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


(LXXIV. Mecca.)

IN the name of the merciful and compassionate God.

O thou who art covered! rise up and warn! And thy Lord magnify!

[5] And thy garments purify!

And abomination shun!

And grant not favours to gain increase!

And for thy Lord await!

And when the trump is blown,--for that day is a

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difficult day! [10] for the misbelievers aught but easy!

Leave me alone with him I have created, and for whom I have made extensive wealth 1, and sons that he may look upon, and for whom I have smoothed things down. [15] Then he desires that I should increase! nay, verily, he is hostile to our signs! I will drive him up a hill! Then he reflected and planned! May he be killed,--how he planned! [20] Again, may he be killed,--how he planned! Then he looked; then he frowned and scowled; then he retreated and was big with pride and said, 'This is only magic exhibited! [25] this is only mortal speech!'--I will broil him in hell-fire! and what shall make thee know what hell-fire is? It will not leave and will not let alone. It scorches the flesh; [30] over it are nineteen (angels).

We have made only angels guardians of the fire, and we have only made their number a trial to those who misbelieve; that those who have been given the Book may be certain, and that those who believe may be increased in faith; and that those who have been given the Book and the believers may not doubt; and that those in whose hearts is sickness, and the misbelievers may say, 'What does God mean by this as a parable?'

Thus God leads astray whom He pleases, and guides him He pleases: and none knows the hosts of thy Lord save Himself; and it is only a reminder to mortals!

[35] Nay, by the moon!

And the night when it retires!

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And the morning when it brightly dawns!

Verily, it is one of the greatest misfortunes; a warning to mortals; [40] for him amongst you who wishes to press forward or to tarry!

Every soul is pledged 1 for what it earns; except the fellows of the right: in gardens shall they ask each other about the sinners!--`What drove you into hell-fire?'

They shall say, 'We weren't 2 of those who prayed; [45] we didn't feed the poor; but we did plunge into discussion with those who plunged, and we called the judgment day a lie until the certainty 3 did come to us!'

But there shall not profit them the intercession of the intercessors.

[50] What ailed them that they turned away from the memorial as though they were timid asses fleeing from a lion?

Nay, every man of them wished that he might have given him books spread open!

Nay, but they did not fear the hereafter!

Nay, it is a memorial! and let him who will remember it; [55] but none will remember it except God please. He is most worthy of fear; and he is most worthy to forgive!


308:1 The first five verses of this chapter form the second revelation by the angel Gabriel in person, and the first after the Fatrah, or period of 'Intermission.' See Introduction, p. xxii.

309:1 The person meant is generally supposed to be Walîd ibn Mughâirah, one of the chiefs of the Qurâis.

310:1 See Chapter LII, verse 21, p. 249, note 1.

310:2 See Part I, p. 78, note 1.

310:3 I.e. death.

Next: LXXV. The Chapter of the Resurrection