In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ
(35:1) All praise be to Allah, the Fashioner of the heavens and earth, Who
appointed angels1 as His message bearers, having two, three, four
wings.2 He adds to His creation whatever He pleases.3
Verily Allah has power over everything.
اَ لۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰهِ فَاطِرِ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ جَاعِلِ الۡمَلٰٓٮِٕكَةِ
رُسُلًا اُولِىۡۤ اَجۡنِحَةٍ مَّثۡنٰى وَثُلٰثَ وَرُبٰعَ ؕ يَزِيۡدُ فِى الۡخَـلۡقِ
مَا يَشَآءُ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ
(35:2) Whatever Mercy Allah accords to people, none can withhold; and whatever
He withholds, no other will be able to release after Him.4 He is
Most Mighty, Most Wise.5 مَا يَفۡتَحِ اللّٰهُ لِلنَّاسِ مِنۡ رَّحۡمَةٍ فَلَا مُمۡسِكَ لَهَا ۚ وَمَا
يُمۡسِكۡ ۙ فَلَا مُرۡسِلَ لَهٗ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِه ؕ وَهُوَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡحَكِيۡمُ
(35:3) O people, remember Allah's favour upon you.6 Is there any
creator, apart from Allah, who provides you your sustenance out of the heavens
and earth? There is no god but He. Whither are you, then, being misdirected?7 يٰۤاَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اذۡكُرُوۡا نِعۡمَتَ اللّٰهِ عَلَيۡكُمۡؕ هَلۡ مِنۡ خَالِـقٍ
غَيۡرُ اللّٰهِ يَرۡزُقُكُمۡ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالۡاَرۡضِؕ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَۖ
(35:4) (O Prophet), (there is nothing novel in it) if they cry lies to you;8Messengers
before you were also cried lies to. To Allah shall all matters be sent back.9 وَاِنۡ يُّكَذِّبُوۡكَ فَقَدۡ كُذِّبَتۡ رُسُلٌ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِكَؕ وَاِلَى اللّٰهِ
(35:5) O people, assuredly Allah's promise is true.10 So let the
life of the world not delude you,11 and let not the Deluder delude
you concerning Allah.12 يٰۤـاَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اِنَّ وَعۡدَ اللّٰهِ حَقٌّ فَلَا تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الۡحَيٰوةُ
الدُّنۡيَاوَلَا يَغُرَّنَّكُمۡ بِاللّٰهِ الۡغَرُوۡرُ
(35:6) Surely Satan is an enemy to you. Therefore, do take him as an enemy.
He calls his followers to his way so that they may be among the inmates of the
اِنَّ الشَّيۡطٰنَ لَـكُمۡ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوۡهُ عَدُوًّا ؕ اِنَّمَا يَدۡعُوۡا
حِزۡبَهٗ لِيَكُوۡنُوۡا مِنۡ اَصۡحٰبِ السَّعِيۡرِؕ
(35:7) A severe chastisement lies in store for those that disbelieve,13
but there is pardon and a great reward for those that believe and work righteous
deeds.14 اَ لَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ شَدِيۡدٌ ؕ وَّالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوۡا
الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَهُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَةٌ وَّاَجۡرٌ كَبِيۡرٌ
.1 This can have two meanings:
(1) That these angels perform the service of communicating messages between
Allah and His Prophets.
(2) That it is the duty of these angels to convey and enforce the commands
of Allah Almighty throughout the universe.
The object is to impress this truth: The position of the angels whom the
polytheists have made their gods and goddesses is no more than of obedient servants
of Allah, the One. Just as the servants of a king run about for the implementation
of his orders, so do these angels fly about in the service of the real Sovereign
of the Universe. These servants have no authority of their own; All powers rest
with Allah, Who is the real Sovereign.
2. We have no means of knowing what is the nature of the wings of these angels.
But when Allah has used this word, which in human language is used for the wings
of birds, instead of any other words, to express and depict the truth, one can
certainly conclude that this very word of our language is nearest to the actual
meaning. The mention of two and three and four pairs of the wings shows that
different angels have been granted different degrees of powers by Allah. They
have been equipped with different powers of speed and efficiency as demanded
by the nature of service for which they arc employed.
3. These words show that the number of the wings of the angels is restricted
to four, but Allah has provided some angels with more wings than four. According
to a Hadith related by Abdullah bin Masud, the Prophet (peace be upon him) once
saw the Angel Gabriel with six hundred wings. (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi). Aishah
relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had seen Gabriel twice in his real
form: he had six hundred wings and had covered the entire horizon (Tirmidhi).
4. This is also meant to remove the misunderstanding of the polytheists, who
believed that from among the servants of Allah, someone gave them the provision,
someone the children and someone health to their patients. All these superstitions
of shirk are baseless, and the pure truth is just that whatever of mercy reaches
the people, reaches to them only through Allah Almighty’s bounty and grace.
No one else has the power either to bestow it or to withhold it. This theme
has been expressed at many places in the Quran and the Ahadith in different
ways so that man may avoid the humiliation of begging at every door and at every
shrine and may realize that making or marring of his destiny is in the power
of One Allah alone and of none else.
5. “He is the All-Mighty”: He is dominant and the owner of Sovereignty: none
can stop His judgments from being enforced. Also “He is All-Wise”: every act
of His is based on wisdom. When He gives somebody something He gives because
it is demanded by wisdom, and when He withholds something from somebody, He
withholds it because it would be against wisdom to give it.
6. “Remember Allah’s favor upon you”: Do not be ungrateful: do not forget
that whatever you have, has been given by Allah. In other words, this sentence
is meant to warn that whoever worships other than Allah, or regards a blessing
as a favor done by other than Allah, or thanks other than Allah for a favor
received, or prays to other than Allah for the grant of a blessing, is ungrateful.
7. There is a subtle gap between the first and the second sentence, which
is being filled by the context itself. To understand this, one may visualize
the scene like this: The polytheists are being addressed. The speaker asks the
audience: “Is there another creator beside Allah, who might have created you,
and might be arranging provisions for you from the earth and heavens?” After
this question the speaker waits for the answer. But there is no reply from anywhere.
No one replies that there is another one beside Allah, who is their creator
and sustainer. This by itself shows that the audience also believe that there
is none beside Allah, who could be their creator and sustainer. Then the speaker
says: “If so, then He alone can also be the Deity and no one else. How have
you been so deceived? Why have you taken these others as your deities, when
Allah alone is your Creator and Sustainer?”
8. “If they deny”: If they do not believe that there is no one worthy of worship
but Allah, and accuse you of having made a false claim to Prophethood.
9. That is, it is not for the people to give the verdict that whomsoever they
call a liar should in fact become a liar. The judgment rests with Allah. He
shall in the end decide who was the liar, and shall bring the real liars to
their evil end.
10. “The promise” implies the promise of the Hereafter to which allusion was
made in the preceding sentence, saying: “And to Allah return all matters.”
11. “Let not deceive you”: Deceive you that the world is an end in itself:
that there is no Hereafter when one will have to render an account of one’s
deeds: or that even if there is the Hereafter, the one who is enjoying life
here will enjoy life there, too.
12. “Great deceiver”: Satan, as is evident from the next sentence. And “deceive
you concerning Allah” means:
(1) That he should make some people believe that Allah does not exist at
(2) Involve others in the misunderstanding that Allah after having once created
the world, has retired and has now practically nothing to do with the universe
(3) Delude others into believing that Allah no doubt is running the universe,
but He has taken no responsibility of providing guidance to man: therefore,
revelation and prophethood are a mere deception.
(4) Give still others the false hope that since Allah is All- Forgiving and
All-Merciful. He will forgive one whatever sins one might have committed, and
that He has some beloved ones too: if one remains attached to them, success
and salvation are assured.
13. “Those who disbelieve”: those who will refuse to believe in this invitation
of Allah’s Book and His Messenger.
14. That is, Allah will overlook their errors and will reward them for their
good deeds not merely with what they will just deserve but much more richly