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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

25. The Differentiator (1 – 29)

A Meccan sura that starts with a denunciation of polytheism, then deals with the disbelievers’ arguments against the Prophet, the Qurʾan, and the Day of Judgement. It warns them of their fate, citing examples of earlier peoples. The sura describes the power and grace of God, and ends with the qualities of true believers (verses 63–76).

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

1Exalteda This meaning of tabarak is supported by Razi and is more appropriate here than ‘blessed’. is He who has sent the Differentiatorb Al-furqan, another name for the Qurʾan. The word means ‘that which differentiates right from wrong’. down to His servant so that it may be a warning to all people. 2It is He who has control over the heavens and earth and has no offspring—no one shares control with Him—and who created all things and made them to an exact measure. 3Yet the disbelievers take as their gods things beneath Him that create nothing, and are themselves created, that can neither harm nor help themselves, and have no control over death, life, or resurrection.

4The disbelievers say, ‘This can only be a lie he has forged with the help of others’—they themselves have done great wrong and told lies—5and they say, ‘It is just ancient fables, which he has had written down: they are dictated to him morning and evening.’ 6Say, ‘It was sent down by Him who knows the secrets of the heavens and earth. He is all forgiving, all merciful.’ 7They also say, ‘What sort of messenger is this? He eats food and walks about in the marketplaces! Why has no angel been sent down to help him with his warnings? 8Why has he not been given treasure or a garden to supply his food?’ and the evildoers say, ‘The man you follow is simply under a spell.’ 9See what they think you are like! They have gone astray and cannot find the right way. 10Exalted is He who can, if He wishes, give you better things than these: Gardens graced with flowing streams, and palaces too. 11It is actually the coming of the Hour that they reject: We have prepared a blazing fire for those who reject the Hour. 12When it sees them from a distance, they will hear it raging and roaring,13and when they are hurled into a narrow part of it, chained together, they will cry out for death. 14’Do not cry out this day for one death, but for many.’ 15Say, ‘Which is better, this or the lasting Garden that those who are mindful of God have been promised as their reward and journey's end?’ 16There they will find everything they wish for, and there they will stay. [Prophet], this is a binding promise from your Lord. 17On the Day He gathers them all together with those they worship beside Him, He will say, ‘Was it you [false gods] who led these creatures of Mine astray, or did they stray from the path by themselves?’ 18They will say, ‘May You be exalted! We ourselves would never take masters other than You! But You granted them and their forefathers pleasures in this life, until they forgot Your Reminder and were ruined.’ 19[God will say], ‘Now your gods have denounced what you say as lies: you cannot avoid the punishment; you will not get any help.’ If any of you commits such evil, We shall make him taste agonizing torment.

20No messenger have We sent before you [Muhammad] who did not eat food and walk about in the marketplace. But We have made some of you a means of testing others—will you stand fast? Your Lord is always watching. 21Those who do not fear to meet Us say, ‘Why are the angels not sent down to us?’ or ‘Why can we not see our Lord?’ They are too proud of themselves and too insolent. 22There will be no good news for the guilty on the Day they see the angels. The angels will say, ‘You cannot cross the forbidden barrier,a Cf. 23: 100. 23and We shall turn to the deeds they have done and scatter them like dust. 24But the companions in the Garden will have a better home on that Day, and a fairer place to rest. 25On the Day when the sky and its clouds are split apart and the angels sent down in streams, 26on that Day, true authority belongs to the Lord of Mercy. It will be a grievous Day for the disbelievers. 27On that Day the evildoer will bite his own hand and say, ‘If only I had taken the same path as the Messenger. 28Woe is me! If only I had not taken so and so as a friend—29he led me away from the Revelation after it reached me. Satan has always betrayed mankind.’

Notes:

a This meaning of tabarak is supported by Razi and is more appropriate here than ‘blessed’.

b Al-furqan, another name for the Qurʾan. The word means ‘that which differentiates right from wrong’.

a Cf. 23: 100.

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