Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation
1. Nun. By the Pen and the (Record) which (men) write,-
art not, by the Grace of thy Lord, mad or possessed.
3. Nay, verily for
thee is a Reward unfailing:
4. And thou (standest) on an exalted standard
5. Soon wilt thou see, and they will see,
of you is afflicted with madness.
7. Verily it is thy Lord that knoweth
best, which (among men) hath strayed from His Path: and He knoweth best those
who receive (true) Guidance.
8. So hearken not to those who deny (the
9. Their desire is that thou shouldst be pliant: so would they be
10. Heed not the type of despicable men,- ready with oaths,
11. A slanderer, going about with calumnies,
hindering (all) good, transgressing beyond bounds, deep in sin,
Violent (and cruel),- with all that, base-born,-
14. Because he possesses
wealth and (numerous) sons.
15. When to him are rehearsed Our Signs,
"Tales of the ancients", he cries!
16. Soon shall We brand (the beast) on
17. Verily We have tried them as We tried the People of the
Garden, when they resolved to gather the fruits of the (garden) in the morning.
18. But made no reservation, ("If it be Allah.s Will").
there came on the (garden) a visitation from thy Lord, (which swept away) all
around, while they were asleep.
20. So the (garden) became, by the
morning, like a dark and desolate spot, (whose fruit had been gathered).
21. As the morning broke, they called out, one to another,-
22. "Go ye to
your tilth (betimes) in the morning, if ye would gather the fruits."
So they departed, conversing in secret low tones, (saying)-
24. "Let not
a single indigent person break in upon you into the (garden) this day."
25. And they opened the morning, strong in an (unjust) resolve.
when they saw the (garden), they said: "We have surely lost our way:
"Indeed we are shut out (of the fruits of our labour)!"
28. Said one of
them, more just (than the rest): "Did I not say to you, 'Why not glorify
29. They said: "Glory to our Lord! Verily we have been doing
30. Then they turned, one against another, in reproach.
31. They said: "Alas for us! We have indeed transgressed!
32. "It may be
that our Lord will give us in exchange a better (garden) than this: for we do
turn to Him (in repentance)!"
33. Such is the Punishment (in this life);
but greater is the Punishment in the Hereafter,- if only they knew!
Verily, for the Righteous, are Gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their
35. Shall We then treat the People of Faith like the People of Sin?
36. What is the matter with you? How judge ye?
37. Or have ye a book
through which ye learn-
38. That ye shall have, through it whatever ye
39. Or have ye Covenants with Us to oath, reaching to the Day of
Judgment, (providing) that ye shall have whatever ye shall demand?
Ask thou of them, which of them will stand surety for that!
41. Or have
they some "Partners" (in Allah.ead)? Then let them produce their "partners", if
they are truthful!
42. The Day that the shin shall be laid bare, and they
shall be summoned to bow in adoration, but they shall not be able,-
Their eyes will be cast down,- ignominy will cover them; seeing that they had
been summoned aforetime to bow in adoration, while they were whole, (and had
44. Then leave Me alone with such as reject this Message: by
degrees shall We punish them from directions they perceive not.
(long) respite will I grant them: truly powerful is My Plan.
46. Or is it
that thou dost ask them for a reward, so that they are burdened with a load of
47. Or that the Unseen is in their hands, so that they can write
48. So wait with patience for the Command of thy Lord, and be
not like the Companion of the Fish,- when he cried out in agony.
not Grace from his Lord reached him, he would indeed have been cast off on the
naked shore, in disgrace.
50. Thus did his Lord choose him and make him
of the Company of the Righteous.
51. And the Unbelievers would almost
trip thee up with their eyes when they hear the Message; and they say: "Surely
he is possessed!"
52. But it is nothing less than a Message to all the
This Surah is called Nun as well as Al-Qalam, the words with which it begins.
Period of Revelation
This too is one of the earliest
surahs to be revealed at Makkah, but its subject matter shows that it was sent
down at the time when opposition to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) had
grown very harsh and tyrannical.
Theme and Subject Matter
It consists of three themes: Replies to the opponents objections, administration
of warning and admonition to them, and exhortation to the Holy Prophet (upon
whom be peace) to patience and constancy.
At the outset, the Holy Prophet
has been addressed, to the effect: "The disbelievers call you a madman whereas
the Book that you are presenting and the sublime conduct that you practice, are
by themselves sufficient to refute their false accusations. Soon they will see
as to who was mad and who was sane; therefore, do not at all yield to the din of
opposition being kicked up against you, for all this is actually meant to cow
you and make you resort to a compromise with them."
Then, in order to
enlighten the common people the character of a prominent man from among the
opponents, whom the people of Makkah fully well recognized, has been presented,
without naming him: At that time, the Holy Prophet's pure and sublime conduct
was before them, and every discerning eye could also see what sort of character
and morals were possessed by the chiefs of Makkah, who were leading the
opposition against him.
Then, in vv. 17-33, the parable of the owners of
a garden has been presented, who after having been blessed by Allah turned
ungrateful to Him, and did not heed the admonition of the best man among them
when it was given them. Consequently, they were deprived of the blessing and
they realized this, when all they had lay devastated. With this parable the
people of Makkah have been warned to the effect: "With the appointment of the
Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to Prophethood, you, O people of Makkah, too,
have been put to a test similar to the one to which the owners of the garden had
been put. If you do not listen to him, you too will be afflicted with a
punishment in the world, and the punishment of the Hereafter is far greater."
Then, in vv. 34-47 continuously, the disbelievers have been admonished, in
which the address sometimes turns to them directly and sometimes they are warned
through the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace). A summary of what has been said
in this regard, is this: Well being in the Hereafter inevitably belongs to those
who spend their lives in the world in full consciousness of God. It is utterly
against reason that the obedient servants should meet in the Hereafter the same
fate as the guilty. There is absolutely no basis of the disbelievers
misunderstanding that God will treat them in the manner they choose for
themselves, whereas they have no guarantee for this. Those who are being called
upon to bow before God in the world and they refuse to do so, would be unable to
prostrate themselves on the Day of Resurrection even if they wanted to do so,
and thus would stand disgraced and condemned. Having denied the Qur'an they
cannot escape Divine punishment. The rein they are being given, has deluded
them. They think that since they are not being punished in spite of their
denial, they must be on the right path, whereas they are following the path of
ruin. They have no reasonable ground for opposing the Messenger, for he is a
preacher without any vested interest: he is not asking any reward of them for
himself, and they cannot either make the claim that they know with certainty
that he is not a true Messenger, nor that what he says is false.
conclusion, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has been exhorted to the
effect:"Bear with patience the hardships that you may have to face in the way of
preaching the Faith till Allah's judgment arrives, and avoid the impatience
which caused suffering and affliction to the Prophet Jonah (peace be on him)."