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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

40. The Forgiver (1 – 20)

A Meccan sura with two recurring themes: disputing God's truth (verses 4, 35, 69) and calling upon Him (verses 14, 49, 50, 60, 65, 73). In the opening verses God is described as the Forgiver, and the Accepter of repentance, yet severe in punishment, and this dual aspect is exemplified in the sura. The central section of the sura deals with the story of Pharaoh and Moses (verses 23–54): the destruction of one and victory of the other are stated in verses 45 and 51. The Prophet is, in his turn, urged to be steadfast and to ignore the taunts of the disbelievers (verses 55 and 77).

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

1Ha Mim

2This Scripture is sent down from God, the Almighty, the All Knowing, 3Forgiver of sins and Accepter of repentance, severe in punishment, infinite in bounty. There is no god but Him; to Him is the ultimate return. 4It is only the disbelievers who dispute God's revelations. [Prophet], do not be dazzled by their movements back and forth across the land.a Making wealth by trading. 5Before them the people of Noah rejected the truth and so did those who formed opposition after them: every community schemed to destroy its messenger and strove to refute truth with falsehood; but it was I who destroyed them. How terrible My punishment was! 6In this way your Lord's sentence was passed against the disbelievers that they would be the inhabitants of the Fire.

7Those [angels] who carry the Throne and those who surround it celebrate the praise of their Lord and have faith in Him. They beg forgiveness for the believers: ‘Our Lord, You embrace all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who turn to You and follow Your path. Save them from the pains of Hell 8and admit them, Lord, to the lasting Gardens You have promised to them, together with their righteous ancestors,b The word aba’ includes male and female ancestors. Father and mother are called abawan. spouses, and offspring: You alone are the Almighty, the All Wise.9Protect them from all evil deeds: those You protect on that Day from [the punishment for] evil deeds will receive Your mercy—that is the supreme triumph.’ 10But those who disbelieved will be told, ‘When you were called to the faith and rejected it, God's disgust with you was even greater then than the self-disgust you feel [today].’ 11They will say, ‘Our Lord, twice You have caused us to be lifelessa Literally ‘dead’, leading some commentators to interpret this as referring to one's initial death, followed shortly thereafter by a second ‘death’ after questioning in the grave. The more generally accepted view, however, is that earthly life is both preceded and succeeded by a state of lifelessness. The two acts of giving life therefore refer to birth and resurrection. and twice You have brought us to life. Now we recognize our sins. Is there any way out?’12[They will be told], ‘This is all because when God alone was invoked you rejected this, yet when others were associated with Him you believed [in them].’ Judgement belongs to God the Most High, the Most Great.

13It is He who shows you [people] His signs and sends water down from the sky to sustain you, though only those who turn to God will take heed. 14So call upon God and dedicate your religion to Him alone, however hateful this may be to the disbelievers: 15He is exalted in rank, the Lord of the Throne. He sends revelations with His teachings to whichever of His servants He will, in order to warn of the Day of Meeting,16the Day when they will come out and nothing about them will be concealed from God. ‘Who has control today?’ ‘God, the One, the All Powerful. 17Today each soul will be rewarded for whatever it has done; today no injustice will be done. God is swift in reckoning.’

18Warn them [Prophet] of the ever-approaching Day, when hearts are at throats, choking them. The evildoer will have no friends, nor any intercessor to be heeded. 19God is aware of the most furtive of glances, and of all that hearts conceal: 20God will judge with truth, while those they invoke besides Him will not judge at all. God is the All Hearing, the All Seeing.

Notes:

a Making wealth by trading.

b The word aba’ includes male and female ancestors. Father and mother are called abawan.

a Literally ‘dead’, leading some commentators to interpret this as referring to one's initial death, followed shortly thereafter by a second ‘death’ after questioning in the grave. The more generally accepted view, however, is that earthly life is both preceded and succeeded by a state of lifelessness. The two acts of giving life therefore refer to birth and resurrection.

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