THIS FIVE-SECTION chapter contains 88 early Meccan verses; it was revealed after The Moon 54 and before The Heights 7. Its revelation occurred during a period of intense trial for the Prophet.
The title refers to the unvoiced velarized sibilant, or the letter 's' which here may stand for as-Sadiq or 'the Truthful [God]' or 'the friend' (who tells you everything, whether you want to hear it or not); thus it means our voice of conscience or power of discretion.
One of David's judgments is described in a dramatic manner (II) Solomon then appears (III); next Job and other prophets (IV). Soon have a description of Heaven and Hell (IV) and the chapter ends with Diabolis' fall V . Sections III-IV are somewhat parallel to those of 21:V-VI.
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
(I) * S.
By the Quran so full of renown!
* Rather those who disbelieve [are toying] with prestige and dissension. * How many generations have We wiped out before them? They called out, and the time for escape had lapsed. * They are surprise that a warner should come to them from among themselves. Disbelievers say: "This is some lying magician! ** Has he made [all] the gods into One God? This is such an amazing thing!"
* The elders among them sound off: "Walk around and be patient concerning your gods. This is something to be desired. * We have not heard any of this among any latterday denomination; this is merely a fabrication. * Has a Reminder been revealed just to him among us?",
Indeed they are in doubt about My reminder; rather they have not yet tasted any torment! * Or do they have treasures from the mercy of your Lord, the Powerful, the Bountiful? ** Have they control over Heaven and Earth and whatever [lies] between them? Let them haul themselves up on ropes. * What a partisan army will be routed there! Noah's folk and Ad's rejected [Me] before them, and [so did] Pharaoh who [impaled men] on stakes, and Thamud, Lots folk, and the inhabitants of the Forest. Those were all partisans; * every last one rejected the messengers, so My punishment was justified.
(II)** Those persons only await a single Blast which will [allow for] no delay. * They will say: "Our Lord, hasten our doom for us before the Day of Reckoning!" * Endure what they are saying and remember how Our servant David commanded assistance; he was attentive [to God]. * We forced the mountains to glorify [God] with him at evening and sunrise * -and the birds were summoned and each was [made] attentive to him. ** We strengthened his control and gave him wisdom and distinction as an orator.
* Has news of the litigants ever reached you, when they climbed over the wall into the sanctuary? * Thus they burst in upon David so he was startled by them. They said: "Dont be afraid: [we are] two litigants, one of whom has injured the other; so judge correctly between us and do not act too stern. Guide us along the Level Road.
* "This is my brother; he has ninety-nine ewes while I have but a single ewe. He has said: "Turn her over to me," and has spoken harshly to me." * He said: "He has wronged you by asking for your ewe [to be added] to his own ewes. Many partners try to take advantage of one another, except for those who believe and perform honorable deeds. Such are few indeed."
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David suspected that We were merely testing him, so he sought forgiveness from his Lord and dropped down on his knees [in worship], and repented. ** So We forgave him that. He enjoys precedence with Us and the finest retreat. * David, We have placed you as an overlord on earth, so judge among men correctly and do not follow any whims which will lead you away from God's path. Those who stray from God's path will have severe torment because they have forgotten the Day of Reckoning!
(III)* We did not create Heaven and Earth and whatever [lies] in between them to no purpose. That is the opinion of those who disbelieve. Those who disbelieve should beware of the Fire! * Shall We treat those who believe and perform honorable deeds just like mischief-makers on earth? Or should We treat those who do their duty, like lawbreakers? * We have sent down a Book to you that is blessed, so prudent men may ponder over its verses and thereby be reminded.
** We bestowed Solomon on David. How favored was such a servant; he was so attentive! * When the thoroughbreds were led out to prance before him in the evening, * he said: "I have loved good things instead of remembering God," until the [sun] was concealed behind the veil [of night again]. * Bring them back to me!" [he said], and he started to stroke their legs and necks.
* We tested Solomon and dropped a[nother] body on his seat; then he repented. ** He said: "My Lord, forgive me and bestow control on me such as will not suit anyone after me. You are the Bountiful!" * So We subjected the wind to him: it blew gently at his command wherever he directed it; * and the devils, every builder and diver, * as well as others hitched together in a chain gang. * Such are Our gifts; grant them freely or hold them back, without any [further] reckoning." ** He holds precedence with Us and the finest retreat.
(IV) * Remember Our servant Job when he called upon his Lord: "Satan has afflicted me with toil and torment." * "Stomp your foot; this is a cool spring to wash in and for drinking (too)." * We restored his family to him and the like of them besides, as a mercy from Us and a Reminder for prudent persons. * "Take a bundle (of twigs) in your hand and beat [your wife] with it, and do not break your word." We found him to be patient; how favored was such a servant. He was so attentive!
** Remember Our servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who possessed both might and insight. * We dedicated them specifically as a reminder for the Home; * some of them were selected from the very best by Us. * Remember Ishmael, Elisha and [Ezekiel] with the Commission; each [came] from the very best.
* This is a Reminder; those who do their duty shall have a fine retreat, ** gardens of Eden whose gates will swing open for them! Relaxing there, they will call for much fruit and drink in them. * With them there will be bashful mates equal in age to them. * This is what you were promised on the Day of Reckoning; * this is Our provision which will never he used up.
** Such will it be, while the arrogant will have the worst retreat - * Hell! They will roast in it, and on an awful couch! * Here it is; let them taste it: scalding water and bitter cold; * and others of its sort to match. * Here comes a troop rushing at you! They have no welcome here, for they must roast in the Fire. ** They will say: "Indeed you have no welcome either. You have prepared it for us; what an awful plight!"
* They will say: "Our Lord, whoever prepared this for us? Give him double torment in the Fire!" * They will say: "What is the matter with us that we do not see any men whom we used to consider were evil persons? * Did we take them for laughingstocks or has our eyesight failed to notice them?" * That is true: the people in the Fire will just argue away.
(V) ** SAY: "I am only a warner, and there is no deity except God Alone the Irresistible, * Lord of Heaven and Earth and whatever [lies] in between them, the Powerful, the Forgiving!" * SAY: "It is a fateful message you are shunning. * I have no knowledge about the supreme council such as they claim to have. ** It has been revealed to me only that I am a plain warner.
* Once your Lord told the angels: "I am about to create a human being out of clay. * When I have fashioned him and breathed some of My spirit into him, drop down on your knees before him." * The angels all bowed down on their knees together * except for Diabolis; he was too proud and a disbeliever besides.
** He said: 'Diabolis, what prevents you from kneeling down before something I have created with My own hands? Have you become to proud, * or are you overbearing?" * He said: "I am better than he is: You created me from
fire while You created him from clay." * He said: "Clear out of here! You are an outcast; * upon you My curse will rest until the Day for Repayment."
* He said: "My Lord, let me wait until the day when they will be raised up again," ** He said: "You are one of those who may wait * till a day in known time." * He said: "Through Your influence, I'll seduce them all * except for those among them who are Your sincere worshippers." * He said: "Such is the Truth, and the Truth do I speak: ** I shall fill Hell with you and any of them who follows you!'
* SAY: "I do not ask you (all) for any payment for it. Nor am I standing on ceremony; * it is only a Reminder to [everyone in] the Universe so you may know its message after a while."