THIS LONG chapter of 206 Meccan verses is arranged in twenty-four sections. Vv. 163-170 in section xxi date however from Madina. The chapter was revealed after [The Letter] Sad 38 and before Sprites 72, and concerns our eventual reward for our conduct during this life. It contains a series of parallel yet not identical passages on the case histories or messages that have been conveyed through various prophets.
In section II the Devil tempts Adam before the tree of Good and Evil. The Heights which give the chapter its title are mentioned in sections V-VI, and they present a vivid picture of Heaven and Hell which furnishes so of the imagery for the Divine Comedy by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. Some consider them to be a lofty bridge or the site of Purgatory that lies between Heaven and Hell.
Sections IX-X reflect on the future and on God's Oneness. Then there follows in detail Moses' wonderful story, especially on Mt. Sinai with the Golden Calf (XIII-XVIII), and then his troubles with the Children of Israel. The last section (XXIV, along with VII), offers the vast picture of man's creation along with the resultant process of animal and human reproduction.
(II)* A. L. M. S.
* A Book has been sent down to you, so do not let your breast feel it is under any constraint because of it, so you may warn by means of it; [it is] a Reminder for believers.
* Follow whatever has been sent down to you by your Lord and do not follow any sponsors besides Him; yet how seldom do you remember!
* How many towns have We wiped out? Our might has come upon them at dead of night or while they were napping. ** Once Our might came to them, their appeal was merely to say: "We have been such wrongdoers!"
* Let Us ask those to whom it was sent and let Us (also) ask the emissaries; * let Us relate what We know about them since We have not been absent.
* The weighing-in that day will be correct: those whose scales are heavy will be prosperous; * while those whose scales are light are the ones who have lost their souls because they had been damaging Our signs. * We have established you on earth and granted you means by which to live on it. Yet seldom are you grateful!
The Devil with Adam
(II)* We created you (all); then We shaped you. Then We told the angels: "Bow down before Adam". They bowed down on their knees except for Diabolis; he was no one to bow down on his knees!
* He said: "What prevents you from bowing down when I have commanded you to [do so]?" 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 have no reason to act so proud about it. Get out; you are such a petty person!"
* He said: "Let me wait until the day when they are raised up again." ** He said: "You are one who will be allowed to wait." * He said: "Since you have let me wander off, I'll waylay them along Your Straight Road; * then I'll come at them from in front of them and from behind them, on their right and on their left. You will not find that most of them are grateful." * He said: "Get out of here, despised, rejected! I'll fill Hell with all of those who follow you.
The Tree of Good and Evil
* "And Adam, settle down in the garden, you and your wife. Eat wherever you wish; yet do not approach this tree lest either of you should become wrongdoers."
** So Satan whispered to them to show them both their private parts which had gone unnoticed by either of them. He said: 'Your Lord only forbids you this tree so that you will not become two angels, or lest you both become immortal." * He swore to them: "I am a sincere counsellor with both of you!" * He led them on by deceiving [them].
Once they had tasted the tree['s fruit], their private parts became apparent to both of them, and they started to patch together leaves from the Garden for themselves.
Their Lord called out to them: "Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you both that Satan is an open enemy of yours?" * They said: "Our Lord, we have harmed ourselves! If You do not forgive us and grant us mercy, we'll be losers." * He said: "Clear out! You will become one another's enemies. Yet you may have a residence on earth and enjoyment for a while." ** He [further] said: "You will live on it and you will die on it, and from it will you be brought forth [again]."
(III)* "Children of Adam, We have sent you down clothing with which to conceal your private parts and to dress up in. Yet the clothing of heedfulness is best!"
That is one of God's signs, so that they may bear it in mind.
* Children of Adam, do not let Satan tempt you just as he turned your two ancestors out of the Garden, stripping them of their clothing in order to show them their private parts. He and his tribe watch you from where you do not see them! We have placed devils as patrons for those who do not believe. * Whenever they perform any obscene act they say: "We found out our forefathers were performing it, and God has ordered us to do so." SAY: "God does not order any sexual misconduct. Do you say something you do not know about God?"
* SAY: "My Lord has ordered me to play fair. Keep your faces set towards every place of prayer and appeal to Him sincerely; religion belongs to Him. Even as He started you off, so will you return. ** One party has
He guided while another party ought to be allowed to go astray: they have adopted the devils as patrons instead of God, and reckon they are guided!
* Children of Adam, wear your best clothes to every place of worship! Eat and drink, yet do not overdo things; He does not love the extravagant.
(IV)* SAY: "Who has forbidden God's amenities which He has produced for His servants, and the wholesome things from [His] provisions SAY: 'On Resurrection Day they will be [reserved] exclusively for those who have believed during worldly life." Thus do We set forth signs for folk who know.
More Do Not's
* SAY: "My Lord has only forbidden shocking deeds whether they are flagrant or kept hidden; and vice and sedition without any right to do so; and that you should associate anything with God for which He has not sent down any authority; and that you should say something you do not know concerning God.
Philosophy of History
* Every nation has its term;
so whenever their deadline comes,
they will not postpone it for an hour,
nor will they advance it.
** Children of Adam, whenever any messengers from among yourselves come to relate My signs to you, then anyone who does his duty and reforms will have no fear nor need they feel saddened; * while those who reject My signs and act too haughty towards them will become inmates of the Fire; they will remain there for ever.
* Who is more in the wrong than someone who invents a lie about God or rejects His signs? Those will have their portion from the Book presented to them so that when Our messengers come to carry them off, they will say: 'Where are whatever you used to appeal to instead of to God?" They will say: "They have left us in the lurch," and so they shall testify against themselves as to how they have been disbelievers. * He will say: "Enter the Fire along with the nations of sprites and humankind who have passed away before you."
Every time some nation enters it, it will curse its sister[-nation] until, when they have all caught up with one another, the last of them will say to the first: "Our Lord, these [people] have misled us, so give them double torment from the Fire!" He will say: "Each shall have double, even though you do not realize it." * The first of them will tell the last: "What advantage have you over us? Taste torment because of what you have earned!"
Heaven and Hell
(V)** Heaven's gates will not swing open for those who reject Our signs and feel too proud for them, nor will they enter the Garden until a camel can be led through the eye of a needle. Thus We reward criminals: * they will have a couch in Hell while over them there will hang awnings. Thus We reward wrongdoers!
* Those who believe and perform honorable deeds [will find] We never assign any soul more than it can cope with. Those will become inhabitants of the Garden; they will live in it for ever. * We will strip away any rancor [that lingers] in their breasts. Rivers will flow beneath them and they will say: "Praise be to God Who led us to this! We would never have been guided if God had not led us on. Our Lord's messengers have brought the Truth." They will hear someone call out: "Here is the Garden you have inherited because of what you have done!"
* The inhabitants of the Garden will call out to the inmates of the Fire: 'We have found out that what our Lord promised us is true. Have you found what your Lord promised you to be true?" They will say: "Yes!" So an announcer among them will call out: "God's curse rests on wrongdoers ** who obstruct God's path and try to make it crooked, and are disbelievers in the Hereafter."
* Between them both there will hang a curtain, while on the Heights above there will be men who recognize everyone by their features. They will call out to the inhabitants of the Garden: "Peace be upon you!" They have not yet entered it even though they long to. * When their sight is shifted towards the inmates of the Fire, they will say: "Our Lord, do not place us alongside such wrongdoing folk!"
(VI)* The Companions on the Heights will call out to some men whom they will recognize by their features; they will say: "How did all your storing things up and how proud you acted benefit you? * Are you those who swore that God would not confer any mercy on them? Enter the Garden; there is no [need] for you to fear nor should you feel saddened."
** The inmates of the Fire will call out to the inhabitants of the Garden: "Pour some water over us, or anything God has provided you with!" They will say: "God has forbidden either of them to disbelievers * who have taken their religion as a pastime and for amusement; worldly life has lured them on."
Today We shall forget them just as they forgot about meeting on this day of theirs. Did they not repudiate Our signs? * We have given them the Book; We have spelled it out knowingly as a guideline and mercy for folk who believe. * Are they only waiting for it to be interpreted? The day its interpretation comes along, those who have already forgotten it will say: "Our Lord's messengers did bring the Truth! Have we any intercessors to intercede for us? Or should we be sent back, then we would act so differently from the way we have been acting." They have lost their souls and what they have been inventing has left them in the lurch.
(VII)* Your Lord is God, Who created Heaven and Earth in six days; then He mounted on the Throne. He wraps night up with daytime, seeking it automatically. The sun, moon and stars are regulated by His command. Surely creation and authority belong to Him. Blessed be God, Lord of the Universe!
** Appeal to your Lord beseeching and in private; He does not love those who are aggressive. * Do not spoil things on earth once they have been improved. Appeal to Him out of fear and expectation; God's mercy lies close to those who act kindly. * He is the One Who sends winds to announce His mercy directly, so that whenever they lift up heavy clouds, We drive them along to a dead countryside and send down water from them; and thus We bring forth every kind of fruit. Thus We bring forth the dead too so you may bear this in mind. * A good land brings forth its plants with its Lord's permission, while whatever is sterile will produce only grudgingly. Thus We spell out signs for folk who act grateful.
(VIII)* We sent Noah to his people, and he said: "My folk, serve Go [Alone]; you have no other deity than Him. I fear the torment of an awful day for you!" ** The elders of his people said: "We see you are in obvious error." * He said: "My folk, no trace of error lies in me, but I am a messenger from the Lord of the Universe, * I transmit my Lord's messages to you, and counsel you sincerely. I know something you do not know about God. * Are you surprised that a Reminder should come to you from your Lord through one of your own men, so He may warn you and you will do your duty, and in order that you may receive mercy.?"
* Yet they said he was lying, so We saved him and those who were along with him in the Ark. We let those who rejected Our signs drown; they were such blind folk!
Ad and Their Prophet Hud
(IX)** To Ad [there was sent] their brother Hud: "O my people, serve God [Alone]. You have no other deity than Him. Will you not do your duty?" * The elders who disbelieved among his folk said: "We see you are [full] of nonsense, and think you are a liar!"
* He said: "My people, there is no nonsense in me, but I am a messenger from the Lord of the Universe! * I transmit my Lord's messages to you; I am a trustworthy counsellor for you. * Are you surprised that a Reminder from your Lord should come to you through one of your own men, so that He may warn you? Remember when He set you up as overlords following Noah's folk, and made you grow so very tall. Remember God's benefits so that you may prosper.
** They said: "Have you come to us so we will worship God Alone and forsake whatever our forefathers have been serving? Bring us whatever you threaten us with if you are so truthful." * He said: "A blight plus wrath from your Lord have already fallen on you. Are you arguing with me about some names that you and your forefathers have made up? God has not sent down any authority for them. Just wait: I am waiting alongside you."
** So We saved him and those who stood with him through mercy from Ourself, and We cut off the last remnant of those who rejected Our signs and were not believers.
Thamud and Their Prophet [Methu] Salih
(X)* To Thamud [there was sent] their brother Salih. He said: "My folk, worship God! You have no other deity than Him. A proof has come to you from your Lord: this camel belonging to God is a sign for you, so leave her grazing on God's earth and do not let any harm touch her lest some painful torment should overtake you. * Remember when He set you up as overlords
after Ad, and settled you down on the earth. You occupy palaces on its plains and carve houses out of the mountains. Remember God's benefits and do not cause havoc on earth like mischief makers."
** The elders among his people who acted proudly told the ones they considered helpless even thou the still believed: "Do you know whether Salih is an emissary from his Lord?" They said: 'We are believers in whatever he has been sent with." * Those who acted proudly said: "We are disbelievers in what you believe in." * So they hamstrung the camel, objected to their Lord's command, and said: "Salih, bring us what you promise us with if you are an emissary!"
* A tremor caught them; so one morning they lay cowering in their home. * He turned away from them and said: "My people, I have delivered my Lord's message to you and counselled you sincerely, but you do not like sincere advisors."
** And there was Lot when he told his people: "Do you indulge in a sexual practice such as no one in the Universe has ever indulged in previously? * You approach men lustfully instead of women! Rather are dissipated folk."
* His people's answer was merely to say: "Run them out of your town: they are persons who are trying to keep pure." * We saved him and his family except for his wife; she was one of those who lagged behind. * We sent a rain down on them: look how the outcome was for such criminals!
Midian and Their Messenger Shuayb
(XI)** To Midian [We sent] their brother Shuayb. He said: 'My people, worship God [Alone]! You have no other deity besides Him. A token has come to you from your Lord, so offer full measure and weight, and do not undersell people in their dealings nor spoil things on earth once it has been set right; that will be best for you if you are believers. * Do not lurk along every road, threatening and blocking anyone off from God's way who believes in Him, and seeking to make it crooked. Remember how few you were and He increased you. See what the outcome was for those who act depraved. * If there is a faction of you who believe in what I have been sent with, and another faction which does not so believe, still be patient until God judges between us. He is the best of Judges."
(XI cont'd) * The elders among his people who had acted proudly said: "We'll run you out of our town, Shuayb, as well as those who believe along with you; or else you will return to our sect!" He said: "Even though we detest it? * We'd invent a lie about God if we returned to your sect now after God has saved us from it. There is no means for us to return to it unless God our Lord should wish us to; our Lord comprises everything in knowledge. On God have we relied. Our Lord, really deliver us from our own people; You are the best Deliverer."
** The elders among his people who disbelieved said: 'If you follow Shuayb, you will then be losers." * So the Tremor caught them, and one morning they lay cowering in their homes: * those who rejected Shuayb [ended up] as if they had never been so wealthy in them; those who rejected Shuayb were the losers! * So he turned away from them and said: 'My people, I have delivered my Lord's messages to you and counselled you sincerely. Why should I grieve over a disbelieving folk?"
Prosperity and Depression
(XII)* We have never sent a prophet into any town unless We [first] seized its people with suffering and hardship, so that they might he humbled ** Then We turned evil into good so that they were thriving, and said: 'Both hardship and happiness befell our ancestors." So We seized them suddenly while they did not even notice it.
* If the townsfolk had (only) believed and done their duty, We would have showered blessings from Heaven and Earth on them, but they rejected townsfolk feel secure from Our might's striking them at dead of night while they are asleep? * Or do the people of the towns feel safe from Our night's striking them in broad daylight while they are playing around? * Do they feel safe from God's design? No one should feel safe from God's design except for folk who will lose out.
(XIII)*** Were those who will inherit the earth after its (present] people never shown how We would strike them down for their offences and seal off their hearts if We so wished, so they would not hear? * We have related news concerning those towns to you: their messengers came to them with explanations, yet they were not in any mood to believe in something they had already rejected. Thus God seals off disbelievers' hearts. * We did not find any agreement was ever kept by most of them, although we did find most of them were quite immoral!
* Then after them, we dispatched Moses with Our signs to Pharaoh and his courtiers, and they mistreated them. See how the outcome was for mischiefmakers! * Moses said: "Pharaoh, I am a messenger from the Lord of the Universe. ** It is (only) right for me to say nothing except the Truth about God. I have brought you an explanation from your Lord, so send the Children of Israel away with me." * He said: 'If you have brought some sign, well produce it then if you are so truthful!" * He tossed his staff down and imagine, it obviously became a snake! * He pulled out his hand (from his shirtfront), and imagine, it was white to the onlookers!
(XIV)* The notables among Pharaoh's people said: 'This is some clever magician! ** He wants to drive you out of your land; so what do you command?" They said: 'Put him and his brother off, and send recruiters out through the cities * who will bring you in every clever magician."
* The magicians came to Pharaoh. They said: 'Will we have some payment if we are the winners?" * He said: "Yes, and you will become courtiers."
** They said: 'Moses, will you throw something down or shall we be the ones to throw [first]?" * He said: "You throw [first]!" So when they threw, they charmed the people's eyes and overawed them. They produced a splendid trick!
* We inspired Moses with: 'Throw your staff," and imagine, it swallowed up whatever they had trumped up! * Truth prevailed and what they had been doing collapsed; * those men were defeated and were turned back belittled. ** The magicians dropped down on their knees; * they said: "We believe in the Lord of the Universe, * the Lord of Moses and Aaron."
* Pharaoh said: "You have believed in Him before I permit you to! This is some scheme which you have hatched in the city in order to drive its people out. You will soon find out! * I'll cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides; then I'll crucify you all." ** They said: "We will be sent home to our Lord. * You are persecuting us only because we have believed in our Lord's signs once they were brought us. Our Lord, pour patience over us, and gather us up [at death] as Muslims!"
(XV)* The notables among Pharaoh's people said: "Are you letting Moses and his people ruin the earth, and forsake you and your gods?" He said: "We shall slaughter their sons and let their women live; we stand irresistible over them."
* Moses told his people: "Seek help from God and act patient; the earth belongs to God. Anyone He wishes from among His servants will inherit it, and the outcome belongs to the heedful." * They said: "We were oppressed before you came to us, and [will be again] after you have come to us." He said: 'Perhaps your Lord will wipe out your enemy and leave you as overlords on earth, so He may observe how you act."
(XVI)** We gripped Pharaoh's household with years [of trial] and a shortage of fruit so they might bear it in mind. * Whenever something fine came to them, they said: "This is ours;" while if something evil afflicted them, they took it as an omen connected with Moses and whoever was with him. Did not their omen only lie with God? Yet most of them do not realize it. * They said: "No matter what sign you may bring us to charm us with, we will never believe in you."
* We sent the flood and grasshoppers, lice, frogs and blood on them as distinguishing signs, yet they (still) acted proudly and were criminal folk. * Whenever some plague fell upon them, they said: "Moses, appeal to your Lord for us, because of what He has pledged for you; if you will lift the plague from us, we will believe in you and send the Children of Israel away with you."
** Yet whenever We lifted the plague from them for a period which they were to observe, why, they failed to keep it! * We avenged Ourselves on them and drowned them in the deep, because they had rejected Our signs and been so heedless of them. * We let a folk whom they considered to be inferior inherit the Eastern and Western parts of the land which We had blessed. Your Lord's finest word was accomplished for the Children of Israel because they had been so patient. We destroyed everything Pharaoh and his people had been producing and whatever they had been building.
* We led the Children of Israel across the sea. They came upon a people who were dedicated to some idols they had. They said: "Moses, make a god for us like the gods they have." He said: "You are a folk who act ignorantly. * Anything those people are busy at is doomed and whatever they have been doing is absurd." ** He said: 'Should I seek something instead of God as a deity for you, while He has preferred you ahead of [everyone in] the Universe? *
When We saved you from Pharaoh's household, they were imposing the worst torment on you: they slaughtered your sons and spared your women. That meant a serious trial from your Lord."
Moses on Mt. Sinai
(XVII)* We appointed thirty nights for Moses and completed them with ten; the appointment with his Lord was complete in forty nights. Moses told his brother Aaron: "Rule my people in my stead and set a good example; do not pursue the mischiefmakers' course."
* When Moses came for Our appointment and his Lord spoke to him, he said: "My Lord, show [yourself] to me so I may look at You." He said: "You will never see Me, but look at the mountain [instead]. If it remains in its place, then you shall see Me." When his Lord displayed his glory to the mountain, He left it flattened off, and Moses fell down stunned.
When he came back to his senses, he said: "Glory be to You! I have turned to You and am the first believer!" * He said: "Moses, I have selected you ahead of [all] mankind for My messages and My word; so accept whatever I may give you and act grateful [for it]." ** We wrote down a bit of everything for him on Tablets for instruction and as an analysis of everything: "Hold to it firmly and command your folk to hold on to whatever is best in it. I shall show you (all) the home for immoral people. * I shall divert those from My signs who have strutted around the earth so proudly without having any right to do so."
Modesty and Good Conduct
Even if they saw every sign, they still would not believe in them. If they saw the way to normal behavior they would not accept it as any way [to behave], while if they saw any way to err, they would accept it as a course [of action]. That is because they have rejected Our signs and been heedless of them.
* Those who reject Our signs and [the idea of] a meeting in the Hereafter will [see] their works collapse. Will they not be rewarded for just what they have been doing?
The Golden Calf
(XVIII)* After he had gone, Moses' folk designed a calf [made] out of their jewelry, a (mere) body that mooed. Did they not see that it neither spoke to them nor guided them along any way? They adopted it and (thereby) became wrongdoers.
* When the matter was dropped in their hands and they saw that they were lost, they said: "If our Lord does not show us mercy and forgive us, we will be losers."
** When Moses returned angry, sorrowful to his folk, he said: 'What an awful thing you have committed behind my back! Have you tried to hurry up your Lord's command?" He dropped the Tablets and seized his brother by the head, pulling him towards himself. He said: "Son of my mother, the people felt I was weak and they almost killed me! Dont let any enemies gloat over me nor place me with such wrongdoing folk!" * He said: 'My Lord, forgive me and my brother, and let us enter Your mercy! You are the most Merciful of those who show mercy!"
(XIX)* Anger and disgrace from their Lord will be awarded those who accepted the calf during worldly life. Thus We reward those who invent [such things]; * as for those who perform evil deeds, then repent later on and believe, your Lord will later on be Forgiving, Merciful.
* When his anger had subsided, Moses picked up the Tablets whose text contained guidance and mercy for those who revere their Lord.
** Moses chose his people, seventy men, for an appointment with Us.
When the Tremor seized them, he said: "My Lord, even though You may have wished to wipe them out and myself (as well) earlier, are You wiping us out just because of what some fools among us have done? It is only Your manner of testing: You let anyone You wish to, go astray by means of it, and let anyone You wish, to be guided. You are our Patron, so pardon us and show us mercy; You are the best Pardoner. * Prescribe a fine thing for us in this world and in the Hereafter; let us be guided towards You!"
The Unletterted Prophet
He said: "I afflict anyone I wish with My torment while My mercy embraces everything; I shall prescribe it for those who do their duty, pay the welfare tax, and who believe in Our signs, * those who follow the Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet whom they will find written down for them in the Torah and the Gospel. He commands them to be decent and forbids them dishonor. He permits them wholesome things and prohibits them evil things, and relieves them of their obligation and the shackles which have lain upon them. Those who believe in him, revere him and support him, and follow the Light which was sent down with him; those will be successful."
(XX)* SAY: "Mankind, for all of you I am but a messenger from God [Alone], Who holds control over Heaven and Earth. There is no deity except Him; He gives life and brings death. Believe in God and His messenger, the Unlettered Prophet who himself believes in God [Alone] and His words: follow him so you may be guided."
* Out of Moses' folk [there grew] a nation who guided by means of the Truth and dealt justly by means of it. ** We split them up into twelve tribes, communities, and inspired Moses when his people asked for water: 'Strike the rock with your staff." Twelve springs gushed forth from it. Each set of people knew its own drinking-place.
We shaded them with clouds and sent down manna and quail for them: 'Eat some of the wholesome things which We have supplied you with." Yet they did not harm Us, but they themselves were the persons whom they harmed. * When they were told: "Settle down in this town and eat wherever you wish in it, and say: 'Relieve [us]!' Enter the gate [walking] on your knees. We will forgive you your mistakes; We will give even more to those who act kindly," * those among them who did wrong changed the statement into something else than what had been told them; so We sent a plague from Heaven upon them because of how wrong they had been acting.
The Sabbath Breakers
(XXI)* Ask them about the town which lay facing the sea, when they broke the Sabbath. Their fish came to them swimming on the surface on their Sabbath Day, while any day they did not cease work, it did not come to them. Thus We tested them since they had been acting so immorally.
* Whenever a community among them said: "Why do you lecture a folk whom God will destroy anyhow, or [at least] punish them severely?" they said: "To gain absolution from your Lord, and so they may do their duty." ** When they forgot what they had been reminded of, We rescued those who had forbidden evil while We seized those who were doing wrong with dreadful torment because they had been acting so immorally. * When they became insolent about what had been forbidden them, we told them: "Become apes who will be chased away." * So your Lord announced that He would send someone against them who would impose the worst torment on them until Resurrection Day. Your Lord is Prompt with punishment, while He is (also) Forgiving, Merciful,
* We split them up into nations (that exist) on earth. Some of them are honorable while some of them are otherwise. We have tested them with fine things and evil things so they might repent. * Successors replaced them afterward who inherited the Book, taking on the show of this lowly place and saying: 'It will be forgiven us.' If a show like it were give them (again), they would accept it. Was not an agreement concerning the Book accepted by them: that they would tell nothing but the Truth about God? They studied what was in it.
A home in the Hereafter is better for those who do their duty - do they not use their reason? ** As for those who hold onto the Book and keep up prayer-We shall never forfeit reformers' wages. * Thus We suspended the Mountain over them as if it were an awning, and they thought it was going to fall down on them: "Hold on firmly to anything We have given you and remember what is in it, so that you may do your duty!"
The Islamic Covenant
(XXII)* When your Lord took their offspring from the Children of Adam's loins, and made them bear witness about themselves: 'Am I not your Lord?"; they said: 'Of course, we testify to it!" lest you (all) might say on Resurrection Day: "We were unaware of this;" * or lest you say: "It was only our forefathers who associated [others with God] previously; offspring following them. Will You wipe us out because of what furtile men have done?" * Thus We spell out signs so that they may repent.
** Recite news to them about someone to whom We gave Our signs. He slipped away from them, so Satan followed him and he became misguided. * If We had so wished, We might have raised him up by means of them, but he clung to the earth and followed his own whim. He might be compared to a dog: no matter how you drive him off, he just pants away. Or if you leave him alone, he still pants on. That is what folk who reject Our signs are like; tell such stories so they may think things over. * How evil is the comparison of folk who reject Our signs; it is their own souls they hurt!
** God has the Finest Names, so appeal to Him by name and leave those who blaspheme against His names alone; they will be rewarded for whatever they have been doing.
* Some of those whom We have created form a nation which guides [men] by means of the Truth, and because of it they act justly.
(XXIIX)* We shall gradually bring those who reject Our signs from a place they do not recognize. * I shall let them go on, for My scheme is sure. * Have they not thought things over? There is no madness in their companion; he is merely a plain warner. ** Have they not observed in the sovereignty over Heaven and Earth and whatever God has created of any sort, that perhaps their deadline may be approaching? In what report will they believe later on? * Anyone whom God lets go astray will have no guide; He leaves them groping along in their arrogance.
* They may ask you about the Hour: "When will it arrive?' SAY "Knowledge about it rests only with my Lord; He Alone will disclose it time. Things will seem heavy in Heaven and Earth; it will simply come upon you all of a sudden!"
They will even ask you as if you yourself were anxious about it. SAY 'Knowledge about it rests only with God, though most people do no realize it." * SAY: "I control no advantage nor any disadvantage by myself except whatever God may wish. If I had known the Unseen, I would have tried to increase (my share] of good, while no evil would ever touch me. am merely a warner and newsbearer for people who believe."
(XXIV)* He is the One Who has created you (all) from a single soul, an made its mate from it, so he may settle down with her. Once he has covered her, she conceives a light burden and walks around [unnoticed with it; then when she begins to feel heavy, they both appeal to God, their Lord: "if You will grant us a healthy [child], we will be grateful."
** Once He gives them a healthy child, they both set up associates for Him despite what He has given them. Exalted is God over anything they may associate [with Him]! * Do they associate something [with God] that has never created anything, while they themselves have been created?
Idol Worship* They cannot offer them any support nor can they even assist themselves! * If you summon them to guidance, they will not follow you; it is the same for you whether you appeal to them or keep silent: * "Those you appeal to instead of to God are servants just like yourselves. Appeal to them so they may respond to you if you are so truthful! ** Have they feet to walk with, or hands to grasp things with, or eyes to see with, or ears to listen with?"
SAY: "Appeal to your associates [instead of to God]; then plot away against me, and do not wait for me [to act]! * My Patron is God [Alone] who has sent down the Book. He befriends the honorable * while those you appeal to instead of Him cannot lend you any support nor do they even support themselves. * If you summon them to guidance, they will not hear, and you will see them looking towards you while they are [really] not seeing [anything]."
* Practise forgiveness, command decency; and avoid ignorant people.
*** If some urge from Satan should prompt you, seek refuge with God; He is Alert, Aware. * The ones who perform their duty bear it in mind whenever some impulse from Satan bothers them, and so they are granted insight. * Their brethren will trail off into aimlessness; therefore do not interfere with them.
* If you had not brought them any sign, they would (still) say: "Why didnt you pick one out?" SAY: "I follow only what has been inspired in me by my Lord. These are insights from Your Lord, as well as guidance and mercy for folk who believe."
How to Listen to the Quran
* Whenever the Quran is being recited, listen to it [attentively] and hush, so that you may receive mercy. ** Keep your Lord in mind within your own soul, beseeching and fearfully, without raising your voice, both in the early morning and in the evening; do not act so heedless!
Published with authorization from Dr.T.B.Irving .