English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 55: Ar-Rahman — The Beneficent (Revealed at Makkah: 3 sections, 78 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 55:1–55:25): Divine Beneficence

Translation:

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

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

اَلرَّحۡمٰنُ ۙ﴿۱﴾

55:1 The Beneficent —

عَلَّمَ الۡقُرۡاٰنَ ؕ﴿۲﴾

55:2 He taught the Quran.1

خَلَقَ الۡاِنۡسَانَ ۙ﴿۳﴾

55:3 He created man,

عَلَّمَہُ الۡبَیَانَ ﴿۴﴾

55:4 taught him expression.

اَلشَّمۡسُ وَ الۡقَمَرُ بِحُسۡبَانٍ ﴿۪۵﴾

55:5 The sun and the moon follow a reckoning,

وَّ النَّجۡمُ وَ الشَّجَرُ یَسۡجُدٰنِ ﴿۶﴾

55:6 and the herbs and the trees adore (Him).2

وَ السَّمَآءَ رَفَعَہَا وَ وَضَعَ الۡمِیۡزَانَ ۙ﴿۷﴾

55:7 And the heaven, He raised it high, and He set up the measure,3

اَلَّا تَطۡغَوۡا فِی الۡمِیۡزَانِ ﴿۸﴾

55:8 that you may not exceed the measure.

وَ اَقِیۡمُوا الۡوَزۡنَ بِالۡقِسۡطِ وَ لَا تُخۡسِرُوا الۡمِیۡزَانَ ﴿۹﴾

55:9 So maintain the balance with justice, nor fall short in the measure.

وَ الۡاَرۡضَ وَضَعَہَا لِلۡاَنَامِ ﴿ۙ۱۰﴾

55:10 And the earth, He has set it for (His) creatures;

فِیۡہَا فَاکِہَۃٌ ۪ۙ وَّ النَّخۡلُ ذَاتُ الۡاَکۡمَامِ ﴿ۖ۱۱﴾

55:11 in it are fruits, and palms having sheathed clusters,

وَ الۡحَبُّ ذُو الۡعَصۡفِ وَ الرَّیۡحَانُ ﴿ۚ۱۲﴾

55:12 and the grain with (its) husk and fragrance.4

فَبِاَیِّ اٰلَآءِ رَبِّکُمَا تُکَذِّبٰنِ ﴿۱۳﴾

55:13 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?5

خَلَقَ الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنۡ صَلۡصَالٍ کَالۡفَخَّارِ ﴿ۙ۱۴﴾

55:14 He created man from dry clay like earthen vessels,

وَ خَلَقَ الۡجَآنَّ مِنۡ مَّارِجٍ مِّنۡ نَّارٍ ﴿ۚ۱۵﴾

55:15 and He created the jinn of a flame of fire.6

فَبِاَیِّ اٰلَآءِ رَبِّکُمَا تُکَذِّبٰنِ ﴿۱۶﴾

55:16 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

رَبُّ الۡمَشۡرِقَیۡنِ وَ رَبُّ الۡمَغۡرِبَیۡنِ ﴿ۚ۱۷﴾

55:17 Lord of the two Easts, and Lord of the two Wests.7

فَبِاَیِّ اٰلَآءِ رَبِّکُمَا تُکَذِّبٰنِ ﴿۱۸﴾

55:18 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

مَرَجَ الۡبَحۡرَیۡنِ یَلۡتَقِیٰنِ ﴿ۙ۱۹﴾

55:19 He has made the two seas to flow freely — they meet:

بَیۡنَہُمَا بَرۡزَخٌ لَّا یَبۡغِیٰنِ ﴿ۚ۲۰﴾

55:20 between them is a barrier which they cannot pass.8

فَبِاَیِّ اٰلَآءِ رَبِّکُمَا تُکَذِّبٰنِ ﴿۲۱﴾

55:21 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

یَخۡرُجُ مِنۡہُمَا اللُّؤۡلُؤُ وَ الۡمَرۡجَانُ ﴿ۚ۲۲﴾

55:22 From them both, come forth pearls, large and small.

فَبِاَیِّ اٰلَآءِ رَبِّکُمَا تُکَذِّبٰنِ ﴿۲۳﴾

55:23 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

وَ لَہُ الۡجَوَارِ الۡمُنۡشَئٰتُ فِی الۡبَحۡرِ کَالۡاَعۡلَامِ ﴿ۚ۲۴﴾

55:24 And His are the ships rising high in the sea like mountains.

فَبِاَیِّ اٰلَآءِ رَبِّکُمَا تُکَذِّبٰنِ ﴿٪۲۵﴾

55:25 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

Commentary:

  1. Al-Raḥmān is the Beneficent God Who brought things into existence for the sustenance of man before his creation. Man has not earned them. The same Beneficent God, we are here told, has taught the Quran, which is a necessity for the spiritual life of man. It is a Divine gift for the spiritual sustenance of man, like so many gifts for his physical sustenance.
  2. Everything created, from those large bodies in the heavens to the smallest herbs that grow on land, follows a law. Is not, then, a law needed for the spiritual perfection of man? Najm means star as well as herb.
  3. The word mīzān in the Quran does not signify a pair of scales for weighing things, but a measure, as signifying any standard of comparison, esti­mation, or judgment, and the term is here, as elsewhere, used in this broad sense. See 57:25, where the mīzān is that which enables people to be just in their actions. See also 42:17 footnote.
  4. The husk or the outer covering is generally considered to be a worth­less thing. In speaking of it as one of the bounties of God it is hinted that even the husk can be turned into a useful and valuable thing. In contrast with the husk is mentioned the fragrance, which resembles the spirit in the body. Neither should the outer form of the Divine law be considered to be a thing of no use, nor should the spirit of the law be neglected.
  5. This verse is repeated several times in this chapter. In the original the dual form is used rather than the plural, and thus what is translated here as your Lord is the Lord of you two. The dual form is sometimes used in Arabic to give force to the meaning. If the dual is taken literally, the two classes addressed are the believers and the disbelievers or the strong and the weak, divisions which are of frequent occurr­ence in the Quran. Believers and disbelievers are specially referred to in the concluding words of the last chapter (54:47–55).
  6. For the creation of jinn from fire see 7:12, 15:27 and footnotes there, where it is contrasted with the creation of man from earth.
  7. The two Easts and the two Wests signify the different points of the horizon at which the sun rises and sets at the summer and winter solstice. In modern terminology, the two Easts are the Near or the Middle East and the Far East; the two Wests are Europe and America.
  8. The two seas are mentioned in 25:53 and 35:12 as the sweet-water sea and the salt-water sea. See footnote on 25:53. In 35:12, as here, it is stated also that from both seas fresh flesh and ornaments are obtained; the significance being that useful men would continue to arise from among both believers and non-believers. Some understand that the Red and the Mediterranean Seas are meant. These seas were separated formerly, but are now united by the Suez Canal, and the verse is considered to contain a prophetical mention of this union.

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