2 The Arabic words are not those used in later Suras to express the same idea.
3 Said to be Walid b. Mogheira, a person of note among the unbelieving Meccans. This portion of the Sura seems to be of a different date from the first seven verses, though very ancient, and the change of subject is similar to that at v. 9 of the previous Sura.
4 This and the three following verses wear the appearance of having been inserted at a later period to meet objections respecting the number of the angels who guard hell, raised by the Jews; perhaps at Medina, as the four classes of persons specified are those whom Muhammad had to deal with in that city, viz., the Jews, Believers, the Hypocrites, or undecided, and Idolaters. These are constantly mentioned together in the Medina Suras.
5 That is, who believe, and do not believe.
6 As the word sakar disturbs the rhyme, it may have been inserted by a mistake of the copyist for the usual word, which suits it.
7 That is, death. Beidh. Comp. Sura xv. 99.
Mecca. 20 Verses.
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
O thou Enfolded in thy mantle,
Stand up all night, except a small portion of it, for prayer:
Half; or curtail the half a little,-
Or add to it: And with measured tone intone the Koran,2
For we shall devolve on thee weighty words.
Verily, at the oncoming of night are devout impressions strongest, and words are most collected;3
But in the day time thou hast continual employ-
And commemorate the name of thy Lord, and devote thyself to Him with entire devotion.
Lord of the East and of the West! No God is there but He! Take Him for thy protector,
And endure what they say with patience, and depart from them with a decorous departure.
And let Me alone with the gainsayers, rich in the pleasures of this life; and bear thou with them yet a little while:
For with Us are strong fetters, and a flaming fire,
And food that choketh, and a sore torment.
The day cometh when the earth and the mountains shall be shaken; and the mountains shall become a loose sand heap.
Verily, we have sent you an Apostle to witness against you, even as we sent an Apostle to Pharaoh: