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Kaf, Ha, Ya, ‘Ayn, Sad. (Only Allah and the Messenger [blessings and peace be upon him] know the real meaning.
This is an account of the mercy of your Lord (bestowed) upon His (chosen) servant Zakariyya (Zacharias)
When he called upon his Lord in a low voice (charged with politeness and submissiveness)
He submitted: ‘O my Lord, my bones have grown tender and (my) head has turned white like a flame due to old age and, O my Lord, I have never been unblessed when supplicating You
And I fear my (disbelieving) relatives (may ruin the blessing of Din [Religion]) after my (soul departs) and my wife (too) is barren. So bless me from Your presence with an heir (son)
(The one) who should be my heir (of divine blessing), and also the heir of (the chain of Prophethood from) the Children of Ya‘qub (Jacob). And, O my Lord, (also) make him a recipient of Your Pleasure.
(Allah said:) ‘O Zakariyya (Zacharias), indeed We give you the good news of a son whose name shall be Yahya (John). We have not given this name to anyone before him.
(Zakariyya [Zacharias]) submitted: ‘My Lord, how can there be a son to me whilst my wife is barren, and I have shrivelled (into extreme debility) on account of old age?
(He) said: ‘(Don’t be amazed.) It will be the same way.’ Your Lord said: ‘It is easy for Me (to create a son). Certainly, I created you (too) before, whilst you were (just) nothing.
(Zakariyya [Zacharias]) submitted: ‘My Lord, set a sign for me.’ He said: ‘Your sign is that, despite good health, you shall not be able to speak to the people for three nights (and days).
Then (Zakariyya [Zacharias]) came out from his worshipping chamber to his people and conveyed to them (i.e., made them understand) by gestures to glorify (Allah) morning and evening
O Yahya (John)! Hold fast to (Our) Book (the Torah). And We granted him wisdom and vision (i.e., Prophethood) whilst yet a child
And (blessed him) with sympathy and tenderness and purity and virtuousness from Our kind presence, and he was very Godfearing
(He was) greatly righteous (and dutiful) to his parents, and was neither disobedient nor arrogant (like common boys)
And peace be on Yahya (John) the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up alive
And, (O My Esteemed Beloved,) recite the account of Maryam (Mary) in the Book (the Holy Qur’an) when she separated from her family (adopting seclusion for worship and) moved to the eastern house
So she adopted veiling from them (the family and the people so that the absolute divine beauty unveils Himself). Then We sent towards her Our Spirit (the angel, Gabriel), who appeared before her in complete form of a human being
(Maryam [Mary]) said: ‘I seek refuge with the Most Gracious (Lord) from you if you fear (Allah).
(Jibra’il [Gabriel]) said: ‘I am only a messenger from your Lord. (I have come) to bestow upon you a pure son.
(Maryam [Mary]) said: ‘How can there be a son to me, whereas no man has even touched me, nor am I unchaste?
(Jibra’il [Gabriel]) said: ‘(Do not wonder.) It will be the same way. Your Lord says: This (work) is easy for Me, and (the objective is) that We may make him a sign for the people and mercy from Us. And it is a matter (already) decreed.
So Maryam (Mary) conceived him and positioned herself at a remote site, aloof (from the people)
Then the birth pangs drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She said (in anxiety): ‘Would that I had died before this and had become totally forgotten!
Then (Gabriel or ‘Isa [Jesus] himself) called out to her from beneath her: ‘Grieve not. Surely, your Lord has made a water spring flow under you (or has created and laid under you an exalted human being)
And shake the trunk of the date-palm towards you. It will shed fresh ripe dates upon you
So eat and drink and cool (your) eyes (with the sight of your beautiful, lovely baby). Then if you see any man, say (to him by gestures): ‘I have vowed a fast (of silence) to the Most Gracious (Lord), so I shall just not talk to any human being today.
Then, carrying (the baby in her lap), she came to her people. They said: ‘O Maryam (Mary), surely you have brought quite an amazing thing
O sister of Harun (Aaron)! Neither was your father a bad man, nor was your mother an unchaste woman.
On this Maryam (Mary) pointed to (the baby). They said: ‘How can we talk to him who is (yet) an infant in the cradle?
(The infant himself) spoke out: ‘I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and has raised me as a Prophet
And wherever I may reside, He has made me an embodiment of blessing. And He has enjoined upon me Prayer and Zakat (the Alms-due) as long as I am alive
And (He has made me) treat my mother with excellence and has not made me disobedient and ill-fated
And peace be upon me on the day of my birth, the day of my demise and the day I shall be raised up alive!
Such is ‘Isa, the son of Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary. That is) the truth about which these people doubt
It is not Allah’s Glory that He should take (to Himself anyone as) a son. Holy and Glorified is He (above this)! When He decrees any matter, He only says to it: ‘Be,’ and it becomes
And surely, Allah is my Lord and your Lord (too). So always worship Him alone. This is the straight path
Then their sects began to differ amongst themselves. So the disbelievers are doomed due to the presence on the Mighty Day (of Resurrection)
How (curiously) will they hear (with their ears wide open), and how (bewilderedly) will they see (with their eyes stunned) on the Day when they will appear before Us! But Today the wrongdoers are but (sunk) into manifest error
And warn them of the Day of Regret (and Shame) when (every) matter shall be decided, but they are rapt in (a state of) negligence and simply do not believe
Surely, We alone are the Inheritor of the earth and (also) of those who dwell on it, and (they all) shall be brought back to Us
And recite the account of Ibrahim (Abraham) in the Book (the Holy Qur’an). Surely, he was a Prophet blessed with truthfulness
When he said to his father (i.e., his uncle Azar who brought him up after his father Tarakh died): ‘O my father, why do you worship these (idols) which cannot hear or see, nor can they remove any (troublesome) thing from you
O father! No doubt there has come to me knowledge (from the divine presence of Allah) which has not come to you. Follow me; I shall show you the straight path
O father! Do not worship Satan. Surely, Satan is a great rebel against the Most Kind (Lord)
O father! Indeed, I fear that a torment from the Most Kind (Lord) may seize you and you become a companion of Satan.
(Azar) said: ‘Ibrahim (Abraham), have you turned away from my gods? If you do not practically desist (from this opposition), I shall certainly stone you to death. And keep away from me for a long while.
Ibrahim (Abraham) said: ‘(All right,) peace be on you. I shall beg forgiveness for you from my Lord (even) now. He is indeed very kind to me. (He may bestow guidance upon you.
And I turn away from you (all), and these (idols) which you worship besides Allah. And I worship my Lord (with absolute concentration). I hope that, owing to the worship of my Lord, I shall not be deprived (of His bounty).
So when Ibrahim (Abraham, giving up all social links,) completely separated from the people and those (idols) that they worshipped apart from Allah, We blessed him with Ishaq (Isaac) and Ya‘qub (Jacob, son and grandson,) and We made each of them a Prophet
And We awarded (all of) them Our (special) mercy, and put their praise and admiration on high rhetoric (amongst the believers of every religion)
And recite the account of Musa (Moses) in (this Holy) Book. Surely, (getting rid of the grip of self,) he had become exalted and was a Messenger and Prophet
And We called him out from the right of (Mount) Tur, and blessed him with Our (special) nearness for intimate discourse
And out of Our mercy We granted him his brother Harun (Aaron), making him a Prophet (to assist him in his task)
And recite the account of Isma‘il (Ishmael) in (this) Book. Surely, he was true to (his) promise and was a Messenger (and) a Prophet
And he used to enjoin on his family Prayer and Zakat (the Alms-due), and (held) the station of mardiyya in the presence of his Lord (i.e., his Lord was well-pleased with him)
And mention in the Book the account of Idris. Verily, he was a Prophet possessing the truth
And We raised him to a lofty station
These are the people on whom Allah bestowed favour from amongst the Prophets of the seed of Adam, and of those (believers) whom We (saved from Deluge and) carried with Nuh (Noah) in the Ark, and of the posterity of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isra’il (Israel i.e., Ya‘qub [Jacob]) and of those (chosen ones) whom We guided and exalted. When the Verses of the Most Kind (Lord) are recited to them, they fall down prostrating themselves in (profuse) tears
Then followed their pathetic successors who gave up Prayers and followed the lusts (of their ill-commanding selves). So they will soon face punishment in the Hereafter (in the Ghayi valley of Hell)
Except the one who repents and believes and persists in righteous works; they will enter Paradise and will not be wronged in the least
(They will dwell) in such evergreen gardens which the Most Kind (Lord) has promised to His servants in the unseen. Certainly, His promise is about to come true
They will not hear in it any absurd talk but only greetings of peace (pouring in from every direction). And for them, their sustenance will be (available) in it morning and evening
This is the Paradise which We shall award as inheritance to those of Our servants who are Godfearing
And, (O Jibra’il [Gabriel], say to My Beloved:) ‘We cannot descend (onto earth) without the command of your Lord. To Him belongs whatever is before us and whatever is behind us and whatever is in between. And your Lord is never forgetful (of you)
(He) is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between the two. So worship Him and remain steadfast in His worship. Do you know who is His namesake?
And man says: ‘Shall I be soon brought forth alive when I die?
Does man not remember that We had created him before this (also) whilst he was just nothing
So, by your Lord, We will certainly gather them and (all) satans together (on the Day of Judgment). We will then bring them (all) around Hell fallen down in kneeling position
Then We shall indeed pick out from every group the one who had been most disobedient to, and rebellious against, the Most Kind (Lord)
And We know best those who are most deserving of being thrown into Hell
And there is none of you but will pass over Hell. This (promise,) which will certainly be fulfilled, is absolutely with your Lord
Then We shall deliver the Godfearing, and shall leave the wrongdoers in it (Hell) down on their knees
And when Our enlightening Verses are recited to them, the disbelievers say to the believers: ‘(See in the selfsame world) which of us two groups has better housing and a more influential social circle.
And how many a people have We destroyed before them who were better off (than these) in worldly assets and pomp and show
Say: ‘The Most Kind (Lord also) grants respite in age and luxury to the one who is lost in error until, when they see what they have been promised—the torment or the Day of Rising—then they will come to know him who is worse in respect of dwelling and (also) weaker in respect of troops.
Allah adds to the guidance of those who are guided aright. And in the sight of your Lord, the lasting pious deeds are better in respect of reward and (also) more valuable in terms of end result
Have you seen such a person that rejected Our Signs and said: ‘I shall certainly be given wealth and children (the same way, even on the Day of Resurrection)’
Is he aware of the unseen, or has he taken any promise from the Most Kind (Lord)
No way! We shall keep writing down what he says, and shall keep increasing for him torment (upon torment)
And (after his death) We shall inherit from him what he proclaims, and he will come to Us all alone (without wealth and children)
And they have taken (many other) gods apart from Allah so that they may be a source of honour for them
By no means! Soon will these (false gods themselves) reject their worship and become their enemies
Have you not seen that We have sent satans upon the disbelievers? They keep rousing them (against Islam) all the time
So do not make haste against them (for torment). We Ourselves keep counting the days (for their impending catastrophe)
On the Day, when We shall assemble the Godfearing, and take them (as guests of honour) to the presence of the Most Kind (Lord) on carriages
And We shall drive the sinners thirsty towards Hell
(On that Day,) people will not possess the authority to intercede, except those who have taken a promise (of intercession) from the Most Kind (Lord)
And (the disbelievers) say: ‘The Most Kind (Lord) has taken (to Himself) a son.
(O disbelievers!) You have indeed brought most horrible and unusual evil (on your tongues)
The heavens may just burst at this (fabricated lie) and the earth split asunder and the mountains fall down to pieces
That they have attributed a son to the Most Kind (Lord)
And it is not befitting the Glory of the Most Kind (Lord) to take (someone as) a son
Whoever is (dwelling) in the heavens and the earth (whether an angel, a jinn or a human being) will appear just as a servant before the Most Kind (Lord)
(Allah) has surely encompassed them with His (knowledge) and has counted them thoroughly (i.e., numbering them one by one)
And each one of them has to appear before His presence alone on the Day of Resurrection
Surely, those who believed and did pious deeds, the Most Kind (Lord) will create love for them in the hearts (of the people)
So We have indeed made this (Qur’an) easy in your own tongue so that, by means of it, you may communicate good news to the Godfearing and may warn thereby the contentious people
And how many a community have We destroyed before them! Do you perceive even a trace or hear even the faintest fizzle of any of them