A clear consciousness of history is displayed here, as it was in the previous chapter; the references is to the current wars then being waged between the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire and the Persian Empire in the days of the Prophet. The chapter also has some lyric passages on the glory of God (II) and His signs (III). Marriage is discussed, and also differences in speech and race. Associates or partners must always be watched carefully, we are warned (IV).
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
(I) * A.L.M.
* The Byzantines have been defeated * on the nearest front! Following their defeat they shall conquer * a few years later. With God lies command, both before and later on. On that day believers will be glad ** of God's support. He supports anyone he wishes, and is the Powerful, the Merciful. *[Such is] God's promise; God does not break His promise even though most men do not realize it. * They recognize he outer show of worldly life, while they are heedless about the Hereafter.
Philosophy of History
* Have they not reflected about themselves? God has only created Heaven and Earth and whatever lies in between them for the Truth and till a specific deadline. Yet many men disbelieve about meeting their Lord. * Have they not travelled around the earth and seen what the outcome was for those who existed before them? They were even stronger than they are: they cultivated the earth and developed it more than they have ever developed it. Their messengers brought them explanations; it was not God who wronged them, but they wronged themselves.
** Then how evil was the outcome for those who practised evil, simply because they denied God's signs and kept on making fun of them!
(II)* God begins with creation, then He performs it all over again; then to Him will you return. * Some day when the Hour has been established, criminals will feel stunned. * They will have no intercessors from among their own associates; they will even deny they were their associates! * Some day when the Hour has been established, on that day they will be dipersed. ** Those who believe and have performed honorable deeds will rejoice in a park, * while those who disbelieve and reject both Our signs and meeting in the Hereafter will be presented with torment.
Glory to God
* Glory be to God when you reach evening
and when you arise in the morning!
Praise belongs to Him throughout Heaven and Earth,]
and after supper and when you are at your noonhour.
* He brings forth the living from the dead
and brings forth the dead from the living,
and He revives the earth following its death.
Thus shall you (all) be brought forth [again].
(III) ** Among His signs is [the fact] that he has created you from dust; then you were propagated as human beings.
* Among His signs is [the fact] that He has created spouses for you from among yourselves so that you may console yourselves with them. He has planted affection and mercy between you; in that are signs for people who think things over.
Differences in Speech and Race
* Among His signs are the creation of Heaven and Earth, as well as the diversity in your tongues and colors. In that are signs for those who know.
* Among His signs are your sleeping at night and by day, and your pursuit of His bounty. In that are signs for any folk who listen.
* Among His signsis how He shows you lightning for both fear and anticipation. He sends water down from the sky so He may revive the earth with it following its death. In that are signs for folk who use their reason.
** Among His signs are [the fact] that the sky and earth hold firm at His command. Then whenever He calls you forth out of the earth once and for all, you will (all) come forth! * Anyone who is in Heaven and Earth belongs to Him; all are susservient to Him.
* He is the One Who starts out with creation; then He performs it all over again. It is quite simple for Him [to do]. He sets the Supreme Example in Heaven and Earth; He is the Powerful, the Wise!
(IV) * He offers you an example frm among yourselves. Do you have any partners for what We have provided you with among those whom your right hand controls? Do you [feel] the same in such a case so that you fear [these servants] just as you fear one another? Thus We spell out signs for folk who will use their reason. * Rather the ones who do wrong follow their own whims without having any knowledge. Who will guide someone whom God has let go astray? They will have no supporters.
** So keep your face set enquiringly towards the [true] religion, God's natural handiwork along which lines He has patterned mankind. There is no way to alter God's creation. That is the correct religion, though most men do not realize it * even as they turn towards Him. Heed Him and keep up prayer, and do not be one of those who associate [others with Him], * such as the ones who split up their religion and form sects. Each party is happy with whatever lies before them. * Whenever some trouble afflicts mankind, they appeal to their Lord, turning towards Him; then when He lets them taste some mercy from Himself, a group of them will associate others with their Lord, * so as to disbelieve in whatever We have given them. So enjoy yourselves, for you shall know!
** Or have We sent down some authority to them which speaks t them about what they are associating with Him? * Whenever We let mankind taste mercy, they are glad about it; yet if any evil should strike them because of what their hands have sent ahead, then they feel despondent. * Have they not seen how God extends sustenance to anyone He wishes, and budgets it? There are signs in that for folk who believe.
* So give the near relative his due, and the needy and the wayfarer; that will be best for the ones who want [to see] God's face. Those will be prosperous. * Any usury you farm out so it will be increased from (other) people's wealth will never increase so far as God is concerned; while those of you who pay something as welfare tax while you seek God's face, will have it multiplied. ** God is the One Who has created you, then provided for you; next He will cause you to die, then revive you. Are there any of your associates who can perform anything like that? Glory be to Him; Exalted is He over anything they may associate [with Him]!
(V) * Pollution has appeared on land and at sea because of what man's hands have accomplished, so he may let them taste something of what they have earned, in order that they will turn back [in repentance]. * SAY: "Travel around the earth and see what the outcome was for those who [lived] before. Most of them were associators [of others in their worship of God]."
* Keep your face set toward the established religion before a day comes from God which cannot be fended off. On that day they will be dispersed! * Anyone who disbelieves must assume [responsibility for] his disbelief, while whoever acts honorably will have things adjusted for themselves, ** so He may reward the ones who have believed and performed honorable deeds out of His bounty. He does not love disbelievers.
* Among His signs is [the fact] that He sends the winds to bring news so he may let you taste some of His mercy, and so ships may sail at His command, in order that you may seek some of His bounty and so that you may act grateful. * We have sent messengers to their folk before you; they brought them explanations and We were avenged on those who had committed any crimes. It is right for us to support believers!
* God is the One Who sends the winds to blow the clouds along. He spreads them out in the sky just as he wishes, and breaks them up into patches so you see a shower coming from inside them. When He strikes any of His servants whom He wishes with it, they are overjoyed, * even if before it fell on them, they had felt disheartened.
** Look at the traces of God's mercy, how he revives the earth following its death. Such is the Reviver from the dead; He is capable of everything! * Even if We sent a wind so they might see it turning things yellow, they would still keep on disbelieving even after it. * You cannot make the dead hear, nor even make the deaf hear the Appeal once they have turned their backs on it. * You are no one to guide the blind out of their error: only someone who believes in Our signs will listen; since they are committed to (live in) peace.
The Final Hour
(VI) * God is the One Who has created you out of weakness; then He has granted strength following [your] weakness; later on He has granted weakness and grey hairs in place of strength. He creates whatever He wishes; He is the Aware, the Capable. ** Some day the Hour will be established when criminals will swear they have been hanging around for only an hour. Thus they have (always) shrugged things off!
* The ones who have been given knowledge and faith will say: "You have hung around until the Day of Rebirth, but you are such that you do not know it!: * On that day no excuse of theirs will benefit those who have done wrong nor will they be allowed to argue back.
* We have set forth every sort of example for men in this Quran. Yet even if you brought them some sign, those who disbelieve would still say: "You (all) are only trifling!" * Thus God seals off the hearts of those who will not know. ** Be patient; God's promise is true. Do not let those who will not be convinced treat you lightly!