38 God will defend the believers; God does not love the unfaithful or the ungrateful. 39 Those who have been attacked are permitted to take up arms because they have been wronged– God has the power to help them– 40 those who have been driven unjustly from their homes only for saying, ‘Our Lord is God.’ If God did not repel some people by means of others, many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, where God’s name is much invoked, would have been destroyed. God is sure to help those who help His cause– God is strong and mighty– 41 those who, when We establish them in the land, keep up the prayer, pay the prescribed alms, command what is right, and forbid what is wrong: God controls the outcome of all events.
42 If they reject you [Prophet], so did the people of Noah before them, and those of Ad, Thamud, 43 Abraham, Lot, 44 Midian. Moses too was called a liar. I gave the disbelievers time, but in the end I punished them. How I condemned them! 45 How many towns steeped in wrongdoing We have destroyed and left in total ruin; how many deserted wells; how many lofty palaces! 46 Have these people [of Mecca] not travelled through the land with hearts to understand and ears to hear? It is not people’s eyes that are blind, but their hearts within their breasts.
47 They will challenge you [Prophet] to hasten the punishment. God will not fail in His promise– a Day with your Lord is like a thousand years by your reckoning. 48 To many a town steeped in wrongdoing I gave more time and then struck them down: they all return to Me in the end.
49 Say [Prophet], ‘People, I am sent only to give you clear warning.’ 50 Those who believe and do good deeds will be forgiven and have a generous reward, 51 but those who strive to oppose Our messages and try in vain to defeat Us are destined for the Blaze. 52 We have never sent any messenger or prophet before you [Muhammad] into whose wishes Satan did not insinuate something, but God removes [a] what Satan insinuates and then God affirms His message. God is all knowing and wise: 53 He makes Satan’s insinuations a temptation only for the sick at heart and those whose hearts are hardened– the evildoers are profoundly opposed [to the Truth]– 54 and He causes those given knowledge to realize that this Revelation is your Lord’s Truth, so that they may believe in it and humble their hearts to Him: God guides the faithful to the straight path. 55 The disbelievers will remain in doubt about it until the Hour suddenly overpowers them or until torment descends on them on a Day devoid of all hope. 56 On that Day control will belong to God: He will judge between them. Those who believe and do good deeds will be admitted to Gardens of Delight, 57 while those who disbelieve and reject Our revelations will receive a humiliating torment.
58 He will give a generous provision to those who migrated in God’s way and were killed or died. He is the Best Provider. 59 He will admit them to a place that will please them: God is all knowing and most forbearing. 60 So it will be. God will help those who retaliate against an aggressive act merely with its like and are then wronged again: God is pardoning and most forgiving. 61 So it will be, because God makes night pass into day, and day into night, and He is all hearing and all seeing. 62 So it will be, because it is God alone who is the Truth, and whatever else they invoke is sheer falsehood: it is God who is the Most High, the Most Great.
63 Have you [Prophet] not considered how God sends water down from the sky and the next morning the earth becomes green? God is truly most subtle, all aware; 64 everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him; God alone is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise. 65 Have you not considered how God has made everything on the earth of service to you? That ships sail the sea at His command? That He keeps the heavens from falling down on the earth without His permission? God is most compassionate and most merciful to mankind– 66 it is He who gave you [people] life, will cause you to die, then will give you life again– but man is ungrateful.
67 We have appointed acts of devotion for every community to observe, so do not let them argue with you [Prophet] about this matter. Call them to your Lord– you are on the right path– 68 and if they argue with you, say, ‘God is well aware of what you are doing.’ 69 On the Day of Resurrection, God will judge between you regarding your differences. 70 Are you [Prophet] not aware that God knows all that is in the heavens and earth? All this is written in a Record; this is easy for God.
Honoring God and Professing His Oneness and Choice
71 Yet beside God they serve that for which He has sent no authority and of which they have no knowledge: [b] the evildoers will have no one to help them. 72 [Prophet], you can see the hostility on the faces of the disbelievers when Our messages are recited clearly to them: it is almost as if they are going to attack those who recite Our messages to them. Say, ‘Shall I tell you what is far worse than what you feel now? The Fire that God has promised the disbelievers! What a dismal end!’ 73 People, here is an illustration, so listen carefully: those you call on beside God could not, even if they combined all their forces, create a fly, and if a fly took something away from them, they would not be able to retrieve it. How feeble are the petitioners and how feeble are those they petition! 74 They have no grasp of God’s true measure: God is truly most strong and mighty.
75 God chooses messengers from among the angels and from among men. God is all hearing, all seeing: 76 He knows what lies before and behind them. All matters return to Him. 77 Believers, bow down, prostrate yourselves, worship your Lord, and do good so that you may succeed. 78 Strive hard for God as is His due: He has chosen you and placed no hardship in your religion, the faith of your forefather Abraham. God has called you Muslims [c] ––both in the past and in this [message]––so that the Messenger can bear witness about you and so that you can bear witness about other people. So keep up the prayer, give the prescribed alms, and seek refuge in God: He is your protector––an excellent protector and an excellent helper.
a. The basic meaning of nasakha is ‘removed’ rather than ‘abrogated’ (al-Mujam al-Wasit).
b. i.e. ‘scriptural knowledge’.
c. i.e. ‘devoted to God’.
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.