Quran Chapter 43 [part 1] - Ornaments of Gold - Errors of the Disbelieving Meccans, Only One God
A Meccan sura named after the gold ornaments mentioned in verse 35, and alluded to again in verse 53: in both instances God is refuting the claim of the disbelievers that a true prophet would be rich. The fact that the angels are not God’s daughters but His obedient servants is emphasized again and again (cf. verses 15–20, 60). Similarly, the idea that Jesus could be the son of God is clearly denied (verses 57–9).
In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy
Errors of the Disbelieving Meccans
1 Ha Mim
2 By the Scripture that makes things clear, 3 We have made it a Quran in Arabic so that you [people] may understand. 4 It is truly exalted in the Source of Scripture [a] kept with Us, and full of wisdom.
5 Should We ignore you and turn this revelation away from you because you are insolent people? 6 We have sent many a prophet to earlier people 7 and they mocked every one of them, 8 so We have destroyed mightier people than [the disbelievers of Mecca] and their example has gone down in history. 9 If you [Prophet] ask them, ‘Who created the heavens and earth?’ they are sure to say, ‘They were created by the Almighty, the All Knowing.’ 10 It is He who smoothed out the earth for you and traced out routes on it for you to find your way, 11 who sends water down from the sky in due measure––We resurrect dead land with it, and likewise you will be resurrected from the grave–– 12 who created every kind of thing, who gave you ships and animals to ride on 13 so that you may remember your Lord’s grace when you are seated on them and say, ‘Glory be to Him who has given us control over this; we could not have done it by ourselves. 14 Truly it is to our Lord that we are returning.’
15 Yet they assign some of His own servants to Him as offspring! [b] Man is clearly ungrateful! 16 Has He taken daughters for Himself and favored you with sons? 17 When one of them is given news of the birth of a daughter, such as he so readily ascribes to the Lord of Mercy, his face grows dark and he is filled with gloom– 18 ‘Someone who is brought up amongst trinkets, who cannot put together a clear argument?’ [c] 19 They consider the angels– God’s servants– to be female. Did they witness their creation? Their claim will be put on record and they will be questioned about it.
20 They say, ‘If the Lord of Mercy had willed it, we would not have worshipped them,’ but they do not know that– they are only guessing– 21 or have We perhaps given them a book before this one, to which they hold fast? 22 No indeed! They say, ‘We saw our fathers following this tradition; we are guided by their footsteps.’ 23 Whenever We sent a messenger before you to warn a township, those corrupted by wealth said, in the same way, ‘We saw our fathers following this tradition; we are only following in their footsteps.’ 24 The messenger said, ‘Even though I bring you a truer religion than what you saw your fathers following?’ and they replied, ‘But we do not believe the message you bring.’ 25 We punished them: think about how those who rejected the Truth met their end.
There is Only One God
26 Abraham said to his father and his people, ‘I renounce what you worship. 27 I worship only Him who created me, and it is He who will guide me,’ 28 and he bequeathed these words to his descendants so that they might return [to God].
29 I have let these people and their fathers enjoy long lives, and now I have given them the Truth and a messenger to make things clear– 30 yet when the Truth came to them, they said, ‘This is sorcery. We do not believe in it,’ 31 and they said, ‘Why was this Quran not sent down to a distinguished man, from either of the two cities?’ [d] 32 Are they the ones who share out your Lord’s grace? We are the ones who give them their share of livelihood in this world and We have raised some of them above others in rank, so that some may take others into service: your Lord’s grace is better than anything they accumulate. 33 If it were not that all mankind might have become a single nation [of disbelievers], We could have given all those who disbelieve in the Lord of Mercy houses with roofs of silver, sweeping staircases to ascend, 34 massive gates, couches to sit on, 35 and golden ornaments. All of these are mere enjoyments of this life; your Lord reserves the next life for those who take heed of Him. 36 We assign an evil one as a comrade for whoever turns away from the revelations of the Lord of Mercy: 37 evil ones bar people from the right path, even though they may think they are well guided. 38 When such a person comes to Us, he will say [to his comrade], ‘If only you had been as far away from me as east is from west. What an evil comrade!’ 39 [It will be said to them], ‘You have done wrong. Having partners in punishment will not console you today.’
40 Can you [Prophet] make the deaf hear? Or guide either the blind or those who are in gross error? 41 Either We shall take you away and punish them– indeed We will– 42 or We shall let you witness the punishment We threatened them with; We have full power over them. 43 Hold fast to what has been revealed to you– you truly are on the right path– 44 for it is a reminder [e] for you and your people: you will all be questioned.
a. Literally ‘mother of Scripture’, identified with the ‘Preserved Tablet’. Cf. 13: 39; 85: 22.
b. The Meccan pagans considered the angels to be daughters of God, yet they were dismissive of their own daughters.
c. This was the pre-Islamic opinion. One poet boasted that he was inspired by a male, rather than a female, shaytan.
d. Mecca or Ta'if, the two main cities of the region.
e. Dhikr can mean ‘renown’ or ‘reminder’:
The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)
The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.