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WHEN THE HYPOCRITES come unto thee, they say, "We bear witness that thou art indeed God's Apostle!" But God knows that thou art truly His Apostle; and He bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed false [in their declaration of faith].
They have made their oaths a cover [for their falseness], and thus they turn others away from the path of God.1 Evil, indeed, is all that they are wont to do:
this, because [they profess that] they have attained to faith, whereas2 [inwardly] they deny the truth - and so, a seal has been set on their hearts, so that they can no longer understand [what is true and what false].3
Now when thou seest them, their outward appearance may please thee; and when they speak, thou art inclined to lend ear to what they say.4 [But though they may seem as sure of themselves] as if they were timbers [firmly] propped up, they think that every shout is [directed] against them. They are the [real] enemies [of all faith], so beware of them. [They deserve the imprecation,] "May God destroy them!"5 How perverted are their minds!6 -
for, when they are told, "Come, the Apostle of God will pray [unto God] that you be forgiven", they turn their heads away, and thou canst see how they draw back in their false pride.
As for them, it is all the same whether thou dost pray that they be forgiven or dost not pray for them: God will not forgive them - for, behold, God does not bestow His guidance upon such iniquitous folk.7
It is they who say [to their compatriots8], "Do not spend anything on those who are with God's Apostle, so that they [may be forced to] leave."9 However, unto God belong the treasures of the heavens and the earth: but this truth the hypocrites cannot grasp.
[And] they say, "Indeed, when we return to the City,10 [we,] the ones most worthy of honour, will surely drive out therefrom those most contemptible ones!" However, all honour belongs to God, and [thus] to His Apostle and those who believe [in God]: but of this the hypocrites are not aware.11
O YOU who have attained to faith! Let not your worldly goods or your children make you oblivious of the remembrance of God: for if any behave thus - it is they, they who are the losers!
And spend on others out of what We have provided for you as sustenance,12 ere there come a time when death approaches any of you, and he then says, "O my Sustainer! If only Thou wouldst grant me a delay for a short while,13 so that I could give in charity and be among the righteous!"
But never does God grant a delay to a human being when his term has come; and God is fully aware of all that you do.
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