THIS CHAPTER was revealed after Believers 23 and before The Mount 52. The act of kneeling in worship or prostration is mentioned in II, 15:III, and 41:V. However I do not care for the term 'prostration' that has often been given as a translation for the title since it has neurotic overtones in contemporary English, Islamic worship requires more reverence.
This is the last chapter initialed with the letters A.L.M. (these have already appeared in Chapters 2, 3, 29, 30, & 31). It consists of 30 Meccan verses arranged in three sections, except for vv. 16-20 in section II which date from Madina. Creation and man are the initial themes heard in section I.
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
(I) * A. L. M.
* The revelation of the Book which contains no doubt [has been accomplished] through the Lord of the Universe.
* Or do they say: "He has invented it!"? Rather, it is the Truth from your Lord so you may warn a folk to whom no warner has come before you, so that they may be guided.
* God is the One Who created Heaven and Earth as well as whatever lies in between them, in six days. Then He mounted on the Throne. You (all) have no patron nor any intercessor besides Him. Will you not bear this in mind?
** He organizes the matter from Heaven [down] to Earth; then it will soar back up to Him on a day whose measure is a thousand years according to the way you count. * Such is the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible, the Powerful, the Merciful * Who makes everything He creates so fine!
He started out by creating man from clay; * then He made his progeny from an extract of discarded liquid; * next He completed him and breathed some of His own spirit into him. He has granted you hearing, eyesight and vital organs. Yet small thanks do you give for it! ** They say: "When we have sunk deep into the earth shall we [take part] in some fresh creation?" Indeed they disbelieve about meeting their Lord! * SAY: "The Angel of Death who has been given charge of you will gather you in. Then you will (all) be returned to your Lord.
(II) * If you only could see how criminals will hang their heads before their Lord: 'Our Lord, we have observed and heard; so send us back! We will act honorably; we are convinced!" * If We had so wished, We might have given each soul its own guidance, but the Sentence [passed] by Me has been confirmed: "I shall fill Hell with sprites and men all together! * So have a taste, since you have forgotten about meeting on this day of yours! We have likewise forgotten you. Taste the torment of eternity because of what you have been doing."
BOW DOWN HERE
** The only ones who believe in Our signs are those who drop down kneeling [in worship] whenever they are reminded of them, and hymn their Lord's praise. They do not act so proudly. * They slip quietly away from their beds to appeal to their Lord in fear and anticipation, and spend [charitably] whatever We have provided them with. * No soul knows what comfort is hidden from their eyes as a reward for what they have been doing.
* Is someone who is a believer like someone who has been acting immorally"? They are not on the same footing! * Those who believe and perform honorable deeds will have gardens with living quarters to relax in because of what they have been doing. ** Those who have been immoral will have the Fire as their lodging; every time they may want to leave it, they will be returned to it. They will be told: "Taste the torment of the Fire which you have been denying!"
* Still We shall let them taste worldly torment rather than supreme torment, so they may yet turn back. * Who is more in the wrong than someone who has been reminded of his Lord's signs, then shuns them? We shall be Avenged on criminals!
(III) * We gave Moses the Book, so do not be in any doubt about meeting it. We granted it to the Children of Israel for guidance. * We even set some of them up as leaders to guide [people] at Our command, once they were patient and convinced about Our signs. ** Your Lord will sort them out on Resurrection Day concerning whatever they have been differing over.
* Does it not guide them [when they notice] how many generations We have wiped out before them whose dwellings they now walk around in? That contains signs, so will they not listen? * Have they not seen how We drive along water for the parched earth and bring forth crops with it so your livestock and they themselves may eat by means of it? Will they not observe?
* They say: "When will this victory be if you are so truthful?" * SAY: "On the day of victory their [profession of] faith will not benefit those who have disbelieved, nor will they be allowed to wait. ** Shun them and wait; they will be waiting too!"