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 9 (Verses 6:71–6:82): Abraham’s Argument for Divine Unity


قُلۡ اَنَدۡعُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا یَنۡفَعُنَا وَ لَا یَضُرُّنَا وَ نُرَدُّ عَلٰۤی اَعۡقَابِنَا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ ہَدٰىنَا اللّٰہُ کَالَّذِی اسۡتَہۡوَتۡہُ الشَّیٰطِیۡنُ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ حَیۡرَانَ ۪ لَہٗۤ اَصۡحٰبٌ یَّدۡعُوۡنَہٗۤ اِلَی الۡہُدَی ائۡتِنَا ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ ہُدَی اللّٰہِ ہُوَ الۡہُدٰی ؕ وَ اُمِرۡنَا لِنُسۡلِمَ لِرَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۷۱﴾

6:71 Say: Shall we call, besides Allah, on that which does not benefit us nor harm us, and shall we be turned back on our heels after Allah has guided us? Like one whom the devils cause to follow his low desires, in bewilderment in the earth — he has companions who call him to the right way (saying), Come to us. Say: Surely the guidance of Allah, that is the (true) guidance. And we are commanded to submit to the Lord of the worlds,

وَ اَنۡ اَقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اتَّقُوۡہُ ؕ وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِ تُحۡشَرُوۡنَ ﴿۷۲﴾

6:72 and that you should keep up prayer and keep your duty to Him. And He it is to Whom you shall be gathered.

وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ بِالۡحَقِّ ؕ وَ یَوۡمَ یَقُوۡلُ کُنۡ فَیَکُوۡنُ ۬ؕ قَوۡلُہُ الۡحَقُّ ؕ وَ لَہُ الۡمُلۡکُ یَوۡمَ یُنۡفَخُ فِی الصُّوۡرِ ؕ عٰلِمُ الۡغَیۡبِ وَ الشَّہَادَۃِ ؕ وَ ہُوَ الۡحَکِیۡمُ الۡخَبِیۡرُ ﴿۷۳﴾

6:73 And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth with truth. And when He says, Be, it is.1 His word is the truth and His is the kingdom on the day when the trumpet is blown.2 The Knower of the unseen and the seen; and He is the Wise, the Aware.

وَ اِذۡ قَالَ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ لِاَبِیۡہِ اٰزَرَ اَتَتَّخِذُ اَصۡنَامًا اٰلِہَۃً ۚ اِنِّیۡۤ اَرٰىکَ وَ قَوۡمَکَ فِیۡ ضَلٰلٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۷۴﴾

6:74 And when Abraham said to his sire, Āzar:3 Do you take idols for gods? Surely I see you and your people in manifest error.

وَ کَذٰلِکَ نُرِیۡۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ مَلَکُوۡتَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لِیَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُوۡقِنِیۡنَ ﴿۷۵﴾

6:75 And thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and that he might have certainty.4

فَلَمَّا جَنَّ عَلَیۡہِ الَّیۡلُ رَاٰ کَوۡکَبًا ۚ قَالَ ہٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَ قَالَ لَاۤ اُحِبُّ الۡاٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۷۶﴾

6:76 So when the night overshadowed him, he saw a star. He said: Is this my Lord?5 So when it set, he said: I do not love the setting ones.

فَلَمَّا رَاَ الۡقَمَرَ بَازِغًا قَالَ ہٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَ قَالَ لَئِنۡ لَّمۡ یَہۡدِنِیۡ رَبِّیۡ لَاَکُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الضَّآلِّیۡنَ ﴿۷۷﴾

6:77 Then when he saw the moon rising, he said: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: If my Lord had not guided me, I should certainly be of the people who are in error.

فَلَمَّا رَاَ الشَّمۡسَ بَازِغَۃً قَالَ ہٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ہٰذَاۤ اَکۡبَرُ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَتۡ قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اِنِّیۡ بَرِیۡٓءٌ مِّمَّا تُشۡرِکُوۡنَ ﴿۷۸﴾

6:78 Then when he saw the sun rising, he said: Is this my Lord? Is this the greatest? So when it set, he said: My people, I am clear of what you set up (with Allah).

اِنِّیۡ وَجَّہۡتُ وَجۡہِیَ لِلَّذِیۡ فَطَرَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ حَنِیۡفًا وَّ مَاۤ اَنَا مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۷۹﴾

6:79 Surely I have turned myself, being upright, wholly to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, and I am not of those who set up partners (with Allah).

وَ حَآجَّہٗ قَوۡمُہٗ ؕ قَالَ اَتُحَآجُّوۡٓنِّیۡ فِی اللّٰہِ وَ قَدۡ ہَدٰىنِ ؕ وَ لَاۤ اَخَافُ مَا تُشۡرِکُوۡنَ بِہٖۤ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یَّشَآءَ رَبِّیۡ شَیۡئًا ؕ وَسِعَ رَبِّیۡ کُلَّ شَیۡءٍ عِلۡمًا ؕ اَفَلَا تَتَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۸۰﴾

6:80 And his people disputed with him. He said: Do you dispute with me respecting Allah and He has guided me indeed? And I do not fear in any way those that you set up with Him, unless my Lord please. My Lord comprehends all things in His knowledge. Will you not then be mindful?

وَ کَیۡفَ اَخَافُ مَاۤ اَشۡرَکۡتُمۡ وَ لَا تَخَافُوۡنَ اَنَّکُمۡ اَشۡرَکۡتُمۡ بِاللّٰہِ مَا لَمۡ یُنَزِّلۡ بِہٖ عَلَیۡکُمۡ سُلۡطٰنًا ؕ فَاَیُّ الۡفَرِیۡقَیۡنِ اَحَقُّ بِالۡاَمۡنِ ۚ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿ۘ۸۱﴾

6:81 And how should I fear what you have set up (with Him), while you do not fear to set up partners with Allah for which He has sent down to you no authority? Which then of the two parties is surer of security, if you know?

اَلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ لَمۡ یَلۡبِسُوۡۤا اِیۡمَانَہُمۡ بِظُلۡمٍ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمُ الۡاَمۡنُ وَ ہُمۡ مُّہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿٪۸۲﴾

6:82 Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with wrongdoing — for them is security and they go aright.


  1. These words are generally used when the bringing about of a great change — a change which seems to be impossible to people — is meant.
  2. The reference may be either to the Resurrection when human beings will be raised to be brought to judgment, or the great spiritual resurrection which was to be brought about through the Holy Prophet when the whole of Arabia was destined to receive a new life, the life spiritual, or perhaps to the still greater spiri­tual resurrection when the whole of humanity was destined to receive a new life through the triumph of Islam.
  3. Whether Āzar was the father of Abraham, or his grandfather or uncle, is a much disputed point. The word ab means a father as well as an ancestor, and in 2:133 it is applied to an uncle because there Ishmael is spoken of as an ab of Jacob. Abraham’s father (wālid) is indicated in 14:41 to be a believer, while the sire (ab) is elsewhere mentioned as having stuck to idolatry till his death (9:114). Hence I prefer sire as the significance of the word.
  4. Showing Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth signifies granting him an insight into the Divine laws of nature working in the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. This insight had convinced him that Allah was the real controller of the universe, while the sun, the moon, the stars and other heavenly bodies, were only His creation and subject to His laws.
  5. These words, which literally mean this is my Lord, do not contain Abraham’s conviction. The words are either uttered by way of surprise or, as trans­lated here, the phrase may be interrogatory, expressing disapproval. It should be borne in mind that Abraham never worshipped idols or the heavenly bodies like his people. He has already been spoken of in v. 74 as denouncing the idol-worship of his people, and in v. 75 as possessing certainty of faith in One God. Further on, we find it clearly stated in v. 83 that what is related here was an argu­ment by which Abraham tried to convince his people that they worshipped false deities, which were themselves subject to Divine laws.