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an-Nahl (The Bee)
as rendered by N J Dawood 2014

N J Dawood (2014) rendition of Surah The Bee(an-Nahl)
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16:1 GOD‘S JUDGEMENT will surely come to pass: do not seek to hurry it on. Glory be to Him! Exalted be He above their idols!
16:2 By His will He sends down the angels with the Spirit to those among His servants whom He chooses, bidding them give warning: ‘There is no god but Me: therefore fear Me.‘
16:3 He created the heavens and the earth to manifest the Truth. Exalted be He above their idols!
16:4 He created man from a little germ: yet is he openly contentious.
16:5 He created the beasts which give you warmth and food and other benefits.
16:6 How pleasant they look when you bring them home to rest and when you lead them out to pasture!
16:7 They carry your burdens to a land you could not otherwise reach except with painful toil. Surely kindly is your Lord, and compassionate.
16:8 Also horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride on or put on show; and He creates other things beyond your knowledge.
16:9 God alone points to the right path. Some turn aside but, had He pleased, He would have given you guidance all.
16:10 It is He who sends down water from the sky, which provides you with your drink and brings forth the pasturage on which your cattle feed.
16:11 And with it He brings forth corn and olives, dates and grapes and fruits of every kind. Surely in this there is a sigh for people who can think.
16:12 He has pressed the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, into your service: the stars also serve you by His command. Surely in this there are signs for people who understand.
16:13 On the earth He has fashioned for you objects of various hues: surely in this there is a sign for people who reflect.
16:14 He it is who has subdued the ocean, so that you may eat from it fresh flesh and bring up from its depths ornaments to wear. Behold the ships ploughing their course through it. All this, that you may seek His bounty and may render thanks.
16:15 He set upon the earth firm mountains lest it should move away with you; and rivers, and roads, that you may be rightly guided;
16:16 by landmarks and the stars, too, they are directed.
16:17 Is He, then, who has created, like him who cannot create? Will you, then, not ponder?
16:18 If you reckoned up God‘s blessings, you could not count them. Surely God is forgiving and compassionate.
16:19 God has knowledge of what you conceal and what you reveal.
16:20 Those that they invoke besides God create nothing: they are themselves created.
16:21 Dead, not living; nor do they know when they will be raised to life.
16:22 Your God is one God. Those that deny the life to come have faithless hearts and are puffed up with pride.
16:23 God surely knows what they conceal and what they reveal. He does not love the proud.
16:24 When they are asked: ‘What has your Lord revealed?‘ they say: ‘Fables of the ancients!‘
16:25 They shall bear the full brunt of their burdens on the Day of Resurrection, together with the burdens of those who in their ignorance were misled by them. Evil is that which they shall bear.
16:26 Those who had gone before them also schemed. But God smote their edifice at its foundations, and its roof collapsed upon their heads. The scourge overtook them whence they did not perceive.
16:27 Then, on the Day of Resurrection He will hold them up to shame, and He will say: ‘Where are your idols now, the theme of your disputes?‘ And those endowed with knowledge will say: ‘Shame and sorrow shall this day smite the unbelievers.‘
16:28 Those whom the angels will claim back while steeped in sin will offer their submission, saying: ‘We have done no wrong!‘ ‘Indeed! God well knows what you have done.
16:29 Enter the gates of Hell, wherein shall you abide for ever.‘ Evil is the abode of the arrogant.
16:30 But when the God-fearing are asked: ‘What has your Lord revealed?‘ they will reply: ‘That which is best.‘ Good is the reward of those that do good works in this present life: but better is the abode of the life to come. Blessed is the abode of the God-fearing.
16:31 The Gardens of Eden they shall enter, wherein brooks will roll at their feet; and wherein shall they have all that they desire. Thus shall God recompense the God-fearing,
16:32 whom the angels will claim, in all their virtue, saying: ‘Peace be on you. Come into Paradise, the reward of your labours.‘
16:33 Are they only waiting for the angels to come down or for the fulfilment of your Lord‘s will? Those who had gone before them also waited. God did not wrong them, but they wronged their own souls:
16:34 the evil which they did recoiled upon them, and the scourge at which they scoffed encompassed them.
16:35 The idolaters say: ‘Had God pleased, we would not have worshipped any besides Him, neither we or our forefathers; nor would we have declared anything unlawful without His sanction.‘ Such also was the pleas of those who had gone before them. Yet what should apostles do but give veritable warning?
16:36 We raised an apostle in each community: ‘Serve God and keep away from false gods.‘ Among them were some to whom God gave guidance, and among them were some doomed to go astray. Roam the world and see what was the fate of the disbelievers!
16:37 Strive as you may to guide them, God will not guide those whom He confounds; there shall be none to help them.
16:38 They solemnly swear by God that God will never raise the dead to life. But that is a promise that shall be justly fulfilled, though most may not know it,
16:39 so that He will resolve for them their differences, and that the unbelievers will know that they were lying.
16:40 When We decree a thing, We need only say: ‘Be,‘ and it is.
16:41 As for those who after persecution fled their homes in the cause of God, We will reward them well in this nether life: yet better still is the reward of the life to come, if they but knew it;
16:42 those who bore ills with patience and put their trust in their Lord.
16:43 We sent none before you but men whom We inspired with revelations and with Psalms. Ask the People of the Admonition, if you know not.
16:44 And to you also We have revealed the Admonition, so that you may proclaim to the people what was sent down for them, and that they may reflect.
16:45 Are those who plot evil so certain that God will not cause the earth to cave in beneath them, or that the scourge will not descend on them whence they do not perceive?
16:46 Or smite them in the course of their journeys when they cannot escape,
16:47 or give them over to slow destruction?¹ Yet is your Lord kindly and compassionate.
16:48 Do they not see how every object God created casts its shadow right and left, prostrating itself before God in all humility?
16:49 To God bow all the creatures of the heavens and the earth, and the angels too. They are not disdainful;
16:50 they fear their Lord on high and do as they are bidden.
16:51 And God has said: ‘You shall not serve two gods, for He is but one God. Fear none but Me.‘
16:52 His is what the heavens and the earth contain. His is the Religion everlasting. Would you then fear any but God?
16:53 There is no blessing you enjoy which does not come from God, and to Him you turn for help when misfortune befalls you.
16:54 Yet no sooner does He remove your ills than some among you set up other gods besides their Lord,
16:55 showing no gratitude for what We give them. Take your pleasure now, and you shall learn.
16:56 To those they know nothing of, they assign a share of what We gave them. By the Lord, you shall be questioned about the lies you fabricated!
16:57 They foist daughters upon God (glory be to Him!) but for themselves they choose what they desire.
16:58 When the birth of a female is announced to one of them, his countenance darkens and he is mightily vexed.
16:59 On account of the bad news he hides himself from people: should he put up with the shame or bury her in the earth? How ill they judge!
16:60 Evil are the ways of those who deny the life to come; and most sublime are the ways of God. He is the Almighty, the Wise One.
16:61 If God punished people for their sins, not one creature would He leave alive. He reprieves them till a time ordained; when their time is come, not for one hour shall they stay behind: nor can they go before it.
16:62 They foist upon God what they themselves abhor. Their tongues falsely claim that a good reward awaits them. But let there be no doubt: the Fire awaits them, and they have strayed into egregious error.
16:63 By the Lord, We have sent forth before you to other communities. But Satan made their deeds seem fair to them, and to this day he is their patron. Woeful punishment awaits them.
16:64 We have revealed to you the Book only that you may resolve their differences for them: a guide and a blessing to true believers.
16:65 And God sends down water from the sky wherewith He quickens the earth after its death. Surely in this there is a sign for people who can hear.
16:66 In cattle too you have a worthy lesson. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, between the bowels and the blood-streams: pure milk, pleasant for those who drink it.
16:67 And the fruits of the palm and the vine, from which you derive intoxicants and wholesome food. Surely in this there is a sign for those endowed with reason.
16:68 Your Lord inspired the bee, saying: ‘Make your homes in the mountains, in the trees, and in the hives which men shall build for you.
16:69 Then feed on every kind of fruit, and follow the trodden paths of your Lord.‘ From its belly comes forth a syrup of different hues, a cure for humans. Surely in this there is a sign for those who would take thought.
16:70 God created you, and He will then reclaim you. Some among you shall have their lives prolonged to abject old age, when all that they once knew they shall know no more. All-knowing is God, and Almighty.
16:71 In what He has provided, God has favoured some among you above others. Those who are so favoured will not allow their slaves an equal share in what they have. Would they deny God‘s goodness?
16:72 God has given you spouses from among yourselves and, through your spouses, children and grandchildren. And He has provided you with wholesome things: will they then in falsehood believe and deny God‘s bounty?
16:73 And they worship helpless idols which can confer on them no benefits from the heavens or the earth.
16:74 Therefore compare God to none: God has knowledge, but you have not.
16:75 God makes this comparison: one a helpless slave, the property of his master; and one on whom We have bestowed a bounteous provision from which he gives in private and in public. Are the two equal? God be praised! But most of them have no knowledge.
16:76 And God makes this comparison: two men, one dumb and helpless, a burden on his master: wherever he sends him he comes back with nothing good. Is he equal to him that enjoins justice and is on a straight path?
16:77 To God belong the secrets of the heavens and the earth. The business of the Hour shall be accomplished in the twinkling of an eye, or in a shorter time. Surely God has power over all things.
16:78 And God brought you out of your mothers‘ wombs devoid of any knowledge, and gave you ears and eyes and hearts, so that you may give thanks.
16:79 Do they not see the birds that wing their way in heaven‘s vault? None but God sustains them. Surely in this there are signs for true believers.
16:80 And God has given you houses to dwell in, and has given you animals‘ skins for tents, that you may find them light when you travel and easy to pitch when you halt for shelter; while from their wool, fur, and hair, He has for a space of time provided you with comforts and domestic goods.
16:81 By means of that which He created, God has given you shelter from the sun; He has given you refuge in the mountains; He has given you garments to protect you from the heat, and coats of armour to shield you in your wars. Thus does He perfects His bounty to you, that you may turn to Islam.
16:82 But if theyˡ pay no heed, your² mission is only to give clear warning.
16:83 They recognize God‘s bounty, yet they deny it. And most of them surely are ungrateful.
16:84 On the day We call to life a witness from each community, their pleas shall not avail the unbelievers, nor shall they be allowed to make amends.
16:85 And when the wrongdoers face the scourge, it shall not be eased for them, nor shall they ever be reprieved.
16:86 When the pagans behold their idols, they will say: ‘Lord, these are the idols to whom we prayed.‘ But their idols will retort: ‘You are surely lying!‘
16:87 They shall proffer God submission on that day, and the gods of their own invention will forsake them.
16:88 Those that disbelieve and debar others from the path of God, We shall chastise all the more for their misdeeds;
16:89 on the day We call to life a witness in each community from among themselves to testify against them. We shall call you to testify against these: for to you We have revealed the Book to manifests the Truth about all things, a guide, a blessing, and joyful tidings for the Muslims.
16:90 God enjoins justice, kindness and charity to kin, and forbids lewdness, reprehensible conduct and oppression. He admonishes you so that you may take thought.
16:91 Keep faith with God when you make a pledge. And you shall not break your oaths after you have sworn them, having made God thereby your surety. God has knowledge of what you do.
16:92 Do not, like the woman who unravels the thread she has firmly spun, take oaths with mutual deceit and break them on finding yourselves superior in numbers. In this, God puts you to the proof. On the Day of Resurrection He will resolve your differences for you.
16:93 Had God pleased, He would have united you into one community. But He confounds whom He will and gives guidance to whom He pleases. And you shall surely be questioned over what you did.
16:94 And you shall not take oaths to deceive each other, lest a foot should slip after being rightly guided, and lest you taste misfortune for debarring others from the path of God: for then indeed you should incur a grievous punishment.
16:95 You shall not barter God‘s covenant for a trifling price. God‘s recompense is better for you, if you but knew it.
16:96 Your worldly riches are transitory, but God‘s recompense is everlasting.
16:97 We shall recompense the steadfast according to their noblest deeds. Be they men or women, to those that embrace the Faith and do what is right We will surely grant a happy life; We shall reward them according to their noblest deeds.
16:98 When you read the Koran, seek refuge in God from accursed Satan:
16:99 no power has he over those who believe and who put their trust in their Lord.
16:100 He has power only over those who befriend him and those who serve partners besides Him.
16:101 And if We change one sūrahfor another (God knows best what He reveals), they say: ‘You¹ are but an impostor.‘ Indeed most of them have no knowledge.
16:102 Say: ‘The Holy Spirit brought it down from your Lord in Truth to reassure the faithful, and to give guidance and joyful tidings to Muslims.‘
16:103 We do know that they say: ‘A mortal taught him.‘ But the man² to whom they allude speaks a foreign tongue, while this is eloquent Arabic speech.
16:104 Those who disbelieve God‘s revelations God will not guide. Woeful punishment awaits them.
16:105 None invents falsehoods save those who disbelieve God‘s revelations: it is they that are the liars.
16:106 Those who are forced to recant while their hearts remain loyal to the Faith shall be absolved; but those who open their bosoms to unbelief shall incur God‘s ire; and grievous punishment awaits them.
16:107 That is because they love the life of this world more than the life to come; and God does not guide the unbelievers.
16:108 Such are those whose hearts and ears and eyes are sealed by God; such are the heedless.
16:109 In the life to come they will assuredly be lost.
16:110 Your Lord ― to those who after persecution fled their land and fought and remained constant to the last ― your Lord will be forgiving and compassionate
16:111 on the day when every soul will plead for itself; when every soul will be requited for its deeds. They shall not be wronged.
16:112 God has made an example of a city¹ which was once safe and peaceful. Its provisions came to it abundantly from every quarter: but it denied God‘s favours. Therefore God afflicted it with famine and fear as punishment for what they did.
16:113 An apostle of their own did come to them, but they denied him; therefore the scourge smote them in their wrongdoing.
16:114 Eat of the good and lawful things which God bestowed on you, and give thanks for God‘s bounty if it is Him that you worship.
16:115 He has forbidden you carrion, blood and the flesh of swine; also any flesh consecrated other than in the name of God. But whoever is driven by necessity, intending neither to sin nor to transgress, will find that God is forgiving and compassionate.
16:116 You shall not say, when your tongues utter falsehood: ‘This is lawful, and that is forbidden,‘ in order to invent a falsehood about God. Those who invent falsehoods about God shall never succeed.
16:117 Brief is their enjoyment, and woeful punishment awaits them.
16:118 To those who follow the Jewish Faith We have pronounced unlawful what We recounted to you before. We never wronged them, but they wronged themselves.
16:119 To those who commit evil through ignorance, and then repent and mend their ways, your Lord is forgiving and compassionate.
16:120 Abraham was a paragon of piety, an upright man obedient to God: he was no idolater.
16:121 He rendered thanks for His bounty, so that He chose him and guided him to a straight path.
16:122 We bestowed on him a blessing in this world, and in the world to come he will assuredly dwell among the righteous.
16:123 And now We have revealed to you Our will: that you shall follow the faith of saintly Abraham, who was no idolater.‘
16:124 The Sabbath was ordained only for those who differed about it. On the Day of Resurrection your Lord will judge their differences.
16:125 Call people to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kindly exhortation. Reason with them in a manner most courteous. Your Lord best knows those who stray from His path and He best knows the rightly guided.
16:126 If you punish, let your punishment be commensurate with the wrong that has been done you. But it shall be best for you to endure with patience.
16:127 Be patient, then: none but God will grant you patience. Do not grieve for them, nor distress yourself at their intrigues.
16:128 God is with those who fear Him and do good works.


   


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