PROPHET! Remain conscious of God, and defer not to the deniers of the truth and the hypocrites: for God is truly all-knowing, wise.
And follow [but] that which comes unto thee through revelation from thy Sustainer: for God is truly aware of all that you do, [O men].
And place thy trust in God [alone]: for none is as worthy of trust as God.
NEVER has God endowed any man with two hearts in one body: and [just as] He has never made your wives whom you may have declared to be “as unlawful to you as your mothers’ bodies” [truly] your mothers, so, too, has He never made your adopted sons [truly] your sons: these are but [figures of] speech uttered by your mouths - whereas God speaks the [absolute] truth: and it is He alone who can show [you] the right path.
[As for your adopted children,] call them by their [real] fathers’ names: this is more equitable in the sight of God; and if you know not who their fathers were, [call them] your brethren in faith and your friends. However, you will incur no sin if you err in this respect: [what really matters is] but what your hearts intend - for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
The Prophet has a higher claim on the believers than [they have on] their own selves, [seeing that he is as a father to them] and his wives are their mothers: and they who are [thus] closely related have, in accordance with God’s decree, a higher claim upon one another than [was even the case between] the believers [of Yathrib] and those who had migrated [there for the sake of God]. None the less, you are to act with utmost goodness towards your [other] close friends as well: this [too] is written down in God’s decree.
AND LO! We did accept a solemn pledge from all the prophets from thee, [O Muhammad,] as well as from Noah, and Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary -: for We accepted a most weighty, solemn pledge from [all of] them,
so that [at the end of time] He might ask those men of truth as to [what response] their truthfulness [had received on earth]. And grievous suffering has He readied for all who deny the truth!
O YOU who have attained to faith! Call to mind the blessings which God bestowed on you (at the time) when [enemy] hosts came down upon you, whereupon We let loose against them a storm wind and [heavenly] hosts that you could not see: yet God saw all that you did.
[Remember what you felt] when they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when [your] eyes became dim and [your] hearts came up to [your] throats, and [when] most conflicting thoughts about God passed through your minds:
[for] there and then were the believers tried, and shaken with a shock severe.
And [remember how it was] when the hypocrites and those with hearts diseased said [to one another], “God and His Apostle have promised us nothing but delusions!”
and when some of them said, “O you people of Yathrib! You cannot withstand [the enemy] here: hence, go back [to your homes]!” — Whereupon a party from among them asked leave of the Prophet, saying, “Behold, our houses are exposed [to attack]!” — The while they were not [really] exposed: they wanted nothing but to flee.
Now if their town had been stormed, and they had been asked [by the enemy] to commit apostasy, [the hypocrites] would have done so without much delay
although ere that they had vowed before God that they would never turn their backs [on His message]: and a vow made to God must surely be answered for!
Say: “Whether you flee from [natural] death or from being slain [in battle], flight will not profit you - for, however you fare, you are not [allowed] to enjoy life for more than a little while!”
Say: “Who is there that could keep you away from God if it be His will to harm you, or if it be His will to show you mercy?” For, [do they not know that] besides God they can find none to protect them, and none to bring them succour?
God is indeed aware of those of you who would divert others [from fighting in His cause], as well as of those who say to their brethren, “Come hither to us [and face the enemy]!” — The while they [themselves] join battle but seldom,
begrudging you all help. But then, when danger threatens, thou canst see them looking to thee [for help, O Prophet], their eyes rolling [in terror] like [the eyes of] one who is overshadowed by death: yet as soon as the danger has passed, they will assail you [believers] with sharp tongues, begrudging you all that is good! [People like] these have never known faith - and therefore God will cause all their works to come to nought: for this is indeed easy for God.
They think that the Confederates have not [really] withdrawn; and should the Confederates return, these [hypocrites] would prefer to be in the desert, among the bedouin, asking for news about you, [O believers, from far away;] and even were they to find themselves in your midst, they would but make a pretence at fighting [by your side].
VERILY, in the Apostle of God you have a good example for everyone who looks forward [with hope and awe] to God and the Last Day, and remembers God unceasingly.
And [so,] when the believers saw the Confederates [advancing against them], they said, “This is what God and His Apostle have promised us!”- and, “Truly spoke God and His Apostle!” and all this but increased their faith and their readiness to surrender themselves unto God.
Among the believers are men who have [always] been true to what they have vowed before God; and among them are such as have [already] redeemed their pledge by death, and such as yet await [its fulfillment] without having changed [their resolve] in the least.
[Such trials are imposed upon man] so that God may reward the truthful for having been true to their word, and cause the hypocrites to suffer - if that be His will - or [if they repent,] accept their repentance: for, verily, God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
Thus, for all their fury, God repulsed those who were bent on denying the truth; no advantage did they gain, since God was enough to [protect] the believers in battle - seeing that God is most powerful, almighty;
and He brought down from their strongholds those of the followers of earlier revelation who had aided the aggressors, and cast terror into their hearts: some you slew, and some you made captive;
and He made you heirs to their lands, and their houses, and their goods - and [promised you] lands on which you had never yet set foot: for God has indeed the power to will anything.
O PROPHET! Say unto thy wives: “If you desire [but] the life of this world and its charms - well, then, I shall provide for you and release you in a becoming manner;
but if you desire God and His Apostle, and [thus the good of] the life in the hereafter, then [know that], verily, for the doers of good among you God has readied a mighty reward!”
O wives of the Prophet! If any of you were to become guilty of manifestly immoral conduct, double [that of other sinners] would be her suffering [in the hereafter]: for that is indeed easy for God.
But if any of you devoutly obeys God and His Apostle and does good deeds, on her shall We bestow her reward twice-over: for We shall have readied for her a most excellent sustenance [in the life to come].
O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any of the [other] women, provided that you remain [truly] conscious of God. Hence, be not over-soft in your speech, lest any whose heart is diseased should be moved to desire [you]: but, withal, speak in a kindly way.
And abide quietly in your homes, and do not flaunt your charms as they used to flaunt them in the old days of pagan ignorance; and be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle: for God only wants to remove from you all that might be loathsome, O you members of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you to utmost purity.
And bear in mind all that is recited in your homes of God’s messages and [His] wisdom: for God is unfathomable [in His wisdom], all-aware.
VERILY, for all men and women who have surrendered themselves unto God, and all believing men and believing women, and all truly devout men and truly devout women, and all men and women who are true to their word, and all men and women who are patient in adversity, and all men and women who humble themselves [before God], and all men and women who give in charity, and all self-denying men and self-denying women, and all men and women who are mindful of their chastity, and all men and women who remember God unceasingly: for [all of] them has God readied forgiveness of sins and a mighty reward.
Now whenever God and His Apostle have decided a matter, it is not for a believing man or a believing woman to claim freedom of choice insofar as they themselves are concerned: for he who [thus] rebels against God and His Apostle has already, most obviously, gone astray.
AND LO, [O Muhammad,] thou didst say unto the one to whom God had shown favour and to whom thou hadst shown favour, “Hold on to thy wife, and remain conscious of God!” And [thus] wouldst thou hide within thyself something that God was about to bring to light for thou didst stand in awe of [what] people [might think], whereas it was God alone of whom thou shouldst have stood in awe! [But] then, when Zayd had come to the end of his union with her, We gave her to thee in marriage, so that [in future] no blame should attach to the believers for [marrying] the spouses of their adopted children when the latter have come to the end of their union with them. And [thus] God’s will was done.
[Hence,] no blame whatever attaches to the Prophet for [having done] what God has ordained for him. [Indeed, such was] God’s way with those that have passed away aforetime and [remember that] God’s will is always destiny absolute-;
[and such will always be His way with] those who convey God’s messages [to the world], and stand in awe of Him, and hold none but God in awe: for none can take count [of man’s doings] as God does!
[And know, O believers, that] Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but is God’s Apostle and the Seal of all Prophets. And God has indeed full knowledge of everything.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Remember God with unceasing remembrance,
and extol His limitless glory from morn to evening.
He it is who bestows His blessings upon you, with His angels [echoing Him], so that He might take you out of the depths of darkness into the light. And, indeed, a dispenser of grace is He unto the believers.
On the Day when they meet Him, they will be welcomed with the greeting, “Peace”; and He will have readied for them a most excellent reward.
[And as for thee,] O Prophet - behold, We have sent thee as a witness [to the truth], and as a herald of glad tidings and a warner,
and as one who summons [all men] to God by His leave, and as a light-giving beacon.
And [so,] convey to the believers the glad tiding that a great bounty from God awaits them;
and defer not to [the likes and dislikes of] the deniers of the truth and the hypocrites, and disregard their hurtful talk, and place thy trust in God: for none is as worthy of trust as God.
O YOU who have attained to faith! If you marry believing women and then divorce them ere you have touched them, you have no reason to expect, and to calculate, any waiting period on their part: hence, make [at once] provision for them, and release them in a becoming manner.
O PROPHET! Behold, We have made lawful to thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowers, as well as those whom thy right hand has come to possess from among the captives of war whom God has bestowed upon thee. And [We have made lawful to thee] the daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and the daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who have migrated with thee [to Yathrib]; and any believing woman who offers herself freely to the Prophet and whom the Prophet might be willing to wed: [this latter being but] a privilege for thee, and not for other believers - [seeing that] We have already made known what We have enjoined upon them with regard to their wives and those whom their right hands may possess. [And] in order that thou be not burdened with [undue] anxiety - for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace –
[know that] thou mayest put off for a time whichever of them thou pleasest, and mayest take unto thee whichever thou pleasest; and [that,] if thou seek out any from whom thou hast kept away [for a time], thou wilt incur no sin [thereby]: this will make it more likely that their eyes are gladdened [whenever they see thee], and that they do not grieve [whenever they are overlooked], and that all of them may find contentment in whatever thou hast to give them: for God [alone] knows what is in your hearts - and God is indeed all-knowing, forbearing.
No [other] women shall henceforth be lawful to thee nor art thou [allowed] to supplant [any of] them by other wives, even though their beauty should please thee greatly -: [none shall be lawful to thee] beyond those whom thou [already] hast come to possess. And God keeps watch over everything.
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not enter the Prophet’s dwellings unless you are given leave; [and when invited] to a meal, do not come [so early as] to wait for it to be readied: but whenever you are invited, enter [at the proper time]; and when you have partaken of the meal, disperse without lingering for the sake of mere talk: that, behold, might give offence to the Prophet, and yet he might feel shy of [asking] you [to leave]: but God is not shy of [teaching you] what is right. And [as for the Prophet’s wives,] whenever you ask them for anything that you need, ask them from behind a screen: this will but deepen the purity of your hearts and theirs. Moreover, it does not behove you to give offence to God’s Apostle - just as it would not behove you ever to marry his widows after he has passed away: that, verily, would be an enormity in the sight of God.
Whether you do anything openly or in secret, [remember that,] verily, God has full knowledge of everything.
[However,] it is no sin for them [to appear freely] before their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their womenfolk, or such [male slaves] as their right hands may possess. But [always, O wives of the Prophet,] remain conscious of God - for, behold, God is witness unto everything.
Verily, God and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender!
Verily, as for those who [knowingly] affront God and His Apostle - God will reject them in this world and in the life to come; and shameful suffering will He ready for them.
And as for those who malign believing men and believing women without their having done any wrong - they surely burden themselves with the guilt of calumny, and [thus] with a flagrant sin!
O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters, as well as all [other] believing women, that they should draw over themselves some of their outer garments [when in public]: this will be more conducive to their being recognized [as decent women] and not annoyed. But [withal,] God is indeed much- forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
THUS IT IS: if the hypocrites, and they in whose hearts is disease, and they who, by spreading false rumours, would cause disturbances in the City [of the Prophet] desist not [from their hostile doings]. We shall indeed give thee mastery over them, [O Muhammad] - and then they will not remain thy neighbours in this [city] for more than a little while:
bereft of God’s grace, they shall be seized wherever they may be found, and slain one and all.
Such has been God’s way with those who [sinned in like manner and] passed away aforetime - and never wilt thou find any change in God’s way!
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!”
Verily, God has rejected the deniers of the truth, and has readied for them a blazing fire,
therein to abide beyond the count of time: no protector will they find, and none to bring them succour.
On the Day when their faces shall be tossed about in the fire, they will exclaim, “Oh, would that we had paid heed unto God, and paid heed unto the Apostle!”
And they will say: “O our Sustainer! Behold, we paid heed unto our leaders and our great men, and it is they who have led us astray from the right path!
O our Sustainer! Give them double suffering, and banish them utterly from Thy grace!”
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be not like those [children of Israel] who gave offence to Moses, and [remember that] God showed him to be innocent of whatever they alleged [against him or demanded of him]: for of great honour was he in the sight of God.
O you who have attained to faith! Remain conscious of God, and [always] speak with a will to bring out [only] what is just and true -
[whereupon] He will cause your deeds to be virtuous, and will forgive you your sins. And [know that] whoever pays heed unto God and His Apostle has already attained to a mighty triumph.
Verily, We did offer the trust [of reason and volition] to the heavens, and the earth, and the mountains: but they refused to bear it because they were afraid of it. Yet man took it up - for, verily, he has always been prone to be most wicked, most foolish.
[And so it is] that God imposes suffering on the hypocrites, both men and women, as well as on the men and women who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him. And [so, too, it is] that God turns in His mercy unto the believing men and believing women: for God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!