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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

23. The Believers (1 – 22)

A Meccan sura which stresses that the believers are the ones who will succeed, whereas the disbelievers will be punished for their arrogance and derision. Several proofs are given of God's Oneness and His power, and the inevitability of the Resurrection is emphasized.

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

1[How] prosperous are the believers! 2Those who pray humbly, 3who shun idle talk, 4who pay the prescribed alms,5who guard their chastity 6except with their spouses or their slavesa Cf. 4: 25.— with these they are not to blame, 7but anyone who seeks more than this is exceeding the limits —8who are faithful to their trusts and pledges 9and who keep up their prayers, 10will rightly be given 11Paradise as their own,b Literally ‘will be the heirs to “inherit” Paradise’, but they do not inherit from anyone who dies. there to remain.

12We created man from an essence of clay, 13then We placed him as a drop of fluid in a safe place, 14then We made that drop into a clinging form, and We made that form into a lump of flesh, and We made that lump into bones, and We clothed those bones with flesh, and later We made him into other formsc Razi quotes Ibn ‘Abbas to explain ‘other forms’ as referring to all the various stages of infancy, childhood, and maturity —cf. 22: 5; 40: 67.— glory be to God, the best of creators! —15then you will die 16and then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will be raised up again.

17We created seven levelsd Tara’iq: ‘levels (of heaven)’ or ‘highways’ (Razi). above you: We are never unmindful of Our creation. 18We sent water down from the sky in due measure and lodged it in the earth —We have the power to take it all away if We so wish —19with it We produced for you gardens of date palms and vines, with many fruits there for you to eat, 20and a tree, growing out of Mount Sinai, that produces oil and seasoning for your food. 21There is a lesson for you in livestock: We produce milk for you to drink from their bellies. And they have many other benefits: you eat them 22and you ride on them, as you do in ships.

Notes:

a Cf. 4: 25.

b Literally ‘will be the heirs to “inherit” Paradise’, but they do not inherit from anyone who dies.

c Razi quotes Ibn ‘Abbas to explain ‘other forms’ as referring to all the various stages of infancy, childhood, and maturity —cf. 22: 5; 40: 67.

d Tara’iq: ‘levels (of heaven)’ or ‘highways’ (Razi).

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