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al-Qalam (The Pen)
as rendered by Aisha Bewley
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Aisha Bewley rendition of Surah The Pen(al-Qalam)
68:1 Nun. By the Pen and what they write down!
68:2 By the blessing of your Lord, you are not mad.
68:3 You will have a wage which never-fails.
68:4 Indeed you are truly vast in character.
68:5 So you will see and they will see
68:6 which of you is mad.
68:7 Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His Way and He knows best those who are guided.
68:8 So do not obey those who deny the truth.
68:9 They wish that you would conciliate them, then they too would be conciliating.
68:10 But do not obey any vile swearer of oaths,
68:11 any backbiter, slandermonger,
68:12 impeder of good, evil aggressor,
68:13 gross, coarse and furthermore, despicable,
68:14 simply because he possesses wealth and sons.
68:15 When Our Signs are recited to him, he says, ´Just myths of previous peoples!´
68:16 We will brand him on the snout!
68:17 We have tried them as We tried the owners of the garden when they swore that they would harvest in the morning
68:18 but did not say the redeeming words, ´If Allah wills´.
68:19 So a visitation from your Lord came upon it while they slept
68:20 and in the morning it was like burnt land stripped bare.
68:21 In the morning they called out to one another,
68:22 ´Leave early for your land if you want to pick the fruit.´
68:23 So they set off, quietly saying to one another,
68:24 ´Do not let any poor man into it today while you are there.´
68:25 They left early, intent on carrying out their scheme.
68:26 But when they saw it, they said, ´We must have lost our way.
68:27 No, the truth is we are destitute!´
68:28 The best of them said, ´Did I not say to you, "Why do you not glorify Allah?"´
68:29 They said, ´Glory be to our Lord! Truly we have been wrongdoers.´
68:30 They turned to face each other in mutual accusation.
68:31 They said, ´Woe to us! We were indeed inordinate.
68:32 Maybe our Lord will give us something better than it in exchange. We entreat our Lord.´
68:33 Such is the punishment. And the punishment of the Next World is much greater if they only knew.
68:34 The people who have taqwa will have Gardens of Delight with their Lord.
68:35 Would We make the Muslims the same as the evildoers?
68:36 What is the matter with you? On what basis do you judge?
68:37 Or do you have a Book which you study,
68:38 so that you may have anything in it you choose?
68:39 Or do you have oaths which bind Us, extending to the Day of Rising, that you will have whatever you decide?
68:40 Ask them which of them stands as guarantor for that!
68:41 Or do they have Divine partners? Then let them produce their partners if they are telling the truth!
68:42 On the Day when legs are bared and they are called on to prostrate, they will not be able to do so.
68:43 Their eyes will be downcast, darkened by debasement; for they were called on to prostrate when they were in full possession of their faculties.
68:44 So leave anyone who denies this discourse to Me! We will lead them, step by step, into destruction from where they do not know.
68:45 I will allow them more time. My subterfuge is sure.
68:46 Or do you ask them for a wage so they are weighed down with debt?
68:47 Or is the Unseen in their hands, so they can write out what is to happen?
68:48 So wait steadfastly for the judgement of your Lord. Do not be like the Companion of the Fish when he called out in absolute despair.
68:49 Had a blessing from his Lord not overtaken him, he would have been thrown up on the naked shore, for he was at fault.
68:50 But his Lord chose him and made him one of the righteous.
68:51 Those who are kafir all but strike you down with their evil looks when they hear the Reminder and say, ´He is quite mad.´
68:52 But it is nothing less than a Reminder to all the worlds.


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