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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 72 (Al-Jinn- The Jinn) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 19)



Section/Ruku 1 [Verses 1 to 19]: Foreign believers:
Chapter 72: (Al-Jinn: The Jinn)
(Revealed at Makkah: 2 sections; 28 verses)

1. Introduction:

This chapter speaks of the protection which is granted to the prophets against their enemies, and the subject, hinted at in v. 8 of the first section, is made clear in the second section. The title is taken from the mention in v. 1 of certain believers in the Holy Prophet’s truth called jinn.

The revelation of this chapter is generally ascribed to the time of the Holy Prophet’s return from Ta’if, which took place two years before the Hijrah, and thus the chapter belongs to a time when opposition had reached its climax. Abu Talib and Khadijah had passed away; a ban had been put in force against the Prophet and the families of Hashim and ‘Abd al-Muttalib; some believers had .ed to Abyssinia, and those that remained were severely persecuted; the Quraish were deaf to all preaching and warning, and, finally, a visit to Ta’if had resulted only in adding to the circumstances which would have most assuredly driven an ordinary individual to despair. In these circumstances an assurance was sorely needed, and a very emphatic assurance is given in this chapter. But beyond an assurance, we are told here that there are other people, yet hidden from the eye — hence the title, The Jinn — who would accept the message of the Holy Qur’an. This unquestionably foreshadowed its vast conquests outside Arabia, and in the distant future.

2. Translation:

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

1 Say: It has been revealed to me that a party of the jinna listened, so they said: Surely we have heard a wonderful Qur’an,

2 Guiding to the right way — so we believe in it. And we shall not set up anyone with our Lord:

3 And He — exalted be the majesty of our Lord! — has not taken a consort, nor a son:a

4 And the foolish among us used to forge extravagant lies against Allah:

5 And we thought that men and jinn did not utter a lie against Allah:

6 And persons from among men used to seek refuge with persons from among the jinn, so they increased them in evil doing:a

7 And they thought, as you think, that Allah would not raise anyone:

8 And we sought to reach heaven, but we found it filled with strong guards and flames:a

9 And we used to sit in some of the sitting-places thereof to steal a hearing. But he who tries to listen now finds a flame lying in wait for him:

10 And we know not whether evil is meant for those on earth or whether their Lord means to direct them aright:a

11 And some of us are good and others of us are below that — we are sects following different ways:

12 And we know that we cannot escape Allah in the earth, nor can we escape Him by flight:

13 And when we heard the guidance, we believed in it. So whoever believes in his Lord, he fears neither loss nor injustice:

14 And some of us are those who submit, and some of us are deviators. So whoever submits, these aim at the right way.

15 And as to deviators, they are fuel of hell:

16 And if they keep to the (right) way, We would certainly give them to drink of abundant water,a

17 So that We may try them thereby. And whoever turns away from the reminder of his Lord, He will make him enter into an afflicting chastisement:

18 And the mosques are Allah’s, so call not upon anyone with Allah:

19 And when the Servant of Allah stood up praying to Him, they wellnigh crowded him (to death).a

3. Commentary:

1a. The existence of jinn, or ethereal beings like the angels (the former being the spirits of evil and the latter the spirits of good), is a question quite distinct, but it is clear that the jinn spoken of here did not belong to this class; see 6:128a for full explanation of the word. The jinn are also referred to in 46:29–31, where they are made to say: "O our people, we have heard a Book revealed after Moses, verifying that which is before it". This shows that they were Jews. The jinn spoken of here are evidently Christians, as v. 3 shows. [Back to verse 1]

3a. The words of this verse are a clear indication that the persons spoken of here are Christians. That both Jews and Christians living outside Arabia accepted the message of Truth brought by the Prophet is a fact. But from what is stated further on it appears that the reference here is to future Christian nations, and the words here are prophetical, speaking of some future time when Christian nations forming the bulk of mankind — such being one of the significances of the word jinn (LL) — will accept the truth of the message brought by the Prophet. At any rate the prophetical in these words, whether relating to the near or distant future, is clearly hinted at in the opening words of the chapter — It has been revealed to me that a party of the jinn listened. [Back to verse 3]

6a. The jinn and men of this verse are undoubtedly the leaders of evil and iniquity and the weaker ones in intellect who followed them blindly; see 6:128a. [Back to verse 6]

8a. By reaching heaven is meant learning secrets of the heaven. The reference may be to the diviners and astrologers among them, for which see 37:7a–10a, but more likely it is a prophetical reference to the great scientific discoveries of the modern age relating to heaven. [Back to verse 8]

10a. These words seem to refer to the great tribulations which are meant to direct man’s attention to spiritual truth. [Back to verse 10]

16a. By abundance of water is meant according to Mujahid abundant wealth (IJ). [Back to verse 16]

19a. The servant of Allah is the Holy Prophet Muhammad. [Back to verse 19]



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Section 2: Protection of revelation

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Chapter 71: Nuh (Noah)

Chapter 73: Al-Muzzammil (The One Covering Himself Up)

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 72 (Al-Jinn- The Jinn) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 19)

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