By Him who made male and female;
At different ends truly do ye aim!
But as to him who giveth alms and feareth God,
And yieldeth assent to the Good;
To him will we make easy the path to happiness.
But as to him who is covetous and bent on riches,
And calleth the Good a lie,
10To him will we make easy the path to misery:
And what shall his wealth avail him when he goeth down?
Truly man's guidance is with Us
And Our's, the Future and the Past.
I warn you therefore of the flaming fire;
None shall be cast to it but the most wretched,—
Who hath called the truth a lie and turned his back.
But the God-fearing shall escape it,—
Who giveth away his substance that he may become pure;
And who offereth not favours to any one for the sake of recompense,
20But only as seeking the face of his Lord the Most High.
And surely in the end he shall be well content.
SURA LXVIII.—THE PEN
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
- See Pref., p. 5. line i.
- Comp. Luke xi. 41. Muhammad perhaps derived this view of the meritorious nature of almsgiving from the Jewish oral law.
- It has been conjectured that as the word Nun means fish, there may be a reference to the fish which swallowed Jonas (v. 48). The fact, however, is that the meaning of this and of the similar symbols, throughout the Koran, was unknown to the Muhammadans themselves even in the first century. Possibly the letters Ha, Ṃim, which are prefixed to numerous successive Suras were private marks, or initial letters, attached by their proprietor to the copies furnished to Said when effecting his recension of the text under Othman. In the same way, the letters prefixed to other Suras may be monograms, or abbreviations, or initial letters of the names of the persons to whom the copies of the respective Suras belonged.
- This Sura has been supposed by ancient Muslim authorities to be, not the oldest, the second revelation, and to have followed Sura xcvi.But this opinion probably originated from the expression in v. i compare with Sura xcvi. 4. Verses 17–33 read like a later addition, and this passage, as well as verse 48–50, has been classed with the Medina revelations. In the absence of any reliable criterion for fixing the date, I have placed this Sura with those which detail the opposition encountered by the Prophet at Mecca.