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 20 (Verses 6:155–6:165): The Goal for the Faithful


وَ ہٰذَا کِتٰبٌ اَنۡزَلۡنٰہُ مُبٰرَکٌ فَاتَّبِعُوۡہُ وَ اتَّقُوۡا لَعَلَّکُمۡ تُرۡحَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۵﴾ۙ

6:155 And this is a Book We have revealed, full of blessings; so follow it and keep your duty that mercy may be shown to you,

اَنۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡۤا اِنَّمَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ الۡکِتٰبُ عَلٰی طَآئِفَتَیۡنِ مِنۡ قَبۡلِنَا ۪ وَ اِنۡ کُنَّا عَنۡ دِرَاسَتِہِمۡ لَغٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۶﴾ۙ

6:156 in case you say that the Book was revealed only to two parties before us and we were truly unaware of what they read,1

اَوۡ تَقُوۡلُوۡا لَوۡ اَنَّاۤ اُنۡزِلَ عَلَیۡنَا الۡکِتٰبُ لَکُنَّاۤ اَہۡدٰی مِنۡہُمۡ ۚ فَقَدۡ جَآءَکُمۡ بَیِّنَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ وَ ہُدًی وَّ رَحۡمَۃٌ ۚ فَمَنۡ اَظۡلَمُ مِمَّنۡ کَذَّبَ بِاٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ وَ صَدَفَ عَنۡہَا ؕ سَنَجۡزِی الَّذِیۡنَ یَصۡدِفُوۡنَ عَنۡ اٰیٰتِنَا سُوۡٓءَ الۡعَذَابِ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَصۡدِفُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۷﴾

6:157 or, you say: If the Book had been revealed to us, we would have been better guided than they. So indeed clear proof has come to you from your Lord, and guidance and mercy. Who is then more unjust than he who rejects Allah’s messages and turns away from them? We reward those who turn away from Our messages with an evil punishment because they turned away.

ہَلۡ یَنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَاۡتِیَہُمُ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ اَوۡ یَاۡتِیَ رَبُّکَ اَوۡ یَاۡتِیَ بَعۡضُ اٰیٰتِ رَبِّکَ ؕ یَوۡمَ یَاۡتِیۡ بَعۡضُ اٰیٰتِ رَبِّکَ لَا یَنۡفَعُ نَفۡسًا اِیۡمَانُہَا لَمۡ تَکُنۡ اٰمَنَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ اَوۡ کَسَبَتۡ فِیۡۤ اِیۡمَانِہَا خَیۡرًا ؕ قُلِ انۡتَظِرُوۡۤا اِنَّا مُنۡتَظِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۸﴾

6:158 They only wait that the angels should come to them, or that your Lord should come,2 or that some of the signs of your Lord should come. On the day when some of the signs of your Lord come, its faith will not benefit a soul which did not believe before, nor earned good through its faith.3 Say: Wait; we too are waiting.

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ فَرَّقُوۡا دِیۡنَہُمۡ وَ کَانُوۡا شِیَعًا لَّسۡتَ مِنۡہُمۡ فِیۡ شَیۡءٍ ؕ اِنَّمَاۤ اَمۡرُہُمۡ اِلَی اللّٰہِ ثُمَّ یُنَبِّئُہُمۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَفۡعَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۹﴾

6:159 As for those who split up their religion and became sects, you have no concern with them. Their affair is only with Allah, then He will inform them of what they did.

مَنۡ جَآءَ بِالۡحَسَنَۃِ فَلَہٗ عَشۡرُ اَمۡثَالِہَا ۚ وَ مَنۡ جَآءَ بِالسَّیِّئَۃِ فَلَا یُجۡزٰۤی اِلَّا مِثۡلَہَا وَ ہُمۡ لَا یُظۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۰﴾

6:160 Whoever brings a good deed will have tenfold like it, and whoever brings an evil deed, will be recompensed only with the like of it, and they shall not be wronged.4

قُلۡ اِنَّنِیۡ ہَدٰىنِیۡ رَبِّیۡۤ اِلٰی صِرَاطٍ مُّسۡتَقِیۡمٍ ۬ۚ دِیۡنًا قِیَمًا مِّلَّۃَ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ حَنِیۡفًا ۚ وَ مَا کَانَ مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۱﴾

6:161 Say: As for me, my Lord has guided me to the right path — a right religion, the faith of Abraham, the upright one, and he was not of those who set up partners (with Allah).

قُلۡ اِنَّ صَلَاتِیۡ وَ نُسُکِیۡ وَ مَحۡیَایَ وَ مَمَاتِیۡ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۲﴾ۙ

6:162 Say: My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are surely for Allah, the Lord of the worlds —

لَا شَرِیۡکَ لَہٗ ۚ وَ بِذٰلِکَ اُمِرۡتُ وَ اَنَا اَوَّلُ الۡمُسۡلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۳﴾

6:163 no partner has He. And this am I commanded, and I am the first of those who submit.5

قُلۡ اَغَیۡرَ اللّٰہِ اَبۡغِیۡ رَبًّا وَّ ہُوَ رَبُّ کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ ؕ وَ لَا تَکۡسِبُ کُلُّ نَفۡسٍ اِلَّا عَلَیۡہَا ۚ وَ لَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَۃٌ وِّزۡرَ اُخۡرٰی ۚ ثُمَّ اِلٰی رَبِّکُمۡ مَّرۡجِعُکُمۡ فَیُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ فِیۡہِ تَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۴﴾

6:164 Say: Shall I seek a Lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things? And no soul earns (evil) but against itself. Nor does a bearer of burden bear another’s burden.6 Then to your Lord is your return, so He will inform you of that in which you differed.

وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ جَعَلَکُمۡ خَلٰٓئِفَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ رَفَعَ بَعۡضَکُمۡ فَوۡقَ بَعۡضٍ دَرَجٰتٍ لِّیَبۡلُوَکُمۡ فِیۡ مَاۤ اٰتٰکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ سَرِیۡعُ الۡعِقَابِ ۫ۖ وَ اِنَّہٗ لَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۶۵﴾٪

6:165 And He it is Who has made you successors in the land and exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by what He has given you. Surely your Lord is Quick in retribution, and He is surely the Forgiving, the Merciful.7


  1. As in Arabia there lived only the Jews and the Christians besides the idolaters, the Arabs spoke of only two parties to whom the Book was given.
  2. For a similar expression see 2:210. Also v. 111 and note. Similar words occur also in 16:33: “They only wait that the angels should come to them or that your Lord’s command should come to pass”. Here the words are that your Lord should come. Thus the coming of the Lord carries the same signifi­cance as the coming to pass of His command, or the execution of His decree, i.e. the final doom of the opponents. The coming of the angels stands for the smaller visita­tions or distresses the opponents witnessed in the battles which they fought to annihilate Islam, in which the coming of angels is spoken of; see 3:125–126, 8:9.
  3. The only time when faith does not benefit a soul is the approach of death, and hence I am of opinion that by “some of the signs of your Lord” are meant clear signs of approach of death. A person’s death is in one sense also his resurrection: “Whoever dies, his resurrection comes to pass” (Mishkāt, 26:6).
  4. No other sacred book gives such prominence to the quality of mercy in the Divine Being. While evil must have its evil con­sequence, it is only its like, but virtue brings a tenfold reward. According to a saying of the Holy Prophet, evil is pardoned or recompensed with its like, while good brings from a tenfold to a seven-hundredfold reward (Bukhari, 81:33). Thus the verse mentions only the maximum punishment of evil and the minimum reward of good.
  5. The idea of entire submission to the Divine Being conveyed in the word Islām finds its perfect manifestation in the Holy Prophet, who is the first of the Muslims. Above even the noblest object that a person can set for himself stands the love of the Divine Being. It is the highest goal of human life, and every Muslim is taught to set that goal before himself.
  6. In these words the Christian doctrine of atonement is rejected by the Quran. Elsewhere we have: “That no bearer of burden bears another’s burden, and that man can have nothing but what he strives for” (53:38–39). Every person who is born is called a bearer of burden, not because he is a sinner, but because he starts life with certain responsibilities of his own.
  7. With the highest goal of life before them, Muslims are now told that they were going to be made rulers in the land. Their exaltation above others, how­ever, was not due to their wealth or to their political power but simply to the fact that they submitted themselves to God, that their prayers and their sacrifices were not for their nation or their country but for God, Who was the Rabb, the Nourisher to perfection, of the whole of humanity. Hence they were a people who had the betterment of the whole of humanity in view. But even they are told, in the con­cluding words of the verse, that if they fall off and follow evil ways they will be requited, though the forgiveness and mercy of the Divine Being will ultimately take them by the hand.