Chapter 89 of the Quran:
(89:1) In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
(89:2) By the Dawn,
(89:3) And the Ten Nights,
(89:4) And the Even and the Odd,
(89:5) And the Night when it
moves on to its end,
(89:6) Is there not in it a strong
evidence for a man of understanding?
(89:7) Hast thou not seen how
thy Lord dealt with ‘Ad* —
tribe of Iram, possessors of lofty buildings,
(89:9) The like of whom have
not been created in these parts
(89:10) And with Thamud who hewed
out rocks in the valley,
(89:11) And with Pharaoh, lord
of vast camps?
transgressed in the cities,
wrought much corruption therein.
Lord then let fall on them the whip of punishment.
thy Lord is ever on the watch
(89:16) As for
man, when his Lord tries him and honours him and bestows favours on him, he
says, ‘My Lord has honoured me.’
when He tries him and straitens for him his means of subsistence, he says, ‘My
Lord has disgraced me.’
but you honour not the orphan,
(89:19) And you
urge not one another to feed the poor,
(89:20) And you
devour the heritage of other people wholly,
(89:21) And you
love wealth with exceeding love.
when the earth is completely broken into pieces and made level;
(89:23) And thy
Lord comes and also the
angels ranged in rows after rows;
Hell is brought near that day; on that day man will remember, but of what avail
shall be his remembrance?
(89:25) He will
say, ‘O would that I had sent on some
good works for my life here
(89:26) So on
that day none can punish like unto His punishment,
none can bind like unto His binding;
(89:28) And thou, O soul at peace!
to thy Lord well pleased with Him and He well pleased with
enter thou among My chosen servants,
enter thou My Garden.
*'Ad refers to a tribe of people who existed during the time of the revelation of the Quran. They were a relatively wealthy nation.
A short commentary:
The "Dawn" referred to above is probably in reference to the Hijra, or emmigration of the Prophet Muhammad from his hometown of Mecca to Medina. This emmigration was essentially a turning point in the history of Islam. The Muslims went from a small, raggedy group of mostly powerless people to rulers of Arabia, and eventually a great deal of the rest of the world. This is what "the Night when it moves on its end" refers to: the end of the hardships of the Muslims. God is speaking to the Muslims in this chapter, telling them to avoid the mistakes of past civilizations that were corrupted by their strength and wealth.
The last part of the chapter is about a state of being the Muslims refer to as "Nafs e Mutmainna", or a state of contentment. Essentially, "Nafs" refers to ones soul or being, and "Mutmainna" refers to a state of complete contentment, where the person "becomes one" with God. Deja Vu, perhaps? The idea of a "state of contentment" is really intriguing to me, and is actually the reason I bothered reading this chapter at all. More to come on this topic.