Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of The Glorious Koran. An Explanatory Translation (1930)


As-Ṣâffât takes its name from a word in the first verse. The reference in the first three verses is to the angels, as is made clear by vv. 164– 166, where the revealing angel speaks in person. Tradition says that soothsayers and astrologers throughout the East were bewildered at the time of the Prophet’s coming by the appearance in the heavens of a comet and many meteors which baffled all their science and made them afraid to sit at nights on high peaks to watch the stars, as was their general custom. They told enquirers that their familiars could no longer guide them, being themselves completely at a loss and terrified. This is the explanation usually given of vv. 7–9, and of a passage of similar import in Sûrah LXXII, vv. 8–10.

It stands early in the middle group of Meccan Sûrahs.

Those Who Set The Ranks

Revealed at Mecca
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1. By those who set the ranks in battle order

2. And those who drive away (the wicked) with reproof

3. And those who read (the Word) for a reminder,

4. Lo! thy Lord is surely One;

5. Lord of the heavens and of the earth and all that is between them, and Lord of the sun’s risings.

6. Lo! We have adorned the lowest heaven with an ornament, the planets;

7. With security from every froward devil.

8. They cannot listen to the Highest Chiefs for they are pelted from every side,

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Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of The Glorious Koran. An Explanatory Translation, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, Consulted online at “Quran Archive - Texts and Studies on the Quran” on 02 Oct. 2022: