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al-Qalam (The Pen)
as rendered by Edward Henry Palmer
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Edward Henry Palmer rendition of Surah The Pen(al-Qalam)
68:1 N. By the pen, and what they write,
68:2 thou art not, by God's grace, mad!
68:3 and, verily, thine is a hire that is not grudged!
68:4 and, verily, thou art of a grand nature!
68:5 But thou shalt see and they shall see
68:6 which of you is the infatuated.
68:7 Verily, thy Lord He knows best who errs from His way; and He knows best those who are guided.
68:8 Then obey not those who call thee liar;
68:9 they would fain that thou shouldst be smooth with them, then would they be smooth with thee!
68:10 And obey not any mean swearer,
68:11 a back-biter, a walker about with slander;
68:12 a forbidder of good, a transgressor, a sinner;
68:13 rude, and base-born too;
68:14 though he have wealth and sons!
68:15 When our signs are recited to him he says, 'Old folks' tales!'
68:16 We will brand him on the snout!
68:17 Verily, we have tried them as we tried the fellows of the garden when they swore, 'We will cut its fruit at morn!'
68:18 But they made not the exception;
68:19 and there came round about it an encompassing calamity from thy Lord the while they slept;
68:20 and on the morrow it was as one the fruit of which is cut.
68:21 And they cried to each other in the morning,
68:22 'Go early to your tilth if ye would cut it!'
68:23 So they set off, saying privily to each other,
68:24 'There shall surely enter it today unto you no poor person!'
68:25 And they went early deciding to be stingy.
68:26 And when they saw it they said, 'Verily, we have erred!
68:27 Nay, we are forbidden (its fruit)!'
68:28 Said the most moderate of them, 'Said I not to you, "unless ye celebrate God's praises!"'
68:29 Said they, 'Celebrated be the praises of our Lord! verily, we were unjust!'
68:30 And they approached each other with mutual blame.
68:31 Said they, 'O woe to us! verily, we have been outrageous!
68:32 Haply our Lord may give us instead a better than it; verily, we unto our Lord do yearn.'
68:33 Thus is the torment, but, verily, the torment of the hereafter is greater, if ye did but know!
68:34 Verily, for the pious with their Lord are gardens of pleasure!
68:35 Shall we then make the Muslims like the sinners?
68:36 What ails you? how ye judge!
68:37 Or have ye a book in which ye can study,
68:38 that ye are surely to have what ye may choose?
68:39 Or have ye oaths binding on us until the judgment day that ye are surely to have what ye may judge?
68:40 Ask them, which of them will vouch for this?
68:41 Or have they partners, then let them bring their partners if they do speak the truth?
68:42 On the day when the leg shall be bared; and they shall be called to adore and shall not be able!
68:43 Lowering their looks, abasement shall attack them, for they were called to adore while yet they were safe!
68:44 But let me alone with him who calls this new discourse a lie. We will surely bring them down by degrees from whence they do not know.
68:45 And I will let them have their way! for my device is sure.
68:46 Or dost thou ask them a hire for it while they are burdened with debts?
68:47 Or have they the knowledge of the unseen, so that they write?
68:48 But wait patiently for the judgment of thy Lord, and be not like the fellow of the fish, when he cried out as he was choking with rage.
68:49 Had it not been that grace from his Lord reached him, he would have been cast out on the naked (shore) and blamed the while!
68:50 But his Lord elected him, and made him of the pious.
68:51 The misbelievers well-nigh upset thee with their looks when they hear the reminder, and they say, 'Surely he is mad!'
68:52 And yet it is but a reminder to the worlds!


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