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The Qur'ân, part I (Sacred Books of the East volume 6), Palmer edition [1880]; at

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(XI. Mecca.)

A. L. R. A book whose signs are confirmed and then detailed, from the wise one, the aware: that ye worship not other than God,--verily, I am to you from Him a warner and a herald of glad tidings; and that ye seek pardon from your Lord, then turn again to Him! He will cause you to enjoy a good provision to a named and appointed time, and will give His grace to every one deserving grace; but if ye turn your backs, I fear for you the torment of a great day.

Unto God is your return, and He is mighty over all.

[5] Do they not, verily, fold up their breasts, that they may hide from Him? But when they cover themselves with their garments, does He not know what they conceal and what they display? verily, He knows the nature of men's breasts!

There is no beast that walks upon the earth but its provision is from God. He knows its settlement and its resting-place; all is in the perspicuous Book.

He it is who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and His throne was upon the water 1 that He might try you, which of you did best.

[10] But shouldst thou say, 'Ye will be raised up after death,' those who misbelieve will surely say, 'This is naught but obvious sorcery;' and if we keep back from them the torment to a stated generation,

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they will surely say, 'What hinders it?'--Aye! on the day it comes to them there is no turning it away from them, but that shall close in on them at which they mocked.

And if we make man taste of mercy from us and then strip it off from him, verily, he is despairing, ungrateful; and if we make him taste of comfort after distress has touched him, he will surely say, 'The evils have gone away from me;' verily, then he is joyful and boasting. Save those who are patient and do right; these--for them is pardon and a mighty hire!

[15] Haply thou art leaving part of what is revealed to thee and thy breast is straitened thereby, lest they should say, 'Why is not a treasure sent down to him? or why did not an angel come with him?--thou art only a warner, and God is guardian over all.'

Or they will say, 'He hath devised it;' say, 'Bring ten sûrahs like it devised; and call upon whom ye can beside God, if ye do tell the truth!' And if they do not answer, then know that it is revealed by the knowledge of God, and that there is no god but He--are ye then resigned?

Whosoever shall wish for the life of this world and its ornaments, we will pay them their works therein, and they shall not be cheated. These are those for whom there is nothing in the hereafter save the Fire; and void is what they made therein, and vain what they were doing!

[20] Is he (like them) who stands upon a manifest sign from his Lord, which is a witness from Him, and recites it, with the book of Moses before him for a model and a mercy? These believe in it; and

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whosoever of the crews 1 disbelieves in him, the Fire is his promise.

Be not thou in doubt about it; verily, it is truth from thy Lord, though most men do not believe.

Who is more unjust than he who forges against God a lie? they shall be set before their Lord, and the witnesses shall say, 'These it is who lied against their Lord.' Aye! God's curse is on the unjust who turn men away from the path, and crave to make it crooked, and in the hereafter disbelieve! They cannot make Him helpless in the earth, nor have they other than God for patrons. Doubled for them is the torment. They could not hear, nor did they see! Those it is who lose themselves; and that which they did devise has strayed away from them. No doubt but that in the hereafter these are those who lose!

[25] Verily, those who believe and do what is right, and humble themselves to their Lord, they are the fellows of Paradise; they shall dwell therein for aye. The two parties' likeness is as the blind and the deaf, and the seeing and the hearing shall they two be equal in likeness? will ye not mind?

We did send Noah unto his people, 'Verily, I am to you an obvious warner; that ye should not worship any save God. Verily, I fear for you the torment of the grievous day. But the chiefs of those who misbelieved amongst his people said, 'We only see in thee a mortal like ourselves; nor do we see that any follow thee except the reprobates amongst us by a rash judgment; nor do we see that you have any preference over us; nay more,

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we think you liars!' [30] He said, 'O my people! let us see! if I stand upon a manifest sign from my Lord, and there come to me mercy from him, and ye are blinded to it; shall we force you to it while ye are averse therefrom?

'O my people! I do not ask you for wealth in return for it; my hire is only from God; nor do I repulse those who believe; verily, they shall meet their Lord. But I see you, a people who are ignorant. O my people! who will help me against God, were I to repulse you? do ye not then mind? I do not say that I have the treasures of God; nor do I know the unseen; nor do I say, "Verily, I am an angel;" nor do I say of those whom your eyes despise, "God will never give them any good!"--God knows best what is in their souls--verily, then should I be of the unjust.'

They said, 'O Noah! thou hast wrangled with us, and hast multiplied wranglings with us; bring us then what thou hast threatened us with, if thou art of those who tell the truth.' [35] Said he, 'God will only bring it on you if He pleases, nor can ye make Him helpless; nor will my advice profit you, should I wish to advise you, if God wish to lead you into error. He is your Lord, and unto Him shall ye be returned.'

Do they say, 'He has devised it 1?' Say, 'If I have devised it, then on me be my sin. But I am clear of that wherein ye sin.'

And Noah was inspired, 'None shall surely believe amongst thy people but those who have believed already; take not then ill that which they

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do. And make the ark under our eyes, and at our inspiration; and plead not with me for those who have done wrong; verily, they shall be drowned.

[40] So he made the ark, and every time the chiefs of his people passed by him they jested at him. Said he, If ye jest at us, verily, we shall jest at you even as ye are jesting, and ye shall surely know.

'He to whom a torment comes, it shall shame him, and there shall light upon him lasting torment.'

Until at length when our order came, and the oven boiled 1, we said, 'Load therein of every kind two, and likewise thy family,--save those on whom the sentence has already been passed--likewise those who believe;' but there believed not with him save a few. And he said, 'Ride ye therein; in the name of God is its course, and its mooring. Verily, my Lord is forgiving and merciful.'

And it floated on with them mid waves like mountains; and Noah cried to his son who had gone aside, 'O my boy! ride with us and be not with the misbelievers.' [45] Said he, 'I will betake me to a mountain that shall save me from the water.' Said he, 'There is none to save to-day from the command of God, except for him on whom He may have mercy.' And the wave came between them, and he was amongst the drowned 2.

And it was said, 'O earth! swallow down thy

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water!' and, 'O heaven! hold!' and the water abated; and the affair was decided, and it 1 settled on Gûdî 2, and it was said, 'Away with the people who are evildoers!'

And Noah went unto his Lord and said, 'My Lord, verily, my son is of my people, and, verily, Thy promise is true, and Thou art the justest of judges.' He said, 'O Noah! he is not of thy people; verily, it is a work that is not right. Then, ask me not for that of which thou knowest naught. Verily, I admonish thee that thou shouldst not be of the ignorant.' He said, 'My Lord, verily, I seek refuge in Thee from asking Thee for aught of which I know nothing; and, unless Thou dost forgive me and have mercy on me, I shall be of those who lose.'

[50] It was said, 'O Noah! descend in safety from us, and blessings upon thee and upon (some) nations of those who are with thee 3; but (some) nations we will allow to enjoy prosperity and then there shall touch them from us grievous woe.' These are stories of the unseen which we reveal to thee; thou didst not know them, thou nor thy people before this. Be patient, then; verily, the issue is for those who fear.

And unto ‘Âd (we sent) their brother Hûd; he said, 'O my people! serve God; ye have no god but Him. Ye do but devise a lie. O my people! I do not ask you for hire in return; my hire is

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only from Him who created me: have ye then no sense?

'O my people! ask pardon of your Lord; then turn to Him; He will send the skies down on you in torrents; [55] and He will add strength to your strength: do not then turn back sinners.'

'They said, 'O Hûd! thou hast not come to us with a manifest sign; nor will we leave our gods at thy word; nor will we believe in thee. We can only say that some of our gods have attacked thee with evil.' Said he, 'Verily, I call God to witness, and do ye bear witness too, that I am free from that which ye associate beside Him.

'Plot then against me altogether, and give me no delay. Verily, I rely upon God, my Lord and your Lord. There is no beast that walks, but He taketh it by its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the right way!

[60] 'But if ye turn your backs,--then I have conveyed to you what I was sent to you with; and my Lord will make another people your successors. Ye cannot harm Him at all; verily, my Lord is guardian over all!'

And when our order came we saved Hûd, and those who believed with him, by mercy from us; and we saved them from harsh torment. That (tribe of) ‘Âd denied the signs of their Lord, and rebelled against His apostles, and followed the bidding of every headstrong tyrant. They were followed in this world by a curse, and on the resurrection day--'Did not ‘Âd disbelieve their Lord? Aye! away with ‘Âd the people of Hûd!'

And unto Thamûd (we sent) their brother Zâli‘h; said he, 'O my people! worship God; ye have no

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god but Him. He it is that produced you from the earth, and made you live therein! Then ask pardon of Him; then turn again to Him: verily, my Lord is nigh and answers!'

[65] They said, 'O Zâli‘h! thou wert amongst us one we hoped in before this: dost thou forbid us to worship what our fathers worshipped? verily, we are in hesitating doubt as to that to which thou callest us.'

He said, 'O my people! let us see; if I stand upon a manifest sign from my Lord, and there come from Him mercy, who will help me against God if I rebel against Him? Ye will add only to my loss.

'O my people! this she-camel 1 of God is a sign for you; leave her, then, to feed in God's earth, and touch her not with evil, or there will catch you torment that is nigh.' But they did hamstring her, and he said, 'Enjoy yourselves in your houses for three days;--that is the promise that shall not be belied.'

And when our order came we saved Zâli‘h, and those who believed with him, by our mercy, from disgrace upon that day. Verily, thy Lord He is powerful and mighty.

[70] And the noise caught those who had done wrong; and on the morrow they were lying corpses in their houses, as though they had never dwelt therein. Did not Thamûd indeed disbelieve in their Lord? Aye! away with Thamûd!

Our messengers did come to Abraham with glad tidings; they said, 'Peace!' He said, 'Peace be

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it!' nor did he delay to bring the roasted calf. But when he saw that their hands reached not thereto, he could not understand them, and harboured fear of them. They said, 'Fear not. Verily, we are sent unto the people of Lot.' And his wife was standing by, laughing; and we gave her the glad tidings of Isaac, and of Jacob after Isaac. [75] Said she, 'Alas for me! shall I bear a son when I am an old woman, and this husband of mine an old man? Verily, this is a wonderful thing!' They said, 'Dost thou wonder at the bidding of God? God's mercy and blessings upon you, ye people of the house! Verily, He is to be praised and glorified.'

And when his terror left Abraham, and the glad tidings came to him, he wrangled with us about the people of Lot; verily, Abraham was clement, pitiful, relenting.

'O Abraham! avoid this; verily, the bidding of thy Lord has come; verily, there is coming to them torment that cannot be put off.'

[80] And when our messengers came to Lot, he was grieved for them; but his arm was straitened for them 1, and he said, 'This is a troublesome day!' And his people came to him, rushing at him, for before that they used to work evil. He said, 'O my people! here are my daughters, they are purer for you; then, fear God, and do not disgrace me through my guests;--is there not among you one right-thinking man?'

They said, 'Thou knowest that we have no claim on thy daughters; verily, thou knowest what we want!' He said, 'Had I but power over you; or

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could I but resort to some strong column 1. . . . !' (The angels) said, 'O Lot! verily, we are the messengers of thy Lord, they shall certainly not reach thee; then travel with thy people in the darkness of the night, and let none of you look round except thy wife: verily, there shall befall her what befalls them. Verily, their appointment is for the morning! and is not the morning nigh?'

And when our bidding came, we made their high parts their low parts 2. And we rained down upon them stones and baked clay 3 one after another, marked 4, from thy Lord, and these are not so far from the unjust 5!

[85] And unto Midian (we sent) their brother Sho’hâib 6. He said, 'O my people! serve God; ye have no god but Him, and give not short measure and weight. Verily, I see you well off; but, verily, I fear for you the torments of an encompassing day. O my people! give measure and weight fairly, and defraud not men of their things; and wreak not wrong in the earth, corrupting it. God's residue 7

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is better for you if ye be believers. But I am not a guardian over you.'

They said, 'O Sho’hâib! Do thy prayers bid thee that we should forsake what our fathers served, or that we should not do as we please with our wealth? Thou art, forsooth, the clement and straight-forward one!'

[90] He said, 'O my people! Do ye see? If I stand upon a manifest sign from my Lord, and He provides me from Himself with a goodly provision, and I consent not with you to that which I forbid you, I only wish to better you so far as I can,--nor comes my grace through any one but God; on Him do I rely, and unto Him I turn. O my people! let not a breach with me make you so sin that there befall you the like of that which befel the people of Noah, or the people of Hûd, or the people of Zâli‘h--nor are the people of Lot so far from you! Ask pardon, then, from your Lord, then turn to Him; verily, my Lord is merciful, loving!

They said, 'O Sho’hâib! we do not understand much of what thou sayest, and we see that thou art weak amongst us; and were it not for thy family we would stone thee, nor couldst thou be powerful over us.'

He said, 'O my people! are my family more esteemed by you than God? or have you taken Him as something to cast behind your backs? Verily, my Lord, whate’er ye do, doth comprehend. [95] O my people! act according to your power; verily, I too will act, and ye at length shall know! To whomsoever torment comes it shall disgrace him, and him who is a liar. Watch then; verily, I with you am watching too!'

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And when our bidding came we saved Sho’hâib, and those who believed with him, by our mercy; and the noise caught those who had done wrong, and on the morrow they were in their houses prone, as though they had not dwelt therein. Aye! 'Away with Midian!' as it was, 'Away with Thamûd!'

And we sent Moses with our signs and with obvious power unto Pharaoh and his chiefs; but they followed Pharaoh's bidding, and Pharaoh's bidding was not straightforward.

[100] He shall approach his people on the resurrection day, and take them down to water 1 at the Fire,--an evil watering-place to water at!

In this (world) were they followed by a curse; and on the resurrection day evil shall be the aid they are aided with!

That is one of the stories of the cities which we recite to thee--some of them are standing now and some mown down!

We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves. Their gods availed them naught, on which they called instead of God, when once the bidding of thy Lord had come; nor did they add save to their downfall!

Thus is thy Lord's overtaking when He overtakes the cities that have done wrong; verily, His over-taking is grievous, keen.

[105] Verily, in that is a sign to him who fears the torment of the last day;--that is a day unto which men shall be gathered;--that is a witnessed day!

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We will not delay it, save unto a numbered and appointed time. The day when it shall come no soul shall speak save by His permission, and amongst them (shall be) the wretched and the glad.

And as for those who are wretched--why, in the Fire! there shall they groan and sob! to dwell therein for aye, so long as the heavens and the earth endure; save what thy Lord will. Verily, thy Lord is one who works His will.

[110] And as for those who are glad--why, in Paradise! to dwell therein for aye, so long as the heavens and the earth endure; save what thy Lord will 1,--a ceaseless boon!

Be not then in doubt concerning what these men do serve;--they only serve as their fathers served before; and we will give them their portion undiminished.

We gave Moses the Book before, and then they disagreed concerning it, and, had it not been for a word that had been passed by thy Lord, it would have been decided between them but, verily, they are (still) in hesitating doubt concerning it.

But, verily, every one thy Lord will surely repay for their works; verily, He of what they do is well aware!

Do thou then be upright, as thou art bidden, and whosoever turns repentantly with thee; and transgress ye not:--verily, He on what ye do doth look.

[115] Lean not unto those who do wrong, lest the Fire touch you, for ye have no patrons but God; and, moreover, ye shall not be helped!

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And be thou steadfast in prayer at the two ends of the day, and the (former and latter) parts of the night. Verily, good works remove evil works;--that is a reminder to the mindful! And be thou patient, for God wastes not the hire of those who do good.

And were there among the generations before you any endowed with a remnant (of piety) forbidding evildoing in the earth, save a few of those whom we saved; but the evildoers followed what they enjoyed, and were sinners.

Thy Lord would not have destroyed the cities unjustly while the people of them were welldoers.

[120] Had thy Lord pleased, He would have made men one nation; but they will not cease to differ, save those thy Lord has had mercy on. For this has He created them, and the word of thy Lord is fulfilled, 'I will surely fill hell with ginns and mankind altogether.'

And all that we relate to thee of the stories of the apostles is what will stablish thy heart: and herein has the truth come to thee, and an admonition and a reminder to the believers.

Say to those who believe not, 'Act according to your power, verily, we are acting too! And wait ye, verily, we are waiting too!'

God's are the unseen things of the heavens and of the earth; and unto Him the affair doth all return. Then serve Him and rely on Him; for thy Lord is not heedless of that which ye do.


205:1 That is, before the creation; see Genesis i. 2.

207:1 That is, of the idolater.

208:1 The Qur’ân.

209:1 Tannûr (oven) signifies also a reservoir of water. Its use in this passage has, however, given rise to some ridiculous superstitions amongst the Mohammedans as to the origin of the deluge.

209:2 This story and the further allusion to Noah's son in the next page were probably suggested by Genesis ix. 20-25.

210:1 The ark.

210:2 Gûdî is a corruption apparently for Mount Giordi, the Gordyæi of the Greeks, situated between Armenia and Mesopotamia.

210:3 I.e. upon some of the nations who are to form the posterity of thyself and the members of thy family saved with thee.

212:1 See note, p. 107.

213:1 I.e. he was powerless to help them.

214:1 I.e. some support, such as a powerful clan or chieftain.

214:2 That is, overturned the cities of the plain.

214:3 The Abyssinians, who had invaded Mecca some years before, are mentioned in the Chapter of the Elephant (CV) as being destroyed in a similar manner by flocks of birds, who threw down such missiles upon them.

214:4 The legend is that they each contained the name of the person for whom they were destined; so the old saying, 'every bullet has its billet.'

214:5 I.e. the same punishment is likely to overtake other wrong-doers, the threat being especially directed against the unbelieving inhabitants of Mecca.

214:6 See Chapter VII.

214:7 A little which God leaves you after paying every one his due.

216:1 The word used is that always applied by desert Arabs to going to a spring for water.

217:1 I.e. unless He please to increase their happiness.

Next: XII. The Chapter of Joseph