Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER LXXXIII.: ENTITLED SURAT AL TATFÍF (THOSE WHO GIVE SHORT MEASURE). Revealed at Makkah. - The Quran, vol. 4
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CHAPTER LXXXIII.: ENTITLED SURAT AL TATFÍF (THOSE WHO GIVE SHORT MEASURE). Revealed at Makkah. - Mohammed, The Quran, vol. 4 
A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran: Comprising Sale’s Translation and preliminary Discourse, with Additional Notes and Emendations (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co., 1896). 4 vols.
Part of: The Quran, 4 vols.
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ENTITLED SURAT AL TATFÍF (THOSE WHO GIVE SHORT MEASURE).
This chapter opens with a philippic against the use of false weights and measures. Woes are then pronounced against those who charge their prophets with imposture, while the believers are comforted by a description of the joys which await them in Paradise. The infidels may with mocking and jesting taunt the Muslims now, but the time will come when the Muslims shall laugh at the infidels as they look down from the couches of Paradise upon their writhings in hell-fire.
Probable Date of the Revelations.
Muslim authors differ as to the location of this chapter. Some hold (Itqán, 37) that vers. 1-6 only are Madínic, others that the whole chapter is Madínic Itqán, 28, 55). According to others, this is the last Makkan Sura, or the first Madínic, or revealed between Makkah and Madína. Noeldeke and Muir alike place it among the early Makkan Suras, making the date to be about the fourth year of Muhammad’s public ministry.
IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.
∥ (1) Woe be unto those who give short measure or weight; (2) who, when they receive by measure from other men, take the full; (3) but when they measure unto them, or weigh unto them, defraud! (4) Do not these think they shall be raised again (5) at the great day, (6) the day whereon mankind shall stand before the Lord of all creatures? (7) By no means. Verily the register of the actions of the wicked is surely in Sajjín. (8) And what shall make thee to understand what Sajjín is? (9) It is a book distinctly written. (10) Woe be on that day unto those who accused the prophets of imposture, (11) who denied the day of judgment as a falsehood! (12) And none denieth the same as a falsehood except every unjust and flagitious person, (13) who, when our signs are rehearsed unto him, saith, They are fables of the ancients. (14) By no means; but rather their lusts have cast a veil over their hearts. (15) By no means. Verily they shall be shut out from their Lord on that day; (16) and they shall be sent into hell to be burned: (17) then shall it be said unto them by the infernal guards, This is what ye denied as a falsehood. (18) Assuredly. But the register of the actions of the righteous is Illíyún: (19) and what shall cause thee to understand what Illíyún is? (20) It is a book distinctly written: (21) those who approach near unto God are witnesses thereto. (22) Verily the righteous shall dwell among delights: (23) seated on couches, they shall behold objects of pleasure; (24) thou shalt see in their faces the brightness of joy. (25) They shall be given to drink of pure wine, sealed; (26) the seal whereof shall be musk: and to this let those aspire who aspire to happiness:(27) and the water mixed therewith shall be of Tasním, (28) a fountain whereof those shall drink who approach near unto the divine presence. (29) They who act wickedly laugh the true believers to scorn, (30) and when they pass by them, they wink at one another; (31) and when they turn aside to their people, they turn aside making scurrilous jests; (32) and when they see them, they say, (33) Verily these are mistaken men. But they are not sent to be keepers over them. (34) Wherefore one day the true believers, in their turn, shall laugh the infidels to scorn: (35) lying on couches, they shall look down upon them in hell. (36) Shall not the infidels be rewarded for that which they have done?
[(1-6) ]This passage, as well as many others in this portion of the Qurán, illustrates the character of the instruction given by the reformer of Makkah. It has a genuine ring about it. A pure morality is insisted on, and enforced by the doctrine of a final judgment.
[(7) ]“Sajjín is the name of the general register, wherein the actions of all the wicked, both men and genii, are distinctly entered. Sajjín signifies a prison; and this book, as some think, derives its name from thence, because it will occasion those whose deeds are there recorded to be imprisoned in hell. Sajjín or Sajín is also the name of the dungeon beneath the seventh earth, the residence of Iblís and his host; where it is supposed, by some, that this book is kept, and where the souls of the wicked will be detained till the resurrection. If the latter explication be admitted, the words, ‘And what shall make thee to understand what Sajjin is?’ should be enclosed within a parenthesis.”—Sale, Baidháwí, Jaláluddín.
[(13) ]See notes on chaps. vi. 24, and xxi. 5.
[(18) ]Illíyún. “The word is a plural, and signifies high places. Some say it is the general register wherein the actions of the righteous, whether angels, men, or genii, are distinctly recorded. Others will have it to be a place in the seventh heaven, under the throne of God; where this book is kept, and where the souls of the just, as many think, will remain till the last day. If we prefer the latter opinion, the words, ‘And what shall make thee to understand what Illíyún is?’ should likewise be enclosed in a parenthesis.”—Sale, Baidháwi.
[(21) ]Witnesses thereto. “Or are present with and keep the same.”—Sale.
[(25) ]Pure wine. See note on chap. lxxvi. 5.
[(26) ]The seal, &c., i.e., “the vessels containing the same shall be sealed with musk, instead of clay. Some understand by the seal of this wine its farewell, or the flavour it will leave in the mouth after it is drunk.”—Sale.
[(27) ]Tasním. “Tasním is the name of a fountain in Paradise, so called from its being conveyed to the highest apartments.”—Sale.
[(28) ]A fountain, &c. “For they shall drink the water of Tasním pure and unmixed, being continually and wholly employed in the contemplation of God; but the other inhabitants of Paradise shall drink it mixed with their wine.”—Sale.
[(33) ]Not . . . keepers, i.e., “the infidels are not commissioned by God to call the believers to account, or to judge of their actions.”—Sale.
[(34) ]Shall laugh . . . to scorn. “When they shall see them ignominiously driven into hell. It is also said that a door shall be shown the damned, opening into Paradise, and they shall be bidden to go in; but when they come near the door, it shall suddenly shut; and the believers within shall laugh at them.”—Sale, Baidháwí.