And when they are told, "Do not spread corruption on earth," they answer, "We are but improving things!"
And when they are told, "Believe as other people believe," they answer, "Shall we believe as the weak-minded believe?" Oh, verily, it is they, they who are weak-minded -but they know it not!
And when they meet those who have attained to faith, they assert, "We believe [as you believe]"; but when they find themselves alone with their- evil impulses,* they say, "Verily, we are with you; we were only mocking!"
The lightning well-nigh takes away their sight; whenever it gives them light, they advance therein, and whenever darkness falls around them, they stand still. And if God so willed, He could indeed take away their hearing and their sight:* for, verily, God has the power to will anything.
For, when they meet those who have attained to faith. they say, "We believe [as you believe]" - but when they find themselves alone with one another, they say. "Do you inform them of what God has disclosed to you, so that they might use it in argument against you, quoting the words of your Sustainer?* Will you not. then, use your reason?"
For when they are told, "Believe in what God has bestowed from on high," they reply, "We believe [only] in what has been bestowed on us"-and they deny the truth of everything else, although it be a truth confirming the one already in their possession. Say "Why, then, did you slay God's prophets aforetime, if you were (truly] believers?"*
The Originator is He of the heavens and the earth: and when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, "Be" -and it is.
who, when calamity befalls them, say, "Verily, unto God do we belong and, verily, unto Him we shall return."
But when they are told, "Follow what God has bestowed from on high," some answer, "Nay, we shall follow [only] that which we found our forefathers believing in and doing." Why, even if their forefathers did not use their reason at all, and were devoid of all guidance?
True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west* - but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day; and the angels, and revelation,* and the prophets; and spends his substance - however much he himself may cherish - it - upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer,* and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage;* and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God.
IT IS ordained for you, when death approaches any of you and he is leaving behind much wealth, to make bequests in favour of his parents and [other] near of kin in accordance with what is fair:* I this is binding on all who are conscious of God.
AND IF My servants ask thee about Me - behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way.
AND PERFORM the pilgrimage and the pious visit [to Mecca ]* in honour of God; and if you are held back, give instead whatever offering you can easily afford. And do not shave your heads until the offering has been sacrificed;* but he from among you who is ill or suffers from an ailment of the head shall redeem himself by fasting, or alms, or [any other] act of worship. And if you are hale and secure,* then he who takes advantage of a pious visit before the [time of] pilgrimage shall give whatever offering he can easily afford;* whereas he who cannot afford it shall fast for three days during the pilgrimage and for seven days after your return: that is, ten full [days]. All this relates to him who does not live near the Inviolable House of Worship.* And remain conscious of God, and know that God is severe in retribution.*
[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 when you have performed your acts of worship, [continue to] bear God in mind as you would bear your own fathers in mind-nay, with a yet keener remembrance!* For there are people who [merely] pray, "O our Sustainer! Give us in this world" -and such shall not partake in the blessings of the life to come.
But whenever he prevails, he goes about the earth spreading corruption and destroying [man's] tilth and progeny:* and God does not love corruption.
And whenever he is told, "Be conscious of God," his false pride drives him into sin: wherefore hell will be his allotted portion-and how vile a resting-place!
AND THEY will ask thee about [woman's] monthly courses. Say: "It is a vulnerable condition. Keep, therefore, aloof from women during their monthly courses, and do not draw near unto them until they are cleansed; and when they are cleansed, go in unto them as God has bidden you to do."* Verily, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance* and He loves those who keep themselves pure.
And so, when you divorce women and they are about to reach the end of their waiting-term, then either retain them in a fair manner or let them go in a fair manner. But do not retain them against their will in order to hurt [them]: for he who does so sins indeed against himself. And do not take [these] messages of God in a frivolous spirit; and remember the blessings with which God has graced you, and all the revelation and the wisdom which He has bestowed on you from on high in order to admonish you thereby; and remain conscious of God, and know that God has full knowledge of everything.
And when you divorce women, and they have come to the end of their waiting-term, hinder them not from marrying other men if they have agreed with each other in a fair manner. This is an admonition unto every one of you who believes in God and the Last Day; it is the most virtuous [way] for you, and the cleanest. And God knows, whereas you do not know.
And the [divorced] mothers may nurse their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the period of nursing; and it is incumbent upon him who has begotten the child to provide in a fair manner for their sustenance and clothing. No human being shall be burdened with more than he is well able to bear: neither shall a mother be made to suffer because of her child, nor, because of his child, he who has begotten it. And the same duty rests upon the [father's] heir. And if both [parents] decide, by mutual consent and counsel, upon separation [of mother and child],* they will incur no sin [thereby]; and if you decide to entrust your children to foster-mothers, you will incur no sin provided you ensure, in a fair manner, the safety of the child which you are handing over.* But remain conscious of God, and know that God sees all that you do.
And if any of you die and leave wives behind, they shall undergo, without remarrying,* a waiting-period of four months and ten days; whereupon, when they have reached the end of their waiting-term, there shall be no sin* in whatever they may do with their persons in a lawful manner. And God is aware of all that you do.
But if you are in danger, [pray] walking or riding;* and when you are again secure, bear God in mind - since it is He who taught you what you did not previously know.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever you give or take credit* for a stated term, set it down in writing. And let a scribe write it down equitably between you; and no scribe shall refuse to write as God has taught him:* thus shall he write. And let him who contracts the debt dictate; and let him be conscious of God, his Sustainer, and not weaken anything of his undertaking.* And if he who contracts the debt is weak of mind or body, or, is not able to dictate himself,* then let him who watches over his interests dictate equitably. And call upon two of your men to act as witnesses; and if two men are not available, then a man and two women from among such as are acceptable to you as witnesses, so that if one of them should make a mistake, the other could remind her.* And the witnesses must not refuse [to give evidence] whenever they are called upon. And be not loath to write down every contractual provision,* be it small or great, together with the time at which it falls due; this is more equitable in the sight of God, more reliable as evidence, and more likely to prevent you from having doubts [later]. If, however, [the transaction] concerns ready merchandise which you transfer directly unto one another, you will incur no sin if you do not write it down. And have witnesses whenever you trade with one another, but neither scribe nor witness must suffer harm;* for if you do [them harm], behold, it will be sinful conduct on your part. And remain conscious of God, since it is God who teaches you [herewith] - and God has full knowledge of everything.
How, then, [will they fare] when We shall gather them all together to witness the Day about [the coming of] which there is no doubt, and every human being shall be repaid in full for what he has done, and none shall be wronged?
Said she: "O my Sustainer! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?" [The angel] answered: "Thus it is: God creates what He wills* when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, 'Be' - and it is.
Lo! It is you who [are prepared to] love them, but they will not love you, although you believe in all of the revelation.* And when they meet you, they assert, "We believe [as you believe]"; but when they find themselves alone, they gnaw their fingers in rage against you. Say: "Perish in your rage! Behold, God has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men]!"
and who, when they have committed a shameful deed or have [otherwise] sinned against themselves, remember God and pray that their sins be forgiven - for who but God could forgive sins? - and do not knowingly persist in doing whatever [wrong] they may have done.
AND, INDEED, God made good His promise unto you when, by His leave, you were about to destroy your foes* - until the moment when you lost heart and acted contrary to the [Prophet's] command,* and disobeyed after He had brought you within view of that [victory] for which you were longing. There were among you such as cared for this world [alone], just as there were among you such as cared for the life to come:* whereupon, in order that He might put you to a test, He prevented you from defeating your foes.* But now He has effaced your sin: for God is limitless in His bounty unto the believers.
O you who have attained to faith! Be not like those who are bent on denying the truth and say of their brethren [who die] after having set out on a journey to faraway places* or gone forth to war, "Had they but remained with us, they would not have died," or, "they would not have been slain" - for God will cause such thoughts to become* a source of bitter regret in their hearts, since it is God who grants life and deals death. And God sees all that you do.
And it was by God's grace that thou [O Prophet] didst deal gently with thy followers:* for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from thee. Pardon them, then, and pray that they be forgiven. And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily, God loves those who place their trust in Him.*
And test the orphans [in your charge] until they reach a marriageable age; then, if you find them to be mature of mind, hand over to them their possessions; and do not consume them by wasteful spending, and in haste, ere they grow up. And let him who is rich abstain entirely [from his ward's property]; and let him who is poor partake thereof in a fair manner. And when you hand over to them their possessions, let there be witnesses on their behalf - although none can take count as God does.
And when [other] near of kin and orphans and needy persons* are present at the distribution [of inheritance], give them something thereof for their sustenance, and speak unto them in a kindly way.
whereas repentance shall not be accepted from those who do evil deeds until their dying hour and then say,* "Behold, I now repent"; nor from those who die as deniers of the truth: it is these for whom We have readied grievous suffering.
And as for those of you who, owing to circumstances, are not in a position* to marry free believing women, [let them marry] believing maidens from among those whom you rightfully possess.* And God knows all about your faith; each one of you is an issue of the other.* Marry them, then, with their people's leave, and give them their dowers in an equitable manner - they being women who give themselves in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions.* And when they are married, and thereafter become guilty of immoral conduct, they shall be liable to half the penalty to which free married women are liable.* This [permission to marry slave-girls applies] to those of you who fear lest they stumble into evil.* But it is for your own good to persevere in patience [and to abstain from such marriages]: and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
How, then, [will the sinners fare on Judgment Day,] when We shall bring forward witnesses from within every community,* and bring thee [O Prophet] as witness against them?
BEHOLD, God bids you to deliver all that you have been entrusted with unto those who are entitled thereto, and whenever you judge between people, to judge with justice.* Verily, most excellent is what God exhorts you to do: verily, God is all-hearing, all-seeing!
And so, whenever they are told, "Come unto that which God has bestowed from on high, and unto the Apostle," thou canst see these hypocrites turn away from thee with aversion.*
But how [will they fare] when calamity befalls them [on the Day of Judgment] because of what they have wrought in this world* - whereupon they will come to thee, swearing by God, "Our aim was but to do good, and to bring about harmony"?*
And they say, "We do pay heed unto thee''* - but when they leave thy presence, some of them devise, in the dark of night, [beliefs] other than thou art voicing;* and all the while God records what they thus devise in the dark of night. Leave them, then, alone, and place thy trust in God: for none is as worthy of trust as God.
AND IF any [secret] matter pertaining to peace or war comes within their ken, they* spread it abroad - whereas, if they would but refer it unto the Apostle and unto those from among the believers* who have been entrusted with authority, such of them as are engaged in obtaining intelligence* would indeed know [what to do with] it And but for God's bounty towards you, and His grace, all but a few of you would certainly have followed Satan.
But when you are greeted with a greeting [of peace], answer with an even better greeting, or [at least] with the like thereof.* Verily, God keeps count indeed of all things.
[Hence,] O you who have attained to faith, when you go forth [to war] in God's cause, use your discernment, and do not - out of a desire for the fleeting gains of this worldly life - say unto anyone who offers you the greeting of peace, "Thou art not a believer"* for with God there are gains abundant. You, too, were once in the same condition* - but God has been gracious unto you. Use, therefore, your discernment: verily, God is always aware of what you do.
AND WHEN you go forth [to war] on earth, you will incur no sin by shortening your prayers* if you have reason to fear that those who are bent on denying the truth might suddenly fall upon you:* for, verily, those who deny the truth are your open foes.
Thus, when thou art among the believers* and about to lead them in prayer, let [only] part of them stand up with thee, retaining their arms. Then, after they have finished their prayer, let them provide you cover* while another group, who have not yet prayed, shall come forward and pray with thee, being fully prepared against danger and retaining their arms: (for) those who are bent on denying the truth would love to see you oblivious of your arms and your equipment, so that they might fall upon you in a surprise attack.* But it shall not be wrong for you to lay down your arms [while you pray] if you are troubled by rain* or if you are ill; but [always] be fully prepared against danger. Verily, God has readied shameful suffering for all who deny the truth!
And when you have finished your prayer, remember God - standing and sitting and lying down; and when you are once again secure, observe your prayers [fully]. Verily, for all believers prayer is indeed a sacred duty linked to particular times [of day].
And, indeed, He has enjoined upon you in this divine writ that whenever you hear people deny the truth of God's messages and mock at them, you shall avoid their company until they begin to talk of other things* - or else, verily, you will become like them. Behold, together with those who deny the truth God will gather in hell the hypocrites,
Behold, the hypocrites seek to deceive God - the while it is He who causes them to be deceived [by themselves]** And when they rise to pray, they rise reluctantly, only to be seen and praised by men, remembering God but seldom,
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!
Today, all the good things of life have been made lawful to you. And the food of those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime is lawful to you,* and your food is lawful to them. And [lawful to you are], in wedlock, women from among those who believe [in this divine writ], and, in wedlock, women from among those who have been vouchsafed revelation before your time -provided that you give them their dowers, taking them in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions.* But as for him who rejects belief [in God] - in vain will be all his works: for in the life to come he shall be among the lost.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! When you are about to pray, wash your face, and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and pass your [wet] hands lightly over your head, and [wash] your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in a state. requiring total ablution, purify yourselves.* But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature, or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water-then take resort to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your face and your hands. God does not want to impose any hardship on you, but wants to make you pure, and to bestow upon you the full measure of His blessings, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
[Whereupon] two men from among those who feared [God, and] whom God had blessed, said: "Enter upon them through the gate'* -for as soon as you enter it, behold, you shall be victorious! And in God you must place your trust if you are [truly] believers!"
for, when you call to prayer, they mock at it and make a jest of it-simply because they are people who do not use their reason.
For, when they come unto you, they say, "We do believe": whereas, in fact, they come with the resolve to deny the truth, and depart in the same state.* But God is fully aware of all that they would conceal.
For, when they come to understand what has been bestowed from on high upon this Apostle, thou canst see their eyes overflow with tears, because they recognize something of its truth;* [and] they say: "O our Sustainer! We do believe; make us one, then, with all who bear witness to the truth.
GOD will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought,* but He will take you to task for oaths which you have sworn in earnest. Thus, the breaking of an oath must be atoned for by* feeding ten needy persons with more or less the same food as you are wont to give to your own families,* or by clothing them, or by freeing a human being from bondage; and he who has not the wherewithal shall fast for three days [instead]. This shall be the atonement for your oaths whenever you have sworn [and broken them]. But be mindful of your oaths!'* Thus God makes clear unto you His messages, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
Those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds incur no sin by partaking of whatever they may,* so long as they are conscious of God and [truly] believe and do righteous deeds, and continue to be conscious of God and to believe, and grow ever more* conscious of God, and persevere in doing good: for God loves the doers of good.
for when they are told, "Come unto that which God has bestowed from on high, and unto the Apostle" - they answer, "Enough for us is that which we found our forefathers believing in and doing." Why, even though their forefathers knew nothing, and were devoid of all guidance?
O you who have attained to faith! It is [but] for your own selves that you are responsible: those who go astray can do you no harm if you [yourselves] are on the right path. Unto God you all must return: and then He will make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life].
O YOU who have attained to faith! Let there be witnesses to what you do when death approaches you and you are about to make bequests:* two persons of probity from among your own people, or -if the pangs of death come upon you while you are travelling far from home* -two other persons from [among people] other than your own. Take hold of the two after having prayed; and if you have any doubt in your mind, let each of them swear by God, "We shall not sell this [our word] for any price, even though it were [for the sake of] a near kinsman; and neither shall we conceal aught of what we have witnessed before God* -or else, may we indeed be counted among the sinful."
And there are among them such as [seem to] listen to thee [O Prophet]: but over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness.* And were they to see every sign [of the truth], they would still not believe in it-so much so that when they come unto thee to contend with thee, those who are bent on denying the truth say, "This is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
Lost indeed are they who consider it a lie that they will have to meet God -till the Last Hour suddenly comes upon them, [and] they cry, "Alas for us, that we disregarded it!" - for they shall bear on their backs the burden of their sins:* oh, how evil the load with which they shall be burdened!
Then, when they had forgotten all that they had been told to take to heart, We threw open to them the gates of all [good] things* until -even as they were rejoicing in what they had been granted - We suddenly took them to task: and lo! they were broken in spirit;*
And when those who believe in Our messages come unto thee, say: "Peace be upon you. Your Sustainer has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy* - so that if any of you does a bad deed out of ignorance, and thereafter repents and lives righteously, He shall be [found] much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
And He alone holds sway over His servants. And He sends forth heavenly forces to watch over you* until, when death approaches any of you, Our messengers cause him to die: and they do not overlook [anyone].
NOW, whenever thou meet such as indulge in [blasphemous] talk about Our messages, turn thy back upon them until they begin to talk of other things* and if Satan should ever cause thee to forget [thyself], remain not, after recollection, in the company of such evildoing folk,
And He it is who has caused waters to come down from the sky; and by this means have We brought forth all living growth, and out of this have We brought forth verdure.* Out of this do We bring forth close-growing grain; and out of the spathe of the palm tree, dates in thick clusters; and gardens of vines, and the olive tree, and the pomegranate: [all] so alike, and yet so different!* Behold their fruit when it comes to fruition and ripens! Verily, in all this there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
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 whenever. a [divine] message comes to them, they say, "We shall not believe unless we are given the like of what God's apostles were given!"* [But] God knows best upon whom to bestow His message. Abasement in the sight of God will befall those who have become guilty of evildoing, and suffering severe for all the schemes which they were wont to weave.
For it is He who has brought into being gardens-[both] the cultivated ones and those growing wild* -and the date-palm, and fields bearing multiform produce, and the olive tree, and the pomegranate: [all] resembling one another and yet so different!* Eat of their fruit when it comes to fruition, and give [unto the poor] their due on harvest day. And do not waste [God's bounties]: verily, He does not love the wasteful!
and do not touch the substance of an orphan - save to improve it-before he comes of age."* And [in all your dealings] give full measure and weight,* with equity: [however,] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear;* and when you voice an opinion, be just, even though it be [against] one near of kin.* And [always] observe your bond with God:* this has He enjoined upon you, so that you might keep it in mind.
and [so,] whenever they commit a shameful deed, they are wont to say, "We found our forefathers doing it," and, "God has enjoined it upon us." Say: "Behold, never does God enjoin deeds of abomination. Would you attribute unto God something of which you have no knowledge?"
And for all people a term has been set:* and when [the end of] their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment,* nor can they hasten it.
And who could be more wicked than they who attribute their own lying inventions to God or give the lie to His messages? Whatever has been decreed to be their lot [in life] will be theirs* -till there shall come _ unto them Our messengers to cause them to die, [and] shall say, "Where, now, are those beings whom you were wont to invoke beside God?" And [those sinners] will reply, "They have forsaken us!" -and [thus] they will bear witness against themselves that they had been denying the truth.
[And God] will say: "Join those hosts of invisible beings and humans who have gone before you into the fire!" [And] every time a host enters [the fire], it will curse its fellow-host -so much so that, when they all shall have passed into it, one after another, the last of them will speak [thus] of the first of them:* "O our Sustainer! It is they who have led us astray: give, them, therefore, double suffering through fire!" He, will reply: "Every one of you deserves double suffering* -but you know it not."
And whenever their eyes are turned towards the inmates of the fire, they will cry: "O our Sustainer! Place us not among the people who have been guilty of evildoing!"
And He it is who sends forth the winds as a glad tiding of His coming grace-so that, when they have brought heavy clouds, We may drive them towards dead land and cause thereby water to descend; and by this means do We cause all manner of fruit to come forth. Even thus shall We cause the \dead to come forth: [and this] you ought to keep in mind.*
But whenever good fortune alighted upon them, they would say, "This is [but] our due"; and whenever affliction befell them, they would blame their evil fortune on Moses and those who followed him.* Oh, verily, their [evil] fortune had been decreed by God-but most of them knew it not.
But whenever We removed the plague from them, giving them time to make good their promise,* lo, they would break their word.
Verily, they who are conscious of God bethink themselves [of Him] whenever any dark suggestion from Satan touches them* - whereupon, lo! they begin to see [things] clearly,
And yet, when thou [O Prophet] dost not produce any miracle for them, some [people] say, "Why dost thou not seek to obtain it [from God]?* Say: "I only follow whatever is being revealed to me by my Sustainer: this [revelation] is a means of insight from your Sustainer, and a guidance and grace unto people who will believe.
Hence, when the Qur'an is voiced, hearken unto it, and listen in silence, so that you might be graced with [God's] mercy."
Believers are only they whose hearts tremble with awe whenever God is mentioned, and whose faith is strengthened whenever His messages are conveyed unto them,* and who in their Sustainer place their trust -
O YOU who have attained to faith! When you meet in battle those who are bent on denying the truth, advancing in great force, do not turn your backs on them:*
O you who have attained to faith! Respond to the call of God and the Apostle whenever he calls you unto that which will give you life; and know that God intervenes between man and [the desires of] his heart,* and that unto Him you shall be gathered.
And whenever Our messages were conveyed to them, they would say, "We have heard [all this] before; if we wanted, we could certainly compose sayings like these [ourselves]: they are nothing but fables of ancient times!"*
[Hence,] O you who have attained to faith, when you meet a host in battle, be firm, and remember God often; so that you might attain to a happy state!
And so, when the sacred months are over* , slay those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God wherever you may come upon them,* and take them captive, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every conceivable place* ! Yet if they repent, and take to prayer, and render the purifying dues, let them go their way: for, behold, God is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! What is amiss with you that, when you are called upon, "Go forth to war in God's cause," you cling heavily to the earth?* Would you content yourselves with [the comforts of] this worldly life in preference to [the good of] the life to come? But the enjoyment of life in this world is but a paltry thing when compared with the life to come!
And among them are such as find fault with thee [O Prophet] concerning [the distribution of] the offerings given for the sake of God:* if they are given something thereof, they are well-pleased; but if they are not given anything thereof, lo! they are consumed with anger.
[They are indeed denying it:] for, when they were called upon through revelation,* "Believe in God, and strive hard [in His cause] together with His Apostle," [even] such of them as were well able [to go to war] asked thee for exemption, saying, "Allow us to stay behind with those who remain at home!"*
[But] no blame shall attach to the weak,* nor to the sick, nor to those who have no means. [to equip themselves],* provided that they are sincere towards God and His Apostle: there is no cause to reproach the doers of good, for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Nor [shall blame attach] to those who, when they came unto thee [O Prophet, with the request] that thou provide them with mounts, were told by thee, "I cannot find anything whereon to mount you" - [whereupon] they turned away, their eyes overflowing with tears out of sorrow that they had no means to spend [on their equipment].
[And] they will [still] be offering excuses to you when you return to them ,[from the campaign]! Say: "Do not offer [empty] excuses, [for] we shall not believe you: God has already enlightened us about you. And God will behold your [future] deeds, and [so will] His Apostle; and in the end you will be brought before Him* who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature's senses or mind,* and then He will make you truly understand what you were doing [in life]."
When you will have returned to them, (O believers,] they will swear to you by God, [repeating their excuses,] with a view to your letting them be.* Let them be, then: behold, they are loathsome, and hell is their goal in recompense for what they were wont to do.
And [He turned in His mercy, too,] towards the three [groups of believers] who had fallen prey to corruption,* until in the end-after the earth, despite all its vastness, had become [too] narrow for them and their souls had become [utterly] constricted they came to know with certainty that there is no refuge from God other than [a return] unto Him; and thereupon He turned again unto them in His mercy, so that they might repent: for, verily, God alone is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.*
With all this, it is not desirable that all of the believers take the field [in time of war]. From within every group in their midst, some shall refrain from going forth to war, and shall devote themselves [instead] to acquiring a deeper knowledge of the Faith. and [thus be able to] teach their home-coming brethren, so that these [too] might guard themselves against evil.*
YET WHENEVER a surah [of this divine writ] is bestowed from on high, some of the deniers of the truth are prone to ask,* "Which of you has this [message] strengthened in his faith?" Now as for those who have attained to faith, it does strengthen them in their faith, and they rejoice in the glad tiding [which God has given them].*
and whenever a surah is bestowed from on high, they look at one another [and say, as it were], "Is there anyone who can see what is in your hearts?"* -and then they turn away. God has turned their hearts away [from the truth] - for they are people who will not grasp it.*
For [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us, whether he be lying on his side or sitting or standing;* but as soon as We have freed him of his affliction, he goes on as though he had never invoked Us to save him from the affliction* that befell him! Thus do their own doings seem goodly unto those who waste their own selves.*
AND [thus it is:] whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, those who do not believe that they are destined to meet Us [are wont to] say, "Bring us a discourse other than this, or alter this one."* Say [O Prophet]: "It is not conceivable that I should alter it of my own volition; I only follow what is revealed to me. Behold, I would dread, were I [thus] to rebel against my Sustainer, the suffering [which would befall me] on that ,awesome Day [of Judgment]!"
And [thus it is:] whenever We let [such] people* taste [some of Our] grace after hardship has visited them-lo! they forthwith turn to devising false arguments against Our messages.* Say: "God is swifter [than you] in His deep devising!" Behold, Our [heavenly] messengers are recording all that you may devise!
He it is who enables you to travel on land and sea. And [behold what happens] when you go to sea in ships:* [they go to sea in ships,] and they sail on in them in a favourable wind, and they rejoice thereat until there comes upon them a tempest, and waves surge towards them from all sides, so that they believe themselves to be encompassed [by death; and then] they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone, "If Thou wilt but save us from this, we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"
The parable of the life of this world is but that of rain which We send down from the sky, and which is absorbed by the plants of the earth* whereof men and animals draw nourishment, until -when the earth has assumed its artful adornment and has been embellished, and they who dwell on it believe that they have gained mastery over it* -there comes down upon it Our judgment, by night or by day, and We cause it to become [like] a field mown down, as if there had been no yesterday.* Thus clearly do We spell out these messages unto people who think!
NOW every community has had an apostle; and only after their apostle has appeared [and delivered his message] is judgment passed on them, in all equity;* and never are they wronged.
Say [O Prophet]: "It is not within my power to avert harm from, or bring benefit to, myself, except as God may please.* For all people a term has been set: when the end of their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor hasten it."*
Will you, then, believe in it [only] after it has come to pass -[on the Day when you will be asked, `Do you believe in it] now,* after having [contemptuously] called for its speedy advent?'
And We brought the children of Israel across the sea; and thereupon Pharaoh and his hosts pursued them with vehement insolence and tyranny, until [they were overwhelmed by the waters of the sea. And] when he was about to drown, [Pharaoh] exclaimed:* "I have come to believe that there is no deity save Him in whom the children of Israel believe, and I am of those who surrender themselves unto Him!"
[And so it went on] till, when Our judgment came to pass, and waters gushed forth in torrents over the face of the earth,* We said [unto Noah]: "Place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex,* as well as thy family -except those on whom [Our] sentence has already been passed* -and all [others] who have attained to faith!"-for, only a few [of Noah's people] shared his faith.
And such is thy Sustainer's punishing grasp whenever He takes to task any community that is given to evildoing: verily, His punishing grasp is grievous, severe!
And [Joseph] said to his servants: "Place their merchandise* in their camel-packs, so that they may find it there when they come home, and hence be the more eager to return.*
[All the earlier apostles had to suffer persecution for a long time;] but at last* -when those apostles had lost all hope and saw themselves branded as liars* - Our succour attained to them: whereupon everyone whom We Milled [to be saved] was saved [and the deniers of the truth were destroyed]: for, never can Our punishment be averted from people who are lost in sin.
BUT IF thou art amazed [at the marvels of God's creation], amazing, too, is their saying, "What! After we have become dust, shall we indeed be [restored to life] in a new act .of creation?"* It is they who [thus show that they] are bent on denying their Sustainer;* and it is they who carry the shackles [of their own making] around their necks;* and it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
[thinking that] he has hosts of helpers-both such as can be perceived by him and such as are hidden from him* -that could preserve him from whatever God may have willed.* Verily, God does not change men's condition unless they change their inner selves;* and when God wills people to suffer evil [in consequence of their . own evil deeds], there is none who could avert it: for they have none who could protect them from Him.
and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down before him in prostration!*
He creates man out of a [mere] drop of sperm: and lo! this same being shows himself endowed with the power to think and to argue!*
and [who], whenever they are asked, "What is it that your Sustainer has bestowed from on high?"-are wont to answer, "Fables of ancient times!"*
Whenever We will anything to be, We but say unto it Our word "Be" -and it is.
For, whatever good thing comes to you, comes from God; and whenever harm befalls you, it is unto Him that you cry for help*
yet as soon as He has removed the harm from you, lo! some of you [begin to] ascribe to other powers a share 'in their Sustainer's divinity*
for, whenever any of them is given the glad tiding of [the birth of] a girl,* his face darkens, and he is filled with suppressed anger,
Now if God were to take men [immediately] to task for all the evil that they do [on earth], He would not leave a single living creature upon its face. However, He grants them respite until a term set [by Him]:* but when the end of their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor can they hasten it.*
And when they who were bent on evildoing behold the suffering [that awaits them, they will realize that] it will not be lightened for them [by virtue of their pleading] ; and neither will they be granted respite.
And when they who were wont to ascribe divinity to beings other than God behold [on Judgment Day] those beings to whom they were wont to ascribe a share in His divinity,* they will exclaim: "O our Sustainer! These are the beings to whom we ascribed a share in Thy divinity, and whom we were wont to invoke instead of Thee !"* -whereupon [those beings] will fling at them the retort: "Behold, you have indeed been lying [to yourselves]!"*
And be true to your bond with God whenever you bind yourselves by a pledge,* and do not break [your] oaths after having [freely] confirmed them* and having called upon God to be witness to your good faith:* behold, God knows all that you do.
NOW whenever thou happen to read this Qur'an, seek refuge with God from Satan, the accursed.*
And now that We replace one message by another* -since God is fully aware of what He bestows from on high, step by step* - they [who deny the truth] are wont to say, "Thou but inventest it!" Nay, but most of them do not understand it!*
Hence, when the prediction of the first of those two [periods of iniquity] came true, We sent against you some of Our bondmen of terrible prowess in war, and they wrought havoc throughout the land: and so the prediction was fulfilled.*
[And We said:] "If you persevere in doing good, you will but be doing good to yourselves; and if you do evil, it will be [done] to yourselves." And so, when the prediction of the second [period of your iniquity] came true, [We raised new enemies against you, and allowed them] to disgrace you utterly,* and to enter the Temple as [their forerunners] had entered it once before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that they had conquered.
But when [this has been done, and] it is Our will to destroy a community, We convey Our last warning* to those of its people who have lost themselves entirely in the pursuit of pleasures;* and [if] they [continue to] act sinfully, the sentence [of doom] passed on the community takes effect, and We break it to smithereens.
And give full measure whenever you measure, and weigh with a balance that is true:* this will be [for your own] good, and best in the end.
But [thus it is:]* whenever thou recitest the Qur'an, We place an invisible barrier between thee and those who will not believe in the life to come:_
for, over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping its purport, and into their ears, deafness.* And so, whenever thou dost mention, while reciting the Qur'an, thy Sustainer as the one and only Divine Being,* they turn their backs [upon thee] in aversion.
And [thus, too,] they say, "After we will have become bones and dust, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead in a new act of creation?"
And whenever danger befalls you at sea, all those (powers] that you are wont to invoke forsake you, [and nothing remains for you] save Him: but as soon as He has brought you safe ashore, you turn aside [and forget Him]-for, indeed, bereft of all gratitude is man!
for [it often happens that] when We bestow Our blessings upon man, he turns away and arrogantly keeps aloof [from any thought of Us]; and when evil fortune touches him, he abandons all hope.*
Such will be their requital for having rejected Our messages and having said, "After we will have become bones and dust, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead in a new act of creation?"*
And after that We said unto the children of Israel: "Dwell now securely on earth - but [remember that] when the promise of the Last Day shall come to pass, We will bring you forth as [parts of] a motley crowd!*
Say: "Believe in it or do not believe." Behold, those who are already* endowed with [innate] knowledge fall down upon their faces in prostration as soon as this [divine writ] is conveyed unto them,
And [for many a year] thou might have seen the sun, on its rising, incline away from their cave on the right, and, on its setting, turn aside from them on the left, while they lived on in that spacious chamber,* [bearing witness to] this of God's messages: He whom God guides, he alone has found the right way; whereas for him whom He lets go astray thou canst never find any protector who would point out the right way.
without (adding], "if God so wills."* And if thou shouldst forget [thyself at the time, and become aware of it later], call thy Sustainer to mind and say: "I pray that my Sustainer guide me, even closer than this, to a consciousness of what is right!"
And so the two went on their way, till (they reached the seashore; and] when they disembarked from the boat [that had ferried them across], the sage* made a hole in it-[whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou made a hole in it in order to drown the people who may be [travelling] in it? Indeed, thou hast done a grievous thing!"
And so the two went on, till, when they met a young man, [the sage] slew him -(whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou slain an innocent human being without [his having taken] another man's life? Indeed, thou hast done a terrible thing!"
And so the two went on, till, when they came upon some village people, they asked them* for food; but those [people] refused them all hospitality. And they saw in that (village] a wall which was on the point of tumbling down, and [the sage] rebuilt it[whereupon Moses] said: "Hadst thou so wished, surely thou couldst [at least] have obtained some payment for it?"
[And he marched westwards] till, when he came to the setting of the sun,* it appeared to him that it was setting in a dark, turbid sea;* and nearby he found a people [given to every kind of wrongdoing]. We said: "O thou Two-Horned One! Thou mayest either cause [them] to suffer or treat them with kindness!"*
[And then he marched eastwards] till, when he came to the rising of the sun* he found that it was rising on a people for whom We had provided no coverings against it:
[And he marched on] till, when he reached [a place] between the two mountain-barriers,* he found beneath them a people who could scarcely understand a word [of his language].
Bring me ingots of iron!" Then, after he had [piled up the iron and] filled the gap between the two mountain-sides, he said: "[Light a fire and] ply your bellows!"* At length, when he had made it [glow like] fire, he commanded: "Bring me molten copper which I may pour upon it."
Said [the King]: "This is a mercy from my Sustainer! Yet when the time appointed by my Sustainer* shall come, He will make this [rampart] level with the ground: and my Sustainer's promise always comes true!"*
It is not conceivable that God should have taken unto Himself a son: limitless is He in His glory!* When He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it "Be" -and it is!
THESE WERE some of the prophets upon whom God bestowed His blessings - [prophets] of the seed of Adam and of those whom We caused to be borne [in the ark] with Noah, and of the seed of Abraham and Israel* and [all of them were] among those whom We had guided and elected; [and] whenever the messages of the Most Gracious were conveyed unto them, they would fall down [before Him], prostrating themselves and weeping.*
WITH ALL THIS, man [often] says, "What! Once I am dead, shall I again be brought forth alive?"
AS IT IS, whenever Our messages are conveyed to them in all their clarity, those who are bent on denying the truth are wont to say unto those who have attained to faith: "Which of the two kinds of man* is in a stronger position and superior as a community?"*
Say: "As for him who lives in error, may the Most Gracious lengthen the span of his life!* [And let them say whatever they say* until the time when they behold that [doom] of which they were forewarned-whether it be suffering [in this world] or [at the coming of] the Last Hour -: for then they will understand which [of the two kinds of man] was worse in station and weaker in resources!*
And [every time,] as soon as they began to feel Our punishing might, lo! they tried to flee from it
Nay, but [by the very act of creation] We hurl the truth against falsehood,* and it crushes the latter: and lo! it withers away.* But woe unto you for all your [attempts at] defining [God] *
But [thus it is:] whenever they who are bent on denying the truth consider thee,* they make thee but a target of their mockery, [saying to one another,] Is this the one who speaks [so contemptuously] of your gods?''* and yet, it is they themselves who, at [every] mention of the Most Gracious, are wont to deny the truth!*
SAY [unto all men]: 1 but warn you on the strength of divine revelation!" But the deaf [of heart] will not hearken to this call, however often they are warned.*
until such a time as Gog and Magog are let loose [upon the world] and swarm down from every corner [of the earth],*
the while the true promise [of resurrection] draws close [to its fulfillment]. But then, lo! the eyes of those who [in their lifetime] were bent on denying the truth will stare in horror, [and they will exclaim:] Oh, woe unto us! We were indeed heedless of this [promise of resurrection]! - nay, we were [bent on] doing evil!"*
O MEN! If you are in doubt as to the [truth of] resurrection, [remember that,] verily, We have created [every one of] you out of dust, then out of a drop of sperm, then out of a germ-cell, then out of an embryonic lump complete [in itself] and yet incomplete* so that We might make [your origin] clear unto you. And whatever We will [to be born] We cause to rest in the [mothers'] wombs for a term set [by Us], and then We bring you forth as infants and [allow you to live] so that [some of] you might attain to maturity: for among you are such as are caused to die [in childhood], just as many a one of you is reduced in old age to a most abject state, ceasing to know anything of what he once knew so well.* And [if, O man, thou art still in doubt as to resurrection, consider this:] thou canst see the earth dry and lifeless - and [suddenly,] when We send down waters upon it, it stirs and swells and puts forth every kind of lovely plant!
all whose hearts tremble with awe whenever God is mentioned, and all who patiently bear whatever ill befalls them, and all who are constant in prayer and spend on others out of what We provide for them as sustenance.*
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.
Yet whenever We sent forth any apostle or prophet before thee, and he was hoping* [that his warnings would be heeded], Satan would cast an aspersion on his innermost aims:* but God renders null and void whatever aspersion Satan may cast; and God makes His messages clear in and by themselves* for God is all-knowing, wise.
As it is, whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, thou canst perceive utter repugnance on the faces of those who are bent on denying the truth: they would almost assault those who convey Our messages unto them! Say: Shall I, then, tell you of something worse than what you feel at present?* It is the fire [of the hereafter] that God has promised to those who are bent on denying the truth: and how vile a journey's end!"
Thereupon We inspired him thus: Build, under Our eyes* and according to Our inspiration, the ark [that shall save thee and those who follow thee].* And when Our judgment comes to pass, and waters gush forth in torrents over the face of the earth, place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex, as well as thy family - excepting those on whom sentence has already been passed; and do not appeal to Me [any more] in behalf of those who are bent on evildoing - for, behold, they are destined to be drowned!
And as soon as thou and those who are with thee are settled in the ark, say: 'All praise is due to God, who has saved us from those evildoing folk!'
Does he promise you that, after you have died and become [mere] dust and bones, you shall be brought forth [to a new life]?
until - after We shall have taken to task, through suffering, those from among them who [now] are lost in the pursuit of pleasures -* they cry out in [belated] supplication.
until We open before them a gate of [truly] severe suffering [in the life to come]: and then, lo! they will be broken in spirit.*
they say: What! After we have died and become mere dust and bones, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead?
[AS FOR THOSE who will not believe in the life to come, they go on lying to themselves]* until, when death approaches any of them, he prays: O my Sustainer! Let me return, let me return [to life],*
Then, when the trumpet [of resurrection] is blown, no ties of kinship will on that Day prevail among them, and neither will they ask about one another.
But as for those who are bent on denying the truth, their [good] deeds are like a mirage in the desert, which the thirsty supposes to be water until, when he approaches it, he finds that it was nothing:* instead, he finds [that] God [has always been present] with him, and [that] He will pay him his account in full - for God is swift in reckoning!
Or [else, their deeds are]* like the depths of darkness upon an abysmal sea, made yet more dark by wave billowing over wave, with [black] clouds above it all: depths of darkness, layer upon layer,* [so that] when one holds up his hand, he can hardly see it: for he to whom God gives no light, no light whatever has he!
And [so it is that] whenever they are summoned unto God and His Apostle in order that [the divine writ] might judge between them,* lo! some of them turn away;
The only response of believers, whenever they are summoned unto God and His Apostle in order that [the divine writ] might judge between them, can be no other than,* We have heard, and we pay heed!"- and it is they, they who shall attain to a happy state:
Yet when the children among you attain to puberty, let them ask leave of you [at all times], even as those [who have reached maturity] before them have been enjoined to ask it.* In this way God makes clear unto you His messages: for God is all-knowing, wise!
[ALL OF YOU, O believers, are brethren: hence.]* no blame attaches to the blind, nor does blame attach to the lame, nor does blame attach to the sick [for accepting charity from the hale], and neither to yourselves for eating [whatever is offered to you by others, whether it be food obtained] from your [children's] houses,* or your fathers' houses, or your mothers' houses, or your brothers' houses, or your sisters' houses, or your paternal uncles' houses, or your paternal aunts' houses, or your maternal uncles' houses, or your maternal aunts' houses, or [houses] the keys whereof are in your charge!* or [the house] of any of your friends; nor will you incur any sin by eating in company or separately. But whenever you enter [any of these] houses, greet one another with a blessed, goodly greeting, as enjoined by God. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages, so that you might [learn to] use your reason.
[TRUE BELIEVERS are only they who have attained to faith in God and His Apostle, and who, whenever they are [engaged] with him upon a matter of concern to the whole community* do not depart [from whatever has been decided upon] unless they have sought [and obtained] his leave.* Verily, those who [do not abstain from the agreed upon action unless they] ask leave of thee - it is [only] they who [truly] believe in God and His Apostle! Hence, when they ask leave of thee for some [valid] reason of their own, grant thou this leave to whomsoever of them thou choose [to grant it],* and ask God to forgive them: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!*
when it shall face them from afar, they will hear its angry roar and its hiss;*
and when they are flung, linked [all] together, into a tight space within, they will pray for extinction there and then!*
Hence, whenever they consider thee, [O Muhammad,] they but make thee a target of their mockery, [saying:] Is this the one whom God has sent as an apostle?
Yet when they [who are bent on denying the truth! are told, Prostrate yourselves before the Most Gracious." they are wont to ask, And [who and] what is the Most Gracious? Are we to prostrate ourselves before whatever thou biddest us [to worship]?'' - and so [thy call] but increases their aversion,
For, [true] servants of the Most Gracious are [only] they who walk gently on earth, and who, whenever the foolish address them,* reply with [words of] peace;
and who, whenever they spend on others,* are neither wasteful nor niggardly but [remember that] there is always a just mean between those [two extremes];
And [know that true servants of God are only] those who never bear witness to what is false,* and [who], whenever they pass by [people engaged in] frivolity, pass on with dignity;
and who, whenever they are reminded of their Sustainer's messages, do not throw themselves upon them [as if] deaf and blind;*
Thereupon [Moses] threw down his staff - and lo! it was a serpent, plainly visible;
and he drew forth his hand - and lo! it appeared [shining] white to the beholders.*
[But] then Moses threw his staff - and lo! it swallowed up all their deceptions.*
and when I fall ill, is the One who restores me to health,
And will you [always], whenever you lay hand [on others], lay hand [on them] cruelly, without any restraint?*
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]!"
Said she: Verily, whenever kings enter a country they corrupt it,* and turn the noblest of its people into the most abject. And this is the way they [always] behave?*
AND [likewise], indeed, We sent unto [the tribe of] Thamud their brother Salih [with this message]: Worship God alone!"* and, behold, they were [split into] two factions contending with one another.
Nay - who is it that responds to the distressed when he calls out to Him, and who removes the ill [that caused the distress], and has made you inherit the earth?* Could there be any divine power besides God? How seldom do you keep this in mind!
And so, they who are bent on denying the truth are saying: What! After we have become dust - we and our forefathers - shall we [all], forsooth, be brought forth [from the dead]?
[But,] verily, thou canst not make the dead hear: and [so, too,] thou canst not make the deaf [of heart] hear this call when they turn their backs [on thee] and go away,
Now, [as for the deaf and blind of heart ] when the word [of truth] stands revealed against them,* We shall bring forth unto them out of the earth a creature, which will tell them that mankind had no real faith in Our messages.*
until such a time as they shall come [to be judged. And] He will say: Did you give the lie to My messages even though you failed to encompass them with [your] knowledge?* Or what was it that [you thought] you were doing?"
And so, [when he was born,] We inspired [thus] the mother of Moses: Suckle him [for a time], and then, when thou hast cause to fear for him, cast him into the river,* and have no fear and do not grieve - for We shall restore him to thee, and shall make him one of Our message-bearers!"
And next morning he found himself in the city, looking fearfully about him, when lo! the one who had sought his help the day before [once again] cried out to him [for help* whereupon] Moses said unto him: Behold, thou art indeed, most clearly, deeply in the wrong!*
and whenever it is [clearly] conveyed unto them, they [are bound to] profess, We have come to believe in it, for, behold, it is the truth from our Sustainer - and, verily, even before this have we surrendered ourselves unto Him!"
and, whenever they heard frivolous talk,* having turned away from it and said: Unto us shall be accounted Our deeds, and unto you, your deeds. Peace be upon you - [but] we do not seek out such as are ignorant [of the meaning of right and wrong]."
Now there is among men many a one who says [of himself and of others like him], We do believe in God" - but whenever he is made to suffer in God's cause, he thinks that persecution at the hands of man is as [much to be feared, or even more than,] God's chastisement;* whereas, if succour from thy Sustainer comes [to those who truly believe]* he is sure to say. Behold, we have always been with you!" Is not God fully aware of what is in the hearts of all creatures?
And so, when they embark on a ship [and find themselves in danger], they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone; but as soon as He has brought them safe ashore, they [begin to] ascribe to imaginary powers a share in His divinity:
And among His wonders is this: He creates you out of dust * and then, lo! you become human beings ranging far and wide!
And among His wonders is this: the skies and the earth stand firm at His behest.* [Remember all this: for] in the end, when He will call you forth from the earth with a single call - lo! you will [all] emerge [for judgment].
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls men, they cry out unto their Sustainer, turning unto Him [for help]; but as soon as He lets them taste of His grace, lo! some of them [begin to] ascribe to other powers a share in their Sustainer's divinity,*
And [thus it is:] when we let men taste [Our] grace, they rejoice in it; but if evil befalls them as an outcome of what their own hands have wrought* lo! they lose all hope!
It is God who sends forth the winds [of hope],* so that they raise a cloud - whereupon He spreads it over the skies as He wills, and causes it to break up so that thou seest rain issue from within it: and as soon as He causes it to fall upon whomever He wills of His servants - lo! they rejoice,
And, verily, thou canst not make the dead hear: and [so, too,] thou canst not make the deaf [of heart] hear this call when they turn their backs [on thee] and go away,
For, whenever Our messages are conveyed to such a one, he turns away in his arrogance* as though he had not heard them - as though there were deafness in his ears. Give him, then, the tiding of grievous suffering [in the life to come].
and when such [people] are told to follow that which God has bestowed from on high, they answer, Nay, we shall follow that which we found our forefathers believing in and doing!" Why - [would you follow your forefathers] even if Satan had invited them unto the suffering of the blazing flame?*
For [thus it is with most men:] when the waves engulf them like shadows [of death], they call unto God, sincere [at that moment] in their faith in Him alone: but as soon as He has brought them safe ashore, some of them stop half-way [between belief and unbelief]* Yet none could knowingly reject Our messages unless he be utterly perfidious, ingrate.
For, [many are] they [who] say, What! After we have been [dead and] lost in the earth, shall we indeed be [restored to life] in a new act of creation?" Nay, but [by saying this] they deny the truth that they are destined to meet their Sustainer!*
ONLY THEY [truly] believe in Our messages who, whenever they are conveyed to them, fall down, prostrating themselves in adoration, and extol their Sustainer's limitless glory and praise; and who are never filled with false pride;
begrudging you all help. But then, when danger threatens, thou canst see them looking to thee [for help, O Prophet], their eyes rolling [in terror] like [the eyes of] one who is overshadowed by death: yet as soon as the danger has passed, they will assail you [believers] with sharp tongues, begrudging you all that is good! [People like] these have never known faith - and therefore God will cause all their works to come to nought: for this is indeed easy for God.
Now whenever God and His Apostle have decided a matter,* it is not for a believing man or a believing woman to claim freedom of choice insofar as they themselves are concerned:* for he who [thus] rebels against God and His Apostle has already, most obviously, gone astray.
AND LO,* [O Muhammad,] thou didst say unto the one to whom God had shown favour and to whom thou hadst shown favour,* Hold on to thy wife, and remain conscious of God!" And [thus] wouldst thou hide within thyself something that God was about to bring to light* for thou didst stand in awe of [what] people [might think], whereas it was God alone of whom thou shouldst have stood in awe!* [But] then, when Zayd had come to the end of his union with her,* We gave her to thee in marriage, so that [in future] no blame should attach to the believers for [marrying] the spouses of their adopted children when the latter have come to the end of their union with them.* And [thus] God's will was done.
O YOU who have attained to faith! If you marry believing women and then divorce them ere you have touched them, you have no reason to expect, and to calculate, any waiting period on their part:* hence, make [at once] provision for them, and release them in a becoming manner.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not enter the Prophet's dwellings unless you are given leave; [and when invited] to a meal, do not come [so early as] to wait for it to be readied: but whenever you are invited, enter [at the proper time]; and when you have partaken of the meal, disperse without lingering for the sake of mere talk: that, behold, might give offence to the Prophet, and yet he might feel shy of [asking] you [to leave]: but God is not shy of [teaching you] what is right.* And [as for the Prophet's wives,] whenever you ask them for anything that you need, ask them from behind a screen:* this will but deepen the purity of your hearts and theirs. Moreover, it does not behove you to give offence to God's Apostle - just as it would not behove you ever to marry his widows after he has passed away:* that, verily, would be an enormity in the sight of God.
As against this, they who are bent on denying the truth say [unto all who are of like mind]: Shall we point out to you a man who will tell you that [after your death,] when you will have been scattered in countless fragments, you shall - lo and behold! - be [restored to life] in a new act of creation?
And, before Him, intercession can be of no avail [to any] save one in whose case He may have granted leave [there for]:* so much so that when the terror [of the Last Hour] is lifted from their hearts, they [who have been resurrected] will ask [one another], What has your Sustainer decreed [for you]?" - [to which] the others will answer, Whatever is true and deserved - for He alone is exalted, great!"*
For [thus it is:] whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, they [who are bent on denying the truth] say [to one another], This [Muhammad] is nothing but a man who wants to turn you away from what your forefathers were wont to worship!" And they say, This [Qur'an] is nothing but a falsehood invented [by man]!" And [finally,] they who are bent on denying the truth speak thus of the truth when it comes to them: This is clearly nothing but spellbinding eloquence!"*
Now if God were to take men [at once] to task for whatever [wrong] they commit [on earth], He would not leave a single living creature upon its surface. However, He grants them respite for a term set [by Him]:* but when their term comes to an end - then, verily, [they come to know that] God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His servants.
And [of Our sway over all that exists] they have a sign in the night: We withdraw from it the [light of] day - and lo! they are in darkness.
And [yet,] when they are told, Beware of [God's insight into] all that lies open before you and all that is hidden from you,* so that you might be graced with His mercy," [most men choose to remain deaf;]
Thus, when they are told, Spend on others out of what God has provided for you as sustenance,"* those who are bent on denying the truth say unto those who believe, Shall we feed anyone whom, if [your] God had so willed, He could have fed [Himself]? Clearly, you are but lost in error!"
And [then] the trumpet [of resurrection] will be blown - and lo! out of their graves towards their Sustainer will they all rush forth!
Nothing will there have been but one single blast - and lo! before Us will all of them be arraigned [and be told]:
IS MAN, then, not aware that it is We who create him out of a [mere] drop of sperm - whereupon, lo! he shows himself endowed with the power to think and to argue?*
He who produces for you fire out of the green tree, so that, lo! you kindle [your fires] therewith."*
His Being alone* is such that when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, Be" and it is.
and when they are reminded [of the truth], they refuse to take it to heart;
and when they become aware of a [divine] message, they turn it to ridicule
Why - after we have died and become mere dust and bones, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead?
for that [resurrection which they deride] will be [upon them of a sudden, as if it were] but a single accusing cry - and then, lo! they will begin to see [the truth]
for, behold, whenever they were told, There is no deity save God," they would glory in their arrogance
[that] after we have died and become mere dust and bones we shall, forsooth, be brought to judgment?"'
But then, once it alights upon them, hapless will be the awakening of those who were warned [to no avail]!*
and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall you down before him in prostration!"*
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he is likely to cry out to his Sustainer, turning unto Him [for help];* but as soon as He has bestowed upon him a boon by His grace, he forgets Him whom he invoked before, and claims that there are other powers that could rival God* - and thus leads [others] astray from His path. Say [unto him who sins in this way]: Enjoy thyself for a while in this thy denial of the truth; [yet,] verily, thou art of those who are destined for the fire!
And yet, whenever God alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who will not believe in the life to come contract with bitter aversion - whereas, when those [imaginary powers] are mentioned side by side with Him, lo, they rejoice!*
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us for help; but when We bestow upon him a boon by Our grace, he says [to himself], I have been given [all] this by virtue of [my own] wisdom!"* Nay, this [bestowal of grace] is a trial: but most of them understand it not!
And [on that Day,] the trumpet [of judgment] will be sounded, and all [creatures] that are in the heavens and all that are on earth will fall down senseless, unless they be such as God wills [to exempt].* And then it will sound again - and lo! standing [before the Seat of Judgment], they will begin to see [the truth]!*
And those who were bent on denying the truth will be urged on in throngs towards hell till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened, and its keepers will ask them, Have there not come to you apostles from among yourselves, who conveyed to you your Sustainer's messages and warned you of the coming of this your Day [of Judgment]? "They will answer: Yea, indeed!" But the sentence of suffering will [already] have fallen due upon the deniers of the truth;*
But those who were conscious of their Sustainer will be urged on in throngs towards paradise till, when they reach it, they shall find its gates wide- open;* and its keepers will say unto them, Peace be upon you! Well have you done: enter, then, this [paradise], herein to abide!"
[And they will be told:] This [has befallen you] because, whenever the One God was invoked, you denied this truth; whereas, when divinity was ascribed to aught beside Him, you believed [in it]! But all judgment rests with God, the Exalted, the Great!"*
And [remember:] it was to you that Joseph came aforetime with all evidence of the truth; but you never ceased to throw doubt on all [the messages] that he brought you - so much so that when he died, you said, 'Never will God send any apostle [even] after him!'* In this way God lets go astray such as waste their own selves by throwing suspicion [on His revelations]
It is He who grants life and deals death; and when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, Be" - and it is.
And, indeed, [O Muhammad,] We sent forth apostles before thy time; some of them We have mentioned to thee,* and some of them We have not mentioned to thee. And it was not given to any apostle to bring forth a miracle other than by God's leave.* Yet when God's will becomes manifest,* judgment will [already] have been passed in all justice, and lost will be, then and there, all who tried to reduce to nothing [whatever they could not understand].*
till, when they come close to it, their hearing and their sight and their [very] skins will bear witness against them, speaking of what they were doing [on earth].
But [since] good and evil cannot be equal, repel thou [evil] with something that is better* and lo! he between whom and thyself was enmity [may then become] as though he had [always] been close [unto thee], a true friend!
For among His signs is this: thou seest the earth lying desolate - and lo! when We send down water upon it, it stirs and swells [with life]! Verily, He who brings it to life can surely give life to the dead [of heart as well]: for, behold, He has the power to will anything.*
And, too, when We bestow Our blessings upon man, he tends to turn aside and keep aloof [from remembering Us]; but as soon as evil fortune touches him, he is full of wordy prayers!*
And among His signs is the [very] creation of the heavens and the earth, and of all the living creatures which He has caused to multiply throughout them:* and [since He has created them,] He has [also] the power to gather them [unto Himself] whenever He wills.
and who shun the more heinous sins and abominations; and who, whenever they are moved to anger, readily forgive;
and who, whenever tyranny afflicts them, defend themselves.
BUT IF they turn away [from thee, O Prophet, know that] We have not sent thee to be their keeper: thou art not bound to do more than deliver the message [entrusted to thee]. And, behold, [such as turn away from Our messages are but impelled by the weakness and inconstancy of human nature: thus,]* when We give man a taste of Our grace, he is prone to exult in it;* but if misfortune befalls [any of] them in result of what their own hands have sent forth, then, behold, man shows how bereft he is of all gratitude!*
in order that you might gain mastery over them,* and that, whenever you have mastered them, you might remember your Sustainer's blessings and say: Limitless in His glory is He who has made [all] this subservient to our use - since [but for Him,] we would not have been able to attain to it.
For [thus it is:] if any of them is given the glad tiding of [the birth of] what he so readily attributes to the Most Gracious,* his face darkens, and he is filled with suppressed anger:
But in the end,* when he [who has thus sinned] appears before us [on Judgment Day], he will say [to his other self], Would that between me and thee there had been the distance of east and west!"* for, evil indeed [has proved] that other self!
But as soon as he came before them with Our [miraculous] signs,* lo! they derided them,
But whenever We removed the suffering from them, lo! they would break their word.
NOW WHENEVER [the nature of] the son of Mary is set forth as an example, [O Muhammad,] lo! thy people raise an outcry on this score,
for when he does become aware of any of Our messages, he makes them a target of his mockery! For all such there is shameful suffering in store.
And [so,] whenever Our messages are conveyed to them in all their clarity, their only argument is this:* Bring forth our forefathers [as witnesses], if what you claim is true!"*
for when it was said, 'Behold, God's promise always comes true, and there can be no doubt about [the coming of] the Last Hour' - you would answer, 'We do not know what that Last Hour may be: we think it is no more than an empty guess, and [so] we are by no means convinced!'"
such as, when all mankind is gathered [for judgment], will be enemies unto those [who worshipped them], and will utterly reject their worship?*
But whenever Our messages are conveyed to them in all their clarity, they who are bent on denying the truth speak thus of the truth as soon as it is brought to them: This is clearly nothing but spellbinding eloquence!"*
NOW [among the best of the deeds which] We have enjoined upon man is goodness towards his parents.* In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth; and her bearing him and his utter dependence on her took thirty months.* and so, when he attains to full maturity and reaches forty years,* he [that is righteous] prays: O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Thine with which Thou hast graced me and my parents, and that I may do what is right [in a manner] that will meet with Thy goodly acceptance; and grant me righteousness in my offspring [as well]. Verily, unto Thee have I turned in repentance:* for, verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!"
NOW WHEN you meet [in war] those who are bent on denying the truth,* smite their necks until you overcome them fully, and then tighten their bonds;* but thereafter [set them free,] either by an act of grace or against ransom, so that the burden of war may be lifted:* thus [shall it be]. And [know that] had God so willed, He could indeed punish them [Himself]; but [He wills you to struggle] so as to test you [all] by means of one another.* And as for those who are slain in God's cause, never will He let their deeds go to waste:
Now among those [hapless sinners] are such as [pretend to] listen to thee, [O Muhammad,]* and then, as soon as they leave thy presence, speak [with scorn] unto those who have understood [thy message]:* What is it that he has said just now?" It is such as these whose hearts God has sealed because they [always] followed but their own lusts*
Are, then, they [whose hearts are sealed] waiting for the Last Hour - [waiting] that it come upon them of a sudden? But it has already been foretold!* And what will their remembrance [of their past sins] avail them, once it has come upon them?*
NOW THOSE who have attained to faith say, Would that a revelation [allowing us to fight] was bestowed from on high!"* But now that a revelation clear in and by itself,* mentioning war, has been bestowed from on high, thou canst see those in whose hearts is disease looking at thee, [O Muhammad,] with the look of one who is about to faint for fear of death! And yet, far better for them would be
obedience [to God's call] and a word that could win [His] approval:* for, since the matter has been resolved [by His revelation], it would be but for their own good to remain true to God.
hence, how [will they fare] when the angels gather them in death, striking their faces and their backs?*
As soon as you [O believers] are about to set forth on a war that promises booty,* those who stayed behind [aforetime] will surely say, Allow us to go with you" - [thus showing that] they would like to alter the Word of God.* Say: By no means shall you go with us: God has declared aforetime [to whom all spoils shall belong]."* Thereupon they will [surely] answer, Nay, but you begrudge us [our share of booty]!" Nay, they can grasp but so little of the truth!
Why - [how could we be resurrected] after we have died and become mere dust? Such a return seems far-fetched indeed!"
CONSIDER this unfolding [of God's message], as it comes down from on high!*
out of a [mere] drop of sperm as it is poured forth,
And when the sky is rent asunder and becomes red like [burning] oil*
WHEN THAT which must come to pass* [at last] comes to pass,
When the earth is shaken with a shaking [severe],
and would say, What! After we have died and become mere dust and bones, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead? -
Why, then,* when [the last breath] comes up to the throat [of a dying man],
Art thou not aware of such as have been forbidden [to intrigue through] secret confabulations,* and yet [always] revert to that which they have been forbidden, and conspire with one another with a view to sinful doings, and aggressive conduct, and disobedience to the Apostle?* Now whenever such [people] approach thee, [O Muhammad,]* they salute thee with a greeting which God has never countenanced;* and they say to themselves, Why does not God chastise us for what we are saying?"* Hell shall be their allotted portion: they shall [indeed] enter it - and how vile a journey's end!
[Hence,] O you who have attained to faith, when you do hold secret confabulations, do not conspire with one another with a view to sinful doings, and aggressive conduct, and disobedience to the Apostle,* but [rather] hold counsel in the cause of virtue and God-consciousness: and [always] remain conscious of God, unto whom you all shall be gathered.
O YOU who have attained to faith! When you are told, Make room for one another in your collective life", do make room:* [and in return,] God will make room for you [in His grace].* And whenever you are told, Rise up [for a good deed]", do rise up;* [and] God will exalt by [many] degrees those of you who have attained to faith and, [above all,] such as have been vouchsafed [true] knowledge:* for God is fully aware of all that you do.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever you [intend to] consult the Apostle, offer up something in charity on the occasion of your consultation:* this will be for your own good, and more conducive to your [inner] purity. Yet if you are unable to do so,* [know that,] verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever believing women come unto you, forsaking the domain of evil,* examine them, [although only] God is fully aware of their faith;* and if you have thus ascertained that they are believers, do not send them back to the deniers of the truth, [since] they are [no longer] lawful to their erstwhile husbands,* and these are [no longer] lawful to them. None the less, you shall return to them whatever they have spent [on their wives by way of dower];* and [then, O believers,] you will be committing no sin if you marry them after giving them their dowers. On the other hand, hold not to the marriage-tie with women who [continue to] deny the truth,* and ask but for [the return of] whatever you have spent [by way of dower] -just as they [whose wives have gone over to you] have the right to demand* [the return of] whatever they have spent. Such is God's judgment: He judges between you [in equity] - for God is all-knowing, wise.
O Prophet! Whenever believing women come unto thee to pledge their allegiance to thee,* [pledging] that [henceforth] they would not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught but God, and would not steal,* and would not commit adultery, and would not kill their children,* and would not indulge in slander, falsely devising it out of nothingness:* and would not disobey thee in anything [that thou declarest to be] right - then accept their pledge of allegiance, and pray to God to forgive them their [past] sins: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
O YOU who have attained to faith! When the call to prayer is sounded on the day of congregation,* hasten to the remembrance of God, and leave all worldly commerce: this is for your own good, if you but knew it.
And when the prayer is ended, disperse freely on earth* and seek to obtain [something] of God's bounty; but remember God often, so that you might attain to a happy state!
Yet [it does happen that] when people* become aware of [an occasion for] worldly gain* or a passing delight, they rush headlong towards it, and leave thee standing [and preaching].* Say: "That which is with God is far better than all passing delight and all gain! And God is the best of providers!"
WHEN THE HYPOCRITES come unto thee, they say, "We bear witness that thou art indeed God's Apostle!" But God knows that thou art truly His Apostle; and He bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed false [in their declaration of faith].
Now when thou seest them, their outward appearance may please thee; and when they speak, thou art inclined to lend ear to what they say.* [But though they may seem as sure of themselves] as if they were timbers [firmly] propped up, they think that every shout is [directed] against them. They are the [real] enemies [of all faith], so beware of them. [They deserve the imprecation,] "May God destroy them!"* How perverted are their minds!*
for, when they are told, "Come, the Apostle of God will pray [unto God] that you be forgiven", they turn their heads away, and thou canst see how they draw back in their false pride.
But never does God grant a delay to a human being when his term has come; and God is fully aware of all that you do.
O PROPHET! When you* [intend to divorce women, divorce them with a view to the waiting period appointed for them,* and reckon the period [carefully], and be conscious of God, your Sustainer. Do not expel them from their homes;* and neither shall they [be made to] leave* unless they become openly guilty of immoral conduct.* These, then, are the bounds set by God - and he who transgresses the bounds set by God does indeed sin against himself: [for, O man, although] thou knowest it not, after that [first breach] God may well cause something new to come about.*
And so, when they are about to reach the end of their waiting-term, either retain them in a fair manner or part with them in a fair manner. And let two persons of [known] probity from among your own community* witness [what you have decided]; and do yourselves bear true witness before God:* thus are admonished all who believe in God and the Last Day. And unto everyone who is conscious of God, He [always] grants a way out [of unhappiness],
When they are cast into that [hell], they will hear its breath indrawing as it boils up,
that, whenever Our messages are conveyed to him, such a one says, "Fables of ancient times"?*
Hence, [bethink yourselves of the Last Hour,] when the trumpet [of judgment] shall be sounded with a single blast,
[As a rule,] whenever misfortune touches him, he is filled with self-pity;*
and whenever good fortune comes to him, he selfishly withholds it [from others].
so that He may forgive you some of your sins, and grant you respite until a term known [to Him alone]:* but, behold, when the term appointed by God does come, it can never be put back - if you but knew it!"
[Let them, then, wait] until the time when they behold that [doom] of which they were forewarned:* for then they will come to understand which [kind of man] is more helpless and counts for less!*
And [warn all men that] when the trumpet-call [of resurrection] is sounded,
and the morn when it dawns!
But [on that Day,] when the eyesight is by fear confounded,
Thus, when We recite it, follow thou its wording [with all thy mind]:*
NAY, but when [the last breath] comes up to the throat [of a dying man],
And immortal youths will wait upon them:* when thou seest them, thou wouldst deem them to be scattered pearls;
and when thou seest [anything that is] there thou wilt see [only] bliss and a realm transcendent
[They will not admit to themselves that] it We who have created them and strengthened their make* - and [that] if it be Our will We can replace them entirely with others of their kind.*
Thus, [it will come to pass] when the stars are effaced,
and when the sky is rent asunder,
and when the mountains are scattered like dust,
and when all the apostles are called together at a time appointed. . .*
and when they are told, "Bow down [before God]", do not bow down:
even though we may have become [a heap of] crumbling bones?"
AND SO, when the great overwhelming event [of, resurrection] comes to pass
and then, if it be His will, He shall raise him again to life,
AND SO,* when the piercing call [of resurrection] is heard
HEN THE SUN is shrouded in darkness,
and when the stars lose their light,
and when the mountains are made to vanish,*
and when she-camels big with young, about to give birth, are left untended,
and when all beasts are gathered together,*
and when the seas boil over,
and when all human beings are coupled [with their deeds],*
and when the girl-child that was buried alive is made to ask
and when the scrolls [of men's deeds] are unfolded,
and when heaven is laid bare,
and when the blazing fire [of hell] is kindled bright,
and when paradise is brought into view:
and the night as it darkly falls,
and the morn as it softly breathes:
WHEN THE SKY is cleft asunder,*
and when the stars are scattered,
and when the seas burst beyond their bounds,
and when the graves are overturned
those who, when they are to receive their due from [other] people, demand that it be given in full
but when they have to measure or weigh whatever they owe to others, give less than what is due!*
[and so,] whenever Our messages are conveyed to them, they but say, "Fables of ancient times!"
and whenever they pass by them, they wink at one another [derisively];
and whenever they return to people of their own kind,* they return full of jests;
and whenever they see those [who believe,] they say, "Behold, these [people] have indeed gone astray!"
WHEN THE SKY is split asunder,*
and when the earth is leveled,*
and the moon, as it grows to its fullness:*
and [that], when the Qur'an is read unto them, they do not fall down in prostration?*
Consider the night as it runs its course!*
BUT AS FOR man,* whenever his Sustainer tries him by His generosity and by letting him enjoy a life of ease, he says, "My Sustainer has been [justly] generous towards me";*
whereas, whenever He tries him by straitening his means of livelihood, he says, "My Sustainer has disgraced me!"*
Nay, but [how will you fare on Judgment Day,] when the earth is crushed with crushing upon crushing,
and the moon as it reflects the sun!*
Consider the day as it reveals the world,*
and the night as it veils it darkly!
CONSIDER the night as it veils [the earth] in darkness,
and the day as it rises bright!
and what will his wealth avail him when he goes down [to his grave]?*
and the night when it grows still and dark.*
Hence, when thou art freed [from distress], remain steadfast,
a servant [of God] from praying?*
WHEN THE EARTH quakes with her [last] mighty quaking,
But does he not know that [on the Last Day,] when all that is in the graves is raised and brought out,
WHEN GOD'S SUCCOUR comes, and victory,
"and from the evil of the black darkness whenever it descends,*
"and from the evil of the envious when he envies."*