English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 72: Al-Jinn — The Jinn (Revealed at Makkah: 2 sections, 28 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 72:1–72:19): Foreign Believers


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

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

قُلۡ اُوۡحِیَ اِلَیَّ اَنَّہُ اسۡتَمَعَ نَفَرٌ مِّنَ الۡجِنِّ فَقَالُوۡۤا اِنَّا سَمِعۡنَا قُرۡاٰنًا عَجَبًا ۙ﴿۱﴾

72:1 Say: It has been revealed to me that a group of the jinn listened,1 so they said: Surely we have heard a wonderful Quran,

یَّہۡدِیۡۤ اِلَی الرُّشۡدِ فَاٰمَنَّا بِہٖ ؕ وَ لَنۡ نُّشۡرِکَ بِرَبِّنَاۤ اَحَدًا ۙ﴿۲﴾

72:2 guiding to the right way — so we believe in it. And we shall not set up anyone as partner with our Lord;

وَّ اَنَّہٗ تَعٰلٰی جَدُّ رَبِّنَا مَا اتَّخَذَ صَاحِبَۃً وَّ لَا وَلَدًا ۙ﴿۳﴾

72:3 and He — exalted be the majesty of our Lord! — has not taken a consort, nor a son;2

وَّ اَنَّہٗ کَانَ یَقُوۡلُ سَفِیۡہُنَا عَلَی اللّٰہِ شَطَطًا ۙ﴿۴﴾

72:4 and the foolish among us used to forge extravagant lies against Allah;

وَّ اَنَّا ظَنَنَّاۤ اَنۡ لَّنۡ تَقُوۡلَ الۡاِنۡسُ وَ الۡجِنُّ عَلَی اللّٰہِ کَذِبًا ۙ﴿۵﴾

72:5 and we thought that the people and the jinn did not utter a lie against Allah;

وَّ اَنَّہٗ کَانَ رِجَالٌ مِّنَ الۡاِنۡسِ یَعُوۡذُوۡنَ بِرِجَالٍ مِّنَ الۡجِنِّ فَزَادُوۡہُمۡ رَہَقًا ۙ﴿۶﴾

72:6 and men from among the people used to seek refuge with men from among the jinn, so they increased them in evil doing;3

وَّ اَنَّہُمۡ ظَنُّوۡا کَمَا ظَنَنۡتُمۡ اَنۡ لَّنۡ یَّبۡعَثَ اللّٰہُ اَحَدًا ۙ﴿۷﴾

72:7 and they thought, as you think, that Allah would not raise anyone;

وَّ اَنَّا لَمَسۡنَا السَّمَآءَ فَوَجَدۡنٰہَا مُلِئَتۡ حَرَسًا شَدِیۡدًا وَّ شُہُبًا ۙ﴿۸﴾

72:8 and we sought to reach heaven, but we found it filled with strong guards and flames;4

وَّ اَنَّا کُنَّا نَقۡعُدُ مِنۡہَا مَقَاعِدَ لِلسَّمۡعِ ؕ فَمَنۡ یَّسۡتَمِعِ الۡاٰنَ یَجِدۡ لَہٗ شِہَابًا رَّصَدًا ۙ﴿۹﴾

72:9 and we used to sit in some of its sitting-places to steal a hearing. But he who tries to listen now finds a flame lying in wait for him;

وَّ اَنَّا لَا نَدۡرِیۡۤ اَشَرٌّ اُرِیۡدَ بِمَنۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اَمۡ اَرَادَ بِہِمۡ رَبُّہُمۡ رَشَدًا ﴿ۙ۱۰﴾

72:10 and we do not know whether evil is meant for those on earth or whether their Lord means to direct them aright;5

وَّ اَنَّا مِنَّا الصّٰلِحُوۡنَ وَ مِنَّا دُوۡنَ ذٰلِکَ ؕ کُنَّا طَرَآئِقَ قِدَدًا ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾

72:11 and some of us are good and others of us are below that — we are sects following different ways;

وَّ اَنَّا ظَنَنَّاۤ اَنۡ لَّنۡ نُّعۡجِزَ اللّٰہَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لَنۡ نُّعۡجِزَہٗ ہَرَبًا ﴿ۙ۱۲﴾

72:12 and we know that we cannot escape Allah in the earth, nor can we escape Him by flight;

وَّ اَنَّا لَمَّا سَمِعۡنَا الۡہُدٰۤی اٰمَنَّا بِہٖ ؕ فَمَنۡ یُّؤۡمِنۡۢ بِرَبِّہٖ فَلَا یَخَافُ بَخۡسًا وَّ لَا رَہَقًا ﴿ۙ۱۳﴾

72:13 and when we heard the guidance, we believed in it. So whoever believes in his Lord, he fears neither loss nor injustice;

وَّ اَنَّا مِنَّا الۡمُسۡلِمُوۡنَ وَ مِنَّا الۡقٰسِطُوۡنَ ؕ فَمَنۡ اَسۡلَمَ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ تَحَرَّوۡا رَشَدًا ﴿۱۴﴾

72:14 and some of us are those who submit, and others of us are deviators. So whoever submits, these aim at the right way.

وَ اَمَّا الۡقٰسِطُوۡنَ فَکَانُوۡا لِجَہَنَّمَ حَطَبًا ﴿ۙ۱۵﴾

72:15 And as to the deviators, they are fuel of hell;

وَّ اَنۡ لَّوِ اسۡتَقَامُوۡا عَلَی الطَّرِیۡقَۃِ لَاَسۡقَیۡنٰہُمۡ مَّآءً غَدَقًا ﴿ۙ۱۶﴾

72:16 and if they keep to the (right) way, We would certainly give them to drink abundant water,6

لِّنَفۡتِنَہُمۡ فِیۡہِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یُّعۡرِضۡ عَنۡ ذِکۡرِ رَبِّہٖ یَسۡلُکۡہُ عَذَابًا صَعَدًا ﴿ۙ۱۷﴾

72:17 so that We may try them by (means of) it. And whoever turns away from the reminder of his Lord, He will make him enter into an afflicting punishment;

وَّ اَنَّ الۡمَسٰجِدَ لِلّٰہِ فَلَا تَدۡعُوۡا مَعَ اللّٰہِ اَحَدًا ﴿ۙ۱۸﴾

72:18 and the mosques are Allah’s, so do not call upon anyone with Allah;

وَّ اَنَّہٗ لَمَّا قَامَ عَبۡدُ اللّٰہِ یَدۡعُوۡہُ کَادُوۡا یَکُوۡنُوۡنَ عَلَیۡہِ لِبَدًا ﴿ؕ٪۱۹﴾

72:19 and when the Servant of Allah stood up praying to Him, they nearly crowded him (to death).7


  1. The existence of jinn, or ethereal beings like the angels (the former being the spirits of evil and the latter the spirits of good), is a question quite distinct, but it is clear that the jinn spoken of here did not belong to this class; see 6:128 footnote 1, for full explanation of the word. Jinn are also referred to in 46:29–31, where they are made to say: “Our people, we have heard a Book revealed after Moses, verifying what is before it”. This shows that they were Jews. The jinn spoken of here are evidently Christians, as v. 3 shows.
  2. The words of this verse are a clear indication that the persons spoken of here are Christians. That both Jews and Christians living outside Arabia accepted the message of Truth brought by the Prophet is a fact. But from what is stated further on, it appears that the reference here is to Christian nations of the distant future who will accept the truth of the message brought by the Prophet. At any rate the prophetical in these words, whether relating to the near or distant future, is clearly hinted at in the opening words of the chapter — It has been revealed to me that a group of the jinn listened.
  3. The jinn and the people (Arabic: ins) of this verse are undoubtedly the leaders of evil and the weaker ones in intellect who followed them blindly.
  4. By reaching heaven is meant learning secrets of the heaven. The reference may be to the diviners and astrologers among them, for which see 37:7–10, but more likely it is a prophetical reference to the great scientific discoveries of the modern age relating to heaven.
  5. These words seem to refer to the great tribulations which are meant to direct man’s attention to spiritual truth.
  6. Abundance of wealth may be meant by abundance of water.
  7. The servant of Allah is the Holy Prophet Muhammad.