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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 53 (Al-Najm- The Start) > Section 3 (Verses 33 to 62)



Section/Ruku 3 [Verses 33 to 62]: Allah’s Power manifested in destruction of falsehood:
Chapter 53: (Al-Najm: The Star)
(Revealed at Makkah: 3 sections; 62 verses)

1. Translation:

33 Seest thou him who turns back,

34 And gives a little, then withholds?

35 Has he the knowledge of the unseen so that he can see?

36 Or has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of Moses,

37 And (of) Abraham who fulfilled (commandments)?

38 That no bearer of burden bears another’s burden:

39 And that man can have nothing but what he strives for:

40 And that his striving will soon be seen.

41 Then he will be rewarded for it with the fullest reward:

42 And that to thy Lord is the goal:

43 And that He it is Who makes (men) laugh and makes (them) weep:

44 And that He it is Who causes death and gives life:

45 And that He creates pairs, the male and the female:

46 From the small life-germ when it is adapted:a

47 And that He has ordained the second bringing forth:

48 And that He it is Who gives wealth and contentment:

49 And that He is the Lord of Sirius:

50 And that He destroyed the first ‘Ad:a

51 And Thamud, so He spared not:

52 And the people of Noah before. Surely they were most iniquitous and inordinate.

53 And the overthrown cities, He hurled down:

54 So there covered them that which covered.

55 Which, then, of thy Lord’s benefits wilt thou dispute?

56 This is a warner of the warners of old.

57 The near Event draws nigh.a

58 There is none besides Allah to remove it.

59 Wonder you then at this announcement?

60 And do you laugh and not weep,

61 While you sport?

62 So bow down in prostration before Allah and serve (Him).a

 2. Commentary:

46a. Tumna means, according to R, tuqaddaru, i.e., adapted to circumstances. And according to LL, mana is also synonymous with qadr. [Back to verse 46]

50a. The tribe of ‘Ad is sometimes referred to as the first ‘Ad, in contrast with Thamud, who are called the second ‘Ad. [Back to verse 50]

57a. The near Event is the doom of the Quraish, the overthrow of their power, which was now being utilised against Islam. [Back to verse 57]

62a. Here is a command to prostrate oneself, which is literally obeyed by all Muslims when reciting the Qur’an or hearing it recited; see 7:206a. This chapter, when first revealed, was read in a large assembly, containing Muslims as well as disbelievers. When the Holy Prophet prostrated himself in obedience to the command, not only did the Muslims prostrate themselves, but even the idolaters were so overawed that they also prostrated themselves, with the exception only of Umayyah ibn Khalf, who raised some gravel to his forehead. This man was afterwards killed, dying a disbeliever, says the report, evidently implying that all the others were gradually converted to Islam (B. 17:1). It should be further borne in mind that the idolaters did not deny the existence of God the Supreme, Whom they believed to be above their idols, who were recognised only as minor deities, and therefore there is nothing strange in their joining the Muslims in their prostration.

It is this simple incident which is connected with the story of the so-called "lapse" and is adduced as proof of its truth. But it will be seen that the prostration was made in obedience to the direct Divine command of prostration and had nothing to do with the worship of idols. The incidents narrated before it, relating to the grandeur and majesty of Allah and to the destruction of the wicked, are so impressive that the idolaters could not resist prostrating themselves. It is possible that the story of the prostration reached the Abyssinian exiles, some of whom might have returned under the impression that the disbelievers no longer opposed the movement. [Back to verse 62]



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Chapter 52: Al-Tur (The Mountain)

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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 53 (Al-Najm- The Start) > Section 3 (Verses 33 to 62)

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