and had not a decree (of respite) previously gone forth from thy Lord, their differences had surely been decided between them!
They say: " Unless a sign be sent down to him from his Lord. . . ." But say: The hidden is only with God: wait therefore: I truly will be with you among those who wait.
And when after a trouble which had befallen themwe caused this people to taste of mercy, lo! a plot on their part against our signs! Say: Swifter to plot is God! Verily, our messengers note down your plottings.
He it is who enableth you to travel by land and sea, so that ye go on board of ships—which sail on with them, with favouring breeze in which they rejoice. But if a tempestuous gale overtake them, and the billow come on them from every side, and they think that they are encompassed therewith, they call on God, professing sincere religion:—" Wouldst thou but rescue us from this, then will we indeed be of the thankful."
But when we have rescued them, lo! they commit unrighteous excesses on the earth! O men! assuredly your self-injuring excess is only an enjoyment of this life present: soon ye return to us: and we will let you know what ye have done!
Verily, this present life is like the water which we send down from Heaven, and the produce of the earth, of which men and cattle eat, is mingled with it, till the earth hath received its golden raiment, and is decked out: and they who dwell on it deem that they have power over it! but, Our behest cometh to it by night or by day, and we make it as if it had been mown, as if it had not teemed only yesterday! Thus make we our signs clear to those who consider.
And God calleth the abode of peace; and He guideth whom He will into the right way.
Goodness itself and an increase of it for those who do good! neither blackness nor shame shall cover their faces! These shall be the inmates of Paradise, therein shall they abide for ever.
And as for those who have wrought out evil, their recom-
- This refers to the seven years of scarcity with which Mecca had been visited.
- Verses 27, 28 are to be noted, as defining the proportion to be observed in rewards and punishments, the severity of the latter being only in proportion to the crime, the excellence of the former being above and beyond its strict merits.