Sura LXIX — The Inevitable

by Rev. G. Margoliouth, M.A.

Mecca — 52 Verses

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The INEVITABLE!

And who shall make thee comprehend what the Inevitable is?

Themoud and Ad treated the day of Terrors[114] as a lie.

So as to Themoud,[115] they were destroyed by crashing thunder bolts;

And as to Ad, they were destroyed by a roaring and furious blast.

It did the bidding of God[116] against them seven nights and eight days together, during which thou mightest have seen the people laid low, as though they had been the trunks of hollow palms;

And couldst thou have seen one of them surviving?

Pharaoh also, and those who flourished before him, and the overthrown cities, committed sin,—

And disobeyed the Sent one of their Lord; therefore did he chastise them with an accumulated chastisement.

When the Flood rose high, we bare you in the Ark,

That we might make that event a warning to you, and that the retaining ear might retain it.

But when one blast shall be blown on the trumpet,

And the earth and the mountains shall be upheaved, and shall both be crushed into dust at a single crushing,

On that day the woe that must come suddenly shall suddenly come,[117]

And the heaven shall cleave asunder, for on that day it shall be fragile;

And the angels shall be on its sides, and over them on that day eight shall bear up the throne of thy Lord.

On that day ye shall be brought before Him: none of your hidden deeds shall remain hidden:

And he who shall have his book given to him in his right hand, will say to his friends, "Take ye it; read ye my book;

I ever thought that to this my reckoning I should come."

And his shall be a life that shall please him well,

In a lofty garden,

Whose clusters shall be near at hand:

"Eat ye and drink with healthy relish, as the meed of what ye sent on beforehand in the days which are past."

But he who shall have his book given into his left hand, will say, "O that my book had never been given me!

And that I had never known my reckoning!

O that death had made an end of me!

My wealth hath not profited me!

My power hath perished from me!"

"Lay ye hold on him and chain him,

Then at the Hell-fire burn him,

Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits thrust him;

For he believed not in God, the Great,

And was not careful to feed the poor;

No friend therefore shall he have here this day,

Nor food, but corrupt sores,

Which none shall eat but the sinners."

It needs not that I swear by what ye see,

And by that which ye see not,

That this verily is the word of an apostle worthy of all honour!

And that it is not the word of a poet—how little do ye believe!

Neither is it the word of a soothsayer (Kahin)—how little do ye receive warning!

It is a missive from the Lord of the worlds.

But if Muhammad had fabricated concerning us any sayings,

We had surely seized him by the right hand,

And had cut through the vein of his neck.[118]

Nor would We have withheld any one of you from him.

But, verily, It (the Koran) is a warning for the God-fearing;

And we well know that there are of you who treat it as a falsehood.

But it shall be the despair of infidels,

For it is the very truth of sure knowledge.

Praise, then, the name of thy Lord, the Great.



[114] Thus Beidh., Sale, etc. But with reference to another sense of the root karaa, it may be rendered the day of decision, the day on which man's lot shall be decided.

[115] On Ad and Themoud. See Sura vii. 63-77.

[116] Lit. God subjected it to himself, availed himself of it against them.

[117] El-wakia, the sudden event, the calamity; the woe that must break in upon Heaven and Earth. The same word is used, Sura lvi. 1, and ci. 1, for the Resurrection and Day of Judgment.

[118] In allusion to the mode of executing criminals in many eastern countries.