Chapter Scripts

Surah Az-Zumar 39:61-70

39:61 But God will safeguard all who were conscious of Him, [and will grant them happiness] by virtue of their [inner] triumphs, no evil shall ever touch them, and neither shall they grieve.


Cf. 2:167 and 26:102, as well as 6:27-28 and the corresponding note 19.

39:62 God is the Creator of all things, and He alone has the power to determine the fate of all things.


The phrase iswadda wajhuhu (lit., “his face became black” or “dark”) is used idiomatically to describe a face expressive of grief or ignominy (cf. 16:58), just as its opposite, ibyadda wajhuhu (lit., “his face became white” or “shining”) describes a countenance expressive of happiness or justified pride: cf. 2:106 – “some faces will shine [with happiness] and some faces will be dark [with grief]”. Apart from this, both phrases have also a tropical significance, namely, “he became [or “felt”] disgraced”, resp. “honored”. – As regards the “inventing of lies about God” spoken of in this verse, see note 37 above.

39:63 His are the keys [to the mysteries] of the heavens and the earth, and they who are bent on denying the truth of God’s messages – it is they, they, who are the losers!


See note 38 on the last sentence of verse 32 of this surah.

39:64 Say “Is it, then, something other than God that you bid me to worship, O you who are unaware [of right and wrong]?”


For the meaning of the term wakil in this context, see note 4 on 17:2.

39:65 And yet, it has already been revealed to thee [O man] as well as to those who lived before thee, that if thou ever ascribe divine powers to aught but God, all thy works shall most certainly have been in vain, for [in the life to come] thou shalt most certainly be among the lost.


i.e., “it has been conveyed to thee through the divine messages revealed to the prophets”. The assumption of almost all the classical commentators that this passage is addressed to Muhammad does not make much sense in view of God’s knowledge that neither he nor any of the prophets who came before him would ever commit the deadly sin (referred to in the sequence) of “ascribing divine powers to aught beside God”. On the other hand, the above reminder becomes very cogent and relevant as soon as it is conceived as being addressed to man in general, irrespective of time and circumstance.

39:66 Nay, but thou shalt worship God [alone], and be among those who are grateful [to Him]!


i.e., the whole universe is as nothing before Him: for this specific allegory of God’s Almightiness, see 21:104. There are many instances, in the Qur’an as well as in authentic ahadith, of the clearly metaphorical use of the term “hand” in allusions to God’s absolute power and dominion. The particular reference, in the above, to the Day of Resurrection is due to the fact that it will be only on his own resurrection that a human being shall fully grasp the concept of God’s Almightiness; referred to in the subsequent words, “limitless is He in His glory” (subhanahu)”.

39:67 And no true understanding of God have they [who worship aught beside Him], in as much as the whole of the earth will be as a [mere] handful to Him on Resurrection Day, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand, limitless is He in His glory, and sublimely exalted above anything to which they may ascribe a share in His Divinity!


As is evident from 27:89, the above is an allusion to the unbroken spiritual life in this world – and, therefore, happiness in the hereafter – of those who have attained to faith and have done righteous deeds. Cf. 21:103 – “the supreme awesomeness [of the Day of Resurrection] will cause them no grief”.

39:68 And [on that Day] the trumpet [of judgment] will be sounded, and all [creatures] that are in the heavens and all that is on the earth will fall down senseless unless they are such as God wills [to exempt]. And then it will sound again – and lo! standing [before the Seat of Judgment], they will begin to see [the truth]!


Cf. 37:19.

39:69 And the earth will shine bright with her Sustainer’s light. And the record [of everyone’s deeds] will be laid bare, and all the prophets will be brought forward, and all [other] witnesses and judgment will be passed on them all in justice. And they will not be wronged. 


i.e., with a clear revelation of His will. See also 14:48, where it is stated that on Resurrection Day “the earth shall be changed into another earth, as shall be the heavens”. A further allusion to this transformation (and not annihilation) of the universe is found in 20:105-107.

39:70 For every human being will be repaid in full for whatever [good or evil] he has done, and He is fully aware of all that they do.


Cf. 17:13-14 (and the corresponding note 18); also 18:49.


The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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