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 16 (Verses 6:130–6:140): Evils of Idolatry


یٰمَعۡشَرَ الۡجِنِّ وَ الۡاِنۡسِ اَلَمۡ یَاۡتِکُمۡ رُسُلٌ مِّنۡکُمۡ یَقُصُّوۡنَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ اٰیٰتِیۡ وَ یُنۡذِرُوۡنَکُمۡ لِقَآءَ یَوۡمِکُمۡ ہٰذَا ؕ قَالُوۡا شَہِدۡنَا عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِنَا وَ غَرَّتۡہُمُ الۡحَیٰوۃُ الدُّنۡیَا وَ شَہِدُوۡا عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ اَنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا کٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳۰﴾

6:130 O community of jinn and people, did not messengers come to you from among you, relating to you My messages and warning you of the meeting of this day of yours?1 They will say: We bear witness against ourselves. And this world’s life deceived them, and they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers.

ذٰلِکَ اَنۡ لَّمۡ یَکُنۡ رَّبُّکَ مُہۡلِکَ الۡقُرٰی بِظُلۡمٍ وَّ اَہۡلُہَا غٰفِلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۱﴾

6:131 This is because your Lord would not destroy towns unjustly while their people are negligent.2

وَ لِکُلٍّ دَرَجٰتٌ مِّمَّا عَمِلُوۡا ؕ وَ مَا رَبُّکَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۲﴾

6:132 And for all are degrees according to their doings. And your Lord is not heedless of what they do.

وَ رَبُّکَ الۡغَنِیُّ ذُو الرَّحۡمَۃِ ؕ اِنۡ یَّشَاۡ یُذۡہِبۡکُمۡ وَ یَسۡتَخۡلِفۡ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِکُمۡ مَّا یَشَآءُ کَمَاۤ اَنۡشَاَکُمۡ مِّنۡ ذُرِّیَّۃِ قَوۡمٍ اٰخَرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳۳﴾ؕ

6:133 And your Lord is the Self-sufficient One, the Lord of mercy. If He please, He may remove you, and make whom He pleases successors after you, just as He raised you up from the offspring of other people.

اِنَّ مَا تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ لَاٰتٍ ۙ وَّ مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ بِمُعۡجِزِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳۴﴾

6:134 Surely what you are promised will come to pass, and you cannot escape (it).

قُلۡ یٰقَوۡمِ اعۡمَلُوۡا عَلٰی مَکَانَتِکُمۡ اِنِّیۡ عَامِلٌ ۚ فَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ۙ مَنۡ تَکُوۡنُ لَہٗ عَاقِبَۃُ الدَّارِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَا یُفۡلِحُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۵﴾

6:135 Say: My people, act according to your ability, I too am acting; so you will soon come to know for whom is the (good) end of the abode. Surely the wrongdoers will not succeed.

وَ جَعَلُوۡا لِلّٰہِ مِمَّا ذَرَاَ مِنَ الۡحَرۡثِ وَ الۡاَنۡعَامِ نَصِیۡبًا فَقَالُوۡا ہٰذَا لِلّٰہِ بِزَعۡمِہِمۡ وَ ہٰذَا لِشُرَکَآئِنَا ۚ فَمَا کَانَ لِشُرَکَآئِہِمۡ فَلَا یَصِلُ اِلَی اللّٰہِ ۚ وَ مَا کَانَ لِلّٰہِ فَہُوَ یَصِلُ اِلٰی شُرَکَآئِہِمۡ ؕ سَآءَ مَا یَحۡکُمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۶﴾

6:136 And they set apart a portion for Allah out of what He has created of crops and cattle, and say: This is for Allah — so they assert — and this for our associate-gods. Then that which is for their associate-gods does not reach Allah, and that which is for Allah reaches their associate-gods. Evil is what they judge.3

وَ کَذٰلِکَ زَیَّنَ لِکَثِیۡرٍ مِّنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ قَتۡلَ اَوۡلَادِہِمۡ شُرَکَآؤُہُمۡ لِیُرۡدُوۡہُمۡ وَ لِیَلۡبِسُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ دِیۡنَہُمۡ ؕ وَ لَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ مَا فَعَلُوۡہُ فَذَرۡہُمۡ وَ مَا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۷﴾

6:137 And thus their associate-gods have made it seem good to many idolaters the killing of their children, that they may cause them to perish and obscure for them their religion.4 And if Allah had pleased, they would not have done it, so leave them alone with what they forge.

وَ قَالُوۡا ہٰذِہٖۤ اَنۡعَامٌ وَّ حَرۡثٌ حِجۡرٌ ٭ۖ لَّا یَطۡعَمُہَاۤ اِلَّا مَنۡ نَّشَآءُ بِزَعۡمِہِمۡ وَ اَنۡعَامٌ حُرِّمَتۡ ظُہُوۡرُہَا وَ اَنۡعَامٌ لَّا یَذۡکُرُوۡنَ اسۡمَ اللّٰہِ عَلَیۡہَا افۡتِرَآءً عَلَیۡہِ ؕ سَیَجۡزِیۡہِمۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡتَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۸﴾

6:138 And they say: Such and such cattle and crops are prohibited — none shall eat them except such as we please — so they assert — and cattle whose backs are forbidden, and cattle on which they would not mention Allah’s name5 — forging a lie against Him. He will recompense them for what they forge.

وَ قَالُوۡا مَا فِیۡ بُطُوۡنِ ہٰذِہِ الۡاَنۡعَامِ خَالِصَۃٌ لِّذُکُوۡرِنَا وَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلٰۤی اَزۡوَاجِنَا ۚ وَ اِنۡ یَّکُنۡ مَّیۡتَۃً فَہُمۡ فِیۡہِ شُرَکَآءُ ؕ سَیَجۡزِیۡہِمۡ وَصۡفَہُمۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ حَکِیۡمٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۳۹﴾

6:139 And they say: What is in the wombs of such and such cattle is reserved for our males, and forbidden to our wives, and if it be stillborn, they are partners in it. He will reward them for their (false) attribution. Surely He is Wise, Knowing.

قَدۡ خَسِرَ الَّذِیۡنَ قَتَلُوۡۤا اَوۡلَادَہُمۡ سَفَہًۢا بِغَیۡرِ عِلۡمٍ وَّ حَرَّمُوۡا مَا رَزَقَہُمُ اللّٰہُ افۡتِرَآءً عَلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ قَدۡ ضَلُّوۡا وَ مَا کَانُوۡا مُہۡتَدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۰﴾٪

6:140 They are losers indeed who kill their children foolishly without knowledge, and forbid what Allah has provided for them, forging a lie against Allah. They indeed go astray, and are not guided.


  1. By calling the jinn and people a single community, the Quran has made it clear that the jinn and the people spoken of here are not two different classes of beings. Again, the jinn and the people are told that messengers had come to them from among them, i.e. from among jinn and people. But as the only messengers spoken of in the Quran and other reliable histories of prophets are those who belong to mankind, it follows that the jinn spoken of here belong to mankind, and not to any other class of creation.
  2. That is, while the reminder and the warning had not yet come to them. Or, the words mean that it is not for negligence that nations are destroyed; it is only when they become wrongdoers and spread mischief in the world that they are overtaken by punishment in this life.
  3. It was a custom among the Arab idolaters to set apart certain portions of the produce of their fields and their cattle, one portion for Allah and another portion for the idols. The portion for idols was always applied to their use, but the portion set apart for Allah, though ordinarily spent to feed the poor and the needy, was in certain cases diverted to the use of the idols. The portion for the idols was handed over to the priests.
  4. This refers to the practice of killing or burying alive the female children, and also to the human sacrifices to idols, as they sometimes vowed that, if they had a number of sons, they would sacrifice one of them to an idol. By introducing these superstitious and evil customs they were making confused and obscure the true religion — the religion of the service of One God.
  5. That is, such as were sacrificed in the name of idols. All these along with what is said in the next two verses are denounced as being idolatrous prac­tices.