Quran English Translation & Commentary

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Surah Al Quraysh

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Introduction and Summary

This Makkan Surah may well be considered as a pendant to the last. If the Quraysh were fond of Makkah and proud of it, if they profited, by its central position and its guaranteed security, from their caravans of trade and commerce, let them be grateful, adore the One True God, and accept His Message.

C.286 (The running Commentary, in Rhythmic Prose)

Who gave the Quraysh their talents for the arts

Of peace, for trade and commerce, and for journeys

South and north at proper seasons.

And made their home inviolable in Makkah?

Surely they, if any, should adore their Lord

And listen to His Message of Unity and Truth.

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

لِإِيلَافِ قُرَيْشٍ ﴿١﴾

1.For the covenants (of security and safeguard enjoyed) by the Quraysh,

C6276. The Quraysh were the noblest tribe of Arabia, the tribe to which belonged the holy Prophet himself. They had the custody of the Ka'bah, the central shrine of Arabia, and their possession of Makkah gave them a triple advantage:

1.they had a commanding influence over other tribes;

2.their central position facilitated trade and intercourse, which gave them both honour and profit; and

3.the Makkah territory being by Arabian custom inviolable from the ravages of war and private feuds, they had a secure position, free from fear of danger.

This honour and advantage they owed to their position as servants of the sacred shrine of the Ka'bah. They owed it to Allah. Was it not therefore right and fitting that they should adore the One True God, and listen to His Message of Unity and Purity, brought by His Prophet?

In those days of general insecurity, their prestige as custodians of Makkah enabled them to obtain Covenants of security and safeguard from the rulers of neighbouring countries on all sides-Syria, Persia, Yemen, and Abyssinia-protecting their trade journey in all seasons.

إِيلَافِهِمْ رِحْلَةَ الشِّتَاء وَالصَّيْفِ ﴿٢﴾

2.Their covenants (covering) journeys by winter and summer --

C6277. See last note, especially section (2).

On account of their trade journeys to the warmth of Yemen in the winter and the cooler regions of Syria and the north in the summer, the Quraysh became practised travellers and merchants, acquired much knowledge of the world and perfected their language as a polished medium of literary expression.

فَلْيَعْبُدُوا رَبَّ هَذَا الْبَيْتِ ﴿٣﴾

3.Let them adore the Lord of this House,

C6278. The Ka'bah.

الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ ﴿٤﴾

4.Who provides them with food against hunger, and with security against fear (of danger).

C6279. Their trade caravans enriched them, and drew people from distant parts to visit Makkah and bring their merchandise and gifts thither.

C6280. Their territory being inviolable, they did not suffer from the dangers of constant warfare nor from private feuds of vengeance or breaches of the peace in their secure homes.


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