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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

21. The Prophets (30 – 75)

30Are the disbelievers not aware that the heavens and the earth used to be joined together and that We ripped them apart, that We made every living thing from water? Will they not believe? 31And We put firm mountains on the earth, lest it should sway under them, and set broad paths on it, so that they might follow the right direction, 32and We made the sky a well-secured canopy—yet from its wonders they turn away. 33It is He who created night and day, the sun and the moon, each floating in its orbit. 34We have not granted everlasting life to any other human being before you either [Muhammad]—if you die, will [the disbelievers] live for ever?

35Every soul is certain to taste death: We test you all through the bad and the good, and to Us you will all return. 36When the disbelievers see you, they laugh at you: ‘Is this the one who talks about your gods?’ They reject any talk of the Lord of Mercy.

37Man was created hasty: I will show you My signs soon, so do not ask Me to hasten them. 38They say, ‘When will this promise be fulfilled, if what you say is true?’39If the disbelievers only knew, the time will arrive when they will not be able to ward off the Fire from their faces or their backs, and they will get no help. 40It will come upon them suddenly and stupefy them; they will be powerless to push it away; they will not be reprieved.

41Messengers before you [Muhammad] were also ridiculed, but those who mocked them were overwhelmed in the end by the very thing they had mocked.42Say, ‘Who could protect you night and day from the Lord of Mercy?’ Yet they turn away when their Lord is mentioned. 43Do they have gods who can defend them against Us? Their gods have no power to help themselves, nor can they be protected from Us. 44We have allowed these sinners and their forefathers to enjoy life for a long time. But do they not see how We are shrinking their borders? Is it they who will prevail? 45Say, ‘I warn you only through the Revelation.’ The deaf will not hear the warning call, 46yet if a mere breath of your Lord's punishment touches them, they will be sure to cry, ‘Woe to us! We were wrong!’ 47We will set up scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection so that no one can be wronged in the least, and if there should be even the weight of a mustard seed, We shall bring it out—We take excellent account.

48We gave Moses and Aaron [the Scripture] that distinguishes right from wrong, a light and a reminder for those who are mindful of God, 49those who stand in awe of their Lord, though He is unseen, and who fear the Hour. 50This [Qurʾan] too is a blessed message We have sent down—are you [people] going to deny it? 51Long ago We bestowed right judgement on Abraham and We knew him well. 52He said to his father and his people, ‘What are these images to which you are so devoted?’ 53They replied, ‘We found our fathers worshipping them.’ 54He said, ‘You and your fathers have clearly gone astray.’55They asked, ‘Have you brought us the truth or are you just playing about?’ 56He said, ‘Listen! Your true Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, He who created them, and I am a witness to this. 57By God I shall certainly plot against your idols as soon as you have turned your backs!’ 58He broke them all into pieces, but left the biggest one for them to return to. 59They said, ‘Who has done this to our gods? How wicked he must be!’ 60Some said, ‘We heard a youth called Abraham talking about them.’ 61They said, ‘Bring him before the eyes of the people, so that they may witness [his trial].’ 62They asked, ‘Was it you, Abraham, who did this to our gods?’ 63He said, ‘No, it was done by the biggest of them—this one. Ask them, if they can talk.’ 64They turned to one another, saying, ‘It is you who are in the wrong,’65but then they lapsed again and said, ‘You know very well these gods cannot speak.’66Abraham said, ‘How can you worship what can neither benefit nor harm you, instead of God? 67Shame on you and on the things you worship instead of God. Have you no sense?’68They said, ‘Burn him and avenge your gods, if you are going to do the right thing.’ 69But We said, ‘Fire, be cool and safe for Abraham.’ 70They planned to harm him, but We made them suffer the greatest loss. 71We saved him and Lot [and sent them] to the land We blessed for all people, 72and We gave him Isaac and Jacob as an additional gift, and made each of them righteous.73We made all of them leaders, guiding others by Our command, and We inspired them to do good works, to keep up the prayer, and to give alms: they were Our true worshippers. 74We gave Lot sound judgement and knowledge and saved him from the community who practised obscenities—they were shameless people who broke God's law!75We admitted him to Our mercy; he was a righteous man.

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