O THOU [in thy solitude] enfolded! 1
Arise and warn!
And thy Sustainer's greatness glorify!
And thine inner self purify! 2
And all defilement shun!
And do not through giving seek thyself to gain, 3
but unto thy Sustainer turn in patience.
And [warn all men that] when the trumpet-call [of resurrection] is sounded,
that very Day shall be a day of anguish,
not of ease, for all who [now] deny the truth! 4
LEAVE Me alone [to deal] with him whom I have created alone, 5
and to whom I have granted resources vast,
and children as [love's] witnesses,
and to whose life I gave so wide a scope: 6
and yet, he greedily desires that I give yet more!
Nay, verily, it is against Our messages that he knowingly, stubbornly sets himself 7 -
[and so] I shall constrain him to endure a painful uphill climb! 8
Behold, [when Our messages are conveyed to one who is bent on denying the truth,] he reflects and meditates [as to how to disprove them] -
and thus he destroys himself, 9 the way he meditates:
yea, he destroys himself, the way he meditates!
and then he looks [around for new arguments],
and then he frowns and glares, 10
and in the end he turns his back [on Our message], and glories in his arrogance,
and says, "All this is mere spellbinding eloquence handed down [from olden times]! 12
This is nothing but the word of mortal man!"
[Hence,] I shall cause him to endure hell-fire [in the life to come]! 13
And what could make thee conceive what hell-fire is?
It does not allow to live, and neither leaves [to die],
making [all truth] visible to mortal man. 14
Over it are nineteen [powers]. 15
For We have caused none but angelic powers to lord over the fire [of hell]; 16 and We have not caused their number to be aught but a trial for those who are bent on denying the truth 17 - to the end that they who have been granted revelation aforetime might be convinced [of the truth of this divine writ]; 18 and that they who have attained to faith [in it] might grow yet more firm in their faith; and that [both] they who have been granted the earlier revelation and they who believe [in this one] might be freed of all doubt; and that they in whose hearts is disease 19 and they who deny the truth outright might ask, "What does [your] God mean by this parable?" 20 In this way God lets go astray him that wills [to go astray],and guides aright him that wills [to be guided]. 21 And none can comprehend thy Sustainer's forces save Him alone: and all this 22 is but a reminder to mortal man.
NAY, but consider the moon! 23
Consider the night when it departs,
and the morn when it dawns!
Verily, that [hell-fire] is indeed one of the great [forewarnings] -
a warning to mortal man -
to every one of you, whether he chooses to come forward or to hang back! 24
[On the Day of Judgment,] every human being will be held in pledge for whatever [evil] he has wrought -
save only those who shall have attained to righteousness: 25
[dwelling] in gardens [of paradise], they will inquire
of those who were lost in sin:
"What has brought you into hell-fire?"
They will answer: "We were not among those who prayed, 26
and neither did we feed the needy;
and we were wont to indulge in sinning together with all [the others] who indulged in it;
and the Day of Judgment we were wont to call a lie -
until certainty came upon us [in death]."
And so, of no benefit to them could be the intercession of any that would intercede for them. 27
WHAT, THEN, is amiss with them 28 that they turn away from all admonition
as though they were terrified asses
fleeing from a lion?
Yea, every one of them claims that he [himself] ought to have been given revelations unfolded! 29
Nay, but they do not [believe in and, hence, do not] fear the life to come.
Nay, verily, this is an admonition -
and whoever wills may take it to heart.
But they [who do not believe in the life to come] will not take it to heart unless God so wills: 30 [for] He is the Fount of all God-consciousness, and the Fount of all forgiveness.