BECK index

Qur'an Selections

 

Introduction to Muhammad and the Qur'an

Muhammad was born at Mecca in 570 CE after his father died; his inheritance included a slave-girl. He was raised in the desert away from the city by a wet nurse for two years. When Muhammad was six, his mother died as they were returning from Medina. His grandfather died two years later in Mecca, and Muhammad joined the family of his uncle Abu Talib. Young Muhammad pastured sheep and goats, and he fought in a local war at the age of twenty. Muhammad began traveling for merchants and gained a reputation as honest and trustworthy. He helped the wealthy widow Khadija double her money; she was 40 and he 25 when they married. On his wedding day Muhammad freed his slave-girl so that she could marry, and he adopted the slave-boy Khadija gave him as his son. During a famine Muhammad adopted Abu Talib's son 'Ali when he was about five. When he was about 35, Muhammad successfully mediated a dispute between tribes at the Ka'ba shrine in Mecca.

Muhammad prayed in seclusion every year during the month of Ramadan. In 610 he began to have visions during his spiritual retreat, and in a cave a voice told him three times to recite. As he was walking down the mountain, the voice identified itself as the angel Gabriel. These recitations were later written down as the Qur'an. The first to accept the new religion of Islam were his wife and two sons, and they were called Muslims, which means those who submit to God. Muhammad shared his revelations with those present. He was ordered to pray and established the regular times for prayer. The Quraysh tribe tried to stop his growing following with persecution and boycotts. A group of 82 Muslims migrated to Abyssinia. Muhammad's wife Khadija died in 619. Then when Abu Talib died, the prophet's clan lost some of their protection; Muhammad himself even had to take refuge in an orchard. In spirit Muhammad traveled at night from Mecca to Jerusalem, and Moses urged them to pray fifty times a day; but Muhammad got it reduced to five times a day. Muslims began migrating to Medina. In 622 Muhammad was warned of an assassination plot; he hid and then migrated to Medina.

Muhammad respected the Jews for believing in one God; so they were tolerated, and some became Muslims. Muhammad encouraged the Muslims of Mecca and of Medina to embrace each other as brothers. He proved to the Jews that he accepted the law of stoning adulterers. Muhammad himself had more than one wife and married 'A'isha when she was only nine. In Medina he changed the practice of facing Jerusalem in prayer to facing Mecca. From Medina Muhammad began leading raids himself; as the prophet he received a fifth of the spoils, which he distributed to the poor as needed. Muhammad promised his warriors who died fighting the Quraysh that they would enter paradise, and they charged shouting, "God's victors kill." Conflicts with Jews developed, and Muhammad authorized the killing of Jews.

Twice assassins were sent to Muhammad, but he was able to convert both of them. In a battle between the Muslims of Medina and the Quraysh army from Mecca, Muhammad was wounded. He was angry after the defeat, but a revelation warned him to ban mutilation of prisoners. Some of Muhammad's wives died, and he received a revelation that the prophet was allowed to have more than four wives. Other than 'A'isha, all the women he married were widows. Jews joined the anti-Muslim alliance, and the Muslims were besieged at Medina; but the prophet authorized the use of deception in war, keeping the Qurayza out of the alliance. Then the prophet ordered the Muslims to besiege the Qurayza for breaking their treaty.

Muhammad was able to make an unarmed pilgrimage to Mecca in 628 as he gained a truce for ten years, enabling the Muslim community to more than double in the next two years. Muhammad sent messages to the Persian emperor Khusrau, the Byzantine emperor Heraclius and the patriarch at Alexandria. The Persian viceroy Badhan in Yemen was converted when the prophet's messengers correctly informed him that Khusrau had been killed. Muhammad marched against the Khaybar Jews; though outnumbered, the Muslims were able to overcome the Jews a few at a time. The Jews of Khaybar had to surrender half their crops to the Muslims. After a minor infraction of the truce by two Quraysh, a Muslim army of 10,000 attacked Mecca and took over the city as the idols and icons were destroyed. Other towns were attacked by the large Muslim army, and Muhammad announced that slaves who joined the Muslims would be freed. In 630 he sent a Muslim army of 30,000 that included 10,000 cavalry to attack Byzantine Syria, but he made peace treaties with Christian and Jewish communities along the Gulf of 'Aqabah coast. Muhammad sent officials to collect taxes to support the poor. On his last pilgrimage to Mecca the prophet banned pagans from participating. Muhammad married eleven times and died of illness on June 8, 632.

Qur'an means recital and is the sacred book of Islam. Its literary quality is considered especially remarkable since Muhammad himself was probably illiterate. He recited the verses, and then they were memorized and written down by others. Usually God is speaking to humanity, though occasionally the messengers Gabriel and Muhammad speak. In the longest chapter "The Cow" believers are reminded to pray facing Mecca, give charity to the poor, and fast until sunset during the month of Ramadan. After two of the six Muslims, who had memorized the entire Qur'an, were killed, Muhammad's successor Abu Bakr (r. 632-634) ordered the written and oral revelations collected together. Qur'an reciters were sent out to teach Islam. The caliph 'Uthman (r. 644-656) had been a secretary of Muhammad, and during his reign the Qur'an was edited into its final form. The 114 chapters are ordered mostly by decreasing length. These selections are placed in their approximate chronological order.

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Qur'an Selections

English Versions by Sanderson Beck

Introduction to Muhammad and the Qur'an
1. The Opening
93. Bright Morning
103. Passing Time
106. Quraysh
112. Sincerity
99. The Earthquake
90. The Land
68. The Pen
107. Charity
76. Man
75. The Resurrection
35. The Angels
67. Sovereignty
30. The Roman Empire
42. Counsel
29. The Spider
31. Luqman
17. The Night Journey
64. Loss and Gain
65. Divorce
61. The Ranks
66. Forbidding
57. Iron
110. Help
Notes

1. The Opening
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

Praise God, Lord of the universe, the gracious, the loving,
Master of Judgment Day.
We serve only You; we pray only to You for help.
Guide us on the right path,
the path of those whom You have blessed,
not of those who deserve Your anger
nor of those who have gone astray.

93. Bright Morning
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

By the bright morning and the darkening night
your Lord has not forsaken you nor does He hate you,
and truly the hereafter will be better for you than the past.
Soon the Lord will give to you so that you will be content.

Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter
and find you lost and guide you
and find you in need and supply you?

Therefore do not oppress the orphan
nor repulse those who ask
and proclaim the blessings of your Lord.

103. Passing Time
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

By passing time humans surely are losing
except those who believe and do good
and encourage each other to be truthful
and encourage each other to be patient.

106. Quraysh
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

For the protection of the Quraysh,
secure during their winter and summer trading
let them serve the Lord of this house
who feeds the hungry and gives them security against fear.

112. Sincerity
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

Say: "God is One.
God is the eternal, prime cause.
God produces but has not been produced,
and nothing can be compared to God."

99. The Earthquake
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

When an earthquake shakes,
and the earth brings forth her burdens,
and man asks, "What has happened to her?"
on that day she will report her news;
for her Lord has inspired her.

On that day people will come forward
in separate groups to be shown their works,
and whoever has done an atom's weight of good shall see it,
and whoever has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it.

90. The Land
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

No, I swear by this land,
and you are a citizen of this land,
and the parent and the child.
Truly we have created man for struggle.
Does he think that no one has power over him?
He says, "I have squandered much wealth."
Does he think no one sees him?

Have we not given him two eyes and a tongue and two lips
and guided him on the two highways?
Yet he has not attempted the steep road,
and what will teach you what the steep road is?
The freeing of a slave
or giving food on a day of hunger to an orphaned relative
or to a poor person lying in the dust
will make one a believer and will encourage one another
to be patient and compassionate.

Those are the companions on the right side;
but those who disbelieve our communications
are on the wrong side with fire covering them.

68. The Pen
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

By the pen and what they write you are not,
by your Lord's grace, possessed.
You will surely have an unfailing reward,
and surely you are of moral character.
So you will see, and they will see which of you is insane.

Surely the Lord knows best who has strayed from His path,
and He knows best those who follow guidance.

So do not obey the disbelievers.
They want you to compromise so they may compromise,
and do not obey every mean swearer, defamer,
going around slandering, hindering the good,
transgressing limits, sinful, violent, and also ignoble,
because he has wealth and sons.
When our messages are recited to him,
he says, "Fables of ancient times."
We shall brand him on the nose.

We shall try them as we have tried the owners of the garden
when they swore they would certainly cut off the produce
in the morning and did not save a portion.
Then came a visitation from your Lord
while they were sleeping,
and in the morning it was dark and barren.
At dawn they called out to one another,
"Go early to your field if you would pick."

So they went, whispering to each other,
"No poor person shall enter your garden today."

And they went early determined in this purpose;
but when they saw it, they said,
"Surely we have gone astray, for we are made destitute."

The best of them said, "Did I not say to you,
'Why do you not glorify?'"

They said, "Glory be to our Lord; surely we were wrong."
Then they turned against each other in reproach.

They said, "Woe to us! We surely were insolent.
Maybe our Lord will give us instead a better one;
for to our Lord we humbly turn for help."

Such is the punishment,
and surely the punishment of the hereafter is greater,
if they only knew!
Surely for the godly will be gardens of bliss with their Lord.
Shall we then make those who surrender like the guilty?

What is the matter with you? How do you judge?
Or do you have a book that you study
in which you find whatever you want?
Or do you have oaths from us
confirming the day of resurrection
that you will have whatever you demand?
Ask them which of them will guarantee that?
Or do they have associates;
let them bring them if they are truthful.

On the day when the bone is laid bare,
they shall be summoned to make obeisance;
but they will not be able.
Their eyes will be downcast; abasement will overwhelm them;
for they had been summoned to make obeisance
while they were whole.

So leave Me with those who reject this message.
We shall overtake them gradually without their perceiving it,
and I shall bear with them; for my plan is firm.

Or do you ask from them a reward
so that they are burdened with debt?
Or is the unseen in their keeping,
that they are writing it down?

So wait patiently for the judgment of your Lord,
and do not be like the companion of the fish
who cried out in distress.
Had not the grace of his Lord reached him,
he surely would have been cast
onto the barren shore in disgrace.
But his Lord chose him and put him among the just.

The disbelievers might well strike you down with their eyes
when they hear the reminder,
and they say, "Surely he is possessed."
But it is nothing less than a reminder to all humanity.

107. Charity
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

Have you considered the one who denies the moral law?
That is the one who repulses the orphan
and does not encourage feeding the poor.

So woe to those praying who neglect their prayers,
who act to be seen and withhold charity.

76. Man
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

Has there been a long period of time
when humans were not mentioned?
Surely We have created humans
from a small sperm intermingled for testing,
and we made them hearing and seeing.
Surely We have shown them the way,
whether they are grateful or ungrateful;
for We have prepared for the disbelievers
chains, shackles, and blazing fire.
Surely the just will drink of a cup mixed with camphor,
a fountain from which the servants of God will drink,
making it flow forth abundantly.
They fulfill vows and fear a day, whose evil will spread wide,
and they give food for the love of God
to the poor and the orphan and the prisoner.
We only feed you for God's sake;
we want no recompense nor thanks from you.
We only fear from our Lord a stern and distressing day.
Therefore God will guard them from the evil of that day
and will bestow on them brightness and joy
and will reward them because they are patient
with a garden and silk; reclining there on raised couches,
they will find there neither sun nor bitter cold.
And shade will come down over them,
and its fruits will hang down near.
And passed around for them will be vessels of silver
and crystal goblets of glass made of silver,
measured very precisely.
And they will be given to drink there a cup mixed with ginger,
and a fountain there is named "Seek the Way."
There immortal youths wait on them;
when you see them, you will think them scattered pearls.
When you look there,
you will see blessings and a magnificent realm.
Upon them will be green garments of silk and brocade,
and they will be adorned with bracelets of silver,
and their Lord will give them to drink a pure beverage.
Surely this is a reward for you,
and your effort will be recognized.

We ourselves have revealed the Qur'an to you in stages.
So be patient for the command of your Lord
and do not obey among them a sinner or a disbeliever,
and remember the name of your Lord morning and evening
and during part of the night pray
and glorify God during the long night.

Surely these love the fleeting life
and put behind them a grievous day.
We created them and strengthened their joints,
and when We will,
We shall replace them with others like them.

Surely this is a reminder;
so whoever will takes a path to one's Lord.
But you will not unless God wills, for God knows and is wise.
God admits into His grace whomever He will;
but for the unjust He has prepared a painful punishment.

75. The Resurrection
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

No, I swear by the day of resurrection.
No, I swear by the self-accusing soul.
Do humans think We shall not gather their bones?
Yes, We are able to restore their very fingers.
But humans want to deny what is ahead.
They question, "When is the day of resurrection?"

But when the sight is dazed, and the moon is eclipsed,
and the sun and the moon are brought together,
on that day humans will say, "Where is the refuge?"
No, there will be no place of safety.
With your Lord alone on that day will be the place of rest.
On that day humans will be informed
of what they sent ahead and put off.
No, humans will testify against themselves
although they will make excuses.

Do not move your tongue with it to hurry it.
It is for us to collect it and recite it.
So when We recite it, follow the recitation;
then We shall explain it.

No, but you love the present life and neglect the hereafter.
Faces on that day will be radiant, looking to their Lord,
and some faces on that day will be gloomy,
knowing that some great calamity will be falling on them.

No, when it reaches the throat,
and it is said, "Who is the magician?"
And he is sure that it is the parting,
and agony is combined with agony;
to your Lord on that day you will be driven.

For he did not accept the truth nor did he pray;
but he denied the truth and turned away.
Then he went to his family in arrogance.

Nearer to you and nearer; again nearer to you and nearer.
Does a person think one is left to wander aimlessly?
Was not one a drop of emitted sperm?
Then one was a clot of blood;
so God created and perfected
and made them of two kinds, male and female.
Is God not able to bring the dead to life?

35. The Angels
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

Praise God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth,
who made the angels messengers
with wings two, three, and four;
He adds to creation as He pleases,
for God has power over all things.
Whatever mercy God bestows on humanity
no one can withhold,
and what He withholds no one can release.
God is omnipotent and omniscient.

O humans, remember God's grace toward you.
Is there any creator other than God
who provides for you from the heavens and the earth?
There is no deity but God.
How then are you perverted?

And if they call you a liar,
so messengers before you were called liars.
All things return to God.

O humans, surely the promise of God is true;
so do not let the life of this world delude you
nor let deceptive thoughts about God deceive you.
Surely Satan is your enemy; so treat him as an enemy.
He calls his followers,
that they may be companions of the blazing fire.
Those who disbelieve will suffer severely,
and those who believe and do good
will have forgiveness and a great reward.
Is one's evil conduct made alluring so that one thinks it good?
For God lets go astray one who will and guides one who will.
So do not let your soul expire sighing for them;
for God is well aware of what they do.

God is the One who blows the winds that stir up clouds,
and We drive them to a dead country
and so revive the earth after its death;
such is the resurrection.

If you desire glory, to God belongs all the glory.
To Him ascend the good words,
and He exalts the good deeds;
but those who plot evil deeds will suffer severely,
and their plot will come to nothing.

God created you from dust, then from a drop of sperm;
then He made you in pairs,
and no female conceives or gives birth but with His knowledge.
Nor is anyone granted a long life nor a diminished life
but it is decreed; for this is easy for God.

Nor are the two bodies of water alike;
one is fresh, sweet, and pleasant to drink,
and the other salty and bitter.
Yet from each you eat fresh fish and extract gems to wear;
and you see the ships plowing the waves
so that you may seek the bounty of God and may be grateful.
He makes the night grow longer by shortening the day,
and He makes the day grow longer by shortening the night.
He has subjected the sun and the moon,
each running the course of its term.
Such is God, your Lord, and sovereignty is His,
and those you call upon besides Him
do not even have the skin on a date-stone.
If you pray to them, they will not hear your call;
and if they did listen, they could not answer you.
On the day of judgment they will disown your partnership.
None can inform like the One who is aware.

O humans, you are the ones who need God,
while God alone is self-sufficient and worthy of praise.
If He will, he can wipe you out and bring a new generation.
That is not difficult for God.

A burdened soul cannot bear the burden of another,
and if one weighed down by a burden cries about the load,
none of it can be carried even by a close relative.
You warn only those
who respect their Lord unseen and pray constantly.
Whoever purifies oneself does so only for one's own soul,
and the goal is God.

The blind and the seeing are not equal,
nor are darkness and the light, nor the shade and the heat,
nor are the living and the dead equal.
God can make anyone He pleases hear;
but you cannot make hear those who are in graves.
You are nothing but a warner.
Surely we have sent you with the truth
as a bearer of good news,
and there never was a people,
but a warner lived among them.
And if they reject you, so did their predecessors;
their messengers came to them with clear arguments,
books of wisdom, and illuminating revelations.
Then I punished the disbelievers
and how awesome was my disapproval!

Do you not see that God sends down rain from the sky,
and then We produce fruit of various colors;
and the mountains are streaked
with white and red of various hues and intense black?
Also people and beasts and cattle are of diverse hues.
Those of His servants with knowledge truly respect God;
for God is powerful and forgiving.

Those who follow the revelations of God, pray constantly,
and spend what We have provided for them,
secretly and openly, hope for gain that will never fail.
For He will pay them their wages
and give them more from His grace;
for He is forgiving and grateful.
The revelation We have inspired in you is the truth,
confirming what came before;
for surely with respect to His servants
God is aware and observant.
Then We gave the revelation as a heritage
to those whom We chose as Our servants;
but some of them wrong themselves;
some of them are lukewarm;
and some of them excel in good works with God's permission;
that is the highest grace.
Gardens of perpetual bliss will they enter;
there they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls,
and their garments will be of silk.
And they will say, "Praise God,
who has removed sorrow from us;
for our Lord is forgiving and grateful,
who has settled us in a home that will last
where no struggle or weariness can afflict us."

But for the disbelievers will be the fire of hell.
It will not be finished with them entirely
so that they should die
nor will the suffering be lightened for them;
thus We pay back all the ungrateful.
There they will cry for help, "Our Lord, release us,
and we shall do good, not what we used to do."

"Did we not give you a life long enough
in order to be mindful to mind?
Also a warner came to you;
therefore taste it, because the unjust have no helper."

Truly God knows the unseen in the heavens and the earth;
surely He is aware of what is in all hearts.
He is the One who made you rulers on the earth;
so whoever disbelieves, the rejection is against themselves;
their disbelief increases the disbelievers
only in hatred in the sight of God;
their disbelief increases the disbelievers only in loss.
Say: "Have you considered your associates
on whom you call apart from God?
Show me what they have created on the earth,
or do they have a share in the heavens?"
Or have We given them a book from which they get clarity?
No, the unjust promise each other only to deceive.

God sustains the heavens and the earth
so that they do not deviate;
and if they were to deviate,
no one could sustain them anymore.
Truly He is most patient and forgiving.

They swore by God the strongest oaths
that if a warner came to them,
they would be guided better than any of the nations;
but when a warner came to them,
it increased nothing but aversion,
behaving arrogantly in the land and plotting evil;
but the evil plots will not trap any but their devisers.
So do they expect anything except the ways of the ancients?
For you will not find any alteration in God's way
nor will you find any change in God's way.
Have they not traveled in the land
and seen the consequences of those before them,
and they were stronger than these in power?
God is not frustrated by anything whatever
in the heavens or on earth,
for He is omniscient and omnipotent.

If God were to punish people as they deserve,
He would not leave a single creature on its back;
but He gives them a reprieve for a set term;
so when their term expires,
then surely God sees His servants.

67. Sovereignty
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

Blessed is the One in whose hand is sovereignty
and who can do all things,
who created death and life
in order to test which of you is best in action,
and God is powerful and forgiving,
who created seven heavens one above another.
You see no imperfection in the creation of the Beneficent.
So look again and again,
and your vision returns to you dazzled and exhausted.
And We have adorned the lower heaven with lamps
as missiles for the devils
and have prepared for them burning punishment.

For those who reject their Lord
is the chastisement of hell, a bad end.
When they are thrown in, they will hear it gasping
as it boils, nearly bursting with rage.
Whenever a group is thrown in,
the wardens ask them, "Did no one come to warn you?"

They will reply, "Yes, indeed,
someone did come to warn us."

But we rejected him and said,
"God has not revealed anything; you are merely in great error."

They will also say, "If we had only listened or understood,
we would not have been living in the flames."
Then they will acknowledge their sins,
but those living in the flames will be far away.

Those who respect their invisible Lord
will be forgiven and have a great reward.

Whether you keep your opinion secret or proclaim it,
God knows all hearts.
Does not the One who created know?
Yes, God is subtle and aware.

This is the One who made the earth serviceable to you;
so travel in its regions and eat of its sustenance,
and to God you shall ascend.

Do you feel secure that the One who is in heaven
will not cause you to be swallowed up in an earthquake?
Do you feel secure that the One who is in heaven
will not loose upon you a sandstorm?
Then you shall know about my warning.

Those who have gone before rejected it
and how awesome was My response!

Have they not seen the birds above them
spreading their wings and drawing them in?
Nothing holds them up except beneficent God.
He truly sees everything.
Or who will be a host for you to help you
besides beneficent God?
The disbelievers are only in delusion.
Or who will provide for you
if He were to withhold His sustenance?
Nevertheless they persist in arrogance and rebellion.

Is the one who gropes prone better guided
than the one who walks upright on a straight path?

Say: "This is the One who has created you
and made for you ears and eyes and hearts;
little thanks you give."

Say: "This is the One who multiplied you on the earth
and into whom you will be gathered."

They ask, "When will this promise occur if you are truthful?"

Say: "The knowledge is with God alone; I only warn clearly."

Yet when they see it near,
the faces of the disbelievers will be grieved,
and it will be said, "This is what you were calling for."

Say: "What do you think?
If God destroyed me and those with me,
or has mercy on us;
then who will protect the disbelievers
from a painful punishment?"

Say: "God is good. We believe in God, and in God we trust.
So you will soon know who is clearly in error."

Say: "What do you think?
If in the morning all your water were to vanish underground,
then who would bring you running water?"

30. The Roman Empire
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

The Roman empire has been defeated in a land nearby;
but they after their defeat
will be victorious within a few years.
With God is the decision in the past and the future,
and on that day believers will rejoice in the help of God.
He helps whom He pleases, and He is powerful and merciful.

It is God's promise.
The promise of God will not fail,
but most people do not understand.
They know only the appearance of life in this world,
but of the hereafter they are unaware.
Do they not think within themselves?
God did not create the heavens and the earth
and what is between them without truth and a set term.
But most people disbelieve the meeting with their Lord.
Have they not traveled in the land
and seen the result of those before them?
They were stronger than these in power;
they plowed the earth and populated it more than these.
Messengers came to them with clear evidence.
So God did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves.
Then evil was the end of those who did evil,
because they rejected the communications of God
and ridiculed them.

God originates creation, then reproduces it;
then you will return to Him.
On the day when the hour will come,
the guilty will be in despair.
They will have no intercessor among their deities,
and they will reject their deities.
On the day when the hour will come,
on that day they will be sorted.
Then those who believed and did good will enjoy a garden,
and those who disbelieved
and rejected Our communications and the meeting hereafter
will be brought to suffering.

So glory be to God when you enter the evening hour
and when you rise in the morning.
To God belongs praise in the heavens and on earth,
both in the afternoon and at midday.
He brings forth the living from the dead
and brings forth the dead from the living
and revives the earth after her death;
even so you will be brought forth.

And among His wonders is that He created you from dust,
and look, you are wide-ranging humans.
And among His wonders is that He created mates
for you from among yourselves,
that you may recline with them,
and He ordained between you love and mercy.
Truly these are messages for people who think.
And among His wonders is the creation of the heavens
and the earth and the diversity of your languages and colors;
surely these are messages for those with knowledge.
And among His wonders is your sleeping at night or by day
and your questing for His grace;
truly these are messages for people who listen.
And among His wonders He shows you lightning
for fear and for hope and sends down rain from the sky
and with it gives life to the earth after it is dead;
surely these are messages for people who understand.
And among His wonders is that
the heavens and the earth stand firm by His command;
then when He calls you with one call from the earth,
look, you will emerge.

To Him belongs whoever is in the heavens and on earth;
all obey His will.
He is the One who originates creation, then reproduces it,
and it is easy for Him.
His are the most exalted attributes
in the heavens and the earth,
for He is omnipotent and omniscient.
He sets forth for you a parable relating to yourselves.
Do you have partners among those
whom your right hands possess
to share as equals in the wealth we have given you?
Do you fear them as you fear each other?
Thus do we explain the messages clearly
for people who understand.
No, those who are unjust
follow their low desires without knowledge;
so who can guide those whom God let stray?
They will have no helpers.

So set your face steadily toward the faith ­
God's nature in which He created humanity.
There is no altering God's creation;
that is the right religion, but most people do not understand.
Turn back to Him and respect Him and be constant in prayer
and be not among those with other deities,
those who divide up their religion among sects,
each rejoicing in what is theirs.

When trouble afflicts humanity,
they call to their Lord, turning back to Him;
then when He gives them a taste of mercy from Himself,
some of them begin to worship other deities,
showing their ingratitude for what We have given them.
Enjoy yourselves, for soon you will know.
Or have we sent down authority to them
which speaks of them worshipping others besides Us?
When we let people taste mercy, they rejoice in it;
but if an evil afflicts them for what their hands have done,
look, they are in despair.
Do they not see that God makes ample provision
or restricted for whom He will?
Truly these are messages for people who believe.

So give what is due to the close relative,
the needy, and the wayfarer.
This is best for those who seek the face of God,
and these are the successful.
Whatever you loan out at interest
so that it may increase the people's wealth
will not increase with God;
but what you give in charity in seeking the face of God,
these will get compensation multiplied.

God is the One who created you, then gave you sustenance;
then He will cause you to die, then brings you to life.
Are there any other deities who can do any of this?
Glory be to God,
and may He be exalted above what they associate.
Corruption has appeared on land and sea
because of what human hands have done,
and so He will let them taste some of what they have done
so that they may return.

Say: "Travel in the land
and see what happened to those who were before you;
most of them worshipped other deities."
So set your face toward the right religion
before the inevitable day comes from God;
on that day they will be divided.
Whoever disbelieves will be responsible for that disbelief,
while those who do good are providing for their own souls,
that He may reward those
who believe and do good from His grace;
for He does not love the disbelievers.

And among His wonders is that He sends the winds
as heralds of good news, giving you a taste of His mercy,
that the ships may sail by His command
and that you may seek His grace so that you may be grateful.

Certainly we sent before you messengers to their people,
and they came to them with clear arguments.
Then we gave the punishment to those who were guilty,
and helping the believers is our incumbent duty.

God is the One who sends the winds
so that they raise clouds;
then he spreads them in the sky as He pleases,
and He breaks them up
so that you see the rain pouring down from inside;
then when He causes it to fall
on whom He pleases of His servants, they are joyful
although before it was sent down on them,
they had been in despair.

Look then at the signs of God's mercy,
how He gives life to earth after her death;
truly He will bring the dead to life and can do all things.
If We send a wind, and they see it turn yellow,
they would remain after that disbelievers.

For surely you cannot make the dead to hear,
nor can you make the deaf hear the call
when they turn back and go away.
Nor can you lead the blind out of their error.
You cannot make anyone hear
but those who believe in Our communications
so that they surrender.

It is God who created you in weakness,
then gave you strength after weakness,
then after strength ordained weakness and gray hair.
He creates what He pleases,
and He is omniscient and omnipotent.

On the day when the hour will come,
the guilty will swear that they did not delay but an hour;
thus do they delude themselves.
But those who are given knowledge and faith will say,
"Certainly you delayed by God's decree
until the day of resurrection.
This is the day of resurrection, but you did not know."
So on that day their excuses will not benefit the unjust,
nor will they be allowed to make amends.

Truly we have set forth for people
all kinds of parables in this Qur'an.
Yet if you bring them a message,
the disbelievers are sure to say,
"You do nothing but make false claims."
Thus does God set a seal on the hearts
of those who do not understand.

So be patient; for surely the promise of God is true,
and do not let those whose faith is uncertain
make you unsteady.

42. Counsel
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

Thus does the omnipotent and omniscient God
reveal to you and to those before you.
His is what is in the heavens and on earth,
and He is the highest and greatest.
The heavens may almost tear apart from above them,
and the angels sing the praise of their Lord
and ask forgiveness for those on earth.
Surely God is forgiving and merciful.
And those who take protectors besides Him,
God watches over them,
and you do not have charge over them.

Thus We have revealed to you an Arabic Qur'an,
that you may warn the mother of cities and those around her
and that you may warn of the day of assembly,
of which there is no doubt;
some will be in the garden and some in the blazing fire.

If God wished, He could have made them one community;
but He admits whom he will to His mercy,
and the unjust have neither protector nor helper.
Or have they taken protectors besides Him?
But God is the protector,
and He gives life to the dead and has power over all things.
On whatever you may differ, the judgment belongs to God.
Such is God, my Lord, in Him I trust and to Him I turn.
The Creator of the heavens and the earth
has made mates for you among yourselves
and mates among cattle too in order to multiply you.
Nothing is like Him; He is the One hearing and seeing.
His are the keys of the heavens and the earth.
He increases and restricts provisions for whom He will;
He is aware of all things.

He has ordained for you the religion
that he commended to Noah
and that We have revealed to you
and that which We commended
to Abraham and Moses and Jesus,
that you should remain steady in religion and not be divided.
Hard for the disbelievers is that to which you call them;
God chooses for Himself whomever He will
and guides to Himself those who repent.

They did not become divided
until after knowledge had come to them
out of envy among themselves.
Had not a word gone forth from your Lord for a stated term,
it would have been decided between them.
And those who inherited the Bible after them
are truly in disquieting doubt about it.

So then go on inviting and pursue the right course
as you are commanded and do not follow their low desires,
but say: "I believe in whatever Bible God has revealed,
and I am commanded to do justice between you.
God is our Lord and your Lord;
we have our deeds, and you have your deeds.
Let there be no contention between us and you.
God will bring us together, and to Him is the homecoming."

But those who dispute about God
after He has been acknowledged,
their arguments are futile in the Lord's sight.
Condemnation falls upon them,
and their suffering will be severe.
God is the One who revealed the Bible
with truth and the balance.
What will make you realize that perhaps the hour is near?
Those who do not believe in it ask for it quickly,
while those who believe hold it in awe
and know that it is the truth.
Truly those who dispute obstinately about the hour
make a big mistake.

God is gracious to His servants,
providing for whomever He will,
and He is strong and powerful.

Whoever desires the harvest of the hereafter,
We shall give an increase in his harvest.
Whoever desires the harvest of this world, we give him it;
but in the hereafter he has no portion.
Or do they have associates who have prescribed for them
a religion that God has not approved?
Were it not for the word of judgment,
it would have been decided between them,
and surely the unjust will suffer punishment.

You will see the unjust afraid of what they have earned,
and it must fall back on them;
but those who believe and do good
will be in the meadows of the gardens;
they shall have with their Lord whatever they wish;
that is the great grace.
That is the good news God gives to His servants,
who believe and do good deeds.
Say: "I do not ask of you any reward for this
but love for my family,
and whoever earns good, We give an increase of good for that;
for God is forgiving and grateful."

Or do they say, "He has invented a lie about God."?
But if God wills, He could seal your heart.
And God wipes out the lie and proves the truth by His words;
for He is well aware of what is hidden in hearts.
God is the One who accepts repentance from His servants
and pardons evil deeds; He knows what you do.
If God were to enlarge the provision for His servants,
they would surely revolt on earth;
but He sends it down in due measure as He pleases;
for He is aware of and sees His servants.

God is the One who sends down rain
after they have despaired,
and He unfolds His mercy;
He is the protector worthy of praise.
And among His signs
is the creation of the heavens and the earth
and the living beings He has dispersed in both.
He can also gather them together when He will.

Whatever misfortune happens to you
is because of what your hands have earned,
and He pardons much.
Nor can you escape on earth
nor will you have any guardian or helper besides God.

And among His signs
are the ships that sail like mountains on the sea.
If He wills, He can calm the winds
so that they lie still on its back;
surely in this are signs for everyone
who is patient and grateful.
Or He can make them perish for what they have earned;
but He forgives much.
And let those who dispute Our communications
realize they have no refuge.

So whatever you are given
is only a provision of this world's life,
and what is with God is better and more lasting
for those who believe and trust in their Lord.
Those who respond to their Lord and pray constantly
and take counsel among themselves on their affairs
and spend out of what We have given them,
and who when great wrong afflicts them, defend themselves,
the recompense of injury is an equal injury;
but whoever forgives and amends
will have their reward from God,
who does not love the unjust.

But whoever defends oneself after suffering wrong,
against them there is no cause of blame.
The blame is only against those who oppress people
and transgress beyond the laws of justice on earth;
for these will suffer severely.
But whoever is patient and forgiving,
these truly exercise courage.

Whomever God lets go astray has no guardian at all,
and you will see the unjust when they see the punishment,
say, "Is there any way to return?"
And you will see them brought to that,
humbling themselves because of the disgrace,
looking with a furtive glance.

And those who believe will say,
"Surely the losers are those who lose themselves
and their followers on the day of judgment."
Truly the wrong-doers will have lasting suffering,
and they will have no friends to help them other than God,
and for anyone God lets go astray there is no way.

Respond to your Lord before the day comes from God
which cannot be avoided.
You will have no refuge on that day
nor will you be able to deny.

But if they turn away,
We have not sent you to watch over them;
your duty is only to communicate.

Truly when we let humans taste mercy from Us,
they rejoice in it;
and if some ill happens to them
because of what their hands have done,
then surely humans are ungrateful.

God's is the dominion over the heavens and the earth.
He creates what he pleases;
He bestows daughters and sons according to His will.
Or He bestows both males and females,
and He leaves barren whom He will;
for He is omniscient and omnipotent.

It is not for any mortal that God should speak to them
except by inspiration or from behind a veil
or by sending a messenger to reveal
with God's permission what God wills;
for He is highest and wisest.
Thus We have inspired you by our command;
you did not know what the revelation was nor the faith;
but We made it a Light to guide Our servants as We will,
and truly you do guide to the right way:
the way of God, to whom belongs
whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth;
truly all things return to God.

29. The Spider
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

Do people think that they will be left alone
to say, "We believe," and that they will not be tested?
We certainly tested those before them;
so God will certainly know those who are true,
and He will surely know the liars.
Or do those who do wrong think that they will escape Us?
Bad is their judgment.
Whoever hopes to meet God, God's term is surely coming,
and He hears and knows.

And whoever strives hard does so for their own souls;
for God is self-sufficient and independent of creation.
Those who believe and do good,
We shall most certainly remit their bad deeds,
and We shall most certainly reward them
for the best of what they did.
We have charged humanity with kindness toward parents;
but if they strive to make you associate with Me
that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them.
You return to me, and I will tell you what you did.
Those who believe and do good,
surely We shall admit them among the just.

Some people say, "We believe in God;"
but when they are persecuted in God's cause,
they mistake the persecution of people for God's punishment.

Then if help comes from your Lord,
they would say, "Surely we were with you."
Does not God know best what is in the hearts of all?
God certainly knows those who believe,
and certainly He knows the hypocrites.

The disbelievers say to the believers,
"Follow our path, and we shall bear your wrongs."
Yet they cannot bear any of their wrongs; surely they are liars.
Certainly they will bear their own burdens
and other burdens with their own,
and on the day of judgment
they will be questioned about their falsehoods.

We sent Noah to his people,
and he remained among them a thousand years less fifty;
but the flood overwhelmed them because they were unjust.
So We delivered him and those with him in the ark
and made it a sign for all peoples.

And Abraham when he said to his people,
"Serve God and respect Him;
that will be best for you if you understand.
You are worshipping idols instead of God
and invent falsehood;
those you serve besides God are not able to provide for you.
Therefore seek to be sustained by God
and serve Him and be grateful to Him;
to Him you will return.
But if you reject this, so did nations before you,
and the duty of the messenger is only to communicate clearly."
Do they not see how God originates creation,
then reproduces it?
Truly that is easy for God.

Say: "Travel in the land
and see how God originated creation;
then God produces the later growth,
for God has power over all things.
He chastises whom He pleases,
and He has mercy on whom He pleases,
and to Him you will be turned back.
You will not escape on earth nor in heaven
nor have you besides God any protector or helper."
Those who disbelieve the messages of God and His meeting
have no hope of My mercy,
and these will suffer punishment.

So there was no answer of his people
except that they said, "Kill him, or burn him."
But God rescued him from the fire.
Truly in this are signs for people who believe.

He said, "You have only taken idols besides God
because of love between you and the life of this world;
then on the resurrection day you will deny one another,
and you will curse one another,
and your home will be the fire,
and you will have no helpers."

But Lot believed in Him and said, "I am fleeing to my Lord,
for He is omnipotent and omniscient."
And We gave them Isaac and Jacob
and caused the prophethood and the Bible
to remain among his progeny,
and We gave him his reward in this world,
and in the hereafter he will be among the just.

And Lot then said to his people,
"You commit such indecency
that no people has ever done before you.
Why do you come to men and cut off the highway
and commit evil deeds in your councils?"

But the only answer of his people was that they said,
"Then bring us God's punishment if you speak the truth."

He said, "Help me against these corrupt people."

When Our messengers came to Abraham with the good news,
they said, "We shall destroy the people of this town,
for its people are unjust."

He said, "But Lot is there."

They said, "We are well aware of who is there.
We shall deliver him and his family,
except his wife, who is one of those staying behind."
And when Our messengers came to Lot,
he was troubled on their account, for he felt powerless;
but they said, "Do not be afraid nor grieve;
we shall deliver you and your family,
except your wife, who is one of those staying behind.
For We are going to bring down on the people of this town
a punishment from heaven, because they transgressed."
And We have left an evident sign for people who understand.

To the Midian their brother Shuaib said, "O my people,
serve God, and expect the last day
and do not act corruptly on earth, making mischief."
But they rejected him;
so a severe earthquake overtook them,
and morning found them prostrate in their homes.

Ad and Thamud are apparent to you from their buildings;
Satan made their deeds seem fair to them
and barred them from the way
although they were endowed with intelligence and skill.

Qarun, Pharaoh, and Haman also,
Moses came to them with clear arguments;
but they behaved arrogantly on earth,
and they could not escape.
So each We punished for his crime;
against some of them We sent a violent storm,
and some of them were overtaken by a blast,
and some of them We cause to be swallowed up by the earth,
and some of them We drowned.
God would never wrong them; but they wronged themselves.

The parable of those who take guardians besides God
is like the spider that builds a house;
surely the spider's house is the frailest of houses
if they only knew.
God knows whatever they call upon besides Him,
for He is omnipotent and omniscient.
These examples we set before people,
but no one understands them except the wise.
God created the heavens and the earth in truth;
surely in that is a sign for the believers.

Recite what has been revealed to you of the scripture
and be constant in prayer;
for prayer restrains shameful and unjust actions,
and remember God is the greatest without doubt,
and God knows what you do.

And do not argue with the people of the Bible
except in a better way
unless it is those of them who act unjustly;
then say, "We believe in what has been revealed to us
and in what has been revealed to you.
Our God and your God are One, and to Him we surrender."

Thus We have revealed to you the scripture,
and those to whom We gave the Bible believe in it,
and some of these believe in it,
and no one denies Our revelations except the disbelievers.
And you did not recite any book before this,
nor did you transcribe one with your right hand;
for then those who follow falsehood would have doubted.
No, these are clear communications
in the hearts of those who are granted knowledge,
and no one denies Our revelations except the unjust.

They say, "Why are not signs
sent down upon him from His Lord?"

Say: "The signs are with God,
and I am only a plain warner."
Is it not enough for them that We have revealed to you
the scripture which is recited to them?
Surely in this is mercy and a reminder for people who believe.

Say: "God is sufficient as a witness between me and you;
He knows what is in the heavens and the earth,
and those who trust in vanity and have no faith in God,
these are the losers.
They ask you to hurry the chastisement,
and if a term had not been set,
the chastisement would certainly have come to them,
and truly it will come to them suddenly
when they are not aware.
They ask you to hurry the chastisement;
but hell will encompass the disbelievers.

On the day when the chastisement will cover them
from above them and from below them,
He will say, "Taste what you did."

O My servants who believe, surely My earth is vast;
therefore Me alone should you serve.
Those who believe and do good,
We shall certainly give them a home in the high places
in gardens under which rivers flow, to live there.
How good the reward of the workers,
who persevere patiently and trust in their Lord!

How many are the creatures
who do not carry their provisions?
God sustains them and you; for He hears and knows.

If you ask them who created the heavens and the earth
and subjected the sun and the moon,
they will reply, "God."
Then how are they perverted?
God increases the means of subsistence
for whom He pleases and restricts it;
for God is aware of everything.

And if you ask them who sends down rain from the sky
and so gives life to the earth after its death,
they will reply, "God."

Say: "Praise be to God;"
but most of them do not understand.

The life of this world is nothing but a sport and play,
but the home in the hereafter is life, if they only knew.

So when they embark in the ships,
they call upon God in sincere devotion to Him;
but when He brings them safely to land,
then they associate others.
Thus they become ungrateful
for what We have given them in their enjoyment;
but they will soon know.
Do they not see that We have a sanctuary secure
while people are snatched away from all around them?
Will they still believe in vanity and reject the grace of God?
Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against God
or rejects the truth when it comes to him?
Is there not a home in hell for disbelievers?

But those who strive hard for Us,
We will certainly guide them in Our ways;
for truly God is with those who do good.

31. Luqman
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

These are the revelations of the wise book
for guidance and mercy to those doing good,
who are constant in prayer and give charity.
These follow guidance from their Lord, and they prosper.

Among people some buy idle tales
to lead astray from God's path without knowledge
and ridicule it; these will suffer humiliation.
When Our messages are conveyed to such a person,
he turns away arrogantly as if he did not hear them,
as if his ears were deaf;
so announce to him grievous suffering.
Those who believe and do good
will have gardens of bliss to live in.
God's promise is true, and He is omnipotent and omniscient.
He created the heavens without pillars as you can see,
and he placed firm mountains on the earth
lest it shake with you,
and He dispersed on it animals of all kinds,
and We sent down water from the sky
and caused growth of every noble kind.
This is God's creation.
Now show me what those others besides Him have created.
No, the unjust are clearly wrong.

We gave wisdom to Luqman, saying, "Give thanks to God.
Whoever is grateful does so for his own soul,
and whoever is ungrateful,
then surely God is self-sufficient and worthy of praise."

And when Luqman said to his son, admonishing him,
"O my son, do not associate others with God,
for false worship is the worst wrong,"
and We have charged man about parents ­
his mother bore him in straining and travail,
and his weaning is in two years ­
saying, "Be grateful to Me and to your parents;
with Me is the goal.
And if they try to make you associate with Me
something of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them;
keep them company in this world kindly
and follow the way of the one who turns to Me;
then you will return to Me,
and I shall inform you of all you did.

"O my son, if it is the weight of a grain of mustard seed,
even in a rock or in the heavens or on the earth,
God will bring it forth;
for God understands the finest mysteries and is aware.
O my son, be constant in prayer and practice justice
and forbid what is wrong
and bear patiently whatever happens to you;
for these require courage.
Do not turn your face away from people in contempt
and do not walk proudly on the earth;
for God does not love an arrogant boaster.
Be modest in your bearing and lower your voice,
for the harshest voice is the braying of an ass."

Do you not see that God has subjected for you
all that is in the heavens and on the earth
and lavished on you His blessings, outward and inward?

Yet there are some people who dispute about God
without knowledge nor guidance nor an enlightening scripture.
When they are told to follow what God has revealed,
they say, "No, we follow what we found from our fathers."
Why? Even if Satan is inviting them to suffer from the fire?

Whoever submits one's whole self to God while doing good
has grasped truly the firmest handle;
for with God is the end of all affairs.
But whoever disbelieves, do not let his disbelief grieve you;
to Us is their return,
and We shall inform them of what they did.
Surely God is well aware of what is in all hearts.
We grant them their pleasure for a little while;
then We drive them into severe suffering.

If you ask them who created the heavens and the earth,
they would answer, "God."
Say: "Praise be to God."
But most of them do not understand.

To God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth;
truly God is self-sufficient and worthy of praise.
And if all the trees on earth were pens
and the sea ink with seven more seas to add to it,
the words of God could not be exhausted;
for God is omnipotent and omniscient.

Your creation and your uplifting is like but a single soul;
for God hears and sees.

Do you not see that God
makes the night grow longer by shortening the day
and makes the day grow longer by shortening the night,
and has subjected the sun and the moon,
each running its course in its appointed term
and that God is aware of what you do.
That is because God is the truth
and because whatever else they invoke besides Him is false
and because God is the highest and greatest.
Do you not see that ships sail on the sea by the grace of God,
that He may show you of his wonders?
Surely in this are signs
for everyone patient, enduring, and grateful?
When a wave covers them like a canopy,
they call to God, offering Him sincere devotion;
but when He has delivered them safely to land,
some of them stop half-way.
None reject our signs except every ungrateful traitor.

O humans, be conscious of your Lord and fear the day
when no father will give satisfaction for his child
nor will the child give satisfaction for his father.
Surely the promise of God is true;
so do not let the life of this world delude you
nor let deceptive thoughts about God deceive you.

Surely God is the One with knowledge of the hour.
He sends down the rain,
and He knows what is in the wombs.
No one knows what one will earn tomorrow,
and no one knows in what land one will die.
Truly God knows and is aware.

17. The Night Journey
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

Glory to the One who carried His servant on a night journey
from the sacred mosque to the remote temple,
whose precincts are blessed,
so that We might show him some of Our signs;
for He is the One who hears and sees.

We gave Moses the Bible
and made it a guide for the children of Israel,
saying, "Take no other protector apart from Me."
O descendants of those We bore with Noah,
surely he was a grateful servant.
And we made known to the children of Israel in the Bible,
that twice they would do mischief on earth,
and you will behave with great arrogance.
So when the first of the warnings happened,
We sent against you Our servants of terrible warfare,
who went through your homes,
and the warning was fulfilled.
Then we gave you back your turn against them
and aided you with wealth and children
and made a numerous band.
If you do good, you will do good for your own souls;
if you do wrong, it is against yourselves.
So when the second of the warnings happened,
they ravaged you and entered your temple as they had before
so that they might destroy whatever fell under their power.
It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you,
and if you return again, We shall return also,
and We have made hell a prison for the disbelievers.

Surely this Qur'an guides to the way that is most right
and gives good news to the believers who do good,
that they will have a great reward.
And those who do not believe in the hereafter,
We have prepared for them grievous suffering.

Humans pray for evil as they pray for good,
for humans are apt to be hasty.
We have made the night and the day two signs;
We have obscured the sign of the night
and made the sign of the day enlightening
so that you may seek grace from your Lord,
and that you might know the numbering of years
and the reckoning;
for We have explained everything distinctly.
We have tied every human's destiny to one's neck,
and We shall bring out for one on the day of judgment
a book, which one will find wide open.
"Read your book;
your own soul is sufficient this day
to make an account against you."

Whoever is guided is only guided for one's own soul,
and whoever goes astray does so for one's own loss.
Nor can anyone bear the burden of another,
nor do We chastise until we send a messenger.
And when we wish to destroy a town,
We command its people who lead easy lives,
but they transgress there;
thus the word proves true against it;
so We completely destroy it.
How many generations have We destroyed after Noah?
For God is adequate at knowing and seeing
the faults of His servants.

Whoever desires the transitory things,
We readily grant them what We will to whom We will;
then We assign them to hell,
where they will burn, be despised and be rejected.
Whoever desires the hereafter
and strives for it as one should, having faith,
the striving of these is acceptable.
All do We aid, these as well as those,
from the grace of your Lord,
and the grace of your Lord is not confined.
See how We have made some of them to excel others,
and certainly the hereafter is far superior in excellence.

Do not associate with God any other deity,
or you will sit despised and neglected.
Your Lord has decreed that you shall not serve any but Him
and to be kind to parents.
Whether one or both of them attains old age with you,
do not scorn them nor chide them
but speak to them graciously
and humble yourself gently to them with compassion
and say, "O my Lord, have mercy on them
as they cherished me in childhood."
Your Lord knows best what is in your hearts;
if you are good, then He is forgiving
to those who turn to Him again and again.
And give your relatives their due rights
and to the needy and to the wayfarer,
but do not squander wastefully.
Surely the spendthrifts are the brothers of Satan,
and Satan is ungrateful to his Lord.
But if you turn from them to seek mercy from your Lord
in your hope, then speak to them gentle words.
Do not keep your hand shackled to your neck
nor stretch it out to the utmost reach
lest you become blamed and destitute.
Surely your Lord provides abundant sustenance
for whom He pleases, and He disciplines;
for He knows and sees all His servants.

Do not kill your children from fear of poverty.
We shall provide sustenance for them and for you;
surely to kill them is a great wrong.
And do not commit adultery,
for it is shameful and an evil path.
Do not kill anyone whom God has made sacred
except for a just cause.
And if anyone is slain unjustly,
we have given his heir authority;
so let him not exceed the just limits in killing, for he is aided.

Do not come near the property of an orphan,
except to improve it, until he attains maturity
and fulfills the covenant, for the covenant will be questioned.
Give full measure when you measure
and weigh with a true balance;
this is fair and better in the end.
Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge,
for the hearing and the sight and the heart will be questioned.
Do not walk on the earth arrogantly,
for you cannot cut through the earth
nor reach the mountains in height.
The evil of all this is hateful in the sight of your Lord.

This is the wisdom your Lord has revealed to you.
Do not associate any other deity with God
lest you be thrown into hell, blamed, and rejected.

Then has your Lord preferred to give you sons
and taken for Himself daughters from among the angels?
Surely you are saying a dreadful thing.
We have repeated in this Qur'an so that they may be mindful,
but it only increases their aversion.
Say: "If there were deities with Him as they say,
then certainly they would have been able
to seek a way to the Lord of power.
Glory be to Him! He is exalted high above what they say.
The seven heavens and the earth
and all the beings in them extol His glory,
and there is nothing that does not celebrate His praise;
but you do not understand their glorification;
truly He is ever patient and forgiving."

When you recite the Qur'an, We place between you
and those who do not believe in the hereafter a hidden barrier;
and We have placed veils on their hearts
and deafness in their ears lest they understand it.
When you mention your Lord alone in the Qur'an,
they turn their backs in aversion.
We know best why they listen when they listen to you,
and when they conspire secretly, the unjust say,
"You are only following a man bewitched."
See what similes they strike for you;
thus have they gone astray and cannot find the way.

They say, "After we have become bones and dust,
shall we really be raised up as a new creation?"

Say: "Become stones or iron
or some other created thing that in your minds is too hard."

Then they will say, "Who will bring us back?"

Say: "The One who created you at first."

Then they will shake their heads at you
and say, "When will it be?"

Say: "Maybe it will be soon.
On the day when He will call you,
then you will answer praising Him,
and you will think that you have delayed but a little while."

Say to My servants that they should speak what is best,
for Satan stirs up discord between them.
Your Lord knows you best;
He will have mercy on you if He pleases,
or He will chastise you if He pleases.
We have not sent you to be their guardian.
And your Lord knows best
all who are in the heavens and on earth.
We have preferred some prophets over others,
and We gave to David the Psalms.

Say: "Call on those whom you assert besides Him;
they have no power to remove your troubles from you
nor to change them."
Those whom they call upon
desire the means to come to their Lord,
even those who are nearest,
and they hope for His mercy and fear His chastisement;
for surely your Lord's chastisement is something to beware of.
There is no town, but We shall destroy it
before the day of judgment or chastise it with severe suffering;
this is written in the decree.

Nothing could prevent Us from sending the signs
except that the ancient people denied them.
We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a visible portent,
but they treated her wrongly;
We only send the signs to frighten.

And when We said to you,
"Surely the Lord encompasses humanity,
and We ordained the vision which We showed you
but as a trial for humans as also the cursed tree in the Qur'an.
We frighten them, but it only adds to their great insolence."

And when We said to the angels,
"Make obeisance to Adam."
They made obeisance, except Iblis.

He said, "Shall I make obeisance to him
whom You created from dust?"
He said, "Do you see this one
whom You have honored above me?
If you will give me a respite until the day of judgment,
I shall surely master his descendents except a few."

He said, "Go, and whoever follows you,
surely hell will be your recompense, an ample recompense.
Entice whomever you can with your voice;
make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry;
share with them wealth and children,
and make promises to them.
Yet Satan makes no promises but to deceive.
As for My servants, you have no authority over them."
Your Lord is sufficient as a protector.

Your Lord is He who speeds the ships for you on the sea,
that you may seek His grace;
for He is ever merciful to you.
When distress afflicts you at sea,
those you call upon besides Him fail;
but when He brings you safely to land, you turn away;
for man is ever ungrateful.
Do you then feel secure
that He will not cause a tract of land to engulf you
or send against you a sandstorm?
Then you will find no protector for yourselves.
Or do you feel secure
that He will not send you back a second time
and send against you a fierce gale to drown you
because of your ingratitude?
Then you will not find any helper against Us.

We have honored the children of Adam,
and We carry them on land and sea
and provide them with good things
and have preferred them over many of those We created.
One day We shall summon all human beings with their leaders;
those who are given their record in their right hand will read it,
and they will not be dealt with in the least unjustly.
Whoever is blind in this world will be blind in the hereafter
and will stray even further from the way.
And their purpose was to tempt you away
from what We have revealed to you,
that you might invent something else against us,
and then they would certainly have accepted you as a friend.
And had We not given you strength,
you would nearly have inclined toward them a little.
Then We certainly would have made you
taste double in this life and double after death;
then you would not have found any helper against Us.
Their purpose was to scare you off the land
in order to expel you;
but in that case they would not have stayed after you
except for a little while.
Such was the way with the messengers We sent before you,
and you will not find a change in Our ways.

Be constant in prayer from sunset until darkness
and in the recitation at dawn;
for the dawn recitation is witnessed.
And pray during part of the night
an additional prayer for you;
maybe your Lord will raise you to a glorious position.
Say: "My Lord, let me enter in a true and sincere way
and let me go out in a true and sincere way
and grant me from Your grace helpful power."

And say: "The truth has come, and falsehood has vanished;
for falsehood is bound to vanish."

We send down in the Qur'an
that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers,
while it only adds to the loss of the unjust.
Yet when We bless man,
he turns away and proudly keeps aloof;
but when ill afflicts him, he despairs.
Say: "Everyone acts according to one's disposition;
but your Lord knows best who is best guided on the way."

They ask you about the soul.
Say: "The soul is at the bidding of my Lord,
and you are given only a little knowledge."
If it were Our will,
We could take away what We have revealed to you;
then you would not find any protector against Us,
except for mercy from your Lord;
for His grace to you is great.

Say: "If all humans and spirits combine together
to produce the like of this Qur'an,
they could not produce anything like it
though they helped each other."
And We have explained for humans in this Qur'an
every kind of similitude;
yet most people refuse anything but disbelief.

They say, "We shall not believe you
until you cause a fountain to gush forth from the earth for us,
or you have a garden of palms and grapes
in which rivers flow abundantly,
or you cause the sky to fall in pieces as you asserted,
or you bring God and the angels face to face,
or you have a house of gold,
or you ascend into heaven,
and we shall not believe in your ascending
until you bring down to us a book we can read."

Say: "Glory to my Lord!
Am I anything but a mortal messenger?"

Nothing prevented people from believing
when the guidance came to them except that they said,
"Has God sent a mortal to be a messenger?"

Say: "If there had been on earth angels walking in peace,
We would have sent down to them from heaven
an angel as a messenger."

Say: "God is a sufficient witness between me and you;
for He is aware of His servants and sees."

Whomever God guides, follows the right way,
but for those whom He lets stray
you will not find any protector besides Him.
On the day of judgment We shall gather them together
on their faces, blind and dumb and deaf;
their home will be hell;
whenever it abates, We shall increase the flames.
That is their requital,
because they rejected Our messages
and said, "When we have become bones and dust,
shall we really be raised up in a new creation?"

Do they not see that God,
who created the heavens and the earth,
is able to create their like,
and He has appointed for them
a term about which there is no doubt?
But the unjust refuse anything but disbelief.

Say: "If you controlled the treasures of my Lord's mercy,
then you would withhold them from fear of spending;
for humans are ever stingy."

To Moses we did give nine clear signs;
so ask the children of Israel.
When he came to them, Pharaoh said to him,
"Moses, I think you are a sorcerer."

He answered, "You know well
that the Lord of the heavens and the earth
has sent down these as clear evidence,
and I consider you, O Pharaoh, to be lost."

So he resolved to wipe them off the earth;
but We drowned him and those with him all together.
And We said to the children of Israel after him,
"Dwell in the land."
But when the second of the warnings occurred,
We gathered you together from various nations.

We have revealed the truth, and in truth it has come down;
and We have sent you
only to give the good message and to warn.
The Qur'an We have divided
so that you may recite it to people at intervals;
We have revealed it in stages.
Say: "Whether you believe in it or not,
those who were given the knowledge before,
when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humility,
saying 'Glory to our God!
Truly the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled.'"
They fall down on their faces in tears,
and it increases their humility.

Say: "Call upon God or call upon the merciful;
whatever name you call upon, He has the best names.
Do not speak the prayer loudly nor too softly,
but follow a way between these."

Say: "Praise be to God, who has not taken a son
and who has no partner in the sovereignty
nor has He any protector from humiliation,
and extol his infinite greatness."

64. Loss and Gain
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

All that is in the heavens and on earth glorifies God,
Who is sovereign, worthy of praise, and all-powerful.

God created you, disbeliever and believer,
and God sees all you do.
God created the heavens and the earth with truth
and has shaped you well, and God is the final goal.
God knows all that is in the heavens and on earth,
and God knows what you conceal and reveal.
God is aware of what is in your hearts.

Have you not heard the story
of those who disbelieved before?
They tasted the bad results of their actions,
and they will suffer punishment.
That is because
their messengers came to them with clear evidence;
but they said, "Shall mortals be our guides?"
So they disbelieved and turned away,
and God had no need of them,
being self-sufficient and glorious.

The unbelievers think they will never be raised again.
Say, "Yes, my Lord will raise you up again,
and you will be informed of all you did;
that is easy for God."

Therefore believe in God and God's messenger
and in the Light which we have revealed.
God is aware of all you do.

The day when God will gather you for a day of assembly
will be a day of loss and gain.
Whoever believes in God and does good
will have their ills removed,
and He will admit them into gardens under which rivers flow
to live there forever;
that is the supreme achievement.

But those who disbelieve and deny our revelations
will be companions of fire and live there forever, a bad end.
No affliction occurs that is not allowed by God.
Whoever believes in God, their hearts will be guided,
for God knows everything.

Obey God and obey the messenger;
but if you turn away,
the duty of our messenger is to communicate clearly.

God ­ there is no deity but God,
and so let the believers trust in God.

O believers, among your wives and children are your enemies;
therefore beware of them.
If you pardon, overlook, and forgive,
surely God is forgiving and merciful.
Your wealth and your children are only a test,
but in God is the greatest reward.
Therefore revere God as best you can;
listen and obey and give charity to benefit your own soul.
Whoever is saved from their own greed will prosper.
If you lend to God a good loan,
God will double it for you and forgive you;
for God is grateful and kind,
knower of the unseen and seen, powerful and wise.

65. Divorce
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

O Prophet! When you divorce women,
divorce them after the prescribed time.
Count the interval and respect God, your Lord.
Do not expel them from their houses
nor shall they leave unless they committed flagrant immorality.
These are God's limits.
Whoever transgresses God's limits
has wronged one's own soul.
You do not know that
God may later bring about a new relationship.
So when they have fulfilled the prescribed time,
either take them back in kindness
or separate from them in kindness,
and call together two people of justice from among you
and give correct testimony before God.
Whoever believes in God and the last day
is admonished to do this.
For whomever respects God, God will find a way out,
and God provides from where one could never imagine.

Whoever trusts in God finds God to be sufficient.
For God attains His purpose;
God has set a measure for everything.

For those women who have passed the age of menstruation,
if you are in doubt,
the prescribed time shall be three months,
as it is for those who have not yet had their period.
For pregnant women the prescribed time
is until they deliver their burden.
For those who respect God, God will make this easy.
That is the command of God that God has revealed to you,
and whoever respects God,
God will remove their ills and enlarge their rewards.
Let the women live where you live according to your means
and do not bother them in order to straighten them;
and if they are pregnant,
spend on them until they deliver their burden;
and if they suckle for you, give them compensation
and consult together in order to do good.
But if you find yourselves in difficulties,
let another woman suckle for him.
Let the wealthy person spend from the wealth,
and whosever means are limited
may spend according to what God has given him.
God puts no burden on any person
beyond what God has given one.
After hardship God will bring about relief.

How many peoples have rebelled
against the commands of their Lord and God's messengers,
and did we not call them
to severe account with stern chastisement?
Then they tasted the bad results of their actions,
and the consequence of their conduct was loss.
God prepared for them severe chastisement.
Therefore respect God, o people of understanding.

Believers, God has sent you a reminder, a messenger,
who recites to you clear explanations of God,
that God may bring forth those
who believe and do good deeds from darkness into light.
Whoever believes in God and does what is right
God will admit to the gardens under which rivers flow
to live there forever.
God has given them good sustenance.

God is the One who created seven heavens
and similarly for the earth.
The decree descends among them
so that you may know that God has power over all things
and that God comprehends all knowledge.

61. The Ranks
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

All the heavens and the earth glorify God,
who is omnipotent and omniscient.
O you who believe, why do you say what you do not do?
It is very hateful to God that you say what you do not do.
Surely God loves those who fight for His cause in ranks
as if they were a solid building.

And remember Moses said to his people,
"O my people, why do you disappoint me
though you know I am God's messenger to you?"
When they went astray, God made their hearts turn away;
for God does not guide transgressors.

And remember Jesus, son of Mary, said, "O children of Israel,
I am the messenger of God to you, verifying the previous law
and giving good news of a messenger who will come after me,
whose name will be praised."

Yet when he came to them with clear evidence,
they said, "This is plain magic."
Who is more unjust than the one who invents lies about God
when one is being called to surrender?
And God does not guide the unjust.

They want to extinguish the Light of God with their mouths;
but God will perfect His Light
though disbelievers may be averse.

O believers, shall I direct you to a bargain
that will save you from a grievous penalty?
You shall believe in God and His messenger
and struggle in God's way
with your property and your persons;
that is better for you, if you only knew.
God will forgive you your faults
and admit you into gardens under which rivers flow
and to beautiful mansions in eternal gardens;
that is the supreme achievement;
and other things you love, help from God and a quick victory;
so give the good news to believers.

O believers, be helpers of God,
as Jesus, son of Mary, asked the disciples,
"Who will be my helpers for God?"

The disciples said, "We are helpers for God."
So some of the children of Israel believed,
and some disbelieved.
Then We strengthened those who believed
against their enemies, and they became masters.

66. Forbidding
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

O Prophet! Why do you forbid
what God has made lawful for you,
seeking to please your wives?
God is forgiving and merciful.

God has already sanctioned for you absolution from oaths.
God is your protector, omniscient and wise.

When the Prophet confided a secret to one of his wives,
and she then divulged it, God made it known to him;
he disclosed some of it and passed over some of it.
So when he informed her of it,
she asked, "Who told you this?"

He said, "The wise omniscient one informed me."
If you both turn to God in repentance,
as your hearts are inclined, you will be pardoned;
but if you back up each other against him,
God is his protector, and Gabriel and the good believers,
and the angels too are his helpers.

It may be that if he divorces you,
God will give him in your place better wives than you,
who submit, believe, obey, repent,
and are devout and fasting widows or virgins.

O you believers, save yourselves and your families
from a fire whose fuel is people and stones,
over which are strong and severe angels,
who do not disobey the commands they receive from God.
O you disbelievers, do not make excuses today;
you are only being paid off for what you did.
O you believers, turn to God in sincere repentance.
It may be that your Lord will remove from you your ills
and admit you to gardens under which rivers flow.

On that day God will not shame the Prophet
and those who believe with him.
Their Light will shine before them and on their right hands;
they will say, "Our Lord, perfect our Light for us
and forgive us, You who have power over all things."

O Prophet! Strive hard against the disbelievers
and the hypocrites, and be firm with them.
Their home is hell, a bad refuge.

God has set an example for the disbelievers
in Noah's wife and Lot's wife,
who were under two good servants but betrayed them;
they will be no avail against God,
and it was said, "Enter the fire with those who enter."

God has set an example for the believers in Pharaoh's wife
when she said, "Build for me a house with You in the garden
and deliver me from Pharaoh and his doing
and deliver me from the people doing wrong."
And Mary, the daughter of Imran, guarded her chastity;
so We breathed into her Our Spirit,
and she accepted the truth
of her Lord's words and His books,
and she was one of the devout.

57. Iron
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

All the heavens and the earth glorify God,
who is omnipotent and omniscient.
God has dominion over the heavens and the earth;
God gives life and causes death,
and He has power over all things.
God is the first and the last, the outward and the inward,
and He is aware of all.
God is the One who created
the heavens and the earth in six eons,
and He is established in power.
God knows all that enters the earth
and what comes forth out of it
and what descends from heaven and what ascends to it.
And He is with you wherever you are,
and God sees what you do.
His is the dominion over the heavens and the earth,
and all matters return to God.
He makes the night grow longer by shortening the day,
and He makes the day grow longer by shortening the night;
and he is aware of what is in hearts.

Believe in God and His messenger
and spend what He has entrusted to you;
for those who believe and spend will have a great reward.
What reason do you have for not believing in God
since the messenger is calling you to believe in your Lord,
and he has made a covenant with you, if you are believers?
God is the One who sends down
to His servant clear communication
that he may bring you out of darkness into light.
Truly God is kind and merciful to you.
What reason do you have that you do not spend in God's way
since to God belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth?
Not equal are those who spent and fought before the victory.
They are more exalted
than those who spent and fought afterwards;
but God has promised good to all,
and God is aware of what you do.
Who is there that will lend to God a good loan
so that He will double it for him,
and he will have a generous reward?

On that day you will see the faithful men and women
with their Light shining before them and on their right.
Good news for you this day:
gardens under which rivers flow to live in forever;
that is the supreme achievement.
On that day when the hypocritical men and women
say to the faithful, "Wait for us,
that we may borrow from your Light."

It shall be said, "Return and seek Light."
Then separating them will be a wall with a door;
on the inside of it is mercy,
and on the outside of it is suffering.

They will call out to them, "Were we not with you?"

They will say, "Yes, but you fell into temptation
and hesitated and doubted,
and vain desires deceived you
until the command of God occurred,
and the deceiver deluded you about God.
So today no ransom will be accepted from you
nor from those who disbelieved;
your home is the fire;
that is your friend and your evil refuge."

Is it not time for the hearts of the believers to be humble
in remembering God and the truth which has been revealed?
And that they should not be like those
who were given the Bible before,
and their time was so prolonged that their hearts hardened,
and many of them transgressed.
Know that God revives the earth after it was dead.
We have communicated clearly to you
so that you may understand.
Surely the charitable men and women
who gave God a good loan will have it doubled for them,
and they will have a generous reward.
And those who believe in God and His messengers
are the truthful and faithful ones in the sight of their Lord.
They will have their reward and their Light;
but those disbelieving who reject our communications
are the inmates of hell.

Know that the life of this world is only
play and amusement and a show
and boasting among yourselves
and rivalry in wealth and children,
like the rain that causes vegetation to grow,
pleasing the farmers;
then it withers, and you see it turn yellow;
then it dries up and crumbles away.
But in the hereafter is a severe punishment
and forgiveness from God and good pleasure,
while the life of this world is nothing but enjoying delusion.
Vie with one another for forgiveness from your Lord
and for a garden that is as extensive as heaven and earth,
prepared for those who believe in God and His messengers;
that is the grace of God
which He gives to whomever he pleases,
and God is the Lord of abundant grace.

No disaster can happen on earth nor in yourselves
unless it is decreed before We bring it into existence;
that is very easy for God
so that you may not grieve for what escapes you
nor rejoice in what is given you;
for God does not love proud boasters,
such as those who are stingy and encourage avarice in people;
and whoever turns away,
then truly God is self-sufficient and praiseworthy.

Certainly we sent Our messengers with clear arguments
and sent down with them the Bible
and the balance so that people may act with justice;
and We have given iron in which is great violence
as well as benefits for humanity,
and so that God may know
who helps Him and His messengers though unseen;
surely God is strong and powerful.
And we sent Noah and Abraham
and established in their line prophecy and revelation
so that some of them are rightly guided,
but many of them are transgressors.

Then We sent Our messengers following in their footsteps,
and afterwards We sent Jesus, son of Mary,
and gave him the good message,
and We put in the hearts of those who followed him
kindness and mercy;
and they invented monasticism,
which We did not prescribe for them,
only seeking God's pleasure;
but they did not observe it as it should be observed.
So we gave to those who believed their reward,
but many of them are transgressors.

O you who believe, remain conscious of God
and trust in His messenger.
He will give you double His grace
and shine a Light where you will walk and forgive you.
God is forgiving and merciful
so that the followers of the Bible may know
that they do not control any of the grace of God,
and that grace is in God's hand to give to whom He pleases,
and God is the Lord of abundant grace.

110. Help
In the name of God, the gracious, the loving:

When God's help and victory comes,
and you see people entering the religion of God in crowds,
then celebrate the praise of your Lord and ask His forgiveness;
for He always returns to love.

Notes

30: The Roman empire was greatly diminished by Persian conquest almost to its capital at Constantinople, and Jerusalem was captured in 614. Yet Muhammad correctly predicted that the Byzantine empire would rebound within a few years; their counter-invasion climaxed with the defeat of the Persians at Nineveh in 627.
29: Shuaib has been identified as the Midian priest Jethro, whose daughter Zipporah married Moses.
29 and 17: The northern Nabataean tribe of Thamud was descended from the powerful tribe of Ad, mentioned in an inscription by Sargon II when the Assyrians subjected them in 715 BC.
29: Qarun was a follower of Moses.
29: Haman is probably derived from Ha-Amen, meaning priest of Amen, and refers to a chief advisor of the Pharaoh Ramses II (1304-1237 BC), who was encountered by Moses.
31: Luqman was associated in the popular imagination with Aesop. The legendary Luqman was celebrated for his spiritual wisdom in the poetry of Ziyad ibn Mu'awiyah writing under the name Nabighah adh-Dhubyani in the 6th century CE.
17: The temple at Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians in 586 BC, was rebuilt by Jews in 516 BC, but was captured again by the Romans in 70 CE.
17: Iblis is the personal name of the devil in Islam.

Copyright 2001, 2002 by Sanderson Beck

This has been published in the WISDOM BIBLE as a book. For ordering information, please click here.
Muhammad and the Spread of Islam
Islamic Culture 750-1095
Islamic Culture 1095-1300

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