Alif, LŒm, Meem.
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.
ذَٰلِكَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبُ لَا رَيۡبَۛ فِيهِۛ هُدٗى لِّلۡمُتَّقِينَ
This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of AllŒh –
1- Literally, "those who have taqwŒ," i.e., who have piety, righteousness, fear and love of AllŒh, and who take great care to avoid His displeasure.
ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنَٰهُمۡ يُنفِقُونَ
Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,
1- At its proper times and according to its specified conditions.
2- It is to be noted that the reference of AllŒh (subúŒnahu wa taÔŒlŒ) to Himself as "We" in many QurÕŒnic verses is necessarily understood in the Arabic language to denote grandeur and power, as opposed to the more intimate singular form "I" used in specific instances.
وَٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ مِن قَبۡلِكَ وَبِٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ هُمۡ يُوقِنُونَ
And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muúammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدٗى مِّن رَّبِّهِمۡۖ وَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ
Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful.
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَأَنذَرۡتَهُمۡ أَمۡ لَمۡ تُنذِرۡهُمۡ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ
Indeed, those who disbelieve – it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe.
1- Literally, "cover" or "conceal" (faith or truth).
خَتَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمۡ وَعَلَىٰ سَمۡعِهِمۡۖ وَعَلَىٰٓ أَبۡصَٰرِهِمۡ غِشَٰوَةٞۖ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٞ
AllŒh has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment.
1- A covering preventing them from discerning guidance. This condition is a direct result of their arrogance and persistence in sin.
وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَبِٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأٓخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤۡمِنِينَ
And of the people are some who say, "We believe in AllŒh and the Last Day," but they are not believers.
يُخَٰدِعُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَمَا يَخۡدَعُونَ إِلَّآ أَنفُسَهُمۡ وَمَا يَشۡعُرُونَ
They [think to] deceive AllŒh and those who believe, but they deceive not except themselves and perceive [it] not.
فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٞ فَزَادَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ مَرَضٗاۖ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمُۢ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكۡذِبُونَ
In their hearts is disease, so AllŒh has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie.
1- The "disease" mentioned here includes doubt, hypocrisy, arrogance and disbelief.
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ لَا تُفۡسِدُواْ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّمَا نَحۡنُ مُصۡلِحُونَ
And when it is said to them, "Do not cause corruption on the earth," they say, "We are but reformers."
أَلَآ إِنَّهُمۡ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدُونَ وَلَٰكِن لَّا يَشۡعُرُونَ
Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not.
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ ءَامِنُواْ كَمَآ ءَامَنَ ٱلنَّاسُ قَالُوٓاْ أَنُؤۡمِنُ كَمَآ ءَامَنَ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُۗ أَلَآ إِنَّهُمۡ هُمُ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ وَلَٰكِن لَّا يَعۡلَمُونَ
And when it is said to them, "Believe as the people have believed," they say, "Should we believe as the foolish have believed?" Unquestionably, it is they who are the foolish, but they know [it] not.
وَإِذَا لَقُواْ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قَالُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ شَيَٰطِينِهِمۡ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّا مَعَكُمۡ إِنَّمَا نَحۡنُ مُسۡتَهۡزِءُونَ
And when they meet those who believe, they say, "We believe"; but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say, "Indeed, we are with you; we were only mockers."
ٱللَّهُ يَسۡتَهۡزِئُ بِهِمۡ وَيَمُدُّهُمۡ فِي طُغۡيَٰنِهِمۡ يَعۡمَهُونَ
[But] AllŒh mocks them and prolongs them in their transgression [while] they wander blindly.
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱشۡتَرَوُاْ ٱلضَّلَٰلَةَ بِٱلۡهُدَىٰ فَمَا رَبِحَت تِّجَٰرَتُهُمۡ وَمَا كَانُواْ مُهۡتَدِينَ
Those are the ones who have purchased error [in exchange] for guidance, so their transaction has brought no profit, nor were they guided.
مَثَلُهُمۡ كَمَثَلِ ٱلَّذِي ٱسۡتَوۡقَدَ نَارٗا فَلَمَّآ أَضَآءَتۡ مَا حَوۡلَهُۥ ذَهَبَ ٱللَّهُ بِنُورِهِمۡ وَتَرَكَهُمۡ فِي ظُلُمَٰتٖ لَّا يُبۡصِرُونَ
Their example is that of one who kindled a fire, but when it illuminated what was around him, AllŒh took away their light and left them in darkness [so] they could not see.
صُمُّۢ بُكۡمٌ عُمۡيٞ فَهُمۡ لَا يَرۡجِعُونَ
Deaf, dumb and blind – so they will not return [to the right path].
أَوۡ كَصَيِّبٖ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَٰتٞ وَرَعۡدٞ وَبَرۡقٞ يَجۡعَلُونَ أَصَٰبِعَهُمۡ فِيٓ ءَاذَانِهِم مِّنَ ٱلصَّوَٰعِقِ حَذَرَ ٱلۡمَوۡتِۚ وَٱللَّهُ مُحِيطُۢ بِٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ
Or [it is] like a rainstorm from the sky within which is darkness, thunder and lightning. They put their fingers in their ears against the thunderclaps in dread of death. But AllŒh is encompassing of the disbelievers.
1- AllŒh states in the QurÕŒn that He has certain attributes such as hearing, sight, hands, face, mercy, anger, coming, encompassing, being above the Throne, etc. Yet, He has disassociated Himself from the limitations of human attributes or human imagination. Correct IslŒmic belief requires faith in the existence of these attributes as AllŒh has described them without applying to them any allegorical meanings or attempting to explain how a certain quality could be (this is known only to AllŒh) and without comparing them to creation or denying that He (subúŒnahu wa taÔŒlŒ) would have such a quality. His attributes are befitting to Him alone, and "There is nothing like unto Him." (42:)
يَكَادُ ٱلۡبَرۡقُ يَخۡطَفُ أَبۡصَٰرَهُمۡۖ كُلَّمَآ أَضَآءَ لَهُم مَّشَوۡاْ فِيهِ وَإِذَآ أَظۡلَمَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ قَامُواْۚ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمۡعِهِمۡ وَأَبۡصَٰرِهِمۡۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٞ
The lightning almost snatches away their sight. Every time it lights [the way] for them, they walk therein; but when darkness comes over them, they stand [still]. And if AllŒh had willed, He could have taken away their hearing and their sight. Indeed, AllŒh is over all things competent.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ٱعۡبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمُ ٱلَّذِي خَلَقَكُمۡ وَٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِكُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ
O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous –
ٱلَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ فِرَٰشٗا وَٱلسَّمَآءَ بِنَآءٗ وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءٗ فَأَخۡرَجَ بِهِۦ مِنَ ٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ رِزۡقٗا لَّكُمۡۖ فَلَا تَجۡعَلُواْ لِلَّهِ أَندَادٗا وَأَنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ
[He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to AllŒh equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him].
وَإِن كُنتُمۡ فِي رَيۡبٖ مِّمَّا نَزَّلۡنَا عَلَىٰ عَبۡدِنَا فَأۡتُواْ بِسُورَةٖ مِّن مِّثۡلِهِۦ وَٱدۡعُواْ شُهَدَآءَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَٰدِقِينَ
And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down [i.e., the QurÕŒn] upon Our Servant [i.e., Prophet Muúammad ()], then produce a s´rah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses [i.e., supporters] other than AllŒh, if you should be truthful.
فَإِن لَّمۡ تَفۡعَلُواْ وَلَن تَفۡعَلُواْ فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱلنَّارَ ٱلَّتِي وَقُودُهَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلۡحِجَارَةُۖ أُعِدَّتۡ لِلۡكَٰفِرِينَ
But if you do not – and you will never be able to – then fear the Fire, whose fuel is people and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.
وَبَشِّرِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتٖ تَجۡرِي مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُۖ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُواْ مِنۡهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٖ رِّزۡقٗا قَالُواْ هَٰذَا ٱلَّذِي رُزِقۡنَا مِن قَبۡلُۖ وَأُتُواْ بِهِۦ مُتَشَٰبِهٗاۖ وَلَهُمۡ فِيهَآ أَزۡوَٰجٞ مُّطَهَّرَةٞۖ وَهُمۡ فِيهَا خَٰلِدُونَ
And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit therefrom, they will say, "This is what we were provided with before." And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.
۞إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَسۡتَحۡيِۦٓ أَن يَضۡرِبَ مَثَلٗا مَّا بَعُوضَةٗ فَمَا فَوۡقَهَاۚ فَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فَيَعۡلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمۡۖ وَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَآ أَرَادَ ٱللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا مَثَلٗاۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِۦ كَثِيرٗا وَيَهۡدِي بِهِۦ كَثِيرٗاۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِۦٓ إِلَّا ٱلۡفَٰسِقِينَ
Indeed, AllŒh is not timid to present an example – that of a mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who have believed know that it is the truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, "What did AllŒh intend by this as an example?" He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient,
1- Literally, "above it," i.e., greater in smallness.
ٱلَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهۡدَ ٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مِيثَٰقِهِۦ وَيَقۡطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦٓ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفۡسِدُونَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡخَٰسِرُونَ
Who break the covenant of AllŒh after contracting it and sever that which AllŒh has ordered to be joined and cause corruption on earth. It is those who are the losers.
كَيۡفَ تَكۡفُرُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَكُنتُمۡ أَمۡوَٰتٗا فَأَحۡيَٰكُمۡۖ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمۡ ثُمَّ يُحۡيِيكُمۡ ثُمَّ إِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُونَ
How can you disbelieve in AllŒh when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.
هُوَ ٱلَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعٗا ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَوَىٰٓ إِلَى ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَسَوَّىٰهُنَّ سَبۡعَ سَمَٰوَٰتٖۚ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيۡءٍ عَلِيمٞ
It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth. Then He directed Himself to the heaven, [His being above all creation], and made them seven heavens, and He is Knowing of all things.
1- See footnote to 2:19
وَإِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٞ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ خَلِيفَةٗۖ قَالُوٓاْ أَتَجۡعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفۡسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسۡفِكُ ٱلدِّمَآءَ وَنَحۡنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمۡدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَۖ قَالَ إِنِّيٓ أَعۡلَمُ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ
And [mention, O Muúammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we exalt You with praise and declare Your perfection?" He [AllŒh] said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."
1- Khal¥fah: successor, or generations of man, one following another.
2- An additional meaning is "...and we purify ourselves for You."