bring it before God and the apostle, if ye believe in God and in the latter day. This is the best and fairest way of settlement.
Hast thou not marked those who profess that they believe in what hath been sent down to thee, and what hath been sent down before thee? Fain would they be judged before Thagout, though commanded not to believe in him; and fain would Satan make them wander with wanderings wide of truth.
And when it is said to them, " Accede to that which God hath sent down, and to the apostle," thou seest the hypocrites avert them from thee with utter aversion.
But how, when some misfortune shall fortune them, for their previous handywork? Then will they come to thee, swearing by God, " We desire nothing but to promote good and concord!"
These are they whose hearts God knoweth. Therefore break off from them, and warn them, and speak words that may penetrate their souls.
We have not sent any apostle but to be obeyed, if God so will: but if they, after they have sinned to their own hurt by unbelief, come to thee and ask pardon of God, and the apostle ask pardon for them, they shall surely find that God is He who turneth unto man, Merciful.
And they will not—I swear by the Lord—they will not believe, until they have set thee up as judge between them on points where they differ. Then shall they not find in their own minds any difficulty in thy decisions, and shall submit with entire submission.
Had we laid down such a law for them as " Kill yourselves, or abandon your dwellings," but few of them would have done it. But had they done that to which they were exhorted, better had it been for them, and stronger for the confirmation of their faith.
In that case we had surely given them from ourself a great recompense, and on the straight path should we surely have guided them.
And whoever shall obey God and the Apostle, these shall be with those of the Prophets, and of the Sincere, and of the Martyrs, and of the Just, to whom God hath been gracious. These are a goodly band!
This is the bounty of God; and in knowledge doth God suffice.