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 3 (Verses 47:20–47:28): The Weak-hearted Ones


وَ یَقُوۡلُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَوۡ لَا نُزِّلَتۡ سُوۡرَۃٌ ۚ فَاِذَاۤ اُنۡزِلَتۡ سُوۡرَۃٌ مُّحۡکَمَۃٌ وَّ ذُکِرَ فِیۡہَا الۡقِتَالُ ۙ رَاَیۡتَ الَّذِیۡنَ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ مَّرَضٌ یَّنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَیۡکَ نَظَرَ الۡمَغۡشِیِّ عَلَیۡہِ مِنَ الۡمَوۡتِ ؕ فَاَوۡلٰی لَہُمۡ ﴿ۚ۲۰﴾

47:20 And those who believe say: Why is not a chapter revealed?1 But when a decisive chapter is revealed, and fighting is mentioned in it, you see those in whose hearts is a disease look to you with the look of one fainting at death. So woe to them!

طَاعَۃٌ وَّ قَوۡلٌ مَّعۡرُوۡفٌ ۟ فَاِذَا عَزَمَ الۡاَمۡرُ ۟ فَلَوۡ صَدَقُوا اللّٰہَ لَکَانَ خَیۡرًا لَّہُمۡ ﴿ۚ۲۱﴾

47:21 Obedience and a gentle word (was proper). Then when the affair is settled, it is better for them if they remain true to Allah.

فَہَلۡ عَسَیۡتُمۡ اِنۡ تَوَلَّیۡتُمۡ اَنۡ تُفۡسِدُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ تُقَطِّعُوۡۤا اَرۡحَامَکُمۡ ﴿۲۲﴾

47:22 But if you turn away, you are sure to make mischief in the land and cut off the ties of kinship!2

اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَعَنَہُمُ اللّٰہُ فَاَصَمَّہُمۡ وَ اَعۡمٰۤی اَبۡصَارَہُمۡ ﴿۲۳﴾

47:23 Those it is whom Allah has cursed, so He has made them deaf and blinded their eyes.3

اَفَلَا یَتَدَبَّرُوۡنَ الۡقُرۡاٰنَ اَمۡ عَلٰی قُلُوۡبٍ اَقۡفَالُہَا ﴿۲۴﴾

47:24 Do they not reflect on the Quran? Or, are there locks on the hearts?

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ ارۡتَدُّوۡا عَلٰۤی اَدۡبَارِہِمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَیَّنَ لَہُمُ الۡہُدَی ۙ الشَّیۡطٰنُ سَوَّلَ لَہُمۡ ؕ وَ اَمۡلٰی لَہُمۡ ﴿۲۵﴾

47:25 Surely those who turn back after guidance is quite clear to them, the devil entices them (to do it) and lengthens false hopes for them.

ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ قَالُوۡا لِلَّذِیۡنَ کَرِہُوۡا مَا نَزَّلَ اللّٰہُ سَنُطِیۡعُکُمۡ فِیۡ بَعۡضِ الۡاَمۡرِ ۚۖ وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ اِسۡرَارَہُمۡ ﴿۲۶﴾

47:26 That is because they say to those who hate what Allah has revealed: We will obey you in some matters. And Allah knows their secrets.

فَکَیۡفَ اِذَا تَوَفَّتۡہُمُ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ یَضۡرِبُوۡنَ وُجُوۡہَہُمۡ وَ اَدۡبَارَہُمۡ ﴿۲۷﴾

47:27 But how will it be when the angels cause them to die, striking their faces and their backs?

ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمُ اتَّبَعُوۡا مَاۤ اَسۡخَطَ اللّٰہَ وَ کَرِہُوۡا رِضۡوَانَہٗ فَاَحۡبَطَ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ ﴿٪۲۸﴾

47:28 That is because they follow that which displeases Allah and dislike His pleasure, so He makes their deeds fruitless.


  1. Muslims had been severely persecuted; they had been oppressed, slain and turned out of their homes. Hence they naturally desired to be allowed to defend themselves. By a chapter is meant a revelation allowing them to fight.
  2. It is the hypocrites who are addressed in these words. Tawallai-tum (“turn away”) may mean either that you turn your backs on the Divine command­ment to fight in defence of Truth or that you are put in authority.
  3. Note that Allah blinds the eyes of, and makes deaf, those who would not turn to the right way. The next verse makes it clear by saying that they do not reflect on the Quran, as if there were locks on their hearts.