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Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

14. Abraham (1 – 23)

A Meccan sura named after Abraham (verses 35–41), who prays to God that Mecca may be made prosperous so that its people may be thankful and continue to worship God. The ungrateful are condemned, and the grateful commended, throughout the sura. Abraham also asks that he and his descendants may be protected from idol-worship. This serves to remind the Meccans that they should shun the worship of idols.

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

1Al if Lam Ra

This is a Scripture which We have sent down to you [Prophet] so that, with their Lord's permission, you may bring people from the depths of darkness into light, to the path of the Almighty, the Praiseworthy One, 2God, to whom everything in the heavens and earth belongs. How terrible will be the torment of those who ignore [Him],3those who prefer the life of this world over the life to come, who turn others from God's way, trying to make it crooked: such people have gone far astray. 4We have never sent a messenger who did not use his own people's language to make things clear for them. But still God leaves whoever He will to stray, and guides whoever He will: He is the Almighty, the All Wise.

5We sent Moses with Our signs: ‘Bring out your people from the depths of darkness into light. Remind them of the Days of God:a The times when God singled them out for special favour or tribulation (cf. 2: 30–61). there truly are signs in this for every steadfast, thankful person.’ 6And so Moses said to his people, ‘Remember God's blessing on you when He saved you from Pharaoh's people, who were inflicting terrible suffering on you, slaughtering your sons and sparing only your women—that was a severe test from your Lord! 7Remember that He promised, “If you are thankful, I will give you more, but if you are thankless, My punishment is terrible indeed.”’ 8And Moses said, ‘Even if you, together with everybody else on earth, are thankless, God is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise.’

9Have you not heard about those who went before you, the people of Noah, ‘Ad, Thamud, and those who lived after them, known only to God? Their messengers came to them with clear proof, but they tried to silence them,a Literally ‘they pushed their hands into the prophets’ mouths’. saying, ‘We do not believe the message with which you were sent. We have disturbing doubts about what you are asking us to do.’ 10Their messengers answered, ‘Can there be any doubt about God, the Creator of the heavens and earth? He calls you to Him in order to forgive you your sins and let you enjoy your life until the appointed hour.’ But they said, ‘You are only men like us. You want to turn us away from what our forefathers used to worship. Bring us clear proof then, [if you can].’ 11Their messengers answered, ‘True, we are only men like you, but God favours whichever of His servants He chooses. We cannot bring you any proof unless God permits it, so let the believers put all their trust in Him — 12why should we not put our trust in God when it is He who has guided us to this way we follow? We shall certainly bear steadfastly whatever harm you do to us. Let anyone who trusts, trust in God.’

13The disbelievers said to their messengers, ‘We shall expel you from our land unless you return to our religion.’ But their Lord inspired the messengers: ‘We shall destroy the evildoers, 14and leave you to dwell in the land after them. This reward is for those who are in awe of meeting Me, and of My warnings.’ 15They asked God to decide, and every obstinate tyrant failed—16Hell awaits each one; he will be given foul water to drink, 17which he will try to gulp but scarcely be able to swallow; death will encroach on him from every side, but he will not die; more intense suffering will lie ahead of him. 18The deeds of those who reject their Lord are like ashes that the wind blows furiously on a stormy day: they have no power over anything they have gained. This is to stray far, far away.

19[Prophet], do you not see that God created the heavens and the earth for a purpose? He could remove all of you and replace you with a new creation if He wished to: 20that is not difficult for God. 21When they all appear before Him, the weak will say to the power-seekers, ‘We were your followers. Can you protect us from any of God's punishment?’ They will reply, ‘If God had guided us, we would have guided you. It makes no difference now whether we rage or endure with patience: there is no escape.’ 22When everything has been decided, Satan will say, ‘God gave you a true promise. I too made promises but they were false ones: I had no power over you except to call you, and you responded to my call, so do not blame me; blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I reject the way you associated me with God before.’ A bitter torment awaits such wrongdoers, 23but those who believed and did good deeds will be brought into Gardens graced with flowing streams, there to remain with their Lord's permission: their greeting there is ‘Peace’.

Notes:

a The times when God singled them out for special favour or tribulation (cf. 2: 30–61).

a Literally ‘they pushed their hands into the prophets’ mouths’.

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