Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 6.djvu/200

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Ⅳ, 17-23.
the qur'ân.

These be God's bounds, and whoso obeys God and the Apostle He will make him enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow, and they shall dwell therein for aye ; — that is the mighty happiness.

But whoso rebels against God and His Apostle, and transgresses His bounds, He will make him enter into fire, and dwell therein for aye ; and for him is shameful woe.

Against those of your women who commit adultery, call witnesses four in number from among yourselves ; and if these bear witness, then keep the women in houses[1] until death release them, or God shall make for them a way.

20 And if two of you commit it, then hurt them both[2]; but if they turn again and amend, leave them alone, verily, God is easily turned, compassionate.

God is only bound to turn again towards those who do evil through ignorance and then turn again. Surely, these will God turn again to, for God is knowing, wise. His turning again is not for those who do evil, until, when death comes before one of them, he says, ‘ Now I turn again;’ nor yet for those who die in misbelief. For such as these have we prepared a grievous woe.

O ye who believe! it is not lawful for you to inherit women's estates against their will ; nor to

  1. Women taken in adultery or fornication were at the beginning of Islâm literally immured.
  2. The commentators are not agreed as to the nature of the offence here referred to. The text, however, speaks of two of the masculine gender. The punishment to be inflicted is also the subject of dispute, the original merely saying, as I have translated it, ‘ hurt them.’