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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 68 (Al-Qalam- The Pen) > Section 2 (Verses 34 to 52)


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Section/Ruku 2 [Verses 34 to 52]: A reminder for the nations:
Chapter 68: (Al-Qalam: The Pen)
(Revealed at Makkah: 2 sections; 52 verses)

1. Translation:

34 Surely the dutiful have with their Lord Gardens of bliss.

35 Shall We then make those who submit as the guilty?

36 What is the matter with you? How do you judge?

37 Or have you a book wherein you read

38 That you shall surely have therein what you choose?

39 Or have you covenants from Us on oath, extending to the day of Resurrection, that yours is surely what you judge?

40 Ask them which of them will vouch for that.

41 Or have they associate-gods? Then let them bring their associates, if they are truthful.

42 On the day when there is a severe affliction, and they are called upon to prostrate themselves, but they are not ablea

43 Their looks cast down, abasement will cover them. And they were indeed called upon to prostrate themselves, while yet they were safe.

44 So leave Me alone with him who rejects this announcement. We shall overtake them by degrees, from whence they know not.

45 And I bear with them, surely My plan is firm.a

46 Or dost thou ask from them a reward, so that they are burdened with debt?

47 Or is the unseen with them so that they write (it) down?a

48 So wait patiently for the judgment of thy Lord, and be not like the Companion of the fish, when he cried while he was in distress.a

49 Had not favour from his Lord reached him, he would certainly have been cast down on naked ground, while he was blamed.

50 Then his Lord chose him, and He made him of the righteous.

51 And those who disbelieve would almost smite thee with their eyes when they hear the Reminder, and they say: Surely he is mad!a

52 And it is naught but a Reminder for the nations.

 2. Commentary:

42a. The meaning of kashf ‘ani-l-saq has been explained in 27:44a. I may add here a few words from the commentaries. Bd says: On the day when there is a severe affliction, giving the alternative significance, When the truth of the matter is laid bare. Kf says: "Kashf ‘ani-l-saq is a proverb signifying the hardness of an affair and the severity of a calamity, and the origin of it is in the fright and the flight and the tucking up of their garments by women from their shanks in fleeing, and the disclosing of their anklets"; and then, quoting two pre-Islamic verses as his authority for the statement made, he adds: "The words here mean the day when the affair becomes hard and formidable, and there is neither any laying bare nor a shank". Ibn Athir in explaining similar words, occurring in a saying of the Holy Prophet, almost repeats the words of Kf. Rz holds the meaning of al-saq to be al-shiddat, and quotes five verses in support of this.

Commentators also differ as to whether this severity will be brought about in this life or in the life after death, Abu Muslim holding the first opinion, which Rz admits. [Back to verse 42]

45a. They are given respite, but their punishment is sure. [Back to verse 45]

47a. Writing is always mentioned in connection with the knowledge of the unseen, because it is writing alone that makes the truth of a prophecy sure. Such verses are a clear proof that the Qur’an itself, containing as it did numerous prophecies, was written from the first, otherwise a challenge to the opponents in these early revelations to write down the knowledge of the future which they had through their diviners would be meaningless. [Back to verse 47]

48a. The Prophet Jonah is here called the Companion of the fish, because of the incident mentioned in 37:142. [Back to verse 48]

51a. The chapter ends with exactly the same allegation on the part of the disbelievers as the one with which it opened. And the last verse, and it is naught but a Reminder for the nations, thus sums up the arguments advanced against that allegation. In fact, the arguments advanced in this chapter are equally true in all ages and for all nations. Note that even as early as the revelation of this chapter, the Prophet’s message is declared to be meant for all nations. [Back to verse 51]

 

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Chapter 67: Al-Mulk (The Kingdom)

Chapter 69: Al-Haqqah (The Sure Truth)

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 68 (Al-Qalam- The Pen) > Section 2 (Verses 34 to 52)


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