And if you doubt any part of what We have, bestowed from on high, step by step, upon Our servant [Muhammad],* then produce a surah of similar merit, and call upon any other than God to bear witness for you* -if what you say is true!
And if you cannot do it-and most certainly you cannot do it-then be conscious of the fire whose fuel is human beings and stones* which awaits all who deny the truth!
And He imparted unto Adam the names of all things;* then He brought them within the ken of the angels and said: "Declare unto Me the names of these [things], if what you say is true."*
Said' they: "Pray on our behalf unto thy Sustainer that He make clear to us what she is to be like, for to us all cows resemble one another; and then, if God so wills, we shall truly be guided aright!"
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 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 when they are told, "Believe in what God has bestowed from on high," they reply, "We believe [only] in what has been bestowed on us"-and they deny the truth of everything else, although it be a truth confirming the one already in their possession. Say "Why, then, did you slay God's prophets aforetime, if you were (truly] believers?"*
And, lo, We accepted your solemn pledge, raising Mount Sinai high above you, [saying,] "Hold fast with [all your] strength unto what We have vouchsafed you, and hearken unto it!" [But] they say, "We have heard, but we disobey"* - for their hearts are filled to overflowing with love of the [golden] calf because of their refusal to acknowledge the truth.* Say: "Vile is what this [false] belief of yours enjoins upon you-if indeed you are believers!"
Say: "If an afterlife with God is to be for you alone, to the exclusion of all other people,* then. you should long for death-if what you say is true!"
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!"
For, never will the Jews be pleased with thee. nor yet the Christians, unless thou follow their own creeds. Say: "Behold, God's guidance is the only true guidance." And, indeed, if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee. thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to bring thee succour.
And if [others] come to believe in the way you believe, they will indeed find themselves on the right path; and if they turn away, it is but they who will be deeply in the wrong, and God will protect thee from them: for He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing.
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.
And yet, even if thou wert to place all evidence* before those who have been vouchsafed earlier revelation, they would not follow thy direction of prayer; and neither mayest thou follow their direction of prayer, nor even do they follow one another's direction. And if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee thou wouldst surely be among the evildoers.
O you who have attained to faith! Partake of the good things which We have provided for you as sustenance, and render thanks unto God, if it is [truly] Him that you worship.
IT IS ordained for you, when death approaches any of you and he is leaving behind much wealth, to make bequests in favour of his parents and [other] near of kin in accordance with what is fair:* I this is binding on all who are conscious of God.
[fasting] during a certain number of days.* But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person.* And whoever does more good than he is bound to do* does good unto himself thereby; for to fast is to do good unto yourselves - if you but knew it.
And slay them wherever you may come upon them, and drive them away from wherever they drove you away - for oppression is even worse than killing.* And fight not against them near the Inviolable House of Worship unless they fight against you there first;* but if they fight against you, slay them: such shall be the recompense of those who deny the truth.
But if they desist-behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
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.
AND PERFORM the pilgrimage and the pious visit [to Mecca ]* in honour of God; and if you are held back, give instead whatever offering you can easily afford. And do not shave your heads until the offering has been sacrificed;* but he from among you who is ill or suffers from an ailment of the head shall redeem himself by fasting, or alms, or [any other] act of worship. And if you are hale and secure,* then he who takes advantage of a pious visit before the [time of] pilgrimage shall give whatever offering he can easily afford;* whereas he who cannot afford it shall fast for three days during the pilgrimage and for seven days after your return: that is, ten full [days]. All this relates to him who does not live near the Inviolable House of Worship.* And remain conscious of God, and know that God is severe in retribution.*
[However,] you will be committing no sin if [during the pilgrimage] you seek to obtain any bounty from your Sustainer.* And when you surge downward in multitudes from `Arafat,* remember God at the holy place, and remember Him as the One who guided you after you had indeed been lost on your way;*
And if you should stumble after all evidence of the truth has come unto you, then know that, verily, God is almighty, wise.
They will ask thee about fighting in the sacred month.* Say: "Fighting in it is an awesome thing (grave transgression); but turning men away from the path of God and denying Him, and [turning them away from] the Inviolable House of Worship and expelling its people there from - [all this] is yet more awesome (greater transgression) in the sight of God, since oppression is more awesome (greater transgression) than killing." [Your enemies] will not cease to fight against you till they have turned you away from your faith, if they can. But if any of you should turn away from his faith and die as a denier of the truth - these it is whose works will go for nought in this world and in the life to come; and these it is who are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
on this world and on the life to come. And they will ask thee about [how to deal with] orphans. Say: "To improve their condition is best." And if you share their life, [remember that] they are your brethren:* for God distinguishes between him who spoils things and him who improves. And had God so willed, He would indeed have imposed on you hardships which you would not have been able to bear:* [but,] behold, God is almighty, wise!
Those who take an oath that they will not approach their wives shall have four months of grace; and if they go back [on their oath]* -behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
But if they are resolved on divorce -behold, God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
And the divorced women shall undergo, without remarrying,* a waiting-period of three monthly courses: for it is not lawful for them to conceal what God may have created in their wombs,* if they believe in God and the Last Day. And during this period their husbands are fully entitled to take them back, if they desire reconciliation; but, in accordance with justice, the rights of the wives [with regard to their husbands] are equal to the [husbands'] rights with regard to them, although men have precedence over them [in this respect].* And God is almighty, wise.
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 if he divorces her [finally], she shall thereafter not be lawful unto him unless she first takes another man for husband; then, if the latter divorces her, there shall be no sin upon either of the two if they return to one another-provided that both of them think that they will be able to keep within the bounds set by God: for these are the bounds of God which He makes clear unto people of [innate] knowledge.
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.
You will incur no sin if you divorce women while you have not yet touched them nor settled a dower upon them;* but [even in such a case] make provision for them - the affluent according to his means, and the straitened according to his means - a provision in an equitable manner: this is a duty upon all who would do good.*
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.
But if you are in danger, [pray] walking or riding;* and when you are again secure, bear God in mind - since it is He who taught you what you did not previously know.
AND IF any of you die and leave wives behind, they bequeath thereby to their widows [the right to] one year's maintenance without their being obliged to leave [the dead husband's home].* If, however, they leave [of their own accord], there shall be no sin in whatever they may do with themselves in a lawful manner.* And God is almighty, wise.
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 their prophet said unto them: "Behold, it shall be a sign of his [rightful] dominion that you will be granted a heart* endowed by your Sustainer with inner peace and with all that is enduring in the angel-borne heritage left behind by the House of Moses and the House of Aaron.* Herein, behold, there shall indeed be a sign for you if you are [truly] believers."
And the parable of those who spend their possessions out of a longing to please God, and out of their own inner certainty, is that of a garden on high, fertile ground: a rainstorm smites it, and thereupon it brings forth its fruit twofold; and if no rainstorm smites it, soft rain [falls upon it]. And God sees all that you do.
If you do deeds of charity openly, it is well; but if you bestow it upon the needy in secret, it will be even better for you, and it will atone for some of your bad deeds. And God is aware of all that you do.
O you who have attained to faith! Remain conscious of God. and give up all outstanding gains from usury, if you are [truly] believers;*
for if you do it not, then know that you are at war with God and His Apostle. But if you repent, then you shall be entitled to [the return of] your principal :* you will do no wrong, and neither will you be wronged.
If, however, [the debtor] is in straitened circumstances, [grant him] a delay until a time of ease; and it would be for your own good -if you but knew it -to remit [the debt entirely] by way of charity.
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.
And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, pledges [may be taken] in hand: but if you trust one another, then let him who is trusted fulfil his trust, and let him be conscious of God, his Sustainer. And do not conceal what you have witnessed* - for, verily, he who conceals it is sinful at heart; and God has full knowledge of all that you do.
Unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. And whether you bring into the open what is in your minds or conceal it, God will call you to account for it; and then He will forgive whom He wills, and will chastise whom He wills: for God has the power to will anything.
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!"
Thus, [O Prophet,] if they argue with thee, say, "I have surrendered my whole being unto God, and [so have] all who follow me!" - and ask those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime, as well as all unlettered people,* "Have you [too] surrendered yourselves unto Him?" And if they surrender themselves unto Him, they are on the right path; but if they turn away - behold, thy duty is no more than to deliver the message: for God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His creatures.
Say: "Whether you conceal what is in your hearts* or bring it into the open, God knows it: for He knows all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and God has the power to will anything."
Say [O Prophet]: "If you love God, follow me, [and] God will love you and forgive you your sins; for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
Say: Pay heed unto God and the Apostle." And if they turn away - verely, God does not love those who deny the truth.
and [will make him] an apostle unto the children of Israel ."* "I HAVE COME unto you with a message from your Sustainer. I shall create for you out of clay, as it were, the shape of [your] destiny, and then breathe into it, so that it might become [your] destiny by God's leave;* and I shall heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life by God's leave;* and I shall let you know what you may eat and what you should store up in your houses.* Behold, in all this there is indeed a message for you, if you are [truly] believers.
And if they turn away [from this truth] - behold, God has full knowledge of the spreaders of corruption.
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."
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]."*
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! If you pay heed to some of those to whom revelation was vouchsafed aforetime, they might cause you to renounce the truth after you have come to believe [in it].
[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.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take for your bosom-friends people who are not of your kind.* They spare no effort to corrupt you; they would love to see you in distress.* Vehement hatred has already come into the open from out of their mouths, but what their hearts conceal is yet worse. We have indeed made the signs [thereof] clear unto you, if you would but use your reason.
If good fortune comes to you, it grieves them; and if evil befalls you, they rejoice in it. But if you are patient in adversity and conscious of God, their guile cannot harm you at all: for, verily, God encompasses [with His might] all that they do.
Nay, but if you are patient in adversity and conscious of Him, and the enemy should fall upon you of a sudden, your Sustainer will aid you with five thousand angels swooping down!"*
Be not, then, faint of heart, and grieve not:* for you are bound to rise high if you are [truly] believers.
If misfortune* touches you, [know that] similar misfortune has touched [other] people as well; for it is by turns that We apportion unto men such days [of fortune and misfortune]: and [this] to the end that God might mark out those who have attained to faith, and choose from among you such as [with their lives] bear witness to the truth* - since God does not love evildoers -
O YOU who have attained to faith! If you pay heed to those who are bent on denying the truth, they will cause you to turn back on your heels, and you will be the losers.
And if indeed you are slain or die in God's cause, then surely forgiveness from God and His grace are better than all that one* could amass [in this world]:
for, indeed, if you die or are slain, it will surely be unto God that you shall be gathered.
If God succours you, none can ever overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who could succour you thereafter? In God, then, let the believers place their trust!
Indeed, God bestowed a favour upon the believers when he raised up in their midst an apostle from among themselves, to convey His messages unto them, and to cause them to grow in purity, and to impart unto them the divine writ as well as wisdom - whereas before that they were indeed, most obviously, lost in error.
they who, having themselves held back [from fighting, later] said of their [slain] brethren, "Had they but paid heed to us, they would not have been slain." Say: "Avert, then, death from yourselves, if what you say is true!"
It is but Satan who instils [into you] fear of his allies:* so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [truly] believers!
It is not God's will [O you who deny the truth] to abandon the believers to your way of life:* [and] to that end He will set apart the bad from the good. And it is not God's will to give you insight into that which is beyond the reach of human perception: but [to that end] God elects whomsoever He wills from among His apostles.* Believe, then, in God and His apostles; for if you believe and are conscious of Him, a magnificent requital awaits you.
As for those who maintain, "Behold, God has bidden us not to believe in any apostle unless he comes unto us with burnt offerings"* - say [unto them, O Prophet]: "Even before me there came unto you apostles with all evidence of the truth, and with that whereof you speak: why, then, did you slay them, if what you say is true?"*
And if they give thee the lie - even so, before thy time, have [other] apostles been given the lie when they came with all evidence of the truth, and with books of divine wisdom, and with light-giving revelation.
You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and indeed you shall hear many hurtful things from those to whom revelation was granted before your time, as well as from those who have come to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God. But if you remain patient in adversity and conscious of Him - this, behold, is something to set one's heart upon.
And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among [other] women such as are lawful to you* - [even] two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then [only] one - or [from among] those whom you rightfully possess.* This will make it more likely that you will not deviate from the right course.
And give unto women their marriage portions in the spirit of a gift;* but if they, of their own accord, give up unto you aught thereof, then enjoy it with pleasure and good cheer.
And test the orphans [in your charge] until they reach a marriageable age; then, if you find them to be mature of mind, hand over to them their possessions; and do not consume them by wasteful spending, and in haste, ere they grow up. And let him who is rich abstain entirely [from his ward's property]; and let him who is poor partake thereof in a fair manner. And when you hand over to them their possessions, let there be witnesses on their behalf - although none can take count as God does.
CONCERNING [the inheritance of] your children, God enjoins [this] upon you:* The male shall have the equal of two females' share; but if there are more than two females, they shall have two-thirds of what [their parents] leave behind; and if there is only one daughter, she shall have one-half thereof. And as for the parents [of the deceased], each of them shall have one-sixth of what he leaves behind, in the event of his having [left] a child; but if he has left no child and his parents are his [only] heirs, then his mother shall have one-third; and if he has brothers and sisters, then his mother shall have one-sixth after [the deduction of] any bequest he may have made, or any debt [he may have incurred]. As for your parents and your children - you know not which of them is more deserving of benefit from you: [therefore this] ordinance from God. Verily, God is all-knowing, wise.
And you shall inherit one-half of what your wives leave behind, provided they have left no child; but if they have left a child, then you shall have one-quarter of what they leave behind, after [the deduction of] any bequest they may have made, or any debt [they may have incurred]. And your widows* shall have one-quarter of what you leave behind, provided you have left no child; but if you have left a child, then they shall have one-eighth of what you leave behind, after [the deduction of] any bequest you may have made, or any debt [you may have incurred]. And if a man or a woman has no heir in the direct line, but has a brother or a sister, then each of these two shall inherit one-sixth; but if there are more than two,* then they shall share in one-third [of the inheritance], after [the deduction of] any bequest that may have been made, or any debt [that may have been incurred], neither of which having been intended to harm [the heirs].* [This is] an injunction from God: and God is all-knowing, forbearing.
AND AS FOR those of your women who become guilty of immoral conduct, call upon four from among you who have witnessed their guilt; and if these bear witness thereto, confine the guilty women* to their houses until death takes them away or God opens for them a way [through repentance].
And punish [thus] both of the guilty parties;* but if they both repent and mend their ways, leave them alone: for, behold, God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.*
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.
But if you desire to give up a wife and to take another in her stead, do not take away anything of what you have given the first one, however much it may have been.* Would you, perchance, take it away by slandering her and thus committing a manifest sin?*
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 as for those of you who, owing to circumstances, are not in a position* to marry free believing women, [let them marry] believing maidens from among those whom you rightfully possess.* And God knows all about your faith; each one of you is an issue of the other.* Marry them, then, with their people's leave, and give them their dowers in an equitable manner - they being women who give themselves in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions.* And when they are married, and thereafter become guilty of immoral conduct, they shall be liable to half the penalty to which free married women are liable.* This [permission to marry slave-girls applies] to those of you who fear lest they stumble into evil.* But it is for your own good to persevere in patience [and to abstain from such marriages]: and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
If you avoid the great sins, which you have been enjoined to shun, We shall efface your [minor] bad deeds, and shall cause you to enter an abode of glory.*
MEN SHALL take full care of women with the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the latter,* and with what they may spend out of their possessions. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which God has [ordained to be] guarded.* And as for those women whose ill-will* you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them;* and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great!
And if you have reason to fear that a breach might occur between a [married] couple, appoint an arbiter from among his people and an arbiter from among her people; if they both want to set things aright, God may bring about their reconciliation. Behold, God is indeed all-knowing, aware.
Verily, God does not wrong [anyone] by as much as an atom's weight; and if there be a good deed, He will multiply it, and will bestow out of His grace* a mighty reward.
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.
O you who have attained to faith! Pay heed unto God, and pay heed unto the Apostle and unto those from among you* who have been entrusted with authority; and if you are at variance over any matter, refer it unto God and the Apostle,* if you [truly] believe in God and the Last Day. This is the best [for you], and best in the end.*
But how [will they fare] when calamity befalls them [on the Day of Judgment] because of what they have wrought in this world* - whereupon they will come to thee, swearing by God, "Our aim was but to do good, and to bring about harmony"?*
And, behold, there are indeed among you such as would lag behind, and then, if calamity befalls you, say, "God has bestowed His favour upon me in that I did not accompany them."
But if good fortune comes to you from God, such a person* is sure to say - just as if there had never been any question of love between you and him - : "Oh, would that I had been with them, and thus had a [share in their] mighty triumph !"
Wherever you may be, death will overtake you - even though you be in towers raised high. "Yet, when a good thing happens to them, some [people] say, "This is from God," whereas when evil befalls them, they say, "This is from thee [O fellowman]!"* Say: "All is from God." What, then, is amiss with these people that they are in no wise near to grasping the truth of what they are told?*
They would love to see you deny the truth even as they have denied it, so that you should be like them. Do not, therefore, take them for your allies until they forsake the domain of evil* for the sake of God; and if they revert to [open] enmity, seize them and slay them wherever you may find them. And do not take any of them* for your ally or giver of succour,
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.*
You will find [that there are] others who would like to be safe from you as well as safe from their own folk, [but who,] whenever they are faced anew with temptation to evil, plunge into it headlong.* Hence, if they do not let you be, and do not offer you peace, and do not stay their hands, seize them and slay them whenever you come upon them: for it is against these that We have clearly empowered you [to make war].*
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.
AND WHEN you go forth [to war] on earth, you will incur no sin by shortening your prayers* if you have reason to fear that those who are bent on denying the truth might suddenly fall upon you:* for, verily, those who deny the truth are your open foes.
Thus, when thou art among the believers* and about to lead them in prayer, let [only] part of them stand up with thee, retaining their arms. Then, after they have finished their prayer, let them provide you cover* while another group, who have not yet prayed, shall come forward and pray with thee, being fully prepared against danger and retaining their arms: (for) those who are bent on denying the truth would love to see you oblivious of your arms and your equipment, so that they might fall upon you in a surprise attack.* But it shall not be wrong for you to lay down your arms [while you pray] if you are troubled by rain* or if you are ill; but [always] be fully prepared against danger. Verily, God has readied shameful suffering for all who deny the truth!
And be not faint of heart when you seek out the [enemy] host. If you happen to suffer pain, behold, they suffer pain even as you suffer it: but you are hoping [to receive] from God what they cannot hope for. And God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
In His stead, they invoke only lifeless symbols* - thus invoking none but a rebellious Satan
And if a woman has reason to fear ill-treatment from her husband, or that he might turn away from her, it shall not be wrong for the two to set things peacefully to rights between themselves: for peace is best, and selfishness is ever-present in human souls. But if you do good and are conscious of Him - behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do.
And it will not be within your power to treat your wives with equal fairness, however much you may desire it;* and so, do not allow yourselves to incline towards one to the exclusion of the other, leaving her in a state, as it were, of having and not having a husband.* But if you put things to rights and are conscious of Him - behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And if husband and wife* do separate, God shall provide for each of them out of His abundance: for God is indeed infinite, wise,
and unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. AND, INDEED, We have enjoined upon those who were granted revelation before your time, as well as upon yourselves, to remain conscious of God. And if you deny Him - behold, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and God is indeed self-sufficient, ever to be praised.
If He so wills, He can cause you, O mankind, to disappear, and bring forth other beings [in your stead]: for God has indeed the power to do this.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, God's claim takes precedence over [the claims of] either of them.* Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort [the truth], behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do!
who but wait to see what betides you: thus, if triumph comes to you from God, they say, "Were we not on your side?"- whereas if those who deny the truth are in luck, they say [to them], "Have we not earned your affection by defending you against those believers?''* But God will judge between you all on the Day of Resurrection; and never will God allow those who deny the truth to harm the believers.*
Why would God cause you to suffer [for your past sins] if you are grateful and attain to belief - seeing that God is always responsive to gratitude, all-knowing?*
whether you do good openly or in secret, or pardon others for evil [done unto you]: for, behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, infinite in His power.
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.
O mankind! The Apostle has now come unto you with the truth from your Sustainer: believe, then, for your own good! And if you deny the truth - behold, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and God is indeed all-knowing, wise!
THEY WILL ASK thee to enlighten them.* Say: "God enlightens you [thus] about the laws concerning [inheritance from] those who leave no heir in the direct line: If a man dies childless and has a sister, she shall inherit one-half of what he has left, just as he shall inherit from her if she dies childless. But if there are two sisters, both [together] shall have two-thirds of what he has left; and if there are brothers and sisters,* then the male shall have the equal of two females' share." God makes [all this] clear unto you, lest you go astray; and God knows everything.
O YOU who have attained to faith! When you are about to pray, wash your face, and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and pass your [wet] hands lightly over your head, and [wash] your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in a state. requiring total ablution, purify yourselves.* But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature, or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water-then take resort to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your face and your hands. God does not want to impose any hardship on you, but wants to make you pure, and to bestow upon you the full measure of His blessings, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
AND, INDEED, God accepted a [similar] solemn pledge* from the children of Israel when We caused twelve of their leaders to be sent [to Canaan as spies].* And God said: "Behold, I shall be with you! If you are constant in prayer, and spend in charity, and believe in My apostles and aid them, and offer up unto God a goodly loan,* I will surely efface your bad deeds and bring you into gardens through which running waters flow. But he from among you who, after this, denies the truth, will indeed have strayed from the right path!"
Indeed, the truth deny they who say, "Behold, God is the Christ, son of Mary." Say: "And who could have prevailed with God in any way had it been His will to destroy the Christ, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone who is on earth-all of them? For, God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; He creates what He wills: and God has the power to will anything!"
They answered: "O Moses! Behold, ferocious people -dwell in that land,* and we will surely not enter it unless they depart therefrom; but if they depart therefrom, then, behold, we will enter it."
[Whereupon] two men from among those who feared [God, and] whom God had blessed, said: "Enter upon them through the gate'* -for as soon as you enter it, behold, you shall be victorious! And in God you must place your trust if you are [truly] believers!"
Even if thou lay thy hand on me to slay me, I shall not lay my hand on thee to slay thee: behold, I fear God, the Sustainer of all the worlds.
O APOSTLE! Be not grieved by those who vie with one another in denying the truth: such as those* who say with their mouths, "We believe," the while their hearts do not believe; and such of the Jewish faith as eagerly listen to any falsehood, eagerly listen to other people without having come to thee [for enlightenment].* They distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of their context, saying [to themselves], "If such-and-such [teaching] is vouchsafed unto you, accept it; but if it is not vouchsafed unto you, be on your guard!"* [Be not grieved by them-] for if God wills anyone to be tempted to evil, thou canst in no wise prevail with God in his behalf.* It is they whose hearts God is not willing to cleanse. Theirs shall be ignominy in this world, and awesome suffering in the life to come-
those who eagerly listen to any falsehood, greedily swallowing all that is evil!* Hence, if they come to thee [for judgment],* thou mayest either judge between them or leave them alone: for, if thou leave them alone, they cannot harm thee in any way. But if thou dost judge, judge between them with equity :* verily, God knows those who act equitably.
Hence, judge between the followers of earlier revelation* in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high, and do not follow their errant views; and beware of them, lest they tempt thee away from aught that God has bestowed from on high upon thee. And if they turn away [from His commandments], then know that it is but God's will [thus] to afflict them for some of their sins:* for, behold, a great many people are iniquitous indeed.
O you who have attained to faith! Do not take for your friends such as mock at your, faith and make a jest of it-be they from among those who have been vouchsafed revelation before your time, or [from among] those who deny the truth [of revelation as such] -but remain conscious of God, if you are [truly] believers:
O APOSTLE! Announce all that has been bestowed from on high upon thee by thy Sustainer: for unless thou doest it fully, thou wilt not have delivered His message [at all]. And God will protect thee from [unbelieving] men: behold, God does not guide people who refuse to acknowledge the truth.
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.
Hence, pay heed unto God, and pay heed unto the Apostle, and be ever on your guard [against evil]; and if you turn away, then know that Our Apostle's only duty is a clear delivery of the message [entrusted to him].*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not ask about matters which, if they were to be made manifest to you [in terms of law], might cause you hardship;* for, if you should ask about them while the Qur'an is being revealed, they might [indeed] be made manifest to you [as laws].* God has absolved [you from any obligation] in this respect: for God is much-forgiving, forbearing.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Let there be witnesses to what you do when death approaches you and you are about to make bequests:* two persons of probity from among your own people, or -if the pangs of death come upon you while you are travelling far from home* -two other persons from [among people] other than your own. Take hold of the two after having prayed; and if you have any doubt in your mind, let each of them swear by God, "We shall not sell this [our word] for any price, even though it were [for the sake of] a near kinsman; and neither shall we conceal aught of what we have witnessed before God* -or else, may we indeed be counted among the sinful."
But if afterwards it should come to light that the two [witnesses] have become guilty of [this very] sin, then two others - from among those whom the two former have deprived of their right* - shall take their place and shall swear by God, "Our testimony is indeed truer than the testimony of these two, and we have not transgressed the bounds of what is right - or else, may we indeed be counted among the evildoers!"
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!"'
[And,] lo, the white-garbed ones said: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Could thy Sustainer send down unto us a repast from heaven?"* [Jesus] answered: "Be conscious of God, if you are [truly] believers!"
AND LO! God said:* O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, `Worship me and my mother as deities beside God'?" [Jesus] answered: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! It would not have been possible for me to say what I had no right to [say]! Had I said this, Thou wouldst indeed have known it! Thou knowest all that is within myself, whereas I know not what is in Thy Self. Verily, it is Thou alone who fully knowest all the things that are beyond the reach of a created being's perception.
If thou cause them to suffer - verily, they are Thy servants; and if Thou forgive them - verily, Thou alone art almighty, truly wise!"
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!"
Say: "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 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:
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 if it distress thee that those who deny the truth* turn their backs on thee - why, then, if thou art able to go down deep into the earth or to ascend a ladder unto heaven* in order to bring them a [yet more convincing] message, [do so;] but [remember that] had God so willed, He would indeed have gathered them all unto [His] guidance. Do not, therefore, allow thyself to ignore [God's ways].*
Say: "Can you see yourselves invoking any but God when God's chastisement befalls you [in this world], or the Last Hour comes upon you? [Tell me this,] if you are men of truth!
Nay, but it is Him alone that you will invoke - whereupon He may, if He so wills, remove that [ill] which caused you to call unto Him; and you will have forgotten all that. to which you [now] ascribe divinity side by side with Him."
Say: "What do you think? If God should take away your hearing and your sight and seal your hearts - what deity but God is there that could bring it all back to you?" Behold how many facets we give to our messages-and yet they turn away in disdain!
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?*
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."
Say: "Who is it that saves you from the dark dangers* of land and sea [when] you call unto Him humbly, and in the secrecy of your hearts, `If He will but save us from this [distress], we shall most certainly be among the grateful'?"
NOW, whenever thou meet such as indulge in [blasphemous] talk about Our messages, turn thy back upon them until they begin to talk of other things* and if Satan should ever cause thee to forget [thyself], remain not, after recollection, in the company of such evildoing folk,
And leave to themselves all those who, beguiled by the life of this world, have made play and passing delights their religion;* but remind [them] herewith that [in the life to come] every human being shall be held in pledge for whatever wrong he has done, and shall have none to protect him from God, and none to intercede for him; and though he offer any conceivable ransom,* it shall not be accepted from him. It is [people such as] these that shall be held in pledge for the wrong they have done; for them there is [in the life to come] a draught of burning despair* and grievous suffering awaits them because of their persistent refusal to acknowledge the truth.
Then, when he beheld the moon rising, he said, "This is my Sustainer!"-but when it went down, he said, "Indeed, if my Sustainer guide me not. I will most certainly become one of the people who go astray!"
And why should I fear anything that you worship side by side with Him, seeing that you are not afraid of ascribing divinity to other powers beside God without His ever having bestowed upon you from on high any warrant therefor? [Tell me,] then, which of the two parties has a better right to feel secure -if you happen to know [the answer]?
[but] it was to them that We vouchsafed revelation, and sound judgment, and prophethood. And now, although the unbelievers may choose to deny these truths,* [know that] We have entrusted them to people who will never refuse to acknowledge them-
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!"
Now they swear by God with their most solemn oaths that if a miracle were shown to them, they would indeed believe in this [divine writ]. Say: "Miracles are in the power of God alone."* And for all you know, even if one should be shown to them, they would not believe
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.*
EAT, then, of that over which God's name has been pronounced, if you truly believe in His messages.*
Hence, eat not of that over which God's name has not been pronounced: for this would be sinful conduct indeed. And, verily, the evil impulses [within men's hearts] whisper unto those who have made them their own* that they should involve you in argument [as to what is and what is not a sin]; and if you pay heed unto them, lo! you will become [like] those who ascribe divinity to other beings or forces beside God.*
And thy Sustainer alone is self-sufficient, limitless in His grace. If He so wills, He may put an end to you and thereafter cause whom He wills to succeed you - even as He has brought you into being out of other people's seed.
And they say, "All that is in the wombs of such-and-such cattle is reserved for our males and forbidden to our women; but if it be stillborn, then both may have their share thereof." [God] will requite them for all that they [falsely] attribute [to Him]: behold, He is wise, all-knowing.
[His followers would have it that, in certain cases, any of these] four kinds of cattle of either sex [is unlawful to man]: either of the two sexes of sheep and of goats.* Ask [them]: "Is it the two males that He has forbidden, or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females may contain? Tell me what you know in this respect,* if what you say is true."
And if they give thee the lie,* say: "Limitless is your Sustainer in His grace; but His punishment shall not be averted from people who are lost in sin."
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: "Bring forward your witnesses who could bear witness that God has forbidden [all] this!"* -and if they bear witness [falsely], do not bear witness with them; and do not follow the errant views of those who have given the lie to Our messages, nor of those who believe not in the life to come, and who regard other powers as their Sustainer's equals!*
It has been given to you] lest you say, "Only unto two groups of people, [both of them] before our time, has a divine writ been bestowed from on high* and we were indeed unaware of their teachings";
The two replied: "O our Sustainer! We have sinned against ourselves -and unless Thou grant us forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy upon us, we shall most certainly be lost!"
O CHILDREN of Adam! Whenever there come unto you apostles of your own, conveying My messages unto you, then all who are conscious of Me and live righteously - no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve;
They answered: "Hast thou come to us [with the demand] that we worship God alone, and give up all that our forefathers were wont to worship? Bring about, then, that [punishment] with which thou hast threatened us, if thou art a man of truth!"
And then they cruelly slaughtered the she-camel* and turned with disdain from their Sustainer's commandment, and said: "O Salih! Bring about that [punishment] with which thou hast threatened us, if thou art truly one of God's message bearers!"
AND UNTO [the people of] Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu'ayb .* He said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer. Give, therefore, full measure and weight [in all your dealings], and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs;* and do not spread corruption on earth after it has be, en so well ordered: [all] this is for your own good, 'if you would but believe.
"And if there be some among you who have come to believe in the message which I bear, the while the others do not believe, then have patience in adversity till God shall judge between us [and them]: for He is the best of all judges!"
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!"*
But the great ones among his people, who were bent on denying the truth, said [to his followers]: "Indeed, if you follow Shu'ayb, you will, verily, be the losers!"
and in most of them We found no [inner] bond with anything that is right* -and most of them We found to be iniquitous indeed.
Said [Pharaoh]: "If thou hast come with a sign, produce it-if thou art a man of truth!"
And the sorcerers came unto Pharaoh [and] said: "Verily, we ought to have a great reward* if it is we who prevail."
But whenever good fortune alighted upon them, they would say, "This is [but] our due"; and whenever affliction befell them, they would blame their evil fortune on Moses and those who followed him.* Oh, verily, their [evil] fortune had been decreed by God-but most of them knew it not.
And whenever a plague struck them, they would cry: "O Moses, pray for us to thy Sustainer on the strength of the covenant [of prophethood] which He has made with thee! If thou remove this plague from us, we will truly believe in thee. and will let the children of Israel go with thee!"
And when Moses came [to Mount Sinai] at the time set by Us, and his Sustainer spoke unto him, he said: "O my Sustainer! Show [Thyself] unto me, so that I might behold Thee!" Said [God]: "Never canst thou see Me. However, behold this mountain: if it remains firm in its place, then - only then - wilt thou see Me.* And as soon as his Sustainer revealed His glory to the mountain, He caused it to crumble to dust; and Moses fell down in a swoon. And when he came to himself, he said: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Unto Thee do I turn in repentance; and I shall [always] be the first to believe in Thee!"*
From My messages shall I cause to turn away all those who, without any right, behave haughtily on earth: for, though they may see every sign [of the truth], they do not believe in it, and though they may see the path of rectitude, they do not choose fo follow it-whereas, if they see a path of error, they take it for their own: this, because they have given the lie to Our messages, and have remained heedless of them,"*
although [later,] when they would smite their hands in remorse,* having perceived that they had gone astray, they would say, "Indeed, unless our Sustainer have mercy on us and grant us forgiveness, we shall most certainly be among the lost!"*
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!
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?
Now had We so willed, We could indeed have exalted him by means of those [messages]: but he always clung to the earth and followed but his own desires. Thus, his parable is that of an [excited] dog: if thou approach him threateningly, he will pant with his tongue lolling; and. if thou leave him alone, he will pant with his tongue lolling.* Such is the parable of those who are bent on giving the lie to Our messages. Tell [them], then, this story, so that they might take thought.
Has it, then, never occurred to them* that there is no madness whatever in [this] their fellowman? He is only a plain warner.*
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."*
IT IS HE who has created you [all] out of one living entity, and out of it brought into being its mate, so that man might incline [with love] towards woman.* And so, when he has embraced her, she conceives [what at first is] a light burden, and continues to bear it. Then, when she grows heavy [with child], they both call unto God, their Sustainer, "If Thou indeed grant us a sound [child], we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"
and, if you pray to them for guidance, do not respond to you?* As far as you are concerned, it is all one whether you invoke them or keep silent.
Verily, all those whom you invoke beside God are but created beings* like yourselves: invoke them, then, and let them answer your prayer - if what you claim is true!
and if you pray unto them for guidance, they do not hear; and though thou mayest imagine that they behold thee,* they do not see."
And if it should happen that a prompting from Satan stirs thee up [to blind anger],* seek refuge with God: behold, He is all-hearing, all-knowing.
HEY WILL ASK thee about the spoils of war. Say: "All spoils of war belong to God and the Apostle."* Remain, then, conscious of God, and keep alive the bonds of brotherhood among yourselves,* and pay heed unto God and His Apostle, if you are [truly] believers!
If you have been praying for victory, [O believers] - victory has now indeed come unto you. And if you abstain [from sinning], it will be for your own good; but if you revert to it, We shall revoke [Our promise of aid] - and never will your community be of any avail to you, however great its numbers: for, behold, God is [only] with those who believe !*
O you who have attained to faith! If you remain conscious of God. He will endow you with a standard by which to discern the true from the false,* and will efface your bad deeds, and will forgive you your sins: for God is limitless in His great bounty.
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!"*
And, lo, they would say, "O God! If this. be indeed the truth from Thee, then rain down upon us stones from the skies, or inflict [some other] grievous suffering on us!*
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;
Tell those who are bent on denying the truth that if they desist,* all that is past shall be forgiven them; but if they revert [to their wrongdoing], let them remember what happened to the like of them in times gone by.*
And fight against them until there is no more oppression and all worship is devoted to God alone.* And if they desist-behold, God sees all that they do;*
and if they turn away [from righteousness],know that God is your Lord Supreme: [and] how excellent is this Lord Supreme, and how excellent this Giver of Succour!
AND KNOW that whatever booty you acquire [in war], one-fifth thereof belongs to God and the Apostle, and the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer.* [This you must observe] if you believe in God and in what We bestowed from on high upon Our servant on the day when the true was distinguished from the false - the day when the two hosts met in battle. And God has the power to will anything.*
if thou find them at war [with you], make of them a fearsome example for those who follow them,* so that they might take it to heart;
or, if thou hast reason to fear treachery* from people [with whom thou hast made a covenant], cast it back at them in an equitable manner:* for, verily, God does not love the treacherous!
But if they incline to peace, incline thou to it as well, and place thy trust in God: verily, He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing!
And should they seek but to deceive thee [by their show of peace] - behold, God is enough for thee!* He it is who has strengthened thee with His succour, and by giving thee believing followers*
O Prophet! Inspire the believers to conquer all fear of death when fighting,* [so that,] if there be twenty of you who are patient in adversity, they might overcome two hundred; and [that,] if there be one hundred of you, they might overcome one thousand of those who are bent on denying the truth, because they are people who cannot grasp it.*
For the time being, [however,] God has lightened your burden. for He knows that you are weak: and so, if there be one hundred of you who are patient in adversity, they should [be able to]' overcome two hundred; and if there be one thousand of you, they should [be able to] overcome two thousand by God's leave: for God is with those who are patient in adversity.*
[Hence,] O Prophet, say unto the captives who are in your hands: "If God finds any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than all that has been taken from you, and will forgive you your sins: for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."*
And should they but seek to play false with thee* -well, they were false to God [Himself] ere this: but He gave [the believers] mastery over them.* And God is all-knowing, wise.
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.
With all this, [remember that] those who are bent on denying the truth are allies of one another;* and unless you act likewise [among yourselves], oppression will reign on earth, and great corruption.
And a proclamation from God and His Apostle [is herewith made] unto all mankind on this day of the Greatest Pilgrimage:* "God disavows all who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him, and [so does] His Apostle. Hence, if you repent, it shall be for your own good; and if you turn away, then know that you can never elude God!" And unto those who are bent on denying the truth give thou [O Prophet] the tiding of grievous chastisement.
And so, when the sacred months are over* , slay those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God wherever you may come upon them,* and take them captive, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every conceivable place* ! Yet if they repent, and take to prayer, and render the purifying dues, let them go their way: for, behold, God is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.*
And if any of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God seeks thy protection,* grant him protection, so that he might [be able to] hear the word of God [from thee]; and thereupon convey him to a place where he can feel secure:* this, because they [may be] people who [sin only because they] do not know [the truth].
How [else could it be]?* -since, if they [who are hostile to you] were to overcome you, they would not respect any tie [with you,] nor any obligation to protect [you].* They seek to please you with their mouths, the while their hearts remain averse [to you]; and most of them are iniquitous.
Yet if they repent, and take to prayer, and render the purifying dues, they become your brethren in faith:* and clearly do We spell out these messages unto people of [innate] knowledge!
But if they break their solemn pledges after having concluded a covenant,* and revile your religion, then fight against these archetypes of faithlessness* who, behold, have no [regard for their own] pledges, so that they might desist [from aggression].
Would you, perchance, fail to fight against people who have broken their solemn pledges, and have done all that they could to drive the Apostle away,* and have been first to attack you? Do you hold them in awe? Nay, it is God alone of whom you ought to stand in awe,* if you are [truly] believers!
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take your fathers and your brothers for allies if a denial of the truth is dearer to them than faith: for those of you who ally themselves with them-it is they, they who are evildoers!*
Say: "If your fathers and your sons and your brothers and your spouses and your clan, and the worldly goods which you have acquired, and the commerce whereof you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you take pleasure - [if all these] are dearer to you than God and His Apostle and the struggle in His cause, then wait until God makes manifest His will;* and [know that] God does not grace iniquitous folk with His guidance."
O YOU who have attained to faith! Those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God are nothing but impure:* and so they shall not approach the Inviolable House of Worship from this year onwards* And should you fear poverty, then [know that] in time God will enrich you out of His bounty, if He so wills:* for, verily, God is all-knowing, wise!
Go forth to war, whether it be easy or difficult [for you],* and strive hard in God's cause with your possessions and your lives: this is for your own good -if you but knew it!
Should good fortune alight on thee,* [O Prophet,] it will grieve them; and should misfortune befall thee, they will say [to themselves], "We have already taken our precautions beforehand!" - and will turn away, and will rejoice.
And among them are such as find fault with thee [O Prophet] concerning [the distribution of] the offerings given for the sake of God:* if they are given something thereof, they are well-pleased; but if they are not given anything thereof, lo! they are consumed with anger.
[The hypocrites] swear to you by God [that they are acting in good faith], with a view to pleasing you [O believers] - the while it is God and His Apostle whose pleasure they should seek above all else, if indeed they are believers!*
Yet, indeed, if thou wert to question them. they would surely answer, "We were only indulging in idle talk, and were playing [with words].* Say: "Were you, then. mocking at God and His messages and His Apostle?
Do not offer [empty] excuses! You have indeed denied the truth after [having professed] your belief [in it] -* Though We may efface the sin of some of you, We shall chastise others - seeing that they were lost in sin.*
[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.
And among them are such as vow unto God, "If indeed He grant us [something] out of His bounty, we shall most certainly spend in charity, and shall most certainly be among the righteous!"
[And] whether thou dost pray [unto God] that they be forgiven or dost not pray for them - [it will all be the same: for even] if thou wert to pray seventy times* that they be forgiven, God will not forgive them, seeing that they are bent on denying God and His Apostle. And God does not bestow His guidance upon such iniquitous folk.*
Hence, [O Prophet,] if God brings thee again face to face with some of them,"* and then they ask thy leave to go forth [to war with thee], say: "Never shall you go forth with me. nor shall you fight an enemy together with me! Behold, you were well-pleased to stay at home on that first occasion: stay at home, then, with, those who [are obliged to] remain behind!"*
They will swear to you with a view to making you pleased with them: but [even] should you be pleased with them, verily, God shall never be pleased with iniquitous folk.
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.*
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."*
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]!"
He it is who enables you to travel on land and sea. And [behold what happens] when you go to sea in ships:* [they go to sea in ships,] and they sail on in them in a favourable wind, and they rejoice thereat until there comes upon them a tempest, and waves surge towards them from all sides, so that they believe themselves to be encompassed [by death; and then] they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone, "If Thou wilt but save us from this, we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"
and none can bear witness between us and you as God does: we were, for certain, unaware of your worshipping [us].*
And yet,* they [who are bent on denying the truth] assert, "[Muhammad] has invented it!" Say [unto them]: "Produce, then, a surah of similar merit; and [to this end] call to your aid whomever you can, other than God, if what you say is true !*
And [so, O Prophet,] if they give thee the lie, say: "To me [shall be accounted] my doings, and to you, your doings: you are not accountable for what I am doing, and I am not accountable for whatever you do."
And yet, they [who deny the truth] are wont to ask, "When is that promise [of resurrection and judgment] to be fulfilled? [Answer this, O you who believe in it,] if you are men of truth!"
Say: "Have you ever considered [how you would feel] if His chastisement were to befall you by night or by day? What could there be in that prospect that people lost in sin should wish to hasten?*
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 -
[And yet] they assert, "God has taken unto Himself a son!" Limitless is He in His glory!* Self-sufficient is He: unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth! No evidence whatever have you for this [assertion]! Would you ascribe unto God something which you cannot know?
AND CONVEY unto them the story of Noah-when he said unto his people: "O my people! If my presence [among you] and my announcement of God's messages are repugnant to you* -well, in God have I placed my trust. Decide, then, upon what you are going to do [against me],* and [call to your aid] those beings to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity;* and once you have chosen your course of action, let no hesitation deflect you from it;* and then carry out against me [whatever you may have decided], and give me no respite!
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."
And Moses said: "O my people! If you believe in God, place your trust in Him -if you have [truly] surrendered yourselves unto Him!"
AND SO, [O man,] if thou art in doubt about [the truth of] what We have [now] bestowed upon thee from on high,* ask those who read the divine writ [revealed] before thy time:* [and thou wilt find that,] surely, the truth has now come unto thee from thy Sustainer. Be not, then, among the doubters -
SAY [O Prophet]: "O mankind! If you are in doubt as to what my faith is, then [know that] I do not worship those beings whom you worship beside God,* but [that] I worship God alone, who shall cause you [all] to die:* for I have been bidden to be among those who believe [in Him alone]."
Thus, do not invoke, side by side with God, anything that can neither benefit thee nor harm thee: for, behold, if thou do it, thou wilt surely be among the evildoers!
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.
Ask your Sustainer to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance - [whereupon] He will grant you a goodly enjoyment of life [in this world] until a term set [by Him is fulfilled];* and [in the life to come] He will bestow upon everyone possessed of merit [a full reward for] his merit.* But if you turn away, then, verily, I dread for you the suffering [which is bound to befall you] on that awesome Day*
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: if We defer their suffering until a time-limit set [by Us],* they are sure to say, "What is preventing it [from coming now]?"* Oh, verily, on the Day when it befalls them there will be nothing to avert it from them; and they shall be overwhelmed by the very thing which they were wont to deride.*
And thus it is: if We let man taste some of Our grace,* and then take it away from him -behold, he abandons all hope,* forgetting all gratitude [for Our past favours].
And thus it is: if We let him taste ease and plenty* after hardship has visited him, he is sure to say, "Gone is all affliction from me!"-for, behold, he is given to vain exultation, and glories only in himself.*
and so they assert, "[Muhammad himself] has invented this [Qur'an)!"* Say [unto them]: "Produce, then, ten surahs of similar merit, invented [by yourselves], and [to this end] call to your aid whomever you can, other than, God, if what you say is true!*
Said [Noah]: "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 unto me grace from Himself - [a revelation] to which you have remained blind-: [if this be true,] can we force it on you even though it be hateful to you?*
"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, O my people, who would shield me from God were I to repulse them? Will you not, then, keep this in mind?
[But the great ones] said: "O Noah! Thou hast contended with us in argument, and hast [needlessly] prolonged our controversy :* bring upon us, therefore, that with which thou dost threaten us,* if thou art a man of truth!"
He answered: "Only God can bring it upon you, if He so wills, and you shall not elude it:
for, my advice will not benefit you -much as I desire to give you good advice - if it be God's will that you shall remain lost in grievous error.* He is your Sustainer, and unto Him you must return."
DO SOME, perchance, assert, "[Muhammad] has invented this [story]"?* Say [O Prophet]: "If I have invented it, upon me be this sin; but far be it from me to commit the sin of which you are guilty."*
And [so Noah] set himself to building the ark; and every time the great ones of his people passed by him, they scoffed at him. [Thereupon] he said: "If you are scoffing at us-behold, we are scoffing at you [and your ignorance], just as you are scoffing at us.*
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
"But if you choose to turn away, then [know that] I have delivered to you the message with which I was sent unto you, and [that] my Sustainer may cause another people to take your place,* whereas you will in no wise harm Him. Verily, my Sustainer watches over all things!"
He retorted: "O my people! What do you think? If [it be true that] I am taking my stand on a cleat evidence from my Sustainer, who has vouchsafed unto me grace from Himself -[if this be true,] who would shield me from God were I to rebel against Him?* Hence, what you are offering me is no more than perdition!"*
That which rests with God* is best for you, if you but believe [in Him]! However, I am not your keeper."
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!
In the measure that We reveal* this Qur'an unto thee, [O Prophet,] We explain it to thee in the best possible way,* seeing that ere this thou wert indeed among those who are unaware [of what revelation is].*
Another of them said: "Do not slay Joseph, but -rather - if you must do something - cast him into the dark depths of this well, [whence] some caravan may pick him up."*
Said they: "Surely, if the wolf were to devour him notwithstanding that we are so many-then, behold, we ought ourselves to perish!"
[Joseph] exclaimed: "It was she who sought to make me yield myself unto her!" Now one of those present, a member of her own household, suggested this:* If his tunic has been torn from the front, then she is telling the truth, and he is a liar;
but if his tunic has been torn from behind, then she is lying, and he is speaking the truth."
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 she: "This, then, is he about whom you have been blaming me! And, indeed, I did try to make him yield himself unto me, but he remained chaste. Now, however, if he does not do what I bid him, he shall most certainly be imprisoned, and shall most certainly find himself among the despised!*
"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*
AND [one day] the King said:* Behold, I saw [in a dream] seven fat cows being devoured by seven emaciated ones, and seven green ears [of wheat] next to [seven] others that were withered. O you nobles! Enlighten me about [the meaning of] my dream, if you are able to interpret dreams!"
But if you do not bring him unto me, you shall never again receive a single measure [of grain] from me, nor shall you [be allowed to] come near me!"
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."
[The Egyptians] said: "But what shall be the requital of this [deed] if you are [proved to be] liars?"
[As soon as the cup came to light out of Benjamin's bag, the brothers] exclaimed: "If he has stolen-well, a brother of his used to steal afore-time !"* Thereupon Joseph said to himself, without revealing his thought to them:* "You are far worse in this respect, and God is fully aware of what you are saying.*
[The brothers] said: "By God! Most certainly has God raised thee high above us, and we were indeed but sinners!"
AND WHEN they [all arrived in Egypt and] presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his parents unto himself,* saying, "Enter Egypt! If God so wills, you shall be secure [from all evil]!"
although thou dost not ask of them any reward for it: it is but [God's] reminder unto all mankind.
BUT IF thou art amazed [at the marvels of God's creation], amazing, too, is their saying, "What! After we have become dust, shall we indeed be [restored to life] in a new act .of creation?"* It is they who [thus show that they] are bent on denying their Sustainer;* and it is they who carry the shackles [of their own making] around their necks;* and it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
Thus, then, have We bestowed from on high this [divine writ] as an ordinance in the Arabic tongue.* And, indeed, if thou shouldst defer to men's likes and dislikes* after all the [divine] knowledge that has come unto thee, thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to shield thee [from Him].
BUT WHETHER We let thee see [in thy lifetime, O Prophet, the fulfilment of] some of what We have promised them,* or whether We cause thee to die [before its fulfilment] - thy duty is no more than to deliver the message; and the reckoning is Ours.
And [remember the time] when your Sustainer made [this promise] known: 'If you are grateful [to Me], I shall most certainly give you more and more;* but if you are ungrateful, verily, My chastisement will be severe indeed!"'
And Moses added: "If you should [ever] deny the truth-you and whoever else lives on earth, all of you-[know that,] verily, God is indeed self-sufficient, ever to be praised!"
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.*
ART THOU NOT aware that God has created the heavens and the earth in accordance with [an inner] truth?* He can, if He so wills, do away with you and bring forth a new mankind [in your stead] :*
And [always] does He give you something out of what you may be asking of Him;* and should you try to count God's blessings, you could never compute them. [And yet,] behold, man is indeed most persistent in wrongdoing, stubbornly ingrate!
And [this retribution will befall all evildoers because] they devise that false imagery of theirs* - and all their false imagery is within God's knowledge. [And never can the blasphemers prevail against the truth - not] even if their false imagery were so (well devised and so powerful] that mountains could be moved thereby.
Why dost thou not bring before us angels, if thou art a man of truth?*
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.*
[Lot] said: "[Take instead] these daughters of mine,* if you must do [whatever you intend to do]!"
AND THE DWELLERS of the wooded dales [of Madyan, too,] were inveterate evildoers,*
For, should you try to count God's blessings, you could never compute them! Behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace;
[As for those who are bent on denying the truth-] though thou be ever so eager to show them the right way, [know that,] verily, God does not bestow His guidance upon any whom He judges to have gone astray;* and such shall have none to succour them [on Resurrection Day].
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,"*
BUT IF they turn away [from thee, O Prophet, remember that] thy only duty is a clear delivery of the message [entrusted to thee].
Hence, do not barter away your bond with God for a trifling gain! Verily, that which is with God is by far the best for you, if you but knew it:
AND SO, partake of all the lawful, good things which God has provided for you as sustenance, and render thanks unto God for His blessings, if it is [truly] Him that you worship.*
Hence, if you have to respond to an attack (in argument], respond only to the extent of the attack levelled against you;* but to bear yourselves with patience is indeed far better for (you, since God is with] those who are patient in adversity.
[And We said:] "If you persevere in doing good, you will but be doing good to yourselves; and if you do evil, it will be [done] to yourselves." And so, when the prediction of the second [period of your iniquity] came true, [We raised new enemies against you, and allowed them] to disgrace you utterly,* and to enter the Temple as [their forerunners] had entered it once before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that they had conquered.
Your Sustainer may well show mercy unto you; but if you revert [to sinning], We shall revert [to chastising you]. And [remember this:] We have ordained that [in the hereafter] hell shall close upon all who deny the truth.
Your Sustainer is fully aware of what is in your hearts. If you are righteous, [He will forgive you your errors]:* for, behold, He is much-forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again.
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."*
Your Sustainer is fully aware of what you are [and what you deserve]: if He so wills, he will bestow [His] grace upon you; and if He so wills, He will chastise you. Hence, We have not sent thee [unto men, O Prophet,] with the power to determine their fate,*
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] 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 !*
AND,. behold, they [who have gone astray] endeavour to tempt thee away from all [the truth] with which We have inspired thee, [O Prophet,] with a view to making thee invent something else in Our name - in which case they would surely have made thee their friend!*
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:*
And if We so willed, We could indeed take away whatever We have revealed unto thee, and in that [state of need] thou wouldst find none to plead in thy behalf before Us.*
Say: "If all mankind and all invisible beings* would come together with a view to producing the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce its like even though they were to exert all their strength in aiding one another!"
and say, "Limitless in His glory is our Sustainer! Verily, our Sustainer's promise has been fulfilled!"*
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!
But wouldst thou, perhaps,* torment thyself to death with grief over them if they are not willing to believe in this message?*
for, behold, if they should come to know of you, they might stone you to death or force you back to their faith-in which case you would never attain to any good!"*
And say: "The truth [has now come] from your Sustainer: let, then, him who wills, believe in it, and let him who wills, reject it." Verily, for all who sin against themselves [by rejecting Our truth]* We have readied a fire whose billowing folds will encompass them from all sides;* and if they beg for water, they will be given water [hot] like molten lead, which will scald their faces: how dreadful a drink, and how evil a place to rest!
And neither do I think that the Last Hour will ever come. But even if [it should come, and] I am brought before my Sustainer,* I will surely find something even better than this as [my last] resort!"
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 who could be more wicked than he to whom his Sustainer's messages are conveyed and who thereupon turns away from them, forgetting all [the evil] that his hands may have wrought?* Behold, over their hearts have We laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness; and though thou call them onto the right path,* they will never allow themselves to be guided.
Replied [Moses]: "Thou wilt find me patient, if God so wills; and I shall not disobey thee in anything!"
Said [the sage]: "Well, then, if thou art to follow me, do not question me about aught [that I may do] until I myself give thee an account thereof."
Said [Moses]: "If, after this, I should ever question thee, keep me not in thy company: [for by] now thou hast heard enough excuses from me."
She exclaimed: "Verily, 'I seek refuge from thee with the Most Gracious! [Approach me not] if thou art conscious of Him!"
He answered: "Dost thou dislike my gods, O Abraham? Indeed, if thou desist not, I shall most certainly cause thee to be stoned to death! Now begone from me for good!"
And every one of you will come within sight of it:* this is, with thy Sustainer, a decree that must be fulfilled.
Not one of all [the beings] that are in the heavens or on earth appears before the Most Gracious other than as a servant:*
And if thou say anything aloud, [He hears it] since, behold, He knows [even] the secret [thoughts of man] as well as all that is yet more hidden [within him].*
saying [to one another]: "These two are surely sorcerers intent on driving you from your land* by their sorcery, and on doing away with your time-honoured way of life.*
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!"
saying: "Down with you all* from this [state of innocence, and be henceforth] enemies unto one another! None the less, there shall most certainly come unto you guidance from Me: and he who follows My guidance will not go astray, and neither will he be unhappy.
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"*
[for,] had We willed to indulge in a pastime, We would indeed have produced it from within Ourselves - if such had been Our will at all!*
AND [remind those who deny thee, O Prophet, that]* never have We granted life everlasting to any mortal before thee:* but do they, perchance, hope that although thou must die, they will live forever?"*
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!*
But they [who reject My messages are wont to] ask, When is that promise [of God's judgment] to be fulfilled? [Answer this, O you who believe in it,] if you are men of truth!"*
And yet, if but a breath of thy Sustainer's chastisement touches them, they are sure to cry, Oh, woe unto us! Verily, we were evildoers!"
But We shall set up just balance-scales on Resurrection Day, and no human being shall be wronged in the least: for though there be [in him but] the weight of a mustard-seed [of good or evil], We shall bring it forth; and none can take count as We do!
He answered: Nay, it was this one, the biggest of them, that did it: but ask them [yourselves] - provided they can speak!"
They exclaimed: Burn him, and [thereby] succour your gods, if you are going to do [anything]!"
But if they turn away, say: I have proclaimed this in equity unto all of you alike;* but I do not know whether that [judgment] which you are promised [by God] is near or far [in time].
But [as for me,] I do not know whether, perchance, this [delay in God's judgment] is but a trial for you, and a [merciful] respite for a while.''*
O MEN! If you are in doubt as to the [truth of] resurrection, [remember that,] verily, We have created [every one of] you out of dust, then out of a drop of sperm, then out of a germ-cell, then out of an embryonic lump complete [in itself] and yet incomplete* so that We might make [your origin] clear unto you. And whatever We will [to be born] We cause to rest in the [mothers'] wombs for a term set [by Us], and then We bring you forth as infants and [allow you to live] so that [some of] you might attain to maturity: for among you are such as are caused to die [in childhood], just as many a one of you is reduced in old age to a most abject state, ceasing to know anything of what he once knew so well.* And [if, O man, thou art still in doubt as to resurrection, consider this:] thou canst see the earth dry and lifeless - and [suddenly,] when We send down waters upon it, it stirs and swells and puts forth every kind of lovely plant!
And there is, too, among men many a one who worships God on the border-line [of faith]:* thus, if good befalls him, he is satisfied with Him; but if a trial assails him, he turns away utterly,* losing [thereby both] this world and the life to come: [and] this, indeed, is a loss beyond compare!*
[well aware of] those who, [even] if We firmly establish them on earth, remain constant in prayer, and give in charity, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong; but with God rests the final outcome of all events.
AND IF THEY [who are bent on denying the truth] give thee the lie, [O Muhammad, remember that, long] before their time, the people of Noah and [the tribes of] Ad and Thamud gave the lie [to their prophets],
And if they [try to] argue with thee, say [only]: God knows best what you are doing."*
O MEN! A parable is set forth [herewith]; hearken, then, to it! Behold, those beings whom you invoke instead of God cannot create [as much as] a fly, even were they to join all their forces to that end! And if a fly robs them of anything, they cannot [even] rescue it from him! Weak indeed is the seeker, and [weak] the sought!
He is nothing but a madman: so bear with him for a while."
In this [story], behold, there are messages indeed [for those who think]: for, verily, We always put [man] to a test.
and, indeed, if you pay heed to a mortal like yourselves, you will surely be the losers!
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!"
Indeed, this [very thing] we have been promised - we and our forefathers - long ago! This is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
Say: Unto whom belongs the earth and all that lives there on?* [Tell me this] if you happen to know [the answer]!"
Say: In whose hand rests the mighty dominion over all things, and who is it that protects, the while there is no protection against Him? [Tell me this] if you happen to know [the answer]!"
O our Sustainer! Cause us to come out of this [suffering] - and then, if ever We revert [to sinning], may we truly be [deemed] evildoers!"
[Whereupon] He will say: You have spent there but a short while: had you but known [how short it was to be]!
AS FOR the adulteress and the adulterer* flog each of them with a hundred stripes, and let not compassion with them keep you from [carrying out] this law of God, if you [truly] believe in God and the Last Day; and let a group of the believers witness their chastisement.*
and the fifth time, that God's curse be upon him if he is telling a lie.
and the fifth [time], that God's curse be upon her if he is telling the truth,*
God admonishes you [hereby] lest you ever revert to the like of this [sin], if you are [truly] believers;
Hence, [even] if you find no one within [the house], do not enter it until you are given leave;* and if you are told, Turn back," then turn back. This will be most conducive to your purity; and God has full knowledge of all that you do.
AND [you ought to] marry the single from among you* as well as such of your male and female slaves as are fit [for marriage].* If they [whom you intend to marry] are poor, [let this not deter you;] God will grant them sufficiency out of His bounty - for God is infinite [in His mercy], all-knowing.
And as for those who are unable to marry,* let them live in continence until God grants them sufficiency out of His bounty, And if any of those whom you rightfully possess* desire [to obtain] a deed of freedom, write it out for them if you are aware of any good in them:* and give them [their share of the wealth of God which He has given you.* And do not, in order to gain* some of the fleeting pleasures of this worldly life, coerce your [slave] maidens into whoredom if they happen to be desirous of marriage;* and if anyone should coerce them, then, verily, after they have been compelled [to submit in their helplessness], God will be much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
but if the truth happens to be to their liking, they are quite willing to accept it!*
Now [as for those half-hearted ones,] they do swear by God with their most solemn oaths that if thou [O Apostle] shouldst ever bid them to do so, they would most certainly go forth [and sacrifice themselves].* Say: Swear not! Reasonable compliance [with God's message is all that is required of you].* Verily, God is aware of all that you do!"
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!"
Hallowed is He who, if it be His will, shall give thee something better than that [whereof they speak] - gardens through which running waters flow - and shall assign to thee mansions [of bliss in the life to come].
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?
Indeed, he would well-nigh have led us astray from our deities, had we not been [so] steadfastly attached to them!" But in time, when they see the suffering [that awaits them], they will come to know who it was that went farthest astray from the path [of truth]!
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!*
Had We so willed, We could have sent down unto them a message from the skies, so that their necks would [be forced to] bow down before it in humility.*
[Moses] answered: [He is] the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them: if you would but [allow yourselves to] be convinced!"*
[But Moses] went on: [He of whom I speak is] the Sustainer of the east and the west and of all that is between the two"-* as you would know] if you would but use your reason!"
Said [Pharaoh]: Indeed, if thou choose to worship any deity other than me, I shall most certainly throw thee into prison!*
[Pharaoh] answered: Produce it, then, if thou art a man of truth!"
so that we might follow [in the footsteps of] the sorcerers if it is they who prevail?"*
Now when the sorcerers came, they said unto Pharaoh: Verily, we ought to have a great reward if it is we who prevail.*
By God, we were most obviously astray
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."
Said they: Indeed, if thou desist not, O Noah, thou wilt surely be stoned to death!"*
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.
Said they: Indeed, If thou desist not, O Lot, thou wilt most certainly be expelled [from this township]!''
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!*
Cause, then, fragments of the sky to fall down upon us, if thou art a man of truth!"
But hast thou ever considered [this]: If We do allow them to enjoy [this life] for some years,
but if they disobey thee, say, I am free of responsibility for aught that you may do!"
Nay - who is it that creates [all life] in the first instance, and then brings it forth anew?* And who is it that provides you with sustenance out of heaven and earth?* Could there be any divine power besides God? Say: [If you think so,] produce your evidence - if you truly believe in your claim!"*
Indeed, we were promised this - we and our forefathers - in the past as well; it is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
And [when] they ask, When is this promise [of resurrection] to be fulfilled? [Answer this, O you who believe in it,] if you are men of truth!"
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.*
On the morrow, however, an aching void grew up in the heart of the mother of Moses, and she would indeed have disclosed all about him* had We not endowed her heart with enough strength to keep alive her faith [in Our promise].*
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!"
[After some time, the father] said: Behold, I am willing to let thee wed one of these two daughters of mine on the understanding that thou wilt remain eight years in my service; and if thou shouldst complete ten [years], that would be [an act of grace] from thee, for I do not want to impose any hardship on thee: [on the contrary,] thou wilt find me, if God so wills, righteous in all my dealings."*
Say: Produce, then, [another] revelation from God which would offer better guidance than either of these two* [and] I shall follow it, if you speak the truth!"
And since they cannot respond to this thy challenge,* know that they are following only their own likes and dislikes: and who could be more astray than he who follows [but] his own likes and dislikes without any guidance from God? Verily, God does not grace with His guidance people who are given to evildoing!
Now some say, If we were to follow the guidance to which thou invitest us, we would be torn away from our very soil!"* Why - have We not established for them a sanctuary secure, to which, as a provision from Us, shall be gathered the fruits of all (good) things?* But most of them are unaware [of this truth].
Say: Have you ever considered [this]: If God had willed that there should always be night about you, without break, until the Day of Resurrection - is there any deity other than God that could bring you light?* Will you not, then, listen [to the truth]?"
Say: Have you ever considered [this]: If God had willed that there should always be daylight about you, without break, until the Day of Resurrection - is there any deity other than God that could bring you [the darkness of] night, wherein you might rest? Will you not, then, see [the truth]?"*
Now [among the best of righteous deeds which] We have enjoined upon man [is] goodness towards his parents;* yet [even so,] should they endeavour to make thee ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which thy mind cannot accept [as divine], obey then, not:* [for] it is unto Me that you all must return, whereupon I shall make you [truly] understand [the right and wrong of] all that you were doing [in life].
Now there is among men many a one who says [of himself and of others like him], We do believe in God" - but whenever he is made to suffer in God's cause, he thinks that persecution at the hands of man is as [much to be feared, or even more than,] God's chastisement;* whereas, if succour from thy Sustainer comes [to those who truly believe]* he is sure to say. Behold, we have always been with you!" Is not God fully aware of what is in the hearts of all creatures?
And Abraham, [too, was inspired by Us] when he said unto his people: Worship God, and be conscious of Him: this is the best for you, if you but knew it!
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]."
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 thus it is [with most people]:* if thou ask them, Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth, and made the sun and the moon subservient [to His laws]?" - they will surely answer, God." How perverted, then, are their minds!*
And thus it is: if thou ask them, Who is it that sends down water from the skies, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless?" - they will surely answer, God." Say thou: [Since this is so,] all praise is due to God [alone]!" But most of them will not use their reason:
And [thus it is:] when we let men taste [Our] grace, they rejoice in it; but if evil befalls them as an outcome of what their own hands have wrought* lo! they lose all hope!
even though a short while ago, [just] before it was sent down upon them, they had abandoned all hope!
But thus it is: if* We send a wind [that scorches their land], and they see it turn yellow, they begin, after that [erstwhile joy], to deny the truth [of Our almightiness and grace]!*
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!"
'[Revere thy parents;] yet should they endeavour to make thee ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which thy mind cannot accept [as divine],* obey them not; but [even then] bear them company in this world's life with kindness, and follow the path of those who turn towards Me. In the end, unto Me you all must return; and thereupon I shall make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life].'
O my dear son," [continued Luqman,] verily, if there be but the weight of a mustard-seed, and though it be [hidden] in a rock, or in the skies, or in the earth, God will bring it to light: for, behold, God is unfathomable [in His wisdom], all-aware*
AND THUS it is [with most people]: if* thou ask them, Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth?" - they will surely answer, God." Say: [Then you ought to know that] all praise is due to God!"- for most of them do not know [what this implies].*
But they answer: When will that final decision take place, if what you [believers] say is true?"*
[As for your adopted children,] call them by their [real] fathers' names: this is more equitable in the sight of God; and if you know not who their fathers were, [call them] your brethren in faith and your friends.* However, you will incur no sin if you err in this respect:* [what really matters is] but what your hearts intend - for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
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.
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!"
Say: Who is there that could keep you away from God if it be His will to harm you, or if it be His will to show you mercy?" For, [do they not know that] besides God they can find none to protect them, and none to bring them succour?
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].*
[Such trials are imposed upon man] so that God may reward the truthful for having been true to their word, and cause the hypocrites to suffer - if that be His will - or [if they repent,] accept their repentance:* for, verily, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
O PROPHET! Say unto thy wives: If you desire [but] the life of this world and its charms - well, then, I shall provide for you and release you in a becoming manner;*
but if you desire God and His Apostle, and [thus the good of] the life in the hereafter, then [know that], verily, for the doers of good among you God has readied a mighty reward!"*
O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any of the [other] women, provided that you remain [truly] conscious of God.* Hence, be not over-soft in your speech, lest any whose heart is diseased should be moved to desire [you]: but, withal, speak in a kindly way.
O PROPHET! Behold, We have made lawful to thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowers,* as well as those whom thy right hand has come to possess from among the captives of war whom God has bestowed upon thee.* And [We have made lawful to thee] the daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and the daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who have migrated with thee [to Yathrib];* and any believing woman who offers herself freely to the Prophet and whom the Prophet might be willing to wed:* [this latter being but] a privilege for thee, and not for other believers - [seeing that] We have already made known what We have enjoined upon them with regard to their wives and those whom their right hands may possess.* [And] in order that thou be not burdened with [undue] anxiety - for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace
Whether you do anything openly or in secret, [remember that,] verily, God has full knowledge of everything.
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:*
Are they, then, not aware of how little of the sky and the earth lies open before them, and how much is hidden from them?* [or that,] if We so willed, We could cause the earth to swallow them,* or cause fragments of the sky to fall down upon them?* In all this, behold, there is a message indeed for every servant [of God] who is wont to turn unto Him [in repentance].*
and so they ask, When is this promise [of resurrection and judgment] to be fulfilled? [Answer this, O you who believe in it,] if you are men of truth!"*
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!"
Say: Were I to go astray, I would but go astray [due to my own self, and] to the hurt of myself;* but if I am on the right path, it is but by virtue of what my Sustainer reveals unto me: for, verily, He is all-hearing, ever-near!"
But if they [whose minds are perverted] give thee the lie, [O Prophet, remember that] even so, before thy time, have [other] apostles been given the lie: for [the unbelievers always refuse to admit that] all things go back to God [as their source].
If you invoke them, they do not hear your call; and even if they could hear, they would not [be able to] respond to you. And [withal,] on the Day of Resurrection they will utterly disown your having associated them with God.* And none can make thee understand [the truth] like the One who is all-aware.
If He so wills, He can do away with you and bring forth a new mankind [in your stead]:*
AND NO BEARER of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden;* and if one weighed down by his load calls upon [another] to help him carry it, nothing thereof may be carried [by that other], even if it be one's near of kin.* Hence, thou canst [truly] warn only those who stand in awe of their Sustainer although He is beyond the reach of their perception,* and are constant in prayer, and [know that] whoever grows in purity, attains to purity but for the good of his own self, and [that] with God is all journeys' end.
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.*
And if they give thee the lie - even so gave the lie to the truth [many of] those who lived before their time, [when] there came unto them their apostles with all evidence of the truth, and with books of divine wisdom, and with light-giving revelation;
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.*
Verily, it is God [alone] who upholds the celestial bodies* and the earth, lest they deviate [from their orbits] - for if they should ever deviate, there is none that could uphold them after He will have ceased to do so.* [But,] verily, He is ever-forbearing, much-forgiving!*
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,
[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!"*
Said [the others]: Truly, we augur evil from you!* Indeed, if you desist not, we will surely stone you, and grievous suffering is bound to befall you at our hands!"
[The apostles] replied: Your destiny, good or evil, is [bound up] with yourselves!* [Does it seem evil to you] if you are told to take [the truth] to heart? Nay, but you are people who have wasted their own selves!"*
Should I take to worshipping [other] deities beside Him? [But then,] if the Most Gracious should will that harm befall me, their intercession could not in the least avail me, nor could they save me:
nothing was [needed] but one single blast [of Our punishment] - and lo! they became as still and silent as ashes.
and [that] all of them, all together, will [in the end] before Us be arraigned?
and [that,] if such be Our will, We may cause them to drown, with none to respond to their cry for help: and [then] they cannot be saved,
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 add, When is this promise [of resurrection] to be fulfilled? [Answer this] if you are men of truth!"
Nothing will there have been but one single blast - and lo! before Us will all of them be arraigned [and be told]:
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,*
and say: This is clearly nothing but [a mortal's] spellbinding eloquence!
and says: By God! Verily, thou hast almost destroyed me [too, O my erstwhile companion]
And [one day,] when [the child] had become old enough to share in his [father's] endeavours,* the latter said: O my dear son! I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice thee: consider, then, what would be thy view!" [Ishmael] answered: O my father! Do as thou art bidden: thou wilt find me, if God so wills, among those who are patient in adversity!"
Produce, then, that divine writ of yours, if you are speaking the truth!
AND, INDEED, they [who deny the truth] have always been wont to say,
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.
had it not been revealed unto me [by God] - to no other end than that I might convey [unto you] a plain warning.*
This [divine writ], behold, is no less than a reminder to all the worlds
If you are ingrate* behold, God has no need of you; none the less, He does not approve of ingratitude in His servants: whereas, if you show gratitude, He approves it in you. And no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden.* In time, unto your Sustainer you all must return, and then He will make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life]: for, verily, He has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men].
Say: Behold, I would dread, were I to rebel against my Sustainer, the suffering [which would befall me] on that awesome Day [of Judgment]."
And thus it is [with most people]: if* thou ask them, Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth?" - they will surely answer, God."* Say: Have you, then, ever considered what it is that you invoke instead of God? If God wills that harm should befall me, could those [imaginary powers] remove the harm inflicted by Him? Or, if He wills that grace should alight on me, could they withhold His grace [from me]?" Say: God is enough for me! In Him [alone] place their trust all who have trust [in His existence]."
lest any human being* should say [on Judgment Day], Alas for me for having been remiss in what is due to God, and for having been indeed one of those who scoffed [at the truth]!"
And yet, it has already been revealed to thee [O man,]* as well as to those who lived before thee, that if thou ever ascribe divine powers to aught but God, all thy works shall most certainly have been in vain: for [in the life to come] thou shalt most certainly be among the lost.
[And they will be told:] This [has befallen you] because, whenever the One God was invoked, you denied this truth; whereas, when divinity was ascribed to aught beside Him, you believed [in it]! But all judgment rests with God, the Exalted, the Great!"*
At that, a believing man of Pharaoh's family, who [until then] had concealed his faith, exclaimed:* Would you slay a man because he says, 'God is my Sustainer' - seeing, withal, that he has brought you all evidence of this truth from your Sustainer? Now if he be a liar, his lie will fall back on him; but if he is a man of truth, something [of the punishment] whereof he warns you is bound to befall you: for, verily, God would not grace with His guidance one who has wasted his own self by lying [about Him].*
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!"
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!
BUT IF they turn away, say:* I warn you of [the coming of] a thunderbolt of punishment* like the thunderbolt [that fell upon the tribes] of Ad and Thamud!"*
And then, [even] if they endure [their lot] in patience, the fire will still be their abode;* and if they pray to be allowed to make amends, they will not be allowed to do so:*
Now among His signs are the night and the day, as well as the sun and the moon: [hence,] adore not the sun or the moon, but prostrate yourselves in adoration before God, who has created them - if it is Him whom you [really] worship.*
And though some be too proud [to listen to this call], they who [in their hearts] are with thy Sustainer extol His limitless glory by night and by day, and never grow weary [thereof].
MAN NEVER TIRES of asking for the good [things of life]; and if evil fortune touches him, he abandons all hope, giving himself up to despair.*
Yet whenever We let him taste some of Our grace after hardship has visited him, he is sure to say, This is but my due!" - and, I do not think that the Last Hour will ever come:* but if [it should come, and] I should indeed be brought back unto my Sustainer, then, behold, the ultimate good awaits me with Him!* But [on the Day of Judgment] We shall most certainly give those who were bent on denying the truth* full understanding of all that they ever did, and shall most certainly give them [thereby] a taste of suffering severe.*
HAVE YOU given thought [to how you will fare] if this be truly [a revelation] from God, the while you deny its truth? Who could be more astray than one who places himself [so] deeply in the wrong?*
DO THEY, perchance, say, "[Muhammad] has attributed his own lying inventions to God"? But then, had God so willed, He could have sealed thy heart [forever]: for God blots out all falsehood, and by His words proves the truth to be true.* Verily, He has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men];
if He so wills, He stills the wind, and then they lie motionless on the sea's surface - [and] herein, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are wholly patient in adversity and deeply grateful [to God];
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!*
Yet thus it is [with most people]: if* thou ask them, Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth?" - they will surely answer, The Almighty, the All-Knowing has created them."
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 gold [beyond count].* Yet all this would have been nothing but a [brief] enjoyment of life in this world - whereas [happiness in] the life to come awaits the God-conscious with thy Sustainer.
[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 .
Say [O Prophet]: If the Most Gracious [truly] had a son, I would be the first to worship him!"
Now if thou ask those [who worship any being other than God] as to who it is that has created them, they are sure to answer, God." How perverted, then, are their minds!
the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them - if you could but grasp it with inner certainty!*
And if you do not believe me, [at least] stand away from me!"
That [which is ahead of us] is but our first [and only] death, and we shall not be raised to life again.*
So then, bring forth our forefathers [as witnesses], if what you claim is true!"*
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!'"
Say: Have you [really] given thought to what it is that you invoke instead of God? Show me what these [beings or forces] have created anywhere on earth! Or had they, perchance, a share in [creating] the heavens? [If so,] bring me any divine writ preceding this one, or any [other] vestige of knowledge - if what you claim is true!"*
Or do they say, He has invented all this"? Say [O Muhammad]: Had I invented it, you would not be of the least help to me against God.* He is fully aware of that [slander] into which you so recklessly plunge: enough is He as a witness between me and you! And [withal,] He alone is truly-forgiving, a true dispenser of grace."*
Say: I am not the first of [God's] apostles;* and [like all of them,] I do not know what will be done with me or with you: for I am nothing but a plain warner."*
Say: Have you given thought [to how you will fare] if this be truly [a revelation] from God and yet you deny its truth? - even though a witness from among the children of Israel has already borne witness to [the advent of] one like himself,* and has believed [in him], the while you glory in your arrogance [and reject his message]? Verily, God does not grace [such] evildoing folk with His guidance!"
They answered: Hast thou come to seduce us away from our gods? Bring, then, upon us that [doom] with which thou threaten us, if thou art a man of truth!"
And yet, We had established them securely in a manner in which We have never established you, [O people of later times;]* and We had endowed them with hearing, and sight, and [knowledgeable] hearts:* but neither their hearing, nor their sight, nor their hearts were of the least avail to them, seeing that they went on rejecting God's messages; and [in the end] they were overwhelmed* by the very thing which they had been wont to deride.
O you who have attained to faith! If you help [the cause of] God, He will help you, and will make firm your steps;
[Ask them:] Would you, perchance, after having turned away [from God's commandment, prefer to revert to your old ways, and] spread corruption on earth, and [once again] cut asunder your ties of kinship?"*
The life of this world is but a play and a passing delight: but if you believe [in God] and are conscious of Him, He will grant you your deserts. And withal, He does not demand of you [to sacrifice in His cause all of] your possessions:*
[for,] if He were to demand of you all of them, and urge you,* you would niggardly cling [to them], and so He would [but] bring out your moral failings.*
Behold, [O believers,] it is you who are called upon to spend freely in God's cause: but [even] among you are such as turn out to be niggardly! And yet, he who acts niggardly [in God's cause] is but niggardly towards his own self: for God is indeed self-sufficient, whereas you stand in need [of Him]; and if you turn away [from Him], He will cause other people to take your place, and they will not be the likes of you!
Those of the bedouin who stayed behind will say unto thee:* [The need to take care of] our chattels and our families kept us busy: do then, [O Prophet,] ask God to forgive us!" [Thus,] they will utter with their tongues something that is not in their hearts.* Say: Who, then, has it in his power to avert from you aught that God may have willed,* whether it be His will to harm you or to confer a benefit on you? Nay, but God is fully aware of what you do!