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OH, THE LAYING-BARE of the truth!1
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How awesome that laying-bare of the truth!
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And what could make thee conceive what that laying-bare of the truth will be?2
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THE LIE gave [the tribes of] Thamud and 'Ad to [all tidings of] that sudden calamity!3
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Now as for the Thamud - they were destroyed by a violent upheaval [of the earth];4
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and as for the 'Ad - they were destroyed by a stormwind furiously raging,
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which He willed against them for seven nights and eight days without cease, so that in the end thou couldst see those people laid low [in death], as though they were so many [uprooted] trunks of hollow palm trees:
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and dost thou now see any remnant of them?
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And there was Pharaoh, too, and [many of] those who lived before him, and the cities that were overthrown5 - [all of them] indulged in sin upon sin
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and rebelled against their Sustainer's apostles: and so He took them to task with a punishing grasp exceedingly severe!
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[And] behold: when the waters [of Noah's flood] burst beyond all limits, it was We who caused you6 to be borne [to safety] in that floating ark,
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so that We might make all this7 a [lasting] reminder to you all, and that every wide-awake ear might consciously take it in.
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Hence, [bethink yourselves of the Last Hour,] when the trumpet [of judgment] shall be sounded with a single blast,
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and the earth and the mountains shall be lifted up and crushed with a single stroke!
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And so, that which must come to pass8 will on that Day have come to pass;
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and the sky will be rent asunder9 for, frail will it have become on that Day -;
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and the angels [will appear] at its ends,10 and, above them, eight will bear aloft on that Day the throne of thy Sustainer's almightiness....11
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On that Day you shall be brought to judgment: not [even] the most hidden of your deeds will remain hidden.
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Now as for him whose record shall be placed in his right hand,12 he will exclaim: "Come you all! Read this my record!
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Behold, I did know that [one day] I would have to face my account!"13
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And so he will find himself in a happy state of life,
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in a lofty paradise,
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with its fruits within easy reach.
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[And all who are thus blest will be told:] "Eat and drink with good cheer in return for all [the good deeds] that you have sent ahead in days gone by!"
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But as for him whose record shall be placed in his left hand,14 he will exclaim: "Oh, would that I had never been shown this my record,
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and neither known this my account!
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Oh, would that this [death of mine] had been the end of me!
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Of no avail to me is all that I have [ever] possessed,
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[and] all my power of argument has died away from me!"15
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[Thereupon the command will go forth:] "Lay hold of him, and shackle him,16
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and then let him enter hell,
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and then thrust him into a chain [of other sinners like him17 - a chain] the length whereof is seventy cubits:18
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for, behold, he did not believe in God, the Tremendous,
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and did not feel any urge19 to feed the needy:
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and so, no friend has he here today,
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nor any food save the filth
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which none but the sinners eat!"20
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BUT NAY! I call to witness all that you can see,
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as well as all that you cannot see!21
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Behold, this [Qur'an] is indeed the [inspired] word of a noble apostle,
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and is not - however little you may [be prepared to] believe it - the word of a poet;
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and neither is it - however little you may [be prepared to] take it to heart - the word of a soothsayer:
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[it is] a revelation from the Sustainer of all the worlds.
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Now if he [whom We have entrusted with it] had dared to attribute some [of his own] sayings unto Us,
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We would indeed have seized him by his right hand,22
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and would indeed have cut his life-vein,
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and none of you could have saved him!
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And, verily, this [Qur'an] is a reminder to all the God-conscious.23
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And, behold, well do We know that among you are such as will give the lie to it:
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yet, behold, this [rejection] will indeed become a source of bitter regret for all who deny the truth [of God's revelation] -
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for, verily, it is truth absolute!
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Extol, then, the limitless glory of thy Sustainer's mighty name!