THIS CHAPTER contains 59 middle Meccan verses arranged in three Tsections which were again revealed in sequence, after the previous chapter on Luxury 43 and before the next one on Crouching 45. The title comes from the reference in v. 10 (I) to the smoke or haze which will announce the drought preceding Doomsday. It ends with another description, first of Hell, and then of Heaven (III).
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
(I) * H.M.
* By the Clear Book * which We sent down on a blessed night We have been warning about! In it every wise matter is set forth ** as a command from Our presence; We have been sending * mercy from your Lord. He is the Alert, Aware, * Lord of Heaven and Earth and anything in between them, if you will be convinced. * There is no deity except Him; He gives life and brings death, your Lord and the Lord of your earliest ancestors.
Eleventh Hour Belief
* Instead they play around with doubt. ** Watch out for the day when the sky will bring obvious smoke * to envelop mankind; this will mean painful torment: * "Our Lord, remove the torment from us; we are believers!"
* Yet they had the Reminder, and an obvious messenger had already come to them. * Then they turned away from him and said: "He has been taught it; [he's] so crazy!"
** Were We to lift the torment for a while, you would still revert [to it]! * Some day We will kidnap everyone in the greatest operation; We shall be Avenged!
* We tested Pharaoh's folk before them, and a noble messenger came to them: * "Hand over God's servants to me. I am a trustworthy messenger for you. * Do not act so haughtily concerning God: I bring you clear authority. ** I have sought refuge with my Lord and your Lord, lest you cast me out. * If you do not believe in me, then keep away from me." * So he appealed to his Lord: "These are criminal folk!"
* "Travel with My servants at night for you will be followed. * Leave the sea parted; they are an army who will be drowned." ** How man gardens and fountains have they left behind! * And crops and a splendid position * and a life of ease they were delighted with. * Even so We let other folk inherit it from them. * Neither Heaven nor Earth wept over them, nor were they allowed to wait.
(II) ** So We saved the Children of Israel from shameful torment, * from Pharaoh, who was haughty, so dissipated. * We chose them knowingly ahead of [anyone in] the Universe; * and gave them signs which contained an obvious test. * Yet the latter kept on saying: ** "There is only this first death of ours; we will not be raised again. * Bring on our forefathers if you have been truthful."
Life is Serious
* Are they any better than the people of Tubba and the ones before them whom We wiped out? They were such criminals! * We did not create Heaven and Earth and anything in between them just by playing around. * We have created them both only [to reveal] the Truth, even though most of them do not realize it. ** The Day for Sorting things out will mean an appointment for everyone, * a day when no patron will be able to help a favorite out in any way nor will they be supported * except for someone whom God has shown mercy to. He is the Powerful, the Merciful.
(III) * The infernal tree * will be food for the sinner; ** like molten copper, it will seethe inside (their) bellies * like a bathhouse boiler: * "Take him and drag him into the midst of Hades! * Then pour some torment of scalding water over his head: * 'Taste it; you were such a powerful noble!"' ** This is what you (all) were puzzling over!"'
* The heedful will be in a safe position * among gardens and springs. They will wear satin and brocade as they sit facing one another, just like that; and We will wed them to dark-eyed
damsels. They will call confidently for every kind of fruit in it. ** They will not taste death there except for the very first death [they had]. He will shield them from the torment of Hades * as a boon from your Lord; that will be the supreme Achievement!
* We have made it easy for your tongue [to recite]
in order that they may bear this in mind.
* So watch out: they too are watching!
Published with authorization from Dr.T.B.Irving.