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al-Anbiya` (The Prophets)
as rendered by Sayyid Qutb (transcription in progress)

Sayyid Qutb rendition of Surah The Prophets(al-Anbiya`)
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21:1 Closer to people draws their reckoning, yet they continue to blithely turn away.
21:2 Whenever there comes to them any new reminder from their Lord, they listen to it but take it in jest;
21:3 their hearts set on pleasure. Yet, concealing their inner thoughts, the wrongdoers say to one another: 'Is this man anything but a human being like yourselves? Will you, then, follow his sorcery with your eyes open?'
21:4 He says: 'My Lord knows whatever is spoken in heaven and earth. He is the One who hears all and knows all.'
21:5 'Nay,' they say, 'it is but a medley of dreams!' 'Nay, he has invented it himself!' 'Nay, he is only a poet!' 'Let him, then, bring us some sign, as the prophets of old were sent with.'
21:6 Not one of the communities whom We destroyed in bygone days would ever believe. Will these, then, believe?
21:7 Before your time, We never sent [as Our messengers] any but men whom We inspired. Hence, ask the followers of earlier revelations if you do not know this.
21:8 Neither did We give them bodies that did not eat food, nor were they immortal.
21:9 In the end, We fulfilled Our promise to them, and We saved them and all whom We willed [to save], and We destroyed those who transgressed beyond bounds.
21:10 We have now revealed for you a book bringing you respect. Will you not, then, use your reason?
21:11 How many a community that persisted in evil- doing have We dashed into fragments, and raised another people in their stead?
21:12 And as soon as they began to feel Our might they took to their heels and fled.
21:13 Do not run away. Return to all your comforts and to your dwellings, so that you might be called to account.
21:14 They said: 'Woe betide us! We were indeed wrongdoers!'
21:15 And that cry of theirs did not cease until We caused them to become like a field mown down, still and silent as ashes.
21:16 We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in mere idle play.
21:17 Had We willed to indulge in a pastime, We would indeed have found one near at hand; if ever We were to do so!
21:18 Nay, but We hurl the truth against falsehood, and it crushes the latter, and behold, it withers away. But woe to you for all your false claims.
21:19 To Him belong all those who are in the heavens and on earth. Those that are with Him are never too proud to worship Him and never grow weary of that.
21:20 They extol His limitless glory by night and day, tirelessly.
21:21 Or have they taken for worship some earthly deities who can restore the dead to life?
21:22 Had there been in heaven or on earth any deities other than God, both would surely have fallen into ruin! But limitless in His glory is God, Lord of the Throne, and exalted is He above all that they attribute to Him!
21:23 He cannot be questioned about whatever He does, whereas they shall be questioned.
21:24 Or have they taken for worship some deities besides Him? Say: 'Produce your convincing proof. This is the message of those who are with me and the message of those before me.' But nay, most of them do not know the truth, and so they stubbornly turn away.
21:25 Before your time We never sent a messenger without having revealed to him that there is no deity other than Me. Therefore, you shall worship Me alone.
21:26 They say: 'The Most Merciful has taken to Himself a son!' Limitless is He in His glory! No; they are but His honoured servants.
21:27 They do not speak until He has spoken, and they act at His behest.
21:28 He knows all that lies before them and all behind them. They do not intercede for any but those whom He has already graced with His goodly acceptance, since they themselves stand in reverent awe of Him.
21:29 If any of them were to say, 'I am a deity beside Him,' We shall requite him with hell. Thus do We reward the wrongdoers.
21:30 Are the unbelievers unaware that the heaven and the earth were once one single entity, which We then parted asunder? We have made out of water every living thing. Will they not, then, believe?
21:31 We have also set firm mountains on earth, lest it sway with them, and We have cut out there broad paths, so that they might find their way,
21:32 and We have set up the sky as a well-secured canopy. Yet they stubbornly turn away from all its signs.
21:33 It is He who has created the night and the day and the sun and the moon: each moves swiftly in its own orbit.
21:34 Never have We granted life everlasting to any man before you. Should you yourself die, do they, perchance, hope to live forever?
21:35 Every soul shall taste death. We test you all with evil and good by way of trial. To Us you all must return.
21:36 When the unbelievers see you, they make you the target of their mockery, saying [to one another], 'Is this the one who speaks against your gods?' Yet they are the ones who, at the mention of the Most Merciful, are quick to deny Him.
21:37 Man is a creature of haste. I shall show you My signs: do not, then, ask Me to hurry them on.
21:38 They say: 'When is this promise to be fulfilled, if what you say be true?'
21:39 If only the unbelievers knew [that there will come] a time when they will not be able to shield their faces and their backs from the fire; a time when they will find no support.
21:40 Indeed, it will come upon them of a sudden, and will stupefy them. They will be unable to avert it, nor will they be allowed any respite.
21:41 Other messengers were derided before your time; but those who scoffed at them were [in the end] overwhelmed by the very thing that they derided.
21:42 Say: 'Who could protect you, by night or by day, from the Most Merciful?' Yet, from the remem- brance of their Lord do they stubbornly turn away.
21:43 Do they have gods other than Us to protect them? Those [alleged deities] are not even able to succour themselves, nor can they be given company by Us.
21:44 We have allowed these, and their fathers, to enjoy the good things of life for a great length of time. Can they not see that We gradually reduce the land from its outlying borders? Is it they, then, who will triumph?
21:45 Say: 'I do but warn you on the strength of divine revelation!' But the deaf cannot hear this call, however often they are warned.
21:46 Yet, if but a breath of your Lord's punishment touches them, they are sure to cry, 'Oh, woe betide us! We were wrongdoers indeed.'
21:47 We shall set up just scales on the Day of Resurrection, so that no human being shall be wronged in the least. If there be but the weight of a mustard seed, We shall bring it [to account]. Sufficient are We for reckoning.
21:48 Indeed We vouchsafed to Moses and Aaron the standard by which to distinguish right from wrong, a guiding light and a reminder for the God-conscious
21:49 who fear their Lord in their most secret thoughts, and are weary of the Last Hour.
21:50 And this one, too, is a blessed reminder which We have bestowed from on high: will you, then, reject it?
21:51 We formerly bestowed on Abraham his consciousness of what is right, and We were aware of him
21:52 when he said to his father and his people, 'What are these images to which you are so devoted?'
21:53 They answered: 'We found our forefathers worshipping them.'
21:54 Said he: 'Indeed, you and your forefathers have been in evident error.'
21:55 They asked: 'Is it the truth you are preaching to us? Or are you one who jests?'
21:56 He replied: 'Indeed, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, He who has brought them into being. And I am a witness to this [truth].
21:57 'By God, I shall most certainly bring about the downfall of your idols when you have turned your backs and gone away!'
21:58 So he broke the idols to pieces, [all] except for the biggest of them, so that they might turn back to him.
21:59 They said: 'Who has done this to our gods? He is definitely one of the wrongdoers.'
21:60 They said: 'We heard a youth speak of them; he is called Abraham.'
21:61 They said: 'Then bring him here in sight of all people, so that they may bear witness.'
21:62 They said: 'Abraham, was it you who did this to our gods?'
21:63 He answered: 'Nay, it was this one, the biggest of them, who did it. But ask them, if they can speak!'
21:64 So they turned to themselves, saying, 'Surely, it is you who are doing wrong.'
21:65 But then they relapsed into their old position and said, 'You know very well that these [idols] cannot speak!'
21:66 Said [Abraham]: 'Do you then worship, instead of God, something that cannot benefit or harm you in any way?
21:67 Fie upon you and upon all that you worship instead of God! Will you not, then, use your reason?'
21:68 They cried: 'Burn him, and succour your gods, if you are going to do [anything at all]!'
21:69 But We said: 'Fire, be cool to Abraham, and a source of inner peace [for him].'
21:70 They sought to lay a snare for him, but We caused them to be the absolute losers.
21:71 We delivered him and Lot, [bringing them] to the land which We have blessed for all mankind.
21:72 And We gave him Isaac and, as an additional gift, Jacob, and caused all of them to be righteous men,
21:73 and We made them leaders to give guidance at Our behest. We inspired them to do good works, and to be constant in prayer, and to give regular charity. It is Us alone that they worshipped.
21:74 And to Lot, too, We gave sound judgement and knowledge. We saved him from that community which was given to deeds of abomination. They were people lost in evil, depraved.
21:75 Him We admitted to Our grace; for he was righteous.
21:76 And long before that, Noah called out [to Us], and We responded to him and saved him with his household from the great calamity,
21:77 and helped him against the people who had denied Our revelations. Lost in evil were they, and so We caused them all to drown.
21:78 And remember David and Solomon, when both gave judgement concerning the field into which some people's sheep had strayed and grazed by night. We were witness to their judgement.
21:79 We gave Solomon insight into the case. Yet We gave sound judgement and knowledge to both of them. And We caused the mountains to join David in extolling Our limitless glory, and likewise the birds. We are indeed able to do [all things].
21:80 And We taught him how to make garments for you, so that they may fortify you against all that which may cause you fear. Will you, then, give thanks?
21:81 To Solomon We subjected the stormy wind, so that it sped at his behest towards the land which We had blessed. It is We who have knowledge of everything.
21:82 And of the evil ones, [We assigned him] some that dived for him into the sea and performed other works besides; but it was We who kept a watch over them.
21:83 And remember Job, when he cried out to his Lord: Affliction has befallen me, but of all those who show mercy You are the Most Merciful.'
21:84 We responded to him and relieved all the affliction he suffered. We restored to him his family and as many more with them, as an act of grace from Ourself, and as a reminder to all who worship Us.
21:85 And remember Ishmael, IdrÄ«s and Dhu'l-Kifl: they all were men of constancy and patience.
21:86 We admitted them to Our grace, for they were among the righteous.
21:87 And remember Dhu'l-NÅ«n, when he went away in anger, thinking that We would not force him into a tight situation! But then he cried out in the deep darkness: 'There is no deity other than You! Limitless are You in Your glory! I have done wrong indeed!'
21:88 So We responded to him and delivered him from his distress. Thus do We deliver those who have faith.
21:89 And remember Zachariah when he cried out to his Lord: 'My Lord! Do not leave me alone, although You are the best of inheritors.'
21:90 So We responded to him and gave him John, having cured his wife for him. These [three] would vie with one another in doing good works, and would call on Us in yearning and awe. They were always humble before Us.
21:91 And remember her who guarded her chastity, whereupon We breathed into her of Our spirit and caused her, together with her son, to become a sign to all mankind.
21:92 Surely, your community is but one community, and I am your only Lord. So, worship Me alone.
21:93 But people have divided themselves into factions. Yet to Us shall they all return.
21:94 Whoever does righteous deeds and is a believer withal, his endeavour shall not be lost: We shall record it in his favour.
21:95 It is forbidden that any community We have ever destroyed should not return [to Us].
21:96 When Gog and Magog are let loose and swarm down from every corner,
21:97 when the true promise draws close [to its fulfilment], staring in horror shall be the eyes of the unbelievers, [and they will exclaim:] 'Oh, woe to us! Of this we were indeed heedless. We have assuredly done wrong.'
21:98 You and all that you were wont to worship instead of God are but the fuel of hell: that is what you are destined for.
21:99 If those [objects of your worship] had truly been divine, they would not have been destined for it. But there all shall abide.
21:100 There they will be groaning with anguish, and bereft of hearing.
21:101 But those for whom [the decree of] ultimate good has already gone forth from Us will be kept far away from that hell,
21:102 hearing none of its hissing sound. They will abide in all that their souls have ever desired.
21:103 The Supreme Terror will cause them no grief, since the angels will receive them with the greeting, 'This is your day which you were promised.'
21:104 On that day We shall roll up the heavens like a scroll of parchment. As We brought into being the first creation, so We shall bring it forth anew. That is a promise We willed upon Ourselves. We are indeed able to do all things.
21:105 We wrote in the Psalms, after the Reminder [given to Moses] that 'the righteous among My servants shall inherit the earth.'
21:106 In this, there is a message for people who worship God.
21:107 We have sent you as a [manifestation of Our] grace towards all the worlds.
21:108 Say: 'It has been revealed to me that your God is the One and only God: will you, then, surrender yourselves to Him?'
21:109 If they turn away, say: 'I have proclaimed this in equity to all of you alike; but I do not know whether that which you are promised is imminent or far off.
21:110 He certainly knows all that is said openly, just as He knows all that you would conceal.
21:111 For all I know, this may be but a trial for you, and a short reprieve.'
21:112 Say: 'My Lord, judge You in truth!' and [say]: 'Our Lord is the Most Merciful whose help is ever to be sought against all [the blasphemies] you utter.'


   


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