THIS RATHER long chapter of six sections consists of 77 Meccan verses, and vv. 68-70 in section VI which date from Madina. It was revealed after Ya-Sin 36 and before Originator 35. The purpose of its message is to make associators reflect on the future.
The Standard mentioned refers to man's intellectual faculties and his power of distinguishing right from wrong. It begins with a statement directed against those associators who accused Muhammad of copying others and not being a Prophet in his own right, and likewise against their objects of worship (I-II). It ends in a long hymn to God's creation, His power, and the parable of "The Two Seas" (V).
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
(I) * Blessed is the One Who has sent down the Standard to His servant so he may [act as] a warner for [everyone in] the Universe, * the One Who holds control over Heaven and Earth, Who has not adopted any son nor has He any associate in control. He has created everything and measured it out precisely.
* Instead of Him, they have taken on (other) gods which do not create anything while they themselves have been created. They control no harm nor do they control death nor life, nor even rebirth. * Those who disbelieve say: "This is only some swindle he has invented; other folk have helped him at it." They have trumped up something wrong and counterfeit. ** They say: "He has had legends by primitive men written down; they are dictated to him in the early morning and evening!"
* SAY: "The One Who knows the secrets of Heaven and Earth has sent it down. He is Forgiving, Merciful."
* Yet they say: "What sort of messenger is this? He eats food and walks through the markets! If only some angel were sent down to him, to act as a warner alongside him! * Or a treasure were offered him, or a garden belonged to him from which he might eat." Wrongdoers say: "You are only following a man who is bewitched." * Watch what sort of stories they make up about you; they are lost and cannot find any way back.
(II)** Blessed is the One Who may grant you something even better than that if He so wishes: gardens through which rivers flow. He may even grant you palaces!
* Yet they even deny the Hour. We have prepared a Blaze for anyone who denies the Hour; * when it appears to them from afar off, they will hear it raging and moaning. * When they are flung all hitched together into a narrow part of it, they will plead to be blotted out there. * "Do not plead to be blotted out today once and for all: plead for annihilation many times over!"
** SAY: "Is that best, or the Garden of Immortality which has been promised the heedful?" They are both a reward and a goal for them. * They will have anything they may wish for in it eternally; it is a promise your Lord will be held responsible for.
* Some day He will summon them along with whatever they have been worshipping instead of God. He will say: "Were you the ones who led these servants of Mine astray, or did they stray away by themselves?" * They will say: "Glory be to You! We would never take on any patrons besides You! However you let them and their forefathers enjoy things until they forgot the Reminder and became a worthless folk."
* They will reject you in anything you (all) may say, so you will not manage to avert it nor find any support. We shall let any of you who does any wrong taste great torment. ** We have never sent any emissaries before you unless they ate food and walked around the markets. We have placed some of them as a trial for others. Will you be patient while your Lord is Observant?
(III)* Those who do not expect to meet Us say: "Why arent angels sent down to us, or we are allowed to see our Lord?" They act too proud of themselves, and strut around quite insolently!
* Some day they shall see the angels! There will be news for criminals on that day and they will say: "Oh, for a stonewall built to protect [us]!" * We shall advance upon whatever action they have performed and turn it into scattered dust. * The inhabitants of the Garden will have the best residence and finest lodging on that day, ** on a day when the sky will split open along with its clouds, and the angels will be sent right on down. * True control will belong to the Mercy-giving on that day.
It will be a harsh day for disbelievers, * a day when the wrongdoer will gnaw away at his hands. He will say: "It's too bad for me! If I had only taken a pathway alongside the Messenger! It's too bad for me! If I had not adopted So-and-So as a close friend! He led me astray from the Reminder even after it had reached me. Satan is such a turncoat with man.
** The Messenger will say: "My Lord, my folk assume this Reading is out-of-date. * Thus have We granted every prophet an enemy among criminals. Yet your Lord suffices as a Guide and Supporter. * Those who disbelieve say: "Why has not the Quran been sent down to him in one single piece?"
[It has been done] like that so your vitals may be braced by it; We have phrased it deliberately. * They will not come to you with any example unless We will bring you the Truth and something even finer as a commentary. * Those who are dragged off face down to Hell will be in a worse plight and farthest off the track.
(IV)** We gave Moses the Book, and placed Aaron alongside him as a helpmate. * We said: "Go off to a folk who have denied Our signs." We utterly destroyed them!
* So when Noah's folk rejected the messengers, We let them drown and set them up as a sign for mankind. We reserve painful torment for wrongdoers * such as Ad and Thamud and the companions at the Well and many generations in between. * We have made up parables for each, and each We followed up with doom. ** They have come to the town on which an evil rain poured down. Had they not seen it? Indeed they had not expected to be reborn.
* Whenever they see you, they merely treat you as a laughingstock: "Is this the person whom God has sent as a messenger? * He almost led us away from our gods, if we had not acted so patient towards them." They will know who is furthest off the track when they see the torment!
* Have you seen someone who has taken his own passion as his god? Would you act as a trustee for him? * Or do you reckon that most of them do hear or even use their reason? They are just like livestock-indeed, they are even further off the track!
(V) ** Have you not seen how your Lord
lengthens shadows? If He so wished,
He would make them stand still.
Then We placed the sun as an indicator for them;
* next We gradually pulled them toward Us.
* He is the One Who has placed night
as a garment for you, and sleep for repose;
He makes daytime for rising again.
* He is the One Who has sent the winds
as heralds announcing His mercy.
We send pure water down from the sky,
* so We may bring life to a dead land,
and let everything We have created
drink from it, such as livestock
and men aplenty.
** We have spelled it out for them
so they may bear it in mind; yet most men
refuse [to do] anything
except disbelieve (in it).
* If We had so wished, We might have despatched a warner into every town. * Do not obey disbelievers and struggle seriously with them concerning it.
The Two Seas
* He is the One Who has cut off both seas,
this one being sweet, fresh, while the other is salty, briny.
He has placed an isthmus in between them
plus a barrier to block them off.
** He is the One Who created humanity out of water; and He has granted them blood ties as well as in-laws. Your Lord has been s Capable! ** Yet instead of God they worship something that neither benefits nor hurts them. The disbeliever will be a backer [for anything against his Lord!
God is Living
* We have only sent you as a herald and a warner. * SAY: "I do not ask you for any payment for it except that anyone who wishes to may accept a way unto his Lord. * Rely on the Living One Who never dies. Hymn His praise! Sufficient is it for Him to be Informed about His servants' offences, * since He is the One Who created Heaven and Earth as well as whatever lies in between them, in six days. Then the Mercy-giving mounted on the Throne. Ask any informed (person) about Him."
BOW DOWN HERE
** When they are told: "Bow down on your knees before the Mercy-giving," they say: "What is the Mercy-givinig" Are we to bow down on our knees just because you order us to?" It merely increases their disdain.
(VI) * Blessed is the One Who has placed constellations in the sky and set a beacon in it, plus a shining moon!
* He is the One Who has granted night and daytime in succession for anyone who wants to reflect (on it) or wants [to show] gratitude,
God's Servants OR Worshippers
* and the Mercy-giving's servants who walk modestly on earth and peacefully say: "How do you do!" whenever ignorant men address them;
* who spend the night bowing down on their knees and standing before their Lord;
** and who say:
"Our Lord, ward off Hell's torment
from us! Its torment is atrocious;
* it is such an evil residence
* who when they spend, give neither too lavishly nor yet hold back and keep to a happy medium;
Murder and Sexual Misconduct Forbidden
* who do not appeal to any other deity besides God [Alone]; nor kill any soul whom God has forbidden [them to] except through [due process of] law; nor misbehave sexually.
Sin is Punished
Anyone who does so will incur a penalty. * Torment will be doubled for him on Resurrection Day and he will remain disgraced for ever in it, ** except for someone who repents and believes, and acts in a honorable manner. God will replace their evil deeds with fine ones, since God is Forgiving, Merciful.
* Anyone who repents and acts honorably should turn to God in repentance,
* and those who will not bear false witness, and when they pass by [people] gossiping, pass by in a dignified manner,
* who whenever they are reminded of their Lord's signs, do not fall down deaf and blind [when reminded] of them;
* and [rather] who say: "Our Lord, bestow the comfort of our eyes on us in our spouses and our offspring. Make us a model for those who do their duty."
** Those will be rewarded with the Mansion because they have been so patient, and welcomed there with greetings as well as "Peace [be on you]!", * to live there for ever. How fine is such a residence and status!
* SAY: "My Lord will never care about you unless you appeal to Him.Yet since you have rejected [Him], something else will be necessary.