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Chapter 92:
Al-Lail — The Night:

Revealed at Makkah: 21 verses

English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali


Introduction:

The object of this chapter is to show that The Night of disbelief and ignorance — hence the title — will give place to the light of the day, for inasmuch as men strive after different objects, those who strive to establish good will have facility, while those who go after evil shall find themselves in difficulties. It is one of the earliest revelations.

Translation:

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

92:1 By the night when it draws a veil!

92:2 And the day when it shines!

92:3 And the creating of the male and the female! —

92:4 Your striving is surely (for) diverse (ends).a

92:5 Then as for him who gives and keeps his duty,

92:6 And accepts what is good —

92:7 We facilitate for him (the way to) ease.

92:8 And as for him who is niggardly and considers himself self-sufficient,

92:9 And rejects what is good —

92:10 We facilitate for him (the way to) distress.

92:11 And his wealth will not avail him when he perishes.a

92:12 Surely Ours is it to show the way,

92:13 And surely Ours is the Hereafter and the former.a

92:14 So I warn you of the Fire that flames.

92:15 None will enter it but the most unfortunate,

92:16 Who rejects (the truth) and turns (his) back.

92:17 And away from it shall be kept the most faithful to duty,

92:18 Who gives his wealth, purifying himself,

92:19 And none has with him any boon for a reward,

92:20 Except the seeking of the pleasure of his Lord,a the Most High.

92:21 And he will soon be well-pleased.

Commentary:

4a. Evil is here compared with the darkness of the night and good with the light of day. The creation of the male and the female, which stands for the creation of the whole of animate nature, because all living beings are created either male or female, is also a witness to the same truth, for there we find everyone striving for an end, and everyone reaping according to the manner of his striving.

11a. The two examples given in these verses represent those who accept and those who reject the Truth, respectively; the one goes on doing good deeds, finding his way quite easy, until he finds himself in ease, and the other goes on doing evil, the doing of which seems easy to him, until he finds himself in distress.

13a. The wicked one is here told that he will find himself in distress not only in the Hereafter but also in this life, as God has control of both. Or the akhirah here is what is coming later — what is promised — and the ula the present state.

20a. The pleasure of the Lord is the only boon for which a man should hope, and hence this is the goal of a Muslim’s life — his paradise in this as well as the next life. This is in accordance with what is said in 9:72, one of the latest revelations: “And greatest of all is Allah’s goodly pleasure. That is the grand achievement”.

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