But now they would say, Long has our Sustainer made the distance between our journey- stages!" - for they had sinned against themselves.* And in the end We caused them to become [one of those] tales [of things long past], and scattered them in countless fragments.* Herein, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are wholly patient in adversity and deeply grateful [to God].
[But,] behold, as for those for whom [the decree of] ultimate good has already gone forth from Us* these will be kept far away from that [hell]:
Had there been [a prospect of] immediate gain, and an easy journey, they would certainly have followed thee, [O Prophet:] but the distance was too great for them* . And yet, [after your return, O believers,] they will swear by God, "Had we been able to do so, we would certainly have set out with you!" - [and by thus falsely swearing] they will be destroying their own selves: for God knows indeed that they are lying!
as though they had never lived there. Oh, away with [the people of] Madyan, even as the Thamud have been done away with!
And the word was spoken: "O earth, swallow up thy waters! And, O sky, cease [thy rain]!" And the waters sank into the earth, and the will [of God] was done, and the ark came to rest on Mount Judl* And the word was spoken: "Away with these evildoing folk!"
And they were pursued in this world by [God's] rejection, and [shall finally be overtaken by it] on the Day of Resurrection.* Oh, verily, [the tribe of] `Ad denied their Sustainer! Oh, away with the `Ad, the people of Hud!
as though they had never lived there. Oh, verily, [the tribe of] Thamud denied their Sustainer! Oh, away with the Thamud!
as though they had never lived there. Oh, away with [the people of] Madyan, even as the Thamud have been done away with!
And then the blast [of Our punishment] overtook them, justly and unavoidably,* and We caused them to become as the flotsam of dead leaves and the scum borne on the surface of a torrent: and so - away with those evildoing folk!
And We sent forth Our apostles, one after another: [and] every time their apostle came to a community, they gave him the lie: and so We caused them to follow one another [into the grave], and let them become [mere] tales: and so - away with the folk who would not believe!
But in the end,* when he [who has thus sinned] appears before us [on Judgment Day], he will say [to his other self], Would that between me and thee there had been the distance of east and west!"* for, evil indeed [has proved] that other self!
Thus it is: since it is God who bestows* the divine writ from on high, setting forth the truth, all those who set their own views against the divine writ* are, verily, most deeply in the wrong.
On the Day when every human being will find himself faced with all the good that he has done, and with all the evil that he has done, [many a one] will wish that there were a long span of time between himself and that [Day]. Hence, God warns you to beware of Him; but God is most compassionate towards His creatures.
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?
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.
O you who have attained to faith! Hold fast unto your belief in God and His Apostle, and in the divine writ which He has bestowed from on high upon His Apostle, step by step, as well as in the revelation which He sent down aforetime:** for he who denies God, and His angels, and His revelations, and His apostles, and the Last Day, has indeed gone far astray.*
Behold, those who are bent on denying the truth and on turning others away from the path of God have indeed gone far astray.
marked out in thy Sustainer's sight [for the punishment of such as are lost in sin]. And these [blows of God-willed doom] are never far from evildoers*
"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!"*
awaits those who choose the life of this world as the sole object of their love,* preferring it to [all thought of] the life to come, and who turn others away from the path of God and try to make it appear crooked. Such as these have indeed gone far astray!
[This, then, is] the parable of those who are bent on denying their Sustainer: all their works* are as ashes which the wind blows about fiercely on a stormy day: [in the life to come,] they cannot achieve any benefit whatever from all [the good] that they may have wrought: for this [denial of God] is indeed the farthest one can go astray.*
But if they turn away, say: I have proclaimed this in equity unto all of you alike;* but I do not know whether that [judgment] which you are promised [by God] is near or far [in time].
[By behaving thus,] he invokes, instead of God, something that can neither harm nor benefit him:* [and] this is indeed the utmost one can go astray.*
[And He allows doubts to arise] so that He might cause whatever aspersion Satan may cast [against His prophets] to become a trial for all in whose hearts is disease* and all whose hearts are hardened: for, verily, all who are [thus] sinning [against themselves]* are most deeply in the wrong.
when it shall face them from afar, they will hear its angry roar and its hiss;*
But [the hoopoe] tarried but a short while; and [when it came] it said: I have encompassed [with my knowledge] something that thou hast never yet encompassed [with thine] - for I have come to thee from Sheba with a tiding sure!*
Does he [knowingly] attribute his own lying inventions to God - or is he a madman?" Nay, [there is no madness in this Prophet -] but they who will not believe in the life to come are [bound to lose themselves] in suffering and in a profound aberration.*
and will cry, We do [now] believe in it!" But how can they [hope to] attain [to salvation] from so far away,*
seeing that aforetime they had been bent on denying the truth, and had been wont to cast scorn, from far away, on something that was beyond the reach of human perception?*
Now if We had willed this [divine writ] to be a discourse in a non-Arabic tongue, they [who now reject it] would surely have said, Why is it that its messages have not been spelled out clearly?* Why - [a message in] a non-Arabic tongue, and [its bearer] an Arab?" Say: Unto all who have attained to faith, this [divine writ] is a guidance and a source of health; but as for those who will not believe - in their ears is deafness, and so it remains obscure to them: they are [like people who are] being called from too far away.*
HAVE YOU given thought [to how you will fare] if this be truly [a revelation] from God, the while you deny its truth? Who could be more astray than one who places himself [so] deeply in the wrong?*
Those who do not believe in it [mockingly] ask for its speedy advent* whereas those who have attained to faith stand in awe of it, and know it to be the truth. Oh, verily, they who call the Last Hour in question have indeed gone far astray!
Why - [how could we be resurrected] after we have died and become mere dust? Such a return seems far-fetched indeed!"
Man's other self' will say:* O our Sustainer! It was not I that led his conscious mind* into evil [nay,] but it had gone far astray [of its own accord]!*
And [on that Day] paradise will be brought within the sight of* the God-conscious, and will no longer be far away; [and they will be told:]
behold, men* look upon that [reckoning] as something far away
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 when We appointed for Moses forty nights [on Mount Sinai], and in his absence you took to worshipping the [golden] calf, and thus became evildoers:
yet, even after that, We blotted out this your sin, so that you might have cause to be grateful.*
But We raised you again after you had been as dead,* so that you might have cause to be grateful.
And you turned away after that-! And had it not been for God's favour upon you and His grace, you would surely have found yourselves among the lost;
And yet, after all this, your hearts hardened and became like rocks, or even harder: for, behold, there are rocks from which streams gush forth; and, behold, there are some from which, when they are cleft, water issues; and, behold, there are some that fall down for awe of God* And God is not unmindful of what you do!
CAN YOU, then, hope that they will believe in what you are preaching* - seeing that a good many of them were wont to listen to the word of God and then, after having understood it, to pervert it knowingly?*
For, indeed, We vouchsafed unto Moses the divine writ and caused apostle after apostle to follow him;* and We vouchsafed unto Jesus, the son of Mary, all evidence of the truth, and strengthened him with holy inspiration.* [Yet] is it not so that every time an apostle came unto you with something that was not to your liking, you gloried in your arrogance, and to some of them you gave the lie, while others you would slay?*
And indeed, there came unto you Moses with all evidence of the truth - and thereupon. in his absence, you took to worshipping the (golden] calf, and acted wickedly.
Out of their selfish envy, many among the followers of earlier revelation would like to bring you back to denying the truth after you have attained to faith - [even] after the truth has become clear unto them. None the less, forgive and forbear, until God shall make manifest His will: behold, God has the power to will anything.
For, never will the Jews be pleased with thee. nor yet the Christians, unless thou follow their own creeds. Say: "Behold, God's guidance is the only true guidance." And, indeed, if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee. thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to bring thee succour.
Nay, but you [yourselves, O children of Israel ,] bear witness* that when death was approaching Jacob, he said unto his sons: "Whom will you worship after I am gone?" They answered: "We will worship thy God, the God of thy forefathers Abraham and Ishmael* and Isaac, the One God; and unto Him w;1l we surrender ourselves."
And yet, even if thou wert to place all evidence* before those who have been vouchsafed earlier revelation, they would not follow thy direction of prayer; and neither mayest thou follow their direction of prayer, nor even do they follow one another's direction. And if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee thou wouldst surely be among the evildoers.
BEHOLD, as for those who suppress aught of the evidence of the truth and of the guidance which We have bestowed from on high, after We have made it clear unto mankind through the divine writ - these it is whom God will reject, and whom all who can judge will reject.*
Verily, in the creation of the heavens and of the earth, and the succession of night and day: and in the ships that speed through the sea with what is useful to man: and in the waters which God sends down from the sky, giving life thereby to the earth after it had, been lifeless, and causing all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon: and in the change of the winds, and the clouds that run their appointed courses between sky and earth: [in all this] there are messages indeed for people who use their reason.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Just retribution is ordained for you in cases of killing: the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the woman for the woman.* And if something [of his guilt] is remitted to a guilty person by his brother,* this [remission] shall be adhered to with fairness, and restitution to his fellow-man shall be made in a goodly manner.* This is an alleviation from your Sustainer, and an act of His grace. And for him who, none the less,* wilfully transgresses the bounds of what is right, there is grievous suffering in store:
And if anyone alters such a provision._ after having come to know it, the sin of acting thus shall fall only upon those who have altered it.* Verily, God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
And if you should stumble after all evidence of the truth has come unto you, then know that, verily, God is almighty, wise.
Ask the children of Israel how many a clear message We have given them! And if one alters God's blessed message* after it has reached him - verily, God is severe in retribution!
ALL MANKIND were once one single community; [then they began to differ - ] whereupon God raised up the prophets as heralds of glad tidings and as warners, and through them bestowed revelation from on high, setting forth the truth, so that it might decide between people with regard to all on which they had come to hold divergent views.* Yet none other than the selfsame people who had been granted this [revelation] began, out of mutual jealousy, to disagree about its meaning after all evidence of the truth had come unto them. But God guided the believers unto the truth about which, by His leave, they had disagreed: for God guides onto a straight way him that wills [to be guided].*
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.
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.
Some of these apostles have We endowed more highly than others: among them were such as.were spoken to by God [Himself], and some He has raised yet higher.'* And We vouchsafed unto Jesus, the son of Mary, all evidence of the truth, and strengthened him with holy inspiration.* And if God had so willed, they who succeeded those [apostles] would not have contended with one another after all evidence of the truth had come to them; but [as it was,] they did take to divergent views, and some of them attained to faith, while some of them came to deny the truth. Yet if God had so willed, they would not have contended with one another: but God does whatever He wills.*
Or [art thou, O man, of the same mind] as he* who passed by a town deserted by its people, with its roofs caved in, [and] said, "How could God bring all this back to life after its death?"* Thereupon God caused him to be dead for a hundred years; where after He brought him back to life [and] said: "How long hast thou remained thus?" He answered: "I have remained thus a day, or part of a day." Said [God]: "Nay, but thou hast remained thus for a hundred years! But look at thy food and thy drink-untouched is it by the passing of years - and look at thine ass!* And [We did all this so that We might make thee a symbol unto men. And look at the bones [of animals and men] - how We put them together and then clothe them with flesh!"* And when [all this] became clear to him, he said: "I know [now] that God has the power to will anything!"
"O our Sustainer! Let not our hearts swerve from the truth after Thou hast guided us; and bestow upon us the gift of Thy grace: verily, Thou art the [true] Giver of Gifts.
Behold, the only [true] religion in the sight of God is [man's] self-surrender unto Him; and those who were vouchsafed revelation aforetime* took, out of mutual jealousy, to divergent views [on this point] only after knowledge [thereof] had come unto them.* But as for him who denies the truth of God's messages - behold, God is swift in reckoning!
And if anyone should argue with thee about this [truth] after all the knowledge that has come unto thee, say: "Come! Let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves; and then let us pray [together] humbly and ardently, and let us invoke God's curse upon those [of us] who are telling a lie."*
O FOLLOWERS of earlier revelation! Why do you argue about Abraham,* seeing that the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till [long] after him? Will you not, then, use your reason?
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?
And, henceforth, all who turn away [from this pledge] - it is they, they who are truly iniquitous!"
How would God bestow His guidance upon people who have resolved to deny the truth after having attained to faith, and having borne witness that this Apostle is true, and [after] all evidence of the truth has come unto them?* For, God does not guide such evildoing folk.
But excepted shall be they that afterwards repent and put themselves to rights: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
Verily, as for those who are bent on denying the truth after having attained to faith, and then grow [ever more stubborn] in their refusal to acknowledge the truth, their repentance [of other sins] shall not be accepted:* for it is they who have truly gone astray.
And all who henceforth invent lies about God - it is they, they who are evildoers!*
O you who have attained to faith! If you pay heed to some of those to whom revelation was vouchsafed aforetime, they might cause you to renounce the truth after you have come to believe [in it].
And be not like those who have drawn apart from one another and have taken to conflicting views after all evidence of the truth has come unto them:* for these it is for whom tremendous suffering is in store
on the Day [of Judgment] when some faces will shine [with happiness] and some faces will be dark [with grief]. And as for those with faces darkened, [they shall be told:] "Did you deny the truth after having attained to faith? Taste, then, this suffering for having denied the truth!"
AND, INDEED, God made good His promise unto you when, by His leave, you were about to destroy your foes* - until the moment when you lost heart and acted contrary to the [Prophet's] command,* and disobeyed after He had brought you within view of that [victory] for which you were longing. There were among you such as cared for this world [alone], just as there were among you such as cared for the life to come:* whereupon, in order that He might put you to a test, He prevented you from defeating your foes.* But now He has effaced your sin: for God is limitless in His bounty unto the believers.
Then, after this woe, He sent down upon you a sense of security, an inner calm which enfolded some of you,* whereas the others, who cared mainly for themselves, entertained wrong thoughts about God - thoughts of pagan ignorance - saying, "Did we, then, have any power of decision [in this matter]?"* Say: "Verily, all power of decision does rest with God"* - [but as for them,] they are trying to conceal within themselves that [weakness of faith] which they would not reveal unto thee, [O Prophet, by] saying, "If we had any power of decision, we would not have left so many dead behind."* Say [unto them]: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those [of you] whose death had been ordained would indeed have gone forth to the places where they were destined to lie down." And [all this befell you] so that God might put to a test all that you harbour in your bosoms, and render your innermost hearts* pure of all dross: for God is aware of what is in the hearts [of men].
If God succours you, none can ever overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who could succour you thereafter? In God, then, let the believers place their trust!
who responded to the call of God and the Apostle after misfortune had befallen them.* A magnificent requital awaits those of them who have persevered in doing good and remained conscious of God:
CONCERNING [the inheritance of] your children, God enjoins [this] upon you:* The male shall have the equal of two females' share; but if there are more than two females, they shall have two-thirds of what [their parents] leave behind; and if there is only one daughter, she shall have one-half thereof. And as for the parents [of the deceased], each of them shall have one-sixth of what he leaves behind, in the event of his having [left] a child; but if he has left no child and his parents are his [only] heirs, then his mother shall have one-third; and if he has brothers and sisters, then his mother shall have one-sixth after [the deduction of] any bequest he may have made, or any debt [he may have incurred]. As for your parents and your children - you know not which of them is more deserving of benefit from you: [therefore this] ordinance from God. Verily, God is all-knowing, wise.
And you shall inherit one-half of what your wives leave behind, provided they have left no child; but if they have left a child, then you shall have one-quarter of what they leave behind, after [the deduction of] any bequest they may have made, or any debt [they may have incurred]. And your widows* shall have one-quarter of what you leave behind, provided you have left no child; but if you have left a child, then they shall have one-eighth of what you leave behind, after [the deduction of] any bequest you may have made, or any debt [you may have incurred]. And if a man or a woman has no heir in the direct line, but has a brother or a sister, then each of these two shall inherit one-sixth; but if there are more than two,* then they shall share in one-third [of the inheritance], after [the deduction of] any bequest that may have been made, or any debt [that may have been incurred], neither of which having been intended to harm [the heirs].* [This is] an injunction from God: and God is all-knowing, forbearing.
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.
But as for him who, after guidance has been vouchsafed to him, cuts himself off from the Apostle and follows a path other than that of the believers - him shall We leave unto that which he himself has chosen,* and shall cause him to endure hell: and how evil a journey's end!
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],
BEHOLD, We have inspired thee [O Prophet] just as We inspired Noah and all the prophets after him - as We inspired Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and their descendants, including Jesus and Job, and Jonah, and Aaron, and Solomon; and as We vouchsafed unto David a book of divine wisdom;*
[We sent all these] apostles as heralds of glad tidings and as warners, so that men might have no excuse before God after [the coming of] these apostles: and God is indeed almighty, wise.
AND, INDEED, God accepted a [similar] solemn pledge* from the children of Israel when We caused twelve of their leaders to be sent [to Canaan as spies].* And God said: "Behold, I shall be with you! If you are constant in prayer, and spend in charity, and believe in My apostles and aid them, and offer up unto God a goodly loan,* I will surely efface your bad deeds and bring you into gardens through which running waters flow. But he from among you who, after this, denies the truth, will indeed have strayed from the right path!"
Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being-unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth-it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.* And, indeed, there came unto them* Our apostles with all evidence of the truth: yet, behold, notwithstanding all this, many of them go on committing all manner of excesses on earth.*
But as for him who repents after having thus done wrong, and makes amends,* behold, God will accept his repentance: verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
O APOSTLE! Be not grieved by those who vie with one another in denying the truth: such as those* who say with their mouths, "We believe," the while their hearts do not believe; and such of the Jewish faith as eagerly listen to any falsehood, eagerly listen to other people without having come to thee [for enlightenment].* They distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of their context, saying [to themselves], "If such-and-such [teaching] is vouchsafed unto you, accept it; but if it is not vouchsafed unto you, be on your guard!"* [Be not grieved by them-] for if God wills anyone to be tempted to evil, thou canst in no wise prevail with God in his behalf.* It is they whose hearts God is not willing to cleanse. Theirs shall be ignominy in this world, and awesome suffering in the life to come-
But how is it that they ask thee for judgment seeing that they have the Torah, containing God's injunctions - and thereafter turn away [from thy judgment]? Such as these, then, are no [true] believers.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Most certainly God will try you by means of the game which may come within the reach of your hands and your weapons* [while you are on pilgrimage], so that God might mark out those who fear Him although He is beyond the reach of human perception.* And as for him who, after all this, transgresses the bounds of what is right-grievous suffering awaits him!
O YOU who have attained to faith! Let there be witnesses to what you do when death approaches you and you are about to make bequests:* two persons of probity from among your own people, or -if the pangs of death come upon you while you are travelling far from home* -two other persons from [among people] other than your own. Take hold of the two after having prayed; and if you have any doubt in your mind, let each of them swear by God, "We shall not sell this [our word] for any price, even though it were [for the sake of] a near kinsman; and neither shall we conceal aught of what we have witnessed before God* -or else, may we indeed be counted among the sinful."
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.
God answered: "Verily, I [always] do send it down unto you:* and so, if any of you should henceforth deny [this] truth, on him, behold, will I inflict suffering the like of which I have never [yet] inflicted upon anyone in the world!"
Do they not see how many a generation We have destroyed before their time - [people] whom We had given a [bountiful] place on earth, the like of which We never gave unto you, and upon whom We showered heavenly blessings abundant, and at whose feet We made running waters flow? And yet we destroyed them for their sins, and gave rise to other people in their stead.*
And when those who believe in Our messages come unto thee, say: "Peace be upon you. Your Sustainer has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy* - so that if any of you does a bad deed out of ignorance, and thereafter repents and lives righteously, He shall be [found] much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
NOW, whenever thou meet such as indulge in [blasphemous] talk about Our messages, turn thy back upon them until they begin to talk of other things* and if Satan should ever cause thee to forget [thyself], remain not, after recollection, in the company of such evildoing folk,
SAY: "Shall we invoke, instead of God, something that can neither benefit us nor harm us, and [thus] turn around on our heels after God has guided us aright? -like one whom the satans have enticed into blundering after earthly lusts, the while his companions, trying to guide him, call out unto him [from afar] ,* `Come thou to us!"' Say: "Verily, God's guidance is the only guidance: and so we have been bidden to surrender ourselves unto the Sustainer of all the worlds,
And thy Sustainer alone is self-sufficient, limitless in His grace. If He so wills, He may put an end to you and thereafter cause whom He wills to succeed you - even as He has brought you into being out of other people's seed.
hence, do not spread corruption on earth after it has been so well ordered. And call unto Him with fear and longing: verily, God's grace is ever near unto the doers of good!
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!"
"And remember how He made you heirs to [the tribe of] `Ad* and settled you firmly on earth, so that you [are able to] build for yourselves castles on its plains and hew out mountains [to serve you] as dwellings:* remember, then, God's blessings, and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption."
AND UNTO [the people of] Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu'ayb .* He said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer. Give, therefore, full measure and weight [in all your dealings], and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs;* and do not spread corruption on earth after it has be, en so well ordered: [all] this is for your own good, 'if you would but believe.
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!"*
Has it, then, not become obvious unto those who have inherited the earth in the wake of former generations* that, if We so willed, We could smite them [too] by means of their sins, sealing their hearts so that they cannot hear [the truth]?*
AND AFTER those [early people] We sent Moses with Our messages unto Pharaoh and his great ones, and they wilfully rejected them:* and behold what happened in the end to those spreaders of corruption!
[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 IN his absence the people of Moses took to worshipping the effigy of a calf [made] of their ornaments, which gave forth a lowing sound."* Did they not see that it could neither speak unto them nor guide them in any way? [And yet] they took to worshipping it, for they were evildoers:
And when Moses returned to his people, full of wrath and sorrow, he exclaimed: "Vile is the course which you have followed in my absence! Have you forsaken* your Sustainer's commandment?" And he threw down the tablets [of the Law], and seized his brother's head, dragging him towards himself. Cried Aaron: "O my mother's son! Behold, the people brought me low* and almost slew me: so let not mine enemies rejoice at my affliction, and count me not among the evildoing folk!"
But as for those who do bad deeds and afterwards repent and [truly] believe-verily, after such repentance* thy Sustainer is indeed much forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
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?
or lest you say, "Verily, it was but our forefathers who, in times gone by, began to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God; and we were but their late offspring: wilt Thou, then, destroy us for the doings of those inventors of falsehoods?"
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?*
[so, too,] they would argue with thee about the truth [itself] after it had become manifest* - just as if they were being driven towards death and beheld it with their very eyes.
And as for those who henceforth come to believe,* and who forsake the domain of evil and strive hard [in God's cause] together with you - these [too] shall belong to you;* and they who are [thus] closely related have the highest claim on one another in [accordance with] God's decree.* Verily, God has full knowledge of everything.
But if they break their solemn pledges after having concluded a covenant,* and revile your religion, then fight against these archetypes of faithlessness* who, behold, have no [regard for their own] pledges, so that they might desist [from aggression].
But with all this ,* God will turn in His mercy unto whom He wills: for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God are nothing but impure:* and so they shall not approach the Inviolable House of Worship from this year onwards* And should you fear poverty, then [know that] in time God will enrich you out of His bounty, if He so wills:* for, verily, God is all-knowing, wise!
Do not offer [empty] excuses! You have indeed denied the truth after [having professed] your belief [in it] -* Though We may efface the sin of some of you, We shall chastise others - seeing that they were lost in sin.*
[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.
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 God would never-after having invited them to His guidance -condemn people for going astray* ere He has made [entirely] clear unto them of what they should beware. Verily, God has full knowledge of everything.*
INDEED, God has turned in His mercy unto the Prophet, as well as unto those who have forsaken the domain of evil and those who have sheltered and succoured the Faiths* - [all] those who followed him in the hour of distress, when the hearts of some of the other believers had well-nigh swerved from faith.* And once again:* He has turned unto them in His mercy - for, behold, He is compassionate towards them, a dispenser of grace.
VERILY, your Sustainer is God, who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness,* governing all that exists. There is none that could intercede with Him unless He grants leave therefor.* Thus is God, your Sustainer: worship, therefore, Him [alone]: will you not, then, keep this in mind?
And thereupon We made you their successors on earth, so that We might behold how you act.
And [thus it is:] whenever We let [such] people* taste [some of Our] grace after hardship has visited them-lo! they forthwith turn to devising false arguments against Our messages.* Say: "God is swifter [than you] in His deep devising!" Behold, Our [heavenly] messengers are recording all that you may devise!
seeing that He is God, your Sustainer, the Ultimate Truth?* For, after the truth [has been forsaken], what is there [left] but error? How, then, can you lose sight of the truth?"*
AND THEN, after him, We sent forth [other] apostles-each one unto his own people* -and they brought them all evidence of the truth; but they would not believe in anything to which they had once given the lie:* thus it is that We seal the hearts of such as [are wont to] transgress the bounds of what is right.*
And after those [earlier prophets] We sent Moses and Aaron with Our messages unto Pharaoh and his great ones: but they gloried in their arrogance, for they were people lost in sin.
And He it is who has created the heavens and the earth in six aeons; and [ever since He has willed to create life,] the throne of His almightiness has rested upon water.* [God reminds you of your dependence on Him] in order to test you [and thus to make manifest] which of you is best in conduct. For thus it is: if* thou sayest [unto men], "Behold, you shall be raised again after death!" - they who are bent on denying the truth are sure to answer, "This is clearly nothing but an enchanting delusion"*
And thus it is: if We let him taste ease and plenty* after hardship has visited him, he is sure to say, "Gone is all affliction from me!"-for, behold, he is given to vain exultation, and glories only in himself.*
[Said one of them:] "Slay Joseph, or else drive him away to some [faraway] land, so that your father's regard may be for you alone: and after this is done, you will be [free to repent and to live once again as] righteous people!"*
For, presently it occurred to the nobleman and his household* _ [even] after they had seen all the signs [of Joseph's innocence] - that they might as well imprison him for a time.*
At that, the one of the two [erstwhile prisoners] who had been saved, and [who suddenly] remembered [Joseph] after all that time,* spoke [thus]: "It is I who can inform you of the real meaning of this [dream]; so let me go [in search of it]."*
for, after that [period of seven good years] there will come seven hard [years] which will devour all that you shall have laid up for them, excepting only a little of that which you shall have kept in store.
And after that there will come a year in which the people will be delivered from all distress,* and in which they will press [oil and wine as before]."
And 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!
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].
Thus, then, have We bestowed from on high this [divine writ] as an ordinance in the Arabic tongue.* And, indeed, if thou shouldst defer to men's likes and dislikes* after all the [divine] knowledge that has come unto thee, thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to shield thee [from Him].
HAVE THE STORIES of those [deniers of the truth] who lived before you never yet come within your ken - [the stories of] the people of Noah, and of [the tribes of] `Ad and Thamud, and of those who came after them? None knows them [now] save God.* There came unto them their apostles with all evidence of the truth -but they covered their mouths with their hands* and answered: "Behold, we refuse to regard as true the message with which you [claim to] have been entrusted; and, behold, we are .in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about [the meaning of] your call to us!"*
and most certainly shall We cause you to dwell on earth [long] after they have passed away:* this is [My promise] unto all who stand in awe of My presence, and stand in awe of My warning!"*
NOW as for those who forsake the domain of evil* in the cause of God, after having suffered wrong [on account of their faith] - We shall most certainly grant them a station of good fortune in this world:* but their reward in the life to come will be far greater yet. If they [who deny the truth] could but understand*
AND GOD sends down water from the skies, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless:* in this, behold, there is a message indeed for people who [are willing to] listen.
AND GOD has created you, and in time will cause you to die; and many a one of you is reduced in old age to a most abject state, ceasing to know anything of what he once knew so well.* Verily, God is all-knowing, infinite in His power!
And be true to your bond with God whenever you bind yourselves by a pledge,* and do not break [your] oaths after having [freely] confirmed them* and having called upon God to be witness to your good faith:* behold, God knows all that you do.
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 do not use your oaths as a means of deceiving one another-or else [your] foot will slip after having been firm,* and then you will have to taste the evil [consequences]* of your having turned away from the path of God, with tremendous suffering awaiting you [in the life to come].
As for anyone who denies God after having once attained to faith-and this, to be sure, does not apply to* one who does it under duress, the while his heart remains true to his faith,* but [only, to] him who willingly opens up his heart to a denial of the truth-: upon all such [falls] God's condemnation, and tremendous suffering awaits them:
And yet, behold, thy Sustainer [grants His forgiveness] unto those who forsake the domain of evil after having succumbed to its temptation,* and who thenceforth strive hard [in God's cause] and are patient in adversity: behold, after such [repentance] thy Sustainer is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
And once again:* Behold, thy Sustainer [shows mercy] to those who do evil out of ignorance and afterwards repent and live righteously: behold, after such [repentance] thy Sustainer is indeed much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And how many a generation have We [thus] destroyed after [the time of] Noah! For, none has the like of thy Sustainer's awareness and insight into His creatures' sins.
And after that We said unto the children of Israel: "Dwell now securely on earth - but [remember that] when the promise of the Last Day shall come to pass, We will bring you forth as [parts of] a motley crowd!*
Said [Moses]: "If, after this, I should ever question thee, keep me not in thy company: [for by] now thou hast heard enough excuses from me."
Yet they were succeeded by generations [of people] who lost all [thought of] prayer and followed [but] their own lusts; and these will, in time, meet with utter disillusion.*
Said He: "Then [know that], verily, in thy absence We have put thy people to a test, and the Samaritan has led them astray."*
For, how many a community that persisted in evildoing have We dashed into fragments, and raised another people in its stead!*
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, INDEED, after having exhorted [man],* We laid it down in all the books of divine wisdom that My righteous servants shall inherit the earth:*
O MEN! If you are in doubt as to the [truth of] resurrection, [remember that,] verily, We have created [every one of] you out of dust, then out of a drop of sperm, then out of a germ-cell, then out of an embryonic lump complete [in itself] and yet incomplete* so that We might make [your origin] clear unto you. And whatever We will [to be born] We cause to rest in the [mothers'] wombs for a term set [by Us], and then We bring you forth as infants and [allow you to live] so that [some of] you might attain to maturity: for among you are such as are caused to die [in childhood], just as many a one of you is reduced in old age to a most abject state, ceasing to know anything of what he once knew so well.* And [if, O man, thou art still in doubt as to resurrection, consider this:] thou canst see the earth dry and lifeless - and [suddenly,] when We send down waters upon it, it stirs and swells and puts forth every kind of lovely plant!
And then, behold! after all this, you are destined to die;
AND AFTER those [people of old] We gave rise to new generations;*
AND AFTER them We gave rise to new generations:*
excepting [from this interdict] only those who afterwards repent and made amends:* for, behold, God is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And as for those who are unable to marry,* let them live in continence until God grants them sufficiency out of His bounty, And if any of those whom you rightfully possess* desire [to obtain] a deed of freedom, write it out for them if you are aware of any good in them:* and give them [their share of the wealth of God which He has given you.* And do not, in order to gain* some of the fleeting pleasures of this worldly life, coerce your [slave] maidens into whoredom if they happen to be desirous of marriage;* and if anyone should coerce them, then, verily, after they have been compelled [to submit in their helplessness], God will be much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
For, [many are] they [who] say, We believe in God and in the Apostle, and we pay heed!" - but then, some of them turn away after this [assertion]: and these are by no means [true] believers.
God has promised those of you who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds that, of a certainty, He will cause them to accede to power on earth,* even as He caused [some of] those who lived before them to accede to it; and that, of a certainty, He will firmly establish for them the religion which He has been pleased to bestow on them;* and that, of a certainty, He will cause their erstwhile state of fear to be replaced by a sense of security* [seeing that] they worship Me [alone], not ascribing divine powers to aught beside Me.* But all who, after [having understood] this, choose to deny the truth - it is they, they who are truly iniquitous!
O YOU who have attained to faith!* At three times [of day], let [even] those whom you rightfully possess,* as well as those from among you who have not yet attained to puberty,* ask leave of you [before intruding upon your privacy]: before the prayer of daybreak, and whenever you lay aside your garments in the middle of the day, and after the prayer of nightfall:* the three occasions on which your nakedness is likely to be bared.* Beyond these [occasions], neither you nor they will incur any sin if they move [freely] about you, attending to [the needs of] one another. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages: for God is all-knowing, wise!
Indeed, he led me astray from the remembrance [of God] after it had come unto me!" For [thus it is:] Satan is ever a betrayer of man.*
and then We caused those who stayed behind to drown.*
[Most of them are of this kind ] save those who have attained to faith, and do righteous deeds, and remember God unceasingly, and defend themselves [only] after having been wronged,* and [trust in God's promise that] those who are bent on wrongdoing will in time come to know how evil a turn their destinies are bound to take!*
and neither* need anyone who has done wrong and then has replaced the wrong with good:* for, verily, I am much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
And [then,] indeed, after We had destroyed those earlier generations [of sinners], We vouchsafed unto Moses [Our] revelation as a means of insight for men,* and as a guidance and grace, so that they might bethink themselves [of Us].
And how many a community that [once] exulted in its wanton wealth and ease of life have We destroyed, so that those dwelling-places of theirs all but a few - have never been dwelt-in after them: for it is indeed We alone who shall remain when all else will have passed away!*
and never let them turn thee away from God's messages after they have been bestowed upon thee from on high: instead* summon [all men] to thy Sustainer. And never be of those who ascribe divinity to aught but Him,
And thus it is: if thou ask them, Who is it that sends down water from the skies, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless?" - they will surely answer, God." Say thou: [Since this is so,] all praise is due to God [alone]!" But most of them will not use their reason:
in the lands close-by; yet it is they who, notwithstanding this their defeat, shall be victorious
within a few years: [for] with God rests all power of decision, first and last.* And on that day will the believers [too, have cause to] rejoice
He [it is who] brings forth the living out of that which is dead, and brings forth the dead out of that which is alive, and gives life to the earth after it had been lifeless: and even thus will you be brought forth [from death to life]
And among His wonders is this: He displays before you the lightning, giving rise to [both] fear and hope,* and sends down water from the skies, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who use their reason!
Behold, then, [O man,] these signs of God's grace - how He gives life to the earth after it had been lifeless! Verily, this Selfsame [God] is indeed the One that can bring the dead back to life: for He has the power to will anything!
But thus it is: if* We send a wind [that scorches their land], and they see it turn yellow, they begin, after that [erstwhile joy], to deny the truth [of Our almightiness and grace]!*
IT IS GOD who creates you [all in a states of weakness, and then, after weakness, ordains strength [for you], and then, after [a period of] strength, ordains [old-age] weakness and grey hair.* He creates what He wills; and He alone is all-knowing, infinite in His power.
And if all the trees on earth were pens, and the sea [were] ink, with seven [morel seas yet* added to it, the words of God would not be exhausted: for, verily, God is almighty, wise.*
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.
[And] those who were wont to glory in their arrogance will say unto those who had been weak: Why - did we keep you [forcibly] from following the right path after it had become obvious to you?* Nay, it was but you [yourselves] who were guilty!"
Whatever grace God opens up to man, none can withhold it; and whatever He withholds, none can henceforth release: for He alone is almighty, truly wise.
AND [remember:] it is God who sends forth the winds, so that they raise a cloud, whereupon We drive it towards dead land and thereby give life to the earth after it had been lifeless: even thus shall resurrection be!
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 after that, no host out of heaven did We send down against his people, nor did We need to send down any:
he prayed: O my Sustainer! Forgive me my sins, and bestow upon me the gift of a kingdom which may not suit anyone after me:* verily, Thou alone art a giver of gifts!"
and you will most certainly grasp its purport after a lapse of time!"
He has created you [all] out of one living entity, and out of it fashioned its mate;* and he has bestowed upon you four kinds of cattle of either sex;* [and] He creates you in your mothers' wombs, one act of creation after another, in threefold depths of darkness.* Thus is God, your Sustainer: unto Him belongs all dominion: there is no deity save Him: how, then, can you lose sight of the truth?*
to the truth gave the lie, before their time, the people of Noah and, after them, all those [others] who were leagued together [against God's message-bearers];* and each of those communities schemed against the apostle sent unto them,* aiming to lay hands on him; and they contended [against his message] with fallacious arguments, so as to render void the truth thereby: but then I took them to task - and how awesome was My retribution!
the like of what happened to Noah's people, and to [the tribes of] Ad and Thamud and those who came after them! And, withal, God does not will any wrong for His creatures.*
And [remember:] it was to you that Joseph came aforetime with all evidence of the truth; but you never ceased to throw doubt on all [the messages] that he brought you - so much so that when he died, you said, 'Never will God send any apostle [even] after him!'* In this way God lets go astray such as waste their own selves by throwing suspicion [on His revelations]
Yet whenever We let him taste some of Our grace after hardship has visited him, he is sure to say, This is but my due!" - and, I do not think that the Last Hour will ever come:* but if [it should come, and] I should indeed be brought back unto my Sustainer, then, behold, the ultimate good awaits me with Him!* But [on the Day of Judgment] We shall most certainly give those who were bent on denying the truth* full understanding of all that they ever did, and shall most certainly give them [thereby] a taste of suffering severe.*
And [as for the followers of earlier revelation,] they broke up their unity, out of mutual jealousy, only after they had come to know [the truth].* And had it not been for a decree that had already gone forth from thy Sustainer, [postponing all decision] until a term set [by Him], all would indeed have been decided between them [from the outset].* As it is, behold, they who have inherited their divine writ from those who preceded them* are [now] in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about what it portends.*
And as for those who would [still] argue about God* after He has been acknowledged [by them] all their arguments are null and void in their Sustainer's sight, and upon them will fall [His] condemnation, and for them is suffering severe in store:
And it is He who sends down rain after [men] have lost all hope, and unfolds His grace [thereby]:* for He alone is [their] Protector, the One to whom all praise is due.
Yet indeed, as for any who defend themselves after having been wronged - no blame whatever attaches to them:
AND [thus it is:] he whom God lets go astray* has henceforth no protector whatever: and so thou wilt see such evildoers* [on Judgment Day, and wilt hear how] they exclaim as soon as they behold the suffering [that awaits them], "Is there any way of return?"*
And in the succession of night and day, and in the means of subsistence* which God sends down from the skies, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless, and in the change of the winds: [in all this] there are messages for people who use their reason.
These messages of God do We convey unto thee, setting forth the truth. In what other tiding, if not in God's messages, will they, then, believe?*
And We gave them clear indications of the purpose [of faith];* and it was only after all this knowledge had been vouchsafed to them that they began, out of mutual jealousy, to hold divergent views:* [but,] verily, thy Sustainer will judge between them on Resurrection Day regarding all whereon they were wont to differ.*
HAST THOU ever considered [the kind of man] who makes his own desires his deity, and whom God has [thereupon] let go astray, knowing [that his mind is closed to all guidance],* and whose hearing and heart He has sealed, and upon whose sight He has placed a veil?* Who, then, could guide him after God [has abandoned him]? Will you not, then, bethink yourselves?
They said: O our people! Behold, we have been listening to a revelation bestowed from on high after [that of] Moses, confirming the truth of whatever there still remains [of the Torah]:* it guides towards the truth, and onto a straight way.
NOW WHEN you meet [in war] those who are bent on denying the truth,* smite their necks until you overcome them fully, and then tighten their bonds;* but thereafter [set them free,] either by an act of grace or against ransom, so that the burden of war may be lifted:* thus [shall it be]. And [know that] had God so willed, He could indeed punish them [Himself]; but [He wills you to struggle] so as to test you [all] by means of one another.* And as for those who are slain in God's cause, never will He let their deeds go to waste:
VERILY, those who turn their backs [on this message] after guidance has been vouchsafed to them, [do it because] Satan has embellished their fancies and filled them with false hopes:
Verily, they who are bent on denying the truth and on barring [others] from the path of God, and [who thus] cut themselves off from the Apostle* after guidance has been vouchsafed to them, can in no wise harm God; but He will cause all their deeds to come to nought.
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.*
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!
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.*
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.
[But] know that God gives life to the earth after it has been lifeless!* We have indeed made Our messages clear unto you, so that you might use your reason.
And so, they who come after them pray:* O our Sustainer! Forgive us our sins, as well as those of our brethren who preceded us in faith, and let not our hearts entertain any unworthy thoughts or feelings against [any of] those who have attained to faith. O our Sustainer! Verily, Thou art compassionate, a dispenser of grace!"
And [this happened, too,] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O children of Israel! Behold, I am an apostle of God unto you, [sent] to confirm the truth of whatever there still remains* of the Torah, and to give [you] the glad tiding of an apostle who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad."* But when he [whose coming Jesus had foretold] came unto them* with all evidence of the truth, they said: "This [alleged message of his] is [nothing but] spellbinding eloquence!"*
O PROPHET! When you* [intend to divorce women, divorce them with a view to the waiting period appointed for them,* and reckon the period [carefully], and be conscious of God, your Sustainer. Do not expel them from their homes;* and neither shall they [be made to] leave* unless they become openly guilty of immoral conduct.* These, then, are the bounds set by God - and he who transgresses the bounds set by God does indeed sin against himself: [for, O man, although] thou knowest it not, after that [first breach] God may well cause something new to come about.*
[In all these respects,] let him who has ample means spend in accordance with* his amplitude; and let him whose means of subsistence are scanty spend in accordance with what God has given him: God does not burden any human being with more than He has given him - [and it may well be that] God will grant, after hardship, ease.
[Say, O Prophet:* ] "Would that you two turn unto God in repentance, for the hearts of both of you have swerved [from what is right]!* And if you uphold each other against him [who is God's message-bearer, know that] God Himself is his Protector, and [that,] therefore,* Gabriel, and all the righteous among the believers and all the [other] angels will come to his aid."
[or] one who is cruel, by greed possessed,* and, in addition to all this, utterly useless [to his fellow-men].*
In what other tiding, then, will they, after this, believe?
And after that, the earth: wide has He spread its expanse,
What, then, [O man,] could henceforth cause thee to give the lie to this moral law?*
Now those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime* did break up their unity [of faith] after such an evidence of the truth had come to them.*