[It is a triumph of] those who turn [unto God] in repentance [whenever they have sinned], and who worship and praise [Him], and go on and on [seeking His goodly acceptance],* and bow down [before Him] and prostrate themselves in adoration, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and keep to the bounds set by God. And give thou [O Prophet] the glad tiding [of God's promise] to all believers.
And so the two went on their way, till (they reached the seashore; and] when they disembarked from the boat [that had ferried them across], the sage* made a hole in it-[whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou made a hole in it in order to drown the people who may be [travelling] in it? Indeed, thou hast done a grievous thing!"
And yet, I am not trying to absolve myself: for, verily, man's inner self does incite [him] to evil,* and saved are only they upon whom my Sustainer bestows His grace.* Behold, my Sustainer is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace!"
And [then and there] a man came running from the farthermost end of the city, and said: O Moses! Behold, the great ones [of the kingdom] are deliberating upon thy case with a view to killing thee! Begone, then: verily, I am of those who wish thee well!"
[Hence,] let the women [who are undergoing a waiting-period] live in the same manner as you live yourselves,* In accordance with your means; and do not harass them with a view to making their lives a misery. And if they happen to be with child, spend freely on them until they deliver their burden; and if they nurse your offspring [after the divorce has become final], give them their [due] recompense; and take counsel with one another in a fair manner [about the child's future]. And if both of you find it difficult [that the mother should nurse the child],* let another woman nurse it on behalf of him [who has begotten it].*
who break their bond with God after it has been established [in their nature],* and cut asunder what God has bidden to be joined, and spread corruption on earth: these it is that shall be the losers.
Do you bid other people to be pious, the while you forget your own selves -and yet you recite the divine writ? Will you not, then, use your reason? ;
AND LO! Moses said unto his people: "Behold, God bids you to sacrifice a cow."* They said: "Dost thou mock at us?" He answered: "I seek refuge with God against being so ignorant!"*
Said they: "Pray on our behalf unto thy Sustainer that He make clear to us what she is to be like." [Moses] replied: "Behold, He says it is to be a cow neither old nor immature, but of art age in-between. Do, then, what you have been bidden!"
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!"
and bids you only to do evil, and to commit deeds of abomination, and to attribute unto God something of which you have no knowledge.*
AND THEY will ask thee about [woman's] monthly courses. Say: "It is a vulnerable condition. Keep, therefore, aloof from women during their monthly courses, and do not draw near unto them until they are cleansed; and when they are cleansed, go in unto them as God has bidden you to do."* Verily, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance* and He loves those who keep themselves pure.
Satan threatens you with the prospect of poverty and bids you to be niggardly, whereas God promises you His forgiveness and bounty; and God is infinite, all-knowing,
Verily, as for those who deny the truth of God's messages, and slay the prophets against all right, and slay people who enjoin equity* - announce unto them a grievous chastisement.
And neither did he bid you to take the angels and the prophets for your lords:* [for] would he bid you to deny the truth after you have surrendered yourselves unto God?
and that there might grow out of you a community [of people] who invite unto all that is good, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong: and it is they, they who shall attain to a happy state!
YOU ARE indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for [the good of] mankind: you enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and you believe in God. Now if the followers of earlier revelation had attained to [this kind of] faith, it would have been for their own good; [but only few] among them are believers, while most of them are iniquitous:
They believe in God and the Last Day, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and vie with one another in doing good works: and these are among the righteous.
[nor] those who are niggardly, and bid others to be niggardly, and conceal whatever God has bestowed upon them out of His bounty; and so We have readied shameful suffering for all who thus deny the truth.
BEHOLD, God bids you to deliver all that you have been entrusted with unto those who are entitled thereto, and whenever you judge between people, to judge with justice.* Verily, most excellent is what God exhorts you to do: verily, God is all-hearing, all-seeing!
ART THOU NOT aware of those who claim that they believe in what has been bestowed from on high upon thee, [O Prophet,] as well as in what was bestowed from on high before thee, [and yet] are willing to defer to the rule of the powers of evil* - although they were bidden to deny it, seeing that Satan but wants to lead them far astray?
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.
and shall lead them astray, and fill them with vain desires; and I shall command them - and they will cut off the ears of cattle [in idolatrous sacrifice]; and I shall command them - and they will corrupt God's creation!"* But all who take Satan rather than God for their master do indeed, most clearly, lose all:
Nothing did I tell them beyond what Thou didst bid me [to say]: `Worship God, [who is] my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer.' And I bore witness to what they did as long as I dwelt in their midst; but since Thou hast caused me to die, Thou alone hast been their keeper:* for Thou art witness unto everything.
Say: "Am I to take for my master anyone but God, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, when it is He who gives nourishment and Himself needs none?"* Say: "I am bidden to be foremost among those who surrender themselves unto God, and not to be* among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him."
SAY: "Shall we invoke, instead of God, something that can neither benefit us nor harm us, and [thus] turn around on our heels after God has guided us aright? -like one whom the satans have enticed into blundering after earthly lusts, the while his companions, trying to guide him, call out unto him [from afar] ,* `Come thou to us!"' Say: "Verily, God's guidance is the only guidance: and so we have been bidden to surrender ourselves unto the Sustainer of all the worlds,
in whose divinity none has a share: for thus have I been bidden-and I shall [always] be foremost among those who surrender themselves unto Him."
[And God] said: "What has kept thee from prostrating thyself when I commanded thee?" Answered [Iblis]: "I am better than he: Thou hast created me out of fire, whereas him Thou hast created out of clay."
and [so,] whenever they commit a shameful deed, they are wont to say, "We found our forefathers doing it," and, "God has enjoined it upon us." Say: "Behold, never does God enjoin deeds of abomination. Would you attribute unto God something of which you have no knowledge?"
Say: "My Sustainer has [but] enjoined the doing of what is right; and [He desires you to] put your whole being into every act of worship,* and to call unto Him, sincere in your faith in Him alone. As it was He who brought you into being in the first instance, so also [unto Him] you will return:
who wants to drive you out of your land! "* [Said Pharaoh:] "What, then, do you advise?"
And We ordained for him in the tablets [of the Law] all manner of admonition, clearly spelling out everything.* And [We said:] "Hold fast unto them with [all thy] strength, and bid thy people to hold fast to their most goodly rules." I will show you the way the iniquitous shall go.*
those who shall follow the [last] Apostle, the unlettered Prophet whom they shall find described in the Torah that is with them, and [later on] in the Gospel:* [the Prophet] who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right and forbid them the doing of what is wrong, and make lawful to them the good things of life and forbid them the bad things, and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them [aforetime].* Those, therefore, who shall believe in him, and honour him, and succour him, and follow the light that has been bestowed from on high through him-it is they that shall attain to a happy state."
MAKE due allowance for man's nature,* and enjoin the doing of what is right; and leave alone all those who choose to remain ignorant.*
They have taken their rabbis and their monks-as well as the Christ, son of Mary-for their lords beside God,* although they had been bidden to worship none but the One God, save whom there is no deity: the One who is utterly remote, in His limitless glory, from anything to which they may ascribe a share in His divinity!
The hypocrites, both men and women. are all of a kind: they enjoin the doing of what is wrong and forbid the doing of what is right* and withhold their hands [from doing good]. They are oblivious of God, and so He is oblivious of them. Verily, the hypocrites-it is they, they who are truly iniquitously*
AND [as for] the believers, both men and women they are close unto one another:* they [all] enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and are constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle. It is they upon whom God will bestow His grace: verily, God is almighty, wise!
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."
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]."
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!"
Pursue, then, the right course, as thou hast been bidden [by God], together with all who, with thee, have turned unto Him; and let none of you behave in an overweening manner:* for, verily, He sees all that you do.
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*
But although* they entered [Joseph's city] in the way their father had bidden them, this proved of no avail whatever to them against [the plan of] God* [His request] had served only to satisfy Jacob's heartfelt desire [to protect them]:* for, behold, thanks to what We had imparted unto him, he was indeed endowed with the knowledge [that God's will must always prevail* ]; but most people know it not.
and who keep together what God has bidden to be joined,* and stand in awe of their Sustainer and fear the most evil reckoning [which awaits such as do not respond to Him];
But as for those who break their bond with God after it has been established [in their nature],* and cut asunder what God has bidden to be joined, and spread corruption on earth -their due is rejection [by God],* and theirs is a most evil fate [in the life to come].
Hence, they unto whom We have vouchsafed this revelation* rejoice at all that has been bestowed upon thee [O Prophet] from on high;* but among the followers of other creeds there are such as deny the validity of some of it.* Say [unto them, O Prophet]: "I have only been bidden to worship God, and not to ascribe divine. powers to aught beside Him :* unto Him do I call [all mankind], and He is my goal!"
Go, then., with thy household while it is yet night, with thyself following them in the rear; and let none of you look back,* but proceed whither you are bidden."
Hence, proclaim openly all that thou hast been bidden [to say], and leave alone all those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God:
they fear their Sustainer high above them, and do whatever they are bidden to do.*
And God propounds [to you] the parable of two [other] men -one of them dumb,* unable to do anything of his own accord, and a sheer burden on his master: to whichever task the latter directs him,* he accomplishes no good. Can such a one be considered the equal of [a wise man] who enjoins the doing of what is right and himself follows a straight way?*
BEHOLD, God enjoins justice, and the doing of good, and generosity towards [one's] fellow-men;* and He forbids all that is shameful and all that runs counter to reason,* as well as envy; [and] He exhorts you [repeatedly] so that you might bear [all this] in mind.
But when [this has been done, and] it is Our will to destroy a community, We convey Our last warning* to those of its people who have lost themselves entirely in the pursuit of pleasures;* and [if] they [continue to] act sinfully, the sentence [of doom] passed on the community takes effect, and We break it to smithereens.
who used to enjoin upon his people prayer and charity,* and found favour in his Sustainer's sight.
And bid thy people to pray, and persevere therein. [But remember:] We do not ask thee to provide sustenance [for Us]:* it is We who provide sustenance for thee. And the future belongs to the God-conscious.*
[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.
O You who have attained to faith! Follow not Satan's footsteps: for he who follows Satan's footsteps [will find that], behold, he enjoins but deeds of abomination and all that runs counter to reason.* And were it not for God's favour upon you and His grace, not one of you would ever have remained pure. For [thus it is:] God who causes whomever He wills to grow in purity: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
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!"
Yet when they [who are bent on denying the truth! are told, Prostrate yourselves before the Most Gracious." they are wont to ask, And [who and] what is the Most Gracious? Are we to prostrate ourselves before whatever thou biddest us [to worship]?'' - and so [thy call] but increases their aversion,
who wants to drive you out of your land by his sorcery.* What, then, do you advise?"
They answered: We are endowed with power and with mighty prowess in war - but the command is thine; consider, then, what thou wouldst command."
[SAY, O Muhammad:] I have been bidden to worship the Sustainer of this City * Him who has made it sacred, and unto whom all things belong: and I have been bidden to be of those who surrender themselves to Him,
O my dear son! Be constant in prayer, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and bear in patience whatever [ill] may befall thee: this, behold, is something to set one's heart upon!
But those who had been weak will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance: Nay, [what kept us away was your] devising of false arguments, night and day, [against God's messages- as you did]* when you persuaded us to blaspheme against God and to claim that there are powers that could rival Him!"* And when they see the suffering [that awaits them], they will [all] be unable to express [the full depth of] their remorse:* for We shall have put shackles around the necks of those who had been bent on denying the truth:* [and] will this be aught but a [just] requital for what they were doing?
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!"
Say [O Muhammad]: Behold, I am bidden to worship God, sincere in my faith in Him alone;
and I am bidden to be foremost among those who surrender themselves unto God."
Say: Is it, then, something other than God that you bid me to worship, O you who are unaware [of right and wrong]?"
Say: Since all evidence of the truth has come to me from my Sustainer, I am forbidden to worship [any of] those beings whom you invoke instead of God; and I am bidden to surrender myself to the Sustainer of all the worlds."
Because of this, then,* summon [all mankind], and pursue the right course, as thou hast been bidden [by God]; and do not follow their likes and dislikes, but say: "I believe in whatever revelation God has bestowed from on high; and I am bidden to bring about equity in your mutual views.* God is our Sustainer as well as your Sustainer. To us shall be accounted our deeds, and to you, your deeds. Let there be no contention between us and you: God will bring us all together - for with Him is all journeys' end."
Is it their minds that bid them [to take] this [attitude] - or are they [simply] people filled with overweening arrogance?*
those who are niggardly [with God's bounty] and bid others to be niggardly!* And he who turns his back [on this truth* ought to know that], verily, God alone is self-sufficient, the One to whom all praise is due!
O YOU who have attained to faith! Ward off from yourselves and those who are close to you* that fire [of the hereafter] whose fuel is human beings and stones:* [lording] over it are angelic powers awesome [and] severe,* who do not disobey God in whatever He has commanded them, but [always] do what they are bidden to do.*
Nay, but [man] has never yet fulfilled what He has enjoined upon him!*
or is concerned with God-consciousness?*
And withal, they were not enjoined aught but that they should worship God, sincere in their faith in Him alone, turning away from all that is false;* and that they should be constant in prayer; and that they should spend in charity:* for this is a moral law endowed with ever-true soundness and clarity.*
Out of their selfish envy, many among the followers of earlier revelation would like to bring you back to denying the truth after you have attained to faith - [even] after the truth has become clear unto them. None the less, forgive and forbear, until God shall make manifest His will: behold, God has the power to will anything.
The Originator is He of the heavens and the earth: and when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, "Be" -and it is.
Are these people* waiting, perchance, for God to reveal Himself unto them in the shadows of the clouds, together with the angels - although [by then] all will have been decided, and unto God all things will have been brought back?*
THOSE who gorge themselves on usury* behave but as he might behave whom Satan has confounded with his touch; for they say, "Buying and selling is but a kind of* usury" - the while God has made buying and selling lawful and usury unlawful. Hence, whoever becomes aware of his Sustainer's admonition,* and thereupon desists [from usury], may keep his past gains, and it will be for God to judge him; but as for those who return to it -they are destined for the fire, therein to abide!
Said she: "O my Sustainer! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?" [The angel] answered: "Thus it is: God creates what He wills* when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, 'Be' - and it is.
And unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and all things go back to God [as their source].
[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 all that they said was this: "O our Sustainer! Forgive us our sins and the lack of moderation in our doings! And make firm our steps, and succour us against people who deny the truth!" -
AND, INDEED, God made good His promise unto you when, by His leave, you were about to destroy your foes* - until the moment when you lost heart and acted contrary to the [Prophet's] command,* and disobeyed after He had brought you within view of that [victory] for which you were longing. There were among you such as cared for this world [alone], just as there were among you such as cared for the life to come:* whereupon, in order that He might put you to a test, He prevented you from defeating your foes.* But now He has effaced your sin: for God is limitless in His bounty unto the believers.
Then, after this woe, He sent down upon you a sense of security, an inner calm which enfolded some of you,* whereas the others, who cared mainly for themselves, entertained wrong thoughts about God - thoughts of pagan ignorance - saying, "Did we, then, have any power of decision [in this matter]?"* Say: "Verily, all power of decision does rest with God"* - [but as for them,] they are trying to conceal within themselves that [weakness of faith] which they would not reveal unto thee, [O Prophet, by] saying, "If we had any power of decision, we would not have left so many dead behind."* Say [unto them]: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those [of you] whose death had been ordained would indeed have gone forth to the places where they were destined to lie down." And [all this befell you] so that God might put to a test all that you harbour in your bosoms, and render your innermost hearts* pure of all dross: for God is aware of what is in the hearts [of men].
And it was by God's grace that thou [O Prophet] didst deal gently with thy followers:* for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from thee. Pardon them, then, and pray that they be forgiven. And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily, God loves those who place their trust in Him.*
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.
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.*
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.*
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.
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-
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.
They are saying, too, "Why has not an angel (visibly] been sent down unto him?" But had we sent down an angel, all would indeed have been decided,* and they would have been allowed no further respite [for repentance.
Say: "If that which you so hastily demand were in my power, everything would indeed have been decided between me and you.* But God knows best as to who is doing wrong."
VERILY, as for those who have broken the unity of their faith and have become sects - thou hast nothing to do with them.* Behold, their case rests with God: and in time He will make them understand what they were doing.
VERILY, your Sustainer is God, who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness.* He covers the day with the night in swift pursuit, with the sun and the moon and the stars subservient to His command: oh, verily, His is all creation and all command. Hallowed is God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!
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 when Moses returned to his people, full of wrath and sorrow, he exclaimed: "Vile is the course which you have followed in my absence! Have you forsaken* your Sustainer's commandment?" And he threw down the tablets [of the Law], and seized his brother's head, dragging him towards himself. Cried Aaron: "O my mother's son! Behold, the people brought me low* and almost slew me: so let not mine enemies rejoice at my affliction, and count me not among the evildoing folk!"
[Remember that day] when you were at the near end of the valley [of Badr], and they were at its farthest end, while the caravan was below you.* And if you had known that a battle was to take place, you would indeed have refused to accept the challenge:* but [the battle was brought about none the less,] so that God might accomplish a thing [which He willed] to be done,* [and] that he who would perish might perish in clear evidence of the truth, and that he who would remain alive might live in clear evidence of the truth.* And, behold, God is indeed all-hearing, all-knowing.
Lo! God showed them to thee in a dream as few:* for, had He shown them to you as many, you would surely have lost heart, and would surely have disagreed with one another about what to do.* But God saved [you from this]: verily, He has full knowledge of what is the hearts [of men].
And so, when you met in battle, He made them appear as few in your eyes -just as He made you appear as of little account in their eyes - so that God might accomplish a thing [which He willed] to be done:* for all things go back to God [as their source].
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."
Indeed, even before this time* have they tried to stir up discord and devised all manner of plots against thee, [O Prophet,] until the truth was revealed and God's will became manifest, however hateful this may have been to them.
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 [there are yet] others-[people whose cases are] deferred until God wills to judge them:* He will either chastise them or turn again unto them in His mercy-for God is all-knowing, wise.
VERILY, your Sustainer is God, who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness,* governing all that exists. There is none that could intercede with Him unless He grants leave therefor.* Thus is God, your Sustainer: worship, therefore, Him [alone]: will you not, then, keep this in mind?
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!
SAY: "Who is it that provides you with sustenance out of heaven and earth,* or who is it that has full power over [your] hearing and sight? And who is it that brings forth the living out of that which is dead, and brings forth the dead out of that which is alive? And who is it that governs all that exists?" And they will [surely] answer: "[It is] God.* , Say, then: "Will you not, then, become [fully] conscious of Him-
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!
[And so it went on] till, when Our judgment came to pass, and waters gushed forth in torrents over the face of the earth,* We said [unto Noah]: "Place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex,* as well as thy family -except those on whom [Our] sentence has already been passed* -and all [others] who have attained to faith!"-for, only a few [of Noah's people] shared his faith.
[But the son] answered: "I shall betake myself to a mountain that will protect me from the waters." Said [Noah]: "Today there is no protection [for anyone] from God's judgment, save [for] those who have earned [His] mercy!" And a wave rose up between them, and [the son] was among those who were drowned.
And the word was spoken: "O earth, swallow up thy waters! And, O sky, cease [thy rain]!" And the waters sank into the earth, and the will [of God] was done, and the ark came to rest on Mount Judl* And the word was spoken: "Away with these evildoing folk!"
And so, when Our judgment came to pass,* by Our grace We saved Hud and those who shared his faith; and We saved them [too] from suffering severe [in the life to come].*
And that was [the end of the tribe of] `Ad, [who] had rejected their Sustainer's messages, and rebelled against His apostles, and followed the bidding of every arrogant enemy of the truth.*
And so, when Our judgment came to pass, by Our grace We saved Salih and those who shared his faith; and [We saved them, too,] from the ignominy of [Our rejection on] that Day [of Resurrection]. Verily, thy Sustainer alone is powerful, almighty!
Answered [the messengers]: "Dost thou deem it strange that God should decree what He wills?* The grace of God and His blessings be upon you, O people of this house! Verily, ever to be praised, sublime is He!"
[But God's messengers replied:] "O Abraham! Desist from this [pleading]! Behold, thy Sustainer's judgment has already gone forth: and, verily, there shall fall upon them a chastisement which none can avert!"
And so, when Our judgment came to pass, We turned those [sinful towns] upside down, and rained down upon them stone-hard blows of chastisement pre-ordained.* one upon another,
And so, when Our judgment came to pass, by Our grace We saved Shu'ayb and those who shared his faith, whereas the blast [of Our punishment] overtook those who had been bent on evildoing: and then they lay lifeless, in their very homes, on the ground,*
unto Pharaoh and his great ones: but these followed [only] Pharaoh's bidding - and Pharaoh's bidding led by no means to what is right.*
for, no wrong did We do to them, but it was they who wronged themselves. And when thy Sustainer's judgment came to pass, those deities of theirs which they had been wont to invoke instead of God proved of no avail whatever to them, and brought them no more than utter perdition.
And God alone comprehends the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth:* for, all that exists goes back to Him [as its source]. Worship Him, then, and place thy trust in Him alone: for thy Sustainer is not unaware of what you do.
And so, when they went away with him, they decided to cast him into the dark depths of the well. And We revealed [this] unto him: "Thou wilt yet remind them of this their deed at a time when they shall not perceive [who thou art] !"*
and they produced his tunic with false blood upon it. [But Jacob] exclaimed: "Nay, but it is your [own] minds that have made [so terrible] a happening seem a matter of little account to you!* But [as for myself,] patience in adversity is most goodly [in the sight of God]; and it is to God [alone] that I pray to give me strength to bear the misfortune which you have described to me."*
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 now,] O my companions in imprisonment, [I shall tell you the meaning of your dreams:] as for one of you two, he will [again] give his lord [the King] wine to drink; but as for the other, he will be crucified, and birds will eat off his head. [But whatever be your future,] the matter on which you have asked me to enlighten you has been decided [by God]."
[AND WHEN they returned to their father and told him what had happened,] he exclaimed: "Nay, but it is your [own] minds that have made [so terrible] a happening seem a matter of little account to you! But [as for myself,] patience in adversity is most goodly; God may well bring them all [back] unto me:* verily, He alone is all-knowing, truly wise!"
THIS ACCOUNT of something that was beyond the reach of thy perception We [now] reveal unto thee, [O Prophet:] for thou wert not with Joseph's brothers* when they resolved upon what they were going to do and wove their schemes [against him].
It is God who has raised the heavens without any supports that you could see, and is established on the throne of His almightiness;* and He [it is who] has made the sun and the moon subservient [to His laws], each running its course for a term set [by Him].* He governs all that exists. Clearly does He spell out these messages, so that you might be certain in your innermost that you are destined to meet your Sustainer [on Judgment Day].*
[thinking that] he has hosts of helpers-both such as can be perceived by him and such as are hidden from him* -that could preserve him from whatever God may have willed.* Verily, God does not change men's condition unless they change their inner selves;* and when God wills people to suffer evil [in consequence of their . own evil deeds], there is none who could avert it: for they have none who could protect them from Him.
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!
And when everything will have been decided, Satan will say: "Behold, God promised you something that was bound to come true!* I, too, held out [all manner of] promises to you -but I deceived you. Yet I had no power at all over you: I but called you-and you responded unto me. Hence, blame not me, but blame yourselves.* It is not for me to respond to your cries, nor for you to respond to mine:* for, behold, I have [always] refused to admit that there was any truth in your erstwhile belief that I had a share in God's divinity."* Verily, for all evildoers* there is grievous suffering in store.
[And remember that] it is God who has created the heavens and the earth, and who sends down water from the sky and thereby brings forth [all manner] of fruits for your sustenance; and who has made ships subservient to. you, so that they may sail through the sea at His behest; and has made the rivers subservient [to His laws, so that they be of use] to you;
And [through Our messengers] We revealed unto him this decree: "The last remnant of those [sinners] shall be wiped out"* in the morn."
GOD'S JUDGMENT is [bound to] come: do not, therefore, call for its speedy advent!* Limitless is He in His glory and sublimely exalted above anything to which men may ascribe a share in His divinity!
He causes the angels to descend with this divine inspiration,* [bestowed] at His behest upon whomever He wills of His servants: "Warn [all human beings] that there is no deity save Me: be, therefore, conscious of Me!"
And He has made the night and the day and the sun and the moon subservient [to His laws, so that they be of use] to you;* and all the stars are subservient to His command: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who use their reason!
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:
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.
AND THEY will ask thee about [the nature of] divine inspiration.* Say: "This inspiration [comes] at my Sustainer's behest; and [you cannot understand its nature, O men, since] you have been granted very little of [real] knowledge."
When those youths took refuge in the cave, they prayed: "O our Sustainer! Bestow on us grace from Thyself, and endow us, whatever our [outward] condition, with consciousness of what is right!"*
Hence, now that you have withdrawn from them and from all that they worship instead of God, take refuge in that cave: God will spread His grace over you, and will endow you - whatever your [outward] condition - with all that your souls may need!*
AND IN THIS way* have We drawn [people's] attention to their story,* so that they might know - whenever they debate among themselves as to what happened to those [Men of the Cave]* that God's promise [of resurrection] is true, and that there can be no doubt as to [the coming of] the Last Hour. And so, some [people] said: "Erect a building in their memory;* God knows best what happened to them." Said they whose opinion prevailed in the end: "Indeed, we must surely raise a house of worship in their memory!"
And contain thyself in patience by the side of all who at morn and at evening invoke their Sustainer, seeking His countenance, and let not thine eyes pass beyond them in quest of the beauties of this world's life;* and pay no heed to any whose heart We have rendered heedless of all remembrance of Us* because he had always followed [only] his own desires, abandoning all that is good and true.*
AND [remember that] when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam,"* they all prostrated themselves, save Iblis: he [too] was one of those invisible beings,* but then he turned away from his Sustainer's command. Will you, then, take him and his cohorts* for (your], masters instead of Me, although they are your foe? How vile an exchange on the evildoers' part!*
Replied [Moses]: "Thou wilt find me patient, if God so wills; and I shall not disobey thee in anything!"
Said [Moses]: "Take-me not to task for my having forgotten [myself], and be not hard on me on account of what I have done!"
"And as for that wall, it belonged to two orphan boys [living] in the town, and beneath it was [buried] a treasure belonging to them [by right].* Now their father had been a righteous man, and so thy Sustainer willed it that when they come of age they should bring forth their treasure by thy Sustainer's grace. "And I did not do (any of] this of my own accord:* this is the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience."
But as for him who believes and does righteous deeds - he will have the ultimate good [of the life to come] as his reward; and [as for us,] we shall make binding on him [only] that which is easy to fulfill."*
[The angel] answered: "Thus it is; [but] thy Sustainer says, `This is easy for Me;* and [thou shalt have a son,] so that We might make him a symbol unto mankind and an act of grace from US.* And it was a thing decreed [by God]:
It is not conceivable that God should have taken unto Himself a son: limitless is He in His glory!* When He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it "Be" -and it is!
hence, warn them of [the coming of] the Day of Regrets, when everything will have been decided-for as yet they are heedless, and they do not believe [in it].
AND [the angels say]: "We do not descend [with revelation], again and again, other than by thy Sustainer's command: unto Him belongs all that lies open before us and all that is hidden-from us and all that is in-between.* And never does thy Sustainer forget [anything]
and make my task easy for me,
and let him share my task,
So they debated among themselves as to what to do; but they kept their counsel secret,
And, indeed, even before [the return of Moses] had Aaron said unto them: "O .my people! You are but being tempted to evil by this [idol] -for, behold, your [only] Sustainer is the Most Gracious! Follow me, then, and obey my bidding!"*
from [abandoning them and] following me? Hast thou, then, [deliberately] disobeyed my commandment?"*
they speak not until He has spoken unto them, and [whenever they act,] they act at His behest.
and made them leaders who would guide [others] in accordance with Our behest: for We inspired them [with a will] to do good works, and to be constant in prayer, and to dispense charity: and Us [alone] did they worship.
And unto Solomon [We made subservient] the stormy wind, so that it sped at his behest towards the land which We had blessed:* for it is We who have knowledge of everything.
But men have torn their unity wide asunder,* [forgetting that] unto Us they all are bound to return.
[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.
Art thou not aware that it is God who has made subservient to you all that is on earth,* and the ships that sail through the sea at His behest - and [that it is He who] holds the celestial bodies* [in their orbits], so that they may not fall upon the earth otherwise than by His leave?* Verily, God is most compassionate towards men, a dispenser of grace
UNTO every community have We appointed [different] ways of worship,* which they ought to observe. Hence, [O believer,] do not let those [who follow ways other than thine] draw thee into disputes on this score,* but summon [them all] unto thy Sustainer: for, behold, thou art indeed on the right way.
[whereas their knowledge is limited,] He knows all that lies open before them and all that is hidden from them* for all things go back to God [as their source].
Thereupon We inspired him thus: Build, under Our eyes* and according to Our inspiration, the ark [that shall save thee and those who follow thee].* And when Our judgment comes to pass, and waters gush forth in torrents over the face of the earth, place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex, as well as thy family - excepting those on whom sentence has already been passed; and do not appeal to Me [any more] in behalf of those who are bent on evildoing - for, behold, they are destined to be drowned!
But they (who claim to follow you) have torn their unity wide asunder,* piece by piece, each group delighting in [but] what they themselves possess [by way of tenets].*
[TRUE BELIEVERS are only they who have attained to faith in God and His Apostle, and who, whenever they are [engaged] with him upon a matter of concern to the whole community* do not depart [from whatever has been decided upon] unless they have sought [and obtained] his leave.* Verily, those who [do not abstain from the agreed upon action unless they] ask leave of thee - it is [only] they who [truly] believe in God and His Apostle! Hence, when they ask leave of thee for some [valid] reason of their own, grant thou this leave to whomsoever of them thou choose [to grant it],* and ask God to forgive them: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!*
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].
and pay no heed to the counsel of those who are given to excesses
She added: O you nobles! Give me your opinion on the problem with which I am now faced;* I would never make a [weighty] decision unless you are present with me."
They answered: We are endowed with power and with mighty prowess in war - but the command is thine; consider, then, what thou wouldst command."
NOW [as for thee, O Muhammad,] thou wert not present on the sunset slope [of Mount Sinai] when We imposed the Law upon Moses, nor wert thou among those who witnessed [his times]:*
within a few years: [for] with God rests all power of decision, first and last.* And on that day will the believers [too, have cause to] rejoice
And among His wonders is this: the skies and the earth stand firm at His behest.* [Remember all this: for] in the end, when He will call you forth from the earth with a single call - lo! you will [all] emerge [for judgment].
for among His wonders is this: He sends forth [His messages as He sends forth] the winds that bear glad tidings,* so that He might give you a taste of His grace [through life-giving rains], and that ships might sail at His behest, and that you might go about in quest of some of His bounties, and that you might have cause to be grateful.
O my dear son! Be constant in prayer, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and bear in patience whatever [ill] may befall thee: this, behold, is something to set one's heart upon!
Now whoever surrenders his whole being unto God,* and is a doer of good withal, has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing: for with God rests the final outcome of all events.
He governs all that exists, from the celestial space to the earth; and in the end all shall ascend unto Him [for judgment] on a Day the length whereof will be [like] a thousand years of your reckoning.*
and [as] We raised among them leaders who, so long as they bore themselves with patience and had sure faith in Our messages, guided [their people] in accordance with Our behest* [so, too, shall it be with the divine writ revealed unto thee, O Muhammad.]*
Now whenever God and His Apostle have decided a matter,* it is not for a believing man or a believing woman to claim freedom of choice insofar as they themselves are concerned:* for he who [thus] rebels against God and His Apostle has already, most obviously, gone astray.
AND LO,* [O Muhammad,] thou didst say unto the one to whom God had shown favour and to whom thou hadst shown favour,* Hold on to thy wife, and remain conscious of God!" And [thus] wouldst thou hide within thyself something that God was about to bring to light* for thou didst stand in awe of [what] people [might think], whereas it was God alone of whom thou shouldst have stood in awe!* [But] then, when Zayd had come to the end of his union with her,* We gave her to thee in marriage, so that [in future] no blame should attach to the believers for [marrying] the spouses of their adopted children when the latter have come to the end of their union with them.* And [thus] God's will was done.
[Hence,] no blame whatever attaches to the Prophet for [having done] what God has ordained for him.* [Indeed, such was] God's way with those that have passed away aforetime* and [remember that] God's will is always destiny absolute-;
AND UNTO Solomon [We made subservient] the wind: its morning course [covered the distance of] a month's journey, and its evening course, a month's journey.* And We caused a fountain of molten copper to flow at his behest;* and [even] among the invisible beings there were some that had [been constrained] to labour for him by his Sustainer's leave* and whichever of them deviated from Our command, him would We let taste suffering through a blazing flame -:
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].
His Being alone* is such that when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, Be" and it is.
And so* We made subservient to him the wind, so that it gently sped at his behest whithersoever he willed,*
High above all orders [of being] is He, in almightiness enthroned.* By His Own will does He bestow inspiration upon whomever He wills of His servants, so as to warn [all human beings of the coming] of the Day when they shall meet Him*
and at that time you will [have cause to] remember what I am telling you [now]. But [as for me,] I commit myself unto God: for, verily, God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His servants."
It is He who grants life and deals death; and when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, Be" - and it is.
And, indeed, [O Muhammad,] We sent forth apostles before thy time; some of them We have mentioned to thee,* and some of them We have not mentioned to thee. And it was not given to any apostle to bring forth a miracle other than by God's leave.* Yet when God's will becomes manifest,* judgment will [already] have been passed in all justice, and lost will be, then and there, all who tried to reduce to nothing [whatever they could not understand].*
And He [it is who] decreed that they become seven heavens* in two aeons, and imparted unto each heaven its function. And We adorned the skies nearest to the earth with lights, and made them secure:* such is the ordaining of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.
and who respond to [the call of] their Sustainer and are constant in prayer; and whose rule [in all matters of common concern] is consultation among themselves;* and who spend on others out of what We provide for them as sustenance;*
But withal, if one is patient in adversity and forgives - this, behold, is indeed something to set one's heart upon!*
And thus, too,* [O Muhammad,] have We revealed unto thee a life-giving message,* [coming] at Our behest. [Ere this message came unto thee,] thou didst not know what revelation is, nor what faith [implies]:* but [now] We have caused this [message] to be a light, whereby We guide whom We will of Our servants: and, verily, [on the strength thereof] thou, too, shalt guide [men] onto the straight way -
the way that leads to God, to whom all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth belongs. Oh, verily, with God is the beginning and the end of all things!*
Why - can they [who deny the truth ever] determine what [the truth] should be?*
On that [night] was made clear, in wisdom, the distinction between all things [good and evil]*
at a behest from Ourselves: for, verily, We have always been sending [Our messages of guidance]
IT IS GOD who has made the sea subservient [to His laws, so that it be of use] to you* so that ships might sail through it at His behest, and that you might seek to obtain [what you need] of His bounty, and that you might have cause to be grateful.
And We gave them clear indications of the purpose [of faith];* and it was only after all this knowledge had been vouchsafed to them that they began, out of mutual jealousy, to hold divergent views:* [but,] verily, thy Sustainer will judge between them on Resurrection Day regarding all whereon they were wont to differ.*
And, finally, [O Muhammad,] We have set thee on a way by which the purpose [of faith] may be fulfilled:* so follow thou this [way], and follow not the likes and dislikes of those who do not know [the truth].*
bound to destroy everything at its Sustainer's behest!" And then they were so utterly wiped out* that nothing could be seen save their [empty] dwellings: thus do We requite people lost in sin.
obedience [to God's call] and a word that could win [His] approval:* for, since the matter has been resolved [by His revelation], it would be but for their own good to remain true to God.
[they do turn their backs on it] inasmuch as* they are wont to say unto those who abhor all that God has revealed, We will comply with your views on some points."* But God knows their secret thoughts:
And know that God's Apostle is among you:* were he to comply with your inclinations in each and every case,* you would be bound to come to harm [as a community]. But as it is, God has caused [your] faith to be dear to you, and has given it beauty in your hearts, and has made hateful to you all denial of the truth, and all iniquity, and all rebellion [against what is good]. Such indeed are they who follow the right course
Hence, if two groups of believers fall to fighting,* make peace between them; but then, if one of the two [groups] goes on acting wrongfully towards the other, fight against the one that acts wrongfully until it reverts to God's commandment;* and if they revert, make peace between them with justice, and deal equitably [with them]: for verily, God loves those who act equitably!
Nay, but they [who refuse to believe in resurrection] have been wont to give the lie to this truth whenever it was proffered to them; and so they are in a state of confusion.*
and those that apportion [the gift of life] at [God's] behest!*
after they had turned with disdain from their Sustainer's commandment - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment overtook them while they were [helplessly] looking on:
for they are bent on giving it the lie,* being always wont to follow their own desires. Yet everything reveals its truth in the end.*
and caused the earth to burst forth with springs, so that the waters met for a purpose pre-ordained:
and Our ordaining [a thing and its coming into being] is but one [act], like the twinkling of an eye.*
His is the dominion over the heavens and the earth; and all things go back unto God [as their source].
They [who will remain without] will call out to those [within], Were we not with you?" - [to which] the others will answer: So it was! But you allowed yourselves to succumb to temptation,* and you were hesitant [in your faith],* and you were doubtful [of resurrection]; and your wishful thinking beguiled you until God's command came to pass:* for, [indeed, your own] deceptive thoughts about God deluded you*
[To both kinds of your enemies, O believers, is bound to happen]* the like of [what happened to] those who, a short while before them, had to taste the evil that came from their own doings,* with [yet more] grievous suffering awaiting them [in the life to come]:
HAVE THE STORIES of those who, in earlier times, refused to acknowledge the truth never yet come within your ken? [They denied it -] and so they had to taste the evil outcome of their own doings,* with [more] grievous suffering awaiting them [in the life to come]:
O PROPHET! When you* [intend to divorce women, divorce them with a view to the waiting period appointed for them,* and reckon the period [carefully], and be conscious of God, your Sustainer. Do not expel them from their homes;* and neither shall they [be made to] leave* unless they become openly guilty of immoral conduct.* These, then, are the bounds set by God - and he who transgresses the bounds set by God does indeed sin against himself: [for, O man, although] thou knowest it not, after that [first breach] God may well cause something new to come about.*
and provides for him in a manner beyond all expectation;* and for everyone who places his trust in God He [alone] is enough. Verily, God always attains to His purpose: [and] indeed, unto everything has God appointed its [term and] measure.
Now as for such of your women as are beyond, the age of monthly courses, as well as for such as do not have any courses,* their waiting-period - if you have any doubt [about it] - shall be three [calendar] months; and as for those who are with child, the end of their waiting-term shall come when they deliver their burden. And for everyone who is conscious of God, He makes it easy to obey His commandment:*
[for] all this is God's commandment, which He has bestowed upon you from on high. And unto everyone who is conscious of God will He pardon [some of] his bad deeds, and will grant him a vast reward.
AND HOW MANY a community has turned with disdain from the commandment of its Sustainer and His apostles!* -whereupon We callled them all to account with an accounting severe, and caused them to suffer with a suffering unnameable:
and thus they had to taste the evil outcome of their own doing:* for, [in this world,] the end of their doings was ruin,
GOD is He who has created seven heavens,* and, like them, [the many aspects] of the earth. Through all of them flows down from on high, unceasingly, His [creative] will,* so that you might come to know that God has the power to will anything, and that God encompasses all things with His knowledge.
and thus they fulfil the [Creator's] behest!
[It will be] a Day when no human being shall be of the least avail to another human being: for on that Day [it will become manifest that] all sovereignty is God's alone.
in hosts descend in it the angels,* bearing divine inspiration* by their Sustainer's leave; from all [evil] that may happen