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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 (159 – 179)

159There is a group among the people of Moses who guide with truth, and who act justly according to it. 160We divided them into twelve tribes [as distinct] communities, and, when his people asked him for water, inspired Moses to strike the rock with his staff [so that] twelve springs gushed out. Each tribe knew its own drinking place; We gave them the shade of clouds and sent down to them manna and quails [saying], ‘Eat the good things We have provided for you.’ They did not wrong Us; it was themselves they wronged. 161When they were told, ‘Enter this town and eat freely there as you will, but say, “Relieve us!” and enter its gate humbly: then We shall forgive you your sins, and increase the reward of those who do good,’ 162the wrongdoers among them substituted another saying for that which had been given them, so We sent them a punishment from heaven for their wrongdoing.

163[Prophet], ask them about the town by the sea; how its people broke the Sabbath when their fish surfaced for them only on that day, never on weekdays—We tested them in this way: because of their disobedience—164how, when some of them asked [their preachers], ‘Why do you bother preaching to people God will destroy, or at least punish severely?’ [the preachers] answered, ‘In order to be free from your Lord's blame, and so that they may perhaps take heed.’ 165When they ignored [the warning] they were given, We saved those who forbade evil, and punished the wrongdoers severely because of their disobedience. 166When, in their arrogance, they persisted in doing what they had been forbidden to do, We said to them, ‘Be like apes!a Cf. note to 2: 65. Be outcasts!’ 167And then your Lord declared that, until the Day of Resurrection, He would send people against them to inflict terrible suffering on them. Your Lord is swift in punishment but He is most forgiving and merciful.

168We dispersed them over the earth in separate communities— some are righteous and some less so: We tested them with blessings and misfortunes, so that they might all return [to righteousness]—

169and they were succeeded by generations who, although they inherited the Scripture, took the fleeting gains of this lower world, saying, ‘We shall be forgiven,’ and indeed taking them again if other such gains came their way. Was a pledge not taken from them, written in the Scripture, to say nothing but the truth about God? And they have studied its contents well. For those who are mindful of God, the Hereafter is better. ‘Why do you not use your reason?’

170But as for those who hold fast to the Scripture and keep up the prayer, We do not deny righteous people their rewards. 171When We made the mountain loom high above them like a shadow, and they thought it would fall on them, We said, ‘Hold fast to what We have given you, and remember what it contains, so that you may remain conscious of God.’

172[Prophet], when your Lord took out the offspring from the loins of the Children of Adam and made them bear witness about themselves, He said, ‘Am I not your Lord?’ and they replied, ‘Yes, we bear witness.’ So you cannot say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘We were not aware of this,’ 173or, ‘It was our forefathers who, before us, ascribed partners to God, and we are only the descendants who came after them: will you destroy us because of falsehoods they invented?’ 174In this way We explain the messages, so that they may turn [to the right path].

175[Prophet], tell them the story of the man to whom We gave Our messages: he sloughed them off, so Satan took him as his follower and he went astray—176if it had been Our will, We could have used these signs to raise him high, but instead he clung to the earth and followed his own desires—he was like a dog that pants with a lolling tongue whether you drive it away or leave it alone. Such is the image of those who reject Our signs. Tell them the story so that they may reflect. 177How foul is the image of those who reject Our signs! It is themselves they wrong: 178whoever God guides is truly guided, and whoever God allows to stray is a loser. 179We have created many jinn and people who are destined for Hell, with hearts they do not use for comprehension, eyes they do not use for sight, ears they do not use for hearing. They are like cattle, no, even further astray: these are the ones who are entirely heedless.

Notes:

a Cf. note to 2: 65.

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