View Printable Version :: Email to a Friend
Sūrah Qalam
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)



Sūrah Qalam forms a pair with Sūrah Mulk the previous sūrah with regard to the subject discussed in them: In Sūrah Mulk, the Quraysh have been warned of the Day of Judgement while in Sūrah Qalam they have been warned of the punishment which a nation necessarily faces in case it denies the Prophet (sws) directly assigned to it.

Addressees of the Sūrah

Though the Prophet (sws) has also been addressed at various places in this sūrah, yet a little deliberation shows that in all places it is actually directed at the Quraysh.

Period of Revelation

It is evident from the subjects discussed in it that it was revealed in Makkah during the phase of Inzār of the Prophet's mission.

Central Theme

By comparing the Book presented by the Prophet (sws) and the character of the Prophet (sws) with the presumptive notions of the Quraysh and character of its leaders, the Quraysh have been warned that the rebellious and arrogant attitude adopted by them against the Book and Prophet of Allah have made all their treasured possessions and estates vulnerable to punishment. They should be sensible for they have nothing to say. They are only indulging in idle talk because they are being given respite by the Almighty: it shall not be long before His decree arrives. 

At the end of the surah, the Prophet (sws) has been directed to patiently wait for this decree.


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.

This is Sūrah Nūn1. The pen bears witness2 [in the scriptures written by it] and [this Qur’ān also] which [now] these [scribes are] writing [by it] that you are not, by the grace of your Lord, possessed, and indeed for you is a reward unending, and verily you are of a lofty character3. So it shall not be long before you shall see and they shall also see which of you has been led away4. Verily, your Lord only best knows those who have strayed from His path and those who are rightly guided. (1-7)

So, give no heed to these disbelievers. They desire that you be flexible, then they will also be flexible. And heed not [among them every person who is] swearer of false oaths, despicable, maker of evil gestures, who goes about sowing seeds of dissension, forbidder of good, transgressor, usurper of rights, cruel and moreover is rootless5. This is so because he has wealth and children6. When Our revelations are recited to him he cries out ‘These are but tales of the ancients’7. [He thinks that he has a big nose. Listen! you shall see that] on this snout will We brand him8. (8-16)

We have tried them just as We tried the owners of the orchard when they vowed that they would surely pluck the fruit of their orchard in the morning and would not leave anything [for the poor and the needy]. Then whilst they were asleep a mover from your Lord moved through it [O Prophet!] in such a manner that [their blossoming orchard] became like a crop harvested. So at daybreak they called out to one another ‘Go early in the morning to your plantation if you are to pick its fruit’. Then off they went whispering to one another ‘No needy person should set foot in this [orchard] today’. And they proceeded very excitedly [to their destination] thinking that everything was under their control. But when they saw it, they cried out ‘Surely we have lost our way; in fact, we have been ruined’. Said the most upright among them ‘Did I not tell you: ‘why do you not glorify the Lord?’’. They cried out ‘Glory be to our Lord; verily it is we who were the wrong-doers’. Then they started blaming one another. ‘Woe to us’ they cried. ‘We have been great transgressors. Perhaps our Lord will give us in its place something better than it. To Him do we [now] turn [in repentance].’ [O people of Makkah! you are denying this Prophet. So take heed] in such a way shall the punishment come, and the punishment of the Hereafter shall be much greater than this if they only knew.9 (17-33)

For those, however, who fear [this punishment] there are gardens of bliss with their Lord. [You reckon that this would never be. So] are We to deal with those who submit to Us as We deal with those who transgress? What is the matter with you? What is this judgement you have made?10 Have you a scripture in which you read that you will have there whatever you desire? Or have you a covenant with Us binding till the Day of Judgement that you will have what you yourselves ordain? Ask if any of them will take responsibility of this? Do they have some associates11 [who will take this responsibility]? Let them produce these associates if what they say be true. (34-41)

[No, they have nothing to say]. They must remember the day when a great tumult will take place and they will be called to bow in adoration and they will not be able to do so.12 Downcast shall be their looks; ignominy shall cover them. [These wrongdoers! their backs have now become stiff whilst] they also used to be called to bow in adoration when they were normal. (42-43)

So [now] leave Me with those who are denying this Message. We will lead them step by step [to their ruin] from a place they know not. I am giving them respite [O Prophet! so that they can do all what they can]. Truly powerful is My scheme. (44-45)

[Why don’t they listen]? Are you demanding some payment from them so that they are burdened with its cost? Or is it that they have knowledge of the Unseen [that they only will be successful in the Hereafter and] that they are writing it down? [No, nothing of this sort], so [O Prophet!] with perseverance wait for the judgement of your Lord and [with regard to your nation] be not like the companion of the fish [Jonah]13 when he called in anguish [from the belly of the fish]. If [at that time] had not the favour of His Lord found him, he [as a result of his hastiness] would have been cast in disgrace in the [very] wilderness in which [the fish had ejaculated him]. [But then he repented] so His Lord chose him [once again] and placed him among the righteous. (46-50) 

[So persevere O Prophet! in the way of Allah] and [persevere in spite of the fact that] these disbelievers when they hear this Reminder [from you], it seems will almost stumble you with their eyes and say ‘He is surely possessed’. Yet it is only a reminder to all mankind. (51-52)







1. Nūn is the sūrah's name. Those who are aware of the history of the Arabic alphabet know that it has been derived from Hebrew, which itself has its roots in the alphabet which was in use in ancient Arabia. The letters of this parent alphabet, like the Chinese alphabet, symbolise certain meanings and certain objects and usually assume the shape of the objects or meanings they convey. The letter nūn denotes its ancient meaning of a fish, and the sūrah is called so because the Prophet Jonah (sws) has been addressed in it as Sāhib al-Hut, that is he who is swallowed by a fish.

2. The various oaths mentioned in the Qur’ān are meant to present an evidence which substantiates a claim. The muqsim bihi (object of oath) serves as an evidence for the point made in the muqsim alaih (complement of oath), which sometimes is stated just after the muqsim bihi and at other times is suppressed when it is too obvious to be expressed. In this particular sūrah, the object of oath is the first verse, while the next three verses form the complement of oath.

3. The object of oath -- all the divine scriptures including the Qur’ān -- vouch for the Prophet's unimpeachable character as well as for the fact that his reward shall be a lasting one. (For example see Mathew 21:16-18; John 14:7-13, 14:16-17, 14:26, 14:30 and Revelation 19:11-16). It must be kept in consideration that the leaders of the Quraysh had no answer to the forceful arguments presented by the Prophet (sws); they reckoned that the only way in which they could tone down his ever increasing influence on the masses was to besmear his character and integrity. The Qur’ān here dismisses their allegations as baseless so that the common man is not misled by the propaganda of the leaders.

4. A note of assurance to the Prophet (sws) that every person shall be rewarded according to his deeds since the Almighty is well aware of them.

5. This is a mention of the character of the Quraysh's leadership, in contrast with that of the Prophet (sws). The word rootless (zanīm) here signifies that there are some who pretend to be from among the Quraysh, whereas actually they belong to some other clan. They are in fact slaves of inferiority complex, only trying to be more faithful to the clan than the members of the clan themselves.

6. Abundance in wealth and children is the root cause of this character.

7. Instead of answering the arguments put forward by the Qur’ān they take refuge in this comment.

8. A mention of the punishment which the Quraysh shall soon face in this world because of their arrogance and haughtiness. The word snout has been metaphorically used for the nose of the conceited leadership of the Quraysh as a whole. A person having his nose in the air actually has actually turned it into a snout. The Qur’ān says that this snout shall soon be branded with ignominy.

9. This parable is meant to warn the Quraysh that the wealth and riches they possess today have been given to them by the Almighty. They must acknowledge this Divine favour and be grateful to the Almighty. If they do not do so they shall be loose all their riches and will have to face a grievous penalty. The punishment referred to here is the one which a nation necessarily encounters if it denies the Prophet directly assigned to it.

10. The universe is filled with evidence that it has been created by a just and prudent creator. It would be totally against justice if the believers and disblievers are to meet the same fate. The questions subsequently asked by the Qur’ān point to the fact that such a claim on the part of the disbelieversers is totally averse to reason and intellect.

11. That is associates in Godhead.

12. They shall be commanded to prostrate themselves before the Almighty so that their own body vouches for their arrogance making their punishment a perfect act of justice.

13. The Prophet (sws) has been urged to keep on doing the job of preaching entrusted to him in spite of the fact that his nation is persisting in denying him. He must not leave his nation like Jonah (sws) until and unless he is divinely ordained to do so.

For Questions on Islam, please use our

Replica Handbags Bottega Veneta fake Bvlgari fake Celine fake Christian Dior fake Gucci fake Gucci Bag fake Gucci Wallet fake Gucci Shoes fake Gucci Belt fake Hermes fake Loewe fake Louis Vuitton fake Louis Vuitton Belt fake Louis Vuitton Calf Leather fake Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Damier Graphite Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Damier Infini Leather fake Louis Vuitton Damier Quilt lamb fake Louis Vuitton Embossed Calfskin fake Louis Vuitton Epi fake Louis Vuitton Game On Monogram Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Jewellery fake Louis Vuitton Key Holder fake Louis Vuitton Mahina Leather fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Denim fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Eclipse Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Empreinte fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Seal fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Shadow fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Watercolor fake Louis Vuitton New Wave fake Louis Vuitton Shoes fake Louis Vuitton Since 1854 fake Louis Vuitton Strap fake Louis Vuitton Taiga Leahter fake Louis Vuitton Taurillon leather fake Louis Vuitton Transformed Game On canvas fake Louis Vuitton Utah Calfskin fake Louis Vuitton X Supreme fake Mulberry fake Prada fake YSL fake