English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 49: Al-Hujurat — The Apartments (Revealed at Madinah: 2 sections, 18 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 49:11–49:18): Respect for Muslim Brotherhood


یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا یَسۡخَرۡ قَوۡمٌ مِّنۡ قَوۡمٍ عَسٰۤی اَنۡ یَّکُوۡنُوۡا خَیۡرًا مِّنۡہُمۡ وَ لَا نِسَآءٌ مِّنۡ نِّسَآءٍ عَسٰۤی اَنۡ یَّکُنَّ خَیۡرًا مِّنۡہُنَّ ۚ وَ لَا تَلۡمِزُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ وَ لَا تَنَابَزُوۡا بِالۡاَلۡقَابِ ؕ بِئۡسَ الِاسۡمُ الۡفُسُوۡقُ بَعۡدَ الۡاِیۡمَانِ ۚ وَ مَنۡ لَّمۡ یَتُبۡ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱﴾

49:11 O you who believe, do not let a people laugh at (another) people, perhaps they may be better than they; nor let women (laugh) at women, perhaps they may be better than they. Neither find fault with one another, nor call one another by (offensive) nick-names. Evil is a bad name after faith; and whoever does not repent, these it is that are the wrongdoers.1

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اجۡتَنِبُوۡا کَثِیۡرًا مِّنَ الظَّنِّ ۫ اِنَّ بَعۡضَ الظَّنِّ اِثۡمٌ وَّ لَا تَجَسَّسُوۡا وَ لَا یَغۡتَبۡ بَّعۡضُکُمۡ بَعۡضًا ؕ اَیُحِبُّ اَحَدُکُمۡ اَنۡ یَّاۡکُلَ لَحۡمَ اَخِیۡہِ مَیۡتًا فَکَرِہۡتُمُوۡہُ ؕ وَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ تَوَّابٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۲﴾

49:12 O you who believe, avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is sin; and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You abhor it! And keep your duty to Allah, surely Allah is returning (to mercy) again and again, Merciful.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ اِنَّا خَلَقۡنٰکُمۡ مِّنۡ ذَکَرٍ وَّ اُنۡثٰی وَ جَعَلۡنٰکُمۡ شُعُوۡبًا وَّ قَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ اَکۡرَمَکُمۡ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ اَتۡقٰکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلِیۡمٌ خَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۳﴾

49:13 O mankind, surely We have created you from a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other. Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the most dutiful of you. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.2

قَالَتِ الۡاَعۡرَابُ اٰمَنَّا ؕ قُلۡ لَّمۡ تُؤۡمِنُوۡا وَ لٰکِنۡ قُوۡلُوۡۤا اَسۡلَمۡنَا وَ لَمَّا یَدۡخُلِ الۡاِیۡمَانُ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِکُمۡ ؕ وَ اِنۡ تُطِیۡعُوا اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ لَا یَلِتۡکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَعۡمَالِکُمۡ شَیۡئًا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۴﴾

49:14 The dwellers of the desert say: “We believe”. Say: You do not believe, but say, “We submit”; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not diminish anything of your deeds. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.3

اِنَّمَا الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ ثُمَّ لَمۡ یَرۡتَابُوۡا وَ جٰہَدُوۡا بِاَمۡوَالِہِمۡ وَ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الصّٰدِقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵﴾

49:15 The believers are those only who believe in Allah and His Messenger, then they do not doubt, and struggle hard with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah. Such are the truthful ones.

قُلۡ اَتُعَلِّمُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ بِدِیۡنِکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۶﴾

49:16 Say: Would you apprise Allah of your religion, and Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth? And Allah is Knower of all things.

یَمُنُّوۡنَ عَلَیۡکَ اَنۡ اَسۡلَمُوۡا ؕ قُلۡ لَّا تَمُنُّوۡا عَلَیَّ اِسۡلَامَکُمۡ ۚ بَلِ اللّٰہُ یَمُنُّ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اَنۡ ہَدٰىکُمۡ لِلۡاِیۡمَانِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۷﴾

49:17 They presume to lay you under an obligation by becoming Muslims. Say: Do not lay me under an obligation by your Islam; rather Allah lays you under an obligation by guiding you to the faith, if you are truthful.

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَعۡلَمُ غَیۡبَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بَصِیۡرٌۢ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿٪۱۸﴾

49:18 Surely Allah knows the unseen of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is Seer of what you do.


  1. This verse and those that follow deal with some of the evils which are most rampant in civilized society, and which corrupt a society to its core.
  2. The principle of the brotherhood of mankind laid down here is on the broadest basis. The address here is not to believers, as in the two previous verses, but to mankind in general, who are told that they are all, as it were, members of one family, and their divisions into nations, tribes and families should not lead to estrangement from, but to a better knowledge of, each other. Superiority of one over another in this vast brotherhood does not depend on nationality, wealth, or rank, but on the careful observance of duty, or moral greatness.
  3. Here Muslims are enjoined to deal kindly and leniently, even with those who, being novices, were not yet really grounded in the faith, though they were members of the Muslim brotherhood. Faith had not yet entered into their hearts, but they were to be regarded as Muslims. The solidarity of Islam is being shattered today by narrow-minded Mullas (clerics) who, on one pretext or another, issue fatwas of kufr against this or that party of Muslims.