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   Chapters from the Koran.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Mecca Suras
 
The Chapter of Thunder
 
 
  IN the name of the merciful and compassionate God.  1
  A. L. M. R. Those are the signs of the Book, and that which is sent down to thee from thy Lord is the truth; but most people will not believe. God it is who has raised the heavens without columns that ye can see; then He made for the throne, and subjected the sun and the moon; each one runs on to a stated and appointed time; He governs the affair, details the signs;—haply of the meeting with your Lord ye will be sure.  2
  And He it is who has stretched out the earth and placed therein firm mountains and rivers, and of every fruit has He placed therein two kinds. He makes the night cover the day;—verily, in that are signs unto a people who reflect.  3
  And on the earth are neighbouring portions, and gardens of grapes and corn and palms growing together (from one root) and not growing together; they are watered with one water, yet we distinguish one over the other as food;—verily, in that are signs unto a people who have sense.  4
  And if thou shouldst wonder, wondrous is their speech: ‘What! when we have become dust, shall we really then be created anew?’  5
  These are they who disbelieve in their Lord, and these are they with fetters round their necks, and these are the fellows of the Fire; they shall dwell therein for aye!  6
  They will wish thee to hasten on the evil rather than the good; examples have passed away before them: but thy Lord is possessor of forgiveness unto men, notwithstanding their injustice; but, verily, thy Lord is keen to punish.  7
  Those who misbelieve say, ‘Unless a sign be sent down upon him from his Lord …’—Thou art only a warner, and every people has its guide.  8
  God knows what each female bears, and what the wombs fall short of or add; for dimensions of everything are with Him.  9
  He who knows the unseen and the visible,—the great, the lofty one.  10
  Alike among you is he who keeps secret his speech and he who displays it; and he who hides by night and he who stalks abroad by day. Each of them has pursuers 1 before him and behind him, to keep guard over him at the command of God; verily, God changes not what a people has until they change it for themselves. And when God wishes evil to a people there is no averting it, nor have they a protector beside Him.  11
  He it is who shows you the lightning for fear and hope; 2 and He brings up the heavy clouds.  12
  And the thunder celebrates His praise, and the angels too for fear of Him; and He sends the thunder-clap and overtakes therewith whom He will;—yet they wrangle about God! But He is strong in might.  13
  On Him is the call of truth, and those who call on others than Him shall not be answered at all, save as one who stretches out his hand to the water that it may reach his mouth, but it reaches it not! The call of the misbelievers is only in error.  14
  And God do those who are in the heavens and the earth adore, whether they will or no! as do their shadows also morn and eve.  15
  Say, ‘Who is Lord of the heavens and the earth?’ say, ‘God’; say, ‘Do ye take beside God patrons who cannot control profit or harm for themselves?’ say, ‘Shall the blind and the seeing be held equal? or shall the darkness and the light be held equal? or have they made associates with God who can create as He creates, so that the creation seem familiar to them?’ say, ‘God is the creator of everything, and He is the one, the dominant.’  16
  He sends down from the sky water, and the watercourses flow according to their bulk, and the torrent bears along the floating scum: and from what they set fire to, craving ornaments or utensils, comes a scum like that;—thus does God hit the truth and the falsehood;—and as for the scum it is thrown off, and as for what profits man it stays on the earth. Thus does God strike out parables!  17
  For those who respond to their Lord is good; but those who respond not to Him, had they all that is in the earth and the like thereof as well, they would give it for a ransom; these shall have an evil reckoning up! and their resort is hell,—an evil couch shall it be!  18
  Is he who knows that naught but the truth is sent down upon thee from thy Lord like him who is blind? Only those possessed of minds will remember!  19
  Those who fulfil God’s covenant and break not the compact, and those who attain what God has bidden to be attained, and dread their Lord and fear the evil reckoning up; and those who are patient, craving their Lord’s face, and are steadfast in prayer, and expend in alms of what we have bestowed upon them secretly and openly, and ward off evil with good,—these shall have the recompense of the abode, gardens of Eden, into which they shall enter with the righteous amongst their fathers and their wives and their seed; and the angels shall enter in unto them from every gate:—‘Peace be upon you! for that ye were patient; and goodly is the recompense of the abode.’  20
  And those who break God’s covenant after compacting for it, and who cut asunder what God hath bidden to be joined, and who do evil in the earth, these—upon them is the curse of God, and for them is an evil abode.  21
  God extends his bounty freely to whomsoever He will, or He metes it out; and they rejoice in the life of this world, but the life of this world is naught but a (temporary) provision compared with the next.  22
  Those who misbelieve say, ‘Unless a sign is sent down upon him from his Lord ….’ Say, ‘God leads whom He will astray, but guides unto Him those who turn again.  23
  ‘Those who believe and whose hearts are comforted by the mention of God,—aye! by the mention of God shall their hearts be comforted, who believe and do what is right. Good cheer for them and an excellent resort.’  24
  Thus have we sent thee to a nation before which other nations have passed away, to recite to them that which we have inspired thee with; yet they misbelieve in the merciful! Say, ‘He is my Lord; there is no god but He; upon Him do I rely, and unto Him is my repentance.’  25
  And though it were a Qur’ân by which the mountains were moved, or by which the earth were cut up, or the dead made to speak 3—nay, God’s is the command altogether! Did not those who believed know 4 that if God had pleased He would have guided men altogether?  26
  And a striking calamity shall not cease to overtake those who misbelieve for what they have wrought, or to alight close by their dwelling; until God’s promise comes—verily, God fails not in His promise.  27
  Before thee have apostles been mocked at; and those who misbelieved have I allowed to range at large; and then it caught them up! How then was my punishment?  28
  Shall He who is standing over every soul (to note) what it has earned——? And they join partners with God! Say, ‘Name them; can ye inform Him of what He does not know in the earth? or is it for name’s sake only (that ye call upon them)?  29
  ‘Nay, then, stratagem is made seemly to those who misbelieve, and they turn folks from the path of God! But whomsoever God doth lead astray no guide has he.’  30
  For them is torment in this world’s life; but surely the torment of the next is more wretched still—nor have they against God a keeper.  31
  The likeness of the Paradise which those who fear God are promised, beneath it rivers flow, its food is enduring, and likewise its shade! That is the recompense of those who fear; but the recompense of misbelievers is the Fire!  32
  And those to whom we brought the Book rejoice in that which we have sent down to thee; but of the confederates are some who deny a part thereof.  33
  Say, ‘I am only bidden to serve God and not to associate any with Him; on Him I call and to Him is my recourse.’  34
  Thus have we sent it down, an Arabic judgment, but hadst thou followed their lusts, after the knowledge that has come to thee, thou hadst not had against God a patron or a keeper.  35
  And we sent apostles before thee, and we made for them wives and seed; and no apostle could bring a sign save by God’s permission;—for every period there is a book.  36
  God blots out what He will, or He confirms; and with Him is the Mother of the Book.  37
  Either we will let thee see a part of what we threaten them with, or we will take thee to Ourself; but thy duty is only to deliver thy message, and ours to reckon up.  38
  Did they not see that we come to the land and diminish the borders thereof 5? God judges, and there is none to reverse His judgment, and He is swift at reckoning up!  39
  And those who were before them were crafty too; but God’s is the craft altogether! He knows what every soul earns; and the misbelievers shall know whose is the recompense of the abode.  40
  And those who misbelieve say, ‘Thou art not sent!’ Say, ‘God is witness enough between me and you; and so is he who has the knowledge of the Book!’  41
 
Note 1. Guardian angels. [back]
Note 2. I. e. hope of rain; lightning is always hailed with joy by the Arabs as a precursor of rain. [back]
Note 3. They would not believe. [back]
Note 4. The word used in the original, yâi’as, means ‘despair,’ but in the patois of the Na’ha‘h tribe signifies ‘know,’ and is so interpreted by the native commentators on this passage. [back]
Note 5. Alluding to the conquests of Islâm. [back]
 

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