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as-Saffat (Those Who Set The Ranks, Drawn up in Ranks, The Rangers)
as rendered by Muhammad Asad
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Muhammad Asad rendition of Surah Those Who Set The Ranks, Drawn up in Ranks, The Rangers(as-Saffat)
37:1 CONSIDER these [messages] ranged in serried ranks,
37:2 and restraining [from evil] by a call to restraint,
37:3 and conveying [to all the world] a reminder:
37:4 Verily, most surely, your God is One –
37:5 the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and of all that is between them, and the Sustainer of all the points of sunrise!
37:6 Behold, We have adorned the skies nearest to the earth with the beauty of stars,
37:7 and have made them secure against every rebellious, satanic force,
37:8 [so that] they [who seek to learn the unknowable] should not be able to overhear the host on high, but shall be repelled from all sides,
37:9 cast out [from all grace], with lasting suffering in store for them [in the life to come];
37:10 but if anyone does succeed in snatching a glimpse [of such knowledge], he is [henceforth] pursued by a piercing flame.
37:11 AND NOW ask those [who deny the truth] to enlighten thee: Were they more difficult to create than all those [untold marvels] that We have created? - for, behold, them have We created out of [mere] clay commingled with water!
37:12 Nay, but whereas thou dost marvel, they [only] scoff;
37:13 and when they are reminded [of the truth], they refuse to take it to heart;
37:14 and when they become aware of a [divine] message, they turn it to ridicule
37:15 and say: “This is clearly nothing but [a mortal’s] spellbinding eloquence!
37:16 Why - after we have died and become mere dust and bones, shall we, forsooth, be raised from the dead? –
37:17 and perhaps also our forebears of old?”
37:18 Say: “Yea, indeed - and most abject will you then be!” –
37:19 for that [resurrection which they deride] will be [upon them of a sudden, as if it were] but a single accusing cry - and then, lo! they will begin to see [the truth]
37:20 and will say: “Oh, woe unto us! This is the Day of Judgment!”
37:21 [And they will be told:] “This is the Day of Distinction [between the true and the false - the Day] which you were wont to call a lie!”
37:22 [And God will thus command:] “Assemble all those who were bent on evildoing, together with others of their ilk and [with] all that they were wont to worship
37:23 instead of God, and lead them all onto the way to the blazing fire,
37:24 and halt them [there]!” [And then,] behold, they shall be asked,
37:25 “How is it that [now] you cannot succour one another?”
37:26 Nay, but on that Day they would willingly surrender [to God];
37:27 but [since it will be too late,] they will turn upon one another, demanding of each other [to relieve them of the burden of their past sins].
37:28 Some [of them] will say: “Behold, you were wont to approach us [deceptively] from the right!”
37:29 [To which] the others will reply: “Nay, you yourselves were bereft of all faith!
37:30 Moreover, we had no power at all over you: nay, you were people filled with overweening arrogance!
37:31 But now our Sustainer’s word has come true against us [as well]: verily, we are bound to taste [the fruit of our sins].
37:32 So then, [if it be true that] we have caused you to err grievously - behold, we ourselves had been lost in grievous error!”
37:33 And, verily, on that Day they all will share in their common suffering.
37:34 Verily, thus shall We deal with all who were lost in sin:
37:35 for, behold, whenever they were told, “There is no deity save God,” they would glory in their arrogance
37:36 and would say, “Shall we, then, give up our deities at the bidding of a mad poet?”
37:37 Nay, but he [whom you call a mad poet] has brought the truth; and he confirms the truth of [what the earlier of God’s] message-bearers [have taught].
37:38 Behold, you will indeed taste grievous suffering [in the life to come],
37:39 although you shall not be requited for aught but what you were wont to do.
37:40 Not so, however, God’s true servants:
37:41 [in the hereafter,] theirs shall be a sustenance which they will recognize
37:42 as the fruits [of their life on earth]; and honoured shall they be
37:43 in gardens of bliss,
37:44 facing one another [in love] upon thrones of happiness.
37:45 A cup will be passed round among them [with a drink] from unsullied springs,
37:46 clear, delightful to those who drink it:
37:47 no headiness will be in it, and they will not get drunk thereon.
37:48 And with them will be mates of modest gaze, most beautiful of eye,
37:49 [as free of faults] as if they were hidden [ostrich] eggs.
37:50 And they will all turn to one another, asking each other [about their past lives].
37:51 One of them speaks thus: “Behold, I had [on earth] a close companion
37:52 who was wont to ask [me], ‘Why - art thou really one of those who believe it to be true
37:53 [that] after we have died and become mere dust and bones we shall, forsooth, be brought to judgment?”’
37:54 [And] he adds: “Would you like to look [and see him]?” –
37:55 and then he looks and sees that [companion of his] in the midst of the blazing fire,
37:56 and says: “By God! Verily, thou hast almost destroyed me [too, O my erstwhile companion]
37:57 for had it not been for my Sustainer’s favour, I would surely be [now] among those who are given over [to suffering]!
37:58 But then, [O my friends in paradise,] is it [really] so that we are not to die
37:59 [again,] beyond our previous death, and that we shall never [again] be made to suffer?
37:60 Verily, this - this indeed - is the triumph supreme!”
37:61 For the like of this, then, let them labour, those who labour [in God’s way]!
37:62 Is such [a paradise] the better welcome - or the [hellish] tree of deadly fruit?
37:63 Verily, We have caused it to be a trial for evildoers:
37:64 for, behold, it is a tree that grows in the very heart of the blazing fire [of hell],
37:65 its fruit [as repulsive] as satans’ heads;
37:66 and they [who are lost in evil] are indeed bound to eat thereof, and to fill their bellies therewith.
37:67 And, behold, above all this they will be confounded with burning despair!
37:68 And once again: Verily, the blazing fire is their ultimate goal –
37:69 for, behold, they found their forebears on a wrong way,
37:70 and [now] they make haste to follow in their footsteps!
37:71 Thus, indeed, most of the people of old went astray before them,
37:72 although, verily, We had sent warners unto them:
37:73 and behold what happened in the end to those that had been warned [to no avail]!
37:74 EXCEPT for God’s true servants, [most people are apt to go astray.]
37:75 And, indeed, [it was for this reason that] Noah cried unto Us - and how excellent was Our response:
37:76 for We saved him and his household from that awesome calamity,
37:77 and caused his offspring to endure [on earth];
37:78 and We left him thus to be remembered among later generations:
37:79 “Peace be upon Noah throughout all the worlds!”
37:80 Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good –
37:81 for he was truly one of our believing servants:
37:82 [and so We saved him and those who followed him] and then We caused the others to drown.
37:83 AND, BEHOLD, of his persuasion was Abraham, too,
37:84 when he turned to his Sustainer with a heart free of evil,
37:85 and [thus] spoke to his father and his people: “What is it that you worship?
37:86 Do you want [to bow down before] a lie - [before] deities other than God?
37:87 What, then, do you think of the Sustainer of all the worlds?”
37:88 Then he cast a glance at the stars,
37:89 and said, “Verily, I am sick [at heart]!”
37:90 and at that they turned their backs on him and went away.
37:91 Thereupon he approached their gods stealthily and said, “What! You do not eat [of the offerings placed before you]?
37:92 What is amiss with you that you do not speak?”
37:93 And then he fell upon them, smiting them with his right hand.
37:94 [But] then the others came towards him hurriedly [and accused him of his deed].
37:95 He answered: “Do you worship something that you [yourselves] have carved,
37:96 the while it is God who has created you and all your handiwork?”
37:97 They exclaimed: “Build a pyre for him, and cast him into the blazing fire!”
37:98 But whereas they sought to do evil unto him, We [frustrated their designs, and thus] brought them low?
37:99 And [Abraham] said: “Verily, I shall [leave this land and] go wherever my Sustainer will guide me!”
37:100 [And he prayed:] “O my Sustainer! Bestow upon me the gift of [a son who shall be] one of the righteous!” –
37:101 whereupon We gave him the glad tiding of a boy-child gentle [like himself]?
37:102 And [one day,] when [the child] had become old enough to share in his [father’s] endeavours, the latter said: “O my dear son! I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice thee: consider, then, what would be thy view!” [Ishmael] answered: “O my father! Do as thou art bidden: thou wilt find me, if God so wills, among those who are patient in adversity!”
37:103 But as soon as the two had surrendered themselves to [what they thought to be] the will of God, and [Abraham] had laid him down on his face,
37:104 We called out to him: “O Abraham,
37:105 thou hast already fulfilled [the purpose of] that dream- vision!” Thus, verily, do We reward the doers of good:
37:106 for, behold, all this was indeed a trial, clear in itself.
37:107 And We ransomed him with a tremendous sacrifice,
37:108 and left him thus to be remembered among later generations:
37:109 “Peace be upon Abraham!”
37:110 Thus do We reward the doers of good –
37:111 for he was truly one of our believing servants.
37:112 And [in time] We gave him the glad tiding of Isaac, [who, too, would be] a prophet, one of the righteous;
37:113 and We blessed him and Isaac: but among the offspring of these two there were [destined] to be both doers of good and such as would glaringly sin against themselves.
37:114 THUS, INDEED, did We bestow Our favour upon Moses and Aaron;
37:115 and We saved them and their people from the awesome calamity [of bondage],
37:116 and succoured them, so that [in the end] it was they who achieved victory.
37:117 And We gave them the divine writ that made [right and wrong] distinct,
37:118 and guided them the straight way,
37:119 and left them thus to be remembered among later generations:
37:120 “Peace be upon Moses and Aaron!”
37:121 Thus do We reward the doers of good –
37:122 for those two were truly among Our believing servants.
37:123 AND, BEHOLD, Elijah [too] was indeed one of Our message-bearers
37:124 when he spoke [thus] to his people: “Will you not remain conscious of God?
37:125 Will you invoke Baal and forsake [God,] the best of artisans -
37:126 God, your Sustainer and the Sustainer of your forebears of old?”
37:127 But they gave him the lie: and therefore they will most surely be arraigned [on Judgment Day],
37:128 excepting only [those who were] God’s true servants;
37:129 and him We left thus to be remembered among later generations:
37:130 “Peace be upon Elijah and his followers!”
37:131 Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good –
37:132 for he was truly one of Our believing servants!
37:133 AND, BEHOLD, Lot was indeed one of Our message-bearers;
37:134 [and so,] when [We decreed the doom of his sinful town,] We saved him and his household,
37:135 except an old woman who was among those that stayed behind;
37:136 and then We utterly destroyed the others:
37:137 and, verily, [to this day] you pass by the remnants of their dwellings at morning-time
37:138 and by night. Will you not, then, use your reason?
37:139 AND, BEHOLD, Jonah was indeed one of Our message-bearers
37:140 when he fled like a runaway slave onto a laden ship.
37:141 And then they cast lots, and he was the one who lost;
37:142 [and they cast him into the sea,] whereupon the great fish swallowed him, for he had been blameworthy.
37:143 And had he not been of those who [even in the deep darkness of their distress are able to] extol God’s limitless glory,
37:144 he would indeed have remained in its belly till the Day when all shall be raised from the dead:
37:145 but We caused him to be cast forth on a desert shore, sick [at heart] as he was,
37:146 and caused a creeping plant to grow over him [out of the barren soil].
37:147 And [then] We sent him [once again] to [his people,] a hundred thousand [souls] or more:
37:148 and [this time] they believed [in him] and so We allowed them to enjoy their life during the time allotted to them?
37:149 AND NOW ask them to enlighten thee: Has thy Sustainer daughters, whereas they would have [only] sons?
37:150 - or is it that We have created the angels female, and they [who believe them to be divine] have witnessed [that act of creation]?
37:151 Oh, verily, it is out of their own [inclination to] falsehood that some people assert,
37:152 “God has begotten [a son]”; and, verily, they are lying [too, when they say],
37:153 “He has chosen daughters in preference to sons”!
37:154 What is amiss with you and your judgment?
37:155 Will you not, then, bethink yourselves?
37:156 Or have you, perchance, a clear evidence [for your assertions]?
37:157 Produce, then, that divine writ of yours, if you are speaking the truth!
37:158 And some people have invented a kinship between Him and all manner of invisible forces although [even] these invisible forces know well that, verily, they [who thus blaspheme against God] shall indeed be arraigned [before Him on Judgment Day: for]
37:159 limitless is God in His glory, above anything that men may devise by way of definition!
37:160 Not thus, however, [behave] God’s true servants:
37:161 for, verily, neither you [blasphemers] nor the objects of your worship
37:162 can cause anyone to fall prey to your temptation
37:163 unless it be such as rushes towards the blazing fire [of his own accord]!
37:164 [All forces of nature praise God and say:] “Among us, too, there is none but has a place assigned to it [by Him];
37:165 and, verily, we too are ranged [before Him in worship];
37:166 and, verily, we too extol His limitless glory!”
37:167 AND, INDEED, they [who deny the truth] have always been wont to say,
37:168 “If only we had a tradition [to this effect] from our forebears,
37:169 we would certainly be true servants of God.”
37:170 And yet, [now that this divine writ has been placed before them,] they refuse to acknowledge it as true! In time, however, they will come to know [what it was that they had rejected]:
37:171 for, long ago has Our word gone forth unto Our servants, the message- bearers,
37:172 that, verily, they - they indeed - would be succoured,
37:173 and that, verily, Our hosts - they indeed - would [in the end] be victorious!
37:174 Hence, turn thou aside for a while from those [who deny the truth],
37:175 and see them [for what they are]; and in time they [too] will come to see [what they do not see now].
37:176 Do they, then, [really] wish that Our chastisement be hastened on?
37:177 But then, once it alights upon them, hapless will be the awakening of those who were warned [to no avail]!
37:178 Hence, turn thou aside for a while from them,
37:179 and see [them for what they are]; and n time they [too] will come to see [what they do not see now].
37:180 LIMITLESS in His glory is thy Sustainer, the Lord of almightiness, [exalted] above anything that men may devise by way of definition!
37:181 And peace be upon all His message-bearers!
37:182 And all praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds!


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