Chapter Scripts

Surah Al-Ahqaf 46:1-10

In The Name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace.

46:1 Ha Mim.


See Appendix II.

46:2 The bestowal from on high of this divine writ issues from God, The Almighty, The Wise.


Regarding the expression “in accordance with [an inner] truth”, see note 11 on 10:5. The reference to the “term” set by God to all creation is meant to stress the fact of its finality in time as well as in space, in contrast with His Own timelessness and infinity.

46:3 We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them otherwise than in accordance with [an inner] truth, and for a term set [by Us], and yet, they who are bent on denying the truth turn aside from the warning which has been conveyed unto them.


Lit., “from that whereof they have been warned”: i.e., they refuse to heed the warning not to attribute divine qualities to any being or force beside God.

46:4 Say “Have you [really] given thought to what it is that you invoke instead of God? Show me what these [beings or forces] have created anywhere on earth! Or had they, perchance, a share in [creating] the heavens? [If so] bring me any divine writ preceding this one, or any [other] vestige of knowledge – if what you claim is true!”


Sc., “in support of your claim that there are other divine powers besides God”.

46:5 And who could be more astray than one who invokes, instead of God, such as will not respond to him either now or on the Day of Resurrection, and are not even conscious of being invoked?

Lit., “will not respond to him till the Day of Resurrection”, i.e., never.

46:6 Such as, when all mankind is gathered [for judgment], will be enemies unto those [who worshipped them], and will utterly reject their worship?


For this symbolic “enmity” of all false objects of worship, see note 13 on 35:14

46:7 But whenever Our messages are conveyed to them in all their clarity, they who are bent on denying the truth speak thus of the truth as soon as it is brought to them “This is clearly nothing but spellbinding eloquence!” 


Lit., “sorcery”: see note 12 on 74:24, where the term sihr has been used, chronologically, for the first time in the above sense. As in that early instance, the truth referred to here is the message of the Qur’an.

46:8 Or do they say, “He has invented all this”? Say [O Muhammad], “Had I invented it, you would not be of the least help to me against God. He is fully aware of that [slander] into which you so recklessly plunge, enough is He as a witness between me and you! And [withal] He Alone is Truly-Forgiving, A True Dispenser of Grace.”


Sc., “then why should I have invented all this for your sake?”

46:9 Say “I am not the first of [God’s] apostles, and [like all of them] I do not know what will be done with me or with you” for I am nothing but a plain warner.”


The implication is, “May God forgive you, and grace you with His guidance” (Zamakhshari).

46:10 Say “Have you given thought [to how you will fare] if this be truly [a revelation] from God and yet you deny its truth? – even though a witness from among the children of Israel has already borne witness to [the advent of] one like himself, and has believed [in him], the while you glory in your arrogance [and reject his message]? Verily, God does not grace [such] evildoing folk with His guidance!”


Thus Tabari, Baghawi, Razi, Ibn Kathir, implying – as Razi stresses – “I am but a human being like all of God’s message-bearers who preceded me”. Alternatively, the phrase may be rendered as “I am no innovator among the apostles” – i.e., “I am not preaching anything that was not already preached by all of God’s apostles before me” (Razi and Baydawi): which coincides with the Qur’anic doctrine of the identity of the ethical teachings propounded by all of God’s prophets.

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