BEHOLD, as for those who are bent on denying the truth* - it is all one to them whether thou warnest them or dost not warn them: they will not believe.
And if you cannot do it-and most certainly you cannot do it-then be conscious of the fire whose fuel is human beings and stones* which awaits all who deny the truth!
Said He: "O Adam, convey unto them the names of these [things]." And as soon as [Adam] had conveyed unto them their names, [God] said: "Did I not say unto you, `Verily, I alone know the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth, and know all that you bring into the open and all. that you would conceal'?"
Any message which, We annul or consign to oblivion We replace with a better or a similar one.* Dost thou not know that God has the power to will anything?
Dost thou not know that God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth, and that besides God you have none to protect you or bring you succour?
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 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.*
You will incur no sin if you divorce women while you have not yet touched them nor settled a dower upon them;* but [even in such a case] make provision for them - the affluent according to his means, and the straitened according to his means - a provision in an equitable manner: this is a duty upon all who would do good.*
But if you are in danger, [pray] walking or riding;* and when you are again secure, bear God in mind - since it is He who taught you what you did not previously know.
ART THOU NOT aware of those who forsook their homelands in their thousands for fear of death-whereupon God said unto them, "Die," and later brought them back to life ?* Behold, God is indeed limitless in His bounty unto man -but most people are ungrateful.
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 when Saul set out with his forces, he said: "Behold, God will now try you by a river: he who shall drink of it will not belong to me, whereas he who shall refrain from tasting it - he, indeed, will belong to me; but forgiven shall be he* who shall scoop up but a single handful." However, save for a few of them, they all drank [their fill] of it. And as soon as he and those who had kept faith with him had crossed the river, the others said: "No strength have we today [to stand up] against Goliath and his forces!" [Yet] those who knew with certainty that they were destined to meet God, replied: "How often has a small host overcome a great host by God's leave! For God is with those who are patient in adversity."
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.*
Or [art thou, O man, of the same mind] as he* who passed by a town deserted by its people, with its roofs caved in, [and] said, "How could God bring all this back to life after its death?"* Thereupon God caused him to be dead for a hundred years; where after He brought him back to life [and] said: "How long hast thou remained thus?" He answered: "I have remained thus a day, or part of a day." Said [God]: "Nay, but thou hast remained thus for a hundred years! But look at thy food and thy drink-untouched is it by the passing of years - and look at thine ass!* And [We did all this so that We might make thee a symbol unto men. And look at the bones [of animals and men] - how We put them together and then clothe them with flesh!"* And when [all this] became clear to him, he said: "I know [now] that God has the power to will anything!"
And, lo, Abraham said: "O my Sustainer! Show me how Thou givest life unto the dead!" Said He: "Hast thou, then, no faith?" (Abraham) answered: "Yea, but [let me see it] so that my heart may be set fully at rest." Said He: "Take, then, four birds and teach them to obey thee;* . then place them separately on every hill [around thee]; then summon them: they will come flying to thee. And know that God is almighty, wise."*
And the parable of those who spend their possessions out of a longing to please God, and out of their own inner certainty, is that of a garden on high, fertile ground: a rainstorm smites it, and thereupon it brings forth its fruit twofold; and if no rainstorm smites it, soft rain [falls upon it]. And God sees all that you do.
for if you do it not, then know that you are at war with God and His Apostle. But if you repent, then you shall be entitled to [the return of] your principal :* you will do no wrong, and neither will you be wronged.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever you give or take credit* for a stated term, set it down in writing. And let a scribe write it down equitably between you; and no scribe shall refuse to write as God has taught him:* thus shall he write. And let him who contracts the debt dictate; and let him be conscious of God, his Sustainer, and not weaken anything of his undertaking.* And if he who contracts the debt is weak of mind or body, or, is not able to dictate himself,* then let him who watches over his interests dictate equitably. And call upon two of your men to act as witnesses; and if two men are not available, then a man and two women from among such as are acceptable to you as witnesses, so that if one of them should make a mistake, the other could remind her.* And the witnesses must not refuse [to give evidence] whenever they are called upon. And be not loath to write down every contractual provision,* be it small or great, together with the time at which it falls due; this is more equitable in the sight of God, more reliable as evidence, and more likely to prevent you from having doubts [later]. If, however, [the transaction] concerns ready merchandise which you transfer directly unto one another, you will incur no sin if you do not write it down. And have witnesses whenever you trade with one another, but neither scribe nor witness must suffer harm;* for if you do [them harm], behold, it will be sinful conduct on your part. And remain conscious of God, since it is God who teaches you [herewith] - and God has full knowledge of everything.
And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, pledges [may be taken] in hand: but if you trust one another, then let him who is trusted fulfil his trust, and let him be conscious of God, his Sustainer. And do not conceal what you have witnessed* - for, verily, he who conceals it is sinful at heart; and God has full knowledge of all that you do.
Art thou not aware of those who have been granted their share of revelation [aforetime]? They have been called upon to let God's writ be their law* - and yet some of them turn away [from it] in their obstinacy,
Said she: "O my Sustainer! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?" [The angel] answered: "Thus it is: God creates what He wills* when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, 'Be' - and it is.
and who, when they have committed a shameful deed or have [otherwise] sinned against themselves, remember God and pray that their sins be forgiven - for who but God could forgive sins? - and do not knowingly persist in doing whatever [wrong] they may have done.
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!
exulting in that [martyrdom] which God has bestowed upon them out of His bounty. And they rejoice in the glad tiding given to those [of their brethren] who have been left behind and have not yet joined them, that no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve:
- and returned [from the battle] with God's blessings and bounty, without having been touched by evil:* for they had been striving after God's goodly acceptance - and God is limitless in His great bounty.
Think not that those who exult in what they have thus contrived, and who love to be praised for what they have not done* - think not that they will escape suffering: for grievous suffering does await them [in the life to come].
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.
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 as for those of you who, owing to circumstances, are not in a position* to marry free believing women, [let them marry] believing maidens from among those whom you rightfully possess.* And God knows all about your faith; each one of you is an issue of the other.* Marry them, then, with their people's leave, and give them their dowers in an equitable manner - they being women who give themselves in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions.* And when they are married, and thereafter become guilty of immoral conduct, they shall be liable to half the penalty to which free married women are liable.* This [permission to marry slave-girls applies] to those of you who fear lest they stumble into evil.* But it is for your own good to persevere in patience [and to abstain from such marriages]: and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not attempt to pray while you are in a state of drunkenness,* [but wait] until you know what you are saying; nor yet [while you are] in a state requiring total ablution,* until you have bathed - except if you are travelling [and are unable to do so]. But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature,* or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water - then take resort to pure dust, passing [therewith] lightly over your face and your hands.* Behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.
ART THOU NOT aware of those who, having been granted their share of the divine writ,* now barter it away for error, and want you [too] to lose your way?
Art thou not aware of those who consider themselves pure?* Nay, but it is God who causes whomever He wills to grow in purity; and none shall be wronged by as much as a hair's breadth.*
Art thou not aware of those who, having been granted their share of the divine writ, [now] believe in baseless mysteries and in the powers of evil,* and maintain that those who are bent on denying the truth are more surely guided than those who have attained to faith?
ART THOU NOT aware of those who claim that they believe in what has been bestowed from on high upon thee, [O Prophet,] as well as in what was bestowed from on high before thee, [and yet] are willing to defer to the rule of the powers of evil* - although they were bidden to deny it, seeing that Satan but wants to lead them far astray?
And, behold, there are indeed among you such as would lag behind, and then, if calamity befalls you, say, "God has bestowed His favour upon me in that I did not accompany them."
But if good fortune comes to you from God, such a person* is sure to say - just as if there had never been any question of love between you and him - : "Oh, would that I had been with them, and thus had a [share in their] mighty triumph !"
ART THOU NOT aware of those who have been told, "Curb your hands,* and be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues"? But as soon as fighting [in God's cause] is ordained for them, lo, some of them stand in awe of men as one should stand in awe of God - or in even greater awe - and say, "O our Sustainer! Why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? If only Thou hadst granted us a delay for a little while!" Say: "Brief is the enjoyment of this world, whereas the life to come is the best for all who are conscious of God - since none of you shall be wronged by as much as a hair's breadth.
unless it be such [of them] as have ties with people to whom you yourselves are bound by a covenant, or such as come unto you because their hearts shrink from [the thought of] making war either on you or on their own folk - although, if God had willed to make them stronger than you, they would certainly have made war on you.* Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them.*
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].*
AND IT IS not conceivable that a believer should slay another believer, unless it be by mistake.* And upon him who has slain a believer by mistake there is the duty of freeing a believing soul from bondage and paying an indemnity to the victim's relations,* unless they forgo it by way of charity. Now if the slain, while himself a believer, belonged to a people who are at war with you,* [the penance shall be confined to] the freeing of a believing soul from bondage; whereas, if he belonged to a people to whom you are bound by a covenant, [it shall consist of] an indemnity to be paid to his relations in addition to the freeing of a believing soul from bondage.* And he who does not have the wherewithal shall fast [instead] for two consecutive months.* (This is) the atonement ordained by God: and God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
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!
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 but for God's favour upon thee and His grace, some of those [who are false to themselves] would indeed endeavour to lead thee astray; yet none but themselves do they lead astray. Nor can they harm thee in any way, since God has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ and [given thee] wisdom, and has imparted unto thee the knowledge of what thou didst not know. And God's favour upon thee is tremendous indeed.
Behold, as for those who come to believe, and then deny the truth, and again come to believe, and again deny the truth, and thereafter grow stubborn in their denial of the truth* - God will not forgive them, nor will He guide them in any way.
who but wait to see what betides you: thus, if triumph comes to you from God, they say, "Were we not on your side?"- whereas if those who deny the truth are in luck, they say [to them], "Have we not earned your affection by defending you against those believers?''* But God will judge between you all on the Day of Resurrection; and never will God allow those who deny the truth to harm the believers.*
But as for those who believe in God and His apostles and make no distinction between any of them** - unto them, in time, will He grant their rewards [in full]. And God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
and as [We inspired other] apostles whom We have mentioned to thee ere this,* as well as apostles whom We have not mentioned to thee; and as God spoke His word unto Moses:
Behold, those who are bent on denying the truth and on evildoing - God will indeed not forgive them, nor will He guide them onto any road
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.
O YOU who have attained to faith! When you are about to pray, wash your face, and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and pass your [wet] hands lightly over your head, and [wash] your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in a state. requiring total ablution, purify yourselves.* But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature, or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water-then take resort to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your face and your hands. God does not want to impose any hardship on you, but wants to make you pure, and to bestow upon you the full measure of His blessings, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
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.
AND CONVEY unto them, setting forth the truth, the story of the two sons of Adam* -how each offered a sacrifice, and it was accepted from one of them whereas it was not accepted from the other. [And Cain] said: "I will surely slay thee!" [Abel] replied: "Behold, God accepts only from those who are conscious of Him.
Dost thou not know that God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth? He chastises whom He wills, and He forgives whom He wills: for God has the power to will anything.
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-
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! ,
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!
O APOSTLE! Announce all that has been bestowed from on high upon thee by thy Sustainer: for unless thou doest it fully, thou wilt not have delivered His message [at all]. And God will protect thee from [unbelieving] men: behold, God does not guide people who refuse to acknowledge the truth.
Indeed, the truth deny they who say, "Behold, God is the third of a trinity" - seeing that there is no deity whatever save the One God. And unless they desist from this their assertion, grievous suffering is bound to befall such of them as are bent on denying the truth.
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.
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.*
Whereupon, in their utter confusion, they will only [be able to] say: "By God, our Sustainer, we did not [mean to] ascribe divinity to aught beside Him !"*
Then, when he beheld the moon rising, he said, "This is my Sustainer!"-but when it went down, he said, "Indeed, if my Sustainer guide me not. I will most certainly become one of the people who go astray!"
And why should I fear anything that you worship side by side with Him, seeing that you are not afraid of ascribing divinity to other powers beside God without His ever having bestowed upon you from on high any warrant therefor? [Tell me,] then, which of the two parties has a better right to feel secure -if you happen to know [the answer]?
Those who have attained to faith, and who have not obscured their faith by wrongdoing-it is they who shall be secure, since it is they who have found the right path!"
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!"
the Originator of the heavens and the earth! How could it be that He should have a child without there ever having been a mate for Him - since it is He who has created everything, and He alone knows everything?
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.
Hence, eat not of that over which God's name has not been pronounced: for this would be sinful conduct indeed. And, verily, the evil impulses [within men's hearts] whisper unto those who have made them their own* that they should involve you in argument [as to what is and what is not a sin]; and if you pay heed unto them, lo! you will become [like] those who ascribe divinity to other beings or forces beside God.*
[And thus will God continue:] "O you who have lived in close communion with [evil] invisible beings and [like-minded] humans! Have there not come unto you apostles from among yourselves, who conveyed unto you My messages and warned you of the coming of this your Day [of Judgment]?" They will answer: "We do bear witness against ourselves!"-for the life of this world had beguiled them: and so they will bear witness against themselves that they had been denying the truth.
And so it is that thy Sustainer would never destroy a community* for its wrongdoing so long as its people are still unaware [of the meaning of right and wrong]:
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!"
Yea, indeed, We have created you, and then formed you;* and then We said unto the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!" - whereupon they [all] prostrated themselves, save Iblis: he was not among those who prostrated themselves.*
-and thus he led them on with deluding thoughts. But as soon as the two had tasted [the fruit] of the tree, they became conscious of their nakedness; and they began to cover themselves with pieced-together leaves from the garden. And their Sustainer called unto them: "Did I not forbid that tree unto you and tell you, `Verily, Satan is your open foe'?"
The two replied: "O our Sustainer! We have sinned against ourselves -and unless Thou grant us forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy upon us, we shall most certainly be lost!"
Say: "Verily, my Sustainer has forbidden only shameful deeds, be they open or secret, and [every kind of] sinning, and unjustified envy, and the ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him - since He has never bestowed any warrant therefor from on high and the attributing unto God of aught of which you have no knowledge."
And between the two there will be a barrier.* And there will be persons who [in life] were endowed with the faculty of discernment [between right and wrong], recognizing each by its mark.* And they will call out unto the inmates of paradise, "Peace be upon you!"-not having entered it themselves, but longing [for it].
"And if there be some among you who have come to believe in the message which I bear, the while the others do not believe, then have patience in adversity till God shall judge between us [and them]: for He is the best of all judges!"
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!
Has it, then, not become obvious unto those who have inherited the earth in the wake of former generations* that, if We so willed, We could smite them [too] by means of their sins, sealing their hearts so that they cannot hear [the truth]?*
AND IN his absence the people of Moses took to worshipping the effigy of a calf [made] of their ornaments, which gave forth a lowing sound."* Did they not see that it could neither speak unto them nor guide them in any way? [And yet] they took to worshipping it, for they were evildoers:
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!"*
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?
Has it, then, never occurred to them* that there is no madness whatever in [this] their fellowman? He is only a plain warner.*
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?*
And yet, when thou [O Prophet] dost not produce any miracle for them, some [people] say, "Why dost thou not seek to obtain it [from God]?* Say: "I only follow whatever is being revealed to me by my Sustainer: this [revelation] is a means of insight from your Sustainer, and a guidance and grace unto people who will believe.
And yet, [O believers,] it was not you who slew the enemy,* but it was God who slew them; and it was not thou who cast [terror into them, O Prophet], when thou didst cast it, but it was God who cast it:* and [He did all this] in order that He might test the believers by a goodly test of His Own or daining.* Verily, God is all-hearing, all-knowing!
This, because God would never change* the blessings with which He has graced a people unless they change their inner selves :* and [know] that God is all-hearing, all-seeing.
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.
But excepted shall be* -from among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God - [people] with whom you [O believers] have made a covenant and who thereafter have in no wise failed to fulfil their obligations towards you, and neither have aided anyone against you: observe, then, your covenant with them until the end of the term agreed with them.* Verily, God loves those who are conscious of Him.
Do you [O believers] think that you will be spared* unless God takes cognizance of your having striven hard [in His cause]* without seeking help from any but God and His Apostle and those who believe in Him?* For, God is aware of all that you do.
Only he should visit or tend God's houses of worship who believes in God and the Last Day, and is constant in prayer, and spends in charity, and stands in awe of none but God: for [only such as] these may hope to be among the right-guided!*
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:*
whereupon God bestowed from on high His [gift of] inner peace upon His Apostle and upon the believers, and bestowed [upon you] from on high forces which you could not see,* and chastised those who were bent on denying the truth: for such is the recompense of all who deny the truth!
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.
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.
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?
Have, then, the stories of those who preceded them never come within the ken of these [hypocrites and deniers of the truth]?-[the stories] of Noah's people, and of [the tribes of] `Ad and Thamud, and of Abraham's people, and of the folk of Madyan, and of the cities that were overthrown?* To [all of] them their apostles had come with all evidence of the truth. [but they rejected them:] and so it was not God who wronged them [by His punishment], but it was they who wronged themselves.
[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.
Do they not know that God knows [all] their hidden thoughts and their secret confabulations, and that God knows fully all the things that are beyond the reach of human perception'?
Do they not know that it is God alone who can accept the repentance of His servants* and is the [true] recipient of whatever is offered for His sake - and that God alone is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace?
For [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us, whether he be lying on his side or sitting or standing;* but as soon as We have freed him of his affliction, he goes on as though he had never invoked Us to save him from the affliction* that befell him! Thus do their own doings seem goodly unto those who waste their own selves.*
The parable of the life of this world is but that of rain which We send down from the sky, and which is absorbed by the plants of the earth* whereof men and animals draw nourishment, until -when the earth has assumed its artful adornment and has been embellished, and they who dwell on it believe that they have gained mastery over it* -there comes down upon it Our judgment, by night or by day, and We cause it to become [like] a field mown down, as if there had been no yesterday.* Thus clearly do We spell out these messages unto people who think!
Nay, but they are bent on giving the lie to everything the wisdom whereof they do not comprehend, and ere its inner meaning has become clear to them* Even thus did those who lived before their time give the lie to the truth: and behold what happened in the end to those evildoers!
And on the Day when He shall gather them [unto Himself, it will seem to them] as if they had not tarried [on earth] longer than an hour of a day, knowing one another;* [and] lost indeed will be they who [in their lifetime] considered it a lie that they were destined to meet God, and [thus] failed to find the right' way.
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].*
as though they had never lived there. Oh, verily, [the tribe of] Thamud denied their Sustainer! Oh, away with the Thamud!
as though they had never lived there. Oh, away with [the people of] Madyan, even as the Thamud have been done away with!
Said she: "This, then, is he about whom you have been blaming me! And, indeed, I did try to make him yield himself unto me, but he remained chaste. Now, however, if he does not do what I bid him, he shall most certainly be imprisoned, and shall most certainly find himself among the despised!*
[When Joseph learned what had happened, he said:* "I asked for] this, so that [my former master] might know that I did not betray him behind his back,* and that God does not bless with His guidance the artful schemes of those who betray their trust.
But if you do not bring him unto me, you shall never again receive a single measure [of grain] from me, nor shall you [be allowed to] come near me!"
[As soon as the cup came to light out of Benjamin's bag, the brothers] exclaimed: "If he has stolen-well, a brother of his used to steal afore-time !"* Thereupon Joseph said to himself, without revealing his thought to them:* "You are far worse in this respect, and God is fully aware of what you are saying.*
And so, when they lost all hope of [moving] him, they withdrew to take counsel [among themselves]. The eldest of them said: "Do you not remember* that your father has bound you by a solemn pledge before God - and how, before that, you had failed with regard to Joseph? Hence, I shall not depart from this land till my father gives me leave or God passes judgment in my favour:* for He is the best of all judges.
But when the bearer of good tidings came [with Joseph's tunic], he laid it over his face; and he regained his sight, [and] exclaimed: "Did I not tell you, `Verily, I know, from God, something that you do not know'?"*
And [even] before thy time, We never sent [as Our apostles] any but [mortal] men, whom We inspired, [and whom We always chose] from among the people of the [very] communities [to whom the message was to be brought].* Have, then, they [who reject this divine writ] never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before them?-and [do they not know that] to those who are conscious of God the life in the hereafter is indeed better [than this world]? Will they not, then, use their reason?
of those who have responded to their Sustainer with a goodly response, and of those who did not respond to Him.* [As for the latter,] if they possessed all that is on earth, and twice as much,* they would surely offer it as ransom [on the Day of Judgment] :* a most evil reckoning awaits them, and their goal is hell: and how evil a resting-place!
Yet even if [they should listen to] a [divine] discourse by which mountains could be moved, or the earth cleft asunder, or the dead made to speak - [they who are bent on denying the truth would still refuse to believe in it]!* Nay, but God alone has the power to decide what shall be.* Have, then, they who have attained to faith not yet come to know that, had God so willed; He would indeed have guided all mankind aright?* But as for those who are bent on denying the truth-in result of their [evil] deeds, sudden calamities will always befall them or will alight close to their homes;* [and this will continue] until God's promise [of resurrection] is fulfilled: verily, God never fails to fulfil His promise!
Have, then, they [who deny the truth] never yet seen how* We visit the earth [with Our punishment], gradually depriving it of all that is best thereon?* For, [when] God judges, there is no power that could repel His judgment: and swift in reckoning is He!
HAVE THE STORIES of those [deniers of the truth] who lived before you never yet come within your ken - [the stories of] the people of Noah, and of [the tribes of] `Ad and Thamud, and of those who came after them? None knows them [now] save God.* There came unto them their apostles with all evidence of the truth -but they covered their mouths with their hands* and answered: "Behold, we refuse to regard as true the message with which you [claim to] have been entrusted; and, behold, we are .in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about [the meaning of] your call to us!"*
ART THOU NOT aware that God has created the heavens and the earth in accordance with [an inner] truth?* He can, if He so wills, do away with you and bring forth a new mankind [in your stead] :*
ART THOU NOT aware how God sets forth the parable of a good word?* [It is] like a good tree, firmly rooted, [reaching out] with its branches towards the sky,
ART THOU NOT aware of those who have preferred a denial of the truth to God's blessings,* and [thereby] invited their people to alight in that abode of utter desolation
Hence, warn men of the Day when this suffering may befall them, and when those who did wrong [in their lifetime] will exclaim: "O our Sustainer! Grant us respite for a short while, so that we might respond to Thy call and follow the apostles!"* [But God will answer:] "Why - were you not aforetime wont to swear that no kind of resurrection and retribution awaited you?*
[Iblis] replied: "It is not for me to prostrate myself before mortal man whom Thou hast created out of sounding clay, out of dark slime transmuted!"
They answered: "Have we not forbidden thee [to offer protection] to any kind of people?"*
And they carry your loads to [many] a place which [otherwise] you would be unable to reach without great hardship to yourselves. Verily, your Sustainer is most compassionate, a dispenser of grace!
HAVE, THEN, they [who deny the truth] never considered any of the things that God has created* _ (how] their shadows turn right and left, prostrating themselves before God and utterly submissive [to His will]?*
Have, then, they [who deny the truth] never considered the birds, enabled [by God] to fly in mid-air,* with none but God holding them aloft? In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
VERILY, Abraham was a man who combined within himself all virtues,* devoutly obeying God's will, turning away from all that is false,* and not being of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God:
Are they, then, not aware that God, who has created the heavens and the earth, has the power to create them anew in their own likeness,* having, beyond any doubt, set a term for their resurrection?* However, all [such] evildoers are unwilling to accept anything but blasphemy!*
and say: "All praise is due to God, who begets no offspring,* and has no partner in His dominion, and has no weakness, and therefore no need of any aid"* -and [thus] extol His limitless greatness.
ALL PRAISE is due to God, who has bestowed. this divine writ from on high upon His servant, and has not allowed any deviousness to obscure its meaning:*
But wouldst thou, perhaps,* torment thyself to death with grief over them if they are not willing to believe in this message?*
Each of the two gardens yielded its produce and never failed therein in any way, for We had caused a stream to gush forth in the midst of each of them.
And [thus it happened:] his fruitful gardens were encompassed [by ruin], and there he was, wringing his hands over all that he had spent on that which now lay waste, with its trellises caved in; and he could but say, "Oh, would that I had not attributed divine powers to any but my Sustainer!"
-for now he had nought* to succour him in God's stead, nor could he succour himself.
Hence, [bear in mind] the Day, on which We shall cause the mountains to disappear and thou shalt behold the earth void and bare: for [on that Day] We will [resurrect the dead and] gather them all together, leaving out none of them.
Hence, [bear in mind] the Day on which He will say, "Call [now] unto those beings whom you imagined to have a share in My divinity!"* - whereupon they will invoke them, but those [beings] will not respond to them: for We shall have placed between them an unbridgeable gulf.*
And those who were lost in sin will behold the fire, and will know that they are bound to fall into it, and will find no way of escape therefrom.
for how couldst thou be patient about something that thou canst not comprehend within the compass of (thy] experience?"*
He replied: "Did I not tell thee that thou wilt never be able to have patience with me?"
He replied: "Did I not tell thee that thou wilt never be able to have patience with me?"
[The sage] replied: "This is the parting of ways between me and thee. [And now] I shall let thee know the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience:,
"And as for that wall, it belonged to two orphan boys [living] in the town, and beneath it was [buried] a treasure belonging to them [by right].* Now their father had been a righteous man, and so thy Sustainer willed it that when they come of age they should bring forth their treasure by thy Sustainer's grace. "And I did not do (any of] this of my own accord:* this is the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience."
[And then he marched eastwards] till, when he came to the rising of the sun* he found that it was rising on a people for whom We had provided no coverings against it:
he prayed: "O my Sustainer! Feeble have become my bones, and my head glistens with grey hair. But never yet, O my Lord, has my prayer unto Thee remained unanswered.*
[Thereupon the angels called out unto him:* "O Zachariah! We bring thee the glad tiding of [the birth of] a son whose name shall be John. [And God says,] `Never have We given this name to anyone before him."*
Answered [the angel]: "Thus. it is; [but] thy 'Sustainer says, `This is easy for Me -even as I have created thee aforetime out of nothing.*
and full of piety towards his parents; and never was he haughty or rebellious.
Said she: "How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me? - for, never have I been a loose woman!"
and [has endowed me with] piety towards my mother; and He has not made me haughty or bereft of grace.
"O my father! Behold, there has indeed come to me [a ray] of knowledge such as has never yet come unto thee:* follow me, then; I shall guide thee onto a perfect way.
He answered: "Dost thou dislike my gods, O Abraham? Indeed, if thou desist not, I shall most certainly cause thee to be stoned to death! Now begone from me for good!"
But does man not bear in mind that We have created him aforetime out of nothing?*
ART THOU NOT aware that We have let loose all [manner of] satanic forces* upon those who deny the truth - [forces] that impel them [towards sin] with strong impulsion?*
Thereupon Moses returned to his people full of wrath and sorrow, [and] exclaimed: "O my people! Did not your Sustainer hold out [many] a goodly promise to you? bid, then, [the fulfilment of] this promise seem to you too long in coming?* Or are you, perchance, determined to see your Sustainer's condemnation fall upon you,* and so you broke your promise to me?"
Answered [Aaron]: "O my mother's son! Seize me not by my beard, nor by my head!* Behold, I was afraid lest [on thy return] thou say, 'Thou hast caused a split among the children of Israel, and hast paid no heed to my bidding!"*
He answered: "I have gained insight into something which they were unable to see:* and so I took hold of a handful of the Apostle's teachings and cast it away: for thus has my mind prompted me [to act]."*
AND, INDEED, long ago did We impose Our commandment on Adam;* but he forgot it, and We found no firmness of purpose in him.
For, thus shall We recompense him who wastes his own self* and does not believe in his Sustainer's messages: and, indeed, the suffering [of such sinners] in the life to come shall be most severe and most enduring!
CAN, THEN, they [who reject the truth] learn no lesson by recalling how many a generation We have destroyed before their time?* - [people] in whose dwelling-places they [themselves now] walk about? In this, behold, there are messages indeed for those who are endowed with reason!
NOW THEY [who are blind to the truth] are wont to say, "If [Muhammad] would but produce for us a miracle from his Sustainer!* [But] has there not come unto them a clear evidence [of the truth of this divine writ] in what is [to be found] in the earlier scriptures?*
ARE, THEN, they who are bent on denying the truth not aware that the heavens and the earth were [once] one single entity, which We then parted asunder? * and [that] We made out of water every living thing? Will they not, then, [begin to] believe?*
ART THOU NOT aware that before God prostrate themselves all [things and beings] that are in the heavens and all that are on earth* the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the beasts? And many human beings [submit to God consciously],* whereas many [others, having defied Him,] will inevitably have to suffer [in the life to come];* and he whom God shall scorn [on Resurrection Day] will have none who could bestow honour on him: for, verily, God does what He wills.
Have they, then, never journeyed about the earth, letting their hearts gain wisdom, and causing their ears to hear?* Yet, verily, it is not their eyes that have become blind - but blind have become the hearts that are in their breasts!
Art thou not aware that it's God who sends down water from the skies, whereupon the earth becomes green? Verily, God is unfathomable [in His wisdom], all-aware.*
Art thou not aware that it is God who has made subservient to you all that is on earth,* and the ships that sail through the sea at His behest - and [that it is He who] holds the celestial bodies* [in their orbits], so that they may not fall upon the earth otherwise than by His leave?* Verily, God is most compassionate towards men, a dispenser of grace
Dost thou not know that God knows all that occurs in heaven as well as on earth? All this, behold, is in [God's] record: verily, [to know] all this is easy for God.
And yet* they [who claim to believe in Him often] worship [other beings or forces] beside God - something for which He has never bestoweed any warrant from on high,* and [of the reality] whereof they cannot have any knowledge:* and such evildoers shall have none to succour them [on Judgment Day].
Have they, then, never tried to understand this word [of God]? Or has there [now] come to them something that never came to their forefathers of old?*
Or is it, perchance, that they have not recognized their Apostle, and so they disavow him?
[And God will say:] Were not My messages conveyed unto you, and were you [not] wont to give them the lie?"
And as for those who accuse chaste women [of adultery],* and then are unable to produce four witnesses [in support of their accusation], flog them with eighty stripes* and ever after refuse to accept from them any testimony - since it is they, they that are truly depraved!
And as for those who accuse their own wives [of adultery], but have no witnesses except themselves, let each of these [accusers] call God four times to witness that he is indeed telling the truth,*
why do they not [demand of the accusers that they]* their allegation?* for, if they do not produce such witnesses, it is those [accusers] who, in the sight of God, are liars indeed!
Hence, [even] if you find no one within [the house], do not enter it until you are given leave;* and if you are told, Turn back," then turn back. This will be most conducive to your purity; and God has full knowledge of all that you do.
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof;* hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms.* And let them not display [more of] their charms to any but their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' Sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their womenfolk, or those whom they rightfully possess, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desire,* or children that are as yet unaware of women's nakedness; and let them not swing their legs [in walking] so as to draw attention to their hidden charms* And [always], O you believers - all of you - turn unto God in repentance, so that you might attain to a happy state!*
God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His light is, as it were,* that of a niche containing a lamp; the lamp is [enclosed] in glass, the glass [shining] like a radiant star:* [a lamp] lit from a blessed tree - an olive-tree that is neither of the east nor of the west* the oil whereof [is so bright that it] would well-nigh give light [of itself] even though fire had not touched it: light upon light!* God guides unto His light him that wills [to be guided];* and [to this end] God propounds parables unto men, since God [alone] has full knowledge of all things.*
But as for those who are bent on denying the truth, their [good] deeds are like a mirage in the desert, which the thirsty supposes to be water until, when he approaches it, he finds that it was nothing:* instead, he finds [that] God [has always been present] with him, and [that] He will pay him his account in full - for God is swift in reckoning!
Or [else, their deeds are]* like the depths of darkness upon an abysmal sea, made yet more dark by wave billowing over wave, with [black] clouds above it all: depths of darkness, layer upon layer,* [so that] when one holds up his hand, he can hardly see it: for he to whom God gives no light, no light whatever has he!
ART THOU NOT aware that it is God whose limitless glory all [creatures] that are in the heavens and on earth extol, even the birds as they spread out their wings?* Each [of them] knows indeed how to pray unto Him and to glorify Him; and God has full knowledge of all that they do:
Art thou not aware that it is God who causes the clouds to move onward, then joins them together, then piles them up in masses, until thou can see rain come forth from their midst? And He it is who sends down from the skies, by degrees, mountainous masses [of clouds] charged with hail, striking therewith whomever He wills and averting it from whomever He wills, [the while] the flash of His lightning well-nigh deprives [men of their] sight!
O YOU who have attained to faith!* At three times [of day], let [even] those whom you rightfully possess,* as well as those from among you who have not yet attained to puberty,* ask leave of you [before intruding upon your privacy]: before the prayer of daybreak, and whenever you lay aside your garments in the middle of the day, and after the prayer of nightfall:* the three occasions on which your nakedness is likely to be bared.* Beyond these [occasions], neither you nor they will incur any sin if they move [freely] about you, attending to [the needs of] one another. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages: for God is all-knowing, wise!
[TRUE BELIEVERS are only they who have attained to faith in God and His Apostle, and who, whenever they are [engaged] with him upon a matter of concern to the whole community* do not depart [from whatever has been decided upon] unless they have sought [and obtained] his leave.* Verily, those who [do not abstain from the agreed upon action unless they] ask leave of thee - it is [only] they who [truly] believe in God and His Apostle! Hence, when they ask leave of thee for some [valid] reason of their own, grant thou this leave to whomsoever of them thou choose [to grant it],* and ask God to forgive them: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!*
He to whom the dominion over the heavens and the earth belongs, and who begets no offspring,* and has no partner in His dominion: for it is He who creates every thing and determines its nature in accordance with [His own] design.*
Oh, woe is me! Would that I had not taken so-and-so for a friend!
And they [who now deny Our messages] must surely have come across that town which was rained upon by a rain of evil:* have they, then, never beheld it [with their minds eye]? But nay, they would not believe in resurrection!*
Art thou not aware of thy Sustainer [through His works]? - how He causes the shadow to lengthen [towards the night] when, had He so willed, He could indeed have made it stand still: but then, We have made the sun its guide;
and who, whenever they spend on others,* are neither wasteful nor niggardly but [remember that] there is always a just mean between those [two extremes];
and who, whenever they are reminded of their Sustainer's messages, do not throw themselves upon them [as if] deaf and blind;*
Have they, then, never considered the earth - how much of every noble kind [of life] We have caused to grow thereon?
[But when Moses had delivered his message, Pharaoh] said: Did we not bring thee up among us when thou wert a child? And didst thou not spend among us years of thy [later] life?
Said they: Indeed, if thou desist not, O Noah, thou wilt surely be stoned to death!"*
[But] they answered. It is all one to us whether thou preachest [something new] or art not of those who [like to] preach.
Said they: Indeed, If thou desist not, O Lot, thou wilt most certainly be expelled [from this township]!''
Is it not evidence enough for them* that [so many] learned men from among the children of Israel have recognized this [as true]?*
Art thou not aware that they roam confusedly through all the valleys [of words and thoughts],*
[And then He said:] Now throw down thy staff!"* But when he saw it move rapidly, as if it were a serpent, he drew back [in terror], and did not [dare to] return.* [And God spoke to him again:] O Moses! Fear not - for, behold, no fear need the message-bearers have in My Presence,
But [the hoopoe] tarried but a short while; and [when it came] it said: I have encompassed [with my knowledge] something that thou hast never yet encompassed [with thine] - for I have come to thee from Sheba with a tiding sure!*
until such a time as they shall come [to be judged. And] He will say: Did you give the lie to My messages even though you failed to encompass them with [your] knowledge?* Or what was it that [you thought] you were doing?"
for, were they not aware that it is We who had made the night for them, so that they might rest therein, and the day, to make [them] see?* In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
And [then He said]: Throw down thy staff!" But as soon as [Moses] saw it move rapidly, as if it were a snake, he drew back [in terror], and did not [dare to] return.* [And God spoke to him again:] O Moses! Draw near, and have no fear - for, behold, thou art of those who are secure [in this world and in the next]!*
And yet, now that the truth has come unto them from Us, they say, Why has he not been vouchsafed the like of what Moses was vouchsafed?"* But did they not also, before this, deny the truth of what Moses was vouchsafed? [For] they do say, Two examples of delusion, [seemingly] supporting each other!"* And they add, Behold, we refuse to accept either of them as true!"
And since they cannot respond to this thy challenge,* know that they are following only their own likes and dislikes: and who could be more astray than he who follows [but] his own likes and dislikes without any guidance from God? Verily, God does not grace with His guidance people who are given to evildoing!
Now some say, If we were to follow the guidance to which thou invitest us, we would be torn away from our very soil!"* Why - have We not established for them a sanctuary secure, to which, as a provision from Us, shall be gathered the fruits of all (good) things?* But most of them are unaware [of this truth].
And how many a community that [once] exulted in its wanton wealth and ease of life have We destroyed, so that those dwelling-places of theirs all but a few - have never been dwelt-in after them: for it is indeed We alone who shall remain when all else will have passed away!*
And [they] will be told: Call [now] unto those [beings or powers] to whom you were wont to ascribe a share in God's divinity!"* and they will call unto them [for help], but those [fake objects of worship] will not respond to them: whereupon they will see the suffering [that awaits them - the suffering which could have been avoided] if only they had allowed themselves to be guided!*
Answered he: This [wealth] has been given to me only by virtue of the knowledge that is in me!"* Did he not know that God had destroyed [the arrogant of] many a generation that preceded him - people who were greater than he in power, and richer in what they had amassed? But such as are lost in sin may not be asked about, their sins.*
Are then they [who deny the truth] not aware of how God creates [life] in the first instance, and then brings it forth anew? This, verily, is easy for God!*
Why - is it not enough for them that We have bestowed this divine writ on thee from on high, to be conveyed [by thee] to them?* For, verily, in it is [manifested Our] grace, and a reminder to people who will believe.
Are they, then, not aware that We have set up a sanctuary secure [for those who believe in Us], the while all around them men are being carried away [by fear and despair]?* Will they, then, [continue to] believe in things false and vain, and thus deny God's blessings.
Have they never learned to think for themselves?* God has not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them without [an inner] truth and a term set [by Him]:* and yet, behold, there are many people who stubbornly deny the truth that they are destined to meet their Sustainer!
Have they, then, never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before their time? Greater were they in power than they are; and they left a stronger impact on the earth, and built it up even better* than these [are doing]; and to them [too] came their apostles with all evidence of the truth: and so, [when they rejected the truth and thereupon perished,] it was not God who wronged them, but it was they who had wronged themselves.
for they will have no intercessors in the beings to whom they were wont to ascribe a share in God's divinity,* seeing that [by then] they themselves will have ceased to believe in their erstwhile blasphemous fancies.*
Are they, then, not aware that it is God who grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills? In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
For, whenever Our messages are conveyed to such a one, he turns away in his arrogance* as though he had not heard them - as though there were deafness in his ears. Give him, then, the tiding of grievous suffering [in the life to come].
ARE YOU NOT aware that God has made subservient to you all* that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and has lavished upon you His blessings, both outward and inward?* And yet, among men there is many a one that argues about God without having any knowledge [of Him], without any guidance, and without any light-giving revelation;
Art thou not aware that it is God who makes the night grow longer by shortening the day, and makes the day grow longer by shortening the night, and that He has made the sun and the moon subservient [to His laws], each running its course for a term set [by Him]* and that God is fully aware of all that you do?
Art thou not aware how the ships speed through the sea by God's favour, so that He might show you some of His wonders? Herein, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are wholly patient in adversity and deeply grateful [to God].
[But] can, then, they [who deny the truth] learn no lesson by recalling how many a generation We have destroyed before their time?* [people] in whose dwelling-places they [themselves now] walk about? In this, behold, there are messages indeed: will they not, then, listen?
Are they not aware that it is We who drive the rain onto dry land devoid of herbage, and thereby bring forth herbage of which their cattle and they themselves do eat? Can they not, then, see [the truth of resurrection]?
[As for your adopted children,] call them by their [real] fathers' names: this is more equitable in the sight of God; and if you know not who their fathers were, [call them] your brethren in faith and your friends.* However, you will incur no sin if you err in this respect:* [what really matters is] but what your hearts intend - for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
O YOU who have attained to faith! Call to mind the blessings which God bestowed on you (at the time) when [enemy] hosts came down upon you, whereupon We let loose against them a storm wind and [heavenly] hosts that you could not see:* yet God saw all that you did.
begrudging you all help. But then, when danger threatens, thou canst see them looking to thee [for help, O Prophet], their eyes rolling [in terror] like [the eyes of] one who is overshadowed by death: yet as soon as the danger has passed, they will assail you [believers] with sharp tongues, begrudging you all that is good! [People like] these have never known faith - and therefore God will cause all their works to come to nought: for this is indeed easy for God.
They think that the Confederates have not [really] withdrawn;* and should the Confederates return, these [hypocrites] would prefer to be in the desert, among the bedouin, asking for news about you, [O believers, from far away;] and even were they to find themselves in your midst, they would but make a pretence at fighting [by your side].*
Thus, for all their fury, God repulsed those who were bent on denying the truth;* no advantage did they gain, since God was enough to [protect] the believers in battle - seeing that God is most powerful, almighty;
and He made you heirs to their lands, and their houses, and their goods - and [promised you] lands on which you had never yet set foot:* for God has indeed the power to will anything.
THUS IT IS: if* the hypocrites, and they in whose hearts is disease,* and they who, by spreading false rumours, would cause disturbances* in the City [of the Prophet] desist not [from their hostile doings]. We shall indeed give thee mastery over them, [O Muhammad] - and then they will not remain thy neighbours in this [city] for more than a little while:*
Are they, then, not aware of how little of the sky and the earth lies open before them, and how much is hidden from them?* [or that,] if We so willed, We could cause the earth to swallow them,* or cause fragments of the sky to fall down upon them?* In all this, behold, there is a message indeed for every servant [of God] who is wont to turn unto Him [in repentance].*
ART THOU NOT aware that God sends down water from the skies, whereby We bring forth fruits of many hues - just as in the mountains there are streaks of white and red of various shades, as well as (others) raven-black,
And in that [hell] they will cry aloud: O our Sustainer! Cause us to come out [of this suffering]! We shall [henceforth] do good deeds, not such as we were wont to do [aforetime]!" [But We shall answer:] Did We not grant you a life long enough so that whoever was willing to take thought could bethink himself? And [withal,] a warner had come unto you! Taste, then, [the fruit of your evil deeds]: for evildoers shall have none to succour them!"
Have they never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before their time and were [so much] greater than they in power? And [do they not see that the will of] God can never be foiled by anything whatever in the heavens or on earth, since, verily, He is all-knowing, infinite in His power?
thus, it is all one to them whether thou warnest them or dost not warn them: they will not believe.
Said [the others]: Truly, we augur evil from you!* Indeed, if you desist not, we will surely stone you, and grievous suffering is bound to befall you at our hands!"
Are they not aware of how many a generation We have destroyed before their time, [and] that those [that have perished] will never return to them,*
Did I not enjoin on you, O you children of Adam, that you should not worship Satan since, verily, he is your open foe*
And [as for Satan -] he had already led astray a great many of you: could you not, then, use your reason?
Are they, then, not aware that it is for them that We have created, among all the things which Our hands have wrought,* the domestic animals of which they are [now] masters?
IS MAN, then, not aware that it is We who create him out of a [mere] drop of sperm - whereupon, lo! he shows himself endowed with the power to think and to argue?*
[To which] the others will reply: Nay, you yourselves were bereft of all faith!
What! Upon him alone from among all of us should a [divine] reminder have been bestowed from on high?" Nay, but it is My Own reminder that they distrust!* Nay, they have not yet tasted the suffering which I do impose!*
ART THOU NOT aware that it is God who sends down water from the skies, and then causes it to travel through the earth in the shape of springs? And then He brings forth thereby herbage of various hues; and then it withers, and thou canst see it turn yellow; and in the end He causes it to crumble to dust.* Verily, in [all] this there is indeed a reminder to those who are endowed with insight!
It is God [alone that has this power - He] who causes all human beings to die at the time of their [bodily] death, and [causes to be as dead], during their sleep, those that have not yet died:* thus, He withholds [from life] those upon whom He has decreed death, and lets the others go free for a term set [by Him]. In [all] this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!
But if those who are bent on evildoing possessed all that is on earth, and twice as much,* they would surely offer it as ransom from the awful suffering [that will befall them] on the Day of Resurrection:* for, something with which they had not reckoned before will [by then] have been made obvious to them by God;*
Are they, then, not aware that it is God who grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills? In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
And those who were bent on denying the truth will be urged on in throngs towards hell till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened, and its keepers will ask them, Have there not come to you apostles from among yourselves, who conveyed to you your Sustainer's messages and warned you of the coming of this your Day [of Judgment]? "They will answer: Yea, indeed!" But the sentence of suffering will [already] have fallen due upon the deniers of the truth;*
Have they, then, never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before their time? Greater were they in power than they are, and in the impact which they left on earth: but God took them to task for their sins, and they had none to defend them against God:
[But the keepers of hell] will ask, Is it not [true] that your apostles came unto you with all evidence of the truth?" Those [in the fire] will reply, Yea, indeed." [And the keepers of hell] will say, Pray, then!" - for the prayer of those who deny the truth cannot lead to aught but delusion.*
ART THOU NOT aware of how far they who call God's messages in question have lost sight of the truth?*
side by side with God?" They will answer: They have forsaken us - or, rather, what we were wont to invoke aforetime did not exist at all!"* And they will be told:] It is thus that God lets the deniers of the truth go astray:*
And, indeed, [O Muhammad,] We sent forth apostles before thy time; some of them We have mentioned to thee,* and some of them We have not mentioned to thee. And it was not given to any apostle to bring forth a miracle other than by God's leave.* Yet when God's will becomes manifest,* judgment will [already] have been passed in all justice, and lost will be, then and there, all who tried to reduce to nothing [whatever they could not understand].*
HAVE THEY, then, never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before their time? More numerous were they, and greater in power than they are, and in the impact which they left on earth: but all that they ever achieved was of no avail to them
But their attaining to faith after they had beheld Our punishment could not possibly benefit them* such being the way of God that has always obtained for His creatures -: and so, then and there, lost were they who had denied the truth.*
Now as for [the tribe of] Ad, they walked arrogantly on earth, [offending] against all right, and saying, Who could have a power greater than ours?" Why - were they, then, not aware that God, who created them, had a power greater than theirs? But they went on rejecting Our messages;
In time We shall make them fully understand* Our messages [through what they perceive] in the utmost horizons [of the universe] and within themselves,* so that it will become clear unto them that this [revelation] is indeed the truth. [Still,] is it not enough [for them to know] that thy Sustainer is witness unto everything?*
Is it that they [who care for no more than this world] believe in forces supposed to have a share in God's divinity,* which enjoin upon them as a moral law something that God has never allowed?* Now were it not for [God's] decree on the final judgment,* all would indeed have been decided between them [in this world]:* but, verily, grievous suffering awaits the evildoers [in the life to come].
And if you do not believe me, [at least] stand away from me!"
who hears God's messages when they are conveyed to him, and yet, as though he had not heard them, persists in his haughty disdain! Hence, announce unto him grievous suffering
But as for those who were bent on denying the truth, [they will be told:] Were not My messages conveyed to you? And withal, you gloried in your arrogance, and so you became people lost in sin:
But they who are bent on denying the truth speak thus of those who have attained to faith: If this [message] were any good, these [people] would not have preceded us in accepting it!"* And since they refuse to be guided by it, they will always say, This is [but] an ancient falsehood!"*
ARE, THEN, they [who deny the life to come] not aware that God, who has created the heavens and the earth and never been wearied by their creation,* has [also] the power to bring the dead back to life? Yea, verily, He has the power to will anything!
REMAIN, then, [O believer,] patient in adversity, just as all of the apostles, endowed with firmness of heart, bore themselves with patience. And do not ask for a speedy doom of those [who still deny the truth]: on the Day when they see [the fulfillment of] what they were promised,* [it will seem to them] as though they had dwelt [on earth] no longer than one hour of [an earthly] day!* [This is Our] message. Will, then, any be [really] destroyed save iniquitous folk?"*
Have they, then, never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [willful sinners] who lived before their time? God destroyed them utterly: and the like thereof awaits all who deny the truth.*
[And can] the parable of the paradise which the God-conscious are promised* [a paradise] wherein there are rivers of water which time does not corrupt, and rivers of milk the taste whereof never alters, and rivers of wine delightful to those who drink it,* and rivers of honey of all impurity cleansed, and the enjoyment* of all the fruits [of their good deeds] and of forgiveness from their Sustainer -: can this [parable of paradise] be likened unto [the parable of the recompense of]* such as are to abide in the fire and be given waters of burning despair* to drink, so that it will tear their bowels asunder?
Now as for those who will not believe in God and His Apostle - verily, We have readied a blazing flame for all [such] deniers of the truth!
And there are yet other [gains] which are still beyond your grasp,* [but] which God has already encompassed [for you]: for God has the power to will anything.
[It was not for your enemies sake that He stayed your hands from them: for]* it was they who were bent on denying the truth, and who debarred you from the Inviolable House of Worship* and prevented your offering from reaching its destination.* And had it not been for the believing men and believing women [in Mecca ], whom you might have unwittingly trampled underfoot,* and on whose account you might have become guilty, without knowing it, of a grievous wrong-: [had it not been for this, you would have been allowed to fight your way into the city: but you were forbidden to fight]* so that [in time] God might admit to His grace whomever He wills.* Had they [who deserve Our mercy and they whom We have condemned] been clearly discernible [to you],* We would indeed have imposed grievous suffering [at your hands] on such of them as were bent on denying the truth.
Indeed, God has shown the truth in His Apostle's true vision:* most certainly shall you enter the Inviolable House of Worship, if God so wills, in full security, with your heads shaved or your hair cut short, without any fear:* for He has [always] known that which you yourselves could not know.* And He has ordained [for you], besides this, a victory soon to come.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! No men shall deride [other] men: it may well be that those [whom they deride] are better than themselves; and no women [shall deride other] women: it may well be that those [whom they deride] are better than themselves.* And neither shall you defame one another, nor insult one another by [opprobrious] epithets: evil is all imputation of iniquity after [one has attained to] faith;* and they who [become guilty thereof and] do not repent - it is they, they who are evildoers!
THE BEDOUIN say, We have attained to faith." Say [unto them, O Muhammad]: You have not [yet] attained to faith; you should [rather] say, 'We have [outwardly] surrendered' - for [true] faith has not yet entered your hearts.* But if you [truly] pay heed unto God and His Apostle, He will not let the least of your deeds go to waste:* for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
[Know that true] believers are only those who have attained to faith in God and His Apostle and have left all doubt behind,* and who strive hard in God's cause with their possessions and their lives: it is they, they who are true to their word!
Do they not look at the sky above them - how We have built it and made it beautiful and free of all faults?*
Avoid thou, therefore, those who turn away from all remembrance of Us and care for no more than the life of this world,
Or has he never yet been told of what was [said] in the revelations of Moses,
In these [gardens] will be mates of modest gaze, whom neither man nor invisible being will have touched ere then.*
[companions] whom neither man nor invisible being will have touched ere then.
They [who will remain without] will call out to those [within], Were we not with you?" - [to which] the others will answer: So it was! But you allowed yourselves to succumb to temptation,* and you were hesitant [in your faith],* and you were doubtful [of resurrection]; and your wishful thinking beguiled you until God's command came to pass:* for, [indeed, your own] deceptive thoughts about God deluded you*
IS IT NOT time that the hearts of all who have attained to faith should feel humble at the remembrance of God and of all the truth that has been bestowed [on them] from on high,* lest they become like those who were granted revelation aforetime,* and whose hearts have hardened with the passing of time so that many of them are [now] depraved?*
However, he who does not have the wherewithal shall fast [instead] for two consecutive months* before the couple may touch one another again; and he who is unable to do it shall feed sixty needy ones:* this, so that you might prove your faith in God and His Apostle.* Now these are the bounds set by God; and grievous suffering [in the life to come] awaits all who deny the truth.
ART THOU NOT aware that God knows all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth? Never can there be a secret confabulation between three persons without His being the fourth of them, nor between five without His being the sixth of them; and neither between less than that, or more, without His being with them wherever they may he. But in the end, on Resurrection Day, He will make them truly understand what they did: for, verily, God has full knowledge of everything.
Art thou not aware of such as have been forbidden [to intrigue through] secret confabulations,* and yet [always] revert to that which they have been forbidden, and conspire with one another with a view to sinful doings, and aggressive conduct, and disobedience to the Apostle?* Now whenever such [people] approach thee, [O Muhammad,]* they salute thee with a greeting which God has never countenanced;* and they say to themselves, Why does not God chastise us for what we are saying?"* Hell shall be their allotted portion: they shall [indeed] enter it - and how vile a journey's end!
O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever you [intend to] consult the Apostle, offer up something in charity on the occasion of your consultation:* this will be for your own good, and more conducive to your [inner] purity. Yet if you are unable to do so,* [know that,] verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Do you, perchance, fear lest [you may be sinning if] you cannot offer up anything in charity on the occasion of your consultation [with the Apostle]? But if you fail to do it [for lack of opportunity], and God turns unto you in His mercy, remain but constant in prayer and render [no more than] the purifying dues,* and [thus] pay heed unto God and His Apostle: for God is fully aware of all that you do.
ART THOU NOT aware of those who would be friends with people whom God has condemned?* They are neither of you [O believers] nor of those [who utterly reject the truth]: and so they swear to a falsehood the while they know [it to be false].
He it is who turned out of their homes, at the time of [their] first gathering [for war], such of the followers of earlier revelation as were bent on denying the truth.* You did not think [O believers] that they would depart [without resistance] - just as they thought that their strongholds would protect them against God: but God came upon them in a manner which they had not expected,* and cast terror into their hearts; [and thus] they destroyed their homes by their own hands as well as the hands of the believers.* Learn a lesson, then, O you who are endowed with insight!
ART THOU NOT aware of how those who would always dissemble [their real feelings]* speak to their truth-denying brethren from among the followers of earlier revelation:* If you are driven away, we shall most certainly go forth with you, and shall never pay heed to anyone against you; and if war is waged against you, we shall most certainly come to your succour." But God bears witness that they are most flagrantly lying:
As for such [of the unbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity:* for, verily, God loves those who act equitably.
and [to cause this message to spread] from them unto other people as soon as they come into contact with them:* for He alone is almighty, truly wise!
THE PARABLE of those who were graced with the burden of the Torah, and thereafter failed to bear this burden,* is that of an ass that carries a load of books [but cannot benefit from them]. Calamitous is the parable of people who are bent on giving the lie to God's messages - for God does not bestow His guidance upon such evildoing folk!
As for them it is all the same whether thou dost pray that they be forgiven or dost not pray for them: God will nor forgive them - for, behold, God does not bestow His guidance upon such iniquitous folk.*
HAVE THE STORIES of those who, in earlier times, refused to acknowledge the truth never yet come within your ken? [They denied it -] and so they had to taste the evil outcome of their own doings,* with [more] grievous suffering awaiting them [in the life to come]:
Now as for such of your women as are beyond, the age of monthly courses, as well as for such as do not have any courses,* their waiting-period - if you have any doubt [about it] - shall be three [calendar] months; and as for those who are with child, the end of their waiting-term shall come when they deliver their burden. And for everyone who is conscious of God, He makes it easy to obey His commandment:*
For those who are bent on denying the truth God has propounded a parable in [the stories of] Noah's wife and Lot's wife: they were wedded to two of Our righteous servants, and each one betrayed her husband;* and neither of the two [husbands] will be of any avail to these two women when they are told [on Judgment Day], "Enter the fire with all those [other sinners] who enter it!"*
well-nigh bursting with fury; [and] every time a host [of such sinners] is flung into it, its keepers will ask them, "Has no warner ever come to you?"
Have they, then, never beheld the birds above them, spreading their wings and drawing them in? None but the Most Gracious upholds them: for, verily, He keeps all things in His sight.
Said the most right-minded among them: "Did I not tell you, 'Will you not extol God's limitless glory?'"*
But as for him whose record shall be placed in his left hand,* he will exclaim: "Oh, would that I had never been shown this my record,
and neither known this my account!
but my call has only caused them to flee farther and farther away [from Thee].*
"'Do you not see how God has created seven heavens in full harmony with one another,*
[And] Noah continued: "O my Sustainer! Behold, they have opposed me [throughout], for they follow people whose wealth and children lead them increasingly into ruin,*
And so, because of their sins, they were drowned [in the great flood], and were doomed to suffer the fire [of the hereafter];* and they found none who could succour them against God.
They will answer: "We were not among those who prayed;*
and neither did we feed the needy;
Was he not once a [mere] drop of sperm that had been spilt,
HAS THERE [not] been an endless span of time* before man [appeared - a time] when he was not yet a thing to be thought of ?*
Did We not destroy [so many of] those [sinners] of olden days?
Did We not create you out of a humble fluid
Have We not caused the earth to hold within itself
HAVE WE NOT made the earth a resting-place [for you],
On the Day when they behold it, [it will seem to them] as if they had tarried [in this world] no longer than one evening or [one night, ending with] its morn!*
Nay, but [man] has never yet fulfilled what He has enjoined upon him!*
Verily, as for those who persecute believing men and believing women, and thereafter do not repent, hell's suffering awaits them: yea, suffering through fire awaits them!*
ART THOU NOT aware of how thy Sustainer has dealt with [the tribe of] 'Ad,*
the like of whom has never been reared in all the land?
Does he, then, think that no one sees him?*
Have We not given him two eyes,
Has He not found thee an orphan, and given thee shelter?*
HAVE WE NOT opened up thy heart,*
taught man what he did not know!*
Does he, then, not know that God sees [all]?
Nay, if he desist not, We shall most surely drag him down upon his forehead*
IT IS NOT [conceivable] that such as are bent on denying the truth - [be they] from among the followers of earlier revelation or from among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God* should ever be abandoned [by Him] ere there comes unto them the [full] evidence of the truth:
ART THOU NOT aware of how thy Sustainer dealt with the Army of the Elephant?*
Did He not utterly confound their artful planning?
"He begets not, and neither is He begotten;
"and there is nothing that could be compared with Him.*