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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

53. The Star (1 – 32)

A Meccan sura that confirms the divine source of the Prophet's message and refers to his ascension to heaven during the Night Journey (verses 1–18). The sura refutes the claims of the disbelievers about the goddesses and the angels (verses 19–28), and the third paragraph lists several truths about God's power. The sura closes with a warning of the imminent Day of Judgement.

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

1By the star when it sets!a Sirius, which the Meccans worshipped (cf. verses 49 and 6: 76–9). 2Your companionb Muhammad. has not strayed; he is not deluded;3he does not speak from his own desire. 4The Qurʾan is nothing less than a revelation that is sent to him. 5It was taught to him by [an angel]c This refers to the Angel Gabriel. with mighty powers 6and great strength, who stood 7on the highest horizon 8and then approached —coming down 9until he was two bow-lengths away or even closer —10and revealed to God's servant what He revealed. 11[The Prophet's] own heart did not distort what he saw. 12Are you going to dispute with him what he saw with his own eyes?13A second time he saw him: 14by the lote tree beyond which none may passd Cf. 56: 28. 15near the Garden of Restfulness, 16when the tree was covered in nameless [splendour].e Something unimaginable, indescribable. 17His sight never wavered, nor was it too bold, 18and he saw some of the greatest signs of his Lord.

19[Disbelievers], consider al-Lat and al-'Uzza, 20and the third one, Manatf Names of Arabian pagan goddesses.21are you to have the male and He the female?22That would be a most unjust distribution !g Because the pagan Arabs regarded daughters as a humiliation, the Qurʾan argues with them according to their own logic that it was particularly illogical of them to attribute daughters to God. See also 16: 57–62; 43: 16–20.23these are nothing but names you have invented yourselves, you and your forefathers. God has sent no authority for them. These people merely follow guesswork and the whims of their souls, even though guidance has come to them from their Lord. 24Is man to have everything he wishes for,a The disbelievers claimed that they worshipped their goddesses in order that these might intercede for them with God, or bring them closer to Him. Cf. 6: 94; 39: 3. 25when the present life and the life to come belong only to God? 26There are many angels in heaven whose intercession will be of no use until God gives permission to those He will, whose words He will accept. 27Those who deny the life to come give the angels female names. 28They have no knowledge to base this on: they merely follow guesswork. Guesswork is of no value against the Truth. 29So [Prophet] ignore those who turn away from Our revelation, who want only the life of this world. 30Their knowledge does not go beyond that. Your Lord knows best who strays from His path and who follows guidance.31Everything in the heavens and earth belongs to God. He will repay those who do evil according to their deeds, and reward, with what is best, those who do good. 32As for those who avoid grave sins and foul acts, though they may commit small sins, your Lord is ample in forgiveness. He has been aware of you from the time He produced you from the earth and from your hiding places in your mothers' wombs, so do not assert your own goodness:b Cf. 32: 10; 50: 4. He knows best who is mindful of Him.

Notes:

a Sirius, which the Meccans worshipped (cf. verses 49 and 6: 76–9).

b Muhammad.

c This refers to the Angel Gabriel.

d Cf. 56: 28.

e Something unimaginable, indescribable.

f Names of Arabian pagan goddesses.

g Because the pagan Arabs regarded daughters as a humiliation, the Qurʾan argues with them according to their own logic that it was particularly illogical of them to attribute daughters to God. See also 16: 57–62; 43: 16–20.

a The disbelievers claimed that they worshipped their goddesses in order that these might intercede for them with God, or bring them closer to Him. Cf. 6: 94; 39: 3.

b Cf. 32: 10; 50: 4.

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