Sura LIV — The Moon

by Rev. G. Margoliouth, M.A.

Mecca — 55 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The hour hath approached and the MOON hath been cleft:

But whenever they see a miracle they turn aside and say, This is well-devised magic.

And they have treated the prophets as impostors, and follow their own lusts; but everything is unalterably fixed.

A message of prohibition had come to them—

Consummate wisdom—but warners profit them not.

Quit them then. On the day when the summoner shall summon to a stern business,

With downcast eyes shall they come forth from their graves, as if they were scattered locusts,

Hastening to the summoner. "This," shall the infidels say, "is the distressful day."

Before them the people of Noah treated the truth as a lie. Our servant did they charge with falsehood, and said, "Demoniac!" and he was rejected.

Then cried he to his Lord, "Verily, they prevail against me; come thou therefore to my succour."

So we opened the gates of Heaven with water which fell in torrents,

And we caused the earth to break forth with springs, and their waters met by settled decree.

And we bare him on a vessel made with planks and nails.

Under our eyes it floated on: a recompence to him who had been rejected with unbelief.

And we left it a sign: but, is there any one who receives the warning?

And how great was my vengeance and my menace!

Easy for warning have we made the Koran—but, is there any one who receives the warning?

The Adites called the truth a lie: but how great was my vengeance and my menace;

For we sent against them a roaring wind in a day of continued distress:

It tore men away as though they were uprooted palm stumps.

And how great was my vengeance and my menace!

Easy for warning have we made the Koran—but, is there any one who receives the warning?

The tribe of Themoud treated the threatenings as lies:

And they said, "Shall we follow a single man from among ourselves? Then verily should we be in error and in folly.

To him alone among us is the office of warning entrusted? No! he is an impostor, an insolent person."

To-morrow shall they learn who is the impostor, the insolent.

"For we will send the she-camel to prove them: do thou mark them well, O Saleh, and be patient:

And foretell them that their waters shall[168] be divided between themselves and her, and that every draught shall come by turns to them."

But they called to their comrade, and he took a knife and ham-strung her.

And how great was my vengeance and my menance!

We sent against them a single shout; and they became like the dry sticks of the fold-builders.

Easy have we made the Koran for warning—but, is there any one who receives the warning?

The people of Lot treated his warning as a lie;

But we sent a stone-charged wind against them all, except the family of Lot, whom at daybreak we delivered,

By our special grace—for thus we reward the thankful.

He, indeed, had warned them of our severity, but of that warning they doubted.

Even this guess did they demand: therefore we deprived them of sight,

And said, "Taste ye my vengeance and my menace;"

And in the morning a relentless punishment overtook them.

Easy have we made the Koran for warning but, is there any one who receives the warning?

To the people of Pharaoh also came the threatenings:

All our miracles did they treat as impostures. Therefore seized we them as he only can seize, who is the Mighty, the Strong.

Are your infidels, O Meccans, better men than these? Is there an exemption for you in the sacred Books?

Will they say, "We are a host that lend one another aid?"

The host shall be routed, and they shall turn them back.

But, that Hour is their threatened time, and that Hour shall be most severe and bitter.

Verily, the wicked are sunk in bewilderment and folly.

On that day they shall be dragged into the fire on their faces. "Taste ye the touch of Hell."

All things have we created after a fixed decree:

Our command was but one word, swift as the twinkling of an eye.

Of old, too, have we destroyed the like of you—yet is any one warned?

And everything that they do is in the Books;[169]

Each action, both small and great, is written down.

Verily, amid gardens[170] and rivers shall the pious dwell.

In the seat of truth, in the presence of the potent King.



[168] See Sura [lvi.] xxvi. 155; also Sura [lxxxvii.] vii. 71.

[169] Kept by the Guardian Angels.

[170] The Talmudic descriptions of the Gardens—for the later Jews believed in more than one Paradise—and of the rivers and trees therein, will be found in Schr der Talm. Rabb. Judenthum, pp. 418-432.