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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

48 VICTORY (1 – 27)

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

48. Triumph (1 – 21)

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Surely We have given thee a manifest victory, that God may forgive thee thy former and thy latter sins, and complete His blessing upon thee, and guide thee on a straight path, and that God may help thee with mighty help.

It is He who sent down the Shechina into the hearts of the believers, that they might add faith to their faith— to God belong the hosts of the heavens and the earth; God is All-knowing, All-wise— 5and that He may admit the believers, men and women alike, into gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein to dwell forever, and acquit them of their evil deeds; that is in God's sight a mighty triumph; and that He may chastise the hypocrites, men and women alike, and the idolaters, men and women alike, and those who think evil thoughts of God; against them shall be the evil turn of fortune. God is wroth with them, and has cursed them, and has prepared for them Gehenna— an evil homecoming! To God belong the hosts of the heavens and the earth; God is All-mighty, All-wise.

Surely We have sent thee as a witness, good tidings to bear, and warning, that you may believe in God and His Messenger and succour Him, and reverence Him, and that you may give Him glory at the dawn and in the evening.

10Those who swear fealty to thee swear fealty in truth to God; God's hand is over their hands. Then whosoever breaks his oath breaks it but to his own hurt; and whoso fulfils his covenant made with God, God will give him a mighty wage.

15The Bedouins who were left behind will say to thee, ‘We were occupied by our possessions and our families; so ask forgiveness for us!’ They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say: ‘Who can avail you aught against God, if He desires hurt for you, or desires profit for you? Nay, but God is ever aware of the things you do. Nay, but you thought that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families, and that was decked out fair in your hearts, and you thought evil thoughts, and you were a people corrupt.’

Whoso believes not in God and His Messenger, We have prepared for the unbelievers a Blaze. To God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth; whomsoever He will He forgives, and whomsoever He will He chastises; God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.

The Bedouins who were left behind will say, when you set forth after spoils, to take them, ‘Let us follow you,’ desiring to change God's words. Say: ‘You shall not follow us; so God said before.’ Then they will say, ‘Nay, but you are jealous of us.’ Nay, but they have not understood except a little. Say to the Bedouins who were left behind: ‘You shall be called against a people possessed of great might to fight them, or they surrender. If you obey, God will give you a goodly wage; but if you turn your backs, as you turned your backs before, He will chastise you with a painful chastisement.’

There is no fault in the blind, and there is no fault in the lame, and there is no fault in the sick. And whosoever obeys God and His Messenger, He will admit him into gardens underneath which rivers flow; but whosoever turns his back, him He will chastise with a painful chastisement. God was well pleased with the believers when they were swearing fealty to thee under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down the Shechina upon them, and rewarded them with a nigh victory and many spoils to take; and God is ever All-mighty, All-wise. 20God has promised you many spoils to take; these He has hastened to you, and has restrained the hands of men from you, and that it may be a sign to the believers, and to guide you on a straight path, and other spoils you were not able to take; God had encompassed them already. God is powerful over everything. If the unbelievers had fought you, they would have turned their backs, and then found neither protector nor helper; the wont of God, as in the past before, and thou shalt never find any changing the wont of God. It is He who restrained their hands from you, and your hands from them, in the hollow of Mecca, after that He made you victors over them. God sees the things you do. 25They are the ones who disbelieved, and barred you from the Holy Mosque and the offering, detained so as not to reach its place of sacrifice. If it had not been for certain men believers and certain women believers whom you knew not, lest you should trample them, and there befall you guilt unwittingly on their account (that God may admit into His mercy whom He will), had they been separated clearly, then We would have chastised the unbelievers among them with a painful chastisement. When the unbelievers set in their hearts fierceness, the fierceness of pagandom, then God sent down His Shechina upon His Messenger and the believers, and fastened to them the word of godfearing to which they have better right and are worthy of; and God has knowledge of everything. God has indeed fulfilled the vision He vouchsafed to His Messenger truly: ‘You shall enter the Holy Mosque, if God wills, in security, your heads shaved, your hair cut short, not fearing.’ He knew what you knew not, and appointed ere that a nigh victory.

A Medinan sura that takes its title from verse 1 and makes reference to the occasion when the Prophet had a vision that he and his followers would be performing pilgrimage to Mecca (verse 27). They set out, but the Meccans decided to bar them at Hudaybiyya from reaching the town and sent emissaries to have discussions with the Prophet. In the end the Prophet signed a treaty that he and the believers would not enter Mecca that year, but would do so the next year. Seeing the long-term significance of this treaty, in the interests of peace he agreed to a truce often years during which time, if any Meccan went over to his side, he would return him to the Meccans, but if any of his people went over to the Meccans, they would not return them. Throughout the sura the Prophet is assured that this treaty that God has given him is a great breakthrough (cf. verses 1–3, 18–21, 27). The believers are reassured that their self-restraint and obedience to the Prophet were inspired by God (verses 4–5, 24–6). The sura condemns both the hypocrites in Medina (verse 6) and the idolaters of Mecca (verses 6 and 26) and closes by praising the believers (verse 29).

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

1Truly We have opened up a path to clear triumph for you [Prophet],

2so that God may forgive you your past and future sins, complete His grace upon you, guide you to a straight path, 3and help you mightily. 4It was He who made His tranquillity descend into the hearts of the believers,a When they pledged to accept the Prophet's decision. See verse 18. to add faith to their faith —the forces of the heavens and earth belong to God; He is all knowing and all wise —5so as to admit believing men and women into Gardens graced with flowing streams, there to remain, absolving their bad deeds —a great triumph in God's eyes —6and to torment the hypo critical and idolatrous men and women who harbour evil thoughts about Godb See verse 12.— it is they who will be encircled by evil! —who carry the burden of God's anger, whom God has rejected and for whom He has prepared Hell, an evil destination! 7The forces of heaven and earth belong to God; He is almighty and all wise.8We have sent you [Prophet] to bring good news and to give warning,9so that you [people] may believe in God and His Messenger, support Him, honour Him, and praise Him morning and evening.

10Those who pledge loyalty to you [Prophet] are actually pledging loyalty to God Himself— God's hand is placed on theirsa Loyalty was pledged by everybody placing their right hands on top of the Prophet's. —and anyone who breaks his pledge does so to his own detriment: God will give a great reward to the one who fulfils his pledge to Him. 11The desert Arabs who stayed behind will say to you, ‘We were busy with our property and our families: ask forgiveness for us,’ but they say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say, ‘Whether it is God's will to do you harm or good, who can intervene for you?’ No! God is fully aware of everything you [people] do. 12No! You thought that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families and this thought warmed your hearts. Your thoughts are evil, for you are corrupt people: 13We have prepared a blazing Fire for those who do not believe in God and His Messenger. 14Control of the heavens and earth belongs to God and He forgives whoever He will and punishes whoever He will: God is most forgiving and merciful.

15When you [believers] set off for somewhere that promises war gains, those who [previously] stayed behind will say, ‘Let us come with you.’ They want to change God's words, but tell them [Prophet], ‘You may not come with us: God has said this before.’ They will reply, ‘You begrudge us out of jealousy.’ How little they understand!

16Tell the desert Arabs who stayed behind, ‘You will be called to face a people of great might in war and to fight them, unless they surrender: if you obey, God will reward you well, but if you turn away, as you have done before, He will punish you heavily— 17the blind, the lame, and the sick will not be blamed.’ God will admit anyone who obeys Him and His Messenger to Gardens graced with flowing streams; He will painfully punish anyone who turns away.

18God was pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance to you [Prophet] under the tree: He knew what was in their hearts and so He sent tranquillity down to them and rewarded them with a speedy triumph 19and with many future gains. God is mighty and wise. 20He has promised you [people] many future gains: He has hastened this gain for you. He has held back the hands of hostile people from you as a sign for the faithful and He will guide you to a straight path. 21There are many other gains [to come], over which you have no power. God has full control over them: God has power over all things.

Notes:

a When they pledged to accept the Prophet's decision. See verse 18.

b See verse 12.

a Loyalty was pledged by everybody placing their right hands on top of the Prophet's.

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