Sad. CONSIDER this Qur’an, endowed with all that one ought to remember!
But nay - they who are bent on denying the truth are lost in [false] pride, and [hence] deeply in the wrong.
How many a generation have We destroyed before their time [for this very sin]! And [how] they called [unto Us] when it was too late to escape!
Now these [people] deem it strange that a warner should have come unto them from their own midst - and [so] the deniers of the truth are saying: “A [mere] spellbinder is he, a liar!
Does he claim that all the deities are [but] one God? Verily, a most strange thing is this!”
And their leaders launch forth [thus]: “Go ahead, and hold steadfastly onto your deities: this, behold, is the only thing to do!
Never did we hear of [a claim like] this in any faith of latter days! It is nothing but [a mortal man’s] invention!
What! Upon him alone from among all of us should a [divine] reminder have been bestowed from on high?” Nay, but it is My Own reminder that they distrust! Nay, they have not yet tasted the suffering which I do impose!
Or do they [think that they] own the treasures of thy Sustainer’s grace - [the grace] of the Almighty, the Giver of Gifts?
Or [that] the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that is between them is theirs? Why, then, let them try to ascend [to God-like power] by all [conceivable] means!
[But] there it is: any and all human beings, however [strongly] leagued together, are bound to suffer defeat [whenever they refuse to accept the truth].
To the truth gave the lie aforetime Noah’s people, and [the tribe of] Ad, and Pharaoh of the [many] tent-poles,
and [the tribe of] Thamud, and the people of Lot, and the dwellers of the wooded dales [of Madyan]: they all were leagued together, [as it were, in their unbelief:]
not one [was there] but gave the lie to the apostles - and thereupon My retribution fell due.
And they [who now deny the truth - they, too,] have but to wait for one single blast [of punishment to overtake them]: it shall not be delayed a whit.
As it is, they say [mockingly]: “O our Sustainer! Hasten on to us our share [of punishment even] before the Day of Reckoning!”
[But] bear thou with patience whatever they may say, and remember Our servant David, him who was endowed with [so much] inner strength! He, verily, would always turn unto Us:
[and for this,] behold, We caused the mountains to join him in extolling Our limitless glory at eventide and at sunrise,
and [likewise] the birds in their assemblies: [together] they all Would turn again and again unto Him [who had created them].
And We strengthened his dominion, and bestowed upon him wisdom and sagacity in judgment.
AND YET, has the story of the litigants come within thy ken - [the story of the two] who surmounted the walls of the sanctuary [in which David prayed]?
As they came upon David, and he shrank back in fear from them, they said: “Fear not! [We are but] two litigants. One of us has wronged the other: so judge thou between us with justice, and deviate not from what is right, and show [both of] us the way to rectitude.
“Behold, this is my brother: he has ninety-nine ewes, whereas I have [only] one ewe - and yet he said, ‘Make her over to me,’ and forcibly prevailed against me in this [our] dispute.”
Said [David]: “He has certainly wronged thee by demanding that thy ewe be added to his ewes! Thus, behold, do many kinsmen wrong one another [all] save those who believe [in God] and do righteous deeds: but how few are they!” And [suddenly] David understood that We had tried him: and so he asked his Sustainer to forgive him his sin, and fell down in prostration, and turned unto Him in repentance.
And thereupon We forgave him that [sin]: and, verily, nearness to Us awaits him [in the life to come], and the most beauteous of all goals!
[And We said:] “O David! Behold, We have made thee a [prophet and, thus, Our] vicegerent on earth: judge, then, between men with justice, and do not follow vain desire, lest it lead thee astray from the path of God: verily, for those who go astray from the path of God there is suffering severe in store for having forgotten the Day of Reckoning!”
AND [thus it is:] We have not created heaven and earth and all that is between them without meaning and purpose, as is the surmise of those who are bent on denying the truth: but then, woe from the fire [of hell] unto all who are bent on denying the truth!
[For,] would We treat those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds in the same manner as [We shall treat] those who spread corruption on earth? Would We treat the God-conscious in the same manner as the wicked?
[All this have We expounded in this] blessed divine writ which We have revealed unto thee, [O Muhammad,] so that men may ponder over its messages, and that those who are endowed with insight may take them to heart.
AND UNTO DAVID We granted Solomon [as a son - and] how excellent a servant [of Ours he grew up to be]! Behold, he would always turn unto Us -
[and even] when, towards the close of day, nobly-bred, swift-footed steeds were brought before him,
he would say, “Verily, I have come to love the love of all that is good because I bear my Sustainer in mind!” [repeating these words as the steeds raced away,] until they were hidden by the veil [of distance - whereupon he would command],
“Bring them back unto me!”- and would [lovingly] stroke their legs and their necks.
But [ere this], indeed, We had tried Solomon by placing upon his throne a [lifeless] body; and thereupon he turned [towards Us; and]
he prayed: “O my Sustainer! Forgive me my sins, and bestow upon me the gift of a kingdom which may not suit anyone after me: verily, Thou alone art a giver of gifts!”
And so We made subservient to him the wind, so that it gently sped at his behest whithersoever he willed,
as well as all the rebellious forces [that We made to work for him] - every kind of builder and diver -
and others linked together in fetters.
[And We told him:] “This is Our gift, for thee to bestow freely on others, or to withhold, without [having to render] account!”
And, verily, nearness to Us awaits him [in the life to come], and the most beauteous of all goals!
AND CALL to mind Our servant Job, [how it was] when he cried out to his Sustainer, “Behold, Satan has afflicted me with [utter] weariness and suffering!”
[and thereupon was told:] “Strike [the ground] with thy foot: here is cool water to wash with and to drink!”
And We bestowed upon him new offspring, doubling their number as an act of grace from Us, and as a reminder unto all who are endowed with insight.
[And finally We told him:] “Now take in thy hand a small bunch of grass, and strike therewith, and thou wilt not break thine oath!” for, verily, We found him full of patience in adversity: how excellent a servant [of Ours], who, behold, would always turn unto Us!
AND CALL to mind Our servants Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, [all of them] endowed with inner strength and vision:
for, verily, We purified them by means of a thought most pure: the remembrance of the life to come.
And, behold, in Our sight they were indeed among the elect, the truly good!
And call to mind Ishmael and Elisha, and every one who [like them] has pledged himself [unto Us]: for, each of them was of the truly good!
LET [all] this be a reminder [to those who believe in God] - for, verily, the most beauteous of all goals awaits the God-conscious:
gardens of perpetual bliss, with gates wide-open to them,
wherein they will recline, [and] wherein they may [freely] call for many a fruit and drink,
having beside them well-matched mates of modest gaze.”
This is what you are promised for the Day of Reckoning:
this, verily, shall be Our provision [for you], with no end to it!
All this [for the righteous]: but, verily, the most evil of all goals awaits those who are wont to transgress the bounds of what is right:
hell will they have to endure - and how vile a resting-place!
This, [then, for them -] so let them taste it: burning despair and ice-cold darkness
and, coupled with it, further [suffering] of a similar nature.
[And they will say to one another: “Do you see] this crowd of people who rushed headlong [into sin] with you? No welcome to them! Verily, they [too] shall have to endure the fire!”
[And] they [who had been seduced] will exclaim: “Nay, but it is you! No welcome to you! It is you who have prepared this for us: and how vile a state to abide in!”
[And] they will pray: “O our Sustainer! Whoever has prepared this for us, double Thou his suffering in the fire!”
And they will add: “How is it that we do not see [here any of the] men whom we were wont to count among the wicked,
[and] whom we made the target of our derision? Or is it that [they are here, and] our eyes have missed them?”
Such, behold, will in truth be the [confusion and] mutual wrangling of the people of the fire!
SAY [O Muhammad]: “I am only a warner; and there is no deity whatever save God, the One, who holds absolute sway over all that exists,
the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, the Almighty, the All-Forgiving!”
Say: “This is a message tremendous:
[how can] you turn away from it?”
[Say, O Muhammad:] “No knowledge would I have had of [what passed among] the host on high when they argued [against the creation of man],
had it not been revealed unto me [by God] - to no other end than that I might convey [unto you] a plain warning.
[For,] lo, thy Sustainer said unto the angels: “Behold, I am about to create a human being out of clay;
and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall you down before him in prostration!”
Thereupon the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together,
save Iblis: he gloried in his arrogance, and [thus] became one of those who deny the truth.
Said He: “O Iblis! What has kept thee from prostrating thyself before that [being] which I have created with My hands? Art thou too proud [to bow down before another created being], or art thou of those who think [only] of themselves as high?”
Answered [Iblis]: “I am better than he: Thou hast created me out of fire, whereas him Thou hast created out of clay.”
Said He: “Go forth, then, from this [angelic state] - for, behold, thou art henceforth accursed,
and My rejection shall be thy due until the Day of Judgment!”
Said [Iblis]: “Then, O my Sustainer, grant me a respite till the Day when all shall be raised from the dead!”
Answered He: “Verily, so [be it:] thou shalt be among those who are granted respite
till the Day the time whereof is known [only to Me].”
[Whereupon Iblis] said: “Then [I swear] by Thy very might: I shall most certainly beguile them all into grievous error –
[all] save such of them as are truly Thy servants!”
[And God] said: “This, then, is the truth! And this truth do I state:
Most certainly will I fill hell with thee and such of them as shall follow thee, all together!”
SAY [O Prophet]: “No reward whatever do I ask of you for this [message]; and I am not one of those who claim to be what they are not.
This [divine writ], behold, is no less than a reminder to all the worlds —
and you will most certainly grasp its purport after a lapse of time!”