WHEN THE SUN is shrouded in darkness,
and when the stars lose their light,
and when the mountains are made to vanish, 1
and when she-camels big with young, about to give birth, are left untended,
and when all beasts are gathered together, 2
and when the seas boil over,
and when all human beings are coupled [with their deeds], 3
and when the girl-child that was buried alive is made to ask
for what crime she had been slain, 4
and when the scrolls [of men's deeds] are unfolded,
and when heaven is laid bare,
and when the blazing fire [of hell] is kindled bright,
and when paradise is brought into view:
[on that Day] every human being will come to know what he has prepared [for himself].
BUT NAY! I call to witness the revolving stars,
the planets that run their course and set,
and the night as it darkly falls,
and the morn as it softly breathes:
behold, this [divine writ] is indeed the [inspired] word of a noble apostle, 5
with strength endowed, secure with Him who in almightiness is enthroned 6
[the word] of one to be heeded, and worthy of trust!
For, this fellow-man of yours is not a madman: 7
he truly beheld [the angel - beheld] him on the clear horizon; 8
and he is not one to begrudge others the knowledge [of whatever has been revealed to him] out of that which is beyond the reach of human perception. 9
Nor is this [message] the word of any satanic force accursed. 10
Whither, then, will you go?
This [message] is no less than a reminder to all mankind -
to every one of you who wills to walk a straight way.
But you cannot will it unless God, the Sustainer of all the worlds, wills [to show you that way]. 11