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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

83. Those Who Give Short Measure (1 – 36)

A Meccan sura. The practice of cheating appears to have been prevalent in Mecca, and is strongly condemned here and elsewhere in the Qurʾan (e.g. 11: 84–8; 7: 85). In the sura the fate of the cheats and disbelievers is contrasted with the delight in store for the good.

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

1Woe to those who give short measure,2who demand of other people full measure for themselves, 3but give less than they should when it is they who weigh or measure for others! 4Do these people not realize that they will be raised up 5on a mighty Day, 6a Day when everyone will stand before the Lord of the Worlds? 7No indeed! The list of the wicked is in Sijjin a The root of this word, s–j–n, is the same as the one for sijn meaning ‘prison’. The form is intensive.8what will explain to you what Sijjin is?—9a clearly numbered list. 10Woe on that day to the deniers, 11those who deny the Day of Judgement! 12Only the evil aggressor denies it: 13when Our revelations are recited to him, he says, ‘Ancient fables!’ 14No indeed! Their hearts are encrusted with what they have done. 15No indeed! On that Day they will be screened off from their Lord, 16they will burn in Hell, 17and they will be told, ‘This is what you called a lie.’

18No indeed! The list of the truly good is in ‘Illiyyinb The root of this word, ‘–I–w, relates to height. The form is intensive.19what will explain to you what ‘Illiyyin is?—20a clearly written list,21witnessed by those brought near.c The elect. See also verse 28. 22The truly good will live in bliss, 23seated on couches, gazing around. 24You will recognize on their faces the radiance of bliss.25They will be served a sealed nectar,26its seal [perfumed with] a fragrant herbd One meaning of misk (also ‘musk’).—let those who strive, strive for this—27mixed with the water of Tasnim,e The root of this word, s–n-m, suggests height and opulence. 28a spring from which those brought near will drink. 29The wicked used to laugh at the believers—30they would wink at one another when the believers passed by them, 31joke about them when they got back to their own people, 32and say, when they saw them, ‘These people are misguided,’ 33though they were not sent to be their keepers—34so todaya This is in the present tense, as if described on that Day. the believers are laughing at the disbelievers 35as they sit on couches, gazing around. 36Have the disbelievers [not] been repaid for their deeds?

Notes:

a The root of this word, s–j–n, is the same as the one for sijn meaning ‘prison’. The form is intensive.

b The root of this word, ‘–I–w, relates to height. The form is intensive.

c The elect. See also verse 28.

d One meaning of misk (also ‘musk’).

e The root of this word, s–n-m, suggests height and opulence.

a This is in the present tense, as if described on that Day.

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