THIS CHAPTER was revealed after the previous one on Throngs 39, and before the next, [Signs] Spelled Out 41. It initiates a fresh series of seven chapters, each of which bears the initials H.M. as its opening. Chapter 40 is laid out in nine sections arranged in 85 late Meccan verses, except for vv. 56-57 (in section VI) which may be from Madina. The title is derived from the "believing man" in Pharaoh's court who appears in v. 28 & 30 (IV) or alternately, from Forgiving, the first word in v. 3 (and last in v. 41)
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
The revelation of the Book [comes] through God, the Powerful, the Aware, * Forgiving sin and Receiving Repentance, Stern in punishment, Wielder of Influence. There is no deity except Him; towards Him lies the Goal.
* Only those who disbelieve will argue about God's signs; do not let their activity throughout the land deceive you. ** Noah's folk denied it even before them, and [so did] the coalition later on. Every nation worried about their own messenger, how to catch him [off guard]. They argued with him in vain to refute the Truth. So I caught up with them and how [awful] was My punishment! * Thus your Lord's word will be confirmed against those who disbelieve; they [will become] inmates of the Fire.
* The ones who uphold the Throne and anyone surrounding it hymn their Lord's praise and believe in Him. They seek forgiveness for those who believe: "Our Lord, You embrace everything through mercy and knowledge. Forgive those who repent and follow Your path: shield them from the torment of Hades. * Our Lord, show them into the gardens of eternity which You have promised them, and whoever among their forefathers, spouses and off-spring have acted honorably. You are the Powerful, the Wise! * Shield them from evil deeds. You will show mercy on that day to anyone You shield from evil deeds. That will be the supreme Achievement!"
Disbelievers in Hell
(II)** The ones who disbelieve will be addressed [as follows]: "God's disgust will be even greater than your own disgust is towards one another when you are called upon to believe and [still] disbelieve." * They will say:
"Our Lord, You have let us die twice and have revived us twice, and so we [now] acknowledge our sins. Is there no way to escape from here?"
* This has happened because you disbelieved when God was invoked in His Oneness, while if others were associated with him, you would believe.
Discretion belongs to God, the Sublime, the Great. * He is the One Who shows you His signs and sends you down sustenance from the sky. Yet only someone who repents will bear this in mind. * SO appeal to God sincerely; religion belongs to Him even though disbelievers may hate [to admit] it. ** Lofty in rank, Possessor of the Throne, He drops the Spirit of His bidding on any of Hi servants He may wish, so he may warn about the day of the Meeting, * the day when they will [all] emerge. Nothing concerning them is hidden from God.
Who holds control today? God Alone, the Irresistible hold it! * Today each soul will be rewarded for whatever it has earned. There will be no wrong [done] on that day; God is Swift in reckoning!
* Warn them about the day of the Approach [of Doom], when hearts will leap up into their throats, to choke them. Wrongdoers will have no bosom friend nor any intercessor who will be obeyed. * He recognizes the furtive glance in their eyes and whatever is concealed in their minds. ** God judges correctly while those they appeal to instead of Him do not decide a thing. God is the Alert, the Observant.
Philosophy of History
(III) * Have they not travelled around the earth and seen what the outcome was for those who preceded them? They were even stronger than they are and left more remains on earth. God seized them because of their sins and there was no one to shield them from God. * That was because their own messengers were sent to them with explanations and they still disbelieved. So God seized them; He is Strong, Stern in punishment.
* We sent Moses with Our signs and clear authority * to Pharaoh, Haman and Quran. They said: "[He's] a lying magician!" ** When he brought them the Truth from Our presence, they said: "Kill the sons of those who have believed along with him, and let their women live." Yet disbelievers' plotting only goes astray. * Pharaoh said: 'Let me kill Moses! Let him appeal to his Lord! I fear he will change your religion or cause havoc to appear on earth." * Moses said: "I take refuge with my Lord and your Lord against every overbearing man who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning."
(IV) * A man from Pharaoh's court who was a believer and had hiding his faith said: "What, will you kill a man for merely saying: 'My Lord is God'? He has brought you explanations about your Lord. If he is a liar, then his lie falls upon himself, while if he is truthful, some of what he threatens you with will afflict you. God does not guide anyone who is a preposterous liar. * My folk, you hold control today as masters d earth. Who will support us against God's might if it should ever come to us?"
Pharaoh said: "I am only showing you what I see myself, I am only guiding you along the path of normal behavior." ** The man who believed said: "My folk, I fear the same for you as [happened] on the day of the Coalition, * the same as in the case of Noah's folk, and Ad's and Thamud's, as well as those who came after them. God wants no injustice to happen to [His] servants. * My people, I fear the day of the Summons for you, * the day when you will (all) turn around to retreat. You will not have any defender against God; anyone whom God lets go astray will have no guide.
* "Joseph brought you explanations before, yet you continued to suspect what he had brought you until when he perished, you said: 'God will never despatch a messenger after him!' Thus God lets any extravagant doubter stray away; ** the ones who argue about God's signs without any authority to do so having been brought them, incur the greatest disgust so far as God is concerned and so far as those who believe are concerned. Thus God seals off every overbearing oppressor's heart."
* Pharaoh said; "Haman, build me a tower so that I may reach the means of access, * the access to Heaven, so I may climb up to Moses' God. Still I think he is a liar." Thus his evil action was made to seem attractive to Pharaoh, and he was hampered along the Way. Pharaoh's plot only meant (his own) downfall.
Responsibility is Rewarded
(V) * The believing man said: "My folk, follow me; I'll guide you along the path of common sense. * My folk, this worldly life is to be enjoyed only [briefly]; the Hereafter is the Home to settle down in. ** Anyone who commits some evil deed will merely be rewarded with something else like it, while someone who acts honorably, whether it is a man or a woman, provided he is a believer will enter the Garden. He [or she] will be provided for there without any reckoning.
* "My people, why am I inviting you to salvation while you are inviting me to the Fire? * You invite me to deny God and to associate something with Him I have no knowledge about, while I invite you to [meet] the Powerful, the Forgiver. * You are merely inviting me to [worship] someone who has positively no way of being invoked in this world nor in the Hereafter. Our ultimate appeal will be to God, while the dissipated will become inmates of the Fire. * You must remember what I am telling you! I shall entrust my affair to God, for God is Observant of [His] worshippers."
** God shielded him from the evil deeds they plotted while the worst torment engulfed Pharaoh's court, * the Fire! They will be exposed to it morning and evening, while on the day when the Hour is set up [there will be heard]: "Send Pharaoh's court into the harshest torment!"
* As they quarrel away inside the Fire, the weaklings will tell those who acted proudly: "We were your following. Wont you spare us from a portion of the Fire?" * The ones who acted so proudly will say: "We are all in it together! God has judged among [His] servants!" * Those who are inside the Fire will tell the guards of Hell: "Appeal to your Lord to reduce the torment for us by just a day!" ** They will say: "Did not your messengers bring you explanations?" They will say: "Of course!" They will say : "Well, make [your own] appeal then!" Yet the disbelievers' go astray.
(VI) * We will support Our messengers and those who believe, both during worldly life and on the day when witnesses will stand up, * the day when their excuse making will not benefit any wrongdoers, They shall have the Curse; they will have the worst home!
* We gave Moses guidance and let the Children of Israel inherit the Book * for guidance and as a Reminder to prudent persons, ** so be patient: God's promise is true! Seek forgiveness for your offence and hymn God's praise at evening and in the morning hours. * Those who argue about God's signs without their having any authority to do so, only feel pride within their breasts; they shall never achieve anything. Take refuge with God; He is the Alert, the Observant.
* To create Heaven and Earth is greater than creating mankind, though most men do not realize it. * A blind and a sighted person are not equal, nor are those who believe and perform honorable actions, and an evildoer, How seldom do you keep it in mind! * "The Hour is coming, there is no doubt about it; yet most men will not believe. ** Your Lord has said: "Appeal to Me; I shall respond to you. The ones who are to proud to worship Me will enter Hell abjectly."
(VII) * God is the One Who has granted you night so you may rest in it, and daylight to see your way around. God possesses bounty for mankind, even hough most men are not grateful for it.
A Hymn to God
* Such is God your Lord,
the Creator of everything.
There is no deity except Him;
yet how you shrug things off!
* Thus those who have repudiated God's signs
just shrug them off!
* God is the One Who has granted you the earth to settle down on and the sky built above you, and has shaped you. He has made your shapes handsome and provided you with wholesome things.
Such is God, your Lord;
so blessed is God
Lord of the Universe!
** He is the Living;
there is no deity except Him,
so appeal to Him sincerely,
[making] religion exclusively His.
Praise he to God,
Lord of the Universe?
* SAY: "I have been forbidden to worship those you appeal to instead of to God [Alone], since explanations have reached me from my Lord, and I have been ordered to commit myself peacefully to the Lord of the Universe.
* "He is the One Who created you from dust, then from a drop of semen, then from a clot. Next He brings you forth as a child, then lets you reach maturity. Then you will grow elderly, even though some of you may pass away even earlier, and you will reach an appointed deadline so that you may use your reason. * He is the One Who gives life and brings death. Whenever He has decided on some matter, He merely tells it: 'Be!'; and it is."
(VIII) * Have you not considered how the ones who argue about God's signs actually disregard them? ** Those who reject the Book and anything We have sent along with Our messengers shall know * when fetters as well as chains are placed around their necks. They will be hauled along * into scalding water; then they will be scorched in the Fire. * Next they will be told: 'Where are the [false gods] you have been associating with * instead of God [Alone]?" They will say: "They have left us in the lurch. In fact we did not appeal to anything previously."
Thus God lets disbelievers go astray. ** That is because you went around the earth rejoicing without having any right to and because you felt so elated. * Enter Hell's gates to remain there; how wretched will the lodging of the overbearing be. * Yet be patient: God's promise will come true whether We show you part of what We promise them or recall you to Us; to Us they (too) will be returned.
We have sent messengers before you, some of whom We have told you about, while We have not told you about others. No messenger may bring any sign unless it is with God's permission. Once God's command comes, [matters] will be decided correctly, and that is where the quibblers will lose out!
(IX)* God is the One Who has granted you livestock so you may ride on some and eat from others. ** You receive benefits from them so that by means of them, you may satisfy any need you have in mind; on them and on shipboard are you transported. * He shows you His signs, so which of God's signs will you disregard?
Eleventh Hour Conversion
* Have you not travelled around the earth and observed what the outcome has been for those who preceded them? They were more numerous and stronger than they are, and they [left greater] remains on earth. Yet whatever they had accomplished did not help them out: * when their messengers brought them explanations, they were happy with the knowledge they already possessed; so what they had been making fun of swept in around them. However once they saw Our might, they said: "We believe in God Alone, and disbelieve in what we used to associate with Him."
** Their [sudden] faith did not benefit them once they saw Our might; [such is] God's practice which He has already used with His servants. The disbelievers lost out right there!