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The Qur'ân, part II (Sacred Books of the East volume 9), Palmer edition [1880]; at


(LIII. Mecca.)

IN the name of the merciful and compassionate God.

By the star when it falls, your comrade errs not, nor is he deluded! nor speaks he out of lust! It is but an inspiration inspired! [5] One mighty in power 3 taught him, endowed with sound understanding, and appeared, he being in the loftiest tract.

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Then drew he near and hovered o’er! until he was two bows' length off or nigher still! [10] Then he inspired his servant what he inspired him; the heart belies not what he saw! What, will ye dispute with him on what he saw?

And he saw him another time, by the lote tree none may pass; [15] near which is the garden of the Abode! When there covered the lote tree what did cover it! The sight swerved not nor wandered. He saw then the greatest of the signs of his Lord.

Have ye considered Allât and Al ’Huzzâ, [20] and Manât the other third 1? Shall there be male offspring for Him and female for you? That were an unfair division! They are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers! God has sent down no authority for them! They do but follow suspicion and what their souls lust after!--And yet there has come to them guidance from their Lord.

Shall man have what he desires? [25] But God's is the hereafter and the present!

How many an angel in the heaven!--their intercession avails not at all, save after God has given permission to whomsoever He will and is pleased with!

Verily, those who believe not in the hereafter do surely name the angels with female names 2!--but they have no knowledge thereof; they do but follow suspicion, and, verily, suspicion shall not avail against the truth at all!

130] But turn aside from him who turns his back upon our remembrance and desires naught but this

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world's life! This is their sum of knowledge; verily, thy Lord knows best who has erred from His way, and He knows best who is guided!

God's is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, that He may reward those who do evil for what they have done; and may reward those who do good with good! those who shun great sins and iniquities,--all but venial faults,--verily, thy Lord is of ample forgiveness; He knows best about you, when He produced you from the earth, and when ye were embryos in the wombs of your mothers.

Make not yourselves out, then, to be pure; He knows best who it is that fears.

Hast thou considered him who turns his back? who gives but little [35] and then stops 1? Has he then the knowledge of the unseen, so that he can see?

Has he not been informed of what is in the pages of Moses and Abraham who fulfilled his word?--that no burdened soul shall bear the burden of another? [40] and that man shall have only that for which he strives; and that his striving shall at length be seen? Then shall he be rewarded for it with the most full reward; and that unto thy Lord is the limit; [45] and that it is He who makes men laugh and weep; and that it is He who kills and makes alive; and that He created pairs, male

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and female, from a clot when it is emitted; and that for Him is the next production 1; and that he enriches and gives possession: [50] and that He is the Lord of the Dog-star 2, and that He it was who destroyed ‘Âd of yore, and Thamûd, and left none of them; and the people of Noah before them,--verily, they were most unjust and outrageous!

And the overthrown (cities) 3 He threw down; [55] and there covered them what did cover them!

Which then of your Lord's benefits do ye dispute?

This is a warner, one of the warners of yore!

The approaching day approaches; there is none to discover it but God.

At this new discourse then do ye wonder? [60] and do ye laugh and not weep? and ye divert yourselves the while!

But adore God and serve (Him) 4.


251:3 The angel Gabriel, who appeared twice to Mohammed in his natural form, namely, on the occasion of the 'Night journey,' to which this passage refers, and on the first revelation of the Qur’ân. (See Introduction, pp. xx and xxxii.)

252:1 See Introduction, p. xxvii, and Part II, p. 62, note 1.

252:2 See Introduction, pp. xii and xiii.

253:1 This passage refers to one El Walîd ibn Mughâirah, who being abused for following Mohammed and forsaking the religion of the Qurâis, answered that he had done so to escape divine vengeance. Thereupon an idolater offered to take on himself El Walîd's sin for a certain sum of money. The offer was accepted, and Walîd apostatized from El Islâm, paying down a portion of the amount agreed upon at the time. Later on he refused to pay the balance on the ground that he had already paid enough.

254:1 I.e. the resurrection.

254:2 Sirius, or the Dog-star, was an object of worship amongst the ancient Arabs.

254:3 Sodom, Gomorrah, &c.

254:4 At this verse the Qurâis, who were present at the first reading of this chapter when their gods were spoken well of, fell down adoring with Mohammed. See Introduction, p. xxxii.

Next: LIV. The Chapter of the Moon