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68:1  Nun. CONSIDER the pen, and all that they write [therewith]
68:2  Thou art not, by thy Sustainer's grace, a madman
68:3  And, verily, thine shall be a reward neverending –
68:4  for, behold, thou keepest indeed to a sublime way of life
68:5  and [one day] thou shalt see, and they [who now deride thee] shall see
68:6  which of you was bereft of reason
68:7  Verily, thy Sustainer alone is fully aware as to who has strayed from His path, Just as He alone is fully aware of those who have found the right way
68:8  Hence, defer not to [the likes and dislikes of] those who give the lie to the truth
68:9  they would like thee to be soft [with them], so that they might be soft [with thee]
68:10  Furthermore, defer not to the contemptible swearer of oaths
68:11  [or to] the slanderer that goes about with defaming tales
68:12  [or] the withholder of good, [or] the sinful aggressor
68:13  [or] one who is cruel, by greed possessed, and, in addition to all this, utterly useless [to his fellow-men]
68:14  Is it because he is possessed of worldly goods and childre
68:15  that, whenever Our messages are conveyed to him, such a one says, "Fables of ancient times"
68:16  [For this] We shall brand him with indelible disgrace
68:17  [As for such sinners,] behold, We [but] try them as We tried the owners of a certain garden who vowed that they would surely harvest its fruit on the morrow
68:18  and made no allowance [for the will of God]
68:19  whereupon a visitation for thy Sustainer came upon that [garden] while they were asleep
68:20  so that by the morrow it became barren and bleak
68:21  Now when they rose at early morn, they called unto one another
68:22  "Go early to your tilth if you want to harvest the fruit!"
68:23  Thus they launched forth, whispering unto one another
68:24  "Indeed, no needy person shall enter it today [and come] upon you [unawares],"
68:25  – and early they went, strongly bent upon their purpose
68:26  But as soon as they beheld [the garden and could not recognize] it, they exclaimed, "Surely we have lost our way!"
68:27  - [and then,] "Nay, but we have been rendered destitute!"
68:28  Said the most right-minded among them: "Did I not tell you, 'Will you not extol God's limitless glory?’"
68:29  They answered: "Limitless in His glory is our Sustainer! Verily, we were doing wrong!"
68:30  - and then they turned upon one another with mutual reproaches
68:31  [In the end] they said: "Oh, woe unto us! Verily, we did behave outrageously
68:32  [But] it may be that our Sustainer will grant us something better instead: for, verily, unto our Sustainer do we turn with hope!"
68:33  SUCH is the suffering [with which We try some people in this world]; but greater by far will be the suffering [which sinners shall have to bear] in the life to come - if they but knew it
68:34  For, behold, it is the God-conscious [alone] whom gardens of bliss await with their Sustainer
68:35  or should We, perchance, treat those who surrender themselves unto Us as [We would treat] those who remain lost in sin
68:36  What is amiss with you? On what do you base your judgment [of right and wrong]
68:37  Or have you, perchance, a [special] divine writ which you study
68:38  and in which you find all that you may wish to find
68:39  Or have you received a solemn promise, binding on Us till Resurrection Day, that yours will assuredly be whatever you judge [to be your rightful due]
68:40  Ask them which of them is able to vouch for this
68:41  Or have they, perchance, anys ages to support their views? Well, then, if they are sincere in this their claim, let them produce those supporters of their
68:42  on the Day when man's very being shall be bared to the bone, and when they [who now deny the truth] shall be called upon to prostrate themselves [before God], and shall be unable to do so
68:43  downcast will be their eyes, with ignominy overwhelming them - seeing that they had been called upon [in vain] to prostrate themselves [before Him] while they were yet sound [and alive]
68:44  Hence, leave Me alone with such as give the lie to this tiding. We shall bring them low, step by step, without their perceiving how it has come about
68:45  for, behold, though I may give them rein for a while, My subtle scheme is exceedingly firm
68:46  Or is it that [they fear lest] thou ask them for a reward, [O Prophet,] so that they would be burdened with debt [if they listened to thee]
68:47  Or [do they think] that the hidden reality [of all that exists] is within their grasp, so that [in time] they can write it down
68:48  BEAR THEN with patience thy Sustainer's will and be not like him of the great fish, who cried out [in distress] after having given in to anger
68:49  [And remember:] had not grace from his Sustainer reached him, he would indeed have been cast forth upon that barren shore in a state of disgrace
68:50  but [as it was,] his Sustainer had elected him and placed him among the righteous
68:51  Hence, [be patient,] even though they who are bent on denying the truth would all but kill thee with their eyes whenever they hear this reminder, and [though] they say, "[As for Mubammad,] behold, most surely he is a madman!"
68:52  [Be patient:] for this is nought else but a reminder [from God] to all mankind