Surah Al-Qalam (68): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Qalam in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Hafiz Ibn Kathir). In the first part you can read surah القلم ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Al-Qalam

Surah Al-Qalam
سُورَةُ القَلَمِ
Page 564 (Verses from 1 to 15)

Listen to Surah Al-Qalam (Arabic and English translation)

Tafsir of Surah Al-Qalam (Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Hafiz Ibn Kathir)

English Translation

Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe,

English Transliteration

Noon waalqalami wama yasturoona

Which was revealed in Makkah

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.


(Nun), is like Allah's saying,


(Sad), and Allah's saying,


(Qaf), and similar to them from the individual letters that appear at the beginning of Qur'anic chapters. This has been dis- cussed at length previously and there is no need to repeat it here.

The Explanation of the Pen Concerning

Allah's statement,


(By the pen) The apparent meaning is that this refers to the actual pen that is used to write. This is like Allah's saying,

اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الاٌّكْرَمُ - الَّذِى عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ - عَلَّمَ الإِنسَـنَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

(Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.) (96:3-5) Therefore, this statement is Allah's swearing and alerting His creatures to what He has favored them with by teaching them the skill of writing, through which knowledge is attained. Thus, Allah continues by saying,

وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ

(and by what they Yastur.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah all said that this means, "what they write." As-Suddi said, "The angels and the deeds of the servants they record." Others said, "Rather, what is meant here is the pen which Allah caused to write the decree when He wrote the decrees of all creation, and this took place fifty-thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth." For this, they present Hadiths that have been reported about the Pen. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Al-Walid bin `Ubadah bin As-Samit that he said, "My father called for me when he was dying and he said to me: `Verily, I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

«إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا خَلَقَ اللهُ الْقَلَمُ فَقَالَ لَهُ: اكْتُبْ، قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ وَمَا أَكْتُبُ؟ قَالَ: اكْتُبِ الْقَدَرَ وَمَا هُوَ كَائِنٌ إِلَى الْأَبَد»

(Verily, the first of what Allah created was the Pen, and He said to it: "Write." The Pen said: "O my Lord, what shall I write" He said: "Write the decree and whatever will throughout eternity.")" This Hadith has been recorded by Imam Ahmad through various routes of transmission. At-Tirmidhi also recorded it from a Hadith of Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi and he (At-Tirmidhi) said about it, "Hasan Sahih, Gharib."

Swearing by the Pen refers to the Greatness of the Prophet

Allah says,

مَآ أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ

(You, by the grace of your Lord, are not insane.) meaning -- and all praise is due to Allah -- `you are not crazy as the ignorant among your people claim. They are those who deny the guidance and the clear truth that you have come with. Therefore, they attribute madness to you because of it.'

وَإِنَّ لَكَ لاّجْراً غَيْرَ مَمْنُونٍ

(And verily, for you will be reward that is not Mamnun.) meaning, `for you is the great reward, and abundant blessings which will never be cut off or perish, because you conveyed the Message of your Lord to creation, and you were patient with their abuse.' The meaning of:

غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ

(not Mamnun) is that it will not be cut off. This is similar to Allah's statement,

عَطَآءً غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ

(a gift without an end.) (11:108) and His statement,

فَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ

(Then they shall have a reward without end.) (95:6) Mujahid said,

غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ

(Without Mamnun) means "Without reckoning." And this refers back to what we have said before.

The Explanation of the Statement: "Verily, You are on an Exalted Character."

Concerning Allah's statement,

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

(And verily, you are on an exalted (standard of) character.) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, "Verily, you are on a great religion, and it is Islam." Likewise said Mujahid, Abu Malik, As-Suddi and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd also said this. Sa`id bin Abi `Arubah reported from Qatadah that he said concerning Allah's statement,

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

(And verily, you are on an exalted (standard of) character.) "It has been mentioned to us that Sa`d bin Hisham asked `A'ishah about the character of the Messenger of Allah , so she replied: `Have you not read the Qur'an' Sa`d said: `Of course.' Then she said: `Verily, the character of the Messenger of Allah was the Qur'an."' `Abdur-Razzaq recorded similar to this and Imam Muslim recorded it in his Sahih on the authority of Qatadah in its full length. This means that he would act according to the commands and the prohibition in the Qur'an. His nature and character were patterned according to the Qur'an, and he abandoned his natural disposition (i.e., the carnal nature). So whatever the Qur'an commanded, he did it, and whatever it forbade, he avoided it. Along with this, Allah gave him the exalted character, which included the qualities of modesty, kindness, bravery, pardoning, gentleness and every other good characteristic. This is like that which has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs that Anas said, "I served the Messenger of Allah for ten years, and he never said a word of displeasure to me (Uff), nor did he ever say to me concerning something I had done: `Why did you do that' And he never said to me concerning something I had not done: `Why didn't you do this' He had the best character, and I never touched any silk or anything else that was softer than the palm of the Messenger of Allah . And I never smelled any musk or perfume that had a better fragrance than the sweat of the Messenger of Allah." Imam Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara' said, "The Messenger of Allah had the most handsome face of all the people, and he had the best behavior of all of the people. And he was not tall, nor was he short." The Hadiths concerning this matter are numerous. Abu `Isa At-Tirmidhi has a complete book on this subject called Kitab Ash-Shama'il. Imam Ahmad recorded that `A'ishah said, "The Messenger of Allah never struck a servant of his with his hand, nor did he ever hit a woman. He never hit anything with his hand, except for when he was fighting Jihad in the cause of Allah. And he was never given the option between two things except that the most beloved of the two to him was the easiest of them, as long as it did not involve sin. If it did involve sin, then he stayed farther away from sin than any of the people. He would not avenge himself concerning anything that was done to him, except if the limits of Allah were transgressed. Then, in that case he would avenge for the sake of Allah." Imam Ahmad also recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ لِأُتَمِّمَ صَالِحَ الْأَخْلَاق»

(I have only been sent to perfect righteous behavior.) Ahmad was alone in recording this Hadith. In reference to Allah's statement,

فَسَتُبْصِرُ وَيُبْصِرُونَ - بِأَيِّكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ

(You will see, and they will see, which of you is afflicted with madness.) then it means, `you will know, O Muhammad -- and those who oppose you and reject you, will know -- who is insane and misguided among you.' This is like Allah's statement,

سَيَعْلَمُونَ غَداً مَّنِ الْكَذَّابُ الاٌّشِرُ

(Tomorrow they will come to know who is the liar, the insolent one!) (54:26) Allah also says,

وَإِنَّآ أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَى هُدًى أَوْ فِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ

(And verily (either) we or you are rightly guided or in plain error.) (34:24) Ibn Jurayj reported from Ibn `Abbas, it means "You will know and they will know on the Day of Judgement." Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas;

بِأَيِّكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ

(Which of you is Maftun (afflicted with madness) means which of you is crazy. This was also said by Mujahid and others as well. The literal meaning of Maftun is one who has been charmed or lured away from the truth and has strayed from it. Thus, the entire statement means, `so you will know and they will know,' or `you will be informed and they will be informed, as to which of you is afflicted with madness.' And Allah knows best. Then Allah says,

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

(Verily, your Lord is the best Knower of him who has gone astray from His path, and He is the best Knower of those who are guided.) meaning, `He knows which of the two groups are truly guided among you, and He knows the party that is astray from the truth.'

English Translation

You are not, [O Muhammad], by the favor of your Lord, a madman.

English Transliteration

Ma anta biniAAmati rabbika bimajnoonin

English Translation

And indeed, for you is a reward uninterrupted.

English Transliteration

Wainna laka laajran ghayra mamnoonin

English Translation

And indeed, you are of a great moral character.

English Transliteration

Wainnaka laAAala khuluqin AAatheemin

English Translation

So you will see and they will see

English Transliteration

Fasatubsiru wayubsiroona

English Translation

Which of you is the afflicted [by a devil].

English Transliteration

Biayyikumu almaftoonu

English Translation

Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has gone astray from His way, and He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided.

English Transliteration

Inna rabbaka huwa aAAlamu biman dalla AAan sabeelihi wahuwa aAAlamu bialmuhtadeena

English Translation

Then do not obey the deniers.

English Transliteration

Fala tutiAAi almukaththibeena

Prohibition of giving in to the Pressure of the Disbelievers and Their Suggestions, and that They like to meet in the Middle of the Path

Allah says, `just as We have favored you and given you the upright legislation and great (standard of) character,'

فَلاَ تُطِعِ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ - وَدُّواْ لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ

(So, do not obey the deniers. They wish that you should compromise with them, so they (too) would compromise with you.) Ibn `Abbas said, "That you would permit them (their idolatry) and they also would permit you (to practice your religion)." Mujahid said,

وَدُّواْ لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ

(They wish that you should compromise with them, so they (too) would compromise with you.) "This means that you should be quiet about their gods and abandon the truth that you are upon." Then Allah says,

وَلاَ تُطِعْ كُلَّ حَلاَّفٍ مَّهِينٍ

(And do not obey every Hallaf (one who swears much) Mahin (liar or worthless person).) This is because the liar, due to his weakness and his disgracefulness, only seeks protection in his false oaths which he boldly swears to while using Allah's Names, and he uses them (false oaths) all the time and out of place (i.e., unnecessarily). Ibn `Abbas said, "Al-Mahin means the liar." Then Allah says,


(A Hammaz, ) Ibn `Abbas and Qatadah both said, "This is slander."

مَّشَّآءِ بِنَمِيمٍ

(going about with Namim,) This refers to the one who goes around among people instigating discord between them and carrying tales in order to corrupt relations between people when they are good and pleasant. It is confirmed in the Two Sahihs that Mujahid reported from Tawus that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah once passed by two graves and he said,

«إِنَّهُمَا لَيُعَذَّبَانِ وَمَا يُعَذَّبَانِ فِي كَبِيرٍ، أَمَّا أَحَدُهُمَا فَكَانَ لَا يَسْتَتِرُ مِنَ الْبَوْلِ، وَأَمَّا الْاخَرُ فَكَانَ يَمْشِي بِالنَّمِيمَة»

(Verily, these two are being punished, and they are not being punished for something major. One of them was not careful about protecting himself from urine (when relieving himself). The other one used to spread Namimah.)" This Hadith has been recorded by the Group in their books through routes of transmission that are all on the authority of Mujahid. Imam Ahmad recorded that Hudhayfah said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

«لَا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ قَتَّات»

(The slanderer will not enter into Paradise.)" This Hadith has been reported by the Group except for Ibn Majah. Concerning Allah's statement,

مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ

(Hinderer of good, transgressor, sinful,) it means, he refuses to give and withholds that which he has of good.


(transgressor,) this means, in attaining that which Allah has made permissible for him, he exceeds the legislated bounds.


(sinful,) meaning, he delves into the forbidden things. Concerning Allah's statement,

عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ زَنِيمٍ

(`Utul, and moreover Zanim.) `Utul means one who is cruel, harsh, strong, greedy and stingy. Imam Ahmad recorded from Al-Harithah bin Wahb that the Messenger of Allah said,

«أَلَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ؟ كُلُّ ضَعِيفٍ مُتَضَعِّفٍ لَوْ أَقْسَمَ عَلَى اللهِ لَأَبَرَّهُ. أَلَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَهْلِ النَّارِ؟ كُلُّ عُتُلَ جَوَّاظٍ مُسْتَكْبِر»

(Shall I inform you of the people of Paradise (They will be) every weak and oppressed person. When he swears by Allah, he fulfills his oath. Shall I inform you of the people of the Fire Every `Utul (cruel person), Jawwaz and arrogant person.) Al-Waki` said, "It (`Utul) is every Jawwaz, Ja`zari and arrogant person." Both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this in their Two Sahihs, as well as the rest of the Group, except for Abu Dawud. All of its routes of transmission are by way of Sufyan Ath-Thawri and Shu`bah who both reported it from Sa`id bin Khalid. The scholars of Arabic language have said that Ja`zari means rude and harsh, while Jawwaz means greedy and stingy. Concerning the word Zanim, Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said concerning the Ayah,

عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ زَنِيمٍ

(`Utul (cruel), and moreover Zanim.) "A man from the Quraysh who stands out among them like the sheep that has had a piece of its ear cut off." The meaning of this is that he is famous for his evil just as a sheep that has a piece of its ear cut off stands out among its sister sheep. In the Arabic language the Zanim is a person who is adopted among a group of people (i.e., he is not truly of them). Ibn Jarir and others among the Imams have said this. Concerning Allah's statement,

أَن كَانَ ذَا مَالٍ وَبَنِينَ - إِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِ ءَايَـتُنَا قَالَ أَسَـطِيرُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ

((He was so) because he had wealth and children. When Our Ayat are recited to him, he says: "Tales of the men of old!") Allah is saying, `this is how he responds to the favors that Allah has bestowed upon him of wealth and children, by disbelieving in Allah's Ayat and turning away from them while claiming that they are a lie that has been taken from the tales of the ancients.' This is similar to Allah's statement,

ذَرْنِى وَمَنْ خَلَقْتُ وَحِيداً - وَجَعَلْتُ لَهُ مَالاً مَّمْدُوداً - وَبَنِينَ شُهُوداً - وَمَهَّدتُّ لَهُ تَمْهِيداً - ثُمَّ يَطْمَعُ أَنْ أَزِيدَ - كَلاَّ إِنَّهُ كان لاٌّيَـتِنَا عَنِيداً - سَأُرْهِقُهُ صَعُوداً - إِنَّهُ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ - فَقُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ - ثُمَّ قُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ - ثُمَّ نَظَرَ - ثُمَّ عَبَسَ وَبَسَرَ - ثُمَّ أَدْبَرَ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ - فَقَالَ إِنْ هَـذَآ إِلاَّ سِحْرٌ يُؤْثَرُ - إِنْ هَـذَآ إِلاَّ قَوْلُ الْبَشَرِ - سَأُصْلِيهِ سَقَرَ - وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا سَقَرُ - لاَ تُبْقِى وَلاَ تَذَرُ - لَوَّاحَةٌ لِّلْبَشَرِ - عَلَيْهَا تِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ

(Leave Me alone (to deal) with whom I created lonely (without any wealth and children etc.). And then granted him resources in abundance. And children to be by his side. And made life smooth and comfortable for him. After all that he desires that I should give more. Nay! Verily, he has been opposing Our Ayat. I shall oblige him to face a severe torment! Verily, he thought and plotted. So let him be cursed, how he plotted! And once more let him be cursed, how he plotted! Then he thought. Then he frowned and he looked in a bad tempered way. Then he turned back, and was proud. Then he said: "This is nothing but magic from that of old, this is nothing but the word of a human being!" I will cast him into Hellfire. And what will make you know what Hellfire is It spares not (any sinner), nor does it leave (anything unburned)! Burning and blackening the skins! Over it are nineteen (angels as keepers of Hell).) 74:11-30 Then Allah said here,

سَنَسِمُهُ عَلَى الْخُرْطُومِ

(We shall brand him on the snout!) Ibn Jarir said, "We will make his matter clear and evident so that they will know him and he will not be hidden from them, just as the branding mark on the snouts (of animals)." Others have said,


(We shall brand him) This is the mark of the people of the Hell-fire; meaning, `We will blacken his face on the Day of Judgement,' and the face has been referred to here as snout.

إِنَّا بَلَوْنَـهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَآ أَصْحَـبَ الْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُواْ لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ - وَلاَ يَسْتَثْنُونَ - فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَآئِفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ - فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ - فَتَنَادَوْاْ مُصْبِحِينَ - أَنِ اغْدُواْ عَلَى حَرْثِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـرِمِينَ - فَانطَلَقُواْ وَهُمْ يَتَخَـفَتُونَ - أَن لاَّ يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّسْكِينٌ - وَغَدَوْاْ عَلَى حَرْدٍ قَـدِرِينَ - فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُواْ إِنَّا لَضَآلُّونَ بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَّكُمْ لَوْلاَ تُسَبِّحُونَ

English Translation

They wish that you would soften [in your position], so they would soften [toward you].

English Transliteration

Waddoo law tudhinu fayudhinoona

English Translation

And do not obey every worthless habitual swearer

English Transliteration

Wala tutiAA kulla hallafin maheenin

English Translation

[And] scorner, going about with malicious gossip -

English Transliteration

Hammazin mashshain binameemin

English Translation

A preventer of good, transgressing and sinful,

English Transliteration

MannaAAin lilkhayri muAAtadin atheemin

English Translation

Cruel, moreover, and an illegitimate pretender.

English Transliteration

AAutullin baAAda thalika zaneemin

English Translation

Because he is a possessor of wealth and children,

English Transliteration

An kana tha malin wabaneena

English Translation

When Our verses are recited to him, he says, "Legends of the former peoples."

English Transliteration

Itha tutla AAalayhi ayatuna qala asateeru alawwaleena