ALL PRAISE is due to God, to whom all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth belongs; and to Him will be due all praise in the life to come. For He alone is truly wise, all-aware:
He knows all that enters the earth, and all that comes out of it, as well as all that descends from the skies, and all that ascends to them. And He alone is a dispenser of grace, truly-forgiving.
And yet, they who are bent on denying the truth assert, “Never will the Last Hour come upon us!” Say: “Nay, by my Sustainer! By Him who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being’s perception: it will most certainly come upon you!” Not an atom’s weight [of whatever there is] in the heavens or on earth escapes His knowledge; and neither is there anything smaller than that, or larger, but is recorded in [His] clear decree,
to the end that He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds: [for] it is they whom forgiveness of sins awaits, and a most excellent sustenance
whereas for those who strive against Our messages, seeking to defeat their purpose, there is grievous suffering in store as an outcome of [their] vileness.
NOW THEY who are endowed with [innate] knowledge are well aware that whatever has been bestowed upon thee from on high by thy Sustainer is indeed the truth, and that it guides onto the way that leads to the Almighty, the One to whom all praise is due!
As against this, they who are bent on denying the truth say [unto all who are of like mind]: “Shall we point out to you a man who will tell you that [after your death,] when you will have been scattered in countless fragments, you shall - lo and behold! - be [restored to life] in a new act of creation?
Does he [knowingly] attribute his own lying inventions to God - or is he a madman?” Nay, [there is no madness in this Prophet -] but they who will not believe in the life to come are [bound to lose themselves] in suffering and in a profound aberration.
Are they, then, not aware of how little of the sky and the earth lies open before them, and how much is hidden from them? [or that,] if We so willed, We could cause the earth to swallow them, or cause fragments of the sky to fall down upon them? In all this, behold, there is a message indeed for every servant [of God] who is wont to turn unto Him [in repentance].
AND [thus], indeed, did We grace David with Our favour: “O you mountains! Sing with him the praise of God! And [likewise] you birds!” And We softened all sharpness in him,
[and inspired him thus:] “Do good deeds lavishly, without stint, and give deep thought to their steady flow.” And [thus should you all, O believers,] do righteous deeds: for, verily, I see all that you do!
AND UNTO Solomon [We made subservient] the wind: its morning course [covered the distance of] a month’s journey, and its evening course, a month’s journey. And We caused a fountain of molten copper to flow at his behest; and [even] among the invisible beings there were some that had [been constrained] to labour for him by his Sustainer’s leave and whichever of them deviated from Our command, him would We let taste suffering through a blazing flame -:
they made for him whatever he wished of sanctuaries, and statues, and basins as [large as] great watering - troughs, and cauldrons firmly anchored. [And We said:] “Labour, O David’s people, in gratitude [towards Me] and [remember that] few are the truly grateful [even] among My servants!”
Yet [even Solomon had to die; but] when We decreed that he should die, nothing showed them that he was dead except an earthworm that gnawed away his staff. And when he fell to the ground, those invisible beings [subservient to him] saw clearly that, had they but understood the reality which was beyond the reach of their perception, they would not have continued [to toil] in the shameful suffering [of servitude]
INDEED, in [the luxuriant beauty of] their homeland, the people of Sheba had an evidence [of God’s grace] two [vast expanses of] gardens, to the right and to the left, [calling out to them, as it were:] “Eat of what your Sustainer has provided for you, and render thanks unto Him: a land most goodly, and a Sustainer much-forgiving!”
But they turned away [from Us], and so We let loose upon them a flood that overwhelmed the dams, and changed their two [expanses of luxuriant] gardens into a couple of gardens yielding bitter fruit, and tamarisks, and some few [wild] lote-trees:
thus We requited them for their having denied the truth. But do We ever requite [thus] any but the utterly ingrate?
Now [before their downfall,] We had placed between them and the cities which We had blessed [many] towns within sight of one another; and thus We had made traveling easy [for them, as if to say]: “Travel safely in this [land], by night or by day!”
But now they would say, “Long has our Sustainer made the distance between our journey- stages!” - for they had sinned against themselves. And in the end We caused them to become [one of those] tales [of things long past], and scattered them in countless fragments. Herein, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are wholly patient in adversity and deeply grateful [to God].
Now, indeed, Iblis did prove that his opinion of them had been right: for [when he called them,] they followed him - all but some of the believers [among them].
And yet, he had no power at all over them: [for if We allow him to tempt man,] it is only to the end that We might make a clear distinction between those who [truly] believe in the life to come and those who are in doubt thereof: for thy Sustainer watches over all things.
SAY: “Call upon those [beings] whom you imagine [to be endowed with divine powers] beside God: they have not an atom’s weight of power either in the heavens or on earth, nor have they any share in [governing] either, nor does He [choose to] have any helper from among them.”
And, before Him, intercession can be of no avail [to any] save one in whose case He may have granted leave [there for]: so much so that when the terror [of the Last Hour] is lifted from their hearts, they [who have been resurrected] will ask [one another], “What has your Sustainer decreed [for you]?” - [to which] the others will answer, “Whatever is true and deserved - for He alone is exalted, great!”
Say: “Who is it that provides for you sustenance out of the heavens and the earth?” Say: “It is God. And, behold, either we [who believe in Him] or you [who deny His oneness] are on the right path, or have clearly gone astray!”
Say: “Neither shall you be called to account for whatever we may have become guilty of, nor shall we be called to account for whatever you are doing.”
Say: “Our Sustainer will bring us all together [on Judgment Day], and then He will lay open the truth between us, in justice - for He alone is the One who opens all truth, the All-Knowing!”
Say: “Point out to me those [beings] that you have joined with Him [in your minds] as partners [in His divinity]! Nay - nay, but He [alone] is God, the Almighty, the Wise!”
NOW [as for thee, O Muhammad,] We have not sent thee otherwise than to mankind at large, to be a herald of glad tidings and a warner; but most people do not understand [this],
and so they ask, “When is this promise [of resurrection and judgment] to be fulfilled? [Answer this, O you who believe in it,] if you are men of truth!”
Say: “There has been appointed for you a Day, which you can neither delay nor advance by a single moment.”
And [yet,] those who are bent on denying the truth do say, “We shall never believe in this Qur’an, and neither in whatever there still remains of earlier revelations!” But if thou couldst only see [how it will be on Judgment Day,] when these evildoers shall be made to stand before their Sustainer, hurling reproaches back and forth at one another! Those [of them] who had been weak [on earth] will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance: “Had it not been for you, we would certainly have been believers!”
[And] those who were wont to glory in their arrogance will say unto those who had been weak: “Why - did we keep you [forcibly] from following the right path after it had become obvious to you? Nay, it was but you [yourselves] who were guilty!”
But those who had been weak will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance: “Nay, [what kept us away was your] devising of false arguments, night and day, [against God’s messages- as you did] when you persuaded us to blaspheme against God and to claim that there are powers that could rival Him!” And when they see the suffering [that awaits them], they will [all] be unable to express [the full depth of] their remorse: for We shall have put shackles around the necks of those who had been bent on denying the truth: [and] will this be aught but a [just] requital for what they were doing?
For [thus it is:] whenever We sent a warner to any community, those of its people who had lost themselves entirely in the pursuit of pleasures would declare, “Behold, we deny that there is any truth in [what you claim to be] your message!” –
and they would add, “Richer [than you] are we in wealth and in children, and [so] we are not going to be made to suffer!”
Say: “Behold, my Sustainer grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills: but most men do not understand [God’s ways].”
For, it is neither your riches nor your children that can bring you nearer to Us: only he who attains to faith and does what is right and just [comes near unto Us]; and it is [such as] these whom multiple recompense awaits for all that they have done; and it is they who shall dwell secure in the mansions [of paradise] –
whereas all who strive against Our messages, seeking to defeat their purpose, shall be given over to suffering.
Say: “Behold, my Sustainer grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills of His servants; and whatever it be that you spend on others, He [always] replaces it: for He is the best of providers.”
And [as for those who now deny the truth,] one Day He will gather them all together, and will ask the angels, “Was it you that they were wont to worship?”
They will answer: “Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Thou [alone] art close unto us, not they! Nay, [when they thought that they were worshipping us,] they were but [blindly] worshipping forces concealed from their senses; most of them believed in them.”
And [on that Day God will say]: “None of you [created beings] has today any power to benefit or to harm another!” And [then] We shall say unto those who had been bent on evildoing: “Taste [now] that suffering through fire which you were wont to call a lie!”
For [thus it is:] whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, they [who are bent on denying the truth] say [to one another], “This [Muhammad] is nothing but a man who wants to turn you away from what your forefathers were wont to worship!” And they say, “This [Qur’an] is nothing but a falsehood invented [by man]!” And [finally,] they who are bent on denying the truth speak thus of the truth when it comes to them: “This is clearly nothing but spellbinding eloquence!”
And yet, [O Muhammad,] never have We vouchsafed them any revelations which they could quote, and neither have We sent unto them any warner before thee.
Thus, too, gave the lie to the truth [many of] those who lived before them; and although those [earlier people] had not attained to even a tenth of [the evidence of the truth] which We have vouchsafed unto these [late successors of theirs], yet when they gave the lie to My apostles, how awesome was My rejection!
Say: “I counsel you one thing only: Be [ever conscious of] standing before God, whether you are in the company of others or alone; and then bethink yourselves [that] there is no madness in [this prophet,] your fellow-man: he is only a warner to you of suffering severe to come.”
Say: “No reward have I ever asked of you [out of anything] that is yours: my reward rests with none but God, and He is witness unto everything!”
Say: “Verily, my Sustainer hurls the truth [against all that is false] He who fully knows all the things that are beyond the reach of a created being’s perception!”
Say: “The truth has now come [to light, and falsehood is bound to wither away]: for, falsehood cannot bring forth anything new, nor can it bring back [what has passed away].”
Say: “Were I to go astray, I would but go astray [due to my own self, and] to the hurt of myself; but if I am on the right path, it is but by virtue of what my Sustainer reveals unto me: for, verily, He is all-hearing, ever-near!”
IF THOU couldst but see [how the deniers of the truth will fare on Resurrection Day,] when they will shrink in terror, with nowhere to escape - since they will have been seized from so close nearby
and will cry, “We do [now] believe in it!” But how can they [hope to] attain [to salvation] from so far away,
seeing that aforetime they had been bent on denying the truth, and had been wont to cast scorn, from far away, on something that was beyond the reach of human perception?
And so, a barrier will be set between them and all that they had [ever] desired, as will be done to such of their kind as lived before their time: for, behold, they [too] were lost in doubt amounting to suspicion.