Alif. Lam. Mim.
THESE ARE MESSAGES of the divine writ, full of wisdom,
providing guidance and grace unto the doers of good
who are constant in prayer and dispense charity: for it is they, they who in their innermost are certain of the life to come!
It is they who follow the guidance [that comes to them] from their Sustainer; and it is they, they who shall attain to a happy state!
But among men there is many a one that prefers a mere play with words [to divine guidance], so as to lead [those] without knowledge astray from the path of God, and to turn it to ridicule: for such there is shameful suffering in store.
For, whenever Our messages are conveyed to such a one, he turns away in his arrogance as though he had not heard them - as though there were deafness in his ears. Give him, then, the tiding of grievous suffering [in the life to come].
[As against this,] verily, those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds shall have gardens of bliss,
to abide therein in accordance with God’s true promise: for He alone is almighty, truly wise.
He [it is who] has created the skies without any supports that you could see, and has placed firm mountains upon the earth, lest it sway with you, and has caused all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon. And We send down water from the skies, and thus We cause every noble kind [of life] to grow on earth.
[All] this is God’s creation: show Me, then, what others than He may have created! Nay, but the evildoers are obviously lost in error!
and, indeed, we granted this wisdom unto Luqman: “Be grateful unto God - for he who is grateful [unto Him] is but grateful for the good of his own self; whereas he who chooses to be ungrateful [ought to know that], verily, God is self-sufficient, ever to be praised!”
And, lo, Luqman spoke thus unto his son, admonishing him: “O my dear son! Do not ascribe divine powers to aught beside God: for, behold, such [a false] ascribing of divinity is indeed an awesome wrong!
“And [God says:] ‘We have enjoined upon man goodness towards his parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his utter dependence on her lasted two years: [hence, O man,] be grateful towards Me and towards thy parents, [and remember that] with Me is all journeys’ end.
“‘[Revere thy parents;] yet should they endeavour to make thee ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which thy mind cannot accept [as divine], obey them not; but [even then] bear them company in this world’s life with kindness, and follow the path of those who turn towards Me. In the end, unto Me you all must return; and thereupon I shall make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life].’
“O my dear son,” [continued Luqman,] “verily, if there be but the weight of a mustard-seed, and though it be [hidden] in a rock, or in the skies, or in the earth, God will bring it to light: for, behold, God is unfathomable [in His wisdom], all-aware
“O my dear son! Be constant in prayer, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and bear in patience whatever [ill] may befall thee: this, behold, is something to set one’s heart upon!
“And turn not thy cheek away from people in [false] pride, and walk not haughtily on earth: for, behold, God does not love anyone who, out of self- conceit, acts in a boastful manner.
“Hence, be modest in thy bearing, and lower thy voice: for, behold, the ugliest of all voices is the [loud] voice of asses…”
ARE YOU NOT aware that God has made subservient to you all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and has lavished upon you His blessings, both outward and inward? And yet, among men there is many a one that argues about God without having any knowledge [of Him], without any guidance, and without any light-giving revelation;
and when such [people] are told to follow that which God has bestowed from on high, they answer, “Nay, we shall follow that which we found our forefathers believing in and doing!” Why - [would you follow your forefathers] even if Satan had invited them unto the suffering of the blazing flame?
Now whoever surrenders his whole being unto God, and is a doer of good withal, has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing: for with God rests the final outcome of all events.
But as for him who is bent on denying the truth - let not his denial grieve thee: unto Us they must return, and then We shall make them [truly] understand all that they were doing [in life]: for, verily, God has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men].
We will let them enjoy themselves for a short while - but in the end We shall drive them into suffering severe.
AND THUS it is [with most people]: if thou ask them, “Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth?” - they will surely answer, “God.” Say: “[Then you ought to know that] all praise is due to God!”- for most of them do not know [what this implies].
Unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth. Verily, God alone is self-sufficient, the One to whom all praise is due!
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.
[For Him,] the creation of you all and the resurrection of you all is but like [the creation and resurrection of] a single soul: for, verily, God is all-hearing, all-seeing.
Art thou not aware that it is God who makes the night grow longer by shortening the day, and makes the day grow longer by shortening the night, and that He has made the sun and the moon subservient [to His laws], each running its course for a term set [by Him] and that God is fully aware of all that you do?
Thus it is, because God alone is the Ultimate Truth, so that all that men invoke instead of Him is sheer falsehood; and because God alone is exalted, truly great!
Art thou not aware how the ships speed through the sea by God’s favour, so that He might show you some of His wonders? Herein, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are wholly patient in adversity and deeply grateful [to God].
For [thus it is with most men:] when the waves engulf them like shadows [of death], they call unto God, sincere [at that moment] in their faith in Him alone: but as soon as He has brought them safe ashore, some of them stop half-way [between belief and unbelief] Yet none could knowingly reject Our messages unless he be utterly perfidious, ingrate.
O MEN! Be conscious of your Sustainer, and stand in awe of the Day on which no parent will be of any avail to his child, nor a child will in the least avail his parent! Verily, God’s promise [of resurrection] is true indeed: let not, then, the life of this world deludes you, and let not [your own] deceptive thoughts about God delude you!
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.