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23:1  Prosperous indeed are the believers
23:2  They are in their Prayer humble and fully submissive (being overwhelmed by the awe and majesty of God)
23:3  They always turn away from and avoid whatever is vain and frivolous
23:4  They are in a constant effort to give alms and purify their own selves and wealth
23:5  They strictly guard their private parts, and their chastity and modesty
23:6  Save from their spouses or (as a permission for men) those (bondsmaids) whom their right hands possess, for with regard to them they are free from blame
23:7  But whoever seeks beyond that, such are they who exceed the bounds (set by God)
23:8  They are faithful and true to their trusts (which either God or society or an individual places in their charge) and to their pledges (between them and God or other persons or society)
23:9  They are ever mindful guardians of their Prayers (including all the rites of which they are constituted)
23:10  Those (illustrious ones) are the inheritors
23:11  Who will inherit the highest floor of Paradise. Therein they will abide forever
23:12  We created humankind (in the very beginning) from a specially sifted extract of clay
23:13  Then We have made it into a fertilized ovum in a safe lodging
23:14  Then We have created of the fertilized ovum a clot clinging (to the womb wall), and (afterwards in sequence) We have created of the clinging clot a (chew of) lump, and We have created of (a chew of) lump bones, and We have clothed the bones in flesh. Then We have caused it to grow into another creation. So Blessed and Supreme is God, the Creator Who creates everything in the best and most appropriate form and has the ultimate rank of creativity
23:15  Then, after all this, you are bound to die
23:16  Thereafter, you will, on the Day of Resurrection, certainly be raised up
23:17  Indeed, We have created above you seven heavens, one layer upon the other, and seven paths (for angels to move, God’s commands to descend, and acts of conscious beings to ascend, along). Never are We unaware of creation and what We create (with all aspects of their lives)
23:18  We send down from the sky water with a measure set by Us, and lodge it in the earth. We are most certainly able to withdraw it
23:19  And with it We cause to grow for you gardens of date-palms and vines, wherein are abundant, diverse fruits for you, and from which you eat and obtain some of your livelihood
23:20  As well as a tree that grows from and in the lands around Mount Sinai, yielding oil and a kind of relish for all to eat
23:21  And in the cattle (feeding on the grass God brings forth with the water He sends down) there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that (milk) which is within their bodies; and you have many other benefits in them, and from them you obtain food
23:22  And on them (on land) and on the ships (in the sea) you are carried
23:23  Indeed, We sent Noah to his people as Messenger, and he said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Will you not, then, keep from disobedience to Him in reverence for Him and piety?"
23:24  The leading ones who disbelieved from among his people reacted, saying (among themselves and to each other): "This is but a mortal like you. He only wishes to gain superiority over you. Had God willed (to send us a Messenger to convey His Message), He would surely have sent down angels (to communicate His Message). Further, we have never heard of anything like this in the case of our forefathers of old
23:25  "He is but a man in whom there is madness, so watch him for a while (to see) whether he will recover."
23:26  Noah prayed: "My Lord, help me because they have denied me!"
23:27  Thereupon We revealed to him: "Build the Ark (which We have described to you) under Our eyes and in accordance with Our instructions to be revealed (to you). Then finally, when Our command comes to pass and the boiler starts boiling over, take on board a pair of each kind of animal, as well as your family, except those of them against whom Our sentence (of destruction) has already been passed. Do not plead with Me for those people who have persisted in wrongdoing. They are bound to be drowned
23:28  "Then, when you are seated in the Ark, you and those who are with you, say: ‘All praise and gratitude are for God, Who has saved us from the wrongdoing people.’
23:29  "And pray: ‘My Lord, let me land in a blessed place (in peace and safety and) with blessings from You. You are the Best to cause people to land in peace and safety’."
23:30  Surely in that (exemplary story) are signs (manifesting the truth); and for sure We are ever trying (people)
23:31  Then, after them, We brought forth another generation
23:32  In time, We sent among them a Messenger from among themselves (with the message): "Worship God alone; you have no deity other than Him. Will you not, then, keep from disobedience to Him in reverence for Him and piety?"
23:33  The leading ones from among his people – who disbelieved, and denied the meeting of the Hereafter, and to whom We granted ease and comfort in the life of this world – said: "This is but a mortal like you, eating of what you eat of, and drinking of what you drink of
23:34  "If you obey a mortal like yourselves, then you will surely be the losers
23:35  "Does he promise you that, after you have died and become mere dust and bones, you will be brought forth (to a new life)
23:36  "Far-fetched, utterly far-fetched, is what you are promised
23:37  "There is no life beyond our present, worldly life. Some of us die (while others are born,) and so life continues; and we are not raised from the dead
23:38  "He is nothing but a man, fabricating falsehood in attribution to God; and we are not (going to) to believe in him."
23:39  Eventually, the Messenger invoked: "My Lord, help me because they deny me!"
23:40  (God) said: "In a little while, they are sure to be regretful."
23:41  So in consequence, the awful blast seized them as a judgment of God rightly fitted to their deserts, and We made them like the waste of dead plants carried by a flood and left on the coast once the water recedes. So away with the wrongdoing people
23:42  Then, after them, We brought forth new generations (in succession)
23:43  (What happened to all those generations proves that) no community can ever hasten on the end of its term, nor can they delay it (once it has been decided by God because of their beliefs and life-styles)
23:44  We sent Our Messengers one after the other (each to a generation). Whenever their Messenger came to a community, they denied him, and in consequence We caused each community to follow the other to its doom, and reduced them to mere tales of the past. So away with a people who do not believe
23:45  After all those Messengers (sent to the past generations that are now all extinct,) We sent Moses and his brother Aaron as Messengers with Our clear signs (miracles to support them) and a manifest authority (from Us)
23:46  To the Pharaoh and his chiefs. But they grew arrogant in the face of them, and demonstrated that they were a haughty, self-exalting people
23:47  They said: "Shall we believe in two mortals like ourselves, when their people {the people of Moses and Aaron) are serving us in humility and obedience?"
23:48  They denied them, and they too eventually became of those who were destroyed
23:49  (After their destruction) We granted Moses the Book so that his people might follow the right way
23:50  We made the Son of Mary and his mother a miraculous sign (of Our Lordship and Power), and We provided for them refuge on a lofty ground of comfort and security with a (water) spring
23:51  O you Messengers! Partake of (God’s) pure and wholesome bounties, and always act righteously. I have full knowledge of all that you do
23:52  This community of yours is one single community of the same faith, and I am your Lord (Who creates, sustains, and protects you), so hold Me alone in fear and keep your duty to Me in piety
23:53  But people, having broken up into groups, differed among themselves as regards the Religion, each group proudly rejoicing in the portion they have
23:54  So (if they, despite all the evidence We have put forth in support of the truth of the Message that you, O Messenger, are conveying to them, still refuse to accept it), leave them alone, immersed in their ignorance and heedlessness until an appointed time
23:55  Do they think that by all the wealth and children We provide for them
23:56  We but hasten to lavish on them all kinds of good? No, but they do not perceive (the reality of the matter)
23:57  While as for those who live in awe because of deep reverence for their Lord
23:58  Who have renewed, ever-strengthening faith in their Lord’s signs and Revelations
23:59  Who never associate partners with their Lord
23:60  Who do whatever they do and give whatever they give in charity and for God’s cause, with their hearts trembling at the thought that they are bound to turn to their Lord (remaining anxious, for they are unsure whether God will accept from them and be pleased with them) –
23:61  It is those (illustrious ones) who hasten to do all kinds of virtuous deeds, and they are in a virtuous competition with one another in doing them
23:62  (No one, especially those unbelievers, should think that there is something superhuman required of humanity. For) We do not burden any soul except within its capacity, and with Us is a record that speaks the truth (about the deeds, thoughts, and intentions of each individual). They will in no wise be wronged
23:63  The fact is that the hearts of those unbelievers are utterly ignorant and heedless of all this, and apart from this, they have some evil deeds that they habitually commit (which prevent them from seeing and accepting the truth)
23:64  Until the time when We seize (them) with the punishment – those of them who have been lost in the pursuit of pleasures. They will then begin to groan for help
23:65  "Stop groaning for help today; you are not to receive any help from Us
23:66  "You know that My Revelations used to be recited to you, but you used to turn on your heels in aversion
23:67  "Behaving arrogantly, and talking nonsense (about the Messenger and the Religion he conveys) in your nightly conversations."
23:68  Have they ever pondered over this Word (of God) or has there come to them something (completely novel in human history) which never came to their forefathers of old
23:69  Or is it that they are unaware of their Messenger, and so they disavow him
23:70  Or do they say that there is madness in him? No, he has brought them the truth, but most of them are disdainful of the truth
23:71  Were the truth to follow their desires and caprices, the heavens and the earth and all those who live in them would certainly have gone to ruin. But We have brought to them whatever they must heed in life for their honor and happiness, and they turn away from that which will bring them honor and happiness
23:72  Or do you (O Messenger) ask them for any payment? Whereas the reward of your Lord is the best and to everyone’s good. He is the Provider, with the ultimate rank of providing and the Best to be sought as provider
23:73  And certainly, you are calling them to a Straight Path
23:74  Whereas, those who do not believe in the Hereafter are ever astray from the Path
23:75  If We have mercy on them and remove from them the harm afflicting them, for sure they will persist in their rebellion, blindly wandering on
23:76  For indeed We have seized them with the punishment (of famine), and yet, they have not bowed down to their Lord, nor do they invoke Him humbly
23:77  Finally We open to them a gate of severe punishment and look, they are plunged into utter despair and sorrow
23:78  He it is Who has made for you (the faculty of) hearing, and eyes, and hearts. Scarcely do you give thanks
23:79  He it is Who has brought forth and made you grow up on earth, and to Him you will be gathered
23:80  He it is Who gives life and causes to die, and the alternation of night and day (with their periods shortening and lengthening) occurs in obedience to Him (and for the purposes He has established). Will you not, then, reason and understand (that there cannot be another deity besides God)
23:81  (Instead of using their reason), they only speak as the former (disbelieving) peoples spoke
23:82  They say, "What! after we have died and become dust and bones, will we then be raised from the dead
23:83  "We were already promised such things, we and our forefathers. These are no more than the fables of the ancients."
23:84  Say: "To whom belongs the earth and whoever is on it? (Tell me,) if you have any knowledge?"
23:85  They could not help but acknowledge: "To God." Say: "Will you not, then, reflect and be mindful?"
23:86  Say: "Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the Supreme Throne (He Who rules the whole universe and sustains all that live in it)?"
23:87  They could not help but acknowledge: "These belong to God, too." Say: "Will you not, then, keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety?"
23:88  Say: "In Whose Hand is the absolute ownership and dominion of all things, and He protects and grants asylum, whereas against Him no asylum is available, and Himself never needs protection? (Tell me,) if you have any knowledge."
23:89  They could not help but acknowledge: "God exclusively." Say: "How, then, can you be so deluded?"
23:90  The fact is that We have conveyed to them the truth but for sure they are the liars (in their assertions, denial of the pillars of faith, and against their own selves)
23:91  God has never taken to Himself a child, nor is there any deity along with Him; otherwise each deity would surely have sought absolute independence with his creatures under his authority, and they would surely have tried to overpower one another. All-Glorified is God, in that He is far above what they attribute to Him
23:92  The Knower of the Unseen and the witnessed (all that lies in the hidden and visible realms and beyond and within the reach of any created being’s perception), and absolutely exalted is He above all that they associate with Him as partners
23:93  Say: "My Lord, if You let me witness the fulfillment of what they have been promised (to suffer)
23:94  "Then, do not include me, my Lord, among those wrongdoing people!"
23:95  Surely We are absolutely able to let you witness the fulfillment of what We have promised them to suffer (and save you from)
23:96  (But whatever they may say or do) repel the evil (done to you and committed against your mission) with the best (of what you can do). We know best all that they falsely attribute to Us
23:97  And say: "My Lord! I seek refuge in You from the promptings and provocations of the satans (of the jinn and humankind especially in my relations with people, while I am performing my mission)
23:98  "I seek refuge in You, my Lord, lest they be present with me."
23:99  (Those who persist in their evil ways will not cease from their false attributions to God, and from their harsh reaction to you) until when death comes to one of them, and then he implores: "My Lord! Please, let me return to life
23:100  "That I may act righteously with respect to whatever I have left undone in the world." No, never! It is merely a word that he utters over and over again. Before those (who are dead) is an intermediate world (of the grave, where they will stay) until the Day when they will be raised up
23:101  Then, when the Trumpet (of Resurrection) is blown, there will no longer be any ties of kinship among them (which will be of any avail), nor will they ask about one another (as everyone will be too engrossed in their own plight to think of others)
23:102  (Balances are set up) and those whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy – they are the prosperous
23:103  While those whose scales (of good deeds) are light – they will be those who have ruined their own selves, in Hell abiding
23:104  The Fire will scorch their faces, their lips being displaced and their jaws protruding
23:105  "Were not My Revelations recited to you, and you used to deny them?"
23:106  They will say: "Our Lord! Our wretchedness (which we ourselves provoked upon ourselves) prevailed over us, and we were people lost in error
23:107  "Our Lord! Take us out of this (suffering). Then, if we ever revert to evil, we will indeed be wrongdoers."
23:108  "Away with you into it! No longer address Me!"
23:109  "There was among My servants a party who would pray, ‘Our Lord! We have believed, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of the merciful.’
23:110  "You used to take them in mockery, so much so that your hostilities to them caused you to forget My remembrance, and you simply persisted in laughing at them
23:111  "But look, today I have rewarded them for what they endured patiently, so that they are those who are the triumphant."
23:112  (God) says: "For how many years did you stay on earth?"
23:113  They say: "We stayed for a day or part of a day. Ask of those who are able to keep count of this."
23:114  Says He: "You stayed but for a short while, if only you had known (how short it was to be and acted accordingly)
23:115  "Or did you think that We created you in vain, and that you should devote all your time to play and entertainment, and that you would not be brought back to Us?"
23:116  Absolutely exalted is God, the Supreme Sovereign, the Absolute Truth and Ever-Constant. There is no deity but He, the Lord of the Supreme Throne of Nobility and Munificence
23:117  Whoever asserts the existence of another deity to worship along with God, for which it is inconceivable for him to have any evidence, will certainly be questioned by his Lord. Surely the unbelievers will not prosper
23:118  Say: "O my Lord, forgive me and have mercy on me (always treat me with Your forgiveness and mercy), for You are the Best of the merciful."