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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

31. Luqman (1 – 28)

A Meccan sura that takes its title from Luqman the Wise, whose counsel to his son is related in verses 13–19. The sura opens with a description of the believers, and it condemns those who attempt to lead others away from guidance. It extols God's power and warns the disbelievers of the consequences of their actions. The Prophet is told not to be saddened by their disbelief.

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

1Alif Lam Mim

2These are the verses of the wise Scripture, 3[with] guidance and mercy for those who do good, 4who keep up the prayer, pay the prescribed alms, and are certain of the Hereafter: 5these are rightly guided by their Lord, and it is they who will prosper. 6But there is the sort of person who pays for distracting tales, intending, without any knowledge, to lead others from God's way, and to hold it up to ridicule.a Understood to refer to al-Nadr ibn al-Harith, who bought some ancient Persian stories to distract the people of Quraysh from listening to the Qurʾan. There will be humiliating torment for him! 7When Our verses are recited to him, he turns away disdainfully as if he had not heard them, as if there were heaviness in his ears. Tell him that there will be a painful torment! 8But for those who believe and do right eous deeds, there will be Gardens of bliss 9where they will stay: that is God's true promise, and He is the Almighty, the All Wise. 10He created the heavens without any visible support, and He placed firm mountains on the earth—in case it should shake under you—and He spread all kinds of animals around it. We sent down water from the sky, with which We made every kind of good plant grow on earth: 11all this is God's creation. Now, show Me what your other gods have created. No, the disbelievers are clearly astray.

12We endowed Luqman with wisdom: ‘Be thankful to God: whoever gives thanks benefits his own soul, and as for those who are thankless—God is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise.’ 13Luqman counselled his son, ‘My son, do not attribute any partners to God: attributing partners to Him is a terrible wrong.’

14We have commanded people to be good to their parents: their mothers carried them, with strain upon strain, and it takes two years to wean them. Give thanks to Me and to your parents—all will return to Me. 15If they strive to make you associate with Me anything about which you have no knowledge,a i.e. scriptural proof. then do not obey them. Yet keep their company in this life according to what is right, and follow the path of those who turn to Me. You will all return to Me in the end, and I will tell you everything that you have done.

16[And Luqman continued], ‘My son, if even the weight of a mustard seed were hidden in a rock or anywhere in the heavens or earth, God would bring it [to light], for He is all subtle and all aware. 17Keep up the prayer, my son; command what is right; forbid what is wrong; bear anything that happens to you steadfastly: these are things to be aspired to. 18Do not turn your nose up at people, nor walk about the place arrogantly, for God does not love arrogant or boastful people. 19Go at a moderate pace and lower your voice, for the ugliest of all voices is the braying of asses.’

20[People], do you not see how God has made what is in the heavens and on the earth useful to you, and has lavished His blessings on you both outwardly and inwardly? Yet some people argue about God, without knowledge or guidance or an illuminating scripture. 21When they are told, ‘Follow what God has sent down,’ they say: ‘We shall follow what we saw our forefathers following.’ What! Even if Satan is calling them to the suffering of the Blazing Flame? 22Whoever directs himselfb Literally ‘his face’. wholly to God and does good work has grasped the surest handhold, for the outcome of everything is with God. 23As for those who refuse to do this, do not let their refusal sadden you [Prophet]—they will return to Us and We shall tell them what they have done: God knows all that hearts contain—24We let them enjoy themselves for a little while, but We shall drive them to a harsh torment. 25If you ask them who created the heavens and earth, they are sure to say, ‘God.’ Say, ‘Praise belongs to God,’ but most of them do not understand. 26Everything in the heavens and earth belongs to God. God is self-sufficient and worthy of all praise. 27If all the trees on earth were pens and all the seas, with seven more seas besides, [were ink,] still God's words would not run out: God is almighty and all wise.28 Creating and resurrecting all of you is only like creating or resurrecting a single soul: God is all hearing and all seeing.

Notes:

a Understood to refer to al-Nadr ibn al-Harith, who bought some ancient Persian stories to distract the people of Quraysh from listening to the Qurʾan.

a i.e. scriptural proof.

b Literally ‘his face’.

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