AL-QALAM

The Pen

القلم

Meccan (surah 68 • 52 ayahs)

»The surah that opens with the single discrete Arabic letter Nūn and the oath of the Divine One swearing by the instrument of THE PEN, as well as all knowledge that people are able to preserve and communicate thereby. It takes its name from “the pen” (al-qalam) mentioned in verse 1. The surah deals with the accusation that Muḥammad was not God’s Messenger but merely mad (verse 2 ff.). The arrogance of those who assume that, because they have some of the good things in this life, they can reject the Revelation, is rebutted (verse 10 ff.). Examples are given of those who came to regret their arrogance (verse 17 ff.). The Prophet is urged to remain steadfast (verse 48 ff.).«

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH,

THE ALL-BENEFICENT, THE ALL-MERCIFUL.

1

القرآن:

ن ۚ والقلم وما يسطرون

TRANSLATION:

Nūn.

By the Pen and what they write:

2

القرآن:

ما أنت بنعمة ربك بمجنون

TRANSLATION:

you are not, by your Lord’s blessing, crazy,

3

القرآن:

وإن لك لأجرا غير ممنون

TRANSLATION:

and yours indeed will be an everlasting reward,

4

القرآن:

وإنك لعلى خلق عظيم

TRANSLATION:

and indeed you possess a great character.

5

القرآن:

فستبصر ويبصرون

TRANSLATION:

You will see and they will see,

6

القرآن:

بأييكم المفتون

TRANSLATION:

which one of you is crazy.

7

القرآن:

إن ربك هو أعلم بمن ضل عن سبيله وهو أعلم بالمهتدين

TRANSLATION:

Indeed your Lord knows best

those who stray from His way,

and He knows best those who are guided.

8

القرآن:

فلا تطع المكذبين

TRANSLATION:

So do not obey the deniers,

9

القرآن:

ودوا لو تدهن فيدهنون

TRANSLATION:

who are eager that you should be pliable,

so that they may be pliable [towards you].

10

القرآن:

ولا تطع كل حلاف مهين

TRANSLATION:

And do not obey any vile swearer,

11

القرآن:

هماز مشاء بنميم

TRANSLATION:

scandal-monger, talebearer,

12

القرآن:

مناع للخير معتد أثيم

TRANSLATION:

hinderer of all good, sinful transgressor,

13

القرآن:

عتل بعد ذلك زنيم

TRANSLATION:

callous and, on top of that, baseborn,

14

القرآن:

أن كان ذا مال وبنين

TRANSLATION:

—[only] because he has wealth and children.

15

القرآن:

إذا تتلى عليه آياتنا قال أساطير الأولين

TRANSLATION:

When Our signs are recited to him,

he says, ‘Myths of the ancients!’

16

القرآن:

سنسمه على الخرطوم

TRANSLATION:

Soon We shall brand him on the snout.

17

القرآن:

إنا بلوناهم كما بلونا أصحاب الجنة إذ أقسموا ليصرمنها مصبحين

TRANSLATION:

Indeed we have tested them1

just as We tested the People of the Garden

when they vowed they would gather its fruit

at dawn,

That is, the people of Makkah, through famine and hunger.

18

القرآن:

ولا يستثنون

TRANSLATION:

and they did not make any exception.1

That is, for Allah’s will, by saying, for instance, ‘God willing.’ See 18:24.

19

القرآن:

فطاف عليها طائف من ربك وهم نائمون

TRANSLATION:

Then a visitation from your Lord visited it1

while they were asleep.

That is, the garden.

20

القرآن:

فأصبحت كالصريم

TRANSLATION:

So by the dawn it was like a harvested field.1

Or ‘like a sand dune,’ or ‘like a gloomy night,’ or ‘like black ashes.’

21

القرآن:

فتنادوا مصبحين

TRANSLATION:

At dawn they called out to one another,

22

القرآن:

أن اغدوا على حرثكم إن كنتم صارمين

TRANSLATION:

‘Get off early to your field

if you have to gather [the fruits].’

23

القرآن:

فانطلقوا وهم يتخافتون

TRANSLATION:

So off they went, murmuring to one another:

24

القرآن:

أن لا يدخلنها اليوم عليكم مسكين

TRANSLATION:

‘Today no needy man shall come to you in it.’

25

القرآن:

وغدوا على حرد قادرين

TRANSLATION:

They set out early morning,

[considering themselves] able to grudge.

26

القرآن:

فلما رأوها قالوا إنا لضالون

TRANSLATION:

But when they saw it, they said,

‘We have indeed lost our way!’

27

القرآن:

بل نحن محرومون

TRANSLATION:

‘No, we are deprived!’

28

القرآن:

قال أوسطهم ألم أقل لكم لولا تسبحون

TRANSLATION:

The most moderate among them said,

‘Did I not tell you,

“Why do you not glorify [Allah]?” ’

29

القرآن:

قالوا سبحان ربنا إنا كنا ظالمين

TRANSLATION:

They said, ‘Immaculate is our Lord!

We have indeed been wrongdoers!’

30

القرآن:

فأقبل بعضهم على بعض يتلاومون

TRANSLATION:

Then they turned to one another,

blaming each other.

31

القرآن:

قالوا يا ويلنا إنا كنا طاغين

TRANSLATION:

They said, ‘Woe to us!

Indeed we have been rebellious.

32

القرآن:

عسى ربنا أن يبدلنا خيرا منها إنا إلى ربنا راغبون

TRANSLATION:

Maybe our Lord will give us a better one in its place.

Indeed we turn earnestly to our Lord.’

33

القرآن:

كذلك العذاب ۖ ولعذاب الآخرة أكبر ۚ لو كانوا يعلمون

TRANSLATION:

Such was the punishment;

and the punishment of the Hereafter is surely greater,

had they known.

34

القرآن:

إن للمتقين عند ربهم جنات النعيم

TRANSLATION:

Indeed for the Godwary

there will be gardens of bliss near their Lord.

35

القرآن:

أفنجعل المسلمين كالمجرمين

TRANSLATION:

Shall We, then, treat those who submit [to Us]

as [We treat] the guilty?

36

القرآن:

ما لكم كيف تحكمون

TRANSLATION:

What is the matter with you? How do you judge!

37

القرآن:

أم لكم كتاب فيه تدرسون

TRANSLATION:

Do you possess a scripture in which you read

38

القرآن:

إن لكم فيه لما تخيرون

TRANSLATION:

that you shall indeed have in it1

whatever you would like?

That is, in the next world.

39

القرآن:

أم لكم أيمان علينا بالغة إلى يوم القيامة ۙ إن لكم لما تحكمون

TRANSLATION:

Do you have a pledge binding on Us

until the Day of Resurrection,

that you shall indeed have whatever you decide?

40

القرآن:

سلهم أيهم بذلك زعيم

TRANSLATION:

Ask them, which of them will aver [any of] that!

41

القرآن:

أم لهم شركاء فليأتوا بشركائهم إن كانوا صادقين

TRANSLATION:

Do they have any partners [they ascribe to Allah]?

Then let them produce their partners,

if they are truthful.

42

القرآن:

يوم يكشف عن ساق ويدعون إلى السجود فلا يستطيعون

TRANSLATION:

The day when the catastrophe occurs,1

and they are summoned to prostrate themselves,

they will not be able [to do it].

Literally, ‘when the shank is uncovered,’ an idiom implying the occurrence of a calamity, or a disclosure and denouement.

43

القرآن:

خاشعة أبصارهم ترهقهم ذلة ۖ وقد كانوا يدعون إلى السجود وهم سالمون

TRANSLATION:

With a humbled look [in their eyes],

they will be overcast by abasement.

Certainly they were summoned to prostrate themselves

while they were yet sound.

44

القرآن:

فذرني ومن يكذب بهذا الحديث ۖ سنستدرجهم من حيث لا يعلمون

TRANSLATION:

So leave Me with those who deny this discourse.

We will draw them imperceptibly [into ruin],

whence they do not know.

45

القرآن:

وأملي لهم ۚ إن كيدي متين

TRANSLATION:

I will grant them respite,

for My devising is indeed sure.

46

القرآن:

أم تسألهم أجرا فهم من مغرم مثقلون

TRANSLATION:

Do you ask them for a reward,

so that they are weighed down with debt?

47

القرآن:

أم عندهم الغيب فهم يكتبون

TRANSLATION:

Do they possess [access to] the Unseen

so that they write it down?

48

القرآن:

فاصبر لحكم ربك ولا تكن كصاحب الحوت إذ نادى وهو مكظوم

TRANSLATION:

So submit patiently to the judgement of your Lord,

and do not be like the Man of the Fish1

who called out as he choked with grief.

That is, Jonah. See 21:87.

49

القرآن:

لولا أن تداركه نعمة من ربه لنبذ بالعراء وهو مذموم

TRANSLATION:

Had it not been for a blessing that came to his rescue

from his Lord,

he would surely have been cast on a bare shore

while he were blameworthy.

50

القرآن:

فاجتباه ربه فجعله من الصالحين

TRANSLATION:

So his Lord chose him

and made him one of the righteous.

51

القرآن:

وإن يكاد الذين كفروا ليزلقونك بأبصارهم لما سمعوا الذكر ويقولون إنه لمجنون

TRANSLATION:

Indeed the faithless almost devour you

with their eyes

when they hear the Reminder,

and they say, ‘He is indeed crazy.’

52

القرآن:

وما هو إلا ذكر للعالمين

TRANSLATION:

Yet it is just a reminder for all the nations.

Source:al-quran.info


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