1- These are among the fourteen opening letters which occur in various combinations at the beginning of twenty-nine s´rahs in the QurÕŒn. Although there has been much speculation as to their meaning, it was not, in fact, revealed by AllŒh to anyone and is known only to Him.
Before, as guidance for the people. And He revealed the Criterion [i.e., the QurÕŒn]. Indeed, those who disbelieve in the verses of AllŒh will have a severe punishment, and AllŒh is Exalted in Might, the Owner of Retribution.
1-i.e., He who restores justice by punishing those who persist in wrongdoing, fail to heed warnings and are unrepentant
It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muúammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except AllŒh. But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.
1- Those which are stated in such a way that they are open to more than one interpretation or whose meaning is known only to AllŒh, such as the opening letters of certain s´rahs.
Already there has been for you a sign in the two armies which met [in combat at Badr] – one fighting in the cause of AllŒh and another of disbelievers. They saw them [to be] twice their [own] number by [their] eyesight. But AllŒh supports with His victory whom He wills. Indeed in that is a lesson for those of vision.
1- The believers saw the disbelievers to be double their own number preceding the battle of Badr, while, in fact, they were three times their number.
Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but AllŒh has with Him the best return [i.e., Paradise].
Say, "Shall I inform you of [something] better than that? For those who fear AllŒh will be gardens in the presence of their Lord beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and purified spouses and approval from AllŒh. And AllŒh is Seeing [i.e., aware] of [His] servants –
AllŒh witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge – [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
Indeed, the religion in the sight of AllŒh is IslŒm. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of AllŒh, then indeed, AllŒh is swift in [taking] account.
So if they argue with you, say, "I have submitted myself to AllŒh [in IslŒm], and [so have] those who follow me." And say to those who were given the Scripture and [to] the unlearned, "Have you submitted yourselves?" And if they submit [in IslŒm], they are rightly guided; but if they turn away – then upon you is only the [duty of] notification. And AllŒh is Seeing of [His] servants.
Do you not consider, [O Muúammad], those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They are invited to the Scripture of AllŒh that it should arbitrate between them; then a party of them turns away, and they are refusing.
1- Referring to the Jews of Mad¥nah who refused to implement the rulings given by AllŒh in the Torah or to acknowledge the Prophet (^), whose coming was mentioned therein.
Say, "O AllŒh, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.
You cause the night to enter the day, and You cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give provision to whom You will without account [i.e., limit or measure]."
Let not believers take disbelievers as allies [i.e., supporters or protectors] rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing [i.e., no association] with AllŒh, except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And AllŒh warns you of Himself, and to AllŒh is the [final] destination.
1- When fearing harm from an enemy, the believer may pretend as long as his heart and intention are not affected.
The Day every soul will find what it has done of good present [before it] and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And AllŒh warns you of Himself, and AllŒh is Kind to [His] servants."