Blessed and Supreme is He Who sends down the Criterion in parts on His servant so that he may be a warner to all conscious beings (against the consequences of misguidance).
He to Whom belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and He has taken to Himself no child, nor has He any partner (in His dominion or any aspect of His being God), and He creates everything and determines its destiny.
Yet some choose to take, apart from God, deities that create nothing but are themselves created, and have no power to avert harm from, or bring benefit to, even themselves (so that they can give harm or bring benefit to their worshippers), and they have no power over death, nor over life, nor over resurrection.
Those who disbelieve say: "This (Qur’an) is but a fabrication which he (Muhammad) himself has invented, and some others have helped him with it, so they have produced a wrong and a falsehood."
They also say: "(It consists of) only fables of the ancients which he has got written. They are being read to him in early mornings and evenings (while people are at home)."
Say: "(It is a Book full of knowledge revealing many secrets such as no human being could in any wise discover by himself:) He Who knows all the secrets contained in the heavens and the earth sends it down (to teach you some of these secrets and guide you in your life so that you may attain happiness in both worlds). He surely is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate."
Again, they say: "What sort of Messenger is this? He eats food and goes about in market-places (like any other mortal). Why is an angel not sent down to him so that he may act as a warner in his company (and help him to persuade the people)?"
Or: "Why is a treasure not cast down upon him from the heaven (so that he should no longer need to go about in market-places to earn a living)?" Or: "Why does he not have a garden (granted to him miraculously) to obtain his food from?" And so these wrongdoers say (to the believers): "You are following only a man bewitched!"
See how strangely they invent comparisons about you. They have so strayed and are no longer able to find a way (to the truth). excuse
Blessed and Supreme is He Who, if He wills, can grant you (O Messenger) better than all that (they propose): gardens through which rivers flow, and grant you palaces.
But they deny the Last Hour (and this is why they invent such pretexts for their denial of your call. However,) We have prepared a Blaze for whoever denies the Last Hour.
When the Blaze sees them (even) from a far-off place, they will hear it raging and roaring.
And when they are flung, chained together, into a narrow place in it, they will pray there for extinction.
(They will then be told) "Today, you will not pray to die only once, instead, you will pray to die many times, (but it will be of no avail)."
Say (O Messenger): "Is this or is the Garden of life everlasting, which has been promised to the God-revering, pious, better to prefer?" It will be for them a reward and a final destination.
For them there will be therein all that they desire, themselves abiding (in it). This is a promise which your Lord has bound Himself to fulfill.
A Day (will come) when God will gather them together (all the unbelievers) and all those whom they worship (apart from God: angels, Prophets, saints, and others, and idols), and He will ask them: "Was it you who led these servants of Mine astray or did they themselves stray away from the right way?"
They will say: "All-Glorified You are! It was not for us to take for friends other than You (so they had no right to take us as such and make us objects of their worship). But (the truth is that, out of Your grace) You lavished on them and their forefathers ease in life, but they (being ungrateful) forgot all remembrance of You (and paid no heed to the warning Message Your Messengers brought to them). They were people (corrupt and) doomed to perdition."
(God will say:) "So they have denied you (who falsely worship them) in all that you assert regarding them, and you can neither ward off (your due punishment) nor obtain any help (from those you falsely deified and worshipped while in the world)." (O people!) Whoever commits the greatest wrong (by associating partners with God), We will cause him to taste a great punishment.
(O Messenger!) We never sent any Messengers before you but they surely ate food and went about in the market-places (to meet their needs). We cause you (O humankind) to be a means of testing for one another. Will you show good patience and perseverance (in the face of Our decrees and remain steadfast in Our way)? Your Lord is All-Seeing.
Those who (being unbelievers) do not expect to meet Us (in the Hereafter) say: "Why are no angels sent down on us or (why) do we not see our Lord?" Assuredly they are far too arrogant of themselves (demanding what is impossible for them), and exceed all bounds (in their presumption).
The Day when they see the angels – there will be no good tidings on that Day for the disbelieving criminals, and they will cry out to the angels in fear: "Keep away, away from us!"
And We will turn to deal with all the (supposedly good) deeds that they did (in the world), and will reduce them all to dust particles scattered about.
Whereas the companions of Paradise will, on that Day, have appointed for them the best abode and the fairest place of repose.
On that Day the heaven will split asunder with the clouds (covering it) and the angels will be made to descend in a majestic descending.
The sovereignty on that Day will absolutely and belong to the All-Merciful, (which He will exercise then with no intermediary veil of cause and effect). It will be a hard day for the unbelievers.
On that Day the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, saying (with remorse) "Oh, would that I had taken a way in the company of the Messenger.
"Oh, woe is me! Would that I had not taken so-and-so for a friend!
"Indeed, he led me astray from the Reminder (the Qur’an) once it had come to me. Satan has proved to be a betrayer of humankind."
And the Messenger says: "My Lord! Surely my people have made this Qur’an something worthy of no attention."
So for every Prophet We have made an enemy (band) from among the disbelieving criminals committed to accumulating sins. But Your Lord is sufficient as a guide (to truth and the right course of action) and a helper (against the plots and practices of your enemies).
Those who disbelieve say (by way of yet another false argument for unbelief): "Why has the Qur’an not been sent down on him all at once?" (We send it down in parts) so that We may (impress it on your mind and) establish your heart with it, and We are conveying it distinctly and gradually, (one part supporting the other, and providing guidance and instruction for emerging occasions).
And also, they never come to you with any (false) argument (to taunt and provoke you) but that We provide you with the truth (to counter their false arguments) and a better exposition (which enables and deepens understanding).
Those who will be gathered in Hell upon their faces: such represent the evil side in standing and are further astray from the right way.
(Examples from history:) Assuredly We granted to Moses the Book and appointed his brother Aaron with him as a helper.
Then We said: "Go both of you to the people who deny Our signs (in the universe and within their own selves that demonstrate Our Existence and Oneness). Then (after they had been warned), We destroyed them utterly.
And the people of Noah – when they denied (Noah and thereby meant to deny) the Messengers, We drowned them, and made them a sign (of warning and instruction) for humankind. We have kept ready a painful punishment for the wrongdoers.
And the Ad and Thamud, and the people of ar-Rass, and many other generations that lived between these (and the people of Noah).
To each (of them) did We explain the truth in diverse ways and warning examples (from history), and each (of them) did We annihilate utterly.
And they (in Makkah who now persist in unbelief) have surely come across the land (of the Prophet Lot) upon which was rained a rain of evil. Have they, then, never seen it (with an eye to take heed)? No, they have no expectation of being raised after death (and so they pay no heed to any warning).
Whenever they see you (O Messenger), they take you for nothing but a mockery, (saying): "Is this the one whom God has sent as Messenger?
"Indeed, he would almost have led us astray from our deities, had we not persevered in our attachment to them." But in time when they see the (promised) punishment, they will come to know who it was that strayed too far from the right way.
Do you ever consider him who has taken his lusts and fancies for his deity? Would you then be a guardian over him (and thereby assume responsibility for guiding him)?
Or do you think that most of them (really) hear or reason and understand? They are but like cattle, (following only their instincts). No, they are more heedless of the right way (and therefore in greater need of being led than cattle).
Have you considered your Lord – how He spreads the shade? If He willed, He would surely make it stationary, but We have made the sun its pilot.
And then (as the sun rises), We gradually draw it back up towards Us.
And He it is Who has made the night a garment for you, and sleep a rest. And He has made the day a time of rising to life and going about (for daily livelihood).
And He it is Who sends forth the (merciful) winds as glad tidings in advance of His mercy. And We cause pure water to descend from the sky,
So that We may revive through it a dead land and give it for drink to many beings among Our creation, beasts as well as humans.
Assuredly We distribute it among them (without depriving any) so that they may remember and so be mindful. But most of humankind obstinately refuse to do anything except showing ingratitude.
Had We so willed, We could certainly have raised up a warner in every township.
(But We have willed instead that you are the last Messenger whose mission is universal.) So pay no heed to (the desires of) the unbelievers, but engage in a mighty striving against them by means of it (the Qur’an).
And He it is Who has let flow forth the two large bodies of water, one sweet and palatable and the other salty and bitter; and He has set a barrier and an insurmountable, forbidding ban that keeps them apart.
And He it is Who from a fluid has created human and made it (a male and female and, through them,) into a population through descent and marriage. And Your Lord is All-Powerful.
And yet they (the polytheists) worship, apart from God, that which can neither benefit them nor harm them. The unbeliever is ever prone to make cause (i.e. to back everyone and every movement) against his Lord.
Yet, We have not sent you (O Messenger) but as a bearer of glad tidings and a warner (you are not accountable for their straying and sinning).
Say: "I ask of you no wage for this (conveying of the Message to you), except that whoever so wills may take a way leading to his Lord."
Put your trust in the All-Living Who does not die, and glorify Him with His praise (proclaiming that He is absolutely above having any partners and that all praise is due to Him). He suffices as One Who is ever aware of the sins of His servants –
He Who has created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six days, and then established Himself on the Supreme Throne. That is the All-Merciful (with absolute Will, Power, and Knowledge), so ask Him about it (the truth about Him and creation) as All-Aware, (and ask Him for whatever you will ask for).
When they are told: "Prostrate before the All-Merciful (to express your submission to Him)," they say: "What is the All-Merciful? Shall we prostrate before whatever you command us?" Your call but increases them in (their haughty) aversion.
Blessed and Supreme is He Who has set in the sky great constellations, and placed in it a (great, radiant) lamp and a shining moon.
It is He Who has appointed the night and the day to succeed one another, providing a sign for whoever desires to reflect and so be mindful, or desires to be thankful.
The (true) servants of the All-Merciful are they who move on the earth gently and humbly, and when the ignorant, foolish ones address them (with insolence or vulgarity as befits their ignorance and foolishness), they response with (words of) peace, (without engaging in hostility with them);
And (those true servants of the All-Merciful are they) who spend (some of) the night (in worship) prostrating before their Lord and standing;
And who entreat (whether after the Prayers or at other times): "Our Lord! Ward off from us the punishment of Hell; its punishment is surely constant anguish:
"How evil indeed it is as a final station and permanent abode!";
And who, when they spend (both for their own and others’ needs), are neither wasteful nor niggardly, and (are aware that) there is a happy mean between those (two extremes);
And who invoke no other deity along with God, and do not kill any soul – which God has made forbidden – except by right (for just cause and after due process), and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. Whoever commits any of these will face a severe penalty.
His punishment will be greater on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide in it in ignominy,
Except he who gives up his way in repentance and believes (without associating partners with God), and does good, righteous deeds – such are those whose (past) evil deeds God will efface and record virtuous deeds in their place (and whose faculties which enabled the evil deeds He will change into enablers of virtuous deeds). God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.
Whoever repents and does good, righteous deeds (and who has therefore shown that he has renounced his evil ways for good) – such a one has surely turned to God with true repentance.
And (those true servants of the All-Merciful are they) who do not take part in and bear witness to any vanity or falsehood, (and who will not deem anything true unless they know it to be so for certain), and when they happen to pass by anything vain and useless, pass by it with dignity;
And who, when they are reminded of the Revelations of their Lord (and His signs in the creation as well as in their inner world, as a basis of advice or teaching or discussion), do not remain unmoved as though deaf and blind;
And who say: "Our Lord! Grant us that our spouses and offspring may be a means of happiness for us, and enable us to lead others in piety (to become a means of the promotion of piety and virtue)."
Such (illustrious) ones will be rewarded with the loftiest mansion (in Paradise) for their steadfastness (in spite of adversities, for their obedience to God in spite of all persecutions), and they will be met therein with a greeting of welcome and peace.
Therein to abide. How good it is as a final station and permanent abode.
Say: "My Lord would not care for you were it not for your prayer. Now that you have denied (His Message), the inescapable punishment will cleave to you."