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WHEN THE SUN is shrouded in darkness,
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and when the stars lose their light,
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and when the mountains are made to vanish,1
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and when she-camels big with young, about to give birth, are left untended,
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and when all beasts are gathered together,2
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and when the seas boil over,
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and when all human beings are coupled [with their deeds],3
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and when the girl-child that was buried alive is made to ask
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for what crime she had been slain,4
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and when the scrolls [of men's deeds] are unfolded,
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and when heaven is laid bare,
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and when the blazing fire [of hell] is kindled bright,
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and when paradise is brought into view:
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[on that Day] every human being will come to know what he has prepared [for himself].
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BUT NAY! I call to witness the revolving stars,
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the planets that run their course and set,
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and the night as it darkly falls,
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and the morn as it softly breathes:
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behold, this [divine writ] is indeed the [inspired] word of a noble apostle,5
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with strength endowed, secure with Him who in almightiness is enthroned6
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[the word] of one to be heeded, and worthy of trust!
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For, this fellow-man of yours is not a madman:7
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he truly beheld [the angel - beheld] him on the clear horizon;8
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and he is not one to begrudge others the knowledge [of whatever has been revealed to him] out of that which is beyond the reach of human perception.9
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Nor is this [message] the word of any satanic force accursed.10
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Whither, then, will you go?
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This [message] is no less than a reminder to all mankind -
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to every one of you who wills to walk a straight way.
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But you cannot will it unless God, the Sustainer of all the worlds, wills [to show you that way].11