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al-Qasas (The Story, Stories, The Narrative)
as rendered by N J Dawood 2014
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N J Dawood (2014) rendition of Surah The Story, Stories, The Narrative(al-Qasas)
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28:1 Tā‘ sīn mīm.
28:2 These are the verses of the veritable Book.
28:3 In all truth We shall recount to you the tale of Moses and Pharaoh for the instruction of the faithful.
28:4 Now Pharaoh made himself a tyrant in the land. He divided his people into castes, one group of which he oppressed, slaughtering their sons and sparing only their daughters. Surely, he was an evil-doer.
28:5 But it was Our will to favour those who were oppressed in the land and to make them leaders among men,
28:6 to bestow on them a heritage and to give them power in the land; and to show Pharaoh, Haman,¹ and their warriors the very scourge they dreaded.
28:7 We revealed Our will to Moses‘ mother, saying: ‘Give him suck, but if you are concerned about his safety, then put him down onto the river. ‘Have no fear, nor be dismayed; for We shall restore him to you and shall invest him with a mission.‘
28:8 Pharaoh‘s household picked him up, though he was to become their adversary and their scourge. For Pharaoh, Haman, and their warriors were sinners all.
28:9 His wife said to Pharaoh: ‘This child may bring joy to us both. Do not slay him. He may show promise, and we may adopt him as our son.‘ But they little knew what they were doing.
28:10 Moses‘ mother‘s heart was sorely troubled. She would have revealed who he was, had We not strengthened her heart so that she might become a true believer.
28:11 She said to his sister: ‘Go, and follow him.‘ She watched him from a distance, unseen by others.
28:12 We had earlier caused him to refuse the nurses‘ breasts, so his sister said: ‘Shall I direct you to a family who will bring him up for you and take good care of him?‘
28:13 Thus did We restore him to his mother, so that she might rejoice in him and grieve no more, and that she might know that God‘s promise was true. But most of them had no knowledge.
28:14 And when he had reached maturity and grown to manhood We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge. Thus do We reward the righteous.
28:15 He entered the town unnoticed by its people, and found two men at each other‘s throats, the one of his own race, the other an enemy. The Israelite appealed for Moses‘ help against his enemy, so that Moses struck him with his fist and killed him. ‘This is the work of Satan,‘ he said. ‘He is a veritable enemy of man and seeks to lead him astray.
28:16 Forgive me, Lord,‘ he said, ‘for I have sinned against my soul.‘ And God forgave him; for He it is who is the Forgiving One, the Compassionate.
28:17 He said: ‘By the favour You have shown me, Lord, I vow that I will never lend a helping hand to wrongdoers.‘
28:18 Next morning he was walking in the town in fear and caution, when lo, the man who sought his help the day before cried out to him again for help. ‘Clearly,‘ said Moses, ‘you are a quarrelsome man.‘
28:19 And when he was about to lay his hands on him who was an enemy of them both, he said: ‘Moses, would you kill me as you killed a man yesterday? You are surely seeking to be a tyrant in the land, not seeking to be an upright man.‘
28:20 And a man came running from the farthest quarter of the city. ‘Moses,‘ he said, ‘the elders are plotting to kill you. Fly for your life; I am the one that gives you good counsel!‘
28:21 He left it in fear and caution, saying: ‘Lord, deliver me from the wrongdoing people.‘
28:22 And as he made his way towards Midian, he said: ‘May the Lord guide me to an even path.‘
28:23 When he came to the well of Midian he found around it a multitude of people watering their flocks, and beside them he found two women keeping back their sheep. ‘What is it that troubles you both?‘ he asked. They said: ‘We cannot draw water until the shepherds have driven away their flocks. Our father is an elderly man, well advanced in years.‘
28:24 He drew water for them and then retired to the shade, saying: ‘Lord, I surely stand badly in need of the blessing You have sent me.‘
28:25 One of the two girls came bashfully towards him and said: ‘My father calls you. He wishes to reward you for drawing water for us.‘ And when he went and recounted to him his story, the old man said: ‘Fear nothing. You are now safe from the wrongdoing people.‘
28:26 One of the girls said: ‘Father, take him into your service. A man who is strong and honest is the best that you can hire.‘
28:27 He said: ‘I wish to give you in marriage one of these two daughters of mine if you stay eight years in my service; but if you wish it, you may stay ten. I shall not deal harshly with you; you shall find me, God willing, an upright man.‘
28:28 He said: ‘So be it between us. Whichever term I shall fulfil, I trust I shall not be wronged. God is the witness of what we say.‘
28:29 And when he had fulfilled his term and was journeying with his family, Moses descried a fire on the mountainside. He said to his people: ‘Stay here, for I can see a fire. Perhaps I can bring you news of it, or a torch from the fire to warm yourselves with.‘
28:30 When he came near, a voice called out to him from a bush in a blessed spot on the right side of the valley, saying: ‘Moses, I am God, Lord of the Universe.
28:31 Throw down your staff.‘ And when he saw it slithering like a serpent, he turned and fled without a backward glance. ‘Moses, approach and fear not; you are safe.
28:32 Put your hand into your pocket: it will come out white, although unharmed. Now draw back your arm, and do not stretch it out in terror. These are two proofs from your Lord for Pharaoh and his elders. Surely, they are an ungodly people.‘
28:33 Lord,‘ said he, ‘I have killed one of their number and fear that they will kill me.
28:34 Aaron my brother is more fluent of tongue than I; send him with me that he may help me and confirm my words, for I fear they will reject me.‘
28:35 He replied: ‘We will strengthen your arm with your brother, and will bestow such power on you both, that none shall reach you. Set forth, with Our signs. You, and those who follow you, shall surely triumph.‘
28:36 And when Moses came to them with Our veritable signs, they said: ‘This is nothing but sorcery contrived; nor have we heard of the like among Our forefathers.‘
28:37 Moses said: ‘My Lord knows best the man who brings guidance from His presence and gains the recompense of the life to come. The wrongdoers shall never succeed.‘
28:38 Nobles,‘ said Pharaoh, ‘you have no other god that I know of except myself. Make me, Haman, bricks of clay, and build for me a tower that I may climb up to the god of Moses. I am convinced that he is lying.‘
28:39 Pharaoh and his warriors conducted themselves with arrogance and injustice in the land, thinking they would never be recalled to Us.
28:40 But We seized him and his warriors, and We cast them into the sea. Consider the fate of the wrongdoers.
28:41 We made them leaders who invited to the Fire, but on the Day of Resurrection they shall not be helped.
28:42 In this world We laid a curse on them, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be among the damned.
28:43 After We had destroyed the early generations We gave Moses the Book as a beacon for mankind, a guide and a blessing, so that they might take thought.
28:44 You¹ were not present on the western side when We charged Moses with his commission, nor did you witness the event.
28:45 But We raised many generations after him whose lives were prolonged. You did not dwell among the people of Midian, nor did you recite to them Our revelations; but it was We who sent you forth.
28:46 You were not present on the mountainside when We called out. Yet have We sent you forth, as a blessing from your Lord, to forewarn a nation to whom no one before you had been sent to warn them, so that they may reflect
28:47 and may not say, when evil befalls them on account of their misdeeds: ‘Lord, had You sent us an apostle, we should have obeyed Your revelations and believed in them.‘
28:48 And now that they have received the Truth from Us, they ask: ‘Why is he not given the like of what was given to Moses?‘ But did they not deny what was formerly given to Moses? They say: ‘Two works¹ of sorcery complementing one another!‘ And they declare: ‘We will believe in neither of them.‘
28:49 Say: ‘Bring down from God a scripture that is a better guide than these and I will follow it, if what you say be true!‘
28:50 If they make you no answer, know that they are led by their desires. And who is in greater error than he who is led by his desire, without guidance from God? God does not guide the wrongdoers.
28:51 We have caused the Word to reach them so that they may take thought.
28:52 Those to whom We gave the Book before this believe in it.
28:53 When it is recited to them they say: ‘We believe in it; it is the Truth from our Lord. Before its coming we were Muslims.‘
28:54 Twice shall their reward be given them, because they have endured with fortitude, requiting evil with good and giving from what We gave them;
28:55 and because they pay no heed to profane talk, and say: ‘We have our actions and you have yours. We wish you peace. We will have nothing to do with ignorant men.‘
28:56 You cannot guide whomever you please: but it is God who guides whom He will. He best knows those who yield to guidance.
28:57 And they say: ‘If we follow your guidance, we shall be dispossessed of our land.‘ But have We not given them a sanctuary of safety² to which fruits of every kind are brought as a provision from Ourself? But most of them have no knowledge.
28:58 How many cities have We destroyed that once flourished in wanton ease! The dwellings they left behind are but scarcely inhabited; We Ourself were the only heirs.
28:59 Nor did your Lord obliterate the cities until He had sent apostles to their capital proclaiming to them Our revelations. Nor did We obliterate the cities unless their inhabitants were wrongdoers.
28:60 That which you have been given is but the enjoyment and the gaudy show of this present life. Better is God‘s recompense and more lasting. Have you no sense to reason with?
28:61 Can he who has received Our gracious promise, and will see it fulfilled, be compared with him to whom We have given the enjoyment of this life and who will be summoned on the Day of Resurrection?
28:62 On that day He will call to them, saying: ‘Where are the gods whom you alleged to be My partners?‘
28:63 Those on whom the Judgement has been passed will say: ‘Lord, these are the men whom we misled. We led them astray as we ourselves were led astray. We disown them before You; it was not us that they worshipped.‘
28:64 Then they will be told: ‘Call on your idols!‘ And they will call on them, but they shall get no answer. They shall behold the scourge and wish that they were rightly guided.
28:65 On that day He will call to them, saying: ‘What answer did you give those who were sent?‘
28:66 And on that day they will be so confused that they will ask no questions.
28:67 But those that repented and embraced the Faith and did what was right may hope for salvation.
28:68 Your Lord creates what He will and chooses freely, but they have no power to choose. Glorified and exalted be He above their false gods!
28:69 And your Lord knows what their bosoms hide and what they say in public.
28:70 He is God: there is no god but Him. Praise is His in the first world and in the last. His is the Judgement, and to Him shall you be recalled.
28:71 Say: ‘Think! If God should enshroud you in perpetual night till the Day of Resurrection, what other god could give you light? Will you not hear?‘
28:72 Say: ‘Think! If God should give you perpetual day until the Day of Resurrection, what other god could bring you the night to rest in? Will you not see?‘
28:73 Of His mercy He has given you the night to rest in, and the day that you may seek His bounty and give thanks.
28:74 On that day He will call out to them, saying: ‘Where are the gods whom you alleged to be My partners?‘
28:75 From each community We will seize a witness, and We shall say: ‘Show Us your proof.‘ Then shall they learn that the Truth is God‘s, and the deities of their own invention will forsake them.
28:76 Korah¹ was one of Moses‘ people, but he treated them unjustly. We had given him such treasures that their very keys would have weighed down a band of sturdy men. His people said to him: ‘Do not exult; God does not love the exultant.
28:77 But seek, by means of that which God has given you, to attain the Abode of the Hereafter. Do not forget your share in this world. Be good to others as God has been good to you, and do not strive for evil in the land, for God does not love the evil-doers.‘
28:78 He said: ‘I was given this on account of the knowledge I possess.‘ Did he not know that, from among the generations gone before him, God had obliterated some who were mightier and possessed of much more wealth than he? The wrongdoers shall not be questioned about their sins.
28:79 And when he went out among his people in all his finery, those who loved this nether life said: ‘Would that we had the like of what Korah has been given! He is indeed a man of great good fortune.‘
28:80 But those who were endowed with knowledge said: ‘Alas for you! Better is God‘s recompense for him that has faith and does good works; but none shall attain it save those who have endured with fortitude.‘
28:81 We caused the earth to swallow him up, him and his dwelling, so that he found none besides God to help him; nor was he able to help himself.
28:82 And those who on the day before had coveted his lot next morning said: "Behold! God gives abundantly to whom He will among his servants and sparingly also. But for the grace of God to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us. Behold! The ungrateful shall never succeed.‘
28:83 That Final Abode We shall assign it to those who seek neither grandeur on the earth nor evil-doing. The righteous shall have a blessed end.
28:84 He that comes with a good deed shall have what is better; and they that commit vile deeds shall be requited only according to what they did.
28:85 He who has committed the Koran to your keeping will surely bring you home¹ again. Say: ‘My Lord best knows him who has brought guidance and him who is in manifest error.‘
28:86 Never did you expect the Book to be revealed to you except through your Lord‘s mercy. Therefore give no support to the unbelievers.
28:87 Let no one turn you away from God‘s revelations, now that they have been revealed to you. Call men to your Lord, and serve none besides Him.
28:88 Invoke no other god together with God. There is no god but Him. All things shall perish except His Face. His is the Judgement, and to Him shall you be recalled.


   


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