THESE 43 Verses arranged in six sections are mostly late Meccan, although some date from Madina. The chapter was revealed after Muhammad 47 and before The Mercy-giving 55. It has A.L.M.R. for its initials, almost like the second, third and twenty-ninth to thirty-second chapters.
The law of consequences is stated here, and in section III we are told who will go to Heaven and who to Hell. We are warned against other failings that may lead us astray.
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
God as Creator
(I) * A. L. M. R.
These are verses from the Book; what has been sent down to you by your Lord is the Truth, even though most men do not believe so. * God is the One Who has raised up the Heavens without any support you can see. Then He mounted on the Throne and regulated the sun and moon; each runs along on a specific course. He directs the matter; He manifests signs so that you may be convinced about meeting your Lord.
* He is the One Who has spread the earth out and placed headlands and rivers on it, and has placed two pairs for every kind of fruit on it. He wraps daylight up in night. In that are signs for folk who meditate. * On the earth are neighboring tracts, and vineyards, cultivated fields and datepalms, [growing] in clumps and all alone, watered from a single source. We make some of them excel others in food value. In that are signs for folk who use their reason.
** If you should feel astonished, then how much more astonishing is their statement: "When we have become dust, shall we [end up] in some fresh creation?" Those are the ones who disbelieve in their Lord; such (persons) will have fetters [placed] around their necks and those will become inmates of the Fire, to live there for ever. * They want to hasten you on to commit evil rather than [to perform] a fine deed.
Examples have already been set before them.
Your Lord possesses forgiveness for mankind,
no matter how wrong they are; though
your Lord still is Stern with punishment.
Those who disbelieve say: "If only a sign were sent down from his Lord!" Yet you are only a warner; each folk has a guide.
God the All-Knowing
(II) * God knows what every female bears, and how some wombs may miscarry or else may wait too long. Everything has its measure with Him; * Knowing the Unseen and the Visible, [He is] the Great, the Exalted! ** It is all the same for you whether one of you is secretive about what he says or speaks out about it, and whether one keeps to himself night and struts around by day: * he has [angels] checking from both before him and behind him; they guard him at God's command.
God does not change what any people may have
until they change whatever they themselves have.
Whenever God wants something bad [to happen] to any people, there is no way to avert it nor have they any patron except for Him. * He is the 0ne Who shows you lightning to inspire both fear and expectation. He whips up the heavy clouds. * Thunder hymns His praise while angels stand in awe of Him. He sends down thunderbolts and strikes anyone He wishes with them. Yet they argue on and on about God while He is Stern in strategy.
The Object of Prayer; Association is Futile
* To Him should go the appeal for Truth; those they appeal to instead of Him will never respond to them in any way, except as someone does who stretches out his palms for water, so it may reach his mouth since he himself can never reach it. An appeal by disbelievers merely goes astray.
BOW DOWN HERE
** Whoever is in Heaven and Earth bows down on their knees before God obediently or grudgingly, just as their shadows do so in the morning and the evening. * SAY: 'Who is Lord of Heaven and Earth?" SAY: "God [Alone]." SAY: "Yet have you adopted patrons besides Him who control no benefit nor any harm by themselves?" SAY: "Are the blind and the sighted person equal? Or is darkness equal to light? Or have they given God associates whom they have created just as He creates, so that all creation seems just the same to them?"
SAY: "God is the Creator of everything;
He exists Alone, the Irresistible.
Foam in Floods
* He sends down water from the sky so that river valleys flow according to how much there is. The torrent carries along swelling foam, foam just like what comes out of fire they have kindled to smelt jewelry or some equipment with.
Even so God knocks Truth and falsehood together [to compare them]. As for the foam, the scum will go away; while whatever benefits mankind lingers on in the earth, Thus God compares things with one another.
* Those who respond to their Lord will have the finest [reward] while those who do not respond to Him, even if they had everything on earth and the like of it besides, would never redeem themselves with it. Those will have he worst reckoning; their refuge will be Hell and how awful a resting place it is!
(III) * Is someone who knows how whatever has been sent down to you from your Lord is the Truth, like someone who is blind?
Who Will Go to Heaven
Only prudent persons bear it in mind, ** those who fulfil God's agreement and do not break the covenant, * who transmit anything God has ordered to be transmitted, and dread their Lord and fear the worst reckoning, * who persevere in seeking their Lord's countenance and keep up prayer and spend whatever We have provided them with both secretly and publicly, and ward off evil with good; those will have the compensation of the [final] Home, * gardens of Eden which they will enter, as well as anyone who has acted honorably among their forefathers, their spouses and their offspring. Angels will come in on them by every gate: * "Peace be upon you because you have acted so patiently!" How blissful will the compensation of the Home be!
Who Will Go to Hell
** Those who have broken God's agreement after having pledged it, and intercepted what God has commanded to be transmitted, and acted depraved on earth will have the Curse and theirs will be the worst home! * God extends and measures out sustenance for anyone He wishes, while they are happy with worldly life. Yet what is worldly life compared with the Hereafter except as something to be enjoyed [as it passes]?
(IV) * Those who disbelieve say: "If only a sign were sent down to him from his Lord!" SAY:"God lets anyone He wishes go astray, and guides to Himself anyone who feels concerned- * the ones who believe and whose hearts feel tranquil through remembering God-
"Surely hearts feel tranquil
whenever God is mentioned!"
-- * Those who believe and perform honorable deeds will find gladness and the finest journey's end.
** Thus We have sent you to a nation-nations have passed away long before it-so you may recite to them what We have inspired you with even though they disbelieve in the Mercy-giving! SAY: "He is my Lord: there is no god except Him. On Him do I rely and towards Him [goes] my repentance."
* If there were only some Quran by which the mountains would travel away or the earth would crack open, or the dead would speak out! Rather command is wholly God's. Do not those who believe despair, because God might have guided all mankind had He so wished? Disaster will continually afflict those who disbelieve because of what they produce, or it will settle down close to their home until God's promise comes true. God does not break any appointment.
(V) * Messengers have been ridiculed before you (came), and I have been indulgent with those who disbelieve; then I seized them. What was My punishment like? * Who is there standing over every soul [checking up] on whatever it has earned, while they give God associates? SAY: "Name them! Or will you inform Him about something on earth He does not know, or is it just a display of words?" Rather those who disbelieve feel their scheme is attractive while they are diverted from the Path. Anyone whom God lets go astray will have no guide. * Theirs will be torment during worldly life, while torment in the Hereafter will be even more heartrending. They will have no one to shield them from God.
** [Here] is what the Garden which the heedful are promised will be like: rivers will flow through it; its food and its shade shall be perpetual. Such is the compensation for those who have done their duty, while the outcome for disbelievers will be the Fire.
People of the Book
* Those whom We have given the Book to are happy with what has been sent down to you; yet among the factions there are some who disregard part Of it. SAY: "I am only ordered to serve God [Alone] and not associate anything with Him. To Him do I appeal and towards Him will be my retreat." * Thus We have sent it down for Arab discretion. If you followed their whims after the sort of knowledge which has come to you, you would have no protector nor any shield against God.
(VI) * We have sent messengers before you [came], and granted them spouses and offspring. No messenger would have brought any sign except with God's permission. For each period there is something written (down).
* God erases and consolidates whatever He wishes; He retains the Mother of the Book. ** Whether We merely show you part of what We have promised them or cause you to pass away, you merely have to proclaim it, while We must reckon. * Have they not seen how We come to clip the land off at its borders? God decides; there is no way to reverse His decision. He is Swift in reckoning!
* Those before them have plotted, even though God [controls] all plotting; He knows what every soul is earning. Disbelievers shall know who has compensation in the Home. * Those who disbelieve say: "You are no emissary." SAY: "God suffices as a Witness between me and you (all), as well as anyone who has knowledge about the Book."