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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

43. Ornaments of Gold (1 – 28)

A Meccan sura named after the gold ornaments mentioned in verse 35, and alluded to again m verse 53: m both instances God is refuting the claim of the disbelievers that a true prophet would be rich. The fact that the angels are not God's daughters but His obedient servants is emphasized again and again (cf. verses 15–20, 60). Similarly, the idea that Jesus could be the son of God is clearly denied (verses 57–9)

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

1Ha Mim

2By the Scripture that makes things clear,3We have made it a Qurʾan in Arabic so that you [people] may understand. 4It is truly exalted in the Source of Scripturea Literally ‘mother of Scripture’, identified with the ‘Preserved Tablet’. Cf. 13: 39; 85: 22. kept with Us, and full of wisdom.

5Should We ignore you and turn this revelation away from you because you are insolent people? 6We have sent many a prophet to earlier people 7and they mocked every one of them, 8so We have destroyed mightier people than [the disbelievers of Mecca] and their example has gone down in history. 9If you [Prophet] ask them, ‘Who created the heavens and earth?’ they are sure to say, ‘They were created by the Almighty, the All Knowing.’ 10It is He who smoothed out the earth for you and traced out routes on it for you to find your way, 11who sends water down from the sky in due measure— We resurrect dead land with it, and likewise you will be resurrected from the grave—12who created every kind of thing, who gave you ships and animals to ride on 13so that you may remember your Lord's grace when you are seated on them and say, ‘Glory be to Him who has given us control over this; we could not have done it by ourselves. 14Truly it is to our Lord that we are returning.’

15Yet they assign some of His own servants to Him as offspring! b The Meccan pagans considered the angels to be daughters of God, yet they were dismissive of their own daughters. Man is clearly ungrateful! 16Has He taken daughters for Himself and favoured you with sons? 17When one of them is given news of the birth of a daughter, such as he so readily ascribes to the Lord of Mercy, his face grows dark and he is filled with gloom — 18’Someone who is brought up amongst trinkets, who cannot put together a clear argument?’a This was the pre-Islamic opinion. One poet boasted that he was inspired by a male, rather than a female, shaytan. 19They consider the angels—God's servants—to be female. Did they witness their creation? Their claim will be put on record and they will be questioned about it.

20They say, ‘If the Lord of Mercy had willed it, we would not have worshipped them,’ but they do not know that—they are only guessing—21or have We perhaps given them a book before this one, to which they hold fast? 22No indeed! They say, ‘We saw our fathers following this tradition; we are guided by their footsteps.’ 23Whenever We sent a messenger before you to warn a township, those corrupted by wealth said, in the same way, ‘We saw our fathers following this tradition; we are only following in their footsteps.’ 24The messenger said, ‘Even though I bring you a truer religion than what you saw your fathers following?’ and they replied, ‘But we do not believe the message you bring.’25We punished them: think about how those who rejected the Truth met their end.26Abraham said to his father and his people, ‘I renounce what you worship.27I worship only Him who created me, and it is He who will guide me,’ 28and he bequeathed these words to his descendants so that they might return [to God].

Notes:

a Literally ‘mother of Scripture’, identified with the ‘Preserved Tablet’. Cf. 13: 39; 85: 22.

b The Meccan pagans considered the angels to be daughters of God, yet they were dismissive of their own daughters.

a This was the pre-Islamic opinion. One poet boasted that he was inspired by a male, rather than a female, shaytan.

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