Who giveth away his substance that he may become pure;2
And who offereth not favours to any one for the sake of recompense,
But only as seeking the face of his Lord the Most High.
And surely in the end he shall be well content.
1 See Pref., p. 5, line I. 2 Comp. Luke xi. 41. Muhammad perhaps derived this view of the meritorious anture of almsgiving from the Jewish oral law.
SURA LXVIII.-THE PEN [XVII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Nun.1 By the pen2 and by what they write,
Thou, O Prophet; by the grace of thy Lord art not possessed!3
And truly a boundless recompense doth await thee,
For thou art of a noble nature.4
But thou shalt see and they shall see Which of you is the demented.
Now thy Lord! well knoweth He the man who erreth from his path, and well doth he know those who have yielded to Guidance;
Give not place, therefore, to those who treat thee as a liar:
They desire thee to deal smoothly with them: then would they be smooth as oil with thee:
But yield not to the man of oaths, a despicable person,
Defamer, going about with slander,
Hinderer of the good, transgressor, criminal,
Harsh-beside this, impure by birth,
Though a man of riches and blessed with sons.
Who when our wondrous verses are recited to him saith-"Fables of the ancients.”
We will brand him on the nostrils.
Verily, we have proved them (the Meccans) as we proved the owners of the garden, when they swore that at morn they would cut its fruits;
But added no reserve.5
Wherefore an encircling desolation from thy Lord swept round it while they slumbered,
And in the morning it was like a garden whose fruits had all been cut.
Then at dawn they called to each other,
“Go out early to your field, if ye would cut your dates.”
So on they went whispering to each other,
“No poor man shall set foot this day within your garden;”
And they went out at daybreak with this settled purpose.
But when they beheld it, they said, “Truly we have been in fault:
Yes! we are forbidden our fruits.”
The most rightminded of them said, “Did I not say to you, Will ye not give praise to God?”
They said, “Glory to our Lord! Truly we have done amiss.”
And they fell to blaming one another:
They said, “Oh woe to us! we have indeed transgressed!
Haply our Lord will give us in exchange a better garden than this: verily we crave it of our Lord.”
Such hath been our chastisement-but heavier shall be the chastisement of the next world. Ah! did they but know it.