Chapter 34: The City of Saba
In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. Praise be to God, to Whom belong all things in the heavens and on earth: to Him be Praise in the Hereafter: and He is Full of Wisdom, acquainted with all things. 2. He knows all that goes into the earth, and all that comes out thereof; all that comes down from the sky and all that ascends thereto and He is the Most Merciful, the Oft-Forgiving.
3. The Unbelievers say, “Never to us will come the Hour”: say, “No! But most surely, by my Lord, it will come upon you; — by Him Who knows the unseen, — from Whom is not hidden the least little atom in the heavens or on earth: nor is there anything less than that, or greater, but is in the Record Perspicuous: 4. That He may reward those who believe and work deeds of righteousness: for such is Forgiveness and a Sustenance Most Generous.” 5. But those who strive against Our Signs, to frustrate them, — for such will be a Penalty, — a Punishment most humiliating.
6. And those to whom knowledge has come see that the (Revelation) sent down to you from your Lord — that is the Truth, and that it guides to the Path of the Exalted (in Might), Worthy of all praise.
7. The Unbelievers say (in ridicule): “Shall we point out to you a man that will tell you, when you are all scattered to pieces in disintegration, that you shall (then be raised) in a New Creation? 8. Has he invented a falsehood against God, or has a spirit (seized) him?” — No, it is those who believe not in the Hereafter, that are in (real) Penalty, and in farthest error. 9. See they not what is before them and behind them, of the sky and the earth? If We wished, We could cause the earth to swallow them up, or cause a piece of the sky to fall upon them. Verily in this is a Sign for every devotee that turns to God (in repentance).
And those to whom knowledge has come see that the (Revelation) sent down to you from your Lord — that is the Truth, and that it guides to the Path of the Exalted (in Might), Worthy of all praise. (34:6)
SECTION 2: Favors Followed by Retribution
10. We bestowed Grace aforetime on David from Ourselves: “O you Mountains! Sing you back the Praises of God with him! And you birds (also)!” And We made the iron soft for him; — 11. (Commanding), “Make you coats of mail, balancing well the rings of chain armor, and work you righteousness; for be sure I see (clearly) all that you do.”
12. And to Solomon (We made) the Wind (obedient): its early morning (stride) was a month’s (journey), and its evening (stride) was a month’s (journey); and We made a Font of molten brass to flow for him; and there were Jinns that worked in front of him, by the leave of his Lord, and if any of them turned aside from Our command, We made him taste of the Penalty of the blazing Fire. 13. They worked for him as he desired, (making) arches, images, basons as large as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places): “Work you, sons of David, with thanks! But few of My servants are grateful!”
14. Then, when We decreed (Solomon’s) death, nothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his staff: so when he fell down, the Jinns saw plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in the humiliating Penalty (of their Task).
15. There was, for Saba’, aforetime, a Sign in their homeland — two Gardens to the right and to the left. “Eat of the Sustenance (provided) by your Lord, and be grateful to Him: a territory fair and happy, and a Lord Oft-Forgiving!” 16. But they turned away (from God), and We sent against them the Flood (released) from the Dams, and We converted their two garden (rows) into “gardens” producing bitter fruit, and tamarisks, and some few (stunted) Lote trees. 17. That was the Requital We gave them because they ungratefully rejected Faith: and never do We give (such) requital except to such as are ungrateful rejecters. 18. Between them and the Cities on which We had poured our blessings, We had placed cities in prominent positions, and between them We had appointed stages of journey in due proportion: “Travel therein, secure, by night and by day.” 19. But they said: “Our Lord! Place longer distances between our journey-stages”: but they wronged themselves (therein). At length We made them as a tale (that is told), and We dispersed them all in scattered fragments. Verily in this are Signs for every (soul that is) patiently constant and grateful. 20. And on them did Satan prove true his idea, and they followed him, all but a party that believed. 21. But he had no authority over them,—except that We might test the man who believes in the Hereafter from him who is in doubt concerning it: and your Lord does watch over all things.
SECTION 3: Victory for the Muslims
22. Say: “Call upon other (gods) whom you fancy, besides God: they have no power, — not the weight of an atom, — in the heavens or on earth: no (sort of) share have they therein, nor is any of them a helper to God. 23. No intercession can avail in His Presence, except for those for whom He has granted permission. So far (is this the case) that, when terror is removed from their hearts (at the Day of Judgement, then) will they say, ‘What is it that your Lord commanded?’ They will say, ‘That which is true and just; and He is the Most High, Most Great’.” 24. Say: “Who gives you sustenance, from the heavens and the earth?” Say: “It is God; and certain it is that either we or you are on right guidance or in manifest error!” 25. Say: “You shall not be questioned as to our sins, nor shall we be questioned as to what you do.” 26. Say: “Our Lord will gather us together and will in the end decide the matter between us (and you) in truth and justice: and He is the One to decide, the One Who knows all.” 27. Say: “Show me those whom you have joined with Him as partners: by no means (can you). No, He is God, the Exalted in Power, the Wise.” 28. We have not sent you but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not. 29. They say: “When will this promise (come to pass) if you are telling the truth?” 30. Say: “The appointment to you is for a Day, which you cannot put back for an hour nor put forward.”
We have not sent you but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not. (34:28)
SECTION 4: The Leaders of Evil
31. The Unbelievers say: “We shall neither believe in this scripture nor in (any) that (came) before it.” Could you but see when the wrong-doers will be made to stand before their Lord, throwing back the word (of blame) on one another! Those who had been despised will say to the arrogant ones: “Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers!” 32. The arrogant ones will say to those who had been despised: “Was it we who kept you back from Guidance after it reached you? No, rather, it was you who transgressed.” 33. Those who had been despised will say to the arrogant ones: “No! It was a plot (of yours) by day and by night: behold! you (constantly) ordered us to be ungrateful to God and to attribute equals to Him!” They will declare (their) repentance when they see the Penalty: We shall put yokes on the necks of the Unbelievers: it would only be a requital for their (ill) Deeds.
34. Never did We send a warner to a population, but the wealthy ones among them said: “We believe not in the (Message) with which you have been sent.” 35. They said: “We have more in wealth and in sons, and we cannot be punished.” 36. Say: “Verily my Lord enlarges and restricts the Provision to whom He pleases, but most men understand not.”
SECTION 5: Wealth Does Not Stand for Greatness
37. It is not your wealth nor your sons, that will bring you nearer to Us in degree: but only those who believe and work righteousness — these are the ones for whom there is a multiplied Reward for their deeds, while secure they (reside) in the dwellings on high! 38. Those who strive against Our Signs, to frustrate them, will be given over into Punishment. 39. Say: “Verily my Lord enlarges and restricts the Sustenance to such of His servants as He pleases: and nothing do you spend in the least (in His Cause) but He replaces it: for He is the Best of those who grant Sustenance.
40. One Day He will gather them all together, and say to the angels, “Was it you that these men used to worship?” 41. They will say, “Glory to You! our (tie) is with You — as Protector — not with them. No, but they worshipped the Jinns: most of them believed in them.” 42. So on that Day no power shall they have over each other, for profit or harm: and We shall say to the wrong-doers, “Taste you the Penalty of the Fire, — the which you were wont to deny!”
43. When Our clear Signs are rehearsed to them, they say, “This is only a man who wishes to hinder you from the (worship) which your fathers practiced.” And they say, “This is only a falsehood invented!” and the Unbelievers say of the Truth when it comes to them, “This is nothing but evident magic!” 44. But We had not given them Books which they could study, nor sent messengers to them before you as warners. 45. And their predecessors rejected (the Truth); these have not received a tenth of what We had granted to those: yet when they rejected My messengers, how (terrible) was My rejection (of them)!
SECTION 6: Truth will Prosper
46. Say: “I do admonish you on one point: that you do stand up before God, — (it may be) in pairs, or (it may be) singly, — and reflect (within yourselves): your Companion is not possessed: he is no less than a warner to you, in face of a terrible Penalty.” 47. Say: “No reward do I ask of you: it is (all) in your interest: my reward is only due from God: and He is witness to all things.” 48. Say: “Verily my Lord does cast the (mantle of) Truth (over His servants), — He that has full knowledge of (all) that is hidden.” 49. Say: “The Truth has arrived, and Falsehood neither creates anything new, nor restores anything.” 50. Say: “If I am astray, I only stray to the loss of my own soul: but if I receive guidance, it is because of the inspiration of my Lord to me: it is He Who hears all things, and is (ever) near.”
51. If you could but see when they will quake with terror; but then there will be no escape (for them), and they will be seized from a position (quite) near. 52. And they will say, “We do believe (now) in the (Truth)”; but how could they receive (Faith) from a position (so) far off, — 53. Seeing that they did reject Faith (entirely) before, and that they (continually) cast (slanders) on the Unseen from a position far off? 54. And between them and their desires, is placed a barrier, as was done in the past with their partisans: for they were indeed in suspicious (disquieting) doubt.