43. Zukhruuf

Syed Abu-Ala' Maududi's Chapter Introductions to the Quran


It is derived from the word zukhruf-an which occurs in verse 33 of this Sura.

Period of Revelation

It could not be known from any authentic tradition but a study of its subject matter shows that this Sura also was sent down in the same period in which the Suras AlMumin AsSajdahand AshShura were sent down. It appears that the revelation of this series of the Suras began when the disbelievers of Makkah were planning to put an end to the Holy Prophet's life. Day and night they were holding consultations in their assemblies as how to eliminate him and even an attack on his life also had been made as has been clearly referred to in vv. 79-80.

Theme and Topics

In this Sura a forceful and severe criticism has been made of the Quraishand the common Arabs creeds and superstitions of ignorance in which they persisted and their stubbornness has been exposed in a firm and effective way so that every member of the society who was reasonable in some degree should be made to consider the evils in which the community was involved and its tyrannical treatment of the person who was trying to redeem it. The discourse starts in a way as if to say: "You by means of your mischiefs want that the revelation of this Book should be stopped but Allah has never withheld the appointment of His Prophets and the revelation of His Books because of the mischief of the people but has destroyed the wicked people who obstructed the way of His guidance. The same He will do again. A little further in vv. 41-43 and 79-80 the same thing has been reiterated. Though the people who were plotting against his life are meant the Holy Prophet has been addressed to the effect: "whether you remain alive or not We will certainly punish the wicked and the people themselves have been plainly warned to the effect: If you have decided to take an action against Our Prophet We too will take a decisive action." Then it has been told what is the reality of the religion that the people are following so devotedly and what are the arguments on whose strength they are resisting Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and Blessings). They themselves admit that thc Creator of the earth and heavens and of themselves and their deities is only Allah. They also know and admit that the blessings they are benefiting from have been bestowed by Allah; yet they insist on making others associates of Allah in His Godhead. They regard the servants as the children of Allah and that too daughters whom they regard as disgraceful for themselves. They believe that the angels are goddesses; they have carved their images as females; they adorn them with female dresses and ornaments and call them daughters of Allah: they worship them and invoke them for the fulfilment of their needs. How did they know that the angels were female? When they are rebuked for these superstitions they present the pretence of destiny and say :"Had Allah disapproved of these our practices we could not have worshipped these images whereas the means of finding out whether Allah had approved of something or not are His Books and not those things which are happening in the world according to His Will. For under His Will not only idol worship but crimes like theft and adultery robbery. murder etc. also are being committed. Can this argument be used to justify as right and proper this commission of every crime and evil is the world? When it is asked:Have you any other authority apart from this wrong argument for the polytheism of yours?They reply The same has been the practice since the time of our forefathers. In other words this in their opinion is a strong enough argument for a creed's being right and true whereas the Prophet Ibraham descent from whom is the only basis of their pride and distinction had rejected the religion of his elders and left his home and he had discarded every such blind imitation of his forefathers which did not have the support of any rational argument. Then if these people had to follow their elders only for this also they selected their most ignorant elders and abandoned their most illustrious elders like the Prophets Abraham and Ishmael (on whom be peace). When they are asked: "Has ever a Prophet or a Book sent down by God also given this teaching that others beside Allah too are worthy of worship? they present this practice of the Christians as an argument that they took Jesus son of Mary as son of God and worshipped him; whereas the question was not this whether the community of a Prophet had committed shirkor not but this whether a Prophet had himself taught shirk. Jesus son of Mary had never said that he was son of G

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