Successful indeed are the believers:
those who humble themselves in prayer;
those who avoid idle talk;
those who pay alms-tax;1
those who guard their chastity1
except with their wives or those ˹bondwomen˺ in their possession,1 for then they are free from blame,
but whoever seeks beyond that are the transgressors;
˹the believers are also˺ those who are true to their trusts and covenants;
and those who are ˹properly˺ observant of their prayers.
These are the ones who will be awarded
Paradise as their own.1 They will be there forever.
And indeed, We created humankind1 from an extract of clay,
then placed each ˹human˺ as a sperm-drop1 in a secure place,
then We developed the drop into a clinging clot ˹of blood˺, then developed the clot into a lump ˹of flesh˺, then developed the lump into bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, then We brought it into being as a new creation.1 So Blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators.
After that you will surely die,
then on the Day of Judgment you will be resurrected.
And indeed, We created above you seven levels ˹of heaven˺. We are never unmindful of ˹Our˺ creation.
We send down rain from the sky in perfect measure, causing it to soak into the earth. And We are surely able to take it away.
With it We produce for you gardens of palm trees and grapevines, in which there are abundant fruits, and from which you may eat,
as well as ˹olive˺ trees which grow at Mount Sinai, providing oil and a condiment to eat.
And there is certainly a lesson for you in cattle, from whose bellies We give you ˹milk˺ to drink, and in them are many other benefits for you, and from them you may eat.
And you are carried upon ˹some of˺ them and upon ships.
Indeed, We sent Noah to his people. He declared, “O my people! Worship Allah ˹alone˺. You have no god other than Him. Will you not then fear ˹Him˺?”
But the disbelieving chiefs of his people said ˹to the masses˺, “This is only a human like you, who wants to be superior to you. Had Allah willed, He could have easily sent down angels ˹instead˺. We have never heard of this in ˹the history of˺ our forefathers.
He is simply insane, so bear with him for a while.”1
Noah prayed, “My Lord! Help me, because they have denied ˹me˺.”
So We inspired him: “Build the Ark under Our ˹watchful˺ Eyes and directions. Then when Our command comes and the oven bursts ˹with water˺,1 take on board a pair from every species along with your family—except those against whom the decree ˹to drown˺ has already been passed. And do not plead with Me for those who have done wrong, for they will surely be drowned.”
Then when you and those with you have settled in the Ark, say, “All praise is for Allah, Who saved us from the wrongdoing people.”
And pray, “My Lord! Allow me a blessed landing, for You are the best accommodator.”
Surely in this are lessons.1 And We ˹always˺ put ˹people˺ to the test.
Then We raised another generation after them,
and sent to them a messenger from among themselves, ˹declaring,˺ “Worship Allah ˹alone˺. You have no god other than Him. Will you not then fear ˹Him˺?”
But the chiefs of his people—who disbelieved, denied the meeting ˹with Allah˺ in the Hereafter, and were spoiled by the worldly luxuries We had provided for them—said ˹to the masses˺, “This is only a human like you. He eats what you eat, and drinks what you drink.
And if you ˹ever˺ obey a human like yourselves, then you would certainly be losers.
Does he promise you that once you are dead and reduced to dust and bones, you will be brought forth ˹alive˺?
Impossible, simply impossible is what you are promised!
There is nothing beyond our worldly life. We die, others are born, and none will be resurrected.
He is no more than a man who has fabricated a lie about Allah, and we will never believe in him.”
The messenger prayed, “My Lord! Help me, because they have denied ˹me˺.”
Allah responded, “Soon they will be truly regretful.”
Then the ˹mighty˺ blast overtook them with justice, and We reduced them to rubble. So away with the wrongdoing people!
Then We raised other generations after them.
No people can advance their doom, nor can they delay it.
Then We sent Our messengers in succession: whenever a messenger came to his people, they denied him. So We destroyed them, one after the other, reducing them to ˹cautionary˺ tales. So away with the people who refuse to believe!
Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron with Our signs1 and compelling proof
to Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they behaved arrogantly and were a tyrannical people.
They argued, “Will we believe in two humans, like ourselves, whose people are slaves to us?”
So they rejected them both, and ˹so˺ were among those destroyed.
And We certainly gave Moses the Scripture, so perhaps his people would be ˹rightly˺ guided.
And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and gave them refuge on high ground—a ˹suitable˺ place for rest with flowing water.
O messengers! Eat from what is good and lawful, and act righteously. Indeed, I fully know what you do.
Surely this religion of yours is ˹only˺ one, and I am your Lord, so fear Me ˹alone˺.
Yet the people have divided it into different sects, each rejoicing in what they have.
So leave them ˹O Prophet˺ in their heedlessness for a while.
Do they think, since We provide them with wealth and children,
that We hasten to ˹honour˺ them ˹with˺ all kinds of good? No! They are not aware.
Surely those who tremble in awe of their Lord,
and who believe in the revelations of their Lord,
and who associate none with their Lord,
and who do whatever ˹good˺ they do with their hearts fearful, ˹knowing˺ that they will return to their Lord1—
it is they who race to do good deeds, always taking the lead.
We never require of any soul more than what it can afford. And with Us is a record which speaks the truth. None will be wronged.
But the hearts of those ˹who disbelieve˺ are oblivious to ˹all of˺ this,1 and they have other ˹evil˺ deeds, opposite to this, in which they are engrossed.
But as soon as We seize their elite with torment, they start to cry for help.
˹They will be told,˺ “Do not cry for help today. Surely you will never be saved from Us.
Indeed, My revelations were recited to you, but you used to back away ˹in disgust˺,
boasting of the Sacred House, and babbling ˹nonsense about the Quran˺ by night.”
Is it because they have never contemplated the Word ˹of Allah˺? Or ˹because˺ there has come to them something that did not come to their forefathers?
Or ˹because˺ they failed to recognize their Messenger, and so they denied him?
Or ˹because˺ they say, “He is insane?” In fact, he has come to them with the truth, but most of them are resentful of the truth.
Had the truth followed their desires,1 the heavens, the earth, and all those in them would have certainly been corrupted. In fact, We have brought them ˹the means to˺ their glory, but they turn away from it.
Or ˹is it because˺ you ˹O Prophet˺ are asking them for tribute? But the reward of your Lord is best, for He is the Best Provider.
And surely you are calling them to the Straight Path,
but those who disbelieve in the Hereafter are certainly deviating from that Path.
˹Even˺ if We had mercy on them and removed their affliction,1 they would still persist in their transgression, wandering blindly.
And We have already seized them with torment, but they never humbled themselves to their Lord, nor did they ˹submissively˺ appeal ˹to Him˺.
But as soon as We open for them a gate of severe punishment, they will be utterly desperate.
He is the One Who created for you hearing, sight, and intellect. ˹Yet˺ you hardly give any thanks.
And He is the One Who has dispersed you ˹all˺ over the earth, and to Him you will ˹all˺ be gathered.
And He is the One Who gives life and causes death, and to Him belongs the alternation of the day and night. Will you not then understand?
But they ˹just˺ say what their predecessors said.
They said, “Once we are dead and reduced to dust and bones, will we really be resurrected?
We have already been promised this, as well as our forefathers earlier. This is nothing but ancient fables!”
Ask ˹them, O Prophet˺, “To whom belong the earth and all those on it, if you ˹really˺ know?”
They will reply, “To Allah!” Say, “Why are you not then mindful?”
˹And˺ ask ˹them˺, “Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the Mighty Throne?”
They will reply, “Allah.” Say, “Will you not then fear ˹Him˺?”
Ask ˹them also,˺ “In Whose Hands is the authority over all things, protecting ˹all˺ while none can protect against Him, if you ˹really˺ know?”
They will reply, “Allah.” Say, “How are you then so deluded?”
In fact, We have brought them the truth, and they are certainly liars.
Allah has never had ˹any˺ offspring, nor is there any god besides Him. Otherwise, each god would have taken away what he created, and they would have tried to dominate one another. Glorified is Allah above what they claim!
˹He is the˺ Knower of the seen and unseen. Exalted is He above what they associate ˹with Him˺.
Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “My Lord! Should You show me what they1 are threatened with,
then, my Lord, do not count me among the wrongdoing people.”
We are indeed able to show you what We have threatened them with.
Respond to evil with what is best. We know well what they claim.1
And say, “My Lord! I seek refuge in You from the temptations of the devils.
And I seek refuge in You, my Lord, that they ˹even˺ come near me.”
When death approaches any of them, they cry, “My Lord! Let me go back,
so I may do good in what I left behind.” Never! It is only a ˹useless˺ appeal they make. And there is a barrier behind them until the Day they are resurrected.1
Then, when the Trumpet will be blown,1 there will be no kinship between them on that Day, nor will they ˹even care to˺ ask about one another.2
As for those whose scale is heavy ˹with good deeds˺, it is they who will be successful.
But those whose scale is light, they will have doomed themselves, staying in Hell forever.
The Fire will burn their faces, leaving them deformed.
˹It will be said,˺ “Were My revelations not recited to you, but you used to deny them?”
They will cry, “Our Lord! Our ill-fate took hold of us, so we became a misguided people.
Our Lord! Take us out of this ˹Fire˺. Then if we ever return ˹to denial˺, we will truly be wrongdoers.”
Allah will respond, “Be despised in there! Do not ˹ever˺ plead with Me ˹again˺!
Indeed, there was a group of My servants who used to pray, ‘Our Lord! We have believed, so forgive us and have mercy on us, for You are the best of those who show mercy,’
but you were ˹so busy˺ making fun of them that it made you forget My remembrance. And you used to laugh at them.
Today I have indeed rewarded them for their perseverance: they are certainly the triumphant.”
He will ask ˹them˺, “How many years did you remain on earth?”
They will reply, “We remained ˹only˺ a day or part of a day.1 But ask those who kept count.”
He will say, “You only remained for a little while, if only you knew.
Did you then think that We had created you without purpose, and that you would never be returned to Us?”
Exalted is Allah, the True King! There is no god ˹worthy of worship˺ except Him, the Lord of the Honourable Throne.
Whoever invokes, besides Allah, another god—for which they can have no proof—they will surely find their penalty with their Lord. Indeed, the disbelievers will never succeed.
Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the best of those who show mercy.”
Zakâh means purification and growth. Paying alms-tax and charity are forms of purifying one’s wealth.
lit., private parts.
See footnote for 4:3.
Al-Firdaws, the highest place in Paradise.
See footnote for 22:5.
This happens when the spirit is breathed into the embryo.
So he may recover from his “madness” or die.
Noah was given a signal that once the water gushes out of a particular oven then the Flood is about to begin. It can also be translated as: “The fountains of the earth gushed forth.”
The nine signs are: the staff, the hand (both mentioned in 20:17-22), famine, shortage of crops, floods, locusts, lice, frogs, and blood (all mentioned in 7:130-133).
It is reported in an authentic narration collected by At-Tirmiⱬi that ’Ȃishah, the Prophet’s wife, asked him (ﷺ) if this verse refers to those who steal or drink ˹alcohol˺. The Prophet (ﷺ) answered, “No, it refers to those who pray, fast, and donate, but are afraid that their deeds are rejected because they are not good enough.” Then he (ﷺ) recited the last part of the verse: “It is they who race to do good deeds, always taking the lead.”
This refers to the believers’ good deeds mentioned in 23:57-62.
Their desire that the universe has more than one God. See 21:22.
This refers to famine which affected the pagans of Mecca.
The Meccan pagans.
Their claims that there are many gods, and that the Prophet is a liar, a poet, etc.
Meaning, once they are dead, they will never return to the world.
On the Day of Judgment, the Trumpet will be blown by an angel—causing all to die. When it is blown a second time, everyone will be raised from the dead for judgment (see 39:68).
Everyone will be busy with their own situation.
Compared to the length and misery of their stay in the grave and Hell, their worldly life will seem very short to them.