Ayn. Sin. Qaf.
THUS has God, the Almighty, the Wise, revealed [the truth] unto thee, [O Muhammad,] and unto those who preceded thee:
His is all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and most exalted, tremendous is He.
The uppermost heavens are well-nigh rent asunder [for awe of Him]; and the angels extol their Sustainer’s limitless glory and praise, and ask forgiveness for all who are on earth. Oh, verily, God alone is truly-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!
NOW AS FOR those who take aught beside Him for their protectors - God watches them, and thou art not responsible for their conduct.
[Thou art but entrusted with Our message:] and so We have revealed unto thee a discourse in the Arabic tongue in order that thou mayest warn the foremost of all cities and all who dwell around it to wit, warn [them] of the Day of the Gathering, [the coming of] which is beyond all doubt: [the Day when] some shall find themselves in paradise, and some in the blazing flame.
Now had God so willed, He could surely have made them all one single community: none the less, He admits unto His grace him that wills [to be admitted] whereas the evildoers shall have none to protect them and none to succour them [on Judgment Day].
Did they, perchance, [think that they could] choose protectors other than Him? But God alone is the Protector [of all that exists], since it is He alone who brings the dead to life, and He alone who has the power to will anything.
AND ON WHATEVER you may differ, [O believers,] the verdict thereon rests with God. [Say, therefore:] “Such is God, my Sustainer: in Him have I placed my trust, and unto Him do I always turn!”
The Originator [is He] of the heavens and the earth. He has given you mates of your own kind just as [He has willed that] among the beasts [there be] mates - to multiply you thereby: [but] there is nothing like unto Him, and He alone is all-hearing, all-seeing.
His are the keys of the heavens and the earth: He grants abundant sustenance, or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills: for, behold, He has full knowledge of everything.
In matters of faith, He has ordained for you that which He had enjoined upon Noah - and into which We gave thee [O Muhammad] insight through revelation as well as that which We had enjoined upon Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus: Steadfastly uphold the [true] faith, and do not break up your unity therein. [And even though] that [unity of faith] to which thou callest them appears oppressive to those who are wont to ascribe to other beings or forces a share in His divinity, God draws unto Himself everyone who is willing, and guides unto Himself everyone who turns unto Him.
And [as for the followers of earlier revelation,] they broke up their unity, out of mutual jealousy, only after they had come to know [the truth]. And had it not been for a decree that had already gone forth from thy Sustainer, [postponing all decision] until a term set [by Him], all would indeed have been decided between them [from the outset]. As it is, behold, they who have inherited their divine writ from those who preceded them are [now] in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about what it portends.
Because of this, then, summon [all mankind], and pursue the right course, as thou hast been bidden [by God]; and do not follow their likes and dislikes, but say: “I believe in whatever revelation God has bestowed from on high; and I am bidden to bring about equity in your mutual views. God is our Sustainer as well as your Sustainer. To us shall be accounted our deeds, and to you, your deeds. Let there be no contention between us and you: God will bring us all together - for with Him is all journeys’ end.”
And as for those who would [still] argue about God after He has been acknowledged [by them] all their arguments are null and void in their Sustainer’s sight, and upon them will fall [His] condemnation, and for them is suffering severe in store:
[for] it is God [Himself] who has bestowed revelation from on high, setting forth the truth, and [thus given man] a balance [wherewith to weigh right and wrong]. And for all thou knowest, the Last Hour may well be near!
Those who do not believe in it [mockingly] ask for its speedy advent whereas those who have attained to faith stand in awe of it, and know it to be the truth. Oh, verily, they who call the Last Hour in question have indeed gone far astray!
GOD is most kind unto His creatures: He provides sustenance for whomever He wills - for He alone is powerful, almighty!
To him who desires a harvest in the life to come, We shall grant an increase in his harvest; whereas to him who desires [but] a harvest in this world, We [may] give something thereof - but he will have no share in [the blessings of] the life to come.
Is it that they [who care for no more than this world] believe in forces supposed to have a share in God’s divinity, which enjoin upon them as a moral law something that God has never allowed? Now were it not for [God’s] decree on the final judgment, all would indeed have been decided between them [in this world]: but, verily, grievous suffering awaits the evildoers [in the life to come].
[In that life to come,] thou wilt see the evildoers full of fear at [the thought of] what they have earned: for [now] it is bound to fall back upon them. And in the flowering meadows of the gardens [of paradise thou wilt see] those who have attained to faith and done righteous deeds: all that they might desire shall they have with their Sustainer: [and] this, this is the great bounty –
that [bounty] whereof God gives the glad tiding to such of His servants as attain to faith and do righteous deeds. Say [O Prophet]: “No reward do I ask of you for this [message] other than [that you should] love your fellow-men.” For, if anyone gains [the merit of] a good deed, We shall grant him through it an increase of good: and, verily, God is much-forgiving, ever responsive to gratitude.
DO THEY, perchance, say, “[Muhammad] has attributed his own lying inventions to God”? But then, had God so willed, He could have sealed thy heart [forever]: for God blots out all falsehood, and by His words proves the truth to be true. Verily, He has full knowledge of what is in the hearts [of men];
and it is He who accepts repentance from His servants, and pardons bad deeds, and knows all that you do,
and responds unto all who attain to faith and do righteous deeds; and [it is He who, in the life to come,] will give them, out of His bounty, far more [than they will have deserved], whereas for the deniers of the truth there is [but] suffering severe in store.
For, if God were to grant [in this world] abundant sustenance to [all of] His servants, they would behave on earth with wanton insolence: but as it is, He bestows [His grace] from on high in due measure, as He wills: for, verily, He is fully aware of [the needs of] His creatures, and sees them all.
And it is He who sends down rain after [men] have lost all hope, and unfolds His grace [thereby]: for He alone is [their] Protector, the One to whom all praise is due.
And among His signs is the [very] creation of the heavens and the earth, and of all the living creatures which He has caused to multiply throughout them: and [since He has created them,] He has [also] the power to gather them [unto Himself] whenever He wills.
Now whatever calamity may befall you [on Judgment Day] will be an outcome of what your own hands have wrought, although He pardons much;
and you cannot elude Him on earth, and you will have none to protect you from God [in the life to come], and none to bring you succour.
And among His signs are the ships that sail like [floating] mountains through the seas:
if He so wills, He stills the wind, and then they lie motionless on the sea’s surface - [and] herein, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are wholly patient in adversity and deeply grateful [to God];
or else He may cause them to perish because of what they have wrought; and [withal,] He pardons much.
And let them know, those who call Our messages in question, that for them there is no escape.
AND [remember that] whatever you are given [now] is but for the [passing] enjoyment of life in this world - whereas that which is with God is far better and more enduring. [It shall be given] to all who attain to faith and in their Sustainer place their trust;
and who shun the more heinous sins and abominations; and who, whenever they are moved to anger, readily forgive;
and who respond to [the call of] their Sustainer and are constant in prayer; and whose rule [in all matters of common concern] is consultation among themselves; and who spend on others out of what We provide for them as sustenance;
and who, whenever tyranny afflicts them, defend themselves.
But [remember that an attempt at] requiting evil may, too, become an evil: hence, whoever pardons [his foe] and makes peace, his reward rests with God - for, verily, He does not love evildoers.
Yet indeed, as for any who defend themselves after having been wronged - no blame whatever attaches to them:
blame attaches but to those who oppress [other] people and behave outrageously on earth, offending against all right: for them there is grievous suffering in store!
But withal, if one is patient in adversity and forgives - this, behold, is indeed something to set one’s heart upon!
AND [thus it is:] he whom God lets go astray has henceforth no protector whatever: and so thou wilt see such evildoers [on Judgment Day, and wilt hear how] they exclaim as soon as they behold the suffering [that awaits them], “Is there any way of return?”
And thou wilt see them exposed to that [doom], humbling themselves in abasement, looking [around] with a furtive glance - the while those who had attained to faith will say, “Verily, lost on [this] Day of Resurrection are they who have squandered their own and their followers’ selves!” Oh, verily, the evildoers will fall into long-lasting suffering,
and will have no protector whatever to succour them against God: for he whom God lets go astray shall find no way [of escape].
[Hence, O men,] respond to your Sustainer before there comes, at God’s behest, a Day on which there will be no turning back: [for] on that Day you will have no place of refuge, and neither will you be able to deny aught [of the wrong that you have done].
BUT IF they turn away [from thee, O Prophet, know that] We have not sent thee to be their keeper: thou art not bound to do more than deliver the message [entrusted to thee]. And, behold, [such as turn away from Our messages are but impelled by the weakness and inconstancy of human nature: thus,] when We give man a taste of Our grace, he is prone to exult in it; but if misfortune befalls [any of] them in result of what their own hands have sent forth, then, behold, man shows how bereft he is of all gratitude!
God’s alone is the dominion over the heavens and the earth. He creates whatever He wills: He bestows the gift of female offspring on whomever He wills, and the gift of male offspring on whomever He wills;
or He gives both male and female [to whomever He wills], and causes to be barren whomever He wills: for, verily, He is all-knowing, infinite in His power.
And it is not given to mortal man that God should speak unto him otherwise than through sudden inspiration, or [by a voice, as it were,] from behind a veil, or by sending an apostle to reveal, by His leave, whatever He wills [to reveal]: for, verily, He is exalted, wise.
And thus, too, [O Muhammad,] have We revealed unto thee a life-giving message, [coming] at Our behest. [Ere this message came unto thee,] thou didst not know what revelation is, nor what faith [implies]: but [now] We have caused this [message] to be a light, whereby We guide whom We will of Our servants: and, verily, [on the strength thereof] thou, too, shalt guide [men] onto the straight way –
the way that leads to God, to whom all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth belongs. Oh, verily, with God is the beginning and the end of all things!