In this talk I cover surah 74, reading some of the notes to the forthcoming edition of The Qur’an: A Complete Revelation and explaining (again) my position on the number 19.
1 O thou, one covering himself:
2 Arise thou and warn thou!
3 And magnify thou thy Lord,
4 And purify thou thy garments,
5 And forsake thou defilement,
6 And show thou not favour seeking gain,
7 And to thy Lord be thou patient.
8 Then when the Trumpet is sounded:
9 That — that day — will be a difficult day,
10 For the false claimers of guidance not easy.
11 Leave thou Me with him whom I created alone,
12 And appointed for him wealth extended,
13 And sons present,
14 And spread before him ease.
15 Then hopes he that I should add more.
16 No, indeed! He was towards Our proofs obstinate.
17 I will burden him with a steep ascent.
18 He considered and determined,
19 (Damned be how he determined!
20 Then damned be how he determined!)
21 Then looked,
22 Then frowned and scowled,
23 Then turned away and waxed proud
24 And said: “This is only sorcery handed down.
25 “This is only the speech of a mortal.”
26 I will burn him in Saqar.
27 And what will convey to thee what Saqar is?
28 It spares not and leaves not,
29 Scorching mortal man.
30 Over it are nineteen;
31 And We have made the Guardians of the Fire only angels. And We made their number only as a means of denial for those who ignore warning, that those given the Writ might be certain, and those who heed warning might increase in faith, and those given the Writ and the believers might not doubt, and that those in whose hearts is disease and the false claimers of guidance might say: “What means God by this similitude?” Thus God sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills; and there knows the forces of thy Lord only He. And this is only a reminder to mortal man.
32 No, indeed!1 By the moon,
33 And the night when it retreats,
34 And the morning when it brightens!
35 (It is one of the greatest
36 As a warning to mortal man,
37 To him who wills among you to advance or to tarry.)
38 Every soul is in pledge for what it earned
39 Save the companions of the right: —
40 In gardens, they will ask each other
41 About the lawbreakers:
42 “What brought you into Saqar?”
43 They will say: “We were not among the performers of duty,
44 “And we fed not the needy.
45 “And we discoursed vainly with those who discourse vainly,
46 “And denied the Day of Judgment
47 “Until the Certainty came to us.”
48 Then no benefit to them is the intercession of intercessors.
49 Then what ails them that they, from the reminder, turn away
50 As if they were startled donkeys
51 Fleeing from a lion?
52 The truth is, every man of them desires that he be given scriptures unfolded.
53 No, indeed! The truth is, they fear not the Hereafter.
54 No, indeed! It is a reminder,
55 So whoso wills will remember it.
56 And they will not remember save that God wills; He is worthy of prudent fear and worthy to forgive.
Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2qLYZzcuqQ