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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

80. He Frowned (1 – 32)

A Meccan sura. While the Prophet was speaking to some disbelieving notables, hoping to convert them, a blind Muslim man came up to learn from him, but in his eagerness to attract the disbelievers to Islam, the Prophet frowned at him. The Prophet is then reproached and told not to concern himself with the disbelievers. In the second paragraph there is a condemnation of man's ingratitude: man becomes self-satisfied and forgets his origin and his final return to God.

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

1He frowned and turned away 2when the blind man came to him — 3for all you know,a The shift from talking about the Prophet to addressing him directly reinforces the reproach. he might have grown in spirit, 4or taken note of something useful to him. 5For the self-satisfied one 6you go out of your way—7though you are not to be blamed for his lack of spiritual growth—8but from the one who has come to you full of eagerness 9and awe 10you allow yourself to be distracted. 11No indeed! This [Qurʾan] is a lesson 12from which those who wish to be taught should learn, 13[written] on honoured, 14exalted, pure pages, 15by the hands of16noble and virtuous scribes.

17Woe to man! How ungrateful he is! 18From what thing does God create him? 19He creates him from a droplet, He proportions him, 20He makes the way easy for him, 21then He causes him to die and be buried. 22When He wills, He will raise him up again. 23Yet manb Some commentators take this to refer only to disbelievers. does not fulfil God's commands. 24Let man consider the food he eats! 25Wec This is a shift to the plural of divine majesty to emphasize the magnitude of the action; see iltifat in Introduction, p. xx. pour down abundant water 26and cause the soil to split open. 27We make grain grow, 28and vines, fresh vegetation, 29olive trees, date palms, 30luscious gardens, 31fruits, and fodder: 32all for you and your livestock to enjoy.

Notes:

a The shift from talking about the Prophet to addressing him directly reinforces the reproach.

b Some commentators take this to refer only to disbelievers.

c This is a shift to the plural of divine majesty to emphasize the magnitude of the action; see iltifat in Introduction, p. xx.

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