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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 42 (Al-Shura- The Counsel) > Section 2 (Verses 10 to 19)



Section/Ruku 2 [Verses 10 to 19]: Judgment is given:
Chapter 42: (Al-Shura: The Counsel)
(Revealed at Makkah: 5 sections; 53 verses)

1. Translation:

10 And in whatever you differ, the judgment thereof is with Allah. That is Allah, my Lord; on Him I rely, and to Him I turn.

11 The Originator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs of the cattle, too, multiplying you thereby. Nothing is like Him; and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.a

12 His are the treasures of the heavens and the earth — He amplifies and straitens subsistence for whom He pleases. Surely He is Knower of all things.

13 He has made plain to you the religion which He enjoined upon Noah and which We have revealed to thee, and which We enjoined on Abraham and Moses and Jesus — to establish religion and not to be divided therein.a Hard for the polytheists is that to which thou callest them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He pleases, and guides to Himself him who turns (to Him).

14 And they were not divided until after knowledge had come to them, out of envy among themselves. And had not a word gone forth from thy Lord for an appointed term, the matter would surely have been judged between them. And those who were made to inherit the Book after them are surely in disquieting doubt about it.a

15 To this then go on inviting, and be steadfast as thou art commanded, and follow not their low desires, and say: I believe in what Allah has revealed of the Book, and I am commanded to do justice between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us are our deeds; and for you your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. Allah will gather us together, and to Him is the eventual coming.a

16 And those who dispute about Allah after obedience has been rendered to Him, their plea is null with their Lord, and upon them is wrath, and for them is severe chastisement.a

17 Allah is He Who revealed the Book with truth, and the Balance;a and what will make thee know that perhaps the Hour is nigh.

18 Those who believe not in it would hasten it on, and those who believe are in fear from it, and they know that it is the Truth. Now surely those who dispute concerning the Hour are far astray.

19 Allah is Benignant to His servants; He gives sustenance to whom He pleases; and He is the Strong, the Mighty.

 2. Commentary:

11a. So transcendent is the Divine Being, and so far above all material conceptions, that a likeness of Him cannot be conceived, even metaphorically. The words translated like Him literally mean like a likeness of Him. He is not only above all material limitations, but even above the limitation of metaphor. [Back to verse 11]

13a. Even so early did the Qur’an announce that the religion preached by the Prophet was not a new religion, but, so far as its basic principles were concerned, it was the same religion as was preached by Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus. The basic principle of Islam — entire submission to One God only — is, in fact, the basic principle of the common religion of humanity. [Back to verse 13]

14a. The personal pronoun them in those who were made to inherit the Book after them refers to the prophets. The people who were made to inherit the Book after the prophets, rejected the very message with which these prophets came. But they are told that their punishment is postponed till an appointed term. Such was the Divine law — a word gone forth from thy Lord — that the struggle against Truth gathers strength at first and seems to have the upper hand for a time, but it ultimately comes to naught, thus showing that an unseen hand works in support of the Truth. [Back to verse 14]

15a. The argument was so simple and sound. The Prophet told the followers of earlier revelation that he was a believer in what Allah had revealed of the Book, in all revelation that came before him, and the basic principles of his revelation were the same as those of the earlier revelation. The whole thing was so clear that there could not be any dispute. There is a clear ray of hope in the concluding verses — Allah will gather us — that they will ultimately accept the Truth. [Back to verse 15]

16a. The reference in those who dispute about Allah after obedience has been rendered to Him may be to the followers of earlier revelation, because their books required obedience to a Prophet who should appear after them. Or, the meaning may be, after people have begun to enter Islam, and Islam has been established in the land notwithstanding the severest opposition. [Back to verse 16]

17a. The construction is, Allah revealed the Book and the Balance (Ar., mizan, balance or measure). The balance is that by which things are weighed. Elsewhere it is said: "Certainly We sent Our messengers with clear arguments, and sent down with them the Book and the measure (mizan), that men may conduct themselves with equity" (57:25). The purpose of revealing the Balance or measure is thus made clear here. It is that men may conduct themselves with equity; in other words that they may be able to carry out the ordinances contained in the Book justly. This is what the Prophet shows by his example. He is not only a preacher but also an exemplar. The ordinances of the Book are given in words, and the Prophet translates them into deeds, so that it is by following his example that men are led aright. The Prophet’s example is thus a balance or measure which is as essential for the right guidance of men as the Book. The word mizan is generally taken here as meaning ‘Adl or Justice (IJ), which would mean the right use of the Book, which is really shown by the Prophet himself, and thus indicates the Prophet’s example. According to others, the Balance here means the Law (Bd, JB) by which the rights and obligations of men are weighed. Mark how material terms are converted into spiritual usage by the Holy Qur’an. A right realisation of this point removes many of the difficulties in the study of the Holy Book. [Back to verse 17]



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Chapter 41: Ha Mim

Chapter 43: Zukhruf (Gold)

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 42 (Al-Shura- The Counsel) > Section 2 (Verses 10 to 19)

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