Sura XXXV — The Creator, or the Angels

by Rev. G. Margoliouth, M.A.

Mecca — 45 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

PRAISE be to God, Maker of the Heavens and of the Earth! Who employeth the ANGELS as envoys, with pairs of wings, two, three, and four: He addeth to his creature what He will! Truly God hath power for all things.

The mercy which God layeth open for man, no one can keep back; and what He shall keep back, none can afterwards send forth. And He is the Mighty, the Wise.

O men! bear in mind the favour of God towards you. Is there a creator other than God, who nourisheth you with the gifts of heaven and earth? There is no God but He! How then are ye turned aside from Him?

If they treat thee as an impostor, then before thee have apostles been treated as impostors. But to God shall all things return.

O men! assuredly the promise of God is true: let not then the present life deceive you: and let not the Deceiver deceive you as to God.

Yes, Satan is your foe. For a foe then hold him. He calleth his followers to him that they may become inmates of the flame.

The unbelievers,—for them a terrible punishment!

But believers and doers of good works, for them is mercy, and a great reward!

Shall he, the evil of whose deeds are so tricked out to him that he deemeth them good, be treated like him who seeth things aright? Verily God misleadeth whom He will, and guideth whom He will. Spend not thy soul in sighs for them: God knoweth their doings.

It is God who sendeth forth the winds which raise the clouds aloft: then drive we them on to some land dead from drought,[736] and give life thereby to the earth after its death. So shall be the resurrection.

If any one desireth greatness, all greatness is in God. The good word riseth up to Him, and the righteous deed will He exalt. But a severe punishment awaiteth the plotters of evil things; and the plots of such will He render vain.

Moreover, God created you of dust—then of the germs of life—then made you two sexes: and no female conceiveth or bringeth forth without his knowledge; and the aged ageth not, nor is aught minished from man's age, but in accordance with the Book. An easy thing truly is this to God.

Nor are the two seas[737] alike: the one fresh, sweet, pleasant for drink, and the other salt, bitter; yet from both ye eat fresh fish, and take forth for you ornaments to wear, and thou seest the ships cleaving their waters that ye may go in quest of his bounties, and that ye may be thankful.

He causeth the night to enter in upon the day, and the day to enter in upon the night; and He hath given laws to the sun and to the moon, so that each journeyeth to its appointed goal: This is God your Lord: All power is His: But the gods whom ye call on beside Him have no power over the husk of a date stone!

If ye cry to them they will not hear your cry; and if they heard they would not answer you, and in the day of resurrection they will disown your joining them with God: and none can instruct thee like Him who is informed of all.

O men! ye are but paupers in need of God; but God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy!

If He please, He could sweep you away, and bring forth a new creation!

Nor will this be hard for God.

And the burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another: and if the heavy laden soul cry out for its burden to be carried, yet shall not aught of it be carried, even by the near of kin! Thou shalt warn those who fear their Lord in secret, and observe prayer. And whoever shall keep himself pure, he purifieth himself to his own behoof: for unto God shall be the final gathering.

And the blind and the seeing are not alike; neither darkness and light; nor the shade and the hot wind;

Nor are the living and the dead the same thing! God indeed shall make whom He will to hearken, but thou shalt not make those who are in their graves to hearken; for only with warning art thou charged.

Verily we have sent thee with the truth; a bearer of good tidings and a warner; nor hath there been a people unvisited by its warner.

And if they treat thee as a liar, so did those who were before them threat their Apostles who came to them with the proofs of their mission, and with the Scriptures and with the enlightening Book:[738]

Then chastised I the unbelievers: and how great was my vengeance!

Seest thou not how that God sendeth down water from the Heaven, and that by it we cause the up-growth of fruits of varied hues, and that on the mountains[739] are tracks of varied hues, white and red, and others are of a raven black? And of men and reptiles and animals, various likewise are the hues. Such only of his servants as are possessed of knowledge fear God. Lo! God is Mighty, Gracious!

Verily they who recite the Book of God, and observe prayer, and give alms in public and in private from what we have bestowed upon them, may hope for a merchandise that shall not perish:

God will certainly pay them their due wages, and of his bounty increase them: for He is Gracious, Grateful.

And that which we have revealed to thee of the Book is the very Truth, confirmatory of previous Scriptures: for God knoweth and beholdeth his servants.

Moreover, we have made the Book an heritage to those of our servants whom we have chosen. Some of them injure themselves by evil deeds; others keep the midway between good and evil; and others, by the permission of God, outstrip in goodness; this is the great merit!

Into the gardens of Eden shall they enter: with bracelets of gold and pearl shall they be decked therein, and therein shall their raiment be of silk:

And they shall say, "Praise be to God who hath put away sorrow from us. Verily our Lord is Gracious, Grateful,

Who of His bounty hath placed us in a manison that shall abide for ever: therein no toil shall reach us, and therein no weariness shall touch us."

But for infidels is the fire of Hell; to die shall never be decreed them, nor shall aught of its torment be made light to them. Thus reward we every infidel!

And therein shall they cry aloud, "Take us hence, O our Lord! righteousness will we work, and not what we wrought of old."—"Prolonged we not your days that whoever would be warned might be warned therein? And the preacher came to you—

Taste it then."—There is no protector for the unjust.

God truly knoweth the hidden things both of the Heavens and of the Earth: for He knoweth the very secrets of the breast.

He hath appointed you his vicegerents in the earth: And whoever believeth not, on him shall be his unbelief; and their unbelief shall only increase for the unbelievers, hatred at the hands of their Lord:—and their unbelief shall only increase for the unbelievers their own perdition!

SAY: What think ye of the gods whom ye invoke beside God? Shew me what part of the earth they have created? Had they a share in the creation of the Heavens? Have we given them a Book in which they can find proofs that they are to be called on? Nay, the wicked promise one another only deceits.

Verily God holdeth fast the Heavens and the Earth that they pass not away: and if they were passing away none could hold them back but He: for He is Kind, Gracious.

They swore by God with their mightiest oath that should a preacher come to them they would yield to guidance more than any people: but when the preacher came to them it only increased in them their estrangement,

Their haughtiness on earth and their plotting of evil! But the plotting of evil shall only enmesh those who make use of it.[740] Look they then for aught but God's way[741] of dealing with the peoples of old? Thou shalt not find any change in the way of God,—

Yea, thou shalt not find any variableness in the way of God.

Have they never journeyed in the land and seen what hath been the end of those who flourished before them, though mightier in strength than they? God is not to be frustrated by aught in the Heavens or in the Earth; for He is the All-knowing, the All-mighty.

If, moreover, God should chastise men according to their deserts, He would not leave even a reptile on the back of the earth! But to an appointed time doth He respite them.

And when their time shall come, then verily God's eye is on his servants.



[736] See note at Sura [xcvii.] iii. 18. This is one of the passages said to have originated with Zayd.

[737] Not only seas, properly so called, but the great masses of fresh water in the Nile, Tigris, inland lakes, etc.

[738] The Gospel.

[739] This idea was probably suggested by Muhammad's reminiscences of the view from the Cave of Hira, to the north and west of which there is a prospect thus described by Burckhardt (Travels, p. 176). "The country before us had a dreary aspect, not a single green spot being visible; barren, black, and grey hills, and white sandy valleys were the only objects in sight."

[740] Lit. shall encompass its people.

[741] Method of dealing, i.e., first warning, then punishing.