Surah MULK Ayah 20 in Arabic Text:
أَمَّنْ هَٰذَا الَّذِي هُوَ جُنْدٌ لَكُمْ يَنْصُرُكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ ۚ إِنِ الْكَافِرُونَ إِلَّا فِي غُرُورٍ
Amman haazal lazee huwa jundul lakum yansurukum min doonir rahmaan; inilkaafiroona illaa fee ghuroor
DR. GHALI Or even who is this that will be a host for you to vindicate you, apart from The All-Merciful? Decidedly the disbelievers are in nothing except delusion.
MUHSIN KHAN Who is he besides the Most Gracious that can be an army to you to help you? The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion.
PICKTHALL Or who is he that will be an army unto you to help you instead of the Beneficent? The disbelievers are in naught but illusion.
SAHIH INTERNATIONAL Or who is it that could be an army for you to aid you other than the Most Merciful? The disbelievers are not but in delusion.
MUFTI TAQI USMANI Now, who is there to act as a force for you to help you, except the RaHmān ? The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion.
ABDUL HALEEM What force can help you if the Lord of Mercy does not? The disbelievers are truly deluded.
ABUL ALA MAUDUDI Which is your army that will come to your aid against the Merciful Lord?1 But the unbelievers are in utter delusion.
DR. MUSTAFA KHATTAB Also, which ˹powerless˺ force will come to your help instead of the Most Compassionate? Indeed, the disbelievers are only ˹lost˺ in delusion.
Surah Mulk Ayat 20 Tafseer / Commentary
Here you can expand your knowledge on ayah 20 of Surah Mulk by reading both the tafsir of Ibn Kathir and Abul Ala Maududi.
This section is for those looking to find explanation of verse 20 and gain more insight to the background or significance of this verse.
Tafsir of Surah Mulk Ayat 20 – By Abul Ala Maududi
(67:20) Which is your army that will come to your aid against the Merciful Lord?  But the unbelievers are in utter delusion.
31. Another translation can be: Who is there beside the Merciful, who comes to your rescue as your army? The translation that we have adopted in the text above has relevance to the following sentence, and this second to the preceding discourse.
Surah Mulk Tafsir by Ibn Kathir – Ayat 20-27
20. Who is it besides the Most Gracious that can be an army to you to help you The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion. 21. Who is it that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision Nay, but they continue to be in pride, and flee. 22. Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on a straight path 23. Say: “It is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts. Little thanks you give.” 24. Say: “It is He Who has created you on the earth, and to Him shall you be gathered.” 25. They say: “When will this promise come to pass, if you are telling the truth” 26. Say: “The knowledge is with Allah only, and I am only a plain warner.” 27. But when they will see it approaching, the faces of those who disbelieve will be sad and grievous, and it will be said: “This is what you were calling for!”
No One will help You and No One can grant Sustenance except for Allah
Allah addresses the idolators who worship others besides Him, seeking help and sustenance from them. Allah rebukes them for what they believe, and He informs them that they will not attain that which they hope for. Allah says,
(Who is it besides the Most Gracious that can be an army to you to help) imeaning, there is no protector or helper for you besides Him. This is the reason that Allah says,
(The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion.) Then Allah says,
(Who is it that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision) meaning, who is it that can provide for you if Allah cuts off your sustenance There is no one who gives, withholds, creates, provides and helps other than Allah alone, Who has no partner. This proves that they know this, yet they still worship others besides Him. Thus, Allah says,
(Nay, but they continue) meaning, they persist in their transgression, lying and misguidance.
(to be in pride, and flee.) meaning, they continue in obstinance, arrogance and fleeing away from the truth. They do not listen to it nor do they follow it.
The Parable of the Disbeliever and the Believer
Then Allah says,
(Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on a straight path) This is a parable which Allah made of the believer and the disbeliever. So the condition of the disbeliever is like one who walks prone on his face. This is like a person walking bent over on his face (with his head down) instead of walking upright. This person does not know where he is going or how. Rather, he is lost, astray and confused. Is this person more guided,
(or he who walks upright) meaning, he who stands erect.
(on a straight path) meaning, this person who walks upright is on a clear path, and he is straight within himself while his path is straight as well. This is their likeness in this world, and their likeness will be the same in the Hereafter. So the believer will be gathered (on the Day of Judgement) walking upright upon the straight path and the vast and spacious Paradise will be opened up for him. However, the disbeliever will be gathered walking down on his face to the Hellfire.
(Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions and what they used to worship instead of Allah, and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire.) (37:22,23) “Companions” here means those like them. Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that it was said, “O Messenger of Allah! How will the people be gathered on their faces” So the Prophet replied,
(Is not He who made them to walk on their legs able to make them walk on their faces”) This Hadith is also recorded in the Two Sahihs.
Allah’s Power to create and It being an Evidence of the Final Abode
(Say it is He Who has created you,) meaning, He initiated your creation after you were not even a thing worth mentioning (i.e., nothing). Then He says,
(and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts.) meaning, intellects and powers of reasoning.
(Little thanks you give.) meaning, how little you use these abilities that Allah has blessed you with to obey Him, to act according to His commandments, and avoid His prohibitions.
(Say: “It is He Who has created you on the earth…”) meaning, He has spread and distributed you all througout the various regions and areas of the earth with your differing languages, colors, shapes, appearances and forms.
(and to Him shall you be gathered.) meaning, you all will come together after this separation and division. He will gather you all just as He separated you and He will bring you back again just as He originated you. Then while informing of the disbelievers who reject the final return, and doubt concerning its real occurrence, Allah said;
(They say: “When will this promise come to pass if you are telling the truth”) meaning, `when will this gathering after separation that you are informing us of, occur’
(Say: “The knowledge is with Allah only…”) meaning, `no one knows the time of the Day of Judgement exactly except Allah, but He has commanded me to inform you that it is real and it will definitely occur, so beware of it.’
(and I am only a plain warner.) meaning, `I am only obligated to convey, and verily I have performed my duty (of conveying) towards you.’ Then Allah says,
(But when they will see it approaching, the faces of those who disbelieve will be sad and grievous.) means, when the Day of Judgement begins, and the disbelievers witness it, and they see that the matter has drawn close, because everything that is to occur will occur, even if it takes a long time. So, when what they denied occurs, it will grieve them because they will know what is awaiting them there (in Hell) of the worst evil. This means that it will surround them and Allah will command what they were not able to reckon or fully comprehend to come to them.
(and there will become apparent to them from Allah what they had not been reckoning. And the evils of that which they earned will become apparent to them, and that which they used to mock at will encircle them.) (39:47,48) This is why it will be said to them in order to scold and repri- mand them,
(This is what you were calling for!) meaning, that you were seeking to hasten.