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A. (Alef), L. (Lam), M. (Meem) the Surah opens with these introductory letters from the Arabic Alphabet to draw attention to the miracle of the Quran which though written in the people's tongue, cannot be emulated
Do people think that just because they express their thoughts in words and say: "In all things O Allah, our Creator, We do conform our will to Your blessed will" that they will be left untested
Indeed We tested those who came to this world before them and Allah shall most certainly know those who will prove true to their promises and their intentions as well as those who prove themselves liars
Or do those who consume their life in wrong-doing think they shall escape Our notice and consequently Our retributive punishment! How irrationally do they think and erroneously do they judge
He in whose breast hope springs eternal for meeting with Allah in Day of Judgement and who expects His mercy and blessings and dreads His retributive punishment must realize that that Day is indeed inevitable and He -Allah- is AL- Sami' (Omnipresent with unlimited audition), AL-Alim (Omniscient)
And he who strives in Allah's cause and makes His purpose the heart of his purpose-simply strives to save his own soul; Allah is indeed Ghaniyun (Absolute and Independent) of all His created beings
And those who imprinted their hearts with the image of religious and spiritual virtues and their deeds with wisdom and piety may expect Allah's mercy and blessings; We will cancel their evil deeds and blot out their sins from the books of life and We will requite them for every deed at the gauge of the best of what they accomplished
And We commended to man his parents to commit them to his kind care and to display to them a gentle and a kind disposition. Should they try to force you to adopt or accept polytheism and incorporate with Me other deities, then refuse to accept and disobey them (in this respect). To Me shall all of you return and I will inform you all of all that you did
And those who conformed to Allah's system of faith and worship and imprinted their hearts with the image of religious and spiritual virtues and their deeds with wisdom and piety shall be the recipients of Our mercy. We will admit them to the society of the virtuous who were characterized in life by justice and uprightness
Among people there is he who declares his belief in Allah. Yet when he is harmed in His cause he at once nurses despair and equalizes suffering here in magnitude and degree with the retributive punishment inflicted by Allah Hereafter. And should you Muslims be fortunate to be crowned with victory from Allah he proclaims he was in your array and a part of your troops. Does Allah not know what peoples' bosoms store of thoughts and feeling
And Allah does indeed know those who acknowledge His divine nature and His Omnipotence and Authority and conformed their will to His will and also He knows the hypocrites who falsely profess to be religiously inclined
And the infidels say to those who are true to Allah's system of faith and worship: "Follow our system of faith and worship and We will hold ourselves responsible for your sins and morally accountable for your actions, when in fact never shall they bear the wrongs of others, they are indeed pathological liars
Not only that, but they shall carry the burden of their wrongs and sinful actions added to the other burdens of those they tried to mislead and there is much indeed to answer for in Day of Judgement relative to their intentional assertion of what is false
We sent Nuh to his people among whom he sojourned for one thousand years less fifty and they were inundated and swept away by the flood, for they were steeped in wrongful actions
And We saved him and those on board ship who fell in line with him and we made it -the Ark- a sign of special meaning and import to all people, those of the past and the present and those to come
And Ibrahim when he said to his people: "worship Allah and entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Him, this shall be much better for you if only you knew."
"Those you worship besides Allah," he added, "are simply idols and this way you are indeed creating falsehood and discord. Those you worship besides Allah do not have the power to provide for you livelihood, therefore betake yourselves to Providence seeking His bounty for your livelihood and worship Him and impel to yourselves to the feeling of gratitude and gratefulness to Him and do realize that to Him shall all of you return."
"And should you consider the message a picture of falsehood, many generations before you accused their Messengers of falsehood and you must realize that the duty of the Messenger is only to relate to the people all that has been sent down to him of divine revelations and the elucidation of their text"
Did they -the infidels- not see how Allah creates and recreates. He starts creation and reproduces it, a process quite easy for him to perpetuat
Say to them -the pagans -"Journey the land and open your minds' eyes to see how he generated creation and it is Allah who shall originate the last creation -Resurrection. He is indeed Qadirun (Omnipotent) enough to accomplish all things."
He punishes whom he will and extends mercy to whom He will and to Him shall all of you be sent back
"Nor are you people in a position to over power Allah or frustrate Him on earth or in heaven nor escape his retributive punishment and besides Him you have no tutelary protectors to defend you against Him"
"And those who denied Allah's divine signs and rejected His divine revelations and the idea of the assemblage before Him in Day of Judgement shall have much to answer for. Such persons lack spiritual connection between their hearts and minds and Allah; they live without expectation of a spiritual desire and Allah alludes to them, thus": "These are they who have despaired of My mercy and shall suffer the torment laid upon the damned"
And what was the answer of Ibrahim's people to his admonition and exhortation but to decide to get rid of him, they said: "Kill him or burn him" but Allah saved him and delivered him from the fire whole and all sound. This is indeed emblematic of Almightiness; food for thought that is taken by those who prostrate their reason to divine revelation
There and then said Ibrahim: "You people have dedicated your affectionate devotion in this world to idols besides Allah and in Day of Judgement shall all of you deny and reject each other and curse one another and be destined to make your eternal abode in Hell and there, no one can afford you help or protection
And it was only Lut who acknowledged him and accepted his message and said: "My heart, my mind and my soul as of now do quit the world of disbelief and emigrate to the world of truth and belief and as of now do I dedicate my affectionate devotion to Allah, my Creator, to Whom I betake myself, for He is AL-Aziz (the Almighty) and AL-Hakim (the Source of wisdom and wise mysterious dispensations)
And We bestowed on Ibrahim Ishaq (Isaac) and Yaqub (Jacob) and conferred on his progeny the prerogative of Prophethood and We entrusted them with the Book and We graced him with his due here and among the virtuous he shall be Hereafter
And Lut whom We blessed, said to his people: "You people do commit such an immorality as is contrary to the general inherent character and moral constitution and a vice that has never been practiced by any creature before
"You certainly have sensuous desire for men," he added, with whom you practice Sodomy and you commit highway robberies and you force people to immorality and in your society you commit abomination. And what was the response of his people. but to say: " we defy you to precipitate Allah's retributive punishment if indeed you are declaring the truth!"
And there, did Lut pray: " O Allah, my Creator afford me help and give me victory over these people who are steeped in mischief and in crime"
And when Our Messengers -The angels- visited Ibrahim and intimated to him the joyful tidings (of the birth of a son in that advanced age) they said to him; "we will be reducing this town and its inhabitants to a useless form, they have been wrongful of actions."
He -Ibrahim- said: "But among its inhabitants dwells Lut." They said: "we know exactly who lives there and we will deliver him and his family to safety excepting his wife who has been destined to remain behind -to meet with the same fate of the wicked-"
And when Our Messengers went to Lut he came to grief on their account, and their safety was beyond his power. But they assured him: "Do not be afraid," they said, "nor must you grieve, we will deliver you to safety along with your family but not your wife who shall join company with those destined to be left behind."
"We are bringing down from heaven, "they said, "upon the inhabitants of this town a torturing punishment with a forcible impact in requital of their wickedness and the evil way they conduct themselves in life."
And We made of its relics an evident sign emblematic of Allah's Omnipotence and Authority appreciated by people who comprehend events with their senses especially with their minds' eyes
And to the Madyanites -of Madyan- We sent their brother Shuaib who said to them: "Worship Allah and follow His system of faith and worship and keep Him in mind and work for the Day of Judgement and entertain expectation of Allah's mercy and blessings and do not spread mischief on earth nor create discord."
But they accused him of falsehood and in consequence they were seized by the destructive convulsion of the earth's surface which reduced them into a useless form and laid them prostrate and dead under the ruins of their demolished homes
Similarly ill-fated were the "'Aadites -of 'Aad- and the Thamudites –of Thamud-, and the remains of their decayed and fallen building and towns stand for you people as the living evidence of their fatal consequence. AL-Shaytan (Satan) allured them to brighter worlds and a happier destiny as a logical result or sequence to their doing and he led the way. He succeeded in blinding their eyes to the path of righteousness and led them by the nose to their loss in the maze of error, notwithstanding their intellect, for they were people who possessed enough intelligence
Similarly reacted Qarun, Pharaoh and his grand vizier Haman when Mussa was sent to them and presented them with clear and plain revelations and signs guiding out of want of spiritual and intellectual sight into illumination and enlightenment. But they displayed inordinate self-esteem and extravagance in their accounts of themselves. nevertheless, they did not escape Our notice and consequently Our retributive punishment
Each one of them did We penalize with what was commensurate with his evil deed. Among them were those against whom We sent a whirlwind and sand dunes and those who were overtaken by a merciless blast and those whom We eclipsed in one swallow by the yawning chasm We created beneath them and among them were those whom We drowned. And never was it Allah's attribute to do them injustice but it was they who wronged themselves
The like of those who take tutelary guardians or protectors besides Allah stands similitude exact of the spider which seeks protection in a house made of slender filaments or threads spun all round. It may be strong enough to suit its purpose, but it collapses by a wave of the hand, and so the spider's house is indeed the flimsiest of all houses if only they -the infidels- know
Indeed, Allah knows all things and He is Omniscient of everything animate or inanimate -the infidels- invoke besides Him. He is AL-Aziz and AL-Hakim (characterized by good sense and Prudence) (the Wise)
Such parables do We discourse to people -that they might hopefully ponder-. Such examples and illustrations are only grasped with the minds of those who know the facts and apprehend them with their senses
Allah created the heavens and the earth in conformity with fact and in agreement with reality and this is a meaningful sign impressive indeed to those whose hearts have been touched with the divine hand
Do recite O Muhammad all that has been revealed to you of the Book -the Quran- and establish worship and adore Allah, your Creator, with appropriate acts and rites, for sincere prayer checks abomination and immorality. To apply remembrance to Allah is more eminent in point of attainments and achievement, and Allah knows all that you do
And do not argue -O Muslims- with Ahl AL-Kitab (the people of the Book) but in a better fashion employing the faculty of reason in forming conclusions and adducing facts in a logical, peaceable and gracious manner, but not with those of them who are wrongful of actions lacking eloquence and fashion in their argumentation. Declare your thoughts in words, thus: "We do acknowledge all that has been revealed to us and to you. Our Ilah and your Ilah is One and to Him We bow to the ground in Islam and adoration"
And just as We had revealed the Book to Messengers before you O Muhammad, We have revealed to you the Book -the Quran- which has been acknowledged by those among Ahl AL-Kitab who applied their minds to the acquisition of learning and thought intently and reflected. And this due recognition is shared by some of your people. And no one denies Our divine discourse and rejects Our revelations but the infidels who deny Allah
Had you been -O Muhammad- a learned man who read books before the Quran and were able to give expression to your feelings and your thoughts in writing and transcribe it with your right hand, this would have raised suspicion among those who take pleasure in the vanity of wickedness
But the Quran, is indeed a divine discourse expressing explicitly revelations easily intelligible in the hearts and minds of those who are well founded in knowledge and do-know the facts. And no one denies or rejects Our revelations but the wrongful of actions
And they -the infidels- say: "If only some convincing sign would be sent down to him from Allah, his Creator!". Say to them: "Allah has all sorts of divine signs evincing both His Omnipotence and Authority but I am only sent as a spectacle and a warning."
Do they -the infidels- not consider it enough that We have sent down to you -O Muhammad- the Book -the Quran- to recite to them the truth that guides into all truth! This by itself evokes reminiscence of Allah's mercy and blessings and a reminder to a people who acknowledge His system of faith and worship
Say to them: "Enough is Allah to be a witness of our actions and your actions and to be the Judge. He is Omniscient of all that is in the heavens and of all that is on earth. And those who acknowledged falsehood and denied Him and His system of faith and worship shall be the losers
And they -the infidels- challenge you -O Muhammad- to hasten on the promised retributive punishment! Had it not been for a predetermined point of time set for their reckoning -to give a chance to repent- their Hereafter would have been planted in the now. But it shall overtake them unawares when least expected
They challenge you to hasten on the retributive punishment and they do not realize that Hell besets the infidels who deny Allah on all sides
The Day shall come when the torment laid upon the damned hangs over their heads and is carpeted under their feet. There and then, they are told: "Taste the fatal consequence of your deeds."
O you My worshippers who conformed your will to My will: "My earth is, vast indeed -therefore you have no excuse-, worship Me and Me alone."
Every soul shall pay its debt to nature and by consequence experience death and shall all of you be brought back to Us
Then those who imprinted their hearts with the image of religious and spiritual virtues and their deeds with wisdom and piety shall be the recipients of Our mercy and blessings. We will accommodate them in Paradise at mansions beneath which rivers flow wherein they will have passed through nature to Eternity and this is the reward of those who worked for it
These are they who exercised patience and endured hardships and sat like patience on a monument smiling at grief and in Allah they put their trust
How many among Allah's created beings do not provide themselves with livelihood! Allah provides them with what is necessary for their sustenance as He does provision you -people- with victuals, eatables and drinkables, and He is AL-Sami' , and AL-Alim
And if you should ask them -O Muhammad- as to who has created the heavens and the earth and reduced the sun* and the moon to a state of subservience! They will say "Allah", and so how could they counsel deaf to the truth
Allah gives livelihood generously and confers support gratuitously on whom He will of His servants and He also gives with restraint and by measure to whom He Will. He is indeed Alimun of all things
And if you should ask them as to who sends water from the floor of the vault of heaven and revives the earth after it has suffered death,* they will say "Allah". Then say to them: "Thank Allah" -for admitting the truth-. They do not realize that they contradict themselves because most of them do not comprehend the facts
Life here is but an illusive and rapid change of feeling, fancy and thought and an amusement bringing happiness to those who cannot think. Whereas the Hereafter -which you should keep in mind and work for- is the life that is meaningful and significant, purposeful and blissful and above all eternal if only they knew
And when at sea on board ship and the wind is rising and the sea roughening they invoke Allah and Him exclusively. And when He extends mercy to them and delivers them to safety they simply incorporate with Him other deities
They do that in order to sink under the vexations of their Minds and deny all that Allah has given them. Let them enjoy themselves, it shall not be for long then they shall come to know the sad truth
Do they not see that We established a Sanctuary in their midst -in Macca-, where people feel safe and secure whereas all around them people are assaulted, abducted and kidnapped! Do they entertain vanity and falsehood and reject and dismiss the grace of Allah
And who is more wrongful of actions than he who viscously and cheaply relates to-Allah falsehood or dismisses the truth when it comes right to his door step! But is there not in Hell enough room to accommodate all those who deny Allah and reject His statutes
But those who strove in Our cause and served Our purpose shall be the recipients of Our mercy and blessings. We will guide them to Our paths and ways of righteousness and action and of thought and conduct. And, Allah upholds those who perfect their illustrious toils and turn their thoughts on moral excellence and benevolence