English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 66: At-Tahrim — The Prohibition (Revealed at Madinah: 2 sections, 12 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 66:8–66:12): Progress of the Faithful


یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا تُوۡبُوۡۤا اِلَی اللّٰہِ تَوۡبَۃً نَّصُوۡحًا ؕ عَسٰی رَبُّکُمۡ اَنۡ یُّکَفِّرَ عَنۡکُمۡ سَیِّاٰتِکُمۡ وَ یُدۡخِلَکُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ ۙ یَوۡمَ لَا یُخۡزِی اللّٰہُ النَّبِیَّ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَہٗ ۚ نُوۡرُہُمۡ یَسۡعٰی بَیۡنَ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ وَ بِاَیۡمَانِہِمۡ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ رَبَّنَاۤ اَتۡمِمۡ لَنَا نُوۡرَنَا وَ اغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ۚ اِنَّکَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۸﴾

66:8 O you who believe, turn to Allah with sincere repentance. It may be your Lord will remove from you your evil and make you enter Gardens in which rivers flow, on the day on which Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will gleam before them and on their right hands — they will say: Our Lord, make perfect for us our light, and grant us protection; surely You are Powerful over all things.1

یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ جَاہِدِ الۡکُفَّارَ وَ الۡمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ وَ اغۡلُظۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ وَ مَاۡوٰىہُمۡ جَہَنَّمُ ؕ وَ بِئۡسَ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۹﴾

66:9 O Prophet, strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites,2 and remain firm against them, and their abode is hell; and evil is the destination.

ضَرَبَ اللّٰہُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوا امۡرَاَتَ نُوۡحٍ وَّ امۡرَاَتَ لُوۡطٍ ؕ کَانَتَا تَحۡتَ عَبۡدَیۡنِ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا صَالِحَیۡنِ فَخَانَتٰہُمَا فَلَمۡ یُغۡنِیَا عَنۡہُمَا مِنَ اللّٰہِ شَیۡئًا وَّ قِیۡلَ ادۡخُلَا النَّارَ مَعَ الدّٰخِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰﴾

66:10 Allah sets forth an example for those who disbelieve — the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were both under two of Our righteous servants, but they acted treacherously towards them, so they (the husbands) did not avail them at all against (the punishment of) Allah, and it was said: Enter the Fire with those who enter.3

وَ ضَرَبَ اللّٰہُ مَثَلًا لِّلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا امۡرَاَتَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ ۘ اِذۡ قَالَتۡ رَبِّ ابۡنِ لِیۡ عِنۡدَکَ بَیۡتًا فِی الۡجَنَّۃِ وَ نَجِّنِیۡ مِنۡ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ عَمَلِہٖ وَ نَجِّنِیۡ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾

66:11 And Allah sets forth an example for those who believe — the wife of Pharaoh, when she said: My Lord, build for me a house with You in the Garden and deliver me from Pharaoh and his work, and deliver me from the wrongdoing people.4

وَ مَرۡیَمَ ابۡنَتَ عِمۡرٰنَ الَّتِیۡۤ اَحۡصَنَتۡ فَرۡجَہَا فَنَفَخۡنَا فِیۡہِ مِنۡ رُّوۡحِنَا وَ صَدَّقَتۡ بِکَلِمٰتِ رَبِّہَا وَ کُتُبِہٖ وَ کَانَتۡ مِنَ الۡقٰنِتِیۡنَ ﴿٪۱۲﴾

66:12 And Mary, the daughter of Amran, who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into him of Our inspiration, and she accepted the truth of the words of her Lord and His Books, and she was of the obedient ones.5


  1. Paradise is not only a place to enjoy the blessings and reap the reward of one’s previous good deeds, but it is also the starting-point of a never-ceasing spiritual advancement. The prayer for the perfection of the light is an unceasing desire for perfection, showing that spiritual progress in that life will be endless.
  2. The verb translated as strive is jāhid, from which is derived the word jihād, and the context shows that by striving is not meant the carrying on of a war, for war was never proclaimed against the hypocrites, who, in fact, were for all practical purposes treated as Muslims. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet is command­ed to carry on a jihad against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, it is clear that jihad is something else than mere fighting.
  3. This is an instance of the followers of prophets going against the prin­ciples of their teachers. Those prophets will not be able to save them.
  4. This is an example of good men who are not yet made free from the bondage of sin, for which Pharaoh stands here as a typical example; but they ardently desire to be rid of sin, striving hard to free themselves from all trammels.
  5. The example of the righteous given in this parable illustrates how Divine inspiration is granted to the perfect ones. The words “We breathed into him of Our inspiration” are remarkable. Evidently the word him cannot refer to Mary. It is taken by some commentators to refer to Jesus, and thus the meaning is that Mary gave birth to a son who received Divine inspiration. But the reference in the personal pronoun him might as well be to the believer for whom Mary is set as an example, and the object of the change might be to draw attention to the fact that it is really the granting of inspiration to the believer that is meant here and not the breathing of a soul. (Editor’s Note: Verses 11–12 put before Muslims exam­ples of women to follow for reaching the highest degrees of righteousness.)