In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
PRAISE BE to God, Lord of the worlds!
The Compassionate, the Merciful!
King on the Day of Reckoning!
Thee only do we worship, and to Thee do we cry for help.
Guide Thou us on the straight path,
The path of those to whom Thou has been gracious;--with whom Thou art not angry, and who go not astray.
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. LAM. Mim. No doubt is there about this Book: It is a guidance to the God-fearing,
Who believe in the Unseen, who observe prayer, and out of what We have bestowed on them, expend for God;
And who believe in what hath been sent down to thee, and in what hath been sent down before thee, and full faith have they in the life to come:
These are guided by their Lord; and with these it shall be well.
As to the infidels, alike is it to them whether Thou warn them or warn them not--they will not believe:
Their hearts and their ears hath God sealed up; and over their eyes is a covering. For them, a severe chastisement!
And some there are who say, "We believe in God, and in the latter day:" Yet are they not believers!
Fain would they deceive God and those who have believed; but they deceive themselves only, and know it not.
Diseased are their hearts! And that disease hath God increased to them. Theirs a sore chastisement, for that they treated their Prophet as a liar!
10 And when it is said to them, "Cause not disorders in the earth:" they say, "Nay, rather do we set them right."
Is it not that they are themselves the authors of disorder? But they perceive it not!
And when it is said to them, "Believe as other men have believed;" they say, "Shall we believe as the fools have believed?" Is it not that they are themselves the fools? But they know it not!
And when they meet the faithful they say, "We believe;" but when they are apart with their Satans they say, "Verily we hold with you, and at them we only mock."
God shall mock at them, and keep them long in their rebellion, wandering in perplexity.
These are they who have purchased error at the price of guidance: but their traffic hath not been gainful, neither are they guided at all.
They are like one who kindleth a fire, and when it hath thrown its light on all around him. . . . God taketh away their light and leaveth them in darkness--they cannot see!--
Deaf, dumb, blind: therefore they shall not retrace their steps from error!
Or like those who, when there cometh a storm-cloud out of the heaven, big with darkness, thunder and lightning, thrust their fingers into their ears because of the thunder-clap, for fear of death! God is round about the infidels.
The lightning almost snatcheth away their eyes! So oft as it gleameth on them they walk on in it, but when darkness closeth upon them, they stop! And if God pleased, of their ears and of their eyes would He surely deprive them:--verily God is almighty! O men of Mecca adore your Lord, who hath created you and those who were before you: haply ye will fear Him
20 Who hath made the earth a bed for you, and the heaven a covering, and hath caused water to come down from heaven, and by it hath brought forth fruits for your sustenance! Do not then wittingly give peers to God.
And if ye be in doubt as to that which We have sent down to Our servant, then produce a Sura like it, and summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men of truth:
But if ye do it not, and never shall ye do it, then fear the Fire prepared for the infidels, whose fuel is men and stones:
But announce to those who believe and do the things that are right, that for them are gardens neath which the rivers flow! So oft as they are fed therefrom with fruit for sustenance, they shall say, "This same was our sustenance of old:" And they shall have its like given to them. Therein shall they have wives of perfect purity, and therein shall they abide for ever.
Verily God is not ashamed to set forth as well the instance of a gnat as of any nobler object: for as to those who have believed, they know it to be the truth from their Lord; but as to the unbelievers, they will say, "What meaneth God by this comparison?" Many will He mislead by such parables and many guide: but none will He mislead thereby except the wicked,
Who, after its establishment, violate the covenant of God, and cut in sunder what God hath bidden to be joined, and act disorderly on the earth. These are they who shall suffer loss!
How can ye withhold faith from God? Ye were dead and He gave you life; next He will cause you to die; next He will restore you to life; next shall ye return to Him!
He it is who created for you all that is on earth, then proceeded to the heaven, and into seven heavens did He fashion it: and He knoweth all things.
When thy Lord said to the angels, "Verily, I am about to place one in my stead on earth," they said, "Wilt thou place there one who will do ill therein and shed blood, when we celebrate thy praise and extol thy holiness?" God said, "Verily, I know what ye know not."
And He taught Adam the names of all things, and then set them before the angels, and said, "Tell me the names of these, if ye are endued with wisdom."
30 They said, "Praise be to Thee! We have no knowledge but what Thou hast given us to know. Thou! Thou art the Knowing, the Wise."
He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them of their names, He said, "Did I not say to you that I know the hidden things of the heavens and of the earth, and that I know what ye bring to light, and what ye hide?"
And when We said to the angels, "Bow down and worship Adam," then worshipped they all, save Eblis. He refused and swelled with pride, and became one of the unbelievers.
And We said, "Oh Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye plentifully therefrom wherever ye list; but to this tree come not nigh, lest ye become of the transgressors."
But Satan made them slip from it, and caused their banishment from the place in which they were. And We said, "Get ye down, the one of you an enemy to the other: and there shall be for you in the earth a dwelling-place, and a provision for a time."
And words of prayer learned Adam from his Lord: and God turned to him; for He loveth to turn, the Merciful.
We said, "Get ye down from it, all together: and if guidance shall come to you from Me, whoso shall follow My guidance, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be grieved:
But they who shall not believe, and treat Our signs as falsehoods, these shall be inmates of the Fire; in it shall they remain for ever."
O children of Israel! remember My favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you, and be true to your covenant with Me; I will be true to my covenant with you; Me therefore, revere Me! and believe in what I have sent down confirming your Scriptures, and be not the first to disbelieve it, neither for a mean price barter My signs: Me therefore, fear ye Me!
And clothe not the truth with falsehood, and hide not the truth when ye know it:
40 And observe prayer and pay the legal impost, and bow down with those who bow.
Will ye enjoin what is right upon others, and forget yourselves? Yet ye read the Book: will ye not understand?
And seek help with patience and prayer: a hard duty indeed is this, but not to the humble,
Who bear in mind that they shall meet their Lord, and that unto Him shall they return.
O children of Israel! remember My favour wherewith I shewed favour upon you; for verily to you above all human beings have I been bounteous.
And fear ye the day when soul shall not satisfy for soul at all, nor shall any intercession be accepted from them, nor shall any ransom be taken, neither shall they be helped.
And remember when We rescued you from the people of Pharaoh, who had laid on you a cruel chastisement. They slew your male children, and let only your females live: and in this was a great trial from your Lord:
And when We parted the sea for you, and saved you, and drowned the people of Pharaoh, while ye were looking on:
And when We were in treaty with Moses forty nights: then during his absence took ye the calf and acted wickedly:
Yet after this We forgave you, that ye might be grateful:
50 And when We gave Moses the Book and the Illumination in order to your guidance:
And remember when Moses said to his people, "O my people! verily ye have sinned to your own hurt, by your taking the calf to worship it: Be turned then to your Creator, and slay the guilty among you; this will be best for you with your Creator:" Then turned He unto you, for He is the One who turneth, the Merciful:
And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not believe thee until we see God plainly;" the thunderbolt fell upon you while ye were looking on:
Then We raised you to life after ye had been dead, that haply ye might give thanks:
And We caused the clouds to overshadow you, and We sent down manna and quails upon you;--"Eat of the good things We have given you for sustenance;"--and they injured not Us but they injured themselves.
And when We said, "Enter this city and eat therefrom plentifully at your will, and enter the gate with prostrations, and say, 'Forgiveness;' and We will pardon you your sins, and give an increase to the doers of good:"--
But the evil doers changed that word into another than that spoken to them, and we sent down upon those evil doers wrath from heaven, for that they had done amiss:
And when Moses asked drink for his people, We said, "Strike the rock with thy rod;" and from it there gushed twelve fountains: each tribe knew their drinking-place:--"Eat and drink," said We, "of what God hath supplied, and do no wrong on the earth by licentious deeds:"
And when ye said, "O Moses! we will not put up with one sort of food: pray, therefore, thy Lord for us, that He would bring forth for us of that which the earth groweth, its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions:" He said, "What! will ye exchange that which is worse for what is better? Get ye down into Egypt;--for ye shall have what ye have asked:" Vileness and poverty were stamped upon them, and they returned with wrath from God: This, for that they disbelieved the signs of God, and slew the prophets unjustly: this, for that they rebelled and transgressed!
Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites--whoever of these believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord: fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved.
60 Call to mind also when We entered into a covenant with you, and lifted up the mountain over you:--"Take hold," said We, "on what We have revealed to you, with resolution, and remember what is therein, that ye may fear:"
But after this ye turned back, and but for God's grace and mercy towards you, ye had surely been of the lost! Ye know too those of you who transgressed on the Sabbath, and to whom We said, "Be changed into scouted apes:"
And We made them a warning to those of their day, and to those who came after them, and a caution to the God-fearing:
And when Moses said to his people, "Verily, God bids you sacrifice a COW;" they said, "Makest thou a jest of us?" He said, "God keep me from being one of the foolish." They said, "Call on thy Lord for us that He would make plain to us what she is." He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow neither old nor young, but of the middle age--between the two:' do therefore what ye are bidden."
They said, "Call on your Lord for us, that He would make plain to us what is her colour." He said, "God saith. 'She is a fawn-coloured cow; her colour is very bright; she rejoiceth the beholders.' "
They said, "Call on thy Lord for us that He would make plain to us what cow it is--for to us are cows alike,--and verily, if God please, we shall be guided rightly:"
He said, "God saith, 'She is a cow not worn by ploughing the earth or watering the field, sound, no blemish in her.' " They said, "Now hast thou brought the truth:" Then they sacrificed her; Yet nearly had they done it not:
And when ye slew a man, and strove among yourselves about him, God brought to light what he had hidden:
For We said, "Strike the corpse with part of her." So God giveth life to the dead, and sheweth you his signs, that haply ye may understand.
Then after that your hearts became hard like rocks, or harder still: for verily, from rocks have rivers gushed; others, verily, have been cleft, and water hath issued from them; and others, verily, have sunk down through fear of God: And God is not regardless of your actions.
70 Desire ye then that for your sakes the Jews should believe? Yet a part of them heard the word of God, and then, after they had understood it, perverted it, and knew that they did so.
And when they fall in with the faithful, they say, "We believe;" but when they are apart one with another, they say, "Will ye acquaint them with what God hath revealed to you, that they may dispute with you about it in the presence of your Lord?" Understand ye their aim?
Know they not that God knoweth what they hide, as well as what they bring to light?
Excerpted from The Koran by John Medows Rodwell. Copyright © 2004 by John Medows Rodwell. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Classics, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.