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23:1  SUCCESSFUL ARE the believers
23:2  who are humble in their prayers
23:3  who avoid profane talk
23:4  and give alms in earnest
23:5  who restrain their carnal desire
23:6  (except with their wives and slave-girls, for with them they are blameless
23:7  transgressors are those who lust after other than these)
23:8  who are true to their trusts and promises
23:9  and diligent in their prayers
23:10  These are the heir
23:11  of Paradise; wherein shall they abide for ever
23:12  We first created man from an essence of clay
23:13  then placed him, a living germ, in a secure enclosure¹
23:14  The germ We made a clot of blood,² and the clot a lump of flesh. This We fashioned into bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, thus bringing forth another creation. Blessed be God, the noblest of creators
23:15  Then you shall surely die hereafter
23:16  and then be restored to life on the Day of Resurrection
23:17  We have created seven heavens³ above you; of Our creation We were never heedless
23:18  We sent down water from the sky in due measure, and lodged it into the earth; but if We please, We can take it all away
23:19  With it We caused palm-groves and vineyards to spring up, yielding abundant fruit for your sustenance
23:20  The tree⁴ which grows on Mount Sinai gives oil and a condiment for all to eat
23:21  In cattle, too, you have but an example and a lesson. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, you eat their flesh, and gain other benefits from them besides
23:22  By them, as by the ships that sail the sea, you are carried
23:23  We sent forth Noah to his people. ‘Serve God, my people,‘ he said, ‘for you have no god but Him. Will you not take heed?‘
23:24  The unbelieving elders of his people said: ‘This man is but a mortal like yourselves, feigning to be your superior. Had God willed, He could have sent down angels. Nor did we hear that such a thing ever happened to our forefathers
23:25  He is surely but a man possessed. Keep an eye on him awhile.‘
23:26  He said: ‘Help me, Lord, for they disbelieve me
23:27  We revealed Our will to him, saying: ‘Build the ark under Our watchful eyes, according to Our instructions. When Our judgement comes to pass and water wells out from the Oven, take aboard a pair from every species and the members of your household, except those of them already doomed. Do not plead with Me for those who have done wrong: they shall be drowned
23:28  And when you and your followers have gone aboard, say: "Praise be to God who has delivered us from a sinful people
23:29  Lord, let my landing be blessed. You alone can make me land in safety."‘
23:30  Surely in that there were veritable signs. Thus did We put mankind to the proof
23:31  Then We raised a new generation
23:32  and sent forth to them an apostle of their own. ‘Serve God,‘ he said, ‘for you have no god but Him. Will you not take heed?‘
23:33  But the unbelieving elders of his people, who denied the life to come and on whom We had lavished the good things of this life, said: ‘This man is but a mortal like yourselves, nourished by the same food and drink
23:34  If you obey a mortal like yourselves, you shall indeed be lost.
23:35  Does he promise you, when you are dead and turned to dust and bones, you will be raised to life
23:36  A foolish promise, indeed
23:37  There is no other life but this, our earthly life: we die and live, never to be restored to life
23:38  He is but a man who tells of God what is untrue. Never will We believe in him.‘
23:39  He said: ‘Help me, Lord, for they disbelieve me.‘
23:40  He replied: ‘Before long they shall rue it.‘
23:41  The Cry took them in all justice, and We swept them away like withered leaves. Gone are the sinful people
23:42  After them We raised other generations ―
23:43  no community can delay it‘s doom or go before it ―
23:44  and sent forth Our apostles in succession. Yet time after time each community disbelieved their apostles, so that We destroyed them one by one and held them up as an example. Gone are the people who disbelieved
23:45  Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron, with Our signs and with clear authority
23:46  to Pharaoh and his nobles. But they received them with contempt, for they were arrogant men
23:47  What!‘ said they. ‘Are we to believe in two men like ourselves, whose people are our slaves?‘
23:48  They denied them, and thus incurred destruction
23:49  And We gave Moses the Book, that they might be rightly guided
23:50  We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and gave them a shelter on a peaceful hill-side watered by a fresh spring
23:51  Apostles! Eat of that which is wholesome, and do good works: I have knowledge of all your actions
23:52  Your community is but one community, and I am your only Lord: therefore fear Me
23:53  Yet they have divided themselves into factions, each rejoicing in its own doctrines
23:54  Leave them in their error till a time appointed
23:55  Do they think that, in giving them wealth and children
23:56  We are solicitous for their welfare? By no means! They lack perception
23:57  Those who walk in fear of their Lord
23:58  who believe in the revelations of their Lord
23:59  who worship none besides their Lord
23:60  who give from what they were given with hearts filled with awe, knowing that they will return to their Lord
23:61  these vie with each other for salvation and shall be the first to attain it
23:62  We charge no soul with more than it can bear. We have a Book which speaks the Truth: and none shall be wronged
23:63  But their hearts are blind to all this; their deeds are of a different sort, and they are bent on doing them
23:64  But when We visit Our scourge upon those of them that live in affluence, they will howl for help
23:65  We shall say: ‘Do not howl this day, for from Us you shall receive no help
23:66  My revelations were recited to you many a time, but you turned your back
23:67  in scorn, and passed the nights reviling them.‘
23:68  Should they not heed the Word? Was anything revealed to them that had not been revealed to their forefathers
23:69  Or is it because they do not know their apostle that they deny him
23:70  Do they say he is possessed? Surely he has come to them with the Truth. But most of them abhor the Truth
23:71  Had the Truth followed their appetites, the heavens, the earth, and all who dwell in them, would have surely been corrupted. We have given them their Admonition: yet to their Admonition they pay no heed
23:72  Are you seeking a recompense from them? Far better is your Lord‘s recompense. He is the most munificent Giver
23:73  You have surely called them to a straight path
23:74  but those who deny the life to come will ever stray from the path
23:75  And if We showed them mercy and relieved their misfortunes, they would persist in their insolent ways, ever straying blindly from the right path
23:76  We punished them, but they neither entreated their Lord nor humbled themselves before Him
23:77  And when We smote them with a grievous scourge, they yielded to utter despair
23:78  He it was who gave you ears, eyes, and hearts: yet you are seldom thankful
23:79  He it was who placed you on the earth, and before Him shall you be herded
23:80  And He it is who ordains life and death, and He who alternates the night with the day. Can you not understand
23:81  Indeed they say what the ancients said before them
23:82  ‘After our death, when we are dust and bones,‘ they say, ‘shall we be raised to life
23:83  This we have been promised before, we and our forefathers. It is but a fable of the ancients.‘
23:84  Say: ‘Whose is the earth and all that it contains? If you really know.‘
23:85  God‘s,‘ they will say. Say: ‘Then will you not reflect?‘
23:86  Say: ‘Who is the Lord of the seven heavens, and of the Glorious Throne?‘
23:87  God,‘ they will say. Say: ‘Will you not fear Him, then?‘
23:88  Say: ‘In whose hands is the sovereignty of all things, protecting all, while against Him there is no protection? If you really know.‘
23:89  In God‘s,‘ they will say. Say: ‘How then can you be so bewitched?‘
23:90  But We have revealed to them the Truth; and they are surely lying
23:91  Never has God begotten a son, nor is there any other god besides Him. Were this otherwise, each god would govern his own creation, each holding himself above the other. Exalted be God above their falsehoods
23:92  He knows alike the unknown and the manifest. Exalted be He above the gods they serve besides Him
23:93  Say: ‘Lord, if You will indeed let me see the scourge they are promised
23:94  do not abandon me, Lord, among these wrongdoing people.‘
23:95  Indeed, We do have power enough to let you see the scourge We promise them
23:96  Requite evil with good. We know their slanders well
23:97  And say: ‘Lord, I seek refuge in You from the promptings of the demons
23:98  Lord, I seek refuge in You from their presence.‘
23:99  When death comes to one among them, he will say: ‘Lord, let me go back
23:100  that I may do good works in the world I have left behind.‘ Never! These are the very words which he will speak. Behind them there shall stand a barrier till the Day of Resurrection
23:101  And when the Trumpet is blown, on that day their ties of kin shall be broken, nor shall they ask help of one another
23:102  Those whose good deeds weigh heavy in the scales shall triumph
23:103  but those whose good deeds are light shall forfeit their souls and abide in Hell for ever
23:104  The fire will scorch their faces and they will writhe in anguish
23:105  Were My revelations not recited to you, and did you not deny them?‘
23:106  Lord,‘ they will say, ‘fortune betrayed us and we were people gone astray
23:107  Lord, deliver us from it; if we relapse, then shall we indeed be wrongdoers.‘
23:108  He will say: ‘Stay here in shame and do not plead with Me
23:109  Among My servants there were those who said: "Lord, we now believe. Forgive us and have mercy on us: You are the best of those that show mercy.
23:110  But you derided them until they caused you to forget My warning; and you laughed at them
23:111  Today I shall requite them for their fortitude, for it is they who have triumphed.‘
23:112  He will ask: ‘How many years did you linger on the earth?‘
23:113  They will say: ‘A day, or possibly less. Ask those who have kept count.‘
23:114  He will say: ‘Brief indeed was your sojourn, if you but knew it
23:115  Did you think We created you in vain and to Us you would never be recalled?‘
23:116  Exalted be God, the True King. There is no god but Him, the Lord of the Glorious Throne
23:117  He that invokes another god with God ― a god of whose divinity he has no proof ― his Lord will surely bring him to account. The unbelievers shall never succeed
23:118  Say: ‘Lord, forgive and have mercy. You are the best of those that show mercy.‘