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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

72. The Jinna Unseen beings. (1 – 23)

A Meccan sura that gives an account of what a group ofjinn said when they overheard a recitation of the Qurʾan and realized its truth (verses 1–15). This is a lesson to the Meccan Arabs, who are also told that the Prophet can help them only by delivering the Message—God is the All Powerful One (verses 16–28). The disbelievers are threatened with what they will meet on the Day of Judgement (verses 23–7).

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

1Say [Prophet], ‘It has been revealed to me that a group ofjinn once listened in and said, “We have heard a wondrous Qurʾan, 2that gives guidance to the right path, and we have come to believe it—We shall never set up partners with our Lord—3and that He—exalted be the glory of our Lord!—has neither spouse nor child. 4Outrageous things have been said about God by the foolish among us, 5although we had thought that no man or jinn would [dare to] tell a lie about Him. 6Men have sought refuge with the jinn in the past, but they only misguided them further. 7They thought, as you did, that God would never raise anyone from the dead. 8We tried to reach heaven, but discovered it to be full of stern guards and shooting stars—9we used to sit in places there, listening,b They were listening for hints of what might come next, but in verse 10 they say they are no longer able to know the future (cf. verse 26 below). ’ but anyone trying to listen now will find a shooting star lying in wait for him—10[so now] we do not know whether those who live on earth are due for misfortune, or whether their Lord intends to guide them. 11Some of us are righteous and others less so: we follow different paths. 12We know we can never frustrate God on earth; we can never escape Him. 13When we heard the guidance we came to believe: whoever believes in his Lord need fear no loss nor injustice. 14Some of us submit to Him and others go the wrong way: those who submit to God have found wise guidance, 15but those who go wrong will be fuel for Hellfire.” ’

16If theyc The Meccan Arabs. had taken to the right way, We would have given them abundant water to drink—17a test for thema In the Qurʾan, plenty is as great a test as privation (see 21: 35), if not greater (see 10: 21–2).—but anyone who turns away from his Lord's Revelation will be sent by Him to spiralling torment. 18Places of worship are for God alone—so do not pray to anyone other than God—19yet when God's Servantb Muhammad. stood up to pray to Him, they pressed in on him. 20Say, ‘I pray to my Lord alone; I set up no partner with Him.’ 21Say, ‘I have no control over any harm or good that may befall you.’ 22Say, ‘No one can protect me from God: I have no refuge except in Him. 23I only deliver [what I receive] from God—only His messages.’

Notes:

a Unseen beings.

b They were listening for hints of what might come next, but in verse 10 they say they are no longer able to know the future (cf. verse 26 below). ’

c The Meccan Arabs.

a In the Qurʾan, plenty is as great a test as privation (see 21: 35), if not greater (see 10: 21–2).

b Muhammad.

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