Page:Koran - Rodwell - 2nd ed.djvu/496

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The Koran

Never pray thou over anyone of them who dieth, or stand at his grave[1]—because they believed not in God and His Apostle, and died in their wickedness.

Let not their riches or their children astonish thee : through these God is fain only to punish them in this world, and that their souls should depart while they are still infidels.

When a Sura was sent down with “ Believe in God and go forth to war with His Apostle,” those of them who are possessed of riches demanded exemption, and said, “ Allow us to be with those who sit at home.

Well content were they to be with those who stay behind : for a seal hath been set on their hearts so that they understand not:—

But the Apostle and those who share his faith, contend for the faith with purse and person ; and these ! all good things await them : and these are they who shall be happy.

90God hath made ready for them gardens 'neath which the rivers flow, wherein they shall remain for ever: this will be the great bliss.

Some Arabs of the desert came with excuses, praying exemption; and they who had gainsaid God and His Apostle sat at home: a grievous punishment shall light on such of them as believe not.

It shall be no crime in the weak, and in the sick, and in those who find not the means of contributing, to stay at home, provided they are sincere with God and His Apostle. Against those who act virtuously, there is no cause of blame: and God is Gracious, Merciful:—

Nor against those, to whom when they came to thee that thou shouldst mount them, thou didst say “ I find not wherewith to mount you,” and they turned away their eyes shedding floods of tears for grief, because they found no means to contribute.

Only is there cause of blame against those who, though they are rich, ask thee for exemption. They are pleased to be with those who stay behind; and God hath set a seal upon their hearts: they have no knowledge.

They will excuse themselves to you when ye come back

to them. Say: Excuse yourselves not; we cannot believe you : now hath God informed us about you : God will behold your doings, and so will His Apostle: to Him who knoweth

  1. Prayers for the dead were customary among the Arabians before Muhammad. See Freyt. Einl. p. 221.