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!
And [remember] when you said, "O Moses. indeed we shall not believe thee unto we see God face to face!" - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment* overtook you before your very eyes.
And [remember] when you said: "O Moses, indeed we cannot endure but one kind of food; pray, then, to thy Sustainer that He bring forth for us aught of what grows from the earth - of its herbs, its cucumbers, its garlic, its lentils, its onions." Said [Moses]: "Would you take a lesser thing in exchange for what is [so much] better?* Go back in shame to Egypt , and then you can have what you are asking for!"* And so, ignominy and humiliation overshadowed them, and they earned the burden of God's condemnation: all this, because they persisted in denying the truth of God's messages and in slaying the prophets against all right: all this, because they rebelled [against God], and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right.*
And they say, "The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days."* Say [unto them]: "Have you received a promise from God - for God never breaks His promise - or do you attribute to God something which you cannot know?"
But never will they long for it, because [they are aware] of what their hands have sent ahead in this world: and God has full knowledge of evildoers.
AND THEY claim,* "None shall ever enter paradise unless he be a Jew" - or, "a Christian". Such are their wishful beliefs! Say: "Produce an evidence for what you are claiming,* if what you say is true!"
For, never will the Jews be pleased with thee. nor yet the Christians, unless thou follow their own creeds. Say: "Behold, God's guidance is the only true guidance." And, indeed, if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee. thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to bring thee succour.
BEHOLD, as for those who are bent on denying the truth - neither their worldly possessions nor their offspring will in the least avail them against God; and it is they, they who shall be the fuel of the fire!
simply because they claim, "The fire will most certainly not touch us for more than a limited number of days":* and thus the false beliefs which they invented have [in time] caused them to betray their faith.*
For, if one goes in search of a religion other than self-surrender unto God, it will never be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the lost.
Verily, as for those who are bent on denying the truth after having attained to faith, and then grow [ever more stubborn] in their refusal to acknowledge the truth, their repentance [of other sins] shall not be accepted:* for it is they who have truly gone astray.
Verily, as for those who are bent on denying the truth and die as deniers of the truth - not all the gold on earth could ever be their ransom.* It is they for whom grievous suffering is in store; and they shall have none to succour them.
[But as for you, O believers,] never shall you attain to true piety unless you spend on others out of what you cherish yourselves; and whatever you spend - verily, God has full knowledge thereof.*
[but] these can never inflict more than a passing hurt on you; and if they fight against you, they will turn their backs upon you [in flight], and will not be succoured.*
And whatever good they do, they shall never be denied the reward thereof: for, God has full knowledge of those who are conscious of Him.
[But,] behold, as for those who are bent on denying the truth - neither their worldly possessions nor their children will in the least avail them against God: and it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide.
[And remember] when thou didst say unto the believers: "Is it not enough for you [to know] that your Sustainer will aid you with three thousand angels sent down [from on high]?
AND MUHAMMAD is only an apostle; all the [other] apostles have passed away before him: if, then, he dies or is slain, will you turn about on your heels?* But he that turns about on his heels can in no wise harm God - whereas God will requite all who are grateful [to Him].
And be not grieved by those who vie with one another in denying the truth: verily, they can in no wise harm God. It is God's will that they shall have no share* in the [blessings of the] life to come; and tremendous suffering awaits them.
Verily, they who have bought a denial of the truth at the price of faith can in no wise harm God, whereas grievous suffering awaits them.
It is they whom God has rejected: and he whom God rejects shall find none to succour him.
How, then, could you be of two minds* about the hypocrites, seeing that God [Himself] has disowned them because of their guilt?* Do you, perchance, seek to guide those whom God has let go astray - when for him whom God lets go astray thou canst never find any way?
And it will not be within your power to treat your wives with equal fairness, however much you may desire it;* and so, do not allow yourselves to incline towards one to the exclusion of the other, leaving her in a state, as it were, of having and not having a husband.* But if you put things to rights and are conscious of Him - behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
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.*
wavering between this and that, [true] neither to these nor those. But for him whom God lets go astray thou canst never find any way.
Verily, the hypocrites shall be in the lowest depth of the fire, and thou wilt find none who could succour them.
Never did the Christ feel too proud to be God's servant, nor do the angels who are near unto Him. And those who feel too proud to serve Him and glory in their arrogance [should know that on Judgment Day] He will gather them all unto Himself:
They answered: "O Moses! Behold, ferocious people -dwell in that land,* and we will surely not enter it unless they depart therefrom; but if they depart therefrom, then, behold, we will enter it."
[But] they said: "O Moses! Behold, never shall we enter that [land] so long as those others are in it. Go forth, then, thou and thy Sustainer, and fight, both of you! We, behold, shall remain here!"
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-
those who eagerly listen to any falsehood, greedily swallowing all that is evil!* Hence, if they come to thee [for judgment],* thou mayest either judge between them or leave them alone: for, if thou leave them alone, they cannot harm thee in any way. But if thou dost judge, judge between them with equity :* verily, God knows those who act equitably.
And whenever. a [divine] message comes to them, they say, "We shall not believe unless we are given the like of what God's apostles were given!"* [But] God knows best upon whom to bestow His message. Abasement in the sight of God will befall those who have become guilty of evildoing, and suffering severe for all the schemes which they were wont to weave.
And when Moses came [to Mount Sinai] at the time set by Us, and his Sustainer spoke unto him, he said: "O my Sustainer! Show [Thyself] unto me, so that I might behold Thee!" Said [God]: "Never canst thou see Me. However, behold this mountain: if it remains firm in its place, then - only then - wilt thou see Me.* And as soon as his Sustainer revealed His glory to the mountain, He caused it to crumble to dust; and Moses fell down in a swoon. And when he came to himself, he said: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Unto Thee do I turn in repentance; and I shall [always] be the first to believe in Thee!"*
If you have been praying for victory, [O believers] - victory has now indeed come unto you. And if you abstain [from sinning], it will be for your own good; but if you revert to it, We shall revoke [Our promise of aid] - and never will your community be of any avail to you, however great its numbers: for, behold, God is [only] with those who believe !*
Say: "Never can anything befall us save what God has decreed! He is our Lord Supreme; and in God let the believers place their trust!"
Say: "You may spend [anything], willingly-or unwillingly, [pretending that you do it for the sake of God:] it shall never be accepted from you* -for, verily, you are people bent on iniquity!"
[And] whether thou dost pray [unto God] that they be forgiven or dost not pray for them - [it will all be the same: for even] if thou wert to pray seventy times* that they be forgiven, God will not forgive them, seeing that they are bent on denying God and His Apostle. And God does not bestow His guidance upon such iniquitous folk.*
Hence, [O Prophet,] if God brings thee again face to face with some of them,"* and then they ask thy leave to go forth [to war with thee], say: "Never shall you go forth with me. nor shall you fight an enemy together with me! Behold, you were well-pleased to stay at home on that first occasion: stay at home, then, with, those who [are obliged to] remain behind!"*
[And] they will [still] be offering excuses to you when you return to them ,[from the campaign]! Say: "Do not offer [empty] excuses, [for] we shall not believe you: God has already enlightened us about you. And God will behold your [future] deeds, and [so will] His Apostle; and in the end you will be brought before Him* who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature's senses or mind,* and then He will make you truly understand what you were doing [in life]."
"And I do not say unto you, `God's treasures are with me'; nor [do I say], `I know the reality which is beyond the reach of human perception'; nor do I say, 'Behold, I am an angel';* nor do I say of those whom your eyes hold in contempt,* `Never will God grant them any good'- for God is fully aware of what is in their hearts.* [Were I to speak thus,] verily, I would indeed be among the evildoers."
AND THIS was revealed unto Noah: "Never will any of thy people believe except those who have already attained to faith. Be not, then, distressed by anything that they may do,
[Whereupon the angels] said: "O Lot! Behold, we are messengers from thy Sustainer! Never shall [thy enemies] attain to thee! Depart, then, with thy household while it is yet night, and let none of you look back;* [and take with thee all thy family] with the exception of thy wife: for, behold, that which is to befall these [people of Sodom] shall befall her [as well].* Verily, their appointed time is the morning [and] is not the morning nigh?"
Said [Jacob]: "I will not send him with you until you give me a solemn pledge, before God, that you will indeed bring him back unto me, unless you yourselves be encompassed [by death]!" And when they had given him their solemn pledge, [Jacob] said: "God is witness to all that we say!"
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.
And walk not on earth with haughty self-conceit: for, verily, thou canst never rend the earth asunder, nor canst thou ever grow as tall as the mountains!
and so they say: "[O Muhammad,] we shall not believe thee till thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth,*
or thou have a house [made] of gold, or thou ascend to heaven - but nay, we would not [even] believe in thy ascension unless thou bring down to us [from heaven] a writing which we [ourselves] could read!* Say thou, [O Prophet:] "Limitless in His glory is my Sustainer!* Am I, then, aught but a mortal man, an apostle?"
And he whom God guides, he alone has found the right way; whereas for those whom He lets go astray thou canst never find anyone to protect them from Him: and [so, when] We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection, [they will lie] prone upon their faces, blind and dumb and deaf, with hell as their goal; [and] every time [the fire] abates, We shall increase for them [its] blazing flame.*
and endowed their hearts with strength, so that they stood up* and said [to one another]: "Our Sustainer is the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth. Never shall we invoke any deity other than Him: [if we did,] we should indeed have uttered an enormity!
And [for many a year] thou might have seen the sun, on its rising, incline away from their cave on the right, and, on its setting, turn aside from them on the left, while they lived on in that spacious chamber,* [bearing witness to] this of God's messages: He whom God guides, he alone has found the right way; whereas for him whom He lets go astray thou canst never find any protector who would point out the right way.
for, behold, if they should come to know of you, they might stone you to death or force you back to their faith-in which case you would never attain to any good!"*
AND CONVEY [to the world] whatever has been revealed to thee of thy Sustainer's writ. There is nothing that could alter His words;* and thou canst find no refuge other than with Him.
or its water sinks deep into the ground, so that thou wilt never be able to find it again!"
And they will be lined up before thy Sustainer, [and He will say:* ] "Now, indeed, you have come unto Us [in a lonely state], even as We created you in the first instances* - although you were wont to assert that We would never 'appoint for you a meeting [with Us]!"
And who could be more wicked than he to whom his Sustainer's messages are conveyed and who thereupon turns away from them, forgetting all [the evil] that his hands may have wrought?* Behold, over their hearts have We laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness; and though thou call them onto the right path,* they will never allow themselves to be guided.
Yet, [withal,] thy Sustainer is the Truly-Forgiving One, limitless in His grace. Were He to take them [at once] to task for whatever [wrong] they commit, He would indeed bring about their speedy punishment [then and there]:* but nay, they have a time-limit beyond which they shall find no redemption*
[The other] answered: "Behold, 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?"
He replied: "Did I not tell thee that thou wilt never be able to have patience with me?"
Eat, then, and drink, and let thine eye be gladdened! And if thou shouldst see any human being, convey this unto him:* `Behold, abstinence from speech have I vowed unto the Most Gracious; hence, I may not speak today to any mortal.*
They answered: "Never shall we prefer thee to all the evidence of the truth that has come unto us, nor to Him who has brought us into being! Decree, then, whatever thou art going to decree: thou canst decree only [something that pertains to] this worldly life!*
[But] they answered: "By no means shall we cease to worship it until Moses comes back to us!"
Said [Moses]; "Begone, then! And, behold, it shall be thy lot to say throughout [thy] life, `Touch me not!* But, verily, [in the life to come] thou shalt be faced with a destiny from which there will be no escape!* And [now] look at this deity of thine to whose worship thou hast become so devoted: we shall most certainly burn it, and then scatter [whatever remains of] it far and wide over the sea!
AND [remember] him of the great fish* when he went off in wrath, thinking that We had no power over him!* But then heeded out in the deep darkness [of his distress]: There is no deity save Thee! Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Verily, I have done wrong!"*
If anyone thinks that God will not succour him* in this world and in the life to come, let him reach out unto heaven by any [other] means and [thus try to] make headway:* and then let him see whether this scheme of his will indeed do away with the cause of his anguish.*
[But bear in mind:] never does their flesh reach God, and neither their blood: it is only your God-consciousness that reaches Him. It is to this end that We have made them subservient to your needs, so that you might glorify God for all the guidance with which He has graced you. And give thou this glad tiding unto the doers of good:
And [so, O Muhammad,] they challenge thee to hasten the coming upon them of [God's] chastisement:* but God never fails to fulfill His promise - and, behold, in thy Sustainer's sight a day is like a thousand years of your reckoning.*
O MEN! A parable is set forth [herewith]; hearken, then, to it! Behold, those beings whom you invoke instead of God cannot create [as much as] a fly, even were they to join all their forces to that end! And if a fly robs them of anything, they cannot [even] rescue it from him! Weak indeed is the seeker, and [weak] the sought!
Said he: O my Sustainer! [I vow] by all the blessings which Thou hast bestowed on me: Nevermore shall I aid such as are lost in sin!"*
Say: Whether you flee from [natural] death or from being slain [in battle], flight will not profit you - for, however you fare,* you are not [allowed] to enjoy life for more than a little while!"
Such has been God's way with those who [sinned in like manner and] passed away aforetime - and never wilt thou find any change in God's way!*
And [yet,] those who are bent on denying the truth do say, We shall never believe in this Qur'an, and neither in whatever there still remains of earlier revelations!"* But if thou couldst only see [how it will be on Judgment Day,] when these evildoers shall be made to stand before their Sustainer, hurling reproaches back and forth at one another! Those [of them] who had been weak [on earth] will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance:* Had it not been for you, we would certainly have been believers!"
(It is) they who [truly] follow God's revelation, and are constant in prayer, and spend on others, secretly and openly, out of what We provide for them as sustenance - it is they who may look forward to a bargain that can never fail,
their arrogant behaviour on earth, and their devising of evil [arguments against God's messages].* Yet [in the end,] such evil scheming will engulf none but its authors: and can they expect anything but [to be made to go] the way of those [sinners] of olden times?* Thus [it is]: no change wilt thou ever find in God's way; yea, no deviation wilt thou ever find in God's way!
And [remember:] it was to you that Joseph came aforetime with all evidence of the truth; but you never ceased to throw doubt on all [the messages] that he brought you - so much so that when he died, you said, 'Never will God send any apostle [even] after him!'* In this way God lets go astray such as waste their own selves by throwing suspicion [on His revelations]
On that Day it will not profit you in the least [to know] that, since you have sinned [together], you are now to share your suffering [as well].*
Behold, they could never be of any avail to thee if thou wert to defy the will of God* for, verily, such evildoers are but friends and protectors of one another, whereas God is the Protector of all who are conscious of Him.
NOW WHEN you meet [in war] those who are bent on denying the truth,* smite their necks until you overcome them fully, and then tighten their bonds;* but thereafter [set them free,] either by an act of grace or against ransom, so that the burden of war may be lifted:* thus [shall it be]. And [know that] had God so willed, He could indeed punish them [Himself]; but [He wills you to struggle] so as to test you [all] by means of one another.* And as for those who are slain in God's cause, never will He let their deeds go to waste:
Or do they in whose hearts is disease think, perchance, that God would never bring their moral failings to light?*
Verily, they who are bent on denying the truth and on barring [others] from the path of God, and [who thus] cut themselves off from the Apostle* after guidance has been vouchsafed to them, can in no wise harm God; but He will cause all their deeds to come to nought.
Verily, as for those who are bent on denying the truth and on barring [others] from the path of God, and then die as deniers of the truth - indeed, God will not grant them forgiveness!
AND SO, [when you fight in a just cause,] do not lose heart and [never] beg for peace: for, seeing that God is with you, you are bound to rise high [in the end];* and never will He let your [good] deeds go to waste.
Nay, you thought that the Apostle and the believers would never return to their kith and kin: and this seemed goodly to your hearts.* And you entertained [such] evil thoughts because you have always been people devoid of all good!"
As soon as you [O believers] are about to set forth on a war that promises booty,* those who stayed behind [aforetime] will surely say, Allow us to go with you" - [thus showing that] they would like to alter the Word of God.* Say: By no means shall you go with us: God has declared aforetime [to whom all spoils shall belong]."* Thereupon they will [surely] answer, Nay, but you begrudge us [our share of booty]!" Nay, they can grasp but so little of the truth!
such being God's way which has ever obtained in the past - and never wilt thou find any change in God's way!*
Neither their worldly possessions nor their offspring will be of the least avail to them against God: it is they who are destined for the fire, therein to abide!
But [bear in mind that] neither your kinsfolk nor [even] your own children will be of any benefit to you on Resurrection Day, [for then] He will decide between you [on your merit alone]: and God sees all that you do.
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.*
But never does God grant a delay to a human being when his term has come; and God is fully aware of all that you do.
They who are bent on denying the truth claim that they will never be raised from the dead!* Say: "Yea, by my Sustainer! Most surely will you be raised from the dead, and then, most surely, will you be made to understand what you did [in life]! For, easy is this for God!"
guiding towards consciousness of what is right; and so We have come to believe in it. And we shall never ascribe divinity to anyone beside our Sustainer,
and that [we were mistaken when] we thought that neither man nor [any of] the invisible forces would ever tell a lie about God.*
so much so that they came to think, as you [once] thought, that God would never [again] send forth anyone [as His apostle].*
"'And, withal, we have come to know that we can never elude God [while we live] on earth, and that we can never elude Him by escaping [from life].
Say: "Verily, no one could ever protect me from God, nor could I ever find a place to hide from Him
BEHOLD, [O Prophet,] thy Sustainer knows that thou keepest awake [in prayer] nearly two-thirds of the night, or one-half of it, or a third of it, together with some of those who follow thee.* And God who determines the measure of night and day, is aware that you would never grudge it:* and therefore He turns towards you in His grace. Recite, then, as much of the Qur'an as you may do with ease. He knows that in time there will be among you sick people, and others who will go about the land in search of God's bounty, and others who will fight in God's cause.* Recite, then, [only] as much of it as you may do with ease, and be constant in prayer, and spend in charity,* and [thus] lend unto God a goodly loan: for whatever good deed you may offer up in your own behalf, you shall truly find it with God - yea, better, and richer in reward. And [always] seek God's forgiveness: behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
Does man think that We cannot [resurrect him and] bring his bones together again?
[And so We shall say:] "Taste, then, [the fruit of your evil doings,] for now We shall bestow on you nothing but more and more suffering!"*
for, behold, he never thought that he would have to return [to God].
Does he, then, think that no one has power over him?