HALLOWED be He in whose hand all dominion rests, since He has the power to will anything:
He who has created death as well as life, 1 so that He might put you to a test [and thus show] which of you is best in conduct, and [make you realize that] He alone is almighty, truly forgiving.
[Hallowed be] He who has created seven heavens in full harmony with one another: 2 no fault wilt thou see in the creation of the Most Gracious. And turn thy vision [upon it] once more: canst thou see any flaw?
Yea, turn thy vision [upon it] again and yet again: [and every time] thy vision will fall back upon thee, dazzled and truly defeated.... 3
And, indeed, We have adorned the skies nearest to the earth with lights, 4 and have made them the object of futile guesses for the evil ones [from among men]: 5 and for them have We readied suffering through a blazing flame -
for, suffering in hell awaits all who are [thus] bent on blaspheming against their Sustainer: 6 and how vile a journey's end!
When they are cast into that [hell], they will hear its breath indrawing as it boils up,
well-nigh bursting with fury; [and] every time a host [of such sinners] is flung into it, its keepers will ask them, "Has no warner ever come to you?"
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!'" 7
And they will add: "Had we but listened [to those warnings], or [at least] used our own reason, we would not [now] be among those who are destined for the blazing flame!" 8
Thus will they come to realize their sins: but [by that time,] remote will have become all good from those who are destined for the blazing flame.
[As against this,] behold, for those who stand in awe of God although He is beyond the reach of their perception, 9 there is forgiveness in store and a great reward.
AND [know, O men, that] whether you keep your beliefs 10 secret or state them openly, He has full knowledge indeed of all that is in [your] hearts. 11
How could it be that He who has created [all] should not know [all]? 12 Yea, He alone is unfathomable [in His wisdom], all-aware! 13
He it is who has made the earth easy to live upon: 14 go about, then, in all its regions, and partake of the sustenance which He provides: but [always bear in mind that] unto Him you shall be resurrected.
Can you ever feel secure that He who is in heaven 15 will not cause the earth to swallow you up when, lo and behold, it begins to quake?
Or can you ever feel secure that He who is in heaven will not let loose against you a deadly stormwind, 16 whereupon you would come to know how [true] My warning was?
And, indeed, [many of] those who lived aforetime 17 did give the lie [to My warnings]: and how awesome was My rejection [of them]!
Have they, then, never beheld the birds above them, spreading their wings and drawing them in? None but the Most Gracious upholds them: for, verily, He keeps all things in His sight.
[And] is there any, beside the Most Gracious, that could be a shield 18 for you, and succour you [against danger]? They who deny this truth are but lost in self-delusion!
Or is there any that could provide you with sustenance if He should withhold His provision [from you]? Nay, but they [who are bent on denying the truth] stubbornly persist in their disdain [of God's messages] and in their headlong flight [from Him]!
But then, is he that goes along with his face close to the ground 19 better guided than he that walks upright on a straight way?
SAY: "[God is] He who has brought you [all] into being, and has endowed you with hearing, and sight, and hearts: 20 [yet] how seldom are you grateful!"
Say: "It is He who has multiplied you on earth; and it is unto Him that you shall be gathered [on resurrection]."
But they [only] ask, "When is this promise to be fulfilled? [Answer this, O you who believe in it,] if you are men of truth!"
Say thou, [O Prophet:] "Knowledge thereof rests with God alone; and I am only a plain warner."
Yet in the end, when they shall see that [fulfilment] close at hand, the faces of those who were bent on denying the truth will be stricken with grief; and they will be told, "This it is that you were [so derisively] calling for!"
SAY [O Prophet]: "What do you think? Whether God destroys me and those who follow me, or graces us with His mercy 21 - is there anyone that could protect [you] deniers of the truth from grievous suffering [in the life to come]?"
Say: "He is the Most Gracious: we have attained to faith in Him, and in Him have we placed our trust; and in time you will come to know which of us was lost in manifest error."
Say [unto those who deny the truth]: "What do you think? If of a sudden all your water were to vanish underground, who [but God] could provide you with water from [new] unsullied springs?" 22