inasmuch as they said [to their followers], 'Do not ever abandon your gods: abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa', and neither Yaghuth nor Ya'uq nor Nasr!'*
Lost indeed are they who consider it a lie that they will have to meet God -till the Last Hour suddenly comes upon them, [and] they cry, "Alas for us, that we disregarded it!" - for they shall bear on their backs the burden of their sins:* oh, how evil the load with which they shall be burdened!
Say: "Can you see yourselves invoking any but God when God's chastisement befalls you [in this world], or the Last Hour comes upon you? [Tell me this,] if you are men of truth!
And for all people a term has been set:* and when [the end of] their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment,* nor can they hasten it.
THEY WILL ASK thee [O Prophet] about the Last Hour: "When will it come to pass?" Say: "Verily, knowledge thereof rests with my Sustainer alone. None but He will reveal it in its time. Heavily will it weigh on the heavens and the earth; [and] it will not fall upon you otherwise than of a sudden." They will ask thee - as if thou couldst gain insight into this [mystery] by dint of persistent inquiry!* Say: "Knowledge thereof rests with my Sustainer alone; but [of this] most people are unaware."
INDEED, God has turned in His mercy unto the Prophet, as well as unto those who have forsaken the domain of evil and those who have sheltered and succoured the Faiths* - [all] those who followed him in the hour of distress, when the hearts of some of the other believers had well-nigh swerved from faith.* And once again:* He has turned unto them in His mercy - for, behold, He is compassionate towards them, a dispenser of grace.
And 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.
Say [O Prophet]: "It is not within my power to avert harm from, or bring benefit to, myself, except as God may please.* For all people a term has been set: when the end of their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor hasten it."*
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 [remember:] We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them without [an inner] truth;* but, behold, the Hour [when this will become clear to all] is indeed yet to come. Hence, forgive [men's failings] with fair forbearance:
Now if God were to take men [immediately] to task for all the evil that they do [on earth], He would not leave a single living creature upon its face. However, He grants them respite until a term set [by Him]:* but when the end of their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor can they hasten it.*
And* , God's [alone] is the knowledge of the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth.* And so, the advent of the Last Hour will but manifest itself [in a single moment,] like the twinkling of an eye, or closer still:* for, behold, God has the power to will anything.
AND IN THIS way* have We drawn [people's] attention to their story,* so that they might know - whenever they debate among themselves as to what happened to those [Men of the Cave]* that God's promise [of resurrection] is true, and that there can be no doubt as to [the coming of] the Last Hour. And so, some [people] said: "Erect a building in their memory;* God knows best what happened to them." Said they whose opinion prevailed in the end: "Indeed, we must surely raise a house of worship in their memory!"
And neither do I think that the Last Hour will ever come. But even if [it should come, and] I am brought before my Sustainer,* I will surely find something even better than this as [my last] resort!"
Say: "As for him who lives in error, may the Most Gracious lengthen the span of his life!* [And let them say whatever they say* until the time when they behold that [doom] of which they were forewarned-whether it be suffering [in this world] or [at the coming of] the Last Hour -: for then they will understand which [of the two kinds of man] was worse in station and weaker in resources!*
"Behold, [although] I have willed to keep it* hidden, the Last Hour is bound to come, so that every human being may be recompensed in accordance with what he strove for [in life].*
who stand in awe of their Sustainer although He is beyond the reach of human perception,* and who tremble at the thought of the Last Hour.
O men! Be conscious of your Sustainer: for, verily the violent convulsion of the Last Hour will be an awesome thing!
And [know, O man] that the Last Hour is bound to come, beyond any doubt, and that God will [indeed] resurrect all who are in their graves.
whereas those who are bent on denying the truth will not cease to be in doubt about Him until the Last Hour comes suddenly upon them and [supreme] suffering befalls them on a Day void of all hope.*
But nay! It is [the very coming of] the Last Hour to which they give the lie! However, for such as give the lie to [the announcement of] the Last Hour We have readied a blazing flame:
And when the last Hour dawns, those who were lost in sin will be broken in spirit
And when the Last Hour dawns - on that Day will all [men] be sorted out:
[He it is who will cause you to die, and in time will resurrect you.]* And when the Last Hour dawns, those who had been lost in sin will swear that they had not tarried [on earth] longer than an hour: thus were they wont to delude themselves [all their lives]!*
Verily, with God alone rests the knowledge of when the Last Hour will come: and He [it is who] sends down rain; and He [alone] knows what is in the wombs:* whereas no one knows what he will reap tomorrow, and no one knows in what land he will die, Verily. God [alone] is all-knowing, all-aware.
PEOPLE will ask thee about the Last Hour. Say: Knowledge thereof rests with God alone; yet for all thou knowest, the Last Hour may well be near!"*
And yet, they who are bent on denying the truth assert, Never will the Last Hour come upon us!"* Say: Nay, by my Sustainer! By Him who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception: it will most certainly come upon you!" Not an atom's weight [of whatever there is] in the heavens or on earth escapes His knowledge; and neither is there anything smaller than that, or larger, but is recorded in [His] clear decree,
Say: There has been appointed for you a Day, which you can neither delay nor advance by a single moment."*
the fire [of the hereafter - that fire] which they had been made to contemplate [in vain], morning and evening:* for on the Day when the Last Hour dawns [God will say], Make Pharaoh's folk enter upon suffering most severe!"
Verily, the Last Hour is sure to come: of this there is no doubt; yet most men will not believe it.*
In Him alone is vested the knowledge of when the Last Hour will come. And no fruit bursts forth from its calyx, and no female ever conceives, nor ever gives birth, save with His knowledge. And so, on the Day when He shall call out to them, Where, now, are those [alleged] partners of Mine?" - they will [surely] answer, We confess unto Thee that none of us can bear witness [to anyone's having a share in Thy divinity]!"
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.*
[for] it is God [Himself] who has bestowed revelation from on high, setting forth the truth, and [thus given man] a balance [wherewith to weigh right and wrong].* And for all thou knowest, the Last Hour may well be near!
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!
AND, BEHOLD, this [divine writ] is indeed a means to know [that] the Last Hour [is bound to come];* hence, have no doubt whatever about it, but follow Me: this [alone] is a straight way.
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]?
And hallowed be He unto whom the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that is between them belongs, and with whom the knowledge of the Last Hour rests, and unto whom you all shall be brought back!
For, God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth; and on the Day when the Last Hour dawns - on that Day will be lost all who [in their lifetime] tried to reduce to nothing [whatever they could not understand].*
for when it was said, 'Behold, God's promise always comes true, and there can be no doubt about [the coming of] the Last Hour' - you would answer, 'We do not know what that Last Hour may be: we think it is no more than an empty guess, and [so] we are by no means convinced!'"
REMAIN, then, [O believer,] patient in adversity, just as all of the apostles, endowed with firmness of heart, bore themselves with patience. And do not ask for a speedy doom of those [who still deny the truth]: on the Day when they see [the fulfillment of] what they were promised,* [it will seem to them] as though they had dwelt [on earth] no longer than one hour of [an earthly] day!* [This is Our] message. Will, then, any be [really] destroyed save iniquitous folk?"*
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?*
THE LAST HOUR draws near, and the moon is split asunder!*
But nay - the Last Hour is the time when they shall truly meet their fate;* and that Last Hour will be most calamitous, and most bitter:
THEY WILL ASK thee [O Prophet] about the Last Hour: "When will it come to pass?"