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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

11. Hud (1 – 24)

A Meccan sura named after the prophet Hud whose story is given in verses 50–60. It begins by announcing that the Prophet is sent both to warn and to give good news, and the body of the sura focuses on the warning aspect: God watches over everything and is aware of all that people do (verses 5–6, 111–12, 123). The many stories of past prophets, which serve to warn the disbelievers, also strengthen the heart of the Prophet (verse 120).

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

1Alif Lam Ra

[This is] a Scripture whose verses are perfected, then set out clearly, from One who is all wise, all aware. 2[Say, Prophet], ‘Worship no one but God. I am sent to you from Him to warn and to give good news. 3Ask your Lord for forgiveness, then turn back to Him. He will grant you wholesome enjoyment until an appointed time, and give His grace to everyone who has merit. But if you turn away, I fear you will have torment on a terrible Day: 4it is to God that you will all return, and He has power over everything.’

5See how they [the disbelievers] wrap themselves up, to hide their feelings from Him. But even when they cover themselves with their clothes, He knows what they conceal and what they reveal: He knows well the innermost secrets of the heart. 6There is not a creature that moves on earth whose provision is not His concern. He knows where it lives and its [final] resting place: it is all [there] in a clear record. 7It is He who created the heavens and the earth in six Daysa See also 22: 47; 32: 4; 41: 9 ff.—His ruleb ‘Rule’ is one of the meanings of the Arabic word ‘arsh, normally translated as ‘throne’ (al-Mu’jam al-Wasit). extends over the watersc Cf. 21: 30. too—so as to test which of you does best.

Yet [Prophet], if you say to them, ‘You will be resurrected after death,’ the disbelievers are sure to answer, ‘This is clearly nothing but sorcery.’ 8If We defer their punishment for a determined time, they are sure to say, ‘What is holding it back?’ But on the Day it comes upon them, nothing will divert it from them; what they mocked will be all around them. 9How desperate and ungrateful man becomes when We let him taste Our mercy and then withhold it! 10And if We let him taste mercy after some harm has touched him, he is sure to say, ‘Misfortune has gone away from me.’ He becomes exultant and boastful. 11Not so those who are steadfast and do good deeds: they will have forgiveness and a great reward.

12So [Prophet] are you going toa Literally ‘Perhaps you will. . .’, but this is a challenging figure of speech. abandon some part of what is revealed to you, and let your heart be oppressed by it, because they say, ‘Why is no treasure sent down to him? Why has no angel come with him?’? You are only there to warn; it is God who is in charge of everything. 13If they say, ‘He has invented it himself,’ say, ‘Then produce ten invented suras like it, and call in whoever you can beside God, if you are truthful.’ 14If they do not answer you, then you will all know that it is sent down containing knowledge from God, and that there is no god but Him. Then will you submit to Him? 15If any desire [only] the life of this world with all its finery, We shall repay them in full in this life for their deeds—they will be given no less— 16but such people will have nothing in the Hereafter but the Fire: their work here will be fruitless and their deeds futile. 17Can they be compared to those who have clear proof from their Lord,b The Qurʾan. recited by a witness from Him,c The Angel Gabriel, see 4: 166. and before it the Book of Moses, as a guide and mercy? These people believe in it, whereas those groups that deny its truth are promised the Fire. So have no doubt about it [Prophet]: it is the Truth from your Lord, though most people do not believe so.

18Who could do more wrong than someone who invents lies about God? Such people will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, ‘These are the ones that lied about their Lord.’ God's rejection is the due of those who do such wrong, 19who hinder others from God's path, trying to make it crooked, and deny the life to come. 20They will not escape on earth, and there will be no one other than God to protect them. Their punishment will be doubled. They could not hear, and they did not see. 21It is they who will have lost their souls, and what they invented will have deserted them.22There is no doubt they will be the ones to lose most in the life to come. 23But those who believed, did good deeds, and humbled themselves before their Lord will be companions in Paradise and there they will stay. 24These two groups are like the blind and the deaf as compared with those who can see and hear well: can they be alike? How can you not take heed?

Notes:

a See also 22: 47; 32: 4; 41: 9 ff.

b ‘Rule’ is one of the meanings of the Arabic word ‘arsh, normally translated as ‘throne’ (al-Mu’jam al-Wasit).

c Cf. 21: 30.

a Literally ‘Perhaps you will. . .’, but this is a challenging figure of speech.

b The Qurʾan.

c The Angel Gabriel, see 4: 166.

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