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 2 (Verses 70:36–70:44): A New Nation to be Raised Up


فَمَالِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا قِبَلَکَ مُہۡطِعِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۶﴾

70:36 But what is the matter with those who disbelieve, that they hasten on to you,1

عَنِ الۡیَمِیۡنِ وَ عَنِ الشِّمَالِ عِزِیۡنَ ﴿۳۷﴾

70:37 on the right hand and on the left, in assorted groups?

اَیَطۡمَعُ کُلُّ امۡرِیًٔ مِّنۡہُمۡ اَنۡ یُّدۡخَلَ جَنَّۃَ نَعِیۡمٍ ﴿ۙ۳۸﴾

70:38 Does every man of them desire to be admitted to the Garden of bliss?

کَلَّا ؕ اِنَّا خَلَقۡنٰہُمۡ مِّمَّا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۳۹﴾

70:39 By no means! Surely We have created them for what they know.2

فَلَاۤ اُقۡسِمُ بِرَبِّ الۡمَشٰرِقِ وَ الۡمَغٰرِبِ اِنَّا لَقٰدِرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۰﴾

70:40 But indeed! I swear by the Lord of the Eastern lands and the Western lands! that We are certainly Powerful

عَلٰۤی اَنۡ نُّبَدِّلَ خَیۡرًا مِّنۡہُمۡ ۙ وَ مَا نَحۡنُ بِمَسۡبُوۡقِیۡنَ ﴿۴۱﴾

70:41 to bring in their place (others) better than them, and We shall not be overcome.3

فَذَرۡہُمۡ یَخُوۡضُوۡا وَ یَلۡعَبُوۡا حَتّٰی یُلٰقُوۡا یَوۡمَہُمُ الَّذِیۡ یُوۡعَدُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۲﴾

70:42 So leave them alone to plunge in idle talk and to sport, until they come face to face with that day of theirs which they are promised —

یَوۡمَ یَخۡرُجُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡاَجۡدَاثِ سِرَاعًا کَاَنَّہُمۡ اِلٰی نُصُبٍ یُّوۡفِضُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۳﴾

70:43 the day when they come forth from the graves in haste, as if racing to a goal,

خَاشِعَۃً اَبۡصَارُہُمۡ تَرۡہَقُہُمۡ ذِلَّۃٌ ؕ ذٰلِکَ الۡیَوۡمُ الَّذِیۡ کَانُوۡا یُوۡعَدُوۡنَ ﴿٪۴۴﴾

70:44 their eyes cast down, disgrace covering them. Such is the day which they are promised.4


  1. Nearly the same words — hastening to the Inviter — occur in 54:8. Here and in the verses that follow is a description of the time when these very opponents would be hastening on to the Prophet, accepting the truth. V. 38 makes it further clear: Does every man of them desire to be admitted to the Garden of bliss?
  2. What is negatived here is the fact that the evildoers can enter the Garden of bliss. “For what” signifies the end for which man has been created. It is to rise above sin, to be able to ascend to God, the Lord of the ways of Ascent; see v. 3. The Garden of bliss stands clearly for the Ascension of man to God which is the real object of his life.
  3. Note the clear prophecy that an evil generation will be brought to naught and another people, the righteous, shall inherit the land. The old order will be changed and a new order established instead of that.
  4. Verses 43–44 give us a clear statement as to the final triumph of Truth and the overthrow of opposition or the triumph of righteousness over the powers of evil. Being spiritually dead, their very homes were graves in a metaphorical sense. As in almost all chapters of this period, the final triumph of Truth runs along as an undercurrent in the mention of the Resurrection.