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The Holy Quran, tr. by Yusuf Ali, [1934], at

p. 767

Sūra XIX.

Maryam, or Mary.

In the name of God, Most Gracious,
Most Merciful.

1. Kāf. Hā. Yā. ‘Ain Ṣād.

2. (This is) a recital
Of the Mercy of thy Lord
To His servant Zakarīya.

3. Behold! he cried
To his Lord in secret,

4. Praying: "O my Lord!
Infirm indeed are my bones,
And the hair of my head
Doth glisten with grey:
But never am I unblest,
O my Lord, in my prayer
To Thee!

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5. "Now I fear (what)
My relatives (and colleagues)
(Will do) after me:
But my wife is barren:
So give me an heir
As from Thyself,—

6. "(One that) will (truly)
"Represent me, and represent
The posterity of Jacob;
And make him, O my Lord!
One with whom Thou art

7. (His prayer was answered):

"O Zakarīya! We give thee
Good news of a son:
His name shall be Yaḥyā:
On none by that name
Have We conferred distinction before."

8. He said: "O my Lord!
How shall I have a son,
When my wife is barren
And I have grown quite decrepit
From old age?"

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9. He said: "So (it will be):
Thy Lord saith, "That is
Easy for Me: I did
Indeed create thee before,
When thou hadst been nothing!"

10. (Zakarīya) said: "O my Lord!
Give me a Sign."
"Thy Sign," was the answer,
"Shall be that thou
Shalt speak to no man
For three nights,
Although thou art not dumb."

11. So Zakarīya came out
To his people
From his chamber:
He told them by signs
To celebrate God's praises
In the morning
And in the evening.

12. (To his son came the command):
"O Yaḥyā! take hold

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Of the Book with might":
And We gave him Wisdom
Even as a youth,

13. And pity (for all creatures)
As from us, and purity:
He was devout,

14. And kind to his parents,
And he was not overbearing
Or rebellious.

15. So Peace on him
The day he was born,
The day that he dies,
And the day that he
Will be raised up
To life (again)

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16. Relate in the Book
(The story of) Mary,
When she withdrew
From her family
To a place in the East.

17. She placed a screen
(To screen herself) from them;
Then We sent to her
Our angel, and he appeared
Before her as a man
In all respects.

18. She said: "I seek refuge
From thee to (God)
Most Gracious: (come not near)
If thou dost fear God."

19. He said: "Nay, I am only
A messenger from thy Lord,
(To announce) to thee
The gift of a holy son."

20. She said: "How shall I
Have a son, seeing that
No man has touched me,
And I am not unchaste?"

21. He said: "So (it will be):
Thy Lord saith, "That is
Easy for Me: and (We
Wish) to appoint him
As a Sign unto men
And a Mercy from Us":

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It is a matter
(So) decreed."

22. So she conceived him,
And she retired with him
To a remote place.

23. And the pains of childbirth
Drove her to the trunk
Of a palm-tree:
She cried (in her anguish):
"Ah! would that I had
Died before this! would that
I had been a thing
Forgotten and out of sight!"

24. But (a voice) cried to her
From beneath the (palm-tree):
"Grieve not! for thy Lord
Hath provided a rivulet
Beneath thee;

25. "And shake towards thyself
The trunk of the palm-tree:
It will let fall
Fresh ripe dates upon thee

26. "So eat and drink
And cool (thine) eye.
And if thou dost see
Any man, say, 'I have

p. 773

Vowed a fast to (God)
Most Gracious, and this day
Will I enter into no talk
With any human being'"

27. At length she brought
The (babe) to her people,
Carrying him (in her arms).
They said: "O Mary!
Truly an amazing thing
Hast thou brought!

28. "O sister of Aaron!
Thy father was not
A man of evil, nor thy
Mother a woman unchaste!"

29. But she pointed to the babe.
They said: "How can we
Talk to one who is
A child in the cradle?"

30. He said: "I am indeed
A servant of God:
He hath given me
Revelation and made me
A prophet;

31. "And He hath made me
Blessed wheresoever I be,

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And hath enjoined on me
Prayer and Charity as long
As I live;

32. "(He) hath made me kind
To my mother, and not
Overbearing or miserable;

33. "So Peace is on me
The day I was born,
The day that I die,
And the day that I
Shall be raised up
To life (again)"!

34. Such (was) Jesus the son
Of Mary: (it is) a statement
Of truth, about which
They (vainly) dispute.

35. It is not befitting
To (the majesty of) God
That He should beget
A son. Glory be to Him!
When He determines
A matter, He only says
To it, "Be", and it is.

36. Verily God is my Lord
And your Lord: Him

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Therefore serve ye: this is
A Way that is straight.

37. But the sects differ
Among themselves: and woe
To the Unbelievers because
Of the (coming) Judgment
Of a momentous Day!

38. How plainly will they see
And hear, the Day that
They will appear before Us!
But the unjust to-day
Are in error manifest!

39. But warn them of the Day
Of Distress, when
The matter will be determined:
For (behold,) they are negligent
And they do not believe!

40. It is We Who will inherit
The earth, and all beings
Thereon: to Us will they
All be returned.

p. 776


41. (Also) mention in the Book
(The story of) Abraham:
He was a man of Truth,
A prophet.

42. Behold, he said to his father:
"O my father! why
Worship that which heareth not
And seeth not, and can
Profit thee nothing?

43. "O my father! to me
Hath come knowledge which
Hath not reached thee:
So follow me: I will guide
Thee to a Way that
Is even and straight.

44. "O my father! serve not
Satan: for Satan is
A rebel against (God)
Most Gracious

45. "O my father! I fear
Lest a Penalty afflict thee
From (God) Most Gracious,
So that thou become
To Satan a friend."

p. 777

46. (The father) replied: "Dost thou
Hate my gods, O Abraham?
If thou forbear not, I will
Indeed stone thee:
Now get away from me
For a good long while!"

47. Abraham said: "Peace be
On thee: I will pray
To my Lord for thy
For He is to me
Most Gracious.

48. "And I will turn away
From you (all) and from those
Whom ye invoke besides God:
I will call on my Lord:
Perhaps, by my prayer to my Lord,
I shall be not unblest."

49. When he had turned away
From them and from those
Whom they worshipped besides
God, We bestowed on him
Isaac and Jacob, and each one
Of them We made a prophet.

p. 778

50. And We bestowed
Of Our Mercy on them,
And We granted them
Lofty honour on the tongue
Of truth.


51. Also mention in the Book
(The story of) Moses:
For he was specially chosen,
And he was an apostle
(And) a prophet.

52. And We called him
From the right side
Of Mount (Sinai), and made
Him draw near to Us,
For mystic (converse).

53. And, out of Our Mercy,
We gave him his brother
Aaron, (also.) a prophet.

p. 779

54. Also mention in the Book
(The story of) Ismā‘īl
He was (strictly) true
To what he promised,
And he was an apostle
(And) a prophet.

55. He used to enjoin
On his people Prayer
And Charity, and he was
Most acceptable in the sight
Of his Lord.

56. Also mention in the Book
The case of Idrīs
He was a man of truth
(And sincerity), (and) a prophet:

57. And We raised him
To a lofty station.

58. Those were some
Of the prophets on whom
God did bestow His Grace,—
Of the posterity of Adam,
And of those whom We
Carried (in the Ark)
With Noah, and of
The posterity of Abraham
And Israel—of those
Whom We guided and chose.

p. 780

Whenever the Signs
Of (God) Most Gracious
Were rehearsed to them,
They would fall down
In prostrate adoration
And in tears.

59. But after them there followed
A posterity who missed
Prayers and followed after lusts
Soon, then, will they
Face Destruction,—

60. Except those who repent
And believe, and work
Righteousness: for these
Will enter the Garden
And will not be wronged
In the least,—

61. Gardens of Eternity, those
Which (God) Most Gracious
Has promised to His servants
In the Unseen: for His promise
Must (necessarily) come to pass.

62. They will not there hear
Any vain discourse, but
Only salutations of Peace:
And they will have therein
Their sustenance, morning
And evening.

p. 781

63. Such is the Garden which
We give as an inheritance
To those of Our servants
Who guard against evil.

64. (The angels say:)
"We descend not but
By command of thy Lord:
To Him belongeth what is
Before us and what is
Behind us, and what is
Between: and thy Lord
Never doth forget,—

65. "Lord of the heavens
And of the earth,
And of all that is
Between them: so worship Him,
And be constant and patient
In His worship: knowest thou
Of any who is worthy
Of the same Name as He?"


66. Man says: "What!
When I am dead, shall I
Then be raised up alive?"

p. 782

67. But does not man
Call to mind that We
Created him before
Out of nothing?

68. So, by thy Lord,
Without doubt, We shall gather
Them together, and (also)
The Evil Ones (with them);
Then shall We bring them
Forth on their knees
Round about Hell;

69. Then shall We certainly
Drag out from every sect
All those who were worst
In obstinate rebellion
Against (God) Most Gracious.

70. And certainly We know best
Those who are most worthy
Of being burned therein.

71. Not one of you but will
Pass over it: this is,
With thy Lord, a Decree
Which must be accomplished.

72. But We shall save those
Who guarded against evil,
And We shall leave
The wrong-doers therein,
(Humbled) to their knees.

p. 783

73. When Our Clear Signs
Are rehearsed to them,
The Unbelievers say to those
Who believe, "Which of the two
Sides is best in point of
Position? which makes the best
Show in Council?"

74. But how many (countless)
Generations before them
Have We destroyed,
Who were even better
In equipment and in glitter
To the eye?

75. Say: "If any men go
Astray, (God) Most Gracious
Extends (the rope) to them,
Until, when they see
The warning of God (being
Fulfilled)—either in punishment
Or in (the approach of)
The Hour,—they will
At length realise who is
Worst in position, and (who)
Weakest in forces!

76. "And God doth advance
In guidance those who seek
Guidance: and the things
That endure, Good Deeds,
Are best in the sight
Of thy Lord, as rewards,
And best in respect of
(Their) eventual returns."

p. 784

77. Hast thou then seen
The (sort of) man who
Rejects Our Signs, yet
Says: "I shall certainly
Be given wealth and children?"

78. Has he penetrated to
The Unseen, or has he
Taken a contract with
(God) Most Gracious?

79. Nay! We shall record
What he says, and We
Shall add and add
To his punishment.

80. To Us shall return
All that he talks of,
And he shall appear
Before Us bare and alone.

81. And they have taken
(For worship) gods other than
God, to give them
Power and glory!

82. Instead, they shall reject
Their worship, and become
Adversaries against them.

p. 785


83. Seest thou not that We
Have set the Evil Ones on
Against the Unbelievers,
To incite them with fury?

84. So make no haste
Against them, for We
But count out to them
A (limited) number (of days).

85. The day We shall gather
The righteous to (God)
Most Gracious, like a hand
Presented before a king for honours,

86. And We shall drive
The sinners to hell,
Like thirsty cattle
Driven down to water,—

87. None shall have the power
Of intercession, but such a one
As has received permission (or promise)
From (God) Most Gracious.

88. They say: "(God) Most Gracious
Has begotten a son!"

89. Indeed ye have put forth
A thing most monstrous!

p. 786

90. At it the skies are ready
To burst, the earth
To split asunder, and
The mountains to fall down
In utter ruin,

91. That they should invoke
A son for (God) Most Gracious.

92. For it is not consonant
With the majesty of (God)
Most Gracious that He
Should beget a son.

93. Not one of the beings
In the heavens and the earth
But must come to (God)
Most Gracious as a servant.

94. He does take an account
Of them (all), and hath
Numbered them (all) exactly.

95. And everyone of them
Will come to Him singly
On the Day of Judgment.

96. On those who believe
And work deeds of righteousness,
Will (God) Most Gracious
Bestow Love.

97. So have We made
The (Qur-ān) easy
In thine own tongue,
That with it thou mayest give

p. 787

Glad tidings to the righteous,
And warnings to people
Given to contention.

98. But how many (countless)
Generations before them
Have We destroyed? Canst thou
Find a single one of them
(Now) or hear. (so much
As) a whisper of them?

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Next: Sūra XX. Ṭā-Hā (Mystic Letters, Ṭ. H.)