SAY: "It has been revealed to me that some of the unseen beings gave ear [to this divine writ], 1 and thereupon said funto their fellow-beings]: "'Verily, we have heard a wondrous discourse,
guiding towards consciousness of what is right; and so We have come to believe in it. And we shall never ascribe divinity to anyone beside our Sustainer,
for [we know] that sublimely exalted is our Sustainer's majesty: no consort has He ever taken unto Himself, nor a son!
"And [now we know] that the foolish among us were wont to say outrageous things about God, 2
and that [we were mistaken when] we thought that neither man nor [any of] the invisible forces would ever tell a lie about God. 3
Yet [it has always happened] that certain kinds of humans would seek refuge with certain kinds of [such] invisible forces: 4 but these only increased their confusion -
so much so that they came to think, as you [once] thought, that God would never [again] send forth anyone [as His apostle]. 5
"And [so it happened] that we reached out towards heaven: 6 but we found it filled with mighty guards and flames, 7
notwithstanding that we were established in positions [which we had thought well-suited] to listening to [whatever secrets might be in] it: 8 and anyone who now [or ever] tries to listen will [likewise] find a flame lying in wait for him! 9
"And [now we have become aware] that we [created beings] may not know whether evil fortune is intended for [any of] those who live on earth, or whether it is their Sustainer's will to endow them with consciousness of what is right: 10
just as [we do not know how it happens] that some from among us are righteous, while some of us are [far] below that: we have always followed widely divergent paths.
And, withal, we have come to know that we can never elude God [while we live] on earth, and that we can never elude Him by escaping [from life].
Hence, as soon as we heard this [call to His] guidance, we came to believe in it: and he who believes in his Sustainer need never have fear of loss or injustice.
"Yet [it is true] that among us are such as have surrendered themselves to God - just as there are among us such as have abandoned themselves to wrongdoing. Now as for those who surrender themselves to Him - it is they that have attained to consciousness of what is right;
but as for those who abandon themselves to wrongdoing - they are indeed but fuel for [the fires of] hell!'" 11
[KNOW,] THEN, that if they [who have heard Our call] keep firmly to the [right] path, We shall certainly shower them with blessings abundant, 12
so as to test them by this means: for he who shall turn away from the remembrance of his Sustainer, him will He cause to undergo suffering most grievous. 13
And [know] that all worship 14 is due to God [alone]: hence, do not invoke anyone side by side with God!
Yet [thus it is] that whenever a servant of God stands up in prayer to Him, they [who are bent on denying the truth] would gladly overwhelm him with their crowds. 15
Say: "I invoke my Sustainer alone, for I do not ascribe divinity to anyone beside Him."
Say: "Verily, it is not in my power to cause you harm or to endow you with consciousness of what is right."
Say: "Verily, no one could ever protect me from God, nor could I ever find a place to hide from Him
if I should fail to convey 16 [to the world whatever illumination comes to me] from God and His messages." Now as for him who rebels against God and His Apostle - verily, the fire of hell awaits him, therein to abide beyond the count of time. 17
[Let them, then, wait] until the time when they behold that [doom] of which they were forewarned: 18 for then they will come to understand which [kind of man] is more helpless and counts for less! 19
Say: "I do not know whether that [doom] of which you were forewarned is near, or whether my Sustainer has set for it a distant term."
He [alone] knows that which is beyond the reach of a created being's perception, and to none does He disclose aught of the mysteries of His Own unfathomable knowledge, 20
unless it be to an apostle whom He has been pleased to elect [therefor]: 21 and then He sends forth [the forces of heaven] to watch over him in whatever lies open before him and in what is beyond his ken 22 -
so as to make manifest that it is indeed [but] their Sustainer's messages that these [apostles] deliver: for it is He who encompasses [with His knowledge] all that they have [to say], 23 just as He takes count, one by one, of everything [that exists].