Behold, God does not disdain to propound a parable of a gnat, or of something [even] less than that.* Now, as for those who have attained to faith, they know that it is the truth from their Sustainer - whereas those who are bent on denying the truth say, "What could God mean by this parable?" In this way does He cause many a one to go astray, just as He guides many a one aright: but none does He cause thereby to go astray save the iniquitous,
who break their bond with God after it has been established [in their nature],* and cut asunder what God has bidden to be joined, and spread corruption on earth: these it is that shall be the losers.
AND LO! Moses said unto his people: "Behold, God bids you to sacrifice a cow."* They said: "Dost thou mock at us?" He answered: "I seek refuge with God against being so ignorant!"*
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?*
Vile is that [false pride] for which they have sold their own selves by denying the truth of what God has bestowed from on high, out of envy that God should bestow aught of His favour upon whomsoever He wills of His servants:* and thus have they earned the burden of God's condemnation, over and over. And for those who deny the truth there is shameful suffering in store.
And thou wilt most certainly find that they cling to life more eagerly than any other people, even more than those who are bent on ascribing divinity to other beings beside God: every one of them would love to live a thousand years, although the grant of long life could not save him from suffering [in the hereafter]: for God sees all that they do.
Neither those from among the followers of earlier revelation who are bent on denying the truth, nor those who ascribe divinity to other beings beside God, would like to see any good* ever bestowed upon you from on high by your Sustainer; but God singles out for His grace whom He wills-for God is limitless in His great bounty.
Would you, perchance, ask of the Apostle who has been sent unto you what was asked aforetime of Moses? But whoever chooses to deny the [evidence of the] truth, instead of believing in it,* has already strayed from the right path.
Hence, who could be more wicked than those who bar the mention of God's name from [any of] His houses of worship and strive for their ruin, [although] they have no right to enter them save in fear [of God]?* For them, in this world, there is ignominy in store; and for them, in the life to come, awesome suffering.
AND LO! We made the Temple a goal to which people might repair again and again, and a sanctuary:* take then, the place whereon Abraham once stood as your place of prayer."* And thus did We command Abraham and Ishmael: "Purify My Temple for those who will walk around it,* and those who will abide near it in meditation, and those who will bow down and prostrate themselves [in prayer]."
Hence, from wherever thou mayest come forth, turn thy face [in prayer] towards the Inviolable House of Worship; and wherever you all may be, turn your faces towards it, so that people should have no argument against you unless they are bent upon wrongdoing.* And hold not them in awe, but stand in awe of Me, and [obey Me,] so that I might bestow upon you the full measure of My blessings., and that you might follow the right path.
[Hence,] behold, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the symbols set up by God;* and thus, no wrong does he who, having come to the Temple on pilgrimage or on a pious visit, strides to and fro between these two:* for, if one does more good than he is bound to do-behold, God is responsive to gratitude, all-knowing.*
and bids you only to do evil, and to commit deeds of abomination, and to attribute unto God something of which you have no knowledge.*
True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west* - but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day; and the angels, and revelation,* and the prophets; and spends his substance - however much he himself may cherish - it - upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer,* and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage;* and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God.
[fasting] during a certain number of days.* But whoever of you is ill, or on a journey, [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days; and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person.* And whoever does more good than he is bound to do* does good unto himself thereby; for to fast is to do good unto yourselves - if you but knew it.
THEY WILL ASK thee about the new moons. Say: "They indicate the periods for [various doings of] mankind, including the pilgrimage."* However, piety does not consist in your entering houses from the rear, [as it were,] but truly pious is he who is conscious of God.* Hence, enter houses through their doors, and remain conscious of God, so that you might attain to a happy state.
[However,] you will be committing no sin if [during the pilgrimage] you seek to obtain any bounty from your Sustainer.* And when you surge downward in multitudes from `Arafat,* remember God at the holy place, and remember Him as the One who guided you after you had indeed been lost on your way;*
Are these people* waiting, perchance, for God to reveal Himself unto them in the shadows of the clouds, together with the angels - although [by then] all will have been decided, and unto God all things will have been brought back?*
[But] do you think that you could enter para-dise without having suffered like those [believers] who passed away before you?* Misfortune and hardship befell them, and so shaken were they that the apostle, and the believers with him, would exclaim, "When will God's succour come?"* Oh, verily, God's succour is [always] near!
FIGHTING is ordained for you, even though it be hateful to you; but it may well be that you hate a thing the while it is good for you, and it may well be that you love a thing the while it is bad for you: and God knows, whereas you do not know.*
AND DO NOT allow your oaths in the name of God to become an obstacle to virtue and God-consciousness and the promotion of peace between men:* for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
And the divorced women shall undergo, without remarrying,* a waiting-period of three monthly courses: for it is not lawful for them to conceal what God may have created in their wombs,* if they believe in God and the Last Day. And during this period their husbands are fully entitled to take them back, if they desire reconciliation; but, in accordance with justice, the rights of the wives [with regard to their husbands] are equal to the [husbands'] rights with regard to them, although men have precedence over them [in this respect].* And God is almighty, wise.
A divorce may be [revoked] twice, whereupon the marriage must either be resumed in fairness or dissolved in a goodly manner.* And it is not lawful for you to take back anything of what you have ever given to your wives unless both [partners] have cause to fear that they may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God: hence, if you have cause to fear that the two may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God, there shall be no sin upon either of them for what the wife may give up [to her husband] in order to free herself.* These are the bounds set by God; do not, then, transgress them: for they who transgress the bounds set by God-it is they, they who are evildoers!
And if he divorces her [finally], she shall thereafter not be lawful unto him unless she first takes another man for husband; then, if the latter divorces her, there shall be no sin upon either of the two if they return to one another-provided that both of them think that they will be able to keep within the bounds set by God: for these are the bounds of God which He makes clear unto people of [innate] knowledge.
And when you divorce women, and they have come to the end of their waiting-term, hinder them not from marrying other men if they have agreed with each other in a fair manner. This is an admonition unto every one of you who believes in God and the Last Day; it is the most virtuous [way] for you, and the cleanest. And God knows, whereas you do not know.
And the [divorced] mothers may nurse their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the period of nursing; and it is incumbent upon him who has begotten the child to provide in a fair manner for their sustenance and clothing. No human being shall be burdened with more than he is well able to bear: neither shall a mother be made to suffer because of her child, nor, because of his child, he who has begotten it. And the same duty rests upon the [father's] heir. And if both [parents] decide, by mutual consent and counsel, upon separation [of mother and child],* they will incur no sin [thereby]; and if you decide to entrust your children to foster-mothers, you will incur no sin provided you ensure, in a fair manner, the safety of the child which you are handing over.* But remain conscious of God, and know that God sees all that you do.
But you will incur no sin if you give a hint of [an intended] marriage-offer to [any of] these women, or if you conceive such an intention without making it obvious: [for] God knows that you intend to ask them in marriage.* Do not, however, plight your troth with them in secret, but speak only in a decent manner; and do not proceed with tying the marriage-knot ere the ordained [term of waiting] has come to its end. And know that God knows what is in your minds, and therefore remain conscious of Him; and know, too, that God is much-forgiving, forbearing.
And if you divorce them before having touched them, but after having settled a dower upon them, then [give them] half of what you have settled - unless it be that they forgo their claim or he in whose hand is the marriage-tie* forgoes his claim [to half of the dower]: and to forgo what is due to you is more in accord with God-consciousness. And forget not [that you are to act with] grace towards one another: verily, God sees all that you do.
Art thou not aware of those elders of the children of Israel , after the time of Moses, how they said unto a prophet of theirs,* "Raise up a king for us, [and] we shall fight in God's cause"? Said he: "Would you, perchance, refrain from fighting if fighting is ordained for you?" They answered: "And why should we not fight in God's cause when we and our children have been driven from our homelands?"* Yet, when fighting was ordained for them, they did turn back, save for a few of them; but God had full knowledge of the evildoers.
And their prophet said unto them: "Behold, it shall be a sign of his [rightful] dominion that you will be granted a heart* endowed by your Sustainer with inner peace and with all that is enduring in the angel-borne heritage left behind by the House of Moses and the House of Aaron.* Herein, behold, there shall indeed be a sign for you if you are [truly] believers."
O YOU who have attained to faith! Spend [in Our way] out of what We have granted you as sustenance ere there come a Day* when there will be no bargaining, and no friendship, and no intercession. And they who deny the truth -it is they who are evildoers!
ART THOU NOT aware of that [king] who argued with Abraham about his Sustainer, (simply] because God had granted him kingship? Lo! Abraham said: "My Sustainer is He who grants life and deals death." [The king] replied: "I [too] grant life and deal death!" Said Abraham: "Verily, God causes the sun to rise in the east; cause it, then, to rise in the west!" Thereupon he who was bent on denying the truth remained dumbfounded: for God does not guide people who [deliberately] do wrong.*
Would any of you like to have a garden of date-palms and vines, through which running waters flow, and have all manner of fruit therein - and then be overtaken by old age, with only weak children to [look after] him-and then [see] it smitten by a fiery whirlwind and utterly scorched? In this way God makes clear His messages unto you, so that you might take thought.
O you who have attained to faith! Spend on others out of the good things which you may have acquired, and out of that which We bring forth for you from the earth; and choose not for your spending the bad things which you yourselves would not accept without averting your eyes in disdain. And know that God is self-sufficient, ever to be praised.
If, however, [the debtor] is in straitened circumstances, [grant him] a delay until a time of ease; and it would be for your own good -if you but knew it -to remit [the debt entirely] by way of charity.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever you give or take credit* for a stated term, set it down in writing. And let a scribe write it down equitably between you; and no scribe shall refuse to write as God has taught him:* thus shall he write. And let him who contracts the debt dictate; and let him be conscious of God, his Sustainer, and not weaken anything of his undertaking.* And if he who contracts the debt is weak of mind or body, or, is not able to dictate himself,* then let him who watches over his interests dictate equitably. And call upon two of your men to act as witnesses; and if two men are not available, then a man and two women from among such as are acceptable to you as witnesses, so that if one of them should make a mistake, the other could remind her.* And the witnesses must not refuse [to give evidence] whenever they are called upon. And be not loath to write down every contractual provision,* be it small or great, together with the time at which it falls due; this is more equitable in the sight of God, more reliable as evidence, and more likely to prevent you from having doubts [later]. If, however, [the transaction] concerns ready merchandise which you transfer directly unto one another, you will incur no sin if you do not write it down. And have witnesses whenever you trade with one another, but neither scribe nor witness must suffer harm;* for if you do [them harm], behold, it will be sinful conduct on your part. And remain conscious of God, since it is God who teaches you [herewith] - and God has full knowledge of everything.
LET NOT the believers take those who deny the truth for their allies in preference to the believers* - since he who does this cuts himself off from God in everything - unless it be to protect yourselves against them in this way.* But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys' end.
[Zachariah] prayed: "O my Sustainer! Appoint a sign for me!" Said [the angel]: "Thy sign shall be that for three days thou wilt not speak unto men other than by gestures.* And remember thy Sustainer unceasingly, and extol His limitless glory by night and by day."
Say: "O followers of earlier revelation! Come unto that tenet which we and you hold in common:* that we shall worship none but God, and that we shall not ascribe divinity to aught beside Him, and that we shall not take human beings for our lords beside God."* And if they turn away, then say: "Bear witness that it is we who have surrendered ourselves unto Him."
but do not [really] believe anyone who does not follow your own faith." Say: "Behold, all [true] guidance is God's guidance, consisting in one's being granted [revelation] such as you have been granted."* Or would they contend against you before your Sustainer? Say: "Behold, all bounty is in the hand of God; He grants it unto whom He wills:* for God is infinite, all-knowing,
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 neither did he bid you to take the angels and the prophets for your lords:* [for] would he bid you to deny the truth after you have surrendered yourselves unto God?
ALL FOOD was lawful unto the children of Israel, save what Israel had made unlawful unto itself [by its sinning] before the Torah was bestowed from on high.* Say: "Come forward, then, with the Torah and recite it, if what you say is true!"
when two groups from among you were about to lose heart,* although God was near unto them and it is in God that the believers must place their trust:
[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]?
Do you think that you could enter paradise unless God takes cognizance of your having striven hard [in His cause], and takes cognizance of your having been patient in adversity?*
For, indeed, you did long for death [in God's cause] before you came face to face with it; and now you have seen it with your own eyes!*
And no human being can die save by God's leave, at a term pre-ordained. And if one desires the rewards of this world, We shall grant him thereof; and if one desires the rewards of the life to come, We shall grant him thereof; and We shall requite those who are grateful [to Us].
and all that they said was this: "O our Sustainer! Forgive us our sins and the lack of moderation in our doings! And make firm our steps, and succour us against people who deny the truth!" -
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.
exulting in that [martyrdom] which God has bestowed upon them out of His bounty. And they rejoice in the glad tiding given to those [of their brethren] who have been left behind and have not yet joined them, that no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve:
And 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.
As for those who maintain, "Behold, God has bidden us not to believe in any apostle unless he comes unto us with burnt offerings"* - say [unto them, O Prophet]: "Even before me there came unto you apostles with all evidence of the truth, and with that whereof you speak: why, then, did you slay them, if what you say is true?"*
Think not that those who exult in what they have thus contrived, and who love to be praised for what they have not done* - think not that they will escape suffering: for grievous suffering does await them [in the life to come].
"O our Sustainer! Behold, we heard a voice* call [us] unto faith, `Believe in your Sustainer!' - and so we came to believe. O our Sustainer! Forgive us, then, our sins, and efface our bad deeds; and let us die the death of the truly virtuous!
And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among [other] women such as are lawful to you* - [even] two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then [only] one - or [from among] those whom you rightfully possess.* This will make it more likely that you will not deviate from the right course.
And test the orphans [in your charge] until they reach a marriageable age; then, if you find them to be mature of mind, hand over to them their possessions; and do not consume them by wasteful spending, and in haste, ere they grow up. And let him who is rich abstain entirely [from his ward's property]; and let him who is poor partake thereof in a fair manner. And when you hand over to them their possessions, let there be witnesses on their behalf - although none can take count as God does.
O YOU who have attained to faith! It is not lawful for you to [try to] become heirs to your wives [by holding onto them] against their will;* and neither shall you keep them under constraint with a view to taking away anything of what you may have given them, unless it be that they have become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct.* And consort with your wives* in a goodly manner; for if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something which God might yet make a source of* abundant good.
Forbidden to you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your aunts paternal and maternal, and a brother's daughters, and a sister's daughters; and your milk-mothers, and your milk-sisters; and the mothers of your wives; and your step-daughters - who are your foster children - born of your wives with whom you have consummated your marriage; but if you have not consummated your marriage, you will incur no sin [by marrying their daughters]; and [forbidden to you are] the spouses of the sons who have sprung from your loins; and [you are forbidden] to have two sisters [as your wives] at one and the same time - but what is past is past:* for, behold, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And [forbidden to you are] all married women other than those whom you rightfully possess [through wedlock]:* this is God's ordinance, binding upon you. But lawful to you are all [women] beyond these, for you to seek out, offering them of your possessions,* taking them in honest wedlock, and not in fornication. And unto those with whom you desire to enjoy marriage, you shall give the dowers due to them; but you will incur no sin if, after [having agreed upon] this lawful due, you freely agree with one another upon anything [else]:* behold, God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
And as for those of you who, owing to circumstances, are not in a position* to marry free believing women, [let them marry] believing maidens from among those whom you rightfully possess.* And God knows all about your faith; each one of you is an issue of the other.* Marry them, then, with their people's leave, and give them their dowers in an equitable manner - they being women who give themselves in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions.* And when they are married, and thereafter become guilty of immoral conduct, they shall be liable to half the penalty to which free married women are liable.* This [permission to marry slave-girls applies] to those of you who fear lest they stumble into evil.* But it is for your own good to persevere in patience [and to abstain from such marriages]: and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And God wants to turn unto you in His mercy, whereas those who follow [only] their own lusts want you to drift far away from the right path.*
God wants to lighten your burdens:* for man has been created weak.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not devour one another's possessions wrongfully - not even by way of trade based on mutual agreement* - and do not destroy one another: for, behold, God is indeed a dispenser of grace unto you!
ART THOU NOT aware of those who, having been granted their share of the divine writ,* now barter it away for error, and want you [too] to lose your way?
O you who have been granted revelation [aforetime]! Believe in what We have [now] bestowed from on high in confirmation of whatever [of the truth] you already possess, lest We efface your hopes and bring them to an end* - just as We rejected those people who broke the Sabbath: for God's will is always done.*
VERILY, God does not forgive the ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him, although He forgives any lesser sin* unto whomever He wills: for he who ascribes divinity to aught beside God has indeed contrived an awesome sin.*
BEHOLD, God bids you to deliver all that you have been entrusted with unto those who are entitled thereto, and whenever you judge between people, to judge with justice.* Verily, most excellent is what God exhorts you to do: verily, God is all-hearing, all-seeing!
ART THOU NOT aware of those who claim that they believe in what has been bestowed from on high upon thee, [O Prophet,] as well as in what was bestowed from on high before thee, [and yet] are willing to defer to the rule of the powers of evil* - although they were bidden to deny it, seeing that Satan but wants to lead them far astray?
Yet if We were to ordain for them,* "Lay down your lives," or, "Forsake your homelands," only a very few of them would do it* - although, if they did what they are admonished to do, it would indeed be for their own good and apt to strengthen them greatly [in faith],
But if good fortune comes to you from God, such a person* is sure to say - just as if there had never been any question of love between you and him - : "Oh, would that I had been with them, and thus had a [share in their] mighty triumph !"
Fight thou,* then, in God's cause - since thou art but responsible for thine own self - and inspire the believers to overcome all fear of death.* God may well curb the might of those who are bent on denying the truth: for God is stronger in might, and stronger in ability to deter.
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?
unless it be such [of them] as have ties with people to whom you yourselves are bound by a covenant, or such as come unto you because their hearts shrink from [the thought of] making war either on you or on their own folk - although, if God had willed to make them stronger than you, they would certainly have made war on you.* Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them.*
You will find [that there are] others who would like to be safe from you as well as safe from their own folk, [but who,] whenever they are faced anew with temptation to evil, plunge into it headlong.* Hence, if they do not let you be, and do not offer you peace, and do not stay their hands, seize them and slay them whenever you come upon them: for it is against these that We have clearly empowered you [to make war].*
AND IT IS not conceivable that a believer should slay another believer, unless it be by mistake.* And upon him who has slain a believer by mistake there is the duty of freeing a believing soul from bondage and paying an indemnity to the victim's relations,* unless they forgo it by way of charity. Now if the slain, while himself a believer, belonged to a people who are at war with you,* [the penance shall be confined to] the freeing of a believing soul from bondage; whereas, if he belonged to a people to whom you are bound by a covenant, [it shall consist of] an indemnity to be paid to his relations in addition to the freeing of a believing soul from bondage.* And he who does not have the wherewithal shall fast [instead] for two consecutive months.* (This is) the atonement ordained by God: and God is indeed all-knowing, wise.
as for them, God may well efface their sin - for God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.
AND WHEN you go forth [to war] on earth, you will incur no sin by shortening your prayers* if you have reason to fear that those who are bent on denying the truth might suddenly fall upon you:* for, verily, those who deny the truth are your open foes.
Thus, when thou art among the believers* and about to lead them in prayer, let [only] part of them stand up with thee, retaining their arms. Then, after they have finished their prayer, let them provide you cover* while another group, who have not yet prayed, shall come forward and pray with thee, being fully prepared against danger and retaining their arms: (for) those who are bent on denying the truth would love to see you oblivious of your arms and your equipment, so that they might fall upon you in a surprise attack.* But it shall not be wrong for you to lay down your arms [while you pray] if you are troubled by rain* or if you are ill; but [always] be fully prepared against danger. Verily, God has readied shameful suffering for all who deny the truth!
And but for God's favour upon thee and His grace, some of those [who are false to themselves] would indeed endeavour to lead thee astray; yet none but themselves do they lead astray. Nor can they harm thee in any way, since God has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ and [given thee] wisdom, and has imparted unto thee the knowledge of what thou didst not know. And God's favour upon thee is tremendous indeed.
VERILY, God does not forgive the ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him, although He forgives any lesser sin unto whomever He wills: for those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God have indeed gone far astray.
AND THEY will ask thee to enlighten them about the laws concerning women.* Say: "God [Himself] enlightens you about the laws concerning them"- for [His will is shown] in what is being conveyed unto you through this divine writ about orphan women [in your charge], to whom - because you yourselves may be desirous of marrying them - you do not give that which has been ordained for them;* and about helpless children; and about your duty to treat orphans with equity. And whatever good you may do - behold, God has indeed full knowledge thereof.
And if a woman has reason to fear ill-treatment from her husband, or that he might turn away from her, it shall not be wrong for the two to set things peacefully to rights between themselves: for peace is best, and selfishness is ever-present in human souls. But if you do good and are conscious of Him - behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do.
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.
and unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. AND, INDEED, We have enjoined upon those who were granted revelation before your time, as well as upon yourselves, to remain conscious of God. And if you deny Him - behold, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and God is indeed self-sufficient, ever to be praised.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, God's claim takes precedence over [the claims of] either of them.* Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort [the truth], behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do!
And, indeed, He has enjoined upon you in this divine writ that whenever you hear people deny the truth of God's messages and mock at them, you shall avoid their company until they begin to talk of other things* - or else, verily, you will become like them. Behold, together with those who deny the truth God will gather in hell the hypocrites,
O you who have attained to faith! Do not take the deniers of the truth for your allies in preference to the believers! Do you want to place before God a manifest proof of your guilt?*
VERILY, those who deny God and His apostles by endeavouring to make a distinction between [belief in] God and [belief in] His apostles, and who say, "We believe in the one but we deny the other,"* and want to pursue a path in-between -
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],
O FOLLOWERS of the Gospel! Do not overstep the bounds [of truth] in your religious beliefs,* and do not say of God anything but the truth. The Christ Jesus, son of Mary, was but God's Apostle - [the fulfilment of] His promise which He had conveyed unto Mary - and a soul created by Him.* Believe, then, in God and His apostles, and do not say, "[God is] a trinity". Desist [from this assertion] for your own good. God is but One God; utterly remote is He, in His glory, from having a son: unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and none is as worthy of trust as God.
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 WILL ASK thee to enlighten them.* Say: "God enlightens you [thus] about the laws concerning [inheritance from] those who leave no heir in the direct line: If a man dies childless and has a sister, she shall inherit one-half of what he has left, just as he shall inherit from her if she dies childless. But if there are two sisters, both [together] shall have two-thirds of what he has left; and if there are brothers and sisters,* then the male shall have the equal of two females' share." God makes [all this] clear unto you, lest you go astray; and God knows everything.
O you who have attained to faith! Offend not against the symbols set up by God, nor against the sacred month [of pilgrimage], nor against the garlanded offerings,* nor against those who flock to the Inviolable Temple, seeking favour with their Sustainer and His goodly acceptance; and [only] after your pilgrimage is over* are you free to hunt. And never let your hatred of people who would bar you from the Inviolable House of Worship lead you into the sin of aggression:* but rather help one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for, behold, God is severe in retribution!
FORBIDDEN to you is carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any name other than God's has been invoked,* and the animal that has been strangled, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or gored to death, or savaged by a beast of prey, save that which you [yourselves] may have slaughtered while it was still alive; and [forbidden to you is] all that has been slaughtered on idolatrous altars.* And [you are forbidden] to seek to learn through divination what the future may hold in store for you:* this is sinful conduct. Today, those who , are bent on denying the truth have lost all hope of [your ever forsaking] your religion: do not, then, hold them in awe, but stand in awe of Me! Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion.* As for him, however, who is driven [to what is forbidden] by dire necessity* and not by an inclination to sinning -behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of any-one* lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.
O you who have attained to faith! Remember the blessings which God bestowed upon you when [hostile] people were about to lay hands on you* and He stayed their hands from you. Remain, then, conscious of God: and in God let the believers place their trust.
Indeed, the truth deny they who say, "Behold, God is the Christ, son of Mary." Say: "And who could have prevailed with God in any way had it been His will to destroy the Christ, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone who is on earth-all of them? For, God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; He creates what He wills: and God has the power to will anything!"
O followers of the Bible! Now, after a long time during which no apostles have appeared, there has come unto you [this] Our Apostle to make [the truth] clear to you, lest you say, "No bearer of glad tidings has come unto us, nor any warner ": for now there has come unto you a bearer of glad tidings and a warner -since God has the power to will anything.
I am willing, indeed, for thee to bear [the burden of] all the sins ever done by me as well as of the sin done by thee:* [but] then thou wouldst be destined for the fire, since that is the requital of evildoers!"
Thereupon God sent forth a raven which scratched the earth, to show him how he might conceal the nakedness of his brother's body. [And Cain] cried out: "Oh, woe is me! Am I then too weak to do what this raven did,* and to conceal the nakedness of my brother's body?" - and was thereupon smitten with remorse.*
It is but a just recompense for those who make war on God and His apostle,* and endeavour to spread corruption on earth, that they are being slain in great' numbers, or crucified in great numbers, or have, in l' result of their perverseness, their hands and feet cut off in great numbers,* or are being [entirely] banished from [the face of] the earth: such is their ignominy in this world .* But in the life to come [yet more] awesome suffering awaits them-
save for such [of them] as repent ere you [O believers] become more powerful than they:* for you must know that God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
They will wish to come out of the fire, but they shall not come out of it; and long-lasting suffering awaits them.
O APOSTLE! Be not grieved by those who vie with one another in denying the truth: such as those* who say with their mouths, "We believe," the while their hearts do not believe; and such of the Jewish faith as eagerly listen to any falsehood, eagerly listen to other people without having come to thee [for enlightenment].* They distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of their context, saying [to themselves], "If such-and-such [teaching] is vouchsafed unto you, accept it; but if it is not vouchsafed unto you, be on your guard!"* [Be not grieved by them-] for if God wills anyone to be tempted to evil, thou canst in no wise prevail with God in his behalf.* It is they whose hearts God is not willing to cleanse. Theirs shall be ignominy in this world, and awesome suffering in the life to come-
Hence, judge between the followers of earlier revelation* in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high, and do not follow their errant views; and beware of them, lest they tempt thee away from aught that God has bestowed from on high upon thee. And if they turn away [from His commandments], then know that it is but God's will [thus] to afflict them for some of their sins:* for, behold, a great many people are iniquitous indeed.
And yet thou canst see how those in whose hearts there is disease vie with one another for their good will,* saying [to themselves], "We fear lest fortune turn against us." But God may well bring about good fortune [for the believers] or any [other] event of His own devising,* whereupon those [waverers] will be smitten with remorse for the thoughts which they had secretly harboured within themselves-
Say: "O followers of earlier revelation! Do you find fault with us for no other reason than that we believe in God [alone], and in that which He has bestowed from on high upon us as well as that which He has bestowed aforetime? - or [is it only] because most of you are iniquitous?"
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.
[And now] thou canst see many of them allying themselves with those who are bent on denying the truth! [So] vile indeed is what their passions make them do* that God has condemned them; and in suffering shall they abide.
And how could we fail to believe in God and in whatever truth has come unto us, when we so fervently desire that our Sustainer count us among the righteous?"
By means of intoxicants and games of chance Satan seeks only to sow enmity and hatred among you, and to turn you away from the remembrance of God and from prayer. Will you not, then, desist?'*
Thus it will be more likely that people will offer testimony in accordance with the truth-or else they will [have cause to] fear that their oaths will be refuted by the oaths of others.* Be, then, conscious of God, and hearken [unto Him]: for God does not bestow His guidance upon iniquitous folk.
AND [remember the time] when I inspired the white-garbed ones:* Believe in Me and in My Apostle!" They answered: "We believe; and bear Thou witness that we have surrendered ourselves [unto Thee]."
[And,] lo, the white-garbed ones said: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Could thy Sustainer send down unto us a repast from heaven?"* [Jesus] answered: "Be conscious of God, if you are [truly] believers!"
Said they: "We desire to partake thereof, so that our hearts might be set fully at rest, and that we might know that thou hast spoken the truth to us, and that we might be of those who bear witness thereto!"
AND LO! God said:* O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, `Worship me and my mother as deities beside God'?" [Jesus] answered: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! It would not have been possible for me to say what I had no right to [say]! Had I said this, Thou wouldst indeed have known it! Thou knowest all that is within myself, whereas I know not what is in Thy Self. Verily, it is Thou alone who fully knowest all the things that are beyond the reach of a created being's perception.
Nothing did I tell them beyond what Thou didst bid me [to say]: `Worship God, [who is] my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer.' And I bore witness to what they did as long as I dwelt in their midst; but since Thou hast caused me to die, Thou alone hast been their keeper:* for Thou art witness unto everything.
Say: "Am I to take for my master anyone but God, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, when it is He who gives nourishment and Himself needs none?"* Say: "I am bidden to be foremost among those who surrender themselves unto God, and not to be* among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him."
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 !"*
And there are among them such as [seem to] listen to thee [O Prophet]: but over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness.* And were they to see every sign [of the truth], they would still not believe in it-so much so that when they come unto thee to contend with thee, those who are bent on denying the truth say, "This is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
And if it distress thee that those who deny the truth* turn their backs on thee - why, then, if thou art able to go down deep into the earth or to ascend a ladder unto heaven* in order to bring them a [yet more convincing] message, [do so;] but [remember that] had God so willed, He would indeed have gathered them all unto [His] guidance. Do not, therefore, allow thyself to ignore [God's ways].*
And they say, "Why has no miraculous sign been bestowed on him* from on high by his Sustainer?" Say: "Behold, God has the power to bestow any sign from on high." Yet most human beings are unaware of this*
And warn hereby those who fear lest they be gathered unto their Sustainer with none to protect them from Him or to intercede with Him, so that they might become [fully] conscious of Him.*
SAY [to the deniers of the truth]: "Behold, I have been forbidden to worship those [beings] whom you invoke instead of God." Say: "I do not follow your errant views -or else I should have gone astray, and should not be among those who have found the right path."
Say: "It is He alone who has the power to let loose upon you suffering from above you or from beneath your feet,* or to confound you with mutual discord and let you taste the fear of one another."* Behold how many facets we give to these messages, so that they might understand the truth.
And leave to themselves all those who, beguiled by the life of this world, have made play and passing delights their religion;* but remind [them] herewith that [in the life to come] every human being shall be held in pledge for whatever wrong he has done, and shall have none to protect him from God, and none to intercede for him; and though he offer any conceivable ransom,* it shall not be accepted from him. It is [people such as] these that shall be held in pledge for the wrong they have done; for them there is [in the life to come] a draught of burning despair* and grievous suffering awaits them because of their persistent refusal to acknowledge the truth.
and to be constant in prayer and conscious of Him: for it is He unto whom you all shall be gathered."
And his people argued with him. He said: "Do you argue with me about God, when it is He who has guided me? But I do not fear anything to which you ascribe divinity side by side with Him, [for no evil can befall me] unless my Sustainer so wills.* All things does my Sustainer embrace within His knowledge; will you not, then, keep this in mind?
And even if We were to send down angels unto them, and if the dead were to speak unto them* and [even if] We were to assemble before them, face to face, all the things [that can prove the truth], they would still not believe unless God so willed* But [of this] most of them are entirely unaware.
And why should you not eat of that over which God's name has been pronounced, seeing that He has so clearly spelled out to you what He has forbidden you [to eat] unless you are compelled [to do so]? But, behold, [it is precisely in such matters that] many people lead others astray by their own errant views, without [having any real] knowledge. Verily, thy Sustainer is fully aware of those who transgress the bounds of what is right.
And whomsoever God wills to guide, his bosom He opens wide with willingness towards self-surrender [unto Him]; and whomsoever He wills to let go astray, his bosom He causes to be tight and constricted, as if he were climbing unto the skies: it is thus that God inflicts horror upon those who will not believe.
And so it is that thy Sustainer would never destroy a community* for its wrongdoing so long as its people are still unaware [of the meaning of right and wrong]:
Say [O Prophet]: "In all that has been revealed unto me, I do not find anything forbidden to eat, if one wants to eat thereof,* unless it be carrion, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine-for that, behold, is loathsome-or a sinful offering* over which any name other than God's has been invoked. But if one is driven by necessity - neither coveting it nor exceeding his immediate need -then [know that], behold, thy Sustainer is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."*
Say: "Come, let me convey unto you what God has [really] forbidden to you: "Do not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught beside Him; and [do not offend against but, rather,] do good unto your parents;* and do not kill your children for fear of poverty - [for] it is We who shall provide sustenance for you as well as for them;* and do not commit any shameful deeds, be they open or secret; and do not take any human being's life-[the life] which God has declared to be sacred -otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice: this has He enjoined upon you so that you might use your reason;*
It has been given to you] lest you say, "Only unto two groups of people, [both of them] before our time, has a divine writ been bestowed from on high* and we were indeed unaware of their teachings";
Do they, perchance, wait for the angels to appear unto them, or for thy Sustainer [Himself] to appear, or for some of thy Sustainer's [final] portents to appear?* [But] on the Day when thy Sustainer's [final] portents do appear, believing will be of no avail to any human being who did not believe before, or who, while believing, did no good works.* Say: "Wait, [then, for the Last Day, O unbelievers:] behold, we [believers] are waiting, too!"
And when Our punishment came upon them, they had nothing to say for themselves, and could only cry,* "Verily, we were wrongdoers!"
[And God] said: "What has kept thee from prostrating thyself when I commanded thee?" Answered [Iblis]: "I am better than he: Thou hast created me out of fire, whereas him Thou hast created out of clay."
[God] said: "Down with thee, then, from this [state] -for it is not meet for thee to show arrogance here! Go forth, then: verily, among the humiliated shalt thou be!"
Thereupon Satan whispered unto the two with a view to making them conscious of their nakedness, of which [hitherto] they had been unaware;* and he said: "Your Sustainer has but forbidden you this tree lest you two become .[as] angels, or lest you live forever."*
Say: "Verily, my Sustainer has forbidden only shameful deeds, be they open or secret, and [every kind of] sinning, and unjustified envy, and the ascribing of divinity to aught beside Him - since He has never bestowed any warrant therefor from on high and the attributing unto God of aught of which you have no knowledge."
after We shall have removed whatever unworthy thoughts or feelings may have been [lingering] in their bosoms. Running waters will flow at their feet;* and they will say: "All praise is due to God, who has guided us unto this; for we would certainly not have found the right path unless God had guided us! Indeed, our Sustainer's apostles have told us the truth!" And [a voice] will call out unto them: "This is the paradise which you have inherited by virtue of your past deeds!"
And the inmates of paradise will call out to the inmates of the fire: "Now we have found that what our Sustainer promised us has come true; have you. too, found that what your Sustainer promised you has come true?" [The others] will answer, "Yes!"-whereupon from their midst a voice* will loudly proclaim: "God's rejection is the due of the evildoers
And between the two there will be a barrier.* And there will be persons who [in life] were endowed with the faculty of discernment [between right and wrong], recognizing each by its mark.* And they will call out unto the inmates of paradise, "Peace be upon you!"-not having entered it themselves, but longing [for it].
And the inmates of the fire will call out unto the inmates of paradise: "Pour some water upon us, or some of the sustenance [of paradise] which God has provided for you!" [The inmates of paradise] will reply: "Verily, God has denied both to those who have denied the truth -
Why, do you deem it strange that a tiding from your Sustainer should have come unto you through a man from among yourselves, so that he might warn you, and that you might become conscious of God, and that you might be graced with His mercy?"
Why, do you deem it strange that a tiding from your Sustainer should have come unto you through a man from among yourselves, so that he might warn you? Do but remember how He made you heirs to Noah's people, and endowed you abundantly with power:* remember, then, God's blessings, so that you might attain to a happy state!"
But his people's only answer was this:* "Expel them from your land! Verily, they are folk who make themselves out to be pure!"*
We should be guilty of blaspheming against God* were we to return to your ways after God has saved us from them! It is not conceivable that we should return to them-unless God, our Sustainer, so wills.* All things does our Sustainer embrace within His knowledge; in God do we place our trust. O our Sustainer! Lay Thou open the truth between us and our people -for Thou art the best of all to lay open the truth!"*
they who had given the lie to Shu'ayb - as though they had never lived there: they who had given the lie to Shu'ayb -it was they who were the losers!
Can, then, the people of any community ever feel secure that Our punishment will not come upon them by night, while they are asleep?
Why, can the people of any community ever feel secure that Our punishment will not come upon them in broad daylight, while they are engaged in (worldly] play?*
Has it, then, not become obvious unto those who have inherited the earth in the wake of former generations* that, if We so willed, We could smite them [too] by means of their sins, sealing their hearts so that they cannot hear [the truth]?*
so constituted that I cannot say anything about God but the truth. I have now come unto you with a clear evidence from your Sustainer: let, then, the children of Israel go with me!"
who wants to drive you out of your land! "* [Said Pharaoh:] "What, then, do you advise?"
They said: "O Moses! Either thou shalt throw [thy staff first], or we shall [be the first to] throw."
And [then] We inspired Moses, "Throw down thy staff!" -and lo! it swallowed up all their deceptions:*
Said Pharaoh: "Have you come to believe in him* ere I have given you permission? Behold, this is indeed a plot which you have cunningly devised in this [my] city in order to drive out its people hence! But in time you shall come to know, [my revenge]:
for thou takest vengeance on us only because we have come to believe in our Sustainer's messages as soon as they came to us. O our Sustainer! Shower us with patience in adversity, and make us die as men who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!"
[But the children of Israel ] said: "We have suffered hurt ere thou camest to us and since thou hast come to us!* [Moses] replied: "It may well be that your Sustainer will destroy your foe and make you inherit the earth: and thereupon he will behold how you act."*
And We divided them into twelve tribes, [or] communities. And when his people asked Moses for water, We inspired him, "Strike the rock with thy staff!" -whereupon twelve springs gushed forth from it, so that all the people knew whence to drink., And We caused the clouds to comfort them with their shade, and We sent down unto them manna and quails, [saying:] "Partake of the good things which We have provided for you as sustenance." And [by all their sinning] they did no harm unto Us-but [only] against their own selves did they sin.
And they have been succeeded by [new] generations who - [in spite of] having inherited the divine writ-clutch but at the fleeting good of this lower world and say, "We shall be forgiven,* the while they are ready, if another such fleeting good should come their way, to clutch at it [and sin again]. Have they not been solemnly pledged through the divine writ not to attribute unto God aught but what is true,* and [have they not] read again and again all that is therein? Since the life in the hereafter is the better [of the two] for all who are conscious of God -will you not, then, use your reason?
AND WHENEVER thy Sustainer brings forth their offspring from the loins of the children of Adam, He [thus] calls upon them to bear witness about themselves: "Am I not your Sustainer?" - to which they answer: "Yea, indeed, we do bear witness thereto!"* [Of this We remind you,] lest you say on the Day of Resurrection, "Verily, we were unaware of this";
Have they, then, never considered [God's] mighty dominion over the heavens and the earth, and all the things that God has created, and [asked themselves] whether, perchance, the end of their own term might already have drawn nigh? In what other tiding, then, will they, after this, believe?*
And, lo, God gave you the promise that one of the two [enemy] hosts would fall to you: and you would have liked to seize the less powerful one,* whereas it was God's will to prove the truth to be true in accordance with His words, and to wipe out the last remnant of those who denied the truth* -
And remember the time when you were few [and] helpless on earth, fearful lest people do away with you* - whereupon He sheltered you, and strengthened you with His succour, and provided for you sustenance out of the good things of life, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
But what have they [now] in their favour that God should not chastise them-seeing that they bar [the believers] from the Inviolable House of Worship, although they are not its [rightful] guardians?* None but the God-conscious can be its guardians: but of this most of these [evildoers] are unaware;
And should they seek but to deceive thee [by their show of peace] - behold, God is enough for thee!* He it is who has strengthened thee with His succour, and by giving thee believing followers*
IT DOES NOT behove a prophet to keep captives unless he has battled strenuously on earth.* You may desire the fleeting gains of this world-but God desires [for you the good of] the life to come: and God is almighty, wise.
Would you, perchance, fail to fight against people who have broken their solemn pledges, and have done all that they could to drive the Apostle away,* and have been first to attack you? Do you hold them in awe? Nay, it is God alone of whom you ought to stand in awe,* if you are [truly] believers!
Do you [O believers] think that you will be spared* unless God takes cognizance of your having striven hard [in His cause]* without seeking help from any but God and His Apostle and those who believe in Him?* For, God is aware of all that you do.
IT IS NOT for those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God to visit or tend* God's houses of worship, the while [by their beliefs] they bear witness against themselves that they are denying the truth. It is they whose works shall come to nought, and they who in the fire shall abide*
Only he should visit or tend God's houses of worship who believes in God and the Last Day, and is constant in prayer, and spends in charity, and stands in awe of none but God: for [only such as] these may hope to be among the right-guided!*
They want to extinguish God's [guiding] light with their utterances:* but God will not allow [this to pass], for He has willed to spread His light in all its fullness,* however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth.
Those who [truly] believe in God and the Last Day do not ask thee for exemption from struggling with their possessions and their lives [in God's cause]-and God has full knowledge as to who is conscious of Him-:*
Say: "Are you, perchance, hopefully waiting for something [bad] to happen to us-[the while nothing can happen to us] save one of the two best things?* But as far as you are concerned, we are hopefully waiting for God to inflict chastisement upon you, [either] from Himself* or by our hands! Wait, then, hopefully; behold, we shall hopefully wait with you!"
For, only this prevents their spending from being accepted from them:* they are bent on refusing to acknowledge God and His Apostle, and never pray without reluctance ,* and never spend [on righteous causes] without resentment.
[The hypocrites] swear to you by God [that they are acting in good faith], with a view to pleasing you [O believers] - the while it is God and His Apostle whose pleasure they should seek above all else, if indeed they are believers!*
[Some of] the hypocrites dread lest a [new] surah be revealed [in evidence] against them, making them understand what is [really] in their hearts.* Say: "Go on mocking! Behold, God will bring to light the very thing that you are dreading!"*
[The hypocrites] swear by God that they have said nothing [wrong]; yet most certainly have they uttered a saying which amounts to a denial of the truth,* and have [thus] denied the truth after [having professed] their self-surrender to God: for they were aiming at something which was beyond their reach.* And they could find no fault [with the Faith] save that God had enriched them and [caused] His Apostle [to enrich them] out of His bounty!* Hence, if they repent, it will be for their own good. but if they turn away, God will cause them to suffer grievous suffering in this world and in the life to come, and they will find no helper on earth, and none to give [them] succour.
THOSE [hypocrites] who were left behind rejoiced in their staying away [from war]* after [the departure of] God's Apostle, for they hated the thought of striving with their possessions and their lives in God's cause; and they had [even] said [to the others], "Do not go forth to war in this heat!" Say: "The fire of hell is hotter by far!" Had they but grasped this truth!
And let not their worldly goods and [the happiness which they may derive from] their children excite thy admiration: God but wants to chastise them by these means in [the life of] this world, and [to cause] their souls to depart while they are [still] denying the truth.*
[They are indeed denying it:] for, when they were called upon through revelation,* "Believe in God, and strive hard [in His cause] together with His Apostle," [even] such of them as were well able [to go to war] asked thee for exemption, saying, "Allow us to stay behind with those who remain at home!"*
They were well-pleased to remain with those who were left behind - where for their hearts have been sealed,* so that they cannot grasp the truth.
Nor [shall blame attach] to those who, when they came unto thee [O Prophet, with the request] that thou provide them with mounts, were told by thee, "I cannot find anything whereon to mount you" - [whereupon] they turned away, their eyes overflowing with tears out of sorrow that they had no means to spend [on their equipment].
Only they may rightly be reproached who asked thee for exemption even though they were fully able [to go to war].* They were well-pleased to remain with those who were left behind -wherefore God has sealed their hearts, so that they do not know [what they are doing].
[The hypocrites among] the bedouin* are more tenacious in [their] refusal to acknowledge the truth and in [their] hypocrisy [than are settled people], and more liable to ignore the ordinances which God has bestowed from on high upon His Apostle - but God is all-knowing, wise.*
And [there are] others* - [people who] have become conscious of their sinning after having done righteous deeds side by side with evil ones;* [and] it may well be that God will accept their repentance: for, verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser' of grace.
Never set foot in such a place!* Only a house of worship founded, from the very first day, upon God-consciousness is worthy of thy setting foot therein* -[a house of worship] wherein there are men desirous of growing in purity: for God loves all who purify themselves.
the building which they have built will never cease to be a source of deep disquiet in their hearts until their hearts crumble to pieces.* And God is all-knowing, wise.
IT DOES NOT behove the Prophet and those who have attained to faith to pray that they who ascribed divinity to aught beside God be forgiven [by Him] even though they happened to be [their] near of kin* -after it has been made clear unto them that those [dead sinners] are destined for. the blazing fire.
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.*
It does not behove the people of the [Prophet's] City and the bedouin [who live] around them to hold back from following God's Apostle, or to care for their own selves more than for him* -for, whenever they suffer from thirst or weariness or hunger in God's cause, and whenever they take any step which confounds* those who deny the truth, and whenever there comes to them from the enemy whatever may be destined for them* -[whenever anything thereof comes to pass,,] a good deed is recorded in their favour.* Verily, God does not fail to requite the doers of good!
Do people deem it strange that We should have inspired a man from their own midst [with this Our message]:* "Warn all mankind, and give unto those who have attained to faith the glad tiding that in their Sustainer's sight they surpass all others in that they are completely sincere-?* [Only] they who deny the truth say, "Behold. he is clearly but a spellbinder!"*
[and] in that [state of happiness] they will call out,* "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory, O God!"-and will be answered with the greeting, "Peace !"* And their call will close with [the words], "All praise is due to God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!"
For [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us, whether he be lying on his side or sitting or standing;* but as soon as We have freed him of his affliction, he goes on as though he had never invoked Us to save him from the affliction* that befell him! Thus do their own doings seem goodly unto those who waste their own selves.*
AND [thus it is:] whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, those who do not believe that they are destined to meet Us [are wont to] say, "Bring us a discourse other than this, or alter this one."* Say [O Prophet]: "It is not conceivable that I should alter it of my own volition; I only follow what is revealed to me. Behold, I would dread, were I [thus] to rebel against my Sustainer, the suffering [which would befall me] on that ,awesome Day [of Judgment]!"
The parable of the life of this world is but that of rain which We send down from the sky, and which is absorbed by the plants of the earth* whereof men and animals draw nourishment, until -when the earth has assumed its artful adornment and has been embellished, and they who dwell on it believe that they have gained mastery over it* -there comes down upon it Our judgment, by night or by day, and We cause it to become [like] a field mown down, as if there had been no yesterday.* Thus clearly do We spell out these messages unto people who think!
Say: "Does any of those beings to whom you ascribe a share in God's divinity guide unto the truth?" Say: "It is God [alone] who guides unto the truth. Which, then, is more worthy to be followed - He who guides unto the truth, or he who cannot find the right way unless he is guided?* What, then, is amiss with you and your judgment?"*
Now this Qur'an could not possibly have been devised by anyone save God: nay indeed,* it confirms the truth of whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations] and clearly spells out the revelation [which comes] -let there be no doubt about it-from the Sustainer of all the worlds.*
And on the Day when He shall gather them [unto Himself, it will seem to them] as if they had not tarried [on earth] longer than an hour of a day, knowing one another;* [and] lost indeed will be they who [in their lifetime] considered it a lie that they were destined to meet God, and [thus] failed to find the right' way.
But if you turn away [from the message which I bear, remember that] I have asked no reward whatever of you: my reward rests with none but God, for I have been bidden to be among those who have surrendered themselves unto Him."
But none save a few of his people declared their faith in Moses,* [while others held back] for fear of Pharaoh and their great ones, lest they persecute them:* for, verily, Pharaoh was mighty on earth and was, verily, of those who are given to excesses.
And [thus] did We inspire Moses and his brother: "Set aside for your people some houses in the city, and [tell them], `Turn your houses into places of worship,* and be constant in prayer!' And give thou [O Moses] the glad tiding [of God's succour] to all believers."
notwithstanding that no human being can ever attain to faith otherwise than by God's leave,* and [that] it is He who lays the loathsome evil [of disbelief] upon those who will not use -their reason?*
SAY [O Prophet]: "O mankind! If you are in doubt as to what my faith is, then [know that] I do not worship those beings whom you worship beside God,* but [that] I worship God alone, who shall cause you [all] to die:* for I have been bidden to be among those who believe [in Him alone]."
Hence, [O man,] set thy face steadfastly towards the [true] faith, turning away from all that is false,* and be not among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God.
so that you may worship none but God. [Say, O Prophet:] "Behold, I come unto you from Him [as] a warner and a bearer of glad tidings:*
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*
IS IT, then, conceivable [O Prophet] that thou couldst omit any part of what is being revealed unto thee [because the deniers of the truth dislike it,-and] because thy heart is distressed at their saying,* "Why has not a treasure been bestowed upon him from on high?" -or, "[Why has not] an angel come [visibly:: with him ?"* [They fail to understand that] thou art only a warner, whereas God has everything in His care ;*
And if they [whom you have called to your aid] are not able to help you,* then know that [this Qur'an] has been bestowed from on high out of God's wisdom alone,* and that there is no deity save Him. Will you, then, surrender yourselves unto Him?"
that you may worship none but God-for, verily, I fear lest suffering befall you on a grievous Day!"*
for, my advice will not benefit you -much as I desire to give you good advice - if it be God's will that you shall remain lost in grievous error.* He is your Sustainer, and unto Him you must return."
[God] answered: "O Noah, behold, he was not of thy family, for, verily, he was unrighteous in his conduct.* And thou shalt not ask of Me anything whereof thou canst not have any knowledge:* thus, behold, do I admonish thee lest thou become one of those who are unaware [of what is right]."*
Said [Noah]: "O my Sustainer! Verily, I seek refuge with Thee from [ever again] asking of Thee anything whereof I cannot have any knowledge! For unless Thou grant me forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy upon me, I shall be among the lost!"
They answered: "O Salih! Great hopes did we place in thee ere this!* Wouldst thou forbid us to worship what our forefathers were wont to worship? Because [of this], behold, we are in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about [the meaning of] thy call to us!"*
as though they had never lived there. Oh, verily, [the tribe of] Thamud denied their Sustainer! Oh, away with the Thamud!
AND, INDEED, there came unto Abraham Our [heavenly] messengers, bearing a glad tiding.* They bade him peace; [and] he answered, "[And upon you be] peace!"-and made haste to place before them* a roasted calf.
Said they: "O Shu'ayb! Does thy [habit of] praying compel thee to demand of us* that we give up all that our forefathers were wont to worship, or that we refrain from doing whatever we please with our possessions ?* Behold, [thou wouldst have us believe that] thou art indeed the only clement, the only right-minded man!"
He answered: "O my people! What do you think? If [it be true that] I am taking my stand on a clear evidence from my Sustainer, who has vouchsafed me goodly sustenance [as a gift] from Himself - [how could I speak to you otherwise than I do]?* And yet, I have no desire to do, out of opposition to you, what I am asking you not to do:* I desire no more than to set things to rights in so far as it lies within my power; but the achievement of my aim depends on God alone. In Him have I placed my trust, and unto Him do I always turn!
"And, O my people, let not [your] dissent from me drive you into sin, lest there befall you the like of what befell the people of Noah, or the people of Hud. or the people of Salih: and [remember that] the people of Lot lived not very far from you!"*
as though they had never lived there. Oh, away with [the people of] Madyan, even as the Thamud have been done away with!
[Jacob] answered: "Behold, it grieves me indeed [to think] that you might take him with you, for I dread lest the wolf devour him at a moment when you are heedless of him!"
And so, when they went away with him, they decided to cast him into the dark depths of the well. And We revealed [this] unto him: "Thou wilt yet remind them of this their deed at a time when they shall not perceive [who thou art] !"*
And the man from Egypt who bought him* said to his wife: "Make his stay [with us] honourable; he may well be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son. And thus We gave unto Joseph a firm place on earth; and [We did this] so that We might impart unto him some understanding of the inner meaning of happenings.* For, God always prevails in whatever be His purpose: but most people know it not.
And, indeed, she desired him, and he desired her; [and he would have succumbed] had he not seen [in this temptation] an evidence of his Sustainer's truth:* thus [We willed it to be] in order that We might avert from him all evil and all deeds of abomination -for, behold, he was truly one of Our servants.*
And they both rushed to the door; and she [grasped and] rent his tunic from behind-and [lo!] they met her lord at the door! Said she: "What ought to be the punishment of one who had evil designs on [the virtue of] thy wife - [what] but imprisonment or a [yet more] grievous chastisement?"
[Joseph] answered: "Ere there comes unto you the meal which you are [daily] fed, I shall have informed you of the real meaning of your dreams,* [so that you might know what is to come] before it comes unto you: for this is [part] of the knowledge which my Sustainer has imparted to me. "Behold, I have left behind me the ways of people who do not believe in God,* and who persistently refuse to acknowledge the truth of the life to come;
and I follow the creed of my forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not conceivable that we should [be allowed to] ascribe divinity to aught beside God: this is [an outcome] of God's bounty unto us and unto all mankind* -but most people are ungrateful.
"All that you worship instead of God is nothing but [empty] names which you have invented* - you and your forefathers- [and] for which God has bestowed no warrant from on high. Judgment [as to what is right and what is wrong] rests with God alone-[and] He has ordained that you should worship nought but Him: this is the [one] ever-true faith; but most people know it not*
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!"
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.*
He answered: "May God preserve us from [the sin of] detaining any other than him with whom we have found our property-for then, behold, we would indeed be evildoers!"
[AND WHEN they returned to their father and told him what had happened,] he exclaimed: "Nay, but it is your [own] minds that have made [so terrible] a happening seem a matter of little account to you! But [as for myself,] patience in adversity is most goodly; God may well bring them all [back] unto me:* verily, He alone is all-knowing, truly wise!"
AND AS SOON as the caravan [with which Jacob's sons were travelling] was on its way,* their father said [to the people around him]: "Behold, were it not that you might consider me a dotard, [I would say that] I truly feel the breath of Joseph [in the air]!"
But when the bearer of good tidings came [with Joseph's tunic], he laid it over his face; and he regained his sight, [and] exclaimed: "Did I not tell you, `Verily, I know, from God, something that you do not know'?"*
And he raised his parents to the highest place of honour;* and they [all] fell down before Him, prostrating themselves in adoration.* Thereupon [Joseph] said: "O my father! This is the real meaning of my dream of long ago, which my Sustainer has made come true.* And He was indeed good to me when He freed me from the prison, and [when] He brought you [all unto me] from the desert after Satan had sown discord between me and my brothers. Verily, my Sustainer is unfathomable in [the way He brings about] whatever He wills:* verily, He alone is all-knowing, truly wise!
Do they, then, feel free from the fear that there might fall upon them the overwhelming terror of God's chastisement, or that the Last Hour might come upon them of a sudden, without their being aware [of its approach]?
and who keep together what God has bidden to be joined,* and stand in awe of their Sustainer and fear the most evil reckoning [which awaits such as do not respond to Him];
But as for those who break their bond with God after it has been established [in their nature],* and cut asunder what God has bidden to be joined, and spread corruption on earth -their due is rejection [by God],* and theirs is a most evil fate [in the life to come].
Yet even if [they should listen to] a [divine] discourse by which mountains could be moved, or the earth cleft asunder, or the dead made to speak - [they who are bent on denying the truth would still refuse to believe in it]!* Nay, but God alone has the power to decide what shall be.* Have, then, they who have attained to faith not yet come to know that, had God so willed; He would indeed have guided all mankind aright?* But as for those who are bent on denying the truth-in result of their [evil] deeds, sudden calamities will always befall them or will alight close to their homes;* [and this will continue] until God's promise [of resurrection] is fulfilled: verily, God never fails to fulfil His promise!
Hence, they unto whom We have vouchsafed this revelation* rejoice at all that has been bestowed upon thee [O Prophet] from on high;* but among the followers of other creeds there are such as deny the validity of some of it.* Say [unto them, O Prophet]: "I have only been bidden to worship God, and not to ascribe divine. powers to aught beside Him :* unto Him do I call [all mankind], and He is my goal!"
And, truly, We sent forth apostles before thee, and We appointed for them wives and offspring;* and it was not given to any apostle to produce a miracle save at God's behest.* Every age has had its revelation:*
And [thus], indeed, have We sent forth Moses with Our messages [and this Our command]: "Lead thy people out of the depths of darkness into the light, and remind them of the Days of God!"* Verily, in this [reminder] there are messages indeed for all who are wholly patient in adversity and deeply grateful [to God].
Said the apostles sent unto them:* "Can there be any doubt about [the existence and oneness of] God, the Originator of the heavens and the earth? It is He who calls unto you, so that He may forgive you [whatever is past] of your sins and grant you respite until a term [set by Him is fulfilled]."* [But] they replied: "You are nothing but mortal men like ourselves! You want to turn us away from what our forefathers were wont to worship: well, then, bring us a clear proof [of your being God's message-bearers]!"
Their apostles answered them: "True, we are nothing but mortal men like yourselves: but God bestows His favour upon whomever He wills of His servants. Withal, it is not within our power to bring you a proof [of our mission], unless it be by God's leave-and [so] it is in God that all believers must place their trust.*
And how could we not place our trust in God, seeing that it is He who has shown us the path which we are to follow?* "Hence, we shall certainly bear with patience whatever hurt you may do us: for, all who have trust [in His existence] must place their trust in God [alone]!"
And when everything will have been decided, Satan will say: "Behold, God promised you something that was bound to come true!* I, too, held out [all manner of] promises to you -but I deceived you. Yet I had no power at all over you: I but called you-and you responded unto me. Hence, blame not me, but blame yourselves.* It is not for me to respond to your cries, nor for you to respond to mine:* for, behold, I have [always] refused to admit that there was any truth in your erstwhile belief that I had a share in God's divinity."* Verily, for all evildoers* there is grievous suffering in store.
[And] tell [those of] My servants who have attained to faith that they should be constant in prayer and spend [in Our way], secretly and openly, out of what We provide for them as sustenance,* ere there come a Day when there will be no bargaining, and no mutual befriending.*
AND [remember the time] when Abraham spoke [thus]:* "O my Sustainer! Make this land secure,* and preserve me and my children from ever worshipping idols* -
save Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.*
Said He: "O Iblis! What is thy reason for not being among those who have prostrated themselves?"
Said he: "Do you give me this glad tiding despite the fact that old age has overtaken me? Of what [strange thing], then, are you giving me a tiding!"
He causes the angels to descend with this divine inspiration,* [bestowed] at His behest upon whomever He wills of His servants: "Warn [all human beings] that there is no deity save Me: be, therefore, conscious of Me!"
And he has placed firm mountains on earth, lest it sway with you,* and rivers and paths, so that you might find your way,
ARE THEY [who deny the truth] but waiting for the angels to appear unto them, or for God's judgment to become manifest?* Even thus did behave those [stubborn sinners] who lived before their time; and [when they were destroyed,] it was not God who wronged them, but it was they who had wronged themselves:
And indeed, within every community* have We raised up an apostle [entrusted with this message]: "Worship God, and shun the powers of evil!"* And among those [past generations] were people whom God graced with His guidance,* just as there was among them [many a one] who inevitably fell prey to grievous error:* go, then, about the earth and behold what happened in the end to those who gave the lie to the truth!
Whenever We will anything to be, We but say unto it Our word "Be" -and it is.
Can, then, they who devise evil schemes* ever feel sure that God will not cause the earth to swallow them,* or that suffering will not befall them without their perceiving whence [it came]? -
And [consider how] thy Sustainer has inspired the bee:* "Prepare for thyself dwellings in mountains and in trees, and in what [men] may build [for thee by way of hives];
Hence, be not like her who breaks and completely untwists the yarn which she [herself] has spun and made strong-[be not like this by] using your oaths as a means of deceiving one another,* simply because some of you may be more powerful than others."* By all this, God but puts you to a test-and [He does it] so that on Resurrection Day He might make clear unto you all that on which you were wont to differ.*
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 [thus, too,] We vouchsafed revelation unto Moses,* and made it a [source of] guidance for the children of Israel, [commanding them:] "Do not ascribe to any but Me the power to determine your fate,*
Your Sustainer may well show mercy unto you; but if you revert [to sinning], We shall revert [to chastising you]. And [remember this:] We have ordained that [in the hereafter] hell shall close upon all who deny the truth.
But when [this has been done, and] it is Our will to destroy a community, We convey Our last warning* to those of its people who have lost themselves entirely in the pursuit of pleasures;* and [if] they [continue to] act sinfully, the sentence [of doom] passed on the community takes effect, and We break it to smithereens.
for thy Sustainer has ordained that you shall worship none but Him. And do good unto [thy] parents.* Should one of them, or both, attain to old age in thy care, never say "Ugh"* to them or scold them, but [always] speak unto them with reverent speech,
for, over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping its purport, and into their ears, deafness.* And so, whenever thou dost mention, while reciting the Qur'an, thy Sustainer as the one and only Divine Being,* they turn their backs [upon thee] in aversion.
or any [other] substance which, to your minds, appears yet farther removed [from life]!"* And [if] thereupon they ask, "Who is it that will' bring us back [to life]?"-say thou: "He who has brought you into being in the first instance." And [if] thereupon they shake their heads at thee [in disbelief] and ask, "When shall this be?"-say thou: "It may well be soon,
And nothing has prevented Us from sending [this message, like the earlier ones,] with miraculous signs [in its wake], save [Our knowledge] that the people of olden times [only too often] gave the lie to them:* thus, We provided for [the tribe of] Thamud the she-camel as a light-giving portent, and they sinned against it.* And never did We send those signs for any other purpose than to convey a warning.
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?
And 'had We not made thee firm [in faith], thou might have inclined to them a. little*
And rise from thy sleep and pray during part of the night [as well], as a free offering from thee,* and thy Sustainer may well raise thee to a glorious station [in the life to come].
Say: "If all mankind and all invisible beings* would come together with a view to producing the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce its like even though they were to exert all their strength in aiding one another!"
Yet whenever [God's] guidance came to them [through a prophet,] nothing has ever kept people from believing [in him] save this their objection:* "Would God have sent a [mere] mortal man as His apostle?"
Are they, then, not aware that God, who has created the heavens and the earth, has the power to create them anew in their own likeness,* having, beyond any doubt, set a term for their resurrection?* However, all [such] evildoers are unwilling to accept anything but blasphemy!*
And then Pharaoh resolved to wipe them off [the face of] the earth - whereupon We caused him and all who were with him to drown [in the sea].*
without (adding], "if God so wills."* And if thou shouldst forget [thyself at the time, and become aware of it later], call thy Sustainer to mind and say: "I pray that my Sustainer guide me, even closer than this, to a consciousness of what is right!"
And having [thus] sinned against himself, he entered his garden, saying, "I do not think that this will ever perish!
yet it may well be that my Sustainer will give me something better than thy garden -just as He may let loose a calamity out of heaven upon this [thy garden], so that it becomes a heap of barren dust
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]!"
for, what is there to keep people from attaining to faith now that guidance has come unto them, and from asking their Sustainer to forgive them their sins - unless it be [their wish] that the fate of the [sinful] people of ancient times should befall them [as well], or that the [ultimate] suffering should befall them in the hereafter?*
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.
Said [the servant]: "Wouldst thou believe it?* When we betook ourselves to that rock for a rest, behold, I forgot about the fish-and none but Satan made me thus forget it* - and it took its way into the sea! How strange!"
Moses said unto him: "May I follow thee on the understanding that thou wilt impart to me something of that consciousness of what is right which has been imparted to thee?"
And so the two went on, till, when they came upon some village people, they asked them* for food; but those [people] refused them all hospitality. And they saw in that (village] a wall which was on the point of tumbling down, and [the sage] rebuilt it[whereupon Moses] said: "Hadst thou so wished, surely thou couldst [at least] have obtained some payment for it?"
"As for that boat, it belonged to some needy people who toiled upon the sea -and I desired to damage it* because (I knew that] behind them was a king who is wont to seize every boat by brute force.
"And as for that young man, his parents were [true] believers - whereas we had every reason to fear* that he would bring bitter grief upon them by [his] overweening wickedness and denial of all truth:
and so we desired that their Sustainer grant them in his stead [a child] of greater purity than him, and closer [to them] in loving tenderness.
"And as for that wall, it belonged to two orphan boys [living] in the town, and beneath it was [buried] a treasure belonging to them [by right].* Now their father had been a righteous man, and so thy Sustainer willed it that when they come of age they should bring forth their treasure by thy Sustainer's grace. "And I did not do (any of] this of my own accord:* this is the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience."
[And he marched westwards] till, when he came to the setting of the sun,* it appeared to him that it was setting in a dark, turbid sea;* and nearby he found a people [given to every kind of wrongdoing]. We said: "O thou Two-Horned One! Thou mayest either cause [them] to suffer or treat them with kindness!"*
They said: "O thou Two-Horned One! Behold, Gog and Magog"* are spoiling this land. May we, then, pay unto thee a tribute on the understanding that thou wilt erect a barrier between us and them?"
And thus [the rampart was built, and] their enemies* were unable to scale it, and neither were they able to pierce it.
Do they who are bent on denying the truth think, perchance, that they could take [any of] My creatures for protectors against Me?* Verily, We have readied hell to welcome all who [thus] deny the truth!*
SAY: "If all the sea were ink for my Sustainer's words, the sea would indeed be exhausted ere my Sustainer's words are exhausted! And [thus it would be] if we were to add to it sea upon sea."*
[Zachariah] prayed: "O my Sustainer! Appoint a sign for me!" Said [the angel]: "Thy sign shall be that for full three nights [and days] thou wilt not speak unto men.*
Thereupon he came out of the sanctuary unto his people and signified to them [by gestures]: "Extol His limitless glory by day and by night!"
Thereupon [a voice] called out to her from beneath that [palm-tree]:* "Grieve not! Thy Sustainer has provided a rivulet [running] beneath thee;
It is not conceivable that God should have taken unto Himself a son: limitless is He in His glory!* When He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it "Be" -and it is!
O my father! I dread lest a chastisement from the Most Gracious befall thee, and then thou wilt become [aware of having been] close unto Satan!"*
But I shall withdraw from you all and from whatever you invoke instead of God, and shall invoke my Sustainer [alone]: it may well be that my prayer [for thee] will not remain unanswered by my Sustainer."*
That men. should ascribe a son to the Most Gracious,
although it is inconceivable that the Most Gracious should take unto Himself a son!*
Place him in a chest and throw it into the river, and thereupon the river will cast him ashore, [and] one who is an enemy unto Me and an enemy unto him will adopt him.* "And [thus early] I spread Mine Own love over thee -and [this] in order that thou might be formed under Mine eye.*
The two [brothers] said: "O our Sustainer! Verily, we fear lest he act hastily with regard to us,* or lest he [continue to] transgress all bounds of equity."
Answered [Moses]: "Your tryst shall be the day of the Festival ;* and let the people assemble when the sun is risen high."
saying [to one another]: "These two are surely sorcerers intent on driving you from your land* by their sorcery, and on doing away with your time-honoured way of life.*
Said [the sorcerers]: "O Moses! Either thou throw (thy staff first], or we shall be the first to throw."
Said [Pharaoh]: "Have you come to believe in him* ere I have given you permission? Verily, he must be your master who has taught you magic! But I shall most certainly cut off your hands and feet in great numbers, because of [your] perverseness, and I shall most certainly crucify you in great numbers on trunks of palm-trees:* and [I shall do this] so that you might come to know for certain as to which of us [two]* can inflict a more severe chastisement, and [which] is the more abiding!"
AND, INDEED, [a time came* when] We thus inspired Moses: "Go forth with My servants by night, and strike out for them a dry path through the sea; [and] fear not of being overtaken, and dread not [the sea]."*
Thereupon Moses returned to his people full of wrath and sorrow, [and] exclaimed: "O my people! Did not your Sustainer hold out [many] a goodly promise to you? bid, then, [the fulfilment of] this promise seem to you too long in coming?* Or are you, perchance, determined to see your Sustainer's condemnation fall upon you,* and so you broke your promise to me?"
from [abandoning them and] following me? Hast thou, then, [deliberately] disobeyed my commandment?"*
Answered [Aaron]: "O my mother's son! Seize me not by my beard, nor by my head!* Behold, I was afraid lest [on thy return] thou say, 'Thou hast caused a split among the children of Israel, and hast paid no heed to my bidding!"*
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!
[Know,] then, [that) God is sublimely exalted. the Ultimate Sovereign, the Ultimate Truth* and [knowing this,] do not approach the Qur'an in haste,* ere it has been revealed unto thee in full, but [always) say: "O my Sustainer, cause me to grow in knowledge!*
Behold, it is provided for thee that thou shalt not hunger here or feel naked,*
For [thus it is:] had We destroyed them by means of a chastisement ere this [divine writ was revealed], they would indeed [be justified to] say [on Judgment Day]: "O our Sustainer! If only Thou hadst sent an apostle unto us, we would have followed Thy messages rather than be humiliated and disgraced [in the hereafter]!"*
[for,] had We willed to indulge in a pastime, We would indeed have produced it from within Ourselves - if such had been Our will at all!*
And [are they not aware that] We have set up firm mountains on earth, lest it sway with them,* and [that] We have appointed thereon broad paths, so that they might find their way,
And [he added to himself.] By God, I shall most certainly bring about the downfall of your idols as soon as you have turned your backs and gone away!"
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.*
and every time they try in their anguish to come out of it, they shall be returned thereto and [be told]: Taste suffering through fire [to the full]!''
For, when We assigned unto Abraham the site of this Temple,* [We said unto him:] Do not ascribe divinity to aught beside Me!"* and: Purify My Temple for those who will walk around it,* and those who will stand before it [in meditation], and those who will bow down and prostrate themselves [in prayer]."
those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying. Our Sustainer is God!" For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another,* all] monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques - in [all of] which Gods name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed [ere now].* And God will most certainly succour him who succours His cause: for, verily, God is most powerful, almighty,
Art thou not aware that it is God who has made subservient to you all that is on earth,* and the ships that sail through the sea at His behest - and [that it is He who] holds the celestial bodies* [in their orbits], so that they may not fall upon the earth otherwise than by His leave?* Verily, God is most compassionate towards men, a dispenser of grace
But the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth, replied: This [man] is nothing but a mortal like yourselves who wants to make himself superior to you! For, if God had willed [to convey a message unto us], He would surely have sent down angels; [moreover,] we have never heard [anything like] this from our forebears of old!*
Thereupon We inspired him thus: Build, under Our eyes* and according to Our inspiration, the ark [that shall save thee and those who follow thee].* And when Our judgment comes to pass, and waters gush forth in torrents over the face of the earth, place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex, as well as thy family - excepting those on whom sentence has already been passed; and do not appeal to Me [any more] in behalf of those who are bent on evildoing - for, behold, they are destined to be drowned!
and [every time] We sent unto them an apostle from among themselves, [he told them:] Worship God [alone]: you have no deity other than Him. Will you not, then, become conscious of Him?"*
[Pray thus] for, behold, We are most certainly able to let thee witness [the fulfillment, even in this world, of] whatever We promise them!
and I seek refuge with Thee, O my Sustainer, lest they come near unto me!'
But [as for the wife, all] chastisement shall be averted from her by her calling God four times to witness that he is indeed telling a lie,
And [once again]: Why do you not say, whenever you hear such [a rumour], It does not behove us to speak of this, O Thou who art limitless in Thy glory: this is an awesome calumny"?*
God admonishes you [hereby] lest you ever revert to the like of this [sin], if you are [truly] believers;
Verily, as for those who like [to hear] foul slander spread against [any of] those who have attained to faith* grievous suffering awaits them in this world* and in the life to come: for God knows [the full truth], whereas you know [it] not.*
Hence, [even if they have been wronged by slander,] let not those of you who have been graced with God's favour and ease of life ever become remiss in helping* [the erring ones among] their near of kin, and the needy, and those who have forsaken the domain of evil for the sake of God,* but let them pardon and forbear. [For,] do you not desire that God should forgive you your sins, seeing that God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace?*
[On the other hand,] you will incur no sin if you [freely] enter houses not intended for living in but serving a purpose useful to you:* but [always remember that] God knows all that you do openly, and all that you would conceal.
IN THE HOUSES [of worship] which God has allowed to be raised so that His name be remembered in them,* there [are such as] extol His limitless glory at morn and evening
Is there disease in their hearts? Or have they begun to doubt [that this is a divine writ]? Or do they fear that God and His Apostle might deal unjustly with them?* Nay, it is [but] they, they who are doing wrong [to themselves]!
The only response of believers, whenever they are summoned unto God and His Apostle in order that [the divine writ] might judge between them, can be no other than,* We have heard, and we pay heed!"- and it is they, they who shall attain to a happy state:
AND* [know that] women advanced in years, who no longer feel any sexual desire,* incur no sin if they discard their [outer] garments, provided they do not aim at a showy display of [their] charms. But [even so,] it is better for them to abstain [from this]: and God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
[ALL OF YOU, O believers, are brethren: hence.]* no blame attaches to the blind, nor does blame attach to the lame, nor does blame attach to the sick [for accepting charity from the hale], and neither to yourselves for eating [whatever is offered to you by others, whether it be food obtained] from your [children's] houses,* or your fathers' houses, or your mothers' houses, or your brothers' houses, or your sisters' houses, or your paternal uncles' houses, or your paternal aunts' houses, or your maternal uncles' houses, or your maternal aunts' houses, or [houses] the keys whereof are in your charge!* or [the house] of any of your friends; nor will you incur any sin by eating in company or separately. But whenever you enter [any of these] houses, greet one another with a blessed, goodly greeting, as enjoined by God. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages, so that you might [learn to] use your reason.
DO NOT regard the Apostles summons to you* [in the same light] as a summons of one of you to another: God is indeed aware of those of you who would withdraw surreptitiously: so let those who would go against His bidding beware, lest a [bitter] trial befall them [in this world] or grievous suffering befall them [in the life to come].
They will answer: Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! It was inconceivable for us to take for our masters anyone but Thyself!* But [as for them -] Thou didst allow them and their forefathers to enjoy [the pleasures of] life to such an extent that* they forgot all remembrance [of Thee]: for they were people devoid of all good."
Indeed, he would well-nigh have led us astray from our deities, had we not been [so] steadfastly attached to them!" But in time, when they see the suffering [that awaits them], they will come to know who it was that went farthest astray from the path [of truth]!
Say: For this, no reward do I ask of you [- no reward] other than that he who so wills may unto his Sustainer find a way!"
And He it is who causes the night and the day to succeed one another, [revealing Himself in His works] unto him who has the will to take thought - that is* has the will to be grateful.
Wouldst thou, perhaps, torment thyself to death [with grief] because they [who live around thee] refuse to believe [in it]?*
HENCE, [remember how it was] when thy Sustainer summoned Moses: Go unto those evil doing people.
He answered: O my Sustainer! Behold, I fear that they will give me the lie,
Moreover, they keep a grave charge [pending] against me, and I fear that they will slay me."*
Let the children of Israel go with us!'"
And [as for] that favour of which thou so tauntingly remindest me - [was it not] due to thy having enslaved the children of Israel?"*
who wants to drive you out of your land by his sorcery.* What, then, do you advise?"
Said [Pharaoh]: Have you come to believe in him* ere I have given you permission? Verily, he must be your master who has taught you magic!* But in time you shall come to know [my revenge]: most certainly shall I cut off your hands and your feet in great numbers, because of [your] perverseness, and shall most certainly crucify you in great numbers, all together!"*
Behold, we [but] ardently desire that our Sustainer forgive us our faults in return for our having been foremost among the believers!"
AND [there came a time when]* We inspired Moses thus: Go forth with My servants by night: for, behold, you will he pursued!"
Thereupon We inspired Moses thus: Strike the sea with thy staff!"- whereupon it parted, and each part appeared like a mountain vast.*
and who, [hope, will forgive me my faults on Judgment Day!
Is it not evidence enough for them* that [so many] learned men from among the children of Israel have recognized this [as true]?*
But when he came close to it, a call was sounded: Blessed are all who are within [reach of] this fire, and all who are near it!* And limitless in His glory is God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!"
Thereupon [Solomon] smiled joyously at her words, and said: O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Thine with which Thou hast graced me and my parents,* and that I may do what is right [in a manner] that will please Thee; and include me, by Thy grace, among Thy righteous servants!"
[for they have come to believe] that they ought not to adore God* [although it is He] who brings forth all that is hidden in the heavens and on earth,* and knows all that you would conceal as well as all that you bring into the open:
[God says:] Exalt not yourselves against Me, but come unto Me in willing surrender!' "*
[When Solomon learned that the Queen of Sheba was coming,]* he said [to his council]: O you nobles! Which of you can bring me her throne ere she and her followers come unto me in willing surrender to God?"*
Said a bold one of the invisible beings [subject to Solomon]: I shall bring it to thee ere thou rise from thy council-seat - for, behold, I am powerful enough to do it, [and] worthy of trust!"
Answered he who was illumined by revelation:* [Nay,] as for me - I shall bring it to thee ere the twinkling of thy eye ceases!"* And when he saw it truly before him, he exclaimed:* This is [an outcome] of my Sustainer's bounty, to test me as to whether I am grateful or ungrateful!* However, he who is grateful [to God] is but grateful for his own good; and he who is ungrateful [should know that], verily, my Sustainer is self-sufficient, most generous in giving!"
AND [likewise], indeed, We sent unto [the tribe of] Thamud their brother Salih [with this message]: Worship God alone!"* and, behold, they were [split into] two factions contending with one another.
But his people's only answer was this: Expel [Lot and] Lot's followers from your township! Verily, they are folk who make themselves out to be pure!"*
Nay - who is it that has created the heavens and the earth, and sends down for you [life-giving] water from the skies? For it is by this means that We cause gardens of shining beauty to grow - [whereas] it is not in your power to cause [even one single of] its trees to grow! Could there be any divine power besides God? Nay, they [who think so] are people who swerve [from the path of reason]
say thou: It may well be that something of that which [in your ignorance] you so hastily demands* has already drawn close unto you."
[SAY, O Muhammad:] I have been bidden to worship the Sustainer of this City * Him who has made it sacred, and unto whom all things belong: and I have been bidden to be of those who surrender themselves to Him,
and to convey this Qur'an [to the world]." Whoever, therefore, chooses to follow the right path, follows it but for his own good; and if any wills to go astray, say [unto him]: I am only a warner.
But it was Our will to bestow Our favour upon those [very people] who were deemed [so] utterly low in the land, and to make them forerunners in faith.* and to make them heirs [to Pharaoh's glory],
And so, [when he was born,] We inspired [thus] the mother of Moses: Suckle him [for a time], and then, when thou hast cause to fear for him, cast him into the river,* and have no fear and do not grieve - for We shall restore him to thee, and shall make him one of Our message-bearers!"
Now the wife of Pharaoh said: A joy to the eye [could this child be] for me and thee! Slay him not: he may well be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son!" And they had no presentiment [of what he was to become].
On the morrow, however, an aching void grew up in the heart of the mother of Moses, and she would indeed have disclosed all about him* had We not endowed her heart with enough strength to keep alive her faith [in Our promise].*
But then* as soon as he was about to lay violent hands on the man who was their [common] enemy, the latter exclaimed: O Moses, dost thou intend to slay me as thou didst slay another man yesterday? Thy sole aim is to become a tyrant in this land, for thou dost not care to be of those who would set things to rights!"
And as he turned his face towards Madyan, he said [to himself]: It may well be that my Sustainer will [thus] guide me onto the right path"*
[After some time, the father] said: Behold, I am willing to let thee wed one of these two daughters of mine on the understanding that thou wilt remain eight years in my service; and if thou shouldst complete ten [years], that would be [an act of grace] from thee, for I do not want to impose any hardship on thee: [on the contrary,] thou wilt find me, if God so wills, righteous in all my dealings."*
But when he came close to it, a call was sounded from the right-side bank of the valley, out of the tree [burning] on blessed ground:* O Moses! Verily, I am God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!"
And [then He said]: Throw down thy staff!" But as soon as [Moses] saw it move rapidly, as if it were a snake, he drew back [in terror], and did not [dare to] return.* [And God spoke to him again:] O Moses! Draw near, and have no fear - for, behold, thou art of those who are secure [in this world and in the next]!*
Said [Moses] O my Sustainer! I have slain one of them, and so I fear that they will slay me.*
And my brother Aaron - he is far better in speech than I am.* Send him, therefore, as a helper, so that he might [more eloquently] bear witness to my speaking the truth: for I fear indeed that they will give me the lie."
and [We have sent thee] lest they say [on Judgment Day], when disaster befalls them as an outcome of what their own hands have wrought, O our Sustainer, if only Thou had sent an apostle unto us, we would have followed Thy messages, and would have been among those who believe!"
But as against this - anyone who repents* and attains to faith and does righteous deeds may well [hope to] find himself among those who achieve a happy state [in the life to come].
And on the morrow, those who but yesterday had longed to be in his place exclaimed: Alas [for our not having been aware] that it is indeed God [alone] who grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whichever He wills of His creatures! Had not God been gracious to us, He might have caused [the earth] to swallow us, too! Alas [for our having forgotten] that those who deny the truth can never attain to a happy state!"
Now [as for thyself, O believer,] thou couldst never foresee* that this divine writ would [one day] be offered to thee: but [it did come to thee] by thy Sustainer's grace. Hence, never uphold those who deny the truth [of divine guidance],
DO MEN THINK that on their [mere] saying, We have attained to faith", they will be left to themselves, and will not be put to a test?
Or do they think - they who do evil deeds [while claiming to have attained to faith] - that they can escape Us? Bad, indeed, is their judgment!
Now [as for Abraham,] his people's only answer was,* Slay him, or burn him!" but God saved him from the fire.* Behold, in this [story] there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
Must you indeed approach men [with lust], and thus cut across the way [of nature]?* and must you commit these shameful deeds in your open] assemblies?" But his people's only answer was, Bring down upon us God's chastisement, if thou art a man of truth!"
And when Our messengers came unto Lot, he was sorely grieved on their account, seeing that it was beyond his power to shield them;* but they said: Fear not, and grieve not! Behold, we shall save thee and thy household - all but thy wife: she will indeed be among those that stay behind.
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.
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: He creates for you mates out of your own kind.* so that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!
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].
Set, then, thy face steadfastly towards the one ever-true faith,* ere there come from God a Day [of reckoning - the Day] which cannot be averted. On that Day all will be sundered:
for among His wonders is this: He sends forth [His messages as He sends forth] the winds that bear glad tidings,* so that He might give you a taste of His grace [through life-giving rains], and that ships might sail at His behest, and that you might go about in quest of some of His bounties, and that you might have cause to be grateful.
even though a short while ago, [just] before it was sent down upon them, they had abandoned all hope!
For, whenever Our messages are conveyed to such a one, he turns away in his arrogance* as though he had not heard them - as though there were deafness in his ears. Give him, then, the tiding of grievous suffering [in the life to come].
He [it is who] has created the skies without any supports that you could see,* and has placed firm mountains upon the earth, lest it sway with you,* and has caused all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon. And We* send down water from the skies, and thus We cause every noble kind [of life] to grow on earth.*
and, indeed, we granted this wisdom unto Luqman:* Be grateful unto God - for he who is grateful [unto Him] is but grateful for the good of his own self; whereas he who chooses to be ungrateful [ought to know that], verily, God is self-sufficient, ever to be praised!"
And [God says:] 'We have enjoined upon man goodness towards his parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his utter dependence on her lasted two years:* [hence, O man,] be grateful towards Me and towards thy parents, [and remember that] with Me is all journeys' end.*
'[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].'
but as for those who are lost in iniquity - their goal is the fire: as oft as they will try to come out of it, they will be thrown back into it; and they will be told, Taste [now] this suffering through fire which you were wont to call a lie!"
The Prophet has a higher claim on the believers than [they have on] their own selves, [seeing that he is as a father to them] and his wives are their mothers:* and they who are [thus] closely related have, in accordance with God's decree, a higher claim upon one another than [was even the case between] the believers [of Yathrib] and those who had migrated [there for the sake of God].* None the less, you are to act with utmost goodness towards your [other] close friends as well:* this [too] is written down in God's decree.
Now whenever God and His Apostle have decided a matter,* it is not for a believing man or a believing woman to claim freedom of choice insofar as they themselves are concerned:* for he who [thus] rebels against God and His Apostle has already, most obviously, gone astray.
AND LO,* [O Muhammad,] thou didst say unto the one to whom God had shown favour and to whom thou hadst shown favour,* Hold on to thy wife, and remain conscious of God!" And [thus] wouldst thou hide within thyself something that God was about to bring to light* for thou didst stand in awe of [what] people [might think], whereas it was God alone of whom thou shouldst have stood in awe!* [But] then, when Zayd had come to the end of his union with her,* We gave her to thee in marriage, so that [in future] no blame should attach to the believers for [marrying] the spouses of their adopted children when the latter have come to the end of their union with them.* And [thus] God's will was done.
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.*
O PROPHET! Behold, We have made lawful to thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowers,* as well as those whom thy right hand has come to possess from among the captives of war whom God has bestowed upon thee.* And [We have made lawful to thee] the daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and the daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who have migrated with thee [to Yathrib];* and any believing woman who offers herself freely to the Prophet and whom the Prophet might be willing to wed:* [this latter being but] a privilege for thee, and not for other believers - [seeing that] We have already made known what We have enjoined upon them with regard to their wives and those whom their right hands may possess.* [And] in order that thou be not burdened with [undue] anxiety - for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace
[know that] thou mayest put off for a time whichever of them thou pleasest, and mayest take unto thee whichever thou pleasest; and [that,] if thou seek out any from whom thou hast kept away [for a time], thou wilt incur no sin [thereby]:* this will make it more likely that their eyes are gladdened [whenever they see thee],* and that they do not grieve [whenever they are overlooked], and that all of them may find contentment in whatever thou hast to give them: for God [alone] knows what is in your hearts - and God is indeed all-knowing, forbearing.*
No [other] women shall henceforth be lawful to thee* nor art thou [allowed] to supplant [any of] them by other wives,* even though their beauty should please thee greatly -: [none shall be lawful to thee] beyond those whom thou [already] hast come to possess.* And God keeps watch over everything.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not enter the Prophet's dwellings unless you are given leave; [and when invited] to a meal, do not come [so early as] to wait for it to be readied: but whenever you are invited, enter [at the proper time]; and when you have partaken of the meal, disperse without lingering for the sake of mere talk: that, behold, might give offence to the Prophet, and yet he might feel shy of [asking] you [to leave]: but God is not shy of [teaching you] what is right.* And [as for the Prophet's wives,] whenever you ask them for anything that you need, ask them from behind a screen:* this will but deepen the purity of your hearts and theirs. Moreover, it does not behove you to give offence to God's Apostle - just as it would not behove you ever to marry his widows after he has passed away:* that, verily, would be an enormity in the sight of God.
O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters, as well as all [other] believing women, that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments [when in public]: this will be more conducive to their being recognized [as decent women] and not annoyed.* But [withal,] God is indeed much- forgiving, a dispenser of grace!*
Verily, We did offer the trust [of reason and volition] to the heavens, and the earth, and the mountains:* but they refused to bear it because they were afraid of it. Yet man took it up -* for, verily, he has always been prone to be most wicked, most foolish.
[and inspired him thus:] Do good deeds lavishly, without stint, and give deep thought to their steady flow."* And [thus should you all, O believers,] do righteous deeds: for, verily, I see all that you do!
Yet [even Solomon had to die; but] when We decreed that he should die, nothing showed them that he was dead except an earthworm that gnawed away his staff.* And when he fell to the ground, those invisible beings [subservient to him] saw clearly that, had they but understood the reality which was beyond the reach of their perception,* they would not have continued [to toil] in the shameful suffering [of servitude]*
But those who had been weak will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance: Nay, [what kept us away was your] devising of false arguments, night and day, [against God's messages- as you did]* when you persuaded us to blaspheme against God and to claim that there are powers that could rival Him!"* And when they see the suffering [that awaits them], they will [all] be unable to express [the full depth of] their remorse:* for We shall have put shackles around the necks of those who had been bent on denying the truth:* [and] will this be aught but a [just] requital for what they were doing?
For [thus it is:] whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, they [who are bent on denying the truth] say [to one another], This [Muhammad] is nothing but a man who wants to turn you away from what your forefathers were wont to worship!" And they say, This [Qur'an] is nothing but a falsehood invented [by man]!" And [finally,] they who are bent on denying the truth speak thus of the truth when it comes to them: This is clearly nothing but spellbinding eloquence!"*
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."
Verily, it is God [alone] who upholds the celestial bodies* and the earth, lest they deviate [from their orbits] - for if they should ever deviate, there is none that could uphold them after He will have ceased to do so.* [But,] verily, He is ever-forbearing, much-forgiving!*
[and] neither may the sun overtake the moon, nor can the night usurp the time of day,* since all of them float through space [in accordance with Our laws].
Did I not enjoin on you, O you children of Adam, that you should not worship Satan since, verily, he is your open foe*
and that you should worship Me [alone]? This would have been a straight way!
Is, then, He who has created the heavens and the earth not able to create [anew] the like of those [who have died]? Yea, indeed - for He alone is the all-knowing Creator:
His Being alone* is such that when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, Be" and it is.
We called out to him: O Abraham,
Now these [people] deem it strange that a warner should have come unto them from their own midst - and [so] the deniers of the truth are saying: A [mere] spellbinder is he, a liar!*
And their leaders launch forth [thus]: Go ahead, and hold steadfastly onto your deities: this, behold, is the only thing to do!*
Said He: O Iblis! What has kept thee from prostrating thyself before that [being] which I have created with My hands?* Art thou too proud [to bow down before another created being], or art thou of those who think [only] of themselves as high?"*
Had God willed to take Unto Himself a son, He could have chosen anyone that He wanted out of whatever He has created - [but] limitless is He in His glory!* He is the One God, the One who holds absolute sway over all that exists!
Say [O Muhammad]: Behold, I am bidden to worship God, sincere in my faith in Him alone;
and I am bidden to be foremost among those who surrender themselves unto God."
seeing that for those who shun the powers of evil lest they [be tempted to] worship them,* and turn unto God instead, there is the glad tiding [of happiness in the life to come].* Give, then, this glad tiding to [those of] My servants
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 ere that suffering comes upon you of a sudden, without your being aware [of its approach], follow the most goodly [teaching] that has been revealed unto you by your Sustainer,
lest any human being* should say [on Judgment Day], Alas for me for having been remiss in what is due to God, and for having been indeed one of those who scoffed [at the truth]!"
And Pharaoh said: Leave it to me to slay Moses - and let him invoke his [alleged] sustainer!* Behold, I fear lest he cause you to change your religion, or lest he cause corruption to prevail in the land!"
At that, a believing man of Pharaoh's family, who [until then] had concealed his faith, exclaimed:* Would you slay a man because he says, 'God is my Sustainer' - seeing, withal, that he has brought you all evidence of this truth from your Sustainer? Now if he be a liar, his lie will fall back on him; but if he is a man of truth, something [of the punishment] whereof he warns you is bound to befall you: for, verily, God would not grace with His guidance one who has wasted his own self by lying [about Him].*
Say: Since all evidence of the truth has come to me from my Sustainer, I am forbidden to worship [any of] those beings whom you invoke instead of God; and I am bidden to surrender myself to the Sustainer of all the worlds."
And, indeed, [O Muhammad,] We sent forth apostles before thy time; some of them We have mentioned to thee,* and some of them We have not mentioned to thee. And it was not given to any apostle to bring forth a miracle other than by God's leave.* Yet when God's will becomes manifest,* judgment will [already] have been passed in all justice, and lost will be, then and there, all who tried to reduce to nothing [whatever they could not understand].*
Lo! There came unto them [God's] apostles, speaking of what lay open before them and what was [still] beyond their ken,* [and calling unto them,] Worship none but God!" They answered: If our Sustainer had willed [us to believe in what you say], He would have sent down angels [as His message-bearers].* As it is, behold, we deny that there is any truth in what you [claim to] have been sent with!"
And you did not try to hide [your sins] lest your hearing or your sight or your skins bear witness against you: nay, but you thought that God did not know much of what you were doing
[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!
In matters of faith,* He has ordained for you that which He had enjoined upon Noah - and into which We gave thee [O Muhammad] insight through revelation* as well as that which We had enjoined upon Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus: Steadfastly uphold the [true] faith, and do not break up your unity therein.* [And even though] that [unity of faith] to which thou callest them appears oppressive to those who are wont to ascribe to other beings or forces a share in His divinity, God draws unto Himself everyone who is willing, and guides unto Himself everyone who turns unto Him.
[Hence, O men,] respond to your Sustainer before there comes, at God's behest,* a Day on which there will be no turning back: [for] on that Day you will have no place of refuge, and neither will you be able to deny aught [of the wrong that you have done].
And it is not given to mortal man that God should speak unto him otherwise than through sudden inspiration,* or [by a voice, as it were,] from behind a veil, or by sending an apostle to reveal, by His leave, whatever He wills [to reveal]:* for, verily, He is exalted, wise.
[O YOU who deny the truth!] Should We, perchance, withdraw this reminder from you altogether, seeing that you are people bent on wasting your own selves?*
And were it not that [with the prospect of boundless riches before them] all people would become one [evil] community,* We might indeed have provided for those who [now] deny the Most Gracious roofs of silver for their houses, and [silver] stairways whereon to ascend,
ARE THEY [who are lost in sin] but waiting for the Last Hour - [waiting] that it come upon them of a sudden, without their being aware [of its approach]?
Give in unto me, O God's bondmen!* Verily, I am an apostle [sent] unto you, worthy of trust!
And exalt not yourselves against God: for, verily, I come unto you with a manifest authority [from Him];
and, behold, it is with my Sustainer - and your Sustainer - that I seek refuge against all your endeavours to revile me.*
who hears God's messages when they are conveyed to him, and yet, as though he had not heard them, persists in his haughty disdain! Hence, announce unto him grievous suffering
Now as for those who indulge in sinful doings - do they think that We place them, both in their life and their death, on an equal footing with those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds? Bad, indeed, is their judgment:*
And [so,] whenever Our messages are conveyed to them in all their clarity, their only argument is this:* Bring forth our forefathers [as witnesses], if what you claim is true!"*
NOW [among the best of the deeds which] We have enjoined upon man is goodness towards his parents.* In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth; and her bearing him and his utter dependence on her took thirty months.* and so, when he attains to full maturity and reaches forty years,* he [that is righteous] prays: O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Thine with which Thou hast graced me and my parents, and that I may do what is right [in a manner] that will meet with Thy goodly acceptance; and grant me righteousness in my offspring [as well]. Verily, unto Thee have I turned in repentance:* for, verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!"
But [there is many a one] who says to his parents [whenever they try to imbue him with faith in God]: Fie upon both of you! Do you promise me that I shall be brought forth [from the dead], although [so many] generations have passed away before me?"* And [while] they both pray for God's help [and say], Alas for thee! For, behold, God's promise always comes true!" - he but answers, All this is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
AND REMEMBER that brother of [the tribe of] Ad,* how - seeing that [other] warnings had already come and gone within his own knowledge as well as in times beyond his ken -* he warned his people [who lived] among those sand-dunes: Worship none but God! Verily, I fear lest suffering befall you on an awesome day!"
ARE, THEN, they [who deny the life to come] not aware that God, who has created the heavens and the earth and never been wearied by their creation,* has [also] the power to bring the dead back to life? Yea, verily, He has the power to will anything!
Are, then, they [whose hearts are sealed] waiting for the Last Hour - [waiting] that it come upon them of a sudden? But it has already been foretold!* And what will their remembrance [of their past sins] avail them, once it has come upon them?*
[Ask them:] Would you, perchance, after having turned away [from God's commandment, prefer to revert to your old ways, and] spread corruption on earth, and [once again] cut asunder your ties of kinship?"*
Or do they in whose hearts is disease think, perchance, that God would never bring their moral failings to light?*
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!
And He it is who, in the valley of Mecca , stayed their hands from you, and your hands from them, after He had enabled you to vanquish them; and God saw indeed what you were doing.*
[It was not for your enemies sake that He stayed your hands from them: for]* it was they who were bent on denying the truth, and who debarred you from the Inviolable House of Worship* and prevented your offering from reaching its destination.* And had it not been for the believing men and believing women [in Mecca ], whom you might have unwittingly trampled underfoot,* and on whose account you might have become guilty, without knowing it, of a grievous wrong-: [had it not been for this, you would have been allowed to fight your way into the city: but you were forbidden to fight]* so that [in time] God might admit to His grace whomever He wills.* Had they [who deserve Our mercy and they whom We have condemned] been clearly discernible [to you],* We would indeed have imposed grievous suffering [at your hands] on such of them as were bent on denying the truth.
O you who have attained to faith! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet,* and neither speak loudly to him, as you would speak loudly to one another,* lest all your [good] deeds come to nought without your perceiving it.
O YOU who have attained to faith! If any iniquitous person comes to you with a [slanderous] tale, use your discernment,* lest you hurt people unwittingly and afterwards be filled with remorse for what you have done.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! No men shall deride [other] men: it may well be that those [whom they deride] are better than themselves; and no women [shall deride other] women: it may well be that those [whom they deride] are better than themselves.* And neither shall you defame one another, nor insult one another by [opprobrious] epithets: evil is all imputation of iniquity after [one has attained to] faith;* and they who [become guilty thereof and] do not repent - it is they, they who are evildoers!
O you who have attained to faith! Avoid most guesswork [about one another]* for, behold, some of [such] guesswork is [in itself] a sin; and do not spy upon one another, and neither allow yourselves to speak ill of one another behind your backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would loathe it! And be conscious of God. Verily, God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace!
Many people* think that they have bestowed a favour upon thee [O Prophet] by having surrendered [to thee].* Say thou: Deem not your surrender a favour unto me: nay, but it is God who bestows a favour upon you by showing you the way to faith - if you are true to your word!"
But nay - they deem it strange that a warner should have come unto them from their own midst;* and so these deniers of the truth are saying, A strange thing is this!
[But withal,] no sustenance do I ever demand of them, nor do I demand that they feed Me:
For, however many angels there be in the heavens, their intercession can be of no least avail [to anyone] - except after God has given leave [to intercede] for whomever He wills and with whom He is well-pleased.*
that no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another's burden;*
and that nought shall be accounted unto man but what he is striving for;*
so that you [too, O men,] might never transgress the measure [of what is right]:
O you who live in close communion with [evil] invisible beings and humans!* If you [think that you] can pass beyond the regions of the heavens and the earth, pass beyond them!* [But] you cannot pass beyond them, save by a sanction [from God]!*
from changing the nature of your existence* and bringing you into being [anew] in a manner [as yet] unknown to you.
And why should you not spend freely in the cause of God, seeing that God's [alone] is the heritage of the heavens and the earth?* Not equal are those of you who spent and fought [in God's cause] before the Victory* [and those who did not do so]: they are of a higher rank than those who would spend and fight [only] after it - although God has promised the ultimate good to all [who strive in His cause].* and god is aware of that you do.
IS IT NOT time that the hearts of all who have attained to faith should feel humble at the remembrance of God and of all the truth that has been bestowed [on them] from on high,* lest they become like those who were granted revelation aforetime,* and whose hearts have hardened with the passing of time so that many of them are [now] depraved?*
NO CALAMITY can ever befall the earth, and neither your own selves,* unless it be [laid down] in Our decree before We bring it into being: verily, all this* is easy for God.
And the followers of earlier revelation should know* that they have no power whatever over any of God's bounty,* seeing that all bounty is in God's hand [alone]: He grants it unto whomever He wills - for God is limitless in His great bounty.
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.*
However, he who does not have the wherewithal shall fast [instead] for two consecutive months* before the couple may touch one another again; and he who is unable to do it shall feed sixty needy ones:* this, so that you might prove your faith in God and His Apostle.* Now these are the bounds set by God; and grievous suffering [in the life to come] awaits all who deny the truth.
Do you, perchance, fear lest [you may be sinning if] you cannot offer up anything in charity on the occasion of your consultation [with the Apostle]? But if you fail to do it [for lack of opportunity], and God turns unto you in His mercy, remain but constant in prayer and render [no more than] the purifying dues,* and [thus] pay heed unto God and His Apostle: for God is fully aware of all that you do.
He it is who turned out of their homes, at the time of [their] first gathering [for war], such of the followers of earlier revelation as were bent on denying the truth.* You did not think [O believers] that they would depart [without resistance] - just as they thought that their strongholds would protect them against God: but God came upon them in a manner which they had not expected,* and cast terror into their hearts; [and thus] they destroyed their homes by their own hands as well as the hands of the believers.* Learn a lesson, then, O you who are endowed with insight!
And had it not been for God's having ordained banishment for them, He would indeed have imposed [yet greater] suffering on them in this world: still, in the life to come there awaits them suffering through fire:
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take My enemies - who are your enemies as well* - for your friends, showing them affection even though they are bent on denying whatever truth has come unto you, [and even though] they have driven the Apostle and yourselves away, [only] because you believe in God, your Sustainer!* If [it be true that] you have gone forth [from your homes] to strive in My cause, and out of a longing for My goodly acceptance, [do not take them for your friends,] inclining towards them in secret affection: for I am fully aware of all that you may conceal as well as of all that you do openly. And any of you who does this has already strayed from the right path.*