O men! Be conscious of your Sustainer: for, verily the violent convulsion of the Last Hour will be an awesome thing!
On the Day when you behold it, every woman that feeds a child at her breast will utterly forget her nursling, and every woman heavy with child will bring forth her burden [before her time]; and it will seem to thee that all mankind is drunk, although they will not be drunk - but vehement will be [their dread of] God’s chastisement.
And yet, among men there is many a one who argues about God without having any knowledge [of Him], and follows every rebellious satanic force
about which it has been decreed that whoever entrusts himself to it, him will it lead astray and guide towards the suffering of the blazing flame!
O MEN! If you are in doubt as to the [truth of] resurrection, [remember that,] verily, We have created [every one of] you out of dust, then out of a drop of sperm, then out of a germ-cell, then out of an embryonic lump complete [in itself] and yet incomplete so that We might make [your origin] clear unto you. And whatever We will [to be born] We cause to rest in the [mothers’] wombs for a term set [by Us], and then We bring you forth as infants and [allow you to live] so that [some of] you might attain to maturity: for among you are such as are caused to die [in childhood], just as many a one of you is reduced in old age to a most abject state, ceasing to know anything of what he once knew so well. And [if, O man, thou art still in doubt as to resurrection, consider this:] thou canst see the earth dry and lifeless - and [suddenly,] when We send down waters upon it, it stirs and swells and puts forth every kind of lovely plant!
All this [happens] because God alone is the Ultimate Truth, and because He alone brings the dead to life, and because He has the power to will anything.
And [know, O man] that the Last Hour is bound to come, beyond any doubt, and that God will [indeed] resurrect all who are in their graves.
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 –
scornfully turning aside [from the truth] so as to lead [others] astray from the path of God. Disgrace [of the spirit] is in store for him in this world; and on the Day of Resurrection We shall make him taste suffering through fire;
[and he shall be told:] “This is an outcome of what thine own hands have wrought - for, never does God do the least wrong to His creatures!”
And there is, too, among men many a one who worships God on the border-line [of faith]: thus, if good befalls him, he is satisfied with Him; but if a trial assails him, he turns away utterly, losing [thereby both] this world and the life to come: [and] this, indeed, is a loss beyond compare!
[By behaving thus,] he invokes, instead of God, something that can neither harm nor benefit him: [and] this is indeed the utmost one can go astray.
[And sometimes] he invokes [another human being] one that is far more likely to cause harm than benefit: vile, indeed, is such a patron and vile the follower!
VERILY, God will admit those who have attained to faith and have done righteous deeds into gardens through which running waters flow: for, behold, God does whatever He wills.
If anyone thinks that God will not succour him in this world and in the life to come, let him reach out unto heaven by any [other] means and [thus try to] make headway: and then let him see whether this scheme of his will indeed do away with the cause of his anguish.
And thus have We bestowed from on high this [divine writ] in the shape of clear messages: for [thus it is] that God guides him who wills [to be guided].
Verily, as for those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], and those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Sabians, and the Christians, and the Magians, [on the one hand,] and those who are bent on ascribing divinity to aught but God, [on the other,] verily, God will decide between them on Resurrection Day: for, behold, God is witness unto everything.
ART THOU NOT aware that before God prostrate themselves all [things and beings] that are in the heavens and all that are on earth the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the beasts? And many human beings [submit to God consciously], whereas many [others, having defied Him,] will inevitably have to suffer [in the life to come]; and he whom God shall scorn [on Resurrection Day] will have none who could bestow honour on him: for, verily, God does what He wills.
These two contrary kinds of man have become engrossed in contention about their Sustainer! But [thus it is:] as for those who are bent on denying the truth garments of fire shall be cut out for them [in the life to come]; burning despair will be poured over their heads,
causing all that is within their bodies, as well as the skins, to melt away.
And they shall be held [in this state as if] by iron grips;
and every time they try in their anguish to come out of it, they shall be returned thereto and [be told]: “Taste suffering through fire [to the full]!”
[As against this,] behold, God will admit those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds into gardens through which running waters flow, wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and where silk will be their raiment:
for they were [willing to be] guided towards the best of all tenets, and so they were guided onto the way that leads to the One unto whom all praise is due.
BEHOLD, as for those who are bent on denying the truth and bar [others] from the path of God and from the Inviolable House of Worship which We have set up for all people alike - [both] those who dwell there and those who come from abroad - and all who seek to profane it by [deliberate] evildoing: [all] such shall We cause to taste grievous suffering in the life to come.]
For, when We assigned unto Abraham the site of this Temple, [We said unto him:] “Do not ascribe divinity to aught beside Me!” and: “Purify My Temple for those who will walk around it, and those who will stand before it [in meditation], and those who will bow down and prostrate themselves [in prayer].”
Hence, [O Muhammad,] proclaim thou unto all people the [duty of] pilgrimage: they will come unto thee on foot and on every [kind of] fast mount, coming from every far-away point [on earth],
so that they might experience much that shall be of benefit to them, and that they might extol the name of God on the days appointed [for sacrifice], over whatever heads of cattle He may have provided for them [to this end]: eat, then, thereof, and feed the unfortunate poor.
Thereafter let them bring to an end their state of self-denial, and let them fulfill the vows which they [may] have made, and let them walk [once again] around the Most Ancient Temple.
All this [is ordained by God]; and if one houours God’s sacred commandments, it will redound to his own good in his Sustainer’s sight. And all [kinds of] cattle have been made lawful to you [for sacrifice and food], save what is mentioned to you [as forbidden]. Shun, then, [all that God has forbidden and, most of all,] the loathsome evil of idolatrous beliefs and practices; and shun every word that is untrue,
[inclining] towards God, [and] turning away from all that is false, without ascribing divine qualities to aught beside Him: for he who ascribes divinity to aught but God is like one who is hurtling down from the skies - whereupon the birds carry him off, or the wind blows him away onto a far-off place.
This is [to be borne in mind]. And anyone who honours the symbols set up by God [shall know that] verily, these [symbols derive their value] from the God-consciousness in the [believers’] hearts.
In that [God-consciousness] you shall find benefits until a term set [by Him is fulfilled], and [you shall know that] its goal and end is the Most Ancient Temple.
And [thus it is:] unto every community [that has ever believed in Us] have We appointed [sacrifice as] an act of worship, so that they might extol the name of God over whatever heads of cattle He may have provided for them [to this end]. And (always bear in mind:) your God is the One and Only God: hence, surrender yourselves unto Him. And give thou the glad tiding [of God’s acceptance] unto all who are humble –
all whose hearts tremble with awe whenever God is mentioned, and all who patiently bear whatever ill befalls them, and all who are constant in prayer and spend on others out of what We provide for them as sustenance.
And as for the sacrifice of cattle, We have ordained it for you as one of the symbols set up by God, in which there is [much] good for you. Hence, extol the name of God over them when they are lined up [for sacrifice]; and after they have fallen lifeless to the ground, eat of their flesh, and feed the poor who is contented with his lot (and does not beg), as well as him who is forced to beg. It is to this end that We have made them subservient to your needs, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
[But bear in mind:] never does their flesh reach God, and neither their blood: it is only your God-consciousness that reaches Him. It is to this end that We have made them subservient to your needs, so that you might glorify God for all the guidance with which He has graced you. And give thou this glad tiding unto the doers of good:
Verily, God will ward off [all evil] from those who attain to faith; [and,] verily, God does not love anyone who betrays his trust and is bereft of gratitude.
PERMISSION [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged and, verily, God has indeed the power to succour them -:
those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying. “Our Sustainer is God!” For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, all] monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques - in [all of] which Gods name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed [ere now]. And God will most certainly succour him who succours His cause: for, verily, God is most powerful, almighty,
[well aware of] those who, [even] if We firmly establish them on earth, remain constant in prayer, and give in charity, and enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong; but with God rests the final outcome of all events.
AND IF THEY [who are bent on denying the truth] give thee the lie, [O Muhammad, remember that, long] before their time, the people of Noah and [the tribes of] Ad and Thamud gave the lie [to their prophets],
as did the people of Abraham, and the people of Lot,
and the dwellers of Madyan; and [so, too,] Moses was given the lie [by Pharaoh]. And [in every ease] I gave rein, for a while, to the deniers of the truth: but then I took them to task - and how awesome was My denial [of them,]!
And how many a township have We destroyed because it had been immersed in evildoing - and now they [all] lie deserted, with their roofs caved in! And how many a well lies abandoned, and how many a castle that [once] stood high!
Have they, then, never journeyed about the earth, letting their hearts gain wisdom, and causing their ears to hear? Yet, verily, it is not their eyes that have become blind - but blind have become the hearts that are in their breasts!
And [so, O Muhammad,] they challenge thee to hasten the coming upon them of [God’s] chastisement: but God never fails to fulfill His promise - and, behold, in thy Sustainer’s sight a day is like a thousand years of your reckoning.
And to how many a community that was immersed in evildoing have I given rein for a while! But then I took it to task: for with Me is all journeys’ end!
SAY [O Muhammad]: “O men! I am but a plain warner [sent by God] unto you!”
And [know that] those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds shall be granted forgiveness of sins and a most excellent sustenance;
whereas those who strive against Our messages, seeking to defeat their purpose - they are destined for the blazing fire.
Yet whenever We sent forth any apostle or prophet before thee, and he was hoping [that his warnings would be heeded], Satan would cast an aspersion on his innermost aims: but God renders null and void whatever aspersion Satan may cast; and God makes His messages clear in and by themselves for God is all-knowing, wise.
[And He allows doubts to arise] so that He might cause whatever aspersion Satan may cast [against His prophets] to become a trial for all in whose hearts is disease and all whose hearts are hardened: for, verily, all who are [thus] sinning [against themselves] are most deeply in the wrong.
And [God renders Satan’s aspersions null and void] so that they who are endowed with [innate] knowledge might know that this [divine writ] is the truth from thy Sustainer, and that they aught believe in it, and that their hearts might humbly submit unto Him. For, behold, God does guide onto a straight way those who have attained to faith –
whereas those who are bent on denying the truth will not cease to be in doubt about Him until the Last Hour comes suddenly upon them and [supreme] suffering befalls them on a Day void of all hope.
On that Day, all dominion shall [visibly] belong to God, He shall judge [all men and make a distinction] between them: thus, all who had attained to faith and did righteous deeds shall find themselves in gardens of bliss,
whereas for those who were bent on denying the truth and gave the lie to Our messages, there shall be shameful suffering in store.
AND AS FOR those who forsake the domain of evil (and strive) in God’s cause, and then are slain or die - God will most certainly provide for them a goodly sustenance [in the life to come] for, verily, God - He alone - is the best of providers;
[and] He will most certainly cause them to enter upon a state (of being) that shall please them well: for, verily, God is all-knowing, most forbearing.
Thus shall it be. And as for him who responds to aggression only to the extent of the attack levelled against him, and is thereupon [again] treacherously attacked - God will most certainly succour him: for, behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.
Thus it is, because God [is almighty the One who] makes the night grow longer by shortening the day, and makes the day grow longer by shortening the night; and because God is all-hearing, all-seeing.
Thus it is, because God alone is the Ultimate Truth, so that all that men invoke beside Him is sheer falsehood, and because God alone is exalted, great!
Art thou not aware that it’s God who sends down water from the skies, whereupon the earth becomes green? Verily, God is unfathomable [in His wisdom], all-aware.
Unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and, verily, God - He alone - is self-sufficient, the One to whom all praise is due.
Art thou not aware that it is God who has made subservient to you all that is on earth, and the ships that sail through the sea at His behest - and [that it is He who] holds the celestial bodies [in their orbits], so that they may not fall upon the earth otherwise than by His leave? Verily, God is most compassionate towards men, a dispenser of grace –
seeing that it is He who gave you life, and then will cause you to die, and then will bring you back to life: [but,] verily, bereft of all gratitude is man!
UNTO every community have We appointed [different] ways of worship, which they ought to observe. Hence, [O believer,] do not let those [who follow ways other than thine] draw thee into disputes on this score, but summon [them all] unto thy Sustainer: for, behold, thou art indeed on the right way.
And if they [try to] argue with thee, say [only]: “God knows best what you are doing.”
[For, indeed,] God will judge between you [all] on Resurrection Day with regard to all on which you were wont to differ.
Dost thou not know that God knows all that occurs in heaven as well as on earth? All this, behold, is in [God’s] record: verily, [to know] all this is easy for God.
And yet they [who claim to believe in Him often] worship [other beings or forces] beside God - something for which He has never bestoweed any warrant from on high, and [of the reality] whereof they cannot have any knowledge: and such evildoers shall have none to succour them [on Judgment Day].
As it is, whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, thou canst perceive utter repugnance on the faces of those who are bent on denying the truth: they would almost assault those who convey Our messages unto them! Say: “Shall I, then, tell you of something worse than what you feel at present? It is the fire [of the hereafter] that God has promised to those who are bent on denying the truth: and how vile a journey’s end!”
O MEN! A parable is set forth [herewith]; hearken, then, to it! Behold, those beings whom you invoke instead of God cannot create [as much as] a fly, even were they to join all their forces to that end! And if a fly robs them of anything, they cannot [even] rescue it from him! Weak indeed is the seeker, and [weak] the sought!
No true understanding of God have they [who err in this way]: for, verily, God is most powerful, almighty!
[In His almightiness,] God chooses message-bearers from among the angels as well as from among men. But, behold, God [alone] is all-hearing, all-seeing:
[whereas their knowledge is limited,] He knows all that lies open before them and all that is hidden from them for all things go back to God [as their source].
O YOU who have attained to faith! Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Sustainer [alone], and do good, so that you might attain to a happy state!
And strive hard in God’s cause with all the striving that is due to Him: it is He who has elected you [to carry His message], and has laid no hardship on you in [anything that pertains to religion, [and made you follow] the creed of your forefather Abraham. It is He who has named you in bygone times as well as in this [divine writ] – “those who have surrendered themselves to God”, so that the Apostle might bear witness to the truth before you, and that you might bear witness to it before all mankind. Thus, be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and hold fast unto God. He is your Lord Supreme: and how excellent is this Lord Supreme, and how excellent this Giver of Succour!