The festival of Las Posadas celebrated chiefly in Mexico, Guatemala and parts of the Southwestern United States has its origins in Spain. Observing Las Posadas has been a tradition in Mexico for 400 years.
The Spanish phrase “Las Posadas” means “accommodations”, “The Inns”, or “lodgings”.
This traditional nine-day festival re-enacts the cold and difficult journey of María and José from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their search for a room at the lodgings in Bethlehem.
Even though the roots of this celebration are in Catholicism even Protestant Latinos follow the tradition.
The festivities of Las Posadas start in full swing on December 16th and ends on December 24th. These nine days are, in fact, a novenario – nine days of religious observance signifying the nine-month pregnancy of María carrying Jesús in her womb.
Devotees enact Las Posadas by carrying a doll or a statue representing the Christ Child and images of José and María riding a burro. The doll is left at the chosen home and picked up on the next night when the processional begins again. This continues for eight nights.
In certain areas, individuals play the part of María and José, with the expectant mother riding a real burro with attendant angels and shepherds; or the devotees would carry images of the holy family and the saints; followed by musicians, with the entire procession singing Posadas. Children may carry poinsettia flowers.
Holding candle lanterns the procession ambles through the streets of the community, stopping at previously selected residences, singing a Posada such as Para Posada (Asking for a place to stay). At each residence, the innkeeper responds to José’s query by singing a song.
Afuera: En nombre del cielo Os pido posada Pues no puedeandar Mi esposa amada
Joseph asks: In the name of heaven I request you grant us shelter Given that she cannot walk She is my beloved wife
Adentro: Aquí no es mesón Sigan adelante Yo no puedoabrir No sea algún tunante
“Probable” host answers: This is not an Inn Please continue ahead I cannot open You may be a robber
Afuera: No seas inhumano
Tennoscaridad Que el Rey de los cielos
Te lo premiará
Joseph replies: Do not be inhuman have mercy on us Since the King of heavens will reward you for that
Adentro: Ya se pueden ir Y no molestar porque si me enfado Os voy a apalear
Still “probable” host answers: You can already go away and do not bother because if I get upset I will beat you up
Afuera: Venimos rendidos Desde Nazaret Yo soy carpintero De nombre José
Joseph insists: We come exhausted From Nazareth I am a carpenter named Joseph
Adentro: No me importa el nombre Déjenme dormir Porque ya les digo Que no hemos de abrir
Still unconvinced host replies: I don’t care about your name Let me go to sleep Because, as I said We shall not open
Afuera: Posada te pide Amado casero Por sólo una noche La reina del cielo
Joseph expects reasoning: She asks you shelter Dear innkeeper for just one night She, the queen of heaven
Adentro: Pues si es una reina Quien lo solicita ¿Cómo es que de noche Anda tan solita?
The almost convinced host asks: So, if it’s a queen who’s asking for it, how is it that at night she travels so alone?
Afuera: Mi esposa es María Es reina del cielo Y madreva a ser Del divinoverbo
Joseph answers: My wife is Mary She’s the Heavenly Queen And she’ll be mother Of the divine word
Adentro: ¿Eres tú José? ¿Tu esposa es María? Entren peregrinos No los conocía
Convinced host finally offers shelter: Are you Joseph? Is your wife Mary? Come in, pilgrims I did not know you
Afuera: Dios pague, señores Vuestra caridad Y que os colme el cielo De felicidad
Joseph gratefully says: May God reward, sirs for your charity And may heaven heap you With happiness
Adentro: Dichosa la casa Que alberga este día A la virgenpura La hermosa María
Host replies: Joyful be the house That this day hosts The pure virgin The beautiful Mary
The innkeeper after recognizing María and José allows them and the group of guests to enter their home.
All sing together:
¡Entren santos peregrinos! ¡Reciban éste rincón! Que aunque es pobre la morada ¡Se las doy de corazón! ¡Cantemos con alegría! ¡Todos al considerar! ¡Que Jesús, José y María nos vinieron hoy a honrar!
Come in, holy pilgrims! Receive this corner! Because even though the place is poor I offer it to you from my heart! Let’s sing with joy! Everyone at the thought! That Jesus, Joseph and Mary Came today to honour us!
Once inside, all kneel around the Nativity crib to pray the Rosary. The hosts provide refreshments.
The final location of the sojourn, most likely, would be a church where the devotees would sing villancicos at the end of each night’s journey.
During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, (Luke 1:41)
is reflected in
But the children jostled each other in the womb so much that she exclaimed, “If it is like this, why go on living!” She went to consult the LORD, (Genesis 25:22)
And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of [the] Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. (Luke 1:14-16)
cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. (Luke 1:42)
has similarities in
While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11:27-28)
Most blessed of women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, blessed among tent-dwelling women! (Judges 5:2)
Then Uzziah said to her, “Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth, who guided your blow at the head of the leader of our enemies. (Judith 13:18)
Blessed be the fruit of your womb, the produce of your soil and the offspring of your livestock, the issue of your herds and the young of your flocks! (Deuteronomy 28:4)
And then Elizabeth says,
“And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)
Even before his birth, Jesus is identified in Luke as the Lord through the phrase,
“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:45)
Luke portrays Mary as a believer whose faith stands in contrast to the disbelief of Zechariah,
“But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.” (Luke 1:20).
Mary’s role as a believer in the infancy narrative should be seen in connection with the explicit mention of her presence among “those who believed” after the resurrection at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles:
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. (Acts 1:14).
Although Mary is praised for being the mother of the Lord and because of her belief, she reacts as the servant in a psalm of praise, the Magnificat.
The Magnificat or “[My soul] magnifies” in Latin is also known as the Song of Mary or the Canticle of Mary. It is a canticle frequently sung liturgically in Christian church services. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn. The name comes from the first word of the Latin version of the canticle’s text.
Because there is no specific connection of the canticle in the context of Mary’s pregnancy and her visit to Elizabeth, the Magnificat with the possible exception
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. (Luke 1:48)
may have been a Jewish-Christian hymn that Luke found appropriate at this point in his story. Even if this canticle was not composed by Luke, it fits in well with the themes found elsewhere in Luke:
joy and exultation in the Lord;
the lowly being singled out for God’s favor;
the reversal of human fortunes;
the fulfillment of Old Testament promises.
The loose connection between the hymn and the context is further seen in the fact that a few Old Latin manuscripts identify the speaker of the hymn as Elizabeth, even though the overwhelming textual evidence makes Mary the speaker.
The Song of Hannah
The canticle echoes several biblical passages from the Old Testament. The most pronounced allusions are to the Song of Hannah, from the Books of Samuel (1 Samuel 2:1-10) ,
1 And Hannah prayed:
“My heart exults in the LORD, my horn is exalted by my God. I have swallowed up my enemies; I rejoice in your victory.
2 There is no Holy One like the LORD; there is no Rock like our God.
3 Speak boastfully no longer,
Do not let arrogance issue from your mouths.
For an all-knowing God is the LORD, a God who weighs actions.
4 “The bows of the mighty are broken, while the tottering gird on strength.
5 The well-fed hire themselves out for bread, while the hungry no longer have to toil.
The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes.
6 “The LORD puts to death and gives life, casts down to Sheol and brings up again.
7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich, humbles, and also exalts.
8 He raises the needy from the dust; from the ash heap lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage.
“For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he has set the world upon them.
9 He guards the footsteps of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall perish in the darkness; for not by strength does one prevail.
10 The LORD’s foes shall be shattered; the Most High in heaven thunders; the LORD judges the ends of the earth.
May he give strength to his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed!”
Along with the Benedictus, as well as several Old Testament canticles, the Magnificat is included in the Book of Odes, an ancient liturgical collection found in some manuscripts of the Septuagint.
English Scripture text: Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition
My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden, For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm: He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree. He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He has sent empty away. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Latin (present official Roman Catholic form)
Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum, et exsultávit spíritus meus in Deo salvatóre meo, quia respéxit humilitátem ancíllæ suæ.Ecce enim ex hoc beátam me dicent omnes generatiónes, quia fecit mihi magna, quipotensest, et sanctum nomen eius, et misericórdia eius in progénies et progénies timéntibus eum. Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo, dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui; depósuit poténtes de sede et exaltávit húmiles. Esuriéntes implévit bonis et dívites dimísit inánes. Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum, recordátus misericórdiæ, sicut locútus est ad patres nostros, Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.Glória Patri et Fílio et Spirítui Sancto. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc et semper, et in sæcula sæculórum.
On Saturday 14 July 2012, in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India, a statue of Mary, brought a few months before from St. Paul’s Centre, New Delhi, shed tears of blood. This event captivated many Christians and members of various other Faiths.
The incident took place in the community chapel of the CMI Bhavan of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate in Mariam Nagar, Ghaziabad (Near Delhi), India.
Around 11.30 am, Sunita, a domestic helper at the institution, saw the tears of blood oozing from the eyes of the statue. She tried to wipe off the blood, but the flow continued.
Fr. Joy Kizhakkayil CMI, the priest in charge, said he saw Sunita kneeling before the statue, shivering, praying and crying aloud to Mother Mary.
A senior staff-nurse working in New Delhi, named Mary was present at the monastery when the event transpired. She said she noticed the tears of blood, and she touched it with reverence and apprehension.
“The news spread fast and people started rushing to the chapel,” said Brother George CMI.
About 65 Catholic families residing in the surrounding areas rushed in to view the wondrous incident. By nightfall, around three thousand people visited the statue. Due to the surge of people, the police were called in.
The following day when Fr. Kizhakkayil came to the chapel to offer Holy Mass, he saw a heavy stream of blood coming out of the statue. The priest said they got samples of the fluid tested at the nearby St. Joseph Hospital. “The result has shown that the blood group is B+,” he added.
The bleeding occurred four times on three consecutive days from July 14, 2012.
The Church authorities moved the statue to St. Mary’s Assumption Church – the parish church of Mariam Nagar, Ghaziabad.
As far as I know, up to now, no cynic has come forward to detract or deprecate this event, nor anyone has come up with a rational or scientific explanation.
In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1 is devoted to the story of Archangel Gabriel announcing the birth of John (the Baptist) to aged Zechariah and the birth of Jesus to virgin Mary.
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel (Hebrew: גַּבְרִיאֵל, Arabic: جبريل, Jibrīl or جبرائيل Jibrāʾīl) meaning “God is my strength” is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.
The first appearance of Gabriel is in chapter 9 in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel’s visions.
In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus. Catholic traditions refer to him as Gabriel the Archangel.
Gabriel is referred to as “he” in the Bible, and in Daniel 9:21 he is explicitly called “the man Gabriel”:
I was still praying, when the man, Gabriel, whom I had seen in vision before, came to me in flight at the time of the evening offering. (Daniel 9:21)
Some moderns, especially New Age exponents, portray Gabriel as female or androgynous.
Androgyny is a term derived from Greek referring to the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics.
In Latter-day Saint theology, Gabriel is believed to have lived a mortal life as the prophet Noah. So, according to them, Archangel Gabriel and prophet Noah are regarded as the same person; Noah being his mortal name and Gabriel being his heavenly name.
Jibrāʾīl in Islam
In Islam there are four archangels: Jibrāʾīl (Gabriel), Mika’el (Michael), Israfil (Raphael) and Malak al-Maut (The Angel of Death).
Although some islamic texts claim the Angel of Death’s real name is Izrael (Azrael), this is not confirmed in the Qur’an or hadith.
Jibrāʾīl is called the chief of the four favoured angels and the spirit of truth. He is Allah’s messenger to the prophets. At times Jibrāʾīl takes the form of a man. In Islam, he is also called the created Holy Spirit, which is not to be confused with the Holy Spirit of God in Christianity who is revered as God Himself.
Jibrāʾīl is believed by Muslims to have been the angel who revealed the Holy Qur’an to prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).
According to the Holy Qur’an, Archangel Jibrāʾīl appeared to prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in a cave where he went to pray. Here is the story that I read long ago. If my retelling of this encounter is wrong I stand to be corrected by my Muslim brethren.
Muhammad (s.a.w.) was a young man around forty and a well to do merchant in the city of Mecca. It was his habit to leave the city and walk up to to a cave in Mount Hira, to be alone and ponder over the day’s events and about the world around him. He would spend time there fasting, praying, thinking, and trying to find answers to the meaning of life.
One day towards the end of the month of Ramadan the prophet came back home exasperated and in an agitated state.
His wife Khadija was initially startled when she heard the prophet telling her that he must have gone mad for he had been visited by an angel. The prophet told her that while he was in a trance-like state, the Archangel Jibrāʾīl appeared before him holding a cloth of green brocade with writing embroidered on it.
“Read,” said the angel.
The Prophet was stupefied. He said, “I cannot read!”
The angel squeezed him, and then released him. “Read” the angel said.
“I cannot read,” Muhammad said, a little louder this time.
The angel squeezed him again, harder than before, and commanded, “Read.”
“I cannot read?” Muhammad said, even louder.
The angel persisted, and the prophet repeatedly resisted, until the angel finally overwhelmed Muhammad and commanded him:
Read with the name of your Lord Who created, Created man from a clot. Read, and your Lord only is the Most Beneficent, The One Who taught to write with the pen. The One Who taught man all what he did not know. (Qur’an 96:1-5)
The Prophet recited the verses after the angel, until he knew it perfectly, word for word.
Then the frightened prophet felt he was alone. The angel and the writing had gone. But the words stayed in his memory, and there was a strange sensation of having been squeezed very hard. Trembling, he stood up, left the cave, and began to walk, shakily, down the mountain path. He was very confused. Then a voice, the same voice, called to him: “Oh Muhammad! Truly you are the messenger of God. And I am his angel, Jibrāʾīl.”
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) looked up, and saw the angel, who looked like a human, but so enormous that his two feet straddled the horizon. For a moment, the prophet was awe-struck. Then he tried to escape, but no matter which way he turned, the angel was there, filling the sky. The prophet could go neither forwards nor back until Jibrāʾīl had disappeared from the sky as suddenly as he had appeared. As it dawned the prophet made his way back to his home in Mecca.
Muslims also have a high esteem for Jibrāʾīl for a number of historical events predating his first appearance to prophet Mohamed (s.a.w.).
Muslims believe that Jibrāʾīl was the angel who informed two parents – Zakariya (Zachariah) and Maryam (Mary) of the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus. Also, Jibrāʾīl was one of three angels who had earlier informed Ibrāhīm (Abraham) of the birth of Isḥāq (Isaac). These events of Zakariya and Maryam can be found in Chapter 19 – surah Maryam in the Holy Qur’an.
HOLY QURAN – THE TREASURE OF FAITH
Chapter 19 – Surah Maryam (Mary)
(Revealed at Mecca – This Chapter has 98 verses in 6 sections)
Allah – beginning with the name of – the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
[These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allah and to whomever He reveals know their precise meanings.]
2. This is the remembrance of the mercy of your Lord upon His bondman Zakaria.
3. When he softly prayed to his Lord.
4. He submitted, “O my Lord – my bones have become weak and old age shines forth from my head, and O my Lord, I have never been disappointed in my prayer to you.”
5. “And I fear my relatives after me and my wife is barren therefore bestow upon me from Yourself one who will take up my work.”
6. “He being my successor and the heir of the Descendants of Yaqub (Jacob); and my Lord, make him a cherished * one.” (* Make him a Prophet among the Descendants of Israel.)
7. “O Zakaria! We give you the glad tidings of a son whose name is Yahya (John) before him, We have not created anyone of this name.”
8. He submitted, “My Lord – how can I have a son since my wife is barren and I have reached infirmity due to old age?”
9. He (the angel) said, “So it is; your Lord says, ‘This is easy for Me – in fact I created you before this, at a time when you did not exist.’ “
10. He said, “My Lord, give me a sign”; He said, “Your token is that you will not speak to people for three nights, although in proper health.”
11. He, therefore, emerged upon his people from the mosque, and told them through gestures, “Keep proclaiming the Purity (of your Lord) morning and evening.”
12. “O Yahya – hold the Book firmly”; and We gave him Prophethood in his infancy. (Prophet Yahya was only 2 years old at that time.)
13. And compassion from Ourselves, and chastity; and he was extremely pious.
14. And was good to his parents and not forceful, nor disobedient.
15. And peace is upon him the day he was born, and the day he will taste death, and the day he will be raised alive.
16. And remember Maryam in the Book; when she went away from her family to a place towards east.
17. So there she screened herself from them; We, therefore, sent Our Spirit towards her – he appeared before her in the form of a healthy man. (Angel Jibreel – peace be upon him.)
18. She said, “I seek the refuge of the Most Gracious from you – if you fear God.”
19. He said, “I am indeed one sent by your Lord; so that I may give you a chaste son.”
20. She said, “How can I bear a son? No man has ever touched me, nor am I of poor conduct!”
21. He said, “So it is; your Lord has said, ‘This is easy for Me’; and in order that We make him a sign for mankind and a Mercy from Us; and this matter has been decreed.”
22. So she conceived him, and she went away with him to a far place.
23. Then the pangs of childbirth brought her to the base of the palm-tree; she said, “Oh, if only had I died before this and had become forgotten, unremembered.”
24. (The angel) Therefore called her from below her, “Do not grieve – your Lord has made a river flow below you.”
25. “And shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards you – ripe fresh dates will fall upon you.” (This was a miracle – the date palm was dry and it was winter season.)
26. “Therefore eat and drink and appease your eyes; so if you meet any person then say, ‘I have pledged a fast (of silence) to the Most Gracious – I will therefore not speak to any person today.’ “
27. So carrying him in her arms, she brought him to her people; they said, “O Maryam, you have indeed committed a great evil!”
28. “O sister of Haroon, neither was your father an evil man nor was your mother of poor conduct!”
29. Thereupon she pointed towards the child; they said, “How can we speak to an infant who is in the cradle?”
30. The child proclaimed, “I am Allah’s bondman; He has given me the Book and made me a Herald of the Hidden (a Prophet).”
31. “And He has made me blessed wherever I be; and ordained upon me prayer and charity, as long as I live.”
32. “And has made me good to my mother and not made me forceful, ill-fated.”
33. “And peace is upon me the day I was born, and on the day I shall taste death, and on the day I will be raised alive.”
34. This is Eisa (Jesus), the son of Maryam; a true statement, in which they doubt.
35. It does not befit Allah to appoint someone as His son – Purity is to Him! When He ordains a matter, He just commands it, “Be” – and it thereupon happens.
36. And said Eisa, “Indeed Allah is my Lord and your Lord – therefore worship Him; this is the Straight Path.”
37. Then groups among them differed; so ruin is for the disbelievers from the witnessing of a Great Day.
38. Much will they listen and much will they see, on the Day when they come to Us, but today the unjust are in open error.
39. And warn them of the Day of Regret when the matter will have been decided; and they are in neglect, and they do not accept faith.
40. Indeed We shall inherit the earth and all that is on it, and only towards Us will they return.
41. And remember Ibrahim in the Book; he was very truthful, a Herald of the Hidden (a Prophet).
42. When he said to his father, * “O my father – why do you worship one which neither hears nor sees, and cannot benefit you in any way?” (* His uncle Azar.)
43. “O my father, indeed a knowledge has come to me which did not come to you – therefore follow me, I will show you the Straight Path.”
44. “O my father, do not be a bondman of the devil; indeed the devil is disobedient towards the Most Gracious.”
45. “O my father, I fear that a punishment from the Most Gracious may reach you, so you would become a companion of the devil.”
46. He said, “What! You turn away from my Gods, O Ibrahim? If you do not desist, I will certainly stone you, and keep no relation with me for a long while.”
47. So when he had separated from them and what they worshipped other than Allah, We bestowed him Ishaq and Yaqub; and We made each of them a Herald of the Hidden.
50. And We gave them Our mercy and assigned to them a true and high repute.
51. And remember Moosa in the Book; he was indeed a chosen one, and he was a Noble Messenger, a Herald of the Hidden.
52. We called him from the right side of the mountain Tur and brought him close to reveal Our secret.
53. And with Our mercy, We bestowed upon him his brother Haroon, a Prophet.
54. And remember Ismail in the Book; he was indeed true to his promise and was a Noble Messenger, a Prophet.
55. He used to command his people to offer prayer and give charity and was liked by his Lord.
56. And remember Idrees in the Book; he was indeed very truthful, a Prophet.
57. And We lifted him to a high position. (Living with soul & body in heaven, after his death.)
58. It is these upon whom Allah has bestowed favour among the Prophets, from the descendants of Adam; and from those whom We boarded along with Nooh; and from the descendants of Ibrahim and Israel; and from those whom We guided and chose; when the verses of the Most Gracious were recited to them, they fell down, prostrating and weeping. (* Command of Prostration # 5.)
59. And after them came the unworthy successors who squandered prayer and pursued their own desires, so they will soon encounter the forest of Gai in hell.
60. Except those who repented and accepted faith and did good deeds – so these will enter heaven, and they will not be deprived * in the least. (* of their due reward.)
61. Everlasting Gardens of Eden, which the Most Gracious has proomised to His bondmen in the unseen; indeed His promise will come.
62. They will not hear any lewd talk in it, but only Peace; and in it for them is sustenance, every morning and evening.
63. It is the Paradise that We will bequeath to those among Our bondmen who remain pious.
64. (Said Angel Jibreel to Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon them) “And we angels do not come down except by the command of your Lord; to Him only belongs all that is ahead of us and all that is behind us and all that is between them; and your Lord is not forgetful.”
65. Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them – therefore worship Him and be firm in His worship; do you know any other of the same name as His?
66. And says man, “When I am dead, will I soon be brought forth alive?”
67. Does not man remember that We created him before this, and he was non-existent?
68. So by your Lord, We shall assemble them and the devils – all of them – and bring them around hell, fallen on their knees.
69. We shall then pick out from every group the one who was most arrogant towards the Most Gracious.
70. Moreover, We well know those who most deserve to be burned in hell.
71. And there is none among you who shall not pass over hell; this is an obligatory affair, binding upon your Lord. (Allah will make everyone pass over the back of hell – on a thin bridge.)
72. We shall then rescue the pious – and leave the unjust in it, fallen on their knees.
73. And when Our clear verses are recited to them, the disbelievers say to the Muslims, “Which group has a better home, and a better alliance?”
74. And many a generation We did destroy before them, who exceeded them in wealth and pomp!
75. Proclaim, “For one in error – so the Most Gracious may give him respite; to the extent that when they see the thing which they are promised – either the punishment or the Last Day; so then they will come to know for whom is the evil rank and whose army is weak.”
76. And Allah will increase the guidance for those who have received guidance; and good deeds that remain have the best reward before your Lord, and the best outcome.
77. So have you seen him who denied Our signs and says, “I shall certainly be given wealth and children?”
78. Has he seen the Hidden, or has he made a pact with the Most Gracious?
79. Never; We shall now record what he says and give him a prolonged punishment.
80. And it is We only Who shall inherit what he says (belongs to him), and he will come to Us, alone.
81. And they have chosen Gods besides Allah, so that they may provide them strength!
82. Never; soon they will deny ever worshipping them, and will turn into their opponents.
83. Did you not see that We sent devils upon the disbelievers, so they excite them abundantly?
84. So do not be impatient for them (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him); We are only completing their number. * (* The number of days left for them or their evil deeds.)
85. On the day when We shall assemble the righteous towards the Most Gracious, as guests.
86. And drive the guilty towards hell, thirsty.
87. People do not own the right to intercede, except those * who have made a covenant with the Most Gracious. (* The Holy Prophets and virtuous people will be given the permission to intercede. Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him – will be the first to intercede.)
88. And the disbelievers said, “The Most Gracious has chosen an offspring.”
89. You have indeed brought an extremely grave speech!
90. The heavens are close to being torn apart by it, and the earth being split asunder, and the mountains succumbing and falling down.
91. Due to their ascribing of an offspring to the Most Gracious.
92. And it does not befit the Most Gracious to choose an offspring!
93. All those who are in the heavens and the earth will come to the Most Gracious as His bondmen.
94. He knows their number and has counted each one of them.
95. And each one of them will come before Him on the Day of Resurrection, alone.
96. Indeed those who believed and did good deeds – the Most Gracious will appoint love for them. (In the hearts of other believers.)
97. We have therefore made this Qur’an easy upon your tongue, (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) for you to announce glad tidings with it to those who fear, and warn those who are quarrelsome.
98. And many a generation We did destroy before them; do you see any one of them or hear their faintest sound?