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26 THE POETS (67 – 102)

Surely in that is a sign, yet most of them are not believers. Surely thy Lord, He is the All-mighty, the All-compassionate. And recite to them the tiding of Abraham 70when he said to his father and his people, ‘What do you serve?’ They said, ‘We serve idols, and continue cleaving to them.’ He said, ‘Do they hear you when you call, or do they profit you, or harm?’ They said, ‘Nay, but we found our fathers so doing.’ 75He said, ‘And have you considered what you have been serving, you and your fathers, the elders? They are an enemy to me, except the Lord of all Being who created me, and Himself guides me, and Himself gives me to eat and drink, 80and, whenever I am sick, heals me, who makes me to die, then gives me life, and who I am eager shall forgive me my offence on the Day of Doom. My Lord, give me Judgment, and join me with the righteous, and appoint me a tongue of truthfulness among the others. 85Make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss. And forgive my father, for he is one of those astray. Degrade me not upon the day when they are raised up, the day when neither wealth nor sons shall profit except for him who comes to God with a pure heart. 90And Paradise shall be brought forward for the godfearing, and Hell advanced for the perverse. It shall be said to them, ‘Where is that you were serving apart from God? Do they help you or help themselves?’ Then they shall be pitched into it, they and the perverse 95and the hosts of Iblis, all together. They shall say, as they dispute there one with another, ‘By God, we were certainly in manifest error when we made you equal with the Lord of all Being. It was naught but the sinners that led us astray; 100so now we have no intercessors, no loyal friend. O that we might return again, and be among the believers!’

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