THIS CHAPTER of 49 Meccan verses is arranged in two sections. It was revealed after Worship (Bowing Down on Your Knees) 32 and before Control 67.
Its chief quality lies in its poetic mood which describes both Doomsday and Bliss (I), plus offering a long and direct challenge to disbelievers. This includes Muhammad's classic rebuttal (II)-for which SEE Chapter 21 on Prophets as well. The Prophet himself said that this chapter helps one believe in God and also in either His punishment or His favor.
In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!
(I) * By the Mount * and a Book recorded
* on unrolled parchment,
* and the thriving House
** with the roof raised [over it],
* and the swollen sea,
* your Lord's torment is bound to happen!
* No one will avert it
* on a day when the sky will shift about
** and the mountains travel around.
* It will be too bad on that day for rejectors * who play around with speculation, * on the day they will be pushed firmly towards Hell fire: * "This is the Fire which you have been denying. ** Is this magic or dont you notice anything? * Roast in it! Whether you act patient or impatient, it will be all the same for you; you are merely being rewarded for what you have been doing."
Bliss OR Delight
* The heedful will be in gardens and bliss, * delighted with whatever their Lord has given them. Their Lord has shielded them from the torment of Hades: * 'Eat and drink at leisure because of what you have been doing." ** Relaxing on couches all lined up, We will pair them off with dark-eyed damsels!.
* We shall unite those who believe and whose offspring have followed them in faith with their offspring. We will not deprive them of any action of theirs in any way; each man is a pledge for whatever he has earned. * We will spread out any fruit and meat for them such as they may desire. * They will compete for a cup there in which no idle talk nor any faultfinding lurks. * Young men of theirs will pass around among them as if they were treasured pearls.
** Some of them will step forward to question one another; * they will say: "We were anxious about our family previously, * yet God has compensated us and shielded us from the torment of [Hell's] scorching breath. * We have long since appealed to Him; He is the Virtue-granting, the Merciful!"
Muhammad's Rebuttal to Skeptics
(II)* Remind, for by your Lord's favor, you are no fortune-teller nor any madman. ** Or do they say: "[He's] a poet! We'll wait for some quirk of fate to [upset] him." * SAY: "Lie in wait; for I am waiting along with you."
* Do their fancies order them to do this or are they arrogant folk?" * Or do they say: "He has talked it all up"? Rather they do not believe. * Let them bring a report like it if they are so truthful.
** Or were they created out of nothing, or are they their own creators? * Or did they create Heaven and Earth? Rather they will never be convinced.
* Do they hold on to your Lord's treasures, or are they even in charge of them? * Or have they some ladder from which to eavesdrop? Let their eavesdropper bring some clear authority!
* Or has He daughters while you have sons? ** Or are you asking them for some fee so they will feel weighted down with debt? * Do they have the Unseen which they are writing down? * Or do they want [to hatch] some plot, while those who disbelieve are themselves being plotted against?
* Or do they have some other deity instead of God [Alone]? Glory be to God ahead of anything they may associate [with Him]!
* If they ever saw some object falling out of the sky, they would say: 'Some clouds have been piled up."
** Leave them alone till they encounter their day in which they will be stunned, * a day when their plotting will not help them out at all nor will they be supported. * The ones who act unjustly will have torment beyond that, even though most of them do not realize it.
Times of Prayer
* Act patiently towards your Lord's discretion since you are under Our eyes. Hymn your Lord's praise whenever you arise, * and at night glorify Him occasionally, and as the stars fade away.
Published with authorization from Dr.T.B.Irving.