[Moses] answered: "Behold, He says it is to be a cow not broken-in to plough the earth or to water the crops, free of fault, without markings of any other colour."Said they: "At last thou hast brought out the truth!"-and thereupon they sacrificed her, although they had almost left it undone.*
For, indeed, We vouchsafed unto Moses the divine writ and caused apostle after apostle to follow him;* and We vouchsafed unto Jesus, the son of Mary, all evidence of the truth, and strengthened him with holy inspiration.* [Yet] is it not so that every time an apostle came unto you with something that was not to your liking, you gloried in your arrogance, and to some of them you gave the lie, while others you would slay?*
And whenever there came unto them a [new] revelation from God, confirming the truth already in their possession-and [bear in mind that] aforetime they used to pray for victory over those who were bent on denying the truth -: whenever there came unto them something which they recognized [as the truth], they would deny it. And God's rejection is the due of all who deny the truth.
And indeed, there came unto you Moses with all evidence of the truth - and thereupon. in his absence, you took to worshipping the (golden] calf, and acted wickedly.
And [even now,] when there has come unto them an apostle from God, confirming the truth already in their possession, some of those who were granted revelation aforetime cast the divine writ behind their backs as though unaware [of what it says],*
For, never will the Jews be pleased with thee. nor yet the Christians, unless thou follow their own creeds. Say: "Behold, God's guidance is the only true guidance." And, indeed, if thou shouldst follow their errant views after all the knowledge that has come unto thee. thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to bring thee succour.
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.
And if you should stumble after all evidence of the truth has come unto you, then know that, verily, God is almighty, wise.
Ask the children of Israel how many a clear message We have given them! And if one alters God's blessed message* after it has reached him - verily, God is severe in retribution!
ALL MANKIND were once one single community; [then they began to differ - ] whereupon God raised up the prophets as heralds of glad tidings and as warners, and through them bestowed revelation from on high, setting forth the truth, so that it might decide between people with regard to all on which they had come to hold divergent views.* Yet none other than the selfsame people who had been granted this [revelation] began, out of mutual jealousy, to disagree about its meaning after all evidence of the truth had come unto them. But God guided the believers unto the truth about which, by His leave, they had disagreed: for God guides onto a straight way him that wills [to be guided].*
Some of these apostles have We endowed more highly than others: among them were such as.were spoken to by God [Himself], and some He has raised yet higher.'* And We vouchsafed unto Jesus, the son of Mary, all evidence of the truth, and strengthened him with holy inspiration.* And if God had so willed, they who succeeded those [apostles] would not have contended with one another after all evidence of the truth had come to them; but [as it was,] they did take to divergent views, and some of them attained to faith, while some of them came to deny the truth. Yet if God had so willed, they would not have contended with one another: but God does whatever He wills.*
THOSE who gorge themselves on usury* behave but as he might behave whom Satan has confounded with his touch; for they say, "Buying and selling is but a kind of* usury" - the while God has made buying and selling lawful and usury unlawful. Hence, whoever becomes aware of his Sustainer's admonition,* and thereupon desists [from usury], may keep his past gains, and it will be for God to judge him; but as for those who return to it -they are destined for the fire, therein to abide!
Behold, the only [true] religion in the sight of God is [man's] self-surrender unto Him; and those who were vouchsafed revelation aforetime* took, out of mutual jealousy, to divergent views [on this point] only after knowledge [thereof] had come unto them.* But as for him who denies the truth of God's messages - behold, God is swift in reckoning!
and [will make him] an apostle unto the children of Israel ."* "I HAVE COME unto you with a message from your Sustainer. I shall create for you out of clay, as it were, the shape of [your] destiny, and then breathe into it, so that it might become [your] destiny by God's leave;* and I shall heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life by God's leave;* and I shall let you know what you may eat and what you should store up in your houses.* Behold, in all this there is indeed a message for you, if you are [truly] believers.
"And [I have come] to confirm the truth of whatever there still remains* of the Torah, and to make lawful unto you some of the things which [aforetime] were forbidden to you. And I have come unto you with a message from your Sustainer; remain, then, conscious of God, and pay heed unto me.
And if anyone should argue with thee about this [truth] after all the knowledge that has come unto thee, say: "Come! Let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves; and then let us pray [together] humbly and ardently, and let us invoke God's curse upon those [of us] who are telling a lie."*
AND, LO, God accepted, through the prophets, this solemn pledge [from the followers of earlier revelation]:* "If, after all the revelation and the wisdom which I have vouchsafed unto you, there comes to you an apostle confirming the truth already in your possession, you must believe in him and succour him. Do you" - said He - "acknowledge and accept My bond on this condition?" They answered: "We do acknowledge it." Said He: "Then bear witness [thereto], and I shall be your witness.*
How would God bestow His guidance upon people who have resolved to deny the truth after having attained to faith, and having borne witness that this Apostle is true, and [after] all evidence of the truth has come unto them?* For, God does not guide such evildoing folk.
And be not like those who have drawn apart from one another and have taken to conflicting views after all evidence of the truth has come unto them:* for these it is for whom tremendous suffering is in store
As for those who maintain, "Behold, God has bidden us not to believe in any apostle unless he comes unto us with burnt offerings"* - say [unto them, O Prophet]: "Even before me there came unto you apostles with all evidence of the truth, and with that whereof you speak: why, then, did you slay them, if what you say is true?"*
And if they give thee the lie - even so, before thy time, have [other] apostles been given the lie when they came with all evidence of the truth, and with books of divine wisdom, and with light-giving revelation.
How, then, [will the sinners fare on Judgment Day,] when We shall bring forward witnesses from within every community,* and bring thee [O Prophet] as witness against them?
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not attempt to pray while you are in a state of drunkenness,* [but wait] until you know what you are saying; nor yet [while you are] in a state requiring total ablution,* until you have bathed - except if you are travelling [and are unable to do so]. But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature,* or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water - then take resort to pure dust, passing [therewith] lightly over your face and your hands.* Behold, God is indeed an absolver of sins, much-forgiving.
But how [will they fare] when calamity befalls them [on the Day of Judgment] because of what they have wrought in this world* - whereupon they will come to thee, swearing by God, "Our aim was but to do good, and to bring about harmony"?*
for We have never sent any apostle save that he should be heeded by God's leave.* If, then, after having sinned against themselves, they would but come round to thee and ask God to forgive them - with the Apostle, too, praying that they be forgiven - they would assuredly find that God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.
AND IF any [secret] matter pertaining to peace or war comes within their ken, they* spread it abroad - whereas, if they would but refer it unto the Apostle and unto those from among the believers* who have been entrusted with authority, such of them as are engaged in obtaining intelligence* would indeed know [what to do with] it And but for God's bounty towards you, and His grace, all but a few of you would certainly have followed Satan.
unless it be such [of them] as have ties with people to whom you yourselves are bound by a covenant, or such as come unto you because their hearts shrink from [the thought of] making war either on you or on their own folk - although, if God had willed to make them stronger than you, they would certainly have made war on you.* Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them.*
THE FOLLOWERS of the Old Testament* demand of thee [O Prophet] that thou cause a revelation to be sent down to them from heaven.* And an even greater thing than this did they demand of Moses when they said, "Make us see God face to face" - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment overtook them for this their wickedness.* After that, they took to worshipping the [golden] calf - and this after all evidence of the truth had come unto them! None the less, We effaced this [sin of theirs], and vouchsafed unto Moses a clear proof [of the truth],
O mankind! The Apostle has now come unto you with the truth from your Sustainer: believe, then, for your own good! And if you deny the truth - behold, unto God belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and God is indeed all-knowing, wise!
O MANKIND! A manifestation of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer, and We have sent down unto you a clear light.
O YOU who have attained to faith! When you are about to pray, wash your face, and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and pass your [wet] hands lightly over your head, and [wash] your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in a state. requiring total ablution, purify yourselves.* But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature, or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water-then take resort to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your face and your hands. God does not want to impose any hardship on you, but wants to make you pure, and to bestow upon you the full measure of His blessings, so that you might have cause to be grateful.
O followers of the Bible! Now there has come unto you Our Apostle, to make clear unto you much of what you have been concealing [from yourselves) of the Bible,* and to pardon much. Now there has come unto you from God a light, and a clear divine writ,
O followers of the Bible! Now, after a long time during which no apostles have appeared, there has come unto you [this] Our Apostle to make [the truth] clear to you, lest you say, "No bearer of glad tidings has come unto us, nor any warner ": for now there has come unto you a bearer of glad tidings and a warner -since God has the power to will anything.
Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being-unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth-it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.* And, indeed, there came unto them* Our apostles with all evidence of the truth: yet, behold, notwithstanding all this, many of them go on committing all manner of excesses on earth.*
those who eagerly listen to any falsehood, greedily swallowing all that is evil!* Hence, if they come to thee [for judgment],* thou mayest either judge between them or leave them alone: for, if thou leave them alone, they cannot harm thee in any way. But if thou dost judge, judge between them with equity :* verily, God knows those who act equitably.
And unto thee [O Prophet] have We vouchsafed this divine writ, setting forth the truth, confirming the truth of whatever there still remains of earlier revelations and determining what is true therein.* Judge, then, between the followers of earlier revelation in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high,* and do not follow their errant views, forsaking the truth that has come unto thee. Unto every one of you have We appointed a [different] law and way of life.* And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto, you.* Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.*
For, when they come unto you, they say, "We do believe": whereas, in fact, they come with the resolve to deny the truth, and depart in the same state.* But God is fully aware of all that they would conceal.
INDEED, We accepted a solemn pledge from the children of Israel, and We sent apostles unto them; [but] every time an apostle came unto them with anything that was not to their liking, [they rebelled:] to some of them they gave the lie, while others they would slay,*
And how could we fail to believe in God and in whatever truth has come unto us, when we so fervently desire that our Sustainer count us among the righteous?"
Lo!* God will say: "O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember the blessings which I bestowed upon thee and thy mother-how I strengthened thee with holy inspiration,* so that thou couldst speak unto men in thy cradle, and as a grown man; and how I imparted unto thee revelation and wisdom, including the Torah and the Gospel;* and how by My leave thou didst create out of clay, as it were, the shape of [thy followers'] destiny, and then didst breathe into it, so that it might become, by My leave, [their] destiny ;* and how thou didst heal the blind and the leper by My leave, and how thou didst raise the dead by My leave;* and how I prevented the children of Israel from harming thee when thou camest unto them with all evidence of the truth, and [when] those of them who were bent on denying the truth were saying, `This is clearly nothing but deception!"'
and so they give the lie to this truth now that it has come unto them. In time, however, they will come to understand what it was that they were wont to deride.*
And there are among them such as [seem to] listen to thee [O Prophet]: but over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness.* And were they to see every sign [of the truth], they would still not believe in it-so much so that when they come unto thee to contend with thee, those who are bent on denying the truth say, "This is nothing but fables of ancient times!"
Lost indeed are they who consider it a lie that they will have to meet God -till the Last Hour suddenly comes upon them, [and] they cry, "Alas for us, that we disregarded it!" - for they shall bear on their backs the burden of their sins:* oh, how evil the load with which they shall be burdened!
And, indeed, [even] before thy time have apostles been given the lie, and they endured with patience all those charges of falsehood, and all the hurt done to them, till succour came unto them from Us: for there is no power that could alter [the outcome of] God's promises. And some of the histories of those apostles have already come within thy ken.*
yet when the misfortune decreed by Us befell them, they did not humble themselves, but rather their hearts grew hard, for Satan had made all their doings seem goodly to them.
And when those who believe in Our messages come unto thee, say: "Peace be upon you. Your Sustainer has willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy* - so that if any of you does a bad deed out of ignorance, and thereafter repents and lives righteously, He shall be [found] much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
And He alone holds sway over His servants. And He sends forth heavenly forces to watch over you* until, when death approaches any of you, Our messengers cause him to die: and they do not overlook [anyone].
For, no true understanding of God have they when they say, "Never has God revealed anything unto man." Say: "Who has bestowed from on high the divine writ which Moses brought unto men as a light and a guidance, [and] which you treat as* [mere] leaves of paper, making a show of them the while you conceal [so] much - although you have been taught [by it] what neither you nor your forefathers had ever known?"* Say: "God [has revealed that divine writ]!" - and then leave them to play at their vain talk.
[And God shall say:] "And now, indeed, you have come unto Us in a lonely state, even as We created you in the first instance; and you have left behind you all that We bestowed on you [in your lifetime]. And We do not see with you those intercessors of yours whom you supposed to have a share in God's divinity with regard to yourselves!* Indeed, all the bonds between you [and your earthly life] are now severed, and all your former fancies have forsaken you!*
Means of insight have now come unto you from your Sustainer [through this divine writ]. Whoever, therefore, chooses to see, does so for his own good; and whoever chooses to remain blind, does so to his own hurt. And [say unto the blind of heart]: "I am not your keeper."
Now they swear by God with their most solemn oaths that if a miracle were shown to them, they would indeed believe in this [divine writ]. Say: "Miracles are in the power of God alone."* And for all you know, even if one should be shown to them, they would not believe
And whenever. a [divine] message comes to them, they say, "We shall not believe unless we are given the like of what God's apostles were given!"* [But] God knows best upon whom to bestow His message. Abasement in the sight of God will befall those who have become guilty of evildoing, and suffering severe for all the schemes which they were wont to weave.
or lest you say, "If a divine writ had been bestowed from on high upon us, we would surely have followed its guidance better than they did."* And so, a clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer, and guidance, and grace. Who, then, could be more wicked than he who gives the lie to God's messages, and turns away from them in disdain? We shall requite those who turn away from Our messages in disdain with evil suffering for having thus turned away!
Whoever shall come [before God] with a good deed will gain ten times the like thereof; but whoever shall come with an evil deed will be requited with no more than the like thereof; and none shall be wronged.*
And how many a [rebellious] community have We destroyed, with Our punishment coming upon it by night, or while they were resting at noontide!*
And when Our punishment came upon them, they had nothing to say for themselves, and could only cry,* "Verily, we were wrongdoers!"
And for all people a term has been set:* and when [the end of] their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment,* nor can they hasten it.
And who could be more wicked than they who attribute their own lying inventions to God or give the lie to His messages? Whatever has been decreed to be their lot [in life] will be theirs* -till there shall come _ unto them Our messengers to cause them to die, [and] shall say, "Where, now, are those beings whom you were wont to invoke beside God?" And [those sinners] will reply, "They have forsaken us!" -and [thus] they will bear witness against themselves that they had been denying the truth.
after We shall have removed whatever unworthy thoughts or feelings may have been [lingering] in their bosoms. Running waters will flow at their feet;* and they will say: "All praise is due to God, who has guided us unto this; for we would certainly not have found the right path unless God had guided us! Indeed, our Sustainer's apostles have told us the truth!" And [a voice] will call out unto them: "This is the paradise which you have inherited by virtue of your past deeds!"
for, indeed, We did convey unto them a divine writ which We clearly, and wisely,* spelled out - a guidance and a grace unto people who will believe."
Are [the unbelievers] but waiting for the final meaning of that [Day of Judgment] to unfold?* [But] on the Day when its final meaning is unfolded, those who aforetime had been oblivious thereof will say: "Our Sustainer's apostles have indeed told us the truth! Have we, then, any intercessors who could intercede in our behalf? Or could we be brought back [to life] so that we might act otherwise than we were wont to act?"* Indeed, they will have squandered their own selves, and all their false imagery will have forsaken them.
Why, do you deem it strange that a tiding from your Sustainer should have come unto you through a man from among yourselves, so that he might warn you, and that you might become conscious of God, and that you might be graced with His mercy?"
Why, do you deem it strange that a tiding from your Sustainer should have come unto you through a man from among yourselves, so that he might warn you? Do but remember how He made you heirs to Noah's people, and endowed you abundantly with power:* remember, then, God's blessings, so that you might attain to a happy state!"
They answered: "Hast thou come to us [with the demand] that we worship God alone, and give up all that our forefathers were wont to worship? Bring about, then, that [punishment] with which thou hast threatened us, if thou art a man of truth!"
AND UNTO [the tribe of] Thamud [We sent] their brother salih* He said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer. "This she-camel belonging to God shall be a token for you: so leave her alone to pasture on God's earth, and do her no harm, lest grievous chastisement befall you.*
AND UNTO [the people of] Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu'ayb .* He said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer. Give, therefore, full measure and weight [in all your dealings], and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs;* and do not spread corruption on earth after it has be, en so well ordered: [all] this is for your own good, 'if you would but believe.
Unto those [earlier] communities - some of whose stories We [now] relate unto thee -there had indeed come apostles of their own with all evidence of the truth; but they would not believe in anything to which they had once given the lie:* thus it is that God seals the hearts of those who deny the truth;
so constituted that I cannot say anything about God but the truth. I have now come unto you with a clear evidence from your Sustainer: let, then, the children of Israel go with me!"
Said [Pharaoh]: "If thou hast come with a sign, produce it-if thou art a man of truth!"
And the sorcerers came unto Pharaoh [and] said: "Verily, we ought to have a great reward* if it is we who prevail."
He answered: "You throw [first]." And when they threw down [their staffs], they cast a spell upon the people's eyes, and struck them with awe, and produced mighty sorcery.
for thou takest vengeance on us only because we have come to believe in our Sustainer's messages as soon as they came to us. O our Sustainer! Shower us with patience in adversity, and make us die as men who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!"
[But the children of Israel ] said: "We have suffered hurt ere thou camest to us and since thou hast come to us!* [Moses] replied: "It may well be that your Sustainer will destroy your foe and make you inherit the earth: and thereupon he will behold how you act."*
But whenever good fortune alighted upon them, they would say, "This is [but] our due"; and whenever affliction befell them, they would blame their evil fortune on Moses and those who followed him.* Oh, verily, their [evil] fortune had been decreed by God-but most of them knew it not.
And when Moses came [to Mount Sinai] at the time set by Us, and his Sustainer spoke unto him, he said: "O my Sustainer! Show [Thyself] unto me, so that I might behold Thee!" Said [God]: "Never canst thou see Me. However, behold this mountain: if it remains firm in its place, then - only then - wilt thou see Me.* And as soon as his Sustainer revealed His glory to the mountain, He caused it to crumble to dust; and Moses fell down in a swoon. And when he came to himself, he said: "Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! Unto Thee do I turn in repentance; and I shall [always] be the first to believe in Thee!"*
If you have been praying for victory, [O believers] - victory has now indeed come unto you. And if you abstain [from sinning], it will be for your own good; but if you revert to it, We shall revoke [Our promise of aid] - and never will your community be of any avail to you, however great its numbers: for, behold, God is [only] with those who believe !*
Indeed, even before this time* have they tried to stir up discord and devised all manner of plots against thee, [O Prophet,] until the truth was revealed and God's will became manifest, however hateful this may have been to them.
AND THERE came [unto the Apostle] such of the bedouin as had some excuse to offer, [with the request] that they be granted exemption,* whereas those who were bent on giving the lie to God and His Apostle [simply] remained at home.* [And] grievous suffering is bound to befall such of them as are bent on denying the truth!
INDEED, there has come unto you [O mankind] an Apostle from among yourselves:* heavily weighs -upon him [the thought] that you might suffer [in the life to come]; full of concern for you [is he, and] full of compassion and mercy towards the believers.
And, indeed, We destroyed before your time [whole] generations when they [persistently] did evil although the apostles sent unto them brought them all evidence of the truth; for they refused to believe [them]. Thus do We requite people who are lost in sin.*
He it is who enables you to travel on land and sea. And [behold what happens] when you go to sea in ships:* [they go to sea in ships,] and they sail on in them in a favourable wind, and they rejoice thereat until there comes upon them a tempest, and waves surge towards them from all sides, so that they believe themselves to be encompassed [by death; and then] they call unto God, [at that moment] sincere in their faith in Him alone, "If Thou wilt but save us from this, we shall most certainly be among the grateful!"
NOW every community has had an apostle; and only after their apostle has appeared [and delivered his message] is judgment passed on them, in all equity;* and never are they wronged.
Say [O Prophet]: "It is not within my power to avert harm from, or bring benefit to, myself, except as God may please.* For all people a term has been set: when the end of their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor hasten it."*
O MANKIND! There has now come unto you an admonition from your Sustainer, and a cure for all [the ill] that may be in men's hearts,* and guidance and grace unto all who believe [in Him].
AND THEN, after him, We sent forth [other] apostles-each one unto his own people* -and they brought them all evidence of the truth; but they would not believe in anything to which they had once given the lie:* thus it is that We seal the hearts of such as [are wont to] transgress the bounds of what is right.*
And so, when the truth came to them from Us, they said, "Behold, this is clearly nothing but sorcery!"*
Said Moses: "Do you speak thus of the truth after it has been brought to you? Can this be sorcery? But sorcerers can never come to a happy end!"*
[The great ones] replied: "Hast thou come to turn us away from what we found our forefathers believing in and doing, so that the two of you might become supreme in this land? However, we do not believe in you two!"*
And when the sorcerers came, Moses said unto them: "Throw whatever you may [wish to] throw!"
And when they threw down [their staffs and cast a spell upon the people's eyes* ], Moses said unto them: "What you have contrived is [but] sorcery which, verily, God will bring to nought! Verily, God does not further the works of spreaders of corruption -
And [thereafter], indeed, We assigned unto the children of Israel a most goodly abode,* and provided for them sustenance out of the good things of life. And it was not until knowledge [of God's revelation] was vouchsafed to them that they began to hold divergent views: [but,] verily, thy Sustainer will judge between them on Resurrection Day regarding all on which they were wont to differ.*
AND SO, [O man,] if thou art in doubt about [the truth of] what We have [now] bestowed upon thee from on high,* ask those who read the divine writ [revealed] before thy time:* [and thou wilt find that,] surely, the truth has now come unto thee from thy Sustainer. Be not, then, among the doubters -
even though every sign [of the truth] should come within their ken - until they behold the grievous suffering [that awaits them in the life to come].*
SAY [O Prophet]: "O mankind! The truth from your Sustainer has now come unto you. Whoever, therefore, chooses to follow the right path, follows it but for his own good; and whoever chooses to go astray, goes but astray to his own hurt. And I am not responsible for your conduct."
IS IT, then, conceivable [O Prophet] that thou couldst omit any part of what is being revealed unto thee [because the deniers of the truth dislike it,-and] because thy heart is distressed at their saying,* "Why has not a treasure been bestowed upon him from on high?" -or, "[Why has not] an angel come [visibly:: with him ?"* [They fail to understand that] thou art only a warner, whereas God has everything in His care ;*
[And so it went on] till, when Our judgment came to pass, and waters gushed forth in torrents over the face of the earth,* We said [unto Noah]: "Place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex,* as well as thy family -except those on whom [Our] sentence has already been passed* -and all [others] who have attained to faith!"-for, only a few [of Noah's people] shared his faith.
Said they: "O Mud! Thou hast brought us no clear evidence [that thou art a prophet]; and we are not going to forsake our gods on thy mere word, the more so as we do not believe thee.
And so, when Our judgment came to pass,* by Our grace We saved Hud and those who shared his faith; and We saved them [too] from suffering severe [in the life to come].*
And so, when Our judgment came to pass, by Our grace We saved Salih and those who shared his faith; and [We saved them, too,] from the ignominy of [Our rejection on] that Day [of Resurrection]. Verily, thy Sustainer alone is powerful, almighty!
AND, INDEED, there came unto Abraham Our [heavenly] messengers, bearing a glad tiding.* They bade him peace; [and] he answered, "[And upon you be] peace!"-and made haste to place before them* a roasted calf.
And when the fear had left Abraham, and the glad tiding had been conveyed to him, he began to plead with Us for Lot's people:*
[But God's messengers replied:] "O Abraham! Desist from this [pleading]! Behold, thy Sustainer's judgment has already gone forth: and, verily, there shall fall upon them a chastisement which none can avert!"
AND WHEN Our messengers came unto Lot, he was sorely grieved on their account, seeing that it was beyond his power to shield them;* and he exclaimed: "This is a woeful day!"
And his people came running to him, impelled towards his house [by their desire]:* for they had ever been wont to commit [such], abominations. Said [Lot]: "O my people! [Take instead] these daughters of mine: they are purer for you [than men]!* Be, then, conscious of God, and disgrace me not by [assaulting] my guests. Is there not among you even one right-minded man?"
And so, when Our judgment came to pass, We turned those [sinful towns] upside down, and rained down upon them stone-hard blows of chastisement pre-ordained.* one upon another,
And so, when Our judgment came to pass, by Our grace We saved Shu'ayb and those who shared his faith, whereas the blast [of Our punishment] overtook those who had been bent on evildoing: and then they lay lifeless, in their very homes, on the ground,*
for, no wrong did We do to them, but it was they who wronged themselves. And when thy Sustainer's judgment came to pass, those deities of theirs which they had been wont to invoke instead of God proved of no avail whatever to them, and brought them no more than utter perdition.
AND [remember:] out of all the accounts relating to the [earlier] apostles We convey unto thee [only] that wherewith We [aim to] make firm thy heart:* for through these [accounts] comes the truth unto thee, as well as an admonition and a reminder unto all believers.
And at nightfall they came to their father, weeping,
and they produced his tunic with false blood upon it. [But Jacob] exclaimed: "Nay, but it is your [own] minds that have made [so terrible] a happening seem a matter of little account to you!* But [as for myself,] patience in adversity is most goodly [in the sight of God]; and it is to God [alone] that I pray to give me strength to bear the misfortune which you have described to me."*
AND THERE CAME a caravan;* and they sent forth their drawer of water, and he let down his bucket into the well - [and when he saw Joseph] he exclaimed: "Oh, what a lucky find,* this boy!" And they hid him with a view to selling him: but God had full knowledge of all that they were doing.
And [as soon as Joseph's interpretation. was conveyed to him,] the King said: "Bring him before me!" But when the [King's] messenger came unto him, [Joseph] said: "Go back to thy lord and ask him [first to find out the truth] about those women who cut their hands-for, behold, [until now it is] my Sustainer [alone who] has full knowledge of their guile!"
AND [after some years,] Joseph's brothers came [to Egypt]* and presented themselves before him: and he knew them [at once], whereas they did not recognize him.
They answered: "We miss the King's goblet; and he who produces it shall receive a camel-load [of grain as reward]!" And [the herald added:] "I pledge myself to this _ [promise]!"
Said [the brothers]: "By God! Well do you know that we have not come to commit deeds of corruption in this land, and that we have not been thieving!"
[AND THE SONS of Jacob went back to Egypt and to Joseph;] and when they presented themselves before him, they said: "O thou great one! Hardship has visited us and our folk, and so we have brought but scanty merchandise;* but give us a full measure [of grain], and be charitable to us: behold, God rewards those who give in charity!"
But when the bearer of good tidings came [with Joseph's tunic], he laid it over his face; and he regained his sight, [and] exclaimed: "Did I not tell you, `Verily, I know, from God, something that you do not know'?"*
And he raised his parents to the highest place of honour;* and they [all] fell down before Him, prostrating themselves in adoration.* Thereupon [Joseph] said: "O my father! This is the real meaning of my dream of long ago, which my Sustainer has made come true.* And He was indeed good to me when He freed me from the prison, and [when] He brought you [all unto me] from the desert after Satan had sown discord between me and my brothers. Verily, my Sustainer is unfathomable in [the way He brings about] whatever He wills:* verily, He alone is all-knowing, truly wise!
[All the earlier apostles had to suffer persecution for a long time;] but at last* -when those apostles had lost all hope and saw themselves branded as liars* - Our succour attained to them: whereupon everyone whom We Milled [to be saved] was saved [and the deniers of the truth were destroyed]: for, never can Our punishment be averted from people who are lost in sin.
Thus, then, have We bestowed from on high this [divine writ] as an ordinance in the Arabic tongue.* And, indeed, if thou shouldst defer to men's likes and dislikes* after all the [divine] knowledge that has come unto thee, thou wouldst have none to protect thee from God, and none to shield thee [from Him].
HAVE THE STORIES of those [deniers of the truth] who lived before you never yet come within your ken - [the stories of] the people of Noah, and of [the tribes of] `Ad and Thamud, and of those who came after them? None knows them [now] save God.* There came unto them their apostles with all evidence of the truth -but they covered their mouths with their hands* and answered: "Behold, we refuse to regard as true the message with which you [claim to] have been entrusted; and, behold, we are .in grave doubt, amounting to suspicion, about [the meaning of] your call to us!"*
AND WHEN the messengers [of God] came to the house of Lot,
They answered: "Nay, but we have come unto thee with [the announcement of] something that they [who are given to evil] have always been wont to call in question,*
And the people of the city came [unto Lot], rejoicing at the glad tiding.*
Now if God were to take men [immediately] to task for all the evil that they do [on earth], He would not leave a single living creature upon its face. However, He grants them respite until a term set [by Him]:* but when the end of their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor can they hasten it.*
for one Day We shall raise up within every community a witness against them from among themselves.* And thee [too, O Prophet,] have We brought forth to bear witness regarding those [whom thy message may have reached],* inasmuch as We have bestowed from on high upon thee, step by step, this divine writ, to make everything clear,* and to provide guidance and grace and a glad tiding unto all who have surrendered themselves to God.
And indeed, there had come unto them an apostle from among themselves -but they gave him the lie; and therefore suffering overwhelmed them while they were thus doing wrong [to themselves].
Hence, when the prediction of the first of those two [periods of iniquity] came true, We sent against you some of Our bondmen of terrible prowess in war, and they wrought havoc throughout the land: and so the prediction was fulfilled.*
[And We said:] "If you persevere in doing good, you will but be doing good to yourselves; and if you do evil, it will be [done] to yourselves." And so, when the prediction of the second [period of your iniquity] came true, [We raised new enemies against you, and allowed them] to disgrace you utterly,* and to enter the Temple as [their forerunners] had entered it once before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that they had conquered.
And say: "The truth has now come [to light], and falsehood has withered away: for, behold, all falsehood is bound to wither away!"
Yet whenever [God's] guidance came to them [through a prophet,] nothing has ever kept people from believing [in him] save this their objection:* "Would God have sent a [mere] mortal man as His apostle?"
AND, INDEED, We gave unto Moses nine clear messages.* Ask, then, the children of Israel* [to tell thee what happened] when he came unto them, [and appealed to Pharaoh,* ] and Pharaoh said unto him, "Verily, O Moses, I think that thou art full of sorcery!"*
And after that We said unto the children of Israel: "Dwell now securely on earth - but [remember that] when the promise of the Last Day shall come to pass, We will bring you forth as [parts of] a motley crowd!*
And they will be lined up before thy Sustainer, [and He will say:* ] "Now, indeed, you have come unto Us [in a lonely state], even as We created you in the first instances* - although you were wont to assert that We would never 'appoint for you a meeting [with Us]!"
for, what is there to keep people from attaining to faith now that guidance has come unto them, and from asking their Sustainer to forgive them their sins - unless it be [their wish] that the fate of the [sinful] people of ancient times should befall them [as well], or that the [ultimate] suffering should befall them in the hereafter?*
And so the two went on their way, till (they reached the seashore; and] when they disembarked from the boat [that had ferried them across], the sage* made a hole in it-[whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou made a hole in it in order to drown the people who may be [travelling] in it? Indeed, thou hast done a grievous thing!"
And so the two went on, till, when they met a young man, [the sage] slew him -(whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou slain an innocent human being without [his having taken] another man's life? Indeed, thou hast done a terrible thing!"
Said [the King]: "This is a mercy from my Sustainer! Yet when the time appointed by my Sustainer* shall come, He will make this [rampart] level with the ground: and my Sustainer's promise always comes true!"*
SAY: "If all the sea were ink for my Sustainer's words, the sea would indeed be exhausted ere my Sustainer's words are exhausted! And [thus it would be] if we were to add to it sea upon sea."*
And [when] the throes of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree,* she exclaimed: "Oh, would that I had died ere this, and had become a thing forgotten, utterly forgotten!"
And in time she returned to her people, carrying the child with her.* They said: "O Mary! Thou hast indeed done an amazing thing!
"O my father! Behold, there has indeed come to me [a ray] of knowledge such as has never yet come unto thee:* follow me, then; I shall guide thee onto a perfect way.
Indeed, [by this assertion] you have brought forth something monstrous,
"[And thou wert under Mine eye] when thy sister went forth and said [to Pharaoh's people], 'Shall I guide you unto [a woman] who might take charge of him?''* And so We returned thee unto thy mother, so that her eye be gladdened, and that she might not sorrow [any longer].* "And [when thou camest of age,* thou didst slay a man: but We did save thee from all grief, although We tried thee with various trials.* "And then thou didst sojourn for years among the people of Madyan;* and now thou hast come [here] as ordained [by Me], O Moses:
Go, then; you two unto him and say, `Behold, we are apostles sent by thy Sustainer: let, then, the children of Israel go with us, and cause them not to suffer [any longer].* We have now come unto thee with a message from thy Sustainer; and [know that His] peace shall be [only] on those who follow [His] guidance:
He said: "Hash thou come to drive us out of our land* by thy sorcery, O Moses?
They answered: "Never shall we prefer thee to all the evidence of the truth that has come unto us, nor to Him who has brought us into being! Decree, then, whatever thou art going to decree: thou canst decree only [something that pertains to] this worldly life!*
They asked: Hast thou come unto us [with this claim] in all earnest - or art thou one of those jesters?''
Thereupon We inspired him thus: Build, under Our eyes* and according to Our inspiration, the ark [that shall save thee and those who follow thee].* And when Our judgment comes to pass, and waters gush forth in torrents over the face of the earth, place on board of this [ark] one pair of each [kind of animal] of either sex, as well as thy family - excepting those on whom sentence has already been passed; and do not appeal to Me [any more] in behalf of those who are bent on evildoing - for, behold, they are destined to be drowned!
And We sent forth Our apostles, one after another: [and] every time their apostle came to a community, they gave him the lie: and so We caused them to follow one another [into the grave], and let them become [mere] tales: and so - away with the folk who would not believe!
Have they, then, never tried to understand this word [of God]? Or has there [now] come to them something that never came to their forefathers of old?*
Or do they say. There is madness in him"? Nay, he has brought them the truth - and the truth do most of them detest!*
[AS FOR THOSE who will not believe in the life to come, they go on lying to themselves]* until, when death approaches any of them, he prays: O my Sustainer! Let me return, let me return [to life],*
Verily, numerous among you are those who would falsely accuse others of unchastity:* [but, O you who are thus wronged,] deem it not a bad thing for you: nay, it is good for you!* [As for the slanderers,] unto every one of them [will be accounted] all that he has earned by [thus] sinning; and awesome suffering awaits any of them who takes it upon himself to enhance this [sin]!*
why do they not [demand of the accusers that they]* their allegation?* for, if they do not produce such witnesses, it is those [accusers] who, in the sight of God, are liars indeed!
But as for those who are bent on denying the truth, their [good] deeds are like a mirage in the desert, which the thirsty supposes to be water until, when he approaches it, he finds that it was nothing:* instead, he finds [that] God [has always been present] with him, and [that] He will pay him his account in full - for God is swift in reckoning!
Moreover, those who are bent on denying the truth are wont to say, This [Qur'an] is nothing but a lie, which he [himself] has devised with the help of other people,* who thereupon have perverted the truth and brought a falsehood into being."*
Indeed, he led me astray from the remembrance [of God] after it had come unto me!" For [thus it is:] Satan is ever a betrayer of man.*
and [that] they [who deny the truth] might never taunt thee with any deceptive half-truth* without Our conveying to thee the [full] truth and [providing thee] with the best explanation.*
Said he: Even if I should bring about before thee something that clearly shows the truth?"*
Now when the sorcerers came, they said unto Pharaoh: Verily, we ought to have a great reward if it is we who prevail.*
and thereupon that [chastisement] which they were promised befalls them
But when he came close to it, a call was sounded: Blessed are all who are within [reach of] this fire, and all who are near it!* And limitless in His glory is God, the Sustainer of all the worlds!"
But when Our light-giving messages came unto them, they said, This is clearly [but] spellbinding deception!"*
But [the hoopoe] tarried but a short while; and [when it came] it said: I have encompassed [with my knowledge] something that thou hast never yet encompassed [with thine] - for I have come to thee from Sheba with a tiding sure!*
Now when [the Queen's messenger] came unto Solomon, he said: Do you people mean to add to my wealth? But that which God has given me* is [so much] better than all that He has given you! Nay, it is [only such as] you* that would rejoice in this gift of yours!
And so, as soon as she arrived, she was asked: Is thy throne like this?" She answered: It is as though it were the same!"* [And Solomon said to his nobles: She has arrived at the truth without any help from us,]* although it is we who have been given [divine] knowledge before her, and have [long ago] surrendered ourselves unto God!
until such a time as they shall come [to be judged. And] He will say: Did you give the lie to My messages even though you failed to encompass them with [your] knowledge?* Or what was it that [you thought] you were doing?"
Whoever shall come [before Him] with a good deed will gain [further] good there from;* and they will be secure from the terror of that Day.
But they who shall come with evil deeds * their faces will be thrust into the fire, [and they will be asked:] Is this aught but a just requital* for what you were doing [in life]?"
And [then and there] a man came running from the farthermost end of the city, and said: O Moses! Behold, the great ones [of the kingdom] are deliberating upon thy case with a view to killing thee! Begone, then: verily, I am of those who wish thee well!"
[Shortly] afterwards, one of the two [maidens] approached him, walking shyly, and said: Behold, my father invites thee, so that he might duly reward thee for thy having watered [our flock] for us." And as soon as [Moses] came unto him and told him the story [of his life], he said: Have no fear! Thou art now safe from those evildoing folk!"
But as soon as Moses came unto them with Our clear messages [Pharaoh and his great ones] said: All this is nothing but spellbinding eloquence devised [by man]:* and never did we hear [the like of] this, [nor has it ever been heard of] in the time of our forebears of old!"
And Moses replied: My Sustainer knows best as to who comes with guidance from Him, and to whom the future belongs!* Verily, never will evildoers attain to a happy state!"
And yet, now that the truth has come unto them from Us, they say, Why has he not been vouchsafed the like of what Moses was vouchsafed?"* But did they not also, before this, deny the truth of what Moses was vouchsafed? [For] they do say, Two examples of delusion, [seemingly] supporting each other!"* And they add, Behold, we refuse to accept either of them as true!"
Whosoever shall come [before God] with a good deed will gain [further] good there from;* but as for any who shall come with an evil deed - [know that] they who do evil deeds will not be requited with more than [the like of] what they have done.*
VERILY, [O believer,] He who has laid down this Qur'an in plain terms, making it binding on thee,* will assuredly bring thee back [from death] to a life renewed.* Say [unto those who reject the truth]: My Sustainer knows best, as to who is right-guided* and who is obviously lost in error!"
Now there is among men many a one who says [of himself and of others like him], We do believe in God" - but whenever he is made to suffer in God's cause, he thinks that persecution at the hands of man is as [much to be feared, or even more than,] God's chastisement;* whereas, if succour from thy Sustainer comes [to those who truly believe]* he is sure to say. Behold, we have always been with you!" Is not God fully aware of what is in the hearts of all creatures?
And so, when Our [heavenly] messengers came to Abraham with the glad tiding [of the birth of Isaac],* they [also] said, Behold, we are about to destroy the people of that land, for its people are truly evildoers!"*
And when Our messengers came unto Lot, he was sorely grieved on their account, seeing that it was beyond his power to shield them;* but they said: Fear not, and grieve not! Behold, we shall save thee and thy household - all but thy wife: she will indeed be among those that stay behind.
And [thus, too, did We deal with] Qarun and Pharaoh, and Haman:* to them had come Moses with all evidence of the truth, but they behaved arrogantly on earth [and rejected him]; and withal, they could not escape [Us].
Now they challenge thee to hasten the coming upon them of [God's] chastisement:* and indeed, had not a term been set [for it by God], that suffering would already have come upon them! But indeed, it will most certainly come upon them of a sudden, and they will be taken unawares.
And who could be more wicked than he who attributes his own lying inventions to God,* or gives the lie to the truth when it comes unto him [through revelation]? Is not hell the [proper] abode for all who [thus] deny the truth?
Have they, then, never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before their time? Greater were they in power than they are; and they left a stronger impact on the earth, and built it up even better* than these [are doing]; and to them [too] came their apostles with all evidence of the truth: and so, [when they rejected the truth and thereupon perished,] it was not God who wronged them, but it was they who had wronged themselves.
And indeed, [O Muhammad, even] before thee did We send forth apostles - each one unto his own people* and they brought them all evidence of the truth: and then, [by causing the believers to triumph,] We inflicted Our retribution upon those who [deliberately] did evil: for We had willed it upon Ourselves to succour the believers.
AND, INDEED, We have propounded unto men all kinds of parables in this Qur'an.* But thus it is: if thou approach them with any [such] message, those who are bent on denying the truth are sure to say, You are but making false claims!"
O YOU who have attained to faith! Call to mind the blessings which God bestowed on you (at the time) when [enemy] hosts came down upon you, whereupon We let loose against them a storm wind and [heavenly] hosts that you could not see:* yet God saw all that you did.
[Remember what you felt] when they came upon you from above you and from below you,* and when [your] eyes became dim and [your] hearts came up to [your] throats, and [when] most conflicting thoughts about God passed through your minds:*
begrudging you all help. But then, when danger threatens, thou canst see them looking to thee [for help, O Prophet], their eyes rolling [in terror] like [the eyes of] one who is overshadowed by death: yet as soon as the danger has passed, they will assail you [believers] with sharp tongues, begrudging you all that is good! [People like] these have never known faith - and therefore God will cause all their works to come to nought: for this is indeed easy for God.
[And] those who were wont to glory in their arrogance will say unto those who had been weak: Why - did we keep you [forcibly] from following the right path after it had become obvious to you?* Nay, it was but you [yourselves] who were guilty!"
For [thus it is:] whenever Our messages are conveyed unto them in all their clarity, they [who are bent on denying the truth] say [to one another], This [Muhammad] is nothing but a man who wants to turn you away from what your forefathers were wont to worship!" And they say, This [Qur'an] is nothing but a falsehood invented [by man]!" And [finally,] they who are bent on denying the truth speak thus of the truth when it comes to them: This is clearly nothing but spellbinding eloquence!"*
Say: The truth has now come [to light, and falsehood is bound to wither away]:* for, falsehood cannot bring forth anything new, nor can it bring back [what has passed away]."*
And if they give thee the lie - even so gave the lie to the truth [many of] those who lived before their time, [when] there came unto them their apostles with all evidence of the truth, and with books of divine wisdom, and with light-giving revelation;
And in that [hell] they will cry aloud: O our Sustainer! Cause us to come out [of this suffering]! We shall [henceforth] do good deeds, not such as we were wont to do [aforetime]!" [But We shall answer:] Did We not grant you a life long enough so that whoever was willing to take thought could bethink himself? And [withal,] a warner had come unto you! Taste, then, [the fruit of your evil deeds]: for evildoers shall have none to succour them!"
As it is, they [who are averse to the truth often] swear by God with their most solemn oaths that if a warner should ever come to them, they would follow his guidance better than any of the communities [of old had followed the warner sent to them]:* but now that a warner has come unto them, [his call] but increases their aversion,
Now if God were to take men [at once] to task for whatever [wrong] they commit [on earth], He would not leave a single living creature upon its surface. However, He grants them respite for a term set [by Him]:* but when their term comes to an end - then, verily, [they come to know that] God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His servants.
AND SET FORTH unto them a parable - [the story of how] the people of a township [behaved] when [Our] message-bearers came unto them.
At that, a man came running from the farthest end of the city, [and] exclaimed: O my people! Follow these message-bearers!
Nay, but he [whom you call a mad poet] has brought the truth; and he confirms the truth of [what the earlier of God's] message-bearers [have taught].*
when he turned to his Sustainer with a heart free of evil,
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!*
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!
[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 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,
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;*
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!"
Now [as for Pharaoh and his followers,] when he came to them, setting forth the truth from Us, they said, Slay the sons of those who share his beliefs,* and spare [only] their women!" - but the guile of those deniers of the truth could not lead to aught but failure.
At that, a believing man of Pharaoh's family, who [until then] had concealed his faith, exclaimed:* Would you slay a man because he says, 'God is my Sustainer' - seeing, withal, that he has brought you all evidence of this truth from your Sustainer? Now if he be a liar, his lie will fall back on him; but if he is a man of truth, something [of the punishment] whereof he warns you is bound to befall you: for, verily, God would not grace with His guidance one who has wasted his own self by lying [about Him].*
O my people! Yours is the dominion today, [and] most eminent are you on earth: but who will rescue us from God's punishment, once it befalls us?" Said Pharaoh: I but want to make you see what I see myself;* and I would never make you follow any path but that of rectitude!"
And [remember:] it was to you that Joseph came aforetime with all evidence of the truth; but you never ceased to throw doubt on all [the messages] that he brought you - so much so that when he died, you said, 'Never will God send any apostle [even] after him!'* In this way God lets go astray such as waste their own selves by throwing suspicion [on His revelations]
Say: Since all evidence of the truth has come to me from my Sustainer, I am forbidden to worship [any of] those beings whom you invoke instead of God; and I am bidden to surrender myself to the Sustainer of all the worlds."
And, indeed, [O Muhammad,] We sent forth apostles before thy time; some of them We have mentioned to thee,* and some of them We have not mentioned to thee. And it was not given to any apostle to bring forth a miracle other than by God's leave.* Yet when God's will becomes manifest,* judgment will [already] have been passed in all justice, and lost will be, then and there, all who tried to reduce to nothing [whatever they could not understand].*
for when their apostles came to them with all evidence of the truth, they arrogantly exulted in whatever knowledge they [already] possessed:* and [so, in the end,] they were overwhelmed by the very thing which they were wont to deride.*
Lo! There came unto them [God's] apostles, speaking of what lay open before them and what was [still] beyond their ken,* [and calling unto them,] Worship none but God!" They answered: If our Sustainer had willed [us to believe in what you say], He would have sent down angels [as His message-bearers].* As it is, behold, we deny that there is any truth in what you [claim to] have been sent with!"
till, when they come close to it, their hearing and their sight and their [very] skins will bear witness against them, speaking of what they were doing [on earth].
Verily, they who are bent on denying the truth of this reminder as soon as it comes to them - [they are the losers]: for, behold, it is a sublime divine writ:
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.*
[Whereupon each prophet] would say,* Why, even though I bring you guidance better than that which you found your forefathers believing in?" - [to which] the others would reply, Behold, we deny that there is any truth in [what you claim to be] your messages!"
Now [as for those who did come after him,] I allowed them - as [I had allowed] their forebears - to enjoy their lives freely until the truth should come unto them through an apostle who would make all things clear:*
but now that the truth has come to them, they say, All this is mere spellbinding eloquence" - and, behold, we deny that there is any truth in it!"*
But in the end,* when he [who has thus sinned] appears before us [on Judgment Day], he will say [to his other self], Would that between me and thee there had been the distance of east and west!"* for, evil indeed [has proved] that other self!
But as soon as he came before them with Our [miraculous] signs,* lo! they derided them,
And then - why have no golden armlets been bestowed on him?* or why have no angels come together with him?"
NOW WHEN Jesus came [to his people] with all evidence of the truth, he said: I have now come unto you with wisdom,* and to make clear Unto you some of that on which you are at variance:* hence, be conscious of God, and pay heed unto me.
INDEED, [O you sinners,] We have conveyed the truth unto you; but most of you abhor the truth.*
[But] how shall this remembrance avail them [at the Last Hour], seeing that an apostle had previously come unto them, clearly expounding the truth,
AND, INDEED, [long] before their time did We try Pharaoh's people [in the same way]: for there came unto them a noble apostle, [who said:]
And We gave them clear indications of the purpose [of faith];* and it was only after all this knowledge had been vouchsafed to them that they began, out of mutual jealousy, to hold divergent views:* [but,] verily, thy Sustainer will judge between them on Resurrection Day regarding all whereon they were wont to differ.*
But whenever Our messages are conveyed to them in all their clarity, they who are bent on denying the truth speak thus of the truth as soon as it is brought to them: This is clearly nothing but spellbinding eloquence!"*
They answered: Hast thou come to seduce us away from our gods? Bring, then, upon us that [doom] with which thou threaten us, if thou art a man of truth!"
Are, then, they [whose hearts are sealed] waiting for the Last Hour - [waiting] that it come upon them of a sudden? But it has already been foretold!* And what will their remembrance [of their past sins] avail them, once it has come upon them?*
O YOU who have attained to faith! If any iniquitous person comes to you with a [slanderous] tale, use your discernment,* lest you hurt people unwittingly and afterwards be filled with remorse for what you have done.*
But nay - they deem it strange that a warner should have come unto them from their own midst;* and so these deniers of the truth are saying, A strange thing is this!
Nay, but they [who refuse to believe in resurrection] have been wont to give the lie to this truth whenever it was proffered to them; and so they are in a state of confusion.*
And [then,] the twilight of death brings with it the [full] truth* that [very thing, O man,] from which thou wouldst always look away!
And every human being will come forward with [his erstwhile] inner urges and [his] conscious mind,*
[everyone] who stood in awe of the Most Gracious although He is beyond the reach of human perception, and who has come [unto Him] with a heart full of contrition.*
Then he turned quietly to his household, and brought forth a fat [roasted] calf,
These [allegedly divine beings] are nothing but empty names which you have invented - you and your forefathers - [and] for which God has bestowed no warrant from on high.* They [who worship them] follow nothing but surmise and their own wishful thinking - although right guidance has now indeed come unto them from their Sustainer.*
And withal, there has come unto them many a tiding that should have restrained [their arrogance]:*
Now surely, unto Pharaoh's folk [too] came such warnings;
They [who will remain without] will call out to those [within], Were we not with you?" - [to which] the others will answer: So it was! But you allowed yourselves to succumb to temptation,* and you were hesitant [in your faith],* and you were doubtful [of resurrection]; and your wishful thinking beguiled you until God's command came to pass:* for, [indeed, your own] deceptive thoughts about God deluded you*
Art thou not aware of such as have been forbidden [to intrigue through] secret confabulations,* and yet [always] revert to that which they have been forbidden, and conspire with one another with a view to sinful doings, and aggressive conduct, and disobedience to the Apostle?* Now whenever such [people] approach thee, [O Muhammad,]* they salute thee with a greeting which God has never countenanced;* and they say to themselves, Why does not God chastise us for what we are saying?"* Hell shall be their allotted portion: they shall [indeed] enter it - and how vile a journey's end!
And so, they who come after them pray:* O our Sustainer! Forgive us our sins, as well as those of our brethren who preceded us in faith, and let not our hearts entertain any unworthy thoughts or feelings against [any of] those who have attained to faith. O our Sustainer! Verily, Thou art compassionate, a dispenser of grace!"
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take My enemies - who are your enemies as well* - for your friends, showing them affection even though they are bent on denying whatever truth has come unto you, [and even though] they have driven the Apostle and yourselves away, [only] because you believe in God, your Sustainer!* If [it be true that] you have gone forth [from your homes] to strive in My cause, and out of a longing for My goodly acceptance, [do not take them for your friends,] inclining towards them in secret affection: for I am fully aware of all that you may conceal as well as of all that you do openly. And any of you who does this has already strayed from the right path.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever believing women come unto you, forsaking the domain of evil,* examine them, [although only] God is fully aware of their faith;* and if you have thus ascertained that they are believers, do not send them back to the deniers of the truth, [since] they are [no longer] lawful to their erstwhile husbands,* and these are [no longer] lawful to them. None the less, you shall return to them whatever they have spent [on their wives by way of dower];* and [then, O believers,] you will be committing no sin if you marry them after giving them their dowers. On the other hand, hold not to the marriage-tie with women who [continue to] deny the truth,* and ask but for [the return of] whatever you have spent [by way of dower] -just as they [whose wives have gone over to you] have the right to demand* [the return of] whatever they have spent. Such is God's judgment: He judges between you [in equity] - for God is all-knowing, wise.
O Prophet! Whenever believing women come unto thee to pledge their allegiance to thee,* [pledging] that [henceforth] they would not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught but God, and would not steal,* and would not commit adultery, and would not kill their children,* and would not indulge in slander, falsely devising it out of nothingness:* and would not disobey thee in anything [that thou declarest to be] right - then accept their pledge of allegiance, and pray to God to forgive them their [past] sins: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
And [this happened, too,] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O children of Israel! Behold, I am an apostle of God unto you, [sent] to confirm the truth of whatever there still remains* of the Torah, and to give [you] the glad tiding of an apostle who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad."* But when he [whose coming Jesus had foretold] came unto them* with all evidence of the truth, they said: "This [alleged message of his] is [nothing but] spellbinding eloquence!"*
WHEN THE HYPOCRITES come unto thee, they say, "We bear witness that thou art indeed God's Apostle!" But God knows that thou art truly His Apostle; and He bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed false [in their declaration of faith].
But never does God grant a delay to a human being when his term has come; and God is fully aware of all that you do.
They will reply: "Yea, a warner did indeed come unto us, but we gave him the lie and said, 'Never has God sent down anything [by way of revelation]! You [self-styled warners] are but lost in a great delusion!"'*
And there was Pharaoh, too, and [many of] those who lived before him, and the cities that were overthrown* - [all of them] indulged in sin upon sin
so that He may forgive you some of your sins, and grant you respite until a term known [to Him alone]:* but, behold, when the term appointed by God does come, it can never be put back - if you but knew it!"
AND SO, when the great overwhelming event [of, resurrection] comes to pass
because the blind man approached him!*
but as for him who came unto thee full of eagerness
AND SO,* when the piercing call [of resurrection] is heard
and [the majesty of] thy Sustainer stands revealed,* as well as [the true nature of] the angels; rank upon rank?
And on that Day hell will be brought [within sight]; on that Day man will remember [all that he did and failed to do]: but what will that remembrance avail him?
Now those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime* did break up their unity [of faith] after such an evidence of the truth had come to them.*
WHEN GOD'S SUCCOUR comes, and victory,