَۃً فِی الۡاَرۡضِ یَخۡلُفُوۡنَ ﴿۶۰﴾
43:60 and if We pleased, We could appoint among you angels to be (Our) representatives in the land.
وَ اِنَّہٗ لَعِلۡمٌ لِّلسَّاعَۃِ فَلَا تَمۡتَرُنَّ بِہَا وَ اتَّبِعُوۡنِ ؕ ہٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٌ ﴿۶۱﴾
43:61 And this (revelation) is surely knowledge of the Hour,3 so have no doubt about it and follow me. This is the right path.
وَ لَا یَصُدَّنَّکُمُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ ۚ اِنَّہٗ لَکُمۡ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۶۲﴾
43:62 And do not let the devil hinder you; surely he is your open enemy.
وَ لَمَّا جَآءَ عِیۡسٰی بِالۡبَیِّنٰتِ قَالَ قَدۡ جِئۡتُکُمۡ بِالۡحِکۡمَۃِ وَ لِاُبَیِّنَ لَکُمۡ بَعۡضَ الَّذِیۡ تَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ فِیۡہِ ۚ فَاتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ اَطِیۡعُوۡنِ ﴿۶۳﴾
43:63 And when Jesus came with clear arguments, he said: I have come to you indeed with wisdom, and to make clear to you some of what you differ about. So keep your duty to Allah and obey me.
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ رَبِّیۡ وَ رَبُّکُمۡ فَاعۡبُدُوۡہُ ؕ ہٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٌ ﴿۶۴﴾
43:64 Surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him. This is the right path.
فَاخۡتَلَفَ الۡاَحۡزَابُ مِنۡۢ بَیۡنِہِمۡ ۚ فَوَیۡلٌ لِّلَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا مِنۡ عَذَابِ یَوۡمٍ اَلِیۡمٍ ﴿۶۵﴾
43:65 But factions among them differed, so woe to those who did wrong for the punishment of a painful day!
ہَلۡ یَنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَّا السَّاعَۃَ اَنۡ تَاۡتِیَہُمۡ بَغۡتَۃً وَّ ہُمۡ لَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۶۶﴾
43:66 Do they wait only for the Hour,4 that it should come on them all of a sudden, while they do not perceive?
اَلۡاَخِلَّآءُ یَوۡمَئِذٍۭ بَعۡضُہُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ عَدُوٌّ اِلَّا الۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿ؕ٪۶۷﴾
43:67 Friends on that day will be foes to one another, except those who keep their duty.
- The Quran in many places condemns the doctrine of attributing children to the Almighty. But when the case of Jesus was cited, the disbelievers objected to the respect shown to him, while their own idols were condemned: “Are our gods better, or is he?” Why should not the same honour be shown to their national gods as was shown to the god of another nation? ↩
- This verse contains the answer to the above objection. Jesus was not honoured because the Christians took him for God or Son of God, which was in fact their own error, but because he was a righteous servant of Allah on whom He had bestowed favours. He was also an example of virtue for the Israelites to whom he was sent as a prophet. On the other hand, the idols whom the Arabs took for gods were mere stones and could do no good to their worshippers. Moreover, the idol-worshippers represented even their great men as sunk in immorality. ↩
- The Hour signifies here the departure of prophethood from the house of Israel. Such is the clear significance of the parable of the vineyard in Matthew 21:33, Mark 12:1, and Luke 20:9, which ends thus: “Therefore I say to you, The kingdom of God will be taken from you, and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it” (Matthew 21:43). Prophethood had long remained in the house of Israel, and, as history shows, Jesus was the last prophet of the Mosaic dispensation. The Quran is here called the knowledge of the Hour in the sense that its revelation was a clear indication that prophethood was now being taken away from the house of Israel and given to another people, as Jesus himself had said. Some take the pronoun hu as referring to Jesus and translate these words as “he is the knowledge of the Hour”, but even then the meaning would be that Jesus was sent to give people the knowledge that he was the last prophet of the Israelite dispensation. ↩
- The Hour here signifies the doom of the Quraish. ↩