Quran Chapter 37 [part 2] - Those Ranged in Rows - Scenes From the Past, Superstitions Denied
75 Noah cried to Us, and how excellent was Our response! 76 We saved him and his people from great distress, 77 We let his offspring remain on the earth, 78 We let him be praised by later generations: 79 ‘Peace be upon Noah among all the nations!’ 80 This is how We reward those who do good: 81 he was truly one of Our faithful servants. 82 We drowned the rest.
83 Abraham was of the same faith: 84 he came to his Lord with a devoted heart. 85 He said to his father and his people, ‘What are you worshipping? 86 How can you choose false gods instead of the true God? 87 So what is your opinion about the Lord of all the Worlds?’ 88 then he looked up to the stars. 89 He said, ‘I am sick,’ 90 so [his people] turned away from him and left. 91 He turned to their gods and said, 92 ‘Do you not eat? Why do you not speak?’ 93 then he turned and struck them with his right arm. 94 His people hurried towards him, 95 but he said, ‘How can you worship things you carve with your own hands, 96 when it is God who has created you and all your handiwork?’ 97 They said, ‘Build a pyre and throw him into the blazing fire.’ 98 They wanted to harm him, but We humiliated them.
99 He said, ‘I will go to my Lord: He is sure to guide me. 100 Lord, grant me a righteous son,’ 101 so We gave him the good news that he would have a patient son. 102 When the boy was old enough to work with his father, Abraham said, ‘My son, I have seen myself sacrificing you in a dream. What do you think?’ He said, ‘Father, do as you are commanded and, God willing, you will find me steadfast.’ 103 When they had both submitted to God, and he had laid his son down on the side of his face, 104 We called out to him, ‘Abraham, 105 you have fulfilled the dream.’ This is how We reward those who do good– 106 it was a test to prove [their true characters]– 107 We ransomed his son with a momentous sacrifice, 108 and We let him be praised by succeeding generations: 109 ‘Peace be upon Abraham!’ 110 This is how We reward those who do good: 111 truly he was one of Our faithful servants.
112 We gave Abraham the good news of Isaac– a prophet and a righteous man– 113 and blessed him and Isaac too: some of their offspring were good, but some clearly wronged themselves. 114 We also bestowed Our favor on Moses and Aaron: 115 We saved them and their people from great distress; 116 We helped them, so they were the ones to succeed; 117 We gave them the Scripture that makes things clear; 118 We guided them to the right path; 119 We let them be praised by succeeding generations: 120 ‘Peace be upon Moses and Aaron!’ 121 This is how We reward those who do good: 122 truly they were among Our faithful servants.
123 Elijah too was one of the messengers. 124 He said to his people, ‘Have you no fear of God? 125 How can you invoke Baal and forsake the Most Gracious Creator, 126 God, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers?’ 127 but they rejected him. They will be brought to punishment [a] as a consequence; 128 not so the true servants of God. 129 We let him be praised by succeeding generations: 130 ‘Peace be to Elijah!’ 131 This is how We reward those who do good: 132 truly he was one of Our faithful servants.
133 Lot was also one of the messengers. 134 We saved him and all his family– 135 except for an old woman who stayed behind– 136 and We destroyed the rest. 137 You [people] pass by their ruins morning 138 and night: will you not take heed? 139 Jonah too was one of the messengers. 140 He fled to the overloaded ship. 141 They cast lots, he suffered defeat, 142 and a great fish swallowed him, for he had committed blameworthy acts. 143 If he had not been one of those who glorified God, 144 he would have stayed in its belly until the Day when all are raised up, 145 but We cast him out, sick, on to a barren shore, 146 and made a gourd tree grow above him. 147 We sent him to a hundred thousand people or more. 148 They believed, so We let them live out their lives. [b]
149 Now [Muhammad], ask the disbelievers: is it true that your Lord has daughters, while they choose sons for themselves? [c] 150 Did We create the angels as females while they were watching? 151 No indeed! It is one of their lies when they say, 152 ‘God has begotten.’ How they lie! 153 Did He truly choose daughters in preference to sons? 154 What is the matter with you? How do you form your judgements? 155 Do you not reflect? 156 Do you perhaps have clear authority? 157 Bring your scriptures, if you are telling the truth. 158 They claim that He has kinship with the jinn, yet the jinn themselves know that they will be brought before Him. 159 God is far above what they attribute to Him– 160 the true servants of God do not do such things– 161 and neither you nor what you worship 162 can lure away from God any 163 except those who will burn in Hell. 164 [The angels say], ‘Every single one of us has his appointed place: 165 we are ranged in ranks. 166 We glorify God.’ [d]
167 [The disbelievers] used to say, 168 ‘If only we had a scripture like previous people, 169 we would be true servants of God,’ 170 yet now they reject [the Quran]. They will soon realize. 171 Our word has already been given to Our servants the messengers: 172 it is they who will be helped, 173 and the ones who support [e] Our cause will be the winners. 174 So [Prophet] turn away from the disbelievers for a while. 175 Watch them: they will soon see. 176 Do they really wish to hasten Our punishment? 177 When it descends on their courtyards, how terrible that morning will be for those who were warned! 178 [Prophet], turn away from the disbelievers for a while. 179 Watch them: they will soon see. 180 Your Lord, the Lord of Glory, is far above what they attribute to Him. 181 Peace be upon the messengers 182 and praise be to God the Lord of all the Worlds.
a. It is inaccurate to say ‘brought to account’, since this would apply to everyone, including the true servants of God.
b. One of the classical meanings of matta'a is ‘to give long life’.
c. The pagan Arabs were ashamed to have daughters themselves, yet attributed daughters to God.
d. This is the rebuke by the angels referred to in verse 2.
e. In classical Arabic jund means ‘supporters’, not just ‘armies’.
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.