Quran Chapter 52 - The Mountain - The Last Day is Justice for Humankind, Leave Disbelievers to God
A Meccan sura which addresses many arguments put to the Prophet by the disbelievers of Mecca (verses 29–49). The bliss that will be enjoyed by the believers is contrasted to the torments of Hell, and the Prophet is urged to bide his time, to continue to deliver his message, and to wait with confidence for God’s judgement. God swears by, among other things, Mount Sinai, from which the sura takes its title, that the Day of Judgement is inevitable.
In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy
The Last Day is Justice for Humankind
1 By the mountain, [a] 2 by a Scripture inscribed 3 in unrolled parchment, 4 by the much-visited House, [b] 5 by the raised canopy, [c] 6 by the ocean ever filled, 7 [Prophet], your Lord’s punishment is coming–– 8 it cannot be put off–– 9 on the Day when the sky sways back and forth 10 and the mountains float away. [d] 11 Woe on that Day to those who deny the Truth, 12 who amuse themselves with idle chatter: 13 on that Day they will be thrust into the Fire of Hell. 14 ‘This is the Fire you used to deny. 15 So is this sorcery? Do you still not see it? 16 Burn in it––it makes no difference whether you bear it patiently or not–– you are only being repaid for what you have done.’
17 Those who were mindful of God are in Gardens and in bliss, 18 rejoicing in their Lord’s gifts: He has saved them from the torment of the Blaze, 19 ‘Eat and drink with healthy enjoyment as a reward for what you have done.’ 20 They are comfortably seated [e] on couches arranged in rows; We pair them with beautiful-eyed maidens; 21 We unite the believers with their offspring who followed them in faith–– We do not deny them any of the rewards for their deeds: each person is in pledge for his own deeds–– 22 We provide them with any fruit or meat they desire. 23 They pass around a cup which does not lead to any idle talk or sin. 24 Devoted youths like hidden pearls [f] wait on them. 25 They turn to one another and say, 26 ‘When we were still with our families [on earth] we used to live in fear–– 27 God has been gracious to us and saved us from the torment of intense heat– 28 We used to pray to Him: He is the Good, the Merciful One.’
Leave Disbelievers and Their Fate to God
29 So [Prophet] remind [people].
By the grace of your Lord [Prophet], you are neither oracle nor madman. 30 If [g] they say, ‘He is only a poet: we shall await his fate,’ 31 say, ‘Wait if you wish; I too am waiting’– 32 does their reason really tell them to do this, or are they simply insolent people? 33 If they say, ‘He has made it up himself ’– they certainly do not believe– 34 let them produce one like it, if what they say is true. 35 Were they created without any agent? Were they the creators? 36 Did they create the heavens and the earth? No! They do not have faith. 37 Do they possess your Lord’s treasures or have control over them? 38 Do they have a ladder to climb, in order to eavesdrop [on Heaven’s secrets]? Let their eavesdropper produce clear proof. 39 Does God have daughters while you have sons? [h] 40 Do you [Prophet] demand a payment from them that would burden them with debt? 41 Do they have [access to] the unseen? Could they write it down? 42 Do they think they can ensnare you? It is the disbelievers who have been ensnared. 43 Do they really have another god besides God? God is far above anything they set alongside Him.
44 Even if they saw a piece of heaven falling down on them, [i] they would say, ‘Just a heap of clouds,’ 45 so leave them, Prophet, until they face the Day when they will be thunderstruck, 46 the Day when their snares will be of no use to them, when they will get no help. 47 Another punishment awaits the evildoers, though most of them do not realize it. 48 Wait patiently [Prophet] for your Lord’s judgement: you are under Our watchful eye. Celebrate the praise of your Lord when you rise. 49 Glorify Him at night and at the fading of the stars.
a. Mount Sinai, see 95: 2; 23: 20.
b. Understood to refer to the Kaba in Mecca.
c. The sky.
d. See 27: 88.
e. Ittaka'a means ‘to sit, well supported’ (al-Mujam al-Wasit) (cf. 55: 54, 76).
f. The choicest pearls were kept hidden for their protection and only removed from safekeeping on very special occasions.
g. Eleven verses in this section begin with ‘or’, which is powerful in Arabic argumentation. The Quran surveys all their arguments, one by one, with equal emphasis. Thus it uses am (‘or’) which indicates equivalence in Arabic. We have omitted the conjunction.
h. This refers to the pagan belief that the angels were the daughters of God and to their habit of denigrating the birth of their own daughters.
i. The Meccans challenged the Prophet to bring the heavens down on them, if he were truly God’s Messenger. Cf. 17: 92.
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.