O THOU human being!
Consider this Qur’an full of wisdom:
verily, thou art indeed one of God’s message-bearers,
pursuing a straight way
by [virtue of] what is being bestowed from on high by the Almighty, the Dispenser of Grace,
[bestowed upon thee] so that thou mayest warn people whose forefathers had not been warned, and who therefore are unaware [of the meaning of right and wrong].
Indeed, the word [of God’s condemnation] is bound to come true against most of them: for they will not believe.
Behold, around their necks We have put shackles, reaching up to their chins, so that their heads are forced up;
and We have set a barrier before them and a barrier behind them, and We have enshrouded them in veils so that they cannot see:
thus, it is all one to them whether thou warnest them or dost not warn them: they will not believe.
Thou canst [truly] warn only him who is willing to take the reminder to heart, and who stands in awe of the Most Gracious although He is beyond the reach of human perception: unto such, then, give the glad tiding of [God’s] forgiveness and of a most excellent reward!
Verily, We shall indeed bring the dead back to life; and We shall record whatever [deeds] they have sent ahead, and the traces [of good and evil] which they have left behind: for of all things do We take account in a record clear.
AND SET FORTH unto them a parable - [the story of how] the people of a township [behaved] when [Our] message-bearers came unto them.
Lo! We sent unto them two [apostles], and. they gave the lie to both; and so We strengthened [the two] with a third; and thereupon they said: “Behold, we have been sent unto you [by God]!”
[The others] answered: “You are nothing but mortal men like ourselves; moreover, the Most Gracious has never bestowed aught [of revelation] from on high. You do nothing but lie!”
Said [the apostles]: “Our Sustainer knows that we have indeed been sent unto you;
but we are not bound to do more than clearly deliver the message [entrusted to us].”
Said [the others]: “Truly, we augur evil from you! Indeed, if you desist not, we will surely stone you, and grievous suffering is bound to befall you at our hands!”
[The apostles] replied: “Your destiny, good or evil, is [bound up] with yourselves! [Does it seem evil to you] if you are told to take [the truth] to heart? Nay, but you are people who have wasted their own selves!”
At that, a man came running from the farthest end of the city, [and] exclaimed: “O my people! Follow these message-bearers!
Follow those who ask no reward of you, and themselves are rightly guided!
“[As for me,] why should I not worship Him who has brought me into being, and to whom you all will be brought back?
Should I take to worshipping [other] deities beside Him? [But then,] if the Most Gracious should will that harm befall me, their intercession could not in the least avail me, nor could they save me:
and so, behold, I would have indeed, most obviously, lost myself in error!
“Verily, [O my people,] in the Sustainer of you all have I come to believe: listen, then, to me!”
[And] he was told, “[Thou shalt] enter paradise!” - [whereupon] he exclaimed: “Would that my people knew
how my Sustainer has forgiven me [the sins of my past], and has placed me among the honoured ones!”
And after that, no host out of heaven did We send down against his people, nor did We need to send down any:
nothing was [needed] but one single blast [of Our punishment] - and lo! they became as still and silent as ashes.
OH, THE REGRETS that [most] human beings will have to bear! Never has an apostle come to them without their deriding him!
Are they not aware of how many a generation We have destroyed before their time, [and] that those [that have perished] will never return to them,
and [that] all of them, all together, will [in the end] before Us be arraigned?
And [yet,] they have a sign [of Our power to create and to resurrect] in the lifeless earth which We make alive, and out of which We bring forth grain, whereof they may eat;
and [how] We make gardens of date-palms and vines [grow] thereon, and cause springs to gush [forth] within it,
so that they may eat of the fruit thereof, though it was not their hands that made it. Will they not, then, be grateful?
Limitless in His glory is He who has created opposites in whatever the earth produces, and in men’s own selves, and in that of which [as yet] they have no knowledge.
And [of Our sway over all that exists] they have a sign in the night: We withdraw from it the [light of] day - and lo! they are in darkness.
And [they have a sign in] the sun: it runs in an orbit of its own [and] that is laid down by the will of the Almighty, the All-Knowing;
and [in] the moon, for which We have determined phases [which it must traverse] till it becomes like an old date-stalk, dried-up and curved:
[and] neither may the sun overtake the moon, nor can the night usurp the time of day, since all of them float through space [in accordance with Our laws].
And [it ought to be] a sign for them that We bear their offspring [over the seas] in laden ships,
and [that] We create for them things of a similar kind, on which they may embark [in their travels];
and [that,] if such be Our will, We may cause them to drown, with none to respond to their cry for help: and [then] they cannot be saved,
unless it be by an act of mercy from Us and a grant of life for a [further span of] time.
And [yet,] when they are told, “Beware of [God’s insight into] all that lies open before you and all that is hidden from you, so that you might be graced with His mercy,” [most men choose to remain deaf;]
and no message of their Sustainer s messages ever reaches them without their turning away from it.
Thus, when they are told, “Spend on others out of what God has provided for you as sustenance,” those who are bent on denying the truth say unto those who believe, “Shall we feed anyone whom, if [your] God had so willed, He could have fed [Himself]? Clearly, you are but lost in error!”
And they add, “When is this promise [of resurrection] to be fulfilled? [Answer this] if you are men of truth!”
[And they are unaware that] nothing awaits them beyond a single blast [of God’s punishment], which will overtake them while they are still arguing - [against resurrection]:
and so [sudden will be their end that] no testament will they be able to make, - nor to their own people will they return!
And [then] the trumpet [of resurrection] will be blown - and lo! out of their graves towards their Sustainer will they all rush forth!
They will say: “Oh, woe unto us! Who has roused us from our sleep [of death]?” [Whereupon they will be told:] “This is what the Most Gracious has promised! And His message-bearers spoke the truth!”
Nothing will there have been but one single blast - and lo! before Us will all of them be arraigned [and be told]:
“Today, then, no human being shall be wronged in the least, nor shalt you be requited for aught but what you were doing [on earth].
“Behold, those who are destined for paradise shall today have joy in whatever they do:
in happiness will they and their spouses on couches recline;
[only] delight will there be for them, and theirs shall be all that they could ask for:
peace and fulfillment through the word of a Sustainer who dispenses all grace.
“But stand aside today, O you who were lost in sin!
Did I not enjoin on you, O you children of Adam, that you should not worship Satan – since, verily, he is your open foe
and that you should worship Me [alone]? This would have been a straight way!
And [as for Satan -] he had already led astray a great many of you: could you not, then, use your reason?
“This, then, is the hell of which you were warned again and again:
endure it today as an outcome of your persistent denial of the truth!”
On that Day We shall set a seal on their mouths but their hands will speak unto Us, and their feet will bear witness to whatever they have earned [in life].
NOW HAD IT BEEN Our will [that men should not be able to discern between right and wrong], We could surely have deprived them of their sight, so that they would stray forever from the [right] way: for how could they have had insight [into what is true]?
And had it been Our will [that they should not be free to choose between right and wrong], We could surely have given them a different nature [and created them as beings rooted] in their places, so that they would not be able to move forward, and could not turn back.]
But [let them always remember that] if We lengthen a human being’s days, We also cause him to decline in his powers [when he grows old]: will they not, then, use their reason?
AND [thus it is:] We have not imparted to this [Prophet the gift of] poetry, nor would [poetry] have suited this [message]: it is but a reminder and a [divine] discourse, clear in itself and clearly showing the truth,
to the end that it may warn everyone who is alive [of heart], and that the word [of God] may bear witness against all who deny the truth.
Are they, then, not aware that it is for them that We have created, among all the things which Our hands have wrought, the domestic animals of which they are [now] masters? –
and that We have subjected them to men’s will, so that some of them they may use for riding and of some they may eat,
and may have [yet other] benefits from them, and [milk] to drink? Will they not, then, be grateful? (
But [nay,] they take to worshipping deities other than God, [hoping] to be succoured [by them, and not knowing that]
they are unable to succour their devotees, even though to them they may [appear to] be hosts drawn up [for succour].
However, be not grieved by the sayings of those [who deny the truth]: verily, We know all that they keep secret as well as all that they bring into the open.
IS MAN, then, not aware that it is We who create him out of a [mere] drop of sperm - whereupon, lo! he shows himself endowed with the power to think and to argue?
And [now] he [argues about Us, and] thinks of Us in terms of comparison, and is oblivious of how he himself was created! [And so] he says, “Who could give life to bones that have crumbled to dust?”
Say: “He who brought them into being in the first instance will give them life [once again], seeing that He has full knowledge of every act of creation:
He who produces for you fire out of the green tree, so that, lo! you kindle [your fires] therewith.”
Is, then, He who has created the heavens and the earth not able to create [anew] the like of those [who have died]? Yea, indeed - for He alone is the all-knowing Creator:
His Being alone is such that when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, “Be” — and it is.
Limitless, then, in His glory is He in whose hand rests the mighty dominion over all things; and unto Him you all will be brought back!