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al-Ma`arij (The Ascending Stairways, The Ladders)
as rendered by Muhammad Asad
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Muhammad Asad rendition of Surah The Ascending Stairways, The Ladders(al-Ma`arij)
70:1 ONE who is minded to ask might ask about the suffering which [in the hereafter] is bound to befall
70:2 those who deny the truth. [Know, then, that] nothing can ward it off,
70:3 [since it will come] from God, unto whom there are many ways of ascent:
70:4 all the angels and all the inspiration [ever granted to man] ascend unto Him [daily,] in a day the length whereof is [like] fifty thousand years…
70:5 Therefore, [O believer,] endure all adversity with goodly patience:
70:6 behold, men look upon that [reckoning] as something far away –
70:7 but, We see it as near!
70:8 [It will take place] on a Day when the sky will be like molten lead,
70:9 and the mountains will be like tufts of wool,
70:10 and [when] no friend will ask about his friend,
70:11 though they may be in one another's sight: [for,] everyone who was lost in sin will on that Day but desire to ransom himself from suffering at the price of his own children,
70:12 and of his spouse, and of his brother,
70:13 and of all the kinsfolk who ever sheltered him,
70:14 and of whoever [else] lives on earth, all of them - so that he could but save himself.
70:15 But nay! Verily, all [that awaits him] is a raging flame,
70:16 tearing away his skin!
70:17 It will claim all such as turn their backs [on what is right], and turn away [from the truth],
70:18 and amass [wealth] and thereupon withhold [it from their fellow-men].
70:19 VERILY, man is born with a restless disposition.
70:20 [As a rule,] whenever misfortune touches him, he is filled with self-pity;
70:21 and whenever good fortune comes to him, he selfishly withholds it [from others].
70:22 Not so, however, those who consciously turn towards God in prayer.
70:23 [and] who incessantly persevere in their prayer
70:24 and in whose possessions there is a due share, acknowledged [by them],
70:25 for such as ask [for help] and such as are deprived [of what is good in life];
70:26 and who accept as true the [coming of the] Day of Judgment;
70:27 and who stand in dread of their Sustainer's chastisement –
70:28 for, behold, of their Sustainer's chastisement none may ever feel [wholly] secure;
70:29 and who are mindful of their chastity,
70:30 [not giving way to their desires] with any but their spouses - that is, those whom they rightfully possess [through wedlock] -: for then, behold, they are free of all blame,
70:31 whereas such as seek to go beyond that [limit] are truly transgressors;
70:32 and who are faithful to their trusts and to their pledges:
70:33 and who stand firm whenever they bear witness;
70:34 and who guard their prayers [from all worldly intent].
70:35 These it is who in the gardens [of paradise] shall be honoured!
70:36 WHAT, THEN, is amiss with such as are bent on denying the truth, that they run about confusedly to and fro before thee,
70:37 [coming upon thee] from the right and from the left, in crowds?
70:38 Does every one of them hope to enter [by this means] a garden of bliss?
70:39 Never! For, behold, We have created them out of something that they know [only too well]!
70:40 But nay! I call to witness [Our being] the Sustainer of all the points of sunrise and sunset: verily, well able are We
70:41 to replace them with [people] better than they are; for there is nothing to prevent Us [from doing what We will].
70:42 Hence, leave them to indulge in idle talk and play [with words] until they face that [Judgment] Day of theirs which they have been promised –
70:43 the Day when they shall come forth in haste from their graves, as if racing towards a goal-post,
70:44 with downcast eyes, with ignominy overwhelming them: that Day which they were promised again and…


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