THIS CHAPTER was revealed after [Winds] Sent Forth 77 and before This Countryside 90. It consists of 45 middle Meccan verses arranged in three sections, except for v. 38 (III) which dates from the period in Madina. Some persons recommend that this chapter be recited on Fridays.
Here we begin a fresh group of seven chapters which date from the Meccan period. This one deals with man's lack of responsibility, God's care for him (II), and what will happen on Doomsday (II). It ends with recommendations concerning the times for prayer (III). The illustrations offered are apocalyptic and intended to shock disbelievers into thinking about the advantages presented by Islam.
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
(I) * Q.
By the majestic Quran!
* Indeed they are astonished that a warner should come to them from among themselves. Disbelievers say: 'This is an astonishing thing! * Why, when we have died and become dust, that will mean such a long way to return!"
* We well know how the earth hems them in, and We (also) have a Book to record it in. ** Rather they denied the Truth when it came to them, so (now) they are in a confused state. * Have they not seen how We have built the sky above them and made it seem attractive? There are no flaws in it. * And We have spread the earth out and cast headlands upon it, and grown every sort of lovely species on it * as a token and Reminder for every repentant worshipper. * We have sent down blessed water from the sky and We grow gardens with it as well as grain to be harvested, ** and soaring palms which have compact clusters as sustenance for worshippers. We have revived a dead countryside with it; thus will (your) reappearance be.
* Before them, Noah's folk denied it, and the companions at the Well, and Thamud, * Ad, and Pharaoh, as well as Lot's brethren, * the inhabitants of the Forest, and the people of Tubbac; each rejected messengers, so My warning was confirmed. ** Were We worn out by the first creation? Yet they are in a quandary about any fresh creation!
(II)* We have created man and know
what his soul is whispering within him.
We are Closer to him
than his jugular vein!
* When both encountering [angels] meet,
seated to the right and to the left,
* he will utter no statement
unless he has an observer on hand
ready to note it down.
*The agony of death will come [and confront you] with the Truth; that is what you have been trying to escape! ** The Trumpet shall be blown: that will be the day of the Threat!
* Every soul shall come along; each will have a driver and a witness: * "You have been so heedless of this, that We have removed your blinders from you so your sight may be keen today!" * His soulmate will say: "All this lying before me needs to be checked into; * let us both toss every stubborn disbeliever into Hell, ** [since he is] hindering good, aggressive, suspicious, * someone who has set up some other deity alongside God! Toss him into severe torment!"
* His soulmate will say: "Our Lord, I did not make him act arrogantly, but he was gone too far astray." * He will say: "Do not argue in My presence! I had already sent the Threat ahead to you (all)! * The sentence will not be changed within My presence, nor am I unjust towards My worshippers."
(III) ** On the day We shall say to Hell: "Are you filled up.", it will say: "Are there any more to be added?"
* The Garden will be brought up a short distance from the heedful; "This is what you have been promised, for everyone who turns to observe it, * who lives in awe of the Mercy-giving, even though [He is] Unseen, and comes with a repentant heart. * Enter it peacefully; that is the day that will last for ever." ** "They will have anything they wish in it, and more besides [when they are] in Our presence.
* How many generations have We wiped out before them? They were much braver than they are and stormed through the land. Yet had they any escape? * In that is a Reminder for anyone who has a heart or lends an ear while he [also] acts as a witness.
Times of Prayer
* We created Heaven and Earth and whatever lies in between them six days, while no weariness ever affects Us. * So be patient about anything they may say, and hymn your Lord's praise before the sun's rising and before its setting, ** and at night. Glorify Him whenever you finish bowing down on your knees.
* Listen for the day when the Crier will call out from a nearby place, * a day when they will really hear the Blast; that will be the day to reappear in! * It is We Who give life and bring death, and toward Us lies the goal * on a day when the earth will split open quickly because of them. Such a mustering will be easy for Us.
** We are quite Aware of what they say: you should not be too demanding on them. Remind anyone who fears My warning by means of the Quran.
Published with authorization from Dr.T.B.Irving.