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Alif. Lam. Mim.1
THE BESTOWAL from on high of this divine writ issues, beyond any doubt, from the Sustainer of all the worlds:
and yet,2 they [who are bent on denying the truth] assert, "[Muhammad] has invented it!" Nay, but it is the truth from thy Sustainer, enabling thee to warn [this] people to whom no warner has come before thee, so that they might follow the right path.
IT IS GOD who has created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six aeons, and is established on the throne of His almightiness.3 You have none to protect you from God, and none to intercede for you [on Judgment Day]: will you not, then, bethink yourselves?
He governs all that exists, from the celestial space to the earth; and in the end all shall ascend unto Him [for judgment] on a Day the length whereof will be [like] a thousand years of your reckoning.4
Such is He who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception, as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature's senses or mind:5 the Almighty, the Dispenser of Grace,
who makes most excellent everything that He creates.6 Thus, He begins the creation of man out of clay;7
then He causes him to be begotten8 out of the essence of a humble fluid;
and then He forms him in accordance with what he is meant to be, and breathes into him of His spirit:9 and [thus, O men,] He endows you with hearing, and sight, and feelings as well as minds:10 [yet] how seldom are you grateful!
For, [many are] they [who] say, "What! After we have been [dead and] lost in the earth, shall we indeed be [restored to life] in a new act of creation?" Nay, but [by saying this] they deny the truth that they are destined to meet their Sustainer!11
Say: "[One day,] the angel of death who has been given charge of you will gather you, and then unto your Sustainer you will be brought back."
If thou couldst but see [how it will be on Judgment Day], when those who are lost in sin will hang their heads before their Sustainer, [saying:] "O our Sustainer! [Now] we have seen, and we have heard! Return us, then, [to our earthly life] that we may do good deeds: for [now], behold, we are certain [of the truth]!"
Yet had We so willed, We could indeed have imposed Our guidance upon every human being:12 but [We have not willed it thus-and so] that word of Mine has come true: "Most certainly will I fill hell with invisible beings as well as with humans, all together!" 13
[And He will say unto the sinners:] "Taste, then, [the recompense] for your having been obli-vious of the coming of this your Day [of Judgment]-for, verily, We are [now] oblivious of you: taste, then, [this] abiding suffering for all [the evil] that you were wont to do!"
ONLY THEY [truly] believe in Our messages who, whenever they are conveyed to them, fall down, prostrating themselves in adoration, and extol their Sustainer's limitless glory and praise; and who are never filled with false pride;
[and] who are im-pelled to rise14 from their beds [at night] to call out to their Sustainer in fear and hope; and who spend on others out of what We provide for them as sus-tenance.
And [as for all such believers,] no human being can imagine what blissful delights, as yet hidden, await them [in the life to come]15 as a reward for all that they did.
Is, then, he who [in his earthly life] was a believer to be compared with one who was in-iquitous? [Nay,] these two are not equal!
As for those who attain to faith and do right-eous deeds - gardens of rest await them, as a wel-come [from God], in result of what they did;
but as for those who are lost in iniquity - their goal is the fire: as oft as they will try to come out of it, they will be thrown back into it; and they will be told, "Taste [now] this suffering through fire which you were wont to call a lie!"
However, ere [We condemn them to] that supreme suffering, We shall most certainly let the taste of a suffering closer at hand,16 so that they might [repent and] mend their ways.17
And who could be more wicked than he to whom his Sustainer's messages are conveyed and who thereupon turns away from them? Verily, We shall inflict Our retribution on those who are [thus] lost in sin!
AND, INDEED, [O Muhammad,] We did vouchsafe revelation unto Moses [as well]: so be not in doubt of [thy] having met with the same [truth in the revelation vouchsafed to thee].18 And [just as] We caused that [earlier revelation] to be a guidance for the children of Israel,
and [as] We raised among them leaders who, so long as they bore themselves with patience and had sure faith in Our messages, guided [their people] in accordance with Our behest19 - [so, too, shall it be with the divine writ revealed unto thee, O Muhammad.]20
VERILY. it is God alone who will decide between men21 on Resurrection Day with regard to all on which they were wont to differ.22
[But] can, then, they [who deny the truth] learn no lesson by recalling how many a generation We have destroyed before their time?23 - [people] in whose dwelling-places they [themselves now] walk about? In this, behold, there are messages indeed: will they not, then, listen?
Are they not aware that it is We who drive the rain onto dry land devoid of herbage, and thereby bring forth herbage of which their cattle and they themselves do eat? Can they not, then, see [the truth of resurrection]?
But they answer: "When will that final decision take place, if what you [believers] say is true?"24
Say: "On the Day of the Final Decision, their [newly-found] faith will be of no use to those who [in their lifetime] were bent on denying the truth, nor will they be granted respite!"
and then leave them alone, and wait [for the truth to unfold as] they, behold, are waiting....