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Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
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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

7. The Heights (1 – 25)

A Meccan sura named after the heights of the barrier which will divide the righteous from the damned on the Day of Judgement (verse 46). The sura begins by addressing the Prophet, reassuring him about his revelations, and closes emphasizing the fact that he merely repeats what is revealed to him. It warns the disbelievers of their fate via numerous stories of disobedient communities of the past, in the hope that they may take heed and repent before it is too late. Both subjects also serve to give encouragement to the Prophet and the believers.

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

1AlifLam Mim Sad

2This Book has been sent down to you [Prophet]—let there be no anxiety in your heart because of ita See 6: 33–6; 20: 2.—so that you may use it to give warning and to remind the believers: 3’Follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord; do not follow other masters beside Him. How seldom you take heed!’

4How many towns We have destroyed! Our punishment came to them by night or while they slept in the afternoon: 5their only cry when Our punishment came to them was, ‘How wrong we were!’ 6We shall certainly question those to whom messengers were sent— and We shall question the messengers themselves—7and, with full knowledge, for We were never far from them, We shall tell them what they did. 8On that Day the weighing of deeds will be true and just: those whose good deeds are heavy on the scales will be the ones to prosper, 9and those whose good deeds are light will be the ones who have lost their souls through their wrongful rejection of Our messages.

10We established you [people] on the earth and provided you with a means of livelihood there—small thanks you give! 11We created you, We gave you shape, and then We said to the angels, ‘Bow down before Adam,’ and they did. But not Iblis: he was not one of those who bowed down. 12God said, ‘What prevented you from bowing down as I commanded you?’ and he said, ‘I am better than him: You created me from fire and him from clay.’ 13God said, ‘Get down from here! Thisa The Garden, cf. 20: 117. is no place for your arrogance. Get out! You are contemptible!’ 14but Iblis said, ‘Give me respite until the Day people are raised from the dead,’ 15and God replied, ‘You have respite.’ 16And then Iblis said, ‘Because You have put me in the wrong, I will lie in wait for them all on Your straight path: 17I will come at them—from their front and their back, from their right and their left—and You will find that most of them are ungrateful.’ 18God said, ‘Get out! You are disgraced and banished! I swear I shall fill Hell with you and all who follow you! 19But you and your wife, Adam, live in the Garden. Both of you eat whatever you like, but do not go near this tree or you will become wrongdoers.’

20Satan whispered to them so as to expose their nakedness,b Conventionally translated as ‘private parts’, but the Arabic does not necessarily have this meaning. which had been hidden from them: he said, ‘Your Lord only forbade you this tree to prevent you becoming angels or immortals,’ 21and he swore to them, ‘I am giving you sincere advice’—22he lured them with lies. Their nakedness became exposed to them when they had eaten from the tree: they began to put together leaves from the Garden to cover themselves. Their Lord called to them, ‘Did I not forbid you to approach that tree? Did I not warn you that Satan was your sworn enemy?’ 23They replied, ‘Our Lord, we have wronged our souls: if You do not forgive us and have mercy, we shall be lost.’ 24He said, ‘All of you get out! You are each other's enemies.c Iblis is the enemy of mankind and vice versa. On earth you will have a place to stay and livelihood—for a time.’ 25He said, ‘There you will live; there you will die; from there you will be brought out.’

Notes:

a See 6: 33–6; 20: 2.

a The Garden, cf. 20: 117.

b Conventionally translated as ‘private parts’, but the Arabic does not necessarily have this meaning.

c Iblis is the enemy of mankind and vice versa.

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