Chapter 39: The Crowds
SECTION 1: Obedience to God
In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. The revelation of this Book is from God, the Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom. 2. Verily it is We Who have revealed the Book to you in Truth: so serve God, offering Him sincere devotion. 3. Is it not to God that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors other than God (say): “We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to God.” Truly God will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But God guides not such as are false and ungrateful.
4. Had God wished to take to Himself a son, He could have chosen whom He pleased out of those whom He does create: but Glory be to Him! (He is above such things.) He is God, the One, the Irresistible. 5. He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): He makes the Night overlap the Day, and the Day overlap the Night: He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law): each one follows a course for a time appointed. Is not He the Exalted in Power — He Who forgives again and again? 6. He created you (all) from a single Person: then created, of like nature, his mate; and He sent down for you eight head of cattle in pairs: He makes you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. Such is God, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are you turned away (from your true Centre)?
7. If you reject (God), truly God has no need of you; but He likes not ingratitude from His servants: if you are grateful, He is pleased with you. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. In the end, to your Lord is your Return, when He will tell you the truth of all that you did (in this life). For He knows well all that is in (men’s) hearts. 8. When some trouble touches man, he cries unto his Lord, turning to Him in repentance: but when He bestows a favor upon him as from Himself, (man) does forget what he cried and prayed for before, and he does set up rivals unto God, thus misleading others from God’s Path. Say, “Enjoy your blasphemy for a little while: verily you are (one) of the Companions of the Fire!”
9. Is one who worships devoutly during the hours of the night prostrating himself or standing (in adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his hope in the Mercy of his Lord — (like one who does not)? Say: “Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition.”
SECTION 2: Believers and Disbelievers
10. Say: “O you My servants who believe! Fear your Lord. Good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God’s earth! Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!”
11. Say: “Verily, I am commanded to serve God with sincere devotion; 12. And I am commanded to be the first of those who bow to God in Islam.” 13. Say: “I would, if I disobeyed my Lord, indeed have fear of the Penalty of a Mighty Day.” 14. Say: “It is God I serve, with my sincere (and exclusive) devotion: 15. Serve you what you will besides Him.” Say: “Truly, those in loss are those who lose their own souls and their people on the Day of Judgement: Ah! That is indeed the (real and) evident Loss!” 16. They shall have Layers of Fire above them, and Layers (of Fire) below them: with this does God warn off His Servants: “O My Servants! then fear you Me!”
17. Those who eschew Evil, — and fall not into its worship, — and turn to God (in repentance), — for them is Good News: so announce the Good News to My Servants, — 18. Those who listen to the Word, and follow the best (meaning) in it: those are the ones whom God has guided, and those are the ones endued with understanding. 19. Is, then, one against whom the decree of Punishment is justly due (equal to one who eschews evil)? Would you, then, deliver one (who is) in the Fire? 20. But it is for those who fear their Lord, that lofty mansions, one above another, have been built: beneath them flow rivers (of delight): (such is) the Promise of God: never does God fail in (His) promise. 21. See you not that God sends down rain from the sky, and leads it through springs in the earth? Then He causes to grow, therewith, produce of various colors: then it withers; you will see it grow yellow; then He makes it dry up and crumble away. Truly, in this, is a Message of remembrance to men of understanding.
Say: “O you My servants who believe! Fear your Lord. Good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God’s earth! Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” (39:10)
SECTION 3: A Perfect Guidance
22. Is one whose heart God has opened to Islam, so that he has received Enlightenment from God, (no better than one hardhearted)? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against celebrating the praises of God! They are manifestly wandering (in error)! 23. God has revealed (from time to time) the most beautiful Message in the form of a Book, consistent with itself, (yet) repeating (its teaching in various aspects): the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble thereat; then their skins and their hearts do soften to the celebration of God’s praises. Such is the guidance of God: He guides therewith whom He pleases, but such as God leaves to stray, can have none to guide. 24. Is, then, one who has to fear the brunt of the Penalty on the Day of Judgement (and receive it) on his face, (like one guarded therefrom)? It will be said to the wrong-doers: “Taste you (the fruits of) what you earned!” 25. Those before them (also) rejected (revelation), and so the Punishment came to them from directions they did not perceive. 26. So God gave them a taste of humiliation in the present life, but greater is the Punishment of the Hereafter, if they only knew!
27. We have put forth for men, in this Qur’ān every kind of Parable, in order that they may receive admonition. 28. (It is) a Qur’ān in Arabic, without any crookedness (therein): in order that they may guard against Evil. 29. God puts forth a Parable — a man belonging to many partners at variance with each other, and a man belonging entirely to one master: are those two equal in comparison? Praise be to God! But most of them have no knowledge. 30. Truly you will die (one day), and truly they (too) will die (one day). 31. In the End will you (all), on the Day of Judgment, settle your disputes in the presence of your Lord.
SECTION 4: Rejectors will be Abased
32. Who, then, does more wrong than one who utters a lie concerning God, and rejects the Truth when it comes to him; is there not in Hell an abode for blasphemers? 33. And he who brings the Truth and he who confirms (and supports) it — such are the men who do right. 34. They shall have all that they wish for, in the presence of their Lord: such is the reward of those who do good: 35. So that God will turn off from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give them their reward according to the best of what they have done.
36. Is not God enough for his servant? But they try to frighten you with other (gods) besides Him! For such as God leaves to stray, there can be no guide. 37. And such as God does guide there can be none to lead astray. Is not God Exalted in Power, (able to enforce His Will), Lord of Retribution? 38. If indeed you ask them who it is that created the heavens and the earth, they would be sure to say, “God”. Say: “See you then? the things that you invoke besides God, — an they, if God wills some Penalty for me, remove His Penalty? — or if He wills some Grace for me, can they keep back His Grace?” Say: “Sufficient is God for me! In Him trust those who put their trust.” 39. Say: “O my people! Do whatever you can: I will do (my part): but soon will you know — 40. Who it is to whom comes a Penalty of ignominy, and on whom descends a Penalty that abides.”
41. Verily We have revealed the Book to you in Truth, for (instructing) mankind. He, then, that receives guidance benefits his own soul: but he that strays injures his own soul. Nor are you set over them to dispose of their affairs.
SECTION 5: Punishment Cannot be Averted
42. It is God that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect. 43. What! Do they take for intercessors others besides God? Say: “Even if they have no power whatever and no intelligence?” 44. Say: “To God belongs exclusively (the right to grant) Intercession: to Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: in the End, it is to Him that you shall be brought back.” 45. When God, the One and Only, is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror; but when (gods) other than He are mentioned, behold, they are filled with joy! 46. Say: “O God! Creator of the heavens and the earth! Knower of all that is hidden and open! It is You that will judge between Your Servants in those matters about which they have differed.”
47. Even if the wrong-doers had all that there is on earth, and as much more, (in vain) would they offer it for ransom from the pain of the Penalty on the Day of Judgement: but something will confront them from God, which they could never have counted upon! 48. For the evils of their deeds will confront them, and they will be (completely) encircled by that which they used to mock at! 49. Now, when trouble touches man, he cries to Us: but when We bestow a favor upon him as from Ourselves, he says, “This has been given to me because of a certain knowledge (I have)!” No, but this is but a trial, but most of them understand not! 50. Thus did the (generations) before them say! But all that they did was of no profit to them. 51. No, the evil results of their deeds overtook them. And the wrong-doers of this (generation) — the evil results of their deeds will soon overtake them (too), and they will never be able to frustrate (Our Plan)! 52. Know they not that God enlarges the provision or restricts it, for any He pleases? Verily, in this are Signs for those who believe!
SECTION 6: Divine Mercy
53. Say: “O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of God: for God forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 54. Turn you to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that you shall not be helped. 55. And follow the best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the Penalty comes on you — of a sudden, while you perceive not! — 56. Lest the soul should (then) say: ‘Ah! Woe is me! — In that I neglected (my duty) towards God, and was but among those who mocked!’ — 57. Or (lest) it should say: ‘If only God had guided me, I should certainly have been among the righteous!’ — 58. Or (lest) it should say when it (actually) sees the Penalty: ‘If only I had another chance, I should certainly be among those who do good!’ 59. (The reply will be:) ‘No, but there came to you My Signs, and you did reject them: you were haughty, and became one of those who reject Faith!’”
60. On the Day of Judgement will you see those who told lies against God; — their faces will be turned black; is there not in Hell an abode for the Haughty? 61. But God will deliver the righteous to their place of salvation: no evil shall touch them, nor shall they grieve. 62. God is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs. 63. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth: and those who reject the Signs of God, — it is they who will be in loss.
SECTION 7: The Final Judgement
64. Say: “Is it someone other than God that you order me to worship, O you ignorant ones?” 65. But it has already been revealed to you, — as it was to those before you, — “If you were to join (gods with God), truly fruitless will be your work (in life), and you will surely be in the ranks of those who lose (all spiritual good).” 66. No, but worship God, and be of those who give thanks. 67. No just estimate have they made of God, such as is due to Him: on the Day of Judgement the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the Partners they attribute to Him! 68. The Trumpet will (just) be sounded, when all that are in the heavens and on earth will swoon, except such as it will please God (to exempt). Then will a second one be sounded, when, behold, they will be standing and looking on! 69. And the Earth will shine with the glory of its Lord: the Record (of deeds) will be placed (open); the prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward and a just decision pronounced between them; and they will not be wronged (in the least). 70. And to every soul will be paid in full (the fruit) of its deeds; and (God) knows best all that they do.
SECTION 8: Each Party Meets with its Desert
71. The Unbelievers will be led to Hell in a crowd: until, when they arrive there, its gates will be opened. And its keepers will say, “Did not messengers come to you from among yourselves, rehearsing to you the Signs of your Lord, and warning you of the Meeting of this Day of yours?” The answer will be: “True: but the Decree of Punishment has been proved true against the Unbelievers!” 72. (To them) will be said: “Enter you the gates of Hell, to dwell therein: and evil is (this) abode of the arrogant!”
73. And those who feared their Lord will be led to the Garden in crowds: until behold, they arrive there; its gates will be opened; and its keepers will say: “Peace be upon you! Well have you done! Enter you here, to dwell therein.” 74. They will say: “Praise be to God, Who has truly fulfilled His Promise to us, and has given us (this) land in heritage: we can dwell in the Garden as we will: how excellent a reward for those who work (righteousness)!” 75. And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne (Divine) on all sides, singing Glory and Praise to their Lord. The Decision between them (at Judgement) will be in (perfect) justice, and the cry (on all sides) will be, “Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds!”