How can you refuse to acknowledge God, seeing that you were lifeless and He gave you life, and that He will cause you to die and then will bring you again to life, whereupon unto Him you will be brought back?
He it is who has created for you all that is on earth, and has applied His design to the heavens and fashioned them into seven heavens;* and He alone has full knowledge of everything.
And He imparted unto Adam the names of all things;* then He brought them within the ken of the angels and said: "Declare unto Me the names of these [things], if what you say is true."*
and when We appointed for Moses forty nights [on Mount Sinai], and in his absence you took to worshipping the [golden] calf, and thus became evildoers:
yet, even after that, We blotted out this your sin, so that you might have cause to be grateful.*
But We raised you again after you had been as dead,* so that you might have cause to be grateful.
And you turned away after that-! And had it not been for God's favour upon you and His grace, you would surely have found yourselves among the lost;
And yet, after all this, your hearts hardened and became like rocks, or even harder: for, behold, there are rocks from which streams gush forth; and, behold, there are some from which, when they are cleft, water issues; and, behold, there are some that fall down for awe of God* And God is not unmindful of what you do!
CAN YOU, then, hope that they will believe in what you are preaching* - seeing that a good many of them were wont to listen to the word of God and then, after having understood it, to pervert it knowingly?*
Woe, then, unto those who write down, with their own hands, [something which they claim to be] divine writ, and then say. "This is from God," in order to acquire a trifling gain thereby;* woe, then, unto them for what their hands have written, and woe unto them for all that they may have gained!
AND LO! We accepted this solemn pledge from [you,] ' the children of Israel:* "You shall worship none but God; and you shall do good unto your parents and kinsfolk, and the orphans, and the poor; and you shall speak unto all people in a kindly way; and you shall be constant in prayer; and you shall spend in charity.* "And yet, save for a few of you, you turned away: for you are obstinate folk!*
And lo! We accepted your solemn pledge that you would not shed one another's blood, and would not drive one another from your homelands - whereupon you acknowledged it; and thereto you bear witness [even now].
And yet, it is you who slay one another and drive some of your own people from their homelands, aiding one another against them in sin and hatred; but if they come to you as captives, you ransom them - although the very [act of] driving them away has been made unlawful to you!* . Do you, then, believe in some parts of the divine writ and deny the truth pf other parts? What, then, could be the reward of those among you who do such things but ignominy in the life of this world and, on the Day of Resurrection, commitment to most grievous suffering? For God is not unmindful of what you do.
And indeed, there came unto you Moses with all evidence of the truth - and thereupon. in his absence, you took to worshipping the (golden] calf, and acted wickedly.
And, lo, Abraham prayed: "O my Sustainer! Make this a land secure, and grant its people fruitful sustenance - such of them as believe in God and the Last Day." [God] answered: "And whoever shall deny the truth, him will I let enjoy himself for a short while -but in the end I shall drive him to suffering through fire: and how vile a journey's end!"
IT IS lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the [day's] fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right,* and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves of that which God has ordained for you,* and eat and drink until you can discern the white streak of dawn against the blackness of night,* and then resume fasting until nightfall; but do not lie with them skin to skin when you are about to abide in meditation in houses of worship.* These are the bounds set by God: do not, then, offend against them - [for] it is thus that God makes clear His messages unto mankind, so that they might remain conscious of Him.
and surge onward together with the multitude of all the other people who surge onward,* and ask God to forgive you your sins: for, verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
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.
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."*
They who spend their possessions for the sake of God and do not thereafter mar* their spending by stressing their own benevolence and hurting [the feelings of the needy] shall have their reward with 'their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
And be conscious of the Day on which you shall be brought back unto God, whereupon every human being shall be repaid in full for what he has earned, and none shall be wronged .*
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,
Lo! God said: "O Jesus! Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shall exalt thee unto Me, and cleanse thee of [the presence of] those who are bent on denying the truth; and I shall place those who follow thee [far] above those who are bent on denying the truth, unto the Day of Resurrection. In the end, unto Me you all must return, and I shall judge between you with regard to all on which you were wont to differ.*
Verily, in the sight of God, the nature of Jesus is as the nature of Adam, whom He created out of dust and then said unto him, "Be" - and he is.*
And if anyone should argue with thee about this [truth] after all the knowledge that has come unto thee, say: "Come! Let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves; and then let us pray [together] humbly and ardently, and let us invoke God's curse upon those [of us] who are telling a lie."*
It is not conceivable that a human being unto whom God had granted revelation, and sound judgment, and prophethood, should thereafter have said unto people,* "Worship me beside God"; but rather [did he exhort them], "Become men of God* by spreading the knowledge of the divine writ, and by your own deep study [thereof]."
AND, LO, God accepted, through the prophets, this solemn pledge [from the followers of earlier revelation]:* "If, after all the revelation and the wisdom which I have vouchsafed unto you, there comes to you an apostle confirming the truth already in your possession, you must believe in him and succour him. Do you" - said He - "acknowledge and accept My bond on this condition?" They answered: "We do acknowledge it." Said He: "Then bear witness [thereto], and I shall be your witness.*
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.
[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, INDEED, God made good His promise unto you when, by His leave, you were about to destroy your foes* - until the moment when you lost heart and acted contrary to the [Prophet's] command,* and disobeyed after He had brought you within view of that [victory] for which you were longing. There were among you such as cared for this world [alone], just as there were among you such as cared for the life to come:* whereupon, in order that He might put you to a test, He prevented you from defeating your foes.* But now He has effaced your sin: for God is limitless in His bounty unto the believers.
Then, after this woe, He sent down upon you a sense of security, an inner calm which enfolded some of you,* whereas the others, who cared mainly for themselves, entertained wrong thoughts about God - thoughts of pagan ignorance - saying, "Did we, then, have any power of decision [in this matter]?"* Say: "Verily, all power of decision does rest with God"* - [but as for them,] they are trying to conceal within themselves that [weakness of faith] which they would not reveal unto thee, [O Prophet, by] saying, "If we had any power of decision, we would not have left so many dead behind."* Say [unto them]: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those [of you] whose death had been ordained would indeed have gone forth to the places where they were destined to lie down." And [all this befell you] so that God might put to a test all that you harbour in your bosoms, and render your innermost hearts* pure of all dross: for God is aware of what is in the hearts [of men].
AND IT IS not conceivable that a prophet should deceive* - since he who deceives shall be faced with his deceit on the Day of Resurrection, when every human being shall be repaid in full for whatever he has done, and none shall be wronged.
it is [but] a brief enjoyment, with hell thereafter as their goal - and how vile a resting-place! -
Verily, God's acceptance of repentance relates only to those who do evil out of ignorance and then repent before their time runs out:* and it is they unto whom God will turn again in His mercy - for God is all-knowing, wise;
But how [will they fare] when calamity befalls them [on the Day of Judgment] because of what they have wrought in this world* - whereupon they will come to thee, swearing by God, "Our aim was but to do good, and to bring about harmony"?*
But nay, by thy Sustainer! They do not [really] believe unless they make thee [O Prophet] a judge of all on which they disagree among themselves, and then find in their hearts no bar to an acceptance of thy decision and give themselves up [to it] in utter self-surrender.*
And he who forsakes the domain of evil for the sake of God shall find on earth many a lonely road,* as well as life abundant. And if anyone leaves his home, fleeing from evil unto God and His Apostle, and then death overtakes him - his reward is ready with God: for God iss indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Yet he who does evil or [otherwise] sins against himself, and thereafter prays God to forgive him, shall find God much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace:
But he who commits a fault or a sin and then throws the blame therefore on an innocent person, burdens himself with the guilt of calumny and [yet another] flagrant sin.
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.
THE FOLLOWERS of the Old Testament* demand of thee [O Prophet] that thou cause a revelation to be sent down to them from heaven.* And an even greater thing than this did they demand of Moses when they said, "Make us see God face to face" - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment overtook them for this their wickedness.* After that, they took to worshipping the [golden] calf - and this after all evidence of the truth had come unto them! None the less, We effaced this [sin of theirs], and vouchsafed unto Moses a clear proof [of the truth],
Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being-unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth-it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.* And, indeed, there came unto them* Our apostles with all evidence of the truth: yet, behold, notwithstanding all this, many of them go on committing all manner of excesses on earth.*
But how is it that they ask thee for judgment seeing that they have the Torah, containing God's injunctions - and thereafter turn away [from thy judgment]? Such as these, then, are no [true] believers.*
thinking that no harm would befall them; and so they became blind and deaf [of heart]. Thereafter God accepted their repentance: and again many of them became blind and deaf. But God sees all that they do.
The Christ, son of Mary, was but an apostle: all [other] apostles had passed away before him; and his mother was one who never deviated from the truth; and they both ate food [like other mortals].* Behold how clear We make these messages unto them: and then behold how perverted are their minds!*
Those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds incur no sin by partaking of whatever they may,* so long as they are conscious of God and [truly] believe and do righteous deeds, and continue to be conscious of God and to believe, and grow ever more* conscious of God, and persevere in doing good: for God loves the doers of good.
People before your time have indeed asked such questions-and in result thereof have come to deny the truth.*
ALL PRAISE is due to God, who has created the heavens and the earth, and brought into being deep darkness as well as light:* and yet, those who are bent on denying the truth regard other powers as their Sustainer's equals!
He it is who has created you out of clay, and then has decreed a term [for you] - a term known [only] to him.* And yet you doubt
They are saying, too, "Why has not an angel (visibly] been sent down unto him?" But had we sent down an angel, all would indeed have been decided,* and they would have been allowed no further respite [for repentance.
Say: "Go all over the earth, and behold what happened in the end to those who gave the lie to the truth!"
for one Day We shall gather them all together, and then We shall say unto those who ascribed divinity to aught beside God: "Where, now, are those beings whom you imagined to have a share in God's divinity?"*
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 !"*
Only they who listen [with their hearts] can respond to a call; and as for the dead [of heart], God [alone] can raise them from the dead, whereupon unto Him they shall return.*
although there is no beast that walks on earth and no bird that flies on its two wings which is not [God's] creature* like yourselves: no single thing have We neglected in Our decree. And once again:* Unto their Sustainer shall they [all] be gathered.
Say: "What do you think? If God should take away your hearing and your sight and seal your hearts - what deity but God is there that could bring it all back to you?" Behold how many facets we give to our messages-and yet they turn away in disdain!
And when those who believe in Our messages come unto thee, say: "Peace be upon you. Your Sustainer has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy* - so that if any of you does a bad deed out of ignorance, and thereafter repents and lives righteously, He shall be [found] much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
And He it is who causes you to be [like] dead* at night, and knows what you work in daytime; and He brings you back to life each days* in order that a term set [by Him] be fulfilled. In the end, unto Him you must return: and then He will make you understand all that you were doing [in life].
And they [who have died] are thereupon brought before God,* their true Lord Supreme. Oh, verily, His alone is all judgment: and He is the swiftest of all reckoners!
Say: "God [alone] can save you from this and from every distress - and still you ascribe divinity to other powers beside Him!"
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.
But do not revile those [beings] whom they invoke instead of God,* lest they revile God out of spite, and in ignorance: for, goodly indeed have We made their own doings appear unto every community* In time, [however,] unto their Sustainer they must return: and then He will make them [truly] understand all that they were doing.
AND ONCE AGAIN:* We vouchsafed the divine writ unto Moses in fulfilment [of Our favour] upon those who persevered in doing good, clearly spelling out everything,* and [thus providing] guidance and grace, so that they might have faith in the [final] meeting with their Sustainer.
VERILY, as for those who have broken the unity of their faith and have become sects - thou hast nothing to do with them.* Behold, their case rests with God: and in time He will make them understand what they were doing.
Say: "Am I, then, to seek a sustainer other than God, when He is the Sustainer of all things?" And whatever [wrong] any human being commits rests upon himself alone; and no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden.* And, in time, unto your Sustainer you all must return: and then He will make you. [truly] understand all that on which you were wont to differ.*
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 shall most certainly fall upon them openly as well as in a manner beyond their ken,* and from their right and from their left: and most of them Thou wilt find ungrateful."
VERILY, your Sustainer is God, who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness.* He covers the day with the night in swift pursuit, with the sun and the moon and the stars subservient to His command: oh, verily, His is all creation and all command. Hallowed is God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!
then We transformed the affliction into ease of life,* so that they throve and said [to themselves], "Misfortune and hardship befell our forefathers as well* -whereupon We took them to task, all of a sudden, without their being aware [of what was coming].*
AND AFTER those [early people] We sent Moses with Our messages unto Pharaoh and his great ones, and they wilfully rejected them:* and behold what happened in the end to those spreaders of corruption!
most certainly shall I cut off your hands and your feet in great numbers, because of [your] perverseness, and then I shall most certainly crucify you, in great numbers, all together! "*
But as for those who do bad deeds and afterwards repent and [truly] believe-verily, after such repentance* thy Sustainer is indeed much forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
Have these [images], perchance, feet on which they could walk? Or have they hands with which they could grasp? Or have they eyes with which they could see? Or have they ears with which they could hear? Say [O Prophet]: "Summon to your aid all those to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity,* and thereupon contrive [anything you may wish] against me, and give me no respite!
even though their [godless] brethren would [like to] draw them into error:* and then they cannot fail [to do what is right].
Behold, those who are bent on denying the truth are spending their riches in order to turn others away from the path of God; and they will go on spending them until they become [a source of] intense regret for them; and then they will be overcome! And those who [until their death] have denied the truth shall be gathered unto hell,
AS FOR THOSE with whom thou hast made a covenant, and who thereupon break their covenant on every occasion,* not being conscious of God-
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.
And if any of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God seeks thy protection,* grant him protection, so that he might [be able to] hear the word of God [from thee]; and thereupon convey him to a place where he can feel secure:* this, because they [may be] people who [sin only because they] do not know [the truth].
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!
But with all this ,* God will turn in His mercy unto whom He wills: for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.*
[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]."
But among the bedouin who dwell around you there are hypocrites; and among the people of the [Prophet's] City* [too] there are such as have grown insolent in [their] hypocrisy. Thou dost not [always] know them, [O Muhammad - but] We know them. We shall cause them to suffer doubly [in this world];* and then they will be given over to awesome suffering [in the life to come].
INDEED, God has turned in His mercy unto the Prophet, as well as unto those who have forsaken the domain of evil and those who have sheltered and succoured the Faiths* - [all] those who followed him in the hour of distress, when the hearts of some of the other believers had well-nigh swerved from faith.* And once again:* He has turned unto them in His mercy - for, behold, He is compassionate towards them, a dispenser of grace.
And [He turned in His mercy, too,] towards the three [groups of believers] who had fallen prey to corruption,* until in the end-after the earth, despite all its vastness, had become [too] narrow for them and their souls had become [utterly] constricted they came to know with certainty that there is no refuge from God other than [a return] unto Him; and thereupon He turned again unto them in His mercy, so that they might repent: for, verily, God alone is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.*
Are they, then, not aware that they are being tested year-in, year-out?* And yet, they do not repent and do not bethink themselves [of God];
and whenever a surah is bestowed from on high, they look at one another [and say, as it were], "Is there anyone who can see what is in your hearts?"* -and then they turn away. God has turned their hearts away [from the truth] - for they are people who will not grasp it.*
VERILY, your Sustainer is God, who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness,* governing all that exists. There is none that could intercede with Him unless He grants leave therefor.* Thus is God, your Sustainer: worship, therefore, Him [alone]: will you not, then, keep this in mind?
Unto Him you all must return: this is, in truth, God's promise-for, behold, He creates [man] in the first instance, and then brings him forth anew* to the end that He may reward with equity all who attain to faith and do righteous deeds; whereas for those who are bent on denying the truth there is in store a draught of burning despair and grievous suffering because of their persistent refusal to acknowledge the truth.*
And thereupon We made you their successors on earth, so that We might behold how you act.
Yet as soon as He has saved them from this [danger], lo! they behave outrageously on earth, offending against all right !* O men! All your outrageous deeds are bound to fall back upon your own selves!* [You care only for] the enjoyment of life in this world: [but remember that] in the end unto Us you must return, whereupon We shall make you truly understand all that you were doing [in life].
For, one Day We shall gather them all together, and then We shall say unto those who [in their lifetime] ascribed divinity to aught but God, "Stand where you are, you and those [beings and powers] to whom you were wont to ascribe a share in God's divinity!* -for by then We shall have [visibly] separated them from one another .* And the beings to whom they had ascribed a share in God's divinity will say [to those who had worshipped them], "It was not us that you were wont to worship;*
Say: "Can any of those beings to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity create [life] in the first instance, and then bring it forth anew?"* Say: "It is God [alone] who creates [all life] in the first instance, and then brings it forth anew. How perverted, then, are your minds!"*
And whether We show thee [in this world something of what We hold in store for those [deniers of the truth],* or whether We cause thee to die [before that retribution takes place - know that, in the end], it is unto Us that they must return; and God is witness to all that they do.*
Will you, then, believe in it [only] after it has come to pass -[on the Day when you will be asked, `Do you believe in it] now,* after having [contemptuously] called for its speedy advent?'
-whereupon those who [in their lifetime] were bent on evildoing will be told, `Taste suffering abiding! Is this requital anything but the just due for what you were wont to do?"*
[A brief] enjoyment in this world-and thereafter unto Us they must return: and then We shall let them taste suffering severe as an outcome of their persistent denial of the truth.
AND CONVEY unto them the story of Noah-when he said unto his people: "O my people! If my presence [among you] and my announcement of God's messages are repugnant to you* -well, in God have I placed my trust. Decide, then, upon what you are going to do [against me],* and [call to your aid] those beings to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity;* and once you have chosen your course of action, let no hesitation deflect you from it;* and then carry out against me [whatever you may have decided], and give me no respite!
AND THEN, after him, We sent forth [other] apostles-each one unto his own people* -and they brought them all evidence of the truth; but they would not believe in anything to which they had once given the lie:* thus it is that We seal the hearts of such as [are wont to] transgress the bounds of what is right.*
And after those [earlier prophets] We sent Moses and Aaron with Our messages unto Pharaoh and his great ones: but they gloried in their arrogance, for they were people lost in sin.
[For thus it always happens: We seal the doom of all who deny the truth and give the lie to Our messages;] and thereupon We save Our apostles and those who have attained to faith.* Thus have We willed it upon Ourselves: We save all who believe [in Us],*
Alif. Lam. Ra.* A DIVINE WRIT [is this], with messages that have been made clear in and by themselves, and have been distinctly spelled out as well* - [bestowed upon you] out of the grace of One who is wise, all-aware,
Ask your Sustainer to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance - [whereupon] He will grant you a goodly enjoyment of life [in this world] until a term set [by Him is fulfilled];* and [in the life to come] He will bestow upon everyone possessed of merit [a full reward for] his merit.* But if you turn away, then, verily, I dread for you the suffering [which is bound to befall you] on that awesome Day*
And thus it is: if We let man taste some of Our grace,* and then take it away from him -behold, he abandons all hope,* forgetting all gratitude [for Our past favours].
[Thereupon] the word was spoken: "O Noah! Disembark in peace from Us,* and with [Our] blessings upon thee as well as upon the people [who are with thee, and the righteous ones that will spring from thee and] from those who are with thee.* But [as for the unrighteous] folk [that will spring from you] - We shall allow them to enjoy life [for a little while], and then there will befall them grievous suffering from Us."
"Hence, O my people, ask your Sustainer to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance-[whereupon] He will shower upon you heavenly blessings abundant,* and will add strength to your strength: only do not turn away [from me] as people lost in sin!"
beside Him! Contrive, then, [anything that you may wish] against me, all of you, and give me no respite!*
AND UNTO [the tribe of] Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih.* He said: "O my people! Worship God [alone]: you have no deity other than Him. He brought you into being out of the earth,* and made you thrive thereon.* Ask Him, therefore, to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance-for, verily, my Sustainer is ever-near, responding [to the call of whoever calls unto Him]!"*
Hence, ask your Sustainer to forgive you your sins, and then turn towards Him in repentance - for, verily, my Sustainer is a dispenser of grace, a fount of love!"
And do not incline towards, nor rely upon, those who are bent on evildoing* lest the fire [of the hereafter] touch you: for [then] you would have none to protect you from God, nor would you ever be succoured [by Him].*
For, presently it occurred to the nobleman and his household* _ [even] after they had seen all the signs [of Joseph's innocence] - that they might as well imprison him for a time.*
for, after that [period of seven good years] there will come seven hard [years] which will devour all that you shall have laid up for them, excepting only a little of that which you shall have kept in store.
And after that there will come a year in which the people will be delivered from all distress,* and in which they will press [oil and wine as before]."
And [later,] when he had provided them with their provisions, he placed the [King's] drinking-cup in his brother's camel-pack. And [as they were leaving the city,] a herald* called out: "O you people of the caravan! Verily, you are thieves!*
Thereupon [they were brought before Joseph to be searched; and] he began with the bags of his half-brothers* before the bag of his brother [Benjamin]: and in the end he brought forth the drinking Cups* out of his brother's bag. In this way did We contrive for Joseph [the attainment of his heart's desire]: under the King's law, he would [otherwise] not have been able to detain his brother, had not God so willed. We do raise to [high] degrees [of knowledge] whomever We will - but above everyone who is endowed with knowledge there is One who knows all.*
It is God who has raised the heavens without any supports that you could see, and is established on the throne of His almightiness;* and He [it is who] has made the sun and the moon subservient [to His laws], each running its course for a term set [by Him].* He governs all that exists. Clearly does He spell out these messages, so that you might be certain in your innermost that you are destined to meet your Sustainer [on Judgment Day].*
And, indeed, [even] before thy time have [God's] apostles been derided, and for a while I gave rein to those who were [thus] bent on denying the truth: but then I took them to task - and how awesome was My retribution!
And then, on Resurrection Day, He will cover them [all] with ignominy,* and will say: "Where, now, are those beings to whom you ascribed a share in My divinity,* [and] for whose sake you cut yourselves off [from My guidance]?"* [Whereupon] those who [in their lifetime] were endowed with knowledge* will say: "Verily, ignominy and misery [have fallen] this day upon those who have been denying the truth-
For, whatever good thing comes to you, comes from God; and whenever harm befalls you, it is unto Him that you cry for help*
yet as soon as He has removed the harm from you, lo! some of you [begin to] ascribe to other powers a share 'in their Sustainer's divinity*
and then eat of all manner of fruit, and follow humbly the paths ordained for thee by thy Sustainer."* [And lo!] there issues from within these [bees] a fluid of many hues, wherein there is health for man. In all this, behold, there is a message indeed for people who think!
AND GOD has created you, and in time will cause you to die; and many a one of you is reduced in old age to a most abject state, ceasing to know anything of what he once knew so well.* Verily, God is all-knowing, infinite in His power!
They [who turn away from it] are fully aware of God's blessings, but none the less they refuse to acknowledge them [as such], since most of them are given to denying the truth.*
But one Day We shall raise up a witness out of every community,* whereupon they who were bent on denying the truth will not be allowed to plead [ignorance],* and neither will they be allowed to make amends.
And yet, behold, thy Sustainer [grants His forgiveness] unto those who forsake the domain of evil after having succumbed to its temptation,* and who thenceforth strive hard [in God's cause] and are patient in adversity: behold, after such [repentance] thy Sustainer is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
And once again:* Behold, thy Sustainer [shows mercy] to those who do evil out of ignorance and afterwards repent and live righteously: behold, after such [repentance] thy Sustainer is indeed much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And lastly,* We have inspired thee, [O Muhammad, with this message:] "Follow the creed of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false, and was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God;
And after a time We allowed you to prevail against them once again,* and aided you with wealth and offspring, and made you more numerous [than ever].
Unto him who cares for [no more than the enjoyment of] this fleeting life We readily grant thereof as much as We please, [giving] to whomever it is Our will [to give]; but in the end We consign him to [the suffering of] hell;* which he will have to endure disgraced and disowned!
Can you, then, ever feel sure that He will not cause a tract of dry land to swallow you up, or let loose upon you a deadly storm-wind,* whereupon you would find none to be your protector?
Or can you, perchance, feel sure that He will not make you put back to sea* once again, and then let loose upon you a raging tempest and cause you to drown in requital of your ingratitude - whereupon you would find none to uphold you against Us?
in which case We would indeed have made thee taste double [chastisement] in life and double [chastisement] after death,* and thou wouldst have found none to succour thee against Us!
And if We so willed, We could indeed take away whatever We have revealed unto thee, and in that [state of need] thou wouldst find none to plead in thy behalf before Us.*
and then We awakened Christianity was no longer persecuted and had even become the official religion of the Roman Empire. The ancient coin (dating from the reign of Decius) with which the young man wanted to pay for his purchases immediately aroused curiosity; people began to question the stranger, and the story of the Men of the Cave and their miraculous sleep came to light. them:* [and We did all this] so that We might mark out [to the world]* which of the two points of view showed a better comprehension of the time-span during which they had remained in this state.*
And his friend answered him in the course of their argument: "Wilt thou blaspheme against Him who has created thee out of dust,* and then out of a drop of sperm, and in the end has fashioned thee into a [complete] man?
He answered: "As for him who does wrong [unto others* ] - him shall we, in time, cause to suffer; and thereupon he shall be referred to his Sustainer, and He will cause him to suffer with unnameable suffering.*
And once again* he chose the right means [to achieve a right end].
And once again he chose the right means (to achieve a right end].
And so, by thy Sustainer, [on Judgment Day] We shall most certainly bring them forth together with the satanic forces [which impelled them in life]* and then We shall most certainly gather them, on their knees, around hell;
and thereupon We shall, indeed, draw forth from every group [of sinners] the ones that had been most determined in their disdainful rebellion against the Most Gracious :*
for, indeed, We know best as to which of them is most deserving of the fires of hell.*
And once again:* We shall save [from hell] those who have been conscious of Us; but We shall leave in it the evildoers, on their knees.*
"[And thou wert under Mine eye] when thy sister went forth and said [to Pharaoh's people], 'Shall I guide you unto [a woman] who might take charge of him?''* And so We returned thee unto thy mother, so that her eye be gladdened, and that she might not sorrow [any longer].* "And [when thou camest of age,* thou didst slay a man: but We did save thee from all grief, although We tried thee with various trials.* "And then thou didst sojourn for years among the people of Madyan;* and now thou hast come [here] as ordained [by Me], O Moses:
He replied: "Our Sustainer is He who gives unto every thing [that exists] its true nature and form. and thereupon guides it [towards its fulfilment].*
Thereupon Pharaoh withdrew [with his counsellors] and decided upon the scheme which he would pursue;* and then he came [to the tryst].
Hence, [O sorcerers of Egypt,] decide upon the scheme which you will pursue, and then come forward in one single body:* for, indeed, he who prevails today shall prosper indeed!"*
Yet withal, behold, I forgive all sins unto any who repents and attains to faith and does righteous deeds, and thereafter keeps to the right path.
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!
Thereafter, [however,) his Sustainer elected him [for His grace], and accepted his repentance, and bestowed His guidance upon him,
In the end, We made good unto them Our promise, and We saved them and all whom We willed [to save],* and We destroyed those who had wasted their own selves.*
But then they relapsed into their former way of thinking* and said: Thou knowest very well that these [idols] cannot speak!"
O MEN! If you are in doubt as to the [truth of] resurrection, [remember that,] verily, We have created [every one of] you out of dust, then out of a drop of sperm, then out of a germ-cell, then out of an embryonic lump complete [in itself] and yet incomplete* so that We might make [your origin] clear unto you. And whatever We will [to be born] We cause to rest in the [mothers'] wombs for a term set [by Us], and then We bring you forth as infants and [allow you to live] so that [some of] you might attain to maturity: for among you are such as are caused to die [in childhood], just as many a one of you is reduced in old age to a most abject state, ceasing to know anything of what he once knew so well.* And [if, O man, thou art still in doubt as to resurrection, consider this:] thou canst see the earth dry and lifeless - and [suddenly,] when We send down waters upon it, it stirs and swells and puts forth every kind of lovely plant!
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.*
Thereafter let them bring to an end their state of self-denial,* and let them fulfill the vows which they [may] have made, and let them walk [once again] around the Most Ancient Temple.*
In that [God-consciousness] you shall find benefits until a term set [by Him is fulfilled],* and [you shall know that] its goal and end is the Most Ancient Temple.*
and the dwellers of Madyan; and [so, too,] Moses was given the lie [by Pharaoh].* And [in every ease] I gave rein, for a while, to the deniers of the truth: but then I took them to task - and how awesome was My denial [of them,]!
And to how many a community that was immersed in evildoing have I given rein for a while! But then I took it to task: for with Me is all journeys' end!
Yet whenever We sent forth any apostle or prophet before thee, and he was hoping* [that his warnings would be heeded], Satan would cast an aspersion on his innermost aims:* but God renders null and void whatever aspersion Satan may cast; and God makes His messages clear in and by themselves* for God is all-knowing, wise.
AND AS FOR those who forsake the domain of evil* (and strive) in God's cause, and then are slain or die - God will most certainly provide for them a goodly sustenance [in the life to come] for, verily, God - He alone - is the best of providers;
Thus shall it be. And as for him who responds to aggression only to the extent of the attack levelled against him,* and is thereupon [again] treacherously attacked - God will most certainly succour him: for, behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.*
seeing that it is He who gave you life, and then will cause you to die, and then will bring you back to life: [but,] verily, bereft of all gratitude is man!
and then We cause him to remain as a drop of sperm in [the wombs] firm keeping,
and then We create out of the drop of sperm a germ-cell, and then We create out of the germ-cell an embryonic lump, and then We create within the embryonic lump bones, and then We clothe the bones with flesh - and then We bring [all] this into being as a new creation:* hallowed, therefore, is God, the best of artisans!*
And then, behold! after all this, you are destined to die;
and then, behold! you shall be raised from the dead on Resurrection Day.
AND AFTER those [people of old] We gave rise to new generations;*
AND AFTER them We gave rise to new generations:*
And We sent forth Our apostles, one after another: [and] every time their apostle came to a community, they gave him the lie: and so We caused them to follow one another [into the grave], and let them become [mere] tales: and so - away with the folk who would not believe!
AND THEN We sent forth Moses and his brother Aaron with Our messages and a manifest authority [from Us]
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!
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!
For, [many are] they [who] say, We believe in God and in the Apostle, and we pay heed!" - but then, some of them turn away after this [assertion]: and these are by no means [true] believers.
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 then, [after having caused it to lengthen,] We draw it in towards Ourselves* with a gradual drawing-in.
He who has created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness:* the Most Gracious! Ask, then, about Him, [the] One who is [truly] aware.*
and then We caused the others to drown.*
and who will cause me to die and then will bring me back to life
and then We caused those who stayed behind to drown.*
and then We utterly destroyed the others,
and thereupon that [chastisement] which they were promised befalls them
and neither* need anyone who has done wrong and then has replaced the wrong with good:* for, verily, I am much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
Go with this my letter and convey it to them; and thereafter withdraw from them and see what [answer] they return."
[and] after having bound one another by an oath in God's name,* they said: Indeed, we shall suddenly fall upon him and his household by night [and slay them all]; and then we shall boldly say to his next of kin, 'We did not witness the destruction of his household - and, behold, we are indeed men of truth!' "
Nay - who is it that creates [all life] in the first instance, and then brings it forth anew?* And who is it that provides you with sustenance out of heaven and earth?* Could there be any divine power besides God? Say: [If you think so,] produce your evidence - if you truly believe in your claim!"*
So he watered [their flock] for them: and when he withdrew into the shade and prayed: O my Sustainer! Verily, in dire need am I of any good which Thou mayest bestow upon me!"
Is, then, he to whom We have given that goodly promise which he shall see fulfilled [on his resurrection]* comparable to one on whom We have bestowed [all] the enjoyments of this worldly life but who, on Resurrection Day, will find himself among those that shall be arraigned [before Us]?*
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!*
Say: Go all over the earth and behold how [wondrously] He has created [man] in the first instance: and thus, too, will God bring into being your second life for, verily, God has the power to will anything!*
And [Abraham] said: You have chosen to worship idols instead of God for no other reason than to have a bond of love* in the life of this world, between yourselves [and your forebears]:* but then, on Resurrection Day, you shall disown one another and curse one another - for the goal of you all will be the fire, and you will have none to succour you.
Every human being is bound to taste death, [and] in the end unto Us shall all be brought back:
And once again:* evil is bound to be the end of those who do evil by giving the lie to God's messages and deriding them.
GOD CREATES [man] in the first instance, and then brings him forth anew:* and, in the end, unto Him you all will be brought back.
And among His wonders is this: He creates you out of dust * and then, lo! you become human beings ranging far and wide!
And among His wonders is this: the skies and the earth stand firm at His behest.* [Remember all this: for] in the end, when He will call you forth from the earth with a single call - lo! you will [all] emerge [for judgment].
And He it is who creates [all life] in the first instance, and then brings it forth anew:* and most easy is this for Him, since His is the essence of all that is most sublime in the heavens and on earth, and He alone is almighty, truly wise.*
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls men, they cry out unto their Sustainer, turning unto Him [for help]; but as soon as He lets them taste of His grace, lo! some of them [begin to] ascribe to other powers a share in their Sustainer's divinity,*
IT IS GOD who has created you, and then has provided you with sustenance, and then will cause you to die, and then will bring you to life again. Can any of those beings or powers to whom you ascribe a share in His divinity* do any of these things? Limitless is He in His glory, and sublimely exalted above anything to which men may ascribe a share in His divinity!
IT IS GOD who creates you [all in a states of weakness, and then, after weakness, ordains strength [for you], and then, after [a period of] strength, ordains [old-age] weakness and grey hair.* He creates what He wills; and He alone is all-knowing, infinite in His power.
'[Revere thy parents;] yet should they endeavour to make thee ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which thy mind cannot accept [as divine],* obey them not; but [even then] bear them company in this world's life with kindness, and follow the path of those who turn towards Me. In the end, unto Me you all must return; and thereupon I shall make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life].'
We will let them enjoy themselves for a short while - but in the end We shall drive them into suffering severe.
IT IS GOD who has created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness.* You have none to protect you from God, and none to intercede for you [on Judgment Day]: will you not, then, bethink yourselves?
He governs all that exists, from the celestial space to the earth; and in the end all shall ascend unto Him [for judgment] on a Day the length whereof will be [like] a thousand years of your reckoning.*
then He causes him to be begotten* out of the essence of a humble fluid;
and then He forms him in accordance with what he is meant to be, and breathes into him of His spirit:* and [thus, O men,] He endows you with hearing, and sight, and feelings as well as minds:* [yet] how seldom are you grateful!
Say: [One day,] the angel of death who has been given charge of you will gather you, and then unto your Sustainer you will be brought back."
And who could be more wicked than he to whom his Sustainer's messages are conveyed and who thereupon turns away from them? Verily, We shall inflict Our retribution on those who are [thus] lost in sin!
Now if their town had been stormed,* and they had been asked [by the enemy] to commit apostasy, [the hypocrites] would have done so without much delay*
O YOU who have attained to faith! If you marry believing women and then divorce them ere you have touched them, you have no reason to expect, and to calculate, any waiting period on their part:* hence, make [at once] provision for them, and release them in a becoming manner.*
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:*
Say: Our Sustainer will bring us all together [on Judgment Day], and then He will lay open the truth between us, in justice - for He alone is the One who opens all truth, the All-Knowing!"
And [as for those who now deny the truth,] one Day He will gather them all together, and will ask the angels, Was it you that they were wont to worship?"*
Say: I counsel you one thing only: Be [ever conscious of] standing before God, whether you are in the company of others or alone;* and then bethink yourselves [that] there is no madness in [this prophet,] your fellow-man:* he is only a warner to you of suffering severe to come."
And [remember:] God creates [every one of] you out of dust,* then out of a drop of sperm; and then He fashions you into either of the two sexes.* And no female conceives or gives birth unless it be with His knowledge; and none that is long-lived has his days lengthened - and neither is aught lessened of his days - unless it be thus laid down in [God's] decree: for, behold, all this is easy for God.
[but] in the end I took to task all those who were bent on denying the truth: and how awesome was My rejection!
And so, We have bestowed this divine writ as a heritage unto such of Our servants as We chose: and among them are some who sin against themselves; and some who keep half-way [between right and wrong];* and some who, by God's leave, are foremost in deeds of goodness: [and] this, indeed, is a merit most high!
And, behold, above all this they will be confounded with burning despair!*
And once again:* Verily, the blazing fire is their ultimate goal
[and so We saved him and those who followed him] and then We caused the others to drown.
and then We utterly destroyed the others:
But [ere this], indeed, We had tried Solomon by placing upon his throne a [lifeless] body;* and thereupon he turned [towards Us; and]
He has created you [all] out of one living entity, and out of it fashioned its mate;* and he has bestowed upon you four kinds of cattle of either sex;* [and] He creates you in your mothers' wombs, one act of creation after another, in threefold depths of darkness.* Thus is God, your Sustainer: unto Him belongs all dominion: there is no deity save Him: how, then, can you lose sight of the truth?*
If you are ingrate* behold, God has no need of you; none the less, He does not approve of ingratitude in His servants: whereas, if you show gratitude, He approves it in you. And no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden.* In time, unto your Sustainer you all must return, and then He will make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life]: for, verily, He has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men].
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he is likely to cry out to his Sustainer, turning unto Him [for help];* but as soon as He has bestowed upon him a boon by His grace, he forgets Him whom he invoked before, and claims that there are other powers that could rival God* - and thus leads [others] astray from His path. Say [unto him who sins in this way]: Enjoy thyself for a while in this thy denial of the truth; [yet,] verily, thou art of those who are destined for the fire!
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!
God bestows from on high* the best of all teachings in the shape of a divine writ fully consistent within itself, repeating each statement [of the truth] in manifold forms* [a divine writ] whereat shiver the skins of all who of their Sustainer stand in awe: [but] in the end their skins and their hearts do soften at the remembrance of [the grace of] God. Such is God's guidance: He guides therewith him that wills [to be guided]* whereas he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide*
and then, behold, on the Day of Resurrection you all shall place your dispute before your Sustainer.
Say: God's alone is [the power to bestow the right of] intercession:* His [alone] is the dominion over the heavens and the earth; and, in the end, Unto Him you will all be brought back."
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us for help; but when We bestow upon him a boon by Our grace, he says [to himself], I have been given [all] this by virtue of [my own] wisdom!"* Nay, this [bestowal of grace] is a trial: but most of them understand it not!
Hence, turn towards your Sustainer [alone] and surrender yourselves unto Him ere the suffering [of death and resurrection] comes upon you, for then you will not be succoured.*
And [on that Day,] the trumpet [of judgment] will be sounded, and all [creatures] that are in the heavens and all that are on earth will fall down senseless, unless they be such as God wills [to exempt].* And then it will sound again - and lo! standing [before the Seat of Judgment], they will begin to see [the truth]!*
It is He who creates you out of dust,* and then out of a drop of sperm, and then out of a germ-cell; and then He brings you forth as children; and then [He ordains] that you reach maturity, and then, that you grow old - though some of you [He causes to] die earlier -: and [all this He ordains] so that you might reach a term set [by Him],* and that you might [learn to] use your reason.
and are dragged into burning despair, and in the end become fuel for the fire [of hell].*
And then they will be asked: Where now are those [powers] to which you were wont to ascribe divinity
And* He [it is who] applied His design to the skies, which were [yet but] smoke;* and He [it is who] said to them and to the earth, Come [into being], both of you, willingly or unwillingly!" - to which both responded, We do come in obedience."*
[But,] behold, as for those who say, Our Sustainer is God," and then steadfastly pursue the right way - upon them do angels often descend, [saying:] Fear not and grieve not, but receive the glad tiding of that paradise which has been promised to you!
HAVE YOU given thought [to how you will fare] if this be truly [a revelation] from God, the while you deny its truth? Who could be more astray than one who places himself [so] deeply in the wrong?*
in order that you might gain mastery over them,* and that, whenever you have mastered them, you might remember your Sustainer's blessings and say: Limitless in His glory is He who has made [all] this subservient to our use - since [but for Him,] we would not have been able to attain to it.
whereupon they turned their backs on him and said, Taught [by others] is he, a madman"?*
then pour over his head the anguish of burning despair!
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
Whoever does what is just and right, does so for his own good; and whoever does evil, does so to his own hurt; and in the end unto your Sustainer you all will be brought back.
And, finally, [O Muhammad,] We have set thee on a way by which the purpose [of faith] may be fulfilled:* so follow thou this [way], and follow not the likes and dislikes of those who do not know [the truth].*
Say: It is God who gives you life, and then causes you to die; and in the end He will gather you together on Resurrection Day, [the coming of] which is beyond all doubt - but most human beings understand it not."
for, behold, all who say, Our Sustainer is God", and thereafter stand firm [in their faith] - no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve:
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!
Behold, [O believers,] it is you who are called upon to spend freely in God's cause: but [even] among you are such as turn out to be niggardly! And yet, he who acts niggardly [in God's cause] is but niggardly towards his own self: for God is indeed self-sufficient, whereas you stand in need [of Him]; and if you turn away [from Him], He will cause other people to take your place, and they will not be the likes of you!
And [now,] if they who are bent on denying the truth should fight against you, they will indeed turn their backs [in flight], and will find none to protect them and none to bring them succour:*
[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!
and then drew near, and came close,
whereupon he shall be requited for it with the fullest requital;
and then, verily, O you who have gone astray and called the truth a lie,
He it is who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness.* He knows all that enters the earth, and all that comes out of it, as well as all that descends from the skies, and all that ascends to them.* And He is with you wherever you may be; and God sees all that you do.
KNOW [O men] that the life of this world is but a play and a passing delight, and a beautiful show, and [the cause of] your boastful vying with one another, and [of your] greed for more and more riches and children.* Its parable is that of* [life-giving] rain: the herbage which it causes to grow delights the tillers of the soil;* but then it withers, and thou canst see it turn yellow; and in the end it crumbles into dust. But [the abiding truth of man's condition will become fully apparent] in the life to come: [either] suffering severe, or* God's forgiveness and His goodly acceptance: for the life of this world is nothing but an enjoyment of self-delusion.
And thereupon We caused [other of] Our apostles to follow in their footsteps; and [in the course of time] We caused them to be followed by Jesus, the son of Mary, upon whom We bestowed the Gospel;* and in the hearts of those who [truly] followed him We engendered compassion and mercy. But as for monastic asceticism -* We did not enjoin it upon them: they invented it themselves out of a desire for God's goodly acceptance.* But then, they did not [always] observe it as it ought to have been observed:* and so We granted their recompense unto such of them as had [truly] attained to faith, whereas many of them became iniquitous.*
hence, as for those who would separate themselves from their wives by saying, Thou art as unlawful to me as my mother", and thereafter would go back on what they have said, [their atonement] shall be the freeing of a human being from bondage* before the couple may touch one another again: this you are [hereby] exhorted to do - for God is fully aware of all that you do.*
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!
[for] if those [to whom they have pledged themselves] are indeed driven away, they will not go forth with them; and if war is waged against them, they will not come to their succour; and even if they [try to] succour them, they will most certainly turn their backs [in flight], and in the end will [themselves] find no succour.
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!
Say: "Behold, the death from which you are fleeing* is bound to overtake you - and then you will be brought back unto 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,* whereupon He will make you truly understand all that you were doing [in life].
this, because [they profess that] they have attained to faith, whereas* [inwardly] they deny the truth - and so, a seal has been set on their hearts so that they can no longer understand [what is true and what false].*
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!"
Yea, turn thy vision [upon it] again and yet again: [and every time] thy vision will fall back upon thee, dazzled and truly defeated
and then let him enter hell,
and then thrust him into a chain [of other sinners like him* - a chain] the length whereof is seventy cubits:*
and would indeed have cut his life-vein.
and of whoever [else] lives on earth, all of them - so that he could but save himself.
"And behold I called unto them openly;
and, behold I preached to them in public; and I spoke to them secretly, in private;
and [then] He will bring you forth [from It] in resurrection.*
and yet, he greedily desires that I give yet more!
yea, he destroys himself, the way he meditates!
and then he looks [around for new arguments],
and then he frowns and glares,*
and in the end he turns his back [on Our message], and glories in his arrogance,*
and then, behold, it will be for Us to make its meaning clear.*
and then went arrogantly back to what he had come from.*
and ever nearer unto thee, and nearer!
and thereafter became a germ-cell - whereupon He created and formed [it] in accordance with what [it] was meant to be,*
And We shall let them be followed by those of later times:*
And once again:* Nay, but in time they will come to understand!
and brusquely turned his back [on Moses];
and then makes it easy for him to go through life;*
and in the end He causes him to die and brings him to the grave;
and then, if it be His will, He shall raise him again to life,
and then We cleave the earth [with new growth], cleaving it asunder,
And once again: What could make thee conceive what that Judgment Day will be?*
and then, behold, they shall enter the blazing fire
and be told: "This is the [very thing] to which you were wont to give the lie!"
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!*
wherein he will neither die nor remain alive.*
and verily, It is for Us to call them to account.
and being, withal, of those who have attained to faith, and who enjoin upon one another patience in adversity, and enjoin upon one another compassion.
and thereafter We reduce him to the lowest of low*
And once again:* Nay, in time you will come to understand!
In the end you will indeed, most surely, behold it with the eye of certainty:*
and on that Day you will most surely be called to account for [what you did with] the boon of life!