‘ Verily, we used to call on Him before; verily, He is the righteous, the compassionate !’
Wherefore do thou remind them : for thou art, by the favour of thy Lord, neither a soothsayer nor mad !
Will they say, ‘ A poet ; we wait for him the sad accidents of fate ?’
30 Say, ‘ Wait ye then ; for I too am of those who wait !’
Do their dreams bid them this ? or are they an outrageous people ?
Or will they say, ‘ He has invented it ?’ — nay, but they do not believe !
But let them bring a discourse like it, if they tell the truth !
35 Or were they created of nothing, or were they the creators ? Or did they create the heavens and the earth ? — nay, but they are not sure !
Or have they the treasures of thy Lord ? or are they the governors supreme ?
Or have they a ladder whereon they can listen? — then let their listener bring obvious authority.
Has He daughters, while ye have sons ?
40 Or dost thou ask them a hire, while they are borne down by debt ?
Or have they the unseen, so that they write it down ?
Or do they desire a plot? — but those who misbelieve it is who are plotted against !
- Addressed to Mohammed.
- I. e. a ladder reaching to the gates of heaven, upon which they may stand and listen to the angels discoursing, as the devils do. See Part Ⅰ, pp. 50, 51, note 2.