Page images

priests and their monks for their lords, besides GOD, and Christ the son of Mary; although they are commanded to worship one GOD only: there is no GOD but he; far be that from him which they associate with him! They seek to extinguish the light of GOD with their mouths; but GOD willeth no other than to perfect his light, although the infidels be averse thereto. It is he who hath sent his apostle with the direction, and true religion: that he may cause it to appear superior to every other religion; although the idolaters be averse thereto. O true believers, verily many of the priest. and monks devour the substance of men in vanity, and ob struct the way of GOD. But unto those who treasure up gold and silver, and employ it not for the advancement of GOD's true religion, denounce a grievous punishment. On the day of judgment their treasures shall be intensely heated in the fire of hell, and their foreheads, and their sides, and their backs shall be stigmatized therewith; and their tormentors shall say, This is what ye have treasured up for your souls; taste therefore that which ye have treasured up. Moreover, the complete number of months with GOD, is twelve months, which were ordained in the book of GOD, on the day whereon he created the heavens and the earth: of these, four are sacred. This is the right religion: therefore deal not unjustly with yourselves therein. But attack the idolaters in all the months, as they attack you in all; and know that GOD is with those who fear him. Verily the transferring of a sacred month to another month, is an additional infidelity. The unbelievers are led into an error thereby they allow a month to be violated one year, and declare it sacred another year, that they may agree in the number of months which GOD hath commanded to be kept sacred; and they allow that which GOD hath forbidden. The evil of their actions hath been prepared for them: for GOD directeth not the unbelieving people. O true believers, what ailed you, that when it was said unto you, Go forth to fight for the religion of GOD, ye inclined heavily towards the earth? Do ye prefer the present life to that which is to come? But the provision of this life, in respect of that which is to come, is but slender. Unless ye go forth when ye are summoned to war, God will punish you with a grievous punishment; and he will place another people in your stead, and ye shall not hurt him at all; for GOD is almighty. If ye assist not the prophet, verily

GOD will assist him, as he assisted him formerly, when the unbelievers drove him out of Mecca, the second of two when they were both in the cave: when he said unto his companion, Be not grieved, for GOD is with us. And GOD sent down his security upon him, and strengthened him with armies of angels, whom ye saw not. And he made the word

of those who believed not to be abased, and the word of GOD was exalted: for GOD is mighty and wise. Go forth to battle, both light and heavy, and employ your substance and your persons for the advancement of GOD's religion. This will be better for you, if ye know it. If it had been a near advantage, and a moderate journey, they had surely followed thee; but the way seemed tedious unto them: and yet they will swear by GOD, saying, If we had been able, we had surely gone forth with you. They destroy their own souls; for GOD knoweth that they are liars. GOD forgive thee! why didst thou give them leave to stay at home, until they who speak the truth, when they excuse themselves, had become manifested unto thee, and thou hadst known the liars? They ...who believe in GOD and the last day, will not ask leave of thee to be excused from employing their substance and their persons for the advancement of GOD's true religion; and GOD knoweth those who fear him. Verily they only will ask leave of thee to stay behind, who believe not in GOD and the last day, and whose hearts doubt concerning the faith: wherefore they are tossed to and fro in their doubting. If they had been willing to go forth with thee, they had certainly prepared for that purpose a provision of arms and necessaries: but GOD was averse to their going forth; wherefore he rendered them slothful, and it was said unto them, Sit ye still with those who sit still. If they had gone forth with you, they had only been a burden unto you, and had run to and fro between you, stirring you up to sedition; and there would have been some among you, who would have given ear unto them and GOD knoweth the wicked. They formerly sought to raise a sedition, and they disturbed thy affairs, until the truth came, and the decree of GOD was made manifest; although they were adverse thereto. There is of them who saith unto thee, Give me leave to stay behind, and expose me not to temptation. Have they not fallen into temptation at home? But hell will surely encompass the unbelievers. If good happen unto thee, it grieveth them: but if a mis


fortune befall thee, they say, We ordered our business before and they turn their backs, and rejoice at thy mishap. Say, Nothing shall befall us, but what GOD hath decreed for us; he is our patron; and on GOD let the faithful trust. Say, Do ye expect any other should befall us, than one of the two most excellent things; either victory or martyrdom? But we expect concerning you, that GOD inflict a punishment on you, either from himself, or by our hands. Wait, therefore, to see what will be the end of both; for we will wait for you. Say, Expend your money in pious uses, either voluntarily, or by constraint, it shall not be accepted of you; because ye are wicked people. And nothing hindereth their contributions from being accepted of them, but that they believe not in GOD and his apostle, and perform not the duty of prayer, otherwise than sluggishly; and expend not their money for God's service, otherwise than unwillingly. Let not therefore their riches, or their children cause thee to marvel. Verily GOD intendeth only to punish them by these things in this world; and that their souls may depart while they are unbelievers. They swear by GOD that they are of you; yet they are not you, but are people who stand in fear. If they find a place of refuge, or caves, or a retreating hole, they surely turn towards the same, and in a headstrong manner, haste thereto. There is of them also who spreadeth ill reports of thee, in relation to thy distribution of the alms: yet if they receive part thereof, they are well pleased; but if they receive not a part thereof, behold, they are angry. But if they had been pleased with that which GOD and his apostle had given them, and had said, GOD is our support; GOD will give unto us of his abundance, and his prophet also; verily unto God do we make our supplications: it would have been more decent. Alms are to be distributed only unto the poor, and the needy, and those who are employed in collecting and distributing the same, and unto those whose hearts are reconciled, and for the redemption of captives, and unto those who are in debt and insolvent, and for the advancement of GOD's religion, and unto the traveller. This is an ordinance from GOD: and GOD is knowing and wise. There are some of them who injure the prophet, and say, He is an ear. Answer, He is an ear of good unto you, he believeth in GOD, and giveth credit to the faithful, and is a mercy unto such of you who believe. But they who injure the apostle of GOD, shall suffer a pain

ful punishment. They swear unto you by GOD, that they may please you; but it is more just that they should please GOD and his apostle, if they are true believers. Do they not know that he who opposeth GOD and his apostle, shall without doubt be punished with the fire of hell; and shall remain therein forever? This will be great ignominy. The hypocrites are apprehensive lest a Sura should be revealed concerning them, to declare unto them that which is in their hearts. Say unto them, Scoff ye; but GOD will surely bring to light that which ye fear should be discovered. And if thou ask them the reason of this scoffing, they say, Verily we were only engaged in discourse; and jesting among ourselves. Say, Do ye scoff at GOD and his signs, and at his apostle? offer not an excuse: now are ye become infidels, after your faith. If we forgive a part of you, we will punish a part, for that they have been wicked doers. Hypocritical men and women are the one of them of the other: they command that which is evil, and forbid that which is just, and shut their hands from giving alms. They have forgotten GOD; wherefore he hath forgotten them: verily the hypocrites are those who act wickedly. GOD denounceth unto the hypocrites, both men and women, and to the unbelievers, the fire of hell; they shall remain therein forever: this will be their sufficient reward; GOD hath cursed them, and they shall endure a lasting torment. As they who have been before you, so are ye. They were superior to you in strength, and had more abundance of wealth and of children; and they enjoyed their portion in this world; and ye also enjoy your portion here, as they who have preceded you enjoyed their portion. And ye engage yourselves in vain discourses, like unto those wherein they engaged themselves. The works of these are vain both in this world and in that which is to come; and these are they who perish. Have they not been acquainted with the history of those who have been before them? of the people of Noah, and of Ad, and of Thamud, and of the people of Abraham, and of the inhabitants of Madian, and of the cities which were overthrown? Their apostles came unto them with evident demonstrations: and GOD was not disposed to treat them unjustly; but they dealt unjustly with their own souls. And the faithful men, and the faithful women, are friends one to another: they command that which is just, and they forbid that which is evil; and they are constant at prayer, and pay

their appointed alms; and they obey GOD and his apostle unto these will GOD be merciful; for he is mighty and wise, GOD promiseth unto the true believers, both men and women, gardens through which rivers flow, wherein they shall remain forever; and delicious dwellings in the gardens of perpetual abode but good-will from GOD shall be their most excellent reward. This will be great felicity. O prophet, wage war against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be severe unto them for their dwelling shall be hell; an unhappy journey shall it be thither! They swear by GOD that they said not what they are charged with: yet they spake the word of infidelity, and became unbelievers after they had embraced Islam. And they designed that which they could not effect; and they did not disapprove the design for any other reason than because GOD and his apostle had enriched them of his bounty. If they repent, it will be better for them; but if they relapse, GOD will punish them with a grievous torment, in this world and in the next; and they shall have no portion on earth, nor any protector. There are some of them who made a covenant with GOD, saying, Verily if he give us of his abundance, we will give alms, and become righteous people. Yet when they had given unto him of his abundance, they became covetous thereof, and turned back, and retired afar off. Wherefore he hath caused hypocrisy to succeed in their hearts, until the day whereon they shall meet him; for that they failed to perform unto GOD that which they had promised him, and for that they prevaricated. Do they not know that GOD knoweth whatever they conceal, and their private discourses; and that GOD is the knower of secrets? They who traduce such of the believers as are liberal in giving alms beyond what they are obliged, and those who find nothing to give, but what they gain by their industry; and therefore scoff at them: GOD shall scoff at them, and they shall suffer a grievous punishment. Ask 'forgiveness for them, or do not ask forgiveness for them; it will be equal. If thou ask forgiveness for them seventy times, GOD will by no means forgive them. This is the divine pleasure, for that they believe not in GOD, and his apostle; and GOD directeth not the ungodly people. They who were left at home in the expedition of Tabûc, were glad of their staying behind the apostle of GOD, and were unwilling to employ their substance and their persons for the advancement

« PreviousContinue »