CONSIDER Mount Sinai!
Consider [God’s] revelation, inscribed
on wide-open scrolls.
Consider the long-enduring house [of worship]!
Consider the vault [of heaven] raised high!
Consider the surf-swollen sea!
VERILY, [O man,] the suffering decreed by thy Sustainer [for the sinners] will indeed come to pass:
there is none who could avert it.
[It will come to pass] on the Day when the skies will be convulsed in [a great] convulsion,
and the mountains will move with [an awesome] movement.
Woe, then, on that Day to all who give the lie to the truth –
all those who [throughout their lives] but idly played with things vain –
on the Day when they shall be thrust into the fire with [an irresistible] thrust, [and will be told:]
“This is the fire which you were wont to call a lie!
Was it, then, a delusion or is it that you failed to see [its truth]?
Endure it [now]! But [whether you] bear yourselves with patience or without patience, it will be the same to you: you are but being requited for what you were wont to do.”
[But,] verily, the God-conscious will find themselves [on that Day] in gardens and in bliss,
rejoicing in all that their Sustainer will have granted them: for their Sustainer will have warded off from them all suffering through the blazing fire.
[And they will be told:] “Eat and drink with good cheer as an outcome of what you were wont to do,
reclining on couches [of happiness] ranged in rows!” And [in that paradise] We shall mate them with companions pure, most beautiful of eye.
And as for those who have attained to faith and whose offspring will have followed them in faith, We shall unite them with their offspring; and We shall not let aught of their deeds go to waste: [but] every human being will be held in pledge for whatever he has earned.
And We shall bestow on them fruit and meat in abundance - whatever they may desire:
and in that [paradise] they shall pass on to one another a cup which will not give rise to empty talk, and neither incite to sin.
And they will be waited upon by [immortal] youths, [as if they were children] of their own, [as pure] as if they were pearls hidden in their shells.
And they [who are thus blest] will turn to one another, asking each other [about their past lives].
They will say: “Behold, aforetime - when we were [still living] in the midst of our kith and kin - we were full of fear [at the thought of God’s displeasure]:
and so God has graced us with His favour, and has warded off from us all suffering through the scorching winds [of frustration].
Verily, we did invoke Him [alone] ere this: [and now He has shown us] that He alone is truly benign, a true dispenser of grace!”
EXHORT, then, [O Prophet, all men:] for, by thy Sustainer’s grace, thou art neither a soothsayer nor a madman.
Or do they say, “[He is but] a poet - let us wait what time will do unto him”?
Say thou: “Wait, [then,] hopefully; behold, I, too, shall hopefully wait with you!”
Is it their minds that bid them [to take] this [attitude] - or are they [simply] people filled with overweening arrogance?
Or do they say, “He himself has composed this [message]”? Nay, but they are not willing to believe!
But then, [if they deem it the work of a mere mortal,] let them produce another discourse like it - if what they say be true!
[Or do they deny the existence of God?] Have they themselves been created without anything [that might have caused their creation]? or were they, perchance, their own creators?
[And] have they created the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no certainty of anything!
[How could they?] Are thy Sustainer’s treasures with them? Or are they in charge [of destiny]?
Or have they a ladder by which they could [ascend to ultimate truths and] listen [to what is beyond the reach of human perception]? Let, then, any of them who have listened [to it] produce a manifest proof [of his knowledge]!
Or, [if you believe in God, how can you believe that] He has [chosen to have] daughters, whereas you yourselves would have [only] sons?
Or is it that [they who reject thy message, O Muhammad, fear lest] thou ask of them a reward, so that they would be burdened with debt [if they should listen to thee]?
Or [do they think] that the hidden reality [of all that exists] is almost within their grasp, so that [in time] they can write it down?
Or do they want to entrap [thee in contradictions]? But they who are bent on denying the truth - it is they who are truly entrapped!
Have they, then, any deity other than God? Utterly remote is God, in His limitless glory, from anything to which men may ascribe a share in His divinity!
AND YET, if they [who refuse to see the truth] were to see part of the sky falling down, they would [only] say, “[It is but] a mass of clouds!”
Hence, leave them alone until they face that [Judgment] Day of theirs, when they will be stricken with terror:
the Day when none of their scheming will be of the least avail to them, and they will receive no succour.
But, verily, for those who are bent on doing evil, there is suffering in store [even] closer at hand than that [supreme suffering in the hereafter]: but most of them are not aware of it.
And so, await in patience thy Sustainer’s judgment, for thou art well within Our sight. And extol thy Sustainer’s limitless glory and praise whenever thou risest up,
and extol His glory at night, and at the time when the stars retreat.