8 Lit. was straitened in regard to them.
9 See [lxxv.] xi. 83.
10 So as to fly from our vengeance.
11 Lit. in truth.
12 With the Jews. This passage is quoted by modern Muslims in justification of their indifference with respect to the propagation of their religion. “The number of the faithful,” said one of them to Mr. Lane, “is decreed by God, and no act of man can increase or diminish it.” Mod. Egypt. i. p. 364. Nöldeke supposes this verse to have been revealed at Medina, and renders, Contend not except in the best way, i.e. not by words but by force.
14 That is, you may find places of refuge where you may worship the true God in some other parts of the earth, if driven forth from your native city. This verse is very indicative of a late Meccan origin. Flight from Mecca must have been imminent when Muhammad could thus write.
15 Lit. carry not. Comp. Matth. vi. 26; Luke xii. 24.
16 At Mecca.
SURA XXXI.-LOKMAN1 [LXXXII.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ELIF. Lam. Mim.2 These are the verses (signs) of the wise Book,
A guidance and a mercy to the righteous,
Who observe prayer, and pay the impost,3 and believe firmly in the life to come:-
These rest on guidance from their Lord, and with these it shall be well.
But a man there is4 who buyeth an idle tale, that in his lack of knowledge he may mislead others from the way of God, and turn it to scorn. For such is prepared a shameful punishment!
And when our signs are rehearsed to him, he turneth away disdainfully, as though he heard them not,-as though his ears were heavy with deafness. Announce to him therefore tidings of an afflictive punishment!
But they who shall have believed and wrought good works, shall enjoy the gardens of delight:
For ever shall they dwell therein: it is God’s true promise! and He is the Mighty, the Wise.
Without pillars that can be seen hath He created the heavens, and on the earth hath thrown mountains lest it should move with you;5 and He hath scattered over it animals of every sort: and from the Heaven we send down rain and cause every kind of noble plant to grow up therein.
This is the creation of God: Shew me now what others than He have created. Ah! the ungodly are in a manifest delusion.
Of old we bestowed wisdom upon Lokman, and taught him thus-"Be thankful to God: for whoever is thankful, is thankful to his own behoof; and if any shall be thankless . . . God truly is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise!”
And bear in mind when Lokman said to his son by way of warning, “O my son! join not other gods with God, for the joining gods with God is the great impiety.”