Surah Taa-Haa (20): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Taa-Haa in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah طه 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 Taa-Haa

Surah Taa-Haa
سُورَةُ طه
Page 312 (Verses from 1 to 12)

Listen to Surah Taa-Haa (Arabic and English translation)

Tafsir of Surah Taa-Haa (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

Ta, Ha.

English Transliteration

Taha

Commentary

طه (Ta-Ha) Many Commentators have assigned different meanings to this word. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ thinks it means یا رجُل (0 man! ) while according to Ibn ` Umar ؓ it means یا حبیبی (0 my Dear! ). It is also suggested that طه and یٰسین are the names of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . However the most obvious explanation is the one given by Sayyidna Abu Bakr ؓ and the majority of scholars, namely that like many other isolated letters appearing at the beginning of several chapters of the Qur’ an (such as الٓمٓ), this word is also among the مُتَشابِھَات mysteries whose meaning is known only to Allah Ta’ ala.

English Translation

We have not sent down to you the Qur\'an that you be distressed

English Transliteration

Ma anzalna AAalayka alqurana litashqa

مَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْ‌آنَ لِتَشْقَىٰ (We did not reveal the Qur'an to you to [ make you ] face hardship - 20:2) The word لِتَشْقَىٰ is derived from شقاء which means pain and distress. In the early days of Islam when the Qur'an was first revealed, the Holy Prophet ﷺ and his Companions ؓ used to spend whole nights in prayers and in reciting the Qur'an, as a result of which his feet used to get swollen due to standing for long hours in the prayers. Whereas during day time he would worry himself on how to bring light to the infidels in order that they should accept the teachings of the Qur’ an. This verse seeks to lessen the burden of long hours of prayers by informing the Holy Prophet ﷺ that the Qur’ an was not revealed to inflict toil and hardship on him and that it was not expected of him to stay awake the whole night reciting the Qur'an. Thereafter, the Holy Prophet ﷺ adopted a routine by which he rested in the early hours of the night and would get up later to offer the salah of tahajjud.

This verse also suggests that the duty of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is merely to convey the Message of Allah Ta` ala to the unbelievers, and thereafter he need not concern himself as to who accepted the Message and who did not.

English Translation

But only as a reminder for those who fear [Allah] -

English Transliteration

Illa tathkiratan liman yakhsha

إِلَّا تَذْكِرَ‌ةً لِّمَن يَخْشَىٰ (Rather to remind him who has the fear - 20:3). Ibn Kathir has narrated that in the early days following the revelation of the Qur'an while the believers spent whole nights in prayers, the infidels mocked and taunted them that the revelation of the Qur'an brought nothing to them but hardship, allowing them no rest and peace. In this verse, Allah Ta’ ala says that these wretched and miserable people cannot sense that the Qur'an and the knowledge communicated through it can bring only blessings and felicity. This fact is not appreciated by them because they are ignorant and misguided. In a Hadith which has been related by Sayyidna Mu` awiyah ؓ " the Holy Prophet ﷺ said, "When Allah intends to reward a person, He gives him the correct perception of religion". (Sahihain)

Here Imam Ibn Kathir has recorded another authentic Hadith which has been related by Tabarani from Tha'labah Ibn Al-Hakam and which will be good news for the learned people:

قال رسول اللہ ﷺ : یقول اللہ تعالیٰ للعلماء یوم القیامۃ اذا قعد علی کرسیّہ لقضاء عبادہٖ : انّی لم اجعل علمی و حکمتی فیکم الّا و اناارید ان اغفر لکم علی ما کان منکم ولا ابالی (ابن کثیر ص 141 ج 3)

The Holy Prophet ﷺ said, "On the Day of Judgment when Allah will ascend His Kursiyy (Chair) to pronounce judgment on the actions of His servants He will tell the learned people that He had placed His knowledge and wisdom in their hearts for the sole reason that He wished to forgive them in spite of their failings, and that these matters were of no concern to Him."

It is evident that in this Hadith the reference to learned people applies to those only who possess the fear of Allah Ta` ala which is a sure sign of Qur’ anic knowledge.

English Translation

A revelation from He who created the earth and highest heavens,

English Transliteration

Tanzeelan mimman khalaqa alarda waalssamawati alAAula

English Translation

The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established.

English Transliteration

Alrrahmanu AAala alAAarshi istawa

عَلَى الْعَرْ‌شِ اسْتَوَىٰ (Positioned Himself on the Throne - 20:5): About these words the truth is what the majority of the early scholars have held that the exact nature of 'Istiwa" (positioning) is not known to anybody. It is included in 'Mutashabihat' (the verses meaning of which is unknown). A Muslim has to believe that Istiwa’ ‘Ala-Al-` Arsh' (positioning on the Throne) is true, the nature of which must be in accordance with the high attributes of Allah, but nobody can comprehend it in this world.

English Translation

To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth and what is between them and what is under the soil.

English Transliteration

Lahu ma fee alssamawati wama fee alardi wama baynahuma wama tahta alththara

وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَ‌ىٰ (And whatever is beneath the soil - 20:6). (ثرٰی) (soil) means wet earth which comes out after digging upto a certain depth. Human knowledge does not go beyond) and what is beneath it is known only to Allah. Some years back scientists and researchers, using the latest and the most sophisticated instruments, spent considerable time and effort to pierce across the centre of the earth. According to newspaper reports they were able to penetrate upto a depth of six miles only after which they came across a rock casing and all their efforts to bore further down failed. Scientists were able to collect data only upto six miles, while the diameter of the earth covers thousands of miles. One has to admit, therefore, that the knowledge of what is below the soil is a special attribute of Allah.

English Translation

And if you speak aloud - then indeed, He knows the secret and what is [even] more hidden.

English Transliteration

Wain tajhar bialqawli fainnahu yaAAlamu alssirra waakhfa

يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ‌ وَأَخْفَى (Knows the secret and what is even more hidden - 20:7). سِرّ (Sirr: Secret) means something which a man hides in his heart and which is not known to anyone else and ) اخفٰی (what is more hidden) means a thought which has not even formed in his mind and will take shape later on. Allah is fully aware of what ideas a man conceals in his heart at a particular moment and what thoughts he will entertain in the future, while the person concerned himself does not know what thoughts will come to his mind in the days to come.

English Translation

Allah - there is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names.

English Transliteration

Allahu la ilaha illa huwa lahu alasmao alhusna

English Translation

And has the story of Moses reached you? -

English Transliteration

Wahal ataka hadeethu moosa

Commentary

وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ (And has there come to you the story of Musa? - 20:9) In the earlier verses, reference was made to the greatness of the Qur’ an and also to the reverence due to the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Thereafter, the story of Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) has been related so that the Holy Prophet ﷺ should become fully aware of the trials and tribulations which afflict the prophets in the discharge of their missions, and which were rendered with courage and fortitude by the earlier prophets. This was to prepare the Holy Prophet ﷺ for the great mission which was entrusted to him. There is another verse which conveys the same sense:

وَكُلًّا نَّقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ الرُّ‌سُلِ مَا نُثَبِّتُ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ

"And We narrate to you everything from the events of the messengers with which We strengthen your heart." (11:120)

It means that these stories are narrated to prepare you (the Holy Prophet ﷺ) and make you strong to undertake the responsibilities of the mission.

The story of Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) which is related here begins like this. At Madyan he stayed with Sayyidna Shu` aib (علیہ السلام) with the understanding that he would serve the latter for a period of eight or ten years. According to Tafsir Al-Bahr ul-Muhit, after the expiry of this period he sought the permission of Sayyidna Shu` aib (علیہ السلام) to proceed to Egypt to see his mother and sister. He had fled earlier from Egypt fearing capture or death by the soldiers of the Pharaoh but this danger had now passed through the lapse of so many years. Sayyidna Shu'aib (علیہ السلام) willingly gave the permission and sent him away, with his wife (who was the latter's daughter). He also gave him some money and a few articles which they might use during their journey. Since he was apprehensive of the hostility of some of the rulers in Syria, he adopted a less frequented route. It was winter season and his pregnant wife was very close to confinement. The route which he had taken was unfamiliar to him, and he lost his bearings. He came out to the west, i.e. the right side of the mount of Tur.

It was a dark and cold night and to add to the misery, his wife began to experience birth pangs. He tried to strike fire with flint but did not succeed. In this state of utter confusion he saw light on the Tur mountain which, in fact, was the Nur (the light symbolizing the truth). So he said to his family, "I have noticed fire. I am going there to bring for you a live coal and I may also find someone who could tell me the way to Egypt." The presence of his wife on the journey is well established. According to some traditions there was a servant with him who is also addressed. Others say that there were some other companions also who were separated when they lost their way. (Al-Bahr ul-Muhit)

English Translation

When he saw a fire and said to his family, "Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance."

English Transliteration

Ith raa naran faqala liahlihi omkuthoo innee anastu naran laAAallee ateekum minha biqabasin aw ajidu AAala alnnari hudan

English Translation

And when he came to it, he was called, "O Moses,

English Transliteration

Falamma ataha noodiya ya moosa

فَلَمَّا أَتَاهَا (So when he came to it - 20:11): means that he approached the fire which he had seen from a distance. Musnad by Ahmad, on the authority of Wahb Ibn Munabbih (رح) reports that when Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) drew near the fire he saw a very strange scene. A fire was blazing on a green tree without scorching even a leaf or a branch. On the other hand the flame added manifold to the beauty and the freshness of the tree. He stood there quite a while watching this strange sight waiting for a chance to pick up a piece of burning wood. At last he collected some dry grass and tried to light it but as soon as he pushed the grass towards the fire, it retracted. It is also related that the fire advanced towards him and he drew back in consternation. Consequently he was unable to collect any fire. And as he stood, not knowing what to do, a mysterious voice called him. This happened in a plain called Tuwa which was to his right side and at the foot of this mountain.

English Translation

Indeed, I am your Lord, so remove your sandals. Indeed, you are in the sacred valley of Tuwa.

English Transliteration

Innee ana rabbuka faikhlaAA naAAlayka innaka bialwadi almuqaddasi tuwan

نُودِيَ يَا مُوسَىٰ إِنِّي أَنَا رَ‌بُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ (He was called, "0 Musa, it is Me, your Lord, remove your shoes - 20:11, 12). It is related in Al-Bahr ul-Muhit, Ruh ul-Ma` ani and other books that the voice which Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) heard appeared to come from all directions and not from any particular direction. At the same time the manner in which the voice reached his perception was most extraordinary, because it was heard not only through his ears but by the entire body. This, indeed, was a miracle!

What the voice said was that the light that he saw was not fire but a particular kind of divine manifestation. And the voice said, "Surely I am your Lord". The question arises: how did Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) know that it was the voice of Allah Ta` ala? The answer is that Allah Ta` ala had created in his heart the conviction that the voice which he heard was really the voice of Allah Ta` ala. Then there was the circumstance that the fire, instead of burning the tree added to its beauty and luster. Also the manner in which the voice was perceived by all the parts of his body and not only by his ears, were all factors which left no doubt in his mind that the voice he heard was really the voice of Allah Ta` ala.

Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) learned the words of Allah directly

It is mentioned in a report of Wahb mentioned in Ruh ul-Ma` ani on the authority of Musnad by Alhmad that when the mysterious voice called him "0 Musa!", he replied, "I hear the voice 0 Allah! But I do not know from where it comes. Where are you, 0 Allah?" And Allah Ta’ ala said, "I am above you in front of you, to your right and your left. Indeed I am all around you." Then Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) said, "0 Allah, do I hear these words from you directly or through an angel sent by You?" And Allah Ta` ala said, "I myself am speaking to you." According to Ruh, ul-Ma` ani this proves that Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) heard this کلام لفظی (spoken words) directly from Allah Ta` ala. There is a sect among the Sunnis who believe that کلام لفظی (spoken words) can also be heard.

To take off shoes at a sacred place is an act of respect

فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ :(Remove your shoes - 20:12). The command to take off shoes was given because it was a sacred place and it was necessary to take off shoes to show it proper respect. Another reason for this command may be that since shoes are made from the hides of dead animals, they should be removed when entering upon sacred places. Sayyidna ` Ali ؓ ، Hasan al-Basri and Ibn Juraij رحمۃ اللہ علیہما have supported the first explanation and reasoned that the real purpose in commanding Sayyidna Musa علیہ السلامٍ to remove his shoes was that the soles of his feet should come into contact with the soil of this hallowed place and be blessed thereby. Others have said that by this command Sayyidna Musa (علیہ السلام) was required to show humility and in earlier times devout and pious believers used to take off their shoes when circumambulating around the Holy Ka'bah.

There is a Hadith that when the Holy Prophet ﷺ once saw Bashir Ibn Khasasia walking through the graves with his shoes on, said:

اذا کنت فی مثل ھٰذا المکان فاخلع نعلیک

"When you pass by a place which needs to be respected, take off your shoes."

All the jurists are unanimous that if the shoes are clean they may be worn when offering prayers and it is established by authentic reports that the Holy Prophet ﷺ and his companions often wore clean shoes when saying prayers. But their common practice appears to be of removing the shoes when saying prayers, because it is closer to humility.

إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى (You are in the sacred valley of Tuwa - 20:12): Allah, in his Divine Wisdom, has granted special status to some selected places such as Baitullah (the Holy Ka'bah), the Aqsa Mosque, Masjid Nabawi etc. Wadi Tuwa (the valley of Tuwa) is also one such sacred place and is situated at the foot of the mount of Tur.

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