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A. (Alef), L. (Lam), R. (Raa), the Surah opens with these introductory letters from the Arabic Alphabet to draw attention to the miracle of the Quran which though written in the people's tongue cannot be emulated. A Book -the Quran- the Source of enlightenment - We have revealed it to you O Muhammad to guide people into all truth and to lead them, Allah willing, out of darkness and superstitions of later times and out of want of spiritual and intellectual sight into illumination and enlightenment, and to direct them to the path of righteousness, the path of Allah, the AL-Aziz (Almighty) and AL-Hamid (to Whom are extolled the glorious attributes)
Allah, to Whom belong the whole and all in all in the heavens and on earth; woe betide the infidels who deny Him. They shall pass through nature to eternal suffering
Those worldly-minded who chose to go by the world below afore the Hereafter and did not seek Grace to guide their choice and stood in the way to prevent Allah's spirit of truth from guiding people into all truth making it their aim to pervert the truth and crook the path of righteousness to their own ends were born to be losers. These and their like are indeed lost in the maze of error
We never sent a Messenger, to a people, who did not master their tongue so that he makes himself understood, distinctly expressing all that is meant leaving nothing merely implied. There and then does Allah misguide whom He will and guides to His path of righteousness whom He will, and He is the AL-Aziz (the Almighty) and AL-Hakim (the Source of wisdom and wise mysterious dispensations)
We sent Mussa (Moses) with Our revelations and signs pointing to Allah's Authority and We commanded him to guide his people into all truth and lead them out of darkness and superstitions of later times and out of want of spiritual and intellectual sight into illumination and enlightenment We enjoined him to remind them of the eventful days of Allah, His means of trail and His mode of action
And there, did Mussa say to them: "My people, remember Allah's grace and blessings He imparted to you". He delivered you from the people of Pharaoh who laid upon you cruel impositions and intolerable torment. They brutally slaughtered your sons and spared your women, and this was indeed a severe but a sure test of your actions and reactions echoing your true beliefs and the prevalent inclination among you
And in consequence did Allah, your Creator, proclaim, thus: "If you actuate yourselves with the feeling of gratitude and gratefulness I will make all grace abound in you, but should you show ungratefulness, then you must realize that My punishment* is indeed severe"
And Mussa added: "should you be ungrateful and, together with all those domiciled on earth, you be inclined to disobedience, then you must realize that Allah is Ghaniyun (Absolute and Independent) and Hamidun (extolled are His glorious attributes)."
Have you people not been informed of what became of your predecessors: the people of Nuh (Noah) and those of 'Ad and the people of Thamud and their successors whom no one knows but Allah! Their Messengers brought them clear and plain revelations guiding out of darkness and superstitions of later times and out of want of spiritual and intellectual sight into illumination and enlightenment but they drew their hands across their lips to menace with their mouths their refusal to accept the divine message and said: "We flatly deny the truth of your mission and we are in doubt of the system of faith which you invite us to follow. It excites suspicion."
Their Messengers said to them: Do you people involve Allah in doubt when it is He who generated the heavens and the earth and brought them into existence and He invites you to His system of faith and worship so that you qualify to receive His blessings and the forgiveness of your sins! He grants you respite to confess yourselves mistaken and your punishment He puts in respite up to a predetermined point of time. They said: "But you are simply mortals like us and you just want us to turn our backs upon the gods our fathers held in holy reverence and veneration! Give us then solid evidence that convinces our minds and tends to prove the conclusion."
Their Messengers said to them: "But we are only mortals like you and Allah imparts His grace to those of His worshippers whom He chooses as He will, and it is not for us nor is it within our power to present you with the evidence but with Allah's delegated power and authorization. And in Allah do those whose hearts have been touched with the divine hand put their trust."
"And why should we not put our trust in Allah when He has guided us to the paths We should tread in our course of action and in our line of conduct, line of thought and argument and to all the paths of life. The paths leading us to His path of righteousness and inducing us to connect knowledge with wisdom and our hearts with the spirit of truth and help us endure your foul epithets and unjust affliction! And in Allah should all those who lift to Him their inward sight put their trust"
And the infidels insolently and defiantly said to their Messengers: " We will most certainly oust you of your homes and drive you out of our land unless you reverse your course of action and return to our system of faith and worship". But Allah, their Creator, inspired to them confidence and assured them thus: "We will put the wrongful of actions to rout and bring unbearable and irretrievable disaster upon them"
"And We will install you in their land and settle you therein to make abode after We have reduced them into a useless form. This is a favour We confer only on him who entertains the profound reverence dutiful to Me and regards the moment he assembles before Me with reverence and awe and lays to heart the threatened punishment"
The Messengers prayed for victory and the infidels entertained expectation of triumph and suppression of their adversaries -the Muslims-, but the hopes of every transgressor who is self-willed and opinionated are doomed to disappointment
Hell is in his pursuit and offensive boiling water shall be in his aliment
He drinks of it by sips he can hardly swallow but then he shall drink up the dregs of it forever, and over him triumphant death his dart shakes but never shall it strike, and the torment laid upon the damned shall be in his pursuit
Those infidels, who deny Allah, whose physical and mental efforts are not intimately mixed with the spiritual apprehension of divine truths were born to be losers. Their efforts are useless and stand similitude exact of ashes which are exposed to violent high winds scattering them in all directions. They are unable to advantage themselves of what they have accomplished, and this is perversion in the extreme
O man, can you not see with the bodily eyes and with those of your mind that Allah created the heavens and the earth and brought them into existence in truth and in all manner of wisdom and for a valid reason, and if He wills He can do away with you and replace you by a new creation
And this would not be a difficult act for Him to accomplish
And when the whole have emerged from the graves and assembled before Allah at Judgment, the weak who lacked strength of purpose and will shall say to those who were extravagant in their accounts of themselves: "We were your followers; are you now going to carry on our behalf a share of Allah's torment laid upon the damned!" The proud would answer "Had Allah guided us to His path of righteousness, We would have guided you thereto; now it is all the same whether we be impatient or patient, never will we be able to possess our souls nor can we escape"
When the die is cast then AL-Shaytan (Satan) shall say to those whose hopes were doomed to disappointment: "Allah had promised you the truth affording expectation of all that is good showing signs of future excellence". "I also promised you and afforded you ground of expectation of all that would seem good and allure you to brighter worlds. But as was expected I broke my promise". "I had no authority over you; I simply presented you with false inducements attracting your attention and influencing your appetites and I led the way". "Therefore do not blame me but you should lay the blame upon yourselves. I cannot help you now nor can you help me either from the torment laid upon the damned. Indeed, I renounced your idea of incorporating me with Allah as a predominant partner aforetime; the wrongful of actions are destined to eternal suffering"
But those whose hearts reflected the image of religious and spiritual virtues and their deeds wisdom and piety have been enrolled as the honoured inmates of the beatitude of heaven in blissful gardens beneath which rivers flow wherein they will have passed through nature to Eternity, Allah willing, greeted by the angels with the customary formula conducive to the feeling of security and peace of mind, "Peace"
Do you not see you people how did Allah exemplify the good word of truth! It stands similitude exact of a blessed fruit tree, its roots are firmly implanted and its branches are springing out skyward
It yields its produce, Allah willing, periodically in season; Allah' discourses to people parables by which moral or spiritual relations are typically set forth
Whereas an evil word stands similitude exact of an evil tree; it may flourish to begin with but soon enough it is uprooted from the soil and the surface of the earth. Its roots being loosely implanted, it does not have the strength to grow erect nor does it eventually grow at all
Allah confirms those whose hearts have been impressed with the image of religious and spiritual virtues in opinion, action, purpose and in their words of truth expressing their thoughts and corroborating their faith in life here and at judgment Hereafter. Allah misguides the wrongful of actions, and Allah accomplishes what He will
Have you not seen O Muhammad into the way these infidels act! They exchange the efficacious grace of Allah for disobedience and infidelity and set up their people in the abode of perdition
The abode in Hell whereat they be enveloped in flames, and evil indeed is the place wherein they make abode
And they set to Allah objects of worship presumptuously possessing a like degree of quality or attribute and in the same level of dignity, power and excellence and having the same rights or privileges to lead people into error and in the wrong direction. Say to them O Muhammad "Enjoy yourselves and serve the Devil; you have decided your own destiny to the Fire"
Say to My servants who have conformed to Islam: "Engage in the act of worship and spend in divine service, secretly or openly of the provisions of life We provisioned them with before the Day comes when there shall be no trading nor friendship
Allah is He, Who created the heavens and the earth and brought them into existence and sent down from the floor of the vault of heaven rain-water causing the various products to spring up from the soil; products fit to be used as food for human sustenance. He reduced the ships to a state of subjection under your dominion and authority to be buoyant by His invisible acting force producing buoyancy and motion. He ordered the rivers in subservience to your advantage your end
He reduced for you the sun* and the moon** to a state of subserviency, constantly describing their paths and the night and the day were not made to rule but to subserve you where wisdom bears comman
And He made all grace abound in you; He gave you of everything you asked for, and if you were to compute the divine favours you wear, you shall find them out of all count; but man is indeed wrong-headed, displaying no gratitude
And for once did Ibrahim express his thoughts in an invocatory prayer thus: "O Allah, my Creator", he said. may I ask You to confer on this town -Macca- security and make it afford a safe retreat and freedom of fear and anxiety, and guard me O Allah, my Creator, and my progeny from idolatry."
These objects of worship "O Allah, my Creator, have allured the mind's eyes of the many who strayed from. Your path of righteousness, therefore, he who follows me and submits to Your system of faith and worship shall be an integral part of me, and he who disobeys me shall be left to plead his causes and You decide them; you are Ghafurun (Forgiving) and Rahimun (Merciful)."
"O Allah, our Creator, I have made some of my progeny take abode in an uncultivated valley in the vicinity of your Sacrosanct House to engage O Allah in the act of worship. Let the hearts and souls of people, O Allah be moved toward them with tenderness and affection, and provide them with the fruits of the earth, they may hopefully be thankful."
"You do know O Allah, our Creator, all our thoughts and all that our bosoms conceal and You do know all that we vent in words and all that we reveal, and simply nothing whatsoever escapes Your knowledge be it on earth or in the heavens."
"My bosom surge up and answers thanks to Allah Who has graced me in My old age with the procreation of Ismail and Ishaq (Isaac). Indeed, Allah, my Creator, is Sami'un (Omnipresent) with unlimited audition and; He responds to the prayer."
" O Allah, my Creator, help me express my gratitude to You in the act of worship and make me and those, whom you will, of my progeny devout with prayerful minds and expressive of prayer and grant me O Allah, our Creator, my humble request."
"O Allah, my Creator", he concluded, "extend your mercy and forgiveness to me, to my parents and to those whose hearts have been touched with the divine hand. In Day of Judgment when all shall answer for their conduct and render an account of their lives."
Do not think O Muhammad that Allah is oblivious of the doings of the wrongful of actions. He only postpones their condemnation to punishment to a Day when they stand gazing fixedly with the eyes wide open in horror
They rush at an excessive pace with hearts sinking in their shoes, lifting up their heads in supplication for forgiveness. Their eyes cannot wink, they are fixedly gazed wide open in terror and their hearts are empty of intellect and of all hope
Therefore, warn people O Muhammad of the Day when they are overtaken by Allah's retributive punishment, then the wrongful of actions shall say: "O Allah our Creator, if only You would delay our condemnation to punishment for a term close at hand, we will apprehend the voice from heaven and be in purpose and follow the Messengers" But they shall be told: "Did you not swear before that you shall never suffer loss nor any change in disposition neither in life nor Hereafter."
"You dwelt in the abode of those* who were wrongful of actions and much did you apprehend the quiet of their cities which was purchased by the ruin of their land and the ultimate wretchedness of both. And We discoursed to you parables by which moral and spiritual relations were typically set forth."
Yet, with cleverness in circumventing, they -the Meccan infidels- had recourse to stratagem, but all their cunning they take for a sinister and crooked wisdom comes to Allah's knowledge, notwithstanding that their breastplate of cunning is overreaching that it moves mountains
Therefore do not think O Muhammad that Allah will fall short of keeping His promise to His Messengers; Allah is Azizun (Almighty) indeed; and He justly avenges His own right
Such a retributive punishment shall come into effect on the Day when the planet earth is changed to another planet and the heavens too, and there, they - people- emerge from their graves and assemble before Allah, the One, and only AL-Qahhar (Who subdues all)
There and then shall you see the sinful bound together in fetters
Vested in garments of pitch with their faces shrouded in a veil of flames
And in accord with equity and justice shall Allah requite every soul with what is commensurate with its qualities and worldly deeds
This is a divinely inspired message sent from Allah to His Messenger to use as a warning to the whole and to spread it in the wide circle of the all, they may hopefully realize that He is One Ilah and the matter be weighed by those who lift to Him their inward sight