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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 Koran Interpreted Translation by A.J. Arberry

7 THE BATTLEMENTS (1 – 24)

The Qurʾan Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

7. The Heights (1 – 25)

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Alif Lam Mim Sad

A Book sent down to thee— so let there be no impediment in thy breast because of it— to warn thereby, and as a reminder to believers: Follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord, and follow no friends other than He; little do you remember. How many a city We have destroyed! Our might came upon it at night, or while they took their ease in the noontide, and they but cried, when Our might came upon them, ‘We were evildoers.’ 5So We shall question those unto whom a Message was sent, and We shall question the Envoys, and We shall relate to them with knowledge; assuredly We were not absent. The weighing that day is true; he whose scales are heavy— they are the prosperers, and he whose scales are light—they have lost their souls for wronging Our signs.

We have established you in the earth and there appointed for you livelihood; little thanks you show. 10We created you, then We shaped you, then We said to the angels: ‘Bow yourselves to Adam’; so they bowed themselves, save Iblis—he was not of those that bowed themselves. Said He, ‘What prevented thee to bow thyself, when I commanded thee?’ Said he, ‘I am better than he; Thou createdst me of fire, and him Thou createdst of clay.’ Said He, ‘Get thee down out of it; it is not for thee to wax proud here, so go thou forth; surely thou art among the humbled.’ Said he, ‘Respite me till the day they shall be raised.’ Said He, ‘Thou art among the ones that are respited.’ 15Said he, ‘Now, for Thy perverting me, I shall surely sit in ambush for them on Thy straight path; then I shall come on them from before them and from behind them, from their right hands and their left hands; Thou wilt not find most of them thankful.’ Said He, ‘Go thou forth from it, despised and banished. Those of them that follow thee—I shall assuredly fill Gehenna with all of you.’

‘O Adam, dwell, thou and thy wife, in the Garden, and eat of where you will, but come not nigh this tree, lest you be of the evildoers.’ Then Satan whispered to them, to reveal to them that which was hidden from them of their shameful parts. He said, ‘Your Lord has only prohibited you from this tree lest you become angels, or lest you become immortals.’ 20And he swore to them, ‘Truly, I am for you a sincere adviser.’ So he led them on by delusion; and when they tasted the tree, their shameful parts revealed to them, so they took to stitching upon themselves leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called to them, ‘Did not I prohibit you from this tree, and say to you, “Verily Satan is for you a manifest foe”?’ They said, ‘Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if Thou dost not forgive us, and have mercy upon us, we shall surely be among the lost.’ Said He, ‘Get you down, each of you an enemy to each. In the earth a sojourn shall be yours, and enjoyment for a time.’ Said He, ‘Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from there you shall be brought forth.’

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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