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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
From George Sale’s Koran
Arabic Literature
 
Chapter XXXV.: Intitled “The Creator.” Revealed at Mecca

IN the name of the most merciful GOD. Praise be unto GOD, the creator of heaven and earth; who maketh the angels his messengers, furnished with two, and three, and four pair of wings: GOD maketh what addition he pleaseth unto his creatures; for GOD is almighty. The mercy which GOD shall freely bestow on mankind, there is none who can withhold; and what he shall withhold, there is none who can bestow, besides him: and he is the mighty, the wise. O men, remember the favor of GOD towards you: is there any creator, besides GOD, who provideth food for you from heaven and earth? There is no GOD but he: how therefore are ye turned aside from acknowledging his unity? If they accuse thee of imposture, apostles before thee have also been accused of imposture; and unto GOD shall all things return. O men, verily the promise of GOD is true: let not therefore the present life deceive you, neither let the deceiver deceive you concerning GOD: for Satan is an enemy unto you; wherefore hold him for an enemy: he only inviteth his confederates to be the inhabitants of hell. For those who believe not there is prepared a severe torment: but for those who shall believe and do that which is right, is prepared mercy and a great reward. Shall he therefore for whom his evil work hath been prepared, and who imagineth it to be good, be as he who is rightly disposed, and discerneth the truth? Verily GOD will cause to err whom he pleaseth, and will direct whom he pleaseth. Let not thy soul therefore be spent in sighs for their sakes, on account of their obstinacy; for GOD well knoweth that which they do. It is God who sendeth the winds, and raiseth a cloud: and we drive the same unto a dead country, and thereby quicken the earth after it hath been dead; so shall the resurrection be. Whoever desireth excellence; unto GOD doth all excellence belong: unto him ascendeth the good speech; and the righteous work will he exalt. But as for them who devise wicked plots, they shall suffer a severe punishment; and the device of those men shall be rendered vain. GOD created you first of the dust, and afterwards of seed: and he hath made you man and wife. No female conceiveth, or bringeth forth, but with his knowledge. Nor is any thing added unto the age of him whose life is prolonged, neither is any thing diminished from his age, but the same is written in the book of God’s decrees. Verily this is easy with GOD. The two seas are not to be held in comparison: this is fresh and sweet, pleasant to drink; but that is salt and bitter: yet out of each of them ye eat fish, and take ornaments for you to wear. Thou seest the ships also ploughing the waves thereof, that ye may seek to enrich yourselves by commerce, of the abundance of God: peradventure ye will be thankful. He causeth the night to succeed the day, and he causeth the day to succeed the night; and he obligeth the sun and the moon to perform their services: each of them runneth an appointed course. This is GOD, your LORD: his is the kingdom. But the idols which ye invoke besides him have not the power even over the skin of a date-stone: if ye invoke them, they will not hear your calling; and although they should hear, yet they would not answer you. On the day of resurrection they shall disclaim your having associated them with God: and none shall declare unto thee the truth, like one who is well acquainted therewith. O men, ye have need of GOD; but GOD is self-sufficient, and to be praised. If he pleaseth, he can take you away, and produce a new creature in your stead: neither will this be difficult with GOD. A burdened soul shall not bear the burden of another: and if a heavy-burdened soul call on another to bear part of its burden, no part thereof shall be borne by the person who shall be called on, although he be ever so nearly related. Thou shalt admonish those who fear their LORD in secret, and are constant at prayer: and whoever cleanseth himself from the guilt of disobedience, cleanseth himself to the advantage of his own soul; for all shall be assembled before GOD at the last day. The blind and the seeing shall not be held equal; neither darkness and light; nor the cool shade and the scorching wind: neither shall the living and the dead be held equal. GOD shall cause him to hear whom he pleaseth: but thou shalt not make those to hear who are in their graves. Thou art no other than a preacher; verily we have sent thee with truth, a bearer of good tidings, and a denouncer of threats.  1
  There hath been no nation, but a preacher hath in past times been conversant among them: if they charge thee with imposture, they who were before them likewise charged their apostles with imposture. Their apostles came unto them with evident miracles, and with divine writings, and with the Enlightening Book: afterwards I chastised those who were unbelievers; and how severe was my vengeance! Dost thou not see that GOD sendeth down rain from heaven, and that we thereby produce fruits of various colors? In the mountains also there are some tracts white and red, of various colors; and others are of a deep black: and of men, and beasts, and cattle there are whose colors are in like manner various. Such only of his servants fear GOD as are endued with understanding: verily GOD is mighty and ready to forgive. Verily they who read the book of GOD, and are constant at prayer, and give alms out of what we have bestowed on them, both in secret and openly, hope for a merchandise which shall not perish: that God may fully pay them their wages, and make them a superabundant addition of his liberality; for he is ready to forgive the faults of his servants, and to requite their endeavors. That which we have revealed unto thee of the book of the Korân is the truth, confirming the scriptures which were revealed before it: for GOD knoweth and regardeth his servants. And we have given the book of the Korân in heritage unto such of our servants as we have chosen: of them there is one who injureth his own soul; and there is another of them who keepeth the middle way; and there is another of them who outstrippeth others in good works, by the permission of GOD. This is the great excellence. They shall be introduced into gardens of perpetual abode; they shall be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and pearls, and their clothing therein shall be of silk: and they shall say, Praise be unto GOD, who hath taken away sorrow from us! verily our LORD is ready to forgive the sinners, and to reward the obedient: who hath caused us to take up our rest in a dwelling of eternal stability, through his bounty, wherein no labor shall touch us, neither shall any weariness affect us. But for the unbelievers is prepared the fire of hell: it shall not be decreed them to die a second time; neither shall any part of the punishment thereof be made lighter unto them. Thus shall every infidel be rewarded. And they shall cry out aloud in hell, saying, LORD, take us hence, and we will work righteousness, and not what we have formerly wrought. But it shall be answered them, Did we not grant you lives of length sufficient, that whoever would be warned might be warned therein; and did not the preacher come unto you? Taste therefore the pains of hell. And the unjust shall have no protector. Verily GOD knoweth the secrets both of heaven and earth, for he knoweth the innermost parts of the breasts of men. It is he who hath made you to succeed in the earth. Whoever shall disbelieve, on him be his unbelief; and their unbelief shall only gain the unbelievers greater indignation in the sight of their LORD; and their unbelief shall only increase the perdition of the unbelievers. Say, what think ye of your deities which ye invoke besides GOD? Show me what part of the earth they have created. Or had they any share in the creation of the heavens? Have we given unto the idolaters any book of revelations, so that they may rely on any proof therefrom to authorize their practice? Nay; but the ungodly make unto one another only deceitful promises. Verily GOD sustaineth the heavens and the earth, lest they fail: and if they should fail, none could support the same besides him; he is gracious and merciful. The Koreish swore by GOD, with a most solemn oath, that if a preacher had come unto them, they would surely have been more willingly directed than any nation: but now a preacher is come unto them, it hath only increased in them their aversion from the truth, their arrogance in the earth, and their contriving of evil; but the contrivance of evil shall only encompass the authors thereof. Do they expect any other than the punishment awarded against the unbelievers of former times? For thou shalt not find any change in the ordinance of GOD; neither shalt thou find any variation in the ordinance of GOD. Have they not gone through the earth, and seen what hath been the end of those who were before them; although they were more mighty in strength than they? GOD is not to be frustrated by anything either in heaven or on earth; for he is wise and powerful. If GOD should punish men according to what they deserve, he would not leave on the back of the earth so much as a beast; but he respiteth them to a determined time; and when their time shall come, verily GOD will regard his servants.  2
 
Chapter LV.: Intitled “The Merciful.” Revealed at Mecca

IN the name of the most merciful GOD. The Merciful hath taught his servant the Korân. He created man: he hath taught him distinct speech. The sun and the moon run their courses according to a certain rule: and the vegetables which creep on the ground, and the trees submit to his disposition. He also raised the heaven; and he appointed the balance, that ye should not transgress in respect to the balance: wherefore observe a just weight; and diminish not the balance. And the earth hath he prepared for living creatures: therein are various fruits, and palm-trees bearing sheaths of flowers; and grain having chaff, and leaves. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? He created man of dried clay like an earthen vessel: but he created the genii of fire clear from smoke. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? He is the LORD of the east, and the LORD of the west. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? He hath let loose the two seas, that they meet each another: between them is placed a bar which they cannot pass. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? From them are taken forth unions and lesser pearls. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? His also are the ships, carrying their sails aloft in the sea like mountains. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? Every creature which liveth on the earth is subject to decay: but the glorious and honorable countenance of thy LORD shall remain for ever. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? Unto him do all creatures which are in heaven and earth make petition; every day is he employed in some new work. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? We will surely attend to judge you, O men and genii, at the last day. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? O ye collective body of genii and men, if ye be able to pass out of the confines of heaven and earth, pass forth: ye shall not pass forth but by absolute power. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? A flame of fire without smoke, and a smoke without flame shall be sent down upon you; and ye shall not be able to defend yourselves therefrom. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? And when the heaven shall be rent in sunder, and shall become red as a rose, and shall melt like ointment: (Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny?) On that day neither man nor genius shall be asked concerning his sin. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? The wicked shall be known by their marks; and they shall be taken by the forelocks, and the feet, and shall be cast into hell. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? This is hell which the wicked deny as a falsehood: they shall pass to and fro between the same and hot boiling water. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? But for him who dreadeth the tribunal of his LORD are prepared two gardens: (Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny?) In each of them shall be two fountains flowing. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? In each of them shall there be of every fruit two kinds. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? They shall repose on couches, the linings whereof shall be of thick silk interwoven with gold; and the fruit of the two gardens shall be near at hand to gather. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? Therein shall receive them beauteous damsels, refraining their eyes from beholding any besides their spouses: whom no man shall have deflowered before them, neither any Jinn: (Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny?) Having complexions like rubies and pearls. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? Shall the reward of good works be any other good? Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? And besides these there shall be two other gardens: (Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny?) Of a dark green. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? In each of them shall be two fountains pouring forth plenty of water. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? In each of them shall be fruits, and palm-trees, and pomegranates. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? Therein shall be agreeable and beauteous damsels: Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? Whom no man shall have deflowered before their destined spouses, nor any Jinn. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? Therein shall they delight themselves, lying on green cushions and beautiful carpets. Which, therefore, of your LORD’S benefits will ye ungratefully deny? Blessed be the name of thy LORD, possessed of glory and honor!
  3
 
Chapter LXXXIV.: Intitled “The Rending in Sunder.” Revealed at Mecca

IN the name of the most merciful GOD. When the heaven shall be rent in sunder, and shall obey its LORD, and shall be capable thereof; and when the earth shall be stretched out, and shall cast forth that which is therein, and shall remain empty, and shall obey its LORD, and shall be capable thereof: O man, verily laboring thou laborest to meet thy LORD, and thou shalt meet him. And he who shall have his book given into his right hand shall be called to an easy account, and shall turn unto his family with joy: but he who shall have his book given him behind his back shall invoke destruction to fall upon him, and he shall be sent into hell to be burned; because he rejoiced insolently amidst his family on earth. Verily he thought he should never return unto God: yea verily, but his LORD beheld him. Wherefore I swear by the redness of the sky after sunset, and by the night, and the animals which it driveth together, and by the moon when she is in the full; ye shall surely be transferred successively from state to state. What aileth them, therefore, that they believe not the resurrection; and that, when the Korân is read unto them, they worship not? Yea: the unbelievers accuse the same of imposture: but GOD well knoweth the malice which they keep hidden in their breasts. Wherefore denounce unto them a grievous punishment, except those who believe and do good works: for them is prepared a never-failing reward.
  4
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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