And when Moses came [to Mount Sinai] at the time set by Us, and his Sustainer spoke unto him, he said: "O my Sustainer! Show [Thyself] unto me, so that I might behold Thee!" Said [God]: "Never canst thou see Me. However, behold this mountain: if it remains firm in its place, then - only then - wilt thou see Me.* And as soon as his Sustainer revealed His glory to the mountain, He caused it to crumble to dust; and Moses fell down in a swoon. And when he came to himself, he said: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Unto Thee do I turn in repentance; and I shall [always] be the first to believe in Thee!"*
And [on that Day,] the trumpet [of judgment] will be sounded, and all [creatures] that are in the heavens and all that are on earth will fall down senseless, unless they be such as God wills [to exempt].* And then it will sound again - and lo! standing [before the Seat of Judgment], they will begin to see [the truth]!*
Hence, leave them alone until they face that [Judgment] Day of theirs, when they will be stricken with terror:
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 [remember] when you said, "O Moses. indeed we shall not believe thee unto we see God face to face!" - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment* overtook you before your very eyes.
THE FOLLOWERS of the Old Testament* demand of thee [O Prophet] that thou cause a revelation to be sent down to them from heaven.* And an even greater thing than this did they demand of Moses when they said, "Make us see God face to face" - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment overtook them for this their wickedness.* After that, they took to worshipping the [golden] calf - and this after all evidence of the truth had come unto them! None the less, We effaced this [sin of theirs], and vouchsafed unto Moses a clear proof [of the truth],
and the thunder extols His limitless glory and praises Him, and [so do] the angels, in awe of Him; and He [it is who] lets loose the thunderbolts and strikes with them whom He wills. And yet, they stubbornly argue about God,* notwithstanding [all evidence] that He alone has the power to contrive whatever His unfathomable wisdom wills!*
BUT IF they turn away, say:* I warn you of [the coming of] a thunderbolt of punishment* like the thunderbolt [that fell upon the tribes] of Ad and Thamud!"*
And as for [the tribe of] Thamud, We offered them guidance, but they chose blindness in preference to guidance: and so the thunderbolt of shameful suffering fell upon them as an outcome of all [the evil] that they had wrought;
after they had turned with disdain from their Sustainer's commandment - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment overtook them while they were [helplessly] looking on: