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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 40 (Al-Mu’min- The Believer) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 9)


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Section/Ruku 1 [Verses 1 to 9]: Protection of the faithful:
Chapter 40: (Al-Mu’min: The Believer)
(Revealed at Makkah: 9 sections; 85 verses)

1. Introduction:

The title of this chapter, Al-Mu’min, or The Believer, is taken from the mention of a believer in Moses from among Pharaoh’s people (v. 28). This man pleaded for Moses, when Pharaoh wanted to kill him, and drew attention to the fact that, if Moses preached the truth, no opposition to him could prosper.

From this, the 40th to the 46th chapter, there is a group of seven chapters which all begin with Ha Mim, and are therefore called Al Ha Mim, i.e., the chapters beginning with Ha Mim. They all belong to the period when opposition to the Holy Prophet was very bitter, and active persecution of the Muslims had begun, which culminated in their first flight to Abyssinia; and they belong to the middle Makkan period. All these chapters are further akin inasmuch as they all offer a solace to the persecuted Muslims, warn the persecutors, and foretell the triumph of truth and the failure of opposition. In fact, the failure of the opposing forces is the chief theme of these chapters; this is made plain by a saying of the Holy Prophet, for which see 1a. There is not much of the history of the earlier prophets, with the exception of Moses and Abraham, and bare references to others or the fate of their people. The Unity and the Power of Allah is the constant theme, and there are frequent appeals to the disbelievers to take advantage of Divine mercy.

This chapter opens with a statement relating to the Divine plan for the protection of the faithful, who are told that they should not be misled by the power of the opponents, which will soon be broken. The second section continues the subject, only laying greater stress upon the failure of the opponents and the approach of their doom, when they would be perfectly helpless. The next three sections repeat the warning with reference to Moses’ history. The sixth states that the prophets of God and the believers in them are always assisted against their opponents, while the seventh calls attention to the great power of Allah, with Whom nothing is impossible. The last two sections again deal with the end of opposition, repeatedly warning the disbelievers.

2. Translation:

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

1 Beneficent God!a

2 The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Knowing,

3 Forgiver of sin and Acceptor of repentance, Severe to punish, Lord of bounty.a There is no God but He; to Him is the eventual coming.

4 None dispute concerning the messages of Allah but those who disbelieve, so let not their control in the land deceive thee.

5 Before them the people of Noah and the parties after them rejected (prophets), and every nation purposed against its messenger to destroy him, and disputed by means of falsehood to render null thereby the truth, so I seized them; how (terrible) was then My retribution!

6 And thus did the word of thy Lord prove true against those who disbelieve that they are the companions of the Fire.

7 Those who bear the Throne of Power and those around it celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask protection for those who believe:a Our Lord, Thou embracest all things in mercy and knowledge,b so protect those who turn (to Thee) and follow Thy way, and save them from the chastisement of hell.

8 Our Lord, make them enter the Gardens of perpetuity, which Thou hast promised them and such of their fathers and their wives and their offspring as are good. Surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise:a

9 And guard them from evil, and whom Thou guardest from evil this day, Thou hast indeed mercy on him. And that is the mighty achievement.

3. Commentary:

1a. In a saying of the Holy Prophet occur the words: "If you are attacked by night, say Ha Mim, they shall not be made victorious", where ha mim is explained as meaning, Allahumma, or O Allah! (N, LL). I‘Ab gives the following three interpretations: It is the great name of Allah; it is an oath; the two letters are an abbreviation for al-Rahman, i.e., the Beneficent (IJ). They may be abbreviations as well for Hamid (Praised) and Majid (Glorious), or for Hayy (the Living) and Qayyum (the Self-Subsisting), or for Rahman (Beneficent) and Rahim (Merciful). [Back to verse 1]

3a. Of the four attributes, the first two and the last refer to Divine forgiveness, mercy and bounty, while only one refers to punishment of evil, and thus the attribute of mercy preponderates even when punishment is spoken of. [Back to verse 3]

7a. Those who bear the ‘arsh or the Throne of Power are not the bearers of any material thing; see 7:54b for ‘arsh. Generally the words are explained as meaning angels, but see 7:54b, where I have explained these words as meaning bearers of Divine messages, i.e., the prophets, while those around it are the faithful who, walking in the footsteps of the prophets, carry the Divine message to the world. See also 69:17a, where another explanation is given. [Back to verse 7]

7b. Here we are told that Divine mercy is as comprehensive as Divine knowledge, and they both extend over all things. No other religion takes such a broad view of the mercy of the Divine Being. [Back to verse 7]

8a. The wives and offspring of the faithful, those of them who do good, are here mentioned as entering paradise along with them. [Back to verse 8]

 

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Section 2: Failure of opponents


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Chapter 39: Al-Zumar (The Companies)

Chapter 41: Ha Mim

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 40 (Al-Mu’min- The Believer) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 9)


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