Or [the parable] of a violent cloudburst in the sky, with utter darkness, thunder and lightning: they put their fingers into their ears to keep out the peals of thunder, in terror of death; but God encompasses [with His might] all who deny the truth.
And yet, after all this, your hearts hardened and became like rocks, or even harder: for, behold, there are rocks from which streams gush forth; and, behold, there are some from which, when they are cleft, water issues; and, behold, there are some that fall down for awe of God* And God is not unmindful of what you do!
Any message which, We annul or consign to oblivion We replace with a better or a similar one.* Dost thou not know that God has the power to will anything?
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!"
AND [only] those who are devoid of knowledge say, "Why does God not speak unto us, nor is a [miraculous] sign shown to us?" Even thus, like unto what they, say, spoke those who lived before their time* their hearts are all alike. Indeed, We have made all the signs manifest unto people who are endowed with inner certainty.
AND THEY say, "Be Jews" - or, "Christians" - "and you shall be on the right path." Say: "Nay, but [ours is] the creed of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false,* and was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God."
"Do you claim that Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants were `Jews' or `Christians'?"* Say: "Do you know more than God does? And who could be more wicked than he who suppresses a testimony given to him by God?* Yet God is not unmindful of what you do.
[Hence,] behold, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the symbols set up by God;* and thus, no wrong does he who, having come to the Temple on pilgrimage or on a pious visit, strides to and fro between these two:* for, if one does more good than he is bound to do-behold, God is responsive to gratitude, all-knowing.*
If, however, one has reason to fear that the testator has committed a mistake or a [deliberate] wrong, and thereupon brings about a settlement between the heirs,* he will incur no sin [thereby]. Verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
[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.
It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was [first] bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you lives to see* this month shall fast throughout it; but he that is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. God wills that you shall have ease, and does not will you to suffer hardship; but [He desires] that you complete the number [of days required], and that you extol God for His having guided you aright, and that you render your thanks [unto Him].
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.*
And when you have performed your acts of worship, [continue to] bear God in mind as you would bear your own fathers in mind-nay, with a yet keener remembrance!* For there are people who [merely] pray, "O our Sustainer! Give us in this world" -and such shall not partake in the blessings of the life to come.
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 so, when you divorce women and they are about to reach the end of their waiting-term, then either retain them in a fair manner or let them go in a fair manner. But do not retain them against their will in order to hurt [them]: for he who does so sins indeed against himself. And do not take [these] messages of God in a frivolous spirit; and remember the blessings with which God has graced you, and all the revelation and the wisdom which He has bestowed on you from on high in order to admonish you thereby; and remain conscious of God, and know that God has full knowledge of everything.
But you will incur no sin if you give a hint of [an intended] marriage-offer to [any of] these women, or if you conceive such an intention without making it obvious: [for] God knows that you intend to ask them in marriage.* Do not, however, plight your troth with them in secret, but speak only in a decent manner; and do not proceed with tying the marriage-knot ere the ordained [term of waiting] has come to its end. And know that God knows what is in your minds, and therefore remain conscious of Him; and know, too, that God is much-forgiving, forbearing.
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.
Or [art thou, O man, of the same mind] as he* who passed by a town deserted by its people, with its roofs caved in, [and] said, "How could God bring all this back to life after its death?"* Thereupon God caused him to be dead for a hundred years; where after He brought him back to life [and] said: "How long hast thou remained thus?" He answered: "I have remained thus a day, or part of a day." Said [God]: "Nay, but thou hast remained thus for a hundred years! But look at thy food and thy drink-untouched is it by the passing of years - and look at thine ass!* And [We did all this so that We might make thee a symbol unto men. And look at the bones [of animals and men] - how We put them together and then clothe them with flesh!"* And when [all this] became clear to him, he said: "I know [now] that God has the power to will anything!"
For, whatever you may spend on others, or whatever you may vow [to spend], verily, God knows it; and those who do wrong [by withholding charity] shall have none to succour them.
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.
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!"
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."
but do not [really] believe anyone who does not follow your own faith." Say: "Behold, all [true] guidance is God's guidance, consisting in one's being granted [revelation] such as you have been granted."* Or would they contend against you before your Sustainer? Say: "Behold, all bounty is in the hand of God; He grants it unto whom He wills:* for God is infinite, all-knowing,
[and] that [through you] He might destroy some of those who were bent on denying the truth, and so abase the others* that they would withdraw in utter hopelessness.
[And] it is in no wise for thee [O Prophet] to decide whether He shall accept their repentance or chastise them - for, behold, they are but wrongdoers,
and who, when they have committed a shameful deed or have [otherwise] sinned against themselves, remember God and pray that their sins be forgiven - for who but God could forgive sins? - and do not knowingly persist in doing whatever [wrong] they may have done.
AND MUHAMMAD is only an apostle; all the [other] apostles have passed away before him: if, then, he dies or is slain, will you turn about on your heels?* But he that turns about on his heels can in no wise harm God - whereas God will requite all who are grateful [to Him].
O you who have attained to faith! Be not like those who are bent on denying the truth and say of their brethren [who die] after having set out on a journey to faraway places* or gone forth to war, "Had they but remained with us, they would not have died," or, "they would not have been slain" - for God will cause such thoughts to become* a source of bitter regret in their hearts, since it is God who grants life and deals death. And God sees all that you do.
And 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.
and mark out those who were tainted with hypocrisy and, when they were told, "Come, fight in God's cause" - or, "Defend yourselves"* - answered, "If we but knew [that it would come to a] fight, we would indeed follow you." Unto apostasy were they nearer on that day than unto faith, uttering with their mouths something which was not in their hearts,* the while God knew fully well what they were trying to conceal:
And thus does their Sustainer answer their prayer: "I shall not lose sight of the labour of any of you who labours [in My way], be it man or woman: each of you is an issue of the other.* Hence, as for those who forsake the domain of evil,* and are driven from their homelands, and suffer hurt in My cause, and fight [for it], and are slain - I shall most certainly efface their bad deeds, and shall most certainly bring them into gardens through which running waters flow, as a reward from God: for with God is the most beauteous of rewards."
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.
MEN SHALL have a share in what parents and kinsfolk leave behind, and women shall have a share in what parents and kinsfolk leave behind, whether it be little or much - a share ordained [by God].
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].
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 been granted revelation [aforetime]! Believe in what We have [now] bestowed from on high in confirmation of whatever [of the truth] you already possess, lest We efface your hopes and bring them to an end* - just as We rejected those people who broke the Sabbath: for God's will is always done.*
Yet if We were to ordain for them,* "Lay down your lives," or, "Forsake your homelands," only a very few of them would do it* - although, if they did what they are admonished to do, it would indeed be for their own good and apt to strengthen them greatly [in faith],
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be fully prepared against danger, whether you go to war in small groups or all together.*
Hence, let them fight in God's cause - all who are willing to barter the life of this world for the life to come: for unto him who fights in God's cause, whether he be slain or be victorious, We shall in time grant a mighty reward.
ART THOU NOT aware of those who have been told, "Curb your hands,* and be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues"? But as soon as fighting [in God's cause] is ordained for them, lo, some of them stand in awe of men as one should stand in awe of God - or in even greater awe - and say, "O our Sustainer! Why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? If only Thou hadst granted us a delay for a little while!" Say: "Brief is the enjoyment of this world, whereas the life to come is the best for all who are conscious of God - since none of you shall be wronged by as much as a hair's breadth.
AND IF any [secret] matter pertaining to peace or war comes within their ken, they* spread it abroad - whereas, if they would but refer it unto the Apostle and unto those from among the believers* who have been entrusted with authority, such of them as are engaged in obtaining intelligence* would indeed know [what to do with] it And but for God's bounty towards you, and His grace, all but a few of you would certainly have followed Satan.
But when you are greeted with a greeting [of peace], answer with an even better greeting, or [at least] with the like thereof.* Verily, God keeps count indeed of all things.
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.*
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!
Yet he who does evil or [otherwise] sins against himself, and thereafter prays God to forgive him, shall find God much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace:
But he who commits a fault or a sin and then throws the blame therefore on an innocent person, burdens himself with the guilt of calumny and [yet another] flagrant sin.
NO GOOD comes, as a rule, out of secret confabulations - saving such as are devoted to enjoining charity, or equitable dealings, or setting things to rights between people:* and unto him who does this out of a longing for God's goodly acceptance We shall in time grant a mighty reward.
whereas anyone - be it man or woman - who does [whatever he can] of good deeds and is a believer withal, shall enter paradise, and shall not be wronged by as much as [would fill] the groove of a date-stone.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being-unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth-it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.* And, indeed, there came unto them* Our apostles with all evidence of the truth: yet, behold, notwithstanding all this, many of them go on committing all manner of excesses on earth.*
It is but a just recompense for those who make war on God and His apostle,* and endeavour to spread corruption on earth, that they are being slain in great' numbers, or crucified in great numbers, or have, in l' result of their perverseness, their hands and feet cut off in great numbers,* or are being [entirely] banished from [the face of] the earth: such is their ignominy in this world .* But in the life to come [yet more] awesome suffering awaits them-
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.
And yet thou canst see how those in whose hearts there is disease vie with one another for their good will,* saying [to themselves], "We fear lest fortune turn against us." But God may well bring about good fortune [for the believers] or any [other] event of His own devising,* whereupon those [waverers] will be smitten with remorse for the thoughts which they had secretly harboured within themselves-
GOD will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought,* but He will take you to task for oaths which you have sworn in earnest. Thus, the breaking of an oath must be atoned for by* feeding ten needy persons with more or less the same food as you are wont to give to your own families,* or by clothing them, or by freeing a human being from bondage; and he who has not the wherewithal shall fast for three days [instead]. This shall be the atonement for your oaths whenever you have sworn [and broken them]. But be mindful of your oaths!'* Thus God makes clear unto you His messages, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
O you who have attained to faith! Kill no game while you are in the state of pilgrimage. And whoever of you kills it intentionally,* [shall make] amends in cattle equivalent to what he has killed - with two persons of probity giving their judgment thereon- to be brought as an offering to the Ka`bah;* or else he may atone for his sin by feeding the needy, or by the equivalent thereof in fasting:* [this,] in order that. he taste the full gravity of his deed, [while] God shall have effaced the past. But whoever does it again, God will inflict His retribution on him: for God is almighty, an avenger of evil.
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."
Thus it will be more likely that people will offer testimony in accordance with the truth-or else they will [have cause to] fear that their oaths will be refuted by the oaths of others.* Be, then, conscious of God, and hearken [unto Him]: for God does not bestow His guidance upon iniquitous folk.
And who could be more wicked than he who attributes his own lying inventions to God or gives the lie to His messages? Verily, such evildoers will never attain to a happy state:
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!
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: "It is He alone who has the power to let loose upon you suffering from above you or from beneath your feet,* or to confound you with mutual discord and let you taste the fear of one another."* Behold how many facets we give to these messages, so that they might understand the truth.
And who could be more wicked than he who invents a lie about God,* or says, "This has been revealed unto me," the while nothing has been revealed to him? - or he who says, "I, too, can bestow from on high the like of what God has bestowed"?* If thou couldst but see [how it will be] when these evildoers find themselves in the agonies of death, and the angels stretch forth their hands [and call]: "Give up your souls! Today you shall be requited with the suffering of humiliation for having attributed to God something that is not true, and for having persistently scorned His messages in your arrogance!"
Say [O Prophet]: "In all that has been revealed unto me, I do not find anything forbidden to eat, if one wants to eat thereof,* unless it be carrion, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine-for that, behold, is loathsome-or a sinful offering* over which any name other than God's has been invoked. But if one is driven by necessity - neither coveting it nor exceeding his immediate need -then [know that], behold, thy Sustainer is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."*
And [only] unto those who followed the Jewish faith did We forbid all beasts that have claws;* and We forbade unto them the fat of both oxen and sheep, excepting that which is in their backs or entrails or that which is within the bone:* thus did We requite them for their evildoing-for, behold, We are true to Our word!"*
or lest you say, "If a divine writ had been bestowed from on high upon us, we would surely have followed its guidance better than they did."* And so, a clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer, and guidance, and grace. Who, then, could be more wicked than he who gives the lie to God's messages, and turns away from them in disdain? We shall requite those who turn away from Our messages in disdain with evil suffering for having thus turned away!
Do they, perchance, wait for the angels to appear unto them, or for thy Sustainer [Himself] to appear, or for some of thy Sustainer's [final] portents to appear?* [But] on the Day when thy Sustainer's [final] portents do appear, believing will be of no avail to any human being who did not believe before, or who, while believing, did no good works.* Say: "Wait, [then, for the Last Day, O unbelievers:] behold, we [believers] are waiting, too!"
And how many a [rebellious] community have We destroyed, with Our punishment coming upon it by night, or while they were resting at noontide!*
Thereupon Satan whispered unto the two with a view to making them conscious of their nakedness, of which [hitherto] they had been unaware;* and he said: "Your Sustainer has but forbidden you this tree lest you two become .[as] angels, or lest you live forever."*
And who could be more wicked than they who attribute their own lying inventions to God or give the lie to His messages? Whatever has been decreed to be their lot [in life] will be theirs* -till there shall come _ unto them Our messengers to cause them to die, [and] shall say, "Where, now, are those beings whom you were wont to invoke beside God?" And [those sinners] will reply, "They have forsaken us!" -and [thus] they will bear witness against themselves that they had been denying the truth.
And the inmates of the fire will call out unto the inmates of paradise: "Pour some water upon us, or some of the sustenance [of paradise] which God has provided for you!" [The inmates of paradise] will reply: "Verily, God has denied both to those who have denied the truth -
Are [the unbelievers] but waiting for the final meaning of that [Day of Judgment] to unfold?* [But] on the Day when its final meaning is unfolded, those who aforetime had been oblivious thereof will say: "Our Sustainer's apostles have indeed told us the truth! Have we, then, any intercessors who could intercede in our behalf? Or could we be brought back [to life] so that we might act otherwise than we were wont to act?"* Indeed, they will have squandered their own selves, and all their false imagery will have forsaken them.
Said the great ones among his people, who gloried in their arrogance: "Most certainly, O Shu'ayb, we shall expel thee and thy fellow-believers from our land, unless you indeed return to our ways!" Said [Shu'ayb]: "Why, even though we abhor [them]?
And whenever some people* among them asked [those who tried to restrain the Sabbath-breakers], "Why do you preach to people whom God is about to destroy or [at least] to chastise with suffering severe?" -the pious ones* would answer, "In order to be free from blame before your Sustainer, and that these [transgressors, too,] might become conscious of Him."
or lest you say, "Verily, it was but our forefathers who, in times gone by, began to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God; and we were but their late offspring: wilt Thou, then, destroy us for the doings of those inventors of falsehoods?"
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.
for, whoever on that day turns his back on them-unless it be in a battle manoeuvre or in an endeavour to join another troop [of the believers] - shall indeed have earned the burden of God's condemnation, and his goal shall be hell: and how vile a journey's end!
AND [remember, O Prophet,] how those who were bent on denying the truth were scheming against thee, in order to restrain thee [from preaching], or to slay thee, or to drive thee away: thus have they [always] schemed:* but God brought their scheming to nought-for God is above all schemers.
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!*
Say: "Are you, perchance, hopefully waiting for something [bad] to happen to us-[the while nothing can happen to us] save one of the two best things?* But as far as you are concerned, we are hopefully waiting for God to inflict chastisement upon you, [either] from Himself* or by our hands! Wait, then, hopefully; behold, we shall hopefully wait with you!"
Say: "You may spend [anything], willingly-or unwillingly, [pretending that you do it for the sake of God:] it shall never be accepted from you* -for, verily, you are people bent on iniquity!"
if they could but find a place of refuge, or any cavern, or a crevice [in the earth], they would turn towards it in headlong haste.*
[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.*
Are they, then, not aware that they are being tested year-in, year-out?* And yet, they do not repent and do not bethink themselves [of God];
For [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us, whether he be lying on his side or sitting or standing;* but as soon as We have freed him of his affliction, he goes on as though he had never invoked Us to save him from the affliction* that befell him! Thus do their own doings seem goodly unto those who waste their own selves.*
AND [thus it is:] whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, those who do not believe that they are destined to meet Us [are wont to] say, "Bring us a discourse other than this, or alter this one."* Say [O Prophet]: "It is not conceivable that I should alter it of my own volition; I only follow what is revealed to me. Behold, I would dread, were I [thus] to rebel against my Sustainer, the suffering [which would befall me] on that ,awesome Day [of Judgment]!"
And who could be more wicked than they who attribute their own lying inventions to God or give the lie to His messages? Verily, those who are lost in sin will never attain to a happy state* -
The parable of the life of this world is but that of rain which We send down from the sky, and which is absorbed by the plants of the earth* whereof men and animals draw nourishment, until -when the earth has assumed its artful adornment and has been embellished, and they who dwell on it believe that they have gained mastery over it* -there comes down upon it Our judgment, by night or by day, and We cause it to become [like] a field mown down, as if there had been no yesterday.* Thus clearly do We spell out these messages unto people who think!
And whether We show thee [in this world something of what We hold in store for those [deniers of the truth],* or whether We cause thee to die [before that retribution takes place - know that, in the end], it is unto Us that they must return; and God is witness to all that they do.*
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?*
IS IT, then, conceivable [O Prophet] that thou couldst omit any part of what is being revealed unto thee [because the deniers of the truth dislike it,-and] because thy heart is distressed at their saying,* "Why has not a treasure been bestowed upon him from on high?" -or, "[Why has not] an angel come [visibly:: with him ?"* [They fail to understand that] thou art only a warner, whereas God has everything in His care ;*
Exclaimed .[Lot]: "Would that I had the strength to defeat you, or that I could lean upon some mightier support!"*
Said they: "O Shu'ayb! Does thy [habit of] praying compel thee to demand of us* that we give up all that our forefathers were wont to worship, or that we refrain from doing whatever we please with our possessions ?* Behold, [thou wouldst have us believe that] thou art indeed the only clement, the only right-minded man!"
"And, O my people, let not [your] dissent from me drive you into sin, lest there befall you the like of what befell the people of Noah, or the people of Hud. or the people of Salih: and [remember that] the people of Lot lived not very far from you!"*
[Said one of them:] "Slay Joseph, or else drive him away to some [faraway] land, so that your father's regard may be for you alone: and after this is done, you will be [free to repent and to live once again as] righteous people!"*
And the man from Egypt who bought him* said to his wife: "Make his stay [with us] honourable; he may well be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son. And thus We gave unto Joseph a firm place on earth; and [We did this] so that We might impart unto him some understanding of the inner meaning of happenings.* For, God always prevails in whatever be His purpose: but most people know it not.
And they both rushed to the door; and she [grasped and] rent his tunic from behind-and [lo!] they met her lord at the door! Said she: "What ought to be the punishment of one who had evil designs on [the virtue of] thy wife - [what] but imprisonment or a [yet more] grievous chastisement?"
And so, when they lost all hope of [moving] him, they withdrew to take counsel [among themselves]. The eldest of them said: "Do you not remember* that your father has bound you by a solemn pledge before God - and how, before that, you had failed with regard to Joseph? Hence, I shall not depart from this land till my father gives me leave or God passes judgment in my favour:* for He is the best of all judges.
Said [his sons]: "By God! Thou wilt never cease to remember, Joseph till thou art broken in body and spirit or art dead!"
Do they, then, feel free from the fear that there might fall upon them the overwhelming terror of God's chastisement, or that the Last Hour might come upon them of a sudden, without their being aware [of its approach]?
[Whenever] He sends down water from the sky, and [once-dry] river-beds are running high* according to their measure, the stream carries scum on its surface;* and, likewise, from that [metal] which they smelt in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, [there rises] scum. In this way does God set forth the parable of truth and falsehood: for, as far as the scum is concerned, it passes away as [does all] dross; but that which is of benefit to man abides on earth. In this way does God set forth the parables
Yet even if [they should listen to] a [divine] discourse by which mountains could be moved, or the earth cleft asunder, or the dead made to speak - [they who are bent on denying the truth would still refuse to believe in it]!* Nay, but God alone has the power to decide what shall be.* Have, then, they who have attained to faith not yet come to know that, had God so willed; He would indeed have guided all mankind aright?* But as for those who are bent on denying the truth-in result of their [evil] deeds, sudden calamities will always befall them or will alight close to their homes;* [and this will continue] until God's promise [of resurrection] is fulfilled: verily, God never fails to fulfil His promise!
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.
But they who denied the truth spoke [thus] unto their apostles: "We shall most certainly expel you from our land, unless you return forthwith to our ways.* Whereupon their Sustainer revealed this to His apostles:* "Most certainly shall We destroy these evildoers,
ARE THEY [who deny the truth] but waiting for the angels to appear unto them, or for God's judgment to become manifest?* Even thus did behave those [stubborn sinners] who lived before their time; and [when they were destroyed,] it was not God who wronged them, but it was they who had wronged themselves:
Can, then, they who devise evil schemes* ever feel sure that God will not cause the earth to swallow them,* or that suffering will not befall them without their perceiving whence [it came]? -
or that He will not take them to task [suddenly] in the midst of their comings and goings,* without their being able to elude [Him],
or take them to task through slow decay?* And yet, behold, your Sustainer is most compassionate, a dispenser of grace!*
And* , God's [alone] is the knowledge of the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth.* And so, the advent of the Last Hour will but manifest itself [in a single moment,] like the twinkling of an eye, or closer still:* for, behold, God has the power to will anything.
As for anyone - be it man or woman - who does righteous deeds, and is a believer withal - him shall We most certainly cause to live a good life.* and most certainly shall We grant unto such as these their reward in accordance with the best that they ever did.
for thy Sustainer has ordained that you shall worship none but Him. And do good unto [thy] parents.* Should one of them, or both, attain to old age in thy care, never say "Ugh"* to them or scold them, but [always] speak unto them with reverent speech,
Say: "[You will be raised from the dead even though] you be stones or iron
or any [other] substance which, to your minds, appears yet farther removed [from life]!"* And [if] thereupon they ask, "Who is it that will' bring us back [to life]?"-say thou: "He who has brought you into being in the first instance." And [if] thereupon they shake their heads at thee [in disbelief] and ask, "When shall this be?"-say thou: "It may well be soon,
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.*
Can you, then, ever feel sure that He will not cause a tract of dry land to swallow you up, or let loose upon you a deadly storm-wind,* whereupon you would find none to be your protector?
or thou have a garden of date-palms and vines and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst in a sudden rush,*
or thou cause the skies to fall down upon us in smithereens, as thou hast threatened,* or [till] thou bring God and the angels face to face before us,
or thou have a house [made] of gold, or thou ascend to heaven - but nay, we would not [even] believe in thy ascension unless thou bring down to us [from heaven] a writing which we [ourselves] could read!* Say thou, [O Prophet:] "Limitless in His glory is my Sustainer!* Am I, then, aught but a mortal man, an apostle?"
Say: "Believe in it or do not believe." Behold, those who are already* endowed with [innate] knowledge fall down upon their faces in prostration as soon as this [divine writ] is conveyed unto them,
Say: "Invoke God, or invoke the Most Gracious: by whichever name you invoke Him, [He is always the One-for] His are all the attributes of perfection.* And [pray unto Him; yet] be not too loud in thy prayer nor speak it in too low a voice, but follow a way in-between;
And so, [in the course of time,] We awakened them;* and they began to ask one another [as to what had happened to them].* One of them asked: "How long have you remained thus?" [The others] answered: "We have remained thus a day, or part of a day."* Said they [who were endowed with deeper insight]: "Your Sustainer knows best how long you have thus remained.* Let, then, one of you go with these silver coins to the town, and let him find out what food is purest there, and bring you thereof [some] provisions. But let him behave with great care and by no means make anyone aware of you:
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!"*
or its water sinks deep into the ground, so that thou wilt never be able to find it again!"
for, what is there to keep people from attaining to faith now that guidance has come unto them, and from asking their Sustainer to forgive them their sins - unless it be [their wish] that the fate of the [sinful] people of ancient times should befall them [as well], or that the [ultimate] suffering should befall them in the hereafter?*
AND LO! [In the course of his wanderings,] Moses said to his servant:* "I shall not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas, even if I [have to] spend untold years [in my quest]!"
for, how many a generation* have We destroyed before their time - [and] canst thou perceive any one of them [now], or hear any whisper of them?
Lo! he saw a fire [in the desert];* and so he said to his family: "Wait here! Behold, I perceive a fire [far away]: perhaps I can bring you a brand there from, or find at the fire some guidance."
But speak unto him in a mild manner, so that he might bethink himself or [at least] be filled with apprehension.*
The two [brothers] said: "O our Sustainer! Verily, we fear lest he act hastily with regard to us,* or lest he [continue to] transgress all bounds of equity."
AND THUS* have We bestowed from on high this [divine writ] as a discourse in the Arabic tongue,* and have given therein many facets to all manner of warnings, so that men might remain conscious of Us, or that it give rise to a new awareness in them*
[inclining] towards God, [and] turning away from all that is false,* without ascribing divine qualities to aught beside Him: for he who ascribes divinity to aught but God is like one who is hurtling down from the skies - whereupon the birds carry him off, or the wind blows him away onto a far-off place.
Have they, then, never journeyed about the earth, letting their hearts gain wisdom, and causing their ears to hear?* Yet, verily, it is not their eyes that have become blind - but blind have become the hearts that are in their breasts!
whereas those who are bent on denying the truth will not cease to be in doubt about Him until the Last Hour comes suddenly upon them and [supreme] suffering befalls them on a Day void of all hope.*
AND AS FOR those who forsake the domain of evil* (and strive) in God's cause, and then are slain or die - God will most certainly provide for them a goodly sustenance [in the life to come] for, verily, God - He alone - is the best of providers;
[not giving way to their desires] with any but their spouses - that is, those whom they rightfully possess [through wedlock]:* for then, behold, they are free of all blame,
They will answer: 'We have spent there a day, or part of a day; but ask those who [are able to] count [time]
[Both are equally guilty:] the adulterer couples with none other than an adulteress - that is, a woman who accords [to her own lust] a place side by side with God;* and with the adulteress couples none other than an adulterer - that is, a man who accords [to his own lust] a place side by side with God: and this is forbidden unto the believers.*
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof;* hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms.* And let them not display [more of] their charms to any but their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' Sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their womenfolk, or those whom they rightfully possess, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desire,* or children that are as yet unaware of women's nakedness; and let them not swing their legs [in walking] so as to draw attention to their hidden charms* And [always], O you believers - all of you - turn unto God in repentance, so that you might attain to a happy state!*
Or [else, their deeds are]* like the depths of darkness upon an abysmal sea, made yet more dark by wave billowing over wave, with [black] clouds above it all: depths of darkness, layer upon layer,* [so that] when one holds up his hand, he can hardly see it: for he to whom God gives no light, no light whatever has he!
[ALL OF YOU, O believers, are brethren: hence.]* no blame attaches to the blind, nor does blame attach to the lame, nor does blame attach to the sick [for accepting charity from the hale], and neither to yourselves for eating [whatever is offered to you by others, whether it be food obtained] from your [children's] houses,* or your fathers' houses, or your mothers' houses, or your brothers' houses, or your sisters' houses, or your paternal uncles' houses, or your paternal aunts' houses, or your maternal uncles' houses, or your maternal aunts' houses, or [houses] the keys whereof are in your charge!* or [the house] of any of your friends; nor will you incur any sin by eating in company or separately. But whenever you enter [any of these] houses, greet one another with a blessed, goodly greeting, as enjoined by God. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages, so that you might [learn to] use your reason.
DO NOT regard the Apostles summons to you* [in the same light] as a summons of one of you to another: God is indeed aware of those of you who would withdraw surreptitiously: so let those who would go against His bidding beware, lest a [bitter] trial befall them [in this world] or grievous suffering befall them [in the life to come].
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!"
But those who do not believe that they are destined to meet Us are wont to say,* Why have no angels been sent down to us?" or, Why do we not see our Sustainer?" Indeed, they are far too proud of themselves, having rebelled [against God's truth] with utter disdain!
Or dost thou think that most of them listen [to thy message] and use their reason? Nay, they are but like cattle - nay, they are even less conscious of the right way!*
And He it is who causes the night and the day to succeed one another, [revealing Himself in His works] unto him who has the will to take thought - that is* has the will to be grateful.
or benefit you or do you harm?"
instead of God?* Can these [things and beings] be of any help to you or to themselves?"
Lo! [While lost in the desert,] Moses said to his family:* Behold, I perceive a fire [far away]; I may bring you from there some tiding [as to which way we arc to pursue], or bring you [at least] a burning brand so that you might warm yourselves."
[If so,] I will punish him most severely or will kill him unless he bring me a convincing excuse!"*
Now the wife of Pharaoh said: A joy to the eye [could this child be] for me and thee! Slay him not: he may well be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son!" And they had no presentiment [of what he was to become].
And when Moses had fulfilled his term and was wandering with his family [in the desert], he perceived a fire on the slope of Mount Sinai;* [and so] he said to his family: Wait here. Behold, I perceive a fire [far away]; perhaps I may bring you from there some tiding,* or [at least] a burning brand from the fire, so that you might warm yourselves.
Now [as for Abraham,] his people's only answer was,* Slay him, or burn him!" but God saved him from the fire.* Behold, in this [story] there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
And who could be more wicked than he who attributes his own lying inventions to God,* or gives the lie to the truth when it comes unto him [through revelation]? Is not hell the [proper] abode for all who [thus] deny the truth?
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*
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?
[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!
Whether you do anything openly or in secret, [remember that,] verily, God has full knowledge of everything.
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].*
Say: Who is it that provides for you sustenance out of the heavens and the earth?"* Say: It is God. And, behold, either we [who believe in Him] or you [who deny His oneness] are on the right path, or have clearly gone astray!"
And [then] We sent him [once again] to [his people,] a hundred thousand [souls] or more:
[And We told him:] This is Our gift, for thee to bestow freely on others, or to withhold, without [having to render] account!"
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]."
or lest he should say, If God had but guided me, I would surely have been among those who are conscious of Him!"-
or lest he should say, when he becomes aware of the suffering [that awaits him], Would that I had a second chance [in life], so that I could be among the doers of good!"*
And Pharaoh said: Leave it to me to slay Moses - and let him invoke his [alleged] sustainer!* Behold, I fear lest he cause you to change your religion, or lest he cause corruption to prevail in the land!"
[There,] anyone who has done a bad deed will be requited with no more than the like thereof, whereas anyone, be it man or woman, who has done righteous deeds and is a believer withal - all such will enter paradise, wherein they shall be blest with good beyond all reckoning!*
HENCE, remain thou patient in adversity - for, verily, God's promise always comes true. And whether We show thee [in this world] something of what We hold in store for those [deniers of the truth], or whether We cause thee to die [ere that retribution takes place - know that, in the end], it is unto Us that they will be brought back.*
And* He [it is who] applied His design to the skies, which were [yet but] smoke;* and He [it is who] said to them and to the earth, Come [into being], both of you, willingly or unwillingly!" - to which both responded, We do come in obedience."*
or else He may cause them to perish because of what they have wrought;* and [withal,] He pardons much.
or He gives both male and female [to whomever He wills], and causes to be barren whomever He wills: for, verily, He is all-knowing, infinite in His power.*
And it is not given to mortal man that God should speak unto him otherwise than through sudden inspiration,* or [by a voice, as it were,] from behind a veil, or by sending an apostle to reveal, by His leave, whatever He wills [to reveal]:* for, verily, He is exalted, wise.
CANST THOU, perchance, [O Muhammad,] make the deaf hear, or show the right way to the blind or to such as are obviously lost in error?*
and whether We show thee [or do not show thee in this world] the fulfillment of what We have promised them - verily, We have full power over them!
And then - why have no golden armlets been bestowed on him?* or why have no angels come together with him?"
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!"*
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!
Say unto those bedouin who stayed behind: In time you will be called upon [to fight] against people of great prowess in war:* you will have to fight against them [until you die] or they surrender. And then, if you heed [that call], God will bestow on you a goodly reward; but if you turn away as you turned away this time,* He will chastise you with grievous chastisement."
In this, behold, there is indeed a reminder for everyone whose heart is wide-awake* -that is, [everyone who] lends ear with a conscious mind -*
and he turned away in [the pride of] his power and said, A sorcerer [is this Moses], or a madman!"
[But] thus it is: never yet came any apostle to those who lived before their time but they said, A spel1binder*
Endure it [now]! But [whether you] bear yourselves with patience or without patience, it will be the same to you: you are but being requited for what you were wont to do."*
until he was but two bow-lengths away, or even nearer.*
Thou canst not find people who [truly] believe in God and the Last Day and [at the same time] love anyone who contends against God and His Apostle - even though they be their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or [others of] their kindred.* [As for the true believers,] it is they in whose hearts He has inscribed faith, and whom He has strengthened with inspiration from Himself,* and whom [in time] He will admit into gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide. Well-pleased is God with them, and well-pleased are they with Him. They are God's partisans: oh, verily, it is they, the partisans of God, who shall attain to a happy state!
Whatever [of their] palm trees you may have cut down, [O believers,] or left standing on their roots, was [done] by God's leave,* and in order that He might confound the iniquitous.
Never will they fight you, [even] in unison, otherwise than from within fortified strongholds or from behind walls.* Severe is their warlike discord among themselves: thou wouldst think that they are united, whereas [in fact] their hearts are at odds [with one another]: this, because they are people who will not use their reason.*
Yet [it does happen that] when people* become aware of [an occasion for] worldly gain* or a passing delight, they rush headlong towards it, and leave thee standing [and preaching].* Say: "That which is with God is far better than all passing delight and all gain! And God is the best of providers!"
And so, when they are about to reach the end of their waiting-term, either retain them in a fair manner or part with them in a fair manner. And let two persons of [known] probity from among your own community* witness [what you have decided]; and do yourselves bear true witness before God:* thus are admonished all who believe in God and the Last Day. And unto everyone who is conscious of God, He [always] grants a way out [of unhappiness],
And they will add: "Had we but listened [to those warnings], or [at least] used our own reason, we would not [now] be among those who are destined for the blazing flame!"*
AND [know, O men, that] whether you keep your beliefs* secret or state them openly, He has full knowledge indeed of all that is in [your] hearts.*
SAY [O Prophet]: "What do you think? Whether God destroys me and those who follow me, or graces us with His mercy* - is there anyone that could protect [you] deniers of the truth from grievous suffering [in the life to come]?"
[not giving way to their desires] with any but their spouses - that is, those whom they rightfully possess [through wedlock] - :* for then, behold, they are free of all blame,
of one-half thereof* - or make it a little less than that,
or add to it [at will]; and [during that time] recite the Qur'an calmly and distinctly, with thy mind attuned to its meaning.*
to everyone of you, whether he chooses to come forward or to hang back!*
Await, then, in all patience thy Sustainer's judgment,* and pay no heed to any of them, who is a wilful sinner or an ingrate;
[promising] freedom from blame or [offering] a warning!*
On the Day when they behold it, [it will seem to them] as if they had tarried [in this world] no longer than one evening or [one night, ending with] its morn!*
or have been reminded [of the truth], and helped by this reminder.
but when they have to measure or weigh whatever they owe to others, give less than what is due!*
or the feeding, upon a day of [one's own] hunger,
or of a needy [stranger] lying in the dust
or is concerned with God-consciousness?*