English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 44: Ad-Dukhan — The Drought (Revealed at Makkah: 3 sections, 59 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 44:1–44:29): Lighter Punishment followed by Severer


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

حٰمٓ ﴿ۚ۱﴾

44:1 Beneficent God!

وَ الۡکِتٰبِ الۡمُبِیۡنِ ۙ﴿ۛ۲﴾

44:2 By the Book that makes manifest!

اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنٰہُ فِیۡ لَیۡلَۃٍ مُّبٰرَکَۃٍ اِنَّا کُنَّا مُنۡذِرِیۡنَ ﴿۳﴾

44:3 We revealed it on a blessed night — truly We are ever warning.1

فِیۡہَا یُفۡرَقُ کُلُّ اَمۡرٍ حَکِیۡمٍ ۙ﴿۴﴾

44:4 In which (night) is made clear every matter of wisdom;2

اَمۡرًا مِّنۡ عِنۡدِنَا ؕ اِنَّا کُنَّا مُرۡسِلِیۡنَ ۚ﴿۵﴾

44:5 a command from Us — truly We are ever sending messengers;

رَحۡمَۃً مِّنۡ رَّبِّکَ ؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ السَّمِیۡعُ الۡعَلِیۡمُ ۙ﴿۶﴾

44:6 a mercy from your Lord — truly He is the Hearing, the Knowing,

رَبِّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ مَا بَیۡنَہُمَا ۘ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّوۡقِنِیۡنَ ﴿۷﴾

44:7 the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if you would be sure.

لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ یُحۡیٖ وَ یُمِیۡتُ ؕ رَبُّکُمۡ وَ رَبُّ اٰبَآئِکُمُ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ ﴿۸﴾

44:8 There is no God but He; He gives life and causes death — your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.

بَلۡ ہُمۡ فِیۡ شَکٍّ یَّلۡعَبُوۡنَ ﴿۹﴾

44:9 But, in doubt, they sport.

فَارۡتَقِبۡ یَوۡمَ تَاۡتِی السَّمَآءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿ۙ۱۰﴾

44:10 So wait for the day when the heaven brings a clear drought,3

یَّغۡشَی النَّاسَ ؕ ہٰذَا عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱﴾

44:11 enveloping people. This is a painful punishment.

رَبَّنَا اکۡشِفۡ عَنَّا الۡعَذَابَ اِنَّا مُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾

44:12 Our Lord, remove from us the punishment — surely we are believers.

اَنّٰی لَہُمُ الذِّکۡرٰی وَ قَدۡ جَآءَہُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿ۙ۱۳﴾

44:13 When will they be reminded? And a Messenger has indeed come, making clear;

ثُمَّ تَوَلَّوۡا عَنۡہُ وَ قَالُوۡا مُعَلَّمٌ مَّجۡنُوۡنٌ ﴿ۘ۱۴﴾

44:14 yet they turned away from him and said: One taught (by others), a madman!

اِنَّا کَاشِفُوا الۡعَذَابِ قَلِیۡلًا اِنَّکُمۡ عَآئِدُوۡنَ ﴿ۘ۱۵﴾

44:15 We shall remove the punishment a little, (but) you will surely return (to evil).

یَوۡمَ نَبۡطِشُ الۡبَطۡشَۃَ الۡکُبۡرٰی ۚ اِنَّا مُنۡتَقِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶﴾

44:16 On the day when We seize (them) with the most violent seizing; surely We shall exact retribution.4

وَ لَقَدۡ فَتَنَّا قَبۡلَہُمۡ قَوۡمَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ جَآءَہُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ کَرِیۡمٌ ﴿ۙ۱۷﴾

44:17 And certainly We tried before them Pharaoh’s people and a noble messenger came to them,

اَنۡ اَدُّوۡۤا اِلَیَّ عِبَادَ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنِّیۡ لَکُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ اَمِیۡنٌ ﴿ۙ۱۸﴾

44:18 saying: Deliver to me the servants of Allah.5 Surely I am a faithful messenger to you.

وَّ اَنۡ لَّا تَعۡلُوۡا عَلَی اللّٰہِ ۚ اِنِّیۡۤ اٰتِیۡکُمۡ بِسُلۡطٰنٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿ۚ۱۹﴾

44:19 And do not exalt yourselves against Allah. Surely I bring to you a clear authority.

وَ اِنِّیۡ عُذۡتُ بِرَبِّیۡ وَ رَبِّکُمۡ اَنۡ تَرۡجُمُوۡنِ ﴿۫۲۰﴾

44:20 And I take refuge with my Lord and your Lord, that you may not stone me to death.

وَ اِنۡ لَّمۡ تُؤۡمِنُوۡا لِیۡ فَاعۡتَزِلُوۡنِ ﴿۲۱﴾

44:21 And if you do not believe in me, leave me alone.

فَدَعَا رَبَّہٗۤ اَنَّ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ قَوۡمٌ مُّجۡرِمُوۡنَ ﴿ؓ۲۲﴾

44:22 Then he called upon his Lord: These are a guilty people.

فَاَسۡرِ بِعِبَادِیۡ لَیۡلًا اِنَّکُمۡ مُّتَّبَعُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۳﴾

44:23 So go forth with My servants by night; surely you will be pursued,

وَ اتۡرُکِ الۡبَحۡرَ رَہۡوًا ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ جُنۡدٌ مُّغۡرَقُوۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾

44:24 and leave the sea behind calm.6 Surely they are an army to be drowned.

کَمۡ تَرَکُوۡا مِنۡ جَنّٰتٍ وَّ عُیُوۡنٍ ﴿ۙ۲۵﴾

44:25 How many of the gardens and springs they left behind!

وَّ زُرُوۡعٍ وَّ مَقَامٍ کَرِیۡمٍ ﴿ۙ۲۶﴾

44:26 And cornfields and noble places!

وَّ نَعۡمَۃٍ کَانُوۡا فِیۡہَا فٰکِہِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۷﴾

44:27 And goodly things in which they rejoiced!

کَذٰلِکَ ۟ وَ اَوۡرَثۡنٰہَا قَوۡمًا اٰخَرِیۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾

44:28 Thus (it was). And We made other people inherit them.

فَمَا بَکَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ السَّمَآءُ وَ الۡاَرۡضُ وَ مَا کَانُوۡا مُنۡظَرِیۡنَ ﴿٪۲۹﴾

44:29 So the heaven and the earth did not weep for them, nor were they given respite.7


  1. The revelation of the Quran on a blessed night has a deeper meaning beneath it than the mere fact that the revelation began on the blessed night which is elsewhere called Lailat al-Qadr (97:1), one of the last ten nights in the month of Ramadan. The night stands for a time of darkness and ignorance, when true knowledge had disappeared from the world. A prophet’s advent is always pre­ceded by such darkness, and when the Holy Prophet made his appearance, such darkness prevailed in all countries of the world. This night is called a blessed night because in it the world received the greatest manifestation of Divine light.
  2. Divine revelation distinguishes truth from falsehood and reveals the treasures of wisdom to people.
  3. Dukhān means smoke, mischief, dearth, drought, or hunger. The commentators agree on the basis of highly trustworthy reports that its meaning here is drought. The statements made in these verses are all prophetical. Drought struck Makkah after the Quraish had rejected, opposed and persecuted the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Also prophetical is the statement of v. 15, We shall remove the punishment a little, because the removal of the drought was followed by the “violent seizing” (v. 16) , which brought on the conquest of Makkah.
  4. The prophecy here seems to refer to the constant defeats in battle that were to be suffered by the Quraish, beginning with the battle of Badr, and result­ing in the final overthrow of their power by the conquest of Makkah.
  5. Moses wanted the Israelites to be allowed to leave Egypt.
  6. There was no storm in the sea when it was left by the Israelites, so that the Egyptians, finding it calm and motionless, followed the Israelites.
  7. The weeping for a dead man signifies the remembering of his good qualities or actions, which often brings tears to the eyes. The heaven and the earth did not weep for them because they had neither the love of God in their hearts, nor had they done anything for the good of people, so that their good qualities should have been remembered either in heaven or on earth.