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Sura LI — The Scattering

by Rev. G. Margoliouth, M.A.

Mecca — 60 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By the clouds[119] which scatter with SCATTERING,

And those which bear their load,

And by those which speed lightly along,

And those which apportion by command!

True, indeed, is that with which ye are threatened,

And lo! the judgment will surely come.[120]

By the star-tracked heaven!

Ye are discordant in what ye say;

But whose turneth him from the truth, is turned from it by a divine decree.

Perish the liars,

Who are bewildered in the depths of ignorance!

They ask, "When this day of judgment?"

On that day they shall be tormented at the fire.

"Taste ye of this your torment, whose speedy coming ye challenged."

But the God-fearing shall dwell amid gardens and fountains,

Enjoying what their Lord hath given them, because, aforetime they were well-doers:

But little of the night was it that they slept,

And at dawn they prayed for pardon,

And gave due share of their wealth to the suppliant and the outcast.

On Earth are signs for men of firm belief,

And also in your own selves: Will ye not then behold them?

The Heaven hath sustenance for you, and it containeth that which you are promised.

By the Lord then of the heaven and of the earth, I swear that this is the truth, even as ye speak yourselves.[121]

Hath the story reached thee of Abraham's honoured guests?[122]

When they went in unto him and said, "Peace!" he replied, "Peace:—they are strangers."

And he went apart to his family, and brought a fatted calf,

And set it before them. He said, "Eat ye not?"

And he conceived a fear of them. They said to him, "Fear not;" and announced to him a wise son.

His wife came up with outcry: she smote her face and said, "What I, old and barren!"

They said, "Thus saith thy Lord. He truly is the Wise, the Knowing."

Said he, "And what, O messengers, is your errand?"

They said, "To a wicked people are we sent,

To hurl upon them stones of clay,

Destined[123] by thy Lord for men guilty of excesses."

And we brought forth the believers who were in the city:

But we found not in it but one family of Muslims.

And signs we left in it for those who dread the afflictive chastisement,—

And in Moses: when we sent him to Pharaoh with manifest power:

But relying on his forces[124] he turned his back and said, "Sorcerer, or Possessed."

So we seized him and his hosts and cast them into the sea; for of all blame was he worthy.

And in Ad: when we sent against them the desolating blast:

It touched not aught over which it came, but it turned it to dust.

And in Themoud:[125] when it was said to them, "Enjoy yourselves for yet a while."

But they rebelled against their Lord's command: so the tempest took them as they watched its coming.[126]

They were not able to stand upright, and could not help themselves.

And we destroyed the people of Noah, before them; for an impious people were they.

And the Heaven—with our hands have we built it up, and given it its expanse;

And the Earth—we have stretched it out like a carpet; and how

smoothly have we spread it forth!

And of everything have we created pairs: that haply ye may reflect.

Fly then to God: I come to you from him a plain warner.

And set not up another god with God: I come to you from him a plain warner.

Even thus came there no apostle to those who flourished before them, but they exclaimed, "Sorcerer, or Possessed."

Have they made a legacy to one another of this scoff? Yes, they are a rebel people.

Turn away, then, from them, and thou shalt not incur reproach:

Yet warn them, for, in truth, warning will profit the believers.

I have not created Djinn and men, but that they should worship me:

I require not sustenance from them, neither require I that they feed me:

Verily, God is the sole sustainer: possessed of might: the unshaken!

Therefore to those who injure thee shall be a fate like the fate of

their fellows of old. Let them not challenge me to hasten it.

Woe then to the infidels, because of their threatened day.



[119] Lit. (I swear) by those which scatter (i.e., the rain) with a scattering, (2) and by those which carry a burden, (3) and by those which run lightly, (4) and by those which divide a matter, or by command. The participles are all in the feminine: hence some interpret verse 1 of winds; verse 2 of clouds; verse 3 of ships; verse 4 of angels.

[120] Comp. note at Sura lvi. 1, p. 65.

[121] That is, this oath is for the confirmation of the truth, as ye are wont to confirm things one among another by an oath.

[122] Comp. Sura xi. 72, and xv. 51. From the want of connection with what precedes, it is highly probable that the whole passage from verse 24 60 did not originally form a part of this Sura, but was added at a later period, perhaps in the recension of the text under Othman.

[123] Lit. marked, with the names of the individuals to be slain, say the commentators.

[124] Or, with his nobles.

[125] For Ad and Themoud, see Sura xi.

[126] That is, in broad daylight. Thus Beidh. Comp. Sura xlvi. 22.

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