Look Ahead To See Where You’re Going: Surah 70 With Exposition

1 A petitioner asked about a punishment to come
2 To the false claimers of guidance — there is none to avert it —
3 From God, Owner of the Means of Ascent: —
4 The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day the measure whereof is fifty thousand years
5 So be thou patient with comely patience.
6 They see it as far off,
7 But We see it as near: —
8 The day the sky will be like molten brass,
9 And the mountains like wool,
10 And no loyal friend will ask of a loyal friend.
11 They will be given sight of them: — the lawbreaker will wish that should he be ransomed from the punishment of that day by his sons,
12 And his consort, and his brother,
13 And his kinsmen who sheltered him,
14 And whoso is in the earth all together — then might it deliver him.
15 No, indeed! It is a blazing fire,
16 Removing the scalp,
17 Calling him who turned and went away
18 And gathered and hoarded.
19 Man was created anxious
20 — When evil touches him, impatient,
21 And when good touches him, withholding —
22 Save the performers of duty:
23 Those who are constant in their duty,
24 And those in whose wealth is a due known
25 For the petitioner and the one deprived,
26 And are those who confirm the Day of Judgment,
27 And are those who, of the punishment of their Lord, are in dread,
28 (The punishment of their Lord is not that from which there is safety)
29 And are those who preserve their chastity
30 Save with their wives, or what their right hands possess — for then are they not blameworthy,
31 (But whoso seeks beyond that: it is they who are the transgressors)
32 And are those who are to their trusts and their covenant attentive,
33 And are those who, in their witness, are upright,
34 And are those who preserve their duty:
35 Those are in gardens, honoured.
36 Then what ails those who ignore warning that they, before thee, are straining forward
37 On the right, and on the left, in separate groups?
38 Does every man among them hope to be made to enter a garden of bliss?
39 No, indeed! We have created them from what they know.
40 Then do I swear by the Lord of the Easts and the Wests that We are able
41 To exchange them for better than they; and We will not be outdone.
42 So leave thou them to discourse vainly and play until they meet their day which they are promised:
43 The day they will come forth from the graves in haste, as though towards an idol, running,
44 Their eyes humbled, humiliation covering them. That is the day which they are promised.

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Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIBNap6VaFY

Former Destructions And The Eschaton: Surah 69 With Exposition

In this talk, I summarise the contents of surah 69 with regard to the Qur’an’s internal claims, and contrast those with those of the religion which is based upon later writings. We also see how Muḥammad was following upon the example of the former warners, and how the destruction of the former peoples presaged the greater destruction which we are promised in the Qur’an at the end of the Age.

1 The Inevitable Reality.
2 What is the Inevitable Reality?
3 And what will convey to thee what the Inevitable Reality is?
4 Thamūd and ʿĀd denied the Calamity.
5 Then as for Thamūd: they were destroyed by the overpowering blast.
6 And as for ʿĀd: they were destroyed by a howling, raging wind
7 Which He compelled against them seven nights and eight days without let; and thou mightest see the people therein lying prostrate like stumps of hollow date-palms.
8 Then seest thou of them any remnant?
9 And there came Pharaoh, and those before him, and the cities thrown down through offence,
10 And they opposed the messenger of their Lord, but He seized them with a surpassing grip.
11 When the water had burst all bounds, We bore you in the ship
12 That We might make it a reminder for you, and that a conscious ear might be conscious of it.
13 Then when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast,
14 And the earth and the mountains are lifted up and levelled with a single blow,
15 Then, that day, the Event will befall,
16 And the sky be split asunder for it, that day, is frail,
17 And the angels on its sides; and there will bear the Throne of thy Lord above them, that day, eight.
18 That day, you will be presented; no secret among you will be concealed.
19 And as for him who is given his writ in his right hand, he will say: “Here, read my writ!
20 “I knew that I should meet my reckoning.”
21 Then is he in a pleasing life,
22 In a high garden
23 The fruits whereof are near.
24 “Eat and drink with satisfaction for what you sent ahead in days past.”
25 And as for him who is given his writ in his left hand, he will say: “Would that I had not been given my writ
26 “And had not known what is my reckoning!
27 “Would that it had been the end!
28 “My wealth has not availed me.
29 “Gone from me is my authority.”
30 “Take him, and fetter him;
31 “Then burn him in Hell
32 “Then into a chain the length whereof is seventy cubits insert him!”
33 He believed not in God, the Great,
34 And encouraged not the feeding of the needy
35 So there is for him here, this day, no loyal friend,
36 Nor food save of foul pus,
37 That none eat save the offenders.
38 Then do I swear by what you see
39 And what you see not:
40 It is the word of a noble messenger
41 And it is not the word of a poet — little do you believe —
42 Nor the word of a soothsayer — little do you take heed —
43 A revelation from the Lord of All Creation!
44 (And had he ascribed to Us any sayings,
45 We would have seized him by the right hand.
46 Then would We have cut from him the aorta,
47 And not one of you could have protected him.)
48 And it is a reminder to those of prudent fear;
49 (And We know that among you are deniers)
50 And it will be a sorrow to the false claimers of guidance;
51 And it is the truth of certainty.
52 So give thou glory with the name of thy Lord, the Great!

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Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z53fX6r6tLI

Don’t Let Your Harvest Be Lost: Surah 68 With Exposition

An exposition and discussion of sūrah 68, relating its key features to components of that mechanism we are calling the God protocol whereby peoples are warned and — in the case of rejection — destroyed, which we find in the Qur’an.

1 nūn By the pen, and what they inscribe!
2 Thou art not, by the favour of thy Lord, possessed;
3 And for thee is a reward unending.
4 And thou art upon a tremendous tradition.
5 And thou wilt see, and they will see
6 Which of you is mad.
7 Thy Lord best knows who has strayed from His path, and He best knows the guided.
8 Then obey thou not the deniers
9 (They wish that thou shouldst compromise, then would they compromise)
10 Neither obey thou every despised swearer of oaths,
11 Backbiter, going about with calumny
12 Hinderer of good, transgressor, sinful,
13 Relentless and useless,
14 Because he is possessed of wealth and sons.
15 When Our proofs are recited to him, he says: “Legends of the former peoples!”
16 We will brand him on the snout.
17 We have tried them as We tried the companions of the garden, when they swore they would reap its fruit in the morning,
18 And made no allowance.
19 Then an itinerant1 from thy Lord went about it while they slept,
20 And in the morning it was as if reaped.
21 Then called they to one another in the morning:
22 “Go early to your tilth, if you would be reaping!
23 So they departed, whispering together:
24 “No needy one will enter it this day against your will.”
25 And they went early, determined upon their purpose.
26 Then when they saw it they said: “We have gone astray!
27 “Nay, we have been deprived!”
28 Said the most moderate of them: “Said I not to you: ‘Oh, that you did but1 give glory!’”
29 They said: “Glory1 be to our Lord! We were wrongdoers!”
30 Then they approached one other, blaming one another.
31 They said: “Woe is us! We transgressed all bounds.
32 “It may be that our Lord will give us in exchange better than it; to our Lord do we turn in hope.”
33 Thus is the punishment — and the punishment of the Hereafter is greater, had they but known.
34 For those of prudent fear, with their Lord are the Gardens of Bliss.
35 Shall We then make those submitting like the lawbreakers?
36 What ails you? How judge you?
37 If you have a Writ wherein you study: —
38 “You have therein whatever you choose!”
39 Or if you have oaths binding upon Us reaching to the Day of Resurrection: — “You have whatever you decide!
40 Ask thou them which of them is, for that, guarantor!
41 If they have partners:2then let them bring their partners,3 if they be truthful.
42 The day the shin is uncovered — and they are invited to the Submission, but they are not able —
43 Their eyes will be humbled, humiliation covering them, for they had been invited to the Submission when they were whole.
44 So leave thou Me with those who deny this narrative. We will lead them by degrees, whence they know not;
45 And I will grant them respite — My plan is firm.
46 If thou askest of them a reward: then are they burdened by debt!
47 If the Unseen be with them: then are they writing!
48 And be thou patient for the judgment of thy Lord; and be thou not like the companion of the fish when he called and was angry.
49 Had not favour from his Lord overtaken him, he would have been cast on the bare shore when he was condemned.
50 But his Lord chose him, and made him of the righteous.
51 And those who ignore warning almost cause thee to slip with their eyes when they hear the remembrance, and they say: “He is possessed.”
52 But it is only a reminder to all mankind.

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Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7-2DTa4kf8