English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 6: Al-Anam — The Cattle (Revealed at Makkah: 20 sections, 165 verses)

Section 14 (Verses 6:111–6:121): Idolaters’ Opposition


Part 86:111 And even if We send down to them the angels and the dead speak to them and We bring together all things before them, they would not believe unless Allah please, but most of them are ignorant.1
6:112 And thus did We make for every prophet an enemy, the devils from among the people and the jinn, some of them inspiring others with gilded speech to deceive (them).2 And if your Lord pleased, they would not do it, so leave them alone with what they forge —
6:113 And that the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter may incline to it, and that they may be pleased with it, and that they may earn what they are earning.
6:114 Shall I then seek a judge other than Allah, when He it is Who has sent down to you the Book fully explained. And those whom We have given the Book know that it is revealed by your Lord with truth, so do not be one of the disputers.
6:115 And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly. There is none who can change His words; and He is the Hearer, the Knower.3
6:116 And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they only lie.
6:117 Surely your Lord — He knows best who goes astray from His way, and He knows best the guided ones.
6:118 Eat, then, of that on which Allah’s name has been mentioned, if you are believers in His messages.4
6:119 And what reason have you that you should not eat of that on which Allah’s name is mentioned, when He has already made plain to you what He has forbidden to you — except what you are compelled to.5 And surely many lead (people) astray by their low desires through ignorance. Surely your Lord — He best knows the transgressors.
6:120 And avoid open sins and secret ones. Surely they who earn sin will be rewarded for what they have earned.6
6:121 And do not eat of that on which Allah’s name has not been mentioned, and that is surely a transgression.7 And certainly the devils inspire their friends to contend with you; and if you obey them, you will surely be those who set up partners (with Allah).


  1. There are always some people who turn a deaf ear to every argu­ment, and it is of such leaders of evil that this verse speaks; see next verse. The coming of the angels stands for the execution of the decree of their punishment. The speaking of the dead refers either to the raising of the spiritually dead to life (see v. 122), or to the evidence of those who had passed away before the Prophet, being given through their writings. And lastly, by the bringing together of all things is meant the bringing together of things relating to their punishment. The meaning is that some of the opponents are so blind that the clearest of signs or proofs would not convince them.
  2. By the people and the jinn here are apparently meant the ordinary people and the leaders, suggesting to each other varnished tales of falsehood. See later v. 128 footnote 1 for a fuller discussion of the word jinn.
  3. The word signifies the prophetic word; see 6:34 footnote.
  4. The establishment of the doctrine of Divine Unity, which is the object of this chapter, required the abolition of all idolatrous practices, among which was the practice of slaughtering animals in the names of idols. It is allowed to Mus­lims to slaughter animals for food, but Allah’s name must be mentioned when the animal is slaughtered. This is also a reminder to man that this act of the taking of a life, even though it is the life of an animal, is made lawful only by Divine per­mission, for the attainment of a necessary purpose.
  5. The reference in these words is to what is said in an earlier revela­tion; see 16:115. The same subject is again referred to in 6:145, as also in 2:173 and in greater detail in 5:3, both of these being revelations at Madinah.
  6. The Muslim is here commanded to consider open and secret sins to be equally hateful. In fact there are very few people who commit open sins as compared with those who are guilty of secret sins.
  7. These words are explained by the majority as containing only a pro­hibition against the eating of that which is slaughtered in the name of others than Allah.