Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 6.djvu/275

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Ⅶ, 83-88.
the chapter of al aarâf.

Sho'hâib[1], who said, ‘ O my people! serve God, ye have no god save Him. There has come to you a manifest sign from your Lord; then give good weight and measure, and be not niggardly of your gifts to men, and do not evil in the earth after it has been righted. That is better for you if ye are believers; and sit not down in every path, threatening and turning from the path of God those who believe in Him, and craving to make it crooked. Remember when ye were few and He multiplied you; and see what was the end of the evildoers! 85 And if there be a party of you who believe in what I am sent with, and a party who believe not, then wait patiently until God judges between us, for He is the best of judges.’ Said the crowd of those who were big with pride amongst His people, ‘ We will of a surety turn thee out, O Sho'hâib! and those who believe with thee, from our village; or else thou shalt return unto our faith.’ Said he, ‘ What even if we be averse therefrom? We shall have devised a lie against God if we return unto your faith, after God has saved us from it; and what should ail us that we should return thereto, unless that God our Lord should please? our Lord embraces everything in His knowledge; — on God do we rely. O our Lord! open between us and between our people in truth, for Thou art the best of those who open[2].’ And the chiefs of those who disbelieved amongst

  1. The Jethro of the Bible.
  2. That is, ‘give us a chance’ the idiom is still current in modern parlance. A shopkeeper, for instance, who has not sold anything all day, or who refuses a bargain, always says yefta‘h′allah, ‘never mind! God will give me a chance of selling it.’