CONSIDER this divine writ, clear in itself and clearly showing the truth!
Behold, from on high have We bestowed it on a blessed night: for, verily, We have always been warning [man].
On that [night] was made clear, in wisdom, the distinction between all things [good and evil]
at a behest from Ourselves: for, verily, We have always been sending [Our messages of guidance]
in pursuance of thy Sustainer’s grace [unto man]. Verily, He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing,
the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them - if you could but grasp it with inner certainty!
There is no deity save Him: He grants life and deals death: He is your Sustainer as well as the Sustainer of your forebears of old.
Nay, but they [who lack inner certainty] are but Dying with their doubts.
WAIT, THEN, for the Day when the skies shall bring forth a pall of smoke which will make obvious [the approach of the Last Hour],
enveloping all mankind, [and causing the sinners to exclaim:] “Grievous is this suffering!
O our Sustainer, relieve us of suffering, for, verily, we [now] believe [in Thee]!”
[But] how shall this remembrance avail them [at the Last Hour], seeing that an apostle had previously come unto them, clearly expounding the truth,
whereupon they turned their backs on him and said, “Taught [by others] is he, a madman”?
[Still,] behold, We shall postpone this suffering for a little while, although you are bound to revert [to your evil ways: but]
on the Day when We shall seize [all sinners] with a most mighty onslaught, We shall, verily, inflict Our retribution [on you as well]!
AND, INDEED, [long] before their time did We try Pharaoh’s people [in the same way]: for there came unto them a noble apostle, [who said:]
“Give in unto me, O God’s bondmen! Verily, I am an apostle [sent] unto you, worthy of trust!
“And exalt not yourselves against God: for, verily, I come unto you with a manifest authority [from Him];
and, behold, it is with my Sustainer - and your Sustainer - that I seek refuge against all your endeavours to revile me.
And if you do not believe me, [at least] stand away from me!”
But then, [when they beset him with their enmity,] he called out to his Sustainer, “These are [indeed] people lost in sin!”
And [God said]: “Go thou forth with My servants by night, for you will surely be pursued;
and leave the sea becalmed [between thee and Pharaoh’s men]: for, verily, they are a host destined to be drowned!”
[And so they perished: and] how many gardens did they leave behind, and water-runnels,
and fields of grain, and noble dwellings,
and [all that] life of ease in which they used to delight!
Thus it was. And [then] We made another people heirs [to what they had left],
and neither sky nor earth shed tears over them, nor were they allowed a respite.
And, indeed, We delivered the children of Israel from the shameful suffering
[inflicted on them] by Pharaoh, seeing that he was truly outstanding among those who waste their own selves;
and indeed, We chose them knowingly above all other people,
and gave them such signs [of Our grace] as would clearly presage a test.
[Now,] behold, these [people] say indeed:
“That [which is ahead of us] is but our first [and only] death, and we shall not be raised to life again.
So then, bring forth our forefathers [as witnesses], if what you claim is true!”
Are they, then, better than the people of Tubba and those before them, whom We destroyed because they were truly lost in [the same] sin?
For [thus it is:] We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in mere idle play:
none of this have We created without [an inner] truth: but most of them understand it not.
VERILY, the Day of Distinction [between the true and the false] is the term appointed for all of them:
the Day when no friend shall be of the least avail to his friend, and when none shall be succoured
save those upon whom God will have bestowed His grace and mercy: for, verily, He alone is almighty, a dispenser of grace.
Verily, [in the life to come] the tree of deadly fruit
will be the food of the sinful:
like molten lead will it boil in the belly,
like the boiling of burning despair.
[And the word will be spoken:] “Seize him, [O you forces of hell,] and drag him into the midst of the blazing fire:
then pour over his head the anguish of burning despair!
Taste it - thou who [on earth] hast considered thyself so mighty, so noble!
This is the very thing which you [deniers of the truth] were wont to call in question!”
[As against this -] verily, the God-conscious will find themselves in a state secure,
amid gardens and springs,
wearing [garments] of silk and brocade, facing one another [in love].
Thus shall it be. And We shall pair them with companions pure, most beautiful of eye.
In that [paradise] they shall [rightfully] claim all the fruits [of their past deeds], resting in security;
and neither shall they taste death there after having passed through their erstwhile death. Thus will He have preserved them from all suffering through the blazing fire-
an act of thy Sustainer’s favour: and that, that will be the triumph supreme!
THUS, THEN, [O Prophet,] have We made this [divine writ] easy to understand, in thine own [human] tongue, so that men might take it to heart.
So wait thou [for what the future will bring]: behold, they, too, are waiting.