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CHAPTER LXXVIII.

ENTITLED SURAT AL NABA (THE NEWS).

Revealed at Makkah.

INTRODUCTION.

This chapter receives its title from ver. 2, where it signifies News of the Resurrection, which news was the burden of the Prophet's message at this period. The whole is a warning to the unbelievers to repent and believe the Quran ere it be too late, ere he say, "Would to God I were dust."

Probable Date of the Revelations.

The opinion of most writers is that this chapter belongs to the earlier Makkan revelations, though it is admitted that vers. 37-41 were added at a somewhat later date. Believing that ver. 17 presupposes chap. lxxvii. 12 seq., NoŽldeke places this chapter immediately after chap. lxxvii.

Principal Subjects.

Unbelievers shall yet learn the truth of the resurrection ... 1-5
God the Creator and Preserver of all things . . . 6-16
Judgment-day scenes described . . . 17-20
The recompense of unbelievers in hell described . .. 21-30
The joys of believers in Paradise described . . . 31-37
No intercessor except by God's permission . . . 37, 38
Sinners exhorted to flee from the day of wrath . . . 39-41

IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.

THIRTIETH SIPARA.

(1) Concerning what do the unbelievers ask questions of one another? (2) Concerning the great news of the


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resurrection, (3) about which they disagree. (4) Assuredly they shall hereafter know the truth thereof. (5) Again, assuredly they shall hereafter know the truth thereof (6) Have we not made the earth for a bed, (7) and the mountains for stakes to fix the same? (8) And have we not created you of two sexes; (9) and appointed your sleep for rest; (10) and made the night a garment to cover you; (11) and destined the day to the gaining your livelihood; (12) and built over you seven solid heavens; (13) and placed therein a burning lamp? (14) And do we not send down from the clouds pressing forth rain, water pouring down in abundance, (15) that we may thereby produce corn and herbs, (16) and gardens planted thick with trees? (17) Verily the day of separation is a fixed period: (18) the day whereon the trumpet shall sound, and ye shall come in troops to judgment; (19) and the heaven shall be opened, and shall be full of gates for the angels to pass through; (20) and the mountains shall pass away, and become as a vapour; (21) verily hell shall be a place of ambush, (22) a receptacle for the transgressors, (23) who shall remain therein for ages: (24) they shall not taste any refreshment therein or any drink, (25) except boiling water and filthy corruption: (26) a fit recompense for their deeds! (27) For they hoped that they should not be brought to an account, (28) and they disbelieved our signs, accusing them of falsehood. (29) But everything have we computed and written down. (30) Taste, therefore: we will not add unto you any other than torment.

(6, 7) See note on chaps. xvi. 15, and xxxi. 9.

(5-29) The numerous proofs of God's almighty power cited here have been noticed so frequently in the Makkan Suras as to make further comment unnecessary.

(30) We wilt not add. . other than torment. "This, say the commentators, is the most severe and terrible sentence in the whole Quran pronounced against the inhabitants of hell; they being hereby, assured that every change in their torments will be for the worse.


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(31) But for the pious is prepared a place of bliss: (32) gardens planted with trees, and vineyards, (33) and damsels with swelling breasts, of equal age with themselves, (34) and a full Cup. (35) They shall hear no vain discourse there, nor any falsehood. (36) This shall be their recompense from thy LORD; a gift fully sufficient: (37) from the LORD of heaven and earth, and of whatever is between them; the Merciful. The inhabitants of heaven or of earth shall not dare to demand audience of him: (38) the day whereon the spirit Gabriel and the other angels shall stand in order, they shall not speak in behalf of themselves or others, except he only to whom the Merciful shall grant permission, and who shall say that which is right. (39) This is the infallible day. Whoso, therefore, willeth, let him return unto his LORD. (40) Verily we threaten you with a punishment nigh at hand: (41) the day whereon a man shall behold the good or evil deeds which his hands have sent before him; and the unbeliever shall say, Would to GOD I were dust!

(31-37) One is at a loss how to interpret this of spiritual joy. See note on chap. iii. 15.

(38) The spirit. See notes on chap. ii. 86, 253.

Except he only, &c. See notes on chaps. ix. 81, xxxix. 45, and xl. 7.


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