By the sun and its brightness
وَٱلۡقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَىٰهَا
And [by] the moon when it follows it
وَٱلنَّهَارِ إِذَا جَلَّىٰهَا
And [by] the day when it displays it
1- The earth. Also interpreted as the sun. The same applies to the following verse.
وَٱلَّيۡلِ إِذَا يَغۡشَىٰهَا
And [by] the night when it covers [i.e., conceals] it
وَٱلسَّمَآءِ وَمَا بَنَىٰهَا
And [by] the sky and He who constructed it
وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا طَحَىٰهَا
And [by] the earth and He who spread it
وَنَفۡسٖ وَمَا سَوَّىٰهَا
And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it
1- i.e., balanced and refined it, creating in it sound tendencies and consciousness.
فَأَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقۡوَىٰهَا
And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness,
قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن زَكَّىٰهَا
He has succeeded who purifies it,
وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَن دَسَّىٰهَا
And he has failed who instills it [with corruption].
كَذَّبَتۡ ثَمُودُ بِطَغۡوَىٰهَآ
Tham´d denied [their prophet] by reason of their transgression,
إِذِ ٱنۢبَعَثَ أَشۡقَىٰهَا
When the most wretched of them was sent forth.
1- To hamstring the she-camel which had been sent by AllŒh as a sign to them.
فَقَالَ لَهُمۡ رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ نَاقَةَ ٱللَّهِ وَسُقۡيَٰهَا
And the messenger of AllŒh [i.e., êŒliú] said to them, "[Do not harm] the she-camel of AllŒh or [prevent her from] her drink."
فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَعَقَرُوهَا فَدَمۡدَمَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ رَبُّهُم بِذَنۢبِهِمۡ فَسَوَّىٰهَا
But they denied him and hamstrung her. So their Lord brought down upon them destruction for their sin and made it equal [upon all of them].
1- And then killed.
وَلَا يَخَافُ عُقۡبَٰهَا
And He does not fear the consequence thereof.
1- AllŒh is not asked about what He does, but His servants will be asked. See 21:23