and who remember their Sustainer far into the night, prostrating themselves and standing;
And how many a [rebellious] community have We destroyed, with Our punishment coming upon it by night, or while they were resting at noontide!*
Can, then, the people of any community ever feel secure that Our punishment will not come upon them by night, while they are asleep?
Say: "Have you ever considered [how you would feel] if His chastisement were to befall you by night or by day? What could there be in that prospect that people lost in sin should wish to hasten?*
And they say, "We do pay heed unto thee''* - but when they leave thy presence, some of them devise, in the dark of night, [beliefs] other than thou art voicing;* and all the while God records what they thus devise in the dark of night. Leave them, then, alone, and place thy trust in God: for none is as worthy of trust as God.
They would conceal their doings from men; but from God they cannot conceal them - for He is with them whenever they devise, in the dark of night, all manner of beliefs* which He does not approve. And God indeed encompasses [with His knowledge] whatever they do.
[and] after having bound one another by an oath in God's name,* they said: Indeed, we shall suddenly fall upon him and his household by night [and slay them all]; and then we shall boldly say to his next of kin, 'We did not witness the destruction of his household - and, behold, we are indeed men of truth!' "
AND LO! We made the Temple a goal to which people might repair again and again, and a sanctuary:* take then, the place whereon Abraham once stood as your place of prayer."* And thus did We command Abraham and Ishmael: "Purify My Temple for those who will walk around it,* and those who will abide near it in meditation, and those who will bow down and prostrate themselves [in prayer]."
And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the Temple , [they prayed:] "O our Sustainer! Accept Thou this from us: for, verily, Thou alone art all-hearing, all-knowing!
[Hence,] behold, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the symbols set up by God;* and thus, no wrong does he who, having come to the Temple on pilgrimage or on a pious visit, strides to and fro between these two:* for, if one does more good than he is bound to do-behold, God is responsive to gratitude, all-knowing.*
THEY WILL ASK thee about the new moons. Say: "They indicate the periods for [various doings of] mankind, including the pilgrimage."* However, piety does not consist in your entering houses from the rear, [as it were,] but truly pious is he who is conscious of God.* Hence, enter houses through their doors, and remain conscious of God, so that you might attain to a happy state.
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.
Behold, the first Temple ever set up for mankind was indeed the one at Bakkah:* rich in blessing, and a [source of] guidance unto all the worlds,
full of clear messages.* [It is] the place whereon Abraham once stood; and whoever enters it finds inner peace.* Hence, pilgrimage unto the Temple is a duty owed to God by all people who are able to undertake it. And as for those who deny the truth - verily, God does not stand in need of anything in all the worlds.
Then, after this woe, He sent down upon you a sense of security, an inner calm which enfolded some of you,* whereas the others, who cared mainly for themselves, entertained wrong thoughts about God - thoughts of pagan ignorance - saying, "Did we, then, have any power of decision [in this matter]?"* Say: "Verily, all power of decision does rest with God"* - [but as for them,] they are trying to conceal within themselves that [weakness of faith] which they would not reveal unto thee, [O Prophet, by] saying, "If we had any power of decision, we would not have left so many dead behind."* Say [unto them]: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those [of you] whose death had been ordained would indeed have gone forth to the places where they were destined to lie down." And [all this befell you] so that God might put to a test all that you harbour in your bosoms, and render your innermost hearts* pure of all dross: for God is aware of what is in the hearts [of men].
AND AS FOR those of your women who become guilty of immoral conduct, call upon four from among you who have witnessed their guilt; and if these bear witness thereto, confine the guilty women* to their houses until death takes them away or God opens for them a way [through repentance].
And he who forsakes the domain of evil for the sake of God shall find on earth many a lonely road,* as well as life abundant. And if anyone leaves his home, fleeing from evil unto God and His Apostle, and then death overtakes him - his reward is ready with God: for God iss indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
O you who have attained to faith! Offend not against the symbols set up by God, nor against the sacred month [of pilgrimage], nor against the garlanded offerings,* nor against those who flock to the Inviolable Temple, seeking favour with their Sustainer and His goodly acceptance; and [only] after your pilgrimage is over* are you free to hunt. And never let your hatred of people who would bar you from the Inviolable House of Worship lead you into the sin of aggression:* but rather help one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for, behold, God is severe in retribution!
God has laid down that the Ka'bah, the Inviolable Temple, shall be a symbol for all mankind;* and [so, too,J the sacred month [of pilgrimage] and the garlanded offerings [are symbols] meant to make you aware* that God is aware of all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, and that God has full knowledge of everything.
"And remember how He made you heirs to [the tribe of] `Ad* and settled you firmly on earth, so that you [are able to] build for yourselves castles on its plains and hew out mountains [to serve you] as dwellings:* remember, then, God's blessings, and do not act wickedly on earth by spreading corruption."
EVEN AS thy Sustainer brought thee forth from thy home [to fight] in the cause of the truth, although some of the believers were averse to it,
and their prayers before the Temple are nothing but whistling and clapping of hands.* Taste then, [O unbelievers,] this chastisement as an outcome of your persistent denial of the truth!*
And [thus] did We inspire Moses and his brother: "Set aside for your people some houses in the city, and [tell them], `Turn your houses into places of worship,* and be constant in prayer!' And give thou [O Moses] the glad tiding [of God's succour] to all believers."
Answered [the messengers]: "Dost thou deem it strange that God should decree what He wills?* The grace of God and His blessings be upon you, O people of this house! Verily, ever to be praised, sublime is He!"
And [it so happened that] she in whose house he was living [conceived a passion for him and] sought to make him yield himself unto her; and she bolted the doors and said, "Come thou unto me!" [But Joseph] answered: "May God preserve me! Behold, goodly has my master made my stay [in this house]! Verily, to no good end come they that do [such] wrong!"
"O our Sustainer! Behold, I have settled some of my offspring in a valley in which there is no arable land,* close to Thy sanctified Temple, so that, O our Sustainer, they might devote themselves to prayer: cause Thou, therefore, people's hearts to incline towards them* and grant them fruitful sustenance, so that they might have cause to be grateful.
notwithstanding that they had been wont [to enjoy Our blessings and] to hew out dwellings from the mountains, [wherein they could live] in security*
And [consider how] thy Sustainer has inspired the bee:* "Prepare for thyself dwellings in mountains and in trees, and in what [men] may build [for thee by way of hives];
And God has given you [the ability to build] your houses as places of rest, and has endowed you with [the skill to make] dwellings out of the skins of animals* - easy for you to handle when you travel and when you camp -and [to make] furnishings and goods for temporary use of their [rough] wool and their soft, furry wool* and their hair.
or thou have a house [made] of gold, or thou ascend to heaven - but nay, we would not [even] believe in thy ascension unless thou bring down to us [from heaven] a writing which we [ourselves] could read!* Say thou, [O Prophet:] "Limitless in His glory is my Sustainer!* Am I, then, aught but a mortal man, an apostle?"
For, when We assigned unto Abraham the site of this Temple,* [We said unto him:] Do not ascribe divinity to aught beside Me!"* and: Purify My Temple for those who will walk around it,* and those who will stand before it [in meditation], and those who will bow down and prostrate themselves [in prayer]."
Thereafter let them bring to an end their state of self-denial,* and let them fulfill the vows which they [may] have made, and let them walk [once again] around the Most Ancient Temple.*
In that [God-consciousness] you shall find benefits until a term set [by Him is fulfilled],* and [you shall know that] its goal and end is the Most Ancient Temple.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not enter houses other than your own unless you have obtained permission and greeted their inmates. This is [enjoined upon you] for your own good, so that you might bear [your mutual rights] in mind.*
[On the other hand,] you will incur no sin if you [freely] enter houses not intended for living in but serving a purpose useful to you:* but [always remember that] God knows all that you do openly, and all that you would conceal.
IN THE HOUSES [of worship] which God has allowed to be raised so that His name be remembered in them,* there [are such as] extol His limitless glory at morn and evening
[ALL OF YOU, O believers, are brethren: hence.]* no blame attaches to the blind, nor does blame attach to the lame, nor does blame attach to the sick [for accepting charity from the hale], and neither to yourselves for eating [whatever is offered to you by others, whether it be food obtained] from your [children's] houses,* or your fathers' houses, or your mothers' houses, or your brothers' houses, or your sisters' houses, or your paternal uncles' houses, or your paternal aunts' houses, or your maternal uncles' houses, or your maternal aunts' houses, or [houses] the keys whereof are in your charge!* or [the house] of any of your friends; nor will you incur any sin by eating in company or separately. But whenever you enter [any of these] houses, greet one another with a blessed, goodly greeting, as enjoined by God. In this way God makes clear unto you His messages, so that you might [learn to] use your reason.
and that you will [always be able to] hew dwellings out of the mountains with [the same] great skill?"*
and [now] those dwellings of theirs are empty, [ruined] as an outcome of their evil deeds. In this, behold, there is a message indeed for people of [innate] knowledge
Now from the very beginning We caused him to refuse the breast of [Egyptian] nurses; and [when his sister came to know this,] she said: Shall I guide you to a family that might rear him for you, and look after him with good will?"
The parable of those who take [beings or forces] other than God for their protectors is that of the spider which makes for itself a house: for, behold, the frailest of all houses is the spiders house. Could they but understand this!
and when some of them said, O you people of Yathrib! You cannot withstand [the enemy] here:* hence, go back [to your homes]!" Whereupon a party from among them asked leave of the Prophet, saying, Behold, our houses are exposed [to attack]!" The while they were not [really] exposed: they wanted nothing but to flee.
And abide quietly in your homes, and do not flaunt your charms as they used to flaunt them in the old days of pagan ignorance;* and be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle: for God only wants to remove from you all that might be loathsome, O you members of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you to utmost purity.
And bear in mind all that is recited in your homes of God's messages and [His] wisdom: for God is unfathomable [in His wisdom], all-aware.*
O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not enter the Prophet's dwellings unless you are given leave; [and when invited] to a meal, do not come [so early as] to wait for it to be readied: but whenever you are invited, enter [at the proper time]; and when you have partaken of the meal, disperse without lingering for the sake of mere talk: that, behold, might give offence to the Prophet, and yet he might feel shy of [asking] you [to leave]: but God is not shy of [teaching you] what is right.* And [as for the Prophet's wives,] whenever you ask them for anything that you need, ask them from behind a screen:* this will but deepen the purity of your hearts and theirs. Moreover, it does not behove you to give offence to God's Apostle - just as it would not behove you ever to marry his widows after he has passed away:* that, verily, would be an enormity in the sight of God.
And were it not that [with the prospect of boundless riches before them] all people would become one [evil] community,* We might indeed have provided for those who [now] deny the Most Gracious roofs of silver for their houses, and [silver] stairways whereon to ascend,
and [silver] doors for their houses, and [silver] couches whereon to recline,
for apart from one [single] house* We did not find there any who had surrendered themselves to Us.
Consider the long-enduring house [of worship]!*
He it is who turned out of their homes, at the time of [their] first gathering [for war], such of the followers of earlier revelation as were bent on denying the truth.* You did not think [O believers] that they would depart [without resistance] - just as they thought that their strongholds would protect them against God: but God came upon them in a manner which they had not expected,* and cast terror into their hearts; [and thus] they destroyed their homes by their own hands as well as the hands of the believers.* Learn a lesson, then, O you who are endowed with insight!
O PROPHET! When you* [intend to divorce women, divorce them with a view to the waiting period appointed for them,* and reckon the period [carefully], and be conscious of God, your Sustainer. Do not expel them from their homes;* and neither shall they [be made to] leave* unless they become openly guilty of immoral conduct.* These, then, are the bounds set by God - and he who transgresses the bounds set by God does indeed sin against himself: [for, O man, although] thou knowest it not, after that [first breach] God may well cause something new to come about.*
And for those who have attained to faith God has propounded a parable in [the story of] Pharaoh's wife* as she prayed "O my Sustainer! Build Thou for me a mansion in the paradise [that is] with Thee, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings, and save me, from all evildoing folk!
"O my Sustainer! Grant Thy forgiveness unto me and unto my parents, and unto everyone who enters my house as a believer, and unto all believing men and believing women [of later times]; and grant Thou that the doers of evil shall increasingly meet with destruction!"'*
Let them, therefore, worship the Sustainer of this Temple;*