So I was given the verses 92-105 of Surah al-Baqarah (The Cow) to read as part of the Circle of Unity. The Yusuf Ali Translation of these verses is:
90. Miserable is the price for which they have sold their souls, in that they deny (the revelation) which Allah has sent down, in insolent envy that Allah of His Grace should send it to any of His servants He pleases: Thus have they drawn on themselves Wrath upon Wrath. And humiliating is the punishment of those who reject Faith.
91. When it is said to them, “Believe in what Allah Hath sent down, “they say, “We believe in what was sent down to us:” yet they reject all besides, even if it be Truth confirming what is with them. Say: “Why then have ye slain the prophets of Allah in times gone by, if ye did indeed believe?”
93. And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (the towering height) of Mount (Sinai): (Saying): “Hold firmly to what We have given you, and hearken (to the Law)”: They said:” We hear, and we disobey:” And they had to drink into their hearts (of the taint) of the calf because of their Faithlessness. Say: “Vile indeed are the behests of your Faith if ye have any faith!”
96. Thou wilt indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life, even more than the idolaters: Each one of them wishes He could be given a life of a thousand years: But the grant of such life will not save him from (due) punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do.
(I went back a bit to add some context.) As with everything in the Qur’aan, no matter when you read it, or how many times, it resonates so strongly. Don’t we see exactly this trait in people who are hell-bent on creating havoc: they think they have forever to keep doing their thing, and indeed they wish they had more time with which to commit their shocking deeds. I hope I can always remember that I don’t have a thousand years to a)mend my ways and b)repent for my actions.
101. And when there came to them an apostle from Allah, confirming what was with them, a party of the people of the Book threw away the Book of Allah behind their backs, as if (it had been something) they did not know!
102. They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon: the blasphemers Were, not Solomon, but the evil ones, teaching men Magic, and such things as came down at babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (Such things) without saying: “We are only for trial; so do not blaspheme.” They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls, if they but knew!
105. It is never the wish of those without Faith among the People of the Book, nor of the Pagans, that anything good should come down to you from your Lord. But Allah will choose for His special Mercy whom He will – for Allah is Lord of grace abounding.
Forgot to add the rest of it yesterday; this entire verse is such a jolting reminder that those who reject Truth will never want to see those who accept Truth succeed. Everybody naturally believes their belief system to be The Truth…but not everybody wishes and does ill to those of another belief system. I guess that is just one very simple way to separate Truth from non-Truth.