Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 9.djvu/23

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ⅩⅦ, 56-62.
the chapter of the night journey.

torment you : but we have not sent thee to take charge of them.

And thy Lord best knows who is in the heavens and the earth ; we did prefer some of the prophets over the others, and to David did we give the Psalms.

Say, ‘ Call on those whom ye pretend other than God ;’ but they shall not have the power to remove distress from you, nor to turn it off.

Those on whom they call[1], seek themselves for a means of approaching their Lord, (to see) which of them is nearest : and they hope for His mercy and they fear His torment ; verily, the torment of thy Lord is a thing to beware of.

60 There is no city but we will destroy it before the day of judgment, or torment it with keen torment ; — that is in the Book inscribed.

Naught hindered us from sending thee with signs, save that those of yore said they were lies ; so we gave Thamûd the visible she-camel, but they treated her unjustly ! for we do not send (any one) with signs save to make men fear.

And when we said to thee, ‘ Verily, thy Lord encompasses men !’ and we made the vision which we showed thee only a cause of sedition unto men, and the cursed tree[2] as well ; for we will frighten them, but it will only increase them in great rebellion.

  1. Sale interprets this to mean ‘ the angels and prophets.’ Rodwell remarks that it is an ‘ obvious allusion to the saint worship of the Christians.’ As, however, precisely the same expression is used elsewhere in the Qurʼân for the false gods of the Arabs, and the existence of those ginns and angels whom they associated with God is constantly recognised, their divinity only being denied, I prefer to follow the Moslem commentators, and refer the passage to the gods of the Arabian pantheon at Mecca; cf. Part Ⅰ, p. 127, note 2.
  2. The Zaqqûm; see Chapter ⅩⅩⅩⅦ, verse 60. The vision