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Sad (The Letter Sad)
as rendered by N J Dawood 2014
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N J Dawood (2014) rendition of Surah The Letter Sad(Sad)
38:1 Ṣād. BY the Koran, proclaiming the Admonition!
38:2 Surely the unbelievers are imbued with arrogance and perverseness.
38:3 How many generations have We destroyed before them! They all cried out for mercy, when it was too late to escape.
38:4 They marvel that one of their own should come to warn them. ‘This is a sorcerer, a teller of lies,‘ the unbelievers say.
38:5 Does he claim the gods are one god? This is indeed a strange thing.‘
38:6 Their elders go about saying: ‘Go, and stand firm in the worship of your gods: it is a binding duty.
38:7 We have not heard of this¹ in the Christian faith². It is nothing but a false invention.
38:8 What! Was the Admonition sent down to him alone among us?‘ Indeed, they are in doubt about My Admonition, indeed, they have not yet tasted My scourge.
38:9 Do they possess the treasures of the mercy of your Lord, the Almighty, the Munificent One?
38:10 Is theirs the sovereignty over the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them? Then let them climb up to the sky by ropes!
38:11 There, non shall be found but factions of defeated warriors.
38:12 Before them the people of Noah, ‘Ād, and Pharaoh, who impaled his victims upon the stakes;
38:13 Thamūd, the people of Lot, and the dwellers of the Forest³ ― they disbelieved, they were all those factions:
38:14 all charged their apostles with imposture. And my punishment justly smote them.
38:15 Yet these are waiting but for a single cry ― which none may retard.
38:16 They say: ‘Lord, hasten our doom before the Day of Reckoning!‘
38:17 Bear with what they say, and remember Our servant David, who was both a mighty and a penitent man.
38:18 We made the mountains¹ join with him in praise evening and morning,
38:19 and the birds, too, in all their flocks; all were obedient to him.
38:20 We made his kingdom strong, and gave him wisdom and discriminating judgement.
38:21 Have you heard the story of the litigants who entered his chamber by climbing over the wall?
38:22 When they went in to David and saw that he was alarmed, they said: ‘Fear not. We are two litigants, one of whom has wronged the other. Judge rightly between us and do not be unjust; guide us to the right path.
38:23 My brother here has ninety-nine ewes, but I have only one ewe². He demanded that I should entrust it to him, and got the better of me in the dispute.‘
38:24 He said: ‘He has certainly wronged you in seeking to add your ewe to his flock. Many partners are unjust to one another; but not so those that have faith and do good works, and they are few indeed.‘ David realized that We were only testing him. He sought forgiveness of his Lord and fell down penitently on his knees.
38:25 We forgave him that; and in Our presence he shall be honoured and well received.
38:26 David, We have made you master in the land. Rule with justice among people and do not yield to lust, lest it turn you away from God‘s path.‘ Because they forget the Day of Reckoning, those that stray from God‘s path shall be grievously punished.‘
38:27 It was not in vain that We created heaven and earth and all that lies between them. That is what the unbelievers think. But woe betide the unbelievers when they are cast into the Fire!
38:28 Are We to equate those that have faith and do good works with those that perpetrate corruption in the land? Are We to equate the righteous with the ungodly?
38:29 This Book We have revealed to you with Our blessing, that those that are of good sense possessed might ponder its revelations and take warning.
38:30 And We gave Solomon to David; and he was a good and penitent servant.
38:31 When, one evening, his prancing steeds were ranged before him, he said:
38:32 My love for good things has distracted me from the remembrance of my Lord, until the sun disappeared behind the veil of darkness.
38:33 Bring me back my chargers!‘ And with this he fell to hacking their legs and necks.
38:34 We put Solomon to the proof and placed a body upon his throne, so that he at length repented.
38:35 He said: ‘Forgive me, Lord, and bestow upon me such sovereignty as shall belong to none after me. You are the Bountiful Giver.‘
38:36 We subjected the wind to him, so that it blew softly at his bidding wherever he directed it;
38:37 and the demons, too, every builders and divers
38:38 and others bound with chains.
38:39 This is Our giving. It is for you to bestow or to withhold, without reckoning.‘
38:40 In Our presence he shall be honoured and well received.
38:41 And tell of Our servant Job. He called out to his Lord, saying: ‘Satan has afflicted me with anguish and torment.‘
38:42 Stamp your feet, here is a cool spring for you to wash in and to drink from.‘
38:43 We restored to him his household and as many more with them: a blessing from Ourself and an Admonition to those that are of good sense possessed.
38:44 Take a bunch of twigs and beat with it; do not break your oath.‘¹ We found him steadfast; a good and penitent man.
38:45 And tell of Our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: men of might and vision
38:46 We made pure with the thought of the hereafter.
38:47 They shall dwell with Us among the chosen and the righteous.
38:48 And tell of Ishmael, Elisha, and Dhūl-Kifl,² who were all among the just.
38:49 This is but an Admonition. The righteous shall return to a blessed retreat:
38:50 to the Gardens of Eden, whose gates shall open wide to receive them.
38:51 Reclining therein,
38:52 they will call for abundant fruit and drink with bashful virgins for companions, .
38:53 All this you are promised for the Day of Reckoning;
38:54 this is Our gift: a gift unending.
38:55 But doleful shall be the return of the transgressors.
38:56 In Hell shall they burn, an evil resting-place.
38:57 Therein let them taste their drink: scalding water, festering blood,
38:58 coupled with other putrid things.
38:59 This band shall be thrown in headlong with you. No welcome shall await them; they shall be promptly cast into the Fire.‘
38:60 No welcome for you either! It was you who prepared this for us, an evil plight.‘
38:61 Then will they say: ‘Lord, inflict on those who brought this fate upon us a twofold torment in the Fire.
38:62 And they will say: ‘But why do we not see men whom we deemed wicked
38:63 and whom we laughed to scorn? Or have our eyes missed them?‘
38:64 All this shall come to pass. The inmates of the Fire will wrangle among themselves.
38:65 Say: ‘I am only to give warning. There is no divinity but God, the One who conquers all.
38:66 He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them: the Almighty, the Forgiving One.‘
38:67 Say: ‘This is a fateful message:
38:68 yet you pay no heed to it.
38:69 I had no knowledge of those on high when they wrangled among themselves.
38:70 It was revealed to me, only that I might warn you plainly.‘
38:71 Tell of your Lord when He said to the angels:
38:72 ‘I am creating man from clay. When I have fashioned him and breathed My spirit into him, kneel-down and prostrate yourselves before him.‘
38:73 The angels prostrated themselves one and all,
38:74 except Satan, who was too proud and was an unbeliever.
38:75 Satan,‘ said He, what prevented you from bowing to him whom I have created with My own hands? Are you too proud, or do you deem yourself superior?‘
38:76 He said: ‘I am nobler than he. You created me from fire, but him from clay.‘
38:77 Get you out hence, you are accursed!‘ said He.
38:78 And My curse shall remain on you until the Day of Reckoning.‘
38:79 He said: ‘Reprieve me, Lord, till the Day of Resurrection.
38:80 He said: ‘Reprieved you shall be
38:81 till the Day of the time Appointed.‘
38:82 I swear by Your glory,‘ said Satan, ‘that I will seduce them all
38:83 except your faithful servants.‘
38:84 He said ‘Learn the truth, then, and I speak nothing but the Truth:
38:85 I will surely fill Hell with your offspring and with your followers all.‘
38:86 Say: ‘I demand of you for this no recompense. Nor do I pretend to be what I am not.
38:87 This is but an Admonition to mankind;
38:88 in a while you shall learn about it all.‘


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