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al-Qalam (The Pen)
as rendered by N J Dawood 2014
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N J Dawood (2014) rendition of Surah The Pen(al-Qalam)
68:1 Nūn. BY the Pen, and what they¹ write,
68:2 you² are not a man possessed: thanks to the favour of your Lord!
68:3 A lasting recompense awaits you,
68:4 for yours is a sublime nature.
68:5 You shall before long see ― as they will see ―
68:6 which of you is enchanted.
68:7 Your Lord knows best those who stray from His path, as He knows best those who are rightly guided.
68:8 Yield not to the disbelievers:
68:9 they desire you to overlook their doings that they may overlook yours.
68:10 Nor yield to the wretch of many oaths,
68:11 the mischief-making slanderer,
68:12 the opponent of good, the sinful transgressor,
68:13 the bully who is of doubtful birth to boot.
68:14 Though such a man be blessed with wealth and children,
68:15 when Our revelations are recited to him, he says: ‘Fables of the ancients.‘
68:16 On the nose We will brand him!
68:17 We have afflicted them³ as We afflicted the owners of the orchard who had declared that they would pluck its fruit next morning,
68:18 without adding any reservation.⁴
68:19 A visitant from your Lord came down upon it while they slept,
68:20 and in the morning it was as black as midnight.
68:21 In the morning they called out to one another:
68:22 Hurry to your orchard, if you would pick its fruit.‘
68:23 And off they went, whispering to one another:
68:24 No beggar shall enter it today.‘
68:25 Thus they went out, fixed in their resolve.
68:26 But when they saw it they said: ‘We have erred indeed;
68:27 we are bereft.‘
68:28 The most upright among them said: ‘Did I not bid you give praise?‘
68:29 Glory be to our Lord,‘ they said. ‘We have assuredly done wrong.‘
68:30 And they began to blame one another.
68:31 Woe betide us!‘ they said. ‘We have been great transgressors.
68:32 Perchance Our Lord will give us a better one in its place; to Our Lord we will turn.‘
68:33 Such was their torment. But the torment of the life to come is more terrible, if they but knew it.
68:34 In the Gardens of Delight the righteous shall be with their Lord.
68:35 Are We to treat the Muslims and the sinners alike?
68:36 What has come over you¹ that you should judge so ill?
68:37 Or have you a scripture to study
68:38 promising you whatever you choose?
68:39 Or have We sworn a covenant with you ― a covenant binding till the Day of Resurrection ― that you shall have what you yourselves ordain?
68:40 Ask if any of them¹ will vouch for that!
68:41 Or have they other deities besides God? Let them produce their deities, if what they say be true!
68:42 On the day the dread event unfolds and they are told to prostrate themselves, they will not be able.
68:43 Utterly humbled, they shall stand with eyes downcast; for they had long since been bidden to prostrate themselves when they were safe and sound.
68:44 Therefore leave to Me those that deny this revelation. We will lead them on step by step, in ways beyond their knowledge.
68:45 I shall bear long with them: My stratagem is sure.
68:46 Are you demanding pay of them, so that they are burdened with debt?
68:47 Or have they knowledge of what is hidden? Can they write it down?
68:48 Wait, then, the judgement of your Lord and do not act like him¹ who was swallowed by the whale when he called out in despair.
68:49 Had his Lord not bestowed on him His grace, he would have been abandoned in the open to be blamed by all.
68:50 But his Lord chose him for His own and made of him a righteous man.
68:51 The unbelievers well-nigh devour you with their eyes when they hear the Admonition . ‘He is surely possessed,‘ they say.
68:52 Yet it is but an Admonition to mankind.


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