Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 6.djvu/158

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Ⅱ, 214-219.
the qurʼân.

while still a misbeliever; these are those whose works are vain in this world and the next; they are the fellows of the Fire, and they shall dwell therein for aye.

215 Verily, those who believe, and those who flee[1], and those who wage war[2] in God’s way; these may hope for God’s mercy, for God is forgiving and merciful.

They will ask thee about wine[3] and el mâisar[4], say, ‘ In them both is sin and profit to men ; but the sin of both is greater than the profit of the same.’

They will ask thee what they shall expend in alms : say, ‘ The surplus.’ Thus does God manifest to you His signs ; haply ye may reflect on this world and the next ! They will ask thee about orphans : say, ‘ To do good to them is best.’ But if ye interfere with them — they are your brethren, and God knows the evildoer from the well doer ; and if God will He will surely trouble you[5]. Verily, God is mighty, wise.

  1. In the Arabic hâgarû, i. e. who fled with Mohammed in his higrah or expatriation to Medina, from which the Muslim era dates.
  2. The gihâd, or general war of extermination against infidels, to threaten or preach which is a favourite diplomatic weapon with Mohammedan nations.
  3. Hamr, which is rendered ‘ wine,’ includes all alcoholic and intoxicating drinks.
  4. El mâisar was a game of chance, played with arrows, the prize being a young camel, which was slaughtered and given to the poor, the price of it being paid by the losers. This distribution to the poor Mohammed speaks of as useful, but the quarrels and extravagance to which the game gave rise, he considers, overbalanced the profit.
  5. I. e. if ye wrong orphans.