English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 68: Al-Qalam — The Pen (Revealed at Makkah: 2 sections, 52 verses)


This chapter begins by presenting the inkstand, the pen and all writings to bear witness that the Holy Prophet’s utterances are not those of an insane person, as alleged by his opponents; hence its name The Pen. It goes on to set forth a parable foretelling that the struggles of his opponents will fail and they will regret what they did. It concludes by referring to the example of Jonah, to show the need to wait patiently for the eventual prophesied success. This chapter is undoubtedly one of the earliest revelations, and may be placed third in the chronological order of revelation. It is notable that even such an early revelation declares the Quran to be a reminder for all the nations of the world, as stated in its last verse.

List of Sections (Rukus):

  1. Not a Madman’s Message (Verses 68:1–68:33)
  2. A Reminder for the Nations (Verses 68:34–68:52)