The Qurʾān

Chapter 68: al-Qalam — Literacy

Verse 1

Abdel Haleem Nun By the pen! By all they write!
Yusuf Ali Nun. By the Pen and the (Record) which (men) write,-
W. Khan Say, ‘Have you considered if your water were to sink into the ground, who could then bring you flowing water?’
M. Sarwar Nun. By the pen and by what you write,

Verse 2

Abdel Haleem Your Lord’s grace does not make you [Prophet] a madman:
Yusuf Ali Thou art not, by the Grace of thy Lord, mad or possessed.
W. Khan Nun By the pen, and all that they write!
M. Sarwar (Muhammad), you are not insane, thanks to the bounty of your Lord.

Verse 3

Abdel Haleem you will have a never-ending reward––
Yusuf Ali Nay, verily for thee is a Reward unfailing:
W. Khan By the grace of your Lord, you are not a mad man.
M. Sarwar You will certainly receive a never-ending reward.

Verse 4

Abdel Haleem truly you have a strong character––
Yusuf Ali And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.
W. Khan Most surely, you will have a never ending reward.
M. Sarwar You have attained a high moral standard.

Verse 5

Abdel Haleem and soon you will see, as will they,
Yusuf Ali Soon wilt thou see, and they will see,
W. Khan For you are truly of a sublime character.
M. Sarwar You will see and they will also see

Verse 6

Abdel Haleem which of you is afflicted with madness.
Yusuf Ali Which of you is afflicted with madness.
W. Khan Soon you will see, as will they,
M. Sarwar which of you has been afflicted by insanity.

Verse 7

Abdel Haleem Your Lord knows best who strays from His path and who is rightly guided.
Yusuf Ali Verily it is thy Lord that knoweth best, which (among men) hath strayed from His Path: and He knoweth best those who receive (true) Guidance.
W. Khan which of you is a prey to madness.
M. Sarwar Your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path and who is rightly guided.

Verse 8

Abdel Haleem So do not yield to those who deny the truth––
Yusuf Ali So hearken not to those who deny (the Truth).
W. Khan Your Lord knows best who has fallen by the wayside, and who has remained on the true path.
M. Sarwar Do not yield to those who reject the Truth.

Verse 9

Abdel Haleem they want you to compromise with them and then they will compromise with you––
Yusuf Ali Their desire is that thou shouldst be pliant: so would they be pliant.
W. Khan Do not give in to the deniers of truth.
M. Sarwar They would like you to relent to them so that they could also relent towards you.

Verse 10

Abdel Haleem do not yield to any contemptible swearer,
Yusuf Ali Heed not the type of despicable men,- ready with oaths,
W. Khan They want you to make concessions to them and then they will reciprocate.
M. Sarwar Do not yield to one persistent in swearing,

Verse 11

Abdel Haleem to any backbiter, slander-monger,
Yusuf Ali A slanderer, going about with calumnies,
W. Khan Do not yield to any contemptible swearer of oaths,
M. Sarwar back-biting, gossiping,

Verse 12

Abdel Haleem or hinderer of good, to anyone who is sinful, aggressive,
Yusuf Ali (Habitually) hindering (all) good, transgressing beyond bounds, deep in sin,
W. Khan or to any defamer or one who spreads slander,
M. Sarwar obstructing virtues, a sinful transgressor,

Verse 13

Abdel Haleem coarse, and on top of all that, an imposter.
Yusuf Ali Violent (and cruel),- with all that, base-born,-
W. Khan or to one who places obstacles in the way of good being done or to the wicked transgressor,
M. Sarwar ill-mannered, and moraly corrupt or that because he may possess wealth and children.

Verse 14

Abdel Haleem Just because he has wealth and sons,
Yusuf Ali Because he possesses wealth and (numerous) sons.
W. Khan who is ignoble and besides all that, baseborn;
M. Sarwar When Our revelations are recited to him,

Verse 15

Abdel Haleem when our revelations are recited to him, he says, ‘These are just ancient fables.’
Yusuf Ali When to him are rehearsed Our Signs, "Tales of the ancients", he cries!
W. Khan just because he has wealth and sons,
M. Sarwar he says, "These are ancient legends".

Verse 16

Abdel Haleem We shall brand him on the snout!
Yusuf Ali Soon shall We brand (the beast) on the snout!
W. Khan when Our revelations are recited to him, he says, ‘These are just ancient fables.’
M. Sarwar We shall brand him on his nose.

Verse 17

Abdel Haleem We have tried them as We tried the owners of a certain garden, who swore that they would harvest its fruits in the morning
Yusuf Ali Verily We have tried them as We tried the People of the Garden, when they resolved to gather the fruits of the (garden) in the morning.
W. Khan Soon We will brand him on the nose.
M. Sarwar We have tested them in the same way as we tested the dwellers of the garden (in Yemen) when they swore to pluck all the fruits of the garden in the morning,

Verse 18

Abdel Haleem and made no allowance [for the Will of God]:
Yusuf Ali But made no reservation, ("If it be Allah's Will").
W. Khan We have tried them as we tried the owners of a certain orchard, who vowed to harvest all its fruits the next morning,
M. Sarwar without adding ("if God wills").

Verse 19

Abdel Haleem a disaster from your Lord struck the garden as they slept
Yusuf Ali Then there came on the (garden) a visitation from thy Lord, (which swept away) all around, while they were asleep.
W. Khan without saying, ‘If it be God’s will.’
M. Sarwar A visitor from your Lord circled around the garden during the night while they were asleep

Verse 20

Abdel Haleem and by morning it was stripped bare, a desolate land.
Yusuf Ali So the (garden) became, by the morning, like a dark and desolate spot, (whose fruit had been gathered).
W. Khan A calamity from your Lord befell the orchard as they slept.
M. Sarwar and the garden was turned into a barren desert.

Verse 21

Abdel Haleem Still they called each other at daybreak,
Yusuf Ali As the morning broke, they called out, one to another,-
W. Khan And by morning it lay as if it had already been harvested, a barren land.
M. Sarwar In the morning they called out to one another,

Verse 22

Abdel Haleem ‘Go early to your field if you wish to gather all its fruits,’
Yusuf Ali "Go ye to your tilth (betimes) in the morning, if ye would gather the fruits."
W. Khan So they called out to each other at the break of dawn,
M. Sarwar "Go early to your farms, if you want to pluck the fruits".

Verse 23

Abdel Haleem and went off, whispering,
Yusuf Ali So they departed, conversing in secret low tones, (saying)-
W. Khan saying, ‘Be quick to reach your orchard, if you want to gather all your fruits.’
M. Sarwar They all left, whispering to one another,

Verse 24

Abdel Haleem ‘Make sure no poor person enters the garden today!’––
Yusuf Ali "Let not a single indigent person break in upon you into the (garden) this day."
W. Khan So they went off, whispering to one another,
M. Sarwar "Let no beggar come to the garden".

Verse 25

Abdel Haleem they left early, bent on their purpose-
Yusuf Ali And they opened the morning, strong in an (unjust) resolve.
W. Khan ‘Be sure to stop any poor person from entering the orchard today.’
M. Sarwar They were resolved to repel the beggars.

Verse 26

Abdel Haleem but when they saw the garden, they said, ‘We must have lost our way!
Yusuf Ali But when they saw the (garden), they said: "We have surely lost our way:
W. Khan They set out early in the morning, thinking they had the power to prevent.
M. Sarwar When they saw the garden, they said, "Surely we have lost our way.

Verse 27

Abdel Haleem No- we are ruined!’
Yusuf Ali "Indeed we are shut out (of the fruits of our labour)!"
W. Khan But when they saw it, they said, ‘We must have lost our way.
M. Sarwar (No, we are not lost.) In fact, we have been deprived of everything".

Verse 28

Abdel Haleem The wisest of them said, ‘Did I not say to you, “Will you not glorify God?”’-
Yusuf Ali Said one of them, more just (than the rest): "Did I not say to you, 'Why not glorify (Allah)?'"
W. Khan Indeed, we are utterly ruined!’
M. Sarwar A reasonable one among them said, "Did I not tell you that you should glorify God?"

Verse 29

Abdel Haleem they said, ‘Glory be to God, Our Lord! Truly, we were doing wrong!’-
Yusuf Ali They said: "Glory to our Lord! Verily we have been doing wrong!"
W. Khan The more upright of the two said, ‘Did I not bid you to glorify God?’
M. Sarwar They said, "All glory belongs to God. We have certainly been unjust".

Verse 30

Abdel Haleem and then they turned to each other in mutual reproach.
Yusuf Ali Then they turned, one against another, in reproach.
W. Khan They said, ‘Glory be to God, our Lord. We have surely done wrong.’
M. Sarwar Some of them started to blame others.

Verse 31

Abdel Haleem They said, ‘Alas for us! We have done terrible wrong,
Yusuf Ali They said: "Alas for us! We have indeed transgressed!
W. Khan Then they began to heap reproaches on each other.
M. Sarwar They said, "Woe to us. We have been arrogant.

Verse 32

Abdel Haleem but maybe our Lord will give us something better in its place: we truly turn to Him in hope.’
Yusuf Ali "It may be that our Lord will give us in exchange a better (garden) than this: for we do turn to Him (in repentance)!"
W. Khan They said, ‘Alas for us, our behaviour was beyond the pale.
M. Sarwar Perhaps our Lord will replace it with a better garden. We turn in repentance to our Lord".

Verse 33

Abdel Haleem Such is the punishment [in this life], but greater still is the punishment in the Hereafter, if only they knew.
Yusuf Ali Such is the Punishment (in this life); but greater is the Punishment in the Hereafter,- if only they knew!
W. Khan May be our Lord will give us a better orchard in its stead; we turn to Him.’
M. Sarwar Such is the torment if only they knew that the torment in the life hereafter will certainly be greater.

Verse 34

Abdel Haleem There will be Gardens of bliss for those who are mindful of God.
Yusuf Ali Verily, for the Righteous, are Gardens of Delight, in the Presence of their Lord.
W. Khan Such was their punishment, [in this life]. But the punishment of the life to come is much more severe, if only they knew it!
M. Sarwar The pious ones will receive a beautiful Paradise from their Lord.

Verse 35

Abdel Haleem Should We treat those who submit to Us as We treat those who do evil?
Yusuf Ali Shall We then treat the People of Faith like the People of Sin?
W. Khan Those who are mindful of their Lord will be rewarded with gardens of bliss.
M. Sarwar Shall We treat the Muslims like criminals?

Verse 36

Abdel Haleem What is the matter with you? On what basis do you judge?
Yusuf Ali What is the matter with you? How judge ye?
W. Khan Should We treat the true believers and the wrongdoers alike?
M. Sarwar What is the matter with you? How could you judge this to be so?

Verse 37

Abdel Haleem Do you have a Scripture that tells you
Yusuf Ali Or have ye a book through which ye learn-
W. Khan What ails you? How ill you judge!
M. Sarwar Do you have a book from which you study

Verse 38

Abdel Haleem that you will be granted whatever you choose?
Yusuf Ali That ye shall have, through it whatever ye choose?
W. Khan Have you a Scripture that tells you
M. Sarwar that tells you to do whatever you want?

Verse 39

Abdel Haleem Have you received from Us solemn oaths, binding to the Day of Resurrection, that you will get whatever you yourselves decide?
Yusuf Ali Or have ye Covenants with Us to oath, reaching to the Day of Judgment, (providing) that ye shall have whatever ye shall demand?
W. Khan that you will be granted whatever you choose?
M. Sarwar Do you have a covenant with Us which allows you to do whatever you want until the Day of Judgment?

Verse 40

Abdel Haleem Ask them [Prophet] which of them will guarantee this.
Yusuf Ali Ask thou of them, which of them will stand surety for that!
W. Khan Or do you have Our solemn oaths, binding upon Us till the Day of Resurrection, that you shall have whatever you yourselves decide?
M. Sarwar (Muhammad), ask which of them can guarantee that on the Day of Judgment.

Verse 41

Abdel Haleem Do they have ‘partners’ [besides God]? Let them produce their ‘partners’, if what they say is true.
Yusuf Ali Or have they some "Partners" (in Allahhead)? Then let them produce their "partners", if they are truthful!
W. Khan Ask them, which of them will vouch for that!
M. Sarwar they will receive the same thing that the Muslims will? Do they have any witness to such an agreement? Let them bring out such witness, if they are truthful.

Verse 42

Abdel Haleem On the Day when matters become dire, they will be invited to prostrate themselves but will be prevented from doing so,
Yusuf Ali The Day that the shin shall be laid bare, and they shall be summoned to bow in adoration, but they shall not be able,-
W. Khan Or have they other partners [besides God]? Let them bring forth their other partners, if what they say be true.
M. Sarwar On the day when the terrible torment approaches, they will be told (in a mocking way) to prostrate themselves, but they will not be able to do it.

Verse 43

Abdel Haleem and their eyes will be downcast and they will be overwhelmed with shame: they were invited to prostrate themselves when they were safe [but refused].
Yusuf Ali Their eyes will be cast down,- ignominy will cover them; seeing that they had been summoned aforetime to bow in adoration, while they were whole, (and had refused).
W. Khan On the Day when the truth shall be laid bare, they will be called upon to prostrate themselves, but they will not be able to do so.
M. Sarwar Their eyes will be lowered and disgrace will cover them. They had certainly been told to prostrate themselves before God when they were safe and sound.

Verse 44

Abdel Haleem So [Prophet] leave those who reject this revelation to Me: We shall lead them on, step by step, in ways beyond their knowledge;
Yusuf Ali Then leave Me alone with such as reject this Message: by degrees shall We punish them from directions they perceive not.
W. Khan Their eyes will be cast down and they will be covered in shame; they were bidden to prostrate themselves, when they were safe and sound [but they did not obey].
M. Sarwar Leave those who reject the Quran to Me and I shall lead them step by step to destruction, without their being aware of it.

Verse 45

Abdel Haleem I will allow them more time, for My plan is powerful.
Yusuf Ali A (long) respite will I grant them: truly powerful is My Plan.
W. Khan So leave to Me those who reject this message. We shall lead them step by step to their ruin, in ways beyond their ken.
M. Sarwar I shall give them respite, however, My plan is so strong that they will never be able to escape from it.

Verse 46

Abdel Haleem Do you demand some reward from them that would burden them with debt?
Yusuf Ali Or is it that thou dost ask them for a reward, so that they are burdened with a load of debt?-
W. Khan I shall grant them some respite, for My plan is powerful.
M. Sarwar (Muhammad), do you ask for your preaching any recompense which is too heavy a price for them to pay?

Verse 47

Abdel Haleem Do they have knowledge of the unseen that enables them to write it down?
Yusuf Ali Or that the Unseen is in their hands, so that they can write it down?
W. Khan Do you demand some recompense from them that would weigh them down with debt?
M. Sarwar Do they possess the knowledge of the unseen which confirms the truthfulness of their belief?

Verse 48

Abdel Haleem Wait patiently [Prophet] for your Lord’s judgement: do not be like the man in the whale who called out in distress:
Yusuf Ali So wait with patience for the Command of thy Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish,- when he cried out in agony.
W. Khan Is the unseen within their grasp so that they write it down?
M. Sarwar Exercise patience until the promise of your Lord (to punish the unbelievers) comes true. Do not be like Jonah (who left his people without the permission of God; he wanted them to be punished immediately),

Verse 49

Abdel Haleem if his Lord’s grace had not reached him, he would have been left, abandoned and blameworthy, on the barren shore,
Yusuf Ali Had not Grace from his Lord reached him, he would indeed have been cast off on the naked shore, in disgrace.
W. Khan Wait patiently for your Lord’s judgement; do not be like the man who, having been swallowed by a whale, called out in distress.
M. Sarwar and who cried (for help) to his Lord, while imprisoned and helpless inside the fish. Had it not been for a favor from his Lord, he would have been left out in the open, deserving blame for his shortcomings.

Verse 50

Abdel Haleem but his Lord chose him and made him one of the Righteous.
Yusuf Ali Thus did his Lord choose him and make him of the Company of the Righteous.
W. Khan Had his Lord’s grace not been bestowed upon him, he would have been cast away in disgrace upon that desolate shore.
M. Sarwar But his Lord chose him as His Prophet and made him one of the righteous ones.

Verse 51

Abdel Haleem The disbelievers almost strike you down with their looks when they hear the Quran. They say, ‘He must be mad!’
Yusuf Ali And the Unbelievers would almost trip thee up with their eyes when they hear the Message; and they say: "Surely he is possessed!"
W. Khan But his Lord chose him for His own and made him one of the righteous.
M. Sarwar When the disbelievers listen to you reciting the Quran they almost try to destroy you with their piercing eyes. Then they say, "He is certainly insane".

Verse 52

Abdel Haleem but truly it is nothing other than a Reminder for all peoples.
Yusuf Ali But it is nothing less than a Message to all the worlds.
W. Khan When those who deny the truth hear the admonition, they would almost cause you to stumble with their evil eyes; and they say, ‘He is certainly mad.’
M. Sarwar The Quran is nothing but a reminder from God to mankind.