Page:Koran - Rodwell - 2nd ed.djvu/267

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251
The Story

Nor wast thou on the slope of Sinai when we called to Moses, but it is of the mercy of thy Lord that thou warnest a people, to whom no warner had come before thee, to the intent that they should reflect:

And that they should not say when a calamity shall befal them for their previous handy work, “O our Lord! why hast thou not sent an Apostle to us? Then we should have followed thy signs and have been of the believers.”

Yet when the truth came to them from our very presence, they said, “Unless the like powers be given to him that were given to Moses. . . .”[1] But did they not disbelieve in what of old was given to Moses? They said, “Two works of sorcery[2] have helped each other;” and they said, “We disbelieve them both.”

Say: Bring then a Book from before God which shall be a better guide than these, that I may follow it; if ye speak the truth.

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And if they answer thee not, then know that verily they are following their own caprices: and who goeth more widely astray than he who followeth his own caprice without guidance from God? for God guideth not the wicked.

And now have we caused our word to come unto them, that they may be warned:

They[3] to whom we gave the Scriptures before IT, do in IT believe.

“And when it is recited to them they say, “We believe in it, for it is the truth from our Lord. We were Muslims before it came.”

Twice shall their reward be given them, for that they suffered with patience, and repelled evil with good, and gave alms out of that with which we provided them.

And when they hear light discourse they withdraw from it, and say, “Our works for us and your works for you! Peace be on you! We are not in quest of fools!”

Thou truly canst not guide whom thou desirest; but God guideth whom He will; and He best knoweth those who yield to guidance.

But they say, “If we follow the way in which thou art

  1. Supply, we will not believe.
  2. That is, the Pentateuch and the Koran.
  3. The Meccan Jews and Christians who had formerly embraced Islam, and could now affirm that they had always held the same faith. This passage could not have been written after Muhammad's experience of Jewish unbelief at Medina.