English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 76: Al-Dahr / Al-Insan — The Man (Revealed at Makkah: 2 sections, 31 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 76:1–76:22): Attainment of Perfection


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

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

ہَلۡ اَتٰی عَلَی الۡاِنۡسَانِ حِیۡنٌ مِّنَ الدَّہۡرِ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ شَیۡئًا مَّذۡکُوۡرًا ﴿۱﴾

76:1 Surely there came over man a time when he was nothing that could be mentioned.

اِنَّا خَلَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنۡ نُّطۡفَۃٍ اَمۡشَاجٍ ٭ۖ نَّبۡتَلِیۡہِ فَجَعَلۡنٰہُ سَمِیۡعًۢا بَصِیۡرًا ﴿۲﴾

76:2 Surely We have created man from sperm mixed (with ovum), to try him, so We have made him hearing, seeing.

اِنَّا ہَدَیۡنٰہُ السَّبِیۡلَ اِمَّا شَاکِرًا وَّ اِمَّا کَفُوۡرًا ﴿۳﴾

76:3 We have truly shown him the way; he may be thankful or unthankful.1

اِنَّاۤ اَعۡتَدۡنَا لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ سَلٰسِلَا۠ وَ اَغۡلٰلًا وَّ سَعِیۡرًا ﴿۴﴾

76:4 Surely We have prepared for the disbelievers chains and shackles and a burning Fire.2

اِنَّ الۡاَبۡرَارَ یَشۡرَبُوۡنَ مِنۡ کَاۡسٍ کَانَ مِزَاجُہَا کَافُوۡرًا ۚ﴿۵﴾

76:5 The righteous truly drink of a cup tempered with camphor3

عَیۡنًا یَّشۡرَبُ بِہَا عِبَادُ اللّٰہِ یُفَجِّرُوۡنَہَا تَفۡجِیۡرًا ﴿۶﴾

76:6 a fountain from which the servants of Allah drink, making it flow in abundance.4

یُوۡفُوۡنَ بِالنَّذۡرِ وَ یَخَافُوۡنَ یَوۡمًا کَانَ شَرُّہٗ مُسۡتَطِیۡرًا ﴿۷﴾

76:7 They fulfil (their) vows and fear a day, the evil of which is widespread.

وَ یُطۡعِمُوۡنَ الطَّعَامَ عَلٰی حُبِّہٖ مِسۡکِیۡنًا وَّ یَتِیۡمًا وَّ اَسِیۡرًا ﴿۸﴾

76:8 And they give food, out of love for Him, to the poor and the orphan and the captive.

اِنَّمَا نُطۡعِمُکُمۡ لِوَجۡہِ اللّٰہِ لَا نُرِیۡدُ مِنۡکُمۡ جَزَآءً وَّ لَا شُکُوۡرًا ﴿۹﴾

76:9 We feed you, for Allah’s pleasure only — we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.5

اِنَّا نَخَافُ مِنۡ رَّبِّنَا یَوۡمًا عَبُوۡسًا قَمۡطَرِیۡرًا ﴿۱۰﴾

76:10 Surely we fear from our Lord a stern, distressful day.

فَوَقٰہُمُ اللّٰہُ شَرَّ ذٰلِکَ الۡیَوۡمِ وَ لَقّٰہُمۡ نَضۡرَۃً وَّ سُرُوۡرًا ﴿ۚ۱۱﴾

76:11 So Allah will guard them from the evil of that day, and cause them to meet with splendour and happiness;

وَ جَزٰىہُمۡ بِمَا صَبَرُوۡا جَنَّۃً وَّ حَرِیۡرًا ﴿ۙ۱۲﴾

76:12 and reward them, for their steadfastness, with a Garden and with silk,

مُّتَّکِـِٕیۡنَ فِیۡہَا عَلَی الۡاَرَآئِکِ ۚ لَا یَرَوۡنَ فِیۡہَا شَمۡسًا وَّ لَا زَمۡہَرِیۡرًا ﴿ۚ۱۳﴾

76:13 reclining in it on raised couches; they will see therein neither (excessive heat of) sun nor intense cold.

وَ دَانِیَۃً عَلَیۡہِمۡ ظِلٰلُہَا وَ ذُلِّلَتۡ قُطُوۡفُہَا تَذۡلِیۡلًا ﴿۱۴﴾

76:14 And close down upon them are its shadows, and its fruits are made near (to them), easy to reach.

وَ یُطَافُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ بِاٰنِیَۃٍ مِّنۡ فِضَّۃٍ وَّ اَکۡوَابٍ کَانَتۡ قَؔوَارِیۡرَا۠ ﴿ۙ۱۵﴾

76:15 And round about them are made to go vessels of silver and goblets of glass,

قَؔ‍وَارِیۡرَا۠ مِنۡ فِضَّۃٍ قَدَّرُوۡہَا تَقۡدِیۡرًا ﴿۱۶﴾

76:16 crystal-clear, made of silver — they have measured them according to a measure.6

وَ یُسۡقَوۡنَ فِیۡہَا کَاۡسًا کَانَ مِزَاجُہَا زَنۡجَبِیۡلًا ﴿ۚ۱۷﴾

76:17 And they are made to drink therein a cup tempered with ginger7

عَیۡنًا فِیۡہَا تُسَمّٰی سَلۡسَبِیۡلًا ﴿۱۸﴾

76:18 (of) a fountain in it called Salsabīl.8

وَ یَطُوۡفُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وِلۡدَانٌ مُّخَلَّدُوۡنَ ۚ اِذَا رَاَیۡتَہُمۡ حَسِبۡتَہُمۡ لُؤۡلُؤًا مَّنۡثُوۡرًا ﴿۱۹﴾

76:19 And round about them will go youths, never altering in age;9 when you see them you will think them to be scattered pearls.

وَ اِذَا رَاَیۡتَ ثَمَّ رَاَیۡتَ نَعِیۡمًا وَّ مُلۡکًا کَبِیۡرًا ﴿۲۰﴾

76:20 And when you look there, you see blessings and a great kingdom.10

عٰلِیَہُمۡ ثِیَابُ سُنۡدُسٍ خُضۡرٌ وَّ اِسۡتَبۡرَقٌ ۫ وَّ حُلُّوۡۤا اَسَاوِرَ مِنۡ فِضَّۃٍ ۚ وَ سَقٰہُمۡ رَبُّہُمۡ شَرَابًا طَہُوۡرًا ﴿۲۱﴾

76:21 On them are garments of fine green silk and thick brocade, and they are adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord makes them to drink a pure drink.11

اِنَّ ہٰذَا کَانَ لَکُمۡ جَزَآءً وَّ کَانَ سَعۡیُکُمۡ مَّشۡکُوۡرًا ﴿٪۲۲﴾

76:22 Surely this is a reward for you, and your striving is recompensed.


  1. The right way is shown clearly; it is for man himself to walk in it and thus be thankful, or away from it and thus be unthankful. Or the meaning may be he may accept or reject.
  2. See 69:32 footnote.
  3. The original for camphor is kāfūr, which is derived from kafr meaning to cover or to suppress. Medically camphor is a cool and refreshing aromatic, but here it is used in reference to its original significance. The cup of which the right­eous drink is the cup of the love of Allah, and its mixture with kāfūr is to indicate that by this cup all low desires and sexual passions which lead man away from the path of righteousness are suppressed, in the same manner as poisonous matter is suppressed by camphor. Man needs an intoxication and for it he generally resorts to alcoholic drinks, which bring in their train evil and slavery to sexual passions. The Prophet intoxicated his followers with the love of Allah, and as a result of this, their evil tendencies were altogether suppressed. Verses 7 and 8 show clearly that it is of the change brought about in this very life that the Quran is speaking here. In the spiritual advancement of man this is the first stage, because it is not until the evil tendencies of man are completely suppressed that he is able to advance to the higher stages of spiritual perfection.
  4. The fountain from which the servants of Allah drink is the fountain of the love of God referred to in the previous verse. It is not a cup which may be exhausted with one draught; it is a fountain. The faithful are here spoken of as the servants of Allah — ‘ibād Allāh — because an ‘abd (singular of ‘ibād) is really one who is entirely lost in the love of God. But here we are further told that they not only drink of it themselves but they make it to flow forth in such abundance that others also may partake of it.
  5. The fulfilment of vows spoken of in v. 7 is in relation to the service of God, or the act of bringing themselves closer and closer to God, while the feeding of the poor spoken of in verses 8 and 9 is in relation to the service of humanity. Thus they combine the service of God with the service of humanity. The words for Allah’s pleasure clearly show that it is of the love of God that these verses speak. Man worships Allah for the love of Allah, but the Quran requires him to serve humanity also for the love of Allah.
  6. That is, everyone will receive them according to the measure of his deeds.
  7. The Arabic word for ginger is zanjabīl. It is said to have a property that is heating or warming, strengthening and exhilarating. The first cup of the love of God is spoken of in v. 5, as being tempered with camphor and bringing about suppression of evil, and this second cup is now spoken of as strengthening and exhilarating, i.e., enabling man to perform great and noble deeds. The love of God thus not only suppresses the evil inclinations of man, but also enables him to attain a still higher stage of spiritual advancement, giving him the strength to per­form wonderful deeds of self-sacrifice.
  8. Salsabīl means easy, sweet, rapid-flowing. According to some it is made up of sal, meaning ask, and sabīl, way, as if it meant, Ask your Lord a way to it.
  9. Because these are heavenly blessings, and decay cannot overtake them; see 56:17.
  10. The word thamma meaning there or thither is used here in reference to the spiritual kingdom which is granted to the faithful. They are granted bless­ings and a great kingdom in this life as well, to which man shuts his eyes on account of his ignorance.
  11. As they led pure lives here, they were made to drink a pure drink in this very life. They will have a pure drink in the Hereafter, too, the heavenly life being the purest that can be imagined.