70 THE QURAN. XXIII, 73-86. heavens and the earth would be corrupted with all who in them are ! — Nay, we brought them their reminder, but they from their reminder turn aside. Or dost thou ask them for a tribute ? but the tribute of thy Lord is better, for He is the best of those who provide.  And, verily, thou dost call them to a right way ; but, verily, those who believe not in the here- after from the way do veer. But if we had mercy on them, and removed the distress 1 they have, they would persist in their rebellion, blindly wandering on! And we caught them with the torment 2 , but they did not abase themselves before their Lord, nor did they humble themselves ; until we opened for them a door with grievous torment, then lo ! they are in despair.  He it is who produced for you hearing, and sight, and minds, — little is it that ye thank. And He it is who created you in the earth, and unto Him shall ye be gathered. And He it is who gives you life and death ; and His is the alternation of the night and the day ; have ye then no sense ? Nay, but they said like that which those of yore did say. They said, ' What ! when we have become earth and bones, are we then going to be raised ?  We have been promised this, and our fathers too, before; — this is naught but old folks' tales!' Say, * Whose is the earth and those who are therein, if ye but know ? '
The famine which the Meccans suffered; and which was attri-
buted to Mohammed's denunciations.
Their defeat at Bedr.