Who is he that can be as an army to you, to succour you, except the God of Mercy? Truly, the infidels are in the merest delusion.
Or who is he that will furnish you supplies, if He withhold His supplies? Yet do they persist in pride and in fleeing from Him!
Is he who goeth along grovelling on his face, better guided than he who goeth upright on a straight path?
Say: It is He who hath brought you forth, and gifted you with hearing and sight and heart: yet how few are grateful!
Say: It is He who hath sown you in the earth, and to Him shall ye be gathered.
And they say, “When shall this threat be put in force, if ye speak the truth?”
Say: Nay truly, this knowledge is with God alone: and I am only an open warner.
But when they shall see it nigh, sad shall wax the countenances of the infidels: and it shall be said, “This is what ye have been calling for.”
Say: What think ye? Whether God destroy me or not, and those who follow me, or whether he have mercy on us, yet who will protect the infidels from a woeful torment?
Say: He is the God of Mercy: in Him do we believe, and in Him put we our trust; and ye shall know hereafter who is in a manifest error.
Say: What think ye? If at early morn your waters shall have sunk away, who then will give you clear running water?
1 Thus Shakespeare uses the word braying of clamours of Hell; and Milton speaks of braying horrible discord. Comp. Sura xxv. 12-21.
2 Der alles durchdringt. Ullm.; perspicax. Mar.; sagacious. Sale. The primary meaning of the Arabic root is to draw near; hence the above signification, in the sense of God’s presence as interpenetrating all things: hence also the other sense of benign, as in Sura [lxxxiii.] xlii. 18.
SURA XXIII.-THE BELIEVERS [LXIV.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Happy now the believers,
Who humble them in their prayer,
And who keep aloof from vain words,2
And who are doers of alms deeds,
And who restrain their appetites,
(Save with their wives, or the slaves whom their right hands possess: for in that case they shall be free from blame:
But they whose desires reach further than this are transgressors:)
And who tend well their trusts and their covenants,
And who keep them strictly to their prayers:
These shall be the heritors,
Who shall inherit the paradise, to abide therein for ever.
Now of fine clay have we created man:
Then we placed him, a moist germ,3 in a safe abode;
Then made we the moist germ a clot of blood: then made the clotted blood into a piece of flesh; then made the piece of flesh into bones: and we clothed the bones with flesh: then brought forth man of yet another make4-Blessed therefore be God, the most excellent of Makers5-