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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 51 (Al-Dhariyat- The Scatterers) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 23)



Section/Ruku 1 [Verses 1 to 23]: Falsehood is doomed:
Chapter 51: (Al-Dhariyat: The Scatterers)
(Revealed at Makkah: 3 sections; 60 verses)

1. Introduction:

The title of this chapter is taken from the mention of The Scatterers of Truth in the first verse. Attention is drawn in the first section to the gradual advancement of Truth, which was daily gaining ground, and stress is laid upon the certainty of the judgment of the rejecters. The second section, opening with the announcement of the birth of a son to Abraham, which stands really for the birth of a new nation of righteous people, deals with the fate of some previous nations who were judged because of their evil deeds. The third again, after an exhortation to seek refuge in Allah, warns the opponents that their turn of good fortune is about to be ended and they shall be judged. It is an early Makkan revelation.

2. Translation:

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

1 By those scattering broadcast!

2 And those bearing the load!

3 And those running easily!

4 And those distributing the Affair!—

5 What you are promised is surely true,

6 And the Judgment will surely come to pass.a

7 By the heaven full of paths!a

8 Surely you are of varying opinion —

9 He is turned away from it who would be turned away.a

10 Cursed be the liars!

11 Who are in an abyss, neglectful;

12 They ask: When is the day of Judgment?

13 (It is) the day when they are tried at the Fire.

14 Taste your persecution! This is what you would hasten on.a

15 Surely the dutiful are amidst Gardens and fountains,

16 Taking that which their Lord gives them. Surely they were before that the doers of good.

17 They used to sleep but little at night.

18 And in the morning they asked (Divine) protection.

19 And in their wealth there was a due share for the beggar and for one who is denied (good).a

20 And in the earth are signs for those who are sure,

21 And in yourselves — do you not see?a

22 And in the heavens is your sustenance and that which you are promised.a

23 So by the Lord of the heavens and the earth! it is surely the truth, just as you speak.a

3. Commentary:

6a. In the first four verses of this chapter attention is called to certain facts by means of what is generally understood to be an oath, for which see 37:1a, while the two verses that follow indicate the conclusion to which those facts lead. It is generally considered that by "those scattering broadcast" are meant the winds that raise up dust before the coming of a cloud; by the "bearers of the load" the clouds that carry rain; by the "easy runners" the winds that carry the clouds along, and by the "distributors" the winds that distribute the rain. Attention is drawn in this description to a similar arrangement in the spiritual world by which Truth gradually advances. The seed of Truth is scattered broadcast in the first stage, while the bearing of the load or becoming pregnant with Truth is the second stage, the third being the strong desire to accept it, which makes one run for it without difficulty, while the fourth is its distribution to others.

But we may as well say that attention is herein drawn to more manifest facts, to the scattering of Truth broadcast through the Holy Prophet and his faithful followers, which led to some bearing the load of it as if they had become pregnant with Truth, while others ran easily towards the acceptance of Truth. But they were not satisfied with mere acceptance; they went to and fro to deliver to others the Truth and the Light, which they had received. In the existence of these groups of workers in the cause of Truth there was a clear sign that the triumph of Islam would soon be established in the land. [Back to verse 6]

7a. The description of heaven as full of paths is a scientific truth certainly unknown to the world 1,300 years ago. The paths in the heavens are the orbits of the various planets, and of the stars themselves; compared 36:40, where it is stated that "all float on in an orbit". [Back to verse 7]

9a. Only those are turned away from the Truth who themselves turn away. [Back to verse 9]

14a. For fitnah meaning persecution, see 2:191c. Tasting of persecution signifies receiving punishment for their persecution of the Muslims. [Back to verse 14]

19a. The word mahrum is understood by some to mean a poor man who does not beg, and by others, one who has not the faculty of speech, like the dog and the cat (LL). Note that the poor are here spoken of as having a share in the wealth of the rich. The State is bound to take that share and make it over to the poor. But it is only a share, not the whole. [Back to verse 19]

21a. They could see signs showing that Truth was gaining ground. [Back to verse 21]

22a. That which is promised may mean the spiritual sustenance as contrasted with rizq or the physical sustenance. Or, it may refer to the Judgment, of which they were warned again and again. [Back to verse 22]

23a. Note the high degree of certainty, the unshakable faith in the ultimate triumph of the Truth at this early period. Just as men’s speaking to each other is a reality, even so is God’s speaking to man. [Back to verse 23]



Next Section/Ruku>>

Section 2: Nothing avails against Truth

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Chapter 50: Qaf

Chapter 52: Al-Tur (The Mountain)

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 51 (Al-Dhariyat- The Scatterers) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 23)

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