English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 47: Muhammad — Muhammad (Revealed at Madinah: 4 sections, 38 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 47:1–47:11): Opponents will Perish in War


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

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

اَلَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ صَدُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ اَضَلَّ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ ﴿۱﴾

47:1 Those who disbelieve and turn (people) from Allah’s way, He will destroy their works.1

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ اٰمَنُوۡا بِمَا نُزِّلَ عَلٰی مُحَمَّدٍ وَّ ہُوَ الۡحَقُّ مِنۡ رَّبِّہِمۡ ۙ کَفَّرَ عَنۡہُمۡ سَیِّاٰتِہِمۡ وَ اَصۡلَحَ بَالَہُمۡ ﴿۲﴾

47:2 And those who believe and do good, and believe in what has been revealed to Muhammad — and it is the Truth from their Lord — He will remove their evil from them and improve their condition.2

ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوا اتَّبَعُوا الۡبَاطِلَ وَ اَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّبَعُوا الۡحَقَّ مِنۡ رَّبِّہِمۡ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ یَضۡرِبُ اللّٰہُ لِلنَّاسِ اَمۡثَالَہُمۡ ﴿۳﴾

47:3 That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood, and those who believe follow the Truth from their Lord. Thus does Allah set forth their descriptions for people.

فَاِذَا لَقِیۡتُمُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا فَضَرۡبَ الرِّقَابِ ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَاۤ اَثۡخَنۡتُمُوۡہُمۡ فَشُدُّوا الۡوَثَاقَ ٭ۙ فَاِمَّا مَنًّۢا بَعۡدُ وَ اِمَّا فِدَآءً حَتّٰی تَضَعَ الۡحَرۡبُ اَوۡزَارَہَا ۬ۚ۟ۛ ذٰؔلِکَ ؕۛ وَ لَوۡ یَشَآءُ اللّٰہُ لَانۡتَصَرَ مِنۡہُمۡ وَ لٰکِنۡ لِّیَبۡلُوَا۠ بَعۡضَکُمۡ بِبَعۡضٍ ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ قُتِلُوۡا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ فَلَنۡ یُّضِلَّ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ ﴿۴﴾

47:4 So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, strike the necks; then, when you have overcome them, make (them) prisoners, and afterwards (set them free) as a favour or for ransom till the war lay down its burdens.3 That (shall be so). And if Allah please, He would certainly exact retribution from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others.4 And those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never allow their deeds to perish.

سَیَہۡدِیۡہِمۡ وَ یُصۡلِحُ بَالَہُمۡ ۚ﴿۵﴾

47:5 He will guide them and improve their condition.

وَ یُدۡخِلُہُمُ الۡجَنَّۃَ عَرَّفَہَا لَہُمۡ ﴿۶﴾

47:6 And make them enter the Garden, which He has made known to them.5

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنۡ تَنۡصُرُوا اللّٰہَ یَنۡصُرۡکُمۡ وَ یُثَبِّتۡ اَقۡدَامَکُمۡ ﴿۷﴾

47:7 O you who believe, if you help Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet.

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا فَتَعۡسًا لَّہُمۡ وَ اَضَلَّ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ ﴿۸﴾

47:8 And those who disbelieve, for them is destruction, and He will destroy their works.

ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَرِہُوۡا مَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ فَاَحۡبَطَ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ ﴿۹﴾

47:9 That is because they hate what Allah reveals, so He has made their deeds fruitless.

اَفَلَمۡ یَسِیۡرُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَیَنۡظُرُوۡا کَیۡفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَۃُ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡ ؕ دَمَّرَ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ۫ وَ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ اَمۡثَالُہَا ﴿۱۰﴾

47:10 Have they not travelled in the land and seen what was the end of those before them? Allah destroyed them. And for the disbelievers is (a fate) similar to it.

ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّ اللّٰہَ مَوۡلَی الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ اَنَّ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ لَا مَوۡلٰی لَہُمۡ ﴿٪۱۱﴾

47:11 That is because Allah is the Patron of those who believe, and because the disbelievers have no patron.


  1. This chapter was revealed at a time when the enemies of Islam were at the height of their power, and had apparently uprooted Islam from Makkah, and were preparing to give it a death-blow at Madinah.
  2. This is another prophecy, a counterpart of the one in v.1. The Muslims, whose condition, it is announced here, will be bettered, were in a most helpless condition at the time. The majority of them had just fled from their homes, almost penniless, to save their lives and to settle down at Madinah where, however, they were not left alone, the enemy being determined to crush them by force.
  3. This passage mentions the only case in which prisoners of war can be taken, and thus condemns the practice of slavery, according to which people could be seized anywhere and sold into slavery. Here we are told that prisoners of war can only be taken after meeting an enemy in regular battle, and even in that case they must be set free, either as a favour or after taking ransom. It was the former alternative that the Holy Prophet adopted in most cases. Only in the case of the seventy prisoners taken at Badr is there mention of redemption having been taken, but this was when Islam was very weak. See also 8:67 footnote.
  4. The meaning is that, if Allah had pleased, He could have punished the enemies of Islam otherwise than by war, but as He means to punish them by the hands of the Muslims, therefore battles must be fought.
  5. The Garden of the next life is made known to the righteous in this life by making them taste of the spiritual blessings of good deeds in this very life. That a paradise is granted to the righteous in this very life is mentioned frequently in the Quran. However, triumph over those who would annihilate Truth is also spoken of as a garden in this life.