Surah Muzzammil Ayat 20 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 20
Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur’an. He has known that there will be among you those who are ill and others traveling throughout the land seeking [something] of the bounty of Allah and others fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give zakah and loan Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Thy Lord doth know that thou standest forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and so doth a party of those with thee. But Allah doth appoint night and day in due measure He knoweth that ye are unable to keep count thereof. So He hath turned to you (in mercy): read ye, therefore, of the Qur’an as much as may be easy for you. He knoweth that there may be (some) among you in ill-health; others travelling through the land, seeking of Allah’s bounty; yet others fighting in Allah’s Cause, read ye, therefore, as much of the Qur’an as may be easy (for you); and establish regular Prayer and give regular Charity; and loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan. And whatever good ye send forth for your souls ye shall find it in Allah’s Presence,- yea, better and greater, in Reward and seek ye the Grace of Allah: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
(O Prophet), your Lord knows that you sometimes stand up in Prayer nearly two-thirds of the night, and sometimes half or one-third of it, and so does a party of those with you; Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you cannot keep an accurate count of it, so He has shown mercy to you. So now recite as much of the Qur’an as you can. He knows that there are among you those who are sick and others who are journeying in the land in quest of Allah’s bounty, and still others who are fighting in the cause of Allah. So recite as much of the Qur’an as you easily can, and establish Prayer, and pay Zakah, and give Allah a goodly loan. Whatever good you send forth for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah. That is better and its reward is greater. And ask for Allah’s forgiveness; surely He is Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate.
Verily, your Lord knows that you do stand (to pray at night) a little less than two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and so do a party of those with you, And Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you are unable to pray the whole night, so He has turned to you (in mercy). So, recite you of the Quran as much as may be easy for you. He knows that there will be some among you sick, others travelling through the land, seeking of Allah’s Bounty; yet others fighting in Allah’s Cause. So recite as much of the Quran as may be easy (for you), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat, and lend to Allah a goodly loan, and whatever good you send before you for yourselves, (i.e. Nawafil non-obligatory acts of worship: prayers, charity, fasting, Hajj and ‘Umrah, etc.), you will certainly find it with Allah, better and greater in reward. And seek Forgiveness of Allah. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.
Lo! thy Lord knoweth how thou keepest vigil sometimes nearly two-thirds of the night, or (sometimes) half or a third thereof, as do a party of those with thee. Allah measureth the night and the day. He knoweth that ye count it not, and turneth unto you in mercy. Recite, then, of the Qur’an that which is easy for you. He knoweth that there are sick folk among you, while others travel in the land in search of Allah’s bounty, and others (still) are fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite of it that which is easy (for you), and establish worship and pay the poor-due, and (so) lend unto Allah a goodly loan. Whatsoever good ye send before you for your souls, ye will find it with Allah, better and greater in the recompense. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Surely your Lord knows that you (rise) up (for prayer) nearly two thirds of the night, and (sometimes) a half of it, and (sometimes) a third of it, and a section of the ones with you (also rise for prayer); and Allah determines (precisely) the night and the daytime. He knows that you (The believers, This and the following pronouns are plural) will never enumerate it; so He has relented towards you. Then read of the Qur’an that which is easy (for you). He knows that (some) of you are sick, and others striking in the earth, (i.e., traveling) seeking a share of the Grace of Allah, and others fighting in the way of Allah. So read of it that which is easy (for you). And keep up the prayer, and bring the Zakat, and lend to Allah a fair loan. And whatever charity you will forward to your selves, you will find (it) in the Providence of Allah; it will be more charitable (i.e., better) and more magnificent in reward. And ask the forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.
[Prophet], your Lord is well aware that you sometimes spend nearly two-thirds of the night at prayer––sometimes half, sometimes a third––as do some of your followers. God determines the division of night and day. He knows that you will not be able to keep a measure of it and He has relented towards all of you, so recite as much of the Quran as is easy for you. He knows that some of you will be sick, some of you travelling through the land seeking God’s bounty, some of you fighting in God’s way: recite as much as is easy for you, keep up the prayer, pay the prescribed alms, and make God a good loan. Whatever good you store up for yourselves will be improved and increased for you. Ask God for His forgiveness, He is most forgiving, most merciful.
آپ کا رب بخوبی جانتا ہے کہ آپ اور آپ کے ساتھ کے لوگوں کی ایک جماعت قریب دو تہائی رات کے اور آدھی رات کے اور ایک تہائی رات کے تہجد پڑھتی ہے اور رات دن کا پورا اندازه اللہ تعالیٰ کو ہی ہے، وه (خوب) جانتا ہے کہ تم اسے ہرگز نہ نبھا سکو گے پس اس نے تم پر مہربانی کی لہٰذا جتنا قرآن پڑھنا تمہارے لیے آسان ہو اتنا ہی پڑھو، وه جانتا ہے کہ تم میں بعض بیمار بھی ہوں گے، بعض دوسرے زمین میں چل پھر کر اللہ تعالیٰ کا فضل (یعنی روزی بھی) تلاش کریں گے اور کچھ لوگ اللہ تعالیٰ کی راه میں جہاد بھی کریں گے، سو تم بہ آسانی جتنا قرآن پڑھ سکو پڑھو اور نماز کی پابندی رکھو اور زکوٰة دیتے رہا کرو اور اللہ تعالیٰ کو اچھا قرض دو۔ اور جو نیکی تم اپنے لیے آگے بھیجو گے اسے اللہ تعالیٰ کے ہاں بہتر سے بہتر اور ﺛواب میں بہت زیاده پاؤ گے اللہ تعالیٰ سے معافی مانگتے رہو۔ یقیناً اللہ تعالیٰ بخشنے واﻻ مہربان ہے
Quran 73 Verse 20 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Muzzammil ayat 20, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(73:20) (O Prophet), your Lord knows that you sometimes stand up in Prayer nearly two-thirds of the night, and sometimes half or one-third of it,  and so does a party of those with you; Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you cannot keep an accurate count of it, so He has shown mercy to you. So now recite as much of the Qur’an as you can. He knows that there are among you those who are sick and others who are journeying in the land in quest of Allah’s bounty, and still others who are fighting in the cause of Allah. So recite as much of the Qur’an as you easily can, and establish Prayer, and pay Zakah, and give Allah a goodly loan. Whatever good you send forth for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah. That is better and its reward is greater. And ask for Allah’s forgiveness; surely He is Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate.
18. About this verse in which reduction has been made in the injunction concerning the tahajjud Prayer, there are different traditions. Musnad Ahmad, Muslim and Abu Daud have related a tradition, on the authority of Aishah, saying that this second command was sent down one year after the first command, and the standing up in the Prayer at night was made voluntary instead of obligatory. Another tradition which Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim have related, again on the authority of Aishah, says that this command came down eight months after the first command, and a third tradition which Ibn Abi Hatim has related again from her, says that it came down sixteen months later. Abu Daud, Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim have cited the period of one year from Abdullah bin Abbas. But Saeed bin Jubair has stated that it was sent down ten years later. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim). In our opinion this last view is most sound, for the subject matter of the first section clearly shows that it was sent down in Makkah and that too in the earliest stage when at the most four years might have passed since the advent of Prophethood. Contrary to this, this second section, in view of the express evidence of its subject matter, seems to have been revealed at Al-Madinah when fighting had started with the disbelievers and the zakat also had been enjoined as an obligatory duty. On this basis inevitably the two sections should have been sent down at an interval of at least ten years between them.
19. Although the initial command to the Prophet (peace be upon him) was to keep standing up in the Prayer for half the night, or thereabout, it was difficult to compute the time precisely in the absorption of the Prayer, especially when there were no watches either to measure time accurately; therefore, sometimes two thirds of the night passed in the prayer and sometimes only one-third of it.
20. In the initial command only the Prophet (peace be upon him) was addressed and only he was instructed to stand up in the Prayer by night. But since the Muslims at that time were ardently desirous of following him in everything he did and of earning more and more good and virtues, many of the companions also performed this night Prayer regularly.
21. As the Prayer is prolonged due mainly to a lengthy recital of the Quran, it is said: You may recite as much of the Quran as you easily can in the tahajjud Prayer This would automatically cause the Prayer to be shortened. Although the words here are apparently in the imperative mood, it is agreed by all that tahajjud is not an obligatory but a voluntary Prayer. In the Hadith, it has also been explained that on an enquiry by a person the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: Five times Prayer in the day and night is obligatory on you. He asked: Is anything besides this is also binding on me. The Prophet said: No, unless you may like to offer something of your own accord. (Bukhari, Muslim). This verse also shows another thing. Just as the bowing (ruku) and prostration (sajdah) are obligatory in the Prayer, so is the recital of the Quran. For just as Allah at other places has used the words ruku and sajdah for the prayer, so here He has mentioned recital of the Quran, which implies its recital in the Prayer. If somebody objects to this conclusion, saying: When the tahajjud Prayer itself is voluntary, how can recital of the Quran in it be obligatory? The answer is: Even in case of the voluntary Prayer it is incumbent on one to fulfill all the pre-requisites of the Prayer and to perform all its basic elements and obligatory parts. No one can say that in case of the voluntary Prayer, purity of the garments and body, ablutions and concealment of the satar (minimal part of the body to be covered) are not obligatory, and the standing up and sitting and performance of ruku and sajdah in it are also only voluntary.
22. Travelling to earn one’s living by lawful and permissible methods has been described in many places in the Quran as the seeking of Allah’s bounty.
23. Here, the way Allah has made mention of seeking pure livelihood and fighting in the way of Allah together and declared these two, besides the compulsion on account of illness, as reasons for exemption from the tahajjud Prayer, or concession in it, shows how meritorious it is in Islam to earn one’s livelihood by lawful methods. In the Hadith, Abdullah bin Masud has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The person who came to a city of the Muslims with food grains and sold it at the rate of the day, will attain to a place nearest to Allah, and then the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited this very verse. (lbn Marduyah). Umar once said: Except for fighting in the way of Allah, the state in which I would love to be overtaken by death, is the state when I am overtaken by it while passing through a mountain pass in search of livelihood and then he recited this very verse. (Baihaqi, Shuab al-Iman).
24. Commentators agree that this implies observance of the obligatory Prayer five times a day and giving away of the obligatory zakat.
25. Ibn Zaid says this implies spending one’s wealth in the cause of Allah besides the zakat, whether it is in the cause of fighting in the way of Allah, or for helping the needy, or for public utilities, or other good works. The meaning of giving to Allah a good loan has been explained at several places above. See (Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 245) note 267; (Surah Al-Maidah, ayat 12) note 33; (Surah Al-Hadid, ayat 11) note 16.
26. It means: Whatever you have sent forward for the good of your Hereafter is more beneficial for you than what you withheld in the world and did not spend in any good cause for the pleasure of Allah. According to a Hadith reported by Abdullah bin Masud the Prophet (peace be upon him) once asked: Which of you has a greater love for his own wealth than for the wealth of his heir. The people said: There is none among us, O Messenger of Allah, who would not have greater love for his own wealth than for the wealth of his heir. He said: Consider well what you are saying. The people submitted: This indeed is our considered opinion, O Messenger of Allah. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Your own property is only that which you have sent forward (for the good of your Hereafter), and whatever you held back, indeed belongs to the heir. (Bukhari. Nasai, Musnad Abu Yala).
The tafsir of Surah Muzzammil verse 20 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Muzzammil ayat 19 which provides the complete commentary from verse 19 through 20.
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