Surah al-Qalam, Chapter 68

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful

Verses 1 – 33

ن ۚ وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ {1}

1. Noon. By you (oh Prophet) and the Pen of Light and the plate of record of all events which are therein.

مَا أَنْتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ {2}

2. You are not by the grace of your Providence mad (as they, infidels, impute).

وَإِنَّ لَكَ لَأَجْرًا غَيْرَ مَمْنُونٍ {3}

3. And verily for yu is an endless reward (for your equisit patience).

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ {4}

4. And verily you bear a highly (enviable) character.

فَسَتُبْصِرُ وَيُبْصِرُونَ {5}

5. Shortly you shall see and they too shall realize,

بِأَيْيِكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ {6}

6. as to who is mad.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ {7}

7. Verily your Providence is better aware as towho is misguided and who is on His way, and He is best at knowing the guided.

فَلَا تُطِعِ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ {8}

8. So you need not listen to the falsifiers.

وَدُّوا لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ {9}

9. They desire leniency on your part to be inclined to you.1

وَلَا تُطِعْ كُلَّ حَلَّافٍ مَهِينٍ {10}

10. Do no yield to dirgraceful falsifiers.

هَمَّازٍ مَشَّاءٍ بِنَمِيمٍ {11}

11. Talebearers who on carring tales.

مَنَّاعٍ لِلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ {12}

12. Barring virtues and transgressing in sins.

عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ زَنِيمٍ {13}

13. Tyrant and a bastard to boot.

أَنْ كَانَ ذَا مَالٍ وَبَنِينَ {14}

14. Revelling in propetrty and sons.2

إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ آيَاتُنَا قَالَ أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ {15}

15. Whenever Our Couplets are being read out to him he says these are stories of old.

سَنَسِمُهُ عَلَى الْخُرْطُومِ {16}

16. Shortly shall We leave a (permanent) mark on his nose.3

إِنَّا بَلَوْنَاهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَا أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُوا لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ {17}

17. Verily shall We punish him4 as We did the owners of a garden, when they swore to cut down its produce by early morning

وَلَا يَسْتَثْنُونَ {18}

18. without making an exception (under charity).

فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَائِفٌ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ {19}

19. Came a disaster from your Providence while they were asleep.

فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ {20}

20. And turned it barren.

فَتَنَادَوْا مُصْبِحِينَ {21}

21. They called out (one another) in the morning.

أَنِ اغْدُوا عَلَىٰ حَرْثِكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَارِمِينَ {22}

22. They went early morning to their garden, if you are to cut it (in the absence of the needy).

فَانْطَلَقُوا وَهُمْ يَتَخَافَتُونَ {23}

23. Le us go, whispering among ourselves.

أَنْ لَا يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِسْكِينٌ {24}

24. So none of the needy may approach you.

وَغَدَوْا عَلَىٰ حَرْدٍ قَادِرِينَ {25}

25. They started early morning when they were bent upon their evil intentions.5

فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُوا إِنَّا لَضَالُّونَ {26}

26. When they say it, they could not recognizeit and thought they were misled.

بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ {27}

27. Rather, we are disappointed in our resolution.6

قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ لَوْلَا تُسَبِّحُونَ {28}

28. The intelligent among them remarked, “Did not I warn you? Why do you not be gragteful?7

قَالُوا سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ {29}

29. They pleaded, “Oh our Creator, verily we have sinned.”

فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَلَاوَمُونَ {30}

30. Then they turned towards one another blaming (for an ill-advice).

قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا طَاغِينَ {31}

31. They said, “Woe to us, we have been trangressors.

عَسَىٰ رَبُّنَا أَنْ يُبْدِلَنَا خَيْرًا مِنْهَا إِنَّا إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا رَاغِبُونَ {32}

32. “May God, in the future exchange the barren plot with something better and verily have we directed ourselves to carry out Divine commands.”

كَذَٰلِكَ الْعَذَابُ ۖ وَلَعَذَابُ الْآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ {33}

33. This is the punishment8 and Eternal punishment (being everlasting) and is mightier.9


Sins are at war with reason and conscience. We are hungry, they offer us bread but it is poisoned, we are thirsty and they offer us drink, but is from a deadly fountain. They may often satisfy us for the moment but it is death in the end. It is only the bread of Heaven and water of life which can so satisfy, which we shall hunger no more and thirst no more, i.e. Divine provision through Divine Lights.

Sins reduce provision by catastrophe. The private and personal blessings we enjoy of immunity, safeguard, liberty, integrity deserve the thanksgiving of a whole life.

If one should give me a dish of sand and tell me there are particles of iron in it, I might look out for them in vain with my clumsy fingers and be unable to detect them, but let me have a magnet to sweep through it, and how would it draw to itself the almost invisible particles by the mere power of attraction. The unthankful heart, like my finters in sand, discovers no sins, but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet find iron, so will it find on every hour some Heavenly blessings. Only the iron in God’s sand is gold.

Verses 34 – 52

إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ {34}

34. Those who are mindful of their Lord will be rewarded with gardens of bliss.

أَفَنَجْعَلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ كَالْمُجْرِمِينَ {35}

35. Shall We equalize supplicants with culprits?

مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ {36}

36. What’s up with you? How do you decide?

أَمْ لَكُمْ كِتَابٌ فِيهِ تَدْرُسُونَ {37}

37. Have you a text, wherein you find such instructions,

إِنَّ لَكُمْ فِيهِ لَمَا تَخَيَّرُونَ {38}

38. or have you a right to choose what you like.

أَمْ لَكُمْ أَيْمَانٌ عَلَيْنَا بَالِغَةٌ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۙ إِنَّ لَكُمْ لَمَا تَحْكُمُونَ {39}

39. Have you a covenant with Us to function until the Day of Reckoning, upon which you do so, in which you should get what you order.

سَلْهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ بِذَٰلِكَ زَعِيمٌ {40}

40. Ask them who is responsible for all this?

أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ فَلْيَأْتُوا بِشُرَكَائِهِمْ إِنْ كَانُوا صَادِقِينَ {41}

41. Havethey associates bring them forth, if they are true?

يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَنْ سَاقٍ وَيُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ {42}

42. The day We shall expose their actual condition and when they shall be ordered to prostrate (owing to their being insincere in the world) they will fail.

خَاشِعَةً أَبْصَارُهُمْ تَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌ ۖ وَقَدْ كَانُوا يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ وَهُمْ سَالِمُونَ {43}

43. Their ehyes will be fear stricken, looking down in disgrace, they were ordered to prostration in the world (when they failed) in spite of being sound (in mind and body).

فَذَرْنِي وَمَنْ يُكَذِّبُ بِهَٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ ۖ سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ {44}

44. Leave him to Me, who is falsifying the text.

وَأُمْلِي لَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ كَيْدِي مَتِينٌ {45}

45. I shall try them and My trial is highly intricate.

أَمْ تَسْأَلُهُمْ أَجْرًا فَهُمْ مِنْ مَغْرَمٍ مُثْقَلُونَ {46}

46. Do you ask any reward (for the transmission of the mission) which they find hard to pay as a tax?

أَمْ عِنْدَهُمُ الْغَيْبُ فَهُمْ يَكْتُبُونَ {47}

47. Or have they any secret new document which they are recording?

فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلَا تَكُنْ كَصَاحِبِ الْحُوتِ إِذْ نَادَىٰ وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌ {48}

48. Wait until issue of your Providence’s command and be not impatient like Jonah when he cried unto Us in excitement.

لَوْلَا أَنْ تَدَارَكَهُ نِعْمَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ لَنُبِذَ بِالْعَرَاءِ وَهُوَ مَذْمُومٌ {49}

49. Had not his Providence’s mercy given His support, He would have thrown him in the forest without vegetation in disgrace.

فَاجْتَبَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَجَعَلَهُ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ {50}

50. But his Providence selected him and included him among the virtuous.

وَإِنْ يَكَادُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَيُزْلِقُونَكَ بِأَبْصَارِهِمْ لَمَّا سَمِعُوا الذِّكْرَ وَيَقُولُونَ إِنَّهُ لَمَجْنُونٌ {51}

51. It was near the infidels, by their evil eyes would have injured you, when they heard you reading the Qur’an and said verily he is mad.

وَمَا هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِلْعَالَمِينَ {52}

52. That is nothing but an advice to the entire world.


1. Before sinning, state its justification for not being condemned, sanctification for its reign, and glorification for its existence.

2. Most sins begin with the eyes, by them, commonly, Satan creeps into the heart. Man can never be in safety which has not covenanted with his eyes.

3. The wages which sin bargains for with the sinner are life, pleasure and profit, but the wages is p ays from are death, torment, and destruction to understand the falsehood and deceit of sin, we must compare its promises and payment together.

  • 1. By tolerating their idolatry.
  • 2. Valid ibne Mugaira is referred.
  • 3. Which he received in the Battle of Badr.
  • 4. For his sins by reduction of provision.
  • 5. Not to give anything out of it to the needy.
  • 6. To get the entire benefit by disallowing beggars’ share therein.
  • 7. To God for having granted you prosperous produce by reserving the share of the needy?
  • 8. For disobedience in the world, which is frail.
  • 9. Both in intensity and in duration, would they understand?