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Quran Chapter 10 [part 1] - Jonah - A Book of Wisdom, God Invites You to Paradise

A Meccan sura which takes its title from the reference to Jonah in verse 98. It stresses God’s power, the authenticity of the Quran, and the fate of evildoers. God’s anger at those who consistently deny the truth of His revelations and signs is made clear, as is the fact that, were it not for His decision to await the Day of Resurrection, His judgement would already have fallen upon them. The Prophet is encouraged to be patient and reminded of the fact that he cannot force people to believe.

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

A Book of Wisdom

1 Alif Lam Ra

These are the verses of the wise [a] Book. 2 Is it so surprising to people that We have revealed to a man from among them that he should warn people, and give glad news to those who believe, that they are on a sure footing with their Lord? [Yet] those who disbelieve say, ‘This man is clearly a sorcerer.’

3 Your Lord is God who created the heavens and earth in six Days, [b] then established Himself on the Throne, governing everything; there is no one that can intercede with Him, unless He has first given permission: this is God your Lord so worship Him. How can you not take heed? 4 It is to Him you shall all return––that is a true promise from God. It was He who created [you] in the first place, and He will do so again, so that He may justly reward those who believe and do good deeds. But the disbelievers will have a drink of scalding water, and agonizing torment, because they persistently disbelieved.

5 It is He who made the sun a shining radiance and the moon a light, determining phases for it so that you might know the number of years and how to calculate time. God did not create all these without a true purpose; He explains His signs to those who understand. 6 In the succession of night and day, and in what God created in the heavens and earth, there truly are signs for those who are aware of Him. 7 Those who do not expect [c] to meet Us and are pleased with the life of this world, contenting themselves with it and paying no heed to Our signs, 8 shall have the Fire for their home because of what they used to do. 9 But as for those who believe and do good deeds, their Lord will guide them because of their faith. Streams will flow at their feet in the Gardens of Bliss. 10 Their prayer in them will be, ‘Glory be to You, God!’ their greeting, ‘Peace,’ and the last part of their prayer, ‘Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds.’

Who is the Most Wicked?

11 If God were to hasten on for people the harm [they have earned] as they wish to hasten on the good, their time would already be up. But We leave those who do not expect to meet Us to wander blindly in their excesses. 12 When trouble befalls man he cries out to Us, whether lying on his side, sitting, or standing, but as soon as We relieve him of his trouble he goes on his way as if he had never cried out to Us to remove his trouble. In this way the deeds of such heedless people are made attractive to them. 13 Before you people, We destroyed whole generations when they did evil– their messengers brought them clear signs but they refused to believe. This is how We repay the guilty. 14 Later We made you their successors in the land, to see how you would behave.

15 When Our clear revelations are recited to them, those who do not expect to meet with Us say, ‘Bring [us] a different Quran, or change it.’ [Prophet], say, ‘It is not for me to change it of my own accord; I only follow what is revealed to me, for I fear the torment of an awesome Day, if I were to disobey my Lord.’ 16 Say, ‘If God had so willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have made it known to you. I lived a whole lifetime among you before it came to me. How can you not use your reason?’

17 Who could be more wicked than someone who invents lies against God or denies His revelations? The guilty will never prosper. 18 They worship alongside God things that can neither harm nor benefit them, and say, ‘These are our intercessors [d] with God.’ Say, ‘Do you think you can tell God about something He knows not to exist in the heavens or earth? Glory be to Him! He is far above the partner-gods they associate with Him! 19 All people were originally one single community, but later they differed. If it had not been for a word [e] from your Lord, the preordained judgement would already have been passed between them regarding their differences. 20 They say, ‘Why has no miraculous sign been sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say [Prophet], ‘Only God knows the unseen, so wait– I too am waiting.’

God Invites You to Paradise

21 No sooner do We let people taste some mercy after some hardship has afflicted them, than they begin to scheme against Our revelations. Say, ‘God schemes even faster.’ Our messengers [f] record all your scheming.

22 It is He who enables you to travel on land and sea until, when you are sailing on ships and rejoicing in the favoring wind, a storm arrives: waves come at those on board from all sides and they feel there is no escape. Then they pray to God, professing sincere devotion to Him, ‘If You save us from this we shall be truly thankful.’ 23 Yet no sooner does He save them than, back on land, they behave outrageously against all that is right. People! Your outrageous behavior only works against yourselves. Take your little enjoyment in this present life; in the end you will return to Us and We shall confront you with everything you have done.

24 The life of this world is like this: rain that We send down from the sky is absorbed by the plants of the earth, from which humans and animals eat. But when the earth has taken on its finest appearance, and adorns itself, and its people think they have power over it, then the fate We commanded comes to it, by night or by day, and We reduce it to stubble, as if it had not flourished just the day before. This is the way We explain the revelations for those who reflect.

25 But God invites [everyone] to the Home of Peace, and guides whoever He will to a straight path. 26 Those who did well will have the best reward and more besides. Neither darkness nor shame will cover their faces: these are the companions in Paradise, and there they will remain. 27 As for those who did evil, each evil deed will be requited by its equal and humiliation will cover them– no one will protect them against God– as though their faces were covered with veils cut from the darkness of the night. These are the inmates of the Fire, and there they shall remain.

28 On the Day We gather them all together, We shall say to those who associate partners with God, ‘Stay in your place, you and your partner-gods.’ Then We shall separate them, and their partner-gods will say, ‘It was not us you worshipped– 29 God is witness enough between us and you– we had no idea that you worshipped us.’ 30 Every soul will realize, then and there, what it did in the past. They will be returned to God, their rightful Lord, and their invented [gods] will desert them.


a. Hakim is understood in various ways: to mean ‘full of wisdom’, to suggest that it gives decisions on matters, and to convey that it is perfected and well formed.

b. Not the sort of days we know––see 32: 5; 70: 4.

c. Or ‘fear’ (one of the meanings of yarjuna).

d. See above, verse 3.

e. Postponing judgement.

f. Angels.

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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