English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 46: Al-Ahqaf — The Sandhills (Revealed at Makkah: 4 sections, 35 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 46:1–46:10): Truth of Revelation

Translation:

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

Part 2646:1 Beneficent God!
46:2 The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.
46:3 We did not create the heavens and the earth and all that is between them but with truth and for an appointed term.1 And those who disbelieve turn away from the warning they are given.
46:4 Say: Have you considered what you invoke besides Allah? Show me what they have created of the earth, or have they a share in the heavens? Bring me a Book before this or any relics of knowledge, if you are truthful.
46:5 And who is in greater error than he who invokes besides Allah such (gods) as do not answer him till the day of Resurrection, and they are heedless of their call?
46:6 And when mankind is gathered together, they will be their enemies, and will deny their worshipping (them).
46:7 And when Our clear messages are recited to them, those who disbelieve say of the Truth when it comes to them: This is clear enchantment.
46:8 Or they say: He has forged it. Say: If I have forged it, you control nothing for me from Allah.2 He knows best what you utter concerning it. He is enough as a witness between me and you. And He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.3
46:9 Say: I am not the first of the messengers,4 and I do not know what will be done with me or with you. I follow only what is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.5
46:10 Say: Have you considered if it is from Allah, and you disbelieve in it, and a witness from among the Children of Israel has borne witness of one like him,6 so he believed, while you are big with pride? Surely Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.

Commentary:

  1. The Universe had a beginning and it will also have an end.
  2. From Allah here means from the punishment of Allah. If the Quran was a lie which the Prophet had forged, none could avert the punishment which must come upon a forger.
  3. Whenever the punishment of the opponents is alluded to, as in the statement He is enough as a witness between me and you, the Divine attribute of mercy and forgiveness is also mentioned to indicate that mercy always predomi­nates in the Divine nature.
  4. Prophets had appeared before the Holy Prophet Muhammad in every country and nation throughout the whole world, and God’s sending messengers for the reformation of people was the universal experience of humanity.
  5. The Prophet is made to deny any detailed knowledge as to the ulti­mate end of one or the other party, but the warning is reaffirmed in the conclu­ding words to show that evildoers must suffer the consequences of their deeds.
  6. The witness from among the Children of Israel, who bore witness of one like him, is Moses: “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, … And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him” (Deut. 18:18­–19). It is to the conclu­ding statement in the above quotation that attention is called in the words, Have you considered if it is from Allah, and you disbelieve in it.

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