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Quran Chapter 55 - The Most Merciful - The Blessings of God are Manifested in Created Beings

The Medinan sura highlights God’s wonders in this world, describes the end of the world, and paints an evocative picture of the delights of Paradise. Hell is briefly contrasted (verses 43–4) with the joys that await the righteous. The sura is characterized by the refrain ‘Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?’ which runs throughout. The sura divides mankind and jinn into three classes: the disbelievers (verses 41–5), the best of believers (verses 46–61), and the ordinary believers (verses 62–77).


In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy


The Blessings of God are Manifested in Created Beings


1 It is the Lord of Mercy 2 who taught the Quran. [a] 3 He created man 4 and taught him to communicate. [b] 5 The sun and the moon follow their calculated courses; 6 the plants and the trees submit [c] to His designs; 7 He has raised up the sky. He has set the balance 8 so that you may not exceed in the balance: 9 weigh with justice and do not fall short in the balance. 10 He set down the Earth for His creatures, 11 with its fruits, its palm trees with sheathed clusters, 12 its husked grain, its fragrant plants. 13 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both [d] deny?


14 He created mankind out of dried clay, like pottery, 15 the jinn out of smokeless fire. 16 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


17 He is Lord of the two risings and Lord of the two settings. [e] 18 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


19 He released the two bodies of [fresh and salt] water. They meet, 20 yet there is a barrier between them they do not cross. 21 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


22 Pearls come forth from them: large ones, and small, brilliant ones. [f] 23 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


24 His are the moving ships that float, high as mountains, on the sea. 25 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


Some Subtle Blessings


26 Everyone on earth perishes; 27 all that remains is the Face [g] of your Lord, full of majesty, bestowing honor. 28 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


29 Everyone in heaven and earth entreats Him; every day He is at work. [h] 30 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


31 We shall attend to you two huge armies [i] [of jinn and mankind]. 32 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


33 Jinn and mankind, if you can pass beyond the regions of heaven and earth, then do so: you will not pass without Our authority. 34 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


35 A flash of fire and smoke will be released upon you and no one will come to your aid. 36 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


37 When the sky is torn apart and turns crimson, like red hide. 38 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


39 On that Day neither mankind nor jinn will be asked about their sins. 40 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


41 The guilty will be known by their mark and will be seized by their foreheads and their feet. 42 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


43 This is the Hell the guilty deny, 44 but they will go round between its flames and scalding water. 45 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


The Delight of the Pious in the Hereafter


46 For those who fear [the time when they will] stand before their Lord there are two gardens. 47 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


48 With shading branches. 49 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


50 With a pair of flowing springs. 51 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


52 With every kind of fruit in pairs. 53 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


54 They will sit on couches upholstered with brocade, the fruit of both gardens within easy reach. 55 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


56 There will be maidens restraining their glances, untouched beforehand by man or jinn. 57 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


58 Like rubies and brilliant pearls. 59 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


60 Shall the reward of good be anything but good? 61 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


62 There are two other gardens below these two. [j] 63 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


64 Both of deepest green. 65 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


66 With a pair of gushing springs. 67 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


68 With fruits– date palms and pomegranate trees. 69 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


70 There are good-natured, beautiful maidens. 71 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


72 Dark-eyed, sheltered in pavilions. 73 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


74 Untouched beforehand by man or jinn. 75 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


76 They will all sit on green cushions and fine carpets. 77 Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?


78 Blessed is the name of your Lord, full of majesty, bestowing honor.


Footnotes


a. One interpretation is that qur'an here means ‘to read’, cf. 96: 1.

b. Bayan (communication) involves both expressing oneself and understanding what has been expressed by others, including the Quran, which is called bayan and mubin.

c. Sajada means ‘to submit’ and consequently also ‘to bow down’ or ‘to prostrate oneself ’.

d. Mankind and jinn.

e. This refers to the rising and setting of the sun and the moon, or, alternatively, their furthest points of sunrise and sunset in summer and winter.

f. See Abdel Haleem, Understanding the Qur'an, 170–1.

g. Abdel Haleem, Understanding the Qur'an, ch. 9.

h. Literally ‘in some matter’. The Prophet was asked, ‘What is this matter?’ He replied, ‘He forgives a sin or removes a distress.’

i. Thaqal is a mighty or heavy army: all their forces.

j. Paradise exists in two ranks: the higher level for the truly favored, and this lower level described for the less exalted pious. This cosmology of hell, lower paradise, upper paradise is repeated in the following sura: 56: 7–56.


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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