Alif. Lam. Ra. A Book whose Revelations in verses have been made firm (absolutely free of doubt, alteration, or annulment) and full of wisdom, and arranged in sequence and distinctly detailed. It is from One All-Wise, All-Aware.
So that you worship none but God. (Say, O Messenger:) "Surely I am a warner for you (O people, against the evil consequences of all kinds of misguidance) and a bearer of glad tidings (of prosperity in return for faith and righteousness)."
And that you ask your Lord for forgiveness (for the sins you have so far committed), then turn to Him repentant and sincerely, so that He may enable for you a good life for a term appointed, and bestow His grace and bounty more abundantly on whoever is more advanced in virtue and devotion. But if you turn away, then, surely I fear for you the punishment of a mighty Day.
To God is your final return. He has full power over everything.
Beware! surely they (who associate partners with God) lean over their breasts (as if in respect for you, but in reality they are) seeking to hide (from God the unbelief and hostility) in their hearts. Beware! at the very time that they cover themselves with their garments (or hide themselves in their houses behind shut doors and curtained windows) God knows well all that they keep concealed as well as all that they disclose. Surely God has full knowledge of what lies hidden in the bosoms.
No living creature is there moving on the earth but its provision depends on God, and He knows its every lodging and disposition (every stage of its life), and the duration of its stay and the moment of its transition therefrom. All is in a Manifest Book.
He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six days – His Supreme Throne was upon the water – that He might make trial of you to manifest which of you is best in conduct. Yet, if you say (to people), "(Your proper abode is the Hereafter, where you will be either in bliss or suffering according to your conduct in the world. That is why) you are bound to be raised after death," those who persist in unbelief will say: "This is clearly nothing but an enchanting delusion."
Seeing that We postpone the punishment (with which We threaten them) until an appointed term, they are sure to say (in mockery): "What detains it that it does not come?" Beware! on the Day when it befalls them, it will not be averted from them, and that which they have been mocking at will overwhelm them.
If We let human taste some mercy from Us, and then take it away from him, he becomes hopeless, and thankless (forgetting all Our favors to him).
And if We let him taste ease and plenty after some hardship has visited him, he says: "Gone is all affliction from me!" Surely he is prone to vain exultation and self-glorifying.
Except those who are persevering and patient (neither despairing in affliction, nor exultant and self-glorifying in success), and do good, righteous deeds; it is they for whom is forgiveness and a great reward.
Now it may be that you (O Messenger) are drawn to abandon some part of what is revealed to you (such as the verses concerning your Messengership), and your breast is constricted thereby, on account of their saying: "Why has a treasure not been sent down upon him, or an angel accompanying him (visible to us)?" But you are only a warner. It is God Who has everything in His care and under His control.
Or they say (about the Messenger): "He fabricates it (the Qur’an)"? Say (to them): "Then produce ten invented surahs like it (in eloquence, meaningfulness and truth), and call to your aid whomever you can, apart from God, if you are truthful (in your claim, not deluded or just making up excuses to justify your unbelief).
"If they (whom you call to your aid) cannot answer your call, then know that it (the Qur’an) is sent down as based on God’s Knowledge, and that there is no deity save Him. Will you, then, submit to God as Muslims?"
Whoever desires the present, worldly life and its outward shows, We recompense them for all that they do therein, and they are not deprived of their just due therein.
It is they for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but the Fire. All that they produced in it (this world) has come to nothing and all that they were doing is fruitless, vain.
So, (how can you compare others with) one who stands on a clear evidence from his Lord (the Qur’an), and is supported by a witness guided by Him, and there was (revealed) before it the Book of Moses (confirming it) as a guide and mercy? Those (who make and understand the comparison) believe in it (the Qur’an); while whoever from the diverse parties (belonging to different nations and faiths, knowingly) disbelieves in it – the Fire will be their promised place. And so you should not have the least doubt of it (being revealed by God). Surely, it is the truth from your Lord, though most of the people do not believe.
Who is greater in doing wrong than he who fabricates falsehood in attribution to God? Such will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, "Those are they who lied in attribution to God. Surely, it is the due of the wrongdoers that God has excluded them from His mercy."
The ones who bar people from God’s way and seek to make it crooked (wishing they could distort it); and they, they are those who persistently disbelieve in the Hereafter.
Those can never frustrate on earth (whatever God wills for it), nor can they find any guardians, apart from God, able to protect them against God. For them the punishment will be doubled (in the Hereafter). (Having wasted the faculties of hearing and seeing that God granted them), they have no longer been able to listen to (the revealed truths), nor have they any longer had sight to see.
Such are they who have ruined their selves, and all that they fabricated (by way of false deities to worship besides God) have failed them.
Without doubt, in the Hereafter they will be the greatest losers.
As for those who believe and do good, righteous deeds, and have humbled themselves before their Lord, they are the companions of Paradise; they will abide therein.
These two classes of people are like the blind and deaf, and the seeing and hearing. Can they be likened to each other? Will you not, then, reflect and be mindful?
And assuredly We sent Noah to his people as Messenger (with the same message that he preached): "Surely, I am for you a plain warner (advising you for your good):
"That you worship none but God. Indeed I fear for you the punishment of a painful Day!"
The leading ones who disbelieved from among his people said: "We do not see you but as a mortal like ourselves, and we do not see that any follow you save those who are but the lowliest of us, without an opinion worthy of consideration; and we do not see you (and your followers) having any superiority over us; rather, we take the view that you are liars."
Noah said: "O my people! What do you think – if I stand on a clear evidence from my Lord, and He has granted me a mercy from His Presence to which you have remained blind – can we force you to accept it when you are averse to it?
"O my people! I ask of you no wealth for it (for conveying the Message to you); my wage is due only from God. I will not drive away those who believe; they are destined to meet their Lord (Who will treat them as they should be treated) – whereas I see you as a people acting in ignorance.
"O my people! Who could help me against God were I to drive them away? Will you not then reflect and be mindful?
"And I do not say to you that with me are the treasures of God, nor do I know the Unseen (what is stored in the future), nor do I say that I am an angel, nor do I say of those, whom your eyes hold in contempt, that God will not grant them some good. God knows best whatever is in their bosoms (what kind of people they are in their inner worlds). (If I drove them away or spoke ill of them), then I would indeed be among the wrongdoers."
They said: "O Noah! You have argued with us, and have prolonged your arguments; so stop arguing with us and, if you are telling the truth, bring upon us what you have been threatening us with!"
Noah said: "Only God can bring it upon you, if He wills; and you can never be frustrators (of His will).
"My counsel – much as I would counsel you – will not benefit you, if God has willed that you be and remain misguided. He is your Lord (Who created you, and nurtures, sustains and protects you), and you are on the way to return to Him."
Do they (the idolaters) say (of you, O Messenger): "He has fabricated it (invented all those stories and the Qur’an containing them)?" Say: "If indeed I fabricate it, then upon me falls my sin, but (as you are slandering me to excuse your own willful persistence in unbelief, know that) I am free of the sins you have been committing."
And it was revealed to Noah (by Us): "Never will any of your people believe except those who have already believed. Then, do not be distressed because of what they have been doing.
"Build the Ark (which We have described to you) under Our eyes and in accordance with Our instructions to be revealed (to you), and do not plead with Me for those who have persisted in wrongdoing. They are bound to be drowned."
And so Noah set to building the Ark. And every time the leading ones among his people passed by him, they mocked at him. He said: "Now you are mocking us, but (a day will come when) we mock you just as you mock us.
"And so shall you know upon whom will come a punishment which will disgrace him, and upon whom will alight a lasting punishment (in the Hereafter)."
(And so it went on) until the time when Our command came and the boiler started boiling over. We said (to Noah): "Embark in it a pair of each kind (of living creature), and your family, except those against whom Our sentence has already been passed, and those who believe." And those who believed with him were few.
Noah said, "Board it!" (and all the people and the pairs of creatures God willed should be saved were settled in the Ark). "In God’s Name be its course and its mooring. Surely my Lord is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate."
So the Ark floated with them amid waves like mountains, and Noah cried out to a son of his who was standing apart: "Embark with us, my son, and do not be with the unbelievers!"
He said: "I will betake myself to a mountain that will protect me from the waters!" He (Noah) said: "Today there is no protection from God’s judgment except for him on whom He has mercy." And the waves came between them, and he (the son) was among the drowned.
And it was said: "O earth, swallow up your waters! And, O sky, cease (your rain)!" And the waters were made to subside, and (by God’s will) the affair was accomplished. Then the Ark came to rest on al-Judi, and it was said: "Away with the wrongdoing people!"
Noah called out to his Lord, saying: "O my Lord, my son was of my family (as a believer), and Your promise is surely true (for my believing family members), and You are the Most Just of judges."
(God) said: "O Noah! he (being an unbeliever) is not of your family. He is one of unrighteous conduct (which embodied his unbelief). So do not ask of Me what you have no knowledge of. I admonish you so that you do not behave as one among the ignorant."
(Noah) said: "O my Lord! I seek refuge in You, lest I should ask of You what I have no knowledge of. And unless You forgive me and have mercy on me, I will indeed be among the losers."
He was told: "O Noah! Get you down in peace and safety from Us, and with blessings upon you and upon the communities (of believers) who are with you (and those to descend from you and them). (There will also be other) communities (of unbelievers) – We will provide f or them to enjoy themselves for a term and then there will visit them from Us a painful punishment."
Those are accounts of some exemplary events of the unseen (a time and realm beyond any created’s perception) that We reveal to you, (O Messenger). Neither you nor your people knew them before this. Then (seeing that there is no substantial difference between the conditions in which the Messengers carried out their missions and the reactions they encountered) be patient (with their reactions and their persistence in unbelief). The (final, happy) outcome is in favor of the God-revering, pious.
And to (the people of) ‘Ad We sent their brother Hud. He said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. You are only fabricators of falsehood (in attributing partners to Him).
"O my people! I ask of you no wage for it (for conveying the Message to you); my wage is due from only Him Who originated me with a particular character. Will you not use your reason?
"O my people! Implore your Lord to forgive you (for the sins you have so far committed) and turn to Him repentant that He may cause the sky to pour down upon you abundant rain, and add strength to your strength. So, do not turn your backs (on this message that I convey to you), as disbelieving criminals!"
"O Hud!" they said: "You have brought us no clear sign (– a miracle to prove your Messengership). We are not going to forsake our deities on your mere saying so, the more so as we do not believe you.
"We say only that some of our deities have possessed you with evil." Hud said: "Surely I call God to witness, and you too be witnesses, that I am free of what you associate (with God as partners with Him),
"Apart from Him (I only take Him as Deity and Lord). So, scheme against me all together, and then give me no respite!
"I have put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. No living creature is there but He holds it by its forelock and keeps it under His complete control. Surely, my Lord is on a straight path (He governs all that exists and carries out His decrees rightly and with absolute justice).
"If you turn your backs (on the Message I convey to you, know that) I have conveyed to you what I was sent with to you. My Lord will (if you continue in your rejection) cause another people to take your place, whereas you cannot harm Him in the least. Surely, my Lord keeps watch and record of all things."
And when Our judgment came to pass (because the people of ‘Ad did continue in their rejection), We saved Hud and those who believed with him out of a mercy from Us (because of their faith, righteousness and patience): We saved them from a harsh punishment.
Such were the ‘Ad. They obstinately rejected the Revelations of their Lord (the signs and miracles proving His Oneness and all other essentials of faith) and they rebelled against His Messengers (by rejecting the Messenger – Hud – sent to them), and followed every stubborn tyrant.
And a curse was made to pursue them in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection. Beware! The ‘Ad disbelieved in their Lord with ingratitude; so away with the ‘Ad, the people of Hud!
And to (the people of) Thamud (We sent) their brother Salih (as Messenger to convey the same message): "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. He has raised you from the earth and settled you in it, enabling your dignity and prosperity. So, ask forgiveness of Him (for the sins you have so far committed) and turn to Him repentant. Assuredly, my Lord is All-Near, All-Responsive (to the call of all beings that call upon Him)."
They said: "O Salih! Before this, you were a source of hope among us. Would you now seek to prevent us from worshipping what our forefathers used to worship? Indeed we are in real doubt concerning what you call us to."
He said: "O my people! What do you think – if I stand on a clear evidence from my Lord, and He has granted me a mercy from Himself – who could help me against God were I to disobey Him? You would add to me nothing but ruin.
"O my people! This is the she-camel from God as a sign for you (of the kind you demand to see before you believe). So leave her alone to pasture on God’s earth, and touch her with no evil lest an imminent punishment should seize you."
But (unable to bear to see her as an evidence of the truth of Salih’s message) they cruelly slaughtered her. Then he (Salih) said: "Enjoy the life in your habitations three days more, (then will be your ruin). This is a threat that will not be proved false."
So when Our judgment came to pass, We saved Salih and those who believed with him out of mercy from Us (because of their faith, righteousness, and patience), from the ignominy of that day. Surely your Lord is the All-Powerful, the All-Glorious with irresistible might.
And the awful blast seized those who committed the greatest wrong (by associating partners with God), so that they lay prostrate lifeless in their very dwellings,
As though they had never lived there in prosperity. Beware! The Thamud disbelieved in their Lord (and were ungrateful for His favors), so away with the Thamud!
And Our (heavenly) envoys came (in human form) to Abraham with glad tidings. They said "Peace!", and he (returning the greeting) said "Peace!" Without delay, he brought them a roasted calf.
But when he saw that their hands did not reach out to it, he was doubtful of them (deeming their conduct strange) and became apprehensive of them. They said: "Do not fear! We have been sent to the people of Lot."
Meanwhile his (old, infertile) wife, standing by, felt she was menstruating (and smiled); and We gave her the glad tidings of (the birth of) Isaac and, after Isaac, of (his son) Jacob.
She said: "Oh, woe is me! Shall I bear a child, now that I am an old woman, and this my husband is an old man? That would be a strange thing indeed!"
They (the envoys) said: "Are you surprised at God’s command? The mercy of God and His blessings be upon you, O people of the house! Surely He is All-Praiseworthy (as the Lord Who meets all needs of His servants), All-Sublime."
So when the apprehension left Abraham and the glad tiding was conveyed to him, he began to argue with Our envoys to plead with Us on behalf of the people of Lot.
Abraham was indeed most clement, tender-hearted, ever-turning to God with all his heart.
"O Abraham! Cease from this! For sure, the command of your Lord has already gone forth; and there is coming upon them a punishment not to be turned back."
And when Our envoys came to Lot, he was troubled on their account and felt himself powerless to protect them, and he said: "This is a distressful day."
His people came rushing to him, driven by their perverted desire, as they had before that been committing such abominations. Lot said: "O my people! Here are my daughters; they are utterly clean for you (to satisfy your desires in wedlock). Have fear of God, and do not disgrace me in respect of my guests. Is there not among you one right-minded man?"
They said: "You know well that we have no claim on your daughters; and you surely know well what we desire."
He said: "O! would that I had power to resist you, or that I could lean upon some strong support!"
They (the envoys) said: "O Lot! We are envoys of your Lord. They will not reach you. So, set out with your family in a part of the night, and let no one among you turn round – all save your wife, for that which is to befall them will befall her as well. Their appointed time is the morning. Is the morning not near?"
So when Our judgment came to pass, We overturned (those sinful towns), and rained down on them stones of baked clay one after another,
(Each stone) marked out by your Lord (for a particular individual). And they are never far from wrongdoers (in all times and places).
And (to the people of) Midian (We sent as Messenger) their brother Shu‘ayb. He said (conveying the same message): "O my people! Worship God: you have no deity other than Him. Do not give short measure and weight (in your dealings). Surely I see you affluent (in wealth which you have gained in unlawful ways), and I fear for you the punishment of an all-encompassing Day.
"O my people! Give full measure and weight, with perfect equity, and do not wrong deprive people by depriving them of what is rightfully theirs, and do not go about acting wickedly in the land, causing disorder and corruption.
"What God leaves with you (as lawful profit) is better for you, if you are believers. I am not a keeper and watcher over you."
They said: "O Shu‘ayb! Does your Prayer-rite command you that we should forsake all that our forefathers used to worship, or that we should cease doing whatever we wish with our property? Surely you are one mild-mannered, and the one right-minded."
He answered: "O my people! What do you think – if I stand on a clear evidence from my Lord, and out of His provision He provides for me? I do not (in hope of worldly gain and provoking disorder) act in opposition to you (myself doing) what I ask you to avoid. What I seek is only to set things right so far as I am able. My success in my task depends on God alone. In Him have I put my trust, and to Him do I always turn with all my heart.
"O my people! Let your dissent from me not cause you to sin so that there befall you the like of what befell the people of Noah, or the people of Hud, or the people of Salih. And the people of Lot (who were subjected to the same doom) did not live far from you.
"Implore your Lord to forgive you (for the sins you have so far committed) and turn to Him repentant. Surely my Lord is All-Compassionate (especially towards His servants who turn to Him), All-Loving."
"O Shu‘ayb!" they said: "We do not understand much of what you say, and we see you indeed as a weak one among us. And, were it not for your tribe (esteemed among us), we would most certainly have stoned you to death. Know well that we do not hold you in esteem as having power over us."
He replied: "O my people! Do you hold my tribe in greater esteem than God, that you take Him as something to cast behind you and forget? But surely my Lord encompasses (with His Knowledge and Power) all that you do.
"O my people! Do then all that may be within your power, while I am at work (doing my task). In time you will come to see and know who it is that will be visited by a punishment to disgrace him, and who it is that speaks falsehood and will be contradicted in his speech. Wait and watch, then, and I am watching with you!"
And so when Our judgment came to pass, We saved Shu‘ayb and those who believed in his company out of a mercy from Us (because of their faith, righteousness and patience), and the awful blast seized those who acted wrongly to their own ruin, so that they lay prostrate lifeless in their own dwellings
As though they had never lived there in affluence. So, away with the (people of) Midian, just as the Thamud have been done away with!
And We indeed sent Moses with Our clear signs (miracles to support him), and a manifest authority (from Us),
To the Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they (his chiefs, his own people, and many among the Children of Israel) followed the rule of the Pharaoh; and the rule of the Pharaoh was by no means a guide right and just (and no tyrant in the mould of the Pharaoh has ever done differently).
He will go before his people on the Day of Resurrection and lead them to the Fire (as cattle are led to water)! How evil a "watering-place" to be led to!
And a curse was made to pursue them in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection. How evil is the gift offered!
That is something of the accounts of some townships (that were destroyed in the past). We relate it to you (O Messenger). Among them are some still standing, and some extinct like a mown field.
We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves. When the judgment of your Lord came to pass, their deities which they used to invoke apart from God proved of no avail to them, and they increased them not save in ruin.
That is how your Lord seizes the townships when He seizes them when they are wrongdoers. His seizing is indeed painful, severe.
Surely in that is a sign (lesson and warning) for those who fear the punishment of the Hereafter. That is a Day when all humankind will be gathered together, and that is a Day bound to be witnessed (experienced by all living creatures in their whole being).
We do not postpone it beyond a term already appointed (by Us).
On the Day when it comes no one will speak unless by His leave. Among those (gathered together) some are wretched and some happy.
As for those who will be wretched (on that Day, on account of the deeds they have earned), they will be in the Fire, wherein moaning and wailing will be their lot,
Abiding there so long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills. Surely your Lord is the Sovereign Doer of what He wills.
And as for those who are happy (having been blessed by God with faith and good deeds), they will be in Paradise, abiding there so long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills – as a gift unceasing.
So do not be in doubt of anything that those (misguided people) worship. They but worship as their forefathers worshipped in time past; and We will most certainly pay them their due in full, undiminished.
And, indeed, We granted Moses the Book, and discord arose about it, (just as your people, O Messenger, differ concerning the Book We are revealing to you. So do not be grieved). Had it not been for a decree already issued by your Lord (postponing the final, decisive judgment until an appointed term), it would indeed have been judged between them. They (your people) are surely in serious doubt, truly uncertain, concerning it (the Qur’an).
And surely for each of them – your Lord will certainly pay them in full for their deeds. He is indeed fully aware of all that they do.
Pursue, then, what is exactly right (in every matter of the Religion) as you are commanded (by God), and those who, along with you, have turned (to God with faith, repenting their former ways, let them do likewise); and do not rebel against the bounds of the Straight Path (O believers)! He indeed sees well all that you do.
And do not incline towards those who do wrong (against God by associating partners with Him and against people by violating their rights), or the Fire will touch you. For you have no guardians and true friends apart from God, (but if you should incline towards those who do wrong,) you will not be helped (by Him).
Establish the Prayer (O Messenger) at the beginning and the end of the day, and in the watches of the night near to the day. Surely good deeds wipe out evil deeds. This is advice and a reminder for the mindful who reflect.
And be patient, persevering (in doing good, avoiding mistakes, and against all kinds of persecution you are made to suffer in God’s cause), for surely God never leaves to waste the reward of those devoted to doing good, aware that God is seeing them.
If only there had been among the generations before you (of whom some We destroyed) people with lasting qualities (such as faith, knowledge, virtue, and good deeds, whose goal was what is lasting with God, the eternal life of the Hereafter, and) who would warn against disorder and corruption on earth! Among them only a few, included among those whom We saved, did this. But those who did wrong (against God by associating partners with Him, and against people by violating their rights) were lost in the pursuit of pleasures without scruples, and were criminals committed to accumulating sins.
And it has never been the way of your Lord to destroy the townships unjustly while their people were righteous, dedicated to continuous self-reform and setting things right in the society.
If your Lord had so willed (and withheld from humankind free will), He would have made all humankind one single community (with the same faith, worldview, and life-pattern). But (having free choice) they never cease to differ (and follow diverse paths diverging from the Straight Path),
Save those on whom your Lord has mercy (and guides to the Straight Path because of the merits they have). It is for that He created them. And thus the word of your Lord will have been fulfilled: "I will fill Hell with all those (deserving it) among the jinn and humankind."
All that We relate to you of the exemplary narrative of (the lives of some of the earlier) Messengers is in order that whereby We make firm your heart. In all these accounts there comes to you the truth, as well as an instruction and a reminder for the believers.
Say to those who do not believe: "Do all that may be within your power, while we too are doing (our task).
"And wait on, we too are waiting."
To God belongs (absolute dominion and full knowledge of) the unseen of the heavens and the earth, and to Him alone is the whole matter referred (for final judgment). So worship Him, and put your trust in Him. Your Lord is by no means unaware and unmindful of what you do.