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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 67 (Al-Mulk- The Kingdom) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 14)


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Section/Ruku 1 [Verses 1 to 14]: The Kingdom of God:
Chapter 67: (Al-Mulk: The Kingdom)
(Revealed at Makkah: 2 sections; 30 verses)

1. Introduction:

The title of this chapter is taken from the statement contained in the first verse, that The Kingdom is in the hands of Allah, the evident conclusion of which is, that that kingdom which was known as the Kingdom of God in prophetical language was now about to be established on earth. Attention is then called to the perfect working of Divine laws in physical nature, and from this the inference is drawn that, as one law is working in the physical universe, so there is a law relating to good and evil working in the spiritual realm. The second section speaks of the doom that awaits the disbelievers because of their ungratefulness to the Divine Being.

From here to the end there are forty-eight chapters, and all these were revealed at Makkah, with the single exception of ch. 110, which belongs to the Madinan period of revelation, though it too was revealed at Makkah when the Holy Prophet was there on his last pilgrimage. All of them, sometimes in plain and sometimes in metaphorical language, contain prophecies of the greatness to which Islam would rise and of the failure of opposition. But while they mostly belong to the earliest period of the Holy Prophet’s revelation, the prophecies contained in them very often relate to the distant future of Islam, and are certainly not limited to the prevalence of Islam in Arabia or to the lifetime of the Prophet. While the distinct character of each chapter will be dealt with in the usual introductory note, these few words will suffice as to their general character and their relation towards each other.

2. Translation:

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

1 Blessed is He in Whose hand is the Kingdom, and He is Possessor of power over all things,a

2 Who created death and life that He might try you — which of you is best in deeds. And He is the Mighty, the Forgiving,a

3 Who created the seven heavens alike.a Thou seest no incongruity in the creation of the Beneficent. Then look again: Canst thou see any disorder?b

4 Then turn the eye again and again — thy look will return to thee confused, while it is fatigued.

5 And certainly We have adorned this lower heaven with lamps and We make them means of conjectures for the devils,a and We have prepared for them the chastisement of burning.

6 And for those who disbelieve in their Lord is the chastisement of hell, and evil is the resort.

7 When they are cast therein, they will hear a loud moaning of it as it heaves,

8 Almost bursting for fury. Whenever a group is cast into it, its keepers ask them: Did not a warner come to you?

9 They say: Yea, indeed a warner came to us, but we denied and said: Allah has revealed nothing; you are only in great error.

10 And they say: Had we but listened or pondered, we should not have been among the inmates of the burning Fire.

11 Thus they will confess their sins; so far (from good) are the inmates of the burning Fire.

12 Those who fear their Lord in secret, for them is surely forgiveness and a great reward.

13 And conceal your word or manifest it, truly He is Knower of that which is in the hearts.

14 Does He not know Who created? And He is the Knower of subtleties, the Aware.

3. Commentary:

1a. The short Makkan chapters, which are no doubt generally among the earliest revelations of the Holy Prophet, often speak most forcibly of the greatness and glory of Allah. The statement here that the Kingdom is in Allah’s hand and that He has power over all things is like a prophetical statement as to the establishment of the kingdom of Islam, which was really the kingdom of God. This is made clear by what Jesus Christ said: "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matt. 21:43). [Back to verse 1]

2a. The law of life and death or growth and decay works throughout nature, but it has a special meaning in reference to man, because death does not end his life, but is really the starting-point for a new life of spiritual progress. Life to him below is, therefore, a trial, i.e., a means of bringing to light his hidden qualifications for the performance of good. But life and death have another and a deeper significance for man in the life and death of nations. Nations that work evil are swept away, and others are raised in their place that they may do good. [Back to verse 2]

3a. You say, such a thing is tabq or tibaq of that, meaning that this thing is the match of that or conforms or corresponds with that or is the like of that (LL). This significance, moreover, suits the context, for the verse goes on to describe the uniformity prevailing in nature. [Back to verse 3]

3b. Attention is here called to the regularity and uniformity of the laws working in nature. There is no incongruity, so that things belonging to the same class should be subject to different laws, nor is there a disorder (futur, which R translates as meaning ikhtilal, i.e., disorder and laxity), so that a law should not work uniformly. The verse, while calling attention to the existence of a Supreme Being, as witnessed in the regularity and uniformity of the laws working in creation, draws special attention to spiritual laws, which also work uniformly, and thus evil and good must each bring its special reward. [Back to verse 3]

5a. The lamps with which the lower heaven is lighted, i.e., the stars, are made the means of conjectures regarding the future by the astrologers. Rujum is the plural of rajm, and explaining it IAth says: "Rajm means conjectures about what Allah has not stated " (N). And classing the munajjim, i.e., the astrologer, and the kahin, i.e., the diviner, and the sahir, i.e., the magician, as one, he goes on to say: "Thus he (i.e., the Prophet, whose saying is explained) considered the astrologer, who learns about stars so that he may judge thereby, and attributes to them the effect of good and evil, to be a disbeliever" (N). Explaining these very words, Raghib says: "And rajm is used metaphorically to signify conjectures and surmises" (R). LL also gives this significance of the verse on the authority of Bd and TA: "We have made them to be means of conjectures to the devils of mankind, i.e., to the astrologers". Thus the astrologers, who deceived people by telling them many things which they posed as having learned from the stars, are referred to here. [Back to verse 5]

 

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Chapter 66: Al-Tahrim (The Prohibition)

Chapter 68: Al-Qalam (The Pen)

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 67 (Al-Mulk- The Kingdom) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 14)


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