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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 6 (Verses 57 to 67)



Section/Ruku 6 [Verses 57 to 67]: Jesus as Prophet:
Chapter 43: (Zukhruf: Gold)
(Revealed at Makkah: 7 sections; 89 verses)

1. Translation:

57 And when the son of Mary is mentioned as an example, lo! thy people raise a clamour thereat.

58 And they say: Are our gods better, or is he? They set it forth to thee only by way of disputation. Nay, they are a contentious people.

59 He was naught but a servant on whom We bestowed favour and We made him an example for the Children of Israel;a

60 And if We pleased, We could make among you angels to be (Our) vicegerents in the land.

61 And this (revelation) is surely knowledge of the Hour,a so have no doubt about it and follow me. This is the right path.

62 And let not the devil hinder you; surely he is your open enemy.

63 And when Jesus came with clear arguments, he said: I have come to you indeed with wisdom, and to make clear to you some of that about which you differ. So keep your duty to Allah and obey me.

64 Surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so serve Him. This is the right path.

65 But parties among them differed, so woe to those who did wrong for the chastisement of a painful day!

66 Wait they for aught but the Hour,a that it should come on them all of a sudden, while they perceive not?

67 Friends on that day will be foes one to another, except those who keep their duty.

 2. Commentary:

57a. The Qur’an in many places condemns the doctrine of attributing children to the Almighty. Such a condemnation is contained in this very chapter in the section preceding the last. But when the case of Jesus was cited, the disbelievers objected to the respect shown to him, while their own idols were condemned. This is the significance of the words occurring in the next verse: Are our gods better, or is he? Why should not the same honour be shown to their national gods as was shown to the god of another nation; for was not Jesus accepted as God by the Christians? [Back to verse 57]

59a. This verse contains the answer to the objection referred to in v. 57. Jesus was not honoured because the Christians took him for God or Son of God, which was in fact their own error, but because he was a righteous servant of Allah on whom He had bestowed favours. Not only was Jesus the recipient of Divine favours, but he was also an example of virtue for the Israelites to whom he was sent as a prophet, a model whom they could imitate in righteousness. On the other hand, the idols whom the Arabs took for gods were mere stones and could do no good to their worshippers. Moreover, the idol-worshippers represented even their great men as sunk in immorality. As an instance, take the Puranas of the Hindus, where even such Hindu gods as Shiva are represented as deeply sunk in immorality. [Back to verse 59]

61a. The Hour signifies here the departure of prophethood from the house of Israel. Such is the clear significance of the parable of the vineyard in Matt. 21:33, Mark 12:1, and Luke 20:9, which ends with these remarkable words: "Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof " (Matt. 21:43). Prophethood had long remained in the house of Israel, and, as history shows, Jesus was the last prophet of the Mosaic dispensation. The Qur’an is here called the knowledge of the Hour in the sense that its revelation was a clear indication that prophethood was now being taken away from the house of Israel and given to another people, as Jesus himself had said. Some take the personal pronoun hu as referring to Jesus, but even then the meaning would be that Jesus was sent to give people the knowledge that he was the last prophet of the Israelite dispensation. [Back to verse 61]

66a. The Hour here signifies the doom of the Quraish. [Back to verse 66]



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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 6 (Verses 57 to 67)

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