Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation
2. Do men think that they will be left alone on
saying, "We believe", and that they will not be tested?
3. We did test
those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those
who are false.
4. Do those who practise evil think that they will get the
better of Us? Evil is their judgment!
5. For those whose hopes are in the
meeting with Allah (in the Hereafter, let them strive); for the term (appointed)
by Allah is surely coming and He hears and knows (all things).
6. And if
any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: for Allah is
free of all needs from all creation.
7. Those who believe and work
righteous deeds,- from them shall We blot out all evil (that may be) in them,
and We shall reward them according to the best of their deeds.
8. We have
enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to
force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no
knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you
(the truth) of all that ye did.
9. And those who believe and work
righteous deeds,- them shall We admit to the company of the Righteous.
10. Then there are among men such as say, "We believe in Allah.; but when they
suffer affliction in (the cause of) Allah, they treat men's oppression as if it
were the Wrath of Allah. And if help comes (to thee) from thy Lord, they are
sure to say, "We have (always) been with you!" Does not Allah know best all that
is in the hearts of all creation?
11. And Allah most certainly knows
those who believe, and as certainly those who are Hypocrites.
12. And the
Unbelievers say to those who believe: "Follow our path, and we will bear (the
consequences) of your faults." Never in the least will they bear their faults:
in fact they are liars!
13. They will bear their own burdens, and (other)
burdens along with their own, and on the Day of Judgments they will be called to
account for their falsehoods.
14. We (once) sent Noah to his people, and
he tarried among them a thousand years less fifty: but the Deluge overwhelmed
them while they (persisted in) sin.
15. But We saved him and the
companions of the Ark, and We made the (Ark) a Sign for all peoples!
And (We also saved) Abraham: behold, he said to his people, "Serve Allah and
fear Him: that will be best for you- If ye understand!
17. "For ye do
worship idols besides Allah, and ye invent falsehood. The things that ye worship
besides Allah have no power to give you sustenance: then seek ye sustenance from
Allah, serve Him, and be grateful to Him: to Him will be your return.
"And if ye reject (the Message), so did generations before you: and the duty of
the apostle is only to preach publicly (and clearly)."
19. See they not
how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.
20. Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation;
so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
21. "He punishes whom He pleases, and He grants Mercy to whom He pleases,
and towards Him are ye turned.
22. "Not on earth nor in heaven will ye be
able (fleeing) to frustrate (his Plan), nor have ye, besides Allah, any
protector or helper."
23. Those who reject the Signs of Allah and the
Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter),- it is they who shall despair of My Mercy:
it is they who will (suffer) a most grievous Penalty.
24. So naught was
the answer of (Abraham's) people except that they said: "Slay him or burn him."
But Allah did save him from the Fire. Verily in this are Signs for people who
25. And he said: "For you, ye have taken (for worship) idols
besides Allah, out of mutual love and regard between yourselves in this life;
but on the Day of Judgment ye shall disown each other and curse each other: and
your abode will be the Fire, and ye shall have none to help."
26. But Lut
had faith in Him: He said: "I will leave home for the sake of my Lord: for He is
Exalted in Might, and Wise."
27. And We gave (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob,
and ordained among his progeny Prophethood and Revelation, and We granted him
his reward in this life; and he was in the Hereafter (of the company) of the
28. And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: "Ye do
commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you.
29. "Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway?- and practise
wickedness (even) in your councils?" But his people gave no answer but this:
they said: "Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth."
He said: "O my Lord! help Thou me against people who do mischief!"
When Our Messengers came to Abraham with the good news, they said: "We are
indeed going to destroy the people of this township: for truly they are
(addicted to) crime."
32. He said: "But there is Lut there." They said:
"Well do we know who is there : we will certainly save him and his following,-
except his wife: she is of those who lag behind!"
33. And when Our
Messengers came to Lut, he was grieved on their account, and felt himself
powerless (to protect) them: but they said: "Fear thou not, nor grieve: we are
(here) to save thee and thy following, except thy wife: she is of those who lag
34. "For we are going to bring down on the people of this
township a Punishment from heaven, because they have been wickedly rebellious."
35. And We have left thereof an evident Sign, for any people who (care to)
36. To the Madyan (people) (We sent) their brother Shu'aib.
Then he said: "O my people! serve Allah, and fear the Last Day: nor commit evil
on the earth, with intent to do mischief."
37. But they rejected him:
Then the mighty Blast seized them, and they lay prostrate in their homes by the
38. (Remember also) the 'Ad and the Thamud (people): clearly
will appear to you from (the traces) of their buildings (their fate): the Evil
One made their deeds alluring to them, and kept them back from the Path, though
they were gifted with intelligence and skill.
39. (Remember also) Qarun,
Pharaoh, and Haman: there came to them Moses with Clear Signs, but they behaved
with insolence on the earth; yet they could not overreach (Us).
one of them We seized for his crime: of them, against some We sent a violent
tornado (with showers of stones); some were caught by a (mighty) Blast; some We
caused the earth to swallow up; and some We drowned (in the waters): It was not
Allah Who injured (or oppressed) them:" They injured (and oppressed) their own
41. The parable of those who take protectors other than Allah is
that of the spider, who builds (to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest of
houses is the spider's house;- if they but knew.
42. Verily Allah doth
know of (every thing) whatever that they call upon besides Him: and He is
Exalted (in power), Wise.
43. And such are the Parables We set forth for
mankind, but only those understand them who have knowledge.
created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): verily in that is a
Sign for those who believe.
45. Recite what is sent of the Book by
inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from
shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in
life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do.
dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere
disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury):
but say, "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that
which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow
47. And thus (it is) that We have sent down the Book to
thee. So the People of the Book believe therein, as also do some of these (pagan
Arabs): and none but Unbelievers reject our signs.
48. And thou wast not
(able) to recite a Book before this (Book came), nor art thou (able) to
transcribe it with thy right hand: In that case, indeed, would the talkers of
vanities have doubted.
49. Nay, here are Signs self-evident in the hearts
of those endowed with knowledge: and none but the unjust reject Our Signs.
50. Ye they say: "Why are not Signs sent down to him from his Lord?" Say:
"The signs are indeed with Allah. and I am indeed a clear Warner."
And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book which is
rehearsed to them? Verily, in it is Mercy and a Reminder to those who believe.
52. Say: "Enough is Allah for a witness between me and you: He knows what is
in the heavens and on earth. And it is those who believe in vanities and reject
Allah, that will perish (in the end).
53. They ask thee to hasten on the
Punishment (for them): had it not been for a term (of respite) appointed, the
Punishment would certainly have come to them: and it will certainly reach them,-
of a sudden, while they perceive not!
54. They ask thee to hasten on the
Punishment: but, of a surety, Hell will encompass the Rejecters of Faith!-
55. On the Day that the Punishment shall cover them from above them and from
below them, and (a Voice) shall say: "Taste ye (the fruits) of your deeds!"
56. O My servants who believe! truly, spacious is My Earth: therefore serve
ye Me - (and Me alone)!
57. Every soul shall have a taste of death in the
end to Us shall ye be brought back.
58. But those who believe and work
deeds of righteousness - to them shall We give a Home in Heaven,- lofty mansions
beneath which flow rivers,- to dwell therein for aye;- an excellent reward for
those who do (good)!-
59. Those who persevere in patience, and put their
trust, in their Lord and Cherisher.
60. How many are the creatures that
carry not their own sustenance? It is Allah who feeds (both) them and you: for
He hears and knows (all things).
61. If indeed thou ask them who has
created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to his
Law), they will certainly reply, "(Allah)". How are they then deluded away (from
62. Allah enlarges the sustenance (which He gives) to
whichever of His servants He pleases; and He (similarly) grants by (strict)
measure, (as He pleases): for Allah has full knowledge of all things.
And if indeed thou ask them who it is that sends down rain from the sky, and
gives life therewith to the earth after its death, they will certainly reply,
"(Allah)!" Say, "Praise be to Allah." But most of them understand not.
64. What is the life of this world but amusement and play? but verily the Home
in the Hereafter,- that is life indeed, if they but knew.
65. Now, if
they embark on a boat, they call on Allah, making their devotion sincerely (and
exclusively) to Him; but when He has delivered them safely to (dry) land,
behold, they give a share (of their worship to others)!-
ungratefully Our gifts, and giving themselves up to (worldly) enjoyment! But
soon will they know.
67. Do they not then see that We have made a
sanctuary secure, and that men are being snatched away from all around them?
Then, do they believe in that which is vain, and reject the Grace of Allah.
68. And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah or
rejects the Truth when it reaches him? Is there not a home in Hell for those who
69. And those who strive in Our (cause),- We will certainly
guide them to our Paths: For verily Allah is with those who do right.
The Surah takes its name from verse 41 in which the word Ankabut (Spider) has
Period of Revelation
Verses 56 to 60
clearly show that this Surah was sent down a little before the migration to
Habash, and this is supported by the internal evidence of the subject matter as
well. Some commentators have opined that since it mentions the hypocrites, and
hypocrisy appeared in Madinah, the first ten verses of this Surah were revealed
at Madinah and the rest of it at Makkah; whereas the people whose hypocrisy has
been mentioned here are those who had adopted a hypocritical way of life because
they were afraid of the oppression and extreme physical torture to which the
Muslims were being subjected by the disbelievers. Evidently, this kind of
hypocrisy could be there only at Makkah and not at Madinah. Similarly, some
other commentators, seeing that in this Surah the Muslims have been exhorted to
migrate, have regarded it as the last Surah to be revealed at Makkah, whereas
the Muslims had migrated to Habash even before their migration to Madinah. These
opinions are not based on any tradition but on the internal evidence of the
subject matter, and this internal evidence, when considered against the subject
matter of the Surah as a whole, points to the conditions prevailing in the time
of the migration to Habash and not to the last stage at Makkah.
Theme and Subject matter
A perusal of the Surah shows that the
period of its revelation was the period of extreme persecution of the Muslims at
Makkah. The disbelievers were opposing and fighting Islam tooth and nail and the
new converts were being subjected to the severest oppression. Such were the
conditions when Allah sent down this Surah to strengthen and encourage the
sincere Muslims as well as to put to shame those who were showing weakness of
the faith. Besides, the disbelievers of Makkah have been threatened and warned
not to invite for themselves the fate that the antagonists of the Truth have
been experiencing in every age.
In this connection, the questions that
some young men answered. For instance, their parents were urging them to abandon
Muhammad (may Allah's peace be upon him), and return to their ancestral
religion, for they argued: "The Qur'an in which you have put your faith, regards
the rights of the parents as the uppermost; therefore, listen to what we say;
otherwise you will be working against the dictates of your own Faith." This has
been answered in verse 8.
Similarly, the people of some clans said to the
new converts to Islam, "Leave the question of punishments, etc., to us. Listen
to us and abandon this man. If God seizes you in the Hereafter, we will come
forward and say, 'Lord, these people are innocent: we had forced them to give up
the Faith; therefore, seize us'." This has been dealt with, in vv. 12-13.
The stories mentioned in this Surah also impress the same point mostly, as
if to say, "Look at the Prophets of the past: they were made to suffer great
hardships and were treated cruelly for long periods. Then, at last they were
helped by Allah. Therefore, take heart: Allah's succor will certainly come. But
a period of trial and tribulation has to be undergone." Besides teaching this
lesson to the Muslims, the disbelievers also have been warned, as if to say, "If
you are not being immediately seized by Allah, you should not form the wrong
impression that you will never be seized. The signs of the doomed nations of the
past are before you. Just see how they met their doom and how Allah succored the
Then the Muslims have been instructed to the effect: "If you
feel that the persecution has become unbearable for you, you should give up your
homes, instead of giving up your Faith: Allah's earth is vast: seek a new place
where you can worship Allah with the full peace of mind." Besides all this, the
disbelievers also have been urged to understand Islam. The realities of Tauhid
and the Hereafter have been impressed with rational arguments, shirk have been
refuted, and drawing their attention towards the signs in the universe, they
have been told that all these Signs confirm the teachings that the Prophet is
presenting before them.