The Qur'ân

PART II Chapters XVII TO CXIV

THE CHAPTER OF THE INEVITABLE. (LVI. Mecca.)

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[- 262 -]

THE CHAPTER OF THE INEVITABLE.

(LVI. Mecca.)

IN the name of the merciful and compassionate God.
When the inevitable 
1 happens; none shall call its
  happening a lie!-abasing-exalting!
When the earth shall quake, quaking! [5] and the
  mountains shall crumble, crumbling, and become
  like motes dispersed!
And ye shall be three sorts;
And the fellows of the right hand-what right lucky fellows!
And the fellows of the left hand-what unlucky fellows!

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[10] And the foremost foremost 1!
These are they who are brought nigh,
In gardens of pleasure!
A crowd of those of yore,
And a few of those of the latter day!
[15] And gold-weft couches, reclining on them face to face.
Around them shall go eternal youths, with goblets
  and ewers and a cup of flowing wine; no headache
  shall they feel therefrom, nor shall their wits be dimmed!
[20] And fruits such as they deem the best;
And flesh of fowl as they desire;
And bright and large-eyed maids like hidden pearls;
A reward for that which they have done!
They shall hear no folly there and no sin;
[25] Only the speech, 'Peace, Peace!'
And the fellows of the right-what right lucky fellows!
Amid thornless lote trees.
And tal'h 
2 trees with piles of fruit;
And outspread shade,
[30] And water out-poured;
And fruit in abundance, neither failing nor forbidden;
And beds upraised!
Verily, we have produced them 
3 a production.
[35] And made them virgins, darlings of equal age
  (with their spouses) for the fellows of the right!

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A crowd of those of yore, and a crowd of those of the latter day!
[40] And the fellows of the left-what unlucky fellows!
In hot blasts and boiling water;
And a shade of pitchy smoke,
Neither cool nor generous!
Verily, they were affluent ere this, [45] and did persist
  in mighty crime; and used to say, 'What, when we
  die and have become dust and bones, shall we
  then indeed be raised? or our fathers of yore?'
Say, 'Verily, those of yore and those of the latter
  day [50] shall surely be gathered together unto
  the tryst of the well-known day.'
Then ye, O ye who err! who say it is a lie! shall
  eat of the Zaqqûm tree! and your bellies with
  it! and drink thereon of boiling water! [55] and
  drink as drinks the thirsty camel.
This is their entertainment on the judgment day!
We created you, then why do ye not credit?
Have ye considered what ye emit?
Do we create it, or are we the creators?
[60] We have decreed amongst you death; but we
are not forestalled from making the likes of you
in exchange, or producing you as ye know not of.
Ye do know the first production-why then do ye not mind?
Have ye considered what ye till?
Do ye make it bear seed, or do we make it bear seed?
[65] If we pleased we could make it mere grit, so that
ye would pause to marvel:
'Verily, we have got into debt 
1 and we are excluded 2.'

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Have ye considered the water which ye drink?
Do ye make it come down from the clouds, or do
  we make it come down?
If we pleased we could make it pungent-why then
  do ye not give thanks?
[70] Have ye considered the fire which ye strike?
Do ye produce the tree that gives it 
1, or do we produce it?
We have made it a memorial and a chattel for the traveller of the waste?
Then celebrate the grand name of thy Lord!
So I will not swear by the positions of the stars;
  [75] and, verily, it is a grand oath if ye did but
  know-that, verily, this is the honourable Qur'ân
  -in the laid-up Book!
Let none touch it but the purified!
A revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
[80] What! this new discourse will ye despise?
And make for your provision, that you call it a lie?
Why then-when it 
2 comes up to the throat, and ye
  at that time look on, though we are nearer to him
  than you are, but ye cannot see, - [85] why, if ye
  are not to be judged, do ye not send it back, if
  ye do tell the truth?
But either, if he be of those brought nigh to
  God,-then rest and fragrance and the garden of pleasure!
Or, if he be of the fellows of the right! [90] then
  'Peace to thee!' from the fellows of the right!

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Or, if he be of those who say it is a lie,-who err!
  then an entertainment of boiling water! and broiling in hell!
[95] Verily, this is surely certain truth!
So celebrate the grand name of thy Lord!

 





p. 262
1 I.e. the day of judgment.



p. 263
1 I.e. the foremost in professing the faith on earth shall be the foremost then.



2 The mimosa gummifera is generally so called in Arabia; but the banana is said to be meant in this passage.



3 The celestial damsels.



p. 264
1 I.e. for seed and labour.



2 From reaping the fruits of it.



p. 265
1 The ancient Arabs produced fire by the friction of a stick in a hollow piece of wood. Cf. p. 167, line 25.



2 2 The soul of a dying man. Footnotes



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