They would deceive God and those who have attained to faith-the while they deceive none but themselves, and perceive it not.
Behold, God does not disdain to propound a parable of a gnat, or of something [even] less than that.* Now, as for those who have attained to faith, they know that it is the truth from their Sustainer - whereas those who are bent on denying the truth say, "What could God mean by this parable?" In this way does He cause many a one to go astray, just as He guides many a one aright: but none does He cause thereby to go astray save the iniquitous,
They replied: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! No knowledge have we save that which Thou hast imparted unto us. Verily, Thou alone art all-knowing, truly wise."
And when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!"* -they all prostrated themselves, save Iblis, who refused and gloried in his arrogance: and thus he became one of those who deny the truth.*
And seek aid in steadfast patience and prayer: and this, indeed, is a hard thing for all but the humble in spirit,
And there are among them unlettered people who have no real knowledge of the divine writ,* [following] only wishful beliefs and depending on nothing but conjecture.
And they say, "The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days."* Say [unto them]: "Have you received a promise from God - for God never breaks His promise - or do you attribute to God something which you cannot know?"
AND LO! We accepted this solemn pledge from [you,] ' the children of Israel:* "You shall worship none but God; and you shall do good unto your parents and kinsfolk, and the orphans, and the poor; and you shall speak unto all people in a kindly way; and you shall be constant in prayer; and you shall spend in charity.* "And yet, save for a few of you, you turned away: for you are obstinate folk!*
And yet, it is you who slay one another and drive some of your own people from their homelands, aiding one another against them in sin and hatred; but if they come to you as captives, you ransom them - although the very [act of] driving them away has been made unlawful to you!* . Do you, then, believe in some parts of the divine writ and deny the truth pf other parts? What, then, could be the reward of those among you who do such things but ignominy in the life of this world and, on the Day of Resurrection, commitment to most grievous suffering? For God is not unmindful of what you do.
For, clear messages indeed have We bestowed upon thee from on high; and none denies their truth save the iniquitous.
and follow [instead] that which the evil ones used to practice during Solomon's reign - for it was not Solomon who denied the truth, but those evil ones denied it by teaching people sorcery* -; and [they follow] that which has come down through the two angels in Babylon, Hurut and Marut-although these two never taught it to anyone without first declaring, "We are but a temptation to evil: do not, then, deny [God's] truth!"* And they learn from these two how to create discord between a man and his wife; but whereas they can harm none thereby save by God's leave, they acquire a knowledge that only harms themselves and does not benefit them - although they know; indeed, that he who acquires this [knowledge] shall have no share in the good of the life to come.* For, vile indeed is that [art] for which they have sold their own selves -had they but known it!
AND THEY claim,* "None shall ever enter paradise unless he be a Jew" - or, "a Christian". Such are their wishful beliefs! Say: "Produce an evidence for what you are claiming,* if what you say is true!"
Hence, who could be more wicked than those who bar the mention of God's name from [any of] His houses of worship and strive for their ruin, [although] they have no right to enter them save in fear [of God]?* For them, in this world, there is ignominy in store; and for them, in the life to come, awesome suffering.
And who, unless he be weak of mind, would want to abandon Abraham's creed, seeing that We have indeed raised him high in this world, and that, verily, in the life to come he shall be among the righteous?
And this very thing did Abraham bequeath unto his children, and [so did] Jacob: "O my children! Behold, God has granted you the purest faith; so do not allow death to overtake you ere you have surrendered yourselves unto Him."
And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way,* so that [with your lives] you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind, and that the Apostle might bear witness to it before you.* And it is only to the end that We might make a clear distinction between those who follow the Apostle and those who turn about on their heels that We have appointed [for this community] the direction of prayer which thou [O Prophet] hast formerly observed: for this was indeed a hard test for all but those whom God has guided aright.* But God will surely not lose sight of your faith-for, behold, God is most compassionate towards man, a dispenser of grace.
Hence, from wherever thou mayest come forth, turn thy face [in prayer] towards the Inviolable House of Worship; and wherever you all may be, turn your faces towards it, so that people should have no argument against you unless they are bent upon wrongdoing.* And hold not them in awe, but stand in awe of Me, and [obey Me,] so that I might bestow upon you the full measure of My blessings., and that you might follow the right path.
Excepted, however, shall be they that repent, and put themselves to rights, and make known the truth: and it is they whose repentance I shall accept-for I alone am the Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace.
AND YOUR GOD is the One God: there is no deity save Him, the Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace.
And so, the parable of those who re bent on denying the truth is that of the beast which hears the shepherd's cry, and hears in it nothing but the sound of a voice and a call.* Deaf are they, and dumb, and blind: for they do not use their reason.
VERILY, as for those who suppress aught of the revelation* which God has bestowed from on high, and barter it away for a trifling gain - they but fill their bellies with fire. And God will not speak unto them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He cleanse them [of their sins]; and grievous suffering awaits them.
Hence, fight against them until there is no more oppression and all worship is devoted to God alone;* but if they desist, then all hostility shall cease, save against those who [wilfully] do wrong.
Are these people* waiting, perchance, for God to reveal Himself unto them in the shadows of the clouds, together with the angels - although [by then] all will have been decided, and unto God all things will have been brought back?*
ALL MANKIND were once one single community; [then they began to differ - ] whereupon God raised up the prophets as heralds of glad tidings and as warners, and through them bestowed revelation from on high, setting forth the truth, so that it might decide between people with regard to all on which they had come to hold divergent views.* Yet none other than the selfsame people who had been granted this [revelation] began, out of mutual jealousy, to disagree about its meaning after all evidence of the truth had come unto them. But God guided the believers unto the truth about which, by His leave, they had disagreed: for God guides onto a straight way him that wills [to be guided].*
A divorce may be [revoked] twice, whereupon the marriage must either be resumed in fairness or dissolved in a goodly manner.* And it is not lawful for you to take back anything of what you have ever given to your wives unless both [partners] have cause to fear that they may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God: hence, if you have cause to fear that the two may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God, there shall be no sin upon either of them for what the wife may give up [to her husband] in order to free herself.* These are the bounds set by God; do not, then, transgress them: for they who transgress the bounds set by God-it is they, they who are evildoers!
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.
But you will incur no sin if you give a hint of [an intended] marriage-offer to [any of] these women, or if you conceive such an intention without making it obvious: [for] God knows that you intend to ask them in marriage.* Do not, however, plight your troth with them in secret, but speak only in a decent manner; and do not proceed with tying the marriage-knot ere the ordained [term of waiting] has come to its end. And know that God knows what is in your minds, and therefore remain conscious of Him; and know, too, that God is much-forgiving, forbearing.
And if you divorce them before having touched them, but after having settled a dower upon them, then [give them] half of what you have settled - unless it be that they forgo their claim or he in whose hand is the marriage-tie* forgoes his claim [to half of the dower]: and to forgo what is due to you is more in accord with God-consciousness. And forget not [that you are to act with] grace towards one another: verily, God sees all that you do.
Art thou not aware of those elders of the children of Israel , after the time of Moses, how they said unto a prophet of theirs,* "Raise up a king for us, [and] we shall fight in God's cause"? Said he: "Would you, perchance, refrain from fighting if fighting is ordained for you?" They answered: "And why should we not fight in God's cause when we and our children have been driven from our homelands?"* Yet, when fighting was ordained for them, they did turn back, save for a few of them; but God had full knowledge of the evildoers.
And when Saul set out with his forces, he said: "Behold, God will now try you by a river: he who shall drink of it will not belong to me, whereas he who shall refrain from tasting it - he, indeed, will belong to me; but forgiven shall be he* who shall scoop up but a single handful." However, save for a few of them, they all drank [their fill] of it. And as soon as he and those who had kept faith with him had crossed the river, the others said: "No strength have we today [to stand up] against Goliath and his forces!" [Yet] those who knew with certainty that they were destined to meet God, replied: "How often has a small host overcome a great host by God's leave! For God is with those who are patient in adversity."
GOD - there is no deity save Him, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent Fount of All Being. Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. Who is there that could intercede with Him, unless it be by His leave? He knows all that lies open before men and all that is hidden from them,* whereas they cannot attain to aught of His knowledge save that which He wills [them to attain]. His eternal power* overspreads the heavens and the earth, and their upholding wearies Him not. And he alone is truly exalted, tremendous.
O you who have attained to faith! Spend on others out of the good things which you may have acquired, and out of that which We bring forth for you from the earth; and choose not for your spending the bad things which you yourselves would not accept without averting your eyes in disdain. And know that God is self-sufficient, ever to be praised.
granting wisdom unto whom He wills: and whoever is granted wisdom has indeed been granted wealth abundant. But none bears this in mind save those who are endowed with insight.
It is not for thee [O Prophet] to make people follow the right path,* since it is God [alone] who guides whom He wills. And whatever good you may spend on others is for your own good, provided that you spend only out of a longing for God's countenance: for, whatever good you may spend will be repaid unto you in full, and you shall not be wronged.
THOSE who gorge themselves on usury* behave but as he might behave whom Satan has confounded with his touch; for they say, "Buying and selling is but a kind of* usury" - the while God has made buying and selling lawful and usury unlawful. Hence, whoever becomes aware of his Sustainer's admonition,* and thereupon desists [from usury], may keep his past gains, and it will be for God to judge him; but as for those who return to it -they are destined for the fire, therein to abide!
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.
God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear: in his favour shall be whatever good he does, and against him whatever evil he does. O our Sustainer! Take us not to task if we forget or unwittingly do wrong! "O our Sustainer! Lay not upon us a burden such as Thou didst lay upon those who lived before us!* O our Sustainer! Make us not bear burdens which we have no strength to bear! "And efface Thou our sins, and grant us forgiveness, and bestow Thy mercy upon us! Thou art our Lord Supreme: succour us, then, against people who deny the truth!"
GOD - there is no deity save Him, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent Fount of All Being!
He it is who shapes you in the wombs as He wills. There is no deity save Him, the Almighty, the Truly Wise.
He it is who has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves - and these are the essence of the divine writ - as well as others that are allegorical.* Now those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the divine writ* which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out [what is bound to create] confusion,* and seeking [to arrive at] its final meaning [in an arbitrary manner]; but none save God knows its final meaning.* Hence, those who are deeply rooted in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer - albeit none takes this to heart save those who are endowed with insight.
GOD [Himself] proffers evidence* - and [so do] the angels and all who are endowed with knowledge - that there is no deity save Him, the Upholder of Equity: there is no deity save Him, the Almighty, the Truly Wise.
Behold, the only [true] religion in the sight of God is [man's] self-surrender unto Him; and those who were vouchsafed revelation aforetime* took, out of mutual jealousy, to divergent views [on this point] only after knowledge [thereof] had come unto them.* But as for him who denies the truth of God's messages - behold, God is swift in reckoning!
simply because they claim, "The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days":* and thus the false beliefs which they invented have [in time] caused them to betray their faith.*
LET NOT the believers take those who deny the truth for their allies in preference to the believers* - since he who does this cuts himself off from God in everything - unless it be to protect yourselves against them in this way.* But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys' end.
[Zachariah] prayed: "O my Sustainer! Appoint a sign for me!" Said [the angel]: "Thy sign shall be that for three days thou wilt not speak unto men other than by gestures.* And remember thy Sustainer unceasingly, and extol His limitless glory by night and by day."
Behold, this is indeed the truth of the matter, and there is no deity whatever save God; and, verily, God - He alone - is almighty, truly wise.
Say: "O followers of earlier revelation! Come unto that tenet which we and you hold in common:* that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall not ascribe divinity to aught beside Him, and that we shall not take human beings for our lords beside God."* And if they turn away, then say: "Bear witness that it is we who have surrendered ourselves unto Him."
O FOLLOWERS of earlier revelation! Why do you argue about Abraham,* seeing that the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till [long] after him? Will you not, then, use your reason?
Some of the followers of earlier revelation would love to lead you astray: yet none do they lead astray but themselves, and perceive it not.
but do not [really] believe anyone who does not follow your own faith." Say: "Behold, all [true] guidance is God's guidance, consisting in one's being granted [revelation] such as you have been granted."* Or would they contend against you before your Sustainer? Say: "Behold, all bounty is in the hand of God; He grants it unto whom He wills:* for God is infinite, all-knowing,
AND AMONG the followers of earlier revelation there is many a one who, if thou entrust him with a treasure, will [faithfully] restore it to thee; and there is among them many a one who, if thou entrust him with a tiny gold coin, will not restore it to thee unless thou keep standing over him - which is an outcome of their assertion,* "No blame can attach to us [for anything that we may do] with regard to these unlettered folk": and [so] they tell a lie about God, being well aware [that it is a lie]."*
But excepted shall be they that afterwards repent and put themselves to rights: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
ALL FOOD was lawful unto the children of Israel, save what Israel had made unlawful unto itself [by its sinning] before the Torah was bestowed from on high.* Say: "Come forward, then, with the Torah and recite it, if what you say is true!"
O you who have attained to faith! Be conscious of God with all the consciousness that is due to Him, and do not allow death to overtake you ere you have surrendered yourselves unto Him.
[but] these can never inflict more than a passing hurt on you; and if they fight against you, they will turn their backs upon you [in flight], and will not be succoured.*
Overshadowed by ignominy are they wherever they may be, save [when they bind themselves again] in a bond with God and a bond with men;* for they have earned the burden of God's condemnation, and are overshadowed by humiliation: all this [has befallen them] because they persisted in denying the truth of God's messages and in slaying the prophets against all right: all this, because they rebelled [against God], and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right.*
And God ordained this [to be said by His Apostle* ] only as a glad tiding for you, and that your hearts should thereby be set at rest - since no succour can come from any save God, the Almighty, the Truly Wise -
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 MUHAMMAD is only an apostle; all the [other] apostles have passed away before him: if, then, he dies or is slain, will you turn about on your heels?* But he that turns about on his heels can in no wise harm God - whereas God will requite all who are grateful [to Him].
And no human being can die save by God's leave, at a term pre-ordained. And if one desires the rewards of this world, We shall grant him thereof; and if one desires the rewards of the life to come, We shall grant him thereof; and We shall requite those who are grateful [to Us].
and all that they said was this: "O our Sustainer! Forgive us our sins and the lack of moderation in our doings! And make firm our steps, and succour us against people who deny the truth!" -
Every human being is bound to taste death: but only on the Day of Resurrection will you be requited in full [for whatever you have done] - whereupon he that shall be drawn away from the fire and brought into paradise will indeed have gained a triumph: for the life of this world is nothing but an enjoyment of self-delusion.
O YOU who have attained to faith! It is not lawful for you to [try to] become heirs to your wives [by holding onto them] against their will;* and neither shall you keep them under constraint with a view to taking away anything of what you may have given them, unless it be that they have become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct.* And consort with your wives* in a goodly manner; for if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something which God might yet make a source of* abundant good.
AND DO NOT marry women whom your fathers have previously married - although what is past is past:* this, verily, is a shameful deed, and a hateful thing, and an evil way.
Forbidden to you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your aunts paternal and maternal, and a brother's daughters, and a sister's daughters; and your milk-mothers, and your milk-sisters; and the mothers of your wives; and your step-daughters - who are your foster children - born of your wives with whom you have consummated your marriage; but if you have not consummated your marriage, you will incur no sin [by marrying their daughters]; and [forbidden to you are] the spouses of the sons who have sprung from your loins; and [you are forbidden] to have two sisters [as your wives] at one and the same time - but what is past is past:* for, behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And [forbidden to you are] all married women other than those whom you rightfully possess [through wedlock]:* this is God's ordinance, binding upon you. But lawful to you are all [women] beyond these, for you to seek out, offering them of your possessions,* taking them in honest wedlock, and not in fornication. And unto those with whom you desire to enjoy marriage, you shall give the dowers due to them; but you will incur no sin if, after [having agreed upon] this lawful due, you freely agree with one another upon anything [else]:* behold, God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not devour one another's possessions wrongfully - not even by way of trade based on mutual agreement* - and do not destroy one another: for, behold, God is indeed a dispenser of grace unto you!
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not attempt to pray while you are in a state of drunkenness,* [but wait] until you know what you are saying; nor yet [while you are] in a state requiring total ablution,* until you have bathed - except if you are travelling [and are unable to do so]. 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.* Behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.
Among those of the Jewish faith there are some who distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of their context and saying, [as it were,] "We have heard, but we disobey," and, "Hear without hearkening,"* and, Hearken thou unto us, (O Muhammad)" - thus making a play with their tongues, and implying that the [true] Faith is false.* And had they but said, "We have heard, and we pay heed," and "Hear [us], and have patience with us," it would indeed have been for their own good, and more upright: but God has rejected them because of their refusal to acknowledge the truth - for it is in but few things that they believe.*
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"?*
for We have never sent any apostle save that he should be heeded by God's leave.* If, then, after having sinned against themselves, they would but come round to thee and ask God to forgive them - with the Apostle, too, praying that they be forgiven - they would assuredly find that God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.
Yet if We were to ordain for them,* "Lay down your lives," or, "Forsake your homelands," only a very few of them would do it* - although, if they did what they are admonished to do, it would indeed be for their own good and apt to strengthen them greatly [in faith],
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.
Fight thou,* then, in God's cause - since thou art but responsible for thine own self - and inspire the believers to overcome all fear of death.* God may well curb the might of those who are bent on denying the truth: for God is stronger in might, and stronger in ability to deter.
God - save whom there is no deity - will surely gather you all together on the Day of Resurrection, [the coming of] which is beyond all doubt: and whose word could be truer than God's?
unless it be such [of them] as have ties with people to whom you yourselves are bound by a covenant, or such as come unto you because their hearts shrink from [the thought of] making war either on you or on their own folk - although, if God had willed to make them stronger than you, they would certainly have made war on you.* Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them.*
AND IT IS not conceivable that a believer should slay another believer, unless it be by mistake.* And upon him who has slain a believer by mistake there is the duty of freeing a believing soul from bondage and paying an indemnity to the victim's relations,* unless they forgo it by way of charity. Now if the slain, while himself a believer, belonged to a people who are at war with you,* [the penance shall be confined to] the freeing of a believing soul from bondage; whereas, if he belonged to a people to whom you are bound by a covenant, [it shall consist of] an indemnity to be paid to his relations in addition to the freeing of a believing soul from bondage.* And he who does not have the wherewithal shall fast [instead] for two consecutive months.* (This is) the atonement ordained by God: and God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
But excepted shall be the truly helpless - be they men or women or children - who cannot bring forth any strength and have not been shown the right way:*
And but for God's favour upon thee and His grace, some of those [who are false to themselves] would indeed endeavour to lead thee astray; yet none but themselves do they lead astray. Nor can they harm thee in any way, since God has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ and [given thee] wisdom, and has imparted unto thee the knowledge of what thou didst not know. And God's favour upon thee is tremendous indeed.
NO GOOD comes, as a rule, out of secret confabulations - saving such as are devoted to enjoining charity, or equitable dealings, or setting things to rights between people:* and unto him who does this out of a longing for God's goodly acceptance We shall in time grant a mighty reward.
In His stead, they invoke only lifeless symbols* - thus invoking none but a rebellious Satan
he holds out promises to them, and fills them with vain desires: yet whatever Satan promises them is but meant to delude the mind.*
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,
But excepted shall be they who repent, and live righteously, and hold fast unto God, and grow sincere in their faith in God alone: for these shall be one with the believers - and in time God will grant to all believers a mighty reward.
God does not like any evil to be mentioned openly, unless it be by him who has been wronged (thereby)* And God is indeed all-hearing, all-knowing,
And so, [We punished them* ] for the breaking of their pledge, and their refusal to acknowledge God's messages, and their slaying of prophets against all right, and their boast, "Our hearts are already full of knowledge"- nay, but God has sealed their hearts in result of their denial of the truth, and [now] they believe in but few things - ;*
and their boast, "Behold, we have slain the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, [who claimed to be] an apostle of God!" However, they did not slay him, and neither did they crucify him, but it only seemed to them [as if it had been] so;* and, verily, those who hold conflicting views thereon are indeed confused, having no [real] knowledge thereof, and following mere conjecture. For, of a certainty, they did not slay him:
Yet there is not one of the followers of earlier revelation who does not, at the moment of his death, grasp the truth about Jesus;* and on the Day of Resurrection he [himself] shall bear witness to the truth against them.
but the road that leads to hell, therein to abide beyond the count of time: and this is indeed easy for God.
O FOLLOWERS of the Gospel! Do not overstep the bounds [of truth] in your religious beliefs,* and do not say of God anything but the truth. The Christ Jesus, son of Mary, was but God's Apostle - [the fulfilment of] His promise which He had conveyed unto Mary - and a soul created by Him.* Believe, then, in God and His apostles, and do not say, "[God is] a trinity". Desist [from this assertion] for your own good. God is but One God; utterly remote is He, in His glory, from having a son: unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and none is as worthy of trust as God.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be true to your covenants!* Lawful to you is the [flesh of every] beast that feeds on plants, save what is mentioned to you [hereinafter* ]: but you are not allowed to hunt while you are in the state of pilgrimage. Behold, God ordains in accordance with His will.*
FORBIDDEN to you is carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than God's has been invoked,* and the animal that has been strangled, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or gored to death, or savaged by a beast of prey, save that which you [yourselves] may have slaughtered while it was still alive; and [forbidden to you is] all that has been slaughtered on idolatrous altars.* And [you are forbidden] to seek to learn through divination what the future may hold in store for you:* this is sinful conduct. Today, those who , are bent on denying the truth have lost all hope of [your ever forsaking] your religion: do not, then, hold them in awe, but stand in awe of Me! Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion.* As for him, however, who is driven [to what is forbidden] by dire necessity* and not by an inclination to sinning -behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Then, for having broken their solemn pledge,* We rejected them and caused their hearts to harden-[so that now] they distort the meaning of the [re-vealed] words, taking them out of their context;* and they have forgotten much of what they had been told to bear in mind; and from all but a few of them thou wilt always experience treachery. But pardon them, and forbear: verily, God loves the doers of good.
Prayed [Moses]: "O my Sustainer! Of none am I master but of myself and my brother [Aaron]: draw Thou, then, a dividing-line between us and these iniquitous folk!"
save for such [of them] as repent ere you [O believers] become more powerful than they:* for you must know that God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Say: "O followers of earlier revelation! Do you find fault with us for no other reason than that we believe in God [alone], and in that which He has bestowed from on high upon us as well as that which He has bestowed aforetime? - or [is it only] because most of you are iniquitous?"
Indeed, the truth deny they who say, "Behold, God is the third of a trinity" - seeing that there is no deity whatever save the One God. And unless they desist from this their assertion, grievous suffering is bound to befall such of them as are bent on denying the truth.
The Christ, son of Mary, was but an apostle: all [other] apostles had passed away before him; and his mother was one who never deviated from the truth; and they both ate food [like other mortals].* Behold how clear We make these messages unto them: and then behold how perverted are their minds!*
No more is the Apostle bound to do than deliver the message [entrusted to him]: and God knows all that you do openly, and all that you would conceal.
Lo!* God will say: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember the blessings which I bestowed upon thee and thy mother-how I strengthened thee with holy inspiration,* so that thou couldst speak unto men in thy cradle, and as a grown man; and how I imparted unto thee revelation and wisdom, including the Torah and the Gospel;* and how by My leave thou didst create out of clay, as it were, the shape of [thy followers'] destiny, and then didst breathe into it, so that it might become, by My leave, [their] destiny ;* and how thou didst heal the blind and the leper by My leave, and how thou didst raise the dead by My leave;* and how I prevented the children of Israel from harming thee when thou camest unto them with all evidence of the truth, and [when] those of them who were bent on denying the truth were saying, `This is clearly nothing but deception!"'
Nothing did I tell them beyond what Thou didst bid me [to say]: `Worship God, [who is] my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer.' And I bore witness to what they did as long as I dwelt in their midst; but since Thou hast caused me to die, Thou alone hast been their keeper:* for Thou art witness unto everything.
Yet whenever any of their Sustainer's messages comes unto them, they [who are bent on denying the truth] turn their backs upon it:*
But even if we had sent down unto thee [O Prophet] a writing on paper, and they had touched it with their own hands - those who are bent on denying the truth would indeed have said, "This is clearly nothing but a deception!"
And if God should touch thee with misfortune, there is none who could remove it but He; and if He should touch thee with good fortune -it is He who has the power to will anything:
Whereupon, in their utter confusion, they will only [be able to] say: "By God, our Sustainer, we did not [mean to] ascribe divinity to aught beside Him !"*
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!"
And they bar others therefrom. and go far away from it: but they destroy none but themselves, and perceive it not.
And some [of the unbelievers] say, "There is nothing beyond our life in this world, for We shall not be raised from the dead."
And nothing is the life of this world but a play and a passing delight; and the life in the hereafter is by far the better for all who are conscious of God. Will you not, then, use your reason?
although there is no beast that walks on earth and no bird that flies on its two wings which is not [God's] creature* like yourselves: no single thing have We neglected in Our decree. And once again:* Unto their Sustainer shall they [all] be gathered.
Say: "Can you imagine what your condition will be* if God's chastisement befalls you, either suddenly or in a [gradually] perceptible manner? [But then-] will any but evildoing folk [ever] be destroyed?*
And We send [Our] message-bearers only as heralds of glad tidings and as warners: hence, all who believe and live righteously -no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve;
Say [O Prophet]: "I do not say unto you, 'God's treasures are with me,'; nor [do I say], 'I know the things that are beyond the reach of human perception'; nor do I say unto you, 'Behold, I am an angel': I but follow what is revealed to me."* Say: "Can the blind and the seeing be deemed equal?* Will you not, then, take thought?"
Say: "Behold, I take my stand on a clear evidence from my Sustainer-and [so] it is to Him that you are giving the lie! Not in my power is that which [in your ignorance] you so hastily demand:* judgment rests with none but God. He shall declare the truth, since it is He who is the best judge between truth and falsehood."
For, with Him are the keys to the things that are beyond the reach of a created being's perception: none knows them but He. And He knows all that is on land and in the sea; and not a leaf falls but He knows it; and neither is there a grain in the earth's deep darkness, nor anything: living or dead,* but is recorded in [His] clear decree.
And his people argued with him. He said: "Do you argue with me about God, when it is He who has guided me? But I do not fear anything to which you ascribe divinity side by side with Him, [for no evil can befall me] unless my Sustainer so wills.* All things does my Sustainer embrace within His knowledge; will you not, then, keep this in mind?
to those whom God has guided. Follow, then, their guidance, [and] say: "No reward do I ask of you for this [truth]: behold, it is but an admonition unto all mankind!"
Such is God, your Sustainer: there is no deity save Him, the Creator of everything: worship, then, Him alone -for it is He who has everything in His care.
follow thou what has been revealed unto thee by thy Sustainer - save whom there is no deity - and turn thy back upon all who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him.
And even if We were to send down angels unto them, and if the dead were to speak unto them* and [even if] We were to assemble before them, face to face, all the things [that can prove the truth], they would still not believe unless God so willed* But [of this] most of them are entirely unaware.
Now if thou pay heed unto the majority of those [who live] on earth, they will but lead thee astray from the path of God: they follow but [other people's] conjectures, and they themselves do nothing but guess.*
And why should you not eat of that over which God's name has been pronounced, seeing that He has so clearly spelled out to you what He has forbidden you [to eat] unless you are compelled [to do so]? But, behold, [it is precisely in such matters that] many people lead others astray by their own errant views, without [having any real] knowledge. Verily, thy Sustainer is fully aware of those who transgress the bounds of what is right.
And it is in this way that We cause the great ones in every land to become its [greatest] evildoers,* there to weave their schemes: yet it is only against themselves that they scheme -and they perceive it not.
AND ON THE DAY when He shall gather them [all] together, [He will say:] "O you who have lived in close communion with [evil] invisible beings! A great many [other] human beings have you ensnared!* And those of the humans who were close to them* will say: "O our Sustainer! We did enjoy one another's fellowship [in life]; but (now that] we have reached the end of our term-the term which Thou hast laid down for us - (we see the error of our ways]!" [But] He will say: "The fire shall be your abode, therein to abide-unless God wills it otherwise."* Verily, thy Sustainer is wise, all-knowing.
And they say, "Such-and-such cattle and fruits of the field are sacred; none may eat thereof save those whom we will [to do so]" -so they [falsely] claim;* and [they declare that] it is forbidden to burden the backs of certain kinds of cattle; and there are cattle over which they do not pronounce God's name* - falsely attributing [the origin of these customs] to Him. [But] He will requite them for all their false imagery.
Say [O Prophet]: "In all that has been revealed unto me, I do not find anything forbidden to eat, if one wants to eat thereof,* unless it be carrion, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine-for that, behold, is loathsome-or a sinful offering* over which any name other than God's has been invoked. But if one is driven by necessity - neither coveting it nor exceeding his immediate need -then [know that], behold, thy Sustainer is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."*
And [only] unto those who followed the Jewish faith did We forbid all beasts that have claws;* and We forbade unto them the fat of both oxen and sheep, excepting that which is in their backs or entrails or that which is within the bone:* thus did We requite them for their evildoing-for, behold, We are true to Our word!"*
THOSE who are bent on ascribing divinity to aught beside God will say, "Had God so willed, we would not have ascribed divinity to aught but Him, nor would our forefathers [have done so]; and neither would we have declared as forbidden anything [that He has allowed]." Even so did those who lived before them give the lie to the truth* -until they came to taste Our punishment! Say: "Have you any [certain] knowledge which you could proffer to us?* You follow but [other people's] conjectures, and you yourselves do nothing but guess."
Say: "Come, let me convey unto you what God has [really] forbidden to you: "Do not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught beside Him; and [do not offend against but, rather,] do good unto your parents;* and do not kill your children for fear of poverty - [for] it is We who shall provide sustenance for you as well as for them;* and do not commit any shameful deeds, be they open or secret; and do not take any human being's life-[the life] which God has declared to be sacred -otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice: this has He enjoined upon you so that you might use your reason;*
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.
Do they, perchance, wait for the angels to appear unto them, or for thy Sustainer [Himself] to appear, or for some of thy Sustainer's [final] portents to appear?* [But] on the Day when thy Sustainer's [final] portents do appear, believing will be of no avail to any human being who did not believe before, or who, while believing, did no good works.* Say: "Wait, [then, for the Last Day, O unbelievers:] behold, we [believers] are waiting, too!"
Whoever shall come [before God] with a good deed will gain ten times the like thereof; but whoever shall come with an evil deed will be requited with no more than the like thereof; and none shall be wronged.*
Say: "Am I, then, to seek a sustainer other than God, when He is the Sustainer of all things?" And whatever [wrong] any human being commits rests upon himself alone; and no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden.* And, in time, unto your Sustainer you all must return: and then He will make you. [truly] understand all that on which you were wont to differ.*
And when Our punishment came upon them, they had nothing to say for themselves, and could only cry,* "Verily, we were wrongdoers!"
Yea, indeed, We have created you, and then formed you;* and then We said unto the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!" - whereupon they [all] prostrated themselves, save Iblis: he was not among those who prostrated themselves.*
Thereupon Satan whispered unto the two with a view to making them conscious of their nakedness, of which [hitherto] they had been unaware;* and he said: "Your Sustainer has but forbidden you this tree lest you two become .[as] angels, or lest you live forever."*
But those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds - [and] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear - they are destined for paradise, therein to abide,
Are [the unbelievers] but waiting for the final meaning of that [Day of Judgment] to unfold?* [But] on the Day when its final meaning is unfolded, those who aforetime had been oblivious thereof will say: "Our Sustainer's apostles have indeed told us the truth! Have we, then, any intercessors who could intercede in our behalf? Or could we be brought back [to life] so that we might act otherwise than we were wont to act?"* Indeed, they will have squandered their own selves, and all their false imagery will have forsaken them.
As for the good land, its vegetation comes forth [in abundance] by its Sustainer's leave, whereas from the bad it comes forth but poorly. Thus do We give many facets to Our messages for [the benefit of] people who are grateful!
But his people's only answer was this:* "Expel them from your land! Verily, they are folk who make themselves out to be pure!"*
Thereupon We saved him and his household except his wife, who was among those that stayed behind*
We should be guilty of blaspheming against God* were we to return to your ways after God has saved us from them! It is not conceivable that we should return to them-unless God, our Sustainer, so wills.* All things does our Sustainer embrace within His knowledge; in God do we place our trust. O our Sustainer! Lay Thou open the truth between us and our people -for Thou art the best of all to lay open the truth!"*
AND NEVER YET have We sent a prophet unto any community without trying its people with misfortune and hardship, so that they might humble themselves;
Can they, then, ever feel secure from God's deep devising? But none feels secure from God's deep devising save people who are [already] lost.*
so constituted that I cannot say anything about God but the truth. I have now come unto you with a clear evidence from your Sustainer: let, then, the children of Israel go with me!"
for thou takest vengeance on us only because we have come to believe in our Sustainer's messages as soon as they came to us. O our Sustainer! Shower us with patience in adversity, and make us die as men who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!"
Hence, all who give the lie to Our messages, and [thus] to the truth* of the life to come -in vain shall be all their doings: [for] are they to be rewarded for aught but what they were wont to do?*
And Moses chose out of his people seventy men to come [and pray for forgiveness] at a time set by Us. Then, when violent trembling seized them,* he prayed: "O my Sustainer! Hadst Thou so willed, Thou wouldst have destroyed them ere this, and me [with them]. Wilt Thou destroy us for what the weak-minded among us have done? (All] this is but a trial from Thee, whereby Thou allowest to go astray whom Thou willest, and guidest aright whom Thou willest. Thou art near unto us: grant us, then, forgiveness and have mercy on us - for Thou art the best of all forgivers!
Say [O Muhammad]: "O mankind! Verily, I am an apostle of God to all of you,* [sent by Him] unto whom the dominion over the heavens and the earth belongs! There is no deity save Him; He [alone] grants life and deals death!" Believe, then, in God and His Apostle-the unlettered Prophet who believes in God and His words-and follow him, so that you might find guidance!
And they have been succeeded by [new] generations who - [in spite of] having inherited the divine writ-clutch but at the fleeting good of this lower world and say, "We shall be forgiven,* the while they are ready, if another such fleeting good should come their way, to clutch at it [and sin again]. Have they not been solemnly pledged through the divine writ not to attribute unto God aught but what is true,* and [have they not] read again and again all that is therein? Since the life in the hereafter is the better [of the two] for all who are conscious of God -will you not, then, use your reason?
Has it, then, never occurred to them* that there is no madness whatever in [this] their fellowman? He is only a plain warner.*
THEY WILL ASK thee [O Prophet] about the Last Hour: "When will it come to pass?" Say: "Verily, knowledge thereof rests with my Sustainer alone. None but He will reveal it in its time. Heavily will it weigh on the heavens and the earth; [and] it will not fall upon you otherwise than of a sudden." They will ask thee - as if thou couldst gain insight into this [mystery] by dint of persistent inquiry!* Say: "Knowledge thereof rests with my Sustainer alone; but [of this] most people are unaware."
Say [O Prophet]: "It is not within my power to bring benefit to, or avert harm from, myself, except as God may please. And if I knew that which is beyond the reach of human perception, abundant good fortune-would surely have fallen to my lot, and no evil would ever have touched me. I am nothing but a warner, and a herald of glad tidings unto people who will believe."*
And God ordained this only as a glad tiding, and that your hearts should thereby be set at rest-since no succour can come from any save God: verily, God is almighty, wise!*
for, whoever on that day turns his back on them-unless it be in a battle manoeuvre or in an endeavour to join another troop [of the believers] - shall indeed have earned the burden of God's condemnation, and his goal shall be hell: and how vile a journey's end!
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!"*
But what have they [now] in their favour that God should not chastise them-seeing that they bar [the believers] from the Inviolable House of Worship, although they are not its [rightful] guardians?* None but the God-conscious can be its guardians: but of this most of these [evildoers] are unaware;
and their prayers before the Temple are nothing but whistling and clapping of hands.* Taste then, [O unbelievers,] this chastisement as an outcome of your persistent denial of the truth!*
BEHOLD, as for those who have attained to faith, and who have forsaken the domain of evil* and are striving hard, with their possessions and their lives, in God's cause, as well as those who shelter and succour [them]* - these are [truly] the friends and protectors of one another. But as for those who have come to believe without having migrated [to your country]* - you are in no wise responsible for their protection until such a time as they migrate [to you]. Yet, if they ask you for succour against religious persecution,* it is your duty to give [them] this succour-except against a people between whom and yourselves there is a covenant:* for God sees all that you do.
But excepted shall be* -from among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God - [people] with whom you [O believers] have made a covenant and who thereafter have in no wise failed to fulfil their obligations towards you, and neither have aided anyone against you: observe, then, your covenant with them until the end of the term agreed with them.* Verily, God loves those who are conscious of Him.
HOW COULD they who ascribe divinity to aught beside God be granted a covenant by God and His Apostle,* unless it be those [of them] with whom you [O believers] have made a covenant in the vicinity of the Inviolable House of Worship?* [As for the latter,] so long as they remain true to you, be true to them: for, verily, God loves those who are conscious of Him.
Only he should visit or tend God's houses of worship who believes in God and the Last Day, and is constant in prayer, and spends in charity, and stands in awe of none but God: for [only such as] these may hope to be among the right-guided!*
They have taken their rabbis and their monks-as well as the Christ, son of Mary-for their lords beside God,* although they had been bidden to worship none but the One God, save whom there is no deity: the One who is utterly remote, in His limitless glory, from anything to which they may ascribe a share in His divinity!
They want to extinguish God's [guiding] light with their utterances:* but God will not allow [this to pass], for He has willed to spread His light in all its fullness,* however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth.
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!
If you do not go forth to war [in God's cause], He will chastise you with grievous chastisement, and will place another people in your stead - whereas you shall in no wise harm Him: for, God has the power to will anything.
If you do not succour the Apostle,* then [know that God will do so -just as] God succoured him at the time when those who were bent on denying the truth drove him away, [and he was but] one of two:* when these two were [hiding] in the cave, [and] the Apostle said to his companion, "Grieve not: verily, God is with us."* And thereupon God bestowed upon him from on high His (gift of] inner peace,* and brought utterly low the cause of those who were bent on denying the truth, whereas the cause of God remained supreme:* for God is almighty, wise.
Had these [hypocrites] set out with_ you, [O believers,] they would have added nothing to you save the evil of corruption, and would surely have scurried to and fro in your midst, seeking to stir up discord among you, seeing that there are in your midst such as would have lent them ear: but God has full knowledge of the evildoers.
Say: "Never can anything befall us save what God has decreed! He is our Lord Supreme; and in God let the believers place their trust!"
Say: "Are you, perchance, hopefully waiting for something [bad] to happen to us-[the while nothing can happen to us] save one of the two best things?* But as far as you are concerned, we are hopefully waiting for God to inflict chastisement upon you, [either] from Himself* or by our hands! Wait, then, hopefully; behold, we shall hopefully wait with you!"
For, only this prevents their spending from being accepted from them:* they are bent on refusing to acknowledge God and His Apostle, and never pray without reluctance ,* and never spend [on righteous causes] without resentment.
[The hypocrites] swear by God that they have said nothing [wrong]; yet most certainly have they uttered a saying which amounts to a denial of the truth,* and have [thus] denied the truth after [having professed] their self-surrender to God: for they were aiming at something which was beyond their reach.* And they could find no fault [with the Faith] save that God had enriched them and [caused] His Apostle [to enrich them] out of His bounty!* Hence, if they repent, it will be for their own good. but if they turn away, God will cause them to suffer grievous suffering in this world and in the life to come, and they will find no helper on earth, and none to give [them] succour.
[It is these hypocrites] who find fault with such of the believers as give for the sake of God* more than they are duty-bound to give, as well as with, such as find nothing [to give] beyond [the meagre fruits of] their toil, and who scoff at them [all].* God will cause their scoffing to rebound on themselves.* and grievous suffering awaits them.
AND [there are hypocrites] who have established a [separate] house of worship in order to create mischief, and to promote apostasy and disunity among the believers, and to provide an outpost for all who from the outset have been warring against God and His Apostle.* And they will surely swear [to you, O believers], "We had but the best of intentions!" -the while God [Himself] bears witness that they are lying.*
the building which they have built will never cease to be a source of deep disquiet in their hearts until their hearts crumble to pieces.* And God is all-knowing, wise.
And Abraham's prayer that his father be forgiven was but due to a promise which he had given the latter [in his lifetime];* but when it was made clear unto him that he had been God's enemy, [Abraham] disavowed him - [although;] behold, Abraham was most tender-hearted. most clement.
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.*
It does not behove the people of the [Prophet's] City and the bedouin [who live] around them to hold back from following God's Apostle, or to care for their own selves more than for him* -for, whenever they suffer from thirst or weariness or hunger in God's cause, and whenever they take any step which confounds* those who deny the truth, and whenever there comes to them from the enemy whatever may be destined for them* -[whenever anything thereof comes to pass,,] a good deed is recorded in their favour.* Verily, God does not fail to requite the doers of good!
And whenever they spend anything [for the sake of God], be it little or much, and whenever they move on earth* [in God's cause] -it is recorded in their favour, and God will grant them the best reward for all that they have been doing.
But if those [who are bent on denying the truth] turn away, say: "God is enough for me! There is no- deity save Him. In Him have I placed my trust, for He is the Sustainer, in awesome almightiness enthroned."*
VERILY, your Sustainer is God, who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness,* governing all that exists. There is none that could intercede with Him unless He grants leave therefor.* Thus is God, your Sustainer: worship, therefore, Him [alone]: will you not, then, keep this in mind?
He it is who has made the sun a [source of] radiant light and the moon a light [reflected],* and has determined for it phases so that you might know how to compute the years and to measure [time]. None of this has God created without [an inner] truth.* Clearly does He spell out these messages unto people of [innate] knowledge:
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 [know that] all mankind were once but one single community, and only later did they begin to hold divergent views.* And had it not been for a decree- that had already gone forth from thy Sustainer, all their differences would indeed have been settled [from the outset].*
seeing that He is God, your Sustainer, the Ultimate Truth?* For, after the truth [has been forsaken], what is there [left] but error? How, then, can you lose sight of the truth?"*
Say: "Does any of those beings to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity guide unto the truth?" Say: "It is God [alone] who guides unto the truth. Which, then, is more worthy to be followed - He who guides unto the truth, or he who cannot find the right way unless he is guided?* What, then, is amiss with you and your judgment?"*
For, most of them follow nothing but conjecture: [and,] behold, conjecture can never be a substitute for truth.* Verily, God has full knowledge of all that they do.
And on the Day when He shall gather them [unto Himself, it will seem to them] as if they had not tarried [on earth] longer than an hour of a day, knowing one another;* [and] lost indeed will be they who [in their lifetime] considered it a lie that they were destined to meet God, and [thus] failed to find the right' way.
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."*
-whereupon those who [in their lifetime] were bent on evildoing will be told, `Taste suffering abiding! Is this requital anything but the just due for what you were wont to do?"*
AND IN whatever condition thou mayest find thyself, [O Prophet,] and whatever discourse of this [divine writ]* thou mayest be reciting, and whatever work you [all, O men,] may do -[remember that] We are your witness* [from the moment] when you enter upon it: for, not even an atom's weight [of whatever there is] on earth or in heaven escapes thy Sustainer's knowledge; and neither is there anything smaller than that, or larger, but is recorded in [His] clear decree.
OH, VERILY, unto God belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on earth: hence, what is it that they follow-those who invoke, beside God. beings to whom they ascribe a share in His divinity?* They follow but the conjectures [of others], and themselves do nothing but guess -
But if you turn away [from the message which I bear, remember that] I have asked no reward whatever of you: my reward rests with none but God, for I have been bidden to be among those who have surrendered themselves unto Him."
But none save a few of his people declared their faith in Moses,* [while others held back] for fear of Pharaoh and their great ones, lest they persecute them:* for, verily, Pharaoh was mighty on earth and was, verily, of those who are given to excesses.
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!"
For, alas,* there has never yet been any community that attained to faith [in its entirety,] and thereupon benefited by its faith, except the people of Jonah.* When they came to believe, We removed from them the suffering of disgrace [which otherwise would have befallen them even] in the life of this world, and allowed them to enjoy their life during the time allotted to them.*
notwithstanding that no human being can ever attain to faith otherwise than by God's leave,* and [that] it is He who lays the loathsome evil [of disbelief] upon those who will not use -their reason?*
Can such, then, expect anything else [to befall them] but the like of the days of [calamity which befell] those [deniers of the truth] who passed away before them? Say: "Wait, then, [for what will happen) verily, I shall wait with you!"
And [know that] if God should touch thee with misfortune, there is none who could remove it save Him; and if He intends good for thee, there is none who could turn away His bounty: He causes it to alight upon whomsoever He wills of His servants. And He alone is truly forgiving, truly a dispenser of grace.
so that you may worship none but God. [Say, O Prophet:] "Behold, I come unto you from Him [as] a warner and a bearer of glad tidings:*
And there is no living creature on earth but depends for its sustenance on God; and He knows its time-limit [on earth] and its resting-place [after death]:* all [this] is laid down in [His] clear decree.
And He it is who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons; and [ever since He has willed to create life,] the throne of His almightiness has rested upon water.* [God reminds you of your dependence on Him] in order to test you [and thus to make manifest] which of you is best in conduct. For thus it is: if* thou sayest [unto men], "Behold, you shall be raised again after death!" - they who are bent on denying the truth are sure to answer, "This is clearly nothing but an enchanting delusion"*
[And thus it is with most men-] save those who are patient in adversity and do righteous deeds: it is they whom forgiveness of sins awaits, and a great reward.
And if they [whom you have called to your aid] are not able to help you,* then know that [this Qur'an] has been bestowed from on high out of God's wisdom alone,* and that there is no deity save Him. Will you, then, surrender yourselves unto Him?"
[yet] it is they who, in the life to come, shall have nothing but the fire -for in vain shall be all that they wrought in this [world], and worthless all that they ever did !*
that you may worship none but God-for, verily, I fear lest suffering befall you on a grievous Day!"*
But the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth, answered: "We do not see in thee anything but a mortal man like ourselves; and we do not see that any follow thee save those who are quite obviously the most abject among us;* and we do not see that you could be in any way superior to us:* on the ,contrary, we think that you are liars!"
"And, O my people, no benefit do I ask of you for this [message]: my reward rests with none but God. And I shall not repulse [any of] those who have attained to faith.* Verily, they [know that they] are destined to meet their Sustainer, whereas in you I see people without any awareness [of right and wrong]!
AND THIS was revealed unto Noah: "Never will any of thy people believe except those who have already attained to faith. Be not, then, distressed by anything that they may do,
[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.
[But the son] answered: "I shall betake myself to a mountain that will protect me from the waters." Said [Noah]: "Today there is no protection [for anyone] from God's judgment, save [for] those who have earned [His] mercy!" And a wave rose up between them, and [the son] was among those who were drowned.
Said [Noah]: "O my Sustainer! Verily, I seek refuge with Thee from [ever again] asking of Thee anything whereof I cannot have any knowledge! For unless Thou grant me forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy upon me, I shall be among the lost!"
AND UNTO [the tribe of] `Ad [We sent] their brother Hud.* He said: "O my people! Worship God [alone]: you have no deity other than Him. [As it is,] you are but inventors of falsehood!*
"O my people! No reward do I ask of you for this [message]: my reward rests with none but Him who brought me into being. Will you not, then, use your reason?
We can say no more than that one of our gods may have smitten thee with something evil!"* Answered [Hud]: "Behold, I call God to witness - and you, too, be [my] witnesses - that, verily, it is not in me to ascribe divinity, as you do,* to aught
Behold, I have placed my trust in God, [who is] my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer: for there is no living creature which He does not hold by its forelock.* Verily, straight is my Sustainer's way!*
[Whereupon the angels] said: "O Lot! Behold, we are messengers from thy Sustainer! Never shall [thy enemies] attain to thee! Depart, then, with thy household while it is yet night, and let none of you look back;* [and take with thee all thy family] with the exception of thy wife: for, behold, that which is to befall these [people of Sodom] shall befall her [as well].* Verily, their appointed time is the morning [and] is not the morning nigh?"
He answered: "O my people! What do you think? If [it be true that] I am taking my stand on a clear evidence from my Sustainer, who has vouchsafed me goodly sustenance [as a gift] from Himself - [how could I speak to you otherwise than I do]?* And yet, I have no desire to do, out of opposition to you, what I am asking you not to do:* I desire no more than to set things to rights in so far as it lies within my power; but the achievement of my aim depends on God alone. In Him have I placed my trust, and unto Him do I always turn!
and which We shall not delay beyond a term set [by Us].*
When that Day comes, not a soul will speak. unless it be by His leave; and of those [that are gathered together], some will be wretched and some, happy.
therein to abide as long as the heavens and the earth endure-unless thy Sustainer wills it otherwise:* for, verily, thy Sustainer is a sovereign doer of whatever He wills.
But as for those who [by virtue of their past deeds] will have been blest with happiness, [they shall live] in paradise, therein to abide as long as the heavens and the earth endure -unless thy Sustainer wills it otherwise* -as a gift unceasing.
AND SO, [O Prophet,] be not in doubt about anything that those [misguided people] worship:* they but [thoughtlessly] worship as their forefathers worshipped aforetime; and, behold, We shall most certainly give them their full due [for whatever good or evil they have earned], without diminishing aught thereof.*
BUT, ALAS, among those generations [whom We destroyed] before your time there were no people endowed with any virtue* - [people] who would speak out against the [spread of] corruption on earth -except the few of them whom We saved [because of their righteousness], whereas those who were bent on evildoing only pursued pleasures which corrupted their whole being,* and so lost themselves in sinning.
[all of them,] save those upon whom thy Sustainer has bestowed His grace.* And to this end has He created them [all.* But [as for those who refuse to avail themselves of divine guidance,] that word of thy Sustainer shall be fulfilled: "Most certainly will I fill hell with invisible beings as well as with humans, all together!"*
And they both rushed to the door; and she [grasped and] rent his tunic from behind-and [lo!] they met her lord at the door! Said she: "What ought to be the punishment of one who had evil designs on [the virtue of] thy wife - [what] but imprisonment or a [yet more] grievous chastisement?"
Thereupon, when she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them, and prepared for them a sumptuous repast,* and handed each of them a knife and said [to Joseph]: "Come out and show thyself to them!" And when the women saw him, they were greatly amazed at his beauty,* and [so flustered were they that] they cut their hands [with their knives], exclaiming, "God save us! This is no mortal man! This is nought but a noble angel!"
Said he: "O my Sustainer! Prison is more desirable to me than [compliance with] what these women invite me to: for, unless Thou turn away their guile from me, I might yet yield to their allure* and become one of those who are unaware [of right and wrong]."
[Joseph] answered: "Ere there comes unto you the meal which you are [daily] fed, I shall have informed you of the real meaning of your dreams,* [so that you might know what is to come] before it comes unto you: for this is [part] of the knowledge which my Sustainer has imparted to me. "Behold, I have left behind me the ways of people who do not believe in God,* and who persistently refuse to acknowledge the truth of the life to come;
"All that you worship instead of God is nothing but [empty] names which you have invented* - you and your forefathers- [and] for which God has bestowed no warrant from on high. Judgment [as to what is right and what is wrong] rests with God alone-[and] He has ordained that you should worship nought but Him: this is the [one] ever-true faith; but most people know it not*
[Joseph] replied: "You shall sow for seven years as usual; but let all [the grain] that you harvest remain [untouched] in its ear, excepting only a little, whereof you may eat:
for, after that [period of seven good years] there will come seven hard [years] which will devour all that you shall have laid up for them, excepting only a little of that which you shall have kept in store.
And yet, I am not trying to absolve myself: for, verily, man's inner self does incite [him] to evil,* and saved are only they upon whom my Sustainer bestows His grace.* Behold, my Sustainer is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace!"
[Jacob] replied: "Shall I trust you with him in the same way* as I trusted you with his brother (Joseph] aforetime? [Nay,] but God's guardianship is better [than yours], for He is the most merciful of the merciful!"
Said [Jacob]: "I will not send him with you until you give me a solemn pledge, before God, that you will indeed bring him back unto me, unless you yourselves be encompassed [by death]!" And when they had given him their solemn pledge, [Jacob] said: "God is witness to all that we say!"
And he added: "O my sons! Do not enter [the city all] by one gate, but enter by different gates.* Yet [even so,] I can be of no avail whatever to you against [anything that may be willed by] God: judgment [as to what is to happen] rests with none but God. In Him have I placed my trust: for, all who have trust [in His existence] must place their trust in Him alone."
But although* they entered [Joseph's city] in the way their father had bidden them, this proved of no avail whatever to them against [the plan of] God* [His request] had served only to satisfy Jacob's heartfelt desire [to protect them]:* for, behold, thanks to what We had imparted unto him, he was indeed endowed with the knowledge [that God's will must always prevail* ]; but most people know it not.
Thereupon [they were brought before Joseph to be searched; and] he began with the bags of his half-brothers* before the bag of his brother [Benjamin]: and in the end he brought forth the drinking Cups* out of his brother's bag. In this way did We contrive for Joseph [the attainment of his heart's desire]: under the King's law, he would [otherwise] not have been able to detain his brother, had not God so willed. We do raise to [high] degrees [of knowledge] whomever We will - but above everyone who is endowed with knowledge there is One who knows all.*
He answered: "May God preserve us from [the sin of] detaining any other than him with whom we have found our property-for then, behold, we would indeed be evildoers!"
[And as for you others,] return to your father and say: `O our father! Behold, thy son has stolen-but we [can] bear witness to no more than what has become known to us;* and [although we gave you our pledge,] we could not guard against something that [lay hidden in the future and, hence,] was beyond the reach of our perception.*
[Hence,] O my sons, go forth and try to obtain some tidings of Joseph and his brother; and do not lose hope of God's life-giving mercy:* verily, none but people who deny the truth can ever lose hope of God's life-giving mercy.
although thou dost not ask of them any reward for it: it is but [God's] reminder unto all mankind.
And most of them do not even believe in God without [also] ascribing divine powers to other beings beside Him.
And [even] before thy time, We never sent [as Our apostles] any but [mortal] men, whom We inspired, [and whom We always chose] from among the people of the [very] communities [to whom the message was to be brought].* Have, then, they [who reject this divine writ] never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before them?-and [do they not know that] to those who are conscious of God the life in the hereafter is indeed better [than this world]? Will they not, then, use their reason?
Unto Him [alone] is due all prayer aiming at the Ultimate Truth,* since those [other beings or powers] whom men invoke instead of God* cannot respond to them in any way - [so that he who invokes them is] but like one who stretches his open hands* towards water, [hoping] that it will reach his mouth, the while it never reaches him. Hence, the prayer of those who deny the truth amounts to no more than losing oneself in grievous error.
GOD GRANTS abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills; and they [who are given abundance] rejoice in the life of this world - even though, as compared with the life to come, the life of this world is nought but -a fleeting pleasure.
Thus* have We raised thee [O Muhammad] as Our Apostle amidst a community [of unbelievers] before whose time [similar] communities have come and gone,* so that thou might propound to them what We have revealed unto thee: for [in their ignorance] they deny the Most Gracious !* Say: "He is my Sustainer. There is no deity save Him. In Him have I placed my trust, and unto Him is my recourse!"
And, truly, We sent forth apostles before thee, and We appointed for them wives and offspring;* and it was not given to any apostle to produce a miracle save at God's behest.* Every age has had its revelation:*
AND NEVER have We sent forth any apostle otherwise than [with a message] in his own people's tongue, so that he might make [the truth] clear unto them;* but God lets go astray him that wills [to go astray], and guides him that wills [to be guided] -for He alone is almighty, truly wise.*
HAVE THE STORIES of those [deniers of the truth] who lived before you never yet come within your ken - [the stories of] the people of Noah, and of [the tribes of] `Ad and Thamud, and of those who came after them? None knows them [now] save God.* There came unto them their apostles with all evidence of the truth -but they covered their mouths with their hands* and answered: "Behold, we refuse to regard as true the message with which you [claim to] have been entrusted; and, behold, we are .in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about [the meaning of] your call to us!"*
Said the apostles sent unto them:* "Can there be any doubt about [the existence and oneness of] God, the Originator of the heavens and the earth? It is He who calls unto you, so that He may forgive you [whatever is past] of your sins and grant you respite until a term [set by Him is fulfilled]."* [But] they replied: "You are nothing but mortal men like ourselves! You want to turn us away from what our forefathers were wont to worship: well, then, bring us a clear proof [of your being God's message-bearers]!"
Their apostles answered them: "True, we are nothing but mortal men like yourselves: but God bestows His favour upon whomever He wills of His servants. Withal, it is not within our power to bring you a proof [of our mission], unless it be by God's leave-and [so] it is in God that all believers must place their trust.*
And when everything will have been decided, Satan will say: "Behold, God promised you something that was bound to come true!* I, too, held out [all manner of] promises to you -but I deceived you. Yet I had no power at all over you: I but called you-and you responded unto me. Hence, blame not me, but blame yourselves.* It is not for me to respond to your cries, nor for you to respond to mine:* for, behold, I have [always] refused to admit that there was any truth in your erstwhile belief that I had a share in God's divinity."* Verily, for all evildoers* there is grievous suffering in store.
And never have We destroyed any community [for its wrongdoing] unless a divine writ had (previously] been made known to it;*
[Yet] We never send down angels otherwise than in accordance with the [demands of] truth;* and [were the angels to appear now,] lo! they [who reject this divine writ] would have no further respite!*
and never yet came an apostle to them without their deriding him.
so that anyone who seeks to learn [the unknowable] by stealth is pursued by a flame clear to see.*
For, no single thing exists that does not have its source with Us;* and nought do We bestow from on high unless it be in accordance with a measure well-defined.*
save Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.*
[all] save such of them as are truly Thy servants!"*
verily, thou shalt have no power over My creatures- unless it be such as are [already] lost in grievous error and follow thee [of their own will]:*
[Abraham] exclaimed: "And who-other than those who have utterly lost their way-could ever abandon the hope of his Sustainer's grace?"
barring Lot's household, all of whom, behold, we shall save -
excepting only his wife, [of whom God says,] `We have ordained [that], behold, she should be among those who stay behind!'*
AND [remember:] We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them without [an inner] truth;* but, behold, the Hour [when this will become clear to all] is indeed yet to come. Hence, forgive [men's failings] with fair forbearance:
He causes the angels to descend with this divine inspiration,* [bestowed] at His behest upon whomever He wills of His servants: "Warn [all human beings] that there is no deity save Me: be, therefore, conscious of Me!"
And they carry your loads to [many] a place which [otherwise] you would be unable to reach without great hardship to yourselves. Verily, your Sustainer is most compassionate, a dispenser of grace!
ARE THEY [who deny the truth] but waiting for the angels to appear unto them, or for God's judgment to become manifest?* Even thus did behave those [stubborn sinners] who lived before their time; and [when they were destroyed,] it was not God who wronged them, but it was they who had wronged themselves:
Now they who ascribe divinity to aught beside God say, "Had God so willed, we would not have worshipped aught but Him - neither we nor our forefathers; nor would we have declared aught as forbidden without a commandment from Him."* Even thus did speak those [sinners] who lived before their time; but, then, are the apostles bound to do more than clearly deliver the message [entrusted to them] ?*
AND [even] before thy time, [O Muhammad,] We never sent [as Our apostles] any but [mortal] men, whom We inspired:* and if you have not [yet] realized this, ask the followers of [earlier] revelation,"*
And upon thee [too] have We bestowed from on' high this divine writ for no other reason than that thou might make clear unto them all [questions of faith] on which they have come to hold divergent views, and [thus offer] guidance and grace unto people who will believe.
And* , God's [alone] is the knowledge of the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth.* And so, the advent of the Last Hour will but manifest itself [in a single moment,] like the twinkling of an eye, or closer still:* for, behold, God has the power to will anything.
Have, then, they [who deny the truth] never considered the birds, enabled [by God] to fly in mid-air,* with none but God holding them aloft? In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
As for anyone who denies God after having once attained to faith-and this, to be sure, does not apply to* one who does it under duress, the while his heart remains true to his faith,* but [only, to] him who willingly opens up his heart to a denial of the truth-: upon all such [falls] God's condemnation, and tremendous suffering awaits them:
Endure, then, with patience (all that they who deny the truth may say] -always remembering that it is none but God who gives thee the strength to endure adversity* -and do not grieve over them, and neither be distressed by the false arguments which they devise:*
for thy Sustainer has ordained that you shall worship none but Him. And do good unto [thy] parents.* Should one of them, or both, attain to old age in thy care, never say "Ugh"* to them or scold them, but [always] speak unto them with reverent speech,
And do not take any human being's life -[the life] which God has willed to be, sacred-otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice.* Hence, if anyone has been slain wrongfully, We have empowered the defender of his rights [to exact a just retribution] ;* but even so, let him not exceed the bounds of equity in [retributive] killing.* [And as for him who has been slain wrongfully -] behold, he is indeed succoured [by God] !*
And do not touch the substance of an orphan, save to improve it, before he comes of age.* And be true to every promise - for, verily, [on Judgment Day] you will be called to account for every promise which you have made !*
And, indeed, many facets have We given [to Our message] in this Qur'an, so that they [who deny the truth] might take it to heart: but all this only increases their aversion.
The seven heavens* extol His limitless glory, and the earth, and all that they contain; and there is not a single thing but extols His limitless glory and praise: but you [O men] fail to grasp the manner of their glorifying Him!* Verily, He is forbearing, much-forgiving!
We are fully aware of what they are listening for when they listen to thee:* for when they are secluded among themselves, lo! these wrongdoers say [unto one another], "If you were to follow [Muhammad, you would follow] only a man bewitched!"
on a Day when He will call you, and you will answer by praising Him, thinking all the while that you have tarried [on earth] but a little while."*
And [bear in mind:] there is no community which We will not destroy before the Day of Resurrection,* or chastise [even earlier, if it proves sinful,] with suffering severe: all this is laid down in Our decree.*
And nothing has prevented Us from sending [this message, like the earlier ones,] with miraculous signs [in its wake], save [Our knowledge] that the people of olden times [only too often] gave the lie to them:* thus, We provided for [the tribe of] Thamud the she-camel as a light-giving portent, and they sinned against it.* And never did We send those signs for any other purpose than to convey a warning.
And lo! We said unto thee, [O Prophet:] "Behold, thy Sustainer encompasses all mankind [within His knowledge and might]: and so We have ordained that the vision which We have shown thee* -as also the tree [of hell,] cursed in this Qur'an - shall be but a trial for men .* Now [by Our mentioning hell] We convey a warning to them: but [if they are bent on denying the truth,] this [warning] only increases their gross, overweening arrogance."
AND LO! We said unto the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam"-whereupon they all prostrated themselves, save Iblis.* Said he: "Shall I prostrate myself before one whom Thou hast created out of clay?"
[And] he added: "Tell me, is this [foolish being] the one whom Thou hast exalted above me? Indeed, if Thou wilt but allow me a respite till the Day of Resurrection, I shall most certainly cause his descendants-all but a few-to obey me blindly !*
Entice, then, with thy voice such of them as thou canst, and bear upon them with all thy horses and all thy men,* and be their partner in [all sins relating to] worldly goods and children,* and hold out [all manner of] promises to them: and [they will not know that] whatever Satan promises them is but meant to delude the mind.*
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!
And [since they see that they cannot persuade thee,] they endeavour to estrange thee from the land [of thy birth]* with a view to driving thee away from ,it-but, then, after thou wilt have left,* they themselves will not remain [in it] for more than a little while:*
THUS, step by step, We bestow from on high through this Qur'an all that gives health [to the spirit] and is a grace unto those who believe [in Us], the while it only adds to the ruin of evildoers:*
AND THEY will ask thee about [the nature of] divine inspiration.* Say: "This inspiration [comes] at my Sustainer's behest; and [you cannot understand its nature, O men, since] you have been granted very little of [real] knowledge."
[Thou art spared] only by thy Sustainer's grace: behold, His favour towards thee is great indeed!
For, indeed, many facets have We given in this Qur'an to every kind of lesson [designed] for [the benefit of] mankind!* However, most men are unwilling to accept anything but blasphemy*
or thou have a house [made] of gold, or thou ascend to heaven - but nay, we would not [even] believe in thy ascension unless thou bring down to us [from heaven] a writing which we [ourselves] could read!* Say thou, [O Prophet:] "Limitless in His glory is my Sustainer!* Am I, then, aught but a mortal man, an apostle?"
Yet whenever [God's] guidance came to them [through a prophet,] nothing has ever kept people from believing [in him] save this their objection:* "Would God have sent a [mere] mortal man as His apostle?"
Are they, then, not aware that God, who has created the heavens and the earth, has the power to create them anew in their own likeness,* having, beyond any doubt, set a term for their resurrection?* However, all [such] evildoers are unwilling to accept anything but blasphemy!*
Answered [Moses]: "Thou knowest well that none but the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth has bestowed these [miraculous signs] from on high, as a means of insight [for thee];* and, verily, O Pharaoh, [since thou hast chosen to reject them;] I think that thou art utterly lost!"
AND AS a guide towards the truth* have We bestowed this [revelation] from on high; with this [very] truth has it come down [unto thee, O Prophet]:* for We have sent thee but as a herald of glad tidings and a warner,
No knowledge whatever have they of Him,* and neither had their forefathers: dreadful -is this saying that comes out of their mouths, [and] nothing but falsehood do they utter!
Hence, now that you have withdrawn from them and from all that they worship instead of God, take refuge in that cave: God will spread His grace over you, and will endow you - whatever your [outward] condition - with all that your souls may need!*
[And in times to come] some will say,* "[They were] three, the fourth of them being their dog," while others will say, "Five, with their dog as the sixth of them" -idly guessing at something of which they can have no knowledge -and [so on, until] some will say, "[They were] seven, the eighth of them being their dog." Say: "My Sustainer knows best how many they were. None but a few have any [real] knowledge of them. Hence, do not argue about them otherwise than by way of an obvious argument,* and do not ask any of those [story-tellers] to enlighten thee about them."
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 [he continued:] "Alas,* if thou hadst but said, on entering thy garden, `Whatever God wills [shall come to pass, for] there is no power save with God!' Although, as thou seest, I have less wealth and offspring than thou,
And the record [of everyone's deeds] will be laid open; and thou wilt behold the guilty filled with dread at what [they see] therein; and they will exclaim: "Oh, woe unto us! What a record is this! It leaves out nothing, be it small or great, but takes everything into account!" For they will find all that they ever wrought [now] facing them, and [will know that] thy Sustainer does not wrong anyone.
AND [remember that] when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam,"* they all prostrated themselves, save Iblis: he [too] was one of those invisible beings,* but then he turned away from his Sustainer's command. Will you, then, take him and his cohorts* for (your], masters instead of Me, although they are your foe? How vile an exchange on the evildoers' part!*
for, what is there to keep people from attaining to faith now that guidance has come unto them, and from asking their Sustainer to forgive them their sins - unless it be [their wish] that the fate of the [sinful] people of ancient times should befall them [as well], or that the [ultimate] suffering should befall them in the hereafter?*
But We send [Our] message-bearers only as heralds of glad tidings and as warners - whereas those who are bent on denying the truth contend [against them] with fallacious arguments, so as to render void the truth thereby, and to make My messages and warnings a target of their mockery.
Said [the servant]: "Wouldst thou believe it?* When we betook ourselves to that rock for a rest, behold, I forgot about the fish-and none but Satan made me thus forget it* - and it took its way into the sea! How strange!"
Excepted, however, shall be those who repent and attain to faith and do righteous deeds: for it is they who will enter paradise and will not be wronged in any way:*
No empty talk will they hear there-nothing but [tidings of] inner soundness and peace;* and there will they have their sustenance by day and by night:*
AND [the angels say]: "We do not descend [with revelation], again and again, other than by thy Sustainer's command: unto Him belongs all that lies open before us and all that is hidden-from us and all that is in-between.* And never does thy Sustainer forget [anything]
And every one of you will come within sight of it:* this is, with thy Sustainer, a decree that must be fulfilled.
[on that Day] none will have [the benefit of] intercession unless he has [in his lifetime] entered into a bond with the Most Gracious.*
Not one of all [the beings] that are in the heavens or on earth appears before the Most Gracious other than as a servant:*
but only as an exhortation to all who stand in awe [of God]:
God-there is no deity save Him; His [alone] are the attributes of perfection!*
"Verily, I - I alone - am God; there is no deity save Me. Hence, worship Me alone, and be constant in prayer, so as to remember Me!*
Your only deity is God - He save whom there is no deity, [and whho] embraces all things within His knowledge!"
whispering unto one another, "You have spent but ten [days on earth]*
[But] We know best* what they will be saying when the most perceptive of them shall say, "You have spent [there] but one day!"
On that Day, all will. follow the summoning Voice from which there will be no escape;* and all sounds will be hushed before the Most Gracious, and thou wilt hear nothing but a faint sough in the air.
On that Day, intercession shall be of no avail [to any] save him in whose case the Most Gracious will have granted leave therefor, and whose word [of faith) He will have accepted:*
For [thus it was:] when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!"- they all prostrated themselves, save Ibis, who refused [to do it];*
Whenever there comes unto them any new reminder from their Sustainer, they but listen to it with playful amusement,*
their hearts set on passing delights; yet they who are [thus] bent on wrongdoing conceal their innermost thoughts* [when they say to one another], Is this [Muhammad] anything but a mortal like yourselves? Will you, then, yield to [his] spellbinding eloquence with your eyes open?''*
For [even] before thy time, [O Muhammad,] We never sent [as Our apostles] any but [mortal] men, whom We inspired - hence, [tell the deniers of the truth,] If you do not know this, ask the followers of earlier revelation"*
had there been in heaven or on earth* any deities other than God, both [those realms would surely have fallen into ruin! But limitless in His glory is God, enthroned in His awesome almightiness* far] above anything that men may devise by way of definition!*
and [this despite the fact that even] before thy time We never sent any apostle without having revealed to him that there is no deity save Me, - [and that,] therefore, you shall worship Me [alone]!
He knows all that lies open before them* and all that is hidden from them:* hence, they cannot intercede for any but those whom He has [already] graced with His goodly acceptance, since they themselves stand in reverent awe of Him.*
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!*
And then he broke those [idols] to pieces, [all] save the biggest of them, so that they might [be able to] turn to it.*
AND [remember] him of the great fish* when he went off in wrath, thinking that We had no power over him!* But then heeded out in the deep darkness [of his distress]: There is no deity save Thee! Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Verily, I have done wrong!"*
And [thus, O Prophet,] We have sent thee as [an evidence of Our] grace towards all the worlds.*
All this [is ordained by God]; and if one houours God's sacred commandments, it will redound to his own good in his Sustainer's sight. And all [kinds of] cattle have been made lawful to you [for sacrifice and food], save what is mentioned to you [as forbidden].* Shun, then, [all that God has forbidden and, most of all,] the loathsome evil of idolatrous beliefs and practices;* and shun every word that is untrue,
those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying. Our Sustainer is God!" For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another,* all] monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques - in [all of] which Gods name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed [ere now].* And God will most certainly succour him who succours His cause: for, verily, God is most powerful, almighty,
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.
Art thou not aware that it is God who has made subservient to you all that is on earth,* and the ships that sail through the sea at His behest - and [that it is He who] holds the celestial bodies* [in their orbits], so that they may not fall upon the earth otherwise than by His leave?* Verily, God is most compassionate towards men, a dispenser of grace
[not giving way to their desires] with any but their spouses - that is, those whom they rightfully possess [through wedlock]:* for then, behold, they are free of all blame,
But the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth, replied: This [man] is nothing but a mortal like yourselves who wants to make himself superior to you! For, if God had willed [to convey a message unto us], He would surely have sent down angels; [moreover,] we have never heard [anything like] this from our forebears of old!*
He is nothing but a madman: so bear with him for a while."
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 [every time] the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth and gave the lie to the announcement of a life to come - [simply] because We had granted them ease and plenty in [their] worldly life, and they had become corrupted by it* [every time] they would say: This [man] is nothing hut a mortal like yourselves, eating of what you eat, and drinking of what you drink:
There is no life beyond our life in this world: we die and we live [but once], and we shall never be raised from the dead!
He is nothing but a man who attributes his own lying inventions to God, and we are not going to believe him!"
And [withal.] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear: for with Us is a record that speaks the truth [about what men do and can do]; and none shall be wronged.
Indeed, this [very thing] we have been promised - we and our forefathers - long ago! This is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
[Whereupon] He will say: You have spent there but a short while: had you but known [how short it was to be]!
[KNOW,] then, [that] God is sublimely exalted, the Ultimate Sovereign, the Ultimate Truth:* there is no deity save Him, the Sustainer, in bountiful almightiness enthroned!*
[Both are equally guilty:] the adulterer couples with none other than an adulteress - that is, a woman who accords [to her own lust] a place side by side with God;* and with the adulteress couples none other than an adulterer - that is, a man who accords [to his own lust] a place side by side with God: and this is forbidden unto the believers.*
excepting [from this interdict] only those who afterwards repent and made amends:* for, behold, God is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And as for those who accuse their own wives [of adultery], but have no witnesses except themselves, let each of these [accusers] call God four times to witness that he is indeed telling the truth,*
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof;* hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms.* And let them not display [more of] their charms to any but their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' Sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their womenfolk, or those whom they rightfully possess, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desire,* or children that are as yet unaware of women's nakedness; and let them not swing their legs [in walking] so as to draw attention to their hidden charms* And [always], O you believers - all of you - turn unto God in repentance, so that you might attain to a happy state!*
Say: Pay heed unto God, and pay heed unto the Apostle." And if you turn away [from the Apostle, know that] he will have to answer only for whatever he has been charged with, and you, for what you have been charged with; but if you pay heed unto him, you will be on the right way. Withal, the Apostle is not bound to do more than clearly deliver the message [entrusted to him].
Moreover, those who are bent on denying the truth are wont to say, This [Qur'an] is nothing but a lie, which he [himself] has devised with the help of other people,* who thereupon have perverted the truth and brought a falsehood into being."*
Or: [Why has not] a treasure been granted to him [by God]?" Or: He should [at least] have a [bountiful] garden, so that he could eat thereof [without effort]!"* And so these evildoers say [unto one another], If you were to follow [Muhammad, you would follow] but a man bewitched!"
AND [even] before thee, [O Muhammad,] We never sent as Our message-bearers any but [mortal men] who indeed ate food [like other human beings] and went about in the market places: for [it is thus that] We cause you [human beings] to be a means of testing one another.* Are you* able to endure [this test] with patience? For [remember, O man,] thy Sustainer is truly all-seeing!
and [that] they [who deny the truth] might never taunt thee with any deceptive half-truth* without Our conveying to thee the [full] truth and [providing thee] with the best explanation.*
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?
Or dost thou think that most of them listen [to thy message] and use their reason? Nay, they are but like cattle - nay, they are even less conscious of the right way!*
And, indeed, many times have We repeated [all] this unto men,* so that they might take it to heart: but most men refuse to be aught but ingrate.
Yet [withal, O Prophet,] We have sent thee only as a herald of glad tidings and a warner.
Say: For this, no reward do I ask of you [- no reward] other than that he who so wills may unto his Sustainer find a way!"
and who never invoke any [imaginary] deity side by side with God, and do not take any human beings life - [the life] which God has willed to be sacred - otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice,* and do not commit adultery. And [know that] he who commits aught thereof* shall [not only] meet with a full requital
Excepted, however, shall be they who repent and attain to faith and do righteous deeds: for it is they whose [erstwhile] bad deeds God will transform into good ones - seeing that God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace,
[But We have not willed it:] and so, whenever there comes unto them any fresh reminder from the Most Gracious, they [who are blind of heart] always - turn their backs upon it:
Now [as for me, I know that,] verily, these [false deities] are my enemies, [and that none is my helper] save the Sustainer of all the worlds,
[and when] only he [will be happy] who comes before God with a heart free of evil!"
yet they who have seduced us [into believing in you] are the truly guilty ones!*
And no reward whatever do I ask of you for it: my reward rests with none but the Sustainer of all the worlds.
Their reckoning rests with none but my Sustainer: if you could but understand [this]!*
I am nothing but a plain warner."
And no reward whatever do I ask of you for it: my reward rests with none but the Sustainer of all the worlds.
This [religion of ours] is none other than that to which our forebears clung,*
And no reward whatever do I ask of you for it: my reward rests with none but the Sustainer of all the worlds.
Thou art nothing but a mortal like ourselves! Come, then, forward with a token [of thy mission] if thou art a man of truth!"*
And no reward whatever do I ask of you for it: my reward rests with none but the Sustainer of all the worlds.
all but an old woman, who was among those that stayed behind;*
And no reward whatever do I ask of you for it: my reward rests with none but the Sustainer of all the worlds.
for thou art nothing but a mortal like ourselves! And, behold, we think that thou art a consummate liar!*
And withal, never have We destroyed any community unless it had been warned
[Most of them are of this kind ] save those who have attained to faith, and do righteous deeds, and remember God unceasingly, and defend themselves [only] after having been wronged,* and [trust in God's promise that] those who are bent on wrongdoing will in time come to know how evil a turn their destinies are bound to take!*
and neither* need anyone who has done wrong and then has replaced the wrong with good:* for, verily, I am much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
God, save whom there is no deity - the Sustainer, in awesome almightiness enthroned!"*
But his people's only answer was this: Expel [Lot and] Lot's followers from your township! Verily, they are folk who make themselves out to be pure!"*
Thereupon We saved him and his household - all but his wife, whom We willed to be among those that stayed behind -*
Say: None in the heavens or on earth knows the hidden reality [of anything that exists: none knows it] save God."* And neither can they [who are living] perceive when they shall be raised from the dead:
Indeed, we were promised this - we and our forefathers - in the past as well; it is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
for there is nothing [so deeply] hidden in the heavens or on earth but is recorded in [His] clear decree.
just as thou canst not lead the blind [of heart] out of their error; none canst thou make hear save such as [are willing to] believe in Our messages, and thus surrender themselves unto Us.*
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 be stricken with terror, except such as God wills [to exempt]: and in utter lowliness all will come unto Him.
But they who shall come with evil deeds * their faces will be thrust into the fire, [and they will be asked:] Is this aught but a just requital* for what you were doing [in life]?"
But then* as soon as he was about to lay violent hands on the man who was their [common] enemy, the latter exclaimed: O Moses, dost thou intend to slay me as thou didst slay another man yesterday? Thy sole aim is to become a tyrant in this land, for thou dost not care to be of those who would set things to rights!"
But as soon as Moses came unto them with Our clear messages [Pharaoh and his great ones] said: All this is nothing but spellbinding eloquence devised [by man]:* and never did we hear [the like of] this, [nor has it ever been heard of] in the time of our forebears of old!"
And how many a community that [once] exulted in its wanton wealth and ease of life have We destroyed, so that those dwelling-places of theirs all but a few - have never been dwelt-in after them: for it is indeed We alone who shall remain when all else will have passed away!*
Yet, withal, thy Sustainer would never destroy a community without having [first] raised in its midst an apostle who would convey unto them Our messages;* and never would We destroy a community unless its people are wont to do wrong [to one another].*
for He is God, save whom there is no deity. Unto Him all praise is due, at the beginning and at the end [of time];* and with Him rests all judgment; and unto Him shall you all be brought back.
But those who had been granted true knowledge said: Woe unto you! Merit in the sight of God* is by far the best for any who attains to faith and does what is right: but none save the patient in adversity can ever achieve this [blessing]."
Whosoever shall come [before God] with a good deed will gain [further] good there from;* but as for any who shall come with an evil deed - [know that] they who do evil deeds will not be requited with more than [the like of] what they have done.*
Now [as for thyself, O believer,] thou couldst never foresee* that this divine writ would [one day] be offered to thee: but [it did come to thee] by thy Sustainer's grace. Hence, never uphold those who deny the truth [of divine guidance],
and never call upon any other deity side by side with God. There is no deity save Him. Everything is bound to perish, save His [eternal] self.* With Him rests all judgment; and unto Him shall you all be brought back.
And, indeed, [in times long past] We sent forth Noah unto his people,* and he dwelt among them a thousand years bar fifty;* and then the floods overwhelmed them while they were still lost in evildoing:
And if you give [me] the lie - well, [other] communities have given the lie [to Gods prophets] before your time: but no more is an apostle bound to do than clearly deliver the message [entrusted to him]."
Now [as for Abraham,] his people's only answer was,* Slay him, or burn him!" but God saved him from the fire.* Behold, in this [story] there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
Must you indeed approach men [with lust], and thus cut across the way [of nature]?* and must you commit these shameful deeds in your open] assemblies?" But his people's only answer was, Bring down upon us God's chastisement, if thou art a man of truth!"
[And when Abraham] exclaimed, But Lot lives there!" - they answered: We know fully well who is there; most certainly we shall save him and his household - all but his wife: she will indeed be among those that stay behind."*
And when Our messengers came unto Lot, he was sorely grieved on their account, seeing that it was beyond his power to shield them;* but they said: Fear not, and grieve not! Behold, we shall save thee and thy household - all but thy wife: she will indeed be among those that stay behind.
And so We propound these parables unto man: but none can grasp their innermost meaning save those who [of Us] are aware*
And do not argue with the followers of earlier revelation otherwise than in a most kindly manner - unless it be such of them as are bent on evildoing* and say: We believe in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, as well as that which has been bestowed upon you: or our God and your God is one and the same, and it is unto Him that We [all] surrender ourselves."
For it is thus* that We have bestowed this divine writ from on high upon thee [O Muhammad]. And they to whom we have vouchsafed this divine writ believe in it* just as among those [followers of earlier revelation] there are some who believe in it. And none could knowingly reject Our messages unless it be such as would deny [an obvious] truth:*
Nay, but this [divine writ] consists of messages clear to the hearts of all who are gifted with [innate] knowledge* and none could knowingly reject Our messages unless it be such as would do wrong [to themselves].
for, [if they did, they would know that] the life of this world is nothing but a passing delight and a play - whereas, behold, the life in the hereafter is indeed the only [true] life: if they but knew this!
Have they never learned to think for themselves?* God has not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them without [an inner] truth and a term set [by Him]:* and yet, behold, there are many people who stubbornly deny the truth that they are destined to meet their Sustainer!
just as thou canst not lead the blind [of heart] out of their error: none canst thou make hear [thy call] save such as [are willing to] believe in Our messages, and thus surrender themselves unto Us.*
AND, INDEED, We have propounded unto men all kinds of parables in this Qur'an.* But thus it is: if thou approach them with any [such] message, those who are bent on denying the truth are sure to say, You are but making false claims!"
[For Him,] the creation of you all and the resurrection of you all is but like [the creation and resurrection of] a single soul:* for, verily, God is all-hearing, all-seeing.
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.
The Prophet has a higher claim on the believers than [they have on] their own selves, [seeing that he is as a father to them] and his wives are their mothers:* and they who are [thus] closely related have, in accordance with God's decree, a higher claim upon one another than [was even the case between] the believers [of Yathrib] and those who had migrated [there for the sake of God].* None the less, you are to act with utmost goodness towards your [other] close friends as well:* this [too] is written down in God's decree.
And [remember how it was] when the hypocrites and those with hearts diseased* said [to one another], God and His Apostle have promised us nothing but delusions!"*
and when some of them said, O you people of Yathrib! You cannot withstand [the enemy] here:* hence, go back [to your homes]!" Whereupon a party from among them asked leave of the Prophet, saying, Behold, our houses are exposed [to attack]!" The while they were not [really] exposed: they wanted nothing but to flee.
Now if their town had been stormed,* and they had been asked [by the enemy] to commit apostasy, [the hypocrites] would have done so without much delay*
Say: Whether you flee from [natural] death or from being slain [in battle], flight will not profit you - for, however you fare,* you are not [allowed] to enjoy life for more than a little while!"
God is indeed aware of those of you who would divert others [from fighting in His cause], as well as of those who say to their brethren, Come hither to us [and face the enemy]!" The while they [themselves] join battle but seldom,
They think that the Confederates have not [really] withdrawn;* and should the Confederates return, these [hypocrites] would prefer to be in the desert, among the bedouin, asking for news about you, [O believers, from far away;] and even were they to find themselves in your midst, they would but make a pretence at fighting [by your side].*
And [so,] when the believers saw the Confederates [advancing against them], they said, This is what God and His Apostle have promised us!"- and, Truly spoke God and His Apostle !* and all this but increased their faith and their readiness to surrender themselves unto God.
[and such will always be His way with] those who convey God's messages [to the world], and stand in awe of Him, and hold none but God in awe: for none can take count [of man's doings] as God does!
No [other] women shall henceforth be lawful to thee* nor art thou [allowed] to supplant [any of] them by other wives,* even though their beauty should please thee greatly -: [none shall be lawful to thee] beyond those whom thou [already] hast come to possess.* And God keeps watch over everything.
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.
THUS IT IS: if* the hypocrites, and they in whose hearts is disease,* and they who, by spreading false rumours, would cause disturbances* in the City [of the Prophet] desist not [from their hostile doings]. We shall indeed give thee mastery over them, [O Muhammad] - and then they will not remain thy neighbours in this [city] for more than a little while:*
And yet, they who are bent on denying the truth assert, Never will the Last Hour come upon us!"* Say: Nay, by my Sustainer! By Him who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception: it will most certainly come upon you!" Not an atom's weight [of whatever there is] in the heavens or on earth escapes His knowledge; and neither is there anything smaller than that, or larger, but is recorded in [His] clear decree,
Yet [even Solomon had to die; but] when We decreed that he should die, nothing showed them that he was dead except an earthworm that gnawed away his staff.* And when he fell to the ground, those invisible beings [subservient to him] saw clearly that, had they but understood the reality which was beyond the reach of their perception,* they would not have continued [to toil] in the shameful suffering [of servitude]*
thus We requited them for their having denied the truth. But do We ever requite [thus] any but the utterly ingrate?*
Now, indeed, Iblis did prove that his opinion of them had been right:* for [when he called them,] they followed him - all but some of the believers [among them].
And yet, he had no power at all over them:* [for if We allow him to tempt man,] it is only to the end that We might make a clear distinction between those who [truly] believe in the life to come and those who are in doubt thereof:* for thy Sustainer watches over all things.
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!"*
NOW [as for thee, O Muhammad,] We have not sent thee otherwise than to mankind at large, to be a herald of glad tidings and a warner; but most people do not understand [this],
But those who had been weak will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance: Nay, [what kept us away was your] devising of false arguments, night and day, [against God's messages- as you did]* when you persuaded us to blaspheme against God and to claim that there are powers that could rival Him!"* And when they see the suffering [that awaits them], they will [all] be unable to express [the full depth of] their remorse:* for We shall have put shackles around the necks of those who had been bent on denying the truth:* [and] will this be aught but a [just] requital for what they were doing?
For [thus it is:] whenever We sent a warner to any community, those of its people who had lost themselves entirely in the pursuit of pleasures would declare,* Behold, we deny that there is any truth in [what you claim to be] your message!"
For, it is neither your riches nor your children that can bring you nearer to Us: only he who attains to faith and does what is right and just [comes near unto Us]; and it is [such as] these whom multiple recompense awaits for all that they have done; and it is they who shall dwell secure in the mansions [of paradise]
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!"*
Say: I counsel you one thing only: Be [ever conscious of] standing before God, whether you are in the company of others or alone;* and then bethink yourselves [that] there is no madness in [this prophet,] your fellow-man:* he is only a warner to you of suffering severe to come."
Say: No reward have I ever asked of you [out of anything] that is yours:* my reward rests with none but God, and He is witness unto everything!"
O men! Call to mind the blessings which God has bestowed upon you! Is there any creator, other than God, that could provide for you sustenance out of heaven and earth?* There is no deity save Him: and yet, how perverted are your minds!*
And [remember:] God creates [every one of] you out of dust,* then out of a drop of sperm; and then He fashions you into either of the two sexes.* And no female conceives or gives birth unless it be with His knowledge; and none that is long-lived has his days lengthened - and neither is aught lessened of his days - unless it be thus laid down in [God's] decree: for, behold, all this is easy for God.
thou art nothing but a warner.
Verily, We have sent thee with the truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and a warner: for there never was any community but a warner has [lived and] passed away in its midst.*
He it is who has made you inherit the earth.* Hence, he who is bent on denying the truth [of God's oneness and uniqueness ought to know that] this denial of his will fall back upon him: for their [persistent] denial of this truth does but add to the deniers' loathsomeness in their Sustainer's sight and, thus, their denial of this truth does but add to the deniers' loss.
Say: Have you ever [really] considered those beings and forces to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity,* [and] whom you invoke beside God? Show me what it is that they have created on earth - or do [you claim that] they have a share in [governing] the heavens?" Have We ever vouchsafed them* a divine writ on which they could rely as evidence [in support of their views]?* Nay, [the hope which] the evildoers hold out to one another [is] nothing but a delusion.*
As it is, they [who are averse to the truth often] swear by God with their most solemn oaths that if a warner should ever come to them, they would follow his guidance better than any of the communities [of old had followed the warner sent to them]:* but now that a warner has come unto them, [his call] but increases their aversion,
their arrogant behaviour on earth, and their devising of evil [arguments against God's messages].* Yet [in the end,] such evil scheming will engulf none but its authors: and can they expect anything but [to be made to go] the way of those [sinners] of olden times?* Thus [it is]: no change wilt thou ever find in God's way; yea, no deviation wilt thou ever find in God's way!
[The others] answered: You are nothing but mortal men like ourselves; moreover, the Most Gracious has never bestowed aught [of revelation] from on high. You do nothing but lie!"*
but we are not bound to do more than clearly deliver the message [entrusted to us]."
nothing was [needed] but one single blast [of Our punishment] - and lo! they became as still and silent as ashes.
OH, THE REGRETS that [most] human beings will have to bear!* Never has an apostle come to them without their deriding him!
unless it be by an act of mercy from Us and a grant of life for a [further span of] time.
and no message of their Sustainer s messages ever reaches them without their turning away from it.*
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 they are unaware that] nothing awaits them beyond a single blast [of God's punishment],* which will overtake them while they are still arguing - [against resurrection]:
Nothing will there have been but one single blast - and lo! before Us will all of them be arraigned [and be told]:
Today, then, no human being shall be wronged in the least, nor shalt you be requited for aught but what you were doing [on earth].
AND [thus it is:] We have not imparted to this [Prophet the gift of] poetry, nor would [poetry] have suited this [message]:* it is but a reminder and a [divine] discourse, clear in itself and clearly showing the truth,*
but if anyone* does succeed in snatching a glimpse [of such knowledge], he is [henceforth] pursued by a piercing flame.*
and say: This is clearly nothing but [a mortal's] spellbinding eloquence!
for, behold, whenever they were told, There is no deity save God," they would glory in their arrogance
although you shall not be requited for aught but what you were wont to do.
Not so, however, God's true servants:*
[again,] beyond our previous death, and that we shall never [again] be made to suffer?
EXCEPT for God's true servants, [most people are apt to go astray.]*
excepting only [those who were] God's true servants;
except an old woman who was among those that stayed behind;*
Not thus, however, [behave] God's true servants:
unless it be such as rushes towards the blazing fire [of his own accord]!*
[All forces of nature praise God and say:]* Among us, too, there is none but has a place assigned to it [by Him];
Never did we hear of [a claim like] this in any faith of latter days!* It is nothing but [a mortal man's] invention!
not one [was there] but gave the lie to the apostles - and thereupon My retribution fell due.
And they [who now deny the truth - they, too,] have but to wait for one single blast [of punishment to overtake them]: it shall not be delayed a whit.*
Said [David]: He has certainly wronged thee by demanding that thy ewe be added to his ewes! Thus, behold, do many kinsmen wrong one another* [all] save those who believe [in God] and do righteous deeds: but how few are they!" And [suddenly] David understood that We had tried him:* and so he asked his Sustainer to forgive him his sin, and fell down in prostration, and turned unto Him in repentance.
SAY [O Muhammad]: I am only a warner; and there is no deity whatever save God, the One, who holds absolute sway over all that exists,
had it not been revealed unto me [by God] - to no other end than that I might convey [unto you] a plain warning.*
save Iblis: he gloried in his arrogance, and [thus] became one of those who deny the truth.*
[all] save such of them as are truly Thy servants!"
This [divine writ], behold, is no less than a reminder to all the worlds
Is it not to God alone that all sincere faith is due? And yet, they who take for their protectors aught beside Him [are wont to say], We worship them for no other reason than that they bring us nearer to God."* Behold, God will judge between them [on Resurrection Day] with regard to all wherein they differ [from the truth]:* for, verily, God does not grace with His guidance anyone who is bent on lying [to himself and is] stubbornly ingrate!*
He has created you [all] out of one living entity, and out of it fashioned its mate;* and he has bestowed upon you four kinds of cattle of either sex;* [and] He creates you in your mothers' wombs, one act of creation after another, in threefold depths of darkness.* Thus is God, your Sustainer: unto Him belongs all dominion: there is no deity save Him: how, then, can you lose sight of the truth?*
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]!*
forgiving sins and accepting repentance, severe in retribution, limitless in His bounty. There is no deity save Him: with Him is all journeys' end.
NONE BUT THOSE who are bent on denying the truth would call God's messages in question. But let it not deceive thee that they seem to be able to do as they please on earth:
HE IT IS who shows you His wonders [in all nature], and sends down sustenance for you from the sky: but none bethinks himself [thereof] save those who are wont to turn to God.
Now [as for Pharaoh and his followers,] when he came to them, setting forth the truth from Us, they said, Slay the sons of those who share his beliefs,* and spare [only] their women!" - but the guile of those deniers of the truth could not lead to aught but failure.
O my people! Yours is the dominion today, [and] most eminent are you on earth: but who will rescue us from God's punishment, once it befalls us?" Said Pharaoh: I but want to make you see what I see myself;* and I would never make you follow any path but that of rectitude!"
the means of approach to the heavens - and that [thus] I may have a look at the god of Moses:* for, behold, I am indeed certain that he is a liar!" And thus, goodly seemed unto Pharaoh the evil of his own doings, and so he was barred from the path [of truth]: and Pharaoh's guile did not lead to aught but ruin.
[There,] anyone who has done a bad deed will be requited with no more than the like thereof, whereas anyone, be it man or woman, who has done righteous deeds and is a believer withal - all such will enter paradise, wherein they shall be blest with good beyond all reckoning!*
[But the keepers of hell] will ask, Is it not [true] that your apostles came unto you with all evidence of the truth?" Those [in the fire] will reply, Yea, indeed." [And the keepers of hell] will say, Pray, then!" - for the prayer of those who deny the truth cannot lead to aught but delusion.*
Behold, as for those who call God's messages in question without having any evidence therefore* in their hearts is nothing but overweening self-conceit, which they will never be able to satisfy:* seek thou, then, refuge with God - for, verily, He alone is all-hearing, all-seeing!
Such is God, your Sustainer, the Creator of all that exists: there is no deity save Him. How perverted, then, are your minds!*
He is the Ever-Living; there is no deity save Him: call, then, unto Him [alone], sincere in your faith in Him. All praise is due to God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!
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].*
Lo! There came unto them [God's] apostles, speaking of what lay open before them and what was [still] beyond their ken,* [and calling unto them,] Worship none but God!" They answered: If our Sustainer had willed [us to believe in what you say], He would have sent down angels [as His message-bearers].* As it is, behold, we deny that there is any truth in what you [claim to] have been sent with!"
Yet [to achieve] this is not given to any but those who are wont to be patient in adversity: it is not given to any but those endowed with the greatest good fortune!
[And as for thee, O Prophet,] nothing is being said to thee but what was said to all [of God's] apostles before thy time.* Behold, thy Sustainer is indeed full of forgiveness - but He has also the power to requite most grievously!
In Him alone is vested the knowledge of when the Last Hour will come. And no fruit bursts forth from its calyx, and no female ever conceives, nor ever gives birth, save with His knowledge. And so, on the Day when He shall call out to them, Where, now, are those [alleged] partners of Mine?" - they will [surely] answer, We confess unto Thee that none of us can bear witness [to anyone's having a share in Thy divinity]!"
And [as for the followers of earlier revelation,] they broke up their unity, out of mutual jealousy, only after they had come to know [the truth].* And had it not been for a decree that had already gone forth from thy Sustainer, [postponing all decision] until a term set [by Him], all would indeed have been decided between them [from the outset].* As it is, behold, they who have inherited their divine writ from those who preceded them* are [now] in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about what it portends.*
that [bounty] whereof God gives the glad tiding to such of His servants as attain to faith and do righteous deeds. Say [O Prophet]: "No reward do I ask of you for this [message] other than [that you should] love your fellow-men."* For, if anyone gains [the merit of] a good deed, We shall grant him through it an increase of good: and, verily, God is much-forgiving, ever responsive to gratitude.
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!*
And it is not given to mortal man that God should speak unto him otherwise than through sudden inspiration,* or [by a voice, as it were,] from behind a veil, or by sending an apostle to reveal, by His leave, whatever He wills [to reveal]:* for, verily, He is exalted, wise.
But never yet came a prophet to them without their deriding him
Yet they say, Had [not] the Most Gracious so willed, we would never have worshipped them!" [But] they cannot have any knowledge of [His having willed] such a thing: they do nothing but guess.*
And thus it is: whenever We sent, before thy time, a warner to any community, those of its people who had lost themselves entirely in the pursuit of pleasures* would always say, Behold, we found our forefathers agreed on what to believe - and, verily, it is but in their footsteps that we follow!"*
None [do I worship] but Him who has brought me into being: and, behold, it is He who will guide me!"
although each sign that We showed them was weightier than the preceding one: and [each time] We took them to task through suffering, so that they might return [to Us].*
and say, Which is better - our deities or he?"* [But] it is only in the spirit of dispute that they put this comparison before thee: yea, they are contentious folk!*
[As for Jesus,] he was nothing but [a human being -] a servant [of Ours] whom We had graced [with prophethood], and whom We made an example for the children of Israel .
ARE THEY [who are lost in sin] but waiting for the Last Hour - [waiting] that it come upon them of a sudden, without their being aware [of its approach]?
On that Day, [erstwhile] friends will be foes unto one another* - [all] save the God-conscious.
And those [beings] whom some invoke beside God* have it not in their power to intercede [on Judgment Day] for any but such as have [in their lifetime] borne witness to the truth, and have been aware [that God is one and unique].*
There is no deity save Him: He grants life and deals death: He is your Sustainer as well as the Sustainer of your forebears of old.
That [which is ahead of us] is but our first [and only] death, and we shall not be raised to life again.*
none of this have We created without [an inner] truth:* but most of them understand it not.
save those upon whom God will have bestowed His grace and mercy: for, verily, He alone is almighty, a dispenser of grace.
and neither shall they taste death there after having passed through their erstwhile death.* Thus will He have preserved them from all suffering through the blazing fire-
And We gave them clear indications of the purpose [of faith];* and it was only after all this knowledge had been vouchsafed to them that they began, out of mutual jealousy, to hold divergent views:* [but,] verily, thy Sustainer will judge between them on Resurrection Day regarding all whereon they were wont to differ.*
And yet they say: There is nothing beyond our life in this world. We die as we come to life,* and nothing but time destroys us." But of this they have no knowledge whatever: they do nothing but guess.
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!'"