5 These words are said by most commentators on Sura vi. 93, to have been uttered by Muhammad’s scribe, Abdallah, on hearing the previous part of this verse, and to have been adopted by the prophet, at the same moment, as identical with his own inspirations.
6 Lit. seven paths-a Talmudic expression.
7 See Sura [lxxv.] xi. 42, n.
8 Comp. Sura xix. 22 ff., p. 119. Wahl understands this passage of Paradise.
9 Comp. Sura xxi. 92, p. 157.
10 There is no reliable tradition as to the nature of the visitation here alluded to.
11 That is, each would have formed a separate and independent kingdom.
12 Or, in the (world) which I have left.
13 That is, our past life seems brevity itself in comparison with eternal torment.
14 Lit. those who number, or keep account, i.e. our torments distract us too much to allow us to compute.
SURA XXI.-THE PROPHETS [LXV.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
This people’s reckoning hath drawn nigh, yet, sunk in carelessness, they turn aside.
Every fresh warning that cometh to them from their Lord they only hear to mock it,-
Their hearts set on lusts: and they who have done this wrong say in secret discourse, “Is He more than a man like yourselves? What! will ye, with your eyes open,1 accede to sorcery?”
Say: “My Lord knoweth what is spoken in the heaven and on the earth: He is the Hearer, the Knower.”
“Nay,” say they, “it is the medley of dreams: nay, he hath forged it: nay, he is a poet: let him come to us with a sign as the prophets of old were sent.”
Before their time, none of the cities which we have destroyed, believed: will these men, then, believe?
And we sent none, previous to thee, but men to whom we had revealed ourselves. Ask ye the people who are warned by Scriptures,2 if ye know it not.
We gave them not bodies which could dispense with food: and they were not to live for ever.
Then made we good our promise to them; and we delivered them and whom we pleased, and we destroyed the transgressors.
And now have we sent down to you “the book,” in which is your warning: What, will ye not then understand?
And how many a guilty city have we broken down, and raised up after it other peoples:
And when they felt our vengeance, lo! they fled from it.
“Flee not,” said the angels in mockery, “but come back to that wherein ye revelled, and to your abodes! Questions will haply be put to you.”
They said, “Oh, woe to us! Verily we have been evil doers.”
And this ceased not to be their cry, until we made them like reaped corn, extinct.
We created not the heaven and the earth, and what is between them, for sport: