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Quran Chapter 20 [part 3] - Ta-Ha - Story of the Angels, Taking Lessons From Previous Nations

100 Whoever turns away from it will bear on the Day of Resurrection a heavy burden 101 and will remain under it. What a terrible burden to carry on that Day! 102 When the trumpet is sounded and We gather the sinful, sightless, [a] 103 they will murmur to one another, ‘You stayed only ten days [on earth]’– 104 We know best what they say– but the more perceptive of them will say, ‘Your stay [on earth] was only a single day.’

105 They ask you [Prophet] about the mountains: say, ‘[On that Day] my Lord will blast them into dust 106 and leave a flat plain, 107 with no peak or trough to be seen. 108 On that Day, people will follow the summoner from whom there is no escape; every voice will be hushed for the Lord of Mercy; only whispers will be heard. 109 On that Day, intercession will be useless except from those to whom the Lord of Mercy has granted permission and whose words He approves– 110 He knows what is before and behind them, though they do not comprehend Him– 111 and [all] faces [b] will be humbled before the Living, Ever Watchful One. Those burdened with evil deeds will despair, 112 but whoever has done righteous deeds and believed need have no fear of injustice or deprivation.’ 113 We have sent the Quran down in the Arabic tongue and given all kinds of warnings in it, so that they may beware or take heed– 114 exalted be God, the one who is truly in control.

[Prophet], do not rush to recite before the revelation is fully complete [c] but say, ‘Lord, increase me in knowledge!’ 115 We also commanded Adam before you, but he forgot and We found him lacking in constancy. 116 When We said to the angels, ‘Bow down before Adam,’ they did. But Iblis refused, 117 so We said, ‘Adam, this is your enemy, yours and your wife’s: do not let him drive you out of the garden and make you miserable. 118 In the garden you will never go hungry, feel naked, 119 be thirsty, or suffer the heat of the sun.’ 120 But Satan whispered to Adam, saying, ‘Adam, shall I show you the tree of immortality and power that never decays?’ 121 and they both ate from it. They became conscious of their nakedness and began to cover themselves with leaves from the garden. Adam disobeyed his Lord and was led astray– 122 later his Lord brought him close, accepted his repentance, and guided him– 123 God said, ‘Get out of the garden as each other’s enemy.’ [d]

Whoever follows My guidance, when it comes to you [people], will not go astray nor fall into misery, 124 but whoever turns away from it will have a life of great hardship. We shall bring him blind to the Assembly on the Day of Resurrection 125 and he will say, ‘Lord, why did You bring me here blind? I was sighted before!’ 126 God will say, ‘This is how it is: You ignored Our revelations when they came to you, so today you will be ignored.’ 127 This is how We reward those who go too far, and who do not believe in their Lord’s revelations. The greatest and most enduring punishment is in the Hereafter.

Taking Lessons From Previous Nations

128 Do they not draw a lesson from the many generations We destroyed before them, through whose dwelling places they now walk? There truly are signs in this for anyone with understanding!

129 If it were not for a preordained Word from your Lord [Prophet], they would already have been destroyed. Their time has been set, 130 so [Prophet] be patient with what they say– celebrate the praise of your Lord, before the rising and setting of the sun, celebrate His praise during the night, and at the beginning and end of the day, so that you may find contentment– 131 and do not gaze longingly at what We have given some of them to enjoy, the finery of this present life: We test them through this, but the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting. 132 Order your people [e] to pray, and pray steadfastly yourself. We are not asking you to give Us provision; [f] We provide for you, and the rewards of the Hereafter belong to the devout.

133 The disbelievers say, ‘Why does he not bring us a sign from his Lord?’ Have they not been given clear proof confirming what was in the earlier scriptures? 134 If We had destroyed them through punishment before this Messenger came, they would have said, ‘Lord, if only You had sent us a messenger, we could have followed Your revelations before we suffered humiliation and disgrace!’ 135 [Prophet], say, ‘We are all waiting, so you carry on waiting: you will come to learn who has followed the even path, and been rightly guided.’


a. Zurq from azraq, which means, among other things, ‘blind’. Cf. verses 124–6.

b. This can also mean ‘their faces’.

c. Muhammad, when repeating to Gabriel each revelation, after the angel delivered it, sometimes in his eagerness started repeating even before Gabriel had finished revealing. See also 75: 16–19.

d. Both parties, cf. 2: 36 and note.

e. Or ‘your family’.

f. Cf. 51: 57.

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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