Sacred Texts  Islam  Index  Previous  Next 

1. God Speaks to Man

The first words of the "Sūra (chapter) of the Clot" are the first which were revealed to Muhammad. The section

p. 17

which follows the "Sūra of the Clot" here is the opening portion of the second and longest chapter of the Qur’ān, the "Sūra of the Cow." It thus forms a sort of introduction to the Book as a whole.

Recite: In the Name of thy Lord who created,
  created Man of a blood-clot.

Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous,
  who taught by the Pen.
  taught Man that he knew not.

No indeed; surely Man waxes insolent,
  for he thinks himself self-sufficient.
  Surely unto thy Lord is the Returning.

What thinkest thou? He who forbids
  a servant when he prays--

What thinkest thou? If he were upon guidance
  or bade to godfearing--
What thinkest thou? If he cries lies, and turns away--
  Did he not know that God sees?

No indeed; surely, if he gives not over,
We shall seize him by the forelock,
  a lying, sinful forelock.
So let him call on his concourse!
We shall call on the guards of Hell.

No indeed; do thou not obey him,
  and bow thyself, and draw nigh. (96:1-19)

Alif Lam Mim

This is the Book, wherein is no doubt,
  a guidance to the godfearing
who believe in the Unseen, and perform the prayer,
and expend of what We have provided them;
who believe in what has been sent down to thee

p. 18

and what has been sent down before thee,
and have faith in the Hereafter;
those are upon guidance from their Lord,
those are the ones who prosper.

As for the unbelievers, alike it is to them
whether thou hast warned them or hast not warned them,
  they do not believe.
God has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing,
  and on their eyes is a covering,
and there awaits them a mighty chastisement.

And some men there are who say,
"We believe in God and the Last Day";
  but they are not believers.
They would trick God and the believers,
and only themselves they deceive,
  and they are not aware.
In their hearts is a sickness,
and God has increased their sickness,
and there awaits them a painful chastisement
for that they have cried lies.
When it is said to them, "Do not corruption in the land,"
they say, "We are only ones that put things right."
  Truly, they are the workers of corruption
  but they are not aware.
When it is said to them, "Believe as the people believe,"
they say, "Shall we believe, as fools believe?"
  Truly, they are the foolish ones,
  but they do not know.
When they meet those who believe, they say, "We believe";
but when they go privily to their Satans, they say,
  "We are with you; we were only mocking."
God shall mock them, and shall lead them on
  blindly wandering in their insolence.
Those are they that have bought error
  at the price of guidance,
and their commerce has not profited them,
  and they are not right-guided.

p. 19

The likeness of them is as the likeness of a man
who kindled a fire, and when it lit all about him
God took away their light, and left them in darkness
  deaf, dumb, blind--
  so they shall not return;
  or as a cloudburst out of heaven
in which is darkness, and thunder, and lightning--
  they put their fingers in their ears
against the thunderclaps, fearful of death;
  and God encompasses the unbelievers;
the lightning wellnigh snatches away their sight;
whensoever it gives them light, they walk in it,
and when the darkness is over them, they halt;
  had God willed, He would have taken away
their hearing and their sight.
Truly, God is powerful over everything.
O you men, serve your Lord who created you,
and those that were before you; haply so
  you will be godfearing;
who assigned to you the earth for a couch,
and heaven for an edifice, and sent down
out of heaven water, wherewith He brought forth
fruits for your provision; so set not up
  compeers to God wittingly.
And if you are in doubt concerning that We have
sent down on Our servant, then bring one sūra
like it, and call your witnesses, apart from
  God, if you are truthful.
And if you do not--and you will not--then
fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones,
  prepared for unbelievers.

Give thou good tidings to those who believe
and do deeds of righteousness, that for them
await gardens underneath which rivers flow;
whensoever they are provided with fruits therefrom
they shall say, "This is that wherewithal
we were provided before"; that they shall be

p. 20

given in perfect semblance; and there
for them shall be spouses purified; therein
  they shall dwell forever. (2:1-25)

Blessed be He in whose hand is the Kingdom--
  He is powerful over everything--
who created death and life, that He might try you
which of you is fairest in works; and He is
  the All-mighty, the All-forgiving-
who created seven heavens one upon another.
  Thou seest not in the creation
of the All-merciful any imperfection.
  Return thy gaze; seest thou any fissure?
Then return thy gaze again, and again, and thy gaze comes
  back to thee dazzled, aweary.
And we adorned the lower heaven with lamps, and made them
things to stone Satans; and We have prepared for them
  the chastisement of the Blaze.

And for those who disbelieve in their Lord
there awaits the chastisement of Gehenna--
  an evil homecoming! (67:1-7)

The story of the Garden of Eden is similar to that contained in Genesis; however, the doctrine of Original Sin is not accepted in Islam. Adam's fall is not seen as a sin, but an error in judgment, and has not tainted the human race with its consequences. From the Creation, man has made a contract to serve God.

Alif Lam Mim Sad

  A Book sent down to thee--
so let there be no impediment in thy breast
  because of it--
to warn thereby, and as a reminder to believers:

p. 21

Follow what has been sent down to you from your
Lord, and follow no friends other than He; little
  do you remember.
How many a city We have destroyed! Our might came
upon it at night, or while they took their ease
  in the noontide,
and they but cried, when Our might came upon them,
  "We were evildoers."
So we shall question those unto whom a Message was sent,
  and We shall question the Envoys,
And We shall relate to them with knowledge; assuredly
  We were not absent.
The weighing that day is true; he whose scales are heavy--
  they are the prosperers,
and he whose scales are light--they have lost their souls
  for wronging Our signs.

We have established you in the earth
and there appointed for you livelihood;
  little thanks you show.
We created you, then We shaped you,
then We said to the angels: "Bow yourselves
to Adam"; so they bowed themselves,
save Iblis--he was not of those
  that bowed themselves.
Said He, "What prevented thee to
bow thyself, when I commanded thee?"
Said he, "I am better than he; Thou
createdst me of fire, and him Thou
createdst of clay."
Said He, "Get thee down out of it;
it is not for thee to wax proud here,
so go thou forth; surely thou art
  among the humbled."
Said he, "Respite me till the day
  they shall be raised."
Said He, "Thou art among the ones
  that are respited."
Said he, "Now, for Thy perverting me,

p. 22

I shall surely sit in ambush for them
  on Thy straight path;
then I shall come on them from before them
and from behind them, from their right hands
and their left hands; Thou wilt not find
  most of them thankful."
Said He, "Go thou forth from it, despised
and banished. Those of them that follow
thee--I shall assuredly fill Gehenna
  with all of you."

"O Adam, inherit, thou and thy wife,
the Garden, and eat of where you will,
but come not nigh this tree, lest you be
  of the evildoers."
Then Satan whispered to them, to reveal
to them that which was hidden from them
of their shameful parts. He said, "Your Lord
has only prohibited you from this tree
lest you become angels, or lest you
  become immortals."
And he swore to them, "Truly, I am for you
  a sincere adviser."
So he led them on by delusion; and when
they tasted the tree, their shameful parts
revealed to them, so they took to stitching
upon themselves leaves of the Garden.
And their Lord called to them, "Did not I
prohibit you from this tree, and say
to you, 'Verily Satan is for you
  a manifest foe'?"
They said, "Lord, we must have wronged ourselves,
and if Thou dost not forgive us, and
have mercy upon us, we shall surely be
  among the lost."
Said He, "Get you down, each of you
an enemy to each. In the earth a sojourn
shall be yours, and enjoyment
  for a time."

p. 23

Said He, "Therein you shall live, and
therein you shall die, and from there you
  shall be brought forth." (7:1-24)

And when thy Lord took from the Children of Adam,
from their loins, their seed, and made them testify
touching themselves, "Am I not your Lord?"
They said, "Yes, we testify--lest you should say
on the Day of Resurrection, 'As for us, we
  were heedless of this,'
or lest you say, 'Our fathers were idolaters
aforetime, and we were seed after them.
What, wilt Thou then destroy us for the deeds
  of vain-doers?'"

So We distinguish the signs; and haply
  they will return.

And recite to them the tidings of him to whom
We gave Our signs, but he cast them off,
and Satan followed after him, and he became
  one of the perverts.
And had We willed, We would have raised him up
thereby; but he inclined towards the earth
and followed his lust. So the likeness of him
is as the likeness of a dog; if thou attackest it
it lolls its tongue out, or if thou leavest it
it lolls its tongue out. That is that people's likeness
who cried lies to Our signs. So relate the story;
  haply they will reflect.
An evil likeness is the likeness of
the people who cried lies to Our signs, and
  themselves were wronging.
Whomsoever God guides,
  he is rightly guided;
and whom He leads astray--
  they are the losers.
We have created for Gehenna
  many jinn and men;

p. 24

they have hearts, but understand
  not with them;
they have eyes, but perceive
  not with them;
they have ears, but they hear
  not with them.
They are like cattle; nay, rather
  they are further astray.
Those--they are the heedless.
To God belong the Names Most Beautiful;
  so call Him by them,
and leave those who blaspheme His Names--
they shall assuredly be recompensed
  for the things they did. (7:172-180)

The Qur’ān repeatedly reminds man that he is surrounded with the evidences of Divine handiwork; it expresses astonishment that he can nevertheless be so blind as not to remember the Creator.

God's command comes;
so seek not to hasten it.
Glory be to Him!

High be He exalted above that they associate with Him!
He sends down the angels with the Spirit of His command
upon whomsoever He will among His servants, saying:

Give you warning
that there is no God but I;
so fear you Me!

He created the heavens and the earth in truth;
high be He exalted above that they associate with Him!
He created man of a sperm-drop; yet, behold,
he is a manifest adversary. And the cattle--
He created them for you; in them is warmth, and uses
various, and of them you eat, and there is beauty

p. 25

in them for you, when you bring them home to rest
and when you drive them forth abroad to pasture;
and they bear your loads unto a land that you
never would reach, excepting with great distress.
Surely your Lord is All-clement, All-compassionate.
And horses, and mules, and asses, for you to ride,
and as an adornment; and He creates what you know not.

God's it is to show the way;
and some do swerve from it.
If He willed, He would have
guided you all together.

It is He who sends down to you out of heaven water
  of which you have to drink,
and of which trees, for you to pasture your herds,
  and thereby He brings forth
for you crops, and olives, and palms, and vines,
  and all manner of fruit.
Surely in that is a sign for a people who reflect.
And He subjected to you the night and day, and
the sun and moon; and the stars are subjected
  by His command.
Surely in that are signs for a people who understand.
And that which He has multiplied for you in the earth
  of diverse hues.
Surely in that is a sign for a people who remember.
It is He who subjected to you the sea, that you
  may eat of it
fresh flesh, and bring forth out of it ornaments
  for you to wear;
and thou mayest see the ships cleaving through it;
  and that you may seek
of His bounty, and so haply you will be thankful.
And He cast on the earth firm mountains, lest it
  shake with you,
and rivers and ways; so haply you will be guided;
and waymarks; and by the stars they are guided.
  Is He who creates as
he who does not create? Will you not remember?

p. 26

If you count God's blessing, you will never number it;
surely God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.

  And God knows what you keep secret
  and what you publish.
And those they call upon, apart from God,
created nothing, and themselves are created,
dead, not alive, and not aware when
  they shall be raised.
  Your God is One God.
And they who believe not in the world to come,
their hearts deny, and they have waxed proud.
  Without a doubt God
knows what they keep secret
  and what they publish;
He loves not those that wax proud. (16:1-22)


Next: 2. He Speaks Through the Prophets