1: Allah Almighty the Generous, Ever-guiding, Ever-living, All-knowing
All-seeing has said.
2: This is a narration of the bounties which your Rabb had bestowed on His devotee Zachariah.
3: It so happened that Zachariah addressed his Rabb in a low submissive tone (3:37);
4: And said, "O my Rabb. I am growing weak on account of my old age and my head glistens with grey hair. Until now it has never happened that I have asked for something from you, my Rabb, and it has not been granted. (Therefore I earnestly hope that this prayer in my old age will also be granted graciously).
5-6: (As I am old and) My wife is barren (and there is no chance of my getting any offspring). (I am thus apprehensive that) There is no one amongst my kinsfolk who is capable of carrying on the (dignified and distinguished characteristics of the) house of Jacob. (I also fear that these may be lost and continuity may be disturbed). So O my Rabb, out of your grace, grant me an heir who will be capable, worthy and deserving in all respects; so that I may entrust this heritage to his care.
7: (We heard his prayers and said) O Zachariah, We give you the good news of a son. When he is born he should be named Yahya (John). This boy will be very outstanding; and there has been none like him before (in your clan). (19:65)
8: Zachariah (was extremely happy on receiving the good news, but when he thought of the physical handicap, for his personal satisfaction1 he sought further clarification and) said, "O my Rabb. How can I have a child when my wife has always been barren and I have become utterly infirm through old age. (Will that child be born to my own family or will I adopt someone else's son, like Mary who is being brought up by me - 3:39).
9: (His Rabb answered) "(No) The child will be born as your own son; just as children are born (to other people). Reviving the potential of having children naturally, even in old age, is quite easy according to My Laws. I brought you into existence, although previously there was no trace of you".
10: Zachariah said, "O my Rabb! Let me know if there is any particular directive in this regard". Allah Almighty said that the only directive is that you will fast continuously for three (days and) nights (3:40). And (as is the custom) you will not converse with people (19:26).
11: Thereafter, he came out of the mehrab2 and signalled to his people (who had gathered in the temple awaiting his instructions) not to wait, but to continue performing their normal duties, day and night.
 This is just like Abraham, who despite his firm conviction, had raised such a question for his own satisfaction.
2 A place where animals were sacrificed.
12: (So according to the glad tidings) John was born and even when he was still a young boy, We graced him with wisdom so that he could very capably decide on matters.
13: And We also gifted him with a compassionate heart. (When he grew up) We told him to hold fast to the Divine Laws. He was always conscious of these Laws and lived a pure and promising life (and accordingly his human potentialities continued developing).
14: And his heart was magnanimous towards his (old) parents. He was never overbearing or rebellious.
15: (Such were the qualities of this child that) His birth was free from defects (despite being born to aged parents). And the day of his death will be as peaceful as the day he will be raised again to life. (Such was the child Zachariah had longed for).
16: (O Rasool!) Now relate from this Book (Quran) the story of Mary, (starting from the time) when after abandoning her clerical life she moved towards the east (to her village).
17: (The clerical life and the unpleasant events occuring there had such an adverse effect on her mind that) There also she lived in seclusion, apart from others. In order to obliterate these effects, We introduced positive thoughts in her mind and pleasant aspects of life appeared to her (in her dream) as a person.
18: (Mary was frightened at this sight and exclaimed) "I seek the protection of Ar-Rahman from you (if you have any regard and respect for His Laws)".
19: He answered, "(There is no cause to become alarmed because) I have only brought a message from your Rabb (3:44). He is going to bestow on you a well developed son".
20: She said, "How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me". (When I was in the temple, I lived a virtuous life; and since I came out, I have not got married as this is against the clerical laws - 3:46; 19:28).
21: He said, "Whatever I have told you, will happen according to Allah's law of creation (3:46). This is easy for Him (to remove all the hindrances which are in your mind and which perturb you - 19:9). Allah Almighty has also said that this child will not be like other children. He will be from our side an embodiment of Rahmat for the people; and a testimonial for truth and falsehood. (Whoever brings Eiman on his Nabuwat will be on the right path, while the one who rejects it will be wrong). And this is already decreed by Us (that the child will be Our Messenger - 3:47).
22: (And gradually all impediments were removed and the fear of clerical taboos vanished from Mary's mind. At the same time, in spite of warnings and intimidation from the priests, one person agreed to marry Mary). In time Mary conceived the child and consequently they (both of them) considered it appropriate to move to a far off place (so that the child would be born at a place where no one knew them; and where they would be safe from the wrath and accusations of the priests).
23: And when the time of delivery came, the throbs of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date-palm tree. (An idle life in the temple; the pangs of first delivery; the unfamiliar surroundings; and the absence of appropriate provisions and shelter, caused Mary extreme bewilderment; and) She exclaimed, "O how I wish I had died before all this and had become quite forgotten".
24: (While she was in acute anguish there came a voice from beneath) O Mary! Grieve not. There is a (pleasant) rivulet running below (and a bunch of ripe dates hanging over you).
25: Shake the branch of the date-palm towards you and fresh ripe dates will drop near you.
26: Eat (the fresh dates) and drink (the cold water from the rivulet) and then let your eyes rejoice (at the sight of your baby). (As for your concern about accusations or people's queries, you should keep a fast and) If anyone asks, you should inform only by gesturing, that you have vowed to fast in the name of Ar-Rahman and will therefore not speak to any person for the day.
27: (This is how Jesus was born. The parents took the child to a far off place. He grew up there and was bestowed with Nabuwwah). His mother then brought him back to her own people, on a mount. (Firstly, the very act of leaving the temple and living a married life was against all the discipline of the clergy. And now Mary returned with Jesus, who started to bitterly criticise the conduct, character and self-made laws of the clerical order). So the people said, 'O Mary! You have come here with something very strange. (Firstly your own conduct was against the norms of our society; and now you have brought a son with you).
28: They said, 'O sister of Aaron! Neither was your father a wicked man, nor had your mother revolted against the clerical discipline. (With such a noble, religious and law abiding ancestry, look at what you have done and the kind of education you have given to your son).
29: In reply to all these questions she (would not say anything herself but) would direct them towards Jesus (to get their answers from him). (The elderly priests who were extremely proud of their priesthood arrogantly asked) Should they talk to one who till recently was a little boy in the cradle?
30: In reply Jesus said: (There is no justification in this argument that because you are older than me and I am young in age, that you should not consider it appropriate to talk to me. Now listen carefully to what I say) "I am a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and bestowed Nubuwwah upon me".
31: He has blessed me in every walk of life and has enjoined upon me to establish, as long as I live, the correct system of Salat and Zakat (in place of your self-made laws).
32: (You had been very critical about my mother's conduct. However whatever she did was according to the true shariah of Allah. Therefore) I shall always be very dutiful and respectful to my mother; and He has not made me a cruel and callous person.
33: (According to your self-made laws, you regard my birth objectionable. However, according to God, whose message I have brought) My birth is for peace; my life will be for peace. Peace will be upon me till the day I die; and I will be in peace in the life after death.
34: This is the true story of Jesus about whom people disagree so deeply. (One group, namely the Jews, degrades him and regards his birth objectionable. On the other hand the Christians aggrandise him as the son of God).
35: It is not necessary that Allah Almighty should have taken for himself a son (to help Him in running the affairs of the universe). He is far above such a requirement. Such is the might of His powers, that whenever He decrees a matter, He only has to order it to 'be', and it 'becomes' (according to His plan). (He does not need any outside help in carrying out His will and decree).
36: (As regards the Christian belief that Jesus was God himself, there cannot be a better argument than Jesus's own proclamation that) Verily Allah Almighty is my Sustainer and yours as well. All of us should obey Him, for this is most certainly the (only) straight and balanced path (3:50).
37: (This was exactly how he preached. However later on) Some of the factions (amongst his followers) started dissenting amongst themselves. Regretfully for all those who deny the truth, when that Day of Judgement comes it will be a difficult time for them.
38: (Today by calling a Rasool, 'God', or 'son of God') They are perpetrating zulm and are committing an error. But they will not be able to do this on the Day (of Judgment). On that day how clearly will their ears hear and their eyes see! (50:22)
39: Therefore O Rasool! You should warn them of the coming of the day of regrets, when all matters shall be settled. As yet they are heedless because they do not believe this.
40: (Today they are inebriated with their worldly power; but they are not aware that in actual fact) We alone shall remain masters over the earth and everything on it. Everything revolves around Our Law of Mukafat; nothing remains beyond it. (Even power and authority are bestowed and taken away according to this Law - 21:105).
41: (O Rasool!) Now being narrated in this Book (Quran) is the story of Abraham, who was indeed a Nabi and an embodiment of truth.
42: (Start the story from the incident when) He spoke to his father, "O father ! Why do you worship something which can neither hear nor see; and can be of no use to you whatsoever?"
43: He had told him, "O my father ! Indeed a ray of knowledge has come to me, that which never came to you. Therefore you should follow me. (Do not think that it is only the son who should follow the father; and that the father never follows the son. Whether father or the son, one should follow the truth and as I am on the right path) I shall lead you to the passage which will take you directly to the destination.
44:"O my father! Why do you obey the satanic forces which are rebellious to Ar-Rahman?"
45:"O my father! I fear lest a chastisement from Ar-Rahman befalls you; and you also become a comrade of Shaitan (and be deprived of all Allah's bounties)".
46: (Abraham's father was listening to all this and becoming extremely angry. Finally) He answered, "O Abraham! Have you become averse to my gods? (Have you abandoned the religion of your ancestors?) If you do not desist from your views I shall reprove you (and deprive you of all the properties and status which otherwise you are likely to inherit). So if you want my grace, stay away from me (till you mend your ways).
47: Abraham (replied very politely to these harsh and brazen remarks and) said, "May Allah Almighty guide you to the correct path (and keeps you under His protection). I will continue praying that He (bestows Eiman on you and) protects you from (the destructive effects of) Kufr. He has always been very gracious in bestowing His endless blessings upon me. (9:114).
48: (As for your advice that I should stop preaching the truth and stay away from all of you, it is impossible to think like this. How can I leave this mission? Therefore) I withdraw from you all and from whomsoever you invoke other than Allah. I will only invoke my Rabb. I am sure that by invoking Him I will not be deprived of life's bounties. (Thus I do not attach any importance to your threats that I will be deprived of the wealth and status which I am likely to inherit otherwise - 60:4).
49: So he departed from them and from everything they were worshipping (and settled in Syria). There We bestowed on him (a son) Isaac and (thereafter a grandson) Jacob. We honoured both of them with (the exalted stature of) Nubuwwah.
50: And We bestowed upon them manifold bounties and granted them the great power to convey the truth (by the virtue of which they became well-known and were highly respected throughout the world).
51: (Likewise) O Rasool! Narrated in this Book (Quran) is the story of Moses, who was a very sincere person; and he was Our Rasool and Nabi.
52: We called him from the right side of the Mount (of Sinai) and drew him closer to Us (so as to bestow Our Wahi on him).
53: And also out of Our grace, we made his brother Aaron a Nabi.
54: Similarly, narrated in this Book the story of Ishmael (who besides being from the line of Bani-Israel, was also the progenitor of the other branch of Abraham's descendants). He was always true to his promise; and was indeed a Nabi sent by Us.
55: He always enjoined upon his people the enforcement of Salat and Zakat (as these are the most important pillars of the Divine Order). He was in complete harmony with the laws of his Sustainer.
56: Also (O Rasool!), mentioned in this Book is the story of Idrees. He too was a very truthful person; and a Nabi.
57: And We had exalted him to a high position (4:158).
58: All of them fall in the category of Anbia, upon whom Allah Almighty had bestowed His bounties. They were from the progeny of Adam (that is they were human); and from those whom We bore on the ark with Noah; and the off-spring of Abraham and Israel (Jacob). We had bestowed guidance on all of them; and they were specially chosen (for the high stature of Nubuwwah). Such was the state of their mind that whenever they encountered the Divine Laws, they would bow down before them in firm conviction and adoration (25:73).
59: (These people possessed admirable qualities but) Their successors were unworthy people who simply neglected the system of Salat and (instead of following the Divine Laws) pursued their own gains and desires. (Now they are being given another chance. If they lose this too then very soon) They will find themselves facing utter destruction;
60: Except those who leave the wrong path (because they have full conviction in the Divine System and undertake a positive, constructive programme which would set right everything that has been spoiled). They shall then live a blissful life in this world as well as in the world hereafter. And they will be fully recomposed without any shortfall.
61: (In the initial stages of this programme) The blissful life in this world remains obscure (2:3); and as far as life in the world hereafter is concerned, it cannot be perceived now. However the promise that Ar-Rahman has made (that the reward of Eiman and constructive deeds is certainly a blissful life in this world and in the world hereafter) will surely be fulfilled. (And there is absolutely no doubt about it).
62: Such a society will be devoid of everything indecent; and there will be no purposeless noise or clamouring. (In fact everything will be for the completion of one's 'self' and a source of peace for humanity. Everyone will continuously receive uninterrupted means of nourishment).
63: This is the Jannah which is inherited by Our devotees who are conscious of Our Laws; and who are thereby saving themselves from the destructive aspects of life.
64: (As a result of their deeds, the Malaika descend upon such people and bring them glad tidings - 41:31 - and tell them that) We descend according to the command of your Rabb. Everything that is before us; all that is behind us; and everything that is between these two (the past, present and the future; and whatever you have done) is entirely preserved (in the Divine Record) and there is no possibility whatsoever of any omission or forgetfulness.
65: (O Rasool!) The Law of Mukafat is of your Rabb, Who is the sustainer of everything in the universe. (He alone deserves to be obeyed) So you also should obey Him and remain steadfast in this obedience. Is anyone besides him worthy of this stature? (No certainly not !)
66: (Just imagine) The person (who wants to escape the Law of Mukafat) says, "What? Once I am dead, I shall be raised to life again? How is it possible?"
67: But does he not remember that We had previously created him when he was nothing. (The God Who can create a human being out of nothingness, can also bring him back to life after death).
68: (Refusing to believe in the life after death is in fact the rejection of the Law of Mukafat. By doing this these people develop a false notion that they can continue doing whatever they like and that there is no one to check on them. Therefore) O Rasool! Tell them that besides punishment in the life after death, in this very world too they will see how firm the grip of Allah's Law of Mukafat is. We have decreed that We will round them up alongwith their rebellious leaders (in the battlefield) and then aseemble them on their knees in (the deepest depths of degradation of) Jahannum (45:28). (And this will also prevail in the life hereafter).
69: Thereafter, from every group We shall segregate the ones who have been very determined in their disdainful rebellion against the system ordained by Ar-Rahman.
70: For certainly We know best who amongst them are most deserving of the agony of Jahannum.
71: (This however does not mean that only their leaders will suffer in Jahannum. You can tell them that) None of you will escape the ignominious punishment in it. (All of them are guilty and will be driven to that site - 19:86; 21:99). This decree has been ordained by your Rabb according to His Law of Mukafat.
72: We will however save the muttaqeen (who shall be so far away that they will not even hear its noise - 21:101). And those who rebel against Allah's Laws will live a life of degradation (in this life as well as in the hereafter).
73: Whenever Our clear Laws are presented to them, those who are bent upon denying the truth say to the momineen, "Tell us, which of the two groups amongst us enjoys a better position; and who has more grandeur and prestige?"
74: (There is no doubt that in the early stages of the establishment of the Quranic social order, the status and position of momineen is somewhat weaker than their opponents, but they do not know that) Before them, we have destroyed many generations which had surpassed themselves in material assets and outward opulence.
75: Tell them that (at the moment they have more wealth and power, but according to the Law of Ar-Rahman, those who choose the wrong path are not apprehended immediately, instead) sometimes they are spared so that they see with their own eyes the destruction about which they were forewarned. In the beginning this is a light punishment (so that they can revert from their erroneous path; but even after that if they do not desist and make amends), but then comes the ultimate doom. So (according to this Divine Law) these people will soon understand who (of the two groups) is in the worse position and who is really weak.
76: (In contrast) For people who adopt the right way of life, the Divine Law of guidance opens up further avenues (for their success and nourishment). Keep in mind the absolute reality that only the ever-enduring and inexhaustible means of nurture are those through which human abilities are developed according to the Divine Law of Rabubiyyat. This is the best reward for whatever is spent in establishing and strengthening of this system; and this ultimately yields superior returns. Therefore, one must keep in view the ultimate gain and not the immediate short-term benefits.
77: He who denies the truth (when he receives immediate and temporary gains) will always be under the impression that he will continue to have sources of wealth and increased progeny, (that is material and human resources and that this position would never change).
78: (Just ask him) Has he perchance attained access to the realm of the unseen; or has he concluded a covenant with Ar-Rahman?
79: (Remember!) Whatever he says or thinks is incorrect. We are recording everything he says and (for the time being) are lengthening his period of respite.
80: (When this respite is over, he will see with his own eyes that all the wealth and progeny, about which he was so boastful, has been taken away from him. And only) We will inherit all that he talks about; and he will appear before Us all alone. (Upon his death the material and worldly things will abandon him and only what he has become on account of his deeds shall appear before Us. Everything that belongs to him will remain behind and only what he himself is will go to the next life - 6:95; 19:95).
81: And they have acknowledged other authorities besides Allah; so that these would be a source of strength for them.
82: Tell them that they are living under a fallacy. When the time comes, these deities shall disown their obedience and (instead of being a source of strength) shall turn against them.
83: In actual fact their own selfish ambitions and their rebellious leaders have overpowered their rational faculties and are continuously instigating them to rise against the order of truth and justice.
84: The delay (in inflicting doom on them) occurs because We are counting down their days (according to Our Law of Respite); so do not be in haste.
85: (The Day is fast approaching when) We shall assemble the Muttaqeen before us with respect and dignity, in order to bestow Our bounties and honour upon them.
86: Likewise, We shall drive the guilty ones towards Jahannum, just like how thirsty cattle are driven down to water. (In fact the cattle are not 'driven', but their intense inner thirst pulls them to that place).
87: (On that Day) No one will have (the benefit of) intercession by anyone else; except only those who have conformed with the Laws of Ar-Rahman (and have thus become friends giving a helping hand to each other).
88: Amongst them are also the people who say that Ar-Rahman has a son (Jesus, son of Mary) who will atone for their sins?
89: (Tell them that) Undeniably, by this assertion, you have concocted something very serious.
90: (This is such a terrible thing that) It will split apart the skies, tear asunder the earth and mountains will crumble in utter ruin (42:5).
91: (Just think about what they are actually saying). They also say that Ar-Rahman has a son.
92: That He should take a son for Himself is certainly not worthy of the Almighty .
93: (He does not need a son to help him. His sovereignty is such that) There is nothing in the universe that does not bow before Ar-Rahman in complete obedience.
94: His sovereignty is all-encompassing. His Law of Mukafat has taken into account every one of them. (Nothing escapes His authority).
95: (As has been narrated above in verse 19:80) On the Day of Judgment, everyone will appear before Him alone. (Individuality of self necessitates that no one will be able to seek any intercession by anyone else; everyone will be responsible for his own actions - 6:95).
96: (O Rasool!) For all those who profess Eiman on the truthfulness of Allah's Laws and accordingly do righteous deeds (although now the entire world opposes them), that day is not far when in the hearts of people, Ar-Rahman will instill love and affection towards them. (Then people will follow them in large numbers - 110:2).
97: (All) This will happen by implementing (the injunctions of) the Quran which We have made easy to understand in your own language, so that you can convey to the Momineen the glad tidings of the pleasant results of their righteous deeds. And convey warnings to those who are obstinate and given to futile contentions.
98: (And tell them that) According to Our Law of Mukafat, We have destroyed many generations before their time. Can you see any trace of them now or hear any whisper about them ? (Thus if you also do not accept the Quranic system and persist in your erroneous behavior, then your outcome will be similar to theirs).