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WOE UNTO THOSE who give short measure:
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those who, when they are to receive their due from [other] people, demand that it be given in full -
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but when they have to measure or weigh whatever they owe to others, give less than what is due!1
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Do they not know that they are bound to be raised from the dead
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[and called to account] on an awesome Day -
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the Day when all men shall stand before the Sustainer of all the worlds?
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NAY, VERILY, the record of the wicked is indeed [set down] in a mode inescapable!2
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And what could make thee conceive what that mode inescapable will be?
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A record [indelibly] inscribed!
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Woe on that Day unto those who give the lie to the truth -
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those who give the lie to the [coming of] Judgment Day:
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for, none gives the lie to it but such as are wont to transgress against all that is right [and are] immersed in sin:3
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[and so,] whenever Our messages are conveyed to them, they but say, "Fables of ancient times!"
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Nay, but their hearts are corroded by all [the evil] that they were wont to do!4
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Nay, verily, from [the grace of] their Sustainer shall they on that Day be debarred;
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and then, behold, they shall enter the blazing fire
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and be told: "This is the [very thing] to which you were wont to give the lie!"
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NAY, VERILY, the record of the truly virtuous is [set down] in a mode most lofty!5
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And what could make thee conceive what that mode most lofty will be?
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A record [indelibly] inscribed,
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witnessed by all who have [ever] been drawn close unto God.6
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Behold, [in the life to come] the truly virtuous will indeed be in bliss:
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[resting] on couches, they will look up [to God]:7
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upon their faces thou wilt see the brightness of bliss.
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They will be given a drink of pure wine whereon the seal [of God] will have been set,
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pouring forth with a fragrance of musk.8 To that [wine of paradise], then, let all such aspire as [are willing to] aspire to things of high account:
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for it is composed of all that is most exalting9
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a source [of bliss] whereof those who are drawn close unto God shall drink.10
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BEHOLD, those who have abandoned themselves to sin are wont to laugh at such as have attained to faith;11
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and whenever they pass by them, they wink at one another [derisively];
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and whenever they return to people of their own kind,12 they return full of jests;
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and whenever they see those [who believe,] they say, "Behold, these [people] have indeed gone astray!"
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And, withal, they have no call to watch over [the beliefs of] others....13
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But on the Day [of Judgment], they who had attained to faith will [be able to] laugh at the [erstwhile] deniers of the truth:14
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[for, resting in paradise] on couches, they will look on [and say to themselves]:
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"Are these deniers of the truth being [thus] requited for [aught but] what they were wont to do?"