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al-Ma`arij (The Ascending Stairways, The Ladders)
as rendered by Linda "iLham" Barto
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Linda “iLHam” Barto rendition of Surah The Ascending Stairways, The Ladders(al-Ma`arij)
70:1 A petitioner asks about a penalty to befall…
70:2 …the unbelievers. [It is a penalty] which no one can avert.
70:3 [It is a penalty] from Allah, the Owner of the Staircase.
70:4 The angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a [cosmic] day, the measure of which is fifty thousand [Earth] years.
70:5 So be patient with a content patience.
70:6 (People) see (the last day) as far away,…
70:7 …but We see it as near.
70:8 That day the sky will look like molten metal.
70:9 The mountains will become like [fluffs of] wool.
70:10 [Out of dread] no friend will ask about another friend.
70:11 [That is] even if they are put in sight of one another. The [unforgiven] sinner will wish that he/she could redeem him-/herself from the penalty of that day with his/her children.
70:12 [He/she will wish for redemption by using] his/her spouse, his/her sibling,…
70:13 …his/her relatives who sheltered him/her,…
70:14 …and all else on the earth that might deliver him/her.
70:15 But no! There is only fire…
70:16 …plucking to the skull.
70:17 [The fire will be] inviting those who turned their backs and rejected [the truth]…
70:18 …and who amassed and hoarded.
70:19 Humanity tends to be impatient.
70:20 [He/she is] fretful when adversity befalls him/her.
70:21 [He/she is] stingy when fortune reaches him/her.
70:22 Those who worship are different.
70:23 They remain devoted in their prayer.
70:24 They recognize a right to their money…
70:25 …by anyone who asks [for charity] and any who are deprived.
70:26 They cling to the truth of the Day of Judgment.
70:27 They fear the punishment of their Lord.
70:28 Certainly your Lord’s displeasure is the opposite of calm.
70:29 They guard their modesty.
70:30 The exception is with their spouses and their wards. With them, they have no blame.
70:31 Those who go beyond this are sinners.
70:32 (The believers) honor their contracts and promises.
70:33 They are firm in their testimonies.
70:34 They are attentive in worship.
70:35 These will be honored in gardens.
70:36 [Sarcastically:] What is wrong with the unbelievers that they are making a mad dash before you?
70:37 [What is wrong that they come] in crowds, from the right and left?
70:38 Does everyone long to enter the garden of bliss?
70:39 No! Indeed, We have created them from what they know.
70:40 Now I do call to witness the Lord of All Risings and Settings that We can certainly…
70:41 …substitute for them better than they. We are not to be defeated.
70:42 Leave them to plunge into frivolous talk and silly frolic until they encounter their day promised to them.
70:43 On that day, they will proceed from their graves in sudden haste, as if they were rushing to a goalpost.
70:44 Their eyes will be downcast, and shame will cover them. Such is the day that they are promised!


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