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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 46 (Al-Ahqaf- The Sandhills) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 10)



Section/Ruku 1 [Verses 1 to 10]: Truth of revelation:
Chapter 46: (Al-Ahqaf: The Sandhills)
(Revealed at Makkah: 4 sections; 35 verses)

1. Introduction:

This is the last chapter of the Ha Mim group, and is entitled The Sandhills, the title being taken from the tracts of sand which contributed to the destruction of the tribe of ‘Ad (v. 21). The fact is mentioned to warn the Arabs that, when the fate of a nation is sealed, it may be brought about on sea, as in the case of Pharaoh and his hosts, or on sand, as in the case of the tribe of ‘Ad. For the date of revelation, see introductory note to ch. 40.

The chapter continues the subject-matter of the last chapter, dealing with the truth of revelation in the first section and with the witness of truth in the second. The last two sections, after referring to the fate of ‘Ad, contain a warning for those who reject the truth.

2. Translation:

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

1 Beneficent God!

2 The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.

3 We created not the heavens and the earth and all between them save with truth and for an appointed term.a And those who disbelieve turn away from that whereof they are warned.

4 Say: Have you considered that which you invoke besides Allah? Show me what they have created of the earth, or have they a share in the heavens? Bring me a Book before this or any relics of knowledge, if you are truthful.

5 And who is in greater error than he who invokes besides Allah such as answer him not till the day of Resurrection, and they are heedless of their call?

6 And when men are gathered together, they will be their enemies, and will deny their worshipping (them).

7 And when Our clear messages are recited to them, those who disbelieve say of the Truth when it comes to them: This is clear enchantment.

8 Nay, they say: He has forged it. Say: If I have forged it, you control naught for me from Allah.a He knows best what you utter concerning it. He is enough as a witness between me and you. And He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.b

9 Say: I am not the first of the messengers,a and I know not what will be done with me or with you. I follow naught but that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.b

10 Say: See you if it is from Allah, and you disbelieve in it, and a witness from among the Children of Israel has borne witness of one like him,a so he believed, while you are big with pride. Surely Allah guides not the iniquitous people.

3. Commentary:

3a. The Universe had a beginning and it will also have an end. [Back to verse 3]

8a. >From Allah here means from the punishment of Allah. If the Qur’an was a lie which the Prophet had forged, none could avert the punishment which must come upon a forger. [Back to verse 8]

8b. It is noteworthy that, whenever the punishment of the opponents is alluded to, as in the statement He is enough as a witness between me and you, the Divine attribute of mercy and forgiveness is also mentioned to indicate that mercy always predominates in the Divine nature. [Back to verse 8]

9a. Bid‘ signifies a novelty, or a thing existing for the first time (LL). And you say such a one is bid‘ in this affair when he is the first who has done it (LL). Prophets had appeared before the Holy Prophet Muhammad in every country and nation throughout the whole world, and God’s sending messengers for the reformation of men was the universal experience of humanity. [Back to verse 9]

9b. The Prophet is made to deny any detailed knowledge as to the ultimate end of one or the other party, but the warning is reaffirmed in the concluding words to show that evildoers must suffer the evil consequences of their deeds. I know not, therefore, simply signifies that he did not know the details. [Back to verse 9]

10a. The witness from among the Children of Israel, who bore witness of one like him is Moses: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee.... And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto My words, which he shall speak in My name, I will require it of him" (Deut. 18:18, 19). It is to the concluding statement in the above quotation that attention is called in the words, see you if it is from Allah, and you disbelieve in it. [Back to verse 10]



Next Section/Ruku>>

Section 2: Witness of truth

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Chapter 45: Al-Jathiyah (The Kneeling)

Chapter 47: Muhammad

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 46 (Al-Ahqaf- The Sandhills) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 10)

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