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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 43 (Zukhruf- Gold) > Section 2 (Verses 16 to 25)



Section/Ruku 2 [Verses 16 to 25]: Polytheism condemned:
Chapter 43: (Zukhruf: Gold)
(Revealed at Makkah: 7 sections; 89 verses)

1. Translation:

16 Or has He taken daughters to Himself of what He creates and chosen you to have sons?

17 And when one of them is given news of that of which he sets up a likeness for the Beneficent, his face becomes black and he is full of rage.

18 Is one decked with ornaments and unable to make plain speech in disputes (a partner with God)?a

19 And they make the angels, who are the servants of the Beneficent, females.a Did they witness their creation? Their evidence will be recorded and they will be questioned.

20 And they say: If the Beneficent had pleased, we should not have worshipped them. They have no knowledge of this; they only lie.

21 Or have We given them a Book before it so that they hold fast to it?

22 Nay, they say: We found our fathers on a course, and surely we are guided by their footsteps.

23 And thus, We sent not before thee a warner in a town, but its wealthy ones said: Surely we found our fathers following a religion, and we follow their footsteps.

24 (The warner) said: And even if I bring to you a better guide than that which you found your fathers following? They said: We surely disbelieve in that with which you are sent.

25 So We exacted retribution from them, then see what was the end of the rejectors!

 2. Commentary:

16a. This subject is also dealt with in 16:57, 58, and 37:149 –153. In the latter place there is clear mention of their calling the angels daughters of God: "Or did We create the angels females, while they witnessed" (37:150). Similar words occur further on in v. 19. The next verse shows how untrue they were to themselves, as they ascribed daughters to God but disliked daughters for themselves. [Back to verse 16]

18a. The reference in this verse is to the idols which were bedecked with ornaments. The inability of the idols to speak is adduced by Abraham as an argument against their divinity (21:63), and the same inability of the idols to answer the prayers of their devotees is advanced as an argument against the divinity of the golden calf (20:89). It should be borne in mind that the two doctrines, taking the angels as daughters of God and worship of female divinities, were in some way connected with each other in the Arab mind. This is not only clear from what is stated here and in 37:149 –153 but also from another early revelation. After mentioning the three female idols Lat, ‘Uzza and Manat, and denouncing their worship (53:19 –23), the Holy Qur’an goes on to speak of the doctrine of the angels being taken as daughters of God (53:27), thus showing the close relation in which the two doctrines stood. [Back to verse 18]

19a. See 4:117a where it is shown that every Arab tribe had its own female divinity. [Back to verse 19]



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Chapter 42: Al-Shura (The Counsel)

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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 43 (Zukhruf- Gold) > Section 2 (Verses 16 to 25)

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