[Author's note] This is the 42nd Surah of the Qur'an. It has 53 verses. The Title of this Surah, and the admonition that comes forth in it, emphasize that any community of believers must resort to mutual consultation in all matters of collective significance and individual benefit. With the Glorious Name of Allah, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness.
42:1 H.M. Ha-Mim. Hameed the Owner of Praise, Majeed The Glorious. 42:2 'A.S.Q. 'Ain-Sein-Qaaf. Aleem the Knower, Samee' the Hearer, Qadir the Almighty, proclaims that: 42:3 Thus it is: Revealing to you (O Prophet) as He did to those before you, is Allah, the Almighty, the Wise. 42:4 Unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And the Most Exalted, the Tremendous is He. 42:5 The heavens above them would shatter (if the Universe were to run like the humans run their lives (19:88-91). But angels (the Divine Laws) practically extol their Lord's Glory by protecting the Order in the Universe. Oh, verily, Allah! He alone is the Absolver of imperfections, the Merciful. ('Malaekah = Angels = Divine Laws in the Universe. 'Yastaghfirun' = They help protect like a helmet protects the head. 'Sabh' = Swim in strides = Doing one's best). 42:6 Now as for those who instead of Him take patrons, Allah is Watcher over them, and you are not a pleader on their behalf. 42:7 And thus: We have revealed to you a Monograph in Arabic so that you may warn the Foremost of all towns and those who dwell around it, and may warn of the Day of Gathering, which is beyond all doubt. One group will be in the Garden, and one group will be in the Flames. (Such will happen in this world and in the life to come). [The first addressees are the people of Makkah and the dwellers around it, hence the Arabic Language in its MAKKAH/QURAISH dialect. And from there the Final Word of Allah is to fan out and embrace the entire mankind. (7:158), (12:3), (13:37), (14:4), (13:37), (14:4), (25:1), (39:28), (41:3), (42:7] 42:8 Now had Allah willed, He could have made all of them one single community. But Allah brings into His Grace him who so wills (making himself worthy). Whereas for the violators of human rights shall be no patron and no helper. 42:9 Or have they chosen patrons besides Him? But Allah, He alone is the Patron, since it is He alone Who revives the dead. (And His Laws can revive the dead of heart). He is the Appointer of due measure for all things. 42:10 And in whatever you humans may differ, the Decision rests with Allah. (Say), "Such is Allah, my Lord. In Him I trust and unto Him I always turn." ((42:8). Turning to Allah = Turning to His Laws in the Qur'an). 42:11 Originator of the heavens and the earth! He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among the quadrupeds, whereby He multiplies you. There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him. And He is the Hearer, the Seer. 42:12 His are the Keys of the heavens and the earth. He grants abundant provision, or gives it in scant measure according to His Laws (of Economics given in the Qur'an. Mankind can open His Treasures only with His Keys (7:96), (28:77), (41:10)). Behold, He is the Knower of all things. 42:13 He has ordained for you all, the same System of Life that He enjoined upon Noah - And We have revealed to you (O Prophet) the same Message as We enjoined upon Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: "Establish the Divine System of Life and make no sects in it." (O Prophet) Hard it is upon the idolaters (those who worship false 'authorities') the unity you call to. Allah draws unto Himself everyone who is willing, and guides unto Himself everyone who turns unto Him." (Sects vs. Unity: (3:32), (3:104), (6:160), (30:31), (42:13), (45:17-18)). 42:14 And they became sects for no reason but through rivalry among themselves, after the Knowledge had come to them. Had it not been for a Word that has already gone forth from your Lord for an appointed term, all matters would have been decided among them. (The Word = The Law of free will, in this context). Behold, the later generations who inherited the Scripture of the old still keep harboring doubts about it. 42:15 Because of this (dilemma), then, (O Messenger) summon all mankind. And stand firm as you are commanded, and follow not their wishes. But announce, "I believe in the Book that Allah has revealed, and I am commanded to be just among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. We are responsible for our deeds and you are responsible for your deeds - No argument between us and you! (109:6). Allah will bring us together and unto Him is our journeying." 42:16 And as for those who argue about Allah after He has been accepted (and the Divine System has been established as a living witness to the Truth), futile is their argument at their Lord. And upon them is condemnation and theirs will be a severe retribution. 42:17 Allah it is Who has revealed the Book setting forth the Truth, and the Balance (for people to weigh right and wrong.) And what will make you realize that the Hour (the consequence of your actions) might be close? 42:18 Only those who deny it seek to hasten it. But the believers remain conscious of the Law of Requital knowing that it is the Truth. Oh, verily, those who call the Hour in question have indeed gone far astray. ('As you sow so shall you reap' is all that free will and the Law of requital are about). 42:19 Allah is Sublime, Aware of the minutest needs of His servants. He provides for them (even if they deny Him) according to His Laws. And He is the Strong, the Almighty. 42:20 Whoever desires the harvest of the life to come, We increase his harvest. And whoever desires only the harvest of this world, We give him something thereof, but he will have no share in the life to come. (Individuals and nations attain prosperity in both lives only by submitting to the Divine Values (17:19-21)). 42:21 What! Do they have 'partners' who have set up for them some religion without Allah's leave? And but for a Decisive Word (the period of Respite), all matters would have been decided between them immediately. Verily, there is an awful doom for those who relegate the Truth. 42:22 You will see the transgressors worrying about what they had been doing, and their earning is bound to fall back upon them. And those who accept the Message and enhance the society will be in flowery rows of the Gardens. For them is whatever they desire from their Lord. This, this indeed is the Great Bounty. 42:23 This is the good news from Allah to His servants who believe and lead a righteous life. Say, "No reward do I ask you for this other than that you show loving kindness to the ones near (in the human bond, and thus seek the Way to your Lord (25:57))." For, anyone who benefits people, We shall grant him additional good. And, verily, Allah is ever Absolver of imperfections, Responsive to gratitude. 42:24 Do they say, "He has invented a lie about Allah?" But then, had Allah so willed, He could have made your heart insensitive (10:16). And Allah will wipe out the falsehood and will prove the Truth by His Words. Verily, He is the Knower of all that is in the hearts. 42:25 And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants, and pardons their ill-deeds and He knows all you do. ('Taubah' = Repentance = Coming to the right course and taking corrective action. Pardon = Blotting out the unfavorable imprints on the human "Self'). 42:26 And accepts all those who attain belief and help others, and He gives them a far exceeding reward from His bounty. But for those who adamantly deny the Truth and choose to stay in darkness, is a severe retribution. 42:27 And if Allah made His provision unlimited for His servants, they would have created more disorder in the earth (by increasing in pride and greed (96:6)). But as it is, He bestows His provision in due measure according to His Laws. For, behold, He is Aware, Seer of His servants (their needs and their psyche). 42:28 And He it is Who sends down rain after they have despaired and He spreads out His Grace widely. And He is the Protecting Friend, the Owner of all Praise. 42:29 And among His Signs is the creative design of the Heavens and the Earth, and the living creatures which He has dispersed throughout them. And He is Able to gather them together when He will. (Herein is an allusion to the existence of life in other celestial bodies, and to man meeting with the 'aliens' some day (16:49)). 42:30 Now whatever calamity befalls you, is a consequence of your own actions and He pardons a great deal. (If mankind harmonize themselves with Divine Laws, their Systems would run as orderly as the rest of the Universe does). 42:31 And you cannot evade the Law of Requital anywhere in the earth, and you have no patron and no helper besides Allah. 42:32 And among His Signs are the ships that sail like bannered mountains through the seas. 42:33 And if He so wills He calms the winds so that they come to a halt on its surface. Herein, behold, are signs for everyone who is patient (in reading the Book of Nature) and grateful (for what he learns). 42:34 Or that He may cause them to perish as a consequence of their deeds, but He forgives a great deal. (The human 'Self' may progress like ships that sail freely through the sea, suffer stagnancy, or perish to a subhuman existence). 42:35 And those who dispute about Our Signs, let them know that they have no shelter outside Our Laws. 42:36 Now whatever you are given is but a fleeting enjoyment of the life of this world. And that which is with Allah is far better and more lasting- for all those who believe in Divine Laws and trust in their Lord. 42:37 And desist from actions that most of all drag down the individual and collective human potential, and from stinginess and obscene behavior, and when annoyed, readily forgive people. ((4:31), (53:32). 'Fawahish' = Indecencies, miserliness amounting to shame). 42:38 And who respond to their Lord, and establish the Divine System and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation. And they spend on others of what We have given them. 42:39 And who, whenever frank injustice afflicts them, stand up for their rights. (They establish the System wherein the oppressed is helped and the oppressor is requited). 42:40 But requiting evil may become an evil in itself! Hence, whoever pardons and makes peace, his reward rests with Allah. Verily, He loves not the violators of human rights. 42:41 And whoever stands up for his rights and defends himself, when he has been wronged, for such, there is no blame against them. 42:42 The blame is against those who oppress people, and cause disorder in the earth resorting to aggression unprovoked. They are the ones for whom there is an awful doom. 42:43 And, verily, whoever is patient and forgives, behold, that indeed is from strength of character. 42:44 And he whom Allah lets go astray has, then on, no protector. And you will see the oppressors when they face the punishment how they say, "Is there any way of return!" (Allah lets go astray = People only go astray by defying the Divine Law of Guidance (4:88)). 42:45 And you will see them facing it, humiliated, looking and yet not looking. And those who believe will say, "Verily, lost on this Day of Resurrection are those who had wasted their own 'Self' and their families." Oh, verily, the wrongdoers will fall into lasting suffering. 42:46 And they will have no patrons to help them instead of Allah. One who goes astray by violating the Laws of Guidance, for him there is no road. (42:44). 42:47 Hence, respond to your Lord before there comes to you from Allah a Day which is not to be averted. There will be no shelter for you on that Day nor will you have any rebuttal to what you did. 42:48 But if they turn away, We have not sent you as a guardian over them. Your job is to convey the Message. And behold, when We cause man to taste of Grace form Us, he rejoices in it. And if a calamity befalls them as a consequence of their own doings, then, behold, man is contentious against Divine Laws. (They say that God had so willed). 42:49 To Allah belongs the Dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates and designs all things according to His Laws. He bestows the gift of daughters according to His Laws and the gift of sons according to His Laws. 42:50 Or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves infertile some according to His Laws. For, verily, He is the all Knowing Appointer of designs. 42:51 And it is not for any human being that Allah will speak to him other than through direct Revelation (on the heart of His Messengers) or from behind a barrier (such as at Mount Sinai to Moses) or by sending a Messenger to convey His Words with His Permission (as all Messengers did). Verily, He is the Most High, the Wise. 42:52 And thus We have revealed to you (O Prophet) a life-giving Message, by Our Command. You knew not what Revelation is, nor what Faith implies. (That the Power of Faith could revolutionize humanity). But now We have made it a Light, whereby We show the Way to Our servants according to Our Law of Guidance. And, verily, (O Prophet) you shall certainly show them the Straight Path. 42:53 The Path that leads to Allah, to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Oh, verily, with Allah is the beginning and with Him is the end of all affairs. (All things go back to Him as their Source, and all things pursue their course according to His Laws).