A Meccan sura. The practice of cheating appears to have been prevalent in Mecca, and is strongly condemned here and elsewhere in the Quran (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
1 Woe to those who give short measure, 2 who demand of other people full measure for themselves, 3 but give less than they should when it is they who weigh or measure for others! 4 Do these people not realize that they will be raised up 5 on a mighty Day, 6 a Day when everyone will stand before the Lord of the Worlds? 7 No indeed! The list of the wicked is in Sijjin [a] –– 8 what will explain to you what Sijjin is?–– 9 a clearly numbered list. 10 Woe on that day to the deniers, 11 those who deny the Day of Judgement! 12 Only the evil aggressor denies it: 13 when Our revelations are recited to him, he says, ‘Ancient fables!’ 14 No indeed! Their hearts are encrusted with what they have done. 15 No indeed! On that Day they will be screened off from their Lord, 16 they will burn in Hell, 17 and they will be told, ‘This is what you called a lie.’
18 No indeed! The list of the truly good is in Illiyyin [b] –– 19 what will explain to you what Illiyyin is?–– 20 a clearly written list, 21 witnessed by those brought near. [c] 22 The truly good will live in bliss, 23 seated on couches, gazing around. 24 You will recognize on their faces the radiance of bliss. 25 They will be served a sealed nectar, 26 its seal [perfumed with] a fragrant herb [d] ––let those who strive, strive for this–– 27 mixed with the water of Tasnim, [e] 28 a spring from which those brought near will drink. 29 The wicked used to laugh at the believers–– 30 they would wink at one another when the believers passed by them, 31 joke about them when they got back to their own people, 32 and say, when they saw them, ‘These people are misguided,’ 33 though they were not sent to be their keepers– 34 so today [f] the believers are laughing at the disbelievers 35 as they sit on couches, gazing around. 36 Have the disbelievers [not] been repaid for their deeds?
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, '–l–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.
f. This is in the present tense, as if described on that Day
The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)
The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.