Previous Page TOC Next PageSee File

74. Man Wearing a Cloak

THIS CHAPTER is commonly considered to be the second one revealed to Muhammad, six months after his very first one called The Clot 96, and even before The Opening 1, which formally introduces the Quran. Its 56 Meccan verses were revealed as a complete chapter in two sections. They have a short, rapid style which is difficult to copy in English, although I have attempted to imitate some of this by means of free verse.

The Interval or gap between the Prophet's first call and his second is referred to as the Fatra. This chapter contains some striking pictures of the Last Trumpet; the Proud Man; and Hell Fire. The last section (ii) lays down conditions for individual responsibility. It all requires thought and explanation. SEE also Extinguished! 81 for a similar apocalyptic mood.

In the name of God, the Mercy-giving, the Merciful!

Muhammad's Second Call

(i) * You who are wrapped in a cloak,
* stand up and warn!
* Magnify your Lord,
* purify your clothing
** and steer clear of filth.
* Do not give so much away
that you must ask for more;
* act patiently towards your Lord!

The Last Trumpet

* When the bugle is sounded on that day, * it will be such a harsh day, ** anything but easy on disbelievers! * Leave Me Alone with anyone I have created to be lonely, * to whom I have granted ample wealth * and some standing before him, * and for whom I have smoothed things over. ** Still he aspires for Me to add even more [to it]!

* Of course not; he has acted stubbornly towards Our signs. * I shall weigh him down with mounting trouble. * Let him think things over and measure them out. * Yet he still will be damned just as he has measured; ** once again, he will be killed just as he has measured things out!

* Then he looked; * next
he frowned and scowled;
* then he stepped back,
glanced around haughtily
* and said: "This is just some magic
which has been handed down;
** this is merely a statement
made by some human being!

Hell Fire

* I'll roast him by scorching!
* What will make you realize
what scorching is? * It spares nothing
nor leaves anything over
* as it shrivels human [flesh].

** Over it there are Nineteen; * We have placed none but angels as guardians of the Fire. We have placed such a number merely as a test for those who disbelieve, to convince the ones who have been given the Book, while those who believe may be increased in [their] faith; and so the ones who have been given the Book as well as believers may not doubt, while the ones in whose hearts there lurks mahce, as well as disbelievers will say: "What does God want to compare this to ?"


Thus God lets anyone He wishes go astray while He guides whomever He wishes. No one knows your Lord's armies except He Himself. It is only a Reminder for humanity.

(ii) * Indeed not; by the moon,
* and night as it retreats
* and morning when it shines forth,
** it is one of the greatest [signs],
* [given] as a waming for humanity,
* for anyone of you who wishes
to advance or lag behind!


* Each soul is [held] as a pledge for anything he has earned, * except for the companions on the Right ** who will be in gardens enquiring * about the criminals: "Whatever induced you to be scorched?"

* They will say: "We were not among the prayerful * nor did we feed the needy. ** We speculated along with the speculators * and kept denying [about appearing on] the Day for Repayment * until [its] certainty came home to us."

Meditation is Futile

* No intercession by any mediators will benefit them. * What is wrong with them that they avoid remembering [God] ** as if they were startled donkeys * who have just fled from a lioness? * Yet every last man among them wants to be handed scriptures all spread out!

* Of course, it is rather because they do not fear the Here- after. * Indeed, it is a Reminder; ** so let anyone who wishes to, remember it. * Yet they will not remember except however God may wish.

He is Entitled to be heeded,
as well as entitled to grant forgiveness!


Published with authorization from Dr.T.B.Irving.