Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation
1. Whatever is in the heavens and on earth,- let it declare the Praises and
Glory of Allah. for He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
2. To Him
belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: It is He Who gives Life and
Death; and He has Power over all things.
3. He is the First and the Last,
the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things.
He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and is moreover
firmly established on the Throne (of Authority). He knows what enters within the
earth and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven and what
mounts up to it. And He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah sees well
all that ye do.
5. To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the
earth: and all affairs are referred back to Allah.
6. He merges Night
into Day, and He merges Day into Night; and He has full knowledge of the secrets
of (all) hearts.
7. Believe in Allah and His apostle, and spend (in
charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you
who believe and spend (in charity),- for them is a great Reward.
cause have ye why ye should not believe in Allah.- and the Messenger invites you
to believe in your Lord, and has indeed taken your Covenant, if ye are men of
9. He is the One Who sends to His Servant Manifest Signs, that He
may lead you from the depths of Darkness into the Light and verily Allah is to
you most kind and Merciful.
10. And what cause have ye why ye should not
spend in the cause of Allah.- For to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens
and the earth. Not equal among you are those who spent (freely) and fought,
before the Victory, (with those who did so later). Those are higher in rank than
those who spent (freely) and fought afterwards. But to all has Allah promised a
goodly (reward). And Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do.
Who is he that will Loan to Allah a beautiful loan? for (Allah) will increase it
manifold to his credit, and he will have (besides) a liberal Reward.
One Day shalt thou see the believing men and the believing women- how their
Light runs forward before them and by their right hands: (their greeting will
be): "Good News for you this Day! Gardens beneath which flow rivers! to dwell
therein for aye! This is indeed the highest Achievement!"
13. One Day
will the Hypocrites- men and women - say to the Believers: "Wait for us! Let us
borrow (a Light) from your Light!" It will be said: "Turn ye back to your rear!
then seek a Light (where ye can)!" So a wall will be put up betwixt them, with a
gate therein. Within it will be Mercy throughout, and without it, all alongside,
will be (Wrath and) Punishment!
14. (Those without) will call out, "Were
we not with you?" (The others) will reply, "True! but ye led yourselves into
temptation; ye looked forward (to our ruin); ye doubted ((Allah)'s Promise); and
(your false) desires deceived you; until there issued the Command of Allah. And
the Deceiver deceived you in respect of Allah.
15. "This Day shall no
ransom be accepted of you, nor of those who rejected Allah." Your abode is the
Fire: that is the proper place to claim you: and an evil refuge it is!"
16. Has not the Time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility
should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been
revealed (to them), and that they should not become like those to whom was given
Revelation aforetime, but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard?
For many among them are rebellious transgressors.
17. Know ye (all) that
Allah giveth life to the earth after its death! already have We shown the Signs
plainly to you, that ye may learn wisdom.
18. For those who give in
Charity, men and women, and loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan, it shall be
increased manifold (to their credit), and they shall have (besides) a liberal
19. And those who believe in Allah and His apostles- they are the
Sincere (lovers of Truth), and the witnesses (who testify), in the eyes of their
Lord: They shall have their Reward and their Light. But those who reject Allah
and deny Our Signs,- they are the Companions of Hell-Fire.
20. Know ye
(all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual
boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children.
Here is a similitude: How rain and the growth which it brings forth, delight
(the hearts of) the tillers; soon it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then
it becomes dry and crumbles away. But in the Hereafter is a Penalty severe (for
the devotees of wrong). And Forgiveness from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure (for
the devotees of Allah.. And what is the life of this world, but goods and
chattels of deception?
21. Be ye foremost (in seeking) Forgiveness from
your Lord, and a Garden (of Bliss), the width whereof is as the width of heaven
and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His apostles: that is the
Grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom he pleases: and Allah is the Lord of
22. No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls
but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence: That is truly
easy for Allah.
23. In order that ye may not despair over matters that
pass you by, nor exult over favours bestowed upon you. For Allah loveth not any
24. Such persons as are covetous and commend
covetousness to men. And if any turn back (from Allah's Way), verily Allah is
Free of all Needs, Worthy of all Praise.
25. We sent aforetime our
apostles with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of
Right and Wrong), that men may stand forth in justice; and We sent down Iron, in
which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind, that
Allah may test who it is that will help, Unseen, Him and His apostles: For Allah
is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might (and able to enforce His Will).
And We sent Noah and Abraham, and established in their line Prophethood and
Revelation: and some of them were on right guidance. But many of them became
27. Then, in their wake, We followed them up
with (others of) Our apostles: We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and
bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed
him Compassion and Mercy. But the Monasticism which they invented for
themselves, We did not prescribe for them: (We commanded) only the seeking for
the Good Pleasure of Allah. but that they did not foster as they should have
done. Yet We bestowed, on those among them who believed, their (due) reward, but
many of them are rebellious transgressors.
28. O ye that believe! Fear
Allah, and believe in His Messenger, and He will bestow on you a double portion
of His Mercy: He will provide for you a Light by which ye shall walk (straight
in your path), and He will forgive you (your past): for Allah is Oft- Forgiving,
29. That the People of the Book may know that they have no
power whatever over the Grace of Allah, that (His) Grace is (entirely) in His
Hand, to bestow it on whomsoever He wills. For Allah is the Lord of Grace
The Surah takes its title from the sentence, Wa anzalna' l-hadida, of verse
Period of Revelation
This is unanimously a Madani
Surah, and a study of its subject matter shows that it was probably sent down
some time during the interval between the Battle of Uhud and the Truce of
Hudaibiyah. This was the time when the tiny Islamic State of Madinah had been
hemmed in by the disbelievers and the handful of the ill equipped Muslims were
entrenched against the combined power of entire Arabia. In this state Islam not
only stood in need of the sacrifice of Life from its followers, but it also
needed monetary help and assistance. In this Surah a forceful appeal has been
made for the same. This view is further strengthened by verse 10 in which Allah
has addressed the believers to the effect "Those of you who would spend and
fight after the victory can never be equal to those who have spent and fought
before the victory." And the same is supported by the traditions that Ibn
Marduyah has related on the authority of Hadrat Anas. In respect of the verse:
Alam ya'n-i lilladhina aamanu an takhsha'a qulubu- hum li-dhikrillah-i, he says
that 17 years after the commencement of the revelation of the Qur'an this verse
was sent down to arouse the believers to action. Reckoned thus the period of the
revelation of this Surah falls between the 4th and the 5th year after the hijrah.
Theme and Subject Matter
The theme of this Surah is to
exhort the Muslims to spend in the cause of Allah. At the most critical juncture
of the history of Islam when it was engaged in a life and death struggle against
Arab paganism, this Surah was revealed to persuade the Muslim's to make monetary
sacrifices in particular, and to make them realize that Islam did not merely
consist in verbal affirmation and some outward practices but its essence and
spirit is sincerity towards Allah and His Religion. The faith of the one who was
devoid of this spirit and who regarded his own self and wealth as dearer to
himself than Allah and His Religion, was hollow and therefore of little worth in
the sight of Allah.
For this object, first the attributes of Allah
Almighty have been mentioned so that the listeners may fully realize as to Who
is addressing them. Then, the following themes have been expressed in sequence:
The inevitable demand of the Faith is that one should not shirk spending
one's wealth for the sake of Allah. This would not only be contrary to the Faith
but also wrong realistically. For the wealth indeed belongs to Allah, on which
man has been given proprietary rights only as His vicegerent. Yesterday this
wealth was in other people's possession today it is with one particular man, and
tomorrow it will pass into some one else's hand. Ultimately, it will go back to
Allah, Who is the inheritor of everything in the universe. Only that much of
this wealth will be of any use to a man, which he spends in the cause of Allah
during the period it is in his possession.
Although making sacrifices for
the sake of Allah is commendable in any case, the true worth of these sacrifices
is determined by the nature of the occasion. There is an occasion when the power
of paganism is overwhelming and there is a danger that it might subdue and
overcome Islam completely; there is another occasion when Islam is in a stronger
position in its struggle against un-Islam and the believers are attaining
victories. Both these states are not equal as regards their respective
importance. Therefore, the sacrifices that are made in these different states
would also not be equal. Those who sacrifice their lives and expend their wealth
to further promote the cause of Islam when it is already strong cannot attain to
the rank of those who struggled with their lives and their wealth to promote and
uphold the cause of Islam when it was weak.
Whatever is spent for the
cause of the Truth is a loan on Allah, and Allah will not only return it
increasing it manifold but will also give from Himself the best reward for it.
In the Hereafter the Light shall be bestowed only on those believers who
would have spent their wealth in the cause of Allah. As for the hypocrites who
watched and served only their own interests in the world, and who least bothered
whether the Truth or falsehood prevailed will be segregated from the believers
in the Hereafter although they might have lived in close association with them
in the world. They will be deprived of the Light, and they will be counted among
The Muslims should not behave like those followers of
the earlier Books, whose lives have been. spent in the worship of the world and
whose hearts have become hardened due to negligence with the passage of time. He
cannot be a believer whose heart does not melt at the remembrance of Allah and
does not bow to the Truth sent down by Him.
The sincere upholders of the
Truth and the true witnesses of the Faith in the sight of Allah are only those
believers who spend their wealth in His way sincerely, without any desire of
The life of this world is only a short lived spring and a means of
pride and show. Its sports and pastimes, its adornments and decorations, its
pride of place, its wealth and possessions, for which the people try to vie with
one another, are transient. Its likeness is of the crop which flourishes and
blooms, then turns pale and then finally is reduced to chaff. The everlasting
life is the life hereafter when results of great consequence will be announced.
Therefore, if one has to vie with another for something, one should strive for
Whatever good man meets with and whatever hardship he suffers
in the world, are pre-ordained by Allah. A true believer is he who does not lose
heart in affliction and is not puffed up with pride in good times. It is the
character of a hypocrite and disbeliever that he is puffed up with pride when
Allah favors him with His blessings, behaved boastfully and shows stinginess
when called upon to spend in the cause of the same God Who blessed him, and also
counsels others to be stingy like himself.
Allah sent His Messengers with
clear signs and the Book and the Law of Justice so that the people may adhere to
justice; besides, He sent down iron also so that power may be used to establish
the Truth and vanquish falsehood. Thus, Allah likes to see as to who from among
the people would rise to support and succor His true Religion even at the risk
of their lives. These opportunities Allah has created for man's own advantage
and development; otherwise Allah does not stand in need of others for His works.
Prophets came from Allah in the past, and by their preaching some people
adopted the Right Path, but most of them persisted in wickedness. Then the
Prophet Jesus came, whose teachings brought about many moral improvements in the
lives of the people, but his community invented monasticism. Now Allah has sent
the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be His peace and blessings). Those who affirm
faith in him and pass their life fearing Allah's accountability, will be given
by Allah a double share of His mercy and He will bless them with the Light by
which they will see and walk the straight path among the crooked paths met with
at every step in the life of this world. Although the followers of the earlier
revelation regard themselves as the monopolists of Allah's bounties, the fact
remains that Allah Himself controls His bounties He may bless with these
whomever He pleases.