TRULY, to a happy state shall attain the believers:
those who humble themselves in their prayer,
and who turn away from all that is frivolous,
and who are intent on inner purity;
and who are mindful of their chastity,
[not giving way to their desires] with any but their spouses - that is, those whom they rightfully possess [through wedlock]: for then, behold, they are free of all blame,
whereas such as seek to go beyond that [limit] are truly transgressors;
and who are faithful to their trusts and to their pledges,
and who guard their prayers [from all worldly intent].
It is they, they who shall be the inheritors
that will inherit the paradise; [and] therein shall they abide.
NOW, INDEED, We create man out of the essence of clay,
and then We cause him to remain as a drop of sperm in [the wombs] firm keeping,
and then We create out of the drop of sperm a germ-cell, and then We create out of the germ-cell an embryonic lump, and then We create within the embryonic lump bones, and then We clothe the bones with flesh - and then We bring [all] this into being as a new creation: hallowed, therefore, is God, the best of artisans!
And then, behold! after all this, you are destined to die;
and then, behold! you shall be raised from the dead on Resurrection Day.
And, indeed, We have created above you seven [celestial] orbits: and never are We unmindful of [any aspect of Our] creation.
And We send down water from the skies in accordance with a measure [set by Us], and then We cause it to lodge in the earth: but, behold, We are most certainly able to withdraw this [blessing]!
And by means of this [water] We bring forth for you gardens of date-palms and vines, wherein you have fruit abundant and whereof you eat,
as well as a tree that issues from [the lands adjoining] Mount Sinai, yielding oil and relish for all to eat.
And, behold, in the cattle [too] there is indeed a lesson for you: We give you to drink of that [milk] which is within their bellies; and you derive many [other] uses from them: for, you eat of their flesh,
and by them - as by the ships [over the sea] - you are borne [overland].
AND, INDEED, We sent forth Noah unto his people and he said: “O my people! Worship God alone]: you have no deity other than Him. Will you not, then, become conscious of Him?”
But the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth, replied: “This [man] is nothing but a mortal like yourselves who wants to make himself superior to you! For, if God had willed [to convey a message unto us], He would surely have sent down angels; [moreover,] we have never heard [anything like] this from our forebears of old!
He is nothing but a madman: so bear with him for a while.”
Said [Noah]: “O my Sustainer! Succour me against their accusation of lying!”
Thereupon We inspired him thus: “Build, under Our eyes and according to Our inspiration, the ark [that shall save thee and those who follow thee]. And when Our judgment comes to pass, and waters gush forth in torrents over the face of the earth, place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex, as well as thy family - excepting those on whom sentence has already been passed; and do not appeal to Me [any more] in behalf of those who are bent on evildoing - for, behold, they are destined to be drowned!
“And as soon as thou and those who are with thee are settled in the ark, say: ‘All praise is due to God, who has saved us from those evildoing folk!’
“And say: ‘O my Sustainer! Cause me to reach a destination blessed [by Thee] for Thou art the best to show man how to reach his [true] destination!’”
In this [story], behold, there are messages indeed [for those who think]: for, verily, We always put [man] to a test.
AND AFTER those [people of old] We gave rise to new generations;
and [every time] We sent unto them an apostle from among themselves, [he told them:] “Worship God [alone]: you have no deity other than Him. Will you not, then, become conscious of Him?”
And [every time] the great ones among his people, who refused to acknowledge the truth and gave the lie to the announcement of a life to come - [simply] because We had granted them ease and plenty in [their] worldly life, and they had become corrupted by it [every time] they would say: “This [man] is nothing hut a mortal like yourselves, eating of what you eat, and drinking of what you drink:
and, indeed, if you pay heed to a mortal like yourselves, you will surely be the losers!
Does he promise you that, after you have died and become [mere] dust and bones, you shall be brought forth [to a new life]?
Far-fetched, far-fetched indeed is what you are promised!
There is no life beyond our life in this world: we die and we live [but once], and we shall never be raised from the dead!
He is nothing but a man who attributes his own lying inventions to God, and we are not going to believe him!”
[Whereupon the prophet] would say: “O my Sustainer! Succour me against their accusation of lying!”
[And God] would say: “After a little while they will surely be smitten with remorse!”
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 AFTER them We gave rise to new generations:
[for,] no community can ever forestall [the end of] its term - and neither can they delay [its coming].
And We sent forth Our apostles, one after another: [and] every time their apostle came to a community, they gave him the lie: and so We caused them to follow one another [into the grave], and let them become [mere] tales: and so - away with the folk who would not believe!
AND THEN We sent forth Moses and his brother Aaron with Our messages and a manifest authority [from Us]
unto Pharaoh and his great ones; but these behaved with arrogance, for they were people wont to glorify [only] themselves.
And so they said: “Shall we believe [them] two mortals like ourselves - although their people are our slaves?”
Thus, they gave the lie to those two, and earned (thereby) their place among the doomed:
for, indeed, We had vouchsafed revelation unto Moses in order that they might find the right way.
And [as We exalted Moses, so, too,] We made the son of Mary and his mother a symbol [of Our grace], and provided for both an abode in a lofty place of lasting restfulness and unsullied springs.
O YOU APOSTLES! Partake of the good things of life, and do righteous deeds: verily, I have full knowledge of all that you do.
And, verily, this community of yours is one single community, since I am the Sustainer of you all: remain, then, conscious of Me!
But they (who claim to follow you) have torn their unity wide asunder, piece by piece, each group delighting in [but] what they themselves possess [by way of tenets].
But leave them alone, lost in their ignorance, until a [future] time.
Do they think that by all the wealth and offspring with which We provide them
We [but want to] make them vie with one another in doing [what they consider] good works? Nay, but they do not perceive [their error]!
Verily, [only] they who stand in reverent awe of their Sustainer,
and who believe in their Sustainer’s messages,
and who do not ascribe divinity to aught but their Sustainer,
and who give whatever they [have to] give with their hearts trembling at the thought that unto their Sustainer they must return:
it is they who vie with one another in doing good works, and it is they who outrun [all others] in attaining to them!
And [withal.] We do not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear: for with Us is a record that speaks the truth [about what men do and can do]; and none shall be wronged.
NAY, [as for those who have torn asunder the unity of faith] - their hearts are lost in ignorance of all this! But apart from that [breach of unity] they have [on their conscience even worse] deeds; and they will [continue to] commit them
until - after We shall have taken to task, through suffering, those from among them who [now] are lost in the pursuit of pleasures - they cry out in [belated] supplication.
[But they will be told:] “Cry not in supplication today: for, behold, you shall not he succoured by Us!
Time and again were My messages conveyed unto you, but [every time] you would turn about on your heels
[and,] impelled by your arrogance, you would talk senselessly far into the night.”
Have they, then, never tried to understand this word [of God]? Or has there [now] come to them something that never came to their forefathers of old?
Or is it, perchance, that they have not recognized their Apostle, and so they disavow him?
Or do they say. “There is madness in him”? Nay, he has brought them the truth - and the truth do most of them detest!
But if the truth were in accord with their own likes and dislikes, the heavens and the earth would surely have fallen into ruin, and all that lives in them [would long ago have perished]! Nay, [in this divine writ] We have conveyed unto them all that they ought to bear in mind: and from this their reminder they [heedlessly] turn away!
Or dost thou [O Muhammad] ask of them any worldly recompense? But [they ought to know that] recompense from thy Sustainer is best, since He is the best of providers!
And, verily, thou callest them onto a straight way –
but, behold, those who will not believe in the life to come are bound to deviate from that way.
And even were We to show them mercy and remove whatever distress might befall them [in this life], they would still persist in their overweening arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro.
And, indeed, We tested them through suffering, but they did not abase themselves before their Sustainer; and they will never humble themselves
until We open before them a gate of [truly] severe suffering [in the life to come]: and then, lo! they will be broken in spirit.
[O MEN! Pay heed to God’s messages,] for it is He who has endowed you with hearing, and sight, and minds: [yet] how seldom are you grateful!
And He it is who has caused you to multiply on earth; and unto Him you shall be gathered.
And He it is who grants life and deals death; and to Him is due the alternation of night and day. Will you not, then, use your reason?
But nay, they speak as the people of olden times did speak:
they say: “What! After we have died and become mere dust and bones, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead?
Indeed, this [very thing] we have been promised - we and our forefathers - long ago! This is nothing but fables of ancient times!”
Say: “Unto whom belongs the earth and all that lives there on? [Tell me this] if you happen to know [the answer]!”
[And they will reply: “Unto God.” Say: “Will you not, then, bethink yourselves [of Him]?”
Say: “Who is it that sustains the seven heavens and is enthroned in His awesome almightiness?”
[And] they will reply: “[All this power belongs] to God.” Say: “Will you not, then, remain conscious of Him?”
Say: “In whose hand rests the mighty dominion over all things, and who is it that protects, the while there is no protection against Him? [Tell me this] if you happen to know [the answer]!”
[And] they will reply: “[All this power belongs] to God.” Say: ‘How, then, can you be so deluded?”
Nay, We have conveyed unto them the truth: and yet, behold, they are intent on lying [to themselves]!
Never did God take unto Himself any offspring, nor has there ever been any deity side by side with Him: [for, had there been any,] lo! each deity would surely have stood apart [from the others] in whatever it had created, and they would surely have [tried to] overcome one another! Limitless in His glory is God, [far] above anything that men may devise by way of definition,
knowing all that is beyond the reach of a created being’s perception as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature’s senses or mind and, hence, sublimely exalted is He above anything to which they may ascribe a share in His divinity!
SAY: “O my Sustainer! If it be Thy will to let me witness [the fulfillment of] whatever they [who blaspheme against Thee] have been promised [to suffer] –
do not, O my Sustainer, let me be one of those evildoing folk!”
[Pray thus] for, behold, We are most certainly able to let thee witness [the fulfillment, even in this world, of] whatever We promise them!
[But whatever they may say or do,] repel the evil [which they commit] with something that is better: We are fully aware of what they attribute [to Us].
And say: “O my Sustainer! I seek refuge with Thee from the promptings of all evil impulses;
and I seek refuge with Thee, O my Sustainer, lest they come near unto me!’
[AS FOR THOSE who will not believe in the life to come, they go on lying to themselves] until, when death approaches any of them, he prays: “O my Sustainer! Let me return, let me return [to life],
so that I might act righteously in whatever I have failed [aforetime]!” Nay, it is indeed but a [meaningless] word that he utters: for behind those [who leave the world] there is a barrier [of death] until the Day when all will be raised from the dead!
Then, when the trumpet [of resurrection] is blown, no ties of kinship will on that Day prevail among them, and neither will they ask about one another.
And they whose weight [of righteousness] is heavy in the balance - it is they, they who will have attained to a happy state;
whereas they whose weight is light in the balance - it is they who will have squandered their own selves, [destined] to abide in hell:
the fire will scorch their faces, and they will abide therein with their lips distorted in pain.
[And God will say:] “Were not My messages conveyed unto you, and were you [not] wont to give them the lie?”
They will exclaim: “O our Sustainer! Our bad luck has overwhelmed us, and so we went astray!
O our Sustainer! Cause us to come out of this [suffering] - and then, if ever We revert [to sinning], may we truly be [deemed] evildoers!”
[But] He will say: “Away with you into this [ignominy]! And speak no more unto Me!
“Behold, there were among My servants such as would pray, ‘O our Sustainer! We have come to believe [in Thee]; forgive, then, our sins and bestow Thy mercy on us: for Thou art the truest bestower of mercy!’
- but you made them a target of your derision to the point where it made you forget all remembrance of Me; and you went on and on laughing at them.
[But,] behold, today I have rewarded them for their patience in adversity: verily, it is they, they who have achieved a triumph!”
[And] He will ask [the doomed]: “What number of years have you spent on earth?”
They will answer: ‘We have spent there a day, or part of a day; but ask those who [are able to] count [time] …”
[Whereupon] He will say: “You have spent there but a short while: had you but known [how short it was to be]!
Did you, then, think that We created you in mere idle play, and that you would not have to return to Us?”
[KNOW,] then, [that] God is sublimely exalted, the Ultimate Sovereign, the Ultimate Truth: there is no deity save Him, the Sustainer, in bountiful almightiness enthroned!
Hence, he who invokes, side by side with God, any other deity [- a deity] for whose existence he has no evidence - shall but find his reckoning with his Sustainer: [and,] verily, such deniers of the truth will never attain to a happy state!
Hence, [O believer,] say: “O my Sustainer! Grant [me] forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy [upon me]: for Thou art the truest bestower of mercy!”