Chapter 42: Consultation
SECTION 1: Divine Mercy in Giving Warning
In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. Ḥā Mīm. 2. ‘Ayn Sīn Qāf. 3. Thus does (He) send inspiration to you as (He did) to those before you — God, Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom. 4. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: and He is Most High, Most Great. 5. The heavens are almost rent asunder from above them (by His Glory): and the angels celebrate the Praises of their Lord, and pray for forgiveness for (all) beings on earth: Behold! Verily God is He, the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
6. And those who take as protectors others besides Him — God does watch over them; and you are not the disposer of their affairs. 7. Thus have We sent by inspiration to you an Arabic Qur’ān: that you may warn the Mother of Cities and all around her — and warn (them) of the Day of Assembly, of which there is no doubt: (when) some will be in the Garden, and some in the blazing Fire. 8. If God had so willed, He could have made them a single people; but He admits whom He will to His Mercy; and the wrong-doers will have no protector nor helper. 9. What! Have they taken (for worship) protectors besides Him? But it is God, — He is the Protector, and it is He Who gives life to the dead: it is He Who has power over all things.
SECTION 2: Judgement is Given
10. Whatever it be wherein you differ, the decision thereof is with God: such is God my Lord: in Him I trust, and to Him I turn. 11. (He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things). 12. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth: He enlarges and restricts the Sustenance to whom He will: for He knows full well all things. 13. The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah — that which We have sent by inspiration to you — and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that you should remain steadfast in Religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than God, hard is the (way) to which you call them. God chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him). 14. And they became divided only after knowledge reached them, — through selfish envy as between themselves. Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, (tending) to a Term appointed, the matter would have been settled between them: but truly those who have inherited the Book after them are in suspicious (disquieting) doubt concerning it.
15. Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as you are commanded, nor follow you their vain desires; but say: “I believe in the Book which God has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you. God is our Lord and your Lord: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. God will bring us together, and to Him is (our) final goal.” 16. But those who dispute concerning God after He has been accepted, — futile is their dispute in the sight of their Lord: on them is Wrath, and for them will be a Penalty terrible. 17. It is God Who has sent down the Book in Truth, and the Balance (by which to weigh conduct). And what will make you realize that perhaps the Hour is close at hand? 18. Only those wish to hasten it who believe not in it: those who believe hold it in awe, and know that it is the Truth. Behold, verily those that dispute concerning the Hour are far astray. 19. Gracious is God to His servants: He gives Sustenance to whom He pleases: and He has Power and can carry out His Will. No protector nor helper.
SECTION 3: God’s Dealing is Just
20. To any that desires the tilth of the Hereafter, We give increase in his tilth, and to any that desires the tilth of this world, We grant somewhat thereof, but he has no share or lot in the Hereafter.
21. What! Have they partners (in godhead), who have established for them some religion without the permission of God? Had it not been for the Decree of Judgement, the matter would have been decided between them (at once). But verily the wrong-doers will have a grievous Penalty. 22. You will see the wrong-doers in fear on account of what they have earned, and (the burden of) that must (necessarily) fall on them. But those who believe and work righteous deeds will be in the luxuriant meads of the Gardens: they shall have, before their Lord, all that they wish for. That will indeed be the magnificent Bounty (of God). 23. That is (the Bounty) whereof God gives Glad Tidings to His Servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.” And if anyone earns any good, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (service).
24. What! Do they say, “He has forged a falsehood against God”? But if God willed, He could seal up your heart. And God blots out Vanity, and proves the Truth by His Words. For He knows well the secrets of all hearts. 25. He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that you do. 26. And He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and gives them increase of His Bounty: but for the Unbelievers there is a terrible Penalty. 27. If God were to enlarge the provision for His Servants, they would indeed transgress beyond all bounds through the earth; but He sends (it) down in due measure as He pleases. For He is with His Servants Well-Acquainted, Watchful. 28. He is the One that sends down rain (even) after (men) have given up all hope, and scatters His Mercy (far and wide). And He is the Protector, Worthy of all Praise. 29. And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has Power to gather them together when He wills.
SECTION 4: Believers Should be Patient
30. Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because of the things your hands have wrought, and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness. 31. Nor can you frustrate (anything), (fleeing) through the earth; nor have you, besides God, anyone to protect or to help. 32. And among His Signs are the ships, smooth-running through the ocean, (tall) as mountains. 33. If it be His Will, He can still the Wind: then would they become motionless on the back of the (ocean). Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful. 34. Or He can cause them to perish because of the (evil) which (the men) have earned; but much does He forgive. 35. But let those know, who dispute about Our Signs, that there is for them no way of escape.
36. Whatever you are given (here) is (but) a convenience of this life: but that which is with God is better and more lasting: (it is) for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord; 37. Those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and, when they are angry even then forgive; 38. Those who listen to their Lord, and establish regular prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance; 39. And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves.
40. The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God: for (God) loves not those who do wrong. 41. But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame. 42. The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a Penalty grievous. 43. But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.
...if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God: for (God) loves not those who do wrong. (42:40)
SECTION 5: Revelation Guides Aright
44. For any whom God leaves astray, there is no protector thereafter. And you will see the wrong-doers, when in sight of the Penalty, say: “Is there any way (to effect) a return?” 45. And you will see them brought forward to the (Penalty), in a humble frame of mind because of (their) disgrace, (and) looking with a stealthy glance. And the Believers will say: “Those are indeed in loss, who have given to perdition their own selves and those belonging to them on the Day of Judgement. Behold! Truly the wrong-doers are in a lasting Penalty!” 46. And no protectors have they to help them, other than God. And for any whom God leaves to stray, there is no way (to the Goal).
47. Listen you to your Lord, before there comes a day which there will be no putting back, because of (the ordainment of) God! That Day there will be for you no place of refuge nor will there be for you any room for denial (of your sins)! 48. If then they turn away, We have not sent you as a guard over them. Your duty is but to convey (the Message). And truly, when We give man a taste of a Mercy from Ourselves, he does exult thereat, but when some ill happens to him, on account of the deeds which his hands have sent forth, truly then is man ungrateful!
49. To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills (and plans). He bestows (children) male or female according to His Will (and Plan), 50. Or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves barren whom He will: for He is full of knowledge and power.
51. It is not fitting for a man that God should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with God’s permission, what God wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise. 52. And thus have We, by Our command, sent inspiration to you: you knew not (before) what was Revelation, and what was Faith; but We have made the (Qur’ān) a Light, wherewith We guide such of Our servants as We will; and verily you do guide (men) to the straight Way, — 53. The Way of God, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Behold (how) all affairs tend towards God!