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ar-Ra`d (The Thunder)
as rendered by Shabbir Ahmed

Shabbir Ahmed rendition of Surah The Thunder(ar-Ra`d)
13:1 A.L.M.R. Alif. Laam. Mim. Ra. Allah Aleem the Knower, Kareem the Honored, Raheem the Merciful. These are the verses of the Divine Writ, the Scripture. That which is revealed to you (O Prophet) from your Sustainer is the Truth. Yet most people do not believe in it.
13:2 Allah it is Who raised the heavens without pillars visible to you. Then upon the Throne of His Almightiness He assumed Supreme Control of the entire Universe. He committed the sun and the moon to be of service, each running to an appointed term. He keeps Order in the Universe and He explains His Messages in detail, so that you may be sure of meeting with your Lord. (Studying the Book of Nature will bring mankind closer to their Lord).
13:3 And He it is Who has spread the earth wide and placed therein firm mountains, and flowing streams. And (He) created thereon couples of every kind of plants (and their fruit). (Plants have male and female flowers, and some trees like the date-palm are unisexual, male and female). He causes the night to cover the day. Verily, in all this there are Signs for people who think!
13:4 And, on earth are many lots and tracts of land in proximity, yet widely differing from one another in composition and quality. On it, there are vineyards, and fields of grain, date and palm-trees, growing in clusters or standing alone. All of them are watered by the same water and yet, We have made some of them excel others in fruit. Verily, in all this there are Messages for people who use sense.
13:5 If you wonder, then wondrous is their saying, "What! After we have become dust, shall we indeed be restored to life in a new act of creation?" It is they who are bent upon denying their Sustainer. As a result, it is they who carry the shackles of their own making around their necks. And it is they who are destined for the Fire, therein to abide.
13:6 (Instead of helping you establish and consolidate the Divine System on earth), they challenge you (O Prophet) to hasten the disaster that strikes nations when they ignore the Divine Values. Sufficient precedents have been set for them in the form of exemplary punishments to generations before them. Now, behold, your Lord is Full of forgiveness for people despite their wrongdoing. But, behold, your Lord is also Strict in retribution! (He has decreed the Law of Respite during which period people can safely mend their ways).
13:7 The rejecters of the Truth keep complaining, "Why has no miracle ever been bestowed upon him from his Lord?" You (O Prophet) are but a Warner for every nation there is and ever will be. (The Perfect Divine Guidance through the Prophet shall be preserved in the form of the Qur'an for all times and all peoples (6:34), (6:91), (6:116), (10:64), (15:9), (18:27), (41:53), (75:16-19). And his prime duty is to counsel mankind that false individual or collective systems of life only end up in disaster).
13:8 Allah knows what any female bears, and what decrease or increase takes place in the womb. Everything has a due measure with Him. (Allah's Guidance is a Mercy to humanity. You may liken it to the nourishment of the embryo in the evolving environment of the womb. The embryo lodges in security and its needs are met in a timely fashion and in perfect balance. Then it comes to the world ready to thrive. This is how the Divine System, when established in a society, nourishes the individual).
13:9 He has perfect Knowledge of the visible and the invisible. He is the Great, Most High.
13:10 It is all alike to Him whether any of you conceals his thoughts or declares them, and whether he seeks to hide under the cover of night or walks boldly in the light of day.
13:11 A person may think that he has helpers, perceptible (wealth etc) and imperceptible (status etc) that could preserve him from Allah's Requital. But the Law of Requital applies to individuals and nations. Verily, Allah never changes a nation's condition unless they change their inner selves (8:53). And when nations suffer Allah's Requital for their actions, there is none that can repel it, nor do they have a defender outside His Laws.
13:12 He it is Who displays before you the lightning, to cause fear and hope, and initiates heavy clouds. (Similarly, the Light of Guidance brings to you the warning and a good tiding.)
13:13 And the thunder and the (other) angels strive to glorify Him by carrying out their duties in awe of Him. And He it is Whose physical Laws let loose the thunderbolt to strike the earth. And yet they stubbornly argue about Allah's Laws (and fall for superstitions). Though Awesome He is in Power!
13:14 Calling upon, and working in line with His Laws yield solid results. Those unto whom they call besides Allah, respond to them not at all. Thus they are like those who stretch their hands to the water which is not there. So nothing reaches their mouths. Hence, the prayer of the deniers of the Divine Laws is but vain prayer (4:123).
13:15 And before Allah bow, willingly or unwillingly, all beings that are in the heavens and earth, as do their shadows in the mornings and evenings (3:82), (41:11).
13:16 Ask them, "Who is the Lord of the Highs and the Lows?" Say, "Allah!" (23:84-90), (29:21-23). Then ask, "Why then, do you take as protectors besides Him those who have neither benefit, nor harm even for themselves?" (When you acknowledge Him as the God of the heavens, what stops you from acknowledging Him as God of the earth, and thus, as the Law-giving Authority? (6:3), (21:21-22), (43:84)). Say, "Is the blind of reason equal to the seer, or is darkness equal to light?" (11:24), (35:19). Have their 'partners' of Allah created something like He has created, so that this act of creation appears to them to be similar? Say, "Allah is the Creator of all things. He is the One, Dominating."
13:17 He sends down water from the height causing the riverbeds to flow according to their measure, and the flood bears on its surface swelling foam. And, when they use fire to refine metals for their jewelry or equipment, foam is produced like it. In this way Allah is citing for you the example of the Truth and the Falsehood. For, as far as the foam is concerned, it passes away as scum upon the banks. While that which is of benefit to mankind, abides on earth. (The real existence on earth is of the person or the system that benefits humanity). This is how Allah uses analogies for you to understand.
13:18 For those who respond to their Sustainer decently, is a state of Bliss. And those who do not respond to Him, even if they had all the treasures of the world and more like it, they would readily give it as ransom. But, a terrible reckoning awaits them, and Hell will be their abode, what a miserable bed to lie on!
13:19 Is, then, he who knows that what has been revealed to you (O Prophet), is the Truth from your Sustainer, like him who chooses to remain blind? Only those who develop their insight will bear this in mind.
13:20 Those people of insight who: Are true to their bond with Allah (their allegiance to the Divine System). Keep their pledge with Allah and with human beings.
13:21 Build bridges of goodwill between people, and strengthen all ties of human relationships as Allah has commanded. (2:27). And stand in awe of their Sustainer. (They do not relegate His Commands to the level of others' utterances). And fear the eventuality of a tough accountability.
13:22 They persevere in the face of adversities on way to seeking the Approval of their Sustainer. They help establish and consolidate the Divine System, and the Permanent Values. Spend on others of the provision We have given them, in secret and in public. And they counter harshness with kind manners. It is these that will find fulfillment in the Eternal Home.
13:23 They will enter the Gardens of Eden, along with all who are righteous, of their parents, spouses and children. Angels will greet them at every gate.
13:24 Saying, "Peace be upon you, since you remained steadfast in your commitment! Ah, what an excellent final home!"
13:25 But those who broke the pledge with Allah after ratifying it, and cut asunder what Allah has commanded to be joined (13:20-21), and spread corruption and disorder in the earth, their due is (the Divine) rejection. And theirs is the terrible Home!
13:26 Allah grants abundant provision, or gives it in scant measure according to His Laws (17:18-21). And they (rejecters of the Divine Values) rejoice in the life of this world alone (without investing in the Eternity). But the life of this world is a fleeting pleasure compared with the Hereafter (2:200-201).
13:27 (These Laws are unwavering.) Now those who are bent upon denying say, "Why has no miracle ever been bestowed upon him from his Lord?" Say, "People go astray according to Allah's Laws, and attain guidance according to His Laws. (4:88). (Man has been endowed with free will and there is no compulsion or coercion in Religion, whether physical, emotional or intellectual (2:256), (12:108)).
13:28 Those who attain faith through reason, their hearts find rest in the practical remembrance of Allah, that is, in following His Commands. For, verily, remembering Allah by following His Commands ensures tranquility in the hearts.
13:29 The abode of Bliss is guaranteed to those who accept the Message and fulfill the needs of others (3:13).
13:30 (O Messenger), We have sent you as We sent the Messengers before you so that you convey to them what We reveal to you, for in their ignorance, they deny the Most Gracious. Say, "He is my Lord, there is no deity except Him. In Him I put my trust and to Him is my recourse."
13:31 Our Law precludes the possibility that a Lecture would move the mountains, tear the earth asunder, or make the dead speak. (The Qur'an is intended to move hearts, not mountains (6:7), (6:25), (6:112), (15:14-15), (17:90-93)). Nay, all Decree belongs to Allah. Do not the believers know that if Allah had Willed, He could have guided all mankind (by not giving them free will 10:100)? As for the rejecters of the Divine Laws, disasters will not cease to strike them for their deeds, even close to their homes until the Promise of Allah comes to pass. Verily, Allah never fails in His Promise. (Mankind will keep devising various political systems in search for the best. Those systems will keep collapsing and they will keep suffering far and close to their homes. Then, ultimately, they will realize that the Qur'an offers the solutions to all the problems facing humanity (41:53), (51:20-21)).
13:32 And verily, Messengers were mocked before you, but I gave the rejecters plenty of Respite. At length I seized them, and how awesome was My Requital!
13:33 Is there anyone equal to the One Who watches minutely over every being and knows all that it does? Yet, they set up idols to rival Allah. Say, "Name them! Are you educating Him about something on earth that He doesn't know? Or, do you merely utter empty words?" Nay, what they contrive, seems fair to the rejecters of the Truth, for they have been hindered (by their own fault) from the Way. Whoever goes astray for violating the Divine Laws of Guidance, for him there is no guide. (4:88).
13:34 For them is torment in the life of this world, and verily the doom of the life to come is harder, and they will have no savior for them against Allah.
13:35 The similitude of the Garden which is promised for the upright, is flowing streams beneath, its fruit everlasting, and cool shades (14:25), (47:15). This is the reward of the upright, while the reward of the rejecters is the Fire.
13:36 Hence, they unto whom We have given the Book rejoice in what is revealed to you (O Prophet). But among the groups that follow other creeds, there are such who deny some of it. (They even preach that some of the verses have been abrogated, or that they have a hidden meaning!) Say, "I am commanded only that I serve Allah and associate none with Him. Unto Him I invite all mankind, and He is my goal."
13:37 Thus, We have revealed it, a Decisive Authority in Arabic. (O Prophet), indeed if you got influenced by people's likes and dislikes after the Knowledge has come to you, you will have no protector or savior against Allah.
13:38 And verily We sent Messengers before you, and We appointed for them wives and children as well. (They all were mortal human beings and they conveyed Allah's Revelation as commanded). It was not given to any Messenger that he could bring a Sign (the requital they hastened for), but it came according to Allah's Law of Respite. For every rise and for every fall, there is a Written Law. (7:34).
13:39 Allah blots out and establishes communities according to His Laws. Nations rise and fall accordingly, and with Him is the Ultimate Ordinance.
13:40 (O Messenger) Whether We show you what We promise them, or cause you to die before that, your duty is to convey the Message. And the reckoning is Ours.
13:41 Don't they see that every day on earth brings them closer to the end? For, when Allah judges, there is no power that could repel His Judgment. And Swift in reckoning is He!
13:42 Now those who lived before these people, also devised schemes, but the most Subtle devising is that of Allah. He knows what every "Self" earns. The rejecters will soon find out as to whom belongs the Future.
13:43 The disbelievers say, "You have not been sent (by God)." Say, "None can bear witness between me and you as Allah does; and then, none can bear witness as the one who truly understands this Book by way of reason." (Allah will soon prove me true).


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