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(VII. Mecca.)

IN the name of the merciful and compassionate God. ALIF LAM MIM SAD. A book revealed to thee,- so let there be no straitness in thy breast, that thou mayest warn thereby,- and a reminder to the believers.

Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and follow not beside Him patrons; little is it that ye mind. Yet how many a town have we destroyed, and our violence came upon it by night, or while they slept at noon; and their cry, when our violence came upon them, was only to say, ‘Verily, we were unjust!’ But we will of a surety question those to whom the prophets were sent, and we will narrate to them with knowledge, for we were not absent. The balance on that day is true, and whosesoever scales are heavy, they are prosperous; but whosesoever scales are light, they it is who lose themselves, for that they did act unjustly by our signs. We have established you in the earth, and we have made for you therein livelihoods; little is it that ye thank; and we created you, then we fashioned you, then we said unto the angels, ‘Adore Adam,’ and they adored, save Iblis, who was not of those who did adore. Said He, ‘What hinders thee from adoring when I order thee?’ he said, ‘I am better than he; Thou hast created me from fire, and him Thou hast created out of clay.’

Said He, ‘Then go down therefrom; what ails thee that thou shouldst be big with pride therein? go forth! verily, thou art of the little ones.’

He said, ‘Respite me until the day when they shall be raised.’ He said ‘Verily, thou art of the respited;’ said he, ‘For that Thou hast led me into error, I will lie in wait for them in Thy straight path; then I will surely come to them, from before them and from behind them; and most of them Thou shalt not find thankful.’ He said, ‘Go forth therefrom, despised, expelled; whoso follows thee, I will surely fill hell with you altogether. But, O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in Paradise and eat from whence ye will, but draw not nigh unto this tree or ye will be of the unjust.’

But Satan whispered to them to display to them what was kept back from them of their shame, and he said, ‘Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree lest ye should be twain angels, or should become of the immortals;’ and he swore to them both, ‘Verily, I am unto you a sincere adviser;’ and he beguiled them by deceit, and when they twain tasted of the tree, their shame was shown them, and they began to stitch upon themselves the leaves of the garden. And their Lord called unto them, ‘Did I not forbid you from that tree there, and say to you, Verily, Satan is to you an open foe?’ They said, ‘O our Lord! we have wronged ourselves- and if Thou dost not forgive us and have mercy on us, we shall surely be of those who are lost!’ He said, ‘Go ye down, one of you to the other a foe; but for you in the earth there is an abode, and a provision for a season.’ He said, ‘Therein shall ye live and therein shall ye die, from it shall ye be brought forth.’

O sons of Adam! we have sent down to you garments wherewith to cover your shame, and plumage; but the garment of piety, that is better. That is one of the signs of God, haply ye may remember. O sons of Adam! let not Satan infatuate you as he drove your parents out of Paradise, stripping from them their garments, and showing them their shame; verily, he sees you- he and his tribe, from whence ye cannot see them. Verily, we have made the devils patrons of those who do not believe, and when they commit an abomination they say, ‘We found our fathers at this, and God bade us do it.’ Say, ‘God bids you not to do abomination; do ye say against God that which ye do not know?’

Say, ‘My Lord bids only justice:- set steadfastly you faces at every mosque and pray to Him, being sincere in your religion. As He brought you forth in the beginning, shall ye return. A sect He guides, and for a sect of them was error due; verily, they did take the devils for their patrons instead of God, and they did count that they were guided.’

O sons of Adam! take your ornaments to every mosque and eat and drink, but do not be extravagant, for He loves not the extravagant. Say, ‘Who has prohibited the ornaments of God which He brought forth for His servants, and good things of His providing?’ say, ‘On the day of judgment they shall only be for those who believed when in the life of this world.’ Thus do we detail the signs unto a people that do know.

Say, ‘My Lord has only prohibited abominable deeds, the apparent thereof and the concealed thereof, and sin, and greed for that which is not right, and associating with God what He has sent down no power for, and saying against God that which ye do not know.’ Every nation has its appointed time, and when their appointed time comes they cannot keep it back an hour, nor can they bring it on. O sons of Adam! verily, there will come to you apostles from amongst you, narrating unto you my signs; then whoso fears God and does what is right, there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve. But those who say my signs are lies, and who are too big with pride for them, these are the fellows of the Fire, they shall dwell therein for aye!

Who is more unjust than he who devises against God a lie, or says His signs are lies? These, their portion of the Book shall reach them until when our messengers come to take their souls away, and say, ‘Where is what ye used to call upon instead of God?’ they say, ‘They have strayed away from us;’ and they shall bear witness against themselves that they have been misbelievers.

He will say, ‘Enter ye- amongst the nations who have passed away before you, both of ginns and men- into the fire;’ whenever a nation enters therein, it curses its mate; until, when they have all reached it, the last of them will say unto the first, ‘O our Lord! these it was who led us astray, give them double torment of the fire!’ He will say, ‘To each of you double! but ye do not know.’ And the first of them will say unto the last, ‘Ye have no preference over us, so taste ye the torment for that which ye have earned!’ Verily, those who say our signs are lies and are too big with pride for them; for these the doors of heaven shall not be opened, and they shall not enter into Paradise until a camel shall pass into a needle’s eye.

It is thus that we reward the sinners; for them is a couch of hell-fire, with an awning above them! thus do we reward the unjust! But those who believe and do what is right- we will not oblige a soul more than its capacity- they are the fellows of Paradise, they shall dwell therein for aye.

We will strip away what ill feeling is in their breasts- there shall flow beneath them rivers, and they shall say, ‘Praise belongs to God who guided us to this! for we should not have been guided had not God guided us!- the apostles of our Lord did come to us with truth!’ And it shall be cried out to them, ‘This is Paradise which ye have as an inheritance for that which ye have done!’ And the fellows of Paradise will call out to the fellows of the Fire, ‘We have now found that what our Lord promised us is true; have ye found that what your Lord promised you is true?’ They will say, ‘Yea!’ And a crier from amongst them will cry out, ‘The curse of God is on the unjust who turn from the way of God and crave to make it crooked, while in the hereafter they do disbelieve!’

And betwixt the two there is a veil, and on al Aaraf are men who know each by marks; and they shall cry out to the fellows of Paradise, ‘Peace] be upon you!’ they cannot enter it although they so desire. But when their sight is turned towards the fellows of the Fire, they say, ‘O our Lord! place us not with the unjust people.’ And the fellows on al Aaraf will cry out to the men whom they know by their marks, and say, ‘Of no avail to you were your collections, and what ye were so big with pride about; are these those ye swore that God would not extend mercy to? Enter ye Paradise; there is no fear for you, nor shall ye be grieved.’

But the fellows of the Fire shall cry out to the fellows of Paradise, ‘Pour out upon us water, or something of what God has provided you with.’ They will say, ‘God has prohibited them both to those who misbelieve; who took their religion for a sport and a play; whom the life of the world beguiled.’- To-day do we forget them as they forgot the meeting of this day, and for that they did deny our signs!

Now we have brought them a book explaining it in knowledge, a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe. Do they wait now for aught but its interpretation?- on the day when its interpretation shall come, those who forgot it before will say, ‘There did come to us the apostles of our Lord in truth, have we intercessors to intercede for us? or, could we return, we would do otherwise than we did.’ They have lost themselves, and that which they devised has strayed away from them.

Verily, your Lord is God who created the heavens and the earth in six days; then He made for the Throne. He covers night with the day-it pursues it incessantly- and the sun and the moon and the stars are subject to His bidding. Aye!- His is the creation and the bidding,- blessed be God the Lord of the worlds! Call on your Lord humbly and secretly, verily, He loves not the transgressors. And do not evil in the earth after it has been righted; and call upon Him with fear and earnestness; verily, the mercy of God is nigh unto those who do well.

He it is who sends forth the winds as heralds before His mercy; until when they lift the heavy cloud which we drive to a dead land, and send down thereon water, and bring forth therewith every kind of fruit;- thus do we bring forth the dead; haply ye may remember. And the good land brings forth its vegetation by the permission of its Lord; and that which is vile brings forth naught but scarcity. Thus do we turn about our signs for a people who are grateful. We did send Noah unto his people, and he said, ‘O my people I serve God, ye have no god but Him; verily, I fear for you the torment of the mighty day.’ Said the chiefs of his people, ‘Verily, we do surely see you in obvious error.’ Said he, ‘O my people! there is no error in me; but I am an apostle from the Lord of the worlds. I preach to you the messages of my Lord, and I give you sincere advice; and I know from God what ye know not. What! do ye wonder that there came to you a reminder from your Lord by a man from amongst yourselves, to warn you, and that ye may fear? but haply ye may receive mercy.’

But they called him a liar, and we rescued him and those who were with him in the ark; and we drowned those who said our signs were lies, verily, they were a blind people.

And unto ‘Ad (we sent) their brother Hud, who said, ‘O my people! serve God, ye have no god save Him; what! will ye not then fear?’ Said the chiefs of those who misbelieved amongst his people, ‘Verily, we see thee in folly, and, verily, we certainly think thou art of the liars.’ He said, ‘O my people! there is no folly in me; but I am an apostle from the Lord the worlds; I preach to you the messages of your Lord; and, verily, I am to you a faithful adviser. What! do ye then wonder that there comes to you a reminder from your Lord by a man from amongst yourselves, to warn you? remember when He made you vicegerents after Noah’s people and increased you in length of stature; remember, then, the benefits of God,- haply ye may prosper!’ They said, ‘Hast thou come to us that we may worship God alone, and leave what our fathers used to worship? then bring us what thou dost threaten us with, if thou art of those who tell the truth!’ He said, ‘There shall fall upon you from your Lord horror and wrath; do ye wrangle with me about names, which ye and your fathers have named yourselves, for which God sent down no power; wait then expectant, and I with you will wait expectant too! But we rescued him and those with him, by mercy from ourselves, and we cut off the hindermost parts of those who said our signs were lies and who were not believers.’ Unto Thamud (we sent) their brother Zali’h, who said, ‘O my people! worship God; ye have no god but Him: there has come to you a manifest sign from your Lord. This she-camel of God’s is a sign for you; leave her then to eat in the land of God, and touch her not with evil, or there will overtake you grievous woe. And remember how he made you vicegerents after ‘Ad and stablished you in the earth so that ye took for yourselves castles on its plains and hewed out mountains into houses; and remember the benefits of God, and waste not the land, despoiling it.’ Said the chiefs of those who were big with pride from amongst his people to those who were weak,- to those amongst them who believed, ‘Do ye know that Zali’h is sent from his Lord? They said, ‘We do believe in that with which he is sent.’ Said those who were big with pride, ‘Verily, in what ye do believe we disbelieve.’ Then they did hamstring the camel, and rebelled against the bidding of their Lord and said, ‘O Zali’h! bring us what thou didst threaten us with, if thou art of those who are sent.’ Then the earthquake took them, and in the morning they lay prone in their dwellings; and he turned away from them and said, ‘O my people! I did preach to you the message of my Lord, and I gave you good advice; but ye love not sincere advisers.’

And Lot, when he said to his people, ‘Do ye approach an abomination which no one in all the world ever anticipated you in? verily, ye approach men with lust rather than women- nay, ye are a people who exceed.’ But his people’s answer only was to say, ‘Turn them out of your village, verily, they are a people who pretend to purity.’ But we saved him and his people, except his wife, who was of those who lingered; and we rained down upon them a rain;- see then how was the end of the sinners!

And unto Midian did we send their brother Sho’haib, who said, ‘O my people! serve God, ye have no god save Him. There has come to you a manifest sign from your Lord; then give good weight and measure, and be not niggardly of your gifts to men, and do not evil in the earth after it has been righted. That is better for you if ye are believers; and sit not down in every path, threatening and turning from the path of God those who believe in Him, and craving to make it crooked. Remember when ye were few and He multiplied you; and see what was the end of thee evildoers! And if there be a party of you who believe in what I am sent with, and a party who believe not, then wait patiently until God judges between us, for He is the best of judges.’ Said the crowd of those who were big with pride amongst His people, ‘We will of a surety turn thee out, O Sho’haib! and those who believe with thee, from our village; or else thou shalt return unto our faith.’ Said he, ‘What even if we be averse therefrom? We shall have devised a lie against God if we return unto your faith, after God has saved us from it; and what should ail us that we should return thereto, unless that God our Lord should please? our Lord embraces everything in His knowledge;- on God do we rely. O our Lord! open between us and between our people in truth, for Thou art the best of those who open. And the chiefs of those who disbelieved amongst his people said, ‘If ye follow Sho’haib, verily, ye shall be the losers;’ then there took them the earthquake, and in the morning they lay in their dwellings prone. Those who called Sho’haib a liar, (were) as though they had not dwelt therein!- Those who called Sho’haib a liar, they were the losers then! And he turned away from them and said, ‘O my people! I preached to you the messages of my Lord, and I gave you ‘good advice; how should I be vexed for a people who do misbelieve?

We have not sent unto a city any prophet except we overtook the people thereof with trouble and distress, that haply they might humble themselves; and then did we give them, in exchange for evil, good, until they increased and said, ‘Distress and joy both touched our fathers;’ then we overtook them suddenly ere they could perceive.- Had the people of the town but believed and feared, we would have opened up for them blessings from the heavens and from the earth; but they said it was a lie, so we overtook them for that which they had earned. Were the people of these cities then secure that our violence would not come on them by night, while they slept? were the people of these cities secure that our violence would not come on them in the morning whilst they played? were they secure from the craft of God.? none feel secure from the craft of God except a people that shall lose.

Is it not shown to those who inherit the earth after its (former) people, that, did we please, we would smite them in their sins, and would set a stamp upon their hearts, and then they should not hear? These cities, we do relate to thee their stories. There came to them our apostles with manifest signs; but they did not at all believe in what they called a lie before.- Thus doth God set a stamp upon the hearts of those who misbelieve.

Nor did we find in most of them a covenant; but we did find most of them workers of abomination.

Then we raised up after them Moses with our signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs; but they dealt unjustly therewith, and see what was the end of the evildoers!

Moses said, ‘O Pharaoh! verily, I am an apostle from the Lord of the worlds; it is not right for me to speak against God aught but the truth. I have come to you with a manifest sign from my Lord; send then the children of Israel with me.’ Said he, ‘If thou hast come with a sign, then bring it, if thou art of those who speak the truth.’ Then he threw his rod down, and lo! it was an obvious snake; and he drew out his hand, and lo! it was white to the beholders. Said the chiefs of Pharaoh’s people, ‘Verily, this is surely a knowing magician; he desires to turn you out of your land;- What is it then ye bid? They said, ‘Give him and his brother some hope; and send into the cities to collect and bring you every knowing magician.’ And the magician came to Pharaoh and said, ‘Is there indeed a reward for us if we are conquerors? He said, ‘Yea! and ye shall be of those who draw nigh unto me.’ They said, ‘O Moses! wilt thou cast down (thy rod) or shall we be (first) to throw?’ Said he, ‘Throw down;’ and when they threw down, they did enchant the people’s eyes, and made them dread, and brought a mighty magic. But we inspired Moses (saying), ‘Throw down thy rod, and it will gulp down that which they devise;’ and the truth stood fast, and vain was that which they had done; and they were conquered there, and turned back feeling small! and the magicians threw themselves down adoring. Said. they, ‘We believe in the Lord of the worlds, the Lord of Moses and Aaron! Said Pharaoh, ‘Do ye believe in him ere I give you leave? This is craft which ye have devised in the land, to turn its people out therefrom, but soon shall ye know! I will cut off your hands and your feet from opposite sides, then I will crucify you altogether!’ They said, ‘Verily, we unto our Lord return! nor dost thou take vengeance on us, save for that we believe in the signs of our Lord, when they come to us. ‘O our Lord! pour out upon us patience, and take us to Thyself resigned.’ And the chiefs of Pharaoh’s people said, ‘Will ye leave Moses and his people to do evil in the land, and to leave thee and thy gods?’ Said he, ‘We will have their sons slain and their women we will let live, for, verily, we are triumphant over them.’ Said Moses unto his people, ‘Ask for aid from God and be patient; verily, the earth is God’s! He gives it for an inheritance to whom He pleases of His servants, and the future is for those who fear.’ They said, ‘We have been hurt before thou didst come to us, and since thou hast come to us.’ Said he, ‘It may be that your Lord will destroy your foe, and will make you succeed him in the earth; and He will see how ye act.’

We had overtaken Pharaoh’s people with the years (of dearth) and scarcity of fruits, that haply they might remember; but when there came to them a ‘good thing they said, ‘This is ours;’ and if there befel them an evil, they took the augury from Moses and those with him;- is not their augury only in God’s hands?- but most of them know not.

And they said, ‘Whatever thou dost bring us as a sign to enchant us therewith, yet will we not believe in thee.’

Then we sent upon them the flood and the locusts and the lice and the frogs and the blood,- signs detailed; but they were big with pride and were a people who did sin.

And when there fell upon them the plague, they said, ‘O Moses! call upon thy Lord for us, as He has covenanted with thee; verily, if thou dost remove the plague from us, we will believe in thee; and we will assuredly send with thee the children of Israel.’ But when we removed from them the plague until the appointed time which they should reach, lo! then they broke their promise. But we took vengeance on them, and we drowned them in the sea, for that they said our signs were lies and were careless thereof. And we gave as an inheritance unto the people who had been weak, the eastern quarters of the earth and the western quarters thereof, which we had blest; and the good word of thy Lord was fulfilled on the children of Israel, for that they were patient; and we destroyed that which Pharaoh and his people had made and that which they had piled. And with the children of Israel we passed across the sea; and they came unto a people devoted to their idols, and said, ‘O Moses! make for us a god as they have gods.’ Said he, ‘Verily, ye are ignorant people.’ Verily, these- destroyed shall be that which they are given to; and vain is that which they have done.

He said, ‘Other than God then do ye crave for a god, when He has preferred you above the worlds?’

And when we saved you from Pharaoh’s people who wrought you evil woe, killing your sons, and letting your women live; and in that was a mighty trial from your Lord.

And we appointed for Moses thirty nights, and completed them with ten (more), so that the time appointed by his Lord was completed to forty nights. And Moses said unto his brother Aaron, ‘Be thou my vicegerent amongst my people, and do what is right, and follow not the path of the evildoers.’

And when Moses came to our appointment, and his Lord spake unto him, he said, ‘O my Lord! show me,- that I may look on thee!’ He said, ‘Thou canst not see me; but look upon the mountain, and if it remain steady in its place, thou shalt see me;’ but when his Lord appeared unto the mountain He made it dust, and Moses fell down in a swoon! And when he came to himself, he said, ‘Celebrated be thy praise! I turn repentant unto Thee, and I am the first of those who are resigned.’

He said, ‘O Moses! verily, I have chosen thee over the people with my messages and my words, take then what I have brought thee, and be of those who thank.’ And we wrote for him upon tablets an admonition concerning everything, and a detailing of everything: ‘Take them then with firmness, and bid thy people take them for what is best thereof. I will show you the abode of those who work abominations; I will turn from my signs those who are big with pride in the earth without right; and if they see every sign they shall not believe therein, and if they see the path of rectitude they shall not take it for a path; but if they see the path of error they shall take it for a path;- that is because they have said our signs are lies and have been careless of them.’

But those who say our signs and the meeting of the last day are lies,- vain are their works: shall they be rewarded save for that which they have done?

And Moses’ people after him took to themselves of their ornaments a corporeal calf that lowed; did they not see that it could not speak with them, nor could it guide them in the path? They took it and they were unjust; but when they bit their hands with fruitless rage and saw that they had gone astray, they said, ‘Verily, if our Lord have not compassion on us and forgive us we shall surely be of those who lose!’

And when Moses returned unto his people angry and grieved, he said, Evil is it that ye have done after me! Would ye hasten on the bidding of your Lord?’ and he threw down the tablets and took his brother by the head to drag him towards him, but he said, ‘O son of my mother! verily, the people weakened me and well-nigh killed me; make not then mine enemies glad about me, and put me not with the unjust people.’ He said, ‘O Lord! pardon me and my brother, and let us enter into Thy mercy; for Thou art the most merciful of the merciful. Verily, these have taken to themselves a calf; there shall reach them wrath from their Lord, and abasement in the life of this world; for thus do we reward those who forge a lie. But those who have done bad works, and then turn again after them and believe,- verily, thy Lord, after that, is forgiving and merciful.’ And when Moses’ wrath calmed down he took the tables, in the inscription of which was guidance and mercy for those who dread their Lord.

And Moses chose from his people seventy men for our appointment; and when the earthquake took them he said, ‘O my Lord! hadst Thou willed, Thou hadst destroyed them before and me. Wilt Thou destroy us for what the fools amongst us have done? This is naught but Thy trial, wherewith Thou dost lead astray whom Thou pleasest and guidest whom Thou pleasest; Thou art our patron! forgive us and have mercy on us, for Thou art the best of those who do forgive! And write down for us in this world good, and in the future too; verily, we are guided unto Thee.’ He said, ‘My punishment- with it I fall on whom I will; and my mercy embraceth everything; and I will write it down for those who fear, and who give alms, and those who in our signs believe,- who follow the Apostle- the illiterate prophet, whom they find written down with them in the law and the gospel, bidding them what is reasonable and forbidding them what is wrong, and making lawful for them what is good, and making unlawful evil things; and setting down for them their burdens and the yokes which were upon them;- to those who believe in him and aid him and help him and follow the law which has been sent down with him- they shall be the prosperous.’

Say, ‘O ye folk! verily, I am the Apostle of God unto you all,’-of Him whose is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, there is no god but He! He quickens and He kills! believe then in God and His Apostle, the illiterate prophet,- who believes in God and in His words- then follow him that haply ye may be guided. Amongst Moses’ people is a nation guided in truth, and thereby act they justly.

And we cut them up into twelve tribes, each a nation; and we revealed unto Moses, when his people asked him for drink, ‘Strike with thy staff the rock!’ and there gushed forth from it twelve springs, each folk knew their drinking place. And we overshadowed them with the cloud; and sent down upon them the manna and the quails, ‘Eat of the good things we have provided you with!’- Yet they did not wrong us, but it was themselves they wronged.

And when it was said unto them, ‘Dwell in this city and eat therefrom as ye will, and say ‘hittatun and enter the gate adoring; so will we pardon you your sins;- we will increase those who do well.’ But those amongst them who did wrong changed it for another word than which was said to them; and we sent upon them a plague from heaven for that they were unjust.

Ask them too about the city which stood by the sea, when they transgressed upon the Sabbath; when their fish came to them on the Sabbath day sailing straight up to them; but on the days when they kept not the Sabbath, they came not to them, thus did we try them for the abominations that they wrought.

And when a nation from amongst them said, ‘Why do ye warn a people whom God would destroy, or punish with severe torment?’ they said, ‘As an excuse to your Lord, that haply they may fear.’ But when they forgot what they had been reminded of, we saved those who forbade evil, but we overtook those who did wrong with punishment;- evil was the abomination that they did, but when they rebelled against what they were forbidden, we said to them, ‘Become ye apes, despised and spurned!’ and then thy Lord proclaimed that He would surely send against them till the resurrection day, those who should wreak them evil torment; verily, thy Lord is quick at following up, but, verily, He is forgiving, merciful.

We cut them up in the earth into nations. Of them are the righteous, and of them are the reverse of that; we have tried them with good things and with bad things; haply they may return. But there succeeded them successors who inherited the Book! They take the goods of this lower world and say, ‘It will be forgiven us.’ But if the like goods came to them they would take them too! Was there not taken from them a covenant by the Book, that they should not say against God aught but the truth? Yet they study therein! But the abode of the future life is better for those who fear- do ye not then understand? But those who hold fast by the Book and are steadfast in prayer- verily, we will not waste the hire of those who do right. And when we shook the mountain over them, as though it were a shadow, and they thought it would fall upon them (saying), ‘Take ye what we have given you with firmness, and remember what is therein; haply ye may fear.’

And when thy Lord took from the children of Adam out of their loins their seed, and made them bear witness against themselves, ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yea! we do bear witness’- lest ye should say on the day of resurrection, ‘Verily, for this we did not care;’ or say, Verily, our fathers associated others with God before us, and we were but their seed after them: wilt Thou then destroy us for what vaindoers did?’- Thus do we detail the signs; haply they may return.

Read to them the declaration of him to whom we brought our signs, and who stepped away therefrom, and Satan followed him, and he was of those who were beguiled. Had we pleased we would have exalted him thereby, but he crouched upon the earth and followed his lust, and his likeness was as the likeness of a dog, whom if thou shouldst attack he hangs out his tongue, or if thou should leave him, hangs out his tongue too. That is the likeness of the people who say our signs are lies. Tell them then these tales- haply they may reflect. Evil is the likeness of a people who say our signs are lies; themselves it is they wrong!

We have created for hell many of the ginn and of mankind; they have hearts and they discern not therewith; they have eyes and they see not therewith; they have ears and they hear not therewith; they are like cattle, nay, they go more astray! these it is who care not. But God’s are the good names; call on Him then thereby, and leave those who pervert His names; they shall be rewarded for that which they have done.

And of those whom we have created is a nation who are guided in truth and thereby act with equity; but they who say our signs are lies, we will bring them down by degrees from whence they know not. I will let them range;- verily, my stratagem is efficacious! Do they not then reflect that their companion is not possessed? he is but an obvious warner! Do they not behold the kingdoms of the heavens and of the earth, and what things God has created, and (see that), it may be, their time is already drawing nigh? in what relation then will they believe? He whom God leads astray there is no guide for him! He leaves them in their rebellion, blindly wandering on. They will ask you about the Hour, for what time it is fixed?- say, ‘The knowledge thereof is only with my Lord; none shall manifest it at its time but He; it is heavy in the heavens and the earth, it will not come to you save on a sudden.’

They will ask as though thou wert privy to it, say,’ knowledge thereof is only with God,’- but most folk do not know. Say, ‘I cannot control profit or harm for myself, save what God will. If I knew the unseen I should surely have much that is good, nor would evil touch me; I am but a warner and a herald of good tidings unto a people who believe.’

He it is who created you from one soul, and made therefrom its mate to dwell therewith; and when he covered her she bore a light burden and went about therewith; but when it grew heavy they called on God, Lord of them both, ‘Surely if thou givest us a rightly-shaped child we shall of a surety be of those who thank.’ And when He gave them both a rightly-shaped child they joined partners with Him for that which He had given them, but exalted be God above that which they associate with Him. Will they associate with Him those cannot create aught, but are themselves created, which have no power to help them, and cannot even help themselves?

But if ye call them unto guidance they will not follow you. It is the same to them if Thou dost call them or if Thou dost hold thy tongue.

Those whom ye call on other than God are servants like yourselves. Call on them then, and let them answer you, if so be ye tell the truth! Have they feet to walk with? or have they hands to hold with? or have they eyes to see with? or have they ears to hear with? Call upon your partners; then plot against me, and do not wait. Verily, my patron is God, who hath sent down the Book, and He is the patron of the righteous. But those whom ye call on beside Him cannot help you, nor can they even help themselves. But if ye call them unto the guidance they will not hear, thou mayest see them looking towards thee, yet they do not see. Take to pardon, and order what is kind, and shun the ignorant; and if an incitement from the devil incites you, then seek refuge in God: verily, He both hears and knows. Verily, those who fear God, if a wraith from the devil touch, mention Him, and lo! they see.

And their brethren he shall increase in error, then they shall not desist.

Shouldst Thou not bring them a sign they say, ‘Hast Thou not yet made choice of one? Say, ‘I only follow what is inspired to me by my Lord. These are perceptions from my Lord, and a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe.’

And when the Koran is read, then listen thereto and keep silence; haply ye may obtain mercy.

And remember thy Lord within thyself humbly and with fear, not openly in words, in the morning and in the evening; and be not of those who do not care. Verily, they who are with my Lord are not too big with pride for His service, but they do celebrate His praise, and Him they do adore.

Next: 8. al-Anfal: The Spoils Of War