Page images


he who dwelleth in heaven will not send against you an impetuous whirlwind, driving the sands to overwhelm you? then shall ye know how important my warning was. also who were before you disbelieved; and how grievous was my displeasure! Do they not behold the birds above them, extending and drawing back their wings? None sustaineth them, except the Merciful; for he regardeth all things. Or who is he that will be as an army unto you, to defend you against the Merciful? Verily the unbelievers are in no other than a mistake. Or who is he that will give you food, if he withholdeth his provision? yet they persist in perverseness, and flying from the truth. Is he, therefore, who goeth grovelling upon his face, better directed than he who walketh upright in a straight way? Say, It is he who hath given you being, and endued you with hearing, and sight, and understanding; yet how little gratitude have ye! Say, It is he who hath sown you in the earth, and unto him shall ye be gathered together. They say, When shall this menace be put in execution, if ye speak truth? Answer, The knowledge of this matter is with GOD alone: for I am only a public warner. But when they shall see the same nigh at hand, the countenance of the infidels shall grow sad and it shall be said unto them, This is what ye have been demanding. Say, What think ye? Whether GOD destroy me and those who are with me, or have mercy on us; who will protect the unbelievers from a painful punishment? Say, He is the Merciful; in him do we believe, and in him do we put our trust. Ye shall hereafter know who is in a manifest error. Say, What think ye? If your water be in the morning swallowed up by the earth, who will give you clear and running water?




N. By the pen, and what they write, thou, O Mohammed, through the grace of thy LORD, art not distracted. Verily there is prepared for thee an everlasting reward: for thou art of a noble disposition. Thou shalt see, and the infidels shall see, which of you are bereaved of your senses. Verily thy LORD well knoweth him who wandereth from his path; and he well knoweth those who are rightly directed: wherefore obey not those who charge thee with imposture. They desire that thou shouldest be easy with them, and they will be easy with thee. But obey not any who is a common swearer, a despicable fellow, a defamer, going about with slander, who forbiddeth that which is good, who is also a transgressor, a wicked person, cruel, and besides this, of spurious birth; although he be possessed of wealth and many children: when our signs are rehearsed unto him, he saith, They are fables of the ancients. We will stigmatize him on the nose. Verily we have tried the Meccans, as we formerly tried the owners of the garden; when they swore that they would gather the fruit thereof in the morning, and added not the exception, if it please God: wherefore a surrounding destruction from thy LORD encompassed it, while they slept; and in the morning it became like a garden whose fruits had been gathered. And they called the one to the other as they rose in the morning, saying, Go out early to your plantation, if ye intend to gather the fruit thereof: so they went on, whispering to one another, No poor man shall enter the garden upon you, this day. And they went forth early, with a determined purpose. And when they saw the garden blasted and destroyed, they said, We have certainly mistaken our way: but when they found it to be their own garden, they cried, Verily we are not permitted to reap the fruit thereof. The worthier of them said, Did I not say unto you, Will ye not give praise unto GOD? They answered, Praise be unto our LORD! Verily we have been unjust doers. And they began to blame one

another, and they said, Woe be unto us! verily we have been transgressors: peradventure our LORD will give us in exchange a better garden than this: and we earnestly beseech our LORD to pardon us. Thus is the chastisement of this life but the chastisement of the next shall be more grievous: if they had known it, they would have taken heed. Verily for the pious are prepared, with their LORD, gardens of delight. Shall we deal with the Moslems, as with the wicked? What aileth you that ye judge thus? Have ye a book from heaven, wherein ye read that ye are therein promised that which ye shall choose? Or have ye received oaths which shall be binding upon us to the day of resurrection, that ye shall enjoy what ye imagine? Ask them, which of them will be the voucher of this. Or have they companions who will vouch for them? Let them produce their companions, therefore, if they speak truth. On a certain day the leg shall be made bare; and they shall be called upon to worship, but they shall not be able. Their looks shall be cast down ignominy shall attend them; for that they were invited to the worship of God, while they were in safety, but would not hear. Let me alone, therefore, with him who accuseth this new revelation of imposture. We will lead them gradually to destruction, by ways which they know not: and I will bear with them for a long time; for my stratagem is effectual. Dost thou ask them any reward for thy preaching? But they are laden with debts. Are the secrets of futurity with them; and do they transcribe the same from the table of God's decrees? Wherefore patiently wait the judgment of thy LORD: and be not like him who was swallowed by the fish; when he cried unto God, being inwardly vexed. Had not grace from his LORD reached him, he had surely been cast forth on the naked shore, covered with shame: but his LORD chose him, and made him one of the righteous. It wanteth little but that the unbelievers strike thee down with their malicious looks, when they hear the admonition of the Koran; and they say, He is certainly distracted: but it is no other than an admonition unto all creatures.




THE infallible! What is the infallible? And what shall cause thee to understand what the infallible is? The tribes of Thamud and Ad denied as a falsehood the day which shall strike men's hearts with terror. But Thamud were destroyed by a terrible noise: and Ad were destroyed by a roaring and furious wind; which God caused to assail them for seven nights and eight days successively: thou mightest have seen people during the same, lying prostrate, as though they had been the roots of hollow palm-trees; and couldest thou have seen any of them remaining? Pharaoh also, and those who were before him, and the cities which were overthrown, were guilty of sin and they severally were disobedient to the apostle of their LORD; wherefore he chastised them with an abundant chastisement. When the water of the deluge arose, we carried you in the ark which swam thereon; that we might make the same a memorial unto you, and the retaining ear might retain it. And when one blast shall sound the trumpet, and the earth shall be moved from its place, and the mountains also, and shall be dashed in pieces at one stroke on that day the inevitable hour of judgment shall suddenly come; and the heavens shall cleave in sunder, and shall fall in pieces, on that day: and the angels shall be on the sides thereof; and eight shall bear the throne of thy LORD above them, on that day. On that day ye shall be presented before the judgment-seat of God; and none of your secret actions shall be hidden. And he who shall have his book delivered into his right hand shall say, Take ye, read this my book; verily I thought that I should be brought to this my account: he shall lead a pleasing life, in a lofty garden, the fruits whereof shall be near to gather. Eat and drink with easy digestion; because of the good works which ye sent before you, in the days which are past. But he who shall have his book delivered into his left hand shall say, Oh that I had not received this book; and that I had not known

what this my account was! Oh that death had made an end of me! My riches have not profited me; and my power is passed from me. And God shall say to the keepers of hell, Take him, and bind him, and cast him into hell to be burned: then put him into a chain of the length of seventy cubits: because he believed not in the great GOD; and was not solicitous to feed the poor: wherefore this day he shall have no friend here; nor any food, but the filthy corruption flowing from the bodies of the damned, which none shall eat but the sinners. I swear by that which ye see, and that which ye see not, that this is the discourse of an honorable apostle and not the discourse of a poet: how little do ye believe! Neither is it the discourse of a soothsayer: how little are ye admonished! It is a revelation from the LORD of all creatures. If Mohammed had forged any part of these discourses concerning us, verily we had taken him by the right hand, and had cut in sunder the vein of his heart; neither would we have withheld any of you from chastising him. And verily this book is an admonition unto the pious; and we well know that there are some of you who charge the same with imposture: but it shall surely be an occasion of grievous sighing unto the infidels; for it is the truth of a certainty. Wherefore praise the name of thy LORD, the great God.





ONE demanded and called for vengeance to fall on the unbelievers there shall be none to avert the same from being inflicted by GOD, the possessor of the steps: by which the angels ascend unto him, and the spirit Gabriel also, in a day whose space is fifty thousand years: wherefore bear the insults of the Meccans with becoming patience; for they see their punishment afar off, but we see it nigh at hand. On a certain day the heaven shall become like molten brass, and

« PreviousContinue »