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Quran Chapter 21 [part 2] - The Prophets - God Saves Those Who Cry to Him in Distress, Good News

48 We gave Moses and Aaron [the Scripture] that distinguishes right from wrong, a light and a reminder for those who are mindful of God, 49 those who stand in awe of their Lord, though He is unseen, and who fear the Hour. 50 This [Quran] too is a blessed message We have sent down– are you [people] going to deny it? 51 Long ago We bestowed right judgement on Abraham and We knew him well. 52 He said to his father and his people, ‘What are these images to which you are so devoted?’ 53 They replied, ‘We found our fathers worshipping them.’ 54 He said, ‘You and your fathers have clearly gone astray.’ 55 They asked, ‘Have you brought us the truth or are you just playing about?’ 56 He said, ‘Listen! Your true Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, He who created them, and I am a witness to this. 57 By God I shall certainly plot against your idols as soon as you have turned your backs!’ 58 He broke them all into pieces, but left the biggest one for them to return to. 59 They said, ‘Who has done this to our gods? How wicked he must be!’ 60 Some said, ‘We heard a youth called Abraham talking about them.’ 61 They said, ‘Bring him before the eyes of the people, so that they may witness [his trial].’ 62 They asked, ‘Was it you, Abraham, who did this to our gods?’ 63 He said, ‘No, it was done by the biggest of them– this one. Ask them, if they can talk.’ 64 They turned to one another, saying, ‘It is you who are in the wrong,’ 65 but then they lapsed again and said, ‘You know very well these gods cannot speak.’ 66 Abraham said, ‘How can you worship what can neither benefit nor harm you, instead of God? 67 Shame on you and on the things you worship instead of God. Have you no sense?’ 68 They said, ‘Burn him and avenge your gods, if you are going to do the right thing.’ 69 But We said, ‘Fire, be cool and safe for Abraham.’ 70 They planned to harm him, but We made them suffer the greatest loss.

God Saves Those Who Believe

71 We saved him and Lot [and sent them] to the land We blessed for all people, 72 and We gave him Isaac and Jacob as an additional gift, and made each of them righteous. 73 We made all of them leaders, guiding others by Our command, and We inspired them to do good works, to keep up the prayer, and to give alms: they were Our true worshippers. 74 We gave Lot sound judgement and knowledge and saved him from the community who practiced obscenities– they were shameless people who broke God’s law! 75 We admitted him to Our mercy; he was a righteous man.

76 Long before that, We answered Noah when he cried out to Us: We saved him and his family from the great calamity 77 and We helped him against the people who rejected Our signs– they were evil people, so We drowned them all.

…And Those Who Cry to Him in Distress

78 And remember David and Solomon, when they gave judgement regarding the field into which sheep strayed by night and grazed. We witnessed their judgement 79 and made Solomon understand the case [better], though We gave sound judgement and knowledge to both of them. We made the mountains and the birds celebrate Our praises with David– We did all these things– 80 We taught him how to make coats of mail for the benefit of you [people], to protect you in your wars, but are you grateful for this? 81 We harnessed the stormy wind for Solomon, so that it sped by his command to the land We had blessed– We have knowledge of all things– 82 and We made some of the jinn [a] subservient to him, to dive for him and do other works besides. We were watching over them.

83 Remember Job, when he cried to his Lord, ‘Suffering has truly afflicted me, but you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.’ 84 We answered him, removed his suffering, and restored his family to him, along with more like them, as an act of grace from Us and a reminder for all who serve Us. 85 And remember Ishmael, Idris, and Dhu’lKifl: [b] they were all steadfast. 86 We admitted them to Our mercy; they were truly righteous. 87 And remember the man with the whale, [c] when he went off angrily, thinking We could not restrict him, but then he cried out in the deep darkness, ‘There is no God but You, glory be to You, I was wrong.’ 88 We answered him and saved him from distress: this is how We save the faithful. 89 Remember Zachariah, when he cried to his Lord, ‘My Lord, do not leave me childless, though You are the best of heirs.’ 90 We answered him– We gave him John, and cured his wife of barrenness– they were always keen to do good deeds. They called upon Us out of longing and awe, and humbled themselves before Us. 91 Remember the one who guarded her chastity. [d] We breathed into her from Our Spirit and made her and her son a sign for all people.

Great News for the Believers

92 [Messengers],[e] this community of yours is one single community and I am your Lord, so serve Me. 93 They have torn their unity apart, but they will all return to Us. 94 If anyone does good deeds and is a believer, his efforts will not be ignored: We record them for him. 95 No community destroyed by Us can escape its return, [f] 96 and when the peoples of Gog and Magog are let loose and swarm swiftly from every highland, 97 when the True Promise draws near, the disbelievers’ eyes will stare in terror, and they will say, ‘Woe to us! We were not aware of this at all. We were wrong.’ 98 You [disbelievers] and what you worship instead of God will be fuel for Hell: that is where you will go– 99 if these [idols] had been real gods they would not have gone there– you will all stay there. 100 There the disbelievers will be groaning piteously, but the [idols] will hear nothing.

101 But those for whom We have decreed Paradise will be kept far from Hell– 102 they will not hear a murmur from it– and endlessly they will enjoy everything their souls desire. 103 They will have no fear of the great Terror: [g] the angels will receive them with the words, ‘This is the Day you were promised!’ 104 On that Day, We shall roll up the skies as a writer rolls up [his] scrolls. We shall reproduce creation just as We produced it the first time: this is Our binding promise. We shall certainly do all these things.

105 We wrote in the Psalms, as We did in [earlier] Scripture: ‘My righteous servants will inherit the earth.’ 106 There truly is a message in this for the servants of God! 107 It was only as a mercy that We sent you [Prophet] to all people. [h] 108 Say, ‘What is revealed to me is that your God is one God– will you submit to Him?’ 109 But if they turn away, say, ‘I have proclaimed the message fairly to you all. I do not know whether the judgement you are promised is near or far, 110 but He knows what you reveal and conceal. 111 I do not know: this [time] may well be a test for you, and enjoyment for a while.’ 112 He said, [i] ‘My Lord, pass the true judgement.’ And, ‘Our Lord is the Lord of Mercy. We seek His assistance against what you [disbelievers] say.’


a. Cf. 34: 12–13.

b. Some commentators suggest this refers to the prophet Ezekiel. See Encyclopaedia of Islam under Dhu’l-Kifl.

c. Jonah. Cf. 37: 139–48.

d. Mary. Cf. 66: 12.

e. Cf. 23: 51–3.

f. Other interpretations are: ‘they will not return to the world’; ‘they will not turn away from their misdeeds’.

g. The Day of Judgement.

h. Or ‘We sent you [Prophet] only as a mercy to all people’.

i. See note to verse 4.

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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