English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 67: Al-Mulk — The Kingdom (Revealed at Makkah: 2 sections, 30 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 67:1–67:14): The Kingdom of God

Translation:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Part 2967:1 Blessed is He in Whose hand is the Kingdom, and He is Powerful over all things,1
67:2 Who created death and life that He might try you (as to) which of you is best in deeds.2 And He is the Mighty, the Forgiving,
67:3 Who created the seven heavens alike.3 You see no anomaly in the creation of the Beneficent. Then look again: Can you see any disorder?4
67:4 Then look again and again — your sight will return to you confused, while it is fatigued.
67:5 And certainly We have adorned this lower heaven with lamps and We make them means of conjectures for the devils,5 and We have prepared for them the punishment of burning.
67:6 And for those who disbelieve in their Lord is the punishment of hell, and evil is the destination.
67:7 When they are cast into it, they will hear a loud moaning of it as it heaves,
67:8 almost bursting for fury. Whenever a group is cast into it, its keepers ask them: Did not a warner come to you?
67:9 They say: Yes, indeed a warner came to us, but we denied and said: Allah has revealed nothing; you are only in great error.
67:10 And they say: If only we had listened or pondered, we should not have been among the inmates of the burning Fire.
67:11 Thus they will confess their sins; so far (from good) are the inmates of the burning Fire.
67:12 Those who fear their Lord in secret, for them is surely forgiveness and a great reward.
67:13 And (whether you) conceal your word or speak it openly, truly He is Knower of what is in the hearts.
67:14 Does He, Who created, not know? And He is the Knower of subtleties, the Aware.

Commentary:

  1. The short chapters revealed at Makkah, which are no doubt generally among the earliest revelations of the Holy Prophet, often speak most forcibly of the greatness and glory of Allah. The statement here refers prophetically to the king­dom of Islam, which was really the kingdom of God.
  2. The law of life and death or growth and decay works throughout nature, but in case of man death does not end his life, but is really the starting-point for a new life of spiritual progress. Life to him below is a trial, i.e., a means of bringing to light his hidden qualifications for the performance of good. There is also the life and death of nations. Nations that work evil are swept away, and others are raised in their place that they may do good.
  3. Alike (ṭibāq) here means conforming or corresponding to one another. This significance suits the context, for the verse goes on to describe the uni­formity prevailing in nature.
  4. Attention is here called to the regularity and uniformity of the laws working in nature. There is no anomaly, so that things belonging to the same class should be subject to different laws, nor is there a disorder, so that a law should not work uniformly. The verse, while calling attention to the existence of a Supreme Being, as witnessed in the regularity and uniformity of the laws working in crea­tion, draws special attention to spiritual laws, which also work uniformly, and thus evil and good must each bring its special reward.
  5. The lamps with which the lower heaven is lighted, i.e., the stars, are made the means of conjectures regarding the future by the astrologers. The word rujūm is the plural of rajm which, according to many early authorities, is used to signify conjectures and surmises. Thus the astrologers, who deceived people by telling them many things which they posed as having learned from the stars, are referred to here as the devils making conjectures.

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