Extracts from The Qur’an

Niall Christie

Suras 1 and 47

The following are two suras[1] from the Qur’an. According to tradition, Sura 1 was revealed early on in the Prophet’s mission, before he emigrated from Mecca to Medina, while Sura 47 was revealed later, at Medina. The texts here were translated by Maulvi Sher Ali and edited by Malik Ghulam Farid. The translation has subsequently been edited for clarity.

Sura 1

  1. In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
  2. All praise is due to Allah alone, Lord of all the worlds.
  3. The Gracious, the Merciful.
  4. Master of the Day of Judgment.
  5. You alone do we worship and You alone do we implore for help.
  6. Guide us in the straight path,
  7. The path of those on whom You have bestowed Your favours, those who have not incurred Your displeasure and those who have not gone astray.
Hear a recitation of Sura 1 from Quran Reader.

Sura 47

  1. In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
  2. Those who disbelieve and hinder men from the way of Allah—He renders their works vain.
  3. But as for those who believe and do righteous deeds and believe in that which has been revealed to Muhammad—and it is the truth from their Lord—He removes from them their sins and sets right their affairs.
  4. That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Thus does Allah set forth for men their lessons by similitudes.
  5. And when you meet in regular battle those who disbelieve, smite their necks; and, when you have overcome them, by causing great slaughter among them, bind fast the fetters—then afterwards either release them as a favour or by taking ransom—until the war lays down its burdens. That is the ordinance. And if Allah had so pleased, He could have punished them Himself, but He has willed that He may try some of you by others. And those who are killed in the way of Allah—He will never render their works vain.
  6. He will guide them to success and will improve their condition.
  7. And will admit them into the Garden which He has made known to them.
  8. O you who believe! If you help the cause of Allah, He will help you and will make your steps firm.
  9. But those who disbelieve, perdition is their lot; and He will make their works vain.
  10. That is because they hate what Allah has revealed; so He has made their works vain.
  11. Have they not traveled in the earth and seen what was the end of those who were before them? Allah utterly destroyed them, and for the disbelievers there will be the like thereof.
  12. That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe, and the disbelievers have no protector.
  13. Verily, Allah will cause those who believe and do good works to enter the Gardens underneath which streams flow; while those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat even as the cattle eat, and the Fire will be their last resort.
  14. And how many a township, mightier than your town which has driven you out, have We destroyed, and they had no helper.
  15. Then, is he who takes his stand upon a clear proof from his Lord like those to whom the evil of their deeds is made to look attractive and who follow their low desires?
  16. A description of the Garden promised to the righteous: Therein are streams of water which corrupts not; and streams of milk of which the taste changes not; and streams of wine, a delight to those who drink; and streams of clarified honey. And in it they will have all kinds of fruit, and forgiveness from their Lord. Can those who enjoy such bliss be like those who abide in the Fire and who are given boiling water to drink so that it tears their bowels?
  17. And among them are some who seems to listen to you till, when they go forth from thy presence, they say to those who have been given knowledge, “What has he been talking about just now?” These are they upon whose hearts Allah has set a seal, and who follow their own evil desires.
  18. But as for those who follow guidance, He adds to their guidance, and bestows on them righteousness suited to their condition.
  19. The disbelievers wait not but for the Hour,[2] that it should come upon them suddenly. The Signs thereof have already come. But of what avail will their admonition be to them when it has actually come upon them.
  20. Know, therefore, that there is no god other than Allah, and ask protection for your human frailties, and for believing men and believing women. And Allah knows the place where you move about and the place where you stay.
  21. And those who believe say, “Why is not a sura revealed?” But when a decisive sura is revealed and fighting is mentioned therein, you see those in whose hearts is a disease, looking towards you like the look of one who is fainting on account of approaching death. So woe to them!
  22. Their attitude should have been one of obedience and of calling people to good. And when the matter was determined upon, it was good for them if they were true to Allah.
  23. Would you not then, if you are placed in authority, create disorder in the land and sever your ties of kinship?
  24. It is these whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and has made their eyes blind.
  25. Will they not, then, ponder over the Qur’an, or, is it that there are locks on their hearts?
  26. Surely, those who turn their backs after guidance has become manifest to them, Satan has seduced them and holds out false hopes to them.
  27. That is because they said to those who hate what Allah has revealed, “We will obey you in some matters,” and Allah knows their secrets.
  28. But how will they fare when the angels will cause them to die, smiting their faces and their backs?
  29. That is because they followed that which displeased Allah, and disliked the seeking of His pleasure. So He rendered their works vain.
  30. Do those in whose hearts is a disease suppose that Allah will not bring to light their malice?
  31. And if We pleased, We could show them to you so that you should know them by their marks. And you shall, surely, recognize them by the tone of their speech. And Allah knows your deeds.
  32. And We will, surely, try you, until We make manifest those among you who strive for the cause of Allah and those who are steadfast. And We will make known the true facts about you.
  33. Those, who disbelieve and hinder men from the way of Allah and oppose the Messenger after guidance has become manifest to them, shall not harm Allah in the least; and He will make their works fruitless.
  34. O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and make not your works vain.
  35. Verily, those who disbelieve and hinder people from the way of Allah, and then die while they are disbelievers—Allah certainly, will not forgive them.
  36. So be not slack and sue not for peace, for you will, certainly, have the upper hand. And Allah is with you, and He will not deprive you of the reward of your actions.
  37. The life of this world is but a sport and a pastime, and if you believe and be righteous, He will give you your rewards, and will not ask of you your wealth.
  38. Were He to ask it of you and press you, you would be stingy, and He would bring to light your malice.
  39. Behold! You are those who are called upon to spend in the way of Allah; but of you there are some who are stingy. And whoso is stingy, is stingy only against his own soul. And Allah is Self-Sufficient, and it is you who are needy. And if you turn your backs, He will bring in your place another people; then they will not be like you.
Hear a recitation of Sura 47 from the Holy Quran Channel.

Questions for Consideration

  1. Who is the speaker in each of these texts? What can we tell about them from the texts?
  2. What message is the reader meant to take from these texts?
  3. What do these texts tell us about the environments in which they were revealed?


  1. Arabic: "chapters".
  2. That is, The Hour of Judgment.


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The Ancient and Medieval World Copyright © by Niall Christie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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