English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 70: Al-Maarij — The Ways of Ascent (Revealed at Makkah: 2 sections, 44 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 70:1–70:35): The Certainty of the Punishment


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

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

سَاَلَ سَآئِلٌۢ بِعَذَابٍ وَّاقِعٍ ۙ﴿۱﴾

70:1 A questioner asks about the punishment to befall

لِّلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ لَیۡسَ لَہٗ دَافِعٌ ۙ﴿۲﴾

70:2 the disbelievers — there is none to avert it1

مِّنَ اللّٰہِ ذِی الۡمَعَارِجِ ؕ﴿۳﴾

70:3 from Allah, Lord of the ways of Ascent.2

تَعۡرُجُ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ وَ الرُّوۡحُ اِلَیۡہِ فِیۡ یَوۡمٍ کَانَ مِقۡدَارُہٗ خَمۡسِیۡنَ اَلۡفَ سَنَۃٍ ۚ﴿۴﴾

70:4 To Him ascend the angels and the Spirit in a day the length of which is fifty thousand years.3

فَاصۡبِرۡ صَبۡرًا جَمِیۡلًا ﴿۵﴾

70:5 So be patient with a goodly patience.

اِنَّہُمۡ یَرَوۡنَہٗ بَعِیۡدًا ۙ﴿۶﴾

70:6 Surely they see it far off,

وَّ نَرٰىہُ قَرِیۡبًا ؕ﴿۷﴾

70:7 and We see it near.

یَوۡمَ تَکُوۡنُ السَّمَآءُ کَالۡمُہۡلِ ۙ﴿۸﴾

70:8 The day when the heaven is as molten brass,

وَ تَکُوۡنُ الۡجِبَالُ کَالۡعِہۡنِ ۙ﴿۹﴾

70:9 and the mountains are as wool;

وَ لَا یَسۡـَٔلُ حَمِیۡمٌ حَمِیۡمًا ﴿ۚۖ۱۰﴾

70:10 and no friend will ask of friend,

یُّبَصَّرُوۡنَہُمۡ ؕ یَوَدُّ الۡمُجۡرِمُ لَوۡ یَفۡتَدِیۡ مِنۡ عَذَابِ یَوۡمِئِذٍۭ بِبَنِیۡہِ ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾

70:11 (though) they are made to see them. The guilty one will wish he could redeem himself from the punishment of that day by his children,

وَ صَاحِبَتِہٖ وَ اَخِیۡہِ ﴿ۙ۱۲﴾

70:12 and his wife and his brother,

وَ فَصِیۡلَتِہِ الَّتِیۡ تُــٔۡوِیۡہِ ﴿ۙ۱۳﴾

70:13 and his kin that gave him shelter,

وَ مَنۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ جَمِیۡعًا ۙ ثُمَّ یُنۡجِیۡہِ ﴿ۙ۱۴﴾

70:14 and all that are in the earth — (wishing) then (that) this might deliver him —

کَلَّا ؕ اِنَّہَا لَظٰی ﴿ۙ۱۵﴾

70:15 by no means! Surely it is a flaming Fire,

نَزَّاعَۃً لِّلشَّوٰی ﴿ۚۖ۱۶﴾

70:16 plucking out the extremities —

تَدۡعُوۡا مَنۡ اَدۡبَرَ وَ تَوَلّٰی ﴿ۙ۱۷﴾

70:17 it shall claim him who retreats and turns his back,

وَ جَمَعَ فَاَوۡعٰی ﴿۱۸﴾

70:18 and hoards (wealth) then withholds (it).

اِنَّ الۡاِنۡسَانَ خُلِقَ ہَلُوۡعًا ﴿ۙ۱۹﴾

70:19 Surely man is created impatient —

اِذَا مَسَّہُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوۡعًا ﴿ۙ۲۰﴾

70:20 fretful when evil afflicts him

وَّ اِذَا مَسَّہُ الۡخَیۡرُ مَنُوۡعًا ﴿ۙ۲۱﴾

70:21 and miserly when good befalls him —

اِلَّا الۡمُصَلِّیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۲﴾

70:22 except those who pray,

الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ عَلٰی صَلَاتِہِمۡ دَآئِمُوۡنَ ﴿۪ۙ۲۳﴾

70:23 who are constant at their prayer,

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ فِیۡۤ اَمۡوَالِہِمۡ حَقٌّ مَّعۡلُوۡمٌ ﴿۪ۙ۲۴﴾

70:24 and in whose wealth there is a known right

لِّلسَّآئِلِ وَ الۡمَحۡرُوۡمِ ﴿۪ۙ۲۵﴾

70:25 for the beggar and the destitute,

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یُصَدِّقُوۡنَ بِیَوۡمِ الدِّیۡنِ ﴿۪ۙ۲۶﴾

70:26 and those who accept the truth of the day of Judgment,

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ مِّنۡ عَذَابِ رَبِّہِمۡ مُّشۡفِقُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۲۷﴾

70:27 and those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord —

اِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّہِمۡ غَیۡرُ مَاۡمُوۡنٍ ﴿۲۸﴾

70:28 surely the punishment of their Lord is not to be felt secure from —

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ لِفُرُوۡجِہِمۡ حٰفِظُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۹﴾

70:29 and those who restrain their sexual passions,

اِلَّا عَلٰۤی اَزۡوَاجِہِمۡ اَوۡ مَا مَلَکَتۡ اَیۡمَانُہُمۡ فَاِنَّہُمۡ غَیۡرُ مَلُوۡمِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۳۰﴾

70:30 except in the presence of their spouses or those whom their right hands possess, for such surely are not to be blamed,4

فَمَنِ ابۡتَغٰی وَرَآءَ ذٰلِکَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡعٰدُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ۳۱﴾

70:31 but whoever seeks to go beyond that, these are the transgressors.

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ لِاَمٰنٰتِہِمۡ وَ عَہۡدِہِمۡ رٰعُوۡنَ ﴿۪ۙ۳۲﴾

70:32 And those who are faithful to their trusts and their covenant,

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ بِشَہٰدٰتِہِمۡ قَآئِمُوۡنَ ﴿۪ۙ۳۳﴾

70:33 and those who are upright in their testimonies,

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ عَلٰی صَلَاتِہِمۡ یُحَافِظُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۳۴﴾

70:34 and those who keep a guard on their prayer.

اُولٰٓئِکَ فِیۡ جَنّٰتٍ مُّکۡرَمُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ٪۳۵﴾

70:35 These are in Gardens, honoured.


  1. No particular questioner is meant. The last chapter speaks in terms of the highest certainty of the final triumph of truth and of the doom of the oppo­nents, and the question, When will it be? was natural. It is repeated very often: “When will this promise come to pass, if you are truthful?” (36:48, 67:25, etc.).
  2. This indicates that God grants to the faithful the means of Ascent, or of exaltation. Compare 56:3, where the Event is spoken of as degrading, exalting. The means of exaltation of the believers are pointed out in verses 22–35.
  3. Al-Rūḥ or the Spirit very often stands for Divine revelation or Gabriel, who brings the revelation to the Prophet. But here it seems to be a collective name for the spirits of the faithful, because it is through Divine revelation that a new spirit is awakened in the faithful; see 78:38. The angels are mentioned along with the faithful because it is through an angel that spiritual life is breathed into man, and he starts life as a spiritual wayfarer. A day of the spiritual advancement of man is spoken of as being equal to fifty thousand years to show the immense vast­ness of that advancement. Or, the day of fifty thousand years may be the day of the final triumph of Truth in the world, from the time when revelation was first granted to man.
  4. See 23:5–6 and footnotes.