And yet, even if thou wert to place all evidence* before those who have been vouchsafed earlier revelation, they would not follow thy direction of prayer; and neither mayest thou follow their direction of prayer, nor even do they follow one another's direction. And if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee thou wouldst surely be among the evildoers.
Have they, perchance, a share in [God's] dominion?* But [if they had], 1o, they would not give to other people as much as [would fill] the groove of a date-stone!
whereupon We should indeed grant them, out of Our grace, a mighty reward,
And, indeed, He has enjoined upon you in this divine writ that whenever you hear people deny the truth of God's messages and mock at them, you shall avoid their company until they begin to talk of other things* - or else, verily, you will become like them. Behold, together with those who deny the truth God will gather in hell the hypocrites,
O YOU who have attained to faith! Let there be witnesses to what you do when death approaches you and you are about to make bequests:* two persons of probity from among your own people, or -if the pangs of death come upon you while you are travelling far from home* -two other persons from [among people] other than your own. Take hold of the two after having prayed; and if you have any doubt in your mind, let each of them swear by God, "We shall not sell this [our word] for any price, even though it were [for the sake of] a near kinsman; and neither shall we conceal aught of what we have witnessed before God* -or else, may we indeed be counted among the sinful."
But if afterwards it should come to light that the two [witnesses] have become guilty of [this very] sin, then two others - from among those whom the two former have deprived of their right* - shall take their place and shall swear by God, "Our testimony is indeed truer than the testimony of these two, and we have not transgressed the bounds of what is right - or else, may we indeed be counted among the evildoers!"
SAY [to the deniers of the truth]: "Behold, I have been forbidden to worship those [beings] whom you invoke instead of God." Say: "I do not follow your errant views -or else I should have gone astray, and should not be among those who have found the right path."
But the great ones among his people, who were bent on denying the truth, said [to his followers]: "Indeed, if you follow Shu'ayb, you will, verily, be the losers!"
Thus, do not invoke, side by side with God, anything that can neither benefit thee nor harm thee: for, behold, if thou do it, thou wilt surely be among the evildoers!
"And I do not say unto you, `God's treasures are with me'; nor [do I say], `I know the reality which is beyond the reach of human perception'; nor do I say, 'Behold, I am an angel';* nor do I say of those whom your eyes hold in contempt,* `Never will God grant them any good'- for God is fully aware of what is in their hearts.* [Were I to speak thus,] verily, I would indeed be among the evildoers."
Said they: "Surely, if the wolf were to devour him notwithstanding that we are so many-then, behold, we ought ourselves to perish!"
He answered: "May God preserve us from [the sin of] detaining any other than him with whom we have found our property-for then, behold, we would indeed be evildoers!"
[Yet] We never send down angels otherwise than in accordance with the [demands of] truth;* and [were the angels to appear now,] lo! they [who reject this divine writ] would have no further respite!*
Say: "If there were-as some people assert [other] deities side by side with Him, surely [even] they would have to strive to find a way unto Him who is enthroned on His almightiness?"*
AND,. behold, they [who have gone astray] endeavour to tempt thee away from all [the truth] with which We have inspired thee, [O Prophet,] with a view to making thee invent something else in Our name - in which case they would surely have made thee their friend!*
in which case We would indeed have made thee taste double [chastisement] in life and double [chastisement] after death,* and thou wouldst have found none to succour thee against Us!
And [since they see that they cannot persuade thee,] they endeavour to estrange thee from the land [of thy birth]* with a view to driving thee away from ,it-but, then, after thou wilt have left,* they themselves will not remain [in it] for more than a little while:*
Say: "If you were to own' all the treasure-houses of my Sustainer's bounty,* lo! you would still try to hold on [to them] tightly for fear of spending [too much]: for man has always been avaricious [whereas God is limitless in His bounty].*
and endowed their hearts with strength, so that they stood up* and said [to one another]: "Our Sustainer is the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth. Never shall we invoke any deity other than Him: [if we did,] we should indeed have uttered an enormity!
for, behold, if they should come to know of you, they might stone you to death or force you back to their faith-in which case you would never attain to any good!"*
And who could be more wicked than he to whom his Sustainer's messages are conveyed and who thereupon turns away from them, forgetting all [the evil] that his hands may have wrought?* Behold, over their hearts have We laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness; and though thou call them onto the right path,* they will never allow themselves to be guided.
and, indeed, if you pay heed to a mortal like yourselves, you will surely be the losers!
Never did God take unto Himself any offspring,* nor has there ever been any deity side by side with Him: [for, had there been any,] lo! each deity would surely have stood apart [from the others] in whatever it had created,* and they would surely have [tried to] overcome one another! Limitless in His glory is God, [far] above anything that men may devise by way of definition,*
Replied [Moses]: I committed it while I was still going astray;
Answered he: Yea - and, verily, in that case you shall be among those who are near unto me.
for, [O Muhammad,] thou hast never been able to recite any divine writ ere this one [was revealed], nor didst thou ever transcribe one with your own hand* or else, they who try to disprove the truth [of thy revelation] might indeed have had cause to doubt [it].*
Say: Whether you flee from [natural] death or from being slain [in battle], flight will not profit you - for, however you fare,* you are not [allowed] to enjoy life for more than a little while!"
and so, behold, I would have indeed, most obviously, lost myself in error!
that, lo and behold, is an unfair division!
and they said: Are we to follow one single mortal, one from among ourselves?* In that case, behold, we would certainly sink into error and folly!
[And] they add, "That, then, would be a return with loss!"*