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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 43 (Zukhruf- Gold) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 15)


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Section/Ruku 1 [Verses 1 to 15]: Revelation is a Divine favour:
Chapter 43: (Zukhruf: Gold)
(Revealed at Makkah: 7 sections; 89 verses)

1. Introduction:

This is the fourth chapter of the Ha Mim group, and is named Gold from the mention of Zukhruf in v. 35, where it is stated that not gold and silver and worldly embellishments but righteous deeds are acceptable to God; in fact these are the things which keep men away from the Truth. For the date of revelation, see introductory note to chapter 40.

The chapter opens with a declaration of the revelation of the Holy Qur’an from Almighty God, as do all the chapters of this group. The Reminder is not withheld from a people, we are here told, on account of their transgressions, because revelation comes to man as a favour from the Merciful God. The second section is devoted to a condemnation of the various sorts of polytheism. The third begins with a mention of Abraham, the father of many a chosen one of God, and after referring to the Prophet’s rejection, answers the objection as to why an influential man or a man of wealth was not chosen to convey the Divine message. It is in this connection that we are told that it is not the possession of gold and silver that makes a man great in the sight of God. The fourth follows, stating that the Qur’an will make the nation rise to real greatness, and, therefore, those who, being misled by evil companions, deny it, will regret their deeds. The fifth shows how a powerful ruler like Pharaoh was destroyed, when he refused to listen to the Truth which was revealed to Moses. The mention of Moses is followed by a reference to Jesus in the sixth section, as the polytheists of Arabia justified their idolatry by the Christian doctrine of the Divinity of Jesus, which is here rejected. The last section contrasts the fate of the two parties, the believers and the disbelievers.

2. Translation:

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

1 Beneficent God!

2 By the Book that makes manifest!

3 Surely We have made it an Arabic Qur’an that you may understand.

4 And it is in the Original of the Book with Us, truly elevated, full of wisdom.a

5 Shall We then turn away the Reminder from you altogether because you are a prodigal people?a

6 And how many a prophet did We send among the ancients!

7 And no prophet came to them but they mocked him.

8 Then We destroyed those stronger than these in prowess, and the example of the ancients has gone before.a

9 And if thou ask them, Who created the heavens and the earth? they would say: The Mighty, the Knowing One, has created them,

10 Who made the earth a resting-place for you, and made in it ways for you that you might go aright.

11 And Who sends down water from the cloud according to a measure, then We raise to life thereby a dead land; even so will you be brought forth.a

12 And Who created pairs of all things, and made for you ships and cattle on which you ride,

13 That you may sit firm on their backs, then remember the favour of your Lord, when you are firmly seated thereon, and say: Glory be to Him Who made this subservient to us and we were not able to do it,

14 And surely to our Lord we must return.

15 And they assign to Him a part of His servants.a Man, to be sure, is clearly ungrateful.

3. Commentary:

4a. Umm al-Kitab literally signifies mother or original of the Book, and the opening chapter of the Qur’an is also known by this name, because, in its essence, it contains the whole of the Qur’an. But here it signifies the original source — the knowledge of God — from which the Qur’an comes, and the meaning is that the Qur’an cannot be destroyed because it exists in Divine Knowledge. The words, in fact, contain a prophecy, uttered at a time when the Prophet was alone and helpless, that the Qur’an will be exalted in the world, for that is its position in Divine Knowledge. Another explanation of the words is that they refer to the clear prophecies of the advent of the Holy Prophet as stated in the Bible, e.g., Deut. 18:15–18. [Back to verse 4]

5a. Dhikr may be translated here as meaning either the reminder or eminence. The meaning in the first case is that Allah would not refrain from admonishing a people who have become extravagant, and in the second case that He intends to raise a people to eminence who are so extravagant that there is no hope for their regeneration. [Back to verse 5]

8a. We shall destroy them, we are here told, as stronger opponents of truth were destroyed before them. [Back to verse 8]

11a. Attention is called here to the laws prevailing in the physical world to impress the need of similar laws in the spiritual world. As rain descending from heaven quickens a dead earth, so Divine revelation would regenerate or raise to life people who, sunk in ignorance and superstitions, were spiritually, morally, and intellectually a dead people. [Back to verse 11]

15a. The reference here is to the Christian doctrine of assigning a son to God, and in the next verse to the idolatrous doctrine of ascribing daughters to God. [Back to verse 15]

 

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Section 2: Polytheism condemned


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Chapter 42: Al-Shura (The Counsel)

Chapter 44: Al-Dukhan (The Drought)

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 43 (Zukhruf- Gold) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 15)


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