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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 41 (Ha Mim) > Section 2 (Verses 9 to 18)


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Section/Ruku 2 [Verses 9 to 18]: The warning:
Chapter 41: (Ha Mim)
(Revealed at Makkah: 6 sections; 54 verses)

1. Translation:

9 Say: Do you indeed disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two days, and do you set up equals with Him? That is the Lord of the worlds.

10 And He made in it mountains above its surface, and He blessed therein and ordained therein its foods, in four days;a alike for (all) seekers.b

11 Then He directed Himself to the heaven and it was a vapour, so He said to it and to the earth: Come both, willingly or unwillingly. They both said: We come willingly.a

12 So He ordained them seven heavens in two days,a and revealed in every heaven its affair. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (made it) to guard.b That is the decree of the Mighty, the Knowing.

13 But if they turn away, then say: I warn you of a scourge like the scourge of ‘Ad and Thamud.a

14 When messengers came to them from before them and behind them,a saying, Serve nothing but Allah, they said: If our Lord had pleased, He would have sent down angels. So we are disbelievers in that with which you are sent.

15 Then as to ‘Ad, they were unjustly proud in the land, and said: Who is mightier than we in power? See they not that Allah Who created them is mightier than they in power? And they denied Our messages.

16 So We sent on them a furious wind in unlucky days that We might make them taste the chastisement of abasement in this world’s life. And the chastisement of the Hereafter is truly more abasing, and they will not be helped.a

17 And as for Thamud, We showed them the right way, but they preferred blindness to guidance,a so the scourge of an abasing chastisement overtook them for what they had earned.

18 And We delivered those who believed and kept their duty.

 2. Commentary:

10a. For the creation of the heavens and the earth in six days, see 7:54a; the day in fact stands for a stage in growth. The making of the earth in two days and the making on it of the mountains, rivers and of plant and animal life in four days is really one continuous process, there being six days or six stages in all. The first stage is the throwing off of the cosmic matter called the earth; the second stage is the cooling of its surface; the third is the making of the mountains; the fourth is that of blessing it by waters and making in it rivers; the fifth and the sixth stages are spoken of as the ordaining of foods, being, in the first place, the growth of plant life and, in the second, the growth of animal life, culminating in the creation of man. That the creation in six days does not refer to the time actually taken in making the heavens and the earth, which is still going on, is noted even by the earlier commentators. [Back to verse 10]

10b. The meaning of this passage is that the foods which are made in the earth are equally accessible to all seekers. [Back to verse 10]

11a. Note that heaven is here plainly spoken of as being originally dukhan, smoke, vapour or gaseous matter. The command to creation to come willingly or unwillingly is a reference to the Divine laws working in nature. Everything created, whether in the heavens or the earth, is subject to law. The existence of one law throughout the universe is clear evidence of the existence of One God, the Maker of that law. [Back to verse 11]

12a. Just as, about the earth, it is stated in v. 9 that it was created in two days or in two stages, we are told here about the heavenly bodies that they, too, were created in two days or two stages. The creation of heavenly bodies is thus subject to the same law. For the seven heavens, see 2:29b. The words that follow — and revealed in every heaven its affair — show that everything created in nature serves a purpose. [Back to verse 12]

12b. See 37:7a. [Back to verse 12]

13a. The first 13 verses of this chapter were recited by the Holy Prophet when ‘Utbah ibn Rabi‘ah came to him with a message from the Quraish. The message was to the effect that the Prophet should discontinue speaking ill of their gods and condemning their ways, and then they would be willing to make him their chief, or give him the most beautiful woman in marriage, or collect wealth for him. When ‘Utbah had delivered his message, the Prophet read these verses; but when he reached v. 13, warning the Makkans of the fate of ‘Ad and Thamud, ‘Utbah entreated him to speak no more, and went back to the Quraish to make known to them the Prophet’s reply (Rz). [Back to verse 13]

14a. The coming of the prophets from before and behind signifies their impressing the truth of their message upon their people in every possible way. Some understand the coming of the prophets from near and from far (JB). [Back to verse 14]

16a. The Quraish are warned in these words of an abasing punishment in this life, and a still more abasing punishment in the Hereafter. Their unlucky days were the days of drought. [Back to verse 16]

17a. ‘Ama (blindness) is metaphorically used in relation to the mind, as meaning erring; the connection between the two meanings being the not finding or not taking the right way or the being blind in respect of the mind (LL). [Back to verse 17]

 

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Chapter 40: Al-Mu’min (The Believer)

Chapter 42: Al-Shura (The Counsel)

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 41 (Ha Mim) > Section 2 (Verses 9 to 18)


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