English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)
by Maulana Muhammad Ali
Chapter 54: Al-Qamar — The Moon (Revealed at Makkah: 3 sections, 55 verses)
Section 1 (Verses 54:1–54:22): Judgment to Overtake Opponents
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
اِقۡتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَۃُ وَ انۡشَقَّ الۡقَمَرُ ﴿۱﴾
54:1 The hour drew near and the moon was split apart.1
وَ اِنۡ یَّرَوۡا اٰیَۃً یُّعۡرِضُوۡا وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡا سِحۡرٌ مُّسۡتَمِرٌّ ﴿۲﴾
54:2 And if they see a sign, they turn away and say: Strong enchantment!2
وَ کَذَّبُوۡا وَ اتَّبَعُوۡۤا اَہۡوَآءَہُمۡ وَ کُلُّ اَمۡرٍ مُّسۡتَقِرٌّ ﴿۳﴾
54:3 And they deny and follow their low desires; and every affair is settled.3
وَ لَقَدۡ جَآءَہُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَنۡۢبَآءِ مَا فِیۡہِ مُزۡدَجَرٌ ۙ﴿۴﴾
54:4 And certainly narratives have come to them, which should deter —
حِکۡمَۃٌۢ بَالِغَۃٌ فَمَا تُغۡنِ النُّذُرُ ۙ﴿۵﴾
54:5 consummate wisdom — but warnings have not availed;4
فَتَوَلَّ عَنۡہُمۡ ۘ یَوۡمَ یَدۡعُ الدَّاعِ اِلٰی شَیۡءٍ نُّکُرٍ ۙ﴿۶﴾
54:6 so turn away from them. On the day when the Inviter invites them to a hard task —
خُشَّعًا اَبۡصَارُہُمۡ یَخۡرُجُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡاَجۡدَاثِ کَاَنَّہُمۡ جَرَادٌ مُّنۡتَشِرٌ ۙ﴿۷﴾
54:7 their eyes cast down, they will go forth from their graves as if they were scattered locusts,
مُّہۡطِعِیۡنَ اِلَی الدَّاعِ ؕ یَقُوۡلُ الۡکٰفِرُوۡنَ ہٰذَا یَوۡمٌ عَسِرٌ ﴿۸﴾
54:8 hastening to the Inviter. The disbelievers will say: This is a hard day!5
کَذَّبَتۡ قَبۡلَہُمۡ قَوۡمُ نُوۡحٍ فَکَذَّبُوۡا عَبۡدَنَا وَ قَالُوۡا مَجۡنُوۡنٌ وَّ ازۡدُجِرَ ﴿۹﴾
54:9 Before them the people of Noah rejected — they rejected Our servant and called (him) mad, and he was driven away.
فَدَعَا رَبَّہٗۤ اَنِّیۡ مَغۡلُوۡبٌ فَانۡتَصِرۡ ﴿۱۰﴾
54:10 So he called upon his Lord: I am overcome, so help (me).
فَفَتَحۡنَاۤ اَبۡوَابَ السَّمَآءِ بِمَآءٍ مُّنۡہَمِرٍ ﴿۫ۖ۱۱﴾
54:11 Then We opened the gates of heaven with water pouring down,
وَّ فَجَّرۡنَا الۡاَرۡضَ عُیُوۡنًا فَالۡتَقَی الۡمَآءُ عَلٰۤی اَمۡرٍ قَدۡ قُدِرَ ﴿ۚ۱۲﴾
54:12 and made water to flow forth in the land in springs, so the water gathered together according to a measure already ordained.
وَ حَمَلۡنٰہُ عَلٰی ذَاتِ اَلۡوَاحٍ وَّ دُسُرٍ ﴿ۙ۱۳﴾
54:13 And We bore him on (a vessel) made of planks and nails,
تَجۡرِیۡ بِاَعۡیُنِنَا ۚ جَزَآءً لِّمَنۡ کَانَ کُفِرَ ﴿۱۴﴾
54:14 floating on, before Our eyes — a reward for him who was denied.6
وَ لَقَدۡ تَّرَکۡنٰہَاۤ اٰیَۃً فَہَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّکِرٍ ﴿۱۵﴾
54:15 And certainly We left it as a sign, but is there anyone who will be mindful?7
فَکَیۡفَ کَانَ عَذَابِیۡ وَ نُذُرِ ﴿۱۶﴾
54:16 How (terrible) was then My punishment and My warning!
وَ لَقَدۡ یَسَّرۡنَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ لِلذِّکۡرِ فَہَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّکِرٍ ﴿۱۷﴾
54:17 And certainly We have made the Quran easy to remember, but is there anyone who will be mindful?
کَذَّبَتۡ عَادٌ فَکَیۡفَ کَانَ عَذَابِیۡ وَ نُذُرِ ﴿۱۸﴾
54:18 Ād denied; how (terrible) was then My punishment and My warning!
اِنَّاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ رِیۡحًا صَرۡصَرًا فِیۡ یَوۡمِ نَحۡسٍ مُّسۡتَمِرٍّ ﴿ۙ۱۹﴾
54:19 Surely We sent on them a furious wind in a day of bitter ill-luck,
تَنۡزِعُ النَّاسَ ۙ کَاَنَّہُمۡ اَعۡجَازُ نَخۡلٍ مُّنۡقَعِرٍ ﴿۲۰﴾
54:20 tearing people away as if they were trunks of uprooted palm-trees.
فَکَیۡفَ کَانَ عَذَابِیۡ وَ نُذُرِ ﴿۲۱﴾
54:21 How (terrible) was then My punishment and My warning!
وَ لَقَدۡ یَسَّرۡنَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ لِلذِّکۡرِ فَہَلۡ مِنۡ مُّدَّکِرٍ ﴿٪۲۲﴾
54:22 And certainly We have made the Quran easy to remember, but is there anyone who will be mindful?
- The “splitting apart of the moon” in the time of the Holy Prophet is an incident related by a number of his companions; and the reports of this incident are classed as well-known, and are accepted as correct by Bukhari and Muslim. In the whole history of miracles, this is the only miracle of which a contemporaneous record exists. It may have been a particular kind of lunar eclipse, the moon appearing as if it were split into two, a part remaining bright and the other part darkening, or some great commotion might have taken place in the moon or some other unusual phenomenon may have occurred, which might have been made apparent to the naked eye through the strong visionary power of the Holy Prophet. Some commentators are, however, of the opinion that this verse refers to the splitting apart of the moon at the approach of the day of Judgment. ↩
- By calling it strong enchantment, they meant that it was a strong magical illusion, not an actual occurrence. But the word mustamirr, translated here as strong, may also mean transient, i.e., a thing which has occurred and passed away, or continuous in the sense that such things have been taking place of old. ↩
- The words may mean that every affair must draw to an end, the reference being to the opposition which was being offered to the Prophet. ↩
- The fate of the ancients, of whom narratives are recited, should have prevented the opponents of Truth from following in their footsteps. ↩
- The commentators make all verses of this kind apply to the life after death, but comparison with the fate of other people, whose stories are narrated by way of illustration, shows clearly that the punishment of this life is also meant. The hard day of trouble overtakes the opponents of Truth in this life as well, and the Hereafter only brings it in a more palpable, and therefore more terrible, form. The Inviter is the Prophet, who invites them to truth, and the graves as applying to this life may signify their homes because they were spiritually dead. ↩
- The boat in which Noah and his companions were saved, spoken of in v. 13 as made of ordinary planks and nails, is here described as floating on before Our eyes, meaning that it was the mercy of God that saved the boat. ↩
- The fate of Noah’s people is a sign to the deniers of the Holy Prophet. Compare 51:37–46, where a sign is said to be left in the people of Noah, in Moses’ enemies, in Ād and in Thamūd. ↩