Qohlat (Ecclesiastes)

Qohlat 6

1. There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it is winning over humanity.
2. The man whom Allaha has given wealth, treasures and honor, and he does not deprive himself of anything that he desires, and Allaha does not give him the authority to eat from it, except for foreign men to consume it after him -- this is vanity and sickness.
3. If a man fathers* hundreds [of children] and lives many years, and the days of his years are long, but* his soul is not satisfied with blessings, nor is given a [proper] burial, I say that the stillborn is better off than him.
4. Because he comes in vain and he goes in darkness, and his name is covered in darkness.
5. Neither does he see the sun, nor does he know of it; there is more rest for him than for the other.
6. And even if he lives a thousand years, twice the seasons, and he sees no goodness, why, is it not to the same place that everyone goes?
7. Whatever works a man does with his hands,  yet* his soul is not fulfilled.*
8. Because why is the wise person better off than the fool? How? At least the poor know they are going to eternal life.*
9. The sight of the eyes is better than the wandering of the soul; and this too is vanity and the frustration of the soul.*
10. That which was of old had called his name, and he was known that he was a human being, and he cannot judge that which is more powerful than him.
11. Because there are many expressions that increase vanity; what benefit is there for the human being?
12. Because who knows what is good for a human being in his life? For the days of his vain life are numbered, and he passes them like shadows; who will show the human being what happens after him under the sun?

Translated by Victor Alexander ©2013

Footnotes
*6:3.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Begets." *6:3.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "And."
*6:7.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "And."
*6:7.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "His soul is not filled," or "he is not satisfied."
*6:8 Lit. Ar. id.: "To lives."
*6:9 Lit. Ar. id.: "Turmoil of the soul."

Posted June 14, 2013

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