and that it is He alone who sustains the brightest star;*
[However,] you will be committing no sin if [during the pilgrimage] you seek to obtain any bounty from your Sustainer.* And when you surge downward in multitudes from `Arafat,* remember God at the holy place, and remember Him as the One who guided you after you had indeed been lost on your way;*
And God has given you [the ability to build] your houses as places of rest, and has endowed you with [the skill to make] dwellings out of the skins of animals* - easy for you to handle when you travel and when you camp -and [to make] furnishings and goods for temporary use of their [rough] wool and their soft, furry wool* and their hair.
AND [thus it is:] We have not imparted to this [Prophet the gift of] poetry, nor would [poetry] have suited this [message]:* it is but a reminder and a [divine] discourse, clear in itself and clearly showing the truth,*
Now they swear by God with their most solemn oaths that if a miracle were shown to them, they would indeed believe in this [divine writ]. Say: "Miracles are in the power of God alone."* And for all you know, even if one should be shown to them, they would not believe
And so, [in the course of time,] We awakened them;* and they began to ask one another [as to what had happened to them].* One of them asked: "How long have you remained thus?" [The others] answered: "We have remained thus a day, or part of a day."* Said they [who were endowed with deeper insight]: "Your Sustainer knows best how long you have thus remained.* Let, then, one of you go with these silver coins to the town, and let him find out what food is purest there, and bring you thereof [some] provisions. But let him behave with great care and by no means make anyone aware of you:
[Hence,] behold, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the symbols set up by God;* and thus, no wrong does he who, having come to the Temple on pilgrimage or on a pious visit, strides to and fro between these two:* for, if one does more good than he is bound to do-behold, God is responsive to gratitude, all-knowing.*
O you who have attained to faith! Offend not against the symbols set up by God, nor against the sacred month [of pilgrimage], nor against the garlanded offerings,* nor against those who flock to the Inviolable Temple, seeking favour with their Sustainer and His goodly acceptance; and [only] after your pilgrimage is over* are you free to hunt. And never let your hatred of people who would bar you from the Inviolable House of Worship lead you into the sin of aggression:* but rather help one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for, behold, God is severe in retribution!
This is [to be borne in mind]. And anyone who honours the symbols set up by God* [shall know that] verily, these [symbols derive their value] from the God-consciousness in the [believers'] hearts.
And as for the sacrifice of cattle, We have ordained it for you as one of the symbols set up by God,* in which there is [much] good for you. Hence, extol the name of God over them when they are lined up [for sacrifice]; and after they have fallen lifeless to the ground, eat of their flesh,* and feed the poor who is contented with his lot (and does not beg), as well as him who is forced to beg. It is to this end* that We have made them* subservient to your needs, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
Nay," they say, [Muhammad propounds] the most involved and confusing of dreams!"* Nay, but he has invented [all] this!" - Nay, but he is [only] a poet!" - [and,] Let him, then, come unto us with a miracle, just as those [prophets] of old were sent [with miracles]?"
And as for the poets* [they, too, are prone to deceive themselves: and so, only] those who are lost in grievous error would follow them.
and would say, Shall we, then, give up our deities at the bidding of a mad poet?"*
Or do they say, [He is but] a poet - let us wait what time will do unto him"?*
and is not however little you may [be prepared to] believe it - the word of a poet;
They would deceive God and those who have attained to faith-the while they deceive none but themselves, and perceive it not.
Oh, verily, it is they, they who are spreading corruption but they perceive it not?*
And say not of those who are slain in God's cause, "They are dead": nay, they are alive, but you perceive it not.
Some of the followers of earlier revelation would love to lead you astray: yet none do they lead astray but themselves, and perceive it not.
And they bar others therefrom. and go far away from it: but they destroy none but themselves, and perceive it not.
And it is in this way that We cause the great ones in every land to become its [greatest] evildoers,* there to weave their schemes: yet it is only against themselves that they scheme -and they perceive it not.
then We transformed the affliction into ease of life,* so that they throve and said [to themselves], "Misfortune and hardship befell our forefathers as well* -whereupon We took them to task, all of a sudden, without their being aware [of what was coming].*
And so, when they went away with him, they decided to cast him into the dark depths of the well. And We revealed [this] unto him: "Thou wilt yet remind them of this their deed at a time when they shall not perceive [who thou art] !"*
Do they, then, feel free from the fear that there might fall upon them the overwhelming terror of God's chastisement, or that the Last Hour might come upon them of a sudden, without their being aware [of its approach]?
they are dead, not living,* and they do not [even] know when they will be raised from the dead!
Those who lived before them did, too, devise many a blasphemy* -whereupon God visited with destruction all that they had ever built,* [striking] at its very foundations, so that the roof fell in upon them from above* and suffering befell them without their having perceived whence it came.
Can, then, they who devise evil schemes* ever feel sure that God will not cause the earth to swallow them,* or that suffering will not befall them without their perceiving whence [it came]? -
We [but want to] make them vie with one another in doing [what they consider] good works?* Nay, but they do not perceive [their error]!
Their reckoning rests with none but my Sustainer: if you could but understand [this]!*
that will come upon them [on resurrection,] all of a sudden, without their being aware [of its approach];
till, when they came upon a valley [full] of ants, an ant exclaimed: O you ants! Get into your dwellings, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you without [even] being aware [of you]!"
And so they devised an evil scheme; but We devised a subtle scheme (of Our own), and they perceived it not.
Say: None in the heavens or on earth knows the hidden reality [of anything that exists: none knows it] save God."* And neither can they [who are living] perceive when they shall be raised from the dead:
Now the wife of Pharaoh said: A joy to the eye [could this child be] for me and thee! Slay him not: he may well be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son!" And they had no presentiment [of what he was to become].
And so she said to his sister, Follow him" - and [the girl] watched him from afar, while they [who had taken him in] were not aware of it,
Now they challenge thee to hasten the coming upon them of [God's] chastisement:* and indeed, had not a term been set [for it by God], that suffering would already have come upon them! But indeed, it will most certainly come upon them of a sudden, and they will be taken unawares.
Those who lived before them did [too] give the lie to the truth - whereupon suffering befell them without their having perceived whence it came:
And ere that suffering comes upon you of a sudden, without your being aware [of its approach], follow the most goodly [teaching] that has been revealed unto you by your Sustainer,
ARE THEY [who are lost in sin] but waiting for the Last Hour - [waiting] that it come upon them of a sudden, without their being aware [of its approach]?
O you who have attained to faith! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet,* and neither speak loudly to him, as you would speak loudly to one another,* lest all your [good] deeds come to nought without your perceiving it.