Alif. Lam. Mim.
Defeated have been the Byzantines
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
in God’s succour: [for] He gives succour to whomever He wills, since He alone is almighty, a dispenser of grace.
[This is] God’s promise. Never does God fail to fulfill His promise - but most people know [it] not:
they know but the outer surface of this world’s life, whereas of the ultimate things they are utterly unaware.
Have they never learned to think for themselves? God has not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them without [an inner] truth and a term set [by Him]: and yet, behold, there are many people who stubbornly deny the truth that they are destined to meet their Sustainer!
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 they left a stronger impact on the earth, and built it up even better than these [are doing]; and to them [too] came their apostles with all evidence of the truth: and so, [when they rejected the truth and thereupon perished,] it was not God who wronged them, but it was they who had wronged themselves.
And once again: evil is bound to be the end of those who do evil by giving the lie to God’s messages and deriding them.
GOD CREATES [man] in the first instance, and then brings him forth anew: and, in the end, unto Him you all will be brought back.
And when the last Hour dawns, those who were lost in sin will be broken in spirit
for they will have no intercessors in the beings to whom they were wont to ascribe a share in God’s divinity, seeing that [by then] they themselves will have ceased to believe in their erstwhile blasphemous fancies.
And when the Last Hour dawns - on that Day will all [men] be sorted out:
as for those who attained to faith and did righteous deeds, they shall be made happy in a garden of delight;
but as for those who refused to acknowledge the truth and gave the lie to Our messages - and (thus) to the announcement of a life to come - they will be given over to suffering.
EXTOL, then, God’s limitless glory when you enter upon the evening hours, and when you rise at morn;
and [seeing that] unto Him is due all praise in the heavens and on earth, [glorify Him] in the afternoon as well, and when you enter upon the hour of noon.
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 creates you out of dust – and then, lo! you become human beings ranging far and wide!
And among His wonders is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind. so that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!
And among his wonders is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colours: for in this, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are possessed of [innate] knowledge!
And among His wonders is your sleep, at night or in daytime, as well as your [ability to go about in] quest of some of His bounties: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who [are willing to] listen!
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!
And among His wonders is this: the skies and the earth stand firm at His behest. [Remember all this: for] in the end, when He will call you forth from the earth with a single call - lo! you will [all] emerge [for judgment].
For, unto Him belongs every being that is in the heavens and on earth; all things devoutly obey His will.
And He it is who creates [all life] in the first instance, and then brings it forth anew: and most easy is this for Him, since His is the essence of all that is most sublime in the heavens and on earth, and He alone is almighty, truly wise.
He propounds unto you a parable drawn from your own life: Would you [agree to] have some of those whom your right hands possess as [full-fledged] partners in whatever We may have bestowed upon you as sustenance, so that you [and they] would have equal shares in it, and you would fear [to make use of it without consulting] them, just as you might fear [the more powerful of] your equals? Thus clearly do We spell out these messages unto people who use their reason.
But nay - they who are bent on evildoing follow but their own desires, without having any knowledge (of the truth). And who could guide those whom God has [thus] let go astray, and who (thereupon) have none to succour them?
AND SO, set thy face steadfastly towards the [one ever-true] faith, turning away from all that is false, in accordance with the natural disposition which God has instilled into man: [for,] not to allow any change to corrupt what God has thus created this is the [purpose of the one] ever-true faith; but most people know it not.
[Turn, then, away from all that is false,] turning unto Him [alone]; and remain conscious of Him, and be constant in prayer, and be not among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him,
[or] among those who have broken the unity of their faith and have become sects, each group delighting in but what they themselves hold [by way of tenets].
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls men, they cry out unto their Sustainer, turning unto Him [for help]; but as soon as He lets them taste of His grace, lo! some of them [begin to] ascribe to other powers a share in their Sustainer’s divinity,
[as if] to prove their ingratitude for all that We have granted them! Enjoy, then, your [brief] life: but in time you will come to know [the truth]!
Have We ever bestowed upon them from on high a divine writ which would speak [with approval] of their worshipping aught beside Us?
And [thus it is:] when we let men taste [Our] grace, they rejoice in it; but if evil befalls them as an outcome of what their own hands have wrought lo! they lose all hope!
Are they, then, not aware that it is God who grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills? In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
Hence, give his due to the near of kin, as well as to the needy and the wayfarer; this is best for all who seek God’s countenance: for it is they, they that shall attain to a happy state!
And [remember:] whatever you may give out in usury so that it might increase through [other] people’s possessions will bring [you] no increase in the sight of God whereas all that you give out in charity, seeking God’s countenance, [will be blessed by Him:] for it is they, they [who thus seek His countenance] that shall have their recompense multiplied!
IT IS GOD who has created you, and then has provided you with sustenance, and then will cause you to die, and then will bring you to life again. Can any of those beings or powers to whom you ascribe a share in His divinity do any of these things? Limitless is He in His glory, and sublimely exalted above anything to which men may ascribe a share in His divinity!
[Since they have become oblivious of God,] corruption has appeared on land and in the sea as an outcome of what men’s hands have wrought: and so He will let them taste [the evil of] some of their doings, so that they might return [to the right path].
Say: “Go all over the earth, and behold what happened in the end to those [sinners] who lived before [you]: most of them were wont to ascribe divine qualities to things or beings other than God.”
Set, then, thy face steadfastly towards the one ever-true faith, ere there come from God a Day [of reckoning - the Day] which cannot be averted. On that Day all will be sundered:
he who has denied the truth will have to bear [the burden of] his denial, whereas all who did what is right and just will have made goodly provision for themselves,
so that He might reward, out of His bounty, those who have attained to faith and done righteous deeds. Verily, He does not love those who refuse to acknowledge the truth –
for among His wonders is this: He sends forth [His messages as He sends forth] the winds that bear glad tidings, so that He might give you a taste of His grace [through life-giving rains], and that ships might sail at His behest, and that you might go about in quest of some of His bounties, and that you might have cause to be grateful.
And indeed, [O Muhammad, even] before thee did We send forth apostles - each one unto his own people and they brought them all evidence of the truth: and then, [by causing the believers to triumph,] We inflicted Our retribution upon those who [deliberately] did evil: for We had willed it upon Ourselves to succour the believers.
It is God who sends forth the winds [of hope], so that they raise a cloud - whereupon He spreads it over the skies as He wills, and causes it to break up so that thou seest rain issue from within it: and as soon as He causes it to fall upon whomever He wills of His servants - lo! they rejoice,
even though a short while ago, [just] before it was sent down upon them, they had abandoned all hope!
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]!
And, verily, thou canst not make the dead hear: and [so, too,] thou canst not make the deaf [of heart] hear this call when they turn their backs [on thee] and go away,
just as thou canst not lead the blind [of heart] out of their error: none canst thou make hear [thy call] save such as [are willing to] believe in Our messages, and thus surrender themselves unto Us.
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.
[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]!
But those who [in their lifetime] were endowed with knowledge and faith will say: “Indeed, you have been tardy in [accepting as true] what God has revealed, [and you have waited] until the Day of Resurrection: this, then, is the Day of Resurrection: but you - you were determined not to know it!
And so, on that Day their excuse will be of no avail to those who were bent on evildoing, nor will they be allowed to make amends.
AND, INDEED, We have propounded unto men all kinds of parables in this Qur’an. But thus it is: if thou approach them with any [such] message, those who are bent on denying the truth are sure to say, “You are but making false claims!”
In this way does God seal the hearts of those who do not [want to] know [the truth].
Remain, then, patient in adversity: verily, Gods promise [of resurrection] is true indeed - so let not those who are devoid of all inner certainty disquiet thy mind!