He, indeed, had warned them of our severity, but of that warning they doubted.
Even this guess did they demand: therefore we deprived them of sight,
And said, “Taste ye my vengeance and my menace;”
And in the morning a relentless punishment overtook them.
Easy have we made the Koran for warning but, is there any one who receives the warning?
To the people of Pharaoh also came the threatenings:
All our miracles did they treat as impostures. Therefore seized we them as he only can seize, who is the Mighty, the Strong.
Are your infidels, O Meccans, better men than these? Is there an exemption for you in the sacred Books?
Will they say, “We are a host that lend one another aid?”
The host shall be routed, and they shall turn them back.
But, that Hour is their threatened time, and that Hour shall be most severe and bitter.
Verily, the wicked are sunk in bewilderment and folly.
On that day they shall be dragged into the fire on their faces. “Taste ye the touch of Hell.”
All things have we created after a fixed decree:
Our command was but one word, swift as the twinkling of an eye.
Of old, too, have we destroyed the like of you-yet is any one warned?
And everything that they do is in the Books;2
Each action, both small and great, is written down.
Verily, amid gardens3 and rivers shall the pious dwell.
In the seat of truth, in the presence of the potent King.
1 See Sura [lvi.] xxvi. 155; also Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 71.
2 Kept by the Guardian Angels.
3 The Talmudic descriptions of the Gardens-for the later Jews believed in more than one Paradise-and of the rivers and trees therein, will be found in Schr der Talm. Rabb. Judenthum, pp. 418-432.
SURA XXXVII.-THE RANKS [L.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
By the angels ranged in order for Songs of Praise,
And by those who repel demons,1
And by those who recite the Koran for warning,
Truly your God is but one,
Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth, and of all that
is between them, and
Lord of the East.2
We have adorned the lower heaven with the adornment of the stars.
They serve also as a guard against every rebellious Satan,
That they overhear not what passeth in the assembly on high, for they are darted at from every side,3
Driven off and consigned to a lasting torment;
While, if one steal a word by stealth, a glistening flame pursueth him.
Ask the Meccans then, Are they, or the angels whom we have made, the stronger creation? Aye, of coarse clay have we created them.