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Quran Chapter 34 [part 2] - Sheba - A Warner for Every Community, Prophet Muhammad Tells the Truth

31 The disbelievers say, ‘We will believe neither this Quran nor the Scriptures that came before it.’ If only you could see [Prophet] how the wrongdoers will be made to stand before their Lord, hurling reproaches at one another. Those who were oppressed will say to the oppressors, ‘If it were not for you, we would have been believers.’ 32 The oppressors will say to them, ‘Was it we who prevented you from following right guidance after it had reached you? No! You yourselves were sinners.’ 33 The oppressed will say to them, ‘No, it was your scheming, night and day, ordering us to disbelieve in God and set up rivals to Him.’ When they see the punishment, they will fall silent with regret, and We shall put iron collars on the disbelievers’ necks. Why should they be rewarded for anything other than what they have done? 34 Never have We sent a warner to a community without those among them who were corrupted by wealth saying, ‘We do not believe in the message you have been sent with.’ 35 They would say, ‘We have greater wealth and more children than you, and we shall not be punished.’ 36 Say [Prophet], ‘My Lord gives in abundance to whoever He will and sparingly to whoever He will, though most people do not understand. 37 Neither wealth nor children will bring you nearer to Us, but those who believe and do good deeds will have multiple rewards for what they have done, and will live safely in the lofty dwellings of Paradise, 38 whereas those who work against Our messages, seeking to undermine them, will be summoned to punishment.’ 39 Say, ‘My Lord gives in abundance to whichever of His servants He will, and sparingly to whichever He will; He will replace whatever you give in alms; He is the best of providers.’

Prophet Muhammad Tells the Truth

40 On the Day He gathers them all together, He will say to the angels, ‘Was it you these people worshipped?’ 41 They will reply, ‘May You be exalted! You are our supporter against them! Really, they worshipped the jinn– most of them believed in them.’ 42 ‘So today neither of you has any power to benefit or harm the other,’ We shall tell the evildoers, ‘Taste the torment of the fire which you called a lie.’ 43 When Our messages are recited to them, clear as they are, they say, ‘This is only a man who wants to turn you away from what your forefathers worshipped,’ and, ‘This [Quran] is nothing but lies he has made up.’ When the Truth comes to the disbelievers, they say, ‘This is just plain sorcery,’ 44 though We have not given them any books to study nor sent any warner before you. 45 Those who lived before them also denied the truth– these people have not attained even a tenth of what We gave their predecessors– they, too, rejected My messengers, and how terrible My condemnation was!

46 Say [Prophet], ‘I advise you to do one thing only: stand before God, in pairs or singly, and think: there is no sign of madness in your companion [the Prophet]– he is only warning you before severe suffering arrives.’ 47 Say, ‘If I have asked you for any reward, you can keep it. It is God alone who will reward me: He is witness to everything.’ 48 Say, ‘My Lord hurls the Truth down [before you]. He has full knowledge of all that is unseen.’ 49 Say, ‘The Truth has come; falsehood is powerless.’ [a] 50 Say, ‘If I go astray, that is my loss, and if I am rightly guided, it is through what my Lord has revealed to me. He is all hearing, and ever near.’

51 [Prophet], if you could only see their terror! [b] There will be no escape when they are seized from a nearby place; 52 they will say, ‘Now we believe in it,’ [c] but how can they reach it from such a distant place– 53 they denied it all in the past, and threw conjecture [d] from a far-off place– when a barrier has been placed between them and what they desire, [e] just as was done with their kind before? They were deep in doubt and suspicion.


a. The Arabic expression la yubdi wa-la yuid is an idiom meaning ‘powerless’. See Zamakhshari, Asas al-Balagha.

b. On the Day of Resurrection.

c. The Truth.

d. About God and the Hereafter.

e. To be allowed to go back to the world and believe and do good deeds, cf. 35: 37.

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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