THIS DIVINE WRIT - let there be no doubt about it is [meant to be] a guidance for all the God-conscious.*
In their hearts is disease, and so God lets their disease increase; and grievous suffering awaits them because of their persistent lying.*
And when they are told, "Do not spread corruption on earth," they answer, "We are but improving things!"
God will requite them for their mockery,* and will leave them for a while in their overweening arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro:
Their parable is that of people who kindle a fire: but as soon as it has illumined all around them, God takes away their light and leaves them in utter darkness, wherein they cannot see:
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.
The lightning well-nigh takes away their sight; whenever it gives them light, they advance therein, and whenever darkness falls around them, they stand still. And if God so willed, He could indeed take away their hearing and their sight:* for, verily, God has the power to will anything.
And if you doubt any part of what We have, bestowed from on high, step by step, upon Our servant [Muhammad],* then produce a surah of similar merit, and call upon any other than God to bear witness for you* -if what you say is true!
But unto those who have attained to faith and do good works give the glad tiding that theirs shall be gardens through which running waters flow. Whenever they are granted fruits there from as their appointed sustenance, they will say, "It is this that in days of yore was granted to us as our sustenance!"-for they shall be given something that will recall that [past].* And there shall they have spouses pure, and there shall they abide.
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.
He it is who has created for you all that is on earth, and has applied His design to the heavens and fashioned them into seven heavens;* and He alone has full knowledge of everything.
AND LO!* Thy Sustainer said unto the angels: "Behold, I am about to establish upon earth one who shall inherit it."* They said: "Wilt Thou place on it such as will spread corruption thereon and shed blood -whereas it is we who extol Thy limitless glory, and praise Thee, and hallow Thy name?" [God] answered: "Verily, I know that which you do not know."
But Satan caused them both to stumble therein, and thus brought about the loss of their erstwhile state.* And so We said: "Down with you, [and be henceforth] enemies unto one another; and on earth you shall have your abode and your livelihood for a while !"*
but those who are bent on denying the truth and giving the lie to Our messages - they are destined for the fire, and therein shall they abide.
And [remember the time] when We saved you from Pharaoh's people, who afflicted you with cruel suffering, slaughtering your sons and sparing [only] your women* - which was an awesome trial from your Sustainer;
And [remember] when Moses prayed for water for his people and We replied, "Strike the rock with thy staff!"-whereupon twelve springs gushed forth from it, so that all the people knew whence to drink.* [And Moses said:] "Eat and drink the sustenance provided by God, and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption."
AND LO! We accepted your solemn pledge, raising Mount Sinai high above you,* [and saying;] "Hold fast with [all your] strength unto what We have vouchsafed you, and bear in mind all that is therein, so that you might remain conscious of God!"
for you are well aware of those from among you who profaned the Sabbath, whereupon We said unto them, "Be as apes despicable!"
[Moses] answered: "Behold, He says it is to be a cow not broken-in to plough the earth or to water the crops, free of fault, without markings of any other colour."Said they: "At last thou hast brought out the truth!"-and thereupon they sacrificed her, although they had almost left it undone.*
For, O children of Israel, because you had slain a human being and then cast the blame for this [crime] upon one another -although God will bring to light what you would conceals*
Yea! Those who earn evil and by their sinfulness are engulfed - they are destined for the fire. therein to abide;
whereas those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds -they are destined for paradise, therein to abide.
And yet, it is you who slay one another and drive some of your own people from their homelands, aiding one another against them in sin and hatred; but if they come to you as captives, you ransom them - although the very [act of] driving them away has been made unlawful to you!* . Do you, then, believe in some parts of the divine writ and deny the truth pf other parts? What, then, could be the reward of those among you who do such things but ignominy in the life of this world and, on the Day of Resurrection, commitment to most grievous suffering? For God is not unmindful of what you do.
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 follow [instead] that which the evil ones used to practice during Solomon's reign - for it was not Solomon who denied the truth, but those evil ones denied it by teaching people sorcery* -; and [they follow] that which has come down through the two angels in Babylon, Hurut and Marut-although these two never taught it to anyone without first declaring, "We are but a temptation to evil: do not, then, deny [God's] truth!"* And they learn from these two how to create discord between a man and his wife; but whereas they can harm none thereby save by God's leave, they acquire a knowledge that only harms themselves and does not benefit them - although they know; indeed, that he who acquires this [knowledge] shall have no share in the good of the life to come.* For, vile indeed is that [art] for which they have sold their own selves -had they but known it!
Furthermore, the Jews assert, "The Christians have no valid ground for their beliefs," while the Christians assert, "The Jews have no valid ground for their beliefs" - and both quote the divine writ! Even thus, like unto what they say, have [always] spoken those who were devoid of knowledge;"* but it is God who will judge between them on Resurrection Day with regard to all on which they were wont to differ.*
Hence, who could be more wicked than those who bar the mention of God's name from [any of] His houses of worship and strive for their ruin, [although] they have no right to enter them save in fear [of God]?* For them, in this world, there is ignominy in store; and for them, in the life to come, awesome suffering.
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.
"O our Sustainer! Raise up from the midst of our off spring* an apostle from among themselves, who shall convey unto them Thy messages, and impart unto them revelation as well as wisdom, and cause them to grow in purity: for, verily, Thou alone art almighty, truly wise!"
And who, unless he be weak of mind, would want to abandon Abraham's creed, seeing that We have indeed raised him high in this world, and that, verily, in the life to come he shall be among the righteous?
And if [others] come to believe in the way you believe, they will indeed find themselves on the right path; and if they turn away, it is but they who will be deeply in the wrong, and God will protect thee from them: for He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing.
Say [to the Jews and the Christians]: "Do you argue with us about God?* But He is our Sustainer as well as your Sustainer - and unto us shall be accounted our deeds, and unto you, your deeds; and it- is unto Him alone that we devote ourselves.
We have seen thee [O Prophet] often turn thy face towards heaven [for guidance]: and now We shall indeed make thee turn in prayer in a direction which will fulfil thy desire. Turn, then, thy face towards the Inviolable House of Worship; and wherever you all may be, turn your faces towards it [in prayer]. And, verily, those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime know well that this [commandment] comes in truth from their Sustainer; and God is not unaware of what they do.
Even as We have sent unto you an apostle from among yourselves to convey unto you Our messages, and to cause you to grow in purity, and to impart unto you revelation and wisdom, and to teach you that which you knew not:
And say not of those who are slain in God's cause, "They are dead": nay, they are alive, but you perceive it not.
BEHOLD, as for those who suppress aught of the evidence of the truth and of the guidance which We have bestowed from on high, after We have made it clear unto mankind through the divine writ - these it is whom God will reject, and whom all who can judge will reject.*
In this state shall they abide; [and] neither will their suffering, be lightened, nor will they be granted respite.
Verily, in the creation of the heavens and of the earth, and the succession of night and day: and in the ships that speed through the sea with what is useful to man: and in the waters which God sends down from the sky, giving life thereby to the earth after it had, been lifeless, and causing all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon: and in the change of the winds, and the clouds that run their appointed courses between sky and earth: [in all this] there are messages indeed for people who use their reason.*
O MANKIND! Partake of what is lawful and good on earth, and follow not Satan's footsteps: for, verily, he is your open foe,
VERILY, as for those who suppress aught of the revelation* which God has bestowed from on high, and barter it away for a trifling gain - they but fill their bellies with fire. And God will not speak unto them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He cleanse them [of their sins]; and grievous suffering awaits them.
Thus it is: since it is God who bestows* the divine writ from on high, setting forth the truth, all those who set their own views against the divine writ* are, verily, most deeply in the wrong.
True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west* - but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day; and the angels, and revelation,* and the prophets; and spends his substance - however much he himself may cherish - it - upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer,* and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage;* and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Just retribution is ordained for you in cases of killing: the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the woman for the woman.* And if something [of his guilt] is remitted to a guilty person by his brother,* this [remission] shall be adhered to with fairness, and restitution to his fellow-man shall be made in a goodly manner.* This is an alleviation from your Sustainer, and an act of His grace. And for him who, none the less,* wilfully transgresses the bounds of what is right, there is grievous suffering in store:
for, in [the law of] just retribution, O you who are endowed with insight, there is life for you, so that you might remain conscious of God!*
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].
IT IS lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the [day's] fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right,* and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves of that which God has ordained for you,* and eat and drink until you can discern the white streak of dawn against the blackness of night,* and then resume fasting until nightfall; but do not lie with them skin to skin when you are about to abide in meditation in houses of worship.* These are the bounds set by God: do not, then, offend against them - [for] it is thus that God makes clear His messages unto mankind, so that they might remain conscious of Him.
AND FIGHT in God's cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression-for, verily, God does not love aggressors.*
And slay them wherever you may come upon them, and drive them away from wherever they drove you away - for oppression is even worse than killing.* And fight not against them near the Inviolable House of Worship unless they fight against you there first;* but if they fight against you, slay them: such shall be the recompense of those who deny the truth.
And spend [freely] in God's cause, and let not your own hands throw you into destruction;* and persevere in doing good: behold, God loves the doers of good.
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.*
The pilgrimage shall take place in the months appointed for it.* And whoever undertakes the pilgrimage in those [months] shall, while on pilgrimage, abstain from lewd speech, from all wicked conduct, and from quarrelling; and whatever good you may do, God is aware of it. And make provision for yourselves - but, verily, the best of all provisions is God-consciousness: remain, then, conscious of Me, O you who are endowed with insight!
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.
But there are among them such as pray, "O our Sustainer! Grant us good in this world and good in the life to come, and keep us safe from suffering through the fire":
And bear God in mind during the appointed days;* but he who hurries away within two days shall incur no sin, and he who tarries longer shall incur no sin, provided that he is conscious of God. Hence, remain conscious of God, and know that unto Him you shall be gathered.
NOW THERE IS a kind of man* whose views on the life of this world may please thee greatly, and [the more so as] he cites God as witness to what is in his heart and is, moreover, exceedingly skillful in argument.*
But whenever he prevails, he goes about the earth spreading corruption and destroying [man's] tilth and progeny:* and God does not love corruption.
O you who have attained to faith! Surrender yourselves wholly unto God,* and follow not Satan's footsteps, for, verily, he is your open foe.
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?*
ALL MANKIND were once one single community; [then they began to differ - ] whereupon God raised up the prophets as heralds of glad tidings and as warners, and through them bestowed revelation from on high, setting forth the truth, so that it might decide between people with regard to all on which they had come to hold divergent views.* Yet none other than the selfsame people who had been granted this [revelation] began, out of mutual jealousy, to disagree about its meaning after all evidence of the truth had come unto them. But God guided the believers unto the truth about which, by His leave, they had disagreed: for God guides onto a straight way him that wills [to be guided].*
They will ask thee about fighting in the sacred month.* Say: "Fighting in it is an awesome thing (grave transgression); but turning men away from the path of God and denying Him, and [turning them away from] the Inviolable House of Worship and expelling its people there from - [all this] is yet more awesome (greater transgression) in the sight of God, since oppression is more awesome (greater transgression) than killing." [Your enemies] will not cease to fight against you till they have turned you away from your faith, if they can. But if any of you should turn away from his faith and die as a denier of the truth - these it is whose works will go for nought in this world and in the life to come; and these it is who are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
Verily, they who have attained to faith, and they who have forsaken the domain of evil* and are striving hard in God's cause - these it is who may look forward to God's grace: for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
THEY WILL ASK thee about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: "In both there is great evil* as well as some benefit for man; but the evil which they cause is greater than the benefit which they bring."* And they will ask thee as to what they should spend [in God's cause]. Say: "Whatever you can spare." In this way God makes clear unto you His messages, so that you might reflect
on this world and on the life to come. And they will ask thee about [how to deal with] orphans. Say: "To improve their condition is best." And if you share their life, [remember that] they are your brethren:* for God distinguishes between him who spoils things and him who improves. And had God so willed, He would indeed have imposed on you hardships which you would not have been able to bear:* [but,] behold, God is almighty, wise!
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.
God will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought, but will take you to task [only] for what your hearts have conceived [in earnest]: for God is much-forgiving, forbearing.
And the divorced women shall undergo, without remarrying,* a waiting-period of three monthly courses: for it is not lawful for them to conceal what God may have created in their wombs,* if they believe in God and the Last Day. And during this period their husbands are fully entitled to take them back, if they desire reconciliation; but, in accordance with justice, the rights of the wives [with regard to their husbands] are equal to the [husbands'] rights with regard to them, although men have precedence over them [in this respect].* And God is almighty, wise.
A divorce may be [revoked] twice, whereupon the marriage must either be resumed in fairness or dissolved in a goodly manner.* And it is not lawful for you to take back anything of what you have ever given to your wives unless both [partners] have cause to fear that they may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God: hence, if you have cause to fear that the two may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God, there shall be no sin upon either of them for what the wife may give up [to her husband] in order to free herself.* These are the bounds set by God; do not, then, transgress them: for they who transgress the bounds set by God-it is they, they who are evildoers!
And if any of you die and leave wives behind, they shall undergo, without remarrying,* a waiting-period of four months and ten days; whereupon, when they have reached the end of their waiting-term, there shall be no sin* in whatever they may do with their persons in a lawful manner. And God is aware of all that you do.
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.
AND IF any of you die and leave wives behind, they bequeath thereby to their widows [the right to] one year's maintenance without their being obliged to leave [the dead husband's home].* If, however, they leave [of their own accord], there shall be no sin in whatever they may do with themselves in a lawful manner.* And God is almighty, wise.
Fight, then, in God's cause,* and know that God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
Art thou not aware of those elders of the children of Israel , after the time of Moses, how they said unto a prophet of theirs,* "Raise up a king for us, [and] we shall fight in God's cause"? Said he: "Would you, perchance, refrain from fighting if fighting is ordained for you?" They answered: "And why should we not fight in God's cause when we and our children have been driven from our homelands?"* Yet, when fighting was ordained for them, they did turn back, save for a few of them; but God had full knowledge of the evildoers.
And their prophet said unto those elders:* "Behold, now God has raised up Saul to be your king." They said: "How can he have dominion over us when we have a better claim to dominion than he, and he has not [even] been endowed with abundant wealth?" [The prophet] replied: "Behold, God has exalted him above you, and endowed him abundantly with knowledge and bodily perfection. And God bestows His dominion* upon whom He wills: for God is infinite, all-knowing."
And their prophet said unto them: "Behold, it shall be a sign of his [rightful] dominion that you will be granted a heart* endowed by your Sustainer with inner peace and with all that is enduring in the angel-borne heritage left behind by the House of Moses and the House of Aaron.* Herein, behold, there shall indeed be a sign for you if you are [truly] believers."
O YOU who have attained to faith! Spend [in Our way] out of what We have granted you as sustenance ere there come a Day* when there will be no bargaining, and no friendship, and no intercession. And they who deny the truth -it is they who are evildoers!
GOD - there is no deity save Him, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent Fount of All Being. Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. Who is there that could intercede with Him, unless it be by His leave? He knows all that lies open before men and all that is hidden from them,* whereas they cannot attain to aught of His knowledge save that which He wills [them to attain]. His eternal power* overspreads the heavens and the earth, and their upholding wearies Him not. And he alone is truly exalted, tremendous.
THERE SHALL BE no coercion in matters of faith.* Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil* and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
God is near unto those who have faith, taking them out of deep darkness into the light - whereas near unto those who are bent on denying the truth are the powers of evil that take them out of the light into darkness deep: it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
ART THOU NOT aware of that [king] who argued with Abraham about his Sustainer, (simply] because God had granted him kingship? Lo! Abraham said: "My Sustainer is He who grants life and deals death." [The king] replied: "I [too] grant life and deal death!" Said Abraham: "Verily, God causes the sun to rise in the east; cause it, then, to rise in the west!" Thereupon he who was bent on denying the truth remained dumbfounded: for God does not guide people who [deliberately] do wrong.*
THE PARABLE of those who spend their possessions for the sake of God is that of a grain out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for God grants manifold increase unto whom He wills; and God is infinite, all-knowing.
They who spend their possessions for the sake of God and do not thereafter mar* their spending by stressing their own benevolence and hurting [the feelings of the needy] shall have their reward with 'their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
Would any of you like to have a garden of date-palms and vines, through which running waters flow, and have all manner of fruit therein - and then be overtaken by old age, with only weak children to [look after] him-and then [see] it smitten by a fiery whirlwind and utterly scorched? In this way God makes clear His messages unto you, so that you might take thought.
O you who have attained to faith! Spend on others out of the good things which you may have acquired, and out of that which We bring forth for you from the earth; and choose not for your spending the bad things which you yourselves would not accept without averting your eyes in disdain. And know that God is self-sufficient, ever to be praised.
[And give] unto [such of] the needy who, being wholly wrapped up in God's cause, are unable to go about the earth [in search of livelihood].* He who is unaware [of their condition] might think that they are wealthy, because they abstain [from begging]; [but] thou canst recognize them by their special mark: they do not beg of men with importunity. And whatever good you may spend [on them], verily, God knows it all.
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!
And be conscious of the Day on which you shall be brought back unto God, whereupon every human being shall be repaid in full for what he has earned, and none shall be wronged .*
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.
Verily, nothing on earth or in the heavens is hidden from God.
He it is who shapes you in the wombs as He wills. There is no deity save Him, the Almighty, the Truly Wise.
He it is who has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves - and these are the essence of the divine writ - as well as others that are allegorical.* Now those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the divine writ* which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out [what is bound to create] confusion,* and seeking [to arrive at] its final meaning [in an arbitrary manner]; but none save God knows its final meaning.* Hence, those who are deeply rooted in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer - albeit none takes this to heart save those who are endowed with insight.
"O our Sustainer! Verily, Thou wilt gather mankind together to witness the Day about [the coming of] which there is no doubt: verily, God never fails to fulfil His promise."
You have already had a sign in the two hosts that met in battle, one host fighting in God's cause and the other denying Him; with their own eyes [the former] saw the others as twice their own number: but God strengthens with His succour whom He wills. In this, behold, there is indeed a lesson for all who have eyes to see.*
Say: "Shall I tell you of better things than those [earthly joys]? For the God-conscious there are, with their Sustainer, gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide, and spouses pure, and God's goodly acceptance." And God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His servants -
It is they whose works shall come to nought both in this world and in the life to come; and they shall have none to succour them.
simply because they claim, "The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days":* and thus the false beliefs which they invented have [in time] caused them to betray their faith.*
How, then, [will they fare] when We shall gather them all together to witness the Day about [the coming of] which there is no doubt, and every human being shall be repaid in full for what he has done, and none shall be wronged?
"Thou makest the night grow longer by shortening the day, and Thou makest the day grow longer by shortening the night. And Thou bringest forth the living out of that which is dead, and Thou bringest forth the dead out of that which is alive. And Thou grantest sustenance unto whom `Thou willest, beyond all reckoning."
LET NOT the believers take those who deny the truth for their allies in preference to the believers* - since he who does this cuts himself off from God in everything - unless it be to protect yourselves against them in this way.* But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys' end.
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."
when a woman of [the House of] `Imran prayed: "O my Sustainer! Behold, unto Thee do I vow [the child] that is in, my womb, to be devoted to Thy service. Accept it, then, from me: verily, Thou alone art all-hearing, all-knowing!"
Thereupon, as he stood praying in the sanctuary, the angels called out unto him: "God sends thee the glad tiding of [the birth of] John, who shall confirm the truth of a word from God,* and [shall be] outstanding among men, and utterly chaste, and a prophet from among the righteous."
Lo! The angels said: "O Mary! Behold, God sends thee the glad tiding, through a word from Him, [of a son] who shall become known as the Christ* Jesus, son of Mary, of great honour in this world and in the life to come, and [shall be] of those who are drawn near unto God.
And he shall speak unto men in his cradle,* and as a grown man, and shall be of the righteous."
and [will make him] an apostle unto the children of Israel ."* "I HAVE COME unto you with a message from your Sustainer. I shall create for you out of clay, as it were, the shape of [your] destiny, and then breathe into it, so that it might become [your] destiny by God's leave;* and I shall heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life by God's leave;* and I shall let you know what you may eat and what you should store up in your houses.* Behold, in all this there is indeed a message for you, if you are [truly] believers.
Lo! God said: "O Jesus! Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shall exalt thee unto Me, and cleanse thee of [the presence of] those who are bent on denying the truth; and I shall place those who follow thee [far] above those who are bent on denying the truth, unto the Day of Resurrection. In the end, unto Me you all must return, and I shall judge between you with regard to all on which you were wont to differ.*
"And as for those who are bent on denying the truth, I shall cause them to suffer a suffering severe in this world and in the life to come, and they shall have none to succour them;
And if anyone should argue with thee about this [truth] after all the knowledge that has come unto thee, say: "Come! Let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves; and then let us pray [together] humbly and ardently, and let us invoke God's curse upon those [of us] who are telling a lie."*
O FOLLOWERS of earlier revelation! Why do you argue about Abraham,* seeing that the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till [long] after him? Will you not, then, use your reason?
Lo! You are the ones who would argue about that which is known to you; but why do you argue about something which is unknown to you?* Yet God knows [it], whereas you do not know:
AND AMONG the followers of earlier revelation there is many a one who, if thou entrust him with a treasure, will [faithfully] restore it to thee; and there is among them many a one who, if thou entrust him with a tiny gold coin, will not restore it to thee unless thou keep standing over him - which is an outcome of their assertion,* "No blame can attach to us [for anything that we may do] with regard to these unlettered folk": and [so] they tell a lie about God, being well aware [that it is a lie]."*
Behold, those who barter away their bond with God and their own pledges for a trifling gain - they shall not partake in the blessings of the life to come; and God will neither speak unto them nor look upon them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He cleanse them of their sins; and grievous suffering awaits them.
Do they seek, perchance, a faith other than in God,* although it is unto Him that whatever is in the heavens and on earth surrenders itself, willingly or unwillingly, since unto Him all must return?*
For, if one goes in search of a religion other than self-surrender unto God, it will never be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the lost.
In this state shall they abide; [and] neither will their suffering be lightened, nor will they be granted respite.
full of clear messages.* [It is] the place whereon Abraham once stood; and whoever enters it finds inner peace.* Hence, pilgrimage unto the Temple is a duty owed to God by all people who are able to undertake it. And as for those who deny the truth - verily, God does not stand in need of anything in all the worlds.
And how could you deny the truth when it is unto you that God's messages are being conveyed, and it is in your midst that His Apostle lives? But he who holds fast unto God has already been guided onto a straight way.
But as for those with faces shining, they shall be within God's grace, therein to abide.
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].
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.
[But,] behold, as for those who are bent on denying the truth - neither their worldly possessions nor their children will in the least avail them against God: and it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
The parable of what they spend on the life of this world is that of an icy wind which smites the tilth of people who have sinned against themselves, and destroys it: for, it is not God who does them wrong, but it is they who are wronging themselves.*
whereas unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth: He forgives whom He wills, and He chastises whom He wills; and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.*
who spend [in His way] in time of plenty and in time of hardship, and hold in check their anger, and pardon their fellow-men because God loves the doers of good;
These it is who shall have as their reward forgiveness from their Sustainer, and gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide: and how excellent a reward for those who labour!
[MANY] WAYS of life have passed away before your time.* Go, then, about the earth and behold what happened in the end to those who gave the lie to the truth:
And how many a prophet has had to fight [in God's cause], followed by many God-devoted men: and they did not become faint of heart for all that they had to suffer in God's cause, and neither did they weaken, nor did they abase themselves [before the enemy], since God loves those who are patient in adversity;
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!" -
Into the hearts of those who are bent on denying the truth We shall cast dread in return for their ascribing divinity, side by side with God, to other beings - [something] for which He has never bestowed any warrant from on high;* and their goal is the fire - and how evil that abode of evildoers!
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.
[Remember the time] when you fled, paying no heed to anyone, while at your rear the Apostle was calling out to you - wherefore He requited you with woe in return for [the Apostle's] woe, so that you should not grieve [merely] over what had escaped you, nor over what had befallen you: for God is aware of all that you do.*
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].
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]:
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.*
Indeed, God bestowed a favour upon the believers when he raised up in their midst an apostle from among themselves, to convey His messages unto them, and to cause them to grow in purity, and to impart unto them the divine writ as well as wisdom - whereas before that they were indeed, most obviously, lost in error.
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:
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 be not grieved by those who vie with one another in denying the truth: verily, they can in no wise harm God. It is God's will that they shall have no share* in the [blessings of the] life to come; and tremendous suffering awaits them.
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.
Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the succession of night and day, there are indeed messages for all who are endowed with insight,
[and] who remember God when they stand, and when they sit, and when they lie down to sleep,* and [thus] reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: "O our Sustainer! Thou hast not created [aught of] this without meaning and purpose.* Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Keep us safe, then, from suffering through fire!
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."
LET IT NOT deceive thee that those who are bent on denying the truth seem to be able to do as they please on earth:
whereas those who remain conscious of their Sustainer shall have gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide: a ready welcome from God. And that which is with God is best for the truly virtuous.
And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among [other] women such as are lawful to you* - [even] two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then [only] one - or [from among] those whom you rightfully possess.* This will make it more likely that you will not deviate from the right course.
And do not entrust to those who are weak of judgment the possessions which God has placed in your charge* for [their] support; but let them have their sustenance therefrom, and clothe them, and speak unto them in a kindly way.
Behold, those who sinfully devour the possessions of orphans but fill their bellies with fire: for [in the life to come] they will have to endure a blazing flame!
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.
These are the bounds set by God. And whoever pays heed unto God and His Apostle, him will He bring into gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide: and this is a triumph supreme.
And whoever rebels against God and His Apostle and transgresses His bounds, him will He commit unto fire, therein to abide; and shameful suffering awaits him.
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! It is not lawful for you to [try to] become heirs to your wives [by holding onto them] against their will;* and neither shall you keep them under constraint with a view to taking away anything of what you may have given them, unless it be that they have become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct.* And consort with your wives* in a goodly manner; for if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something which God might yet make a source of* abundant good.
Forbidden to you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your aunts paternal and maternal, and a brother's daughters, and a sister's daughters; and your milk-mothers, and your milk-sisters; and the mothers of your wives; and your step-daughters - who are your foster children - born of your wives with whom you have consummated your marriage; but if you have not consummated your marriage, you will incur no sin [by marrying their daughters]; and [forbidden to you are] the spouses of the sons who have sprung from your loins; and [you are forbidden] to have two sisters [as your wives] at one and the same time - but what is past is past:* for, behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And [forbidden to you are] all married women other than those whom you rightfully possess [through wedlock]:* this is God's ordinance, binding upon you. But lawful to you are all [women] beyond these, for you to seek out, offering them of your possessions,* taking them in honest wedlock, and not in fornication. And unto those with whom you desire to enjoy marriage, you shall give the dowers due to them; but you will incur no sin if, after [having agreed upon] this lawful due, you freely agree with one another upon anything [else]:* behold, God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
MEN SHALL take full care of women with the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the latter,* and with what they may spend out of their possessions. And the righteous women are the truly devout ones, who guard the intimacy which God has [ordained to be] guarded.* And as for those women whose ill-will* you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them;* and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great!
Among those of the Jewish faith there are some who distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of their context and saying, [as it were,] "We have heard, but we disobey," and, "Hear without hearkening,"* and, Hearken thou unto us, (O Muhammad)" - thus making a play with their tongues, and implying that the [true] Faith is false.* And had they but said, "We have heard, and we pay heed," and "Hear [us], and have patience with us," it would indeed have been for their own good, and more upright: but God has rejected them because of their refusal to acknowledge the truth - for it is in but few things that they believe.*
But those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds We shall bring into gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time; there shall they have spouses pure: and [thus] We shall bring them unto happiness abounding.*
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.*
As for them - God knows all that is in their hearts; so leave them alone, and admonish them, and speak unto them about themselves in a gravely searching manner:
But nay, by thy Sustainer! They do not [really] believe unless they make thee [O Prophet] a judge of all on which they disagree among themselves, and then find in their hearts no bar to an acceptance of thy decision and give themselves up [to it] in utter self-surrender.*
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.
And how could you refuse to fight* in the cause of God and of the utterly helpless men and women and children who are crying, "O our Sustainer! Lead us forth [to freedom] out of this land whose people are oppressors, and raise for us, out of Thy grace, a protector, and raise for us, out of Thy grace, one who will bring us succour!"
Those who have attained to faith fight in the cause of God, whereas those who are bent on denying the truth fight in the cause of the powers of evil. Fight, then, against those friends of Satan: verily, Satan's guile is weak indeed!*
Wherever you may be, death will overtake you - even though you be in towers raised high. "Yet, when a good thing happens to them, some [people] say, "This is from God," whereas when evil befalls them, they say, "This is from thee [O fellowman]!"* Say: "All is from God." What, then, is amiss with these people that they are in no wise near to grasping the truth of what they are told?*
Will they not, then, try to understand this Qur'an? Had it issued from any but God, they would surely have found in it many an inner contradiction!*
Fight thou,* then, in God's cause - since thou art but responsible for thine own self - and inspire the believers to overcome all fear of death.* God may well curb the might of those who are bent on denying the truth: for God is stronger in might, and stronger in ability to deter.
God - save whom there is no deity - will surely gather you all together on the Day of Resurrection, [the coming of] which is beyond all doubt: and whose word could be truer than God's?
How, then, could you be of two minds* about the hypocrites, seeing that God [Himself] has disowned them because of their guilt?* Do you, perchance, seek to guide those whom God has let go astray - when for him whom God lets go astray thou canst never find any way?
They would love to see you deny the truth even as they have denied it, so that you should be like them. Do not, therefore, take them for your allies until they forsake the domain of evil* for the sake of God; and if they revert to [open] enmity, seize them and slay them wherever you may find them. And do not take any of them* for your ally or giver of succour,
You will find [that there are] others who would like to be safe from you as well as safe from their own folk, [but who,] whenever they are faced anew with temptation to evil, plunge into it headlong.* Hence, if they do not let you be, and do not offer you peace, and do not stay their hands, seize them and slay them whenever you come upon them: for it is against these that We have clearly empowered you [to make war].*
But whoever deliberately slays another believer, his requital shall be hell, therein to abide; and God will condemn him, and will reject him, and will prepare for him awesome suffering.
[Hence,] O you who have attained to faith, when you go forth [to war] in God's cause, use your discernment, and do not - out of a desire for the fleeting gains of this worldly life - say unto anyone who offers you the greeting of peace, "Thou art not a believer"* for with God there are gains abundant. You, too, were once in the same condition* - but God has been gracious unto you. Use, therefore, your discernment: verily, God is always aware of what you do.
SUCH of the believers as remain passive* - other than the disabled - cannot be deemed equal to those who strive hard in God's cause with their possessions and their lives:* God has exalted those who strive hard with their possessions and their lives far above those who remain passive. Although God has promised the ultimate good unto all [believers], yet has God exalted those who strive hard above those who remain passive by [promising them] a mighty reward -
Behold, those whom the angels gather in death while they are still sinning against themselves, [the angels] will ask, "What was wrong with you?''* They will answer: "We were too weak on earth." [The angels] will say: "Was, then, God's earth not wide enough for you to forsake the domain of evil?"* For such, then, the goal is hell - and how evil a journey's end!
And he who forsakes the domain of evil for the sake of God shall find on earth many a lonely road,* as well as life abundant. And if anyone leaves his home, fleeing from evil unto God and His Apostle, and then death overtakes him - his reward is ready with God: for God iss indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
AND WHEN you go forth [to war] on earth, you will incur no sin by shortening your prayers* if you have reason to fear that those who are bent on denying the truth might suddenly fall upon you:* for, verily, those who deny the truth are your open foes.
Thus, when thou art among the believers* and about to lead them in prayer, let [only] part of them stand up with thee, retaining their arms. Then, after they have finished their prayer, let them provide you cover* while another group, who have not yet prayed, shall come forward and pray with thee, being fully prepared against danger and retaining their arms: (for) those who are bent on denying the truth would love to see you oblivious of your arms and your equipment, so that they might fall upon you in a surprise attack.* But it shall not be wrong for you to lay down your arms [while you pray] if you are troubled by rain* or if you are ill; but [always] be fully prepared against danger. Verily, God has readied shameful suffering for all who deny the truth!
And be not faint of heart when you seek out the [enemy] host. If you happen to suffer pain, behold, they suffer pain even as you suffer it: but you are hoping [to receive] from God what they cannot hope for. And God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
Oh, you might well argue in their behalf in the life of this world: but who will argue in their behalf with God on the Day of Resurrection, or who will be their defender?
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.
Yet those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds We shall bring into gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time: this is, in truth, God's promise - and whose word could be truer than God's?
For, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and, indeed, God encompasses everything.
AND THEY will ask thee to enlighten them about the laws concerning women.* Say: "God [Himself] enlightens you about the laws concerning them"- for [His will is shown] in what is being conveyed unto you through this divine writ about orphan women [in your charge], to whom - because you yourselves may be desirous of marrying them - you do not give that which has been ordained for them;* and about helpless children; and about your duty to treat orphans with equity. And whatever good you may do - behold, God has indeed full knowledge thereof.
and unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. AND, INDEED, We have enjoined upon those who were granted revelation before your time, as well as upon yourselves, to remain conscious of God. And if you deny Him - behold, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and God is indeed self-sufficient, ever to be praised.
And unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and none is as worthy of trust as God.
And, indeed, He has enjoined upon you in this divine writ that whenever you hear people deny the truth of God's messages and mock at them, you shall avoid their company until they begin to talk of other things* - or else, verily, you will become like them. Behold, together with those who deny the truth God will gather in hell the hypocrites,
Verily, the hypocrites shall be in the lowest depth of the fire, and thou wilt find none who could succour them.
raising Mount Sinai high above them in witness of their solemn pledge. And We said unto them, Enter the gate humbly";** and We told them, "Do not break the Sabbath-law"; and We accepted from them a most solemn pledge.
and their boast, "Behold, we have slain the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, [who claimed to be] an apostle of God!" However, they did not slay him, and neither did they crucify him, but it only seemed to them [as if it had been] so;* and, verily, those who hold conflicting views thereon are indeed confused, having no [real] knowledge thereof, and following mere conjecture. For, of a certainty, they did not slay him:
But as for those from among them who are deeply rooted in knowledge,* and the believers who believe in that which has been bestowed upon thee from on high as well as that which was bestowed from on high before thee, and those who are [especially] constant in prayer,* and spend in charity, and all who believe in God and the Last Day - these it is unto whom We shall grant a mighty reward.
but the road that leads to hell, therein to abide beyond the count of time: and this is indeed easy for God.
O mankind! The Apostle has now come unto you with the truth from your Sustainer: believe, then, for your own good! And if you deny the truth - behold, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and God is indeed all-knowing, wise!
O FOLLOWERS of the Gospel! Do not overstep the bounds [of truth] in your religious beliefs,* and do not say of God anything but the truth. The Christ Jesus, son of Mary, was but God's Apostle - [the fulfilment of] His promise which He had conveyed unto Mary - and a soul created by Him.* Believe, then, in God and His apostles, and do not say, "[God is] a trinity". Desist [from this assertion] for your own good. God is but One God; utterly remote is He, in His glory, from having a son: unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and none is as worthy of trust as God.
And as for those who have attained to faith in God and hold fast unto Him - He will enfold them within* His grace and bounty, and guide them unto Himself by a straight way.
THEY WILL ASK thee to enlighten them.* Say: "God enlightens you [thus] about the laws concerning [inheritance from] those who leave no heir in the direct line: If a man dies childless and has a sister, she shall inherit one-half of what he has left, just as he shall inherit from her if she dies childless. But if there are two sisters, both [together] shall have two-thirds of what he has left; and if there are brothers and sisters,* then the male shall have the equal of two females' share." God makes [all this] clear unto you, lest you go astray; and God knows everything.
FORBIDDEN to you is carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than God's has been invoked,* and the animal that has been strangled, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or gored to death, or savaged by a beast of prey, save that which you [yourselves] may have slaughtered while it was still alive; and [forbidden to you is] all that has been slaughtered on idolatrous altars.* And [you are forbidden] to seek to learn through divination what the future may hold in store for you:* this is sinful conduct. Today, those who , are bent on denying the truth have lost all hope of [your ever forsaking] your religion: do not, then, hold them in awe, but stand in awe of Me! Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion.* As for him, however, who is driven [to what is forbidden] by dire necessity* and not by an inclination to sinning -behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Today, all the good things of life have been made lawful to you. And the food of those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime is lawful to you,* and your food is lawful to them. And [lawful to you are], in wedlock, women from among those who believe [in this divine writ], and, in wedlock, women from among those who have been vouchsafed revelation before your time -provided that you give them their dowers, taking them in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions.* But as for him who rejects belief [in God] - in vain will be all his works: for in the life to come he shall be among the lost.*
Indeed, the truth deny they who say, "Behold, God is the Christ, son of Mary." Say: "And who could have prevailed with God in any way had it been His will to destroy the Christ, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone who is on earth-all of them? For, God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; He creates what He wills: and God has the power to will anything!"
AND, LO, Moses said unto his people:"* O my people! Remember the blessings which God bestowed upon you when he raised up prophets among you, and made you your own masters,* and granted unto you [favours] such as He had not granted to anyone else in the world.
They answered: "O Moses! Behold, ferocious people -dwell in that land,* and we will surely not enter it unless they depart therefrom; but if they depart therefrom, then, behold, we will enter it."
[But] they said: "O Moses! Behold, never shall we enter that [land] so long as those others are in it. Go forth, then, thou and thy Sustainer, and fight, both of you! We, behold, shall remain here!"
Answered He: "Then, verily, this [land] shall be forbidden to them for forty years, while they wander on earth, bewildered, to and fro; and sorrow thou not over these iniquitous folk."
Thereupon God sent forth a raven which scratched the earth, to show him how he might conceal the nakedness of his brother's body. [And Cain] cried out: "Oh, woe is me! Am I then too weak to do what this raven did,* and to conceal the nakedness of my brother's body?" - and was thereupon smitten with remorse.*
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-
O YOU who have attained to faith! Remain conscious of God, and seek to come closer unto Him, and strive hard in His cause, so that you might attain to a happy state.
Verily, if those who are bent on denying the truth had all that is on earth, and twice as much,* to offer as ransom from suffering on the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them: for grievous suffering awaits them.
O APOSTLE! Be not grieved by those who vie with one another in denying the truth: such as those* who say with their mouths, "We believe," the while their hearts do not believe; and such of the Jewish faith as eagerly listen to any falsehood, eagerly listen to other people without having come to thee [for enlightenment].* They distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of their context, saying [to themselves], "If such-and-such [teaching] is vouchsafed unto you, accept it; but if it is not vouchsafed unto you, be on your guard!"* [Be not grieved by them-] for if God wills anyone to be tempted to evil, thou canst in no wise prevail with God in his behalf.* It is they whose hearts God is not willing to cleanse. Theirs shall be ignominy in this world, and awesome suffering in the life to come-
But how is it that they ask thee for judgment seeing that they have the Torah, containing God's injunctions - and thereafter turn away [from thy judgment]? Such as these, then, are no [true] believers.*
Verily, it is We who bestowed from on high the Torah, wherein there was guidance and light. On `its strength did the prophets, who had surrendered themselves unto God, deliver judgment unto those who followed the Jewish faith;* and so did the [early] men of God and the rabbis, inasmuch as some of God's writ had been entrusted to their care;* and they [all] bore witness to its truth. Therefore, [O children of Israel,] hold not men in awe, but stand in awe of Me; and do not barter away My messages for a trifling gain:* for they who do not judge in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high are, indeed, deniers of the truth!
And We ordained for them in that [Torah]: A life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and a [similar] retribution for wounds;* but he who shall forgo it out of charity will atone thereby for some of his past sins.* And they who do not judge in accordance with what God has revealed - they, they are the evildoers! ,
And We caused Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow in the footsteps of those [earlier prophets], confirming the truth of whatever there still remained* of the Torah; and We vouchsafed unto him the Gospel, wherein there was guidance and light, confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah, and as a guidance and admonition unto the God-conscious.
Let, then, the followers of the Gospel judge in accordance with what God has revealed therein: for they who do not judge in the light of what God has bestowed from on high-it is they, they who are truly iniquitous!
And unto thee [O Prophet] have We vouchsafed this divine writ, setting forth the truth, confirming the truth of whatever there still remains of earlier revelations and determining what is true therein.* Judge, then, between the followers of earlier revelation in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high,* and do not follow their errant views, forsaking the truth that has come unto thee. Unto every one of you have We appointed a [different] law and way of life.* And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto, you.* Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.*
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! If you ever abandon your faith,"* God will in time bring forth [in your stead] people whom He loves and who love Him - humble towards the believers, proud towards all who deny the truth: [people] who strive hard in God's cause, and do not fear to be censured by anyone who might censure them: such is God's favour, which He grants unto whom He wills. And God is infinite, all-knowing.
And thou canst see many of them vie with one another in sinning and tyrannical conduct and in their swallowing of all that is evil.
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.
Say: "O followers of the Gospel! Do not overstep the bounds [of truth] in your religious beliefs;* and do not follow the errant views of people who have gone astray aforetime, and have led many [others] astray, and are still straying from the right path."*
[And now] thou canst see many of them allying themselves with those who are bent on denying the truth! [So] vile indeed is what their passions make them do* that God has condemned them; and in suffering shall they abide.
And for this their belief* God will reward them with gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide: for such is the requital of the doers of good;
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.
By means of intoxicants and games of chance Satan seeks only to sow enmity and hatred among you, and to turn you away from the remembrance of God and from prayer. Will you not, then, desist?'*
Those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds incur no sin by partaking of whatever they may,* so long as they are conscious of God and [truly] believe and do righteous deeds, and continue to be conscious of God and to believe, and grow ever more* conscious of God, and persevere in doing good: for God loves the doers of good.
God has laid down that the Ka'bah, the Inviolable Temple, shall be a symbol for all mankind;* and [so, too,J the sacred month [of pilgrimage] and the garlanded offerings [are symbols] meant to make you aware* that God is aware of all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and that God has full knowledge of everything.
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."
Lo!* God will say: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember the blessings which I bestowed upon thee and thy mother-how I strengthened thee with holy inspiration,* so that thou couldst speak unto men in thy cradle, and as a grown man; and how I imparted unto thee revelation and wisdom, including the Torah and the Gospel;* and how by My leave thou didst create out of clay, as it were, the shape of [thy followers'] destiny, and then didst breathe into it, so that it might become, by My leave, [their] destiny ;* and how thou didst heal the blind and the leper by My leave, and how thou didst raise the dead by My leave;* and how I prevented the children of Israel from harming thee when thou camest unto them with all evidence of the truth, and [when] those of them who were bent on denying the truth were saying, `This is clearly nothing but deception!"'
AND LO! God said:* O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, `Worship me and my mother as deities beside God'?" [Jesus] answered: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! It would not have been possible for me to say what I had no right to [say]! Had I said this, Thou wouldst indeed have known it! Thou knowest all that is within myself, whereas I know not what is in Thy Self. Verily, it is Thou alone who fully knowest all the things that are beyond the reach of a created being's perception.
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.
[AND on Judgment Day] God will say:* "Today, their truthfulness shall benefit all who have been true to their word: theirs shall be gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time; well-pleased is God with them, and well-pleased are they with Him: this is the triumph supreme."
God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that they contain; and He has the power to will anything.
although He is God in the heavens and on earth, knowing all that you keep secret as well as all that you do openly, and knowing what you deserve.
Do they not see how many a generation We have destroyed before their time - [people] whom We had given a [bountiful] place on earth, the like of which We never gave unto you, and upon whom We showered heavenly blessings abundant, and at whose feet We made running waters flow? And yet we destroyed them for their sins, and gave rise to other people in their stead.*
But even if we had sent down unto thee [O Prophet] a writing on paper, and they had touched it with their own hands - those who are bent on denying the truth would indeed have said, "This is clearly nothing but a deception!"
Say: "Go all over the earth, and behold what happened in the end to those who gave the lie to the truth!"
Say: "Unto whom belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth?" Say: "Unto God, who has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy.* He will assuredly gather you all together on the Day of Resurrection, [the coming of] which is beyond all doubt: yet those who have squandered their own selves-it is they who refuse to believe [in Him],
although His is all that dwells in the night and the day, and He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing.
And there are among them such as [seem to] listen to thee [O Prophet]: but over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness.* And were they to see every sign [of the truth], they would still not believe in it-so much so that when they come unto thee to contend with thee, those who are bent on denying the truth say, "This is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
Lost indeed are they who consider it a lie that they will have to meet God -till the Last Hour suddenly comes upon them, [and] they cry, "Alas for us, that we disregarded it!" - for they shall bear on their backs the burden of their sins:* oh, how evil the load with which they shall be burdened!
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].*
although there is no beast that walks on earth and no bird that flies on its two wings which is not [God's] creature* like yourselves: no single thing have We neglected in Our decree. And once again:* Unto their Sustainer shall they [all] be gathered.
And they who give the lie to Our messages are deaf and dumb, in darkness deep. Whomever God wills, He lets go astray; and whomever He wills, He places upon a straight way.*
For, with Him are the keys to the things that are beyond the reach of a created being's perception: none knows them but He. And He knows all that is on land and in the sea; and not a leaf falls but He knows it; and neither is there a grain in the earth's deep darkness, nor anything: living or dead,* but is recorded in [His] clear decree.
And He it is who causes you to be [like] dead* at night, and knows what you work in daytime; and He brings you back to life each days* in order that a term set [by Him] be fulfilled. In the end, unto Him you must return: and then He will make you understand all that you were doing [in life].
NOW, whenever thou meet such as indulge in [blasphemous] talk about Our messages, turn thy back upon them until they begin to talk of other things* and if Satan should ever cause thee to forget [thyself], remain not, after recollection, in the company of such evildoing folk,
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,
And He it is who has created the heavens and the earth in accordance with [an inner] truth* - and whenever He says, "Be," His word comes true; and His will be the dominion on the Day when the trumpet [of resurrection] is blown. He knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception, as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature's senses or mind:* for He alone is truly wise, all-aware.
AND, LO, [thus] spoke Abraham unto his father Azar:* "Takest thou idols for gods? Verily, I see that thou and thy people have obviously gone astray!"
And his people argued with him. He said: "Do you argue with me about God, when it is He who has guided me? But I do not fear anything to which you ascribe divinity side by side with Him, [for no evil can befall me] unless my Sustainer so wills.* All things does my Sustainer embrace within His knowledge; will you not, then, keep this in mind?
For, no true understanding of God have they when they say, "Never has God revealed anything unto man." Say: "Who has bestowed from on high the divine writ which Moses brought unto men as a light and a guidance, [and] which you treat as* [mere] leaves of paper, making a show of them the while you conceal [so] much - although you have been taught [by it] what neither you nor your forefathers had ever known?"* Say: "God [has revealed that divine writ]!" - and then leave them to play at their vain talk.
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!"
[And God shall say:] "And now, indeed, you have come unto Us in a lonely state, even as We created you in the first instance; and you have left behind you all that We bestowed on you [in your lifetime]. And We do not see with you those intercessors of yours whom you supposed to have a share in God's divinity with regard to yourselves!* Indeed, all the bonds between you [and your earthly life] are now severed, and all your former fancies have forsaken you!*
And He it is who has set up for you the stars so that you might be guided by them in the midst of the deep darkness of land and sea: clearly, indeed, have We spelled out these messages unto people of [innate] knowledge!
And He it is who has caused waters to come down from the sky; and by this means have We brought forth all living growth, and out of this have We brought forth verdure.* Out of this do We bring forth close-growing grain; and out of the spathe of the palm tree, dates in thick clusters; and gardens of vines, and the olive tree, and the pomegranate: [all] so alike, and yet so different!* Behold their fruit when it comes to fruition and ripens! Verily, in all this there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
so long as We keep their hearts and their eyes turned [away from the truth],* even as they did not believe in it in the first instance: and [so] We shall leave them in their overweening arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro.
Now if thou pay heed unto the majority of those [who live] on earth, they will but lead thee astray from the path of God: they follow but [other people's] conjectures, and they themselves do nothing but guess.*
IS THEN -HE who was dead [in spirit] and whom We thereupon gave life, and for whom We set up a light whereby he might see his way among men* - [is then he] like one [who is lost] in darkness deep, out of which he cannot emerge? [But] thus it is: goodly seem all their own doings to those who deny the truth.
And it is in this way that We cause the great ones in every land to become its [greatest] evildoers,* there to weave their schemes: yet it is only against themselves that they scheme -and they perceive it not.
And whomsoever God wills to guide, his bosom He opens wide with willingness towards self-surrender [unto Him]; and whomsoever He wills to let go astray, his bosom He causes to be tight and constricted, as if he were climbing unto the skies: it is thus that God inflicts horror upon those who will not believe.
AND ON THE DAY when He shall gather them [all] together, [He will say:] "O you who have lived in close communion with [evil] invisible beings! A great many [other] human beings have you ensnared!* And those of the humans who were close to them* will say: "O our Sustainer! We did enjoy one another's fellowship [in life]; but (now that] we have reached the end of our term-the term which Thou hast laid down for us - (we see the error of our ways]!" [But] He will say: "The fire shall be your abode, therein to abide-unless God wills it otherwise."* Verily, thy Sustainer is wise, all-knowing.
And they say, "All that is in the wombs of such-and-such cattle is reserved for our males and forbidden to our women; but if it be stillborn, then both may have their share thereof." [God] will requite them for all that they [falsely] attribute [to Him]: behold, He is wise, all-knowing.
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."*
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!"
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.
Say: "Am I, then, to seek a sustainer other than God, when He is the Sustainer of all things?" And whatever [wrong] any human being commits rests upon himself alone; and no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden.* And, in time, unto your Sustainer you all must return: and then He will make you. [truly] understand all that on which you were wont to differ.*
For, He it is who has made you inherit the earth,* and has raised some of you by degrees above others, so that He might try you by means of what He has bestowed upon you.* Verily, thy Sustainer is swift in retribution: yet, behold, He is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
A DIVINE WRIT has been bestowed from on high upon thee -and let there be no doubt about this in thy heart-in order that thou mayest warn [the erring] thereby, and [thus] admonish the believers:*
YEA, INDEED, [O men,] We have given you a [bountiful] place on earth, and appointed thereon means of livelihood for you: [yet] how seldom are you grateful!
[God] said: "Down with thee, then, from this [state] -for it is not meet for thee to show arrogance here! Go forth, then: verily, among the humiliated shalt thou be!"
Said He: "Down with you,* [and be henceforth] enemies unto one another, having on earth your abode and livelihood for a while:
there shall you live" - He added - "and there shall you die, and thence shall you be brought forth [on Resurrection Day]!
Say: "Who is there to forbid the beauty which God has brought forth for His creatures, and the good things from among the means of sustenance?" Say: "They are [lawful] in the life of this world unto all who have attained to faith - to be theirs alone on Resurrection Day."* Thus clearly do We spell out these messages unto people of [innate] knowledge!
but they who give the lie to Our messages and scorn them in their pride-these are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
[And God] will say: "Join those hosts of invisible beings and humans who have gone before you into the fire!" [And] every time a host enters [the fire], it will curse its fellow-host -so much so that, when they all shall have passed into it, one after another, the last of them will speak [thus] of the first of them:* "O our Sustainer! It is they who have led us astray: give, them, therefore, double suffering through fire!" He, will reply: "Every one of you deserves double suffering* -but you know it not."
VERILY, unto those who give the lie to Our messages and scorn them in their pride, the gates of heaven shall not be opened;* and they shall not enter paradise any more than a twisted rope can pass through a needle's eye:* for thus do We requite such as are lost in sin.
But those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds - [and] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear - they are destined for paradise, therein to abide,
after We shall have removed whatever unworthy thoughts or feelings may have been [lingering] in their bosoms. Running waters will flow at their feet;* and they will say: "All praise is due to God, who has guided us unto this; for we would certainly not have found the right path unless God had guided us! Indeed, our Sustainer's apostles have told us the truth!" And [a voice] will call out unto them: "This is the paradise which you have inherited by virtue of your past deeds!"
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!
hence, do not spread corruption on earth after it has been so well ordered. And call unto Him with fear and longing: verily, God's grace is ever near unto the doers of good!
The great ones among his people replied: "Verily, we see that thou art obviously lost in error!"
And yet they gave him the lie! And so We saved him and those who stood by him, in the ark, the while We caused those who had given the lie to Our messages to drown: verily, they were blind folk!*
Said the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth: "Verily, we see that thou art weak-minded; and, verily, we think that thou art a liar!"*
Why, do you deem it strange that a tiding from your Sustainer should have come unto you through a man from among yourselves, so that he might warn you? Do but remember how He made you heirs to Noah's people, and endowed you abundantly with power:* remember, then, God's blessings, so that you might attain to a happy state!"
Said [Hud]: "You are already beset by loath some evils* and by your Sustainer's condemnation! Do you argue with me about the [empty] names which you have invented* - you and your forefathers - for which God has bestowed no warrant from on high? Wait, then, [for what will happen:] verily, I shall wait with you!"*
AND UNTO [the tribe of] Thamud [We sent] their brother salih* He said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer. "This she-camel belonging to God shall be a token for you: so leave her alone to pasture on God's earth, and do her no harm, lest grievous chastisement befall you.*
"And remember how He made you heirs to [the tribe of] `Ad* and settled you firmly on earth, so that you [are able to] build for yourselves castles on its plains and hew out mountains [to serve you] as dwellings:* remember, then, God's blessings, and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption."
Thereupon an earthquake overtook them: and then they lay lifeless, in their very homes, on the ground.*
AND UNTO [the people of] Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu'ayb .* He said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer. Give, therefore, full measure and weight [in all your dealings], and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs;* and do not spread corruption on earth after it has be, en so well ordered: [all] this is for your own good, 'if you would but believe.
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]?
We should be guilty of blaspheming against God* were we to return to your ways after God has saved us from them! It is not conceivable that we should return to them-unless God, our Sustainer, so wills.* All things does our Sustainer embrace within His knowledge; in God do we place our trust. O our Sustainer! Lay Thou open the truth between us and our people -for Thou art the best of all to lay open the truth!"*
Thereupon an earthquake overtook them: and then they lay lifeless, in their very homes, on the ground* -
they who had given the lie to Shu'ayb - as though they had never lived there: they who had given the lie to Shu'ayb -it was they who were the losers!
AND NEVER YET have We sent a prophet unto any community without trying its people with misfortune and hardship, so that they might humble themselves;
They answered: "Let him and his brother* wait awhile, and send unto all cities heralds
Said Pharaoh: "Have you come to believe in him* ere I have given you permission? Behold, this is indeed a plot which you have cunningly devised in this [my] city in order to drive out its people hence! But in time you shall come to know, [my revenge]:
And the great ones among Pharaoh's people said: "Wilt thou allow Moses and his people to spread corruption on earth, and to [cause thy people to] forsake thee and thy gods?" [Pharaoh] replied: "We shall slay their sons in great numbers and shall spare [only] their women: for, verily, we hold sway over them!"
[But the children of Israel ] said: "We have suffered hurt ere thou camest to us and since thou hast come to us!* [Moses] replied: "It may well be that your Sustainer will destroy your foe and make you inherit the earth: and thereupon he will behold how you act."*
And so We inflicted Our retribution on them, and caused them to drown in the sea, because they had given the lie to Our messages and had been heedless of them;
whereas unto the people who [in the past] had been deemed utterly low, We gave as their heritage the eastern and western parts of the land that We had blessed.* And [thus] thy Sustainer's good promise unto the children of Israel was fulfilled in result of their patience in adversity;* whereas We utterly destroyed all that Pharaoh and his people had wrought, and all that they had built.*
As for these here -verily, their way of life is bound to lead to destruction; and worthless is all that they have ever done!"
And [he reminded them of this word of God]: "Lo, We saved you from Pharaoh's people who afflicted you with cruel suffering, slaying your sons in great numbers and sparing [only] your women - which was an awesome trial from your Sustainer."*
AND [then] We appointed for Moses thirty nights [on Mount Sinai ]; and We added to them ten, whereby the term of forty nights set bye, his Sustainer was fulfilled.* And Moses said unto his brother Aaron: "Take thou my place among my people; and act righteously, and follow not the path of the spreaders of corruption."
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.*
From My messages shall I cause to turn away all those who, without any right, behave haughtily on earth: for, though they may see every sign [of the truth], they do not believe in it, and though they may see the path of rectitude, they do not choose fo follow it-whereas, if they see a path of error, they take it for their own: this, because they have given the lie to Our messages, and have remained heedless of them,"*
although [later,] when they would smite their hands in remorse,* having perceived that they had gone astray, they would say, "Indeed, unless our Sustainer have mercy on us and grant us forgiveness, we shall most certainly be among the lost!"*
Said [Moses]: "O my Sustainer! Grant Thou forgiveness unto me* and my brother, and admit us unto Thy grace: for Thou art the most merciful of the merciful!"
[And to Aaron he said:] "Verily, as for those who have taken to worshipping the [golden] - calf - their Sustainer's condemnation will overtake them, and ignominy [will be their lot] in the -life of this world!" For thus do We requite all who invent [such] falsehood.*
And when Moses' wrath as stilled, he took up the tablets, in the writing whereof there was guidance and grace for all who stood in awe of their Sustainer.*
And ordain Thou for us what is good in this world as well as in the life to come: behold, unto Thee have we turned in repentance!" [God] answered: "With My chastisement do I afflict whom I will - but My grace overspreads everything:* and so I shall confer it on those who are conscious of Me and spend in charity, and who believe in Our messages-
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."
And ask them about that town which stood by the sea: how its people would profane the Sabbath whenever their fish came to them, breaking the water's surface, on a day on which they ought to have kept Sabbath -because they would not come to them on other than Sabbath-days!* Thus did We try them by means of their [own] iniquitous doings.
And We dispersed them as [separate] communities all over the earth; some of them were righteous, and some of them less than that: and the latter We tried with blessings as well as with afflictions, so that they might mend their ways.*
And they have been succeeded by [new] generations who - [in spite of] having inherited the divine writ-clutch but at the fleeting good of this lower world and say, "We shall be forgiven,* the while they are ready, if another such fleeting good should come their way, to clutch at it [and sin again]. Have they not been solemnly pledged through the divine writ not to attribute unto God aught but what is true,* and [have they not] read again and again all that is therein? Since the life in the hereafter is the better [of the two] for all who are conscious of God -will you not, then, use your reason?
And [did We not say,] when We caused Mount Sinai to quake above the children of Israel* as though it were a [mere] shadow, and they thought that it would fall upon them, "Hold fast with [all your] strength unto what We have vouchsafed you, and bear in mind all that is therein, so that you might remain conscious of God"?*
AND GOD'S [alone] are the attributes of perfection;* invoke Him, then, by these, and stand aloof from all who distort the meaning of His attributes:* they shall be requited for all that they were wont to do!
Have they, then, never considered [God's] mighty dominion over the heavens and the earth, and all the things that God has created, and [asked themselves] whether, perchance, the end of their own term might already have drawn nigh? In what other tiding, then, will they, after this, believe?*
For those whom God lets go astray, there is no guide; and He shall leave them in their overweening arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro.*
THEY WILL ASK thee [O Prophet] about the Last Hour: "When will it come to pass?" Say: "Verily, knowledge thereof rests with my Sustainer alone. None but He will reveal it in its time. Heavily will it weigh on the heavens and the earth; [and] it will not fall upon you otherwise than of a sudden." They will ask thee - as if thou couldst gain insight into this [mystery] by dint of persistent inquiry!* Say: "Knowledge thereof rests with my Sustainer alone; but [of this] most people are unaware."
And yet, as soon as He has granted them sound [offspring], they begin to ascribe to other powers beside Him a share in bringing about what He has granted them !* Sublimely exalted, however, is God- above anything to which men may ascribe a share in His divinity!
even though their [godless] brethren would [like to] draw them into error:* and then they cannot fail [to do what is right].
And bethink thyself of thy Sustainer humbly and with awe, and without raising thy voice, at morn and at evening; and do not allow thyself to be heedless.
[so, too,] they would argue with thee about the truth [itself] after it had become manifest* - just as if they were being driven towards death and beheld it with their very eyes.
Lo! Thy Sustainer inspired the angels [to convey this His message to the believers]: "I am with you !"* [And He commanded the angels:] "And, give firmness unto those who have attained to faith [with these words from Me]:* `I shall cast terror into the hearts of those who are bent on denying the truth; strike, then, their necks, [O believers,] and strike off every one of their finger-tips!"*
For, if God had seen any good in them, He would certainly have made them hear: but [as it is,] even if He had made them hear, they would surely have turned away in their obstinacy.
And remember the time when you were few [and] helpless on earth, fearful lest people do away with you* - whereupon He sheltered you, and strengthened you with His succour, and provided for you sustenance out of the good things of life, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
But God did not choose thus to chastise them whip thou [O Prophet] wert still among them,* nor would God chastise them when they [might yet] ask for forgiveness.
so that God might separate the bad from the good, and join the bad with one another, and link them all together [within His condemnation], and then place them in hell. They, they are the lost!
[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].
At the same time, the hypocrites and those in whose hearts was disease were saying, "Their faith has deluded these [believers] !"* But he who places his trust in God [knows that], verily, God is almighty, wise.
AS FOR THOSE with whom thou hast made a covenant, and who thereupon break their covenant on every occasion,* not being conscious of God-
if thou find them at war [with you], make of them a fearsome example for those who follow them,* so that they might take it to heart;
Hence, make ready against them whatever force and war mounts* you are able to muster, so that you might deter thereby the enemies of God, who are your enemies as well,* and others besides them of whom you may be unaware, [but] of whom God is aware; and whatever you may expend* in God's cause shall be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.
whose hearts He has brought together: [for,] if thou hadst expended all that is on earth, thou couldst not have brought their hearts together [by thyself]: but God did bring them together. Verily, He is almighty, wise.
For the time being, [however,] God has lightened your burden. for He knows that you are weak: and so, if there be one hundred of you who are patient in adversity, they should [be able to]' overcome two hundred; and if there be one thousand of you, they should [be able to] overcome two thousand by God's leave: for God is with those who are patient in adversity.*
IT DOES NOT behove a prophet to keep captives unless he has battled strenuously on earth.* You may desire the fleeting gains of this world-but God desires [for you the good of] the life to come: and God is almighty, wise.
Had it not been for a decree from God that had already gone forth, there would indeed have befallen you a tremendous chastisement on account of all [the captives] that you took.*
[Hence,] O Prophet, say unto the captives who are in your hands: "If God finds any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than all that has been taken from you, and will forgive you your sins: for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."*
BEHOLD, as for those who have attained to faith, and who have forsaken the domain of evil* and are striving hard, with their possessions and their lives, in God's cause, as well as those who shelter and succour [them]* - these are [truly] the friends and protectors of one another. But as for those who have come to believe without having migrated [to your country]* - you are in no wise responsible for their protection until such a time as they migrate [to you]. Yet, if they ask you for succour against religious persecution,* it is your duty to give [them] this succour-except against a people between whom and yourselves there is a covenant:* for God sees all that you do.
With all this, [remember that] those who are bent on denying the truth are allies of one another;* and unless you act likewise [among yourselves], oppression will reign on earth, and great corruption.
And they who have attained to faith, and who have forsaken the domain of evil and are striving hard in God's cause, as well as those who shelter and succour [them]-it is they, they who are truly believers! Forgiveness of sins awaits them, and a most excellent sustenance.*
And as for those who henceforth come to believe,* and who forsake the domain of evil and strive hard [in God's cause] together with you - these [too] shall belong to you;* and they who are [thus] closely related have the highest claim on one another in [accordance with] God's decree.* Verily, God has full knowledge of everything.
[Announce unto them:] "Go, then, [freely] about the earth for four months* -but know that you can never elude God, and that, verily, God shall bring disgrace upon all who refuse to acknowledge the truth!"
How [else could it be]?* -since, if they [who are hostile to you] were to overcome you, they would not respect any tie [with you,] nor any obligation to protect [you].* They seek to please you with their mouths, the while their hearts remain averse [to you]; and most of them are iniquitous.
respecting no tie and no protective obligation with regard to a believer; and it is they, they who transgress the bounds of what is right!*
Yet if they repent, and take to prayer, and render the purifying dues, they become your brethren in faith:* and clearly do We spell out these messages unto people of [innate] knowledge!
But if they break their solemn pledges after having concluded a covenant,* and revile your religion, then fight against these archetypes of faithlessness* who, behold, have no [regard for their own] pledges, so that they might desist [from aggression].
IT IS NOT for those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God to visit or tend* God's houses of worship, the while [by their beliefs] they bear witness against themselves that they are denying the truth. It is they whose works shall come to nought, and they who in the fire shall abide*
Do you, perchance, regard the [mere] giving of water to pilgrims and the tending of the Inviolable House of Worship as being equal to [the works of] one who believes in God and the Last Day and strives hard in God's cause? These [things] are not equal in the sight of God.* And God does not grace with His guidance people who [deliberately] do wrong.
Those who believe, and who have forsaken the domain of evil* and have striven hard in God's cause with their possessions and their lives have the highest rank in the sight of God; and it is they, they who shall triumph [in the end]!
Their Sustainer gives them the glad tiding of the grace [that flows] from Him, and of [His] goodly acceptance, and of the gardens which await them, full of lasting bliss,
therein to abide beyond the count of time. Verily, with God is a mighty reward!
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, God has succoured you on many battlefields, [when you were few;] and [He did so, too,] on the Day of Hunayn, when you took pride in your great numbers and they proved of no avail whatever to you -for the earth, despite all its vastness, became [too] narrow for you and you turned back, retreating:*
O you who have attained to faith! Behold, many of the rabbis and monks do indeed wrongfully devour men's possessions and turn [others] away from the path of God. But as for all who lay up treasures of gold and silver and do not spend them for the sake of Gods* - give them the tiding of grievous suffering [in the life to come]:
on the Day when that [hoarded wealth] shall be heated in the fire of hell and their foreheads and their sides and their backs branded therewith* , [those sinners shall be told:] "These are the treasures which you have laid up for yourselves! Taste, then, [the evil of] your hoarded treasures!"
BEHOLD, the number of months, in the sight of God, is twelve months, [laid down] in God's decree on the day when He created the heavens and the earth; [and] out of these, four are sacred:* this is the ever-true law [of God]. Do not, then, sin against* yourselves with regard to these [months]. And fight against those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God, all together-just as they fight against you, [O believers,] all together* -and know that God is with those who are conscious of Him.
The intercalation [of months] is but one more instance of [their] refusal to acknowledge the truth-* [a means] by which those who are bent on denying the truth are led astray. They declare this [intercalation] to be permissible in one year and forbidden in [another] year,* in order to conform [outwardly] to the number of months which God has hallowed: and thus they make allowable what God has forbidden.* Goodly seems unto them the evil of their own doings, since God does not grace with His guidance people who refuse to acknowledge the truth.
O YOU who have attained to faith! What is amiss with you that, when you are called upon, "Go forth to war in God's cause," you cling heavily to the earth?* Would you content yourselves with [the comforts of] this worldly life in preference to [the good of] the life to come? But the enjoyment of life in this world is but a paltry thing when compared with the life to come!
If you do not succour the Apostle,* then [know that God will do so -just as] God succoured him at the time when those who were bent on denying the truth drove him away, [and he was but] one of two:* when these two were [hiding] in the cave, [and] the Apostle said to his companion, "Grieve not: verily, God is with us."* And thereupon God bestowed upon him from on high His (gift of] inner peace,* and brought utterly low the cause of those who were bent on denying the truth, whereas the cause of God remained supreme:* for God is almighty, wise.
Go forth to war, whether it be easy or difficult [for you],* and strive hard in God's cause with your possessions and your lives: this is for your own good -if you but knew it!
only those ask thee for exemption who do not [truly] believe in God and the Last Day and whose hearts have become a prey to doubt, so that in their doubting they waver between one thing and another.
Had these [hypocrites] set out with_ you, [O believers,] they would have added nothing to you save the evil of corruption, and would surely have scurried to and fro in your midst, seeking to stir up discord among you, seeing that there are in your midst such as would have lent them ear: but God has full knowledge of the evildoers.
And among them there was [many a one] who said,"* Grant me permission [to remain at home], and do not put me to too hard a test!" Oh, verily, [by making such a request] they had [already failed in their test and] succumbed to a temptation to evil:* and, behold, hell will indeed encompass all who refuse to acknowledge the truth!
Let not, then, their worldly goods or [the happiness which they may derive from] their children excite thy admiration: God but wants to chastise them by these means in this worldly life, and [to cause] their souls to depart while they are [still] denying the truth.*
And among them are such as find fault with thee [O Prophet] concerning [the distribution of] the offerings given for the sake of God:* if they are given something thereof, they are well-pleased; but if they are not given anything thereof, lo! they are consumed with anger.
The offerings given for the sake of God* are [meant] only for the poor and the needy, and those who are in charge thereof,* and those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage, and [for] those who are over burdened with debts, and [for every struggle] in God's cause, and [for] the wayfarer: [this is] an ordinance from God - and God is all-knowing, wise.*
Do they not know that for him who sets himself against God and His Apostle there is in store the fire of hell, therein to abide -that most awesome disgrace?
[Some of] the hypocrites dread lest a [new] surah be revealed [in evidence] against them, making them understand what is [really] in their hearts.* Say: "Go on mocking! Behold, God will bring to light the very thing that you are dreading!"*
God- has promised the hypocrites, both men and women-as well as the [outright] deniers of the _ truth-the fire of hell, therein to abide: this shall be their allotted_ portion. For, God has rejected them, and long-lasting suffering awaits them.
[Say unto them: "You are] like those [hypocrites] who lived before your time.* Greater than you were they in power, and richer in wealth and in children; and they enjoyed their share [of happiness]. And you have been enjoying your share -just as those who preceded you enjoyed their share; and you have been indulging in scurrilous talk -just as they indulged in it. It is they .whose works have come to nought in this world and in the life to come - and it is they, they who are the cost!"*
God has promised the believers, both men and women, gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual bliss:* but God's goodly acceptance is the greatest [bliss of all] -for this, this is the triumph supreme!
[The hypocrites] swear by God that they have said nothing [wrong]; yet most certainly have they uttered a saying which amounts to a denial of the truth,* and have [thus] denied the truth after [having professed] their self-surrender to God: for they were aiming at something which was beyond their reach.* And they could find no fault [with the Faith] save that God had enriched them and [caused] His Apostle [to enrich them] out of His bounty!* Hence, if they repent, it will be for their own good. but if they turn away, God will cause them to suffer grievous suffering in this world and in the life to come, and they will find no helper on earth, and none to give [them] succour.
whereupon He causes hypocrisy to take root in their hearts, [therein to remain] until the Day on which they shall meet Him"* - because they have failed to fulfil the vow which they had made unto God, and because they were wont to lie.*
[It is these hypocrites] who find fault with such of the believers as give for the sake of God* more than they are duty-bound to give, as well as with, such as find nothing [to give] beyond [the meagre fruits of] their toil, and who scoff at them [all].* God will cause their scoffing to rebound on themselves.* and grievous suffering awaits them.
THOSE [hypocrites] who were left behind rejoiced in their staying away [from war]* after [the departure of] God's Apostle, for they hated the thought of striving with their possessions and their lives in God's cause; and they had [even] said [to the others], "Do not go forth to war in this heat!" Say: "The fire of hell is hotter by far!" Had they but grasped this truth!
And let not their worldly goods and [the happiness which they may derive from] their children excite thy admiration: God but wants to chastise them by these means in [the life of] this world, and [to cause] their souls to depart while they are [still] denying the truth.*
God has readied for them gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide: and this is the triumph supreme!
However, among the bedouin there are [also] such as believe in God and the Last Day, and regard all that they spend (in God's cause] as a means of drawing them nearer to God and of [their being remembered in] the. Apostle's prayers. Oh, verily, it shall [indeed] be a means of [God's] nearness to them, [for] God will admit them unto His grace: verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
And as for the first and foremost of those who have forsaken the domain of evil and of those who have sheltered and succoured the Faith,* as well as those who follow them in [the way of] righteousness - God is well-pleased with them, and well--pleased are they with Him. And for them has He readied gardens through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time: this is the triumph supreme!
Never set foot in such a place!* Only a house of worship founded, from the very first day, upon God-consciousness is worthy of thy setting foot therein* -[a house of worship] wherein there are men desirous of growing in purity: for God loves all who purify themselves.
Which. then, is the better: he who has founded his building on God-consciousness and [a desire for] His goodly acceptance-or he who has founded his building on the edge of a water-worn, crumbling river-bank, so that it [is bound to] tumble down with him into the fire of hell? For, God does not grace with His guidance people who [deliberately] do wrong:
the building which they have built will never cease to be a source of deep disquiet in their hearts until their hearts crumble to pieces.* And God is all-knowing, wise.
BEHOLD, God has bought of the believers their lives and their possessions, promising them paradise in return, ,[and so] they fight in God's cause, and slay, and are slain: a promise which in truth He has willed upon Himself in [the words of] the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Qur'an. And who could be more faithful to his covenant than God? Rejoice, then, in the bargain which you have made with Him: for this, this is the triumph supreme!
INDEED, God has turned in His mercy unto the Prophet, as well as unto those who have forsaken the domain of evil and those who have sheltered and succoured the Faiths* - [all] those who followed him in the hour of distress, when the hearts of some of the other believers had well-nigh swerved from faith.* And once again:* He has turned unto them in His mercy - for, behold, He is compassionate towards them, a dispenser of grace.
It does not behove the people of the [Prophet's] City and the bedouin [who live] around them to hold back from following God's Apostle, or to care for their own selves more than for him* -for, whenever they suffer from thirst or weariness or hunger in God's cause, and whenever they take any step which confounds* those who deny the truth, and whenever there comes to them from the enemy whatever may be destined for them* -[whenever anything thereof comes to pass,,] a good deed is recorded in their favour.* Verily, God does not fail to requite the doers of good!
With all this, it is not desirable that all of the believers take the field [in time of war]. From within every group in their midst, some shall refrain from going forth to war, and shall devote themselves [instead] to acquiring a deeper knowledge of the Faith. and [thus be able to] teach their home-coming brethren, so that these [too] might guard themselves against evil.*
O you who have attained to faith! Fight against those deniers of the truth who are near you, and let them find you adamant ;* and know that .God is with those who are conscious of Him.
But as for those in whose hearts is disease, each new message but adds another [element of] disbelief to the disbelief which they already harbour,* and they die while [still] refusing to acknowledge the truth.
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];
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?
for, verily, in the alternating of night and day, and in all that God has created in the heavens and on earth there are messages indeed for people who are conscious of Him!
[But,] verily, as for those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds - their Sustainer guides them aright by means of their faith. [In the life to come,] running waters will flow at their feet* in gardens of bliss;
[and] in that [state of happiness] they will call out,* "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory, O God!"-and will be answered with the greeting, "Peace !"* And their call will close with [the words], "All praise is due to God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!"
NOW IF GOD were to hasten for human beings the ill [which they deserve by their sinning] in the same manner as they [themselves] would hasten [the coming to them of what they consider to be] goad, their end would indeed come forthwith!* But We leave them alone [for a while] -all those who do not believe that they are destined to meet Us:* [We leave them alone] in their overweening arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro.
And thereupon We made you their successors on earth, so that We might behold how you act.
Say: "Had God willed it [otherwise], I would not have conveyed this [divine writ] unto you, nor would He have brought it to your knowledge. Indeed. a whole lifetime have I dwelt among you ere this [revelation came unto me]: will you not, then, use your reason ?"*
and [neither will] they [who] worship, side by side with God, things or beings that can neither harm nor benefit them, saying [to themselves], "These are our intercessors with God!"* Say: "Do you [think that you could] inform God of anything in the heavens or on earth that He does not know?* Limitless is He in His glory, and sublimely exalted above anything to which men may ascribe a share in His divinity!"
AND [know that] all mankind were once but one single community, and only later did they begin to hold divergent views.* And had it not been for a decree- that had already gone forth from thy Sustainer, all their differences would indeed have been settled [from the outset].*
And [thus it is:] whenever We let [such] people* taste [some of Our] grace after hardship has visited them-lo! they forthwith turn to devising false arguments against Our messages.* Say: "God is swifter [than you] in His deep devising!" Behold, Our [heavenly] messengers are recording all that you may devise!
He it is who enables you to travel on land and sea. And [behold what happens] when you go to sea in ships:* [they go to sea in ships,] and they sail on in them in a favourable wind, and they rejoice thereat until there comes upon them a tempest, and waves surge towards them from all sides, so that they believe themselves to be encompassed [by death; and then] they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone, "If Thou wilt but save us from this, we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"
Yet as soon as He has saved them from this [danger], lo! they behave outrageously on earth, offending against all right !* O men! All your outrageous deeds are bound to fall back upon your own selves!* [You care only for] the enjoyment of life in this world: [but remember that] in the end unto Us you must return, whereupon We shall make you truly understand all that you were doing [in life].
For those who persevere in doing good there is the ultimate good in store, and more [than that].* No darkness and no ignominy will overshadow their faces [on Resurrection Day]: it is they who are destined for paradise, therein to abide.
But us for those who have done evil deeds - the recompense of an evil, deed shall be the like thereof:* and - since they will have none to defend them against God - ignominy will overshadow them as though their faces were veiled by the night's own darkness:* it is they who are destined for the fire. therein to abide.
Now this Qur'an could not possibly have been devised by anyone save God: nay indeed,* it confirms the truth of whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations] and clearly spells out the revelation [which comes] -let there be no doubt about it-from the Sustainer of all the worlds.*
And all human beings that have been doing evil's* would surely, if they possessed all that is on earth, offer it as ransom [on Judgment Day];* and when they see the suffering [that awaits them], they will be unable to express their remorse.* But judgment will be passed on them in all equity; and they will not be wronged.
Oh, verily, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth! Oh, verily, God's promise always comes true-but most of them know it not!
O MANKIND! There has now come unto you an admonition from your Sustainer, and a cure for all [the ill] that may be in men's hearts,* and guidance and grace unto all who believe [in Him].
AND IN whatever condition thou mayest find thyself, [O Prophet,] and whatever discourse of this [divine writ]* thou mayest be reciting, and whatever work you [all, O men,] may do -[remember that] We are your witness* [from the moment] when you enter upon it: for, not even an atom's weight [of whatever there is] on earth or in heaven escapes thy Sustainer's knowledge; and neither is there anything smaller than that, or larger, but is recorded in [His] clear decree.
For them there is the glad tiding [of happiness] in the life of this world* and in the life to come; [and since] nothing could ever alter [the outcome of] God's promises, this, this is the triumph supreme!
OH, VERILY, unto God belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on earth: hence, what is it that they follow-those who invoke, beside God. beings to whom they ascribe a share in His divinity?* They follow but the conjectures [of others], and themselves do nothing but guess -
[whereas] it is He who has made the night for you, so that you might have rest therein, and the day, to make [you] see* in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who [are willing to] listen.
[And yet] they assert, "God has taken unto Himself a son!" Limitless is He in His glory!* Self-sufficient is He: unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth! No evidence whatever have you for this [assertion]! Would you ascribe unto God something which you cannot know?
[A brief] enjoyment in this world-and thereafter unto Us they must return: and then We shall let them taste suffering severe as an outcome of their persistent denial of the truth.
And yet they gave him the lie! And so We saved him and all who stood by him, in the ark, and made them inherit [the earth],* the while We caused those who gave the lie to Our messages to drown:* behold, then, what happened in the end to those people who had been warned [in vain]!
[The great ones] replied: "Hast thou come to turn us away from what we found our forefathers believing in and doing, so that the two of you might become supreme in this land? However, we do not believe in you two!"*
But none save a few of his people declared their faith in Moses,* [while others held back] for fear of Pharaoh and their great ones, lest they persecute them:* for, verily, Pharaoh was mighty on earth and was, verily, of those who are given to excesses.
And Moses prayed: "O our Sustainer! Verily, splendour and riches hast Thou vouchsafed, in the life of this world, unto Pharaoh and his great ones-with the result, O our Sustainer, that they are leading [others] astray from Thy path!* O our Sustainer! Wipe out their riches, and harden their hearts, so that they may not attain to faith ere they see the grievous suffering [that awaits them]!"
And [thereafter], indeed, We assigned unto the children of Israel a most goodly abode,* and provided for them sustenance out of the good things of life. And it was not until knowledge [of God's revelation] was vouchsafed to them that they began to hold divergent views: [but,] verily, thy Sustainer will judge between them on Resurrection Day regarding all on which they were wont to differ.*
AND SO, [O man,] if thou art in doubt about [the truth of] what We have [now] bestowed upon thee from on high,* ask those who read the divine writ [revealed] before thy time:* [and thou wilt find that,] surely, the truth has now come unto thee from thy Sustainer. Be not, then, among the doubters -
For, alas,* there has never yet been any community that attained to faith [in its entirety,] and thereupon benefited by its faith, except the people of Jonah.* When they came to believe, We removed from them the suffering of disgrace [which otherwise would have befallen them even] in the life of this world, and allowed them to enjoy their life during the time allotted to them.*
And [thus it is:] had thy Sustainer so willed, all those who live on earth would surely have attained to faith, all of them:* dost thou, then, think that thou couldst compel people to believe,
Say: "Consider whatever there is in the heavens and on earth!" But of what avail could all the messages and all the warnings be to people who will not believe?
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]."
And there is no living creature on earth but depends for its sustenance on God; and He knows its time-limit [on earth] and its resting-place [after death]:* all [this] is laid down in [His] clear decree.
And He it is who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons; and [ever since He has willed to create life,] the throne of His almightiness has rested upon water.* [God reminds you of your dependence on Him] in order to test you [and thus to make manifest] which of you is best in conduct. For thus it is: if* thou sayest [unto men], "Behold, you shall be raised again after death!" - they who are bent on denying the truth are sure to answer, "This is clearly nothing but an enchanting delusion"*
AS FOR THOSE who care for [no more than] the life of this world and its bounties -We shall repay them in full for all that they did in this [life], and they, shall not be deprived of their just due therein:
[yet] it is they who, in the life to come, shall have nothing but the fire -for in vain shall be all that they wrought in this [world], and worthless all that they ever did !*
Can, then, [he who cares for no more than the life of this world be compared with* ] one who takes his stand on a clear evidence from his Sustainer, conveyed through [this] testimony from Him,* as was the revelation vouchsafed to Moses aforetime-[a divine writ ordained by Him] to be a guidance and grace [unto man]? They [who understand this message-it is they alone who truly] believe in it;* whereas for any of those who, leagued together [in common hostility],* deny its truth - the fire shall be their appointed state [in the life to come]. And so,* be not in doubt about this [revelation]: behold, it is the truth from thy Sustainer, even though* most people will not believe in it.
Never can they elude [their final reckoning, even if they remain unscathed] on earth :* never will they find anyone who could protect them from God. [In the life to come] double suffering will be imposed on them* for having lost the ability to hear [the truth] and having failed to see [it].*
truly it is they, they who in the life to come shall be the losers!
Behold, [only] those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds and humble themselves before their Sustainer - [only] they are destined for paradise, and there shall they abide.
"And I do not say unto you, `God's treasures are with me'; nor [do I say], `I know the reality which is beyond the reach of human perception'; nor do I say, 'Behold, I am an angel';* nor do I say of those whom your eyes hold in contempt,* `Never will God grant them any good'- for God is fully aware of what is in their hearts.* [Were I to speak thus,] verily, I would indeed be among the evildoers."
but build, under Our eyes* and according to Our inspiration, the ark [that shall .save thee and those who follow thee];* and do not appeal to Me in behalf of those who are bent on evildoing for, behold, they are destined to be drowned!"
[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.
So he said [unto his followers]: "Embark in this [ship]! In the name of God be its run and its riding at anchor! Behold, my. Sustainer is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!"
And it moved on with them into waves that were like mountains. At that [moment] Noah cried out to a son of his, who had kept himself aloof [from the others]: "O my dear son!* Embark with us, and remain not with those who deny the truth!"
And they were pursued in this world by [God's] rejection, and [shall finally be overtaken by it] on the Day of Resurrection.* Oh, verily, [the tribe of] `Ad denied their Sustainer! Oh, away with the `Ad, the people of Hud!
AND UNTO [the tribe of] Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih.* He said: "O my people! Worship God [alone]: you have no deity other than Him. He brought you into being out of the earth,* and made you thrive thereon.* Ask Him, therefore, to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance-for, verily, my Sustainer is ever-near, responding [to the call of whoever calls unto Him]!"*
They answered: "O Salih! Great hopes did we place in thee ere this!* Wouldst thou forbid us to worship what our forefathers were wont to worship? Because [of this], behold, we are in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about [the meaning of] thy call to us!"*
And [then he said]: "O my people! This she-camel belonging to God shall be a token for you: so leave her alone to pasture on God's earth, and do her no harm, lest speedy chastisement befall you!"*
But they cruelly slaughtered her.* And thereupon [Salih] said: "[Only] for three days [more] shall you enjoy life in your homes: this is a judgment* which will not be belied!"
And the blast [of God's punishment] overtook those who had been bent on evildoing: and then they lay lifeless, in their very homes, on the ground,*
as though they had never lived there. Oh, verily, [the tribe of] Thamud denied their Sustainer! Oh, away with the Thamud!
And when the fear had left Abraham, and the glad tiding had been conveyed to him, he began to plead with Us for Lot's people:*
And his people came running to him, impelled towards his house [by their desire]:* for they had ever been wont to commit [such], abominations. Said [Lot]: "O my people! [Take instead] these daughters of mine: they are purer for you [than men]!* Be, then, conscious of God, and disgrace me not by [assaulting] my guests. Is there not among you even one right-minded man?"
They answered: "Thou hast always known that we have no use whatever for thy daughters;* and, verily, well dost thou know what we want!"
Hence, O my people, [always] give full measure and weight, with equity, and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs,* and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption.
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!"
[But his people] said: "O Shu'ayb! We cannot grasp the purport of much of what thou sayest;* on the other hand, behold, we do see clearly how- weak thou art in our midst:"* and were it not for thy family, we would have most certainly stoned thee to death, considering that thou hast no power over us!"
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,*
as though they had never lived there. Oh, away with [the people of] Madyan, even as the Thamud have been done away with!
seeing that they were pursued by [God's] rejection in this [world], and [shall be finally overtaken by it] on the Day of Resurrection;* [and] vile was the gift which they were given!
Herein, behold, lies a message indeed for all who fear the suffering [which may befall them] in the life to come, (and are conscious of the coming of] that Day on which all mankind shall be gathered together-that Day [of Judgment] which shall be witnessed [by all that ever lived],
Now as for those who [by their deeds] will have brought wretchedness upon them-selves, [they shall live] in the fire, where they will have [nothing but] moans and sobs [to relieve their pain],
therein to abide as long as the heavens and the earth endure-unless thy Sustainer wills it otherwise:* for, verily, thy Sustainer is a sovereign doer of whatever He wills.
But as for those who [by virtue of their past deeds] will have been blest with happiness, [they shall live] in paradise, therein to abide as long as the heavens and the earth endure -unless thy Sustainer wills it otherwise* -as a gift unceasing.
AND SO, [O Prophet,] be not in doubt about anything that those [misguided people] worship:* they but [thoughtlessly] worship as their forefathers worshipped aforetime; and, behold, We shall most certainly give them their full due [for whatever good or evil they have earned], without diminishing aught thereof.*
And, indeed, [similar was the case when] We vouchsafed the divine writ unto Moses, and some of his people set their own views against it;* and had it not been for a decree that had already gone forth from thy Sustainer, judgment would indeed have been passed on them [then and there]:* for, behold, they were in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about him [who called them unto God].*
BUT, ALAS, among those generations [whom We destroyed] before your time there were no people endowed with any virtue* - [people] who would speak out against the [spread of] corruption on earth -except the few of them whom We saved [because of their righteousness], whereas those who were bent on evildoing only pursued pleasures which corrupted their whole being,* and so lost themselves in sinning.