But they say, "Our hearts are already full of knowledge."* Nay, but God has rejected them because of their refusal to acknowledge the truth: for, few are the things in which they believe.*
Is it not so that every time they made a promise [unto God], some of them cast it aside? Nay, indeed: most of them do not believe.
And yet some people assert, "God has taken unto Himself a son!" Limitless is He in His glory!* Nay, but His is all that is in the heavens and on earth; all things devoutly obey His will.
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."
And say not of those who are slain in God's cause, "They are dead": nay, they are alive, but you perceive it not.
But when they are told, "Follow what God has bestowed from on high," some answer, "Nay, we shall follow [only] that which we found our forefathers believing in and doing." Why, even if their forefathers did not use their reason at all, and were devoid of all guidance?
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!"
Nay, but God alone is your Lord Supreme, and His is the best succour.*
But do not think of those that have been slain in God's cause as dead. Nay, they are alive! With their Sustainer have they their sustenance,
AND THEY should not think - they who niggardly cling to all that God has granted them out of His bounty - that this is good for them: nay, it is bad for them.* That to which they [so] niggardly cling will, on the Day of Resurrection, be hung about their necks: for unto God [alone] belongs the heritage of the heavens and of the earth; and God is aware of all that you do.
Art thou not aware of those who consider themselves pure?* Nay, but it is God who causes whomever He wills to grow in purity; and none shall be wronged by as much as a hair's breadth.*
And so, [We punished them* ] for the breaking of their pledge, and their refusal to acknowledge God's messages, and their slaying of prophets against all right, and their boast, "Our hearts are already full of knowledge"- nay, but God has sealed their hearts in result of their denial of the truth, and [now] they believe in but few things - ;*
nay, God exalted him unto Himself* - and God is indeed almighty, wise.
And [both] the Jews and the Christians say, "We are God's children,* and His beloved ones." Say: "Why, then, does He cause you to suffer for your sins? Nay, you are but human beings of His creating. He forgives whom He wills, and He causes to suffer whom He wills: for God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and with Him is all journeys' end."
And the Jews say, "God's hand is shackled!" It is their own hands that are shackled; and rejected [by God] are they because of this their assertion.* Nay, but wide are His hands stretched out: He dispenses [bounty] as He wills. But all that has been bestowed from on high upon thee [O Prophet] by thy Sustainer is bound to make many of them yet more stubborn in their overweening arrogance and in their denial of the truth. And so We have cast enmity and hatred among the followers of the Bible ,* [to last] until Resurrection Day; every time they light the fires of war, God extinguishes them ;* and they labour hard to spread corruption on earth: and God does not -love the spreaders of corruption.
But nay -[they will say this only because] the truth which they used to conceal [from themselves] in the past will have become obvious to them; and if they were brought back [to life], they would return to the very thing which was forbidden to them: for behold, they are indeed liars!*
Nay, but it is Him alone that you will invoke - whereupon He may, if He so wills, remove that [ill] which caused you to call unto Him; and you will have forgotten all that. to which you [now] ascribe divinity side by side with Him."
Verily, with lust you approach men instead of women: nay, but you are people given to excesses!"
And most certainly have We destined for hell many of the invisible beings* and men who have hearts with which they fail to grasp the truth, and eyes with which they fail to see, and ears with which they fail to hear. They are like cattle -nay, they are even less conscious of the right way:* it is they, they who are the [truly] heedless!
Nay, but they are bent on giving the lie to everything the wisdom whereof they do not comprehend, and ere its inner meaning has become clear to them* Even thus did those who lived before their time give the lie to the truth: and behold what happened in the end to those evildoers!
But the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth, answered: "We do not see in thee anything but a mortal man like ourselves; and we do not see that any follow thee save those who are quite obviously the most abject among us;* and we do not see that you could be in any way superior to us:* on the ,contrary, we think that you are liars!"
and 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 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!"
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!
IS, THEN, HE who has every living being* in His almighty care, [dealing with each] according to what it deserves* -[is, then, He like anything else that exists]? And yet, they ascribe to other beings a share in God's divinity! Say: "Give them any name [you please]:* but do you [really think that you could] inform Him of anything on earth that He does not know-or [do you] but play with words ?,* Nay, goodly seems their false imagery* to those who are bent on denying the truth, and so they are turned away from the [right] path: and he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide.*
they would surely have said, "It is only our eyes that are spellbound! Nay, we have been bewitched!,*
They answered: "Nay, but we have come unto thee with [the announcement of] something that they [who are given to evil] have always been wont to call in question,*
God propounds [to you] the parable of [two men-] a man enslaved, unable to do anything of his own accord, and a [free] man upon whom We have bestowed goodly sustenance [as a gift] from Ourselves, so that he can spend thereof [at will, both] secretly and openly. Can these [two] be deemed equal?* All praise is due to God [alone]: but most of them do not understand it.
And now that We replace one message by another* -since God is fully aware of what He bestows from on high, step by step* - they [who deny the truth] are wont to say, "Thou but inventest it!" Nay, but most of them do not understand it!*
And they will be lined up before thy Sustainer, [and He will say:* ] "Now, indeed, you have come unto Us [in a lonely state], even as We created you in the first instances* - although you were wont to assert that We would never 'appoint for you a meeting [with Us]!"
Yet, [withal,] thy Sustainer is the Truly-Forgiving One, limitless in His grace. Were He to take them [at once] to task for whatever [wrong] they commit, He would indeed bring about their speedy punishment [then and there]:* but nay, they have a time-limit beyond which they shall find no redemption*
He answered: "Nay, you throw [first]." And lo! by virtue of their sorcery, their [magic] ropes and staffs seemed to him to be moving rapidly:
Nay," they say, [Muhammad propounds] the most involved and confusing of dreams!"* Nay, but he has invented [all] this!" - Nay, but he is [only] a poet!" - [and,] Let him, then, come unto us with a miracle, just as those [prophets] of old were sent [with miracles]?"
Nay, but [by the very act of creation] We hurl the truth against falsehood,* and it crushes the latter: and lo! it withers away.* But woe unto you for all your [attempts at] defining [God] *
and yet,* they choose to worship [imaginary] deities instead of Him! Say [O Prophet]: Produce an evidence for what you are claiming:* this is a reminder [unceasingly voiced] by those who are with me, just as it was a reminder [voiced] by those who came before me."* But nay, most of them do not know the truth, and so they stubbornly turn away [from it]*
And [yet,] some say, The Most Gracious has taken unto Himself a son"! Limitless is He in His glory!* Nay, [those whom they regard as God's offspring" are but His] honoured servants:*
Nay, but [the Last Hour] will come upon them of a sudden, and will stupefy them: and they will be unable to avert it, and neither wilt they be allowed any respite.
Say: Who could protect you, by night or by day, from the Most Gracious?"* And yet, from a remembrance of their Sustainer do they stubbornly turn away!
Nay, We have allowed these [sinners] as [We allowed] their forebears to enjoy the good things of life for a great length of time:* but then have they never yet seen how We visit the earth [with Our punishment], gradually depriving it of all that is best thereon?* Can they, then, [hope to] be the winners?
He answered: Nay, but your [true] Sustainer is the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth - He who has brought them into being: and I am one of those who bear witness to this [truth]!"
He answered: Nay, it was this one, the biggest of them, that did it: but ask them [yourselves] - provided they can speak!"
the while the true promise [of resurrection] draws close [to its fulfillment]. But then, lo! the eyes of those who [in their lifetime] were bent on denying the truth will stare in horror, [and they will exclaim:] Oh, woe unto us! We were indeed heedless of this [promise of resurrection]! - nay, we were [bent on] doing evil!"*
We [but want to] make them vie with one another in doing [what they consider] good works?* Nay, but they do not perceive [their error]!
NAY, [as for those who have torn asunder the unity of faith] - their hearts are lost in ignorance of all this!* But apart from that [breach of unity] they have [on their conscience even worse] deeds;* and they will [continue to] commit them
Or do they say. There is madness in him"? Nay, he has brought them the truth - and the truth do most of them detest!*
But if the truth* were in accord with their own likes and dislikes, the heavens and the earth would surely have fallen into ruin, and all that lives in them [would long ago have perished]!* Nay, [in this divine writ] We have conveyed unto them all that they ought to bear in mind:* and from this their reminder they [heedlessly] turn away!
But nay, they speak as the people of olden times did speak:
Nay, We have conveyed unto them the truth: and yet, behold, they are intent on lying [to themselves]!*
Verily, numerous among you are those who would falsely accuse others of unchastity:* [but, O you who are thus wronged,] deem it not a bad thing for you: nay, it is good for you!* [As for the slanderers,] unto every one of them [will be accounted] all that he has earned by [thus] sinning; and awesome suffering awaits any of them who takes it upon himself to enhance this [sin]!*
Is there disease in their hearts? Or have they begun to doubt [that this is a divine writ]? Or do they fear that God and His Apostle might deal unjustly with them?* Nay, it is [but] they, they who are doing wrong [to themselves]!
But nay! It is [the very coming of] the Last Hour to which they give the lie! However, for such as give the lie to [the announcement of] the Last Hour We have readied a blazing flame:
And they [who now deny Our messages] must surely have come across that town which was rained upon by a rain of evil:* have they, then, never beheld it [with their minds eye]? But nay, they would not believe in resurrection!*
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!*
They exclaimed: But we found our forefathers doing the same!"*
keeping yourselves aloof from all the [lawful] spouses whom your Sustainer has created for you? Nay, but you are people who transgress all bounds of what is right!"
Now when [the Queen's messenger] came unto Solomon, he said: Do you people mean to add to my wealth? But that which God has given me* is [so much] better than all that He has given you! Nay, it is [only such as] you* that would rejoice in this gift of yours!
They answered: We augur evil from thee and those that follow thee!"* Said he: Your destiny, good or evil, rests with God yea, you are people undergoing a test!"*
Must you really approach men with lust instead of women? Nay, but you are people without any awareness (of right and wrong)!"
Nay - who is it that has created the heavens and the earth, and sends down for you [life-giving] water from the skies? For it is by this means that We cause gardens of shining beauty to grow - [whereas] it is not in your power to cause [even one single of] its trees to grow! Could there be any divine power besides God? Nay, they [who think so] are people who swerve [from the path of reason]
Nay - who is it that has made the earth a fitting abode* [for living things], and has caused running waters [to flow] in its midst, and has set upon it mountains firm, and has placed a barrier between the two great bodies of water?* Could there be any divine power besides God? Nay, most of those [who think so] do not know [what they are saying]!
nay, their knowledge of the life to come stops short of the truth:* nay, they are [often] in doubt as to its reality: nay, they are blind to it.*
Nay, but this [divine writ] consists of messages clear to the hearts of all who are gifted with [innate] knowledge* and none could knowingly reject Our messages unless it be such as would do wrong [to themselves].
And thus it is: if thou ask them, Who is it that sends down water from the skies, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless?" - they will surely answer, God." Say thou: [Since this is so,] all praise is due to God [alone]!" But most of them will not use their reason:
But nay - they who are bent on evildoing follow but their own desires, without having any knowledge (of the truth).* And who could guide those whom God has [thus] let go astray, and who (thereupon) have none to succour them?*
[All] this is God's creation: show Me, then, what others than He may have created! Nay, but the evildoers* are obviously lost in error!
and when such [people] are told to follow that which God has bestowed from on high, they answer, Nay, we shall follow that which we found our forefathers believing in and doing!" Why - [would you follow your forefathers] even if Satan had invited them unto the suffering of the blazing flame?*
AND THUS it is [with most people]: if* thou ask them, Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth?" - they will surely answer, God." Say: [Then you ought to know that] all praise is due to God!"- for most of them do not know [what this implies].*
and yet,* they [who are bent on denying the truth] assert, [Muhammad] has invented it!" Nay, but it is the truth from thy Sustainer, enabling thee to warn [this] people to whom no warner has come before thee, so that they might follow the right path.
For, [many are] they [who] say, What! After we have been [dead and] lost in the earth, shall we indeed be [restored to life] in a new act of creation?" Nay, but [by saying this] they deny the truth that they are destined to meet their Sustainer!*
Does he [knowingly] attribute his own lying inventions to God - or is he a madman?" Nay, [there is no madness in this Prophet -] but they who will not believe in the life to come are [bound to lose themselves] in suffering and in a profound aberration.*
Say: Point out to me those [beings] that you have joined with Him [in your minds] as partners [in His divinity]! Nay - nay, but He [alone] is God, the Almighty, the Wise!"
[And] those who were wont to glory in their arrogance will say unto those who had been weak: Why - did we keep you [forcibly] from following the right path after it had become obvious to you?* Nay, it was but you [yourselves] who were guilty!"
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?
They will answer: Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Thou [alone] art close unto us, not they!* Nay, [when they thought that they were worshipping us,] they were but [blindly] worshipping forces concealed from their senses; most of them believed in them."*
Say: Have you ever [really] considered those beings and forces to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity,* [and] whom you invoke beside God? Show me what it is that they have created on earth - or do [you claim that] they have a share in [governing] the heavens?" Have We ever vouchsafed them* a divine writ on which they could rely as evidence [in support of their views]?* Nay, [the hope which] the evildoers hold out to one another [is] nothing but a delusion.*
[The apostles] replied: Your destiny, good or evil, is [bound up] with yourselves!* [Does it seem evil to you] if you are told to take [the truth] to heart? Nay, but you are people who have wasted their own selves!"*
Nay, but whereas thou dost marvel, they [only] scoff;*
Nay, but on that Day they would willingly surrender [to God];
[To which] the others will reply: Nay, you yourselves were bereft of all faith!
Moreover, we had no power at all over you: nay, you were people filled with overweening arrogance!
Nay, but he [whom you call a mad poet] has brought the truth; and he confirms the truth of [what the earlier of God's] message-bearers [have taught].*
But nay - they who are bent on denying the truth are lost in [false] pride, and [hence] deeply in the wrong.*
What! Upon him alone from among all of us should a [divine] reminder have been bestowed from on high?" Nay, but it is My Own reminder that they distrust!* Nay, they have not yet tasted the suffering which I do impose!*
[And] they [who had been seduced] will exclaim: Nay, but it is you! No welcome to you! It is you who have prepared this for us: and how vile a state to abide in!"
[To this end,] God sets forth a parable: A man who has for his masters several partners,* [all of them] at variance with one another, and a man depending wholly on one person: can these two be deemed equal as regards their condition?* [Nay,] all praise is due to God [alone]: but most of them do not understand this.
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us for help; but when We bestow upon him a boon by Our grace, he says [to himself], I have been given [all] this by virtue of [my own] wisdom!"* Nay, this [bestowal of grace] is a trial: but most of them understand it not!
Nay, but thou shalt worship God [alone], and be among those who are grateful [to Him]!
side by side with God?" They will answer: They have forsaken us - or, rather, what we were wont to invoke aforetime did not exist at all!"* And they will be told:] It is thus that God lets the deniers of the truth go astray:*
Nay, but they say, Behold, We found our forefathers agreed on what to believe - and, verily, it is in their footsteps that we find our guidance!"
Now [as for those who did come after him,] I allowed them - as [I had allowed] their forebears - to enjoy their lives freely until the truth should come unto them through an apostle who would make all things clear:*
and say, Which is better - our deities or he?"* [But] it is only in the spirit of dispute that they put this comparison before thee: yea, they are contentious folk!*
Nay, but they [who lack inner certainty] are but Dying with their doubts.*
And so, when they beheld it* in the shape of a dense cloud approaching their valleys, they exclaimed, This is but a heavy cloud which will bring us [welcome] rain!" [But Hud said:] Nay, but it is the very thing which you [so contemptuously] sought to hasten - a wind bearing grievous suffering,
But, then, did those [beings] whom they had chosen to worship as deities beside God, hoping that they would bring them nearer [to Him], help them [in the end]?* Nay, they forsook them: for that [alleged divinity] was but an outcome of their self-delusion and all their false imagery.*
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!
Nay, you thought that the Apostle and the believers would never return to their kith and kin: and this seemed goodly to your hearts.* And you entertained [such] evil thoughts because you have always been people devoid of all good!"
As soon as you [O believers] are about to set forth on a war that promises booty,* those who stayed behind [aforetime] will surely say, Allow us to go with you" - [thus showing that] they would like to alter the Word of God.* Say: By no means shall you go with us: God has declared aforetime [to whom all spoils shall belong]."* Thereupon they will [surely] answer, Nay, but you begrudge us [our share of booty]!" Nay, they can grasp but so little of the truth!
Many people* think that they have bestowed a favour upon thee [O Prophet] by having surrendered [to thee].* Say thou: Deem not your surrender a favour unto me: nay, but it is God who bestows a favour upon you by showing you the way to faith - if you are true to your word!"
But nay - they deem it strange that a warner should have come unto them from their own midst;* and so these deniers of the truth are saying, A strange thing is this!
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.*
Could We, then, be [thought of as being] worn out by the first creation?* Nay - but some people* are [still] lost in doubt about [the possibility of] a new creation!
Have they, perchance, handed down this [way of thinking] as a legacy unto one another? Nay, they are people filled with overweening arrogance!
Or do they say, He himself has composed this [message]"? Nay, but they are not willing to believe!
[And] have they created the heavens and the earth?* Nay, but they have no certainty of anything!
Why - on him alone from among all of us should a [divine] reminder have been bestowed? Nay, but he is a boastful liar!"
But nay - the Last Hour is the time when they shall truly meet their fate;* and that Last Hour will be most calamitous, and most bitter:
Nay, but we have been deprived [of our livelihood]!"
Or is there any that could provide you with sustenance if He should withhold His provision [from you]? Nay, but they [who are bent on denying the truth] stubbornly persist in their disdain [of God's messages] and in their headlong flight [from Him]!
- [and then,] "Nay, but we have been rendered destitute!"
Yea, everyone of them claims that he [himself] ought to have been given revelations unfolded!*
Nay, but they do not [believe in and, hence, do not] fear the life to come.
None the less man chooses to deny what lies ahead of him,
nay, but man shall against himself be an eye-witness,
NAY, but [most of] you love this fleeting life,
Nay, [O men,] but you [are lured away from God whenever you are tempted to] give the lie to [God's] Judgment!*
Nay, but their hearts are corroded by all [the evil] that they were wont to do!*
Nay, but they who are bent on denying the truth give the lie [to this divine writ]!
And yet, they who are bent on denying the truth persist in giving it the lie:
Nay, but this [divine writ which they reject] is a discourse sublime,
But nay, [O men,] you prefer the life of this world,
But nay, nay, [O men, consider all that you do and fail to do:] you are not generous towards the orphan,