The Koran Part 116
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And when some of them said, why warn ye those whom G.o.d would destroy or chastise with terrible chastis.e.m.e.nt? they said, For our own excuse with your Lord; and that they may fear Him.
And when they forgot their warnings, we delivered those who had forbidden evil; and we inflicted a severe chastis.e.m.e.nt on those who had done wrong, for that they were evil doers.
But when they proudly persisted in that which was forbidden, we said to them, "Become scouted apes;" and then thy Lord declared that until the day of the resurrection, he would surely send against them39 (the Jews) those who should evil entreat and chastise them: for prompt is thy Lord to punish; and He is Forgiving, Merciful.
And we have divided them upon the Earth as peoples: some of them are upright and some are otherwise; and by good things and by evil things have we proved them, to the intent that they might return to us.
And they have had successors to succeed them: they have inherited the Book: they have received the pa.s.sing good things of this lower world,40 and say, "It will be forgiven us." Yet if the like good things came to them again, they would again receive them. But hath there not been received on their part a covenant through the Scripture that they should speak nought of G.o.d but the truth? And yet they study its contents. But the mansion of the next world hath more value for those who fear G.o.d-Do ye not then comprehend?-
And who hold fast the Book, and observe prayer: verily, we will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish.
And when we shook the mount41 over them as if it had been a shadow, and they thought it falling upon them, ... "Receive, said we, with steadfastness what we have brought you, and remember what is therein to the end that ye may fear G.o.d."
And when thy Lord brought forth their descendants from the reins of the sons of Adam and took them to witness against themselves, "Am I not," said He, "your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we witness it." This we did, lest ye should say on the day of Resurrection, "Truly, of this were we heedless, because uninformed;"
Or lest ye should say, "Our fathers, indeed, aforetime joined other G.o.ds with our G.o.d, and we are their seed after them: wilt thou destroy us for the doings of vain men?"
Thus make we our signs clear: that haply they may return to G.o.d.
Recite to them42 the history of him43 to whom we vouchsafed our signs, and who departed from them, so that Satan followed him, and he became one of the seduced.
Had we pleased, we had certainly thereby exalted him; but he crouched to the earth and followed his own l.u.s.t: his likeness, therefore, is as that of the dog which lolls out his tongue, whether thou chase him away, or leave him alone! Such is the likeness of those who treat our signs as lies. Tell them this tale then, that they may consider.
Evil the likeness of those who treat our signs as lies! and it is themselves they injure.
He whom G.o.d guideth is the guided, and they whom he misleadeth shall be the lost.
Many, moreover, of the Djinn and men have we created for h.e.l.l. Hearts have they with which they understand not, and eyes have they with which they see not, and ears have they with which they hearken not. They are like the brutes: Yea, they go more astray: these are the heedless.
Most excellent t.i.tles hath G.o.d:44 by these call ye on Him, and stand aloof from those who pervert45 his t.i.tles. For what they have done shall they be repaid!
And among those whom we have created are a people who guide others with truth, and in accordance therewith act justly.
But as for those who treat our signs as lies, we will gradually bring them down by means of which they know not:
And though I lengthen their days, verily, my stratagem shall prove effectual.
Will they not bethink them that their companion Muhammad is not djinn- possessed? Yes, his office is only that of plain warner.
Will they not look forth on the realms of the Heaven and of the Earth, and on all things which G.o.d hath made, to see whether haply their end be not drawing on? And in what other book will they believe46 who reject the Koran?
No other guide for him whom G.o.d shall mislead! He will leave them distraught in their wanderings.
They will ask thee of the Hour-for what time is its coming fixed? SAY: The knowledge of it is only with my Lord: none shall manifest it in its time but He: it is the burden47 of the Heavens and of the Earth: not otherwise than on a sudden will it come on you.48
They will ask thee as if thou wast privy to it: SAY: The knowledge of it is with none but G.o.d. But most men know not this.
SAY: I have no control over what may be helpful or hurtful to me, but as G.o.d willeth. Had I the knowledge of his secrets, I should revel in the good, and evil should not touch me. But I am only a warner, and an announcer of good tidings to those who believe.
He it is who hath created you from a single person, and from him brought forth his wife that he might dwell with her: and when he had known her, she bore a light burden, and went about with it; and when it became heavy, they both cried to G.o.d their Lord, "If thou give us a perfect child we will surely be of the thankful."
Yet when G.o.d had given them a perfect child,49 they50 joined partners with Him in return for what he had given them. But high is G.o.d above the partners they joined with Him!
What! Will they join those with Him who cannot create anything, and are themselves created, and have no power to help them, or to help themselves?
And if ye summon them to "the guidance," they will not follow you! It is the same to them whether ye summon them or whether ye hold your peace!
Truly they whom ye call on beside G.o.d, are, like yourselves, His servants!
Call on them then, and let them answer you, if what ye say of them be true!
Have they feet to walk with? Have they hands to hold with? Have they eyes to see with? Have they ears to hear with? SAY: Call on these joint G.o.ds of yours; then make your plot against me, and delay it not.
Verily, my Lord is G.o.d, who hath sent down "the Book;" and He is the protector of the righteous.
But they whom ye call on beside Him, can lend you no help, nor can they help themselves:
And if ye summon them to "the guidance," they hear you not: thou seest them look towards thee, but they do not see!
Make the best of things;51 and enjoin what is just, and withdraw from the ignorant:
And if stirrings to evil from Satan stir thee, fly thou for refuge to G.o.d: He verily heareth, knoweth!
Verily, they who fear G.o.d, when some phantom from Satan toucheth them, remember Him, and lo! they see clearly.
Their Brethren52 will only continue them in error, and cannot preserve themselves from it.
And when thou bringest not a verse (sign) of the Koran to them, they say, "Hast thou not yet patched it up?53 SAY: I only follow my Lord's utterances to me. This is a clear proof on the part of your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy for those who believe.
And when the Koran is read, then listen ye to it and keep silence, that haply ye may obtain mercy.
And think within thine own self on G.o.d, with lowliness and with fear and without loud spoken words, at even and at morn; and be not one of the heedless.
Verily they who are round about thy Lord disdain not His service. They praise Him and prostrate themselves before Him.
1 The initial letters, it has been conjectured, of (Amara li Muhammad sahdiq), thus spake to me Muhammad the truthful. But see Sura 1xviii. p. 32.
The first part of this Sura was perhaps revealed when the Arabians were a.s.sembled at the Pilgrimage. See verse 29.
2 A figure of frequent occurence in the Talmud. See Tr. Rosh. Haschana, 17a.
3 Comp. Sura xx. 118, p. 101.
4 Gen. iii. 15.
5 Lit. towards each Mosque, i.e. towards the kibla of each Mosque. The word mosque, mesjid, however, is usually applied only to that of Mecca. The common term in use for larger places of wors.h.i.+p is djami, a word unknown, in that sense, to the Koran.
6 For full information as to the clothing of the ancient Arabians see Freyt.
The Koran Part 116
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The Koran Part 116 summary
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