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)

Section 2 (Verses 68:34–68:52): A Reminder for the Nations


اِنَّ لِلۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ عِنۡدَ رَبِّہِمۡ جَنّٰتِ النَّعِیۡمِ ﴿۳۴﴾

68:34 Surely the dutiful have with their Lord Gardens of bliss.

اَفَنَجۡعَلُ الۡمُسۡلِمِیۡنَ کَالۡمُجۡرِمِیۡنَ ﴿ؕ۳۵﴾

68:35 Shall We then make those who submit as the guilty?

مَا لَکُمۡ ٝ کَیۡفَ تَحۡکُمُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۳۶﴾

68:36 What is the matter with you? How do you judge?

اَمۡ لَکُمۡ کِتٰبٌ فِیۡہِ تَدۡرُسُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۷﴾

68:37 Or do you have a book in which you read

اِنَّ لَکُمۡ فِیۡہِ لَمَا تَخَیَّرُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۳۸﴾

68:38 that you shall surely have in it whatever you choose?

اَمۡ لَکُمۡ اَیۡمَانٌ عَلَیۡنَا بَالِغَۃٌ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ۙ اِنَّ لَکُمۡ لَمَا تَحۡکُمُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۳۹﴾

68:39 Or do you have covenants from Us on oath, extending to the day of Resurrection, that you shall surely have whatever you judge?

سَلۡہُمۡ اَیُّہُمۡ بِذٰلِکَ زَعِیۡمٌ ﴿ۚۛ۴۰﴾

68:40 Ask them which of them will vouch for that.

اَمۡ لَہُمۡ شُرَکَآءُ ۚۛ فَلۡیَاۡتُوۡا بِشُرَکَآئِہِمۡ اِنۡ کَانُوۡا صٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۴۱﴾

68:41 Or do they have associate-gods? Then let them bring their associate-gods, if they are truthful.

یَوۡمَ یُکۡشَفُ عَنۡ سَاقٍ وَّ یُدۡعَوۡنَ اِلَی السُّجُوۡدِ فَلَا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۲﴾

68:42 On the day when there is a severe affliction, and they are called upon to prostrate themselves, but they are not able —

خَاشِعَۃً اَبۡصَارُہُمۡ تَرۡہَقُہُمۡ ذِلَّۃٌ ؕ وَ قَدۡ کَانُوۡا یُدۡعَوۡنَ اِلَی السُّجُوۡدِ وَ ہُمۡ سٰلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۳﴾

68:43 their looks cast down, humiliation will cover them. And they were indeed called upon to prostrate themselves, while yet they were safe.

فَذَرۡنِیۡ وَ مَنۡ یُّکَذِّبُ بِہٰذَا الۡحَدِیۡثِ ؕ سَنَسۡتَدۡرِجُہُمۡ مِّنۡ حَیۡثُ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۴﴾

68:44 So leave Me alone with him who rejects this announcement. We shall overtake them by degrees, from where they do not know.

وَ اُمۡلِیۡ لَہُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ کَیۡدِیۡ مَتِیۡنٌ ﴿۴۵﴾

68:45 And I bear with them, surely My plan is firm.

اَمۡ تَسۡـَٔلُہُمۡ اَجۡرًا فَہُمۡ مِّنۡ مَّغۡرَمٍ مُّثۡقَلُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۴۶﴾

68:46 Or do you ask from them a reward, so that they are burdened with debt?

اَمۡ عِنۡدَہُمُ الۡغَیۡبُ فَہُمۡ یَکۡتُبُوۡنَ ﴿۴۷﴾

68:47 Or is (the knowledge of) the unseen with them so that they write (it) down?1

فَاصۡبِرۡ لِحُکۡمِ رَبِّکَ وَ لَا تَکُنۡ کَصَاحِبِ الۡحُوۡتِ ۘ اِذۡ نَادٰی وَ ہُوَ مَکۡظُوۡمٌ ﴿ؕ۴۸﴾

68:48 So wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord, and do not be like the Companion of the fish,2 when he cried while he was in distress.

لَوۡ لَاۤ اَنۡ تَدٰرَکَہٗ نِعۡمَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّہٖ لَنُبِذَ بِالۡعَرَآءِ وَ ہُوَ مَذۡمُوۡمٌ ﴿۴۹﴾

68:49 If favour from his Lord had not reached him, he would certainly have been cast down on naked ground, while he was blamed.

فَاجۡتَبٰہُ رَبُّہٗ فَجَعَلَہٗ مِنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۵۰﴾

68:50 Then his Lord chose him, and He made him one of the righteous.

وَ اِنۡ یَّکَادُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا لَیُزۡلِقُوۡنَکَ بِاَبۡصَارِہِمۡ لَمَّا سَمِعُوا الذِّکۡرَ وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ اِنَّہٗ لَمَجۡنُوۡنٌ ﴿ۘ۵۱﴾

68:51 And those who disbelieve would almost strike you down with their eyes when they hear the Reminder, and they say: Surely he is mad!3

وَ مَا ہُوَ اِلَّا ذِکۡرٌ لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿٪۵۲﴾

68:52 And it is nothing but a Reminder for the nations.


  1. Writing is always mentioned in connection with the knowledge of the unseen, because it is writing alone that makes the truth of a prophecy sure. This is proof that the Quran itself, containing numerous prophecies, was written from the first, otherwise a challenge to the opponents in these early revelations to write down the knowledge of the future which they had through their diviners would be meaningless.
  2. The Prophet Jonah is here called the Companion of the fish because of the incident mentioned in 37:142.
  3. The chapter ends with the same allegation by the disbelievers as the one with which it opened. The last verse, and it is nothing but a Reminder for the nations, sums up the arguments against that allegation. Note that even as early as this revelation, the Prophet’s message is declared to be meant for all nations.