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al-Anbiya` (The Prophets)
as rendered by N J Dawood 2014
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N J Dawood (2014) rendition of Surah The Prophets(al-Anbiya`)
21:1 THE DAY of Reckoning for mankind is drawing near, yet they blithely persist in unbelief.
21:2 They listen with ridicule to each fresh warning that their Lord gives them:
21:3 their hearts are set on pleasure. In private the wrongdoers say to each other: ‘Is this man not a mortal like yourselves? Would you follow witchcraft with your eyes open?‘
21:4 Say: ‘My Lord has knowledge of whatever is said in heaven and earth. He it is who hears all and knows all.‘
21:5 Some say: ‘It² is but a medley of dreams.‘ Others: ‘He has invented it himself.‘ And yet others: ‘He is a poet: let him show us a miracle, as did the apostles in days gone by.‘
21:6 Communities whom We destroyed before them did not believe either. Will they believe?
21:7 The apostles We sent before you were but men whom We inspired. Ask the People of the Book if you do not know this.
21:8 The bodies We gave them could not dispense with food, nor were they immortal.
21:9 Then We fulfilled for them Our promise: We delivered them and those We willed, and utterly destroyed the transgressors.
21:10 And now We have revealed a Book for your admonishment. Will you not understand?
21:11 Many a sinful city have We annihilated, and after that replaced by other people.
21:12 And when they felt Our might they took to their heels and ran away.
21:13 Do not run away; return to your comforts and to your habitations: you shall be questioned all.‘
21:14 Woe betide us, we have done wrong!‘ was their reply.
21:15 And this they kept repeating until We mowed them down and put out their light.
21:16 And it was not in sport that We created the heaven and the earth and all that lies between them.
21:17 Had it been Our will to find a diversion, We could have found one near at hand if such were Our intent.
21:18 Indeed, We will hurl Truth at Falsehood, until Truth shall triumph and Falsehood be no more. Woe betide you, for all the falsehoods you have uttered.
21:19 His are all who dwell in the heavens and on earth. Those who stand in His presence do not disdain to worship Him, nor are they ever wearied.
21:20  They praise Him night and day, tirelessly.
21:21 Or have they chosen earthly deities? And can these deities restore the dead to life?
21:22 Were there other gods in heaven or earth besides God, both heaven and earth would be corrupted. Exalted be God, Lord of the Throne, above their falsehoods!
21:23 None shall question Him about His works, but questioned they shall be.
21:24 Or have they chosen other gods besides Him? Say: ‘Show us your proof. Here are the Admonition of today and the Admonition of days gone by.‘ But most of them know not the Truth, and this is why they pay no heed.
21:25 No apostles have We sent before you without inspiring him: ‘There is no god but Me. Therefore serve Me.‘
21:26 And they say: ‘The Merciful has begotten children.‘ God forbid! They are but His honoured servants.
21:27 They do not speak till He has spoken: they act by His command.
21:28 He knows what is before them and behind them. They intercede for none save those whom He accepts, and tremble for awe of Him.
21:29 Whoever of them declares: ‘I am a god besides Him,‘ We shall requite with Hell. Thus shall We requite the wrongdoers.
21:30 Are the disbelievers unaware that the heavens and the earth were but one solid mass which We tore asunder, and that We made every living thing from water? Will they not have faith?
21:31 We set firm mountains upon the earth lest it should move away with them, and hewed out highways in the rock so that they might be rightly guided.
21:32 We spread the heaven like a canopy and provided it with strong support: yet of its signs they are heedless.
21:33 And He it is who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon: each moves swiftly in an orbit of its own.
21:34 No man before you¹ have We made immortal. If you yourself are doomed to die, will they live on for ever?
21:35 Every soul shall taste death. We will test you all with evil and good. And to Us shall you be recalled.
21:36 And when the unbelievers see you, they only mock you: ‘Is this the one who denies your gods?‘ While against the remembrance of the Merciful they also blaspheme.
21:37 Impatience is the very stuff man is made of. I shall show you My signs: do not ask Me to hurry them on.
21:38 And they say: ‘When will this promise be fulfilled, if what you say be true?‘
21:39 If only the unbelievers knew the day when they shall strive in vain to shield their faces and their backs from the fire of Hell; the day when none shall succour them!
21:40 Indeed, it will overtake them unawares and stupefy them. They shall have no power to ward it off, nor shall they be reprieved.
21:41 Other apostles were mocked before you; but those who derided them were felled by the very scourge they mocked.
21:42 Say: ‘Who will protect you, by night and by day, from the Lord of Mercy?‘ Yet are they unmindful of their Lord‘s remembrance.
21:43 Or have they other gods to defend them? Their idols shall be powerless over their own salvation, nor shall they be protected from Our scourge.
21:44 Yet have We indulged them and their fathers, so that they have lived too long. Can they not see how We invade their land and diminish its borders? Is it they who will triumph?
21:45 Say: ‘I warn you only by inspiration.‘ But the deaf can hear no plea when they are warned.
21:46 Yet if the lightest whiff from the vengeance of your Lord touched them, they would surely say: ‘Woe betide us: we have done wrong!‘
21:47 We shall set up just scales for the Day of Resurrection, so that no soul shall in the least be wronged. Actions as small as a grain of mustard seed shall be weighed out. Our reckoning shall suffice.
21:48 We bestowed Salvation upon Moses and Aaron, and a light and an Admonition for righteous:
21:49 those who fear their Lord, although unseen, and dread the terrors of the Hour.
21:50 And this¹ is a blessed Admonition We have sent down. Will you then reject it?
21:51 We formerly bestowed guidance on Abraham, for We knew him well.
21:52 He said to his father and to his people: ‘What are these images to which you are so devoted?‘
21:53 They said: ‘They are the gods our fathers worshipped.‘
21:54 He said: ‘Then you and your fathers have surely been in evident error.‘
21:55 Is it the truth that you are preaching,‘ they said, ‘or is this but a jest?‘
21:56 Indeed,‘ he said, ‘your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. It was He that made them: to this I bear witness.
21:57 By the Lord, I will overthrow your idols as soon as you have turned your backs.‘
21:58 So he broke them all in pieces, except their supreme god, so that they might return to him.
21:59 Who has done this to our deities?‘ said some. ‘He must surely be a wrongdoer.‘
21:60 Others said: ‘We have heard a youth called Abraham speak of them.‘
21:61 They said: ‘Then bring him here in sight of all the people, that they may act as witnesses.
21:62 ‘Abraham,‘ they said, ‘was it you who did this to our deities?‘
21:63 No,‘ he said. ‘It was their chief who smote them. Ask them, if they can speak.‘
21:64 Thereupon they turned their thoughts upon themselves and said to each other: ‘Surely you are the ones who have done wrong.‘
21:65 They were crestfallen: ‘You know they cannot speak.‘
21:66 He said: ‘Would you then worship that, instead of God, which can neither help nor harm you?
21:67 Shame on you and on your idols! Have you no sense?‘
21:68 They said: ‘Burn him and avenge your gods, if you must punish him!‘
21:69 ‘Fire,‘ We said, ‘be cool to Abraham and keep him safe.‘
21:70 They sought to lay a snare for him, but it was they whom We ruined.
21:71 We delivered him and Lot, and brought them to the land which We had blessed for all mankind.
21:72 We gave him Isaac, and then Jacob for a grandson; and We made each a righteous man.
21:73 And We ordained them leaders to give guidance at Our behest, and enjoined on them charity, prayer and almsgiving. They served none but Ourself.
21:74 To Lot We gave wisdom and knowledge and delivered him from the city that had committed deeds of abomination; surely they were men of iniquity and evil.
21:75 We admitted him to Our mercy: he was a righteous man.
21:76 And Noah, who invoked Us before him; We answered his prayer, and saved him and all his kin from the great calamity;
21:77 and We delivered him from those who had denied Our revelations. Evil were they; We drowned them all.
21:78 And tell of David and Solomon: how they passed judgement regarding the cornfield in which strayed lambs of some people had grazed by night.
21:79 We gave Solomon insight into the case and bore witness to their judgement. We bestowed on both of them wisdom and knowledge, and caused the mountains and the birds to join with David in Our praise. All this We did.
21:80 We taught him the armourer‘s craft, so that you might have protection in your wars. Will you then give thanks?
21:81 To Solomon We subjected the raging wind: it sped at his bidding to the land which We had blessed. And of all things We had knowledge.
21:82 From among the demons We assigned to him some who dived for him into the sea and performed other tasks besides. We ourselves assured their preservations.
21:83 And tell of Job: how he called on his Lord, saying: ‘I am sorely afflicted: and of all those that show mercy You are the most merciful.‘
21:84 We answered his prayer and relieved his affliction. We restored to him his family and as many more with them: a blessing from Ourself and an Admonition to the devout.
21:85 And Ishmael, Idrīs¹, and Dhūl-Kifl², who all endured with patience.
21:86 To Our mercy We admitted them, for they were upright men.
21:87 And of Dhūl-Nūn:³ how he went away in anger, thinking We had no power over him. But in the darkness he cried: ‘There is no god but You. Glory be to You! I have done wrong.
21:88 We answered his prayer and delivered him from distress. Thus shall We save the true believers.
21:89 And Zacharias, who invoked his Lord, saying: ‘Lord, let me not remain childless, though of all heirs You are the best.‘
21:90 We answered his prayer and gave him John, curing his wife of sterility. They vied with each other in good works and called on Us with piety, fear, and awe.
21:91 And the woman who kept her chastity; We breathed into her of Our spirit, and made her and her son a sign to all mankind.
21:92 Your community is but one community, and I am Your only Lord. Therefore serve Me.
21:93 They have divided themselves into factions, but to Us shall they all return.
21:94 He that does good works in the fullness of his faith, his endeavours shall not be lost: We record them all.
21:95 It is ordained that no community We have destroyed shall ever rise again.
21:96 But when Gog and Magog are let loose and rush headlong down every hill;
21:97 when the true promise nears its fulfilment; the unbeliever‘s eyes shall stare in amazement: ‘Woe betide us! Of this we have been heedless. We have assuredly done wrong.‘
21:98 You and your idols shall be the fuel of Hell; therein shall you all go down.
21:99 Were they true gods, they would not go there: but therein shall they abide for ever.
21:100 They shall groan with anguish and be bereft of hearing.
21:101 But those to whom We have long since shown Our bounty shall be far removed from Hell.
21:102 They shall not hear its hissing, but shall delight for ever in what their souls desire.
21:103 The Supreme Terror shall not grieve them, and the angels will receive them, saying: ‘This is the day you have been promised.‘
21:104 On that day We shall roll up the heaven like a scroll of parchment. Just as We brought the First Creation into being, so will We restore it. This is a promise We shall assuredly fulfil.
21:105 We wrote in the Psalms¹ after the Torah was revealed: ‘The righteous among My servants shall inherit the earth.‘
21:106 That is an Admonition to those who serve Us.
21:107 We have sent you forth but as a blessing to mankind.
21:108 Say: ‘It is revealed to me that your God is one God. Will you then be Muslims?‘
21:109 If they pay no heed, say: ‘I have warned you all alike, though I cannot tell whether the scourge you are promised is imminent or far off.
21:110 He knows your spoken words and knows your hidden thoughts,
21:111 And for all I know, this may be a test for you and a short reprieve.‘
21:112 Say: ‘Lord, judge with fairness. Our Lord is the Merciful, whose help We seek against your blasphemies.‘


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