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38:1  Sad. CONSIDER this Qur’an, endowed with all that one ought to remember
38:2  But nay - they who are bent on denying the truth are lost in [false] pride, and [hence] deeply in the wrong
38:3  How many a generation have We destroyed before their time [for this very sin]! And [how] they called [unto Us] when it was too late to escape
38:4  Now these [people] deem it strange that a warner should have come unto them from their own midst - and [so] the deniers of the truth are saying: “A [mere] spellbinder is he, a liar
38:5  Does he claim that all the deities are [but] one God? Verily, a most strange thing is this!”
38:6  And their leaders launch forth [thus]: “Go ahead, and hold steadfastly onto your deities: this, behold, is the only thing to do
38:7  Never did we hear of [a claim like] this in any faith of latter days! It is nothing but [a mortal man’s] invention
38:8  What! Upon him alone from among all of us should a [divine] reminder have been bestowed from on high?” Nay, but it is My Own reminder that they distrust! Nay, they have not yet tasted the suffering which I do impose
38:9  Or do they [think that they] own the treasures of thy Sustainer’s grace - [the grace] of the Almighty, the Giver of Gifts
38:10  Or [that] the dominion over the heavens and the earth and all that is between them is theirs? Why, then, let them try to ascend [to God-like power] by all [conceivable] means
38:11  [But] there it is: any and all human beings, however [strongly] leagued together, are bound to suffer defeat [whenever they refuse to accept the truth]
38:12  To the truth gave the lie aforetime Noah’s people, and [the tribe of] Ad, and Pharaoh of the [many] tent-poles
38:13  and [the tribe of] Thamud, and the people of Lot, and the dwellers of the wooded dales [of Madyan]: they all were leagued together, [as it were, in their unbelief:]
38:14  not one [was there] but gave the lie to the apostles - and thereupon My retribution fell due
38:15  And they [who now deny the truth - they, too,] have but to wait for one single blast [of punishment to overtake them]: it shall not be delayed a whit
38:16  As it is, they say [mockingly]: “O our Sustainer! Hasten on to us our share [of punishment even] before the Day of Reckoning!”
38:17  [But] bear thou with patience whatever they may say, and remember Our servant David, him who was endowed with [so much] inner strength! He, verily, would always turn unto Us
38:18  [and for this,] behold, We caused the mountains to join him in extolling Our limitless glory at eventide and at sunrise
38:19  and [likewise] the birds in their assemblies: [together] they all Would turn again and again unto Him [who had created them]
38:20  And We strengthened his dominion, and bestowed upon him wisdom and sagacity in judgment
38:21  AND YET, has the story of the litigants come within thy ken - [the story of the two] who surmounted the walls of the sanctuary [in which David prayed]
38:22  As they came upon David, and he shrank back in fear from them, they said: “Fear not! [We are but] two litigants. One of us has wronged the other: so judge thou between us with justice, and deviate not from what is right, and show [both of] us the way to rectitude
38:23  “Behold, this is my brother: he has ninety-nine ewes, whereas I have [only] one ewe - and yet he said, ‘Make her over to me,’ and forcibly prevailed against me in this [our] dispute.”
38:24  Said [David]: “He has certainly wronged thee by demanding that thy ewe be added to his ewes! Thus, behold, do many kinsmen wrong one another [all] save those who believe [in God] and do righteous deeds: but how few are they!” And [suddenly] David understood that We had tried him: and so he asked his Sustainer to forgive him his sin, and fell down in prostration, and turned unto Him in repentance
38:25  And thereupon We forgave him that [sin]: and, verily, nearness to Us awaits him [in the life to come], and the most beauteous of all goals
38:26  [And We said:] “O David! Behold, We have made thee a [prophet and, thus, Our] vicegerent on earth: judge, then, between men with justice, and do not follow vain desire, lest it lead thee astray from the path of God: verily, for those who go astray from the path of God there is suffering severe in store for having forgotten the Day of Reckoning!”
38:27  AND [thus it is:] We have not created heaven and earth and all that is between them without meaning and purpose, as is the surmise of those who are bent on denying the truth: but then, woe from the fire [of hell] unto all who are bent on denying the truth
38:28  [For,] would We treat those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds in the same manner as [We shall treat] those who spread corruption on earth? Would We treat the God-conscious in the same manner as the wicked
38:29  [All this have We expounded in this] blessed divine writ which We have revealed unto thee, [O Muhammad,] so that men may ponder over its messages, and that those who are endowed with insight may take them to heart
38:30  AND UNTO DAVID We granted Solomon [as a son - and] how excellent a servant [of Ours he grew up to be]! Behold, he would always turn unto Us
38:31  [and even] when, towards the close of day, nobly-bred, swift-footed steeds were brought before him
38:32  he would say, “Verily, I have come to love the love of all that is good because I bear my Sustainer in mind!” [repeating these words as the steeds raced away,] until they were hidden by the veil [of distance - whereupon he would command]
38:33  “Bring them back unto me!”- and would [lovingly] stroke their legs and their necks
38:34  But [ere this], indeed, We had tried Solomon by placing upon his throne a [lifeless] body; and thereupon he turned [towards Us; and]
38:35  he prayed: “O my Sustainer! Forgive me my sins, and bestow upon me the gift of a kingdom which may not suit anyone after me: verily, Thou alone art a giver of gifts!”
38:36  And so We made subservient to him the wind, so that it gently sped at his behest whithersoever he willed
38:37  as well as all the rebellious forces [that We made to work for him] - every kind of builder and diver
38:38  and others linked together in fetters
38:39  [And We told him:] “This is Our gift, for thee to bestow freely on others, or to withhold, without [having to render] account!”
38:40  And, verily, nearness to Us awaits him [in the life to come], and the most beauteous of all goals
38:41  AND CALL to mind Our servant Job, [how it was] when he cried out to his Sustainer, “Behold, Satan has afflicted me with [utter] weariness and suffering!”
38:42  [and thereupon was told:] “Strike [the ground] with thy foot: here is cool water to wash with and to drink!”
38:43  And We bestowed upon him new offspring, doubling their number as an act of grace from Us, and as a reminder unto all who are endowed with insight
38:44  [And finally We told him:] “Now take in thy hand a small bunch of grass, and strike therewith, and thou wilt not break thine oath!” for, verily, We found him full of patience in adversity: how excellent a servant [of Ours], who, behold, would always turn unto Us
38:45  AND CALL to mind Our servants Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, [all of them] endowed with inner strength and vision
38:46  for, verily, We purified them by means of a thought most pure: the remembrance of the life to come
38:47  And, behold, in Our sight they were indeed among the elect, the truly good
38:48  And call to mind Ishmael and Elisha, and every one who [like them] has pledged himself [unto Us]: for, each of them was of the truly good
38:49  LET [all] this be a reminder [to those who believe in God] - for, verily, the most beauteous of all goals awaits the God-conscious
38:50  gardens of perpetual bliss, with gates wide-open to them
38:51  wherein they will recline, [and] wherein they may [freely] call for many a fruit and drink
38:52  having beside them well-matched mates of modest gaze.”
38:53  This is what you are promised for the Day of Reckoning
38:54  this, verily, shall be Our provision [for you], with no end to it
38:55  All this [for the righteous]: but, verily, the most evil of all goals awaits those who are wont to transgress the bounds of what is right
38:56  hell will they have to endure - and how vile a resting-place
38:57  This, [then, for them -] so let them taste it: burning despair and ice-cold darknes
38:58  and, coupled with it, further [suffering] of a similar nature
38:59  [And they will say to one another: “Do you see] this crowd of people who rushed headlong [into sin] with you? No welcome to them! Verily, they [too] shall have to endure the fire!”
38:60  [And] they [who had been seduced] will exclaim: “Nay, but it is you! No welcome to you! It is you who have prepared this for us: and how vile a state to abide in!”
38:61  [And] they will pray: “O our Sustainer! Whoever has prepared this for us, double Thou his suffering in the fire!”
38:62  And they will add: “How is it that we do not see [here any of the] men whom we were wont to count among the wicked
38:63  [and] whom we made the target of our derision? Or is it that [they are here, and] our eyes have missed them?”
38:64  Such, behold, will in truth be the [confusion and] mutual wrangling of the people of the fire
38:65  SAY [O Muhammad]: “I am only a warner; and there is no deity whatever save God, the One, who holds absolute sway over all that exists
38:66  the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, the Almighty, the All-Forgiving!”
38:67  Say: “This is a message tremendous
38:68  [how can] you turn away from it?”
38:69  [Say, O Muhammad:] “No knowledge would I have had of [what passed among] the host on high when they argued [against the creation of man]
38:70  had it not been revealed unto me [by God] - to no other end than that I might convey [unto you] a plain warning
38:71  [For,] lo, thy Sustainer said unto the angels: “Behold, I am about to create a human being out of clay
38:72  and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall you down before him in prostration!”
38:73  Thereupon the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together
38:74  save Iblis: he gloried in his arrogance, and [thus] became one of those who deny the truth
38:75  Said He: “O Iblis! What has kept thee from prostrating thyself before that [being] which I have created with My hands? Art thou too proud [to bow down before another created being], or art thou of those who think [only] of themselves as high?”
38:76  Answered [Iblis]: “I am better than he: Thou hast created me out of fire, whereas him Thou hast created out of clay.”
38:77  Said He: “Go forth, then, from this [angelic state] - for, behold, thou art henceforth accursed
38:78  and My rejection shall be thy due until the Day of Judgment!”
38:79  Said [Iblis]: “Then, O my Sustainer, grant me a respite till the Day when all shall be raised from the dead!”
38:80  Answered He: “Verily, so [be it:] thou shalt be among those who are granted respit
38:81  till the Day the time whereof is known [only to Me].&rdquo
38:82  [Whereupon Iblis] said: “Then [I swear] by Thy very might: I shall most certainly beguile them all into grievous error –
38:83  [all] save such of them as are truly Thy servants!”
38:84  [And God] said: “This, then, is the truth! And this truth do I state
38:85  Most certainly will I fill hell with thee and such of them as shall follow thee, all together!”
38:86  SAY [O Prophet]: “No reward whatever do I ask of you for this [message]; and I am not one of those who claim to be what they are not
38:87  This [divine writ], behold, is no less than a reminder to all the worlds —
38:88  and you will most certainly grasp its purport after a lapse of time!”