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al-Ma`arij (The Ascending Stairways, The Ladders)
as rendered by Aisha Bewley
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Aisha Bewley rendition of Surah The Ascending Stairways, The Ladders(al-Ma`arij)
70:1 An inquirer asked about an impending punishment.
70:2 It is for the kafirun and cannot be averted
70:3 from Allah — the Lord of the Ascending Steps.
70:4 The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day whose length is fifty thousand years.
70:5 Therefore be patient with a patience which is beautiful.
70:6 They see it as something distant,
70:7 but We see it as very close.
70:8 On the Day the sky is like molten brass
70:9 and the mountains like tufts of coloured wool.
70:10 no good friend will ask about his friend
70:11 even though they can see each other. An evildoer will wish he could ransom himself from the punishment of that Day, by means of his sons,
70:12 or his wife or his brother
70:13 or his family who sheltered him
70:14 or everyone else on earth, if that only meant that he could save himself.
70:15 But no! It is a Raging Blaze
70:16 stripping away the limbs and scalp,
70:17 which calls for all who drew back and turned away,
70:18 and amassed and hoarded up.
70:19 Truly man was created headstrong —
70:20 desperate when bad things happen,
70:21 begrudging when good things come —
70:22 except for those who do salat
70:23 and are constant in it;
70:24 those in whose wealth there is a known share
70:25 for beggars and the destitute;
70:26 those who affirm the Day of Judgement,
70:27 those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord
70:28 (no one is safe from the punishment of his Lord);
70:29 those who guard their private parts
70:30 except from their wives and any slaves they own, in which case they incur no blame,
70:31 but if anyone desires any more than that, they have overstepped the limits;
70:32 those who honour their trusts and contracts;
70:33 those who stand by their testimony;
70:34 those who safeguard their salat;
70:35 such people will be in Gardens, highly honoured.
70:36 What is the matter with those who are kafir? They run about in front of you, with outstretched necks and staring eyes,
70:37 on the right and on the left in scattered groups!
70:38 Does each one of them aspire to be admitted into a Garden of Delight?
70:39 Certainly not! We created them from what they know full well.
70:40 No! I swear by the Lord of the Easts and Wests that We have the power
70:41 to replace them with something better than them. We will not be outstripped.
70:42 So leave them to plunge and play around until they meet their Day which they are promised.
70:43 The Day they will emerge swiftly from their graves as if rushing to rally to the flag,
70:44 eyes downcast, darkened by debasement, that will be the Day which they were promised.


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