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


(LIV. Mecca.)

IN the name of the merciful and compassionate God.

The Hour draws nigh, and the moon is split

p. 255

asunder 1. But if they see a sign they turn aside and say, 'Magic, continuous 2!'

And they call it a lie and follow their lusts; but every matter is settled!

There has come to them some information 3 with restraint in it--[5] wisdom far-reaching--but warners avail not!

But turn thy back on them!

The day when the caller 4 shall call to an awkward thing 5.

Humbly casting down their looks shall they come forth from their graves, as though they were locusts scattered abroad!

Hurrying forwards to the caller! the misbelievers shall say, 'This is a difficult day!'

Noah's people before them called (the apostles) liars; they called our servant a liar; and they said, 'Mad!' and he was rejected.

[10] And he called upon his Lord, 'Verily, I am overcome, come then to my help!'

And we opened the gates of heaven with water pouring down!

p. 256

And we made the earth burst forth in springs, and the waters met at a bidding already decreed.

But we bore him on the thing of planks and nails; sailing on beneath our eyes, a reward for him who had been disbelieved!

[15] And we left it a sign;--but is there any one who will mind?

‘Âd called the apostles liars, and how was my punishment and my warning?

Verily, we sent on them a cold storm wind on a day of continuous ill-luck!

[20] It reft men away as though they had been palm stumps torn up!

We have made the Qur’ân easy as a reminder--but is there any one who will mind?

Thamûd called the warnings lies, and said, 'A mortal, one of us, alone, shall we follow him? then indeed were we in error and excitement 1!

[25] 'Is the warning cast on him alone among us? nay, he is an insolent liar!

'They shall know to-morrow about the insolent liar!

'Verily, we are about to send the she-camel as a trial for them, then watch them and have patience! and inform them that the water is shared between them (and her); each draught shall be sought by turns.'

Then they called their companion, and he plied (a knife) and hamstrung her.

[30] Then how was my punishment and my warning? Verily, we sent against them one noise, and they were like the dry sticks of him who builds a fold.

p. 257

We have made the Qur’ân easy as a reminder--but is there any one who will mind?

Lot's people called the apostles liars; verily, we sent against them a heavy sand storm; all, save Lot's family, we saved them at the dawn. [35] As a favour from us; so do we reward him who gives thanks!

He indeed had warned them of our assault, but they doubted of the warning.

And they desired his guest, and we put out their eyes.

'So taste ye my torment and warning!'

And there overtook them on the morning a settled punishment!

'So taste ye my torment and warning!'

[40] We have made the Qur’ân easy as a reminder--but is there any one who will mind?

The warning came to Pharaoh's people; they called our signs all lies, and we seized on them with the seizing of a mighty powerful one.

Are your misbelievers better than they? or have ye an exemption in the Scriptures? Or do they say we are a victorious company?

[45] The whole shall be routed and shall turn their backs in flight 1.

Nay, the Hour is their promised time! and the Hour is most severe and bitter!

Verily, the sinners are in error and excitement. On the day when they shall be dragged to the fire upon their faces!--'Taste ye the touch of hell.'

Verily, everything have we created by decree, [50] and our bidding is but one (word), like the twinkling of an eye!

p. 258

We have destroyed the like of you--but is there any who will mind?

And everything they do is in the books 1, and everything small and great is written down.

Verily, the pious shall be amid gardens and rivers, [55] in the seat of truth, with the powerful king.


255:1 According to a tradition this refers to a miracle: the unbelievers having asked for a sign, the moon appeared to be cloven in twain. The tradition is, however, supported by very doubtful authority, and is directly opposed to the teaching of the Qur’ân elsewhere, for the power to comply with the demand for a sign is always distinctly disclaimed. The more usual explanation is the natural one, that the expression merely refers to one of the signs of the day of judgment.

255:2 This word is interpreted by some to mean 'transient,' by others 'powerful.'

255:3 The Qur’ân.

255:4 The angel Isrâfîl.

255:5 The last judgment.

256:1 Or madness.

257:1 This is appealed to by Muslims as a prophecy fulfilled at the battle of Bedr.

258:1 The books kept by the recording angels.

Next: LV. The Chapter of the Merciful