Surah 61

AL SAFF (The Battle Array)

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful


1 Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, let it declare the praises and glory of Allah: for he is the exalted in might, the wise.

2 O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do?

3 Grievously odious is it in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not do.

4 Truly Allah loves those who fight in his cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.

5 And remember, Musa said to his people: O my people! Why do you vex and insult me, though you know that I am the messenger of Allah sent to you?” Then when they went wrong, Allah let their hearts go wrong. For Allah guides not those who are rebellious transgressors.


6 And remember, ‘Isa Ibn Maryam said: “O Bani-Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah sent to you, confirming the Taurat before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is praiseworthy.”[1] But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, “This is evident sorcery!”[2]

7 Who does greater wrong than one who invents falsehood against Allah, even as he is being invited to submit? And Allah does not guide those who do wrong.

8 Their intention is to extinguish Allah’s light with their mouths: but Allah will complete his light, even though the unbelievers may detest.

9 It is he who has sent his Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the pagans may detest it.

10 O you who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous penalty?

11 That you believe in Allah and his Messenger, and that you strive in the cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: that will be best for you, if you but knew!

12 He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in gardens of eternity: that is indeed the supreme achievement.

13 And another thing which you love, help from Allah and a speedy victory. So give the glad tidings to the believers.

14 O you who believe! Be helpers of Allah. As said ‘Isa Ibn Maryam to the disciples, Who will be my helpers for Allah? Said the disciples, We are Allah’s helpers! Then a portion of Bani-Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: but we gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed.


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[1] Or, whose name is Ahmad. The Arabic adjective ahmad, was not in use as a proper name until it later came to be used as a name for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If ahmad here is simply a descriptive adjective, the verse could refer to any messenger who came after ‘Isa Ibn Maryam. The Injil nowhere predicts the coming of a messenger with the actual name Ahmad, but it does speak of a messenger who would be praiseworthy. In Galatians 1:22-24 we read of the messenger Paul (pbuh) where it says,  “I was still unknown by face to the congregations of Judea which were in al-Masih, but they only heard: ‘He who once persecuted us now preaches the faith that he once tried to destroy.’ And they praised Allah because of me.”

[2] Alternate reading: “O Bani-Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah to you, and I announce to you a prophet whose community will be the last community and by which God will put the seal on the prophets and messengers.” This is the reading that was contained in the Quran of Ubayy (or Ubai) bin Kab, one of the secretaries of Muhammad, said to be the “best of reciters.” Ubayy’s Quran was in wide use, but caliph Uthman tried to destroy it in order to eliminate variations in the text of the Quran. The validity of this alternate reading is also attested to by Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham (Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, tr. Guillaume, pp. 103-104).