THE BESTOWAL from on high of this divine writ issues from God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing,
forgiving sins and accepting repentance, severe in retribution, limitless in His bounty. There is no deity save Him: with Him is all journeys’ end.
NONE BUT THOSE who are bent on denying the truth would call God’s messages in question. But let it not deceive thee that they seem to be able to do as they please on earth:
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!
And thus shall thy Sustainer’s word come true against all who are bent on denying the truth: they shall find themselves in the fire [of hell].
THEY WHO BEAR [within themselves the knowledge of] the throne of [God’s] almightiness, as well as all who are near it, extol their Sustainer’s limitless glory and praise, and have faith in Him, and ask forgiveness for all [others] who have attained to faith: “O our Sustainer! Thou embracest all things within [Thy] grace and knowledge: forgive, then, their sins unto those who repent and follow Thy path, and preserve them from suffering through the blazing fire!
“And, O our Sustainer, bring them into the gardens of perpetual bliss which Thou hast promised them, together with the righteous from among their forebears, and their spouses, and their offspring - for, verily, Thou alone art almighty, truly wise –
and preserve them from [doing] evil deeds: for anyone whom on that Day [of Judgment] Thou wilt have preserved from [the taint of] evil deeds, him wilt Thou have graced with Thy mercy: and that, that will be the triumph supreme!”
[But,] behold, as for those who are bent on denying the truth - [on that same Day] a voice will call out unto them: “Indeed, greater than your [present] loathing of yourselves was God’s loathing of you [at the time] when you were called unto faith but went on denying the truth!”
[Whereupon] they will exclaim: “O our Sustainer! Twice hast Thou caused us to die, just as twice Thou hast brought us to life!
[And they will be told:] “This [has befallen you] because, whenever the One God was invoked, you denied this truth; whereas, when divinity was ascribed to aught beside Him, you believed [in it]! But all judgment rests with God, the Exalted, the Great!”
HE IT IS who shows you His wonders [in all nature], and sends down sustenance for you from the sky: but none bethinks himself [thereof] save those who are wont to turn to God.
Invoke, then, God, sincere in your faith in Him alone, however hateful this may be to those who deny the truth!
High above all orders [of being] is He, in almightiness enthroned. By His Own will does He bestow inspiration upon whomever He wills of His servants, so as to warn [all human beings of the coming] of the Day when they shall meet Him
the Day when they shall come forth [from death], with nothing of themselves hidden from God. With whom will sovereignty rest on that Day? With God, the One who holds absolute sway over all that exists!
On that Day will every human being be requited for what he has earned: no wrong [will be done] on that Day: verily, swift in reckoning is God!
Hence, warn them of that Day which draws ever nearer, when the hearts will chokingly come up to the throats: no loving friend will the evildoers have, nor any intercessor who would be heeded:
[for] He is aware of the [most] stealthy glance, and of all that the hearts would conceal.
And God will judge in accordance with truth and justice, whereas those [beings] whom they invoke beside Him cannot judge at all: for, verily, God alone is all-hearing, all-seeing.
Have they, then, never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before their time? Greater were they in power than they are, and in the impact which they left on earth: but God took them to task for their sins, and they had none to defend them against God:
this, because their apostles had come to them with all evidence of the truth, and yet they rejected it: and so God took them to task - for, verily, He is powerful, severe in retribution!
THUS, INDEED, did We send Moses with Our messages and a manifest authority [from Us]
unto Pharaoh, and Haman, and Qarun; but they [only] said, “A spellbinder is he, a liar!”
Now [as for Pharaoh and his followers,] when he came to them, setting forth the truth from Us, they said, “Slay the sons of those who share his beliefs, and spare [only] their women!” - but the guile of those deniers of the truth could not lead to aught but failure.
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!”
But Moses said: “With [Him who is] my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer have I indeed found refuge from everyone who, immersed in false pride, will not believe in [the coming of] the Day of Reckoning!”
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].
“O my people! Yours is the dominion today, [and] most eminent are you on earth: but who will rescue us from God’s punishment, once it befalls us?” Said Pharaoh: “I but want to make you see what I see myself; and I would never make you follow any path but that of rectitude!”
Thereupon exclaimed he who had attained to faith: “O my people! Verily, I fear for you the like of what one day befell those others who were leagued together [against God’s truth] –
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, O my people, I fear for you [the coming of] that Day of [Judgment - the Day when you will be] calling unto one another [in distress] –
the Day when you will [wish to] turn your backs and flee, having none to defend you against God: for he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide.
“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] –
such as would call God’s messages in question without having any evidence therefor: [a sin] exceedingly loathsome in the sight of God and of those who have attained to faith. It is in this way that God sets a seal on every arrogant, self-exalting heart.”
But Pharaoh said: “O Haman! Build me a lofty tower, that haply I may attain to the [right] means
the means of approach to the heavens - and that [thus] I may have a look at the god of Moses: for, behold, I am indeed certain that he is a liar!” And thus, goodly seemed unto Pharaoh the evil of his own doings, and so he was barred from the path [of truth]: and Pharaoh’s guile did not lead to aught but ruin.
Still, the man who had attained to faith went on: “O my people! Follow me: I shall guide you onto the path of rectitude!
“O my people! This worldly life is but a brief enjoyment, whereas, behold, the life to come is the home abiding.
[There,] anyone who has done a bad deed will be requited with no more than the like thereof, whereas anyone, be it man or woman, who has done righteous deeds and is a believer withal - all such will enter paradise, wherein they shall be blest with good beyond all reckoning!
“And, O my people, how is it that I summon you to salvation, the while you summon me to the fire?
- [for] you call upon me to deny [the oneness of] God and to ascribe a share in His divinity to aught of which I cannot [possibly] have any knowledge the while I summon you to [a cognition of] the Almighty, the All-Forgiving!
“There is no doubt that what you summon me to is something that has no claim to being invoked either in this world or in the life to come - as [there is no doubt] that unto God is our return, and that they who have wasted their own selves shall find themselves in the fire:
and at that time you will [have cause to] remember what I am telling you [now]. “But [as for me,] I commit myself unto God: for, verily, God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His servants.”
And God preserved him from the evil of their scheming, whereas suffering vile was to encompass Pharaoh’s folk:
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!”
AND LO! They [who in life were wont to deny the truth] will contend with one another in the fire [of the hereafter]; and then the weak will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance, “Behold, we were but your followers: can you, then, relieve us of some [of our] share of this fire?”
[to which] they who had [once] been arrogant will reply, “Behold, we are all in it [together]! Verily, God has judged between His creatures!”
And they who are in the fire will say to the keepers of hell, “Pray unto your Sustainer that He lighten, [though it be] for one day [only], this suffering of ours!”
[But the keepers of hell] will ask, “Is it not [true] that your apostles came unto you with all evidence of the truth?” Those [in the fire] will reply, “Yea, indeed.” [And the keepers of hell] will say, “Pray, then!” - for the prayer of those who deny the truth cannot lead to aught but delusion.
BEHOLD, We shall indeed succour Our apostles and those who have attained to faith, [both] in this world’s life and on the Day when all the witnesses shall stand up
the Day when their excuses will be of no avail to the evildoers, seeing that their lot will be rejection from all that is good, and a woeful hereafter.
And, indeed, We bestowed aforetime [Our] guidance on Moses, and [thus] made the children of Israel heirs to the divine writ [revealed to him]
as a [means of] guidance and a reminder for those who were endowed with insight:
hence, remain thou patient in adversity - for, verily, God’s promise always comes true - and ask forgiveness for thy sins, and extol thy Sustainer’s glory and praise by night and by day.
Behold, as for those who call God’s messages in question without having any evidence therefore in their hearts is nothing but overweening self-conceit, which they will never be able to satisfy: seek thou, then, refuge with God - for, verily, He alone is all-hearing, all-seeing!
Greater indeed than the creation of man is the creation of the heavens and the earth: yet most men do not understand [what this implies].
But [then,] the blind and the seeing are not equal; and neither [can] they who have attained to faith and do good works and the doers of evil [be deemed equal]. How seldom do you keep this in mind!
Verily, the Last Hour is sure to come: of this there is no doubt; yet most men will not believe it.
But your Sustainer says: “Call unto Me, [and] I shall respond to you! Verily, they who are too proud to worship Me will enter hell, abased!”
IT IS GOD who has made the night for you, so that you might rest therein, and the day, to make [you] see. Behold, God is indeed limitless in His bounty unto man - but most men are ungrateful.
Such is God, your Sustainer, the Creator of all that exists: there is no deity save Him. How perverted, then, are your minds!
[For] thus it is: perverted are the minds of those who knowingly reject God’s messages.
It is God who has made the earth a resting- place for you and the sky a canopy, and has formed you - and formed you so well and provided for you sustenance out of the good things of life. Such is God, your Sustainer: hallowed, then, is God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!
He is the Ever-Living; there is no deity save Him: call, then, unto Him [alone], sincere in your faith in Him. All praise is due to God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!
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.”
It is He who creates you out of dust, and then out of a drop of sperm, and then out of a germ-cell; and then He brings you forth as children; and then [He ordains] that you reach maturity, and then, that you grow old - though some of you [He causes to] die earlier -: and [all this He ordains] so that you might reach a term set [by Him], and that you might [learn to] use your reason.
It is He who grants life and deals death; and when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, “Be” - and it is.
ART THOU NOT aware of how far they who call God’s messages in question have lost sight of the truth?
they who give the lie to this divine writ and [thus] to all [the messages] with which We sent forth Our apostles [of old]? But in time they will come to know [how blind they have been: they will know it on Judgment Day],
when they shall have to carry the shackles and chains [of their own making] around their necks,
and are dragged into burning despair, and in the end become fuel for the fire [of hell].
And then they will be asked: “Where now are those [powers] to which you were wont to ascribe divinity
side by side with God?” They will answer: “They have forsaken us - or, rather, what we were wont to invoke aforetime did not exist at all!” And they will be told:] “It is thus that God lets the deniers of the truth go astray:
this is an outcome of your having arrogantly exulted on earth without any [concern for what is] right, and of your having been so full of self-conceit!
Enter [now] the gates of hell, therein to abide: and how vile an abode for all who are given to false pride!”
HENCE, remain thou patient in adversity - for, verily, God’s promise always comes true. And whether We show thee [in this world] something of what We hold in store for those [deniers of the truth], or whether We cause thee to die [ere that retribution takes place - know that, in the end], it is unto Us that they will be brought back.
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].
It is God who [at all times works wonders for you: thus, He] provides for you [all manner of] livestock, so that on some of them you may ride, and from some derive your food,
and find [yet other] benefits in them; and that through them you may attain to the fulfillment of [many] a heartfelt need: for on them, as on ships, you are borne [through life].
And [thus] He displays His wonders before you: which, then, of God’s wonders can you still deny?
HAVE THEY, then, never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before their time? More numerous were they, and greater in power than they are, and in the impact which they left on earth: but all that they ever achieved was of no avail to them –
for when their apostles came to them with all evidence of the truth, they arrogantly exulted in whatever knowledge they [already] possessed: and [so, in the end,] they were overwhelmed by the very thing which they were wont to deride.
And then, when they [clearly] beheld Our punishment, they said: “We have come to believe in the One God, and we have renounced all belief in that to which we were wont to ascribe a share in His divinity!”
But their attaining to faith after they had beheld Our punishment could not possibly benefit them such being the way of God that has always obtained for His creatures -: and so, then and there, lost were they who had denied the truth.