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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

74 SHROUDED (1 – 34)

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

74. Wrapped in his Cloak (1 – 25)

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

O thou shrouded in thy mantle, arise, and warn! Thy Lord magnify thy robes purify 5and defilement flee! Give not, thinking to gain greater and be patient unto thy Lord.

For when the Trump is sounded that day will be a harsh day, 10for the unbelievers not easy. Leave Me with him whom I created alone, and appointed for him ample wealth and sons standing before him, and made all things smooth for him; 15then he is eager that I should do more. Nay! He is froward unto Our signs; and I shall constrain him to a hard ascent. Lo! He reflected, and determined— death seize him, how he determined! 20Again, death seize him, how he determined! Then he beheld, then he frowned, and scowled, then he retreated, and waxed proud. He said, ‘This is naught but a trumped-up sorcery; 25this is nothing but mortal speech.’ I shall surely roast him in Sakar; and what will teach thee what is Sakar? It spares not, neither leaves alone scorching the flesh; 30over it are nineteen. We have appointed only angels to be masters of the Fire, and their number We have appointed only as a trial for the unbelievers, that those who were given the Book may have certainty, and that those who believe may increase in belief, and that those who were given the Book and those who believe may not be in doubt, and that those in whose hearts there is sickness, and the unbelievers, may say, ‘What did God intend by this as a similitude?’ So God leads astray whomsoever He will, and He guides whomsoever He will; and none knows the hosts of thy Lord but He. And it is naught but a Reminder to mortals.

After his first encounter with the Angel of Revelation in the Cave ofHira, the Prophet went home trembling and asked his wife to cover him with his cloak. The first verses of this Meccan sura were then revealed (verses 1–7). The sura goes on, in a section from a later period, to remind the obstinate disbelievers of their fate on the Day of Judgement (verses 8–10) and a specific opponent of the Prophet is singled out (verses 11–31). The end of the sura (verses 39–53) exposes the foolishness of the disbelievers’ attitude to the Revelation and the Day of Resurrection.

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

1You, wrapped in your cloak,2arise and give warning!3Proclaim the greatness of your Lord; 4cleanse yourself;a Literally ‘clean your garments’ (see Razi for this idiomatic usage ofthiyab). 5keep away from all filth;b Or ‘from all idolatry’. 6do not be overwhelmed and weaken;c An alternative translation would be ‘do not give, hoping only to receive’. The translation given above is based on Mujahid's understanding of manna as ‘to weaken’. See Razi for this interpretation, which seems much more appropriate to the context. 7be steadfast in your Lord's cause.

8When the Trumpet sounds, 9that will be a Day of anguish for the disbelievers. 10They will have no ease.11[Prophet], leave Me to deal with the one I created helpless,d Al-Walid ibn al-Mughira, one of the Prophet's obstinate opponents. 12then gave vast wealth, 13and sons by his side, 14making everything easy for him—15yet he still hopes I will give him more. 16No! He has been stubbornly hostile to Our revelation: 17I will inflict a spiralling torment on him. 18He planned and plotted—19devilishly he plotted! 20ferociously he plotted! — 21and looked 22and frowned and scowled 23and turned away and behaved arrogantly 24and said, ‘This is just old sorcery,25just the talk of a mortal!’

Notes:

a Literally ‘clean your garments’ (see Razi for this idiomatic usage ofthiyab).

b Or ‘from all idolatry’.

c An alternative translation would be ‘do not give, hoping only to receive’. The translation given above is based on Mujahid's understanding of manna as ‘to weaken’. See Razi for this interpretation, which seems much more appropriate to the context.

d Al-Walid ibn al-Mughira, one of the Prophet's obstinate opponents.

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