CONSIDER the winds that scatter the dust far and wide,
and those that carry the burden [of heavy clouds],
and those that speed along with gentle ease,
and those that apportion [the gift of life] at [God's] behest! 1
Verily, that which you are promised 2 is true indeed,
and, verily, judgment is bound to come!
CONSIDER the firmament full of starry paths! 3
Verily, [O men,] you are deeply at variance as to what to believe: 4
perverted in his views thereon is he who would deceive himself! 5
They but destroy themselves, 6 they who are given to guessing at what they cannot ascertain 7 -
they who blunder along, in ignorance lost -
they who [mockingly] ask, "When is that Day of Judgment to be?"
[It will be] a Day when they will be sorely tried by the fire, 8
[and will be told:] "Taste this your trial! It is this that you were so hastily asking for!" 9
[But,] behold, the God-conscious will find themselves amid gardens and springs,
enjoying all that their Sustainer will have granted them [because], verily, they were doers of good in the past: 10
they would lie asleep during but a small part of the night,
from their innermost hearts; 11
and [would assign] in all that they possessed a due share unto such as might ask [for help] and such as might suffer privation. 12
AND ON EARTH there are signs [of God's existence, visible] to all who are endowed with inner certainty,
just as [there are signs thereof] within your own selves: 13 can you not, then, see?
And in heaven is [the source of] your sustenance [on earth] 14 and [of] all that you are promised [for your life after death]:
for, by the Sustainer of heaven and earth, this [life after death] is the very truth - as true as that you are endowed with speech! 15
AND HAS the story of Abraham's honoured guests ever come within thy ken? 16
When those [heavenly messengers] came unto him and bade him peace, he answered, "[And upon you be] peace!" - [saying to himself,] "They are strangers." 17
Then he turned quietly to his household, and brought forth a fat [roasted] calf,
and placed it before them, saying, "Will you not eat?"
[And when he saw that the guests would not eat,] he became apprehensive of them; 18 [but] they said, "Fear not" - and gave him the glad tiding of [the birth of] a son who would be endowed with deep knowledge. 19
Thereupon his wife approached [the guests] with a loud cry, and struck her face [in astonishment] and exclaimed: "A barren old woman [like me]!"
They answered: "Thus has thy Sustainer decreed; and, verily, He alone is truly wise, all-knowing!"
Said [Abraham]: "And what [else] may you have in view, O you [heavenly] messengers?"
They answered: "Behold, we have been sent unto a people lost in sin, 20
to let loose upon them stone-hard blows of chastisement, 21
marked out in thy Sustainer's sight for [the punishment of] such as have wasted their own selves." 22
And in the course of time 23 We brought out [of Lot's city] such [few] believers as were there:
for apart from one [single] house 24 We did not find there any who had surrendered themselves to Us.
And so We left therein 25 a message for those who fear the grievous suffering [which awaits all evildoers].
AND IN [the story of Pharaoh and] Moses, too, [We left the same message: 26 for] when We sent him unto Pharaoh with [Our] manifest authority,
and he turned away in [the pride of] his power and said, "A sorcerer [is this Moses], or a madman!" -
We seized him and his hosts, and cast them all into the sea: and [none but Pharaoh] himself was to blame [for what happened]. 27
And [you have the same message] in [what happened to the tribe of] 'Ad, when We let loose against them that life-destroying wind
which spared nothing of what it came upon, but caused [all of] it to become like bones dead and decayed. 28
And in [the story of the tribe of] Thamud, too, when they were told, "You shall enjoy your life for [but] a little while," 29
after they had turned with disdain from their Sustainer's commandment - whereupon the thunderbolt of punishment overtook them while they were [helplessly] looking on:
or they were unable even to rise, and could not defend themselves.
And [thus, too, We destroyed] Noah's people aforetime: for they were iniquitous folk.
AND IT IS We who have built the universe 30 with [Our creative] power; and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it. 31
And the earth have We spread out wide and how well have We ordered it! 32
And in everything have We created opposite, 33 so that you might bear in mind [God alone is one]. 34
And so, [O Muhammad, say unto them:] "Flee unto God [from all that is false and evil]! Verily, I am a plain warner to you from Him!
And do not ascribe divinity to aught 35 side by side with God: verily, I am a plain warner to you from Him!"
[But] thus it is: never yet came any apostle to those who lived before their time but they said, "A spellbinder 36 [is he], or a madman!"
Have they, perchance, handed down this [way of thinking] as a legacy unto one another? Nay, they are people filled with overweening arrogance!
Turn, then, away from them, and thou shalt incur no blame;
yet go on reminding [all who would listen]: for, verily, such a reminder will profit the believers.
And [tell them that] I have not created the invisible beings 37 and men to any end other than that they may [know and] worship Me. 38
[But withal,] no sustenance do I ever demand of them, nor do I demand that they feed Me:
for, verily, God Himself is the Provider of all sustenance, the Lord of all might, the Eternal!
And, verily, they who are bent on doing evil shall have their share [of evil] like unto the share of their fellows [of old]: 39 so let them not ask Me to hasten [their doom]!
For, woe unto those who are bent on denying the truth - [woe] on the Day which they have been promised!