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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

37 THE RANGERS (1 – 38)

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

37. Ranged in Rowsa Cf. 37: 165–6; 78: 38. (1 – 27)

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

By the rangers ranging and the scarers scaring and the reciters of a Remembrance, surely your God is One, 5Lord of the heavens and the earth, and of what between them is, Lord of the Easts. We have adorned the lower heaven with the adornment of the stars and to preserve against every rebel Satan; they listen not to the High Council, for they are pelted from every side, rejected, and theirs is an everlasting chastisement, 10except such as snatches a fragment, and he is pursued by a piercing flame.

So ask them for a pronouncement— Are they stronger in constitution, or those We created? We created them of clinging clay. Nay, thou marvellest; and they scoff and, when reminded, do not remember and, when they see a sign, would scoff; 15and they say, ‘This is nothing but manifest sorcery. What, when we are dead and become dust and bones, shall we indeed be raised up? What, and our fathers, the ancients?’ Say: ‘Yes, and in all lowliness.’

For it is only a single scaring, then behold, they are watching 20and they say, ‘Woe, alas for us! This is the Day of Doom.’ ‘This is the Day of Decision, even that you cried lies to. Muster those who did evil, their wives, and that they were serving, apart from God, and guide them unto the path of Hell! 25And halt them, to be questioned:“Why help you not one another?”’ No indeed; but today they resign themselves in submission and advance one upon another, asking each other questions. These say, ‘Why, you of old would come to us from the right hand.’ Those say, ‘No; on the contrary, you were not believers; we had no authority over you; no, you were an insolent people. 30So our Lord's Word is realised against us; we are tasting it. Therefore we perverted you, and we ourselves were perverts.’ So all of them on that day are sharers in the chastisement. Even so We do with the sinners; for when it was said to them, ‘There is no god but God,’ they were ever waxing proud, 35saying, ‘What, shall we forsake our gods for a poet possessed?’ ‘No indeed; but he brought the truth, and confirmed the Envoys. Now certainly you shall be tasting the painful chastisement, and not be recompensed, except according to what you were doing.’

The central point of this Meccan sura is the unity of God (verses 4 and 180–2) and the refutation of the pagan belief that the angels were daughters of God and worthy of worship. The angels themselves are quoted to refute this (verses 164–6). The prophethood of Muhammad, is affirmed, as is the Hereafter. There are two supporting sections: the scenes in the Hereafter (verses 19–68) and the stories of earlier prophets (verses 75–148).

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

1By those [angels] ranged in rows,2who rebuke reproachfully 3and recite God's word,4truly your God is One,5Lord of the heavens and earth and everything between them, Lord of every sunrise.6We have adorned the lowest heaven with stars, 7and made them a safeguard against every rebellious devil: 8they cannot eavesdrop on the Higher Assemblyb Of angels.—pelted from every side, 9driven away, they will have perpetual torment—10if any [of them] stealthily snatches away a fragment,c Of something he overheard. he will be pursued by a piercing flame.

11So [Prophet], ask the disbelievers: is it harder to create them than other beings We have created?d Cf. 40: 57. We created them from sticky clay. 12You marvel as they scoff, 13take no heed when they are warned, 14and resort to ridicule when they see a sign,15saying, ‘This is no more than blatant sorcery.’ 16’What! After we have died and become dust and bones, shall we really be raised up again, 17along with our forefathers?’ 18Say, ‘Yes indeed, and you will be humiliated.’ 19Just one blast and—lo and behold!—they will look 20and say, ‘Woe to us! This is the Day of Judgement.’21[It will be said], ‘This is the Day of Decision, which you used to deny. 22[Angels], gather together those who did wrong, and others like them, as well as whatever they worshipped23beside God, lead them all to the path of Hell, 24and halt them for questioning: 25“Why do you not support each other now?” ‘—26no indeed! They will be in complete submission on that Day—27and they will turn on one another accusingly.

Notes:

a Cf. 37: 165–6; 78: 38.

b Of angels.

c Of something he overheard.

d Cf. 40: 57.

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