Chapter 25: The Criterion
SECTION 1: A Warner for All Nations
In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures; — 2. He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: no son has He begotten, nor has He a partner in His dominion: it is He Who created all things, and ordered them in due proportions. 3. Yet have they taken, besides Him, gods that can create nothing but are themselves created; that have no control of hurt or good to themselves; nor can they control Death nor Life nor Resurrection.
4. But the Disbelievers say: “Nothing is this but a lie which he has forged, and others have helped him at it.” In truth it is they who have put forward an iniquity and a falsehood. 5. And they say: “Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and evening.” 6. Say: “The (Qur’ān) was sent down by Him Who knows the Mystery (that is) in the heavens and the earth: verily He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
7. And they say: “What sort of a messenger is this, who eats food, and walks through the streets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him to give admonition with him? 8. Or (why) has not a treasure been bestowed on him, or why has he (not) a garden for enjoyment?” The wicked say: “You follow none other than a man bewitched.” 9. See what kinds of comparisons they make for you! But they have gone astray, and never a way will they be able to find!
SECTION 2: Truth of the Warning
10. Blessed is He Who, if that were His Will, could give you better (things) than those, — Gardens beneath which rivers flow; and He could give you Palaces (secure to dwell in). 11. Nay, they deny the Hour (of the Judgement to come): but We have prepared a blazing Fire for such as deny the Hour: 12. When it sees them from a place far off, they will hear its fury and its raging sigh. 13. And when they are cast, bound together, into a constricted place therein, they will plead for destruction there and then! 14. “This day plead not for a single destruction: plead for destruction oft-repeated!” 15. Say: “Is that best, or the eternal Garden, promised to the righteous? For them, that is a reward as well as a goal (of attainment). 16. For them there will be therein all that they wish for: they will dwell (there) forever: a promise to be prayed for from your Lord.”
17. The Day He will gather them together as well as those whom they worship besides God, He will ask: “Was it you who led these My servants astray, or did they stray from the Path themselves?” 18. They will say: “Glory to You! Not meet was it for us that we should take for protectors others besides You: but You did bestow, on them and their fathers, good things (in life), until they forgot the Message: for they were a people (worthless and) lost.” 19. (God will say): “Now have they proved you liars in what you say: so you cannot avert (your penalty) nor (get) help.” And whoever among you does wrong, him shall We cause to taste of a grievous Penalty. 20. And the messengers whom We sent before you were all (men) who ate food and walked through the streets: We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? For God is One Who sees (all things).
And the messengers whom We sent before you were all (men) who ate food and walked through the streets: We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? For God is One Who sees (all things). (25:20)
SECTION 3: The Day of Discrimination
21. Such as fear not the meeting with Us (for Judgement) say: “Why are not the angels sent down to us, or (why) do we not see our Lord?” Indeed they have an arrogant conceit of themselves, and mighty is the insolence of their impiety! 22. The Day they see the angels,—no joy will there be to the sinners that Day: the (angels) will say: “There is a barrier forbidden (to you) altogether!” 23. And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did (in this life), and We shall make such deeds as floating dust scattered about. 24. The Companions of the Garden will be well, that Day, in their abode, and have the fairest of places for repose. 25. The Day the heaven shall be rent asunder with clouds, and angels shall be sent down, descending (in ranks), — 26. That Day, the dominion as of right and truth, shall be (wholly) for (God) Most Merciful: it will be a Day of dire difficulty for the Disbelievers.
27. The Day that the wrong-doer will bite at his hands, he will say, “Oh! Would that I had taken a (straight) path with the Messenger! 28. Ah! Woe is me! Would that I had never taken such a one for a friend! 29. He did lead me astray from the Message (of God) after it had come to me! Ah! The Evil One is but a traitor to man!” Then the Messenger will say: 30. “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur’ān for just foolish nonsense.” 31. Thus have We made for every prophet an enemy among the sinners: but enough is your Lord to guide and to help.
32. Those who reject Faith say: “Why is not the Qur’ān revealed to him all at once?” Thus (is it revealed), that We may strengthen your heart thereby, and We have rehearsed it to you in slow, well-arranged stages, gradually. 33. And no question do they bring to you but We reveal to you the truth and the best explanation (thereof). 34. Those who will be gathered to Hell (prone) on their faces, – they will be in an evil plight, and, as to Path, most astray.
SECTION 4: A Lesson in the Fate of Former People
35. (Before this,) We sent Moses the Book, and appointed his brother Aaron with him as minister; 36. And We commanded: “Go you both, to the people who have rejected Our Signs.”—and those (people) We destroyed with utter destruction. 37. And the people of Noah,—when they rejected the messengers, We drowned them, and We made them as a Sign for mankind; and We have prepared for (all) wrong-doers a grievous Penalty; — 38. As also ‘Ād and Thamūd, and the Companions of the Rass, and many a generation between them. 39. To each one We set forth parables and examples; and each one We broke to utter annihilation (for their sins). 40. And the (Unbelievers) must indeed have passed by the town on which was rained a shower of evil: did they not then see it (with their own eyes)? But they fear not the Resurrection.
41. When they see you, they treat you no otherwise than in mockery: “Is this the one whom God has sent as a messenger? 42. He indeed would well-nigh have misled us from our gods, had it not been that we were constant to them!” — Soon will they know, when they see the Penalty, who it is that is most misled in Path! 43. See you such a one as takes for his god his own passion (or impulse)? Could you be a disposer of affairs for him? 44. Or think you that most of them listen or understand? They are only like cattle; — Nay, they are worse astray in Path.
SECTION 5: A Lesson from Nature
45. Have you not turned your vision to your Lord?—How He does prolong the Shadow! If He willed, He could make it stationary! Then do We make the sun its guide; 46. Then We draw it in towards Ourselves,—a contraction by easy stages.
47. And He it is Who makes the Night as a Robe for you, and Sleep as Repose, and makes the Day (as it were) a Resurrection.
48. And He it is Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy, and We send down pure water from the sky, — 49. That with it We may give life to a dead land, and slake the thirst of things We have created, — cattle and men in great numbers. 50. And We have distributed the (water) amongst them, in order that they may celebrate (Our) praises, but most men are averse (to aught) but (rank) ingratitude.
51. Had it been Our Will, We could have sent a warner to every center of population. 52. Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness, with the (Qur’ān).
53. It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: one palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed.
54. It is He Who has created man from water: then has He established relationships of lineage and marriage: for your Lord has power (over all things).
55. Yet do they worship, besides God, things that can neither profit them nor harm them: and the Misbeliever is a helper (of Evil), against his own Lord! 56. But you We only sent to give glad tidings and admonition. 57. Say: “No reward do I ask of you for it but this: that each one who will may take a (straight) Path to his Lord.”
58. And put your trust in Him Who lives and dies not; and celebrate His praise; and enough is He to be acquainted with the faults of His servants; — 59. He Who created the heavens and the earth and all that is between, in six days, and is firmly established on the Throne (of Authority): God Most Gracious: ask you, then, about Him of any acquainted (with such things). 60. When it is said to them, “Adore you (God) Most Gracious!”, they say, “And what is (God) Most Gracious? Shall we adore that which you command us?” And it increases their flight (from the Truth).
And He it is Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy, and We send down pure water from the sky, — (25:48)
SECTION 6: The Transformation Wrought
61. Blessed is He Who made constellations in the skies, and placed therein a Lamp and a Moon giving light; 62. And it is He Who made the night and the day to follow each other: for such as have the will to celebrate His praises or to show their gratitude.
And it is He Who made the night and the day to follow each other: for such as have the will to celebrate His praises or to show their gratitude. (25:62)
63. And the servants of (God) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!”; 64. Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing; 65. Those who say, “Our Lord! Avert from us the Wrath of Hell, for its Wrath is indeed an affliction grievous, — 66. Evil indeed is it as an abode, and as a place to rest in”; 67. Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes); 68. Those who invoke not, with God, any other god, nor slay such life as God has made sacred, except for just cause, nor commit fornication; — and any that does this (not only) meets punishment. 69. (But) the Penalty on the Day of Judgement will be doubled to him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy, — 70. Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for God will change the evil of such persons into good, and God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, 71. And whoever repents and does good has truly turned to God with an (acceptable) conversion; — 72. Those who witness no falsehood, and, if they pass by futility, they pass by it with honorable (avoidance); 73. Those who, when they are admonished with the Signs of their Lord, droop not down at them as if they were deaf or blind; 74. And those who pray, “Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.” 75. Those are the ones who will be rewarded with the highest place in heaven, because of their patient constancy: therein shall they be met with salutations and peace, 76. Dwelling therein; — how beautiful an abode and place of rest!
77. Say (to the Rejecters): “My Lord is not uneasy because of you if you call not on Him: but you have indeed rejected (Him), and soon will come the inevitable (punishment)!”
Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes); (25:67)