By the dawn,1
and the ten nights,1
and the even and the odd,
and the night when it passes!
Is all this ˹not˺ a sufficient oath for those who have sense?
Did you not see how your Lord dealt with ’Ȃd—
˹the people˺ of Iram—with ˹their˺ great stature,
unmatched in any other land;
and Thamûd who carved ˹their homes into˺ the rocks in the ˹Stone˺ Valley;
and the Pharaoh of mighty structures?1
They all transgressed throughout the land,
spreading much corruption there.
So your Lord unleashed on them a scourge of punishment.1
˹For˺ your Lord is truly vigilant.
Now, whenever a human being is tested by their Lord through ˹His˺ generosity and blessings, they boast, “My Lord has ˹deservedly˺ honoured me!”
But when He tests them by limiting their provision, they protest, “My Lord has ˹undeservedly˺ humiliated me!”
Absolutely not! In fact, you are not ˹even˺ gracious to the orphan,
nor do you urge one another to feed the poor.
And you devour ˹others’˺ inheritance greedily,1
and love wealth fervently.
Enough! When the earth is entirely crushed over and over,
and your Lord comes ˹to judge˺ with angels, rank upon rank,
and Hell is brought forth on that Day—this is when every ˹disbelieving˺ person will remember ˹their own sins˺. But what is the use of remembering then?
They will cry, “I wish I had sent forth ˹something good˺ for my ˹true˺ life.”
On that Day He will punish ˹them˺ severely, like no other,
and bind ˹them˺ tightly, like no other.1
˹Allah will say to the righteous,˺ “O tranquil soul!
Return to your Lord, well pleased ˹with Him˺ and well pleasing ˹to Him˺.
So join My servants,
and enter My Paradise.”
Like many sûrahs, this one begins with an oath from Allah. He has the right to swear by any object of His creation (i.e., the sun, the moon, the stars, the dawn, or the angels). As for us, we are only allowed to swear by Allah alone.
This refers to the first ten days of the month of Ⱬul-Ḥijjah, in which the rituals of pilgrimage are performed.
i.e., pyramids and obelisks.
lit., so your Lord poured on them a whip of punishment.
They take over the inheritance of orphans and women.
Another possible translation: “None has ever punished the way He will punish on that Day, nor has anyone bound the way He will bind.”