English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 51: Al-Dhariyat — The Scatterers (Revealed at Makkah: 3 sections, 60 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 51:24–51:46): The Fate of Previous Nations


51:24 Has the story of Abraham’s honoured guests reached you?1
51:25 When they came to him, they said: ‘Peace!’ ‘Peace!’ said he. Strangers!
51:26 Then he turned aside to his family and brought a fat calf.
51:27 So he placed it before them. He said: Will you not eat?
51:28 So he conceived a fear of them. They said: Do not fear. And they gave him the good news of a boy possessing knowledge.
51:29 Then his wife came up in grief, and she struck her face and said: A barren old woman!
51:30 They said: So says your Lord. Surely He is the Wise, the Knowing.
Part 2751:31 He said: What is your errand, messengers!
51:32 They said: We have been sent to a guilty people
51:33 that we may send upon them stones of clay,
51:34 marked from your Lord for those who commit excesses.2
51:35 Then We brought forth such believers as were there.
51:36 And We found there only one house of Muslims.3
51:37 And We left there a sign for those who fear the painful punishment.
51:38 And in Moses (was another sign), when We sent him to Pharaoh with clear authority.
51:39 But he turned away on account of his might and said: An enchanter or a madman!
51:40 So We seized him and his armies and hurled them into the sea, and he was blameable.
51:41 And in Ād, when We sent upon them the destructive wind.
51:42 It spared nothing that it came against, but it made it like ashes.
51:43 And in Thamūd, when it was said to them: Enjoy yourselves for a while.
51:44 But they revolted against the commandment of their Lord, so the punishment overtook them, while they saw.4
51:45 So they were unable to rise up, nor could they defend themselves;
51:46 and the people of Noah before. Surely they were a transgressing people.


  1. See 11:69 footnote.
  2. For the punishment sent on Lot’s people, see 7:84 footnote. The stones were marked, i.e., they were destined for them.
  3. It is said to be the house of Lot himself. A Muslim is one who submits himself to God, and in this sense all prophets and their righteous followers were Muslims.
  4. See 7:78.