THE BESTOWAL from on high of this divine writ issues from God, the Almighty, the Wise:
for, behold, it is We who have bestowed this revelation upon thee from on high, setting forth the truth: so worship Him, sincere in thy faith in Him alone!
Is it not to God alone that all sincere faith is due? And yet, they who take for their protectors aught beside Him [are wont to say], “We worship them for no other reason than that they bring us nearer to God.” Behold, God will judge between them [on Resurrection Day] with regard to all wherein they differ [from the truth]: for, verily, God does not grace with His guidance anyone who is bent on lying [to himself and is] stubbornly ingrate!
Had God willed to take Unto Himself a son, He could have chosen anyone that He wanted out of whatever He has created - [but] limitless is He in His glory! He is the One God, the One who holds absolute sway over all that exists!
He it is who has created the heavens and the earth in accordance with [an inner] truth. He causes the night to flow into the day, and causes the day to flow into the night; and He has made the sun and the moon subservient [to His laws], each running its course for a term set [by Him]. Is not He the Almighty, the All-Forgiving?
He has created you [all] out of one living entity, and out of it fashioned its mate; and he has bestowed upon you four kinds of cattle of either sex; [and] He creates you in your mothers’ wombs, one act of creation after another, in threefold depths of darkness. Thus is God, your Sustainer: unto Him belongs all dominion: there is no deity save Him: how, then, can you lose sight of the truth?
If you are ingrate behold, God has no need of you; none the less, He does not approve of ingratitude in His servants: whereas, if you show gratitude, He approves it in you. And no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another’s burden. In time, unto your Sustainer you all must return, and then He will make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life]: for, verily, He has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men].
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he is likely to cry out to his Sustainer, turning unto Him [for help]; but as soon as He has bestowed upon him a boon by His grace, he forgets Him whom he invoked before, and claims that there are other powers that could rival God - and thus leads [others] astray from His path. Say [unto him who sins in this way]: “Enjoy thyself for a while in this thy denial of the truth; [yet,] verily, thou art of those who are destined for the fire!
Or [dost thou deem thyself equal to] one who devoutly worships [God] throughout the night, prostrating himself or standing [in prayer], ever- mindful of the life to come, and hoping for his Sustainer’s grace?” Say: “Can they who know and they who do not know be deemed equal?” [But] only they who are endowed with insight keep this in mind!
Say: “[Thus speaks God:] ‘O you servants of Mine who have attained to faith! Be conscious of your Sustainer! Ultimate good awaits those who persevere in doing good in this world. And [remember:] wide is God’s earth, [and,] verily, they who are patient in adversity will be given their reward in full, beyond all reckoning!’”
Say [O Muhammad]: “Behold, I am bidden to worship God, sincere in my faith in Him alone;
and I am bidden to be foremost among those who surrender themselves unto God.”
Say: “Behold, I would dread, were I to rebel against my Sustainer, the suffering [which would befall me] on that awesome Day [of Judgment].”
Say: “God alone do I worship, sincere in my faith in Him alone -
and [it is up to you, O sinners, to] worship whatever you please instead of Him!” Say: “Behold, the [true] losers will be they who shall have lost their own selves and their kith and kin on Resurrection Day: for is not this, this, the [most] obvious loss?
Clouds of fire will they have above them, and [similar] clouds beneath them…” In this way does God imbue His servants with fear. O you servants of Mine! Be, then, conscious of Me -
seeing that for those who shun the powers of evil lest they [be tempted to] worship them, and turn unto God instead, there is the glad tiding [of happiness in the life to come]. Give, then, this glad tiding to [those of] My servants
who listen [closely] to all that is said, and follow the best of it: [for] it is they whom God has graced with His guidance, and it is they who are [truly] endowed with insight!
On the other hand, could one on whom [God’s] sentence of suffering has been passed [be rescued by man]? Couldst thou, perchance, save one who is [already, as it were,] in the fire?
As against this they who of their Sustainer are conscious shall [in the life to come] have mansions raised upon mansions high, beneath which running waters flow: [this is] God’s promise - [and] never does God fail to fulfill His promise.
ART THOU NOT aware that it is God who sends down water from the skies, and then causes it to travel through the earth in the shape of springs? And then He brings forth thereby herbage of various hues; and then it withers, and thou canst see it turn yellow; and in the end He causes it to crumble to dust. Verily, in [all] this there is indeed a reminder to those who are endowed with insight!
Could, then, one whose bosom God has opened wide with willingness towards self-surrender unto Him, so that he is illumined by a light [that flows] from his Sustainer, [be likened to the blind and deaf of heart]? Woe, then, unto those whose hearts are hardened against all remembrance of God! They are most obviously lost in error!
God bestows from on high the best of all teachings in the shape of a divine writ fully consistent within itself, repeating each statement [of the truth] in manifold forms [a divine writ] whereat shiver the skins of all who of their Sustainer stand in awe: [but] in the end their skins and their hearts do soften at the remembrance of [the grace of] God. Such is God’s guidance: He guides therewith him that wills [to be guided] whereas he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide
Could, then, one who shall have nothing but is [bare] face to protect him from the awful suffering [that will befall him] on Resurrection Day [be likened to the God-conscious]? [On that Day,] the evildoers will be told: “Taste [now] what you have earned [in life]!”
Those who lived before them did [too] give the lie to the truth - whereupon suffering befell them without their having perceived whence it came:
and thus God let them taste ignominy [even] in the life of this world. Yet [how] much greater will be the [sinners’] suffering in the life to come - if they [who now deny the truth] but knew it!
THUS, INDEED, have We propounded unto men all kinds of parables in this Qur’an, so that they might bethink themselves; [and We have revealed it]
as a discourse in the Arabic tongue, free of all deviousness, so that they might become conscious of God.
[To this end,] God sets forth a parable: A man who has for his masters several partners, [all of them] at variance with one another, and a man depending wholly on one person: can these two be deemed equal as regards their condition? [Nay,] all praise is due to God [alone]: but most of them do not understand this.
Yet, verily, thou art bound to die, [O Muhammad,] and, verily, they, too, are bound to die:
and then, behold, on the Day of Resurrection you all shall place your dispute before your Sustainer.
And who could be more wicked than he who invents lies about God? and gives the lie to the truth as soon as it has been placed before him? Is not hell the [proper] abode for all who deny the truth?
But he who brings the truth, and he who wholeheartedly accepts it as true - it is they, they, who are [truly] conscious of Him!
All that they have ever yearned for awaits them with their Sustainer: such will be the reward of the doers of good.
And to this end, God will efface from their record the worst that they ever did, and give them their reward in accordance with the best that they were doing [in life].
IS NOT God enough for His servant? And yet, they would frighten thee with those [imaginary divine powers which they worship] beside Him! But he whom God lets go astray can never find any guide,
whereas he whom God guides aright can never be led astray. Is not God almighty, an avenger of evil?
And thus it is [with most people]: if thou ask them, “Who is it that has created the heavens and the earth?” - they will surely answer, “God.” Say: “Have you, then, ever considered what it is that you invoke instead of God? If God wills that harm should befall me, could those [imaginary powers] remove the harm inflicted by Him? Or, if He wills that grace should alight on me, could they withhold His grace [from me]?” Say: “God is enough for me! In Him [alone] place their trust all who have trust [in His existence].”
Say: “O my [truth-denying] people! Do yet all that may be within your power, [whereas] I, behold, shall labour [in God’s way]: in time you will come to know
who it is that shall be visited [in this world] by suffering which will cover him with ignominy, and upon whom long-lasting suffering shall alight [in the life to come]!”
BEHOLD, from on high have We bestowed upon thee this divine writ, setting forth the truth for [the benefit of all] mankind. And whoever chooses to be guided [thereby], does so for his own good, and whoever chooses to go astray, goes but astray to his own hurt; and thou hast not the power to determine their fate.
It is God [alone that has this power - He] who causes all human beings to die at the time of their [bodily] death, and [causes to be as dead], during their sleep, those that have not yet died: thus, He withholds [from life] those upon whom He has decreed death, and lets the others go free for a term set [by Him]. In [all] this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!
And yet, they choose [to worship], side by side with God, [imaginary] intercessors!” Say: “Why - even though they have no power over anything, and no understanding?”
Say: “God’s alone is [the power to bestow the right of] intercession: His [alone] is the dominion over the heavens and the earth; and, in the end, Unto Him you will all be brought back.”
And yet, whenever God alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who will not believe in the life to come contract with bitter aversion - whereas, when those [imaginary powers] are mentioned side by side with Him, lo, they rejoice!
Say: “O God! Originator of the heavens and the earth! Knower of all that is beyond the reach of a created being’s perception, as well as of all that can be witnessed by a creature’s senses or mind! It is Thou who wilt judge between Thy servants [on Resurrection Day] with regard to all on which they were wont to differ!”
But if those who are bent on evildoing possessed all that is on earth, and twice as much, they would surely offer it as ransom from the awful suffering [that will befall them] on the Day of Resurrection: for, something with which they had not reckoned before will [by then] have been made obvious to them by God;
and obvious to them will have become the evil that they had wrought [in life]: and thus shall they be overwhelmed by the very truth which they were wont to deride.
NOW [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us for help; but when We bestow upon him a boon by Our grace, he says [to himself], “I have been given [all] this by virtue of [my own] wisdom!” Nay, this [bestowal of grace] is a trial: but most of them understand it not!
The same did say [to themselves many of] those who lived before their time; but of no avail to them was all that they had ever achieved:
for all the evil deeds that they had wrought fell [back] upon them. And [the same will happen to] people of the present time who are bent on wrongdoing: all the evil deeds that they have ever wrought will fall [back] upon them, and never will they be able to elude [God]!
Are they, then, not aware that it is God who grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills? In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who will believe!
SAY: “[Thus speaks God:] ‘O you servants of Mine who have transgressed against your own selves! Despair not of God’s mercy: behold, God forgives all sins - for, verily, He alone is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!’”
Hence, turn towards your Sustainer [alone] and surrender yourselves unto Him ere the suffering [of death and resurrection] comes upon you, for then you will not be succoured.
And ere that suffering comes upon you of a sudden, without your being aware [of its approach], follow the most goodly [teaching] that has been revealed unto you by your Sustainer,
lest any human being should say [on Judgment Day], “Alas for me for having been remiss in what is due to God, and for having been indeed one of those who scoffed [at the truth]!”
or lest he should say, “If God had but guided me, I would surely have been among those who are conscious of Him!”-
or lest he should say, when he becomes aware of the suffering [that awaits him], “Would that I had a second chance [in life], so that I could be among the doers of good!”
[But God will reply:] “Yea, indeed! My messages did come unto thee; but thou gavest them the lie, and wert filled with false pride, and wert among those who deny the truth!”
And [so,] on the Day of Resurrection thou wilt see all who invented lies about God [with] their faces darkened [by grief and ignominy]. Is not hell the [proper] abode for all who are given to false pride?
But God will safeguard all who were conscious of Him, [and will grant them happiness] by virtue of their [inner] triumphs; no evil shall ever touch them, and neither shall they grieve.
GOD is the Creator of all things, and He alone has the power to determine the fate of all things.
His are the keys [to the mysteries] of the heavens and the earth: and they who are bent on denying the truth of God’s messages - it is they, they, who are the losers!
Say: “Is it, then, something other than God that you bid me to worship, O you who are unaware [of right and wrong]?”
And yet, it has already been revealed to thee [O man,] as well as to those who lived before thee, that if thou ever ascribe divine powers to aught but God, all thy works shall most certainly have been in vain: for [in the life to come] thou shalt most certainly be among the lost.
Nay, but thou shalt worship God [alone], and be among those who are grateful [to Him]!
And no true understanding of God have they [who worship aught beside Him], inasmuch as the whole of the earth will be as a [mere] handful to Him on Resurrection Day, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand: limitless is He in His glory, and sublimely exalted above anything to which they may ascribe a share in His divinity!
And [on that Day,] the trumpet [of judgment] will be sounded, and all [creatures] that are in the heavens and all that are on earth will fall down senseless, unless they be such as God wills [to exempt]. And then it will sound again - and lo! standing [before the Seat of Judgment], they will begin to see [the truth]!
And the earth will shine bright with her Sustainer’s light. And the record [of everyone’s deeds] will be laid bare, and all the prophets will be brought forward, and all [other] witnesses; and judgment will be passed on them all in justice. And they will not be wronged,
for every human being will be repaid in full for whatever [good or evil] he has done: and He is fully aware of all that they do.
And those who were bent on denying the truth will be urged on in throngs towards hell till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened, and its keepers will ask them, “Have there not come to you apostles from among yourselves, who conveyed to you your Sustainer’s messages and warned you of the coming of this your Day [of Judgment]?” They will answer: “Yea, indeed!” But the sentence of suffering will [already] have fallen due upon the deniers of the truth;
[and] they will be told, “Enter the gates of hell, therein to abide!” And how vile an abode for those who were given to false pride!
But those who were conscious of their Sustainer will be urged on in throngs towards paradise till, when they reach it, they shall find its gates wide- open; and its keepers will say unto them, “Peace be upon you! Well have you done: enter, then, this [paradise], herein to abide!”
And they will exclaim: “All praise is due to God, who has made His promise to us come true, and has bestowed upon us this expanse [of bliss] as our portion, so that we may dwell in paradise as we please!” And how excellent a reward will it be for those who laboured [in God’s way]!
And thou wilt see the angels surrounding the throne of [God’s] almightiness, extolling their Sustainer’s glory and praise. And judgment will have been passed in justice on all [who had lived and died], and the word will be spoken: “All praise is due to God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!”